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Uh oh... DSD moving out of town - Page 2

post #21 of 35
I usually fall firmly on the side of custodial mamas in these situations, but from what I can tell from your story, your dsd's mom is full of .

I'm Canadian - if he has had her 30% of the time, whether legally scripted or not, chances are very good this will continue. He has a very good chance of being able to stop the move, or in the alternative get interim custody of your dsd.

I had to sign an agreement not to move out of the county with my daughter, never mind 5 hours away - that is pretty standard around here (Ontario).

He also doesn't have to take the mama's calls. The point of a court process is to figure it out there, not in screaming matches on the telephone.

Sending good vibes...
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
DSD gave me a new nickname yesterday... Pseudomom. I don't know where she comes up with stuff - I think that's pretty funny for an 8 year old. Guess I'll have to change my screen name... or maybe I should finally create a signature.

post #23 of 35
Looks like you stepped on biomama's toes and now she's worried. Don't worry even as biased as we have found Canadian courts they will surely slapped BM's hands and put her in her place. If she isn't moving for family or employment reasons she absolutely has no leg to stand on. Yes dad has the right to be part of the decisions! Just wondering isn't BM trying to take the kid away from dad and the interm order would only be for the child's best interest not to take the child away from the mom? Looks like she's a bit scared IMO and defensive as heck!
Good luck in court! don't let BM scare you into giving in to her! As far as telling sd anything, I'd wait and let sd take the lead if she says "mom said..." or starts the conversation I'd wait it out. But be prepared for the conversation and how you will react without trashing BM. I do feel bad for your sd as she is feeling BM's upset and possibly her wrath.
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
Update: we lost. Biomom will be moving out of town with DSD this Friday.

The judge actually gave us less than what she was offering - she was offering 5 weeks in the summer, a weekend every month (or two weekends per month if we would pay for one) and xmas and spring breaks. She was offering to pay all travel expenses.

The judge ruled that DH has to pay half the expenses because he makes a lot more money that she does. He also ruled that we get 4 weeks in the summer, every SECOND long weekend (3 day statutory holiday weekend) and a week at xmas and spring break.

Court sucks.
post #25 of 35
OMG I'm shocked. I'm so, so sorry. I'm sorry what I wrote may have given you false confidence also.
post #26 of 35
I'm sorry, you must just be reeling. That sounds very difficult for all of you. I'm sure it will be tough on your stepdaughter to suddenly go to a new school and not see her dad so much.

Let me try to think of bright spots for you....hmmm...

You had mentioned that, although she was 'offering' to pay all expenses and to give certain access, she was then saying that you wouldn't actually get to see your stepdaughter at all of those times because she couldn't afford it, right? So maybe in a way this will still work out to be a bit more than you would have had her, if you had just relied on her mom's 'offer.' It will have the force of a court order, and, if your dh is paying half the expenses of the access, she won't be able to say "yes, you have access, but oops, I won't send her because it's expensive".

So far as not getting her every second weekend goes, that will be a huge adjustment, I'm sure. But if the move is going ahead anyway, flying every second weekend would have been pretty stressful and expensive for all, right?

Hugs to you all.
post #27 of 35
I'm so sorry. It is kinda crazy how it is totally up to a judge. One judge feels one way, another feels another. Did you have a lawyer? Does he/she have any advice?
post #28 of 35
so sorry to hear. I would have bet $ you would have won! My Dh would never take ex to court because he totally believes stuff like this would happen.
post #29 of 35
I am sorry to hear what the dim witted judge ordered. I am actually sitting here in shock!!!!! Although at least now you have a court order and BM hopefully won't try and screw around any further. My heart is breaking for you and your DH I still can't believe the judge ordered that! I too would have put $ on your case to turn out better than this! Stories like yours makes me want to go and get my law degree to fight the injustices that dad have to deal with in the courts!
post #30 of 35
I'm so sorry to hear this. Reading your story brought back lots of painful memories. We lost DSS to a move away several years ago and it was awful. She moved him two states away, a 2 hour plan trip or 18 hours in the car.

