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Messages - FLMom

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181
Father's Issues / RE: Read this NOW!.... please!
« on: May 28, 2005, 11:14:18 AM »
Mike,

This is a woman talking. Listen to what the posters are saying here and follow their words to the letter.

You sound like a nice guy. Chances are, being a "nice guy", you'll be relegated to every other weekends and rotating holidays if you do not do EVERYTHING in your power to start sending paperwork flying through the courthouse.

A lawyer is not a supreme being. If a lawyer tells you that he doesn't think something is worth filing, then you walk down the sidewalk to the next lawyers office. And the next. And the next. You are not at the whim of a lawyer who obviously doesn't have time for you. This is a business relationship where HE/SHE works for YOU, and does as you request. They are there to guide, not to disregard.

You may not want a divorce, but she does and that is all that matters right now. The memory of love that you have is going to be your undoing if you do not, from this moment on, think of this as a war. You, Mike, are getting ready to be erased from the picture. Don't doubt it for a moment. She's already gone who knows where. Let her do it long enough and not file papers to say "WHOA-WAIT A DAMN SECOND!" and you will be viewed as apathetic to the situation.

You'd be suprised how much money you have when you need it. Get a cash advance on a credit card. Take out a loan on a vehicle. Go pawn everything pawnable you have. Sell your grandmother's prized china that you inherited. What I'm getting at is this: If you every needed to throw all your pennies into one pond, now is that time. Yeah, you'll be eating macaroni and cheese, baked beans and ramen noodles for the forseeable future, but your child will be smiling at you from the other side of the table, enjoying every single bite.

You are now fighting your soon to be ex wife for a relationship with your daughter. It's going to be a long hard battle. She's already made the mistake of taking off and denying you what is your right---to raise your child together. Make it tick you off. Dwell on it. Fight for your child as if
your life depended on it. Right now, having your child IN your life depends on what you do RIGHT NOW.

Good Luck,
FLMom

182
Father's Issues / RE: I live in FL ...
« on: Mar 28, 2005, 08:09:33 PM »
If judges went word for word by the statutes, they'd be making addendums 24-7.

Take this as an example. What you quoted from the statutes is correct, as in there is no specific time or notation concerning an "insurance card".

However, if you go to section 1 of 61.13 you will see a "just in case" scenario.

"1.  In a non-Title IV-D case, a copy of the court order for health care coverage shall be served on the obligor's union or employer by the obligee when the following conditions are met:

a.  The obligor fails to provide written proof to the obligee within 30 days after receiving effective notice of the court order, that the health care coverage has been obtained or that application for coverage has been made;

b.  The obligee serves written notice of intent to enforce an order for health care coverage on the obligor by mail at the obligor's last known address; and

c.  The obligor fails within 15 days after the mailing of the notice to provide written proof to the obligee that the health care coverage existed as of the date of mailing. "

Judges, as you know, have wide discretion. They can and do apply this  scenario. Judges know that the person that holds the insurance is not going to supply a copy of the handbook and explanation of benefits to the other party, so they substitute the insurance card as proof of insurance, with the other party receiving this proof within 30 days. This is how this was explained to me by my lawyer.

TennesseeDad has some very valid problems. Unfortunately, until he changes the CO to solve these issues it's just going to happen over and over again. We can quote statutes or lack of specific wording, but it's still not going to solve the problem.

If his ex is 1) screwy re: doctors or 2) out to be vindictive and cause him financial hardships by his share of the bills, this is obviously an ex that cannot be rationalized with. What's going to happen when she starts pestering this current doctor with everyday phone calls? What if, heaven forbid, she took TennesseeDad to court for witholding her right to medical information?!

A judge will see this as rational forethought to head off future events, i.e. they won't be back in his courtroom for round five of this three years from now. :-)

FLMom

183
Father's Issues / RE: huh?
« on: Mar 28, 2005, 02:30:21 PM »
The problem isn't about the mom---it's about the CO.

I don't know where you're at, but in my state the parent with insurance is required by law to provide the other parent with an insurance card.

You need to go back and change your CO. Gather up all of your proof of her overusage (borderline obsessive cough cough). File a motion to ammend the final judgment. It's perfectly reasonable to ask that:

1) Your child go to only one pediatrician, and it be the one that is on your insurance. Put the name of the practice into your CO. Even better would be if it was the pediatrician that your child has gone to all of his/her life---then you could also state the stability factor for your child.

2) If either parent feels that the child is in need of medical care, both parents must be in agreement PRIOR to the child being taken to the doctor. If no agreement can be reached then the judge will decide.

