Mothering Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
5
Joined
·
1,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My DH has had sole custody of DSS (17, HS senior) since DSS was 8; following a nasty, high-conflict visitation and custody battle with his ex-wife that started when DSS was just a baby. There were major efforts at parental alienation, a lot of denied visits, false criminal accusations, sudden cross-country moves... You get the picture.

By the time of the custody change, Mom had moved across the country. She stayed there. Over the past 9 years, she went from fiercely battling to get DSS back and keep trying to poison his mind against us; to not visiting and mostly giving up.

DSS will turn 18 shortly after he graduates this spring. So, the concerns about Mom manipulating, controlling, or even abducting him are significantly less than when he was younger. However, he still is a minor, and we still do have concerns about him.

When he's upset or angry, he rarely voices it and instead acts out. We've dealt with a lot of lying; also sneaking out/around (i.e., being dishonest about where he is/who he's with/what he's doing), stealing/shoplifting, and smoking cigarettes and pot (in the house). We were concerned about Rx drug use as well, but have no solid evidence of that.

He is extremely bright, but blows off his school work and seems unfazed even when he fails major academic classes. He was recently fired from his summer/after-school job, ostensibly for laziness and not showing up for shifts (when DH and I thought he was at work).

He seems like he still needs some level of parental guidance/supervision. We worry about him not getting this at his Mom's. She abuses alcohol and, more recently, Rx drugs. She is unable to give DSS much supervision, because she works full-time and - according to a close friend of hers, who contacted DH a few years ago, out of concern for DSS's safety - after work, she mixes benzos with alcohol until she passes out for the night (early) leaving DSS essentially on his own.

This past summer, Mom sent DSS home less than halfway through her 7-week visit. He had wrecked her car, was being hostile and rude to her, and she suspected him of taking her Rx drugs. Later, she seemed to regret this, and promised to visit DSS for fall break. Then she didn't come.

Today, she emailed DH that she is moving to Tijuana in a few weeks, and wants DSS to get a passport, so he can fly there for Christmas and Spring Breaks.

1) She is required to give 90 days' notice if she has any thought of moving - a fact she's well aware of, since her failure to do so was an issue in the custody change.

2) Airfare to Tijuana is ~twice what it is to San Diego (less than an hour away). We pay for all of DSS's airfare, but half the estimated cost of his annual airfare to San Diego was added to Mom's child support amount. It seems odd that she wants him to fly to Mexico, even if she does move.

3) Again, the concern about parental abduction is not what it was, when DSS was 9. But we still do have a sense of "What is she up to? Let's try to figure it out before we commit to anything." Mom tends to obsess about re-waging "battles" she feels she has lost in the past, and one of those is being thwarted in her efforts to get a passport for DSS. Several times while she had custody, she suddenly moved DSS out of state, openly trying to thwart DH's visitation. After the custody change, many times she pressured DH to get a passport for DSS when either he didn't actually need one for what she said she wanted to do with him; or we discovered through back channels that she was actively planning a move to a non-Hague-treaty country. It seems noteworthy that, instead of waiting until DSS turns 18 and it becomes a non-issue, she is moving out of the country now, and telling DH he must choose between getting DSS the passport she's been demanding he get, for years; or not being able to send him for her last court-ordered visits.

4) We're not sure what would happen, if DH did not send DSS for Christmas and Spring Breaks. Maybe, since they're court-ordered visits, he is expected to do whatever it takes to ensure they happen. Or maybe the onus it on Mom to address with the court her plans to move out of the country, and update her visitation orders (and child support) accordingly. Maybe a judge simply wouldn't care, if DSS said he didn't want to go. After last summer, he said he didn't want to go back out there again. I don't know yet, if Mom moving to Mexico would change his mind.

For anyone who knows Tijuana better than I do, are there any specific concerns an American parent should have, about their teenager spending long visits there with an already-flaky non-custodial parent?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,561 Posts
Oh my. Given the history and how terrible it would be if she kept him there and he missed finishing school... I would make her take it to court to get the orders modified before you sent him. She likely wouldn't since it's such a short time. But the chances of her messing with things is so high.

You could always work with her to get it done without an actual court case, but you need your orders and child support updated before you allow him to go. Chances are she's not working full time there and could come to him for her time with him... not that she would.

I am sorry you are dealing with something else just before he turns 18!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Your husband should talk to his lawyer. Try to find out what you're looking at if she drags DSS to Mexico and then refuses to let him go. I'm guessing the answer is "it'll be ugly".

I'd say make her go through the courts. She's already violating the custody agreement, and with her history I wouldn't want to let her take your DSS to another country, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Hi, dude. You always can try this professional Long Distance And Local Moving Service, because from my and my friends' experiences, they provide good service and reasonable prices. If you don't have any furniture or heavy stuff, you could ask someone with a pick-up or van to help you out, but if you have stuff that needs to be disassembled, better to get someone that can do it properly. I moved some antique pieces of furniture from my parents' house, and they did a very good job, not a single scratch.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top