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Author Topic: "Best interest of the children"  (Read 21462 times)

tgastte

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"Best interest of the children"
« on: Oct 15, 2009, 12:34:07 PM »
I am the father of my 2 kids ages 13 and 11, 4 years ago my wife took off on us on jan 06, she left me with the 2 kids while she parties, do drugs got caught on aprl 07 with drug possesion, under the influence, and parapernaglia.. so my first reaction is to find a home for my kids and a school, so everything went fine they settled in the place im renting right now, doing real good in school, extra curricular activities like after school sports, while i worked full time, go to school part time and taking care of both my kids..the mom only visits them whenever is convenient for her..and then one sad day she wants to get both my kids in her custody after all that she done with her life, we have a mediation coming up on nov 20th and a trial date on dec 11th..what are the chances of her getting my kids???? im totally lost right now, even the kids doesnt wanna see her or being with her and her boyfriend, she had another baby by her boyfriend too and both of them are unemployed and living from friends house to another...can pls somebody tell me what are the guidelines for the best interest of the children...before my mediation and my trial..thanks in advance


Giggles

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #1 on: Oct 15, 2009, 01:04:11 PM »
If you've had the kids for the past 4 years full time, it isn't likely that she'll get custody.
 
Do you have a court order now?  Has she been paying child support?
 
Your best bet is to focus on the children make sure you have copies of their school records, and what not.  Show that you're the stable force in their lives.
 
If you have mediation coming up, go in there prepared.  Have a parenting plan with you that DETAILS everything!  I do believe there are some samples on this site? The main thing is to make sure you've covered all your bases, that you are to have primary custody and outline in detail visitation to include pick-up/drop-off times and locations.  Address holiday's and school breaks.  Make sure there is a "right to first refusal" clause in there.  I would even go so far to start off with supervised visitation?  You just want to keep the focus on the kids. 
In mediation the key is to know exactly what you are willing to settle for.  Do not settle for anything less than primary custody!  If she doesn't want to negotiate then take it to court. 

Do you have an attorney?  If it does go to court, try not to "bash" the BM again, keep your focus on the kids and the need to keep the "status quo".
 
Did you keep a record of the times she did visit?  Do you have copies of her arrest (just in case) and any convictions?
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tgastte

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2009, 01:14:24 PM »

If you've had the kids for the past 4 years full time, it isn't likely that she'll get custody.

Do you have a court order now?  Has she been paying child support?

Your best bet is to focus on the children make sure you have copies of their school records, and what not.  Show that you're the stable force in their lives.

If you have mediation coming up, go in there prepared.  Have a parenting plan with you that DETAILS everything!  I do believe there are some samples on this site? The main thing is to make sure you've covered all your bases, that you are to have primary custody and outline in detail visitation to include pick-up/drop-off times and locations.  Address holiday's and school breaks.  Make sure there is a "right to first refusal" clause in there.  I would even go so far to start off with supervised visitation?  You just want to keep the focus on the kids. 
In mediation the key is to know exactly what you are willing to settle for.  Do not settle for anything less than primary custody!  If she doesn't want to negotiate then take it to court. 

Do you have an attorney?  If it does go to court, try not to "bash" the BM again, keep your focus on the kids and the need to keep the "status quo".

Did you keep a record of the times she did visit?  Do you have copies of her arrest (just in case) and any convictions?

as of now there is a court order from our previous court date dated 05-09-09 for 50-50 custody she only get the kids on weekends but she only showed up twice since then and to make things worst i have to pay her $850 a month in support coz we have 50-50..she had a lawyer then and i dont but now her lawyer quit on her too..yes i have a copy of the arrest from the court, out of the 4 years she probably saw the kids 15 time the most coz she's always high on drugs or she doesnt have money to see the kids...i just want sole physical custody and to lower or even no child support...and im not gonna let her disrupt my kids way of life now by moving with her, new school district and new friends..the kids are all settled with my neighborhood and the school district for the last 4 years..

Kitty C.

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2009, 02:36:04 PM »
If you can document exactly or close to how much time she has actually spent with the kids since the original order started, you might want to consider requesting a review of the support.  Of course, this will probably piss her off royally, because I bet you are her only income.  But if your state bases support on income and time spent, you should consider this.  You may still have to pay her something (call it hidden alimony), but given the amount of time you have the kids, you have every right to ask for a reduction.
 
Because of her previous drug conviction, you have every right to demand that she submit to random drug testing and if she fails, she cannot exercise her visitation until she tests clean.  I would also include (if possible) that if she tests positive over a certain number of times, then she loses all visitation until she tests clean for say 6 months.  Or something comparable.  Just make sure that there are safeguards in place for the kids (because of her drug use) and repercussions against her if she screws up.
 
If you've had the kids for 4 years, I agree with Giggles.  Judges like to maintain 'status quo' and if your kids have done well with you (and he sees her history), he will not want to interupt that.  One other thing you might want to have for documentation is reports from school showing how good they are doing and how stable they are. 
 
