Stbx wants ds EVERY day - Update #111 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-13-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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There is so much I want to comment on so I'll just write it in the quotes, in blue

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Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post
I would absolutely wither and die if I were to lose custody of my son. I agree with everyone that her advice just sounds...crazy.

I assumed you would answer like that. And I understand that you've been the primary caregiver. HOWEVER, you are proposing your ex be fine with the situation I described (you would get custody and ex would get summer/christmas visits). But you wouldn't be okay with that if the tables were turned and you only had visitation. Why? Because it's not what's best for your son? Or because it's not what's best for YOU. If it's not good for your son to only see you during the summer and Christmas, why is it good for him (your son) to only see dad during summer and Christmas?


If the Judge gave primary custody to stbx, even temporarily, there is NO way in hell I would return to Oregon without my child. I would remain in Maine for however long I needed to in order to be in his daily life, and until I could regain primary custody. It's not even a question to me. OTOH, if stbx took ds from me out of state in the manner I did to him, there isn't ANYTHING in the world that would have stopped me from getting my butt on a pane to go to him. Especially if I wasn't working (stbx wasn't working the entire month of November when I left), and had nothing to do but sit around the house and bitch about my misfortune, which is what stbx is/has been doing since I left him.

I'm not defending my decision to take ds out of state (though I still feel it was my only option at the time). I see now that it was an error of judgement, in regards to how the courts will view me in terms of ds being separated from his dad. Again, I didn't really think stbx would freak out and file for divorce. I underestimated him in that regard. Ummm... you took his kid away from him. You didn't think he'd file for divorce? Why shouldn't/wouldn't he?

But regardless, stbx has STILL not expended any effort on his part to come see his son, have you made any effort to bring his son to visit him? or try to bring him back to Maine, If he came to visit your son and took him back to Maine you would FLIP out. Not only that, but I'm sure he's been adviced by his lawyer not to do that. Doing such would look bad in court and he would risk pissing off the Judge by playing this "kidnap the baby and travel between states" game. Not cool. or send a webcam so that ds can SEE him during the nightly phone call, Why should he? YOU took the kid away from him. YOU should be offering to buy the webcam to appear that you are NOT trying to keep him from his ds. or even sent a freakin' picture of himself that ds can see. Have you sent him any pictures of ds? Goes both ways! The man cant even pick up the phone every night to call ds - I am the one that does that. Document who calls whom and when. He insisted he wanted to talk to ds every night, but wont actually make the call. He has plenty of money to fly out here, or even fly ds back, So you would be okay with him going out there and taking ds back to Maine without you? Seriously? I wouldn't even make a peep about how he hasn't done this because if he HAD done it, you obviously would not have liked it. And, again, it would have made him look bad in court and he has refused to buy a plane ticket. For who? The ds? He shouldn't have to. YOU took him away so YOU should be responsible for bringing him back. He's also not exactly employed, so its not like he's missing work. He's sitting around watching TV! I also told him that I was willing to come back for the case conference, and I would fly back with ds if he would let me use the Frequent Flyer miles for the ticket, as I didnt have the money. He refused. So he wants his son, but not enough to do anything about it. That's not true. He is filing for custody or visitation, afterall. That's not nothing. It infuriates me. It only shows me how much he really cares. He doesn't need to prove that to you. He only needs to prove it to a Judge that he cares about the boy. I know that morally its wrong to take his son from him, but really - he showed about the same amount of interest when we lived there. I really didnt think he cared, or I wouldn't have left in the first place. And he's just showing me now that he still doesnt care - his pride is hurt and he wants his son back, but only to make a point, and only to use it as a control tactic over me.

If it were ME? I'd be on the first plane I could book and fly myself to wherever on earth my child was. I would do everything in my power to get to my child, including leave my house, home, job, community, favorite TV shows. Nothing would stop me. But that's just me.
Please do not think I'm out to get you. I'm worried about you and your ds. I hope that by playing "devils advocate" I can just point out the other side to all this because, as always, there's "his side" and "her side" and then there's the "true side". Unfortunately, the kid always gets stuck in the middle

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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Old 01-13-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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One thing I noticed about custody chats with my lawer is that my definition and her definition of losing the kids was completely different. To her standard visitation, a week at Christmas and 6 weeks at summer etc was a me not losing custody. to me anything more than occaisionaly visits on my terms was losing custody. So I would ask the attorney you spoke with what she sees as a custody arrangement, what she will present in the first draft etc.

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Old 01-13-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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It helps when there is an update for you to put the updated post number in the subject line... just as a fyi.

I don't know if I agree with that attorney, in my state what you did woul be considered kidnapping. I do think if you ultimate goal is to move to where you are then it may not be in your best interest to go back and establish any visitation president BUT I think you need to quickly go thru the courts with a reason why you "abducted" your child (i.e domestic violence), financial resources (a better job and way to provide for your child), housing (you had no place to stay other than family where you currently are after the split), family support (no one to help where you STBX is and a written record of his lack of involvement) ---- get a temporary order. And I must say you are lucky IF I pulled something like that my ex would have reported me for kidnapping and I would be ordered by the state to return my child here even though he often goes months without seeing his dd and has NEVER been alone with her by his own choice.

I am not saying to not stay put or to run back but to be smart about your actions and put your ducks in a row ASAP.

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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Your lawyer is absolutely correct. You can NOT kidnap your own child unless there is a custody agreement already in place. Any judge will see that this was a necessary move in those circumstances. NOw, they may try to order you to move back but once you are here you can not move out of state. Unless he agrees - which I find doubtful. I would offer to meet him at some middle point and y'all can both stay at a hotel (different rroms of course) for a week and let him visit for that entire week.

The absolutely best thing is to compromise. I promise you don't have a leg to stand on with your other arguments. your x will get every other weekend unsupervised with continuous weeks in the summer and holidays. Unless you compromise and agree to something else. My husband was a drug addict and they didn't even want to force supervised visits on him....the only way I got that is because he agreed to it.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:45 PM
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4imprints, very similar cases I see online say that the technical term doesn't matter, and neither does the question of whether or not there's a custody order. If it's clear that the intent is to take the child away from the other parent, then under the federal code that determines jurisdiction for divorce (and Maine goes by this), the parent who takes the child is in the wrong unless there's serious abuse going on and the parent is fleeing & looking for a fast divorce elsewhere. And the divorce will go on in the original state, not the new state.

