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Author Topic: Will it stop?  (Read 18760 times)

bluecat

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Will it stop?
« on: Oct 06, 2009, 08:56:23 PM »
[COLOR=#NaNNaNNaN]Hello,

I’m not sure exactly where to begin.  I have a question regarding modification of a consent order signed in August 2009.  I guess i'll start with the basics.  The BF and I were never in a relationship.  Our child is now three and when she was about 5 months old, he filed a lawsuit against me because he wanted more time with her.  This more time meant her staying up past her bedtime by two hours and for me to stop breastfeeding so it wouldn't get in the way of him seeing her.  he wasn't suing me for custody, he just wanted more time with her.  up to that point, he saw her almost every day.  two and a half years later, we finally have a consent order.  he is now again threatening to take me to court if i don't agree to pass his visitation time to his wife while he's deployed.  The consent order only refers to him, so I’m not worried about that.  But, can he file for a modification and at what point do my attorney’s and I get involved? 
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[COLOR=#NaNNaNNaN]Regards.[/COLOR]


mdegol

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2009, 10:13:42 PM »
I have heard of these cases before.  It will be interesting to hear from people in this situation. Is there a biological sibling? In that case, there is an argument because the child should have contact with sibling. Also, does stepmom and child have a strong relationship? Sounds like there is tension, and I know that it is frustrating when threatened with court, but when stepparents are a part of stepchild's life from a young age there is a bond (I know there's bonds in lots of other cases too). I see this situation from both sides, since DH is extremely bonded with son (his SS) partly since he was involved from birth. And son's stepmom, who was also involved from birth, is always fighting with me because she wants to be acknowledged as important (really is a complex on her part though, I have assured her many times that I respect her role in my son's life. But it is annoying. )

Anyway, to answer the question, he can always file for a modification. If there is a significant change in circumstance, then the judge will hear it. My approach is to see what he does and then go from there. If he files and you don't want to go to court, you'll prob have to reach a compromise of some sort.

eagleeyefam

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 06, 2009, 10:15:50 PM »
Legally the wife really has no say other than she is his wife. She has no legal parentage to the child.

This is just my opinion.....
Now, this wife of his is a part of your childs life. Dad is going to be deployed so she won't get time with dad. WHy make her give up time with her step mom as well? This child has probably formed some sort of relationship with the step mom. It really wouldn't be fair to eliminate them from each other just because dad is deployed. It's going to be difficult enough when dad comes back to adjust to yet another change. But add in the fact that step mom and child haven't seen each other at all while dad was gone ads just one more stress.

If you are able to discuss things with dad and step mom (I know this isn't alwasy easy) maybe you 3 could sit down and talk about something that would work for all of you. Perhaps step mom could have 1 weekend a month and maybe 1 afternoon during the week. That way there is a continuous relationship there. Whatever schedule you guys decide on is really up to you and step mom. But I think by spending time with step mom, the child gets to have a closeness to her dad as well, even tho he's far away. By now I'm sure your child has associated dad and step mom as a unit.

I hope I'm making sense. The three of you could put aside the court issues and even avoid a future court battle over this. Let dad know that you respect the fact he wants child to be with step mom, but at this point you are willing to compromise with a schedule thats suitable for you and step mom.

bluecat

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 06, 2009, 11:16:13 PM »
Thank you  for responding.

There are a few more details I'd like to share.  He will only be deployed for 4 months, visitation is already at least a week each month.  The request (demand) is to have the same schedule as if bf was home.  They plan on traveling during one of the visits. The original request was that our daughter would be with sm on christmas, but were willing to let me have her for christmas... I honestly and in complete good faith have encouraged an open relationship with bf, sm and myself.  my daughter has a hard enough time adjusting each time she comes home and i feel whenever i can give her a break from traveling back and forth I should. There are no other children and the bf and sm live out of state.  unfortunately, this whole converstation was held at a public place in front of our daugther and the first hint of my not agreeing the bf said there was a law and he would take me to court if i didn't agree.  I'm happy to offer for the sm to visit.  I already feel that she is away from home too much as it is, but it's what we could finally agree on to keep the bf from insisting on having a judge hear the case.  Unfortunately, there is never a response I can give to try to reason that would be understood by the bf because above all, having his way is the most important thing.

MomofTwo

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 07, 2009, 05:15:49 AM »
He sounds like a great guy , letting the child spend Christmas with her own mother when he won't even be home.
 
Tell him his orders apply to him and do not mention her.  Tell him you are willing to work something out so she can see SM while he is deployed but you want it in writing as to what that agrement is.   Tell him if he is deployed, you will not give up holidays with the child. 
 