3) Pediatrician will be Dr. XX, Dentist will be Dr. VV, vision specialist will be Dr. ZZ, hospital will be JJ Medical Center, and pharmacy will be store YY. Parent with insurance provides these offices and this store with all insurance information (therefore there is no need for the other parent to have a copy of the insurance card).

This arrangement has worked really well for us. See, I had the opposite problem. My ex didn't want to take the time off of work, so he would send kids to school with ear infections, strep throat, bronchitis, etc. His new wife held the insurance to our kids so I wouldn't be told anything even if they DID manage to take them to the doctor. The animosity that had festered about the medical issues made it so he wouldn't call and let me know anything.

Now I know ahead of time. Now I know which doctors the kids will be going to. I can reference online what meds they're on. As I now carry the insurance he doesn't need copies cause the billing department has all the information.

By the way, once everything is written out cut and dry, it takes a lot of the ridiculousness out of the situation.

Good Luck,
FLMom

PS- Edited-Went back and re-read the posts. It doesn't have to be the parent with primary that makes these decisions. I carry the insurance, but ex is primary and we have joint legal. If it's entered into the CO it takes the place of the state's rule of providing the insurance card to the other parent.

And duh to me, I'm guessing you're in Tennessee, lol.

184
Father's Issues / RE: My brain is fried, HELP!!!
« on: Feb 01, 2005, 02:40:16 PM »
OK, don't laugh. One of the best books I found was called:

"Joint Custody With a Jerk"
  'Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex'
     . . A hands-on, practical guide to coping with custody issues that arise with an uncooperative ex-spouse. . . .

I saw things in a different light after reading this. I got it in that horrible wait when I had all of my info together but the hearing kept getting postponed. While it doesn't specifically apply to the courtroom, it helped me there because it taught me how to act and, more importantly, RE-act.
And we all know that the more rational you are during court the better things will be. When you've got your act completely together and the other party is a squirrel (my ex actually stood up and yelled "SHE'S A LIAR!!" at one point!) it can do you nothing but good.

And by the way, I just looked at the judge and blinked. Suffice it to say that after the judge was done with his "speech" the ex didn't make a peep the whole rest of the day.

FLMom

185
Father's Issues / RE: More details please
« on: Jan 24, 2005, 07:30:38 PM »
Our case got a little wacky because while we never had the Judge "hear" our trial, he did give us time the day of the hearing
to "work it out" and entered all of that into the court minutes.

I kept a log but used it as a reference only. It was a great help when I notated dates and could refer back to it as "what happened when".

The most notable logs I kept were of receipts. Courts seems to care more about money issues than anything else. I broke it down into groups:

Medical Expenses
School and Classroom Expenses
Clothes and Toiletries
Special Events and Meals Out

Now, the meals out can't be considered support, but it does show that you show an interest and spend quality time with your kids. Bottom line ex tried to say I owed him 10k in back support for the prior 3 years. I started pulling out files. Ex's atty balked, Judge says "OK we'll go over them another day" and ex said "nevermind". Any possible arrears negated. Not that any were possible--how bout 10k in the previous year ALONE that went directly to the welfare of our kids?

Other files good to have:

Proof of volunteer activity in schools.
Medical history for each child.
A school folder for each child.
An accomplishment folder for each child.
An accomplishment folder for you.
E-Mail and correspondence.
Legal history of both parties.
Legal history of any personal witnesses for both sides.
Rental or home purchase history.
Property Appraiser's information.
Income Tax records.
Proof of vehicle ownership.
DMV driving records.

You will probably not need all of these, but you never know WHAT you'll need until you get in there. At the last minute I pulled all of the MapQuest info out of the bulging file only to find us in a ten minute pissing contest about drive times. It's better to have it than not. And have MULTIPLE copies. It's not legal unless all sides get to see it.

Well, that's MY story. And joint custody is great.

Good luck MySonsDad. Let us know the rest of the story when you can.

FLMom

186
Father's Issues / RE: Parenting Plans
« on: Dec 27, 2004, 11:53:54 AM »
Hope you aren't in Florida. This is personal experience, not a story from a friend of a friend.

I am NCP mother, ex is CP. Daughter complained of a sore throat. I looked, and sure enough with her history of strep I knew what I was looking at. Called ex, and was told that he and new wife knew what to look for and my help wasn't needed. That was Wednesday. Picked the kids up Friday for weekend visitation and her throat was worse, and younger brother's throat was now sore. Both had told their dad they felt bad but he blew it off cause his wife said it looked OK to her. Called the doc when I got them home, got blessed out for calling after hours at the end of the week, and told to come in the next morning. By the next morning all THREE had to be seen. Last two had viral infections, first daughter positive for strep. It was Sunday by the time the diagnosis came through, and he sent her back to school the next day.

We did this two more times with her---same story, strep, and again ignored.

