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Main Forums => Visitation Issues => Topic started by: texasex on Nov 08, 2014, 02:17:16 PM

Title: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: texasex on Nov 08, 2014, 02:17:16 PM
My 16 yo lives with me and my current husband here in TX.  My ex-husband lives in NM.  I moved out of NM in 2009, and my daughter lived with my ex from 2009-2011.  In 2011, my daughter decided to come live with me because my ex was going thru a nasty divorce.  My husband was really mad/hurt that my daughter left him to live with me in another state.  Since then, their relationship has been pretty bad.  He's oscillates between outright hurtful and passive aggressive.  We have a court order from 2004 that was the order in place when we both lived in the same city.  Since I moved out of NM we have just been using our own agreement that was never filed in any court.

My daughter had decided after her last Christmas visit that he was just being too much of a jerk and she wasn't going to visit him anymore.  She told him so and he had told her that he wasn't going to force her to visit him.  Then on June 1st, he changed his mind and demanded that she come visit him.  In July, we ended up going to court here in Tx.  Everyone told me that no judge was going to force a 15 yo to visit her noncustodial parent, but we got the judge that is very much pro-father.  We didn't even get to give our arguments.  She had to go visit him for almost 4 weeks over the summer, but we still don't have a court order in place.  I'm really not sure what to do.  I can request a final hearing that would generate a court order, but I haven't heard from him since this summer.  He has only contacted my daughter a couple of times.  My daughter thinks that we should wait and see if he'll just disappear, but I really don't know what I should be doing at this point.  Christmas is coming up and it's too late to schedule a final hearing before Christmas.  I'm not sure what would happen if he bought her a plane ticket and I just didn't make her get on the plane.

Before the initial hearing in July, my lawyer was really confident that we would be heard and that my daughter wouldn't be forced to see her dad, but we were thoroughly spanked.  Now she seems much more reluctant to give me any advice other than to try to pay for a home study or other things that cost money. 
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: ocean on Nov 08, 2014, 02:43:15 PM
How did the summer visit go? Has dad asked her to come for Christmas in his contact with her? Did the judge say anything about future visits?

I would just let it go for now. If he is not asking, then leave it alone. Christmas airline ticket would cost him a lot at this point so he probably is not buying a ticket. You only have 2 years left, so to start paying for home studies and full trial sounds a little off unless there were good reason not to send her. They have to start their own relationship without you soon, let them work it out. If and when dad/daughter come to you to set up a visit, then deal with it then. He is her father and even had full custody so unless there is a real good reason not to go, encourage a visit. Maybe not at Christmas if she wants to be home, but then over another school break or next summer for less time.
Good luck!
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: texasex on Nov 08, 2014, 04:36:04 PM
Thank you for the reply.  The summer visit didn't go well.  She went back to NM, and it sounds like no one there knew why we were all in court.  It sounds like (based on what she heard) that her dad told everyone that he was coming to TX to get custody of her and that she was really upset that the effort had failed.  She said that whenever she went anywhere, her dad told everyone that she couldn't talk about her custody issues, so no one should ask her.  A couple times, he told people that she was a liar/exaggerator and to not listen to what she had to say about her relationship with her dad.  She didn't talk to hardly anyone about her situation.

At our court hearing, the judge didn't say anything about future visitation and we don't even have a court order really for the visit that they had this last summer.

He hasn't mentioned visits with her or me, because neither of us have really had any contact with him.  A month ago, he had called her and told her that he needed to speak with her urgently in a voice mail.  Then a minute later, he had her little brother call her and leave a similar message.  She called the brother back and the brother said that the urgent news was that her uncle's dog was being put down after been sick for years.  She didn't talk to her dad.
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 08, 2014, 04:49:12 PM
Honestly?  I think there is no order because NM still has jurisdiction.  I'm no attorney -- but if dad didn't move, then jurisdiction should stay until he moves away.

Maybe that's why there were no "arguments to be heard" -- because the actual hearing didn't have jurisdiction.  The judge (maybe being pro-father), decided to threaten/butt chew the daughter into going to see her father....Again, I'm no attorney, but that's my honest guess.

At that age -- I'd sit tight, when dad calls to make arrangements or to give you flight information.....tell daughter she has to go.

BUT I'd also tell daughter that if anything got dicey -- you'd come get her.  Seriously, TX (well, I know it's a big state),'re right next door....give her a safety net and encourage her to go.  Make sure she has an exit plan or a "Mom, I need help" a cell phone and maybe even a visa debit card to get to a bus station.  Find local taxi numbers ahead of time, where's the bus station, or where's the closest airport....etc...

Get what I mean?

Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: texasex on Nov 08, 2014, 05:17:47 PM
Thanks, Mixed Bag.  Our hearing in July was originally to modify a visitation plan.  My daughter hasn't lived in NM since 2011, so TX can assume jurisdiction after she's been a resident for 9 months.  A lot of our time was spent in court, sorting out the jurisdiction issue.  After my ex found out that I had filed a motion to adopt a foreign custody order here in TX, he filed a motion in NM.  The judge called a judge in NM who was set to handle his motion in NM.  They decided that TX would assume jurisdiction and NM declined jurisdiction.  So after all that headache, the judge just said that my daughter was going to go for her summer visit.  He didn't hear any of our reasons for wanting the hearing at all.

