Monday, August 21, 2006

This Woman Needs Help

My best friend in the world, Garbogarbo, is an experienced and highly trained social worker in New Jersey. She has great intuition and is exceptionally gifted in her sense of timing. She has been nurturing one of her cases, whose name I don't know but will call Evelyn, for EIGHT YEARS, out of alcoholism and out of a bad marriage. Garbogarbo turned to me because her toolbag is empty. She is skeptical of the value of the blogosphere and has offered me a challenge to use it to find help. Don't let me down!

Here's the story:

Evelyn has a job and an eight-year-old daughter with whom she shares legal custody with her ex-husband, Trouble. Garbogarbo drove Evelyn to her first AA meeting eight years ago and she hasn't missed a meeting since. Thanks to her devotion to recovery, Evelyn was awarded shared custody and was able to get a job. Trouble has not abided by the custody agreement for many years, bad-mouthing Evelyn to their daughter, placing her in after school activities that require Evelyn to do impossible multi-hour pickups and dropoffs, and Evelyn has spent much money, time and energy with lawyers, the Police and Family Court system, but to no avail: they now ignore her. The reason? According to Garbogarbo (I implore you to believe her), it's because Evelyn has run out of money for lawyers, and the police and the Family Court favor men. (Note: Garbogarbo has been married to the same lovely man for 47 years and is definitely not a man-hater. Her son is a lawyer in California, so she's not a knee-jerk lawyer-hater either. Neither am I.)

Evelyn needs a women's advocate preferably in New Jersey who will not exploit her or ignore her. As a single working mother her time is very limited. She does not need a women's support group. She does not need a within-the-system lawyer. It sounds to me like she needs a hit man, but she does not want to lose the respect of her growing daughter, and therefore tries to protect her from the unbearable ongoing conflict with the father.

If you have any useful information for Evelyn, please email savtadotty [at] gmail [dot] com or write a comment and I will make sure it gets to her. I will also tell you what happens next.


Chancy said...

My cousin "Guido" knows a hit man. ;)

Much quicker than a lawyer.

saz said...

I hope something appears for her thru this post. You never know the power of Blogdom.

goldenlucyd said...

You ARE the woman of valor. GD bless you for putting this out to the blogworld. I wish I had answers but I don't. I will, however not forget this woman. I totally believe her bureaucratic nightmare and will keep her in my heart and prayers.

Savtadotty said...

chancy - I wish...

saz - So far, nothing concrete...but it's only a week...

goldenlucyd - Prayers can help too. Thank you on her behalf!

lisoosh said...

I live in Jersey and my neighbour worked for 25 years for social services in administration.
She said there are two options.
1. There is a state aid group for people in custody disputes.
2. If there was abuse in the relationship, ANY abuse, even threats or any way that Trouble would make the woman feel fearful (hint hint) there is an advocacy group for every county in the state which can help her.

Other than that, she does not think there is much recourse.
If your friend needs more info, Yael, Lisa and Liza all have my e-mail address.
I don't think that provided much help, but I hope so.

Savtadotty said...

Thanks for your help. I'll follow up by e-mail.