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Author Topic: GIANT VICTORY FOR DADDY AND SONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 2103 times)


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« on: Aug 05, 2004, 12:01:04 AM »
Well, here's my story with an incredible happy ending.  Yesterday in court was arguably the happiest day of my life (exception of when my now 4 and 6 yr. olds sons were born)- I was requesting 50/50 equal custody of my sons (from current 30/70).  I have never read about a Daddy getting 50/50 when there is in fact  (1) a very capable Mother involved who has no parental "skeletons (2) a Mother who did not agree to 50/50 and was going to aggressively fight it in court and (3) cases involving very young children.

There was ONE very crucial lesson learned...if you as a Father love your kids and are VOLUNTARILY willing to make extreme personal and financial sacrifices, in the end you WILL prevail in family court.  Those sacrifices have 10x the impact of getting equal custody than which atty you hire, which judge you face and anything your ex-wife can do.  While you and I may debate about the "fairness" of Mothers perhaps not having to make the same kind of sacrifices I can only tell you these were the easiest sacrifices I have ever made in my life.

The key to victory here was an "glowing" report from the court appointed mediator "two loving, capable parents....ideal case for equal physical custody".  Judge heard the evidence and supported it 100%.  How to get that mediator (and judge) to so strongly recommend 50/50?  That is where it gets more interesting and I will say I am not suggesting the following sacrifices are for everybody-I have always had great difficulty putting a "price" on more time with my sons and therefore have been willing to "pay the price" myself.

Immediately after divorce, Mother took the then 6 mo and 2 yr. old boys 1200 miles away to be near her parents.  I quit my job and was in the car 2 days later following my boys, landing myself a 3 min. walk away from Mom's house.  In the process I was unemployed for 1 yr but still payed the significant child support and 1/2 daycare (total of over $2,500/month) using my VISA.  Could have had it reduced but judge off the record told me if all I really cared about was one day getting equal time with my boys, this was the "smart move" to make.  In the interim, turned down jobs that were paying 2x my previous salary as they would have required either relocation or heavy travel.  I simply was not going to take a job that took me away for significant time from my sons.  Downsized significantly, took a 2 BR apartment, fixed up the boys room with bunk beds and all.  Kept very detailed SPARC parenting logs for 4 years that reflected I have never missed a doc appt, t-ball game, parent-teacher conference, etc, volunteered at Kindergarten on regular basis.   Meantime, thousands every month getting put on several VISA cards.  Eventually landed a job that worked great for the kids, I was able to work out of the house, light travel, lot of flexiblity around kids schedule.  Still running a monthly cash flow deficit of $1k/month and my CPA advising to file for personal bankruptcy given astronomical debt.

The judge-and mediator in this case recognized the kind of Father I have been-and the personal sacrifices made to put my sons always #1.  It is so enlightening for courts to recognize really GOOD Dads and the effect they can have on children's lives.  I watched a case just before mine where same judge REVERSED primary custody from Mommy to DAddy based on (1) Mom moved away with kids and "kids have never been same, constant problems, school, etc. and (2) remarkably improved behavior since Dad's visitation was increased.  Outcome:  Kids will now reside with DAD every day of every week with Mother getting a few w/e a month.  And even if Mother moves back to San Diego judge said that makes NO difference at this point-primary custody will still be with DAD.  

Times they are a changin'...especially if you are willing to make the sacrifices....

Many many many thanks to those of you for your insight and most of all just "being there".  TM,, LAH, MJ, Wendl, Children First, Jan, StepMom, and so many more.....................

dad in az

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 05, 2004, 08:28:19 AM »


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« Reply #2 on: Aug 05, 2004, 08:29:21 AM »


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wow...it was meant to be
« Reply #3 on: Aug 05, 2004, 08:48:12 AM »

you had all of your t's crossed and i's dotted....and a judge with an open mind!!!!!

