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#1 of 5 Old 02-27-2010, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So DSC's mom called the other day, after not calling since christmas (when she didnt talk to them either because it was 1030 at night). Anyway she has only visited with them once in the past 6 months even though she has eow for 8 hours. She claims its because she has no job so no money and lives an hour and a half away and no car so she cant make it down. The court order says that she must visit them in our county because of some past drug issues.

Anyway, she got very mad that DP said she would have to try later because we have a very busy schedule. (we also dont plan around someone who is so inconsiderate and flaky with their visitations and contact) Anyway she tried last night but the kids are at their grandparents so DP said they weren't home and that they'd be back sometime on sunday (we dont have a specific time set). So she starts texting him saying that he is keeping them from her that she will go to court and will get them where she lives over night EOW. but she has no transportation no job and has only come to 8 out of 23 possible visitation weekends which is like 34%. She also left the county with them once(we have pictures to prove it) which violates the court order and moved without notifying the courts. She missed 2 of the court hearings when this all started. She has also never paid a penny of the child support she is supposed to so several thousand behind. If she does try to go back to court (which with not having a job transportation or money seems unlikely) it would be an empty threat right?

I think she just did it to try to scare DP into doing something for her. And the only thing he said when she got angry was that she wasn't doing them any favors by neglecting to call or visit for months then harass us for a week because she feels bad. The kids refer to me as their mom (no prompting from us) and are really happy with us, not that were trying to kick their mom out of the picture shes done that to herself. When she pops up and says stuff like this it just makes me so nervous that something crazy will happen. But DP has had sole custody (she has no medical or educational say etc) for the past 3 yrs. Which would also prove something to a judge right?

Katie, Enjoying my time with my love Josh:, kiddos Kendel '01 and Xander '03 and our furry beast Sherman '08:
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#2 of 5 Old 02-27-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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I cannot imagine that in your situation the court would make a drastic change to the schedule or custody, like giving mom significantly more time. It might backfire on her and simply put into place a notification clause because of her history of not exercising her parenting time regularly (so, for example, that she has to notify your husband a certain length of time before her weekend to let him know whether or not she is planning to exercise her parenting time).

If she can make a good case that it would be easier for her to exercise her visitation with some modifications (like overnights in her area, you sharing the burden of transportation, etc) I could see a judge listening to that. But if there are good reasons she doesn't have those things now (ie the drug issue in the past) and those things haven't changed, it doesn't seem like even that would carry a lot of weight.

That's my two-cents, for whatever it's worth.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#3 of 5 Old 02-28-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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She's not likely to get far with it. However.... if the kids are unavailable, it might behoove Dad to make sure that they call her back. That's kind of common courtesy. Even (especially) if she doesn't show it, a good thing to model for the children.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-28-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
I cannot imagine that in your situation the court would make a drastic change to the schedule or custody, like giving mom significantly more time. It might backfire on her and simply put into place a notification clause because of her history of not exercising her parenting time regularly (so, for example, that she has to notify your husband a certain length of time before her weekend to let him know whether or not she is planning to exercise her parenting time).

If she can make a good case that it would be easier for her to exercise her visitation with some modifications (like overnights in her area, you sharing the burden of transportation, etc) I could see a judge listening to that. But if there are good reasons she doesn't have those things now (ie the drug issue in the past) and those things haven't changed, it doesn't seem like even that would carry a lot of weight.
I think Aricha is quite right, on both points... and I bet that, deep down, you knew these things before she said them.

But I completely understand your anxiety! I'm also a custodial step-mom. Intellectually, I know that after all the crap it took for my husband to get custody, his ex no longer has much credibiltiy and the Court is highly unlikely to shake up our lives too much, based on the trivial things she now complains about. (What!? My husband used to visit for 9-10 days and you'd let him have 6 hours with your kid... and now you say HE's restricting YOUR access because when YOU visit for 9-10 days, we want ONE NIGHT to touch base with the kid at home?!?!?)

But emotionally you and I are in a precarious position. We have all the responsibilities and attachment of being mothers to these kids - due to their own mothers' crappy choices - but we're NOT Mom and we live in a society that still tends to presume kids belong with their moms. It's natural to fear some abysmal string of mistakes where the Mom misrepresents things to a judge who winds up sympathizing with her and our lives and families get turned upside-down, when we're the ones who've struggled so long to do the right thing! Just hang in there. Nothing will come of this.

As far as phone contact, we've gone around and around with my step-son's mom. At times she's gone 10 days without calling or returning the kid's calls, then she'll accuse my husband of interfering with phone access because allegedly the kid's cell phone was off at some point... Or she'll demand that the kid be available to her at the same time every day, regardless what homework/sports/play dates, etc. he has going on. She chooses to live across the country and only visit 2-3 times a year, but her calls are supposed to be more important than ANYTHING else going on in his life. Here are the guidelines my husband finally came up with:

* My step-son can call his Mom any time he wants (except homework, dinner and bedtime), on any phone he wants. If Mom can't get through to him on his own cell phone, she is welcome to call our house phone, my husband's cell or mine. We're not concerned with her displeasure over the possibility that my husband or I might answer her call. It's not unreasonable for people to try to reach a kid on his parent's phone.

* If she calls on one of our phones, we'll let the kid talk if he's available. If not, we will take responsibility to see that he calls her back within 24 hours - on the same day, if possible.

* However, we are not going to spend our lives stressing and nagging about the kid's cell phone. We will never confiscate it. But we're not keeping track of how often he uses it to call her, or whether he answers it when she calls him. We're not charging it, or finding it when he loses it in the bottom of his messy toy box, or replacing it when he ruins it by having it in his pocket while he rides through a rain puddle because his mother demanded that he carry it at all times.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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#5 of 5 Old 03-01-2010, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your responses. Yes he should have them call her back but she goes for months and months without calling and then acts as if she has been trying to reach them forever. They never ask to call her or really mention her at all. In fact our 8yo DSD doesn't even remember her name half the time. Its just frustrating that she picks one week out of several months to call and if we dont get right back to her its as if were the bad guys.
Thanks for easing my anxieties about the whole thing. Its just such an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness to think she could take them from us just because she's "mom". . Good luck to you all too!

Katie, Enjoying my time with my love Josh:, kiddos Kendel '01 and Xander '03 and our furry beast Sherman '08:
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