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Author Topic: Father trying to get custody  (Read 4884 times)

rjmurdock

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Father trying to get custody
« on: Sep 26, 2009, 06:55:02 AM »
   Okay I will try to start with the basics, my husband and I would like to have custody of his son. My stepson is in no physical danger living with his mother right now. Here is the situation my husband and his son BM were never married. There relationship was only about 2 1/2 months long when he broke up with her we started dating immedietely. The night of our first date (she knew where we were - very small town) she decided to come to the bar and tell my husband that she was pregnant but since we had already left she had a few drinks and told everyone else. I found out from some other friends who were there that she was pregnant and told my husband (then boyfriend) so he could call her. It has been a battle ever since. She lied in court several times about "health" conditions to restrict visitation that my SS never had. In the most recent custody order we had to put our wedding in in order to have my SS attend. This custody order is three years old now. After the last custody order the BM decided she was gay and found herself a girlfriend and has become very complacent. The last two years have been pretty good. Especially since she likes the idea of being a mother more than actually being a mother so she is constantly calling to see if we want my SS extra - of course we do.
 
    This is what changed. She and an old girlfriend have gotten back together. The girlfriend now lives four hours away and she want to move. My husband told her he would think about it but decided that it would not be best for his son to be four hours away. He told her she could move but she would have to modify the order to give custody to him. He told her that if she wanted to move then SS shouldn't be the one to make sacrafices in his life she should. This is why 1. His ex does not have a stable life in the past two years she moved from her mothers house (where she had been living since my SS was born) to low income housing ( 3 months) to a trailer with her first girlfriend ( 7 months), broke up with this girlfriend and moved in with current girlfriend an hour away with permission ( 2 weeks) was kicked out of their because current girlfriend didn't want my SS around into her mothers house ( 1 month) got into a fight with her mother and into her fathers house where she lives now.
2. She wants to move in with girlfriend who already kicked her out once because she didn't want SS around.
3. My SS has an amazing relationship with both BM's father, step-mother, and mother in fact these ppl have him more than BM and he should not be taken away from them either.
4. In our home my SS has two step-sisters and two half sisters that he has a very close relationship with.
5. 90% of all our families live in this area
6. BM does not have a decent work history she has had many jobs but she has never quit or gotten laid off
7. The school district in the new area is very poor in the bottom 5 percent for NY state.
8. Her preposed visitation schedule once SS started school next year would have him in a car for eight hours total every other weekend including late Sunday night with school the next day.
9. Once SS started school we would never get to be involved with his schooling or any extra curricular activities with him that far away.
 
   We already know that she won't be able to move with SS giving the circumstances of her move. She was not planning on telling anyone - not her mother or her father that she lives with she only told my husband because she needed his permission to move. I would like to reiterate that although she technically has primary physical custody and she technically lives with SS her parents are basically raising him she goes a week or so at a time not seeing him. When he is picked up for visitation and dropped off it is not BM that is there.
 
   My husband talked to her parents about the move and we now have their support in the custody matter as we can offer my SS stability.
 
This is what has happened in the past week. She called my husband and basically told him if he wouldn't let her move than she was not going to let him have SS any extra that we were going to go back to the original custody order and that he would have to rearrange his work schedule for that. I believe she was trying to get him to fight with her so she would have something to use against him but we have been through this enough that that didn't work.
He told her that was fine he was sure his boss could work something out for him but that he would be taking her back to court to modify the order the only reason it hasn't been done yet was because she was being so cooperative and there didn't seem to be a need to waste the money. She came back with then she was going to take him for more child support. Again my husband told her calmly that was fine if the the state felt that he should be paying more support than he would. This pissed her off and she hung up on him.
 
    Although we know that we will get more time with him since the custody order in effect is from before SS was 2 we would like to get custody simply for SS sake he needs stability. We have a few things in our favor such as we own a home, we both work, we have child care in place already for the other kids, he has siblings here, and also even though it shouldn't be held against her we live in a small conservative county and her lifestyle specifially her orientation will probably be held against her.
 
    If anyone has any ideas about anything else we can do or not do to tip this battle in our favor please help. It is very hard in Pa for father to get custody especially since he and the mother were never married. My SS even carries his mother's surname. Not sure what to do but can hardly stand to see what is happening to my SS.
 
 
 
 


ocean

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Re: Father trying to get custody
« Reply #1 on: Sep 26, 2009, 07:52:34 AM »
You should file immediately so that the child may not move until the court date. Little confused...you live in PA and she lives in NY or wants to move to NY? What state are the papers originally from? That is where the case will stay for now.

It will be hard to get custody from mom without abuse. What you are describing is different parenting styles and courts do not care about that. How many schools/daycares has the child been in?

