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She's taking us to court-- Update #20 - Page 2

post #21 of 39

What is the course of action if she doesn't sign?
If she drinks in front of the kids is it considered contempt of court, or just a violation of the agreement.

I hope things work out for you. Someday the kids will thank you for all of your efforts.
post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
Oh, if she doesn't sign. . . . then we are back to the insecurity of not having a visitation order. Though, the last one in effect gives dh full physical custody, though it has a really outdated visitation schedule (mentions preschool but dss is 12 now). What might make her sign is that she can't go any farther with her request for child support until there is a visitation order in effect.

The idea behind the part about mom not drinking is that if she does, it is contempt of court. I really don't care what she does the rest of the time (ok, I care a little bit, I'm human) but maybe just knowing that it will cause her a lot inconvience and annoyance will be enough for her to save her drinking for the 4-5 days a week when dss is not there.

Dss is happy!
post #23 of 39
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
We went to mediation. We came to an agreement! Our lawyer is drawing u pthe papers. I can't wait to get them signed. We had a "temporary" order in 1999 and nothing since! However, we've gotten t his far before then she didn't sign, so I'm crossing my fingers that she won't change her mind. It says:

1. Dad has full physical custody.
2. Parents share legal.
3. Gives the visitation schedule.
4. Mom will not consume alcohol or illegal drugs for 8 hours prior or during visitation.
5. Gives transportation guidelines!

This way, even though drinking in front of your kids isn't illegal, she'd be in contempt of court if she does again. Not perfect, but it's a start.

Anyway, her visitation works out to 28%. She still wants child support, though. We have a hearing for that next month.
Sorry, but with that she's laughably transparent to what she's really after isn't she?
post #24 of 39
Originally Posted by Pynki View Post
Sorry, but with that she's laughably transparent to what she's really after isn't she?
No kidding.

Flor, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. So very, very sorry. I hope she signs and gives you some sort of peace of mind. You've bent over backwards and gone way beyond for this woman, karma notices that.

All the best!
post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Pynki View Post
Sorry, but with that she's laughably transparent to what she's really after isn't she?
I know. Dh said it was actually funny. I wasn't allowed in for the very last part of mediation and dh said after the mediator presented our suggestion for agreement and they both agreed, dh and hte mediator were standing up to leave and she was still sitting there and she says, "But wait, I still want child support!" I hope she realizes that in some places she'd be paying us with her 28% custody, but whatever. I hope she enjoys her bigger apartment.
post #26 of 39
In MOST places she'd be paying you guys! I can't imagine that she'll be granted even a penny --does she even have overnights?
post #27 of 39
I am confused as to why on earth she wouldn't be paying cs, let alone you guys paying her.
post #28 of 39
That's where I'm confused. I think you guys should ask for support. It doesn't make sense that you have the child more and have to pay.
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 
That's how it is in our state. If our incomes were equal, she'd pay us. But, she doesn't work, so there is a big difference between her income and dh's, so we pay her for the portion of time she has dss. It will be just a little bit as I understand because we get credit for the 72% of time we have him and the health insurance I pay for him. I've used a few different calculators and they've said anywhere from 38 dollars a month to 100 dollars a month. I don't think she's done the calculations, though.
post #30 of 39
But, but but but....

Child support is calculated on the amount of money she/he could/should be making if the payer is deliberately un- or underemployed. If she doesn't work, unless she is disabled, then she should have to pay.

That's outrageous.
post #31 of 39
Thread Starter 
Our lawyer says the judge can say she should be making so much money, but doesn't have to, especially since her history of no work goes back so long (ie. she didn't quit a job just to avoid cs). So, while we hope the judge will see it that way, our lawyer says she has seen cases were it didn't go that way. Judges seem more ok with moms not working than dads not working.
post #32 of 39
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
Our lawyer says the judge can say she should be making so much money, but doesn't have to, especially since her history of no work goes back so long (ie. she didn't quit a job just to avoid cs). So, while we hope the judge will see it that way, our lawyer says she has seen cases were it didn't go that way. Judges seem more ok with moms not working than dads not working.
Yeah, that seems to be true in our experience as well.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed your judge sees the real situation.
post #33 of 39
Yeah, that's a fact.
post #34 of 39
Flor, you have been one of the great voices of reason on this board in general, not just in this thread. It sounds as if things are working the way you want them to, well better than you had feared anyway. I just wanted to remind you that the very worst that could happen here is she could get 50/50.
50/50 is what it is. its half time with mom and half with dad. say what you will about biomom, I'm sure its all true, no matter how much she fails in her role, she is all hes got. That you are, by your marriage, able to give him your own mother love is as much a blessing to him as could be imagined, perhaps even allowing his relationship with biomom to flourish despite the despicably (IMNSHO) low priority she places on it. Your gift to your stepson is not dependent on her being a poor mother, I know you know that. I can see your concern for him and your awareness of how confusing her behavior is to him. I wish she had the same interest in his well being that you show. No matter that, though, no matter the disaster of her marriage, nor the torn loyalties of your dss, no matter it all..........
if you can remember that the best/worst that can come is 50/50
and consider anything above that a bonus,
then this seems almost like a good thing

Why any parent would agree to anything less that what they were able to get without impinging upon the other parents time, that is 50/50 custody, is completely beyond me and shows somewhat where her mind is.
I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that your dss is going to thrive despite the poor life condition of his biomom. I know this because of the way in which i know you. You are clear, you are strong, you are flexible.
keep on keeping on, momma.

