S.P.A.R.C.

Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center
crazy gamesriddles and jokesfunny picturesdeath psychic!mad triviafunny & odd!pregnancy testshape testwin custodyrecipes

Author Topic: father fighting for custody  (Read 15065 times)

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
father fighting for custody
« on: Nov 08, 2008, 03:07:36 PM »
I separated from my ex over a year ago and have had a written agreement in place where I have had my son(3 yrs old) for 4 nights a week and my wife has him for three. Recently when my year waiting period was up I had my lawyer send her a letter asking that we go to mediation and work things out and keep the custody schedule. she replied quickly with a request for full custody. I have an extremely stable job as a teacher and will have off the same hours as my child when he starts school next year. Since this exchange we have both filed for full custody. I live in Md which is supposed to not have preference for either parent. She has also changed jobs and moved 3 times in the past year and is currently living with her b/f in a bad neighborhood and lying to me about where she lives(I can prove it). Is there any chance that I can obtain full physical custody and just give her visitation? What are the odds that she can take custody away from me? Who will be able to pick his school? Thanks for all your help. I look forward to hearing your replies


boilergal

  • Private Reserve
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1591
  • Karma: 123
    • View Profile
Why not stay with the status quo?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 08, 2008, 09:57:58 PM »
You've got roughly a 60/40 split in your favor. Can you mediate to a shared custody agreement for that? No one can predict what will happen, but if you are petitioning to finalize a situation based on how's it's been, then maybe you have a stronger case. Some folks will disagree and some will agree.

No one can guarantee the outcome, but if your son is used to the shared time already, then why not stick with that? He needs both of you.

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #2 on: Nov 09, 2008, 09:07:48 AM »
In the initial complaint for divorce I did request to continue with the status quo. Then a couple weeks later I got a letter from her lawyer requesting that she have sole custody. That's why i'm so worried, I don't see why a lawyer would want to do that if he didn't think they had a good chance of winning. I don't think she's gonna agree to leave it the same in mediation because she is set on the idea of trying to get him on school nights where she doesn' t have much time with him each night but she can collect a nice child support check since she makes less than half of what I do.

boilergal

  • Private Reserve
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1591
  • Karma: 123
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #3 on: Nov 09, 2008, 09:33:16 AM »
the lawyer is doing what lawyers do... it's not that he/she necessarily thinks she has a good chance.

Ask for the sun and the moon and then settle for less. Your stance is basically the same, ask for full custody and settle for what you have.

Her lawyer is also getting paid to do it. So your X is going along and may or may not be convinced that she can get it. But the lawyer is telling her what she wants to hear and the lawyer gets paid either way.

Don't read into it. Just proceed with what you feel is right. Try for full custody and then mediate to the status quo if that's the way it goes.

Your child needs you both in any case.

Good luck.

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #4 on: Nov 13, 2008, 09:27:34 PM »
Well, we had our mediation and she wouldn't budge. I tried giving a little on stuff like holidays and things that are insignificant to me but she wouldn't budge on the custody or the school issue. Do you guys think that I"m going to be at a big disadvantage because I'm a male? Or since I've had him more right from the beginning will that help me out?


Giggles

  • Private Reserve
  • SuperHero
  • ***
  • Posts: 5378
  • Karma: 217
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #5 on: Nov 14, 2008, 06:44:22 AM »

Well, we had our mediation and she wouldn't budge. I tried giving a little on stuff like holidays and things that are insignificant to me but she wouldn't budge on the custody or the school issue. Do you guys think that I"m going to be at a big disadvantage because I'm a male? Or since I've had him more right from the beginning will that help me out?

 
MD is a crap shoot really....depending on the Judge you get and which county you are in.  Judges in Montgomery county are fairly liberal and mostly side with the mothers....however you do sound like you have a good case for joint custody....just make sure you concentrate on "the best interest of the child" they are HUGE on that!!!  With her not budging in mediation, that's not going to look that great to a judge...so she may have hung herself there!
 
Frederick county judges lean more conservatively and tend to preferr a joint situation. 

