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

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-09-2009, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
DogwoodFairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We've been separated for 2 months. He hasn't seen ds in that time because I left the state to stay with family. I'm returning to the "home" state next week. I asked him last night what he was expecting in terms of parenting time with ds while I'm there. He said, "Well, I want him every day".

Now, I know that he misses seeing his son. I understand that and I dont blame him. I recognize my folly in separating them for so long, because that only makes his resolve to "have" ds all that much stronger.

However, NO. You cannot take him from his Mama every day, especially since he hasnt seen you in 2 months. That will scare him.

I suggested that he come visit ds at my Dad's house for the first couple of days (where I will be staying), and I will make myself scarce so he can spend time with ds, but I'll be waiting in the wings if needed. Stbx vetoed that idea. He wants to pick him up that day after we get there and take him away from me, every day, all day.

I said that once ds is comfortable with stbx again, he could take ds for 3 or 4 hours at a time. Ds was never truly comfortable because stbx NEVER spent time with him before, nor did he have any involvement with caretaking, ever. He never spent more than an hour with ds unsupervised (not after the first time anyway). Ds has more of a relationship with my Dad & Dads gf than he does with stbx, and he saw them less (once a week or so).

So how does everyone out there handle the visitation? Am I being too controlling?

I want for him to see ds, but not to take him from me every day. On top of the fact that I worry about ds's care while he's away from me. Stbx hasn''t shown that he can responsibly take care of a toddler. Yet. I know this will come in time, but for now...? How do I arrange this so stbx feels its fair, and it isn't overwhelming for my little boy?
DogwoodFairy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-09-2009, 03:33 PM
 
DanishMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'm afraid that your suggestion would hurt you in court. Since your son isn't a little baby I'd say he could bring him somewhere for the entire day and bring him home in time for dinner. That way you are protecting your son but still showing a decent amount of good will. (That's all you should tell him for now until you have gotten legal advice concerning the visitation schedule).

I don't think your reasoning would fly in court especially since you chose to separate them. (and btw I did read your other thread and fully understand why you needed to get out - I'm just telling you how the court will likely see it). I think you need to be very careful - I'm afraid your stbx has a strong case.

Good luck
DanishMom is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 03:42 PM
 
SkiMama36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: ESFP in 'Lil Rhody
Posts: 503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's his child too. Your reasoning would not hold up in court and they would probably see your controlling ways as detrimental to the child's well-being and future bonding with his dad.

Hope you come to a peaceful resolution with your ex.
SkiMama36 is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 03:45 PM
 
chaoticzenmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,666
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The problem is that your stbx is controlling and abusive. He's going to take your son just to get back at you and if you're there, you'll have no protection against your ex taking your son. He's got equal rights and he could just walk out of the house with your son and you won't have any recourse.

I hope you get some good advice. I'm thinking that contacting an abuse shelter in that area would be a good start. Let them know that he abused you by controlling all of the finances and that you don't have any money at all from the marraige. Now he's threatening to control you again in any way he can...your son. Maybe he needs to have supervised visitation with him using a GAL at this point just to keep both of you from having to kidnap your son in order to have visitation.

I hope your new lawyer can offer some good advice. I'm thinking of you.

Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will.  If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk Rainbow.gif  New  User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement

chaoticzenmom is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 03:58 PM
 
The Harpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
The problem is that your stbx is controlling and abusive. He's going to take your son just to get back at you and if you're there, you'll have no protection against your ex taking your son. He's got equal rights and he could just walk out of the house with your son and you won't have any recourse.

I hope you get some good advice. I'm thinking that contacting an abuse shelter in that area would be a good start. Let them know that he abused you by controlling all of the finances and that you don't have any money at all from the marraige. Now he's threatening to control you again in any way he can...your son. Maybe he needs to have supervised visitation with him using a GAL at this point just to keep both of you from having to kidnap your son in order to have visitation.

I hope your new lawyer can offer some good advice. I'm thinking of you.


Ok, so I have to strongly disagree w/ you here. I am a legal secretary, I see this all the time.

Dad isn't being controlling at all. Mom left state w/ the little one for 2 MONTHS and dad didn't get to see his son. So why wouldn't he want to spend lots of time w/ his little one? Really? That isn't abusive. That is a parent who loves their child, their marriage has ended but that doens't meant hat they dont love their child any more. either ya know?

This isn't a reason to call a shelter or anything like that. There is no need for supervised visitation. This is a dad who isn't going to learn to take care of his son if the mum is in the other room 'waiting in the wings'. Trial by fire for the both of them isn't going to hurt th elittle one and isn't going to hurt dad. If anything they will bond together and faster and it will be good for them!

My ex wrote his phone number on DD's hand and dropped her off at a public park w/ at age 5, with his 9 yr old sister, and a quarter to call from the payphone if she wanted to come home before he came back in 3 hours. THAT got supervised access.

