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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I seriously need some opinions on this. I am really nervous about it.<br>
My ex husband and I separated a little over a year ago and since then he has saw the kids once. He has emailed maybe a total of 3 times and never called. He hasn't sent any letters,cards,gifts,anything. He sends CS lately on a pretty regular basis but it isn't much. He lives in DC and I/ the kids have lived in Missouri( where I am from) for a year now.<br>
He filed for divorce and wanted to pay 700 a month in child support. He refused to pay any alimony. He wants several weeks during the summer and also many many holidays- Keep in mind this is a man who has had nothing to do with them for over a year. He also wants me to have physical custody but him to have joint legal. Why the hell should a man who has nothing to do with the kids get to have 50% of decision making????<br>
Garrett( my son) is 2 years old and is very disabled. He is tube fed 24-7 and on many other machines as well. He must have equipment of all kinds of course everywhere he goes. I literally care for him 24-7. So my lawyer once we got in the "parenting plan" listed in above paragraph that my ex had filed- we filed a counter saying we wanted visitation local and that we want a child support amount for Garrett that takes into account his extra expenses because of his disabilities. I also asked for spousal support because of my inability to work because of Garrett's disabilities. So far they have refused to compromise on anything.<br>
Am I asking for too much? My lawyer seems to think it's reasonable. I just got a paper in the mail and our trial date is set for October 4th. I am nervous as can be!
 

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I don't think it's unreasonable and I sincerely hope a judge doesn't either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I've read of some mamas getting a clause put into the custody agreement with them sharing legal custody, but the custodial parent gets the final say in case they disagree. Sorry, but I don't know what it's called but it seems it would at least promote the CP to share any information with the NCP even if they NcP doesn't have a final say in a treatment or school placement (when the time comes).<br><br>
I don't know if you son receives SSI for his disability (and you don't have to answer here) but I'm sure you've disclosed it to your attorney if he does. It factors into the amount of CS the child should receive from the NCP. I feel like I should also mention that finding a preschool/school for a disabled child can be difficult and often expensive. It might be wise to consider making some sort of petition for the NCP to share these expenses when it's time for your child to attend. A mention of sharing the cost of extra activities such as a music class, a toddler gym, or a sport or activity (+ the equipment and supplies it might necessitate) that your child might participate in would also be prudent. And not mention he should share a percentage of extrodinary uncovered medical expenses (durable medical equipment, formula for the tube feeding, ect).<br><br>
Good Luck mama! I think you are doing a wonderful thing for your son by caring for him yourself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> and you deserve to receive spousal support as well.
 

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Not even taking into consideration Garretts disability, your kids are aweful young. I really don't know much about visitation in regards to disabled children (I'm sure Judges do order visitation for them) but I would really really fight for local visits, at least for now. Make it sound like you're willing to work with ex and work up to overnight/extended visits out of town but ONLY after ex has proved he can care for both kids completely on his own, in town.<br><br>
Good luck, mama!
 

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Wow! Sorry you are going through this. Sounds like you are being reasonable to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know I told my lawyer I wanted local visits only just because all of Garrett's drs( dozens upon dozens) and therapies(everyday) are here.<br>
I spoke with his disability social worker though who thinks based on the amount of care Garrett needs that I should tell my lawyer my ex should get supervised visitation to start with then work his way up to local visitation with no overnights.<br>
He wasn't abusive to the kids( well because he has hardly spent any time with em..) but still with Garrett she thought it would be dangerous for him to spend time with the ex without him knowing how to do any of his machines,feeds,meds etc.<br>
What do you think? Should I stick with the local regular visitation? When I told my lawyer we didn't specify anything about overnights.<br>
I don't know how realistic the supervised is. The social worker said she would be happy to write a letter for court stating that as did his other therapists.
 

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I think your petition sounds absolutely reasonable. The local visitation and a gradually stepped-up parenting plan would be in Garrett's best interest. Sunflowers had some excellent suggestions about extraordinary expenses to ask for him to help cover. Hopefully you and your attorney can impress on the judge just how disabled DS is and the level of knowledgable care he requires.<br><br>
I'll be thinking of you as you has you head to court. I have a trial date in Oct. as well, and I know the nervous feeling.
 

