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#1 of 16 Old 11-11-2012, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are going into court next week to try to resolve our custody case and I am very worried about the outcome. My state is very pro 50/50 custody unless there is an issue of safety. I am afraid he will use this to try to further control my life.

For years he could not be bothered to be a parent, unless it was a public event. Even when he moved in with his parents three years ago he would come over to visit with his "stuff", but neglect to spend any time with his kids. He has been slowly building more time with them, but when I started dating again, he decided to become "superdad" and I was the one that was now seen as unfit to parent. He has a history of depression, anger, lying, manipulative, controlling and unpredictable behavior. He still lives with his parents, doesn't work, but has been going to school for 9 years. He has a typical overbearing mother who thinks their son can do no wrong even in glaringly abusive situations, everything is my fault. If you give this man an inch, he will take a mile.

I worked so hard to get away from him, and I am very afraid that he will use having a 50/50 split to continue to pressure me. Has any one else been in this situation? Any advice/consolation.
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#2 of 16 Old 11-11-2012, 06:55 PM
 
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Well, that is extremely stressful. I got through my own custody litigation in May - and I am so glad that it is over. Your lawyer should be helping you prepare. Keep good records of *everything* - and have witnesses to your parenting abilities. You need two things basically - you need to show that you are a fit parent and that it is in the best interest of the children to be with you. There is legal custody (decision making) and physical custody (who spends time where), and then there is visitation.

 

Have you had a custody evaluation? The judge ordered one here, which was done at the court's expense.

 

Keep a journal w/ records of any problems that happen, all visitations, etc.

 

Mine turned out well, for me and the children, but it was a nightmare experience. Get a good lawyer and hope for a good judge. Mine was very interested in evidence and had strong opinions about failures in parenting that my EX had made (e.g. leaving the children alone at a hotel while he went out).

 

Lastly - no matter what, you will need to co-parent with the father until the children are at least 18. Controlling or not, you'll need to figure out how you can manage the situation for the best possible outcome fo ryour kids and yours.

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#3 of 16 Old 11-12-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goylesgirl View Post

We are going into court next week to try to resolve our custody case and I am very worried about the outcome. My state is very pro 50/50 custody unless there is an issue of safety. I am afraid he will use this to try to further control my life.
For years he could not be bothered to be a parent, unless it was a public event. Even when he moved in with his parents three years ago he would come over to visit with his "stuff", but neglect to spend any time with his kids. He has been slowly building more time with them, but when I started dating again, he decided to become "superdad" and I was the one that was now seen as unfit to parent. He has a history of depression, anger, lying, manipulative, controlling and unpredictable behavior. He still lives with his parents, doesn't work, but has been going to school for 9 years. He has a typical overbearing mother who thinks their son can do no wrong even in glaringly abusive situations, everything is my fault. If you give this man an inch, he will take a mile.
I worked so hard to get away from him, and I am very afraid that he will use having a 50/50 split to continue to pressure me. Has any one else been in this situation? Any advice/consolation.

 

i'm going through something similar, and am hesitant to post about it anywhere searchable. where are you at currently w/the case? were you married before? what is your current arrangement?


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#4 of 16 Old 11-12-2012, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He currently has three days a week- wich he totally bullied himself into, and although I take responsibility for letting him do that, I think my lawyer should have been more supportive and encouraged me not to give into it.

We are going into an early intervention program to try and settle everything once and for all, the only time I was in court was for temporary orders. We had a GAL who I thought was supportive of me, but apparently is recommending a 50/50 split. This was especially surprising since she spent a long time talking to one of my child's therapist who strongly believes this would not be in my daughter's best interest. I do not trust my ex, he caused a lot of problems between my eldest son (16) and myself, and also says things to my youngest son (3) as well. I can only imagine the picture he and his family have painted of me to the GAL, who I previously thought is trained to see through all that, but know I wonder.

I am sure their are others who have to split physical custody with controlling, manipulative others; how does it affect you? What have you done about it?
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#5 of 16 Old 11-12-2012, 07:15 PM
 
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Well, the custody evaluator here was heavily in favor of 50/50  - but the judge ignored her. There isn't really any professional training in "custody evaluations" and the research is shakey (children do best when both parents are involved - because they have two parents who are capable of being involved. 50/50 custody doesn't mean that you have two parents who are capable... anyhow...not to get to far afield). The judge in my case wasn't impressed *at all* with the custody evaluator (or GAL in your case, maybe) because of the evidence of poor parenting on the part of ex. As far as the judge was concerned that evidence outweighed anything that the custody evaluator has to say. So much of it depended, in my case, on the judge that we got and the case that my lawyers were able to make. They cross-examined ex on the stand it was painful because he was so unable to justify his behavior and the judge got in on it and it was pretty valudating for me.

 

Also make sure that your lawyer is absoutely clear on what you want. Write down the vistation schedule you think is good, and why. My judge asked for it and that was what he turned out to use in his ruling - exactly what I had asked for.

 

I hope it goes well - it is extremely stressful to have things come down to relying on what a judge decides. You also don't have to let the custody arrangments be a way for your ex to control you - he will have to follow what the court dictates - 50/50 or otherwise.

