She's taking us to court-- Update #20 - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 39 Old 05-17-2007, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our lawyer says the judge can say she should be making so much money, but doesn't have to, especially since her history of no work goes back so long (ie. she didn't quit a job just to avoid cs). So, while we hope the judge will see it that way, our lawyer says she has seen cases were it didn't go that way. Judges seem more ok with moms not working than dads not working.
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#32 of 39 Old 05-17-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
Our lawyer says the judge can say she should be making so much money, but doesn't have to, especially since her history of no work goes back so long (ie. she didn't quit a job just to avoid cs). So, while we hope the judge will see it that way, our lawyer says she has seen cases were it didn't go that way. Judges seem more ok with moms not working than dads not working.
Yeah, that seems to be true in our experience as well.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed your judge sees the real situation.
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#33 of 39 Old 05-18-2007, 11:03 AM
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Yeah, that's a fact.
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#34 of 39 Old 05-18-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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Flor, you have been one of the great voices of reason on this board in general, not just in this thread. It sounds as if things are working the way you want them to, well better than you had feared anyway. I just wanted to remind you that the very worst that could happen here is she could get 50/50.
50/50 is what it is. its half time with mom and half with dad. say what you will about biomom, I'm sure its all true, no matter how much she fails in her role, she is all hes got. That you are, by your marriage, able to give him your own mother love is as much a blessing to him as could be imagined, perhaps even allowing his relationship with biomom to flourish despite the despicably (IMNSHO) low priority she places on it. Your gift to your stepson is not dependent on her being a poor mother, I know you know that. I can see your concern for him and your awareness of how confusing her behavior is to him. I wish she had the same interest in his well being that you show. No matter that, though, no matter the disaster of her marriage, nor the torn loyalties of your dss, no matter it all..........
if you can remember that the best/worst that can come is 50/50
and consider anything above that a bonus,
then this seems almost like a good thing

Why any parent would agree to anything less that what they were able to get without impinging upon the other parents time, that is 50/50 custody, is completely beyond me and shows somewhat where her mind is.
I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that your dss is going to thrive despite the poor life condition of his biomom. I know this because of the way in which i know you. You are clear, you are strong, you are flexible.
keep on keeping on, momma.

Thinking the best for you,
-anj119
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#35 of 39 Old 05-18-2007, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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anj118-- thank you so much for your comments. I was thinking about what to post back here, but I was interrupted by a phone call from dh--

the biomom wants to make some changes. These changes make me ill because they are all about child support. The agreement says basically that mom has dss from after school one day til 8 am the next day. She wants to change it so that "her days" start at 8 am even though at 8 am he is still at our house, we take him to school etc. Basically she is wanted to add hours into her "care and custody" without actually seeing him more. She isn't asking to have him later on Sunday, for example. She wants his in school time to count as her time. I told dh to tell her to make another mediation appointment. I mean, forget it. I'd like her to explain it to a judge, "I m ok with the schedule, I just want to count some extra hours." Also, she doesn't have a car and she can't access his school ( on a military base) during school hours, so I think he should be in our custody at that time. We are supposed to talk to the lawyer again Monday. . . .
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#36 of 39 Old 05-18-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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Is she jockeying for more parenting time come summer vacation? someone may want to ask her. it also bears pointing out that the responsibility for transportation to and from school falls to the on-duty parent, as it does to the receiving parent. She will need to think this out a little further than she seems to have done so far. How will she get herself out to your place at 8am for the transfer? Hows she gonna get him to school on time if pickup is at 8? Is it in his best interest to have a transfer before school? ummmm...... no. Is it in her best interests? well, thats too bad for her. This isn't about her. Looks like she needs to get clear about that.

I don't know what state you are in, but in my own state all court ordered custody/visitation/parenting time whatever you want to call it, is subject to a very clear very defined set of rules called 'Appendix A'. Appendix A outlines basic rules of courtesy for the parents to follow which may not be outlined in the parenting agreement. Things which are simply 'givens' for any court ordered arrangement. Things like - Neither parent shall make disparaging remarks about the other in the child's presence, all clothes shall be returned in good repair to the home from which they originated at the time of the next transfer, all transfers shall take place on time according to the schedule agreed upon by the parties, the receiving parent shall provide transportation and shall arrive on time (no more than 10 minutes early or late), etc ect...

