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Author Topic: (Long) We're Almost There w/ Cusody.......... advice & assistance pls.  (Read 2758 times)

EyeInTheSky

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Hi All......... it's been a LONG time since I posted on any board.  I was a bit skiddish because we believe somebody on a state board was actually related to BM. Uggg.

Anyway.... SMILE WITH US please. It's been a LONG uphill battle. DH was given only 1 w/e a month visitation in a midwest kangaroo court out in the middle of nowhere a few years ago. He had to also pay for all related expenses to see his child. This was a huge burden since we make relatively little money in the area which we live.......and BM and her brood do pretty dang well.  Ya know the type, gets every available state/public assistance but lives on nearly 20 acres of lakefront property, new vehicles, boats, ATVs for each plus all the kiddies.  

Anyway........the child, now a teenager was giving BM such a hard time that BM requested our assistance. We were HAPPY to help. Anything to get the child on the right path.

About 3+ months ago, BM and child were REALLY getting into it all the time. Verbal abuse was on both sides and occassional physical abuse by both parties.

BM decided to take us up on the offer to come and live HERE (**gasp**).  It must have been pretty bad!  However since the child has been here there has NEVER been any abuse or even a cuss word. Yeah, we're aware of the "honeymoon period" but that came and went a long time ago.

The child is in counseling and her psych scores have risen drastically since she's been here.  The counselor thinks she should stay.

We WERE set to discuss this with BM during the second week in August, but I do think the time is NOW to get this set into motion.  Until now, a p.c. written agreement has been in-place. We're fully aware this wouldn't hold up on court and BM COULD theoretically come and yank her back at anytime.

Ok folks........ BM is aware the child is doing well. BM is aware the child is happy. BM has NOT been to see the child at all. She once sent a check to put her on the bus for a w/e visit.....but the busses didn't meet.  The child would have had to spend 20 hours or so in a major metro bus station.  Ahhhh, NO, not on MY watch.

So how do you think this should be approached? Somebody suggested a parenting plan and get a court date.... and ask the judge to sign it. WHAT if BM won't do this? What if she wants to retail legal custody?  We HATE the idea of the child yanked back on a whim.  We NEED legal custody.....but don't want to scare BM off. ~~~  When I told BM last week that the child was (still) very happy and looking forward to H.S. HERE, she said, "Yeah, I figured that."  The tone was ok. ~~~ BUT we also know if she goes back for a visit right now.....they'll ALL work on the child to get her to change HER views.

There is SO MUCH more to saw.....this is so involved...and many eggshells are crossed daily.......but so far everything is FINALLY WORKING OUT.

Suggestions on how to handle a change in custody sure would be appreciated.

TYVM!!!


CustodyIQ

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Hi,

This is counter-intuitive to what you're thinking, but the longer you can keep the status quo, the more successful your motion would be.

The status quo weighs very heavily on court rulings.

So... if you can keep things calm and the same, I'd proceed on the presumption that you'll keep your discussion with the mother in mid-August.  That'll buy you another two months from the current time.

At that time, depending upon what happens with the mother, you'll have 5+ months under your belt for showing that the kid is back on track, doing well, AND expressing an interest to remain in your home (I presume).

Regardless of what happens in the discussion with the mother, you'd be in a far better position to then move for court orders to reflect de facto (i.e., actual) custody.

There isn't a technically right/wrong answer to the timing of this sort of thing, so I encourage you to get more opinions, including those from attorneys in your area.



EyeInTheSky

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Hi CustodyIQ,

So what you're saying is NOT to "ask" for full custody w/ BM right now and to wait until the mid-August time?  I totally understand your thought process.......... however I cringe at the kangaroo court system where this child is from and where the custody order is out of.

When we were in court a few years ago because BM didn't want to give any sort of visitation...... "Frustration of Visitation" issues abounded.  The BM stood before the court and didn't deny a thing.  The actually admitted to PAS also........ it was unbelievable.  When reminded that Frusration of Visitation is a felony (to BM)..... her lawyer interjected this: "that's not the way we do things in THIS county."  When a ruling was asked of the judge.... he said something close to, "It's not illegal in MY court/county."   Okkkkkk.

There was so much evidence against BM...... and the court turned a blind eye, even though she didn't even deny it one bit.  The ruling was that DH could travel the 2.5+ hours ONE WAY to get the child once a month. He had a 15 minute window to be at the designated spot.  He paid ALL expenses. ~~~  We asked for a GAL.....and the local Soc. Service was appointed.....ya know the folks BM bowls with, has child care with, etc.  No kidding.

This is why we do NOT trust a single one of them.

I've been VERY STUPID.  I have not been keeping phone records of the 3 or so calls the BM has made to the child. That averages 1x/month.  The child is ticked........ and it's hard to keep her on an even keel about her mom.  We keep telling her OF COURSE her mom loves her.... and maybe mom is just letting the chid spread her wings. ~~~ Honestly, that's what it may have started off as....and BM may have thought the child would come running back..... NOPE.  She's thriving and blossoming!!!!

Next... I'm going to assume that the counseling report showing her EXTREMELY LOW SCORES (extreme depression) when she arrived, to her above average scores now will help IF  a battle is needed.  I don't think it will be a battle though.