When custody is determined, one of the things that's considered is whether either parent is likely to run off with the child, and a history of having done that already is a strong indicator that he or she will do it again. Doesn't matter whether the parents were divorced at the time.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I keep meaning to ask...when he filed for the divorce/custody, what did he ask for? Did he ASK for custody of the child? Or did he ask for JOINT custody? Or just for the courts to determine the best interests of the child? If you wouldn't mind sharing, that'd give us a better idea of whether or not he's even asking for anything problematic?
Well, he hasn't asked for anything on paper that wasn't just "courts" decide the best interests of the child and order the custody/visitation. But to me he said he wanted joint physical custody - ds to live with him exactly 50% of the time. So he really think it would be in the best interests of a young child to move back and forth between houses every 3-4 days. Or, barring that, he's mentioned several times that he wants ds for 6 months of the year in Maine, and I get him for 6 months in Oregon. :

In fact, when I broke the news that I was leaving, and wanted to move out for a while for a separation, his first words were, "I get ds! I get him for 6 months, then you get him for 6 months. I dont care if he has to change schools twice a year, every year."

And someone said somewhere that stbx doesn't appear stupid - I beg to differ. THAT arrangement would not be in ds' best interests to ANY court.

Bottom line is this - stbx views his son as property. He doesnt see him or know him as a small person with thoughts and feelings and autonomy. He thinks ds is "his", as if he's a dog or something. He thinks children should be seen and not heard, let 'em CIO until they stop blatting, train them to only behave as you expect them to behave, and anything else is considered rebellion against the almighty superior parent (because elders are to be respected, above all else in his views. Even if they are wrong).

I SWEAR I had no idea who militaristic his views were until I was about 6 months pregnant, and he would say bizarre things about raising children in this manner.

He sees having a son as a source of pride, a little man-child to show off his virility. I've said it before, though it may not be true, but if we'd had a daughter, I dont think this custody battle would be happening. And I think deep down, stbx doesn't really want to raise his ds/have ds live with him. The thought of having to take care of a baby/toddler fills the man with fear of inadequacy. But his pride is at stake, and so a lot of this crap his posturing for everyone else's benefit (his mother, most of all, I'm sure. She and I never got along, and she disagrees with every tenet of attachment parenting. Its a very mutual dislike). I can see her hand behind a lot of this.

Now, thats not to say that he doesn't deserve to be with his son/share his son's life/be an active part of raising his son. If he REALLY wants this, I would definitely facilitate the relationship. Even moving back to do so. But honestly? I think he just wants me to move back, do the work of raising his son in a convenient area for him to visit ds, and have to invest minimal money (cs will be much lower if we had joint physical custody) and effort on his part. he just wants visitation to do all the "fun stuff" - without the hard work involved in the daily decisions. Not to mention, he's never shown any interest in ds' well-being in regards to medical decisions, safety, or health. He used to fall asleep when I'd talk to him about vaccinations (the "should we?" debate).

ETA: I meant to mention that right before I left (like 2-3 days before), stbx and I had a long conversation about him not being involved with ds/me/family life at all. He told me then that he felt that I was the "perfect mother". I quote that because it astounds me, not because I agree with him. I SO wish that I now had that recorded. So I think a lot of his custody battle is posturing because he's already told me that he wholeheartedly believes that I am the best parent for ds.

In new news, I've hired a lawyer. He also counseled me to keep my butt put in Oregon. So, okay. I canceled my flight, and will fly out a few days before mediation so stbx can have daily frequent visitation with ds before mediation and the hearing. Lawyer feels that I wont lose custody. And I grilled him about it. He's going to use the breastfeeding relationship and attachment argument to ensure that ds isnt taken from me precipitously. I have been researching and compiling all the documentation I can from Dr's and other health experts who agree that separating the child from his primary attachment is unhealthy in the extreme. I'm down to just prayers and hope now. Dont know what else I have. :
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:39 AM
 
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I used my breastfeeding relationship also and was able to put off overnight visitation for my youngest until she is two. One thing to consider...you will be required to either split traveling costs or you might get the full brunt of it since you decided to move out of state. A cousins girlfriend was ordered to pay for a flight for their child from Florida to Louisiana every other weekend.

This was my job for a very long time...custody cases. If you don't agree on things or don't like what the mediator/judge is offering then you can ask for a custody evaluation. Of course - these are not required to be followed but they can hold a lot of weight. To be honest with you it doesn't do good to rehash the past relationship if you do not have physical proof of wrong doing. By that I mean pictures or journals or taped conversations (pending on what is legal in your state). If you come out looking like you understand that your child needs a healthy relationship with his father but that you also feel that his age should place limitations up until say age 2 then you will come out looking on top.

Unfortunately you don't get 100% of what you want and they may not always follow it. But a lot of it is a game of appearances. My exhusband was a drug addict - methadone and heroin - he is looked like King Arthur in the mediation. I said "you have to understand that he has been a nonexistant father for the past 4 years. he was a drug addict!" and his lawyer responded by saying "well why did you keep having babies with him"....needless to say I didn't find out about his addiction I until I was pregnant with the 3rd but the harm was already done. That is just my experience on both sides of it.

One of the factors used in a custody evaluation is whether or not the parent is making an effort to allow the other parent to have a reasonable relationship with the children and if the parent is hindering the relationship but not granting phone calls etc.

Oh...........but just FYI you don't have to give visitation before court at least in my state. My lawyer did not think it was a good idea because we were trying to go for supervised visitation but after speaking to my former boss she said you have to give a little to get a little.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:40 AM
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sigh...SFS...I really hate to keep doing this...

but yes, courts really can and do shuttle little kids back and forth like that. I've known several under-3s here who have a 4days/3days schedule, and while that usually changes when school starts, it doesn't have to. While 6months/6months is a little extreme, and it's unlikely that a court would agree to that esp. for a school-aged kid, there are plenty of schoolyear/summer arrangements out there. Yes, on opposite sides of the country.

I know it's really fraught, but you need to be doing some legal research on how judges deal with bf/attachment issues for a baby your ds's age in your jurisdiction. What I'm seeing says that Maine takes bf into consideration when the child is under a year old; your son is older, though, and women here have seen exs' lawyers argue that the bf relationship is only being carried on to cut the guy out. What does your lawyer say about that -- does he understand that your son will be nearly two years old by the time this thing goes to trial?
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:54 AM
 
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My turn for the colory quotes.

