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Author Topic: Need advice in Phoenix  (Read 4197 times)

Rave

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Need advice in Phoenix
« on: Jan 26, 2005, 06:55:16 PM »
My best friend is getting a divorce.  She is a hospice nurse and her husband has a corporate job.  They make about the same in terms of salary.  They have 2 boys, 13 and 8.  They haven't sold the house yet, so they haven't filed for divorce (she was told they can't file while still living together).

Summing them up:

She is involved with the boy's teachers.  Both boys have ADHD and are medicated for it.  She is a very warm and loving person and the boys are very attached to her.

Her husband just admitted he's been using his bonuses for the last 12 years to add to his 80+ gun collection.   He had told her 12 years ago that his company was no longer paying bonuses.  He's had a DUI, is an occasional pot smoker and calls his sons "stupid @sshole" and "f*cking @sshole".  

I've known them both for years.  Honestly, this guy should never have married.  He has always been very much into his gun thing.  He gets off work at 2pm and when the boys come home, they automatically go to their rooms until their mother comes home because the husband wants silence in the house.  He told my friend's sister a few weeks ago that sometimes he hates his own kids.  When I've been around him and the kids, they have always seemed like a constant source of irritation for him.  Undoubtedly their ADHD gets under his skin.

My question is, how automatic is 50/50 custody in Arizona?  I know the oldest boy for sure is going to want to stay primarily with my girlfriend.  He pretty much has said that he thinks his father hates him (not prompted BTW) and a few years ago asked my girlfriend why she ever married his father.  The youngest child will probably be confused and upset that his parents are splitting.  

The husband has already said that he doesn't plan to pay any child support and will see the kids as much as necessary so that he doesn't have to pay.  


joni

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RE: Need advice in Phoenix
« Reply #1 on: Jan 27, 2005, 12:02:08 AM »

While I sympathize with your girlfriend's plight and the welfare of her children, if you were to look on the front page of this web site, you would see the mission statement of the people here.

Truth be known, all of us on this board are noncustodial parents or married to noncustodial parents.  Most of us are broke going to court to fight for the simple right for the visitation of our children.

I feel as though you're not in the proper community to be soliciting this sort of advice as to how to keep a parent from a child.

Here's the mission statement from the front of this site:

SPARC's goal is to ensure that children of divorce continue to have meaningful relationships with both parents, regardless of marital status. We advocate on behalf all non-custodial parents to ensure they get equitable treatment in court and continued access to their children. In addition, we work to promote gender equality in Divorce and Custody issues.

Rave

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RE: Need advice in Phoenix
« Reply #2 on: Jan 27, 2005, 07:37:09 AM »
My husband is a non-custodial parent to 3 girls.  His ex-wife moved to another country as soon as his third child was born and used the lack of international child custody enforcement to bribe him for thousands and thousands of dollars, and to deny him not only visitation but often even phone communication for up to 6 months at a time.  The ONLY time we saw my skids was when we paid to fly the BM here with them, paid for her hotel, paid her full child support while she was here, and then paid to ship back all the crap she bought with the child support money she got while was was here.  And usually, by the time she left, she was demanding more money, or "you neva see da gurls again!!!!".  So, I'm quite sympathetic to the plights of non-custodial parents.  Was hoping for some impartial advice regardless.

I used to be on DNet starting 9 years ago and have been a member of this community for quite a while as well, just not on this board.

I am well aware of the challenges stepparents face and have been married 11 years to one of the most extreme non-custodial cases here.  

As for the SPARC mission statement, I've read it many times.

As for my post, I put it under "Custody Issues" because what I posted IS a custody issue.  However, I didn't see noted the status of the population here so no, I wasn't aware of the high non-custodial percentage.  It really shouldn't matter though, for what I was posting about.

I stated the facts, and want to know if and how they will effect child custody.  I want to know from people who KNOW AZ law, if 50/50 custody split is the norm.  No, that wouldn't be what these ADHD kids want.  They require lots and lots of patience and they certainly don't get it from their father (who calls them degrading names when they get on his nerves).  I simply want to know if that is something the judge will take into consideration or if nothing usually deviates the judge from making the 50/50 custody split.

