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Author Topic: Will it stop?  (Read 17477 times)

CuriousMom

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #20 on: Oct 08, 2009, 02:22:43 PM »
As rjmurdock stated in a post above, father's approach wasn't very tactful and demanding from the beginning.  I think anyone given that ultimatum would be defensive at first. 
 
I think depending on the relationship between child and step-mom, there should be some sort of contact while father is away to keep some normalcy in the child's life.  I can't say I agree with step-mom stepping in taking over dad's full CO schedule, but I guess that would depend on the relationship between every one.  I realize that some step-parents do play a vital role in the step-child(s) life, but until the law recognizes them as such, they do get shut out.


Gestalt

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #21 on: Oct 08, 2009, 02:42:54 PM »


One more thing -

If the CP decides not to allow the father to exercise his parenting time through his wife while he is deployed, then the CP should allow the child to make up all the time they missed with their parent immediately upon his return.


What? That makes no sense. CP is not obligated to give up the time that she is guaranteed by the court order because dad's lifestyle choices end up costing him time with the child.

Before people start bashing me as a soldier hater- hubby is a 12 years vet- his service was a choice. In making that choice he accepted both the benefits and the consequences of enlistment.


CP is getting time that was guaranteed to the NCP by the court due to the NCP's service to our country.  So, in making up the visitation, she's not losing any time.  By not allowing the make up the NCP is losing time and the CP is gaining.

I think that saying that it's a "lifestyle" choice is a bit myopic.  It's a little bit more than that.  Especially since refusing to an order to deploy can get you court marshalled.   It's not like he is missing his visitation because he chose to take a trip to Spain - he was ordered to deploy.

Don't forget that you have the choice of your lifestyle due to the sacrifices that our service members make.

Yes but it is really no different than taking a job that has tons of travel, that is a choice, but the choice costs time with the kids.

And I totally agree that had dad handled it differently mom would likely have been more cooperative. But giving a step parent the ncp parenting time is ridiculous and certainly opens the door wide for future overstepping scenarios.

pcdad

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #22 on: Oct 08, 2009, 03:01:18 PM »
What I am finding out since coming onto this site is that it seems everything boils down to filing the right papers everytime life's circumstances change - thus tying up the already clogged legal world, costing endless amounts of money when money is already tight, vindictive CP making the NCP spend money on lawyers to fight for their privelage or right (whatever way you interpret it) and taking money away from what families could spend on more productive matters.  Yes my husband and I chose to move out of state, fortunately my ex and I have for the most part left the visitation issues out of the jurisdiction of the courts and were adults about our son.  He is 16 so we take into consideration his changing lifestyle.  We don't run to the court everytime we have issues, we straighten them out between each other.  After all WE are the ones that called it quits, my son didn't call it quits with either of us.  Now on the other hand I see evil in my husband's ex-wife.  Even tho she quit her job months ago and supposedly is only living on CS - $550/mo.  She seems to have an endless supply of money to run to her lawyer to block any and all attempts at my husband taking part in his daughter's life.  She limits phone access to 1 day every 2 weeks, denies my step daughter ANY contact with her dad's family and step-brother.  And all we can do is spend more money on lawyers, filing fees, process servers, and a guardian ad litem that so biased to our case it isn't even funny.  Hubby's Ex may think that she is winning this "battle" but SD is almost 12 and getting very defiant about her mother's power of trying to block her relationship with her father and family members.  Who do you think is going to lose in the long run?  Mommy dearest that is who.  Meantime step daughter suffers terribly.  I keep holding out hope that someone new in the legal system of that county will step in and review this entire mess and say "WHOA" but until that happens we will not spend any more money battling a court system that is completely messed up.  We do our damndest to reinforce our love during the "monitored" phone conversations we are allowed.  I keep telling her that her mother cannot take her love for us away and our love for her.  We do tell her that she needs to talk to her counselor (mom has her going to the county social worker weekly) about what her mother is doing and how unhappy it makes her. 

gemini3

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #23 on: Oct 08, 2009, 03:56:03 PM »

Yes but it is really no different than taking a job that has tons of travel, that is a choice, but the choice costs time with the kids.

And I totally agree that had dad handled it differently mom would likely have been more cooperative. But giving a step parent the ncp parenting time is ridiculous and certainly opens the door wide for future overstepping scenarios.

 
It's a LOT different than taking a job that has tons of travel.  One, you can't just quit the military - especially when you have been ordered to deploy.  It's called desertion, and it results in a court martial.  That doesn't happen in any other job.