 

Roseadesal - you might make a different account - which is what I did when this all started coming down on me a couple year ago. I'd had an account from 2003 and left it and protected my id very carefully so that I'd still be able to come here to discus divorce related things.

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#6 of 16 Old 11-24-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goylesgirl View Post

We are going into court next week to try to resolve our custody case and I am very worried about the outcome. My state is very pro 50/50 custody unless there is an issue of safety. I am afraid he will use this to try to further control my life.
For years he could not be bothered to be a parent, unless it was a public event. Even when he moved in with his parents three years ago he would come over to visit with his "stuff", but neglect to spend any time with his kids. He has been slowly building more time with them, but when I started dating again, he decided to become "superdad" and I was the one that was now seen as unfit to parent. He has a history of depression, anger, lying, manipulative, controlling and unpredictable behavior. He still lives with his parents, doesn't work, but has been going to school for 9 years. He has a typical overbearing mother who thinks their son can do no wrong even in glaringly abusive situations, everything is my fault. If you give this man an inch, he will take a mile.
I worked so hard to get away from him, and I am very afraid that he will use having a 50/50 split to continue to pressure me. Has any one else been in this situation? Any advice/consolation.

I have no advice, just support. I've been married and divorced twice. (Once as a teen, I was forced into it, and once because I wanted to be.) I had a child in each marriage. Both marriages, divorces, custody cases were in the same state and city.

The first I left because we got married at 17 and he was abusing me after the birth of our child. A 2-year DVO was issued and CPS determined visitation, they said he was fit to parent. We ended up with 50/50.

The second left town one night (300 miles away) and didn't come back for 6 months, but he wasn't abusive. He got every other weekend. It really just depends on the judge and lawyers.


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#7 of 16 Old 11-25-2012, 12:04 PM
 
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how did this go?  I had been there.  I don't normally check this forum.... thinking of you hope it went well.
 


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#8 of 16 Old 11-25-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat as Rosadesal.  

 

 

Goylesgirl, how did it go?

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#9 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Court went as well as I could have hoped.  They did not do 50/50 but 60/40. I get 4 consecutive days, he gets three.  I am sad I will not really get to spend full weekends with him, but at least it will be simple and consistent for them, and the split gives me some advantage in the future if he tries to pull power plays on me.  I am frustrated with my lawyer, because it turns out the GAL was in my favor the whole time, and my lawyer misunderstood her when she said a 3/4 split and subsequently gave me misleading information.  Mostly though, I am still sad we had to go through all this, but relieved.

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#10 of 16 Old 11-26-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goylesgirl View Post

Court went as well as I could have hoped.  They did not do 50/50 but 60/40. I get 4 consecutive days, he gets three.  I am sad I will not really get to spend full weekends with him, but at least it will be simple and consistent for them, and the split gives me some advantage in the future if he tries to pull power plays on me.  I am frustrated with my lawyer, because it turns out the GAL was in my favor the whole time, and my lawyer misunderstood her when she said a 3/4 split and subsequently gave me misleading information.  Mostly though, I am still sad we had to go through all this, but relieved.

Frustrating about the GAL info, for sure. But I'm sooooo relieved for you that you get to be the most involved parent. Let him be the fun parent, or whatever style he is configuring. I'm learning quickly how superficial that all is. If you can get some therapy for the kids? Also, I hope you can have regular therapy for yourself. My X is abusive and manipulative, too. I feel for you, but I am hoping for a 60-40 miracle. In my mind right now and in my brief 3-month experience of 50-50, 60-40 is significantly better. Give yourself time to grieve. Be sure to find things to occupy yourself during the 40%. 

 

xo Congrats!

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#11 of 16 Old 11-29-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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Frustrating about the GAL info, for sure. But I'm sooooo relieved for you that you get to be the most involved parent. Let him be the fun parent, or whatever style he is configuring. I'm learning quickly how superficial that all is. If you can get some therapy for the kids? Also, I hope you can have regular therapy for yourself. My X is abusive and manipulative, too. I feel for you, but I am hoping for a 60-40 miracle. In my mind right now and in my brief 3-month experience of 50-50, 60-40 is significantly better. Give yourself time to grieve. Be sure to find things to occupy yourself during the 40%. 

 

xo Congrats!

how do you get them to agree to 60/40 instead of 50/50? my ex is playing it up like its no big deal to just do 50/50, especially because we've agreed to the support amount for 50/50 but i've requested 60/40. my reasoning has been mostly that it's what we've done in the past (actually, we've done 70/30, but whatever), and that it's important to not be rotating days during the school year...i'm running out of reasons to insist on this, to stand up against his "why not" attitude. we aren't going to court at this point, and he's mostly agreed with me to do 60/40, but i feel like i don't have a great argument, especially in a county that defaults to 50/50 whenever possible. i too agree, 60/40 is much better.


