Is it ever a good idea to split up two siblings? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my SO's ex's latest demand for a custody change (the change is occurring because she is choosing to move 5 hours away for a job and to be closer to her boyfriend, who she is currently cheating on in front of her kids, even though she received a job offer 45 minutes away...you can probably ignore this info, I'm just ranting now :)  )  is she get to take her 7 year old son for the school year and we get the 9 year old daughter for the school year and then they switch for summer and holidays. This is AFTER she agreed (after much debating over details) that we get both kids for the school year and she get them for the summers and holidays. Of course we have not gotten the custody legalized yet, so she wants to change it.

 

Anyway, I could speculate all day what her motivations on but that does no one any good. What I am curious about is, has anyone here decided to split up two siblings and if so, why do you feel that was best? I am wondering if there is any argument she could come up with to make it seem like splitting the kids is best for them. She seems to think her son would prefer the arrangement (he probably would at this point) and her daughter wouldn't care, but her daughter has expressed to us that she will be very upset if she is separated from her brother like that. They basically would never see each other other than on the occasional weekend when one parent made a trip to see the other kid (outside of the regular holiday schedule). They get along pretty well and only have what seems to be the typical sibling rivalry stuff going on. They do play together often, more than they fight.

 

To me, there is no way she will get this approved by any judge, no matter how deranged, but I guess stranger things have happened and I want us to be prepared for whatever kind of arguments she could come up with as far as why this would be a good idea. She keeps implying it is best of the kids and my SO wants to keep both kids together "for his own selfish reasons". Personally, I think it would be cruel to split them up and as older children or adults, they will resent us for splitting them up and not letting them know each other. I know I resent my father for not allowing me to form a relationship with my half brother and sister, and I didn't spend the first 7 or 8 years of my life growing up with them!

 

 

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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Whaaat?!!!!  I have a really hard time imagining a situation in which this arrangement would be best for the kids (though I apologize if there are circumstances out there that have necessitated this for others!) I agree that a judge is very unlikely to sign off on this without serious extenuating circumstances, and I can only imagine how bad this would make her look.  There is a type of custody for this situation, called "split" custody, I believe, but I dont' know of anyone who has it.  I would be so sad to think of my kids not only basically growing up not ever living together, but also losing the benefit of sharing the shared home experience together and supporting each other through that. 

 

Again, I can't really think of a circumstance where I would agree to this at all.  I would definitely take my chances in court before I would do agree to this.  Good luck! I hope you get something agreeable in writing soon. 


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Old 04-24-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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When my parents divorced my dad took the boys and my mom took me and my sister. Worst decision ever. I missed my brothers horribly and now as adults we have a hard time. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:45 PM
 
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We had some neighbors who did this. It was HORRID for the children. They never saw each other. The little girl said once it was like her brother had died.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 04-25-2012, 05:00 AM
 
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No way.  That woman is not thinking about what's best for the kids, only her whimsical self.  So the kids would NEVER see each other?  Never spend vacations or holidays together?  But at least SHE would feel good, having one kid or the other with her, all the time?  

 

How the censored.gif does she propose explaining to her daughter why she wants to keep her little brother, but isn't even asking to keep her?  It's not like the son is still a nursing infant and the daughter is 1st in her class at some exclusive high school across the street from your house.  They're only 2 years apart!

 

If I recall your circumstances correctly, your DH is inclined to cave in to his ex, for fear of making her more difficult?  This should be the last straw.  If he wasn't sure, before, whether she had the kids' best interests at heart, he should take this as the final proof that she doesn't.  He needs to take a stand.  He is the better parent.  He should have primary custody.  

 

And his ex should be ordered to put money into a savings account, to pay for their daughter's psychologist later.  (I know that won't actually happen.  It's my rant.  I've had my fill, this week, of completely self-centered biological mothers...banghead.gif)

 

 


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Old 04-25-2012, 05:43 AM
 
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I think that this situation sounds horrible for the kids.  My nieces (biologically they are my DH's much younger first cousins) were split up when their mother died, but it was because the younger one had already been staying with my SIL and her cousins throughout her mother's illness, and the older sister, who is mildly autistic, was more comfortable in a quieter setting, with someone comfortable with finding her the specialized help she needs.  She's currently with my MIL, who also fosters two young adults who are in the mental health system and slowly preparing for independent living.  This really was a best situation for the kids (four years apart) and was based on their needs, not adult selfishness.  They also see each other nearly every day.  This is a very different situation than adults just deciding what is more convenient for them.