Many blessings for you and your family


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RE: wow...it was meant to be
« Reply #4 on: Aug 05, 2004, 12:29:53 PM »

 Ex snatched my daughter Sept. 01. Loots house. Takes all possessions. Moved 65 miles away to ex’s father’s. Ex filed ex parte for sole custody and EOW. Child support of 246.00 a week and temp custody to mother.
I filed for custody.
Wife enrolled herself and daughter (6 years old at the time) in a women’s shelter after filing.
Ex claimed I was physically abusive to daughter and herself.
FOC investigator recommended 50/50 placement.
Mother refuses to move back to area where daughter grew up and where I lived and worked. Stipulated agreement gave me 18 months to move 65 miles to within 20 mi of ex’s residence to implement 50/50. I took all bills, including ex’s 64,000.00 student loan, her credit cards (20,000, my loans and credit cards (60,000) , 246.00 a week CS,( for 3 years, child support is calculated as though mother had sole custody, regardless of father’s parenting time with child), 200.00 a week alimony (for 3 years), and paid 665.00 a month for ex’s truck and car insurance. I put house on market April 03. Purchase agreement signed. House deal goes bad in Sept 03. (Buyers do not qualify and I find out 1 day before I am scheduled to move). The choice is between my daughter and a measure of financial stability. I choose my daughter. I move to apt. in child’s area. I begin 50/50 custody Fall 03 and drive 130 mi. RT to work each day. I file bankruptcy. My house is repossessed. I sell house during redemption period. Loose all my equity. I do not have enough to pay off ex’s bills as per decree. After the ex was awarded 2600.00 a month in alimony, CS, etc. etc., I was short way over 2000.00 a month for basic living expenses as in rent, food, and gas. I managed for a while by getting instant loans at those check cashing places and paying them 440.00 a month in interest charges. My take home pay is 5000.00 a month net (5000-2600 to mother=2400-1500 a month joint credit debt=900-700.00 for mother’s student loan payment=-200-1000.00 a month rent=-1200.00-500.00 gas=-1700.00,etc. etc.)
If you examine the details of the above, you can deduce that this financial ruin is a direct result of the mother's actions: using the court system to legally kidnap my daughter and move her 65 miles away and using daughter as a cash cow to enable the mother’s own support. The mother still does not work! You will also see that I paid a great financial price to be with my daughter, but I’d do it again the same way if I had to. My expenses for my daughter are over 1000.00 a month. I am essentially paying child support twice, since CS is calculated as though mother had sole custody and does not account for 50/50. Additionally, I have 500.00 a month gasoline expenses commuting 130 RT to work each day. I will be paying on ex’s student loan (not dischargeable in bankruptcy) until I die and beyond. I am 54 years old. My daughter is 8. My retirement is ruined. My house is gone: it would’ve been paid off in 9 years and I would have had a place to live in my old age. The reason I agreed to this was that I knew I would get the 50/50 if I did. I allowed it to happen because I had a lousy lawyer and could not change because of finances. I thought best to give ex the money, get the 50/50 agreement rather than fight this thing for 5 years and let time slip away. I am 54 years old: my daughter is 8: I will not have the luxury of being around as long as younger parents.  
Since there was not enough money to pay off ex’s debts from the sale of the house as stated in the decree. (I had to sell it fast (before redemption period expired) at 20,000.00 below market value. I had my bankruptcy attorney draw up a document (which she signed) that negated the provision that her debts be paid before the house could be transfered. The document also stated that the house sale funds would be placed in the attorney's escrow account and he would use the money to negotiate payment of her debts with her creditors. I think he will be able to settle with them.

Would I do this all again: you bet!


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RE: wow...it was meant to be
« Reply #5 on: Aug 05, 2004, 04:09:53 PM »
Kudos to you!  You are the definition of what a father-or any parent is all about-the kids ALWAYS come first-and your daughter will be eternally grateful!!!!!!!


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