I have seen many many a Judge remove mom's ability to veto something or to lessen the ability mom has to have a say over things because of things exactly like this. Mom is controlling time that the child has w/ dad because of HER issues. This isn't about the little one to her, this is about HER issues.

Quote:
I want for him to see ds, but not to take him from me every day. On top of the fact that I worry about ds's care while he's away from me.
Quote:
You cannot take him from his Mama every day
Mama, I say this w/ all the kindness in my heart, as I am a single mama as well... you took him away from his Daddy for 2 months. Remember I am sure he felt the same way.

Any Lawyer worth his salt is going to tell you to knock it off, realize that depending on the state that you are in you are going to be starting overnights before age 3 yrs and start to allow the bonding time now while he is young enough to do it w/ out stress. You have the ability to create an amazing skill for your little one here, the ability to go between mom and dad w/ no stress.

Hang in there.. I understand completely! I do!!! But the lawyers that I work for wouldn't touch your case if you walked in w/ an attitude like that and the Judges that I go in front of would have ordered at least 4 days a week, full 8 hour days w/ Dad to make up for the time that you had him gone out of town....

Good luck.

Andrea
The Harpy is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 03:58 PM
 
StephandOwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 8,613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What a tough situation. HUGS all around.

Was your ex ever abusive towards ds? Did he ever put ds in any harms way? Or is he just not very involved so you don't think ds will do well?

I'll tell you what my lawyer told me years ago...

How long do you leave ds with another person? Does he go to daycare? Babysitter? Grandparents? What's the longest amount of time ds has been away from you?

That is AT LEAST how long you can expect a Judge to grant him visitation, should it come to it (as long as there's not any proof that ex was ever abusive to ds). So if your ds is in daycare for 8 hours a day while you work.... there's no reason ex can't have him for 8 hours. If ds has spent overnights at Grandparents houses, there's no reason ex can't have him overnight.

Now, I know that sucks and it's not fair. At the time when ex and I went to court (ds was about 8 months old) ds hadn't been away from me other than 30-45 minutes here and there, maybe an hour at most. I came up with a plan for ex to have ds for 1 hour 3 days a week, first supervised and then unsupervised. Once he did that for a few weeks it moved to 2 hours, then 3. Then it would have moved to 4 hours, 5 hours, etc all the way up to overnights and, eventually, weekends. I presented that to the Judge who saw that I was NOT trying to keep ds from ex. I was trying to ease ds into it so that it was best for him. Judge recognized that and basically just put in the order that visitation was at my discretion, since I'd proven to him that I was not trying to keep ex from ds. Ex stopped the visitation, on his own, at 3 hours visits and never wanted more than that.

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

StephandOwen is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 04:04 PM
 
StephandOwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 8,613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Harpy View Post
Dad isn't being controlling at all. Mom left state w/ the little one for 2 MONTHS and dad didn't get to see his son. So why wouldn't he want to spend lots of time w/ his little one? Really? That isn't abusive. That is a parent who loves their child, their marriage has ended but that doens't meant hat they dont love their child any more. either ya know?
Thank you. This is what I wanted to say, but didn't know how to.

Mama- I know you did what you felt you had to do. But remember- you took his son away from him for 2 months. What if ex decided tomorrow that you are hindering his relationship with ds and that it's in ds's best interest to spend some time with daddy so he takes him for 2 months. Wouldn't you be freaked out? Upset? Sad? Wouldn't you want to spend as much time with him as possible when you finally see him again? Personally, I would try to resolve this between the 2 of you and try my hardest to keep a Judge out of it. If you get the wrong Judge I can see a very bad outcome if the Judge is upset at you taking baby away from daddy for 2 months.

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

StephandOwen is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 05:25 PM
Banned
 
ginger_rodgers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 351
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Harpy (how apt) -

While I agree with you substantially, it's your attitude of "if it won't kill 'em, it's fine" that provokes what you see as controlling behaviors in the women. While SFS absolutely should not have run off and taken the child like that, we're still talking about a baby who's never spent much time with his dad, and who hasn't seen the man in two months. SFS understands she made a big mistake in running away with the kid, but wanting to ease the child back into being with his dad isn't about _her_ issues, it's about wanting to protect her kid from psychological trauma.

We're not talking about a one-time thing while she leaves the child with a near-stranger so she can go to look for work; we're talking about a daily, major change in the kid's caregiving situation.

My sense from hanging around with dozens of lawyers and lawyers-to-be over the years is that there's a tremendous ethic of nerd macho, even in places that are not particularly macho. Are you hard enough? Can you take it? Yes? Then heap abuse on anyone who can't. In any given coffeehouse around here, if there are people who're unreasonably loud and trying to dominate the space, you can bet they're law students. Frankly, I think the legal mind is twisted in this way, and that it really sticks it to the kids involved in divorce.