The capper was when I had to take son back to dad's after weekend. He's feeling bad and running a fever Sunday night. Offered to take him to the doc, but no, butt out. He sent him to school the next day, then he had to pick him up when he was running a fever. Didn't take him to the doc until Wednesday afternoon---bronchitis and strep throat. Ex didn't tell me about any of it, my eight year old did. Neglected to tell me he'd been put on steriods either, then sent him to our house with no meds. You don't just stop steriods. They have to be tapered off. AND he was sent back to school that Thursday, with no warning to the school that our son was infectious.

That was the last straw. When we FINALLY made it to court, I made sure there was some ramifications if he pulled this again. Entered now into our agreement, along with true "joint" custodial time, is the notation that if we disagree on medical treatment needed one parent can bring it before the judge at any time for him to decide.

Haven't had a problem since.

By the way, unless the child has lost an arm or something, judges roll their eyes at medical neglect. One person's version of the flu is pneumonia to another.

There's no reason you can't have the order modified, especially in light of the changed circumstances of an added step-parent.

Good Luck,
FLMom

187
Father's Issues / RE: Under NO circumstances
« on: Dec 22, 2004, 02:09:35 PM »
Now comes the Jedi Mind Trick:

If you are friends with any of her friends, or know someone that knows
her, it's time to play matchmaker.

Hee hee hee.

Gee, she'll suddenly realize that she can have a life if she only lets
kiddo have a little more time with dad. I'd keep everything you have
now, and just make an "aw shucks" offer that you wouldn't mind if
she ever wanted a little extra time. Dad=free babysitting.

Then, after she meets someone, make sure you get to know him in
a kind of behind the scenes way. Shake his hand, send a (whatever
the nearest holiday is) gift of whatever makes his world rock--cigars,
golf balls, fave liquor, whatever--in appreciation for being in your
daughter's life (yeah, you're gonna be gagging but sometimes you
just gotta bite the bullet).

Her being an idiot about kiddo will then become embarassing.
Saving face in a relationship=more time for you.

Just a thought. I've seen it work.

188
Father's Issues / RE: Pro Se
« on: Nov 26, 2004, 11:36:43 PM »
Mike,

I'm thinking of changing my name from FLMom to "Old&Jaded". I SOOOO know where you're at right now. You're frustrated beyond belief that no one can see what you see from this person---someone you loved and trusted has turned into the most evil, despicable person you've ever known. Right?

Now, take all of this emotion and throw it out the window. PeanutsDad is right. The last thing you want is that anger spilling out in a courtroom.
I don't know that much about TX, but I don't think you're going before a jury. You're going before a judge who's seen things 100x worse than what you're laying out before him and he wants to go get his paperwork done so he can go fishing this weekend. Judges are human too.

Stick to the facts. Reams of articles about aborted fetuses and strip clubs are going to do nothing but show that you've lost it. I'm not being mean, I mean it. One of the things judges look for is the parent that will be most able and willing to provide the other parent with regular contact with the child. You go in there with guns blazing and they're going to write you off.

Money, as you've come to learn thus far, is the language that rules the world in trials. You mentioned that your lawyer did some digging on your ex's new squeeze and found out he had a record. Well, in most states you can go to the main law enforcement division and get that same info for about $30. It probably took him about two hours to be on the phone, fax, and stick that info into your folder. That's $500. This is legwork you can be doing on your own. Keep your lawyer, but do his work and lay it in front of him. Less $$$ that way.

Forget the articles, even though I KNOW it's taken you scads of time compiling. Basic files are necessary. Folders of the following info could be pertinent:

Proof of length of current residence.
Proof of amount earned per year.
Proof of amount spent on children's items.
Proof of payment you've made to your ex for child support.
Criminal records of ex's friends and boyfriend.
Any developmental records of child.
Medical records, especially if YOU were the one that took the child.
Proof of coverage of child's medical insurance.
Copies of correspondence between you and ex.

I'm sure there's more but I've blanked on some of the things in your original post. But I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. There's not much here to get overly emotionally charged about. It's straight up "this is what I've done for OUR child". The fact that she left you with the child should mean a lot. If you have any correspondence from that time period, of telephone bills from her while she was gone, that MAY help a little.

Check all of the items that PeanutsDad mentioned. I wish you luck.

189
Father's Issues / RE: My two cents
« on: Nov 23, 2004, 01:34:12 PM »
I think you've been struck by the common misconception that a lot of parents in custody battles have fallen for.

It's not over in a few weeks, or even a few months. There's a lot of steps to the whole process. There's the intitial filings, then mediation, hearings that accomplish very little, more meetings and conferences, then if it gets really nasty you get a guardian ad litem, social workers and maybe even the judge's appointed person to look over things. It's a LONG tenuous process.