But I wouldn't go into this refusing her everything.  You have to be the bigger person and throw her some kind of bone.  But I would also demand a stepped up visitation schedule, starting out small and if the kids can handle it, then gradually increasing the time.  Start small and also include consequences if she fails to come through for the kids, like with the drug issue I mentioned above.  Like basing the stepped up schedule based on how many times she sees the kids, NOT in months or weeks.  That way, if she fails to show up for visitation, it will be just that much longer before it is increased, instead of not showing up numerous times and then having it increase, even though the kids haven't seen her much.  Get what I mean?
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tgastte

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2009, 03:00:00 PM »

If you can document exactly or close to how much time she has actually spent with the kids since the original order started, you might want to consider requesting a review of the support.  Of course, this will probably piss her off royally, because I bet you are her only income.  But if your state bases support on income and time spent, you should consider this.  You may still have to pay her something (call it hidden alimony), but given the amount of time you have the kids, you have every right to ask for a reduction.

Because of her previous drug conviction, you have every right to demand that she submit to random drug testing and if she fails, she cannot exercise her visitation until she tests clean.  I would also include (if possible) that if she tests positive over a certain number of times, then she loses all visitation until she tests clean for say 6 months.  Or something comparable.  Just make sure that there are safeguards in place for the kids (because of her drug use) and repercussions against her if she screws up.

If you've had the kids for 4 years, I agree with Giggles.  Judges like to maintain 'status quo' and if your kids have done well with you (and he sees her history), he will not want to interupt that.  One other thing you might want to have for documentation is reports from school showing how good they are doing and how stable they are. 

But I wouldn't go into this refusing her everything.  You have to be the bigger person and throw her some kind of bone.  But I would also demand a stepped up visitation schedule, starting out small and if the kids can handle it, then gradually increasing the time.  Start small and also include consequences if she fails to come through for the kids, like with the drug issue I mentioned above.  Like basing the stepped up schedule based on how many times she sees the kids, NOT in months or weeks.  That way, if she fails to show up for visitation, it will be just that much longer before it is increased, instead of not showing up numerous times and then having it increase, even though the kids haven't seen her much.  Get what I mean?

im willing to give her visitation on sundays BUT no overnights, coz she lives on a studio apartment with her boyfriend and their infant son and my daughter is already 13 and my son is 11 and i dont even know whats the background of her boyfriend..secondly the last time she saw the kids, the kids told me that she's so skinny and told them that she has a CANCER, i dont even buy it..she maybe sick or she's back doing METH..i can prove it to court and mediator that both kids are on TOP of their class, thay are already settled with me raising them, the school, house, neighborhood, freinds etc...basically i raised them for 4 straight years by myself acting as a FATHER and  MOTHER at the same time..on the last hearing the judge said to make the KIDS available at all times for the mediator..is that mean that the mediator will talk to them? i dont have a problem with that..the kids are the only one who can tell the truth...and they can voice out their preferences and opinions on the situation..


MixedBag

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #5 on: Oct 15, 2009, 03:28:49 PM »
did I read that right -- court order dated 5/9/09?  like recently?
 
 

tgastte

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #6 on: Oct 15, 2009, 03:40:17 PM »

did I read that right -- court order dated 5/9/09?  like recently?



yup!!! u read it right!!! that was when the temporary order kicked through her OSC, but she only saw the kids twice for like 5 hours each time..and then she will call the kids in the middle of the week and make plans with them on sundays and then sunday comes NO CALL, NO SHOW..me and the kids are so tires of her being FLAKE, the kids cant even make plans beacuse of her on sundays..and then on the last mandatory settlement conference a month ago the mediator wrote on her report FATHER WILL HAVE SOLE PHYSICAL CUSTODY..but she refused to take that so we didnt agree to it, so the judge ordered another mediation on nov 20th since she didnt agree now our case is going for short cause trial on dec 11th..and the judge ordered to have his first order to continue, to pay her $850 a month in child support even she doesnt see or care about the children..i dont even know why do i have to pay her support i took care of the kids for 4 yrs...and she's a DRUGGIE and a LOSER and UNEMPLOYED...all she wants is the money so she can party harder and buy more dope..thats the ways i look at it..

tgastte

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #7 on: Oct 16, 2009, 10:57:04 AM »
with my case...what's my chance of having sole physical custody with visitation on her side? coz i dont want to disrupt my kids way of life, like school, residence and friends coz they stayed with me for the last four yrs already after she took off on us...and how am i gonna present my case to the mediator and in front of the judge..we are both on PRO-PER..thanks in advance im trying to gather all my ammunition for our mediation and trial...

tgastte

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #8 on: Oct 19, 2009, 11:37:26 AM »
another motion she filed last friday 10-16-09 for ex-parte domestic violence and TRO that I wasnt served or notified good thing i checked the court website saturday..so i went to court this morning for the hearing and she was surprised..the judge dropped the motion and the charge coz the're was no basis to it and its not an emergency..no police report, no medical treatment report etc etc..my record is so clean from any of this except for speeding tickets...i never got closed to her at all except for court hearing and mediation and thats it...she just filed a bogus report basically and trying to gain points on our custody battle coming soon..are those bogus claim gonna look bad on me or her on our custody case?? Im just tired of her trying to do everything that doesnt even make any sense...pls help!!!

Kitty C.

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Re: "Best interest of the children"
« Reply #9 on: Oct 19, 2009, 02:38:31 PM »
Pray you go before this judge for any future court appearances!  I'm sure he'll remember it and it will look bad on her.
 
Good job of staying on top of things and finding out about the TRO.  Would have loved to see her face when she saw you walk in, since she expected to get one over on you and you caught her red-handed!
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