Momfortwo

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #24 on: Oct 08, 2009, 04:01:59 PM »

I guess I'm not clear on what you consider step-parents "overstepping their boundaries".  What exactly do you feel a step-parents boundaries are?  Do you think that forming a close relationship with their step-child is overstepping boundaries?  Or, maybe, maintaining that relationship while her husband is deployed is overstepping boundaries?

I'm also not clear on what you think the difference is between "visitation" and "parenting time".  Because, legally, there is no difference.  The only difference is in the terminology used.

Anyone who has a familial relationship with the child has a legal standing to request time with that child - be it grandparents, aunts and uncles, or step-parents.

And, the children have a right to have a relationship with their step-parent.  What a weird situation it would be for a child to spend time every week, or every other week, with an adult and never form any kind of bond or relationship with them.

 
Overstepping their boundaries would be thinking that they are entitled to the deployed parent's parenting time. 
 
Yes, children have a right to have a relationship with the stepparent.  But that does not take precedence over the child's right to be with an actual parent  when one parent is not able to care for the child for long periods of time.  Such as when a parent is deployed to a war zone. 
 
The difference between parenting time and visitation is that the parent gets parenting time.  Anybody else, it's just visiting. 
 
And, typically, judges leave it to the parents to allow visits to grandparents/aunts/uncles.  And typically side with a child being with the parent over the stepparent when the other parent is deployed. 


gemini3

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #25 on: Oct 08, 2009, 05:12:36 PM »

Overstepping their boundaries would be thinking that they are entitled to the deployed parent's parenting time. 

 
I think that it was the father, not the step-mother, who was requesting that the child spend visits with the step-mother while he was deployed.  So how was the step-mother overstepping her boundaries?
 

mdegol

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #26 on: Oct 08, 2009, 07:04:13 PM »
It doesn't seem right (and really when you think about it a step parent takes a huge risk when they get close to a child) divorce is a factor when thinking about rights of stepparents. Think about this: Mom and Dad divorce. Mom and StepDad divorce, Dad and stepmom divorce.....and now think about visitation. A mess for the child. I think this is a good argument for keeping life simple...but I guess all of us learned that lesson late!!

In any case, stepparents CAN overstep boundaries, just like mothers (or fathers) can be too territorial with their kids. Often both are happening at the same time. With everybody. There is a language I hear a lot on here like NCPs do this....CPs do this.... I thought that was a little bit what this website is about...to dispell stereotypes??

But some stepparents CHRONICALLY overstep boundaries. I have one of those on my side. (After dating bf 3 weeks, put crib in HER home for my son. Yikes! Has said she can raise my son better than me because she is a high school teacher who learned to deal with learning disabilities. Well I am a college professor! I think this qualifies as overstepping boundaries). And I am sure, especially in the beginning (prob now too at least in my heart), that I was too territorial with my son! It is hard to think of another woman replacing you even if it is for a brief period of time!! And anyone here who says they never did either, well is either a saint or a ......

Anyway, Stepmom should not get same visitation as child. Sets a very messy precedent.  Why would it be stop with military? I mean, there are lots of good reasons that NCP can't spend time with child. What if they die (I don't mean in combat, I mean any NCP, like of a heart attack) I mean if parent can always say that child can spend time with who THEY want during THEIR parenting time... why can't grandmas raise the kid instead of mom and dad keep visitation? Mom decided grandma should have her parenting time. Mom wants to party for a year or so. Well, most people will say dad should get custody. He should raise child over grandma. If unmarried mom went to military, does grandma get mom's court-ordered visitation while she is away?

Momfortwo

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #27 on: Oct 09, 2009, 05:14:20 AM »


Overstepping their boundaries would be thinking that they are entitled to the deployed parent's parenting time. 


I think that it was the father, not the step-mother, who was requesting that the child spend visits with the step-mother while he was deployed.  So how was the step-mother overstepping her boundaries?


 
The stepmom could easily put an end to this by telling her husband that, while she would like to see her stepchild, she is not entitled to have his entire parenting time while he is deployed. 
 
That would pretty much take the fight out of the father.  Can't go to court if the stepmother told him that she doesn't think she is entitled to his parenting time. 

gemini3

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #28 on: Oct 09, 2009, 08:01:35 AM »
So you're saying that the step-mother is overstepping her boundaries because she is not telling her husband what he should do regarding the children?  What?  That doesn't make any sense.
 
You're also saying that step-parents should tell their spouses that they don't want to spend time with their kids when they're not around?  That's ridiculous.  Doing that basically means that blended families will never be a real family, and the step-parent will always be an outsider.  Very unhealthy.
 