Has the mediator not noticed her transparent attempts to milk the situation for its cash value, not for the amount of time with her son? If not, your husband might think about bringing it up at the next meeting. I cannot imagine the mediator mediating for that. Can you?

hang in there, Flor.

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#37 of 39 Old 05-18-2007, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know, I am kinda hoping that we've mixed up her message. She called our lawyer saying she wanted to make some changes before signing the mediation agreement. Right now it says, for example, on Tuesday, she has dss from 3PM to 8 AM the next day. Now she wants her time to be 8AM to 8AM, so counting from the time we drop him off at school. She's wanting us to count more hours as "her hours" though she isn't asking to see him more.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I thought, maybe she's saying that during the summer, or holidays, she doesn't want to wait until 3PM to pick him up, if he had no school she'd pick him up at 8AM, not 3PM. That would be fine, but I think that can be a separate "holidays" section of the order. I feel like she's decided that we are her ATM. I promise I won't complain if the judge says she can have CS, but I feel like she is milking it. By the way, even counting those days as full days, her visitation would be 34% instead of 28%. Not the end of world, just annoying.

(The car thing is that her live-in boyfriend has a car, but she likes to make the point that we should be doing more transporting as she doesn't have a car registered to her. As far as taking him to school, she/her bf drives him to the bus stop, but at this point neither of them have a pass to get on base.)

I'd say that the mediator has noticed the situation. She adviced dh to get the order drawn up and signed quickly. However, the mediator doesn't have any say in anything, she just gives the agreement to the court.


(sigh.)
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#38 of 39 Old 05-19-2007, 11:40 AM
 
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My experience with mediation has instilled in me an extremely high expectation of excellence. It makes me just really really sad to hear you say that the mediator is only there to give the agreement to the judge. I mean, yeah, but the role the mediator takes can be so much more. And, in my case, the role our mediator takes is that of child advocate. Not a court ordered child advocate, though that is part of her work with other clients, but simply a voice for our daughter in all of the working out of schedules and finances. She is able to steer us toward an agreement even when we have arrived with four flat tires and an attitude problem. Her experience with the system, her focus on the bests interest of the child and her ability to push forward through thick resistance ...... dang, shes good.

Anyway, if your mediator sees his/her function as merely a third party recorder, I am thinking 'new mediator' and fast. This push to get an agreement signed quickly just really turns me off. It makes it sound as if terrible consequences will be wrought by taking your time and really working out an arrangement which will provide your son with the best possible situation that works for you all, one everyone can live with and can agree to.

I don't know about you, but mediation is expensive to me. I understand wanting to come to an agreement and not spend time and money arguing. But, the mediator is there to keep both parents focused on the goal - the best interests of the child, and to keep both parents moving forward. What is the push from the mediator all about? That right there sends up all kinds of red flags for me.

Maybe I am confused.

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#39 of 39 Old 05-19-2007, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After the parents came to an agreement, her advice to dh was get it signed quickly. He interpreted this to mean that we have come to an agreement, get it signed before biomom changes her mind again. We've come this far with this mediator before, then biomom changed her mind. We've mediated about 4 times in the last few years and the last time she signed one was in 1999. The one in 1999 gave dh full physical custody, so, it hasn't really been a problem for us. I don't really understand. We've actually had the same visitation schedule for several years. She just won't sign it and make it official.

I don't really see the mediator as a child advocate. She does just act like a nuetral third party between adults. She doesn't give us advice or suggestions, just pretty much tells us what the point of view of the other party is. I was surprised the first time. I thought she'd share more. There are only two mediators for our county's court and they seem to have the same philosophy.

I'd like a mediator like you describe. The first time we went, we gave our idea of what the schedule should look like, mom gave hers, and the mediator basically said, well you are all really far from agreement, so you should have a judge decide. I was shocked. I thought she was supposed to guide us, give us some ideas. Now, however, we are all very close to having the same idea, just a little tweeking here and there, so she feels more useful.
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