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Main Forums => Father's Issues => Topic started by: stepmomof2 on Apr 29, 2004, 04:51:15 PM

Title: advice please
Post by: stepmomof2 on Apr 29, 2004, 04:51:15 PM
I'll try to keep this brief, but there is a lot of information... My husband and I are going to try to get primary custody of his kids. We know that it will be an uphill battle because we have found out the hard way that maryland courts favor the mother. Here are the problems that have happened in the past 4 years that I've been here: The kids Mom has been remarried for quite some time. Her husband has a history of drug abuse. 3 years ago we got a restraining order against step dad because he let the kids shoot a bb gun in their bedroom, handle a real handgun, put a lock on the outside of my step daughter's door so that she couldn't get out when she was being punished, let them watch a video with a penis and the head being bitten off of a bird etc. He was not allowed to be around the kids until he underwent psych evaluation. A year and a half later he did that and the court let him see the kids with the stipulation that he undergo 4 months of random drug testing. He was living with the kids for the whole 4 months but didn't do the testing. Before we could get to court to address this he was arrested for possession of cocainne with intent to sell. He went to jail, then to court ordered rehab until trial (he is still there but is let out on 6 hour furlows). The kid's mom told us that she is again trying to reconcile with him. In the meantime she has surrounded herself with a new roomie who has 2 dui's and my husband's sister (who he does not talk to) who is on mental disabilty for emotional instability.

The kid's mom seems to be saying negative things about dad (and me??) to the kids because they told their therapist that they are afraid of Dad and want to live with Mom. When we brought them to the therapist last week they denied saying it when they were in front of us, so they seem unsure of talking about it with us. We have a court order (due to past parent-allientation tactics by her) saying that negative comments should not be said to the kids, but it doesn't seem to matter.

My husband is a great father and our parenting has never been under question. We have a very stable and disciplined home for them.

Any advice for us? We are afraid that since she wasn't the one caught taking the drugs that it won't matter that she continually puts her kids in situations that are unsafe.
Title: RE: advice please
Post by: mango on Apr 30, 2004, 06:47:57 AM
What does your theapist say about getting custody? How involved are you int he kids schools, etc.

I would think that they would put the kids in the best home, not simply the mother. But time and time again, the mother can have all sorts of issues and father prestine, and the mother is still considered. Get a good evaluator, do y ou homework on who is good and who is 'middle of the road" Because the evaluator will determine the outcome. They basically do the homework for the judge.

I feel for you and the kids. Good luck.  
Title: RE: advice please
Post by: stepmomof2 on Apr 30, 2004, 03:14:59 PM
When the kid's step father was arrested for drugs their mom went for a one on one visit with the kids therapist. the kids were not even with her. (she has done this a total of 3 times now) So we pretty much feel like she has played her normal games with the therapist and he feels sorry for her. when my husband called the therapist to discuss his concerns with the situation and said that he thought we should try to get temporary custody of the kids until we knew if Step dad was definietly in jail, the therapist said "you can't do that to *** (mom's name)". Does that seem strange to you? he didn't say that you can't do that to the kids, or you can't do that to this family. We are trying to work with him, but we are going to ask him to not have meetings with the kid's mom when the kids aren't there. After all he isn't her therapist and it seems to be making him biased.

We are very involved in the kid's schooling. We call often to ask how things are going and the teachers seem receptive. The kids always do their homework and studies at our house. They have been late to school over 20 times this year (on mom's days) and have never been late on our days. We live 30 minutes away and she lives in the school neighborhood. Will that count? Or does that get washed away too because she is the mom?

Sorry if I sound bitter, but it just seems that no matter how much we give up to make sure that the kids are safe and cared for she can do whatever she wants and won't lose any time with them.
Title: RE: advice please
Post by: mango on May 03, 2004, 08:23:52 AM
Document the times she was late (on moms) time. It counts. Document that they catch up on homework on your time. I'd say it all helps.

I'd start doing all teh documenting and getting ready, before you start any court stuff, since she (BM<) might straighten her act once court is started.

I'd get drug tests on her, and even have her followed. See how much time she spends with the kids. Bet she leaves them home.
Title: RE: advice please
Post by: stepmomof2 on May 04, 2004, 06:05:39 PM
you suggested having her tested for drugs...I know for a fact that she wont do that willingly. Any idea how we can get her to do that?

We already have documentation about all the tardies and absences on BM's days so that part is easy. We keep notes each time there is any kind of a run in with her, but truthfully it really all just seems like hearsay even when we take notes.

Thanks for your advice. We are really struggling with this.
Title: RE: advice please
Post by: Kitty C. on May 05, 2004, 08:13:31 AM
About the only way you're gonna get her tested is for the judge to order it.  And in order to get him to order it, you're gonna have to have extremely compeling evidence that implies she is using.  With the info from CPS, that ought to be enough........
Title: RE: advice please
Post by: Brent on May 05, 2004, 08:36:59 AM
>Any advice for us? We are afraid that since she wasn't the one
>caught taking the drugs that it won't matter that she
>continually puts her kids in situations that are unsafe.

Do you have an attorney? I couldn't tell whether you do or not from the message. If not, get one that specializes in Family Law.

Next, start reading. Some of these pages will apply more than others, but they all have valuable information:

Tips For Getting Started

How To Hire An Attorney

Hiring An Effective Attorney

Success Factors In Obtaining Custody

One of the first things you'll hear around here is "Document, document, document!". Having good records is *crucial*. Get yourself either the Parenting Time Tracker (PTT) or the OPTIMAL Custody Tracking service at: The PTT is good, but the OPTIMAL service is better, especially if you're planning or expecting to go to court (and it looks like you will).

Title: Just curious... What movie was THAT? eom
Post by: Ref on May 05, 2004, 09:03:59 AM
Title: RE: Just curious... What movie was THAT? eom
Post by: stepmomof2 on May 05, 2004, 05:21:12 PM
It was an Ozzy Osborne video for the head being bitten off part. We don't know what video the penis was from. Our 4 year old came back saying she saw a penis on tv.