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Custody Issues / More drama - drugs
« on: Jul 11, 2016, 10:47:34 AM »
We have not been happy with how rushed our son's relationship with his ex/now gf has been going.  He went over there last Wednesday night to stay with her and her mother.   Not a good idea - he was warned.   Thursday we saw him on video chat a few seconds and seemed okay.  Friday, we called to speak with the child at 4:00 p.m. and they were in bed.  Child was outside - I hope the grandmother was home.  Child came in shortly after we called.  Our son set up in bed and made some really odd, out of the blue comment and when we asked what - he repeated it again.  She shushed him and laughed it off.   So, we saw and heard from him less than a minute but we became extremely concerned.  First thought - drugs!  He has been on her meds before - pain pills and had a problem.   

Saturday, her mother brought child to exchange to meet us.  We did not hear from son or his gf.  My husband and his brother called him later and were very bothered by how out-of-it he seemed.  He didn't know child was gone, didn't know how long he had been there or what day it was.  He argued with them....I told husband we could call the police for a well-check-up but we were just really mad that he went over there and within a couple of days he was this messed up.  He has not been on drugs in a while.   

Saturday night they went to a fireworks show.  His friends saw them out and were very concerned at his behavior and look.   He was falling asleep standing up...very confused, eyes dilated and rolling....once he ran around hunting for child frantically who was still with us.  They called our oldest son about it later.  She, the gf, was happy go lucky and laughing and having her friend take pics of them together.  I have the pics, asked for them and she sent them to me. 

Sunday my husband kept trying to call him and no answer.  Oldest son tried.  We tried to video chat..nothing.  Tried the gf and she said she was busy and he was asleep. I told her to wake him up..no reply.   Later, I was ready to call the police and have them conduct a well-care check-up as something was extremely wrong.  Drugged or medical crisis, we had to know since this was day 3 and no information.  Obviously they had to tell he was very messed up.  As soon as we had decided to do that, gf called saying they were at ER and he had a UTI.   
I told her that he had been out of it for three days and we wanted him home that day and would come after him.  She brought him home - too late to get his prescription filled.  He has no memory of this past weekend....still didn't know what day it was or how long he had been over there.  We did a home drug kit on him and it was positive for a family of drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, muscle relaxers, etc.....So, husband and oldest son took him to the hospital and they confirmed it.   She is on these types of meds - specifically xanax.  Severe side effects for that include confusion, sleepiness, breathing issues....

Our son swears he never took anything.  Either he took it or they were mixing it in something....and there is no proof of that.   I am hoping he stays away from her and we have not told her we know about the drugs.  She had told us that she knew for a fact he was not taking her drugs, she never gave him any and he could not get to them.   However, he had no money when he left to go there last week and was fine...UTI can make you confused, usually in older people but not out of the question in the young...but, we were right in our thinking that he had drugs in him.

I don't know what he will do...I feel if he continues the relationship that is a sure sign that he willingly took those pills.   I would not go back to someone that drugged me....

Custody Issues / Update on situation
« on: Jul 07, 2016, 05:50:58 AM »
Just quick recap - Son and his gf were never married.  We had an agreement in place when she moved out, then within days she and her mother began fighting the agreement.  It took over a year in court to get things finalized and essentially...same custody time as the agreement began with.   It was all very ugly.  Child's mother reached out in May to heal relationships and we were gullible and let her stay a couple of nights when she had a huge fight with her mother - over her talking to us.   

Son began seeing her and we asked both of them to please take it slow and spend time with child - see if there was anything there.  She had tried several times in past 19 months and son had always shut her down saying he never wanted to be with her again.   Well, they did not do as we requested...instead they saw each other outside of child during our custody time.  Their first real date, SHE took him out to lunch and got his hair cut.   She has made comments to me about people not believing she does not get child support and allows him to see the child with his past.   The only legal problems he has had are driving without a license and underage drinking.   One driving without a license in the past three years.   Now, our son is very - well, he was diagnosed with conduct disorder as a teen and you still have to be kind of careful how you present stuff as he will do stuff to be spiteful.  I did go out on a limb a couple of weeks ago - I told him, date if you want...that is your business but please be cautious.  I don't see where she has changed and I am really worried that she and her mother are after full custody and child support.  He told me that he really doesn't see any change either...and that within just a few dates she told him that she wants to void the court order.   He said she is being very pushy about moving fast and he does not want that and keeps telling her to slow down.