The situation that SFS described earlier does indeed warrant a trip to the DV place. If a guy is that controlling financially it raises some serious questions about what's going on. There may be perfectly good reasons for it -- maybe SFS is bipolar with some dangerous spending habits -- but if not, then yes, this is part of what DV shelters exist for. Do I think his insistance on having the boy every day is controlling to the level of DV, no, but I do think it's fantastically selfish and that he fails to take into account the needs of the child. Which is not surprising if he's been basically uninvolved in childrearing.

You don't throw the child into a bad situation so that the parents can (if so inclined) learn. You teach the parents before they get hold of the kid, and then stick around to guide. My goodness, even medical students here get more training and supervision than that -- they have years of practice with fake patients before they're allowed anywhere near real sick people.
ginger_rodgers is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
DogwoodFairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanishMom View Post
I'm afraid that your suggestion would hurt you in court. Since your son isn't a little baby I'd say he could bring him somewhere for the entire day and bring him home in time for dinner. That way you are protecting your son but still showing a decent amount of good will.
Every day? Ds will go from being with me essentially 24/7 for the last 16 months, to being taken away from me all day, every day, and only brought home in the evening? I think that would be pretty devastating to my son. He's never known another caretaker. Not even his dad. I left because stbx wasn't involved. Ever. Not even a little bit. Ever.

The lack of involvement on stbx's part wasn't due to my leaving - it was present long before I left.
DogwoodFairy is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
DogwoodFairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Harpy View Post
Mom is controlling time that the child has w/ dad because of HER issues. This isn't about the little one to her, this is about HER issues.
I have to say that I vehemently disagree with most of your sentiments, but the above quoted especially. This is not about me. This is about my son who has NEVER spent more than 4 hours outside of my presence even with a responsible and caring caretaker (like his grandparents). He has NEVER spent that much unsupervised time with his dad - and NOT because I left town, either. Stbx chose not to involve himself in his son's care when we lived under the same roof. He did not feed him, prepare food for him, bathe him, dress him, rock him, etc. Never did he get up in the night, not once.

His complete lack of involvement in our son's life is one reason why I am not there. I needed help. I was DESPERATE for help from him when ds was younger, and NEVER once did he say, "let me take him for 20 minutes so you can go have a shower/eat food/pump milk/wash diapers"....he sat on the couch and watched Steve Wilkos all day long while I was juggling the baby and the house and cleaning up after his lazy ass. His insistence NOW on taking ds from me every day, all day long, is comical at best, and vindictive in nature, and my son is the one who is going to suffer because of it.
DogwoodFairy is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 07:22 PM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 19,261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am praying for you and totally agree with how you are seeing this.

F^^^ him for thinking that he can have him everyday. Where was he for the 14 months before you left?



GET A LAWYER!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 07:33 PM
 
wytchywoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: The Room of Requirement
Posts: 2,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First off,no judge will grant a NCP all day long visits seven days a week. Even in the most shared circumstances, meaning joint custody, it is usually 3-4 days, but certainly not every day.
I do have a few questions for you and a bit of experience in this. Will you be working outside the home that would necesitate the need for child care? Does your STBX work? If you needed childcare could he be that provider for you? If you do not work, what is the longest period of time you have left your son with another care provider. Does he eat solid foods and drink from a sippy yet? Does your son have any special needs? Was your STBX ever abusive to you or your DH?
My experience in daily visits was this: Ex would come over every morning to my house when G was little and would feed him breakfast, get him ready for day care and then drop him off. He would sometimes come and visit him at night too. This took place in my home, but it gave ex and G some quality time every day and both of them had the experience of ex participating in G's daily life activities, which I think is important. This took place from the time G was 8 weeks old as that was when I had to return back to work.Three years on down the line through a series of circumstances ex and I believed that G would be far happier if he lived with ex rather than myself. I was the one to pick G up from daycare every evening and feed and bathe him and get him ready for bed and then walked him home ( we were living in the same apartment complex at that time). This went on for a year and a half. I know that ex is not amenable to visits in your living environment right now, but perhaps with time he will settle down and then maybe this type of arrangement might be workable? Just wanted to say that daily visitation does not mean taking and keeping the child away from the CP all day long. There are some alternatives. Speak to your lawyer and find out what the standard child visitation agreements are for your son's age. Most states have standards set as far as length and frequency of visitation.

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
wytchywoman is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
DogwoodFairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Temporary custody and visitation wont be set until the hearing Feb 9th. I am aware of what a judge will probably set for visitation, in terms of being reasonable to ds and to the stbx. I'm not even concerned yet about what the court will order (well, I am, but I have a month to work that out and come to terms with it). What I am concerned with right now is how to let stbx have frequent and reasonable contact with his son over the next month UNTIL temporary custody/visitation are ordered.

This is visitation that we need to work out on our own just until the hearing rolls around. And I'm concerned about setting a precedent in terms of what the court will see on Feb 9th. If I let stbx take ds every day all day long, the judge will likely see that I agree to it, and that I think ds is okay with that arrangement, and will order it to continue. Which is NOT where I want to be in a month. I would like to retain primary custody, and that won't happen if ds is essentially living with stbx every day and only spending the night with me. Right now, neither one of us is "officially" a NCP or otherwise.

