Getting custody-sort of - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm new here. I regret that my first post is more a vent than anything, but I'm hoping for some practical advice on how to deal with my anger at our current situation.

The short version... last summer BioMom told DSS he was coming to live w/ us... DH had paperwork drawn up giving him custodial rights w/ no child support to or from her, but BM refused to sign. So, DSS stayed w/ her b/c DH didn't want to take custody unless it was done "right".

Same situation this summer, only now DH is agreeing to the terms:
* no paperwork giving DH custodial rights,
* BM reimbursing us for child support (DH has it automatically deducted from his paycheck),
* no additional support money from her.
This is supposed to be for a 6 month "trial period", then she will consider going to court.

DH agrees it's unlikley we'll get reimbursed and he's afraid BM will try to yank DSS out of our house the first time she's upset about something. But, he thinks we'll have a better chance of getting custody if DSS is already living with us. I see his point, but I'm so angry with him for agreeing to this I can't see straight.
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#2 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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Can I have you look at it this way?

You are angry at your husband for doing what ever he can for HIS child. He is putting HIS CHILD first and you are mad.

I will agree with you it is not the best way to go about gaining custody but it is his child. He is making a major sacrifice for a person that should matter most. It is sad that he (and you) has to put up with the ex's bs but look at it from a different positive perspective. You have a man that wants and loves his child.

Yes this might mean some sacrifice from you. It might mean more work from you but he had his child before you came along. Don't be angry when he does what he should and puts his child first.

That money and your inconvience you are loosing is not worth more than your dh's child. You will be lucky if you and this man have children. Why? Because he will put his children in the proper priority in his life.

At this board, we have women that battle there ex's because they won't do and that put their new wife/girlfriend above their children. We all feel sorry for the kids. Now you have a good man that isn't doing this and you are angry at him for it. Please change your point of view it sounds like you have a good man that is a good father.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 02:44 PM
 
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Wow, that sounds like an awful situation. I have BTDT, been down that road and back again. It sucks.

I have a differnet prespective that Marsupialmom. I actually think he should NOT take the "deal" she is offering him. It's very manipulative and leaves her holding all her cards. If you DH files for custody, she could easily rip him out of your house, so the "he lives with us already" argument will be non-existant for you DH. And I'm guessing she WOULD do this - she has that deal set up that way for a reason. I think him taking the deal is what is best for HIM, not for his son. It's easier for your DH to not fight her. It's easier for him to give in to her than it is to go the routes of the courts. IMO, this is NOT what is best for his son. It will create a volatile, unpredictable situation for the child.

Has he talked with a lawyer? I suggest you push him (or nudge him at least) to do so ASAP. Does he have her "deal" in writing? If not, maybe he can get her to write it out and then use that against her down the line. She should not have all those terms met, by any means, and any court would agree.

I'm sorry you are going through this. It can be messy, messy stuff.
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#4 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We do have a child together... he's 7.5 months old.

I know I am mad for all the wrong reasons, but I am mad and I don't know how to get over it.
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#5 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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I'd be mad too. Why? Cause someone (WHOever, nevermind his ex!!!) was being mean and unfair to your DH! That would make anyone mad, I'd think!!

I don't have personal opinions on the 'deal'.. I don't think I would like it, but that's just going by me and my situation, ya know?

It does seem very unfair, and very fishy on her end, and I do agree with a previous poster, that he seems to be taking the easy road for him, as in, he doesn't have to 'fight' her, or do the court route etc...
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#6 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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Go ahead and play her game now. Document every day/expense you have the child. Document when she did and didnt have the child and how much was paid to her. Who took the child to the dr & dentist where the child was enrolled in school and how the child did in the school they attended. I would go as far as to get into family counseling w/ the child to "make the transition" easier on them. If after 6 months she doesnt at least change it to joint custody then you have cause to go back to court for modification. You didnt mention the childs age but at some point the court will take the childs wishes into consideration.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#7 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbrothersmom
I see his point, but I'm so angry with him for agreeing to this I can't see straight.

I do think you have a right to be angry, but it is the last part of the sentence that got me. I am so angry at him Be angry at her not HIM. She is using a CHILD, your dh's son, as a pawn. Place the anger at the right person, HER. That is why I made my comments before. I think you are putting anger on the wrong person. Don't be mad at your husband for his ex's stupidty. Don't put anger on the people closest to you when it is not their fault. Don't but that anger for her between you two (actually 4) because it will cause a break.

I also think she likes this arrangement for one major reason. She is still getting child support. The other way around she is not. Also, in reality she might be required to pay child support if she looses custody to your dh. She also can get state aid for herself based on having custody of that child. She is getting paid to be an irresponsible mother. This is much easier than her other options.

Do get custody of that child, because it is simply in the CHILD’s best interest. That child is worth any dollar amount. Talk to a lawyer. And don’t be mad at your dh for wanting his child/ren at any cost. That is a good thing (and that is what I am and was trying to help you see). Seeing it differently helps you put your anger in the proper places on the proper person, HER.
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#8 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
Be angry at her not HIM. She is using a CHILD, your dh's son, as a pawn. Place the anger at the right person, HER.
ITA with this! She is the root cause of the situation. He is merely reacting to her manipulations.

