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Author Topic: what does it take???  (Read 2249 times)

melissa3

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what does it take???
« on: Mar 01, 2006, 08:46:33 AM »
This may sound stupid but can anyone give us some ideas on what exactly the courts are looking for when one parent requests 50/50??

For 3 yrs, my fiance's ex has has  temporary physical custody of their 5yr old daughter. We will be going to court soon. My fiance would like 50/50 for numerous reasons but mostly to keep the daughter from being a measly pawn for the rest of her life.

The father/daughter relationship is excelent, despite recent problems with bm and we don't believe 50/50 would be tramatic to the daughter. However, the daughter is young and there hasn't been much of an opportunity for the fahter to prove his involvement - ie: school functions, sport function, ect....

We want 50/50. What can we do to get the judge to consider???

Note: All parties live in MA


BelleMere

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There might be some statutes related to this that you could look at
« Reply #1 on: Mar 01, 2006, 09:59:46 AM »
States often out line what custody decisions are based on, specifically.

anyway, here are some thoughts for you. Your fiance should have been keeping - and can start now - a log of all his attempts to see or be involved with his child. And he should be calling regularly to find out what's going on with her. He can also get her medical records from the pediatrician and request that his ex let him take her for checkups or when she is sick. Yes, that might mean he has to take days off work. If she is in daycare, then he needs to make a point of getting his name on the contact list and meeting the daycare provider.

Some things that could go in your favor - if you are close enough that there is not a big travel time between homes. If your fiance's schedule would allow him to take her when the ex is working. If fiance's parents and extended family have been involved with her. If your fiance has a home or apartment where she will have her own room and if he has suitable furnishings in there. If the house or apartment is child safe. If your fiance has no known problems with substances or the law. Courts are more and more starting to see that a child's bond with both parents is important - there are lots of articles on this site that will help make that argument. Fathers do matter, very much.

If there is some doubt, your fiance could ask for the court to appoint a therapist to watch them together, to assess the attachment and his parenting relationship with her.

But a word of warning - at least here in La the fact that I and my now-DH were living together unmarried did keep a judge from ordering overnight visitations (per BM's request, I doubt it would have come up otherwise)

melissa3

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Thank you very much for your help.

As it stands, my fiance is going through a substance abuse evaluation and supervised visits because the ex made allegations that he was abusing his prescription. (Because we had a bad lawyer, who didn't come to our defense, we are now paying out the rear-end for this evalutaion!)

At our home daughter has own room, bed, toys and clothes. At BM's, daughter shares a room and bed with BM, even though BM has plenty of rooms.

My fiance makes every attempt to be involved but BM has yet to include him in major decisions such as: daycare, dance lessons, doctor visits....things like that.

We are concerned the BM has developed a dependency on the daughter. In other words, the BM needs to be needed and she thrives on her daughters need for her. This makes normal visitation and sleep-overs extremely difficult. Normal visitation is so short as is, but then BM would make it worse by claiming daughter is sick and can't go or BM would either not be home or just plain threw a tantrum at time of pick-up. We have police reports of her interference.

We don't believe BM is a bad mother, so to speak, but we do feel she has "irrational tendencies." For example, BM will "rig" a board game so when they play, the daughter always wins.  Also, for some reason, BM recently neglected to enroll daughter in school, but instead placed her in a daycare, which is getting costly.


Anyway, we are confident the evaluator's report will prove he isn't abusing drugs but if it doesn't will we lose our chance for 50/50??

Do we have prove that living full time with BM could be tramatic to the daughter or do we just have to show the benefits of 50/50?





NotSoNewMama

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RE: what does it take???
« Reply #3 on: Mar 01, 2006, 01:05:24 PM »
i thought this might help, from this site, arguments against joint custody and how to counter them!

newbielink:http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/jcarguments.php [nonactive]


BelleMere

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generally speaking, it's best to stay positive, if you can
« Reply #4 on: Mar 01, 2006, 04:54:39 PM »
by which I mean, focus on the benefits of 50/50. (let BM be the one to go negative - it will show very clearly where the problems lie) Another issue that is important to judges lately is cooperativeness. They usually favor giving more visitation if not custody to the cooperative parent. That said, I would try to come up with a visual chart that shows all the attempts at contact and what happened. to give you an idea - when DH (then just my BF) went in for a CO modification, I made a calendar of the past few months - all on one poster - that was color coded. We used a certain color for days he saw the kids, another color for days he tried to see them (or be involved somehow) and was turned down. It really helped his case because her argument was that he barely ever saw or tried to call the kids - but yet we had kept a log showing he saw them every other day and called much more than that. Also, if the child should have been in school but wasn't, that's important, too.

Also, check and see if there are any statutes related to interference with visitation and call the police, if you have to, to enforce the CO. It doesn't matter if the child is sick, she can be cared for by Dad (and should be!) If the interference pattern is that severe, then that should definitely be brought up to the judge. I don't know - maybe your fiance could offer to go to counseling with the child and BM to work on coparenting together (? she doesn't sound like the type he'd want to spend more time with, however). It's not unusual for Moms to develop that kind of attachment, esp with the young ones. It's not necessarily unhealthy yet, tho.

As for the drug issue - unfortunately with so much stacked against a Dad these days, if there is any lack of clarity about that, it would make 50/50 difficult, yes. Can't he take regular pee or blood tests just to prove it? What about a hair test - that shows any use in the past year.

Incidentally, my DH used to do that board game thing with the kids - where he would always let them "win". I always thought it was a bad choice, but here we are 8 years later and they are 15 and 17 and it hasn't really hurt them. They have not had any problems getting used to the idea that sometimes they lose games, whether it's a board game or baseball or whatever. So, I wouldn't worry too much there, but don't do it yourselves either!


melissa3

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RE: what does it take???
« Reply #5 on: Mar 02, 2006, 11:11:34 AM »
Thanks to the both of you for your advice.  

I really hope we can make this happen. It's not good for a child to have a paying visitor for a parent.

When it comes to their daughter, BM rarely works with my fiance and it's causing a lot of problems. Before all the allegations, visitation was every wednesday and everyother weekend. This was practically cut in half by the BM and her games! We are hoping a court order mandating cooperation will help remedy this. Honestly, besides the current allegation of substance abuse (which we know is a big deal in court,) we don't believe there is any reason for 50/50 to not be granted. Maybe that's just wishfull thinking, I don't know.

I think it's really funny that BM's scream about the fathers not being active in parenting but when the fathers want to be involved, the BM's do everything to combat that. Why is it like that???

Thanks again


 

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