Thank you for your input.  I really don't have anyone that I can ask about how I should proceed with all of this.  No one I know has been in any sort of custody trouble!
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 09, 2014, 08:54:50 AM
Thanks for adding that detail....and I hate to say it -- because my EX#3 was a "victim" of a moveaway....  but I wish the dad would have fought harder to keep it in NM.  There should be ONE answer to this situation, and the law doesn't support what happened in your situation.  And that makes it confusing for newbies who come here and ask "Which state has jurisdiction?"

Oh Davy!  Where are you?  -- that's another poster here.

So the immediate situation is how to handle the upcoming holidays -- and I go back to what I said before.  Give her an emergency exit plan and you be ready to execute it on your end.
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: texasex on Nov 09, 2014, 01:48:30 PM
The law actually does support other states accepting jurisdiction of child custody cases.  It's under the UCCJEA.  My daughter hadn't been in NM for several years, so the evidence regarding her health and well-being was here in TX.  New Mexico gave up the case because we hadn't lived there for so long.  My ex-husband didn't dispute my daughter's decision to leave the state.  He wasn't a victim of a move-away.
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: ocean on Nov 09, 2014, 02:54:02 PM
Not really the law, since he didn't fight it, it was easier for you. The courts will not allow "state shopping". This stops a custodial parent to move from a state that child support is to 18 and move to a state that goes to age 21. You may "ask" the courts to change jurisdiction to another state if both parents move out so state, if parents agree, or judge decides it is best interest of child. I am not an expert on changing states, there is another poster on this board that dealt with it but it really is not an issue for you now.

I agree with MB, have a plan ready but it does not sound like there is abuse or a reason for her to leave his house at a moments notice. We did not allow anyone to talk to skids about custody/courts either. Is there a cousin by him she can have come stay with her? Will he allow her to bring a friend for part of the time? Next time he asks, put in writing some proposals and see if he will go for any of them. Try not to go crazy about it as he has not even asked for a visit yet. The only proactive thing you could do is file modification of visitation from original court papers as you are now out of state. Then make a new schedule for the next 2 years. Could be a 2 week visit in summer instead, spring break instead of christmas week. Maybe wait until after this Christmas to file so that is not even up for play. At the end of the day, he is her father. He will be there for life: graduations, wedding, grandbabies...He may not be perfect father but he took care of her for a few years and is the only father she has.
Good luck!
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: texasex on Nov 09, 2014, 11:31:01 PM
I guess I'm surprised that the fact that I changed which state has jurisdiction and the fact that I moved away from NM are seen in a seemingly negative light.  No one has said anything directly negative about these decisions, but there does seem to be an implication that I was "state shopping" and being a "moveaway" parent.  The UCCJEA does help parents change the state of jurisdiction in certain circumstances and one of those is specifically when most of the evidence about a child's care is no longer in the original state.  My daughter had not lived in NM since 2011 and I had not lived there since 2009.  I don't believe that by taking advantage of that fact in order to file a motion closer to my home is wrong.  My ex and I had been having a dispute for a month, and I chose to file before he did.  He had been threatening to do so and didn't.  When he did finally file, the state of NM declared they were declining jurisdiction.  It doesn't make sense to say that the law doesn't support what I did. 

As far as being a move away parent, I didn't take my daughter with me when I left.  My ex was not victimized in anyway.  When she decided to move in with me, it was because he wasn't taking care of her and his other children well.  If he had wanted to fight her leaving NM, he could have and would have probably won.

Thank you for the advice on the Christmas visit which is truly appreciated.
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: ConcernedFather on Nov 10, 2014, 05:11:33 AM
Why are you allowing this to be your daughter's choice?  Let her decide when she's 18, but for now she should see both parents as much as possible.  If you have an issue with how he talks to his daughter, ask him to work on that.  Is he abusing her?  It doesn't sound like it.
Title: Re: Almost 16yo daughter is refusing to go visit her dad
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 10, 2014, 07:00:14 AM
I agree with ConcernedFather.... as a CP, I didn't give my custodial girls a choice as to whether or not they could or could not go see their dad.  I set the tone  -- they knew that -- and yes, they were always sent into an unfriendly environment (their SM admitted that to me and apologized and then had another episode).  On the flip side, my EX#2 decided that it was our son's choice....and at first our son moved...and later moved back, and then dad (and son) got their butts chewed by the judge who was in court that day (Retired Supreme Court Justice) about dad's attitude (and a gentle but definitive push to our son).  For our son, that worked.....for dad -- well, a narcissist is always right.

About the jurisdiction -- I'm betting that the ONLY reason it was allowed to move is that dad didn't fight it.  I moved -- thank you military -- and fought this subject in court.  When I got custody, Dad didn't want jurisdiction to follow our son because dad was still in WV.  I said no problem the law supports you.  The judge actually didn't agree with me in court and I said I wanted to keep jurisdiction in WV because then all the history (which was NOT favorable to dad) stayed with our case.  Two years later, I was told by the same judge that I was right.  There's a clause that says that says something about both parties having to leave.....   Ocean is right, we've seen people "state shopping" mainly through NCP posts here at this site.....which has been open for what over 15 years?     I just approached the subject because you said you didn't have an order from this summer's hearing -- and thought maybe THAT's the reason why.  I do think it's a big deal....and also think you got lucky.   

Christmas is the priority now....and I hope that you can put a good plan in motion with some of these ideas behind it.  Start taking the stance of "You're going, I just don't know when. He's still your dad and you have two years left."