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Old 04-25-2012, 05:52 AM
 
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Don't agree to this! Your kids need each other. In the beginning my ex and I shared custody. My son started attending school,living with us mon-fri, after he started having serious trouble at school. It took years for my daughter to articulate how stressful that had been for her. At the time (she was 12 and he was 10) she never let on that it bothered her at all. She started therapy about two years ago. She says it was bad enough dealing with the divorce, but when her brother moved home (they both chose to live here full time a few years ago) it was like the family disintegrated. If I had to do it all over again I would have petitioned for primary custody of both.


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Old 04-25-2012, 06:38 AM
 
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A judge would NEVER split siblings in a trial. Nor would they think it a good idea AT ALL. Do not agree to this. A GAL would also think it was a horrible idea. (I mean, there is always the possibility of getting a loony judge, but I think the chances that the judge would be THAT loony are slim to none)

 

Did you get the last agreement (about both kids living with you during the school year) in writing? If so, take it to court and say she's changing her mind and making life more difficult than necessary.

 

I know courts are difficult, take forever, and crazy stressful (I've been through 2 custody battles in 2 years - its HELL I know), but they are sometimes the best way to get people to settle down and get things over with, especially if a judge is leaning one way over the other.

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Old 04-25-2012, 06:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

We had some neighbors who did this. It was HORRID for the children. They never saw each other. The little girl said once it was like her brother had died.

 


This almost made me cry. How awful!!

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! You are just saying what I already thought, but I just wanted to know if I was being unreasonable. I forgot to mention she already told the 7 year old something like, "You are going to get to stay with me during the school year and Lily will go with Dad if Dad let's us work this agreement out." She told the 9 year old nothing and the 9 year old had to find out by hearing her brother tell her dad that he's going with mom and she is staying with him duh.gif  She told he dad later that she has no idea why he said that because she believes they are staying with dad all school year. My SO has repeatedly asked her not to discuss these things with the kids until she has discussed them with him, but she doesn't listen of course. So we had to tell the 7 year old that is not what is happening.  Fortunately, we don't think the 9 year old likes her mother very much. She never misses her (but does tell dad she misses him on the phone when at mom's) and although she never really says anything directly bad about mom (yet), she knows that mom does "wrong" things that make her feel uncomfortable and "embarrassed"  (like the recent hiking trip where mom's boyfriend was nowhere in sight but some other man came along, had dinner at their house and stayed after the kids left...). I honestly think she would be fine with rarely seeing her mom, but I know it's not her choice. No matter what happens, it will be VERY hard on the 7 year old who is attached to mom and has already had some negative effects from the separation and divorce (such as stuttering).

 

And this is the last straw. My SO has repeatedly told her no, despite her guilt trips and telling him that he is being selfish. I keep urging him to just get the paperwork done (although he claims he can't complete the  custody change paperwork until she tells him what her income in? Not sure why...but can't he just estimate and then have it adjusted later since she will not cooperate??) and sent in so we know exactly where she stands as far as if she really wants to go to court. She is a very intelligent person and I really believe she knows she would lose in court, so she is just trying to badger him into agreeing. I've backed off lately as far as helping compose emails to her and such  because the stress of it all was too much for me, and she has probably noticed his emails have become more about giving her what she wants and saw it as a good time to pounce and try for something else. My bet is if he just keeps saying no, she will back off.

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

 

And his ex should be ordered to put money into a savings account, to pay for their daughter's psychologist later.  (I know that won't actually happen.  It's my rant.  I've had my fill, this week, of completely self-centered biological mothers...banghead.gif)

 

 

 

This reminded me of something else she did recently...the kids had about $1800 in a savings account and a CD that my SO's PARENTS bought for the kids a few years ago. Without telling him, she cashed them out and then emailed him and said she'd send him half the money :/ So yeah, I doubt she'll put money away for anything Cuss.gif

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:18 AM
 
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I knew a pair of twin boys who fought very violently and had to be separated for half their childhood.

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PixieAlly View Post

Thanks everyone! You are just saying what I already thought, but I just wanted to know if I was being unreasonable. I forgot to mention she already told the 7 year old something like, "You are going to get to stay with me during the school year and Lily will go with Dad if Dad let's us work this agreement out." She told the 9 year old nothing and the 9 year old had to find out by hearing her brother tell her dad that he's going with mom and she is staying with him duh.gif  She told he dad later that she has no idea why he said that because she believes they are staying with dad all school year. My SO has repeatedly asked her not to discuss these things with the kids until she has discussed them with him, but she doesn't listen of course. So we had to tell the 7 year old that is not what is happening.  Fortunately, we don't think the 9 year old likes her mother very much. She never misses her (but does tell dad she misses him on the phone when at mom's) and although she never really says anything directly bad about mom (yet), she knows that mom does "wrong" things that make her feel uncomfortable and "embarrassed"  (like the recent hiking trip where mom's boyfriend was nowhere in sight but some other man came along, had dinner at their house and stayed after the kids left...). I honestly think she would be fine with rarely seeing her mom, but I know it's not her choice. No matter what happens, it will be VERY hard on the 7 year old who is attached to mom and has already had some negative effects from the separation and divorce (such as stuttering).