Socks for Supper: Well, he hasn't asked for anything on paper that wasn't just "courts" decide the best interests of the child and order the custody/visitation. But to me he said he wanted joint physical custody - ds to live with him exactly 50% of the time. So he really think it would be in the best interests of a young child to move back and forth between houses every 3-4 days. Or, barring that, he's mentioned several times that he wants ds for 6 months of the year in Maine, and I get him for 6 months in Oregon.

Ok here's the thing. Again. He has JUST as much right to parent the child as you do. You do NOT have 'de facto' presumptive rights to the child MORE than him. You and he SHARE this child. And 50/50 is sharing the child. And YES it happens ALL THE TIME. And...what I really hope you are able to realize...is that children do FINE with divorce/shared parenting/shared living arrangements/split year/time whatever WHEN THE PARENTS HAVE NO ANIMOSITY OR RESENTMENT TOWARDS THE OTHER PARENT. Basically, the responsiblity for this to NOT screw up your kid lies with you...and you only. You have the power for a 50/50 arrangement to make your kid's life FANTASTIC and better than ever. But YOU have to decide that's what you want. I know it's new, and raw etc. but that's the reality.

Honestly, realistically, 50/50 is a fantastic arrangement for kids. I get it, he's not the dad you wanted him to be...but he's STILL the child's father and unless his rights are terminated he has a right to be JUST as much a part of his life as you do.


In fact, when I broke the news that I was leaving, and wanted to move out for a while for a separation, his first words were, "I get ds! I get him for 6 months, then you get him for 6 months. I dont care if he has to change schools twice a year, every year." And someone said somewhere that stbx doesn't appear stupid - I beg to differ. THAT arrangement would not be in ds' best interests to ANY court.

Ok so he's NOT trying to take the child away from you...and yet you feel justified taking the child away from him. Not ok. And yes, that arrangement is ok in many courts, in fact most courts have gone to 50/50 default simply because it IS in the best interests of the children.

Bottom line is this - stbx views his son as property. He doesnt see him or know him as a small person with thoughts and feelings and autonomy. He thinks ds is "his", as if he's a dog or something.

I am going to be blunt here, and I'm not trying to upset you. But this really is sticking at me because it's important to me that on some level you are able to see how you are acting. As though your son is YOUR property, that your ds is YOURS, that he's not a small person with thoughts/feelings/autonomy in the respect that he...your son...has the right to have an ongoing and constant relationship with his father as it develops, and independent of your interference or influence. Part of what's hard as a parent is coming to terms with the reality that our partner (divorced or not) is going to have a DIFFERENT relationship with our child than we are. It's a weird thing to realize, and it's hard for me too, but it's true. Taking pains not to derail too much here, the only example I can give you offhand is that my DH likes to hunt. I abhor hunting. DD, I'm afraid, is interested in hunting with DH. I can't stand that idea, I don't want to hear about it, and I don't want to know the details. But I have no doubt they are going to go hunting at some point together as she gets older. I vehemently disagree with hunting, but he's her dad...he has the right to have that relationship with her. She knows what I think, but I'm not going to interfere just so that I can prove my point and maintain control. That would interfere with THEIR relationship, and it's not ok.

He thinks children should be seen and not heard, let 'em CIO until they stop blatting, train them to only behave as you expect them to behave, and anything else is considered rebellion against the almighty superior parent (because elders are to be respected, above all else in his views. Even if they are wrong).

Ok, so he wouldn't fit in here at MDC. That doesn't make him evil nor does it negate his RIGHTS to be a part of this child's life and have parenting access equal to yours. Millions of people have grown up this way and 99% are productive and responsible members of society. I don't personally agree with raising kids this way, but that's why it's a free country.

I SWEAR I had no idea who militaristic his views were until I was about 6 months pregnant, and he would say bizarre things about raising children in this manner.

I'm sorry, I really am. That has to really suck...but honestly it doesn't change anything as far as his current rights to be a part of this child's life, just as much as you.

Now, thats not to say that he doesn't deserve to be with his son/share his son's life/be an active part of raising his son. If he REALLY wants this, I would definitely facilitate the relationship. Even moving back to do so. But honestly? I think he just wants me to move back, do the work of raising his son in a convenient area for him to visit ds, and have to invest minimal money (cs will be much lower if we had joint physical custody) and effort on his part. he just wants visitation to do all the "fun stuff" - without the hard work involved in the daily decisions. Not to mention, he's never shown any interest in ds' well-being in regards to medical decisions, safety, or health. He used to fall asleep when I'd talk to him about vaccinations (the "should we?" debate).

Apparently he DOES really want this. He's fighting for it. He's going to court for it. He's got a lawyer to help him get what he wants, which looks reasonable in the eyes of the court. He's not asking to take the child away from a parent (you are), he's not asking to reduce the other parent to a visitor (you are). He's asking the courts to decide what is in the best interests of the child...and he's talking joint custody, which is VERY reasonable in the eyes of the court. You've decided he's a bad parent because he doesn't parent your way. That doesn't make him a bad parent, it makes him a different parent (albeit one I don't agree with either), and to be completely honest with you...this is why it's so critical to get this ironed out before you even think about having kids with someone, so after the fact is a little late to cry foul. And, being a mainstream parent isn't reason to take their kid away, any more than being an AP parent is reason for the same. Would you want him to take your child away from you just because you are off the deep end into that weird attachment parenting crap? Of course not (and remember, *I* am off the deep end in the attachment parenting crap...it's a rhetorical question), so the same applies going his way too. And no, you aren't genuinely willing to facilitate the relationship, or you wouldn't be keeping the child in Oregon until a few days before court, and you wouldn't be fighting the 50/50 custody.

SFS...PLEASE hit the library and read some books on divorced parenting, there is so much out there that supports 50/50 as a fantastic way for kids to benefit from both parents. While it would likely be difficult for YOU to adjust, your son would likely thrive (assuming you handle it correctly), and ultimately...THAT is the outcome you really want. I don't doubt for a moment how much you love your son, but realize that when he's older, he isn't going to share your feelings towards his father, and that's ok. The best gift you can give your baby boy is a healthy relationship with his dad, with your total support behind it. And you do that by bending over backwards to make it work from day one. It's not about you, or your stbx or your intertwined baggage anymore.

