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Main Forums => Father's Issues => Topic started by: ced0208 on Jun 24, 2009, 11:20:17 AM

Title: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: ced0208 on Jun 24, 2009, 11:20:17 AM
My boyfriend has temporary (6 months) custody of his 7 and 9 year old boys (one with Autism).  He was awarded this 2 weeks ago because the mother refuses to leave her husband who has domestic violence charges (she filed) and child abuse charges for his own daughter.  DHR has repeatedly told the mother that if she would leave the husband, she may be able to get the boys back.  What does the dad, my boyfriend need to do now to prevent this from happening.  My concerns are that the mother has chosen to stay with the husband, who has charges pending, over keeping her kids, she isolates the boys at her home (they are not allowed downstairs with the adults, and so many other things that are scary. 
I don't know what other information will be needed to give me the advice I'm looking for, so please feel free to ask.
Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: Davy on Jun 24, 2009, 04:12:10 PM
I assume DHR is equivalent to Child unProtective System (CPS) or Department of Children and mommy Services (DCFS).
Has the temporary custody been granted by a regular Family court judge or a DHR specialized court or administrative within DHR.
These types of social services are typically mommy friendly and will jerk the children back to mommy without cause other than they seriously believe kids belong to CS collecting mommys so that tax payers don't have to pay so much. 
I don't think you should wait out their 6 month pre-defined time frame.  Concentrate on getting legal counsel to plan and devope a stragedy in case they all of a sudden want to change custody.  Your goal would be for the temporary orders to become permanent.
In other words, do not allow DHR make the decisions concerning the children.
Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: Rave on Jun 25, 2009, 07:09:46 AM

Your situation sounds complicated.  I don't have advice for what you asked specifically.

However, I've known many women who have been in your shoes.  I have also been in your shoes.  As women, we naturally want to help.  We put on our thinking caps and go to town trying to provide ideas and solutions for our significant others.  Not sure why it is we do this.  Because we hope to gain approval from our SO's?  Because we fear for the children?  I'm sure the answer is complex.

I doubt my words will stop you from continuing to try to help (or lead) your SO to find a solution.  But consider this.  From who do you expect to receive your rewards for your efforts?  And from who do you think your efforts may be resented?  From my experience, very rarely are stepmother's efforts rewarded, despite their willingness to help, the sacrifices they are willing to make, the love they put into it, their selfless motivation, etc. 

If you are the one heading up the campaign to save those two boys, you're a saint.   And by doing so, you will have also placed your neck on the guillotine.   I suggest you seriously consider your cost vs. return.

Picture this....

Down the road, the BM regains custody and her boys are trained that you, the evil stepwitch, brainwashed their daddy to steal them away from her.

The boys believe if it weren't for your meddling, their parents could have resolved things amicably and peacefully.  They blame daddy for ever bringing you into their lives, and consequently give him attitude.

Daddy starts to wish he had never challenged BM, since it meant the loss of his son's affections.  And he starts to question if he ever would have done it, if it hadn't been for your insistance.

Sound extreme?  Actually, it's not such a stretch.  Think you'll wind up being the one stepmother on the planet who actually gets awarded a halo for her involvement?  Chances are slim.

You have much less to lose by being the shoulder for your SO to cry on, by hearing him out, by following his lead and by maintaining your own life and not giving it up to lead the rally for his boys. 

Your position is extremely stressful.  Many relationships fail because of the stress.  Don't lose yourself in the process.  It's tempting to fix things, but be careful.

Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: ced0208 on Jun 25, 2009, 12:14:51 PM
I appreciate the advice to get an attorney and I will pass that on. 
I also appreciate, Rave, your honesty and apparently, your warnings.  I am not pushing BF to get custody.  I am sincerely offering my assistance in anyway possible to educate the both of us on this situation. As I am learning, fathers do not have as much support or legal recourse as mothers.  I thought I could get some useful advice on this website; not a lashing.
I am a mother of 3 myself and am well aware of the concerns and needs of the mother.  The boys at this point are the main concern.  Not her needs.  She is choosing to stay with a man with child abuse and domestic violence charges on him and he is not to have any contact with his own daughter.  The boys are where they are the most safe, with their father.
I do want to be able to help him in anyway I can to keep custody and to get permanent custody.  I do not won't or have I tried to put my two cents in where the BM is concerned.  She and I have not had words ever and I intend to keep it that way. 
Please understand that I do appreciate your experience and I hate that your situation turned out to be a living hell.  With your advice and suggestions, I will keep myself in check and know that I will not receive any rewards or return for helping my boyfriend keep his children.
Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: Rave on Jun 25, 2009, 12:54:51 PM
Oh, please don't think I was trying to belittle your concern or your willingness to help him.  My sd's claimed they were being abused by their mother.  There was reason to believe the kids were telling the truth.  I, like you, wanted to help.  I found a very good attorney, did all the research, documented everything (in fact, the attorney was very impressed with how organized my documentation was), arranged meetings with the attorney, helped rack up thousands in legal bills and we won!!  At the time, I believed my DH was worried but worked too many hours to do everything I was doing.  In hindsight, if he wanted it bad enough, I shouldn't have had to lift a finger.

