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Author Topic: Can a father really get custody???  (Read 5709 times)

pw7285

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Can a father really get custody???
« on: Feb 05, 2006, 10:38:32 AM »
I posted this on Custody Issues with no response.  Hope to get some help on this board.


My 6-year-old daughter lives in Iowa with her mother. My ex is single, goes to school, doesn't work and complains about EVERYTHING! We have joint custody. I live in AZ and have seen my daughter on average every 52 days over the last 2 years. We talk on the phone almost every day sometimes twice. I stay very involved with my daughters’ life; I keep copies of all of her medical records from all of her Dr's because I want to know everything that is going on with her especially when she is with me. I have arranged to have the school send me her progress reports for obvious reasons. I feel that I could obviously do more but being 1500 miles away you do what you can.

Periodically I have the unfortunate situation where the ex gets on the phone and just rips me a new one because she is stressed and just happens to be having a bad day. Usually this is done with our daughter in the next room or in the room of their apartment. During these times, and their have been a few, she says things like, "I can't do this anymore, I'm done, I don't have a life, It sucks being a single mom, I have to bathe her, cut her nails, do her homework, make sure she is fed, etc... What the ex doesn't know is the under the advisement of my lawyer I have most of these conversations recorded.

The ex is in school and does have homework everyday so I am not saying she has it easy but the message she gives me is that our daughter is really becoming a burden to her. I have offered on 3 occasions to take our daughter until the ex finishes school. She won't hear of it, "that's not the answer" she says. When she needs help financially, I help her, when she needs help with schoolwork or understanding something, I help her. I pay $1100 a month for Child Support and to be honest I wouldn't care if it were higher. The answer to all of my ex's problems is for me to quit my career, sell my home and move to Iowa. The ex and I had a very unhealthy relationship for the first 2 years of our daughters’ life. To this day, our daughter still recalls our arguments. This was the reason we split.

I obviously love my daughter to death but packing up and moving closer to help take care of her knowing that the ex would just want to pick fights and make my life as well as our daughters miserable is definitely not my idea of what is in the best interest of our daughter. The ex is a person who is never happy about anything, complains about everything and quite frankly nobody will ever do anything to satisfy her. She is just that way.

My question is how bad do things have to get in order for a father to petition the courts for custody? I'm not asking for sole but I would like to have physical custody. The emotional stress that I feel when haveing to talk to her is difficult to deal with.  I can imagine it being the same for my daughter.

What can I do, if anything, to get my daughter?

Any input is appreciated.




MixedBag

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RE: Can a father really get custody???
« Reply #1 on: Feb 05, 2006, 10:45:48 AM »
yes, a father can get custody.

HOWEVER, changing custody once it's been determined by the initial divorce is tough, difficult, and the courts go by a different standard or criteria.

There is no magic formula or path to follow to "get your daughter".

Maybe that's why you didn't get an answer before.


Sherry1

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Unless you have "documented Proof" that your ex is a
« Reply #2 on: Feb 05, 2006, 08:52:00 PM »
* drug addict
* alcoholic
* abuses uses your daughter
* sexually uses your daughter

Or has a boyfriend or family member that does so, the answer is NO.

A judge will not uproot a child and place it with the other parent unless there is obvious detriment to the child.

In my humble opinion

pw7285

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RE: Unless you have
« Reply #3 on: Feb 06, 2006, 06:41:26 AM »
What about mental/emotional abuse?

Are the courts really that oblivious to the non-physical types?

Sherry1

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You would be extremely hard pressed to prove this...
« Reply #4 on: Feb 06, 2006, 08:20:48 AM »
if you have loads of money then it would be easier.  I seriously doubt there is even one person in this entire forum that has ever had custody reversed due to emotional abuse.


MixedBag

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Sad, but true
« Reply #5 on: Feb 06, 2006, 09:36:03 AM »
and vindictive CPs have figured this out....(we know two of them)

Brent

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RE: Unless you have
« Reply #6 on: Feb 06, 2006, 10:43:43 AM »
>Are the courts really that oblivious to the non-physical
>types?

Unfortunately, the courts couldn't care less about emotional abuse. It's unbelievable, but absolutely true.

msme

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RE: Unless you have
« Reply #7 on: Feb 07, 2006, 06:49:43 AM »
Some judges don't even care about physical abuse, unless you can prove that the children are in "immenent danger of death." We had a judge say that since the child didn't seem to be in immenent danger of death so she saw no reason for either supervised or no visitation.

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dsm

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Those are the types that are hardest to prove
« Reply #8 on: Feb 08, 2006, 10:29:49 AM »
You could get an evaluation done by a psychologist who says 'Absolutely this child is suffering emotional trauma being in the day-to-day contact with her mother'.  And your ex's lawyer would be able to find another psychologist to evaluate and come to the conclusion that there is no emotional trauma being dealt with.

Emotions are too hard to measure and catalog.  Sad but true.

Here's what we did - because we also were dealing with a case where the mom was overwhelmed by everything going on in her life to take care of her kids.  You've already started on a good note with being very involved with doctors and teachers.  These will become HUGE allies for you.  Maintain the relationship with her teachers.  Even though you are several states away, the more often that they hear from you, and you participate in things, they will see that you are serious about being involved with your daughter's education.   Ask for copies of things to help your daughter over the phone with reading or math - we did this since we also were not local.

It took awhile, but we managed to have enough documentation put together and instances and witness list for the negligence our BM displayed that yes, my DH won physical custody of my SD.  That was 4 years ago now.

So, in answer to your original question - can a dad obtain custody.  Yes.  BUT it is alot of work and alot of stress and alot of maintaining and explaining, and begging and pleading to keep people keeping you aware of what is going on.  Keep offering for your ex to let your dd come to you for awhile.  Keep documentation meticulously.

GOod luck!  Keep us updated!



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pw7285

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RE: Those are the types that are hardest to prove
« Reply #9 on: Feb 08, 2006, 11:04:37 AM »
It is very discouraging to think that the courts would allow this type of behavior to continue when the main focus in decision making is always "what is in the best interest of the child".  Having a better quality of life in a non-hostile environment is better for any child.

Being abused whether it's physical or sexual have the same outcome...emotional problems.  Why is emotional abuse directly so different?


Thank you very much for sharing your experience with me.

 

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