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Main Forums => Dear Socrateaser => Topic started by: dipper on Nov 17, 2014, 08:38:14 PM

Title: Pending case
Post by: dipper on Nov 17, 2014, 08:38:14 PM
I am so glad that I found this forum again.  This forum helped my husband and I so much years ago as we fought for custody of his son.  We did eventually win, but it was an uphill battle.

Currently, the son that we won custody of is facing his own battle.  Our grandbaby is one year old.  He was never married to her mother, they lived together.   The mother has cystic fibrosis, bipolar disorder, ADD, OCD, and severe anxiety.   She has spent 55 days in the hospital in the past year.  She has had two surgeries and numerous ER visits.   My husband and I have been the primary caretakers of our grandbaby - though not legally represented.

Our son works long hours.  We kept the child at least 4 days a week as the mother would say she was tired or in pain.  Now, she has moved out and moved in with her mother.   She and our son made a custody agreement prior to her moving out - which included my husband and I in the shared parenting agreement.  We all had it notarized.  It has been filed with the court for a December 2nd hearing.

The problem is, the mother no longer wants to honor the agreement.  Her mother wants it changed, has verbally stated that to me.  The baby's mom is saying she was under the influence of oxycodone when she signed the agreement so it is not valid. 

It appears everything we could use against them, they have figured out or someone has told them.  The grandmother says her boyfriend no longer stays overnight and she has stopped smoking in the home.  The mother instantly went on her FB and deleted all negative rants she has made - and that was a lot.  She went to her doctor's today, including the psychiatrist who she had not been seeing.   

This mother used to lay under a comforter all day - she did not like to hold the baby.  She did not clean.  In a year and a half, she cleaned the house maybe 3 times and claimed she had OCD and could not stand it being dirty. 

I do have a copy of a paper from a psychologist that states her mental health issues, that she is not intimidated by confrontation, and that she can be hostile and vindictive.  However, this was not summonsed.  I made a copy the week before she left our son of papers she had received in the hospital.  She has never been put in the hospital for the mental issues, it has been for the CF and she was treated for the mental health issues during that time. 

We do not have money for an attorney.  As far as we know, she does not have an attorney though she has told my son that she was getting one and seeking sole custody. 

She expects my son to answer every time she calls.  Tonight he was here for dinner and texted her when she called - told her that the baby was fine and that he would call her when he got home.  She told him "no, you answer me now."  in text.  She called my phone and my husband - my husband answered.  She told my son that when she calls, he is to answer no matter what he is doing. 

Any suggestions????   We are very devastated as I said -my husband and I have raised this child for the most part....and we have no legal rights.

Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 18, 2014, 08:07:24 AM
Hopefully you'll remember there is no attorney here anymore.

I hope you learned or have printed everything that WAS on facebook.

I hope you are legally allowed to record conversations.

I think you also need to learn the techniques behind dealing with a narcissist -- keep it simple, yes, details etc for them to argue with.

Neither parent (mom or dad) has an attorney?

What exactly did son file in his motion -- and have son go physically review his file before court -- like at least a week before court and remember there's holidays coming up -- to see exactly what she filed for.

Sounds like both parents have something work against them (him long hours, her health issues).....

I'm on the road for the next week....driving and working.
Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: dipper on Nov 18, 2014, 03:14:01 PM
Neither parent has an attorney.  A custody agreement was made between them even before she moved out.  My husband and I are listed as parties in the agreement to shared legal and physical custody.  We all signed,had it notarized, and I petitioned the court to have it ordered.

My son filed for full custody after she kept threatening to take the child.   She has not filed anything in the court system yet...that we know of.

We do not have legal authority to record conversations.
Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: ocean on Nov 18, 2014, 03:49:49 PM
So there is a court date soon?
Look up your state and see how it is legal to tape someone. In my state, you just have to let the person know they will be taped. We sent ex a certified letter stating that at anytime we may be taping her.

Stop answering phone. Let it go to voicemail and let her rant. Then you have that as proof. Text her any info she needs. "ex is doing great, we will meet you at xx time according to the custody agreement we currently have in place". Then ignore.

Yes, you prob do not have too much rights as grandparents. If those notarized papers were court ordered, might have some leeway for a little while as you are a party to the case currently.

It is good that mom is getting her act together, hopefully it will stay. She can have the time if she is parenting.

If you have a court date coming up, make a calendar with the nights you have child. Courts like to count nights and not days. Make your nights one color, her nights another color with totals at bottom. What parenting plan is my wanting to change too? Ask her for some different plans and see if you can agree?
Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: dipper on Nov 18, 2014, 04:12:11 PM
The court date is December 2nd.   I think in our state (VA) we can record if we let her know.   

My son has tried to text that baby is doing well.  She will not accept that - she keeps calling, does not leave voice mail and demands when he speaks to her that he answer her every call instantly. 

The parenting plan drawn up had the child with my son/us during the times she is in the hospital.  Out of 57 days she was in the hospital in the past year, the maternal grandmother only requested 2 days with her -we kept her the other 55 days.  Now, the maternal grandmother wants the order to state that the child will be with her during the mother's usual time.  Problem with that is - we do not totally trust her, and she needs to work.  She has said for a year that she could not even visit them because she did not have $20 for gas. 

