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Messages - suebee

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Moms Without Custody / RE: Seek the advice of an atty
« on: Oct 03, 2007, 11:22:27 AM »
I did check out the site. Thank you. I hope I can get some info there as well.

Moms Without Custody / RE: Seek the advice of an atty
« on: Oct 01, 2007, 07:24:38 AM »
I don't think that parenting plans are a requirement here in Georgia. We had a mediator on Aug 2 to rework the visitation but I came away with very little. Almost 1/2 my net montly income goes to him for child support so I barely have enought to pay my bills. I cannot afford another attorney; I can't even afford to pay the $3000 I now owe my lawyer nd he's not even done (and I own the mediating attorney about $250 more, too). The paperwork hasn't been finalized yet. I'll be paying my attorney $10 a month for the rest of my life.

I should have fired my lawyer, but should haves mean nothing. I couldn't find anyone, anywhere to give me advice about what to do and explain the law and such to me, so I hung on to the lawyer and got pretty much nothing out of it. I had talked to several other lawyers over the months before settling on the one I have in order to get advice, but most of it was that I could do nothing about my situation. One attorney was so rude, he told me to shut up and said he would give my case to his son b/c he wouldn't be able to represent me b/c I was emotional and talked too much. All I wanted was for my questions to be answered.

Anyway, over this past weekend my EX has let me know that he has filed for divorce from his wife, there is a restraining order against her, and he wants us to start communicating again and he's going to "let me" start having more contact with the kids. I will work with him b/c I want to be part of my kids' lives, and I've come far emotionally in being able to handle things the right way, but I won't allow myself to be played again.

I've talked with him more in the past 3 days than I have in the last year. He is acting like nothing ever happened and we are going to be buddies. I have no intention of pointing fingers, blaming, accusing, whining, or all the other stuff. I will talk about what we are going to do to raise our kids from now forward, but I have no intention of discussing the past or of becoming friends.

Any thoughts on how to proceed with this?

Moms Without Custody / RE: Seek the advice of an atty
« on: Sep 28, 2007, 07:13:08 AM »

I didn't include all the details in the intro about my situation. I'm in Georgia.

I have had an attorney since last October and have just recently completed a mediation on Aug 2nd. I walked out with little more than I went in with. I actually lost some things I had before.

Please explain what you mean about a parenting plan with a mediator. I have been to counseling for myself for quite some time and have come a long way emotionally in dealing with this situation. Are you talking about counseling for my two minor kids? EX would never go for that. He fought to keep a guardian ad litem from being appointed so my kids could not express their feelings and wishes.

What I want and need now are answers, facts, and such because my attorney explained very little to me. It was always "you can't do this" "you can't change that", while my EX's attorney seemed to work diligently to get him what he wanted, even while knowing what a problem his wife was.

During a meeting in April, EX's attorney told EX in front of me and my attorney that EX's wife was a problem and he needed to get her under control and not allow her to continue to negatively influence the situation. Attorney said EX needed to start working with me to raise our kids because that's what this thing is all about and that's what's best for them. EX's attorney spent a lot of time pointing out EX is not handling things well and needed to let go of the anger and stop believing all the heresay and do what's best for our kids. EX obviously did not take attorneys advice, and here I am.

Moms Without Custody / Mother without custody needing info/advice
« on: Sep 26, 2007, 10:46:20 AM »

I was divorced 3 years ago. We have joint custody (although I've learned that means very little as far as the noncustodial parent goes), but the father has physical custody. We have three children, one of whom is 19 and married, but was still a minor child at the time of the divorce. My second son is now 16 and my daughter is about to turn 10.

I agreed to this custody arrangement because: a. I wanted the divorce, but he and I were on good terms, b. I did not want to disrupt my kids' lives any more than necessary and thought it would be best because I'd have continual contact with them since we lived only 9 miles apart, and c. I was afraid if I pursued physical custody, he would have fought and I would have lost my kids. It was his idea that he retain physical custody for their well being, but we agreed to always work together to raise and care for them. I had no legal representation for the divorce. He had also told me quite a few times over the years we were married (18) that if I ever divorced him, I would not get his kids.