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When my dd came home from the hospital, her father (and me of course) was required to receive training on the medical equipment she used as well as a first aid and CPR class.<br><br>
Her equipment was nowhere close to what your son has to use. I would get the letters from the social worker and any doctors that you can stating that the importance of your ex learning how to use the equipment and spending time, supervised by you, with the child becoming comfortable with it. It is also important for him to become familiar with how your ds communicates and how to attend his needs. Yeah- supevised visits should certainly be requested and should be able to be substantiated through the testimony of the SW, therapists and doctors. It may even be possible to have the SW come to court and testify in person. I know mine offered for us when I thought ex was going to take custody to the mat.<br><br>
It would certainly show whether or not his father is truly interested in providing the best care for his son or if it's a scare tactic (yeah, I'm a little jaded, sorry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> ).<br><br>
How about your dd? It would concern me to think that ex will effectively abandon your son to you (because he can't handle <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> the disability) and focus on your daughter, you know? Is that a possibility?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunflowers</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8973319"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When my dd came home from the hospital, her father (and me of course) was required to receive training on the medical equipment she used as well as a first aid and CPR class.<br><br>
Her equipment was nowhere close to what your son has to use. I would get the letters from the social worker and any doctors that you can stating that the importance of your ex learning how to use the equipment and spending time, supervised by you, with the child becoming comfortable with it. It is also important for him to become familiar with how your ds communicates and how to attend his needs. Yeah- supevised visits should certainly be requested and should be able to be substantiated through the testimony of the SW, therapists and doctors. It may even be possible to have the SW come to court and testify in person. I know mine offered for us when I thought ex was going to take custody to the mat.<br><br>
It would certainly show whether or not his father is truly interested in providing the best care for his son or if it's a scare tactic (yeah, I'm a little jaded, sorry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> ).<br><br>
How about your dd? It would concern me to think that ex will effectively abandon your son to you (because he can't handle <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> the disability) and focus on your daughter, you know? Is that a possibility?</div>
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Your suggestions aren't bad but trust me I won't be supervising anything. If he is ordered to get some sort of training it won't involve me teaching that [email protected]# anything.<br>
The SW didn't offer but I will ask.<br>
My ex isnt at all interested in the kids- he's simply wanting this visitation to cut down on CS.<br>
He has already essentially abandoned both of them and I am faily confident he wont use any of this visitation even if granted but a judge would have to be a dumbass to grant overnight or long distance( since he lives in DC) visitation to a complete stranger for a 1 year old! That certainly does concern me that he would split them up but the odds are my daughter would come back ok. With my son though the odds are that there would be a very different outcome.<br>
I don't really know what to do. We cant agree on anything so it's all up to judge apparently which is scary as hell.
 

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Write down a log of his visits and phone calls from the point you split up.You may not remember exactly but do your best.This information will show a judge that his interest in his kids was very little and will help you with the supervised visits and custody.Getting afidavits from Doctors and social workers stating that they advise your ex has supervised visits until he is familiar with your sons equipment and care will definitly help there.I think you will easily be granted local visits and supervised with his history of not visiting and his lack of knowledge about his care.But be very proactive with making a log and getting declarations from any professionals that can help your case.Stay away from family members because they don't carry much weight in court.I would think you could get alimony for at least a little while but i wouldn't expect the court the grant it for the entirety of your child's life unless you can get proof that you have to be home with him 24 hours a day.I think you have a lot going for you and understand that he will ask for more then what he would really get because that is how they are told to start out since negotations are big in divorce.If he isn't budging then don't budge either because you can pull together enough evidence to show a judge that he is not capable of getting what he wants.
 

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Keep to the facts, get as much information as you need from professionals and if this dad is interested in being a dad, he will do what he has to do to care for his children.<br><br>
Since they have not seen him for a year, it is important for him to re-establish a relationship.<br><br>
I hope you get a judge who can see what is best for your children and make sure their needs are met, especially those of your son.
 
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