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What sorts of quetions/thigns should I be getting together for my lawyer appt on Tuesday?<br><br>
I know I want to address my visitation concerns... basically I just don't want any overnights. I'm afraid if I try for anything more than that I will be viewed as a harpy denying acces. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
I also want to ask if there is any legal obligation to have STBX at birth. I'm thinking no, but want to make sure because I know he is going to flip on this and I need protection on it.<br><br>
Financial stuffs... I want to be covered under his insurance until after the baby is born since I already started all my care and have monies towards my deductible, I don't want to start over with that.<br><br>
Legal seperation? Basically something to say that I can legally have DD and leave without him calling the cops. I asked the DV shelter about this and she said to ask about a temporary custody order to protect us.<br><br>
What else should I be thinking of?
 

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that's a lot of stuff to start with. one thing i would want to know about is whether the tendancy is to award joint physical custody, or sole physical custody with visitation. i was surprised (and thrilled) to find out the default in my state is sole physical custody with e-o-w.<br><br>
your babes are much younger than mine so i understand the concern about overnights. i would ask what usually happens with overnights with a breastfed infant. you may have a really difficult time preventing overnights with dd1 unless you push for <b>supervised visitation</b>. ask the lawyer what you would need in order to build a case for that. ask whether the documentation of abuse against you is enough, or whether you need to provide documentation of his verbal abuse of his daughters and neglect of dd1 (such as when he would only give her a bottle but offer no solids all morning).<br><br>
on the insurance thing, that might be harder to enforce. maybe the answer is to not have the divorce become finalized until the baby is born? it's a very good question.<br><br>
ask whether you should seek a no-fault divorce or use:<br>
3. Extreme cruelty, including any physical or mental cruelty that endangers your safety or health, or which makes continued living together improper or unreasonable.<br>
and/or<br>
6. Imposed such indignities on the innocent spouse as to render that spouse's condition intolerable and life burdensome.<br>
as the grounds for divorce. (got those from <a href="http://www.divorcelawinfo.com/pa/padivexpln.htm#Divorce:%20%20Fault%20and%20No-Fault" target="_blank">http://www.divorcelawinfo.com/pa/pad...and%20No-Fault</a>)<br>
it might be helpful to go to the courthouse and look at the divorce papers from his previous marriage.<br><br>
that same website says there is no legal separation process in pa, but definitely get a temporary custody order. it's not so much to protect your right to have dd, but to prevent him from claiming the same right and taking her away from you. if there is no order, he can keep dd away from you because he's her parent, but if you get a temporary custody order, he'll have to follow it. so i would be asking how rather than if.<br><br>
ask if you can get an <b>order for protection</b> based on the documentation you already have.<br><br>
he has no legal right to be at the birth. i know we don't see it as a medical procedure, but legally, i believe that's how it would be seen and nobody has the "right" to be present at another adult's medical procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know the standard for custody is a primary home with visitation because him and his ex just went with the cookie cutter schedule they give out with their divorce and I have read his divorce papers, so I don't need to look them up.<br><br>
I didn't really think on filing for anything other than no fault as that seems to be the most popular. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
I don't see why it should be difficult to get him to keep me on his insurance policy until the baby is born. I'm carrying his child that needs care. It's just as much for his baby as it is for me. I can't forsee anyone thinking it unreasonable to ask a father to keep the pregnant mother on the insurance policy.<br><br>
As for the overnights with DD... everyone I have talked to thus far think my chance for supervised visitation are pretty non-existent. But I can say that I have done all night time parenting on my own since she was born. She rarely wakes up in the middle of night anymore, but when she does, he never even stops snoring. And the handful of times I have tried to get his help, he broke out in a tantrum... one with yelling at her for being awake which led me to leave to my parents house for a few days. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Even with DSD I'm usually the one that gets the kids to bed. STBX usually can't be bothered because it's the end of the day and he "deserves" a break and is checking sports scores. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Something about supervised visitation... you can ask that it be supervised by an independent 3rd party (someone not related to you or him) and request that he pay for those services. I think this is more frequently done in cases where the abuse has escalated to physical harm, threats of kidnapping, ect, but it's just an option to consider. If there isn't anyone in his family that you trust to provide proper supervision during his visits, I would seriously consider that option. You've posted about him leaving dangerous objects and chemicals within your DD's reach, I would include those as reasons why you need supervised visits.<br><br>
And I would probably ask for the maximum that you can get, meaning, if you want supervised visitation, and you have documented reasons why it would be unsafe for your DD to have overnights or unsupervised visitations, then I would probably still ask for it. Your lawyer will of course advise you and hopefully have some good suggestions. But if nothing else, you can always start with the most restrictive option that you feel is in your DD's best interests and negotiate from there. It's hard to start lax and then negotiate for more strict measures.<br><br>
I also think it is totally reasonable for him to be required to keep you on his insurance for the duration of your pregnancy as well as maybe for a few months after, like the 4th trimester. And he should provide insurance for both DC, health and dental.<br><br>
You can also ask that if and when he does get overnights, that no one not related by blood (or if he remarries at some point) be allowed to spend the night when your DC are also staying over. I'd also be sure to include a right of first refusal clause that if he can't be present for his time with the DC, then he has to give you the opportunity to care for them first before he passes them off to a sitter or whoever.<br><br>
Good luck. And also, if this lawyer doesn't seem like a good fit, don't be afraid to walk out and find one who will fight for you and your DC best interests.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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it's so hard to tell how things will come across in writing, when you can't hear tone or see facial expression. i hope you don't think i was criticisizing any of your plans or questions.<br><br>
one other thing i talked to the lawyer about was stbx's insurance policy. on the single mamas page, there is a gigantic thread about what people are glad they have in their divorce papers or WISH they had, and one thing that came up was life insurance policies. currently, i have a small life insurance policy on stbx which i pay for. i wanted to know if there was anything unethical about me keeping the policy, continuing to pay for it, etc even though it's in his name. it protects me and my kids if he kicks the bucket (although it's REALLY dinky, $50k). she said it's a good idea - that he could be ordered to have life insurance so the kids would be provided for, but it's hard to enforce without going back to court.<br><br>
otoh, i have a huge life insurance policy on myself so that my boys will be taken care of if i die. currently, stbx is the beneficiary. the lawyer said i need to set up a trust in my boys' name and name someone other than stbx as the person repsonsible for withdrawing funds needed for my boys' care until they're adults. so even though stbx would have custody if i die, someone else will handle the finances. otherwise, he'd blow it all and my kids would be destitute.<br><br>
just one more thing to consider. there are soooooo many little things!<br><br>
i totally hear you on the overnights. stbx has only had the boys overnight without me a few times, and they are 4.5 & 3yo. the first time with the 3yo was november - yeah, ds was 32 months my first night away! (ds1 has had overnights with grandma since he was 2yo.) i get it, i do. i just thought "no overnights" might be hard - but maybe i'm wrong, because she's still so young. and maybe he won't even want overnights because it's too much "work" for him.
 
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