or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Single Parenting › Nervous About 1st Court Date Tuesday
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Nervous About 1st Court Date Tuesday - Page 3

post #41 of 64
(((hugs))) woman. i just want you to feel supported that the truth will out--unfortunately so many people are time-suckers. I just can't imagine my ex wanting to waste everyone's time instead of supporting family, but it happens.

People that want to devote energy to the negative are vicious. It takes all the bravery in the world to fight people like that.

I had court the same day you did. I broke the rules too, taking my kids to their grandparents after dealing with eight years of physical and verbal abuse. I've been in court for four years and over four thousand dollars, and he shows no signs of relenting. However, I know that my children will not be raised by an abusive father, will not learn that it what's right. Period.

Stay strong, you will be able to help your children and your friends. Get lots of help, openness, explore every avenue you can.
post #42 of 64


You sound like you need that.
post #43 of 64
Thread Starter 
Thanks mamas. This is all so hard. I really didn't think it would be this dramatic. Judging by stbx's complete lack of involvement to date, I didn't think he would jump so fast to file for divorce. I was planning on filing here in Oregon after I established residency requirements. Unfortunately, when money is involved, stbx is all about action. I should have known.

I have talked to a friend from high school who has family in Maine who are lawyers, and she's going to make some phone calls for me : so maybe I'll have some representation pretty soon.
post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post
Judging by stbx's complete lack of involvement to date, I didn't think he would jump so fast to file for divorce.
He sounds like my ex. He used to tell my daughter to "fuck off" when she wanted him to spend time with her, and has never bathed her or even read her a story in her 7 years of life, but now he wants custody. Of course, it's a coincidence that his attitude change coincided with his finding out how much he'd have to pay in child support. Money really seems to motivate these men. It is so sad.
post #45 of 64
Yes! It is actually more of a control issue, and it has do to with controlling women, as opposed to the caretaking of children. My X would let the children wallow in television for days with no health insurance or shoes if he could...Supporting his own ego rather than the children.

It's not about the best options for the kids for him, and this is why I stay strong for my babies...
post #46 of 64
mama. i am just watching how life unfolds for you. hopefully you might have good representation soon.

and i had to write and say i just noticed your siggie. : : it filled my heart with so much joy and brought a huge smile to my lips. awwwww wigliest nursling.
post #47 of 64
As far as the temporary child support, sometimes the amount of time required to actually receive it makes it not worth filing for- depending on how the situation is going. Also, there are men who are willing to run their business into the ground just so the ex will not get any of it. Hopefully your STBX is not one of those. As hard as it is to hear, a disinterested parent is not disqualified from having partial custody- though it is amazing that all of a sudden they are so terribly interested in everything about the child that they had previously done nothing for. Just remember that you are your child's primary caregiver and that does count for something.
post #48 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chloema View Post
He sounds like my ex. He used to tell my daughter to "fuck off" when she wanted him to spend time with her, and has never bathed her or even read her a story in her 7 years of life ... It is so sad.
I just had to respond to this. I hope a judge would PAUSE long minutes before awarding custody to a person who said this to his/her child.

I know we want children/parents to stay involved; two is better than one, etc., but this passes a boundary for me.

As a judge (not that I am one, of course) this would be incredibly telling -- visitation yes -- custody -- NO WAY!!!

Hope the truth outs for you.

M
post #49 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain View Post
Yes! It is actually more of a control issue, and it has do to with controlling women, as opposed to the caretaking of children. My X would let the children wallow in television for days with no health insurance or shoes if he could...Supporting his own ego rather than the children.

It's not about the best options for the kids for him, and this is why I stay strong for my babies...
Wow, Mountain...
Why is this so typical?
post #50 of 64
Thread Starter 

Another really long one

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennlyn View Post
...there are men who are willing to run their business into the ground just so the ex will not get any of it. Hopefully your STBX is not one of those. As hard as it is to hear, a disinterested parent is not disqualified from having partial custody- though it is amazing that all of a sudden they are so terribly interested in everything about the child that they had previously done nothing for. Just remember that you are your child's primary caregiver and that does count for something.
Stbx IS one of those, he already threatened to "quit" the business and not renew his contracts this coming year, so that I would not only not get anything from it, but also so he wouldn't have to pay cs. He straightforward told me that, and yes, I documented it.

I FINALLY talked to a lawyer for nearly 2 hours (free of charge! and she brought home to me some serious realities. Its everything that everyone here has already pointed out...but she pointed out a couple things that kinda shocked me (I'll admit, I'm a bit naive in the divorce/custody arena, so I keep getting shocked). The first thing that she told me was the courts AREN'T going to care that I have been the primary caretaker, and that it really doesn't count for anything. I truly, really felt that this was the crux of my defense - I've always been, not only the primary, but ONLY caretaker. She told me they wont care. If he suddenly wants to be the primary, that's good enough for the courts. It angers me beyond belief.

