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Messages - gemini3

Pages: 12 3 ... 87
1
Father's Issues / Re: new guy
« on: Jan 10, 2014, 05:42:40 PM »
My perspective is to keep the focus on the kids and not on the money.  SC does not allow for a modification of support due to travel expenses.  Typically they want to see that travel expenses are shared by both parties.  Especially considering she is getting welfare - they are not going to want to increase the states support amount because they decreased the amount of support you pay.  (I know that shouldn't matter, but it does.)


What you need to do is have your custody and visitation order modified.  Since visitation was never firmly established, you have a good reason to ask the court to do so even though there is no change in circumstances.
 Have the order modified so that you get a specific number of days of visitation.  Make sure it says specifically the dates, days, times, and who will be responsible for transportation.  (Ex:  "Father shall have parenting time with the children on the first, 2nd and 4th weekend of the month.  Parenting time shall commence at 5:00 pm on Friday and conclude at 5:00 pm on Sunday.  Parties shall meet at ________ for the parenting time exchange.")

Spell out who gets which holidays, how much time you get during summer vacation and when, and if you will get extra time if there is a death in the family or a special family celebration (ie: wedding, etc.).

If you feel like you guys can work it out without the courts intervention that is best - but it will need to be notarized and submitted to the court as a modification to the order.  But it sounds like she has been having her cake and eating it too recently, so she is probably not going to want to change anything.

As far as the kids going to stay with you, I think it's important for them to spend time with you as their father and not just some guy who stops by every so often and stays in a hotel.  You need to, and have every right to, do parenting stuff with your kids.  That doesn't happen very easily when you come down there and stay in a hotel so you can see them.  That's visiting.  You want parenting time.  You are their father, after all.

2
Custody Issues / Re: Custody Help?
« on: Jan 10, 2014, 05:20:11 PM »
Waylon and Ocean gave you good advice.  Maybe not exactly what you were hoping to hear, but true.


I agree that you do need to have parameters in place to protect the child from harm - such as supervised visitation, drug testing, and parenting classes.  Hopefully you realize that you made the decision to create a child with someone who you knew was violent and used drugs.  Whatever your reasons for doing so, you have saddled your child with a drug using, violent parent.  You are now seeing that guys like that don't change when a baby comes along.  Your son will never get away from that.  Even if you manage to keep him from ever having any contact with his father - he still will grow up without a father, or not knowing (and always wondering) who his father is.  Neither of which are ideal situations for a child.


So now your options are to (A) continue to dysfunction by using the court system to punish the father for behaving in a way that you don't like (even though you knew that's who he was), or (B) using the resources you have available to help you be the best parent you can to your son, which means allowing him to know the father you picked for him, as long as it is safe to do so.


If I were you, I would ask for supervised visits and drug testing.  I would also take some parenting classes (for you).  There are several services in your area that provide these classes for free.  Here are a couple:


http://ecparenting.org/programs-and-services


http://cap4kids.org/philadelphia/parent-handouts/parenting-foster-care-adoption/


You might also want to look into a support group for families of drug addicts.  [size=78%]http://www.nar-anon.org/naranon/[/size]


Good luck.
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[/size][size=78%]  [/size]

3
Custody Issues / Re: Need Advice - Suspected Drug Use
« on: Dec 31, 2013, 07:51:50 AM »
The kids are 13 and 16 now.  So I think we probably won't get supervised visits because of their ages.  We are really hesitant to go back to court for anything.  Every time we have it costs thousands of dollars, the kids are under an extraordinary amount of stress, and we only take a tiny baby step forward.  Compulsive liars do very well in family court.  We went to a court ordered mediator for several years, and all she did was use that to manipulate and cause drama.  We asked to have it stopped because she was failing to follow through on the mediators request for her to get individual counseling.


The only time we've been able to get anywhere is when she's been under the gun for some other drama that she creates in her life, and we can use that for leverage.  Losing her job, getting divorced, etc.  It sounds horrible just typing that out, but it's unfortunately the truth of the way things work when you're dealing with psycho BM's.  You have to give them plenty of rope, and wait until they put it around their necks.  (Which they always do eventually.)


I'm just worried about what kind of crazy retaliation could happen.






4
Father's Issues / Re: Buddy need legal info for child custody
« on: Dec 30, 2013, 05:44:18 PM »
Waylon's advice is good (as always).  My top recommendations are:


1.  Go to the courthouse YESTERDAY and file for an emergency custody hearing.  Hire a GOOD lawyer, if he can afford to.  There are lots of tips on this site on finding a good attorney.  My experience has been that female attorney's are better at handling these kinds of issues, due to the male vs female bias when it comes to children.