I just wondered how others who separate work out the visitation until the court orders something.
DogwoodFairy is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Theoretica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Inside my head (it's quiet here!)
Posts: 3,663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post
Temporary custody and visitation wont be set until the hearing Feb 9th. I am aware of what a judge will probably set for visitation, in terms of being reasonable to ds and to the stbx. I'm not even concerned yet about what the court will order (well, I am, but I have a month to work that out and come to terms with it). What I am concerned with right now is how to let stbx have frequent and reasonable contact with his son over the next month UNTIL temporary custody/visitation are ordered.

This is visitation that we need to work out on our own just until the hearing rolls around. And I'm concerned about setting a precedent in terms of what the court will see on Feb 9th. If I let stbx take ds every day all day long, the judge will likely see that I agree to it, and that I think ds is okay with that arrangement, and will order it to continue. Which is NOT where I want to be in a month. I would like to retain primary custody, and that won't happen if ds is essentially living with stbx every day and only spending the night with me. Right now, neither one of us is "officially" a NCP or otherwise.

I just wondered how others who separate work out the visitation until the court orders something.
In an effort to appear contrite for taking his child away from him, I'd suggest 4 hour visits daily. That keeps you as the primary parent but shows your willingness to provide access to the child. I think it's your best bet, because there's a possibility walking into court in February that YOU will be made the NCP unless it is VERY clear you are going to bend over backwards to facilitate this relationship.

I would also recommend that you take a different twist on it. Instead of FIGHTING this, I think you should send stbx a certified letter (return reciept so you can prove he got it) saying the following:

STBX,

I am so glad that you are taking such an interest in being an active part of DS's world! As you can imagine, this is a change we are all adjusting to, and I think it's fantastic for DS that you are doing this. You asked me to have DS for 8 hours daily, which doesn't really amount to my having equal time with him, as he's a toddler and that's the majority of his waking hours. I would love for you to enjoy parenting time with him for 4 hours daily, beginning immediately this Monday from x-xpm, so we can share our relationship with him. You are welcome to pick him up from my residence at the beginning of your time, and I will pick him up from you afterwards. Thanks for working this out, I'm glad we're able to put things aside for DS's sake. We'll be working together for the next 17 years so the best time to start is now!

Warmest Regards,
XW

Now...think about this for a second. He's kind of set himself up for failure here. Do you REALLY think he's going to show EVERY DAY for the next MONTH?? There has GOT to be a day here and there he cancels. So by default he's going to be failing to meet an adjustment of the agreement he offered. Go ahead and agree to 4 hours daily. Then when he cancels, just be charming and graceful and say no problem, we'll try again tomorrow. No guilt trip, nada. Just document how much he shows up. Then in court, you will have grounds to say well he wanted to see DS daily but that doesn't fit his schedule, can we have him pick up DS 3x a week for 4hrs?

See THAT is how you look reasonable. THAT is how you hold the cards. If you freak out on him wanting HIS OWN CHILD...you look unbalanced. Sorry, but it's true.

If he was as uninvolved as you say, then he won't last a month with a daily pick up schedule. If he's really ready to be this involved, than it's not a bad thing. Either way you're coming out ahead.

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
Humanist Woman Wife , & Friend Plus Mama to 6 (3 mos, 2, 9, 13, 17, 20)
Theoretica is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 08:09 PM
Banned
 
ginger_rodgers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 351
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post
I'm concerned about setting a precedent in terms of what the court will see on Feb 9th. If I let stbx take ds every day all day long, the judge will likely see that I agree to it, and that I think ds is okay with that arrangement, and will order it to continue. Which is NOT where I want to be in a month.
I think you're probably right. However, I'd also pay attention to what Steph is saying re her experience. You want it crystal-clear that you're not trying to stand in the way of your DS's relationship with his dad (and of course taking off to OR has hurt you there).

If I were you, I would go find a child psychologist (may be tough to do in your area) or other ages 0-5 development specialist and get expert advice on how to manage this transition for ds. Invite stbx along, but go, discuss your concerns, see what the expert says about how to ease ds into this without traumatizing him. That way you can go to a judge and show that yes, you're interested in their having a good relationship, but you'd like to do it in some way that's reasonable given the fact that ds is a baby and has never been in his father's sole care before. You can also let that expert recommend your stbx take some parenting classes on developmental stages and get some support for caring for the baby. This will becoming from the expert, not from you. It's tougher for a judge to dismiss the opinion of an expert than the "overemotional, hysterical, controlling, irresponsible, flight-risky" mom's opinion. And it will demonstrate that yes, you do want to foster their relationship, and are trying to do the right thing.
ginger_rodgers is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 08:16 PM
 
DanishMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post
Every day? Ds will go from being with me essentially 24/7 for the last 16 months, to being taken away from me all day, every day, and only brought home in the evening? I think that would be pretty devastating to my son. He's never known another caretaker. Not even his dad. I left because stbx wasn't involved. Ever. Not even a little bit. Ever.