That the court system takes babies away from their Mamas is infuriating especially when the father doesn't REALLY want to take care of them, and is not going to provide nearly the same quality of parenting time. Not to mention, what about the child? I agree that fathers should be involved, (lol, I left because he was so NOT involved and it angered me), but I feel like my child is being "practiced" on to gain parenting skills in the eyes of the court. Who's going to suffer? - my kid! He wont get the hands on attention I give him from anyone, not even his dad. And joint physical custody will probably mean early weaning. And so much for co-sleeping. Stbx informed me tonight that he never agreed with co-sleeping anyway, that ds is 15 months old, and "should" be sleeping on his own, in his own room anyway. : he said he would let ds CIO if ds lives with him part of the time, and on weekends.

In my opinion, he was irritated that I was cosleeping with ds, because it meant HE wasn't getting laid.

Sorry for the rant (again):

I mean, I know the courts dont give a squat about bf after age 1, or co-sleeping (on the contrary I probably look like the bad guy fro cosleeping, knowing the mainstream point of view on it). It just pisses me off that my parenting principles are all of a sudden being thrown out the window by HIS callous disregard. Its not like its a newborn we're discussing who hasn't already known the closeness and the attachment involved with bf and co-sleeping. This is a 15 mo. old who will have a very, very hard time adjusting to life now that he's already been raised with all the closeness and nurturing that I've given him. Whats it going to feel like for him to have all that ripped away from him? To not only NOT have his Mama at night, and not be able to nurse, but to have NO ONE answer his cries while he's sleeping alone in a room? Oh my God, my heart breaks.

The lawyer told me, bottom line, start negotiating and settling things with him before we get to court on Feb 9th. Because the courts aren't going to have any reason to NOT award him joint physical, and if they think I'm going to leave the state again, they'll give him full custody. Basically, if I want primary custody, I better talk him into it, using whatever persuasive powers I have. So far the negotiations are not going well. But I have 4 weeks before mediation, so maybe something will sink in for him. I have essentially offered to walk away from all the marital assets/business/property etc if he will agree that ds lives with me primarily. Once we agree to that, I will try to talk to him about ds and I living in Oregon. But all I really care about is that I have primary, whether its here or Maine.

I told him that if I have to return to Maine because he wont agree to let ds live with me in Oregon, I will try my hardest to negotiate a fair settlement from the business and house. I can provide a decent life here in Oregon for ds. But I cant do the same in Maine, and as a result, I will ask for everything I can get from the marital assets in order to provide the best home possible for ds, and maybe also use some of that money to pay for school. (The scholarship program I want to apply for here isonly for Oregon residents, and there isn't a similar one in Maine)

Bottom line: Let ds live with me in Oregon, and I will do everything in my power and budget to make sure ds sees him frequently- with travel, webcam, phone, etc. Plus prolonged visits in the summer that will increase as his age increases.

If I have to move back to Maine to parent ds (whether its primary or joint), I will take a large chunk of his house, business and assets.

I think it sounds fair. He can have custody, or he can have his business. I guess the truth will out eventually here what his TRUE priorities are.

I know it sounds callous, but its all I've got right now. Keep your fingers crossed.
post #51 of 64
SFS, what does your lawyer think about that?

Here's my impression: There's no way he's going to say "Enjoy life in Oregon." Right now you don't have his money, and you have the kid in Oregon, and he doesn't like it. That's all you're offering when you say "Keep it all if I can take the kid and go." So no, he's not going to drag you all the way back there just to shrug and say, "Well, OK."

That leaves you with "If I have to stay here, I'm going to fight you for everything." Well, if you're going to do that, he's going to fight for everything too, except he's in a relatively strong position because he has money and hasn't shown himself to be a flight risk.

I take it he hasn't got a girlfriend lined up to dump the parenting responsibilities on, so if he has custody, he'll actually have to do the work. I guarantee he doesn't want to. Use that and work fast. Be nice. Don't run away from a share of the biz if it's worth something, but be willing to negotiate. "Hon, he's a lot of work, blah blah, and do you really want to be up at 2 am blah blah blah. Now I know the biz is worth $X. I'm willing to step down to $X on it if you'll let go of the custody issue, and you still have all this time with him, he knows you're his daddy, you're in his life, blah blah blah." You throw him a bone, let him save face. Better yet, do it through the lawyers.