And finally, when you say "we" as though you are speaking for SPARC as a whole, are you an employee?  Are you speaking for Waylon?  Are you saying that SPARC advocates for parents to be given equal time with their children, when one of the parents is definitely not interested in being a parent, is emotionally abusive to the child, the child's self-esteem is zero because of it and the child definitely doesn't want that?  

Brent

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RE: Need advice in Phoenix
« Reply #3 on: Jan 27, 2005, 11:19:29 AM »
It sounds like she has a good case for sole custody; whether she pursues that or not is going to be up to her.

This is a bit out of date (I think) but may help to serve as a guide:

http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/jointlaws.htm


Here is some more specific information on Arizona custody:



Arizona has guidelines and rules that set forth specific factors that the Court should address in deciding what is in the best interests of the children. There are other factors which may not be written in the rules, but are important. These factors are not limited to the following.

1. Whether either of the parties have primarily provided the care for the children in the past.
2. What the parents want and the reason why.
3. What the children want and the reason why.
4. What the children's relationship with the parents is..
5. How the children are doing in each household, and how they do in school and other areas.
6. Whether the parents use appropriate discipline and reinforcement.
7. The physical health of each of the parents.
8. The mental health of the children.
9. The mental health of each of the parents
10. The physical health of the children.
11. Which parent is more likely to work well with the other parent regarding parenting time and other issues.
12. Whether the parents have any problems which effect the children's best interests - For example - drug use, alcohol abuse, physical abuse of the children or the other parent, and criminal history in some cases.
13. If psychologists or other mental health providers have been involved, the Court may consider recommendations from such experts.
14. Whether one of the parties is attempting to alienate the children or is engaging in other inappropriate behavior.



In short, Arizona does not appear to have joint custody by default.

The husband sounds like a jerk in many ways, but I'm also sure there's enough blame to go around. In the long run I think it would be better to establish joint custody than sole custody- cutting the father off from the children further is not likely to improve anything.

It's a hard decision to make, but if your friend keeps her eye on the long-term picture the children will be better off for it. If joint custody truly doesn't work out, she can go for a modification, but don't start out that way by default.  He may be a jerk (and she may have her own issues) but he is their father. To casually dismiss as a parent and cut him off from his children is only going to alienate him and make things worse.

Brent

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RE: Need advice in Phoenix
« Reply #4 on: Jan 27, 2005, 11:27:53 AM »
>And finally, when you say "we" as though you are speaking for
>SPARC as a whole, are you an employee?  Are you speaking for
>Waylon?  Are you saying that SPARC advocates for parents to be
>given equal time with their children, when one of the parents
>is definitely not interested in being a parent, is emotionally
>abusive to the child, the child's self-esteem is zero because
>of it and the child definitely doesn't want that?  

Let me try to shed some light on this....No one speaks for SPARC as a whole except the admin. I try to represent SPARC's views but I don't speak for SPARC, and neither does anyone else, at least not with authority.

I think I can say that SPARC does NOT advocate for abusive parents, but that we do value the child-parent relationship very highly, and with that comes an understanding that not all parents are good parents; some are downright horrible.

I said in another post that he sounds like a jerk in many ways, but I don't know if what I heard was justification enough to basically strip him of all his rights as a parent.

Some people rise to the occasion when given parenting repsonsibilities and some don't. Maybe he needs a dose of parenthood to get his head straight. And, of course, maybe he's not up to it, maybe he really is a genuine jerk and a bad parent. There are lots of them out there and they come in both genders. If the roles were reversed here, I suspect that many people would still be suggesting some form of joint custody.


Rave

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RE: Need advice in Phoenix
« Reply #5 on: Jan 27, 2005, 11:32:15 AM »
She has no malicious intent whatsoever.  She makes a living out of helping people die peacefully.  She should never have married her husband to begin with.  She did it because her mother was terminally ill, he had been a friend for a long time, and her two best friends (me being one of them) were moving away.  If she hadn't married him,  he'd be a royal pothead.  I don't think he ever wanted to be married, but he had a huge crush on my friend for years.  