The lack of involvement on stbx's part wasn't due to my leaving - it was present long before I left.

No, not every day. I do understand if he would want some extra time with your son in the beginning though. I'm thinking that if he could be with him two whole days a week that would be a good solution. I also do agree with the Harpy that it's going to be easier on your son if he'll learn to transition from mom's place to dad's place while he's young. Not saying that you should start overnights anytime soon but it's harder on kids if you wait until they are five or six - IMO

I don't blame you for having very negative emotions about your ex but believe me when I tell you that if your ex can become an involved dad in the future it's going to be so much easier on all of you. It will save both you and your son the heartache that comes with a dead beat dad. The pain that kids feel when they get older and realize that their dad doesn't care that much is indescribable and you would be the one to answer all the tough questions your son is going to ask.

The fact that he's been uninvolved does not mean that he has no love for his son or that it hasn't been really hard on him to be separated from him for two months. Spending time with him alone will get him involved. Of course it's sad that he didn't get involved sooner but it certainly is better than nothing. BTW, my dad was pretty uninvolved when I was a child but there is no doubt that he loves me a lot and we have a great relationship now and he is a great granddad to my son.

I think the most important thing here is that you need to look good in court after leaving the state for two months. I'm really worried how the judge will react to that. Above all you need legal counseling ASAP.
DanishMom is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 08:24 PM
 
DanishMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger_rodgers View Post
I think you're probably right. However, I'd also pay attention to what Steph is saying re her experience. You want it crystal-clear that you're not trying to stand in the way of your DS's relationship with his dad (and of course taking off to OR has hurt you there).

If I were you, I would go find a child psychologist (may be tough to do in your area) or other ages 0-5 development specialist and get expert advice on how to manage this transition for ds. Invite stbx along, but go, discuss your concerns, see what the expert says about how to ease ds into this without traumatizing him. That way you can go to a judge and show that yes, you're interested in their having a good relationship, but you'd like to do it in some way that's reasonable given the fact that ds is a baby and has never been in his father's sole care before. You can also let that expert recommend your stbx take some parenting classes on developmental stages and get some support for caring for the baby. This will becoming from the expert, not from you. It's tougher for a judge to dismiss the opinion of an expert than the "overemotional, hysterical, controlling, irresponsible, flight-risky" mom's opinion. And it will demonstrate that yes, you do want to foster their relationship, and are trying to do the right thing.
Great advice!
DanishMom is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 09:47 PM
 
grass67hopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great advice from Theoretica and GR!
Trust me, I know how difficult this is...
When you go back to Maine, you need to look like the most accommodating, flexible, wanting to have a good relationship between DS and X, non-controlling mama that ever lived.
Maybe do agree to a everyday. I'd drop DS with X (not have X come and pick him up) -- this shows that you are cooperating and willing to share. You may have to leave a screaming child... This really sucks, I know! But give X the chance to fail. Give him DS at lunch or nap time -- show him what it's really like! Even through dinner time and into pjs. Make it clear to him that he has to buy clothing, toys, etc.
It is going to kill you, but it may be a good way to have X come to his own conclusions. Yes, you will have to give DS extra nurturing and reassurance, and it will be difficult for him.
As PPs have said, if there is any evidence of abuse this is another story. But as I've seen, emotional abuse does not fly in court -- it has to be documented physical abuse.
Yes, this is a risk... But usually if you give a guy like this enough rope, he'll do the hanging all by himself.
Stay strong!
grass67hopper is offline  
Old 01-09-2009, 10:11 PM
 
wytchywoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: The Room of Requirement
Posts: 2,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think gr hit it spot on. I would definitely follow that advice.

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
wytchywoman is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
DogwoodFairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grass67hopper View Post
Great advice from Theoretica and GR!
Trust me, I know how difficult this is...
When you go back to Maine, you need to look like the most accommodating, flexible, wanting to have a good relationship between DS and X, non-controlling mama that ever lived.
Maybe do agree to a everyday. I'd drop DS with X (not have X come and pick him up) -- this shows that you are cooperating and willing to share. You may have to leave a screaming child... This really sucks, I know! But give X the chance to fail. Give him DS at lunch or nap time -- show him what it's really like! Even through dinner time and into pjs. Make it clear to him that he has to buy clothing, toys, etc.
It is going to kill you, but it may be a good way to have X come to his own conclusions. Yes, you will have to give DS extra nurturing and reassurance, and it will be difficult for him.
As PPs have said, if there is any evidence of abuse this is another story. But as I've seen, emotional abuse does not fly in court -- it has to be documented physical abuse.
Yes, this is a risk... But usually if you give a guy like this enough rope, he'll do the hanging all by himself.
Stay strong!
I totally agree with you here...I'm okay with stbx being with ds every day, just not ALL day. I dont think it will last too long, for obvious reasons. I think that I will have him come to ds the day after we get there, because we wont get in until 2 am, and jet lag, adjustment to yet another new place for ds...
I'm just not okay with having him whisked away from me the next morning. Plus ds will be cranky and want to be on the boob all day. I've flown with ds to Oregon twice before (once our stay was a duration of 1.5 months), so I know well how he needs to get his wits about him the next day after flying.