2.  Start keeping a journal of what is going on.  Dates and times, and try to be able to corroborate all entries with some kind of hard data.  Examples:  If he goes to see his child and they aren't at the agreed upon place, buy a pack of gum or something to show he was there and save it.  Save all emails.  Get a calling card like SpoodCard and start recording all phone calls between him and his wife.


3.  It sounds like, from the letter from the lawyer, that she has already started with some kind of accusations.  If these are false accusations he needs to take immediate steps to protect himself.  If he has assaulted her, he needs to get help right away and stick with it throughout the custody process (and beyond).


4.  Read up on personality disorders and how to deal with them.  Someone who does what she did is either fleeing a dangerous situation, or personality disordered.  Usually the latter.  [size=78%]http://www.shrink4men.com/2011/08/24/false-allegations-in-divorce-and-custody-battles-the-personality-types-of-false-accusers-and-the-falsely-accused/[/size]


5.  Read this, and start practicing it immediately:  [/size][size=78%]http://www.mrcustodycoach.com/blog/top-10-rules-of-low-contact[/size]


(PS - I am not plugging Mr. Custody Coach's service.  But I am a long time reader of his blog that his psycho ex wife had taken down, and his low/no contact strategy works.  We have used it ourselves for several years with excellent results.)

5
Custody Issues / Need Advice - Suspected Drug Use
« on: Dec 30, 2013, 05:30:06 PM »
It's been a while since I've posted.  BM has been relatively quiet due to airtight custody agreement signed by the judge a couple of years ago, and also she has been distracted by drama with her new BF's wife.  (Yes, her new boyfriend has a wife.  And she's fighting with her.  I'm just glad to be off the radar.)


A couple of things have happened over the last 9 months or so that have been concerning, but we haven't had enough info to do anything about it.  In the first instance, SKids had a sleepover with a friend while at BM's house.  When they got back home they tell us that the girl's parents had called after she went home because some pills (vicodin) fell out of her sleeping bag.  There was some question as to who's pills they were... never could pin down anything, so we let it go and just made notes in our journal.


Then a couple of months ago SKid #2 comes home from BM's house, and tells us that while she was over there she accidentally took some pain medication.  (Haha, real funny.)  Apparently BM was keeping prescription meds in the aspirin bottle, and 13 yo took one.  Again, can't prove it, and no point trying to pin down a compulsive liar, so just noted it in the journal.


So this weekend my husband gets a text from BM asking him to call her at her work number.  She is an RN, and can't talk on her cell at work, so he called her.  Apparently she thought she texted someone else, and thought that's who was calling... and she asked him for drugs before she realized who it was.  Once she did, she promptly hung up.  But he called her back and got it recorded.  Of course, on the recording she is lying through her teeth saying she thought it was something else, etc, but it is clear on the recording that she is lying.  She is VERY nervous and changes her story multiple times.


So my question is - what should we do with this information?  My first thought is that we should take it to her supervisor at work because (1) she used a work phone to call someone for drugs, (2) she's obviously using drugs, probably while at work, and (3) she was in a patient's room when she was making the call.  That's who's phone she called from.


My concern is that going to her work is kind of one of those lines that I think you should never cross.  And I know that if we cross it, she's going to think that kind of thing is fair game and we'll have no end of drama at our workplaces. 


But on the other hand, I feel like I have an obligation to the patients in her care to protect them.  I also know that we would have a hard time getting concrete proof that she's using.  But if we take it to her employer and they do a drug test - that is something we can use.


Any thoughts?

6
General Issues / Re: Lawyer vs a pro see litigant
« on: Oct 20, 2011, 09:06:15 AM »
I think a lawyer is always the better way to go.  Like the other poster said, they are familiar with process and procedure - and it's pretty complicated.  I know of others who have successfully represented themselves, but I would say they are out of the norm.
 
There are ways you can save money when using an attorney.  The biggest thing, in my opinion, is NOT to call them with every little thing.  Post here, or talk with other trusted friends before you call your attorney.  A lot of the time, the only thing they can do is listen to you and bill you $200+ bucks an hour for the priviledge.  A counselor is cheaper, you know?
 
Also, you can ask to courier any documents for them (most law firms will charge you around $80), offer to make copies, etc.  You can draw up your own parenting plan and have your attorney check it to make sure it complies with your state laws.  Things like that.
 
There is a great book called "Win Your Child Custody War"  (http://www.amazon.com/Your-Child-Custody-Book-How/dp/1587470845)  That has a lot of great information, and is a great way to check and see if something is a game changer (call your attorney) or not (don't call your attorney).  The book is pricey - but we found it to be well worth the price.