He and I worked together pretty well taking care of the kids. We continued behaving much the same as when we were married and had begun to discuss putting our family back together and getting remarried. Then he met a woman and now, two years later, I have been all but cut out of their lives. I had to retain an attorney to try to have my visitation protected and expanded. Unfortunately, my attorney was pretty much ineffective and I have little additional contact with my kids.

While I avoid playing the blame game, his wife (who has left him within the last two days) has been instrumental in this situation becoming what it is. He's been involved with her for about 2 years, and married her barely a year ago. She has a history of mental illness and of being dangerous. My attorney knows her personally, having represented her last ex-husband in their divorce and custody case, and is aware of what she is capable of doing, and had warned me that all of the incidents I related to him were following her behavior pattern in her previous two marriages.

I will not go into all the details of the types of things that were done to destroy my cooperative and pretty amicable relationship with my kids' father in this introduction. I will  say that she orchestrated situations and events, created stories and lies, to give the appearance that I was on a vendetta against her and was someone who was not good for my kids. I was completely unaware of the things that were being done. I accidentally learned about how bad things were when I sought recommendations for an attorney from the county victims' advocate last October.

I want what is best for my children. My own children are aware of what this woman has done in their lives and (especially my daughter) want to have both dad and mom involved in their lives. I fully support this and always remind my kids that both of us love them and want what's best. My daughter worships her dad, but cannot understand why he had allowed his wife to wreak so much havoc on them all, and why he can't just see that she needs both of us. Over the last few years, it is my daughter who has said the most significant and profound thing over and over..."why doesn't dad see that all kids need both parents and I need my mom. Seeing you (mom) every two weeks for two days isn't cool." She has actually said that many, many times. Sadly, her father hasn't listened.

I am now trying to figure out what to do next. I was foolish for not being represented at the time of my divorce and remianing with a lawyer who was poorly representing me in this custody case. I was not fighting for custody...I was fighting for what is best for my kids which is to have me involved in their lives. I was not well informed, and my attorney did not do a good job of explaining the law and other things to me. He promised one thing, then changed what he said later. He did not even tell me until the day of the mediation (two months ago) that the child support laws had changed months earlier and I would not get any relief on the amount I'm paying. I want to take care of my kids financially, but I pay about the highest percentage for two children, and have to borrow money from friends to pay my basic bills and buy gas and groceries. I am not trying to avoid my financial responsibilty to my kids.

This is my way of introduction. I am not sure exactly what I need right now. I am looking for a supportive environment, but I am not here to whine and cry. I've done all that already. I need encouragement, but I also need knowledge and ideas about what I can do to make things better for my kids (especially in light of the trauma they've been dealing with during their dad's marriage and his breakup) and be ready in the future if more legal avenues need to be taken. I know I want to understand better what my rights are with regard to knowing what goes on with my children as far as school, their medical care, etc. and information for trying to improve this situation for my kids and myself for the future. I hope one day their dad will let go of his anger and want to work with me to raise them and care for them, but I have come to doubt that things will change between he and I because he is very bitter about our divorce and very angry towards me. I don't want to revisit the past or blame or point fingers...I want to be able to stay involved in my kids' lives, help them grow, keep them safe, teach them, and love them, and I want to do this in cooperation with their dad.

Thank you,


General Issues / RE: Questions about rights
« on: Oct 03, 2007, 11:21:41 AM »
It's been hard for me to get any answers about anything b/c my attorney has been very ineffective and non-communicative. For example, the mediation was Aug 2 of this year, and he has not contacted me since that day to let me know what the status is of the agreement. I called his office twice and was told by the secretary that my EX's attorney had not even returned the new signed agreement. I just got off the phone again with the secretary and she said she has no idea what the status of my case is but said she'd ask the attorney.

My attorney hasn't answered any of my questions satisfactorily and did not, I feel, work hard on my behalf. I cannot afford another attorney at this point. I am going to see what my EX has to say now that his wife is gone and he wants to talk, but I will not be fooled into a false sense of security. If nothing else, I've learned that I trust too much and I refuse to get my hopes up about anything.

Thanks again for your input.

General Issues / RE: Questions about rights
« on: Oct 01, 2007, 12:06:10 PM »
There are no allegations of abuse against me and never have been. The concerns about abuse were directed at my EX and his wife, or at least his wife. His household was investigated at the end of 2006 because of a report made to the Dept of Family and Children's Services.

