Father's Rights in NH - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 51 Old 08-25-2007, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anybody know what the laws in regards to a father's rights in New Hampshire? I'll post a more in depth reason why I'd like to know later. I don't have much time right now.

Thanks,
Laura
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#2 of 51 Old 08-26-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...-A/461-A-6.htm

III. In determining parental rights and responsibilities under this section, including residential responsibility, the court shall not apply a preference for one parent over the other because of the sex of the child, the sex of a parent, or the financial resources of a parent.

hope that helps!

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#3 of 51 Old 08-26-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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As far as the law itself, both parents are considered equally. As far as dad-friendly courts, that seems to be a different story. No personal experience, but my cousin has had no luck as the dad trying to get custody from the mother (even after DUIs, drug arrests, giving the child to him and then taking him back after 2 months, and the son wanting to live with his father) My cousin has been told that were he dealing with a different county, his experience would be much better.

Can't really help more than that... sorry

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#4 of 51 Old 08-26-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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I don't know legalities but as a child of divorced parents in NH, I had to split my time between mom and dad. Dad had to have an apartment with a room for both me and my brother. When we were younger it was every Wednesday for dinner, and every other wednesday - Sunday night. Then when we were older, every other week wednesday-wednesday. I have no idea if he paid child support when we were younger but he did not when we were older.

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#5 of 51 Old 08-26-2007, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful. The reason I ask is for my husband. As it currently stands, he and his ex have joint and shared custody of his daughter. Over the summer we have her week on/week off which is great. During school, though, the arrangement is every other weekend. My husband talked to his ex about getting more time with his daughter during the school year. She absolutely would not agree. She says that since their daughter is in school (she starts first grade this year) the weekends are the only time they get to do things as a family. That is true so my husband tried to come to sort of compromise. His ex wouldn't even talk about it. Obviously, my husband will set up mediation and then a court hearing if necessary. In our dealings with the court they have leaned very much on the side of her mother. It has been very frustrating. We've never tried for full custody. There is no reason to. All of the decisions have been very much in her favor, though. I'm just curious about other people's experiences, I guess.

Thanks,
Laura
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#6 of 51 Old 08-27-2007, 09:57 AM
 
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The courts tend to very much favor the status quo in cases like this, as in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Obviously that varies from state to state, but often if the child is doing well in the current arrangement, the courts are hesitant to change it.

I would advise your dh to get a lawyer that specializes in fathers wanting additional parenting time.

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#7 of 51 Old 08-27-2007, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In the court agreement it says that the current situation is a minimum amount of time and that at any time we can get more time. Still, though, she won't entertain the thought. I guess I don't understand the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality in this situation. I would consider it broken as my DSD has a very healthy, happy relationship with her father and is bummed about seeing us so little during the school year. It seems to me that a father seeing his child four days a month IS a "broken" situation.

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#8 of 51 Old 08-28-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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How far apart do you live? Are you close enough to get DD to and from school on those days you guys would have her?
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#9 of 51 Old 08-28-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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I can totally see how having every weekend would discourage family time with mom, but I agree with pp about having after-school time, especially if the mom works. Or maybe even dinner during the week?
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#10 of 51 Old 08-28-2007, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're working on moving closer but right now we are about 2 hours away. I'm afraid that while we still live so far away week nights are out. It just won't work. My DH was also very clear about not wanting to interfere with their family time. All we really want is to be able to see her more often. If that means an extra weekend here and there that's fine. He communicated that very clearly but she was still unwilling to even entertain the idea.

Laura
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#11 of 51 Old 08-28-2007, 10:58 PM
 
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II guess I don't understand the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality in this situation.
I'm not saying that I agree with this - I'm just telling you what the current climate is in the family law system (in my state, anyway).

What about school breaks? How are those divvied up? Especially since there are a handful of federal holidays on Mondays that schools are commonly not in session... What if you had her for an extra day on those weekends.

The fact that you guys are two hours away is probably what is really going to make increasing parenting time difficult. If everyone was in the same town, you could do one weeknight or even just dinner. It's hard to share custody in a fairly even way if the two parents are not close to each other.

