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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if any other blended families have had similar experiences.<br><br>
DH and I have been married 2 years. We have been together 4 years. He was married to another woman when he was in his very early 20's and they have a now 5 year old daughter together. Mom is custodial parent, DH has visitation.<br><br>
Background: DH wanted full custody from the beginning, but was denied due to false accusations of abuse from Mom. When dsd was a baby, they had a disagreement and Mom pinched DH hard underneath his arm while he was holding dsd in one arm and a cup of hot tea in the other. Because DH felt that Mom had put dsd in danger of being burned, he decided to take dsd to his dad's house for the night and come back the next day after Mom had had a chance to calm down. He left Mom his cell phone in case she needed to get in touch with him in that time, got in the car with dsd and started to leave. Mom jumped on the hood of the car. DH stopped the car and tried to reason with her through the open front passenger side window. DH attempted to hand Mom the cell phone. Mom refused it and DH began to drive away and as he did so, Mom reached her arm into the car and tried to grab onto the front passenger seat. DH stopped the car, once he realized what was going on but Mom had lost her grip and scraped her arm on the frame of the window. No blood drawn, just a little scrape. She immediately fell to the ground and started moaning in agony. DH stayed while Mom called the police and claimed that he had dragged her 10 feet down the street with the moving vehicle. In the interest of protecting themselves, the county pressed charges. Those charges were dropped after an investigation. DH promptly filed for divorce.<br><br>
About 2 1/2 years ago, during one of our visits with dsd, she was sitting with her back mostly under the coffee table while eating her lunch and when she was done she promptly stood and hit her back on the edge. I was there and saw this happen, as was DH's best friend of 14 years. It had happened on a Thursday afternoon and when DH dropped dsd off on Monday morning, he failed to mention it because by that time, he had forgotten (he can be very absent minded at times).<br><br>
The following Thursday when he went to pick his daughter up from daycare for her weekend visit, she was not there. He was instead met with a visibly uncomfortable daycare provider who handed him a business card for Mom's lawyer and said she was instructed to tell him to contact the lawyer on the card for further information. The lawyer informed DH that he was being charged with child abuse and that Mom had issued a restraining order barring him from interaction with his daughter. It took one month for the investigation to be completed and the charges dropped. Unfortunately, one week prior, DH was deployed to Iraq for a 10 1/2 month tour and was unable to properly say goodbye to his daughter.<br><br>
Fast forward to about a year later. DH is back from Iraq, he and I are married, and we just bought our first house together. Our new house is about a 25 minute drive from Mom's house. Mom has no qualms about allowing dsd visitation with her dad. She had been complaining (I know that sounds terrible, but it's true) for months about how she's had to parent all on her own during the deployment and she's sick of DH skirting his parental responsibilities in favor of his occupational responsibilities - keep in mind here, that DH was - and had been for well over a year - (over)paying $850/month in child support without any complaints and Mom was allowing him to overpay. The money had to come from somewhere.<br><br>
Anyhow, new house, new marriage, DH is home safe, all is well - sort of. At the time the parenting plan stated that during visitation exchanges, the receiving parent was responsible for transportation of the child. DH had been providing all transportation up until our move and once he went over our finances and realized that we were paying out an inordinate amount in unnecessary fuel expense, he requested that Mom pick dsd up at our home on just TWO of the four receiving days per month.<br><br>
Mom played along for a week or two, but not without protest, but soon filed another restraining order with the county because of insect bites on dsd's legs (it was mid-summer) that she thought were 'suspicious'. DH was legally barred from visitation with his daughter for a minimum of 2 weeks. But before the restraining order could be heard by a court of law, Mom sent a message through her lawyer that she was willing to drop the restraining order if DH would agree to commute to a halfway point on the two receiving days. There were no stipulations about fearing for her child's safety. There was no request of counseling or parenting classes, simply that he agrees to exchanges on HER terms. Rather than drag her into court, DH agreed to the terms - because his (now former) lawyer is a crook and a deadbeat and we couldn't afford to pay the legal fees if he had taken it to court and still pay our mortgage.<br><br>
There have been many more instances of malicious litigation like this over the past year, and much has happened that has made this blended family situation very difficult and almost unbearable. Mom is either unable or unwilling to let things rest for any extended period of time and there is always something to battle.<br><br>
I suppose I'm just looking for some feedback. Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing? What can we do about it if anything? What would you do in this situation??<br><br>
Sorry to have written a book there, but I really needed to get some of that off my chest.
 