DH fought the move, and the court experience was horrid. Despite the fact that he had been an involved father all along (had his son 35-40% of the time, never late on one cs payment EVER, happily paid for extras at biomoms request), DSS is a biracial child with very serious (life threatening) special needs & developmental delays, the judge put the onus on DH to "prove that it would be detrimental to the child to be moved away from his father". WHAT????? The courts do not value fathers AT ALL and I think it's absolutely despicable.

But I do want to offer a bit of hope. Our biomom's big move didn't work out as well as she thought and 2 years after moving away, she moved back. And DSS is actually living with us now and he sees his mom 4 days a month (alternate weekends). In fact, we now totally have the upper hand because she does NOT want to go to court again. We live in CA, and once you are assigned a judge to your case, you always see that same judge. So the same judge who granted her move-away 5 years ago would not be happy to see her back in court, with her son living with his father, the same man she tried so hard to make look like an unimportant part of their son's life. Oh, and why did she move back? She met a man while she was her on visitation weekends here in the area (special needs child could not be put on flights alone - she or DH accompanied him on each visit) and they started dating, so she decided to move back. Yeaaaahhhhhhh. Real stable, lady. :

Anyway, you just never know what the future holds. I hope things get better for you all. In the meantime, hold strong and do your best to make the time you do have with DSD special.

Again, I'm so sorry.
post #31 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yes, we can only hope that they hate small town life and move back here... Biomom is very tattooed and freaky so I don't know what people will think of her in a town of 5000. Of course, for court she was covered head to toe and even had removed the purple or red streaks she normally has in her hair and her visible piercings. Mind you, even if she does move back, we would have to go to court again for a new order, wouldn't we? Can people agree to change an order, or does a judge have to do it?

The judge definitely viewed DH's role in DSD's life as minimal. Unfortunately, he agreed with us on a lot of things, such as the fact that the suggested visitation schedule was unrealistic, and the fact that Biomom would not be able to afford to do what she was saying. Worse, his solution for that was that DSD should see us less, and that DH should pay.

Plus, he believed everything that Biomom said about her reasons for moving, all of which were stretching the truth and some of which were outright lies. DH wasn't willing to stand up in court and call her a liar. As my mom said, that's why you hire a lawyer - it's their job to look like an a-hole instead of you. But, in the end, it might not have made any difference. And really, no matter what, DSD is the loser in this situation as far as I'm concerned. Because we had no legal agreement, we were not able to try to prevent the move, only to ask for custody. We asked for custody until the end of the school year so that DSD could finish school here and so that biomom and her boyfriend would have time to find employment before DSD went there.

One thing that did surprise me - the fact that biomom and her boyfriend have another child was weighed heavily in their favour. I don't really get that... if I had a bunch of kids, that would somehow make us better people? I guess I'm asking that on the wrong board...
post #32 of 35
If the two of them agree to a different arrangement later, they could probably write it up and get it registered as an agreement with the court.

I hadn't realized you guys had gone without a lawyer? Yikes. Although as you said, it's hard to say what would make a difference.
post #33 of 35
I think having another child can make you seem more like a stable family for the child (thought we know that's not necessarily true!). I wonder if some of those fathers' rights groups could help?

post #34 of 35
i think keeping siblings together is high priority, and that may be what the judge was favoring about biomama?
post #35 of 35
I'm so sorry to hear your story. It's a crime how little importance some judges give to fathers.

I just wanted to post to clarify some misinformation posted here about US state laws concerning custody and the relocation of children.

Many states do NOT have laws preventing the custodial parent from moving out of the area with the kids.

Stopping the relocation usually require legal actions resulting in a court case. In most cases, the burden of proof lies with the non-custodial parent to prove that moving will be harmful. And in many states, the relocation is allowed to happen while the case is being review.

This is currently a very hotly contest area of family law and it laws are changing constantly. If you are a non-custodial parent in the US facing your children being moved, do NOT assume that it is illegal. Call your lawyer right away.

If you want to check the status of your states laws on relocation, sites like www.DivorceNet.com that list related laws by state.
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