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#12 of 51 Old 08-29-2007, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess what I'm having a hard time with is that BM won't compromise. I don't understand why we can't split up the two remaining weekends. One could be hers, one ours. At least she gets to see DSD everyday before and after school. Is she really okay with her daughter only seeing her daddy four days a month? There is so much to be said for a daughter's relationship with her father. I know that if it were ME in this situation, while I would hate for my baby to be so far away, I would do my best to keep a healthy relationship between my daughter and her dad. It doesn't seem like she is coming at from a "what's best for the child" perspective. Many of our dealings with BM have proven that she is more after control of the situation than coming to a resolution. I understand that moving closer will change things but, in the meantime, we basically just don't get to see her. Another factor is that DSD's family with BM and her family with us lead entire different lifestyles. I feel very strongly about giving her a fair chance to explore both and find what works best for her. I disagree with a lot of BM's methods/choices and I REALLY want DSD to see that there is another way.

I hope this made sense. It's hard to articulate something you feel so passionately about.

Laura
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#13 of 51 Old 08-29-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post

What about school breaks? How are those divvied up? Especially since there are a handful of federal holidays on Mondays that schools are commonly not in session... What if you had her for an extra day on those weekends.

The fact that you guys are two hours away is probably what is really going to make increasing parenting time difficult. If everyone was in the same town, you could do one weeknight or even just dinner. It's hard to share custody in a fairly even way if the two parents are not close to each other.
: personally, I would not be OK with having my kids gone 3 weekends a month during the school year. That's our main leisure/family time. Sure, we have evenings and mornings, but it's a bit different. I *really* look forward to weekends during the school year.
As it is, we don't do visitation at all and never have, so maybe I'm biased
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#14 of 51 Old 08-29-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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Mornings and afternoons aren't exactly quality family time. Mornings are spent rushing to get kids off to school. Evenings are getting home from work, checking in with kids about schoolwork, getting kids a bath, making dinner, preparing lunch for the next day.

Really no offense intended, but I think you are in the wrong forum to complain about this. We are all single moms who are struggling with custody. We come at it from a different place than you do. When you guys move closer then you can work on it, but until now you are probably dealing with a very tired single mom who wants more than one weekend a month with her dd. It's not her fault that you guys live so far away.
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#15 of 51 Old 08-29-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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Mornings and afternoons aren't exactly quality family time. Mornings are spent rushing to get kids off to school. Evenings are getting home from work, checking in with kids about schoolwork, getting kids a bath, making dinner, preparing lunch for the next day.

Really no offense intended, but I think you are in the wrong forum to complain about this. We are all single moms who are struggling with custody. We come at it from a different place than you do. When you guys move closer then you can work on it, but until now you are probably dealing with a very tired single mom who wants more than one weekend a month with her dd. It's not her fault that you guys live so far away.
This is the blended and step family forum. This is part of being blended and step. Throwing ideas and opinions from the otherside of the fence can help the family make the best decission for the child.

Some people mention that the drive does interfere. Something OP needs to acknowledge. I agree with the poster about looking at school holidays. Extending out or giving dad those days. Mom, tired or not, does she the child daily. Also you don't know if the bio-mom moved 2 hrs away or if dad, you don't know any of the factors of why the milage. I was the one that moved away from the ex. I know it could be HER fault, it could be his, or it could be BOTH OF THEIR's.

Do phone calls happen? If calls are long distances you might find cell phones a cheaper call options. Does the child have access to computers? With adult supervision communication (connecting) can happen this way. Both parents need to understand computer communication isn't truly private because of safety. But sharing pictures, scanning in home work and e-mailing it so dad can help, adds to the relationship for child and dad.
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#16 of 51 Old 08-29-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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This is the blended and step family forum. This is part of being blended and step. Throwing ideas and opinions from the otherside of the fence can help the family make the best decission for the child.

Some people mention that the drive does interfere. Something OP needs to acknowledge. I agree with the poster about looking at school holidays. Extending out or giving dad those days. Mom, tired or not, does she the child daily. Also you don't know if the bio-mom moved 2 hrs away or if dad, you don't know any of the factors of why the milage. I was the one that moved away from the ex. I know it could be HER fault, it could be his, or it could be BOTH OF THEIR's.

Do phone calls happen? If calls are long distances you might find cell phones a cheaper call options. Does the child have access to computers? With adult supervision communication (connecting) can happen this way. Both parents need to understand computer communication isn't truly private because of safety. But sharing pictures, scanning in home work and e-mailing it so dad can help, adds to the relationship for child and dad.
This was originally posted in Single Parenting which is why I subbed and why I responded the way I did. It seemed very inappropriate for her to write this in there.
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#17 of 51 Old 08-29-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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aahhhh............sorry, I didn't know that. I just saw it in the blended family forum.
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#18 of 51 Old 08-30-2007, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't post this in the Single Moms forum. I posted in the Blended and Step Family forum. I know this because I've been checking in with it each night in the Blended and Step forum. Posts like yours always frustrate me because, even if I had made a mistake and posted in the wrong place, a gentle suggestion to move the post to the correct place would be so much nicer than a snarky reply. The whole situation regarding my DSD is very heart wrenching and even slightly negative response cut real deep.