Also..... BM got in a bit of trouble.  She didn't tell the county child support folks that the child didn't live there any longer....... so when C.S. sent a letter here wanting a RAISE DH nearly stroked. HE called C.S. and happened to get the director in this very rural area.  She was furious....had BM come in that day or the next to sign paperwork stating NO support was due at all from the moment the child came here.  The case is closed now. (Yippee).

To sum up.....(LOL, sorry, I expounded)...... do you really think we should wait......or shall I sound BM out a little more?  She sounded pretty ok w/ most of this when we spoke on the phone.  Maybe an adjusted Parenting Plan w/ custody issues should be started on?

Thanks!!!!!!  Your help is wonderful.  Bless YOU.

ocean

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Hi,
I would also wait it out since child support is closed for you (did they open one for her?)  The child is now a teen and that weighs heavily in the court room. You already have the child in school so that is not an issue either. What do you want to accomplish going to court? You are doing everything already...why start things up? (especially if you are dealing with a small town everyone knows everyone court house). Just my two cents :) Good luck!
PS If she wants visitation she will call you or bring you to court. enjoy the peace for a while. Offer some time in the summer and then leave it up to her.

EyeInTheSky

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Ya'All are right
« Reply #4 on: Jun 18, 2005, 05:41:54 PM »
First......about child support.  NO - NO SUPPORT.  Dag-nab-it.  The BM retains legal custody of the child therefore w/out going into court this cannot be changed.  This is my understanding from the support folks in that area.  The support folks HERE are looking into this though.  We are pretty darn broke....... but I wonder if if simply asking to help a little w/ the child's expenses would rock the boat too much?  What to ya'll think?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To answer your other question(s) about timing:

I get impatient....... that's all.  You both are right....bide my/our time.

I get very angry that after all this bullhockey with the limited visitation, kangaroo court, jumping through hoops of fire...... that NOW that the child is living HERE.... I want to make sure nobody takes that away.  SHE IS BLOSSOMING.  ~~~~  Ya know the saying, "blossoming like a flower?"  I absolutely know what is meant by that now.  The child personifies this.  We're so proud of her and the efforts SHE has made.

Now biomom...... I don't trust her.  I DO feel a bit bad in a way FOR her.  I know, I know..... I shouldn't.  She's caused so many problems and actually hurt the child.  Still....being a mother myself (mine son is in his mid 20's) I cannot help but wonder what the he** goes through her head when she does NOT contact the child.  Why hasn't she made any serious attempts to see the girl?  Heck, she could spend a week about 90 highway miles from here.....and was invited to stay here (or go to a hotel....which ever she felt) and we opened the house, the child's schedule.....EVERYTHING....... she didn't call, write or even acknowledge this more than saying things like, "We'll see."  Yet if this is ever brought up in court......she'll have a plausable explaination and I can guarantee it won't matter anyway.....like I said, it is a real kangaroo court.

Hopefully we won't need any of this.  I will start on a "Parenting Plan" for the mid August time to be given to the court when we all agree on the content.  I won't bring it up before it's time though.  I figure if I can have this ready.... at least I've been proactive.

I don't know if I mentioned in a previous post that the social worker from the county up there called recently.  She oversees the visitation issues and has the authority to make changes.  No need.....BM hasn't seen the child and I told her this when she asked.  She wasn't happy.  She KNOWS that when DH and I were the visiting (hate that term) parents we were there every opportunity that we were allowed.

I'll close this post w/ a request about the Parenting Plan that I'll have in the background.  I will use a template here and adjust as necessary.  Does anybody have any ideas if anything else should be added?

Thanks.....blessings, and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY (tomorrow)


dipper

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First of all let me say - congratulations!  That is so wonderful how you and your dh have helped your sd.  The fact that she has turned around so quickly speaks of big controversy between her and bm.  

I know what you mean about the bm and her buddies - we have that problem.  DH and I are quiet, just do our own thing......bm is a go-getter who loves people with 'titles' to their jobs....Its extremely frustrating...

But I have to agree that as long as you have sd in your care, the better for court.  

Just be prepared for battle, because while bm may sound ok, she may be just biding her time until school draws near.  

Best of luck!

EyeInTheSky

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Interesting I Thing ---- Re: BioMom
« Reply #6 on: Jun 23, 2005, 10:27:03 AM »
Hi Ya'll

BM called last night and spoke to the child. She asked child when the child was coming for a visit.  The child KNOWS it's up to BM to make the arrangements for visitation......so she says, "Whenever you come to get me."  NO RESPONSE from the BM.   Hmmmmm.

Next, BM asks the child, "so I hear you're going to school down there next year."  The child responds to the affirmative....... BM doesn't say anything to her.

History:  I TOLD BM that the child is very happy.... backed this up w/ report cards, activity reports, counseling/psych reports, volunteerism stats, etc...... when I said this BM indicated in a favorable way but NEVER said the actual words.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  I'm not patient.  Hold me back folks.  LOL

It's been such a long haul...... if this child is snatched back I/we will just croak.  She's doing EXCELLENT.

Feedback is appreciated!  THANKS.

 

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