You're basically insinuating that an "evil step-mother" is behind all of this - and that the father couldn't possibly want his child to maintain contact with his side of the family while he's deployed.  He's only doing it because his "evil wife" is standing behind him wringing her hands and making him.
 
It's his parenting time - he should be able to do what he wants with it.  Including let the child visit with other members of his family.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles and the step-parent.

4honor

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Re: Will it stop?
« Reply #29 on: Oct 09, 2009, 10:03:52 AM »
Let me be the voice of reason... I hope.
 
OP said the BF will be deployed for 4 months. That equates to 4 visits. Put aside your gut reaction to HOW Dad/BF/NCP made his wishes known (sometimes they are demanding pricks and sometimes they are just concerned fathers and we need to chalk it up to OUR perceptions of their ability to communicate). Think about what would happen for the child in each of 3 possible situations for the child.
 
If the schedule stays the same, she will barely get used to BF being gone, but her SM will have some sort of ongoing contact which the child can participate in while Dad is gone. Mom is doing her best to maintain. SM is doing her best to maintain.  She has someone to talk to about how she feels about Dad being gone without feeling guilty about it. Before she knows it he will be back and she will continue with the same schedule she has always had. The least amount of change has occurred FOR HER given this situation neither of her parents has any control over at this time. Think of this as the "when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemonade" option.
 
Now look at if BM/CP says, "No, she shouldn't have to go to her Dad's house those four months since he won't be home." Child is away from her normal routine (the hardships of travel and all) and her father's family for 120+ days. She is finally getting used to the feelings of abandonment she is likely to feel -- because even if old enough to understand, feelings are not rational and her Dad WILL be gone. She settles into her world as she knows it  at Mom's house, and tries to forget those feelings of having half her world ripped away for just long enough to instill some insecurities. She gets a childlike handle on the fact Dad is gone, her schedule is messed up and Mom is trying but its just not the same. She feels guilty because she can't feel the way Mom wants her to feel and that adds to her stress. She feels guitly because no matter how much she wants to think her Dad will be safe, she is worried about him and that  feels like a betrayal to Mom cause she is with mom but worried about Dad (120 days in a row remember).  I imagine this child will have a stomach ache until her father comes home. Think of this as the "When-life-gives-you-lemons-suck-it-up-and-drive-on" option.
 
Finally, look at a hybrid of these two. Child goes to Dad & SM's house while he is deployed, but she either does not go as often, or goes for less time each time she does. Child will have a place to talk to SM about Dad being deployed. She will get a few opportunities to talk to him (maybe see him on the computer if timing can be arranged). She will feel less stress about him being gone, but not as much as if she had more access to him (but you can't always get what you want.) She will however, have the problem of missing the trip to Dad's family (which she will have to hear about for a few years from cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents when they reminisce about the trip she missed.) She will also have longer periods between times at Dad's house (which she likely already has some sense of time between trips to dad's) and this will mess with her internal clock. It will take a few months after Dad returns for her to readjust to the previous schedule. This might work out, or it might not... depends on the child. We'll call this the "when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemon-meringue-pie-no-lemonade-no-lemon-bars-oops-sorry-the-lemons-spoiled-while-I-was-deciding" option.
 
I have named the options according to how a CHILD will view them. Sure, kids are resilliant, but they HATE change.
 
OP, you have portrayed your consent order as saying one thing, but if you are misinterpretting it, and you fail to let the child go to Dad's house on the given days in that order, you MAY have to answer for contempt charges when he returns... whether he wins or not, you both lose, and so does your daughter. Is this hill a big enough one to die on? Is it worth the turmoil to everyone to demand your way while he is gone? After all, you are the one trying to change things from the consent order given the new temporary situation. The order is new. Judges hate to hear from people when the order is new. You are not likely to get this into court BEFORE he leaves, but you are likely to have to answer for any denial of parenting time/visitation after he returns.
 
If you are worried about it setting a precident, then write him a letter stating:
 "The manner in which you communicated your desire for no change in DD's schedule while you are deployed was  (fill in the blank -- condescending, irritating, irrational, whatever). Even giving you the benefit of the doubt, it came across as controlling and demanding. I was at first inclined to refuse.
However, after careful consideration of what is truly in DD's best interests for this temporary period, I suggest DD's schedule be (fill in the blank) which will allow for continued contact with your wife and extended family and provide the best opportunity for DD to speak to you while you are away.  Just to be clear, if I had not felt this was what is best for DD, I would not have backed down from my previous stance. I am not afraid to fight for her, but would prefer we not to fight over her.
In the future I would appreciate it if you communicate in a business-like manner and treat me with at least the same respect with which you might treat any stranger. I will attempt to offer you that same courtesy."
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.

 

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