And I think JBaxter gave some awesome advice! If your DH is set on doing it, documenting every breath you all take together will go a long way in court.
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#9 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all, I would like to thank each of you for your advice. I think each of you have some very valid points and solid advice.

Marsupialmom- I agree, I have a wonderful husband and he wants what is best for his child/ren. I also agree some of my anger is misdirected.

But I agree with Mamameg:

Quote:
taking the deal is what is best for HIM, not for his son. It's easier for your DH to not fight her. It's easier for him to give in to her than it is to go the routes of the courts.
Which is why I'm angry at DH as well as the ex.

I have suggested DH document, document, document in the past, (so if it ever came to a point he DID need to sue for custody he would have a stronger position) but he didn't think it was necessary... even though DSS was dodging pots and pans being thrown around by mom & ex-husband #2.

FTR, I do want to get custody of DSS (he's 12 y.o.). She (says she) wants him to come live with us. DSS says he wants to come live with us. I feel DH, DS and I can offer a more stable home environment for DSS. But with this agreement as it is, I feel it creates an even more unstable environment for everyone... including our son.

All that being said, I realize my anger only contributes to the volatility of the situation and therefore I need to be deal with it.
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#10 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbrothersmom
Marsupialmom- I agree, I have a wonderful husband and he wants what is best for his child/ren. I also agree some of my anger is misdirected.

But I agree with Mamameg:

Which is why I'm angry at DH as well as the ex.

All that being said, I realize my anger only contributes to the volatility of the situation and therefore I need to be deal with it.
((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))
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#11 of 15 Old 08-03-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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Sounds like she (mom) wants her summer's FREE.

And she is supposed to reimburse the child support???

Your Dh should go into court and have that Order REMOVED. He has NO recourse if she doesn't reimburse him. NONE. Won't matter that the kid is living with you - because there is NOTHING documenting it.

My Dh's ex tried pulling this one 7 years ago. He laughed and told her "I'll take the kids when you sign the papers".

I agree with DOCUMENTING everything right now. He made need it later.

Wishing you the best!
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#12 of 15 Old 08-04-2005, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, ladies. I just want you to know I truly appreciate your support, advice & hugs!

I know we have a long road ahead, but I feel a little better about it b/c of you.
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#13 of 15 Old 08-06-2005, 04:05 AM
 
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I can't recommend haveing a casual agreement with nothing in writing, but we haven't had an official custody agreement for 6 YEARS!!! Dss has always lived with his dad since preschool (he's 10 now) but this woman willnot sign anything. She'll agree to it all, and we've had no problems in years, but it makes me uncomfortable. Signing papers makes it too real for her, I think.

I would worry that the arrangement is temporary and the child will be yanked back and forth and the mother's whim. So, I wouldn't automatically say this is the best thing, but you know the situation, of course, I don't. The child support situation seems sketchy, too. What is she really up to?

We have a calendar we keep inour room where we jot down infomation-- makes documentation easy. However, I don't really know what good it does. Once biomom said "I have little pieces of paper with notes on them too!" She's right, I think. What do my notes prove? I have receipts and such too, but since we never make it past mediation, we haven't used them.

Have you talked to a lawyer? I think you can go to court and have a judge write it all out and decide for her if she won't sign papers, but we've never gone that far. We go to mediation, work it all out, then she won't sign

Do you think she's doing this in earnest or does she have anyother motives?
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#14 of 15 Old 08-12-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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I don't know. It sounds like she isn't ready to sign away her custodial rights. Even if she knows it is the best thing for the child, I imagine it is still a hard thing for a woman to do (especially since society won't praise her for putting her child's welfare first but will condemn her; "how can a mother give her child away etc"). It may be that she needs to be able to say to herself and others "he's living with his dad right now" rather than "my x has custody of him"

She may also be worried about being sued for child support. Whatever legal, documented, court approved agreement ya'll make, a month later your dh could still take her court (and win) child support.

She may also not want to give up the garnished monthly money.

Whatever HER reasons (and some are worse than others), I think your dh was right to take the deal. Her reluctance to signing away custodial rights is so strong that it has withstood an entire year. I know it isn'tteh most stable arrangement, but it looks like this is the only way your dss will get to live with you.

What are you really mad about? The money? The control she has? The lack of stability in teh arrangement?
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#15 of 15 Old 08-13-2005, 07:36 PM
 
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She wouldn't necessariyly have to sign away "all custodial rights," all of our previous custody arragements have always said something like "this agreement will be in effect for 6 months with both parties returning to mediation at that time," and something about the arangement not "setting a precedent." That last temporary arrangement was made when dss was in preschool, it's the most recent one, but he's going into 5th grade now. She hasn't seen the need to return to mediation, though probably feels good that the arrangement is "temporary"!
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