Thinking the best for you,
post #35 of 39
Thread Starter 
anj118-- thank you so much for your comments. I was thinking about what to post back here, but I was interrupted by a phone call from dh--

the biomom wants to make some changes. These changes make me ill because they are all about child support. The agreement says basically that mom has dss from after school one day til 8 am the next day. She wants to change it so that "her days" start at 8 am even though at 8 am he is still at our house, we take him to school etc. Basically she is wanted to add hours into her "care and custody" without actually seeing him more. She isn't asking to have him later on Sunday, for example. She wants his in school time to count as her time. I told dh to tell her to make another mediation appointment. I mean, forget it. I'd like her to explain it to a judge, "I m ok with the schedule, I just want to count some extra hours." Also, she doesn't have a car and she can't access his school ( on a military base) during school hours, so I think he should be in our custody at that time. We are supposed to talk to the lawyer again Monday. . . .
post #36 of 39
Is she jockeying for more parenting time come summer vacation? someone may want to ask her. it also bears pointing out that the responsibility for transportation to and from school falls to the on-duty parent, as it does to the receiving parent. She will need to think this out a little further than she seems to have done so far. How will she get herself out to your place at 8am for the transfer? Hows she gonna get him to school on time if pickup is at 8? Is it in his best interest to have a transfer before school? ummmm...... no. Is it in her best interests? well, thats too bad for her. This isn't about her. Looks like she needs to get clear about that.

I don't know what state you are in, but in my own state all court ordered custody/visitation/parenting time whatever you want to call it, is subject to a very clear very defined set of rules called 'Appendix A'. Appendix A outlines basic rules of courtesy for the parents to follow which may not be outlined in the parenting agreement. Things which are simply 'givens' for any court ordered arrangement. Things like - Neither parent shall make disparaging remarks about the other in the child's presence, all clothes shall be returned in good repair to the home from which they originated at the time of the next transfer, all transfers shall take place on time according to the schedule agreed upon by the parties, the receiving parent shall provide transportation and shall arrive on time (no more than 10 minutes early or late), etc ect...

Has the mediator not noticed her transparent attempts to milk the situation for its cash value, not for the amount of time with her son? If not, your husband might think about bringing it up at the next meeting. I cannot imagine the mediator mediating for that. Can you?

hang in there, Flor.

post #37 of 39
Thread Starter 
You know, I am kinda hoping that we've mixed up her message. She called our lawyer saying she wanted to make some changes before signing the mediation agreement. Right now it says, for example, on Tuesday, she has dss from 3PM to 8 AM the next day. Now she wants her time to be 8AM to 8AM, so counting from the time we drop him off at school. She's wanting us to count more hours as "her hours" though she isn't asking to see him more.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I thought, maybe she's saying that during the summer, or holidays, she doesn't want to wait until 3PM to pick him up, if he had no school she'd pick him up at 8AM, not 3PM. That would be fine, but I think that can be a separate "holidays" section of the order. I feel like she's decided that we are her ATM. I promise I won't complain if the judge says she can have CS, but I feel like she is milking it. By the way, even counting those days as full days, her visitation would be 34% instead of 28%. Not the end of world, just annoying.

(The car thing is that her live-in boyfriend has a car, but she likes to make the point that we should be doing more transporting as she doesn't have a car registered to her. As far as taking him to school, she/her bf drives him to the bus stop, but at this point neither of them have a pass to get on base.)

I'd say that the mediator has noticed the situation. She adviced dh to get the order drawn up and signed quickly. However, the mediator doesn't have any say in anything, she just gives the agreement to the court.

post #38 of 39
My experience with mediation has instilled in me an extremely high expectation of excellence. It makes me just really really sad to hear you say that the mediator is only there to give the agreement to the judge. I mean, yeah, but the role the mediator takes can be so much more. And, in my case, the role our mediator takes is that of child advocate. Not a court ordered child advocate, though that is part of her work with other clients, but simply a voice for our daughter in all of the working out of schedules and finances. She is able to steer us toward an agreement even when we have arrived with four flat tires and an attitude problem. Her experience with the system, her focus on the bests interest of the child and her ability to push forward through thick resistance ...... dang, shes good.

Anyway, if your mediator sees his/her function as merely a third party recorder, I am thinking 'new mediator' and fast. This push to get an agreement signed quickly just really turns me off. It makes it sound as if terrible consequences will be wrought by taking your time and really working out an arrangement which will provide your son with the best possible situation that works for you all, one everyone can live with and can agree to.

I don't know about you, but mediation is expensive to me. I understand wanting to come to an agreement and not spend time and money arguing. But, the mediator is there to keep both parents focused on the goal - the best interests of the child, and to keep both parents moving forward. What is the push from the mediator all about? That right there sends up all kinds of red flags for me.

Maybe I am confused.

post #39 of 39
Thread Starter 
After the parents came to an agreement, her advice to dh was get it signed quickly. He interpreted this to mean that we have come to an agreement, get it signed before biomom changes her mind again. We've come this far with this mediator before, then biomom changed her mind. We've mediated about 4 times in the last few years and the last time she signed one was in 1999. The one in 1999 gave dh full physical custody, so, it hasn't really been a problem for us. I don't really understand. We've actually had the same visitation schedule for several years. She just won't sign it and make it official.

I don't really see the mediator as a child advocate. She does just act like a nuetral third party between adults. She doesn't give us advice or suggestions, just pretty much tells us what the point of view of the other party is. I was surprised the first time. I thought she'd share more. There are only two mediators for our county's court and they seem to have the same philosophy.

I'd like a mediator like you describe. The first time we went, we gave our idea of what the schedule should look like, mom gave hers, and the mediator basically said, well you are all really far from agreement, so you should have a judge decide. I was shocked. I thought she was supposed to guide us, give us some ideas. Now, however, we are all very close to having the same idea, just a little tweeking here and there, so she feels more useful.
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