I only had one experience with a Baltimore County Judge and I must say I liked her very much!!!  My X has custody of our daughter and back a few years ago he got deployed to Kuwait.  He ticked me off because he gave guardianship to his Mother instead of me...he was going to be gone for a year.  So after he left, she came to visit me for the summer and I refused to return her to her Grandmother...filed for Temp custody in Baltimore county.  My only mistake was that I should have filed for it in NC where they lived...but anyway.  My X got ticked and got a emergency trip back to the US.  We went to court in Baltimore and the judge said that Baltimore didn't have jurisdiction.  He wanted me to pay HIS legal fees but the judge denied that and when his attorney argued the point, the Baltimore judge asked if they wanted to have the jurisdiction switched?  His attorney said NO WAY because she knew that if they switched the jurisdiction, they would lose and the Judge would have ordred my daughter to stay with me AND denied the attorneys fees as well.  My X's excuse for not letting me have guardianship was because he knew that if he did give her to me, she wouldn't want to go back to him when he got back.....certainly NOT in her best interest!!!
 
I think you do have a good chance at joint custody...even primary IF you can convince the judge that you have been the primary parent.  Good Luck!!!
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

Kitty C.

  • Moderator
  • SuperHero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2612
  • Karma: 938
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #6 on: Nov 14, 2008, 11:48:20 AM »
I agree with Giggles..............when you get to court emphasize as hard as you can that your son has been on the current schedule for a year and, given his age, continuity is imperative for him.  Maintaining the status quo is the best thing for him right now.
 
Please let us know how this turns out........you do have a lot in favor, with stability, the kind of job you have (and the hours you work, which is geared for a child) and the fact that you've had this arrangement for a year.  Don't take anything for granted, dot your i's and cross your t's, and keep your emphasis on your son.  It's possible that your case may go to the same judge you've seen in the past....some jurisdictions do that for continuity (and if it's that way in your case, point it out to the judge!), so that would give you a better idea on the outcome.  But if you get a different judge, ask your atty. if they know anything about him/her.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #7 on: Jan 25, 2009, 09:40:37 AM »
Update.....It's 3 months later, my lawyer says the master hearing my case is pretty even handed with men and women so that shouldn't be to my disadvantage. I have been building my case since the beginning but it seems as if here lately she is staying one step ahead. I found out she lied on her discovery and was living with her b/f. I got proof and the day before I got the records in the mail from my lawyer there was a letter from hers saying that she changed her answers to interrogatories to include him? How does she keep finding stuff out just ahead of time? I hope i'm not walking into an ambush

Giggles

  • Private Reserve
  • SuperHero
  • ***
  • Posts: 5378
  • Karma: 217
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #8 on: Jan 25, 2009, 11:45:03 AM »
Actually...the longer this takes the better your chances are for maintaining status quo!!  Just make sure you focus on keeping a stable environment and the childs best interest.  Perhaps start a communications book that could be exchanged along with the child.  This shows your willingness to communicate with BM.  Write in there how the child did during your time, the things they enoyed doing and any other pertinate info.  This also becomes excellent documentation for court!!!  If a judge or master can see that this is working...then they'd be hesitant to change it!!!
 
Who normally takes the child to the doctor?  Dentist?  In other words can you show that you do the majority of these things?  Mostly you want to show that you are the PRIMARY parent.  You may also want to have a comparison between the schools in your area vs the ones near her, along with maybe crime stats?  Since you state she isn't in the best of neighborhoods.
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #9 on: Jan 29, 2009, 04:00:40 PM »
Does anybody know how I could get relevant crime statistics for a particular neighborhood without going through the police department....I haven't had any luck online. I also wonder if anyone knows of any methods to go about proving someone is lowballing their income if their primary income is tips. I know my ex is only working part time as a nail tech/stylist but I dont' know how to go about proving her income is a joke. She even told me what she actually makes. If anyone can help please, please reply to this post

2HimandI

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #10 on: Feb 03, 2009, 11:10:06 PM »
I feel like if you have written documentation, that is all you need. You and your kid's mother already agreed on custody. Keep all your documentation.
 
Good luck,
2HimandI

2HimandI

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #11 on: Feb 03, 2009, 11:29:59 PM »
My question:
 
I want to file for joint custody - full if I could get it.....I want to know "What am I in store for?"
 
I was behind on child support payments, but now I'm cut up. PRAISE THE LORD!!! I want joint custody, full custody.
 
My son's mother doesn't want to work. Last job she worked, she worked for 1 day. She receives unemployment checks while going to community college; which I heard was illegal. She gets money for going to school- about $1,200 every semister after books. She gets state's assistance, lives in a section 8 house; rent is about $6.00 And, she receives food stamps.
 
