ATTN: Divorced Fathers w/Children – Need some advice/guidance?

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      Over the past year, I have been through a divorce & lost my kids. I will try to sum up the past year (I’m sure you all can relate to some of the things I’m going to include):

      1) I was married for 9 years – had 3 kids (ex-wife calls me ‘the sperm donor’)
      2) Ex-wife was seeing some other guy the last 2 months of our marriage (met on eHarmony)
      3) For the past year; her & I have lived about 4 miles apart (we were in the same school district) therefore; we had 50/50 custody of the children (per the Magistrate and Judge cause she fought it in court)
      4) I am very active in my oldest (9) son’s sports – I am his coach in Football and Wrestling and my middle son’s (6) baseball coach.
      5) In June 2010; my ex-wife & her boyfriend bought a house together 1hr & 20mins away from where I was living
      6) Didn’t ask me if she could move & didn’t file an order to move until after she moved into this house.
      7) She requested full custody of the children (I refused)
      8) After our 3rd temporary divorce hearing (yes – I said 3rd temporary divorce hearing) I requested a GAL
      9) I have a $ 5k balance with my divorce attorney while my ex has a $ 0 balance cause her grandmother pays for everything
      10) I soon realized that I can’t ‘win’ compared to the money she has the ability to spend to get whomever involved to get the children.
      11) I ended up moving out of the school district cause the landlord didn’t renew my renter’s agreement (Sign #1)
      12) I found a higher paying job so I could afford renting a nicer house for me & kids & provide them a positive enviroment
      13) That job fell threw a week later; I was jobless (Sign #2)
      14) I found out what my ex wife wanted (full custody; have me cover the kids on my health insurance; ‘liberal’ visitation; no child support (haha); truck in my name and a few other small things)
      15) Didn’t have money for a GAL now (sign #3)
      16) All the ‘signs’ told me to give up so I agreed to ‘give up the children’ for their best interest. It was not even a month before they started school & they had no idea where they were going to attend school. Oldest wanted to stay at his current school.
      16) My girlfriend was so kind to allow me/us to stay with her until I found a job
      17) My ex-wife told her attorney she never proposed any of items listed in #14 (even though I have her requests in an email)

      So as of right now; the kids have spent their first full week with their mother & have started school. She was rewarded the grand title of “Residental Parent” (she is all about the control) per the courts. It’s been a tough week guys – REALLY tough!
      This past weekend; I was suppose to have the kids however; with my work schedule that I have had made up for the month of August was worked up in mid-July; I was not able to see them. I asked my ex-wife if she would be willing to switch the weekends; however she said “No” (shocking). So I was forced to give up my weekend. Then I heard “I will tell the kids you don’t want to see them”
      Thursday was their first day of school; I called to talk to them – 3 rings & voicemail. Left a voicemail – no response. Friday was my oldest son’s 9th birthday – I called – 2 rings & voicemail; text from ex saying “He said Thanks”. Saturday – I called; voicemail. Sunday; oldest son’s football game – was able to see 2 of the 3 kids.
      My oldest was an hour late to his 1st football game – he told me that “Mom said you were suppose to pick me up” however; my ex-wife told me she thought I was working (Lie #1,783 to her kids)
      My girlfriend and I spent time with the middle son. He & I are very close – my ex-wife originally wanted to sign the middle son over to me (full custody) on two separate occasions because he is very defiant towards her. Middle child also enjoys spending time with my girlfriend. He is able to be himself around me & my girlfriend.
      My girlfriend & I were talking after football & we commented that the middle boy wasn’t himself. He didn’t talk & only shook his head ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when we asked him questions about school; etc.
      So I’m asking; has any single/divorced fathers found a way to communicate effectively with their children in situations like this? Or how can I practice still being a father when I don’t have the kids.
      Any words of wisdom or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
      Thank you for all the support and ideas! Between my girlfriend and I – we document a lot of information and pass it onto my attorney.
      I have – unfortunely – moved further away from where I was living originally with the kids plus our pick up and drop off are at a police dept half way due to more of her lies. I had to protect myself from further accusations therefore; the PD was the next best thing.
      My girlfriend gave the kids a calendar for the month of September. She drew smiley faces on the days they will spend time with her and I. Therefore; they did know before I told their mother I was not able to get them.
      My main concern now is for their welfare/psychological concerns. The two were very ‘odd’ at football. Breaks my hearts to see them like this.

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