She would never want to cut him off from the kids.  She never speaks ill of him to the kids.  They do complain to her about him though.  The guy is royally selfish.  His number one priority is that the house be spotless (he wants her to keep it that way).  His number two priority is that the house be quiet.  The boys are stifled in their own house when she's not there.  The guy has been spending his bonus checks for 12 years on guns.  He got a DUI a few years ago.  He is only responsible because he is married to my friend.  And while I think he originally thought she would help him be more responsible, I think it's an irritation for him now.

Truthfully speaking, he'd be a better father if he had less quantity time with the boys.  If he was allowed to have more time to surf porn, shoot his guns, make knives and add to his gun collection, he'd probably appreciate the boys more during the time he did have with them.  Neither of them is moving away.  They will live close to each other.  But given the boys special needs, her involvement, and his disinterest, I just can't imagine that 50/50 would be in the best interests of the kids.  I think he probably doesn't even want that except if it means he doesn't have to pay CS.

Rave

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She's not looking for sole custody
« Reply #6 on: Jan 27, 2005, 11:36:20 AM »
She just doesn't want 50/50.  She is thinking one night during the week and every other weekend.  Or maybe a few nights during the week and e/o weekend.  She doesn't want 50/50 where the kids are literally spending 50% of their time at her place and 50% at his place.  I don't see how that would do them any good at all.  Just wondering if that is the norm these days.  

He told her that since he gets off at 2pm and she doesn't get off until 5pm, that he would pick up the kids after school, feed them dinner every night and then bring them to her place.  He feels that this would negate him paying any CS.  

Brent

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RE: Need advice in Phoenix
« Reply #7 on: Jan 27, 2005, 11:38:48 AM »
>Truthfully speaking, he'd be a better father if he had less
>quantity time with the boys.  If he was allowed to have more
>time to surf porn, shoot his guns, make knives and add to his
>gun collection,

Lol, I can tell you're a big fan of his. ;)

If this is truly the case, I'd suggest she get a custody evaluation. Have the court appoint an independent evaluator. But still, having his children half the time is almost certainly going to be better than the classic 2 weekends a month. You want to see him turn into a real shit? Cut him off from his family, and stick him with a hefty CS obligation. Give him no say in the entire processor what comes afterwards. Believe me, that'll do it.

Jont custody may seem like the wrong decision now, but not in the long term.

Rave

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RE: Need advice in Phoenix
« Reply #8 on: Jan 27, 2005, 11:42:19 AM »
I think that's a good idea, getting a custody eval.  I don't think he'd ever get 50/50 that way, particularly when the kids say that he often calls them stupid assholes.  I mean, who does that?  Talk about shattering a kid's self-esteem.  Particularly when they already know they are different.  

Brent

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RE: She's not looking for sole custody
« Reply #9 on: Jan 27, 2005, 11:43:58 AM »
>She just doesn't want 50/50.  She is thinking one night
>during the week and every other weekend.  Or maybe a few
>nights during the week and e/o weekend.  She doesn't want
>50/50 where the kids are literally spending 50% of their time
>at her place and 50% at his place.

Read what I said before. If she wants an ugly divorce and years of shit to follow, that's the way to go about it. Suddenly she's regulating exactly how much time he gets to spend with his own children. Give me a break.


>  I don't see how that would
>do them any good at all.  

I do- they'd get time with both parents. Isn't that what it's all about?  If it doesn't work out, modify the arrangements. But It'll work out better in the long run if they start with joint custody.



>Just wondering if that is the norm
>these days.  

Arizona does not appear to have JC by default, but it is a common custody arrangement.



>He told her that since he gets off at 2pm and she doesn't get
>off until 5pm, that he would pick up the kids after school,
>feed them dinner every night and then bring them to her place.
> He feels that this would negate him paying any CS.  

Yah, hello, hello- what is he trying to tell her?

Start with joint custody and reasonable CS. Going the route she wants to go is going to cause a lot more trouble, I guarantee you.


 

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