7
Parenting Issues / Re: Too old to shower together?
« on: Oct 20, 2011, 08:59:03 AM »
Yeah... I would just chalk it up to different parenting styles BUT it hadn't happened in the middle of the afternoon, while no one else was there, at her mother's request, when there was no need for a shower.  It just seems so weird to me.

SD2 gets out of school 2 1/2 hours before her sister on Wednesdays.  She had just showered the night before, wasn't dirty, and then she put back on the same clothes she wore to school.  She was only over there for 5 hours total.  Why the need for a shower??  And, if a shower was necessary - she and her sister have their own bathroom over there.  Why does she need to shower with her mom?

I also think it would be ok if everyone was trying to get ready and there was only one shower and everyone was in a rush, or something like that.  But that wasn't the deal at all.  It was kind of like, hey we've got a couple hours before your sister gets here - let's shower together.  You know?   

I try not to make mountains out of molehills, and not let the little things get to me when it comes to their mom.  We have enough battles with her, you know?  But this just feels really wrong to me.   

8
Parenting Issues / Too old to shower together?
« on: Oct 19, 2011, 06:05:53 PM »
It's been a while since I posted - been overwhelmed with my course load at school lately.  But something recently came up with our girls that I thought was really weird, so I wanted to get others opinions.
 
My stepdaughters were at their mom's for a few hours after school this afternoon.  I dropped them off at school, then they took the bus to their mom's and she brought them here after dinner.  When I asked the youngest (11) to take a shower before bed she said she already had. Of course I argued with her because she hadn't taken one this morning before school, and she said she had taken one this afternoon with her mom.  After a few more questions we found out that the girls both shower with their mom fairly frequently, and that their mom is the one asking them to shower with her.  The girls are 11 and 14.  The oldest said she feels weird about it and hasn't done it lately (about 3 months).  The youngest doesn't know why we seemed bothered by it.
 
I didn't really know what to say.  I personally would not shower with children that age, even if they were my biological children.  My parents were a bit prudish, and I have never seen them naked, but I know that's not the norm for everyone.  My sister lives in another country where public bath houses are the norm - but I think there's a difference between soaking in a pool sized bath with some other people and showering in a small space where there's no way you can get around touching each other.  Their mother is very large, 300+ lbs, so I know that have to be bumping into her in an apartment sized shower. 
 
I just can't help but feel weird about it.  Especially since she's seeking it out, especially in the middle of the day when they are visiting her house.  It's totally creeping me out.  SD said that her mom doesn't touch her in the shower, and they wash themselves.  But still...
 
Thoughts??
 

9
Visitation Issues / Re: Sperm donor cancelling visits?
« on: Aug 18, 2011, 01:03:19 PM »
None of us here are living in a dream world.  Just about every one of us is dealing with a biological parent who has problems, and who is not doing what we think is best for the children.  But, regardless of that, we realize that children have a right to a relationship with BOTH of their parents.  You know what it feels like because you went through it yourself.
 
There is a difference between growing up knowing you have a parent who is flawed, but who loves you; and growing up thinking that one of your parents doesn't love you and doesn't want you.  You must have wanted to meet your father.  You must have wondered about him while you were growing up - why he isn't there, why doesn't he care about you?  Your GF's daughter is going to grow up with those same feelings unless you allow her to have some sort of relationship with her father. 
 
No one is saying you should think it's ok for her father to miss visitation, or that you shouldn't find it annoying when he cancels at the last minute, or that you should think it's ok for him to only pay $100 a month in child support.  And no one here is saying they think it's ok either.  What we're saying is that you have to think about how all of this is going to affect the child, and you have to set aside your own issues and do what's best for her. 
 
Your post sounded like you wanted to have his visitation and parental rights taken away as a sort of "punishment" for not doing what he should.  You want his visits reduced - but what difference does it make, since he doesn't exercise them anyway, except to punish him.  Children are not pawns to be used to punish the other parent.

10
Visitation Issues / Re: preschool
« on: Aug 18, 2011, 07:32:36 AM »
If there's an a.m. option, there shouldn't be a question of him being in that instead of one that will interfere with your visitation.  I would let her know that you intent to pick him up at the start of your visitation, per your custody agreement.  There's a sample intent to exercise visitation letter on this site. I would make note of the fact that an a.m. class is available, and let her know that if she chooses to keep him enrolled in the afternoon class, you will pick him up there for your visitation.
 
Also, if she's working when you're available, you should ask for ROFR.  There's no reason a child should be with a babysitter when the other parent is available and willing to care for the child.

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