She makes more money than I do. I am so glad I'm through with back pay. I was bringing home $331.00 every two weeks while she wa receiving $301 every two weeks. Check this out though... I have to live off $662 a month ($400 rent, $150 utilities, $$hygeine, $$food, $$transportation, etc).
 
I want joint custody of my son. I have a two bedroom apartment with my finance. I want to know:
  • Should I get a lawyer?
  • What can I do to improve my chances getting custody?
  • Should I marry first to improve my chances (off the record)?
Thanks in advance.
2HimandI
 
 

Marsha

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #12 on: Feb 04, 2009, 02:18:49 AM »
WorriedinMD,

Its true, much depends on the judge, but if the process there is similar to CA's laws...here when we attend mediation the mediator writes a report that gets submitted to your attorneys', and the judge.  There should be a court date coming up very soon?

In our case, when the mediator submits his recommendations...it is counted very heavily by the judge.  Of course, both of you can still argue your case, but say the mediator recommends joint legal and physical...it will be quite hard for an attorney to convince the judge otherwise (it did happen twice in my case...but different history).  So when I go to court, I try to make my best appearance and case to the mediator...knowing he is the link to the judge.

I am not sure why you are focusing your energy on mom's income unless your court date lops custody with child support.  If they are kept separate, then I would leave moms' income alone.  I would try not to bad mouth her at all...I'm not hearing any neglect or serious parenting issues...and the judges get so sick of hearing bickering about the other parent.

Keep your focus on your child, why its in HIS best interests to continue with the status quo.  You absolutely should get joint legal and physical and your attorney should fight tooth and nail for that if the recommendation doesn't recommend it.  Keep the focus on the child.

Personally, I think it would be horrid to significantly change a toddlers' pre-existing schedule IF, he has adjusted well, and seems like a relatively happy, balanced child.

Thats all just my opinion.  Thanks

*iLUVmySD*

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • Karma: 2
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #13 on: Feb 04, 2009, 02:58:27 PM »
2HimandI ,

I would start your own topic with your question if you haven't already. Just so it doesn't get missed. :)

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #14 on: Feb 04, 2009, 05:25:54 PM »
In maryland the mediator can't communicate with the judge. they just send a form to the courts saying that you attended. Child support and Custody is all one hearing

Giggles

  • Private Reserve
  • SuperHero
  • ***
  • Posts: 5378
  • Karma: 217
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #15 on: Feb 04, 2009, 07:35:38 PM »

Does anybody know how I could get relevant crime statistics for a particular neighborhood without going through the police department....I haven't had any luck online. I also wonder if anyone knows of any methods to go about proving someone is lowballing their income if their primary income is tips. I know my ex is only working part time as a nail tech/stylist but I dont' know how to go about proving her income is a joke. She even told me what she actually makes. If anyone can help please, please reply to this post

 
This seems to be EXACTLY what you might be looking for..
 
http://www.spotcrime.com/md
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #16 on: Apr 05, 2009, 12:15:37 PM »
Final update and hopefully I won't need to use this site anymore. lol

We settled 3 days before trial. I gave in and agreed to let her get to 50-50 overnights. In return my child is attending the school where I teach, and I have him thursday after school thru sunday at 6 pm and every other wednesday night. I was also having trouble with her income and I don't know if I could have proved it ,but at the settlement conference we pulled her bank statements where she was depositing 2000 a month but her paychecks only totaled 1300. So she was definitely making more tips than she let on. After realizing she was going to have to go to court to fight it she gave up on the support issue. I want to thank everyone on here for all your advice. If it wasn't for the tips of what to research and how to organize, I wouldn't have had nearly as good of a case to intimidate with at settlement. Thanks again to everyone.

Kitty C.

  • Moderator
  • SuperHero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2612
  • Karma: 938
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #17 on: Apr 05, 2009, 05:00:30 PM »
I'm glad you've come to an agreement for now, but I would strongly recommend that you keep this site bookmarked and read here frequently.  All that you've dealt with so far is a good indicator of what the future will be like.  She may have 'capitulated' (as she sees it) for now, but as acrimonious as it has been so far, I can about guarantee she will not leave this alone.  She might even go so far as to quit her job just to make sure she can get more money from you.
 