The very next day, he had her pick him up after work for a movie....The next week she was over several times and then put him on her phone plan, getting him the newest smart phone and big expensive case for it.   He is all up their butts now.   Literally - he has stayed two nights in their house - with her mom who has always hated him.   It is a two bedroom home...so it is him, gf, child in one bedroom and the mom and her boyfriend in another.   The gf had always lied to us saying it was 3 bedroom and the mom's bf never stayed when child was there.   This past weekend, when it was his/our custody time, she brought child to exchange.  He stayed at her house with her mother.   He did go back to his own house that evening..but in the three days he/we had custody, he saw child 2 hours.   Now that it is the gf's custody time, he is over there staying.   

I really believe they are only after custody and child support.   GF is even talking about having another child.  She also is pushing marriage.   She cancelled their wedding the first go around saying she would lose her health insurance.   

I do not see any change in either of them.   The reasons they needed so much support still exist.   However, I am concerned that if they live with her mom, they can say they have the built-in support needed and child can stay in home she shares with both biological parents at all times.   That's if it goes to court.....which I am concerned will happen.     I know she is not our child, but we have been the ones to take care of her.   Neither of them have good parenting skills and have various other issues as well.   I have no faith that they will stay together.  A few months to a couple of years at the very most.  For one, she cannot get along with anyone more than a year and a half...history absolutely proves that.   And he - I don't think he has the focus to stay with one person long term.  He is all about himself and what he can get from someone.   That is his interest in them.   As an example, she was sick Sunday and Monday and he was out with his brother at a strip bar.  She begged him to come over on Tuesday and he would not.   Then yesterday she begs and poof!  He goes....I feel grandchild is going to get used to this and then it will be fighting and apart again.   She has been very confused with daddy being there and even fusses when they hug/kiss.   She has no memory of their being a time when they were together. 

Mostly venting....I just needed to get all of that out. 

Custody Issues / Would Order Be Voided?
« on: Jun 07, 2016, 10:09:20 PM »
Recap:   my grandchild is 2 1/2 years old.  Her parents separated on her first birthday - never married.   Due to her mother's medical condition and her father's (our son's) work schedule, we took care of child at least 75% of the time prior to their split.  We have a court order that shares legal and physical custody between 5 of us.  It's her and her mother / us and our son.   

Well, a month ago the mother of grandchild wanted to meet with us and we did - and she apologized and professed her love for our son.  Next day she and her mother had huge fight and she was begging to come here to stay saying she had nowhere else to go.  Not wanting our grandchild to be in this situation, we allowed her to stay here for two days.   Looking back, yes I regret it.   She kept telling us how she loved our son and how we were her true family, etc...

We did encourage our son to spend time with child and her as we felt it would be good for the child to have memories of parents getting along other than just parents meeting at exchange.   That did not happen, instead they are dating and not spending time at all with the child with them.   

I have some very real concerns about where this may end up and her true motives.   I honestly 'feel' this is a way for her to regain control over custody - as thinking this would void the order if she got back with son for a little while.   They were not a good couple together and it was a bad situation for the child.   My husband and I and our home are the only stability child has had.   

If this relationship does progress, would they need to take us to court to void the order?   I cannot see our son doing that, but honestly who knows?  Whether I had a chance or not, I would fight it.   The judge already stated back in February when we went on show cause summons that obviously we had a unique situation in which both parents needed support to parent the child.   So, though we never fought over custody in open court, he does acknowledge that there have to be some issues that require additional support.   

Custody Issues / Completely Overwhelmed
« on: May 04, 2016, 12:29:47 PM »
We recently had a disagreement, but the mother of my son's daughter asked us to meet with her last night for a meal and we did.  It was fine...she was very apologetic but a bit pushy at wanting to spend more time together.   She says she still loves my son (he was not there) and wants to put their family back together.   She even suggested we spend Mother's Day together.   