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#12 of 16 Old 11-29-2012, 01:18 PM
 
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how do you get them to agree to 60/40 instead of 50/50? my ex is playing it up like its no big deal to just do 50/50, especially because we've agreed to the support amount for 50/50 but i've requested 60/40. my reasoning has been mostly that it's what we've done in the past (actually, we've done 70/30, but whatever), and that it's important to not be rotating days during the school year...i'm running out of reasons to insist on this, to stand up against his "why not" attitude. we aren't going to court at this point, and he's mostly agreed with me to do 60/40, but i feel like i don't have a great argument, especially in a county that defaults to 50/50 whenever possible. i too agree, 60/40 is much better.

That's why I'm hoping for a miracle.

 

I've got a couple of professionals who will say X is not a healthy parent. At least one will be a significant voice for me when the Section 15 report is done. That's the court ordered assessment done by a child psychologist which will result in court recommendations. It won't be done until April. So I won't know just how extreme things have to be to shake the 50-50 standard until then.

 

So, in short, it takes a lot and a lot of money.

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#13 of 16 Old 12-02-2012, 07:34 AM
 
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My side of custody battle cost around 20,000 but it went to appellate court.( which cost $ 5,000 which was pretty inexpensive)

I don't know what his side cost him but I would imagine more or at least the same.

It is expensive.  I had family that helped me out and was able to repay most of it with tax returns..
 


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#14 of 16 Old 12-05-2012, 09:09 PM
 
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I empathize with your situation.  I have a controlling ex, and have been divorced around 5 years now.

 

He is going to try to keep controlling your life.  He is going to be a pain.  

 

I have to be careful not to be too friendly or nice with mine, because to him that's an opening to exploit.  

 

You will have to decide what hill you will die on - in other words, what decisions are so important that they'll be worth the conflict caused (and stress to you and your children) by doing it?

 

Mine has been coaching my son on what to say for a number of years, now.  If we go back to court, my son is older now and will probably repeat what his dad tells him to.  I will likely be screwed. These are the type of antics you might have to deal with.  And the court may not end up caring about them, unless you can prove things beyond a shadow of a doubt, and that requires you to dwell on the unhealthy aspects of your life a lot.

 

My advice is mainly this - say no only when it's very important to you.  Then, stick to it.  Don't be too friendly with your ex - it might seem like it's best for the kids, but in the long run, if he's controlling, it will hurt you (he will likely still think you're the same woman he has pushed around for however many years).  Try not to sweat the small things, no matter how upsetting they are.   Don't engage him - don't ever fight or argue.  State your decision, tell him the reasons why, and walk away.

 

Having a case manager, in the long term, can help a lot - they can unofficially do things.  My ex wouldn't allow me to pick up our son once, and I didn't call the police, but I did call the case manager who told him to cut it out.  It does help, to an extent.

 

More than anything, you have to be strong in a way that you didn't before.  But, you're sticking up for your kids, so that will make it easier.

 

Best of luck to you during this time, I'm sure you will get through it!  On the plus side, you can practice being assertive with your ex, and then you're all prepared for being assertive in the real world!

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#15 of 16 Old 01-06-2013, 03:35 PM
 
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bumping to keep me updated on posts.  

 

we've been doing 80/20 for four years here (sundays and tuesdays with her dad), and now my ex insists on 70/30.  it's one extra day a week, but it feels so heartbreaking to me.  and what's best, who knows?  my daughter is about to turn 8, loves her dad and he's really improved his parenting over the years.  so it is probably best for her, but my parenting ego hurts.  

 

we might try 3 days with him and 4 days here, and i will see if i can pop over and have tea with her one of the nights.  sigh.  complicating things: i am due to have a baby with my partner in april, so thinking we shouldn't start this new arrangement until the baby is a few months old.  i wouldn't want my daughter to equate me having a baby with me spending less time with her.  

 

blaa. 

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#16 of 16 Old 08-12-2013, 06:28 PM
 
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I hope someone sees this! The first post sounds exactly like my marriage. I call mine "Superdad" too! Too long to go into detail but mine refused to leave the house and being a stay home mom, I had no resources to leave. Judge told us to stay in the same house. Out divorce has been going on for 2 years!! Which is when he has done everything to look like the perfect pareny and to make me look tertible We've had a custody evaluator for almost a year ad a half. Tons of testing and hours. Was finally ordered to finish the report and although he said STBX was controlling and manipulative, he went the safe route and recommended 50/50. Because that's what he has with his own kids. My attorney says we have enough to fight it but it is up to me. This evaluator is well known in the area. No guarantee the judge will give me 60/40. Should I try and fight it or just agree? It's not like I would be dragging this out, it's already been dragged out!! Our hearing is the end of September. I guess the idea is just because r hasn't been involved or interested as a parent doesn't mean he isn't physically capable of it. Which is ludicrous to me. Lots of people are capable of parenting but that doesn't mean they are good at it or should do it! My kids are now 15 and 11. Which may be an issue as they are more independent now and can technically handle 50/50. What should I do? My lawyer says it would be only 2-4 more days in court if I fight custody. Kids would not be involved in that. He are already going to trial because he won't give me any assets so I'm already there. I want to do what is in their best interests and not mine but I can't help feeling like I will regret not trying to get 60/40. I have fought for them so long already. I probably have a snowflakes chance in hell of convincing the judge for 60/40 instead of evaluators recommendation. Any advice please??
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