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Some courts favor the mom. In some states (and I'd assume, some provinces), the laws are written specifically to favor the mother (i.e. there's a presumption Mom gets custody unless she's unfit).
In other states, there is a "primary caregiver" presumption, which in most cases is the Mom by default.
Beyond that, every judge has his or her individual biases, and those biases influence decisions in one way or another. Some judges favor Mom, some Dad, some try to be so "neutral" as to impose 50/50 where it is not warranted (or in a way it doesn't make sense).
Also, as far as enforcing court orders goes...it really depends. Judges don't want to be bothered with the little stuff..."mom signed the kids up for ballet during 'my time'" will not be looked at by most judges (unless it's part of a much bigger pattern). "Dad moved the kids to California without telling or asking me" will. When it's in between, again, responses vary.
The bolded part, not exactly true. School called CPS on the youngest two DSC's mom. She bailed, moved state, the day before they were to interview DSS at school and her at home, no official ok. Court's been overlooking it for a long time, and still don't seem to care that she has an alcohol problem (she was even tested RIGHT AFTER a court hearing and registered that she'd been drinking and this court seemed to not care. It's just "hearsay" that my DSC get nervous and scared when we come anywhere near the alcohol section in the grocery store.
I actually have been on both sides of the fence and the courts did favor me. I never treated my children's father like my dh has been treated! I don't believe in sweeping statements either BUT the courts here in Canada do favor mom!
We have spent over $50,000 fighting bm and still she has COMPLETE control. She wants him to sign papers that she has rights to make all decisions and have all control. Dh has continually fought to make sure the school knows who he is, but as for the dr, dentist etc she will not give any info. The kids can come for a visit and say they were sick or for an appt but not once does she let dh know.
My kids are free to see their dad anytime they want to, they are now seeing on their own what kind of man their dad is!
In the end I do think the kids will see the truth or at least see that the other parent isn't evil!
Its mom who has to pick of the pieces of the broken hearted kids who daddy has forgotten about until its convienient. I think that the courts are wise to this behaviour, that it is far more common in fathers, and that is why mothers are still favored in some districts.
Around here, moving 150 miles from the other parent, or out of state at all, without their permission or a court order is a BIG no-no. I'm sorry you've had a different experience.
Maybe instead of putting energy into resenting the step kids mom and blaming her for everything, people should figure out why it is so easy for so many dads to fall out of their kids lives. Trust me, most times its not moms fault, thats just a convienient and popular excuse.
Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula
Student, Aspiring CNM
DD ~ 1/7/09 DS ~ 9/22/10
I have tried to stay away from this thread but I need to comment. Until you are the mother in the situation you have no idea how the courts are. Making general statements like "controlling and demanding moms", and implying that all moms are trying to keep their children from their fathers is insulting and simply not true in most cases. When fathers fight for custody and they have been the primary caregiver (rare) the court will give them custody. Moms are typically the primary care giver so they are given custody more often still. I can tell you that there are many districts that favor the father at any cost to the child.
Making sweeping statements about all moms being manipulative or controlling would be like me saying all fathers are deadbeats, don't pay child support, and don't bother to see their kid. Thats my reality, does that mean that applies to all dads?
If you look around and read many of the posts within this forum, they are very contradictory to the "blaming Mom is just an excuse."
I agree full heartedly with Oriole... it is much more work for the NCP to stay involved, and when you are trying to work with a CP who really doesn't care, it makes it even harder...
You can only take bending over backwards and being a doormat and doing your best to be a prescence in someone's life when the door keeps being shut in your face over and over again.
I would say DH was the primary caretaker of DSD before the divorce. He worked nights and watched her all day for a couple of years. But his lawyer told him flat out he had no chance at primary custody because he worked nights, and because he left the house, which courts see as child abandonment... where the judge wanted him to stay in the house when he came home to find another man in his bed is beyond me! :
But anyway... He has always been an involved Father, but beyond our control DSD's Mom has found ways to keep cutting our time short. We don't have money to just take her to court to enforce the custody agreement... nor from what I have read here will it likely do any good, just a waste of money.
So who should we really blame? Not Mom? I certainly don't see anyone else to blame...
I can't speak for Canada,
BUT being a single mother who went thru custody hell with a sociopath, I CAN say that it I agree with protolawyer, YES it depends on the area, the state and more importantly the JUDGE!!!!!!
I'ts also been my experience that judges have ego's bigger than the great outdoors!!! DON"T piss them off, don't come off as petty, mean, unyielding, or anything else of that sort, EVEN if your feeling it, ALWAYS take the high road. AND I MEAN ALWAYS!!!!
a little background here.... I have a 6 yr old. i've litterally been in litigation with custody from the time he was 1yr til he was almost 5. and i do mean HELL!, the underhanded crap that went on, the lies, the physical abuse of myself and my DS, the$ spent OH the $$$, that I will NEVER see again.
Anyhoo, he finally gave, left me with DS, and didn't bother to look back. I don't hear from him, I don't get CS, nothing. Just walked away.
WHY?.. because I fought the good fight. He did not. He wanted my son ONLY to hurt me, not because he wanted to father him. In the end, it was truely My willfulness that got me what I wanted, this mama bear did what ever she had to to protect her cub.
When I was younger, ( I turned 30 last month) me and my brother were also the subject of a nasty custody dispute between our parents. My mother wound up with us full time, my dad got visits sporadically.
My mother is now a family/criminal lawyer. I guess she liked winning arguements;-) She's actually pretty damn good too!
But truth be know I don't have a good relationship with my mom, but I do my dad. Could have something to do with the fact that my mom also a willful woman, didn't want to give up custody, but didn't really like children either
What have I learned from past 30yrs? (relating to custody and court battles)
Think beyond YOUR feelings/needs.
Fight the GOOD fight.
Don't be a jerk, your kids WILL remember this, and even if you have to fake being nice to your X, and then go home and smoke a bowl because doing so raised your blood pressure 100pts, it's worth it!!!!!!;-) You DO catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Depending on how long you've been going at it with your X, it might take a while before he/she comes to THE honey!!!!! Give it time. I PROMISE you it IS worth it.
ALSO, if your X gets a new BF/GF, USE THIS to YOUR advantage!!!!!.....AFTER you've had a while to practise being nice :-) he/she will be singing a different tune. They will prolly WANT to give you more custody/visitations, because lets face it, having "relations" isn't easy when you've got kids around!!!
Like I said, be nice and slather on that honey! THIS mamma KNOWS!
That's the myth of court, because I know many people think if they have the court ordered agreement, everything will move along like that because it's written. Written is one thing, proof is another, enforceable is often another thing too.
I don't have any easy solutions or answers to the questions you've asked. Divorce can be difficult for everyone at different times and in different ways. I hope you can find a way to rise above what's happening and find a solution that is best for the child(ren) first of all and everyone else too.
I wish you peace & love.
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