Well, today, I texted to check on the child as her leg was hurting last night.  The mother asked for me to call her - and it's a huge mess.  Her mother is furious that she even spoke with us.  Her mother and a friend went on FB posting really ugly stuff and it all got very out of hand.   The mother of child asked about us possibly picking up child.  Of course we would...but, then she started saying she doesn't want to be separated from child and asking about her coming to our home too.   Now, she used to stay with us often before she left - a year and a half ago......I told her that would make matters much worse with her mom and friend.  Just let us pick up child and she and her mother could work things out and we would bring child back.  She changed her mind then and said she will keep child, but she knows what things will be like when her mom gets home from work.....my husband is going over to speak with her (mother of child that is).   

I am torn because I don't want my grandchild over there and I do have a soft heart - I don't like anyone to feel they have no place to go.   But, we have had so much anger and pain - all of us - and if she comes where does she go tomorrow or the next day?  She cannot live with us or stay beyond two days....I am hoping my husband can talk her into trying to talk with her mother today.  I told him to be gone before her mother comes home though.   

The mother of child says she has nowhere to go...but, I feel she probably could stay with some other friends.

General Issues / Sharing my phone number
« on: Apr 22, 2016, 10:04:42 AM »
Hi everyone - brief reminder, there are five of us sharing joint custody of my granddaughter.   Yesterday, I texted the mother about something and mentioned that my granddaughter had been talking of beer the past three times she has came back to us.   I did state that we do not drink any alcohol.   That is all I said though - in no way blaming but just putting out there that this has happened.   She is only 2.   

The mother responded that there are no dranks at their house.  Okay..I let it go at that.   Nothing to argue about...but, then she waits an hour and 40 minutes and texts back asking if my son is drinking in front of her because she knows he and his brother like to drink and no one drinks at her house.     I did respond to that...not blaming anyone, but did state that in fact I do know she drinks, her mom drinks, her dad's family drinks, certain friends drink....and her ex that we summonsed to court last year was a drunk.  Again..never said child was exposed.  Just pointing out that my sons are not the only ones that drink. 
I know for 100% certainty that my granddaughter is never exposed to them buying or drinking.  She is with us at all times.   Then the grandmother started texting saying I was harrassing, that I lie, and that they dont drink.  Says she wants to know why when granddaughter comes back from our house, she stands to pee.  Which..we had wondered why when she comes from them the same thing....figured she has seen a little boy do it as her mother's friends have boys....

The grandmother then tells me to leave her alone though she TEXTED ME!  Then last night after 9:00 p.m., an unfamiliar number is calling - and I would not answer - texted to see who it was.  It was the mother's father!!  He was trying to talk to me, texted threatening that if I did not talk, then our attorneys would talk.   Okay-  either the mother or grandmother gave him my phone number.   I have never met or talked to him.  Come to find out, the mother had lied to him saying that I said HE was a drunk...not her ex boyfriend from last year.   The father did backdown and apologize.   

I did send mother and grandmother text that they are not to be sharing my phone number or that of my family with anyone as this was harassment - to give out my number so that I could be badgered.   The mother did not respond but the grandmother responded that she has told me not to bother her anymore.

I am hoping this will blow over...but I have a feeling she and her mother will try to keep this going - as in court.   

General Issues / Access
« on: Apr 10, 2016, 06:32:01 PM »
Do the well-child check-ups at the WIC office where a child's finger is pricked, teeth checked, etc count as medical?  There is a reason I would like access to the health records and knowledge of visits.   The mother likes to blame us of any potential health issue.   I offered to purchase food for child since they need assistance, but the mother said they don't need the assistance and child has everything. 

General Issues / Update on court
« on: Feb 28, 2016, 05:59:36 PM »
I had asked for some assistance on a show cause and I appreciated your responses.  As you all may remember, I had felt our custody attorney was a whimp.  What I discovered last week was the man was smarter than I had thought - I wish he had explained things to us from the beginning, but he did know what he was doing by pushing the agreement.  Judges just simply do not want to hear it all - they have already heard it all a thousand times before.