As for the income, if your stbx ditches his work but shows the kind of income you're talking in prior tax years, Maine can impute income to him. Essentially say to him "well you could make X if you wanted, and we'll award support based on that." So don't listen to him about that stuff -- listen to your lawyer.
post #52 of 64
I can't believe that the court has no interest in who the primary caregiver is. My friend's ex told her outright that the one reason he would not get sole custody was because she had been the primary ( and only) caregiver of their child. She got joint, but she is the custodial parent so he gets the child every other weekend, plus a few weeks vacation in the summer. I think it is very, very hard to get sole custody. You are probably looking at joint, but go for being the custodial parent as you are the main caregiver. Frankly, I haven't seen a lot of good come out of arrangements where the child lives half a week with each parent, or a week at a time with each- maybe it does work if each parent is equally stable and parents in the same way but that isn't usually the case. It is very sad that men who didn't give a rip when their child was at home with them all of a sudden think they are now superdads and want sole custody. Unfortunately, I think they know that the way to get a woman to give up most everything is to threaten to take her child away from her. A good lawyer should be able to help you get what is yours financially and also what is best for your child. Plus don't think that just because a lawyer is female that she is the best one for you. My friend took that approach and in hindsight realized that there were things that could have been done differently that would have benefitted her more.
post #53 of 64
How much is that business worth? If you tax papers say it makes (taxable income) $12,000 a year, how does that get divided (since you already did get your part the years that was your family income)? I assume it a sole propritership, with no shareholders and board of directors. Do you want some landscaping equipment? We own a small construction company and I just can't imagine how I'd get a "part" of it. Especially since if he doesn't work, it doesn't make money and sometimes there just isn't work. My dh would make more working for someone else so it be pretty easy for him to let his current business go. Is it just some money you'd get? Wouldn't decreasing his imcome like that mean less CS? I have no idea, I just don't understand how you take a part of a tiny business.
Remember that custody agreements and CS numbers aren't forever. He might not really be able to say just walk away with the child and don't pay much. He might have to pay (like if you ever have to get any social services, they will collect CS first). He could agree to let you go, then file for custody in a year. These agreements just aren't forever. We've had several, they sort of evovle as the child grows and new issues come up and each one has said (as some generic wording) "either party may return to court and anytime."

I still don't see what would make him agree to let you go and take the child. It seems that you'll get what you are entitled to (in money) whether you go or not. Maybe it would be easier to become the primary parent now and later in a year or two when he is done being superdad, start work on moving.
post #54 of 64
Flor, when you divide a business, you don't divide the business assets. That would make the business stop running. You assign equity in the business and either a right to income or an approximation of what the business would've been worth over the next X years, including income and sale value. Then you divide that in some manner, and the person who keeps the business essentially buys the other out.

Also, if he's that controlling and makes a living, odds are he'll have another woman in there within another year or so, which makes leaving ME just that little bit harder. The woman tends to become involved, has a stake in believing the man is a hero, and often tries to "help" the guy by "saving" his "relationship" with the child (which she then later resents, because she winds up stuck with a mothering job to someone else's kid that she doesn't really want longterm, and she finds she's doing much of her guy's share of the parenting anyway. Whose fault is this? The ex's. At this point the focus shifts to child support, because things would be much easier and there'd be less tension in the relationship, she imagines, if only they didn't pay so much c/s which the ex just spends on herself anyway, etc., etc). Which means the mother gets drawn into their private drama and there's a continuous battle over parenting time and money.

So -- I'd try to settle all this before he moves a new gal in there.

Also, the ability to modify a decree varies widely from state to state. Here, for instance, you're not going to be able to modify support unless you meet rather strict guidelines, and modifying custody is extremely difficult if there's resistance from the other parent, esp. if custody is not joint to start with.
post #55 of 64
Thread Starter 
I dont anticipate getting sole custody, I guess I was referring to being the "primary" custodial parent. He is insisting that the courts will award him joint physical custody - as in, he gets ds for 3 days, then I get ds for 3 days. My understanding is that these arrangements are very rarely awarded. 90% of custody is awarded as one parent has primary residence and the other gets visitation. Stbx is PUSHING for 50/50 joint physical custody. I think its ridiculous. When I told the lawyer that he was suggesting that, she kind of said that I had put myself in a precarious position by leaving, and they may not only award him joint physical, but full custody with me as the NCP. Yikes. I'm trying very hard to negotiate with him.

I was stunned when she told me about the courts not taking my primary caretaking into consideration. I dont really believe that, unless maybe she was referring to joint LEGAL custody, and not physical custody of the child. It was a really long conversation, so I may have some things muddled, but I really got the gist that the courts are going to award physical custody in his favor because I took off, and was the one to "break up the marriage".

Alas. He's pissed today because I gave him a list w/dollar amounts of the marital assets.

He bought a car last year for our son (yes, you heard me right. He bought an old car that he wants to restore and turn into a hot rod for ds to have in high school), and he's insisting that it's not a marital asset because it belongs to ds.