Now that you've found this site, keep it handy, as you will likely be coming back here frequently, at least until your child reaches the age of majority............
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

hallegere1

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #18 on: Apr 11, 2009, 05:26:13 PM »
Just looking at this thread I should quote my old adage.
 
"In a he said she said case, he loses."
 
Do not rise to the bait, remember last time you went fishing, you saw what happened to the ones who rose to the bait.
 
 

worriedinmd

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #19 on: Sep 27, 2009, 05:32:28 PM »
ok, so it hasn't even been six months since the court order and here I am back again. Already since the court order she has moved again, this time further away. She is complaining that now picking him up at school isn't in the middle and she is inconvenienced by this. On one Sunday a month she wants me to drive him to her which is about an hour away and not the scheduled meeting place in the court order. When I said I would have to think about it she immediately started ranting about how is I couldn't compromise and to this one day a week then I guess we will have to go back to court. I'm wondering what I should do. On the one hand it's not that big of a deal for me to drive him there once a month, but on the other hand if I agree to do this will I be opening up a can of worms on schedule changes which will eventually make the court order meaningless? Also if she just keeps threatening to go back to court every time theres a problem will she actually have a case when it comes to getting things changed or will the court see her as a nuisance?  I'm just wondering what I should do, I want to be reasonable but I don't want to keep getting pushed around. If I agree only verbally to make this drive once a month and she gets nasty later, will the written court order win out or will I be binded to the verbal agreement? I currently have my son 50% of the nights but I get more time with him because she only has him one sunday a month and what amounts to 3 nights a week after school. I also am not paying support which is a good thing. I just don't want to make things on myself but I don't want to open myself up to having to cave to her every whim. Any help on the situation would be appreciated.

ocean

  • Private Reserve
  • SuperHero
  • ***
  • Posts: 5071
  • Karma: 172
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #20 on: Sep 27, 2009, 05:51:44 PM »
Why cant she drive to the meeting point? I would stick to the order. If you do it now then she can go back at anytime and say "we have been doing this for XX amount of time already" Unless there is a major reason why she cant get there (job change? no car?)  If you do it, write a formal letter stating you will do the transportation until the reason she cant is changed.

4honor

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
  • Karma: 56
  • Been hanging out since 1998... I think.
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #21 on: Oct 06, 2009, 03:03:40 PM »
Modifying the court order verbally is essentially re-negotiating the order and makes the order less valuable as written. I was advised by one attorney NEVER to do it, and by nother attorney to only do it if it benefits the child.
 
My personal opinion is that since she moved and has a habit of moving, you should NOT give in on the drive, as she will move again some time in the future (pattern) and you will again be expected to give in and take up HER slack. Leave it the same. She needs a change in the circumstances of the CHILD or the other parent (you) or you to refuse to follow the order to go back to court. Call her bluff. A judge isn't going to slap you for following their own order and maintaning stability.
 
Don't give away pieces of an order that is not ambiguous... unlees the order mentions halfway and then says which place (which now might be ambiguous or unclear because that place is no longer half way.)
 
 
Stand your ground as a whole and give in when you feel like it.
A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves whats behind him...dear parents, please remember not to continue to fight because you hate your ex, but because you love your children.

gemini3

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
  • Karma: 1004
    • View Profile
Re: father fighting for custody
« Reply #22 on: Oct 06, 2009, 03:33:30 PM »
Yes, if she keeps going back to court for frivolous things they will see her as a nuisance.  Also, the judge is probably going to say that she is resonsible for the additional transportation since she moved.  If she does file, ask for attorney fees.
 
It sounds like being a decent guy is important to you - and that's awesome.  Your son is a lucky guy.  BUT - I don't think that it's unreasonable to expect her to bear the burden of her own decisions.  She chose to move knowing that it would create a longer commute.  I don't think it was fair for her to do that and then expect you to be the one to carry the burden.  Life doesn't work that way.  The longer you let her temper tantrums pressure you into giving her what she wants the longer you're going to have to deal with them.
 
When you say "no" she'll probably do what all tantrum-throwers do when her usual MO doesn't work - scream louder.  But, eventually it will stop.  Just practice "low contact" until she gets over her temper tantrum.
 
 

 

Copyright © SPARC - A Parenting Advocacy Group
Use of this website does not constitute a client/attorney relationship and this site does not provide legal advice.
If you need legal assistance for divorce, child custody, or child support issues, seek advice from a divorce lawyer.