On the other hand, thank you for your suggestions Marsupialmom. I hadn't thought of scanning in homework and handouts from school. That's a great way to stay connected. It's pretty handy that my DH is a computer nerd and can set her up with one at her mom's house. They currently don't have one so his expertise will come in handy.

Thanks,
Laura
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#19 of 51 Old 08-30-2007, 08:17 PM
 
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Justb to be clear, are you suggesting that mom get one weekend a month and dad get 3? Do you really think that the hour between when the child wakes and when she has to be at the bus (or whatever) is considered "quality time" with mom? Ditto for the few hours at night when homework gets done, dinner is prepared and eaten, chores are tended to and baths are taken is also "quality time"?

So one weekend a month, you expect to be enough for mom to decompress with her child, go to a park, see a movie, hit the zoo? If that's the case, then I don't think mom is being unreasonable. I think you are, IMVHO.

Your recourse is to move closer. Or go back to court for custody. Your DP could also drive the 2 hours to his dd's home town once or twice a week to take her out to dinner or see a twilight movie. Have you asked mom if that would be OK? Or is your only "reasonable" solution to get half of her weekends? I'm sorry if this sounds negative. It's not meant to hurt you. It's meant to help you understand why mom is being "so unreasonable".
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#20 of 51 Old 08-30-2007, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess you'd really need to know more of the story before you would truly understand the situation. When DH and BM split DSD was with us 5 out of 7 days a week. This lasted nearly a year. Then, without warning, BM enrolled DSD in daycare 5 days a week which obviously changed visitation. BM didn't have a job at this time and never got a job either. It was not a childcare issue. We got a lawyer and tried to get things back to the way they were. By the time we went to court the judge felt like taking her out of daycare was not an option. She already had an "established routine" and he didn't feel like it would be healthy to change it. This is the part of the story where I really start to wonder why everything is in BM's favor. During the time that DSD was primarily in our care BM would arrange to pick DSD up and never show, cancel an at night exchange because she was too drunk, etc. Then she decided to marry a guy she had previously told us was aggressive and abusive. When we questioned that and talked to a lawyer things were still in BM's favor. When an "agreement" was finally made it was only slightly in our favor. After all of this, our lawyer and BM's merged to create their own firm. All we got out of the deal is essentially a free lawyer. He stopped billing us because he knew that he had screwed us over. I just don't know what we could have done. Of course, we could have gotten a better lawyer but by the time we figured out what was going on our agreement was already made. Forgive me if I seem totally ignorant to the ways of the law. I am. I really just didn't know what to do.

Thanks for your help,
Laura
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#21 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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, herbalmommy'

she has physical custody right now?

would she not do every other weekend?

mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

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#22 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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As it currently stands, he and his ex have joint and shared custody of his daughter. Over the summer we have her week on/week off which is great. During school, though, the arrangement is every other weekend. My husband talked to his ex about getting more time with his daughter during the school year. She absolutely would not agree. She says that since their daughter is in school (she starts first grade this year) the weekends are the only time they get to do things as a family. Laura
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I guess what I'm having a hard time with is that BM won't compromise. I don't understand why we can't split up the two remaining weekends. One could be hers, one ours. At least she gets to see DSD everyday before and after school. Is she really okay with her daughter only seeing her daddy four days a month? There is so much to be said for a daughter's relationship with her father. I know that if it were ME in this situation, while I would hate for my baby to be so far away, I would do my best to keep a healthy relationship between my daughter and her dad. It doesn't seem like she is coming at from a "what's best for the child" perspective.
Laura
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would she not do every other weekend?
Mom has residential custody from what I've read. And they do have an EOWeekend arrangement during the school year and share week on/off in the summer. Laura (and presumably her husband) want to take at least one of mom's weekends "in the best interest of the child". Apparently it's OK for mom to only have one weekend to spend with her daughter but it's not OK for dad to have 2 weekends a month.

Since she has not addressed it, I presume that mom and dad split school holidays evenly. I think it's a fair arrangement "in the best interests of the child" personally.
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#23 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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Ah, I see. I posted earlier when I was a bit groggy due to an all-night nursing session.

Yeah, I think that's pretty unrealistic to expect the mom to be happy with having only one weekend a month with her kid.