 

And this is the last straw. My SO has repeatedly told her no, despite her guilt trips and telling him that he is being selfish. I keep urging him to just get the paperwork done (although he claims he can't complete the  custody change paperwork until she tells him what her income in? Not sure why...but can't he just estimate and then have it adjusted later since she will not cooperate??) and sent in so we know exactly where she stands as far as if she really wants to go to court. She is a very intelligent person and I really believe she knows she would lose in court, so she is just trying to badger him into agreeing. I've backed off lately as far as helping compose emails to her and such  because the stress of it all was too much for me, and she has probably noticed his emails have become more about giving her what she wants and saw it as a good time to pounce and try for something else. My bet is if he just keeps saying no, she will back off.

 

The courts will require her to bring in a pay stub. If she is changing jobs they will require an offer letter showing her income. If they do child support at all (courts are now starting to handle custody and child support matters in different court rooms with different judges, so as to completely separate the issues - in small towns this is not necessarily true as there are sometimes fewer resources for that sort of thing).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PixieAlly View Post

 

This reminded me of something else she did recently...the kids had about $1800 in a savings account and a CD that my SO's PARENTS bought for the kids a few years ago. Without telling him, she cashed them out and then emailed him and said she'd send him half the money :/ So yeah, I doubt she'll put money away for anything Cuss.gif

 

Document Document Document. This is an area where YOU can help (most things your SO needs to do - but if you hoard some paperwork neatly and keep a journal he will thank you later).

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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OP, I'm beating a dead horse but HOLY EFFING CRAP no WAY would that be okay. Is this lady out of her mind?

 

As a kid, I dealt with a boat load of craziness...our mom was a mess, men coming and going, bad step dads, etc etc....my only saving grace was my siblings.

 

Kids in more stable, "typical" situations need their siblings. Kids in less stable, not-so-typical situations REALLY need their siblings. I don't know how I would have made it out of my childhood in one piece without my sisters and my brother. We're still close to this very day.

 

It is insanely important for kids going through this kind of thing to have each other. No one else can truly relate to what they are really going through. No one else can TRULY grasp their perspective. They need each other. This mom is sucking hard right now. :(

I know you said it's stressful, but maybe it's time to be more "hands on" again. :/


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Old 04-26-2012, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE:

 

Now, this is according to a nine year old, but according to her, the ex sat the kids down and something like, "Okay, I am going to let you two decide who you want to live with and when you let me know what you've decided, I will go to court and fight for what you want."  She said this to a NINE and SEVEN year old. WTF?  My SO told the 9 year old that is not correct and to not worry about choosing anyone because he and her mom will figure it all out for her :/
 

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:33 PM
 
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That is really terrible.

Since she is the one moving, it is more likely your partner will be awarded custody for the school year...she'd have to make a very strong case for disrupting their lives by pulling them out of their current schools, and no way would a court agree to split them up.

It sounds like she will spin out of her own volition, please just try to maintain civility and be stable for those poor kids!

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Old 04-26-2012, 10:56 PM
 
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UGH!!  WOW.  My dad had 3 sons 20 yrs. older than me (and 22 and 23 years older)  They were teenagers when they, at different times, but as I can gather, not the *same* time, chose to live with my parents.  They were old enough to choose,  That is the only situation where I would think that splitting would be OK--provided the child is not choosing for reasons such as choosing to live with a parent who enforces no boundaries.  (I have a family member like that too, teenager missed over a month of school--all but TWO days were with one parent.  Their split arrangement--one week at each place--quickly became weekends only with the one that didn't enforce school.)

 

ETA mom probably knows the girl would rather live with dad, but POOR GIRL.  and my kids are 7 5 3 and 1 and I can't imagine them not together.  even though they fight.


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Old 04-27-2012, 06:30 AM
 
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RE:  Your update where Mom told the kids to choose where they want to live and that she'll fight for whatever they want.

 

She and my DH's ex evidently read the same parenting books.winky.gif  My DSS's mother has been trying to convince judges he was "mature" enough to decide for himself where he wanted to live (and also has been trying to manipulate his answer, of course) since he was only 5.  She, too, makes very self-centered decisions about where and how to live her life, then discusses her choices with DSS as though everything she does is some selfless act for love of him.

 

I'm so glad to hear that, even though your DSD might opt to live with you and your SO, you guys still understand how inappropriate and hurtful it would be, for her to feel like she must choose between her parents.  If she will live apart from her mother, she should not have to feel she sought or orchestrated it!  How can that not be obvious, to a mother???


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