It sounds like you made a very wonderful and sound decision in recognizing that your brother and his (almost?) ex wife needed to have a go-between to keep things civil in the kids' eyes. Now it's a few months (?) down the road and you're starting to get irritated of the whole deal and all of the effort that you're putting forth that is seeming to go nowhere right now.

In custody cases, one must have the patience of a saint.

Your brother's attorney is right on the money. Yes, doing all of these things like providing things that the mother should be doing on her own does seem ridiculous. In legal-land however, when this information of all that your brother has done for his kids makes it in front of the judge, he becomes "the better person". In a custody case a judge sometimes has no choice but to hold his/her nose and and pick the parent that stinks the less as the primary. So let's look at it as a judge will see things:

Mother: Working? Cannot provide basics for children. Makes exchange times for the children uncomfortable. Cannot even provide toiletries(?!)

Father: Has been primary custodian of children since separation. Ensures children are provided for even when they aren't in his care.
Provides transportation with the help of a family support system to ensure that his children have continuing contact with their mother.

See where I'm going with this? In court he's going to come off as MUCH less stinky.

It's going to be a lot of effort for a very long time. Yes, it's hard to see your brother struggling right now, but it sounds like he's setting the stage for things being much easier later on down the road. I urge you, if you can stomach it, to continue to help him. Scream into pillows, roll your eyes a lot when no one is looking, do what you have to do.

This is a good place to start learning about what lies ahead. I urge you to read the archives on this site. The people here have had the same feeling that you are having right now--why am I DOING this?? The answer is our kids. One thing you'll see over and over is DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT. Hopefully your brother is keeping a journal. You as his support system could start one also.

Good luck and please keep us updated.

190
Father's Issues / RE: Good Housekeeping, Reality Check 2004
« on: Oct 28, 2004, 08:29:56 AM »
>From Housekeeping Monthly   13 May 1955                      
>          
>
>                            THE GOOD WIFE’S GUIDE
>
>
>•   Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to
>have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a
>way of letting him know that you have been thinking of him and
>are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they
>come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his
>favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

I've loooked in the fridge. We either have mac and cheese and hot dogs or you're taking us out, hun.
>
>•   Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be
>refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon
>in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot
>of work-weary people.

I've been up since 4am. All I need is a 15 min nap and I'll be refreshed as the spring rain.
>
>•   Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His
>boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to
>provide it for him.

I would have been more interesting if I'd gotten that nap but the youngest had a school project he's known about for two weeks and just told me it's due tomorrow.
>
>•   Clear away the clutter. Make one more trip through the main
>part of the house just before your husband arrives.

Clutter? Define clutter. If I pick it up and put it somewhere it'll be crucially important when we can't find it tomorrow.
>
>•   Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc. and then run a
>dustcloth over the tables.

Dustcloth? How bout I just blow the animal hair off of the tables? Yeah, looks better.
>
>•   Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and
>light a fire for him to unwind by. You husband will fell he
>has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a
>lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you
>with immense personal satisfaction.

Darn, the fireplace is still full of the ashes from last year. Kids have used ash bucket as the base for a bike ramp.
>
>•   Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the
>children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their
>hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. Minimize all
>noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the
>washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be
>quiet.

I'd prepare the kids if I could find them. Two are at the neighbor's down the road, and we have to go pick up the third from soccer practice. Yes hun, I'm aware it's a two hour rountrip drive cause the school is in ex's district.
>
>•   Be happy to see him.

I love you my handsome hubby! Will you drive??
>
>•   Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your
>desire to please him.

Smooch! OK, I'll drive.
>
>•   Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell
>him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him
>talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more
>important than yours.

I'm gonna give him the first 10 minutes, then he won't BELIEVE when I tell him what the ex has pulled THIS time!
>
>•   Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late
>or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment
>without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain
>and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

The evening is yours, hun. You get to decide--Mickey D's or KFC?
>
>•   Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace,
>order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in
>body and spirit.

There's always the porch.
>
>•   Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

Mental note- Hide the bills that came today in the cupboard.
>
>•   Don’t complain if he comes late for dinner, or even if he
>stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he
>might have gone through that day.

Sure hun, come home when you want. By the way, did I tell you the gals want me to go to Biloxi this weekend? You can handle the house while I'm gone, right?
>
>•   Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable
>chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm
>drink ready for him.

Mental note. Remember to wash cushions where kids spilt Kool-Aid. Sorry bout that white dress shirt hun.
>
>•   Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in
>a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Yeah, the Kool-Aid got the pillow too. Sorry.
>
>•   Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his
>judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house
>and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and
>truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

Even the dogs know I'm the alpha.
>
>•   A good wife always knows her place.  

I think my place is in the van.
>

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