The other thing is...the maternal grandmother wants to change the plan to say they have the child every-other-weekend instead of just the third weekend.   The agreement was drawn up between my son and his girlfriend according to his work schedule and how things had been for the past year.  The child has spent every weekend with us for months and he is off on Monday and Tuesday.  Therefore, she would come to us Saturday morning and go back on Tuesday evening.  Maternal grandmother, whom they LIVE with, says she does not see the child enough between Tuesday - Saturday morning and having her the entire week every third week of the month.

My son does not want to change the way the days are set up - as it was decided strictly between him and the girlfriend for the reason stated above.   He will allow the maternal grandmother 2 to 3 days visitation during the mother's hospitilizations (on what would typically be the mother's time anyway).   

Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: ocean on Nov 18, 2014, 04:36:45 PM
Too bad, text her once, turn off ringer and then print out your online billing showing how many times she tried to call you in one night. IGNORE the rest of the phone calls. Either she will give up or leave a message. Only text when there needs to be an answer. If you do not let it bother you, laugh it off and move on through your day.

Is the other grandma part of the case? If not, other grandma will not be allowed in court room. Sounds like he has a good case, get your calendars ready and when they asked for extra time and when child went there during hospital stays. There has to be a reason for a change.

I am confused on why son filed and what HE is asking for or changes he wants?
Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: dipper on Nov 18, 2014, 06:06:49 PM
We were told by an attorney that we had to file and they had to file to enter the agreement as a court order.  It is not ordered through the court yet - they only separated a month ago. 

When I met with the court clerk, she told me the judge may not even listen to the case if neither parent filed anything.  So, then my son filed.  Only, he filed for full custody because she was telling him she was going for sole custody.  She has not filed anything, but has made numerous threats of getting an attorney.....  We do not have money for an attorney at this time. 

I agree with the texting and turning off phone.  Only my husband and son are so afraid that she could use it against them, they answer the phone. 

There is a lot about the situation that concerns us - if the mother gets upset, she has seizures and says she cannot remember anything.  Yet, she calls my son and starts fusses.  He has called her very few times and only to check on the child.   We are worried that if she has a seizure when alone with the child..what happens?   She has fell out on the floor after placing the baby on the changing table - luckily my son was home when that happened and heard her hit the floor.

I do not honestly believe she is 'changing'.  I think she is getting good legal advice for court and I think she is in a manic phase.  She went from very depressed and tired, to energetic and shopping all the time rather instantly.

Overall, my son really wants the agreement that was agreed upon...and he would like to be the primary custodial parent on record.  No one knows what tomorrow will hold, but she has told us numerous times that she feels her health is deteriating. 

Thank you for all your input!!
Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: ocean on Nov 18, 2014, 06:27:15 PM
Ohh....different story. Ok.

At the first hearing, the parents will be called into the court room and asked what is going on. Mom will have to say if she agrees to the notarized plan or not. If yes, good, sign off. If not, it will start a full custody case. You "may" be allowed to go in, since you were named in the notarized letter but prob not as the hearing is HIM vs HER.

Judge should give temp custody to someone at that first hearing with a temp plan, may just go along with what they already have been doing. A law guardian may/may not be assigned to the case so look out for child's best interest and not necessarily mom or dad's side.

It sounds like he has a very good case, he can go see if she agrees and if not, it will be postponed until at least a month later for another hearing...he can hire a lawyer at any point. The first set of papers are very important so if there is any way after this hearing to hire a lawyer, try to make it work. Ask a few lawyers, if you can hire them just for court dates then fire them each time (save money not dealing with other side and you filed your own papers saving money).

When she is home, what is the schedule now? At any point, she can come get him and keep glad that the court date is 2 weeks away. He should make sure there is a visitation plan- temp until the next court date so she can not keep child from him. Since they were not married, most states recognize the mother as sole parent until paternity and custody are court ordered. Did he sign a paternity paper at birth? Bring that to court so they do not try to slow down the process with a paternity test first.

Try to have him practice a 2 min speech on what he wants "judge, I am here today to make our notarized parenting plan a legal document with the courts. My ex has been in the hospital xx days in the last xx months/year and I have taken over the roll of custodial parent since birth. We came up with this schedule so both my ex and myself can raise our child together and that the son is cared for in his mothers care. Her parents have helped her and so have mine. I just want a parenting plan established with the courts as mother has been trying to change the agreement we just made and making parenting difficult with threatening to sue my for sole custody." or something like that? keep it simple, to the point, some facts, but that you want to be the custodial parent. He may /may not have a chance to speak but at the end , if he doesn't he can say something like "excuse me judge, but what happens until the next court date? can we keep the same schedule until then? I want us both to be able to see son". Sometimes, they just ask if you agree, and if not, they tell you both to look into lawyers and schedule next date.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Pending case
Post by: dipper on Nov 18, 2014, 08:45:11 PM
Thank you.  They have been following the agreement to the letter.  Maybe that will work in our favor...I don't know.  I have no idea what to expect in this odd situation.

She got a cast on her hand today for tendonitis.  She says she can still do everything and it will come off in two weeks.