After that, though, I'm totally okay with stbx having him for 3-4 (to start) hour shifts, and I already told him that if he's comfortable with doing ds's naptime, then I'll concede. But he has to give ds a few days to get used to being w/stbx, AND he has to promise me that he's not going to let ds CIO. I stand strong in my personal belief that letting a baby (no matter how old) CIO is abusive. I dont care if he puts him in the car and drives around to get him to sleep, if thats what it takes. Stbx seemed okay with that being my only "rule". I also dont mind dropping ds off and picking him up.

I have already considered having ds do an overnight so that stbx can see what its really like to have a lo wake up every 30 minutes because he's teething, or too hot, or too cold, or because the cat sneezed 3 rooms away...wouldn't hurt anything for stbx to see what he's really signing on for, but I'll have to see how things go before I feel comfortable with that. Plus, stbx sleeps REALLY deeply, and uses a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, so he probably wouldnt wake up for ds anyway, especially with ds in another room all alone.

As for evidence of abuse, well, I'm sure a court wouldn't consider stbx's behavior abuse, so my definition doesnt matter. Here's an instance that I recall:
Ds was 4 months old. I left him with stbx for 3 hours to go to an appointment in another town. Ds was still ebf, and I had pumped a bunch of milk to leave with them (lol, I had milk pumped and frozen for MONTHS in the hope that the husband would take over for ONE night feeding, and it never happened). Anyway, I got a frantic call from stbx as I was leaving my appointment and still an hour drive away. Ds was screaming in the background. I asked how long he'd been crying, and stbx told "since you left 2.5 hours ago".
Me: Did you feed him? Is he hungry? Whats wrong?
Stbx: Well, I tried once to put the bottle in his mouth but he just chewed on the nipple instead of sucking, so I figured he didn't want it.
Me: When was that?
Stbx: 2 hours ago.
Me: And you havent tried to feed him again?
Stbx: Well, I didnt think he was hungry.
Me: Well, he might be NOW! Its been 2hours!
Stbx: He doesnt like the bottle nipple.
Me: Of course he doesnt! He's not used to it. That means you KEEP TRYING until he gets some milk in his tummy. Even if he has to chew the bottle nipple to get it. He doesnt have to suck to get milk, you know. Try an eye dropper, he needs to eat something.
Stbx: I'll just wait til you get here. You'll be here in an hour, right?

So, probably no one would consider it abuse. But I consider it neglect to not feed a baby for hours when he's screaming because he's hungry. What kind of person wouldn't try to feed a crying baby more than once in a 3 hour period? :
DogwoodFairy is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 05:05 AM
 
yogal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: mamaste
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
im confused doesnt your starbucks have a daytime job?

Also
In canada if there is no custody order your stbx could potentially keep your child and refuse to give him back and thats where i started and its been three years and i still dont have my son. i dont know where in the world you are but i would establish custody right away.
yogal is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
DogwoodFairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogal View Post
im confused doesnt your starbucks have a daytime job?

Also
In canada if there is no custody order your stbx could potentially keep your child and refuse to give him back and thats where i started and its been three years and i still dont have my son. i dont know where in the world you are but i would establish custody right away.
lol on the starbucks. Right now stbx has a winter contract to plow snow. He only works when it snows, in other words.

Last winter in Maine it was hell - it snowed every week, at least one or 2 days a wk. Nonetheless, he STILL wasn't home when it wasn't snowing. He spent his days when not plowing over at his friends, hanging out in the garage watching TV. For real. I was alone with a newborn baby for days on end because he preferred hanging out somewhere else. I suspected he was having an affair he was gone so much. I started checking his mileage. He would make excuses about having to be at his friend's garage to work on his truck or plow every.single.day. There were maybe 5-10 days when he wasnt plowing and stayed at home, and those days he laid on the couch and snored all day, as if HE had been the one up all night with a baby. I was SO sick last January with raging plugged milk ducts, I ended up getting mastitis and had a really high fever for 3 days. I asked him to PLEASE take ds downstairs for a while so I could get some sleep, and bring him to me every couple hours to nurse. He refused. Instead, I layed in bed with ds during the sweats and chills while I listened to stbx snoring on the couch downstairs. AARRRGGGHHH!

I heard that this winter isnt so bad with the snow accumulation, so potentially, stbx could be at home every day. Pray it snows. I am.
DogwoodFairy is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 12:21 PM
 
pinetree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First, I agree with you about CIO. However, the courts probably won't and they might view you as too controlling.

You also want to, as much as possible, never say no to his parenting time requests right now.

