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Messages - OneMan

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Custody Issues / Re: telephone use was not added to parenting plan
« on: Aug 27, 2017, 11:13:53 AM »
I obviously don't know the details of your case or your relationship with the ex. Based on my experience, 4 days a month is a ridiculously short amount of time for a child to be with his/her parent. IMO, it should be equal time. Mom and dad are equally the parents and the child needs and wants them equally unless one of them is completely insane. To me, this is a no brainer.

My custody and timesharing arrangement was made when my child was a baby. By the time the late teens rolled around, it was useless. But it called for flexibility on both parents' part. As things changed, if the the mom decided she wanted to hassle me instead of being flexible, she was violating the agreement. That constituted a substantial change.

My agreement was approved by the court but not ordered by the court. So it had the weight of law without being written by a judge. Maybe that makes a difference, maybe it doesn't, I don't know, since we only went back to court once--when she violated one of the terms of the agreement. It was important to waste no time.

At the time, my attorney had a great idea. He didn't handle the violation of the agreement. Instead, he referred me to a criminal attorney, who was not only a lot cheaper, but wasn't going to allow the other party to play games. We reached an understanding very quickly and didn't have to book judge time.

The key to all this, as I discovered, was speed. Move fast. Do not let the other party establish a beach head because they will try to use it against you, and therefore against the child.  I always kept in mind that when the Mom was attempting to keep her child away from Dad, she was engaging in a form of child abuse. The courts do not take child abuse lightly. I also had no illusions that the Family Court system is impartial to dads. As someone told me, you don't go to court to get justice. This meant I needed twice as much evidence and had to be clean as a whistle at all times. The mom, unfortunately, did not. Lastly, I let my record as an attentive, devoted father speak for itself. This was good all around.

My personal opinion is that fathers in this country roll over far too easily to mothers and the courts even though they (moms and courts) are very often wrong. There seems to be a nationally sanctioned belief that it is okay for mom to keep the kids away from dad when she perceives dad did her wrong--or even if he really did. The "kids-as-hostages-of-mom's-rage" is widely accepted. Less so when it's dad's rage. I expect my views as the father to carry equal weight with courts, psychologists, and attorneys as the mom's. I'm aware of conventional thinking but it doesn't mean I have to give it deference.

The last thing I'd suggest is to have this restraining order rescinded through an appeal if at all possible. If the other party obtained the order through false pretenses, I would consider that a further violation of the order.

I'm hoping for a long thread of calendar images with a short bit of pros/cons about each model for an 8yo 3rd grader. Trying to plan how to both share 50/50, handle homework including long term projects, and get quality time. I'm fairly visual so pictures help :-)

eta: We live near each other and the school. We do the drop off and pick up - no bus. I am the one who has monitored and followed HW so far and that is not likely to change.

It's a little maddening to try and imagine what will work the best  :o  Those of you who are heading into 4th - 7th, your recent experience is highly valued. Love to learn from those who have "been there," especially when memory is fresh.

My experience was that 50/50 at that age worked the best. The question is how the 50/50 actually pans out. Is it just nights? Or more days with one, more nights with the other. The one with the more days does more of the homework.

Thank you in advance!

Custody Issues / Re: where do i legally begin
« on: Jul 31, 2017, 09:56:39 PM »
i cant afford a lawyer period... so i need help on where to begin the process ie: how and what to file!!! is it a petition? a motion? the laws here simply state that both mothers and fathers have equal custody rights. i already pay child support thru a court order but it doesnt specify anything about custody! but when i ask to take my daughter her mother says no!!
pls help

One suggestion based on very long experience: learn and read everything on the subject. Become an expert. Start wherever you want. Then act resolutely in your own and your child's interest. Don't wait. The longer the other parent has the child to themselves, the easier to argue that primary custody has to be with that parent. Unless you or the mother are total screw ups, the child needs both parents in her or his life the most time possible. Only my opinion but quantity=quality.

Custody Issues / Re: Is this usual in high conflict situations?
« on: Jul 31, 2017, 09:49:42 PM »
My guess is your ex is having an overly emotional response to her "baby" growing up and moving away to college.  She may be dealing with regrets if she's been too busy getting between you and the child(ren) and not enough time teaching her how to be independent and self-sufficient.  She may realize that as the child turns 18, she'll have less control and you'll have more freedom. 

You said the older one is 17 (soon to be 18, I guess?).  How old is the younger child?  If close in age, this may be a short season of irrationality.  If not, I would expect her to double down on any attempts to get the younger to be "all hers" and none of yours.

Very close in age so I anticipate more.

Your explanations are accurate. I don't know what Mom's inner problems are but it has been an especially insane time...threats, changing her mind every 10 minutes, yelling--bad bad stuff. The time came to draw the line. It became unbearable.

Custody Issues / Re: Is this usual in high conflict situations?
« on: Jul 22, 2017, 10:16:20 PM »
Seventeen...not really a "child."  I'm trying to find out whether this time in the kid's life normally sets off high conflict fireworks, the going off to college. Or whether this is simply the person I'm dealing with. I prefer to avoid court when possible.

Custody Issues / Is this usual in high conflict situations?
« on: Jul 22, 2017, 11:41:43 AM »
Hey. Long time no post. I came to this topic not knowing which forum's best. It has the most recent posts.