Good luck mama, you can do this!
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:39 AM
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Well...I will be less gung-ho about the 50-50, and I say that as someone who had absolutely no intention of being a primary parent. It wasn't what I wanted, wasn't how I went into marriage, wasn't how I agreed to have kids. Why? Because I have a life of my own, and because it's fair, damn it.

For me.

However.

What I hear most from kids is that they detest -- detest -- shuttling around. They always have to pick up and go somewhere new. It's hard to keep the social connections when you're here sometimes and there other times. And I find that it's true, even when you're talking about little kids. My daughter's best daycare friend was a little boy in 50/50, and eventually we stopped trying to have playdates. I couldn't keep track of their custody arrangements, the dad wasn't all that friendly and didn't want playdates on "his" time, and then he moved an hour away. The mom missed the kid so, and felt such a need to make up time, that she was also reluctant to do playdates much.

Shoot, even primary's difficult when the other parent's involved a lot. My xh sees dd for a couple hours most every day. Makes for awkward after-school playdate situations. "Well, she can go home with you, but I'm still working and can't pick her up if they're bored, and her dad (whom you've never met) will pick her up around 4:30 but I can't vouch for it, so you'll have to be home then unless you want to work it out with him directly...."

Anyway, I can understand loathing and resenting, and feeling the effects of, the 50/50 shuttle. I had a stretch where I had to do a lot of travelling, and man, it was hard. It's hard to live out of a suitcase, and to wake up and have the first question be "Where am I? What day is this?"

Personally, I fought 50/50 because my ex is mentally ill, socially isolated, and will make himself dependent on whoever's handy. What I've seen of people who've had to grow up isolated and taking care of a parent is not so hot. I don't want that for dd, and I fought till my hair fell out to prevent it.

You have to remember that you like your DH and think he's a good guy who's an overall healthy thing for your dd. Not necessarily the case for many of us here.

So anyway -- SFS may have to get used to 50/50 (or not), but it doesn't mean she's gotta love it, or even that it's necessarily good for her son.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
My turn for the colory quotes.

SFS...PLEASE hit the library and read some books on divorced parenting, there is so much out there that supports 50/50 as a fantastic way for kids to benefit from both parents. While it would likely be difficult for YOU to adjust, your son would likely thrive (assuming you handle it correctly), [/B] [/COLOR]
Making a blanket statement like that is really not a good idea. Why? Because children are individuals. Not all of them can handle 50/50 physical custody, especially the really little ones. At this time in my kids' lives I would not agree to 50/50 physical custody, it's not in their best interest. And they are not toddlers anymore.

And stating that the child would likely not have any adjustment and would thrive is not really looking at the whole picture. Like the fact that it's the child who has to go back and forth between the two homes, it's the child who is going to have a harder time adjusting to the new situation, and taking away the primary caregiver half the time is only going to make it harder. Which is one reason why I think SFS should move back. Because she is risking losing custody.

And, yes, SFS, parents have lost custody for doing what you did.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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Honestly, realistically, 50/50 is a fantastic arrangement for kids. I get it, he's not the dad you wanted him to be...but he's STILL the child's father and unless his rights are terminated he has a right to be JUST as much a part of his life as you do.



[/B] [/COLOR]
Actually there have been quite a few studies done that show 50/50 to be really detrimental to children, 50/50 typically being 2 weeks with mom and 2 weeks with dad and then 2 weeks with mom again. The kids never really get the opportunity to settle in to any one particular routine and it is exhausting and draining for them. 50/50 is not always the answer, especially when dealing with a younger child, which most courst will acknowledge at least that much. SFS you need to look up the state visitation guidelines for Maine and Oregon and be prepared to go by that as that is most likely what will take place. Many states have visitation guidelines for situations when the NCP is out of town or out of state, all formulated by age.
I think given that SFS has consulted two different attorneys, both of which have advised her to park her butt in oregon, then we need to back off and let her attorney do their job.

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wytchywoman View Post
I think given that SFS has consulted two different attorneys, both of which have advised her to park her butt in oregon, then we need to back off and let her attorney do their job.
Because she could lose custody. And if any attorney told her that there was a 100% guarantee that if she parked her butt in Oregon (which doesn't have jurisdiction and the child support/custody guidelines won't be used, at all) she will keep custody, then that attorney is only telling her what she wants to hear. Especially if that attorney is an Oregon attorney. Which if he is, he is going to have an issue actually representing her in Maine.

And she has consulted 3 different attorneys. One told her to get back to Oregon or she could lose custody. That's probably the one who is actually telling the truth.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Can you give some background on what studies show 50/50 to be detrimental? I've never seen any. I have a ton that show otherwise (I'll post below) so I'd be interested to read other research if it's out there. This is a really passionate area of mine, so if there are unbiased studies showing it's bad for the kids I'd be interested in reading them.

And honestly if that's what her stbx is pushing for than it's very likely what's going to happen. HE is asking for 50/50 and she is asking to remove the child. The courts are VERY likely to go with the 50/50. So, I'm encouraging her to get the info and learn how to make that work, because it CAN work, and if she doesn't have a choice in the matter than it's her responsibility to make it work best for her child.

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Old 01-16-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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I bolded the key stuff. ~T

The main research papers discussing/evaluating/addressing custody issues:

A. Luepnitz. Maternal, paternal and joint custody: A study of families after divorce. Doctoral thesis 1980. State University of New York at Buffalo. UMI No. 80-27618. Luepnitz studied single parent custody and joint custody. Most single parent children were dissatisfied with the amount of visitation they had, whereas the children of joint custody arrangements seemed reasonably happy with their exposure to both their parents. The quality of the parent-child relationship was determined to be better for joint custody. (The ncp-child relationship is described as more like an aunt or uncle - child relationship.)

S.A. Nunan. Joint custody versus single custody effects on child development. Doctoral thesis 1980. California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley, UMI No. 81-10142 Nunan compared 20 joint custody children (ages 7-11) with 20 age-matched children in sole maternal custody. All families were at least two years after separation or divorce. Joint custody children were found to have higher ego strengths, superego strengths and self-esteem than the single custody children. The joint custody children were also found to be less excitable and less impatient than their sole custody counterparts. For children under four at the time of separation the differences were very small.