I would say go to court, but I doubt that they would change the arrangement and it would probably be really more of a headache than it's worth.

mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

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#24 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I really am just not thinking about what's best for DSD. Maybe I am really mad that we were her primary residence for 11 months and then she just gets taken away. Maybe it is unreasonable for me to be really mad when she gets pawned off to a babysitter at every opportunity to party. I feel bad now that it makes me scared to see her go to her mom's to be with someone who may be abusive. I just do feel these things and I'm sorry about my one sided attitude. Thanks for all the help.

Laura
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#25 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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I would like to suggest that your dh get a right of first refusal added to the custody agreement.

Sorry for barging in again. Unsubbing.
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#26 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can someone clarify this right of first refusal? I understand the concept and I think I see how it applies to this situation but I'm just not sure. Would it mean that if BM was going out she would have to offer time with DSD to us before getting a babysitter?

Laura
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#27 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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Can someone clarify this right of first refusal? I understand the concept and I think I see how it applies to this situation but I'm just not sure. Would it mean that if BM was going out she would have to offer time with DSD to us before getting a babysitter?

Laura
I swear I'll unsub after this! I forgot to earlier!

I have not been through this yet since ds is so young, but from what I've read on the single parenting board, your dh would be the first option for a babysitter. That way he'd have the option of seeing her any time, and he can keep track of if bio mom is going out five nights a week without dd.
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#28 of 51 Old 08-31-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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Apparently it's OK for mom to only have one weekend to spend with her daughter but it's not OK for dad to have 2 weekends a month.
Not to start a big debate or anything.. but when a loving father can only see their child four days a month, it is NOT in the best interest of the child, and a monther who has a child 26 days a month will never understand that pain of not having a basic right to tuck your baby in to bed 26 nights a month. It is naive to think that child doesn't miss their dad, and that they don't want to come over.

Also, if you reread the post, they are looking for some sort of compromise, and mom won't hear of it. I wonder if she would want to compromise if she was allowed to see her child only four days a month hmmmmm..... :

I'm not talking about dads who don't pay CS, I'm not talking about dads who don't show up for sports, I'm not talking about dads who don't change dipers, I'm talking about someone whose heart is ripped out because the courts side with moms, and neglet child's bond with their fathers. Big hugs to the OP. I know where you stand, and I know how it feels... The point is, if you love your child - you have to fight for it. It IS very tough in NH, but I guess nothing is impossible. Good luck to you *hugs*

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#29 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oriole, thank you. Thank you. I knew we couldn't be the only ones!

Laura
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#30 of 51 Old 09-01-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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Not to start a big debate or anything.. but when a loving father can only see their child four days a month, it is NOT in the best interest of the child, and a monther who has a child 26 days a month will never understand that pain of not having a basic right to tuck your baby in to bed 26 nights a month. It is naive to think that child doesn't miss their dad, and that they don't want to come over.

Also, if you reread the post, they are looking for some sort of compromise, and mom won't hear of it. I wonder if she would want to compromise if she was allowed to see her child only four days a month hmmmmm..... :

I'm not talking about dads who don't pay CS, I'm not talking about dads who don't show up for sports, I'm not talking about dads who don't change dipers, I'm talking about someone whose heart is ripped out because the courts side with moms, and neglet child's bond with their fathers. Big hugs to the OP. I know where you stand, and I know how it feels... The point is, if you love your child - you have to fight for it. It IS very tough in NH, but I guess nothing is impossible. Good luck to you *hugs*
I guess I'm not seeing the picture : The sm and dad live 2 hours away. I don't know who moved away from whom but if it were my child that I wasn't seeing save for 4 days a month, I would certainly be more than willing to: a) make the 4 hour round trip during the week to have "dates" with her and b) move closer to my child asap. If the parents lived in the same town or at least the same school district, a judge would be much more likely to grant 50/50 parenting time. Especially since that's what they have over the summer.

I really feel that all of us (as parents) sometimes forget that divorce (or breaking apart after having a child) sucks for all involved. Nothing is going to be fair but you have to do what you have to do to maintain your priorities and connections. My priorities are my kids. Period. I would do what I had to do to make their lives easier and to keep my heart from breaking over the inherent unfairness. If I did not have custody, I would certainly do the the things I suggested in the first paragraph.

I'm unsubbing from this. I seem to be getting agitated over the situation for some reason and Laura, you are very much entitled to your feelings. I don't want to be the cause of more. I am sorry this situation is causing you pain. I hope it is resolved in the most positive manner possible.
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