Cover yourself in case this goes to court and do this in writing so you can show and have proof you were willing to negotiate, that is important in court.
 
You can always file for and ask for Right of First Refusal - you should do this.  This says that in case Dad is not able to take his time with the child (if it is more than 24 hours or however many hours you want to specifcy), then you always have the option of having the child first, before SM.   You want to consider long term as well, one week with the child works now assuming she is not school aged.  You are going to have to come up with a new schedule in the future as well.


ocean

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 07, 2009, 05:23:11 AM »
Your child has TWO homes, mom's and dad's so she is not away from HER home. The courts would probably give her some time just because she is young and needs consistantcy. They will probably bring up that step mom will bring her to see his family during the 4 months. If he is not home this Christmas then offer to switch years and you get this year and he gets next year instead. I would let her go the one week a month with phone contact each day.

What is exactly the schedule now on paper? Once child goes there it will be hard to get her early if step-mom does not agree. Maybe ask to go to mediation instead of court?

mdegol

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 07, 2009, 04:10:41 PM »
How far is this traveling? I agree that you should give child a break from all this intense traveling. Maybe dad likes it, but doesn't sound good for child to have to travel so much. Maybe let stepmom visit with child in area that you live. Many adults couldn't stand that much traveling. I understand what you mean about adjustment. Constancy is not good if it is constantly bad for the child. If the child is showing adverse effects, you should document this and try to do something about it. A schedule like that is never going to work for school anyway across a long distance.

rjmurdock

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 07, 2009, 04:17:08 PM »
  I can tell that your biggest issue is the demands. BF is threatening you and demanding you to do things and I believe that is what is putting you off. You need to try and set those feelings aside and consider what is best for your child. As a stepmom myself who has been involved since the birth of my SS, the bond that my SS and I feel is almost the same as him and his BM. He would be just as upset not seeing me as not seeing his father. I don't believe she should get her for Holidays but you should consider letting her have an alternate time to celebrate christmas (ie the week after or the week before christmas). Your daughter has two homes and when she goes to visit her father she is also visiting her SM. She should get to continue this relationship. This is what she is used too and you should try to maintain the stability.

Momfortwo

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 07, 2009, 04:48:13 PM »
He's in the military.  That's a job known for moving soldiers around constantly.   

I would fight him.  He's not going to win and he's not going to be able to get his parenting time assigned to a non-parent (the stepmother is a legal stranger in the eyes of the law).   

The child should be with you while the father is deployed.  If the stepmom lives close by, you can let her visit your child.  But she's not going to get his parenting time.  Nor should she.  She's not the mother, you are.   
 
BTW, that law that your ex is referring to doesn't state what he is claiming.  All that law does is revert the parenting arrangements back to what they were before deployment. 
 
What this means is that if the arrangement was 50/50 physical at the time of deployment, it would go back to 50/50 physical when the deployed parent gets back.  The parent who was not deployed could not try to get the parenting time permanently changed based on a deployment. 
 
It says nothing about a stepparent having the right to the deployed parent's time. 

gemini3

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 07, 2009, 06:24:07 PM »
I wish that people would stop being so territorial with children's affections.  Having a parent leave for deployment can be extremely hard on a child.  Not only do they not get to see their parent, but they also worry about them and whether or not they will ever come back.  Why would anyone want to add to that stress by making it so they can't see the rest of that part of their family either - and also worry that they may not only lose their parent but a whole section of their family?  What a horrible thing to put a child through!

Allowing them to continue their visitation schedule and spend with their step-parent during the deployment allows the child some measure of comfort an consistency while their parent is deployed.  Also, communicating with a deployed service member can be challenging at best.  Who is more likely to go the extra mile and ensure the child communicates with their deployed parent (which also goes a LONG way to alleviate the worry of the child)?  The service members spouse, or their ex who states they have "never had a relationship" with the other parent?

Whether you like it or not, your child has a relationship with her stepmother.  She is a part of her family regardless of whether or not she gave birth to her.  Just like aunts and uncle's.  You wouldn't expect someone to get jealous if their kids love their aunt or uncle, would you?  So what's the difference, besides being territorial because of the name "step-mother"?

I am a step-mother, and my husband is in the military.  So was my father, and my parents were divorced.  I know what I'm talking about from both sides.  My husbands ex also tried to deny the kids time with our family while my husband was deployed.  Guess what the judge said?  He said that my husbands parenting time was his parenting time - and if he wanted the kids to spend time with their grandparents or with their step-parent during his parenting time he could do so.  He said that it was "important for the children to have a relationship with their step-parent."

BTW - First Right of Refusal rarely applies to situations where a step-parent would be available to care for the child.

 

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