B. Welsh-Osga. The effects of custody arrangements on children of divorce. Doctoral thesis 1981. University of South Dakota. UMI No. 82-6914. Welsh-Osga compared children in intact families with joint custody and single custody families. Age range 4 1/2 to 10 years old. Children from joint custody were found to be more satisfied with the time spent with both parents. Parents in joint custody were found to be more involved with their children. (Joint custody parents found to be less overburdened by parenting responsibilities than sole custody parents.) Children from all four groups (intact families, sole maternal, sole paternal, joint custody) were found to be equally well adjusted by their various standardized measures.

D.B. Cowan. Mother Custody versus Joint Custody: Children`s parental Relationship and Adjustment. Doctoral Thesis 1982. University of Washington. UMI No. 82-18213. Cowan compared 20 joint custody and 20 sole (maternal) custody families. Children in joint physical custody were rated as better adjusted by their mothers compared with children of sole custody mothers. The children`s perceptions in sole custody situations correlated with the amount of time spent with their father. The more time children from sole maternal custody spent with their fathers, the more accepting BOTH parents were perceived to be, and the more well-adjusted were the children.

E.G. Pojman. Emotional Adjustment of Boys in Sole and Joint Custody compared with Adjustment of Boys in Happy and Unhappy Marriages. Doctoral thesis 1982. California Graduate Institute. UMI No. ? Pojman compared children in the age range 5 to 13 years old. Boys in joint custody were significantly better adjusted than boys in sole maternal custody. Comparing boys in all groups, boys in joint custody compared very similarly to boys from happy families.

E.B. Karp. Children`s adjustment in joint and single custody: An Empirical Study. Doctoral thesis 1982. California school of professional psychology, Berkeley. UMI No. 83-6977. Age range of children 5 to 12 years, studying early period of separation or divorce. Boys and girls in sole custody situation had more negative involvement with their parents than in joint custody situation. There was in increase reported in sibling rivalry reported for sole custody children when visiting their father (ncp). Girls in joint custody reported to have significantly higher self-esteem than girls in sole custody.

D.A. Luepnitz. Child Custody: A Study of Families after Divorce. Lexington Books 1982. A summary of the thesis in book form.

J.A. Livingston. Children after Divorce: A Psychosocial analysis of the effects of custody on self esteem. Doctoral thesis 1983. University of Vermont. UMI No. 83-26981. Comparative study of children in mother sole custody, father sole custody, joint custody with mother primary, joint custody with father primary. Children in joint custody situations were found to be better adjusted than children in sole custody situations.

L.P. Noonan. Effects of long-tern conflict on personality functioning of children of divorce. Doctoral thesis 1984. The Wright Institute Graduate School of Psychology, Berkeley. UMI No. 84-17931. Long-term effects were studied in joint custody, sole maternal custody and intact families. Children in joint custody families were found to be more active than in sole custody families or intact families. In low conflict situations children did better (demonstrated less withdrawal) than in either sole custody or intact families.

V. Shiller. Joint and Maternal Custody: The outcome for boys aged 6-11 and their parents. Doctoral thesis 1984. University of Delaware. UMI No. 85-11219. The thesis compares 20 boys in joint custody with 20 matched boys in sole maternal custody. A number of tests were used. Boys from a joint custody environment were found to be better adjusted than boys from a sole custody environment.

Joint Custody and Shared Parenting. (Collection of Papers) Published by Bureau of National Affairs, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Ed. Jay Folberg. 1984

M.R. Patrician. The effects of legal child-custody status on persuasion strategy choices and communication goals of fathers. Doctoral Thesis 1984. University of San Francisco. UMI No. 85-14995. 90 parents were questioned regarding how unequal recognition of parental rights might encourage conflict. Joint legal custody was found to encourage parental cooperation and dis-courage self-interest. Sole custody in both custodial AND non-custodial status encouraged punishment-oriented persuasion strategies. Unequal custody power was perceived as inhibiting parental cooperation by BOTH parents.

G.M. Bredefeld. Joint Custody and Remarriage: its effects on marital adjustment and children. Doctoral Thesis. California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno. UMI No. 85-10926 Both sole and joint custody children adjusted well to the remarriage of their parent; no significant difference found between the groups. The parents of joint custody situations, however, expressed more satisfaction with their children and indicated that they appreciated the time alone with their new spouse. Sole custody children also reported seeing their father less often after remarriage of the mother; this did not happen in joint custody situations.

B.H. Granite. An investigation of the relationships among self-concept, parental behaviors, and the adjustment of children in different living arrangements following a marital separation and/or divorce. Doctoral thesis 1985. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. UMI No. 85-23424. Parents in sole custodial homes (both maternal and paternal) were perceived as using psychological pressure techniques to control children. e.g. inducing guilt. However, in joint custody homes, the perception of the children was that such techniques were seldom used. No difference in self-concept was detectable among the different homes. Children`s ages 9-12 years. 15 joint, 15 maternal sole, 15 paternal sole.

S. Handley. The experience of the child in sole and joint custody. Doctoral thesis 1985. California Graduate School of Marriage and Family Therapy. Joint custody children more satisfied than sole custody children.

S.M.H.Hanson. Healthy single parent families. Family Relations v.35, p.125-132, 1985. 21 joint custody and 21 sole custody families compared. Mothers in joint custody found in better mental health. Mothers with sole custody sons had the least amount of social support and mothers with joint custody of sons had the most. Joint custody mothers reported best child-parent problem solving of all.

S. A. Wolchik, S. L. Braver and I.N. Sandler. J. of Clinical Child Psych. Vol. 14, p.5-10, 1985. Self-esteem found higher in children of joint custody. Children in joint custody report significantly more positive experiences than children of sole maternal custody.

P. M. Raines. (Misplaced Reference) Paper describes a survey of 1,200+ children whose parents are in process of divorcing. Children wishing to live with both parents given as a function of age: under age 8, 90%; age 8 - 10, 76%, age 10 - 12, 44%. 1985 paper.

J. Pearson and N. Thoennes. The Judges Journal, Winter, 1986. Will this Divorced Woman Receive Support? Your Custody Decision may determine the Answer. Child support compared among sole custody and joint custody. Joint custody shown to produce much better compliance in child support payments to the mother.