What an idiot.
post #56 of 64
SFS, depending on what led up to your leaving, you may have more leverage than your lawyer knows. If what you went through rises recognizably in Maine to the level of abuse, this may change the picture. You might want to get in touch with two organizations that might be able to connect you with lawyers who know the case law and can tell you whether you can realistically make a case for having run away from abuse:

http://www.mcedv.org/domviolence/index.htm

http://www.mainewomen.org/homeMWPC.htm -- I'd give that Peaches Bass a call and see if she has any recommendations.
post #57 of 64
Why haven't you asked the court to require your stbx to pay your attorney's fees?
post #58 of 64
I have no idea what the law in Maine is, but I would think that if you can prove that you leaving for Oregon was meant to be a separation and was done with his cooperation, the whole fleeing the state argument would be kind of pointless.

Another thing. I really do not see how you talking to him right now can be useful to you. I would only contact him through a lawyer from now on except for visitations with your child. The conversations should be strictly about making arrangements for that and should be by email preferably. You can save msn conversations or webcam sessions as well to show his interactions with your son if needed.

I do not think that you are in such a bad situation, except for the having to move back to Maine part. If I were you I would move back as soon as possible and start making your son available to your stbx. I would then march into that courtroom and tell the judge or whoever that you were in Oregon for a separation and he filed for divorce without even discussing it with you (you know, while you were trying to work things out and do councelling and all), you moved right back and have been working hard to make him see his son and are being very reasonnable while he is trying to hide how much money he makes and not at all interested in seeing his son more than a few afternoon visits here and there.

Again, I know nothing about Maine Family law but it just seems to me that you should be fighting that accusation that you just essentially kidnapped your son to another state.
post #59 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by papayapetunia View Post
Why haven't you asked the court to require your stbx to pay your attorney's fees?
I did submit a request to the court that they waive the mediation fees, court fees, and plaintiff pays for my legal fees. The request was granted to waive the mediation and court fees, but there was never an order to make him pay for a lawyer. During the case conference, stbx's attorney presented the case that I had absconded with his child, and the magistrate didn't even let me speak. She immediately ordered a hearing, and that was that. I was put on hold, and the next I knew, I was talking to the court clerk about scheduling the hearing.

Yesterday when I received the paperwork stating the results of the conference, the magistrate had written down that stbx and I pay for mediation 50/50. So I don't know WTF. I thought mediation fees were waived for me? I'm calling the courthouse tomorrow to sort out that particular issue. The paperwork also stated that stbx and I basically have come to no agreements on anything, including the awarding of attorney fees. And as of now, I STILL dont have an attorney.

The 2 hour consultation I had the other night was a friend's mom who is a family law lawyer and took time out of her personal schedule to counsel me. I had to call her at night, after her husband went to bed. I am very grateful she took the time to educate me about the court's views, and she recommended a lawyer for me to hire (the same one I consulted with before I left Maine), but she's expensive. I will call the lawyer she recommended tomorrow, and see if she what work she can do for $2K. Its literally all I have offered to me. My dad has plenty of money, but isn't willing to part with it. My mom has some money available, and would probably be willing to part with it, but her husband is VERY controlling regarding finances and basically isn't "allowing" her to help me financially. Their marriage would be in danger literally if she were to offer up even a few hundred bucks.

I could possibly sell my car, but I'm pretty sure that stbx and I were both ordered not to sell or transfer any marital assets during the interim, and selling the car would probably qualify. I'm literally f***ed right now unless I can get together more money. But I'll see what the lawyer can do for me for $2K. If nothing else, maybe do some legwork for me, and represent me during the next hearing. I dont know. This all just SUCKS.
post #60 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post
I dont anticipate getting sole custody, I guess I was referring to being the "primary" custodial parent. He is insisting that the courts will award him joint physical custody - as in, he gets ds for 3 days, then I get ds for 3 days. My understanding is that these arrangements are very rarely awarded. 90% of custody is awarded as one parent has primary residence and the other gets visitation. Stbx is PUSHING for 50/50 joint physical custody. I think its ridiculous. When I told the lawyer that he was suggesting that, she kind of said that I had put myself in a precarious position by leaving, and they may not only award him joint physical, but full custody with me as the NCP. Yikes. I'm trying very hard to negotiate with him.
.
Some of this might be confusion in terms. Like in my state, only one parent can have physical custody. Even though one parent has "full" custody, the other parent could have the child 49% of the time. My state almost always assigns joint legal custody. Here, parents having nearly equal parenting time is very common, but only one parent is considered custodial or one parent could see the child EOW. I think most people don't really understand what "joint" custody could mean in a court.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Single Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Single Parenting › Nervous About 1st Court Date Tuesday