Thanks for your ideas. I knew that I have the right to see the school and medical records. I was more concerned about what rights, if any, I had with regard to knowing that my kids have been in danger and the school has been aware of it. Apparently I have none. I am just apalled that my kids could have been hurt by his wife and I don't seem to have a right to be told about any of this.

General Issues / RE: Yeah.................
« on: Oct 01, 2007, 07:36:11 AM »
You have made some wonderful points not only for the person you responded to but for me. I've been the parent (mom) who lives 6 miles from my EX and kids (we have joint legal custody, he has physical custody) and have been kept from them except for what the specific visitation states for 2 years now.

My daughter said it best...as have you...kids need BOTH parents. My EX spent 2 years making me pay for hurting him and allowing his soon to be EX wife to delete me from my kids lives b/c of her mental instabilities and jealousy. Now that she is gone, my EX may have seen the light and wants to talk and I intend to do so cooperatively and amicably in order to make things better for our kids, b/c they've been through hell with his wife, and with he and I not coparenting.

The KIDS come FIRST and they are the ones who end up suffering the most when parents don't put aside all their messy emotions that have nothing to do with the kids.

General Issues / RE: Questions about rights
« on: Sep 28, 2007, 07:34:36 AM »
I figured people would ask for details they need to help answer my questions. The bad stuff has been going on for 2 years so there is a lot of history and lots of details. We live in Georgia.

Custody: Joint legal custody, he has physical custody.

No restraining orders on either part. One condition he forced during the new agreement we signed Aug 2nd is that I cannot call the house to talk to the kids except for Wed and Sun nights between 9 & 9:30 pm. They must call me at all other times, but they don't b/c they've been intimidated and conditioned to not call me over the last 2 years because of the anger and upset of dad and wife if they find out. The few times they did call they wait until dad and wife are out and left them at home.

I cannot call EX either at home or cell unless it is an emergency related to the kids. I never called him unless it had something to do with the kids and maybe 2 times a month, if that.

What other info would help? Much of this is fueled by EX's intimidation and control. It took everything I had to face my fear and retain an attorney and stand up to EX. Unfortunately I didn't have a support system that would help me find a good attorney. I just didn't know better and went with the one I have because it turned out he knew all about EX's wife b/c he had represented her last ex-husband. She did to both her other ex's what my EX is doing to me.


General Issues / RE: Questions about rights
« on: Sep 27, 2007, 05:57:55 PM »
What I understood was that the school acted b/c of what my 16 year old son told his teacher that morning about the awful fighting going on over the last 2 weeks and that she had moved out the night before, and not because of a request by my EX. He doesn't like to air dirty laundry, and has been trying to keep the bad situation in his home a secret for a long time.

The school has been aware of how bad things were b/c of knowing his wife and her past behavior, seeing changes in my kids behavior and school performance, and my kids talking to their teachers and counsellors about what was going on over the last almost 2 years. Dept of Family and Children's Services was even called last December, and it is likely it was one of these teachers who stepped forward. To my knowledge he had no order of protection.

So what you're saying is even if my kids were in serious physical danger, I have no right to be told? They are suffering emotional abuse daily and I have no right to know.

My EX won't even talk to me. He's also been brainwashed over the last 2 years against me and his anger towards me compounds his desire to do what's rigft for the kids. His goal is revenge for me hurting him.

General Issues / Questions about rights
« on: Sep 27, 2007, 02:39:23 PM »
I posted my story on Mothers w/o custody. What info do I have the right to ask for about my kids as regards school issues, behavioral problems, medical issues, info about dangers posed to them, etc? Can someone direct me to resources I can read about what I can and cannot ask, when is it my right to know, and when does it infringe upon my EX's privacy, etc?

I found out yesterday from a teacher that the school took it upon themselves to put out a school wide alert to keep my EX's current wife (who's just left him) away from my kids b/c she poses a danger. Several teachers have been watching my kids for months b/c they were aware my kids were not safe in their dad's home situation. I was never informed of any of this even though I am well known and well thought of by teachers and administrators and had worked in that school for 5 years. This is the first of many questions I will have about my rights, Ex's rights, kids' rights, and how to work to rebuild communication with my EX so we can cooperatively raise our kids and do what is best for them.

Thanks, SueBee

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