I had copies of pictures, texts, medical documents in triplicate - in separate folders for each issue.   I had audio and video recordings.  I got to show one paper document - that was it.  I felt the judge was rude and it really got me flustered.   Overall, his ruling was fair.   I think he can see through BS a mile away.   The one thing I did not like most of all was that when I presented what I had brought as show cause, he stopped me and gave her chances to question us.   When she presented - she yammered on and on and even gave her mother the floor to speak and her mother even talked about her feelings - how she felt less respected as a grandmother than I am as a stepgrandmother.  I was never given one opportunity to question anything and I had sat there and lined up documents to prove their inaccuracies about conversations.   

But...having said that I did get to speak up about them saying I did not bring the child to an exchange when the mother was released from the hospital.   Other than that....he got after all of us for being there so soon after signing our agreement.  He told me that if I take child to the doctor, to make sure the mother was put down on forms - but he looked at none of my papers because he said, "I am not saying you did anything wrong, I just want to make sure you do so."   For the mother - he told her that if there was one thing he did know for certain, she did violate the order not bring the child to exchanges.  If she could have friends pick child up, she needed someone to bring child back and if she could not do so, then she is to forfeit her visitation time from now on.   (she has transportation now).  He told them to be on time and to be at the exchanges.  As for DMV Clearance -she does have it, and she had stated it was her personal information - he told her that DMV states she has to continuously get clearances and she is to show us the clearance each time....and if she does not get it, her mother is to transport child.   He also told her as far as pictures of her friend driving with her and child in the car while posting to snapchat, screenshots, and then to FB - that is not to happen again, and that her friend's boobs hanging out in the picture with the child in the backseat were completely inappropriate.

As for the mother starting tense conversations at exchanges and during our calls - nothing he can do because it is not noted in the order.  My custody attorney had told me that it was not necessary as that was standard - you don't do it.  However, standard or not, you can also do nothing about it.

Anyway, was a very eye-opening experience.  And I have to say - while I was very frustrated with the process, I also found it freeing.   Now I know I don't have to obsess trying to collect evidence.  It doesn't matter....don't sweat the small stuff.....

General Issues / Preparing for court
« on: Feb 04, 2016, 06:54:42 PM »
I am set to go to court on February 23rd on a show cause I filed against the other party and their return filing against me.   

Do I need to turn in any of my evidence to court before the hearing?  Also, do I need to have copies for the other side as well?   Will I need to question the other side, or simply present my filing and the evidence I have to the judge?

I am thinking I need to be as concise as possible in presenting my points.   I do have recordings - Virginia is a one party consent state.   I will have those loaded on a laptop, but I have made transcripts with the minutes noted of when certain statements were made.  I do not feel a judge is going to want to hear recording after recording. 

If anyone has appeared before a judge pro se on a a show cause, I would like to hear from you on how it worked...

Visitation Issues / Weather Related Question
« on: Jan 18, 2016, 10:48:13 AM »
I just wanted to ask what is standard for bad weather.  We *might* get snow/freezing rain on Friday through Saturday morning.  We have the child for the entire week until 10 a.m. Saturday morning.   What would be considered appropriate should there be a risk of travelling during that time?

 a. offer to exchange child on Friday at 10:00 a.m. and receive child back at an earlier time than noted in order (as trade off)
b. Just stick with the Saturday exchange and if travel cannot be made at that time, exchange as soon as conditions are safe.

I am talking about if there is an actual travel warning, not just us saying we do not want to go out.  In a situation where the ability to exchange child at noted time cannot be conducted, is it normal to make-up time (if both sides are agreeable) or does the party to receive child just lose part of their time during that one visitation round?

Thank you!

Visitation Issues / Clerk of court
« on: Jan 06, 2016, 01:13:47 PM »
Hi - just wondered....from my experience in the past with the clerks of the court, you have to fill out all information on your form yourself. 

The summons I got today - there were no case numbers on it by the plaintiff and they did not even fill out our address.   That just does not seem right to me...

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