I'm interested to know whether my current problem normally comes up in perenially high conflict parent situations (which mine is) and if there's any literature that looks at this particular circumstance.

Our first kid's going off to college and the ex is acting insane (that's a mild term) over splitting the remaining vacation time, claiming I have no vacation time, which we both do by law. Meanwhile, the ex claims she has vacation time. No reason is given for this odd interpretation. Nothing is different than it's ever been. But lots of threats, demands, dismissing long settled agreements. I could go on.

Maybe it's just my situation but I'd like to know whether this time in a daughter or son's life make these high conflict situations even worse. Honestly, I have been surprised.


General Issues / Re: Shared expenses
« on: May 01, 2016, 01:55:05 PM »
In one sense, I think your right to be concerned because you've established a precedent by doing 50/50 without an order.

And you do run the risk of never haven been presented with a bill type of thing.

In my opinion, when things start to get dicey and unfriendly, the next step is to get an order....

What truly happens there, is a crap shot....

99% of the time, the judge will pull out the state's child support calculator and go from there to determine child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent.

And then leave it at that.....tough luck if it's less, and good luck if it's more.

SO.....you can do some research, as there different rules for different states.

About the old bill.....do you two also have some unwritten rule about how long each other has to present a bill to get reimbursed by the other? ???  I'd be keeping meticulous track of what I paid -- what the other parent paid -- and in many ways, it's a miracle that you're not fighting thus far.

Mixed Bag, please understand that the source of my annoyance has to do with not sharing the fifty thousand dollars I paid, with the exception of 5000 she paid for pre-school. Now that educational expenses are through the roof, the other party believes it should be 50-50 and that the money way back then doesn't count here. I consider that  arbitrary, though the court may disagree with my judgment. The only paper trail is cancelled checks.

The other party is in a much better financial position now. I was in a better position then. That's why it's an issue. Of course, lawyers and court only add to the expense.

As for fighting, I stopped doing that years ago. It's not good for my head, but more importantly it's terrible for my child's head. The other party is way too combative, controlling, psychologically abusive, entitled, inflexible, and threat-oriented to have anything but the most minimal contact. Extremely toxic. Truly awful.

Parenting Issues / Re: Schooling and Tardiness
« on: Apr 17, 2016, 11:41:02 PM »
I am wondering on suggestions to bring up the matter of tardiness to my son's BM.

This subject has been brought up NUMEROUS times (even in court by the Judge).

The reason I ask is because: My son is in a not so great school now. He was recently accepted into a great charter school for his area. However, they have a VERY strict tardy policy (3 tardies for the year). His new principal has informed me that if she does not get this under control then he will be sent back to his current school.

I live on one side of the US and she lives on the other, so unfortunately I can not take him to school myself :( .

His Kindergarten year he was absent 16 days and tardy 40.
First Grade he was absent 6 days and tardy 24 times.
This year he luckily only has 2 absences but already has 19 tardies (and the school year isn't even finished!)

Any time I address the issue she, of course, becomes VERY defensive and nasty (even to the judge). I REALLY don't want my son kicked out of this school...can anyone give me some tips on bringing this up ONCE AGAIN and maybe making her see the importance of this. My only other option is to let her shoot herself in the foot and PRAY the courts will reverse the custody arrangement at that time.

A close friend of mine had a similar situation. I suggested he move to the town where his son and the ex live so that he could monitor this but even more than that so his son would have his father there. He moved. It was hard to get on his feet but he finally did and now his son has his dad and there are no school problems at all. To me it seemed like the best solution. (Side note...the ex wasn't too happy because the ex wanted him out of their son's life so she could start a new life and forget about him. His answer...forget that!)

General Issues / Re: Shared expenses
« on: Apr 17, 2016, 11:31:21 PM »
Thanks for your insight.

I was under the very strong impression that if two people are paying 50/50 for several years without a written order or contract, and then one of the people stops and says "Now I'll pay 10 percent," because I paid much much more in the past, for example, that the other person can take the first one to court and say that although there is no written agreement, that fact that the other person pays 50% is that same as an agreement and it makes the other person liable for 50% in the future, and that the judge will write a 50/50 financial order if it's requested. Also, that whatever was paid in the past is irrelevant because the two exes have been operating half and half. As for the past, I was talking about pre-school, not day care. Actually I did pay over 30000 in private childcare before preschool without any assistance from the ex.

General Issues / Shared expenses
« on: Apr 17, 2016, 01:50:48 AM »
This probably an obvious question, but I don't know the answer. Maybe somebody can help.

Is child support retroactive in principle?

My ex and I equally divide child's expenses--educational, extra curricular, travel, big ticket items, etc. There is no order. It has just evolved that way. In fact, ex believes that having this status quo situation binds me to all future shared expenses, and I realize she has a legally defensible position.

So, if this is the guiding principle, does it apply to the past as well? If ex paid entire pre-school bill many years ago and it was $5000, can she demand that I reimburse her for half ten years later because we have an unspoken 50-50 agreement for the past 5 years? Can she claim I still owe her from the past and she is now going to deduct that from her current share of expenses?

Can she make a defensible claim that since she paid for much of that with a credit card...and she's still paying it off...that I have a legal obligation to pay my part? Or can I say the past is the past and the present is the present so I owe nothing on the old bills.

I think this a strange question but I am interested to know if anyone has insights or knows of any "rules." Thanks.

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