I agree with your reasoning, but you're looking at more than just that. You're looking at long run, not short run. Win the war even if you have to give up the battle.

I've learned something over the last while. The courts do not care about bad parenting as long as both parents are involved. They only care about dangerous parenting and even then they don't care as much as you'd like them too.

Another thing I've learned... no matter how uninvolved he has been. He's now mad at you. And so he'll hurt you whereever he can. He knows your son is important to you so he's going to try to hurt you through your son. CIO, though terrible, is small potatoes compared to what he could try and will try. Try to make this a non issue and he's like likely to do it deliberately just to annoy you. Because the courts don't care if he practices CIO. They just don't care.

When the courts hear that he's been uninvolved before but wants to be involved now, they're most likely to say, "Great! He needs the opportunity!" Because they have seen these types of cases go two ways... one way the dad actually does step up to the plate and become involved. The other, he plays super dad do for a while, discovers it's cramping his style and then he backs off or gives up. Since a dad could go either way, and the courts don't have the time to figure out what way he'll go when they rule, they give as many dads as they can the opportunity to try to be the good dad that they are claiming to be.

It sucks. Big time. But it's how the courts work.

Read about attachment issues in children. Something that comforts me is that children need a stable caregiver who meets their needs in a trustworthy manner in order to learn to bond properly. Your son has had that for 16 months and you are fighting to remain in his life so that even if he doesn't have that all the time, he'll get to return to that safe place with you. You will become his anchor in life and he will learn that even if others are not to be trusted, you will always be there for him. It'll involve a lot of you picking up the pieces for him when he returns from his dad's house. But you'll be his strong, stable support when he needs it.

Don't mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified it is not criticism, learn from it.
pinetree is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Theoretica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Inside my head (it's quiet here!)
Posts: 3,663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post
After that, though, I'm totally okay with stbx having him for 3-4 (to start) hour shifts, and I already told him that if he's comfortable with doing ds's naptime, then I'll concede. But he has to give ds a few days to get used to being w/stbx, AND he has to promise me that he's not going to let ds CIO. I stand strong in my personal belief that letting a baby (no matter how old) CIO is abusive. I dont care if he puts him in the car and drives around to get him to sleep, if thats what it takes. Stbx seemed okay with that being my only "rule". I also dont mind dropping ds off and picking him up.

I have already considered having ds do an overnight so that stbx can see what its really like to have a lo wake up every 30 minutes because he's teething, or too hot, or too cold, or because the cat sneezed 3 rooms away...wouldn't hurt anything for stbx to see what he's really signing on for, but I'll have to see how things go before I feel comfortable with that. Plus, stbx sleeps REALLY deeply, and uses a CPAP machine for sleep apnea, so he probably wouldnt wake up for ds anyway, especially with ds in another room all alone.
Now you're thinking!

Three points:

You cannot control the CIO issue. The courts don't care, you come across as micromanaging, and your stbx KNOWS he's got something he can do to get to you. Let it go. Be the 100% AP mama when DS is with you, but don't think about what stbx does. For all you know, he might not let DS CIO but might TELL you he does, just to get you hysterical. Let. It. Go.

I think sending DS over his naptime is fantastic. Dealing with a nap-crabby toddler can wear on anyone's nerves, so this is an ideal situation for him to play daddy, since he's so hell bent on it. I'd suggest sending him about an hour and a half or so before naptime. That way they get some playtime and DS will DEFINITELY be tired and ready for it w/daddy. If he is ONLY going over during naptime you'll have a crabby toddler later that night...potentially every night...and you'll be disrupting DS's schedule, something you want to demonstrate you are NOT doing.

Don't offer to do all the transportation. Period. STBX needs to pick DS up FROM you. This is important because the responsibility for the visit lies with STBX and not with you. HE will have to show up or it's a failed visit. If YOU are responsible for transportation than it's ALL on you to make sure the visit happens. You be the one to pick up so you can make sure the visit doesn't 'accidentally' take an extra few hours. The judge will like that transportation is shared anyways, makes you look really fair.

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
Humanist Woman Wife , & Friend Plus Mama to 6 (3 mos, 2, 9, 13, 17, 20)
Theoretica is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 03:46 PM
 
grass67hopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great posts form Pinetree and Theoretica.
Once you are set in Maine, take notes on EVERYTHING with dates and times!
When he picks up / when you pick up, how DS is after visits, did DS eat, did DS nap, did X leave DS with someone else, etc. -- do not use all of the notes ('cause that will make you look too controlling), but have them and use what is pertinent (your attorney can advise you). Oh, and take pics whenever you can -- it can help to prove your point about negative things. For example: if X is late, take a picture so that you can prove he's late; is there a carseat in his car, his house, if he's smoking around DS, etc.
Also, it sounds like you know X's behavior and when he likes to hang with friends. If he likes a particular football team and is always with friends then, it's a perfect time to insist on visitation.
And start structuring your life in Maine so that you can do some things for yourself and get a job. Not only would getting a job make you look really responsible, but X would have to adhere to your schedule! Of course you being the totally responsible mama that you are, you will have to make back-up plans because you can bet he's not going to show consistently.
You're really putting yourself together -- be proud!
grass67hopper is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 05:04 PM
 
lilyka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 17,896
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
here is what I had to do . . . suck it uip and take standard visitation. I think it gives xh waymore than I am comfortable with and way less than he wants. fortunately we can work together and live close by.