E.E. Maccoby, R.H. Mnookin and C.E. Depner. Post-divorce families: Custodial arrangements compared. American Association of Science, Philadelphia. May 1986. Mothers with joint custody were found to be more satisfied, when compared with mothers in sole custody situation.

P. M. Raines. Joint custody and the right to travel: legal and psychological implications. J. of Family Law, v. 24, 625-656, 1986

P. Neubauer. Reciprocal effects of fathering on parent and child. Men Growing Up. (1986)

J. Schaub. Joint Custodu After Divorce: Views and Attitudes of Mental Health Professionals and Writers. Rutgers University, Doctoral Thesis. 1986. No. 86-14559

V. Shiller. Joint versus maternal families with latency age boys: Parent characteristics and child adjustment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, v. 56, p. 486-9, 1986. Interviews with boys as well as with both parents. Age group 6-11. Found boys from joint custody families better adjusted than comparison group of boys from sole maternal custody families.

M.B. Isaacs, G.H. Leon and M. Kline. When is a parent out of the picture? Different custody, different perceptions. Family Process, v.26, p.101-110, 1987. This study compares children from five groups: joint physical custody, joint-legal maternal-physical, joint-legal paternal-physical, sole maternal and sole paternal custody. On their measurement of how children perceive the importance of family members, sole custody children were three times mores likely to omit one parent than joint custody situations.

F.S. Williams. Child Custody and Parental Cooperation. American Bar Assn, Family Law, August 1987. Williams studied high-conflict, high-risk situations. He found that children in sole custody (typically but not exclusively maternal) much more likely to be subject to parental kidnapping and/or physical harm. He found that high-conflict families do better and are more likely to learn cooperative behavior when given highly detailed orders from the judge.

CRC Report: R-103A. Synopses of Sole and Joint Custody Studies. Shows that the preponderance of research supports the presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of children. 1987.

J.B. Kelly. Longer term adjustment in children of divorce: Converging Findings and Implications for Practice. Journal of Family Psychology, v.2, p.112-140, 1988.

M. Zaslow. Sex Differences in children`s response to parental divorce. Paper 1. Research methodology and postdivorce family forms. American J. of Orthopsychiatry. v.58, 355, 1988. Paper 2. Samples, Variables, Ages and Sources. Am. J. Orthopsychiatry, v.59, p118, 1989.

J.S. Wallerstein and S. Blakeslee. Second chances: Men, women and children after divorce. New York,Ticknor and Fields. 1989

M. Kline, J.M. Tschann, J.R. Johnson and J.S. Wallerstein. Children`s adjustment in joint and sole custody families. Developmental Psychology, v. 25, p. 430-435, 1989. This work finds that in non-conflicted joint and sole custody families there is little measurable difference between a child`s behavior in sole or joint custody. Luepnitz pointed out that joint custody children retain a more normal parent-child relationship than sole custody children, Wolchik et al found that joint custody children have significantly more positive experiences and higher self-esteem than sole custody counter-parts.

Lehrman paper Study of 90 children, equally divided between joint physical, joint-legal maternal, and sole maternal custody. Sole custody children shown to have greater self-hate and perceived more rejection from their fathers. Joint physical and joint legal custody children suffered fewer emotional problems than sole custody children. 1990 paper, have mis-placed reference.

L.M.C. Bisnaire, P.Firestone and D. Rynard. Factors associated with academic achievement in children following parent separation. American J. of Orthopsychiatry. v.60(1), p.67-76, 1990 Visitation found to be a most significant factor in enabling children to maintain pre-divorce academic standards.

J. Pearson and N. Thoennes. Custody after divorce: Demographic and attitudinal patterns. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, v.60(2), p. 233-249, 1990. Regular visitation shown to be significant in a number of factors explaining positive adjustment patterns.

R.A. Warshak. The Custody Revolution. 1992.

D. Popenoe, Associate Dean for Social and Behavioral Sciences of Rutgers University, co-chairman of the Council on Families in America. "The Controversial Truth: Two-parent Families are Better." Published in Speak out for Children, v.8 Winter 1992-3.

The Best Parent is Both Parents, D.L. Levy, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., Norfolk, Virginia. 1 (800) 677-8707. 1993.

Address for obtaining theses:

University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Rd,
Ann Arbor,
MI 48106.

1-800-521-3042

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Old 01-16-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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I will NEVER buy that 50/50 shared time is in a child's best interest.

Still :

Please do not sign any 50/50 paper work. I did under the guise that it would take the court out of our business and it has been used as bio dad has choosen to screw me over.

Please be careful and prayerfully consider EVERYTHING!


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Old 01-16-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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Remember though (not addressing OP here, but other entirely-solo parents like me who might read this thread) that the studies cited by Theoretica, when they refer to "sole custody," are ALL discussing kids who see the non-custodial parent at least sometimes. Our entirely solo-parented kids aren't studied much (because they are unusual, because they don't exhibit psych problems, because some macho researchers and fathers-rights orgs that fund studies like to pretend sole women parents don't or shouldn't exist). (There's not even popular literature about our types of families; the libraries are full of "When Dinosaurs Divorce" but there's NOTHING to read to a child who knows only a single, happy parent and only a single, stable home, about others just like her.) But inferences from "Deconstructing the Essential Father" and other studies and literature reviews show that it's the confusion of having only an occasional parent, and the parental conflict created, that is the problem in sole-custody-but-seeing-NCP-sometimes relationships. Once corrected for the correlating factor of family income (that is, kids living in poverty have more problems than well-off kids; kids living single-parented and solo-parented are more likely to live in poverty than kids whose parents are married; but parent's marital and custodial status is entirely irrelevant to kids' emotional health otherwise) and that of parental conflict (hurray! entirely solo-parented kids NEVER see parental conflict, which in shared-custody situations and married-parent situations is both shown to harm kids), kids who have never met their other/NCP parent are just as happy and have just as consistent a home life as kids whose parents are married.

Just thought I'd point that out, since the fathers-rights propoganda is everywhere and Theoretica's studies could incorrectly be interpreted by some to suggest that "kids are better off knowing their dads" or some such malarkey. That is NOT the case. (And I am not saying that's what Theoretica meant, either - the 2d paragraph of her post #74 says what she meant by posting the studies.)

