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Author Topic: Minor Victory and now Custody Eval Questions  (Read 1472 times)


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Minor Victory and now Custody Eval Questions
« on: Feb 06, 2005, 10:49:10 AM »
Hey all,

Have found good advice here in the past and thought I would also share a minor victory for myself and all fathers in a similar position.  About 8 months ago my ex relocated to MS (1800 miles from me) without any real notice.  I found out from my daughter on Friday, they were gone Sunday morning.  Now, the divorce decree said she only had to give me 24 hours notice.

Well, I had one hearing with a Commissioner (who really was too busy to look into anything) and that was a failure.   He basically told me I was SOL.  Well, Thursday I had a court date with a real judge.  It was a total victory.  She ruled that a material change in circumstance had occurred and I was entitled to a custody evaluation.

So on to the next step.  I have tried to get her and her new husband to move back nicely.  I have offered (and STILL offer) to pay for their move back.  I would much rather pay them and my children (indirectly) than a custody evaluator and more legal fees.  It's just money burned in my book.  However I'm pretty sure that pride and anger will prevent her from making the rational choice.

Barring that I was wondering if anyone here had been through a custody evaluation?  What do they look for etc, etc.  I realize that women have a statistical bias due to our society and our nature in general.

Now, my ex is not a bad mom.  She just gets angry and makes rash decisions and, I think, is a tad mis-guided.  She does not mistreat my children directly, but by doing what she did she has indirectly affected their lives in a bad way.  Now I've heard that unless the mother is unfit the father has no chance.  However I have a few things going for me here:

I.    Most of my children’s family live closer to me, including my ex's family
II.  I work from home and do not need day care
III.  I make 6 figures
IV.  Prior to their move I have a documented history of joint physical visitation (I gave her primary care so she could get single parent beni's from the gov)
V.    I own my house and my children’s best friends live next door to me
VI.   I don't party, drink to excess, or have any other bad habits :)

My ex, although a good mom when she is calm quit her job, as did her new husband to move to MS.  My kids now live in a rural area with no friends around, go to MS public school, and live in a trailer.  My child support is more than their income combined (she still does not work and he can't hold a job).  All things being equal, do you think I have a chance here?  Everything I've read says that I do.  

She gets angry and says that it is not fair that I can work from home and make as much money as I do...but this is about our kids not about being fair.  It wasn't fair to unilaterally decide to move 1800 miles away, and I'm still offering to be MORE than fair and pay for them to all move back.  I'm not sure what else I can offer.



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RE: Minor Victory and now Custody Eval Questions
« Reply #1 on: Feb 06, 2005, 12:44:04 PM »

I think you're being more than generous considering the torture that she's subjected you to and the disregard she has for you as an active role in your childrens' lives.

That being said, you have two options 1) go forward with the custody evaluation or 2) don't go forward with it.  The fact that she's a good mom means that she'll be a good long distance mom when the children are in your care.

My Lord...your children live in a trailer, mom can't hold a job, neither can stepdad.  What kind of future will they have there?

Mississippi ranks 47 out of the 50 states in education (Utah is 28th)


I see you're from Utah, are you and your children Mormon?  If so, don't think there's much religious opportunity for a Mormon in Mississippi.

Mississippi has the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the country:


I think that your chances are very strong.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


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RE: Minor Victory and now Custody Eval Questions
« Reply #2 on: Feb 06, 2005, 06:01:06 PM »
She is not going to move back.  You need to prove that your child is better off where she used to live.  Teh judge can order the child returned to your state. Mom either has to move or you get your child.

Proceed with all gusto!


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RE: Minor Victory and now Custody Eval Questions
« Reply #3 on: Feb 06, 2005, 10:11:51 PM »
Hey all,

Thanks for the positive responses.  I also don't think she is going to move back, her pride comes before our kids it seems.  Have any of you been through an eval?  

I have two kids.  I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old.  Both of them pretty much grew up in this house (I kept the house in the divorce since she couldn't have paid for it).  It's not that my ex CAN'T hold a job she just wants to be a stay at home mom.  So she won't work :)  I am not mormon and neither was my ex when we met and married.  Recently however she has become born again mormon and converted her new spouse as well.  They are taking my kids to church without my permission, actually against my wishes but it's one of those impossible to enforce rights.

Well I hope all goes well, thanks for the positive feedback I will keep everyone posted.  I would however much rather she move back nicely so that I can spend the money on my kids and she will certainly be happier if it is willingly.  And if she's happier, ultimately the kids will benefit.  I don't mind her being happy but there is a limit.  Not being a dad so she can be happy just ain't gonna happen :)



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RE: Minor Victory and now Custody Eval Questions
« Reply #4 on: Feb 07, 2005, 12:56:09 PM »
Hi Jeremy,

I've been through two custody evals.  I can tell you that they are grueling endeavors.  The first took over a year!  I live in PA and evaluators are given carte blanc. They can do whatever they want to.  They can say whatever they want to in the report.  They can also exclude whatever they want to.

Personally, I believe they have way too much power.  Here in PA it is very difficult if not impossible to over turn an eval once it is completed.

My advice is to go armed to the teeth with hard evidence about the situation ( Utah vs MS) the education, family isses.  Make a list of collateral contact you wish the evaluator to contact.  It helps to have the evaluator like you-that goes without saying.

I need to tell you that I do not have custody of my kids. I lost both evals.  My exis very manipulative.  BTW...I am a NCP mom.

I think you can make a very good case for having the children returned to you.  

Best of luck!


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RE: Minor Victory and now Custody Eval Questions
« Reply #5 on: Feb 07, 2005, 01:52:43 PM »
I hope all goes well for you and gets better.  I think states very greatly on this particular issue from what I've read.

The judge was pretty worried about the kids after the last court date.  I believe the put this on a fast track and it's supposed to be a really quick deal.  Other than the fact that she is the mom I don't think she has any clear advantage.

I do worry that the kids have now been there for 8 months (I think there is some 6 month wall of bias as far as these things go).  I have already begun to gather data and write detailed continuing education and parenting plans.  I figure the more documentation and obvious thought I have put into this the better off I will be.



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