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I am so sorry you guys are going through this.<br><br>
And your story is exactly why I almost committed a UAV when some mama was saying how she doesn't believe that mothers CAN interfere with visitation, aren't able to use the courts as a weapon and if a father really want's to see his kids all he has to do is pop off to the courts to make it happen.<br><br>
As far as advice goes, document, document, document. Document everything. Keep a journal of every trip, time and distance. Document every check and when it was sent. Document every time she is late exchanging your child. Journal every phone call, every threat, when it is made ... time and date, who was there.<br><br>
I know it sounds awful, but it's what you have to do.<br><br>
Then the next time you go to court (and you will) beg, borrow, all but steal to get the best damn lawyer you can afford and go aggressive. Not vicious, but aggressive.<br><br>
When fathers fight in court for the kids, they win more than they do not. Father's hurt themselves because they think they are hurting their kids by not fighting as hard as they can to ensure that visitation keeps both parents in the picture.<br><br>
Good luck to you guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you sincerely for reading and for responding. Sometimes I wonder if I'm going crazy because the whole situation seems so unreal to me.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>offwing</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9871565"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As far as advice goes, document, document, document. Document everything. Keep a journal of every trip, time and distance. Document every check and when it was sent. Document every time she is late exchanging your child. Journal every phone call, every threat, when it is made ... time and date, who was there.</div>
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Yes, yes, yes. Glad to hear this. We have been documenting as much as humanly possible. A good portion of the veiled threats are made via email so that makes things a bit easier to document. DH also tries to take along an impartial third party whenever he goes to exchanges. There have been a few times when Mom has used exchanges when DH is alone to berate and criticize him in front of his daughter.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Then the next time you go to court (and you will) beg, borrow, all but steal to get the best damn lawyer you can afford and go aggressive. Not vicious, but aggressive.<br><br>
When fathers fight in court for the kids, they win more than they do not. Father's hurt themselves because they think they are hurting their kids by not fighting as hard as they can to ensure that visitation keeps both parents in the picture.</td>
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I believe this is probably our next step. DH has been over extending himself, folding to demands that amount to little more than extortion and blackmail, compromising with as much as he humanly can and it's beginning to wear on him that his good will has gone unnoticed and unappreciated for so long.<br><br>
But I know it isn't just the crook lawyer or crappy circumstances or bad timing that makes this situation difficult. Another part it is that he has been afraid to fight. He so badly wants to preserve his daughter's childhood by smoothing over difficult situations and keeping the peace. He doesn't want her to be wounded in the battle (figuratively and literally speaking), but he is beginning to fear that enough damage has been done and will likely continue to be done unless there is some form of intervention. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Was it something I said? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
So many views and just the one response.<br><br>
Am I right in assuming this is something so uncommon that very few others have experienced it?<br><br>
Does anyone have suggestions on where I/we might go for support?
 

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I viewed the thread, but didn't have anything to add beyond what offwing said - she (once again) hit the nail on the head.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Awful and immoral thing to do to accuse a loving parent of harming their child. DP been there, dealt with that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> It was before I was in the picture though, and I know that was the most painful time in his life.<br><br>
As far as pick up and drop off goes - he's been doing that for almost 12 years now, but gas is nothing to seeing the kid (who btw lives 40-50 minutes away), so some battles we just let go.<br><br>
I don't know what advice to give... I only have hugs and "you are not alone" . <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Oriole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9876967"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Awful and immoral thing to do to accuse a loving parent of harming their child. DP been there, dealt with that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> It was before I was in the picture though, and I know that was the most painful time in his life.<br><br>
As far as pick up and drop off goes - he's been doing that for almost 12 years now, but gas is nothing to seeing the kid (who btw lives 40-50 minutes away), so some battles we just let go.<br><br>
I don't know what advice to give... I only have hugs and "you are not alone" . <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></div>
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Thank you for your response. To be honest, it is both comforting and horrifying to know that others have experienced this kind of thing.<br><br>
While I understand completely about choosing battles wisely, I think I may have been misunderstood. He has always conceded. It has never been an issue for either of us to take the high road. He does the best he can to keep things on an even keel and I have always supported him 150%.<br><br>
What was an issue (and still is - and is the issue I'd hoped to find some guidance about here) is the fraudulent restraining order filed against him and his being barred from visitation with his daughter simply because he'd made a single request for his own sake, because he asked for one thing to make his life a little easier. He ultimately met her conditions for dropping the restraining order and met her halfway for exchanges. But her seemingly constant manipulation of the legal system continues to damage him personally, damage his relationship with his daughter, damage his self-esteem and his reputation.<br><br>
Maybe I am going crazy. Maybe I'm seeing this situation all wrong. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Are we doomed to face this forever? Is there nothing we can do?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nikag</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9877175"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
Are we doomed to face this forever? Is there nothing we can do?</div>
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I don't know... I only hope that it becomes easier for you guys, (things do settle down over the years) but documenting things is a good thing, and I would most certainly be seeking a legal advice on how to handle these incidents... If it is something that is happening on a constant basis - you have to be able to do something, right? A good lawyer would help, I guess.. I'm truly sorry for your pain.
 