If I'm defensive on this issue, I apologize. I hate that my daughter and I live in a world where it is ASSumed that I am an inadequate parent because I do so solo [go check your YMCA or community center: dollars to donuts, they offer a class on "parenting skills" for "single parents"], and that she will break laws/be promiscuous/fail in school just because she is father-free.

/end hijack

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Old 01-16-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
Remember though (not addressing OP here, but other entirely-solo parents like me who might read this thread) that the studies cited by Theoretica, when they refer to "sole custody," are ALL discussing kids who see the non-custodial parent at least sometimes. Our entirely solo-parented kids aren't studied much (because they are unusual, because they don't exhibit psych problems, because some macho researchers and fathers-rights orgs that fund studies like to pretend sole women parents don't or shouldn't exist). (There's not even popular literature about our types of families; the libraries are full of "When Dinosaurs Divorce" but there's NOTHING to read to a child who knows only a single, happy parent and only a single, stable home, about others just like her.) But inferences from "Deconstructing the Essential Father" and other studies and literature reviews show that it's the confusion of having only an occasional parent, and the parental conflict created, that is the problem in sole-custody-but-seeing-NCP-sometimes relationships. Once corrected for the correlating factor of family income (that is, kids living in poverty have more problems than well-off kids; kids living single-parented and solo-parented are more likely to live in poverty than kids whose parents are married; but parent's marital and custodial status is entirely irrelevant to kids' emotional health otherwise) and that of parental conflict (hurray! entirely solo-parented kids NEVER see parental conflict, which in shared-custody situations and married-parent situations is both shown to harm kids), kids who have never met their other/NCP parent are just as happy and have just as consistent a home life as kids whose parents are married.

Just thought I'd point that out, since the fathers-rights propoganda is everywhere and Theoretica's studies could incorrectly be interpreted by some to suggest that "kids are better off knowing their dads" or some such malarkey. That is NOT the case. (And I am not saying that's what Theoretica meant, either - the 2d paragraph of her post #74 says what she meant by posting the studies.)

If I'm defensive on this issue, I apologize. I hate that my daughter and I live in a world where it is ASSumed that I am an inadequate parent because I do so solo [go check your YMCA or community center: dollars to donuts, they offer a class on "parenting skills" for "single parents"], and that she will break laws/be promiscuous/fail in school just because she is father-free.

/end hijack
I'll clarify...

I do NOT mean to infer that children raised by intentionally single parents, without any second parent ever being in the picture, are at a disadvantage.

The studies DO show, however, that children who are originally from an intact relationship do better when shared parenting continues post separation. I would also utilize these studies to demonstrate the necessity for same gender families to maintain shared parenting post separation.

When kids start out with two parents...they do better when both of those parents maintain shared involvement throughout their lives (regardless of gender or sexual orientation). It's the LOSS of a parent that creates the problem.

When kids start out with ONE parent, as in the other (biological) adult was NEVER in a relationship role with the parent, there is no loss and therefore the emotional baggage from the parent is nonexistant as well, so clearly the transferance issues are equally invalid. This being the case in intentional single moms, gay single dads, etc.

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Old 01-16-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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Just to add some balance back to Theoretica's studies check out the following as well

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/tho...y-studies.html
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Goodmom2008 View Post
Because she could lose custody. And if any attorney told her that there was a 100% guarantee that if she parked her butt in Oregon (which doesn't have jurisdiction and the child support/custody guidelines won't be used, at all) she will keep custody, then that attorney is only telling her what she wants to hear. Especially if that attorney is an Oregon attorney. Which if he is, he is going to have an issue actually representing her in Maine.

And she has consulted 3 different attorneys. One told her to get back to Oregon or she could lose custody. That's probably the one who is actually telling the truth.

I'm sorry but I just don't get where this insistent attitude from everyone is coming from. You've all shared your experiences, you've given your opinion, her attorney(s) disagree. Ultimately SFS has to make the choice to believe an MDC poster whom she's never met and likely never will meet and who isn't a legal expert, or trust that her attorney is confident in her case and confident in her retaining custody. The ball is in her court but if it were me I would go with the attorney.

Theoretica, I am at work and the info I have on that is at home. I will post some links later when I can pry my 15 year old off of our home computer.

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:10 PM
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wytchy, in general I'd agree with you. But you're hearing the clamor here because the stakes are high and the lawyers SFS is talking to are giving advice that's distinctly counter to the real-life experience many of us have had or seen friends live through, and while things do vary by state, there are some things these lawyers are saying that just smell funny. The lawyer is proposing she continue with something the feds take a very dim view of, and that she rely on a breastfeeding relationship with a child who'll be nearly 2 years old by the time they get to trial. Our experience here around the country is that even in areas where bf is taken seriously, extended bf is not, and may even be looked at as a (somewhat sick) dodge to keep the guy away from the kid. We've seen many women here lose points in custody battles because they were doing APish things -- cosleeping, babywearing, refusing to use daycare, etc.

The lawyer's also suggesting that she'll get custody because she's the only one who's been a caregiver. That may be so, but again, many of us have relied on that only to be very unpleasantly surprised, and we didn't have a disappearance with the child weighing us down. So I think you're hearing a lot of skepticism in general.

There's also the point that SFS is still talking in terms of what _she_ thinks is fair and reasonable. A good lawyer should be getting her on-game right away and laying out family court realities.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Um....we have joint custody but do NOT have 50/50. Joint does NOT mean 50/50 - it doesn't even mean unsupervised visits or long term visits. All it basically means is that the parents retain 50/50 legal rights to the child. The rights to have an imput in medical decisions, the rights to claim them on taxes etc etc etc.

My oldest is 7.5 years old. She was overheard at school talking to another child of divorced parents about how "divorce really stinks. going to my moms and then to my dads". talk about breaking my heart.

The ONLY case that I had where the judge awarded 50/50 is when the mother went in there seriously twisting everything in the relationship to make the father look bad. It almost seemed like payback for her behavior....that's why I said a lot of it is about appearances.

i do have a friend who has 50/50 and they've had it for years now. 7 and 7. There have been times when the kids (especially the girl) has called her mother screaming that she doesn't want to be there.