Your best shot would be to stop the move and increase the visitation on paper to that of what you had. In NY, judges have been NOT allowing moves BUT it all depends on who you get. If you she goes in crying, that is where she can find housing and the economy she may be allowed to move so be prepared to have a schedule of what you want IF she moves. A custody case can take a year or more in court to get an ending so be prepared. It will cost a lot of money and time off of work. Not saying you shouldnt go for custody BUT it is not as easy as you think. Go talk to a lawyer at a free consult or min fee and see what evidence can be used in court. You will be very surprised what is and what is not allowed to be said in court.
Good luck!

rjmurdock

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Re: Father trying to get custody
« Reply #2 on: Sep 26, 2009, 10:06:27 AM »
SS is only 4 will be 5 in a few months. He will start Kindergarten next year. We both live in PA she wants to move to NY. We are well aware that trying to get custody is near impossible and the current custody order doesn't allow either of them to move out of the county without court order either by both parties agreement or judge allowing. Based on PA law a judge will not allow her to move with SS since she has no job where she is moving to, no family support, and her only place to live is with a girlfriend who already kicked her out once because she didn't want my SS there (BM claims her girlfriend was on meds that caused this behavior). Our best hope honestly is she decides that she wants to move and gives custody to my husband. My SS has been in 2 different daycares and now just whoever she can find to watch him watches him thankfully this is mostly her father since he is laid off right now. SS and his grandfather have a very close, healthy relationship. She can't put SS in daycare since daycare cost a fortune and she relies on state help (as do we) but she loses her subsidy because she gets fired all the time and then has to go on the waiting list again.

Our issues aren't really about parenting styles but more about concerns for my SS mental well being constantly being moved in with this one or that one every time mom gets a new girlfriend or gets in a fight with someone. Like I said he is almost 5 and has lived in 5 different places, one place twice. She also plays the "as long as I get what I want I will let you have time with him game".

My husband already plans on calling our lawyer on Monday to see what he says but we will definitely be going for more time at least. But we are hoping to have a chance to get custody given the fact that her own parents are supporting us and willing to testify as BM actual role in raising her son. Another thing we have going is we have already done a full out court trial (yes trial, mediation failed as mom was unwilling to compromise at all) and in our little county there is only one judge and one mediator and neither was impressed with BM the first time around.

I would also like to add that although we would love to have him live with us we would be just as happy if she would grow up and act like a parent putting my SS needs before her wants all that really matters here is him. If he is happy and living in a stable home that is what is important.

CuriousMom

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Re: Father trying to get custody
« Reply #3 on: Sep 26, 2009, 10:31:31 AM »
Ocean is right, file immediately to at least have the current CO increased to 50/50 in writing.  Also, unless the child is being seriously harmed it would be hard to be given sole custody - I'm in PA and before they even discussed physical custody the conciliator granted joint legal immediately.  There is stability issues with my son's father - no job, moves women in and out of his house on a regular basis, lies constantly even to the judge, etc.
 
I was awarded primary 2x which my son's father keeps contesting and we are now scheduled for a trial.  I can't make any decisions regarding moving, daycare, etc. without his consent.  If you can try to work it out outside of court I would try it.  Have you thought about trying a mediator first?
 
I've been going thru the legal process since March and it is incredibly stressful.

ocean

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Re: Father trying to get custody
« Reply #4 on: Sep 26, 2009, 10:34:33 AM »
Ask for First Right of Refusal...this is when mom HAS to call you before leaving child with anyone else. Put in their a time frame..."mother will call father first if mother will be away more than 3 hours and offer father the parenting time".

It is good that your are both in PA...so you are not dealing with two states at the moment. Do you know when mom wants to move? Try and file something ASAP to stop any move. If the move is stopped will she stay in PA?


CuriousMom

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Re: Father trying to get custody
« Reply #5 on: Sep 26, 2009, 10:39:42 AM »
Our ROFR is 72 hours (was the standard written into the temp CO) - when he's taken me back to court I've tried to have it reduced to 24 hours and they keep ignoring my request for whatever reason.  Maybe it's a PA thing or at least or my county - seems like they don't care.

rjmurdock

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Re: Father trying to get custody
« Reply #6 on: Sep 26, 2009, 10:56:40 AM »
Joint legal custody is already in place with her having primary physical. As far as mediation goes they must go to mediation this time before anything is filed throught the court. Unfortunatley it just a waste of money because BM will not concede to anything. She was very spoiled and is used to just getting what she wants. However, this time will be a little different as last time her parents paid for her mediation (court order is mediation paid 50/50 by both parties) and her lawyer and this time they will not. They are very hurt by the fact that they have basically support her and SS financially ( she worked but was allowed to do whatever she  wanted with her money) and emotionally since before SS was born and she was literally going to pack up in the middle of the night and disapear with SS. The only reason she told my husband was by law she had to have his permission. My husband was the one who told her parents.
  We are actually not looking for sole custody but joint legal with primary physical. Also would be happy with a 50/50 split as long as she was willing to remain in current school district. We want SS to have a healthy relationship with his mother. She does love him she is just emotionally immature and constantly puts what she wants before what is best for him. Although it probably won't matter in court she only sees him a couple days a week as it is her parents have him most the time. It just doesn't make sense for her parents to have him all the time when we would be glad to take him without changing how much time his mom spends with him now.
   As I said before the current custody order does not allow her to move out of the county and any move within the county would be fine at most 40 min away we could make that work without a problem. We are not trying to be vindictive or mean simply trying to ensure that my SS get to have a meaningful relationship with his father, sisters, step-mother, and grandparents which would not occur if she were four hours away. We are really hoping that she is selfish enough to decide that she is going to move no matter what and SS would come live with us or she realizes what my husband has been saying is true and she starts to put SS first.

CuriousMom

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Re: Father trying to get custody
« Reply #7 on: Sep 26, 2009, 03:12:34 PM »
Sounds completely reasonable and hopefully the judge views it the same way.   Wishing the best for you! 

 

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