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This is called Parental Alienation. Where one parent uses the child against the other in a judicial and emotional manner.<br><br>
It's sick what she's doing to you, your hubby and his child.<br><br>
Find a new lawyer and if I were him, I'd be sueing for full custody and getting back the over payments after getting full custody.<br><br>
Sheal
 

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Okay, you dont' say if you are an active duty family, or what branch of service (we're an active duty Marine Corps family), but there are all kinds of resources out there to help military families. I'm a Key Volunteer for our unit, which means I help direct people to family support services. A lot of what I have is base and branch specific, but I might have something in my refernce binder that could help you. PM me if you think I could help!<br><br>
Maura
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Oriole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9877250"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know... I only hope that it becomes easier for you guys, (things do settle down over the years) but documenting things is a good thing, and I would most certainly be seeking a legal advice on how to handle these incidents... If it is something that is happening on a constant basis - you have to be able to do something, right? A good lawyer would help, I guess.. I'm truly sorry for your pain.</div>
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First, thank you for your kind words. I sure do hope thing settle down over the years too. Things have been particularly hairy since she found out that we're having our first child together. I hope that her response to future blessings in our lives will change with time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/praying.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="praying">:<br><br>
Good, good. That's 2 (possibly 3) responses for documentation. That makes me feel a little relieved that we're doing what we can in this department. Now, I suppose we ought to try and rework the finances and get ourselves another lawyer.<br><br>
It does happen on a pretty constant basis. There is a broad spectrum of severity. Sometimes she involves the courts, sometimes she just makes demands and threatens to involve the courts, or threatens to find a way to make him pay even more child support, or threatens another restraining order, or threatens to you get the idea. Sometimes she wants to adhere strictly to the parenting plan (generally when it suits her purposes), sometimes she wants do deviate from it (also, generally when it suits her purposes), but one common thread runs through the majority of her communications verbal or otherwise: there is generally a demand and a threat involved. Some days it feels like we're dealing with a kidnapper.<br><br>
We do what we can, but it never seems to work out in our favor. She always seems willing to escalate things to a level that we are unwilling to trump because we know it would only further damage dd and his relationship with her. I'm looking for new options here.<br><br>
Sheal:<br><br>
Fortunately he has recently been able to have the overpayments reimbursed in the form of a monthly payment. It will take 14 months of monthly payments for it to be paid in full. He had made a request to his former lawyer to have the child support reconfigured to reflect his overpayment and the guy waited 8 months to file the paperwork, all the time charging DH for every phone call he made regarding the issue, even charging DH for checking his own voicemail. That was ultimately why DH fired him. Most recently, Mom has been trying to find ways to reduce her the amount by suggesting verbal (not legal) arrangements with DH - scouring the parenting plan for clauses that neither parent has enforced (because not doing so is convenient for BOTH parents) and offering to cut him a deal. If he allows her to pay less per month, she won't attempt the get those clauses enforced.<br><br>
I have read about Parental Alienation. It was also suggested to me that she might be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. I worry about what that means for dd, for us, and for our situation though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jauncourt</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9877504"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Okay, you dont' say if you are an active duty family, or what branch of service (we're an active duty Marine Corps family), but there are all kinds of resources out there to help military families. I'm a Key Volunteer for our unit, which means I help direct people to family support services. A lot of what I have is base and branch specific, but I might have something in my refernce binder that could help you. PM me if you think I could help!<br><br>
Maura</div>
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He was Army. He ETS'd a month and a half after his tour in Iraq ended. But he just recently joined the active reserves. Do you know of any resources for reservists or for veterans that I can pass along? That might be very helpful!
 

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reservists should still be afforded the same benefits as active duty members, depending on how long it has been since he was actively serving. i'm going to pm you.
 

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Just a quick surf through my links/resource binder, and I foundsome helpful stuff:<br><br><a href="http://legalassistance.law.af.mil/index.php" target="_blank">AFLA website</a> and the <a href="http://legalassistance.law.af.mil/content/afla.php?view=faqs#8" target="_blank">FAQ question on services provded.</a><br><br>
There's also Military OneSource which has both a <a href="http://www.militaryonesource.com" target="_blank">website</a> (not as helpful/easily navigable as I'd like it to be) and a 24 hour helpline 1 800 342 9647 (not secret - that's on the top of every page).<br><br>
I hope this gives you a starting point for getting some help with this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
Maura
 
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