Custody is NOT about someone's desire to be a parent. It is about what is best for the children.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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In regards to the breastfeeding and APing. When I said that I didn't want our youngest spending the night because she was still nursing a lot the mediator said "they still do that after a year".....after my jaw lifted off the floor I said "actually it is suggested until 2 and is not found to be detremental". I also made a BIG point of saying that this was a MUTUAL choice to parent our children like this. After that he didn't have a leg to stand on. I also turned to him and said "you know how she is at night" which he agreed to how difficult she is when I'm not available.

I'm not saying that all judges are open to that...but shoot - I'm in Louisiana where you're lucky you get to vote if you are a woman. I'm just giving you my experience with both going through it and being on the other side and having to sort through the parents complaints and file the report with the court on who should get custody. Appearances are probably 90% of it. If you appear vindictive or unbending it will NOT go your way.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I'll clarify...

I do NOT mean to infer that children raised by intentionally single parents, without any second parent ever being in the picture, are at a disadvantage.

....

When kids start out with ONE parent, as in the other (biological) adult was NEVER in a relationship role with the parent, there is no loss and therefore the emotional baggage from the parent is nonexistant as well, so clearly the transferance issues are equally invalid. This being the case in intentional single moms, gay single dads, etc.
I hope you didn't think I was attacking you or even disagreeing - I was just making a side point. Thanks for the clarification, though. I agree that no trauma (no loss of parent) = no harm to child. Note that besides cases of intentional single moms & gay single dads, complete solo mom situations arise from cases like mine, where a man leaves his pregnant wife before the birth and the wife secures a permanent sole-custody-zero-visitation order. There are a surprising many of us "unintentional solo moms."

I don't have the sociological or direct personal experience to draw conclusions about shared-custody situations, and whether 50-50 is better or worse than, say, 70-30. So I won't speak to that.

SFS, how is your little guy doing with the changes? I think you said he's speaking to his father by telephone every night, and that he is having regular interaction with your Oregon relatives. Does he seem happier or sadder at all about moving from Maine and the former family structure?

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Old 01-16-2009, 08:19 PM
 
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(Oh, and SFS, I hope this doesn't sound rude if I'm thinking ahead, past your own very painful situation, but after your hearing do you think we could maybe change the title of this thread to "Joint Custody Pro & Con studies & issues where mom has left state with child" or something, and sticky it? Twice since you originally posted, I've seen other MDCers wonder about the legality of leaving the state pre-divorce, and it would also be helpful for MDCers considering or arguing for one kind of custody over another to have the various studies available. Can we, oh mods Bad Mama Jama & BelovedK ?)

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Old 01-16-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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(Oh, and SFS, I hope this doesn't sound rude if I'm thinking ahead, past your own very painful situation, but after your hearing do you think we could maybe change the title of this thread to "Joint Custody Pro & Con studies & issues where mom has left state with child" or something, and sticky it? Twice since you originally posted, I've seen other MDCers wonder about the legality of leaving the state pre-divorce, and it would also be helpful for MDCers considering or arguing for one kind of custody over another to have the various studies available. Can we, oh mods Bad Mama Jama & BelovedK ?)
great idea - so much valuable information in this thread! These kind of questions come up very often.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4imprints View Post
Um....we have joint custody but do NOT have 50/50. Joint does NOT mean 50/50 - it doesn't even mean unsupervised visits or long term visits. All it basically means is that the parents retain 50/50 legal rights to the child. The rights to have an imput in medical decisions, the rights to claim them on taxes etc etc etc.
where you live depends on how you do this. We have joint legal custody but i have primary physical custody.

Not a huge fan of the 50/50 physical custody split but if you are not willing to show some cooperation thats where this may end up. a likely situation once school starts would be school year with you and any vacation longer than a weekend with dad. (or vice versa) better custody arrangement is one of the reasons I am staying where I am rather than moving home.

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Old 01-16-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
Can you give some background on what studies show 50/50 to be detrimental? I've never seen any. I have a ton that show otherwise (I'll post below) so I'd be interested to read other research if it's out there. This is a really passionate area of mine, so if there are unbiased studies showing it's bad for the kids I'd be interested in reading them.

And honestly if that's what her stbx is pushing for than it's very likely what's going to happen. HE is asking for 50/50 and she is asking to remove the child. The courts are VERY likely to go with the 50/50. So, I'm encouraging her to get the info and learn how to make that work, because it CAN work, and if she doesn't have a choice in the matter than it's her responsibility to make it work best for her child.

That is deliberately misleading. There aren't that many states that will order 50/50 when the parents don't agree to it. And not one that will order it when the parents are a great distance apart.

And those studies that you are talking about HAVE NOT studied every single child. Nor do they state that the results are 100%. And then there's the pesky little fact that they consider joint LEGAL with primary placement with one parent as qualifying as joint custody for purposes of the study (I know of at least one in particular that has this statement in it).
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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The studies that Theoretica cited are misleading, there is a HUGE difference between 50/50 custody and joint custody. Most people I know who are single parents have joint custody, but do not have 50/50 custody. There have been many many studies showing that kids who do 3 days in one home 4 days in the other are not well adjusted and do not do as well as kids who have a primary home. The liz library that someone cited earlier has a lot of good information.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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*deep sigh*

I really feel like everyone is missing my point ENTIRELY. I was not trying to start a debate about this, I am certainly not "deliberately misleading" anyone, and we can argue references till we're all blue in the face. First, that's not the point of this thread, and second, it's not going to help the OP.

My point is simply this. She is LIKELY to be facing a large amount of shared parenting time with her stbx. It is, without ANY doubt, in her (and her child's) best interests that she get on board with co-parenting. I posted the references because there ARE ample studies showing it's beneficial for the child to have as much contact as possible with BOTH parents. I realize we can dissect studies here and there and everywhere to make them say whatever we want, but my INTENT was to give the OP some encouragement that going back and participating with coparenting her child is something she can and should do. I am really worried about the OP's situation, and I am really hoping she doesn't end up losing big here. She clearly adores her child, and I have no doubt she wants what is best for him...so my goal is to support her in this journey while helping her focus on the reality at hand, unpleasant as it may be.

My PERSONAL opinion is that she doesn't have the right to take the child from his father, any more than the father would have the right to do the same to her, for the same reasons. It's hypocritical and sexist for anyone to say she has more rights to the child than he does. If she were in his shoes right now, and posting on this board from his perspective, everyone would be up in arms defending her rights and ranting that he should have supervised visitation for pulling a stunt like this. But she's a mom, so it's different somehow...apparently?

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