Is it time for court? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-15-2006, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I am stepmom to a 7 year old girl. We currently have her at our house about 8-10 nights per month (alternating weekends, plus one weeknight). We told biomom that we'd like to have DSD for two weeks this summer, one each in July and August.

She flipped and accused us of trying to "steal her child". She flat out refuses and says we have no right to have DSD any more than we do now. DH has no legal sort of paperwork whatsoever regarding his parental rights. He pays child support every month and always has. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for more visitation over the summer. I feel like it's time for something legal and in writing.

Biomom is of the opinion that she is the "primary caregiver" and DH has no rights and no decision-making authority. I think that's a bunch of b.s. - they are both parents and have equal rights.

What do you think, is it court time?

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#2 of 10 Old 06-15-2006, 10:12 PM
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Barring any unusual circumstances, what you & your DH are seeking is pretty reasonable and would probably be legally granted. If you DSD's mother isn't willing to work with your DH, then court doesn't sound unreasonable at all to me. (And this is coming from a single mom with physical custody of a 5 year old DS.. I wish my ex's fiancee were more like you. They keep cutting back the time they take DS, only about half of what he is entitled to legally. I feel bad that my son doesn't have a strong connection to his father because of it.)

Good luck.
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#3 of 10 Old 06-16-2006, 07:31 PM
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My ex just got 6 weeks during the summer for visitation of our two sons, and he has them every other weekend and time during holidays. I am certain that 2 weeks would be granted... I despise court and it unnerves me to go, but if you can't reason with bio mom, and you really think it is the best thing for daughter, then you shoouldn't worry about it, they will probably give you that. It does really help to have a written agreement, too. Just make sure it is what you both want before signing it...details get hairy when you get legal with the situation.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-21-2006, 03:33 AM
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Somehow some people get the impression that one parent gets more rights than the other. Our experience has been that the court assumes that parents are equal and works from there. Our state mandates mediation before court. Even if not mandated, good first start.

Try to see the mom's perspective though, and be sensetive about it. We had the opposite. We had pretty much full custody for several years when the mom moved away. When she came back to town and started "easing back in to custody" it was very painful for us. We hadn't done anything wrong, but we were losing custody/time with the child. It totally changed our family. We used to have dss all to ourselves, with him only gone a few days a year. Suddenly, he was gone 3 days a week. I felt like only half the parent I had been, and of course, it was hard on dh. Your request are totally reasonable, but realize that when you gain time, she loses time.
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#5 of 10 Old 06-22-2006, 07:23 PM
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I'd say it's time. It's so, so hard to let go of our kids (I say this as a bio-mom to two kids who live w/ their dad 3 nights a week and as a stepmom to a boy who lives w/ his mom 50% of the time), but it's almost always in their best interests to have plenty of time with both parents.

My state favors 50/50 custody, both legal and physical, and I think lots of states do that or are moving in that direction. In our situation, none of the bio-parents can make a significant change in the kids' lives (school, sports, medical care, etc.) without the agreement of the other bio-parent. It's difficult and tedious at times, but I for one am very grateful that it's set up that way. Of course, it's kind of easy for me since I get along well with my kids' BD. For my DH and SS's BM, it's a little more difficult, but it still always works out in the end, and all the kids have both parents active in their day-to-day lives.

Good luck!


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#6 of 10 Old 07-06-2006, 02:36 PM
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Hi, what state are you in? If child support/custody is managed thru the Atty General there has your husband called and asked for a copy of the child support agreement. You may be surprised to find you already have the right to her more than those specified times.
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#7 of 10 Old 07-10-2006, 11:01 PM
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I would def make sure you have something in writing no matter what it actually is. You don't want to take a chance that everything is ok one minute and all of a sudden she wants to take it away! So, even if she did agree to it, I would still get it in writing...although I def agree that mediation is a much smarter way to start! GL
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#8 of 10 Old 07-14-2006, 01:37 PM
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Yes! Get it in writing and have a judge sign off on it. If he is paying childsupport, then he has a say in every important decision of the childs life. Not to mention he is the father.
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#9 of 10 Old 07-14-2006, 06:28 PM
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Dh divorce was 13yrs ago and had a similar policy (every 1st and 2nd weekend and 2 non-back-to-back weeks in the summer) we tried to work out something else, outside of court, when both parties moved farther from eachother but it never happened. So now Dh only sees the 2 girls for 2 weeks. I strongly suggest going to court. You should easily get more time in the summer. Dh and his dds would have an easier time maintaining a relationship and we regret not taking ex to court to fight for more time. ex just didn't want to give any of "her" time to Dh. Dh hoped the girls would ask on their own for more time and figured if the request came from them ex would listen. That didn't happen and now they have a near non-existent relationship.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#10 of 10 Old 07-15-2006, 11:16 AM
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Would you have to go thru court? How about mediation? Mediation will be less expensive and is better in that the parties work out a mutual agreement instead of having a stranger decide what's best for your child. Personally, I'm against having other people make decisions that concern my child.
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