file for divorce or se[peration immidiately and a temporary custody and child support agrrement will go into effect right away. this is usually standard visitiation. here that means one day a week and every other weekend. a child your sons age would not be given any special consideration by the courts as a infant. the more you fight it the worse it will be for everyone. pick a day of the week. decide who you will alternate weekends, and when xh comes to pick him up put a big smile on your face, kiss your son good bye, tell him to have a good time with his dad and mean it. relay any important information to his dad and ask him if he needs anything. other things you can do to be pleasent and cooperative. offer to have a family dinner once a week (you said he gets along well with your family, invite him over.), get a web cam, call nightly for ds to say hey and tell him goodnight. all these things will go along way to show the courts you are being more than generous, promoting a bond between son and his dad, and being more than cooperative. it also shows your son that you want the best for him and that you are truely ok with him loving his daddy.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

lilyka is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 05:47 PM
 
grass67hopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gee, Lilyka, I think I need to take some nice lessons from you.
grass67hopper is offline  
Old 01-10-2009, 05:51 PM
 
Bad Mama Jama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locale so Secret that I Don't Know
Posts: 4,891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanishMom View Post
No, not every day. I do understand if he would want some extra time with your son in the beginning though. I'm thinking that if he could be with him two whole days a week that would be a good solution. I also do agree with the Harpy that it's going to be easier on your son if he'll learn to transition from mom's place to dad's place while he's young. Not saying that you should start overnights anytime soon but it's harder on kids if you wait until they are five or six - IMO

I don't blame you for having very negative emotions about your ex but believe me when I tell you that if your ex can become an involved dad in the future it's going to be so much easier on all of you. It will save both you and your son the heartache that comes with a dead beat dad. The pain that kids feel when they get older and realize that their dad doesn't care that much is indescribable and you would be the one to answer all the tough questions your son is going to ask.

The fact that he's been uninvolved does not mean that he has no love for his son or that it hasn't been really hard on him to be separated from him for two months. Spending time with him alone will get him involved. Of course it's sad that he didn't get involved sooner but it certainly is better than nothing. BTW, my dad was pretty uninvolved when I was a child but there is no doubt that he loves me a lot and we have a great relationship now and he is a great granddad to my son.

I think the most important thing here is that you need to look good in court after leaving the state for two months. I'm really worried how the judge will react to that. Above all you need legal counseling ASAP.
: I have to agree here. I think the judge or referee will be able to come up with a schedule and you all have to find peace with it. I don't see the judge saying everyday, all day. I can however see the judge saying there will be set times such as 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. one or two evenings gradually until they are able to build up to overnight visitation. The reality is, no matter how ugly it may be, we created these children with someone and until they do something to get their parental rights snatched or completely drop off the face of the earth (which it seems that mine has done ) we will have to deal with the other party involved. I am sorry that you are not pleased with his notion of taking you into court, but please remember you want to give the appearance of keeping your son accessible to his dad, otherwise, the courts will make it messier for the both of you.

Former dreads.gifwearing, treehugger.gifing, pole dancing, read.gifpushing, ribbonpurple.gifsurvivor & single mama extraordinaire to energy.gif.  

Now that's a mouthful!!! computergeek2.gif & follow it!   

 

Bad Mama Jama is offline  
Old 01-11-2009, 06:19 AM
 
pranamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 5,003
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
are you chatting with your ex, if so , I would switch to email, and keep all your tones bland and businesslike, even better if you can get an attorney to do the communicating with his attorney.

Do not let him feel you out for vulnerabilities. There are 2 ways to do visits. One is you let him have standard, with overnights the other is do something unusual like several hours every day, most moms work this out to avoid overnights.

It seems like your ex has an agenda, which is another reason to have less exchanges there is less opportunities for him to make up crap about you and lie to the courts about it.

If you are ok to granting overnights, just stick to the fact that you need your time uninterrupted state, and restate, I want my weekend and am willing to give him his weekend and I don't want my time with the child chopped up.

You don't owe him anything for taking off with the kid, it was your right and you are back before the court ordered you back, so don't act like you feel guilty or owe him anything, he could have gone in the first day you were gone and got an order for you to return the child.
pranamama is offline  
Old 01-11-2009, 07:51 AM
 
Geraldine_L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socks for Supper View Post

However, NO. You cannot take him from his Mama every day, especially since he hasnt seen you in 2 months. That will scare him.
The court will argue that's what you did to him/your son. You will have to give some make-up time to show you're willingness to parent together or they'll think you're keeping him for yourself.
Geraldine_L is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off