Years went by and BM cried that she was a victim to DH and myself.  Over time, the girls had very little memory of their abuse.  But they have been routinely reminded of me and DH's role as meddler.  I gained zero from the experience.  In fact, I know there have been times when my DH even wondered if we should have gone with the legal route.  I, for certain, regret ever going with the legal route. 

In hindsight, IF my DH really wanted to proceed, I should have restricted my involvement only to things he asked me specifically to do, with the understanding that I was merely helping. 

This situation is common.  Man with kids meets a woman.  She walks into the situation and sees him hurting.  She thinks his kids are great and figures out ways to help him and his kids.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen this backfire, but I'm not the only one.  I'm just suggesting you keep your eyes open. 
Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: ced0208 on Jun 25, 2009, 01:09:07 PM
I do get your point.  I don't want to be "that girl" who is used and then discarded.  I call myself being careful.  BF is very active in this and I am only helping him.  He is doing all the actual work.  He did not ask me to look anything up on the internet.  I just wanted to learn more about what his rights are.  Because , even though he is going through this, it affects me too.  My children are grown, BF did not have custody when we met and now all the sudden I may have 2 full time step children.  Yes, I have an interest in the situation.  But I will keep an eye on this so that he doesn't start giving me the extra work that could turn into me doing all of it.  Like you stated, the boys may not remember the situation at hand, but what comes down the road.
Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: Rave on Jun 25, 2009, 03:26:45 PM
Oh, believe me, I know it effects you.  I've been effected by the situation far more than I ever imagined when I first got married.  Despite now having grown stepchildren, I am still effected occasionally by my involvement as a stepmother. 

By the time stepmothers get to the point I'm at, in a situation like mine, most have become familiar with the theory of disengaging.  I really put it to practice a few years ago.  Has helped tremendously.  My silence has signaled the end to my participation as a stepmother.  I am what I vowed to be, a man's wife, period.  I don't initiate contact.  I respond pleasantly if contacted.  And I no longer put myself in situations which I know will be uncomfortable. 

I heard the oldest complain that there is not enough "balance" in DH's time (and money of course) with them vs. our kids and myself.  I have no control over his involvement in their lives.  Frankly, I've listened to over 16 years of their complaints about him and myself.  Used to bother me.  I'm over it.

Good luck to you.  It's a rough road.
Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: ksmarks on Jun 25, 2009, 05:34:00 PM
I too, am a mother (non-custodial & step-mother), and although my relationship with my ex & his new wife and their families, I struggle with my husbands ex wife and at times with his children, (now 20 & 21, when we married they were 9 & 10).
My husband enjoyed visitation with his children on 48 hours notice to his ex, which meant that he had them every weekend, and every day that he had off from work, and the majority of his vacation days.  Once we started dating it all went to heck in a hand basket.... she has had him in court almost non-stop since then...It was so bad that I went took a post BA  American Bar Association endorsed Paralegal Certificate program at Syracuse University, just so that we would know where to find the law and figure out how it applied to his case.
I have to say that at times it has been consuming, to the point that we both wanteed to cry and bang our heads against the wall.  His ex even tried to get my ex to testify for her in court, of course that went over almost as well as a lead ballon would ex likes my husband and knows that he is good for me and in turn good for our children as well.
We have spent way too much time and money in courts (five differant counties - she works for an acting Supreme Court Judge in our home County, so all the local judges have eventually recused themselves), and had both good and bad advice from attorney's along the way, educating yourself on the law might be helpful.  His ex-wife is still extermely difficult, and his children have been pre-condictioned to question, disrespect, and think that they are entitled to a great deal more than they actually need, and also receive.
If you are going to assist him in this endeavor, know as much as you can, and start your research at the link below: (
Best Wishes,
Title: Re: Dad with Custody!! Need advice how to keep it!
Post by: Davy on Jun 25, 2009, 09:45:30 PM
I'm a father that once was in a similiar situation this father is in.  I did not have a girlfriend or a companion.  The situation was such that many other moms (mostly) and dads, from all walks of life, some I didn't even know, walked along side me for support and some took a more active part without being asked.

To me, it is in the natural man that we all function and it certainly is not mostly female or mostly male.  It is part of our human decency and dignity.  There came a time when there was a SO in the picture and we both had it togeher as far as the children were concerned.  Her one son was 3 yrs old and both of my guys were in college. (Hell, I think she like my sons more than she liked me)..anyway

from Op's first post I depicted a helping hand demeanor focused on the two boys.  I hope someone can add to her.  I can suggest that she will bless others and be blessed as well.
I admire what she is doing for the sake of the children.