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Author Topic: High Conflict Ex  (Read 11378 times)

BeKind

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 12:41:39 PM »
You are all so helpful. Thank you so much for the quick response. I have told him repeatedly he is not allowed there and of course keep everything documented. I'm hoping he won't have the nerve to actually show up, however, I never know with him.


Simplydad

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 01:06:23 PM »
High conflict people above all else love confrontation and conflict......but they are also cowards too.  They love the confrontation as long as it is on their terms and they set the rules.  Now I don't know your ex but I am betting he is trying to call your bluff.  He may be counting on the fact that the threat of him showing up will be just enough to scare you into doing what he wants.


But I highly doubt he shows up at your home.  Once he does that he is threatening the home of someone else and your BF will be in the right to defend himself and his home.  I am not saying that your BF will resort to violence or anything like that and of course I would not recommend it.  However this is a situation your ex cannot control and he does not want to cross the line.  This type of power must be yanked from him.


You can just ignore him if he rings the bell.  If he will not relent and if your BF is willing have him answer the door and he can politely ask your ex to leave his property.  If he refuses than he can state that he will then call the police.  There is nothing in the order that says your ex has the right to do what he is threatening and then you will have a police report to go with all the other things he has done......another option is that you go to the door and tell him to leave and if he does not then you will call the police.  If he continues to threaten then you just call the police.   The reason I suggested BF answer the door is because while all of this is happening you can be distracting your son because I can assure you if he actually does show he will make a loud enough ruckus so your son hears him so he can claim later that you were trying to keep your son from him.


Bottom line is this.  You and your BF have a right to be happy and your ex does not get to dictate the terms of that happiness.  You have to show him that neither of you are concerned about his threats and you will live your lives how you see fit.  It is a united front that will deter him.  Sure he may keep with the emails and texts but he will now know that face to face he will just be shrugged off.   As stupid as this may sound your ex may have it in his twisted mind that your BF is afraid of him.  He uses the fact that you are outside with your son during visitation.  As stupid as it may sound I have an ex that has that same thought process.  Once we put an end to that nonsense she only sits and stews about it but does not utter a word about it.

BeKind

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 03:11:41 PM »
It's crazy that it has all come to this. We have discussed this in the past as to what would happen should he ever show up there. He will be warned verbally through the door (of course recorded) and if he does not leave the police will be called immediately. We also have video surveillance now that ex is unaware of. My bf plans to stay out of it unless he should try to enter the house at which point he has every right to protect all of us. I am sure he could keep my son distracted should I need to deal with anything. They have an amazing relationship.

One more side question. In terms of the phone calls. The state we live in is a one person notification for recording. If he were speaking to me on the phone, that person would be me. Does anyone happen to know how that would work if I wanted to record the conversations between my son and his father? I know I need to respect their privacy (this is in our CO) but some of the things he says are so completely inappropriate and have upset my son on multiple occasions. I just don't know what else I can do to document that. This is the only mention of telephone conversations in our CO:

The parents shall encourage liberal communication between the child and the
other parent. Each parent shall be entitled to reasonable telephone communication
with the child; and each parent agrees that he or she will not unreasonably interfere
with the child’s right to privacy during such telephone conversations. Each parent
agrees to be restrained, and is restrained, from unreasonably interfering with the child’s
right to privacy during such telephone conversations.

I understand no one here can give me legal advice as to what these rather vague statements mean legally, but I was hoping maybe someone had been through something similar.

BeKind

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 04:23:53 PM »
Sorry one more on the same topic... in terms of the right of first refusal... as my ex's schedule changes weekly, is there any way I can request from the court that he be required to give me a copy of his work schedule so I know that I am getting my right of first refusal each time? Right now I really have no way to keep track of this unless my son brings it up, and I refuse to be the parent that grills their child with questions each time they pick them up.

Also, does this apply when he leaves the child in the care of a family member such as a visiting grandparent while he goes to work? Our CO states:

Should either parent require child care to be provided by someone other than
himself or herself for a period of four (4) hours or more while the child is in his or her
physical care, the other parent shall be advised and given the opportunity to provide
such care for the child before other arrangements are made for such child care. Such
provision, known as the “right of first refusal” shall not apply when the child is placed
in the physical care of an agreed upon, professional, child care provider, such as
Safekey.

Simplydad

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 10:31:55 AM »
I would not record any of the conversations between your son and his father. I interpret the order to mean that it is forbidden that you do so and from what I hear doing so will make a judge very unhappy.


The key phrase in your order is reasonable phone calls and you can use that to your advantage.  First of all you have 50/50 custody and I personally see 3 times a week as very reasonable.  Basically I would do Monday/Wednesday/and Friday....your weekends are yours....he needs to get over that.


Now considering the fact that your son is often upset after the calls my advice would be to email your ex and let him know that while you do not know what the conversations are about your son seems to be very upset after his calls.  Try to be polite and put it in a manner that you are just making him aware of this. You want what is best for your son and you thought he should be informed.  Now one of two things will happen.  He will get the hint and tone it down during the conversation (very unlikely) or he will explode and probably cuss you out via email.   If he replies nasty let him know that you will limit the calls to Monday and Wednesday if your son keeps being repeatedly upset during his call.  Two times a week is still very reasonable considering the hostility and you even have documentation of his refusal to work with you.  However no matter what rule you set....if your son asks to call his dad....always let him (I am sure you already do this)


On the right of first refusal I would file a motion for contempt stating that your Ex has violated it. In court he will have to provide his work schedule and explain why he did not follow the order.  I am not sure if the court will require him to submit to you his work schedule but you will know when he is violating the order.  He will eventually start doing things the right way or he could lose his 50/50 custody arrangement.  One thing the courts take seriously (at least in my state) is that both parent work on having the child spend as much time with both parents as possible.  Once a parent interferes with that it could look unfavorably in court.


Also, no matter who the person is you get right of first refusal per the order.  He can not take the child to anyone else unless you state you cannot take your son.  If he does do that he will have to show proof that you agreed to it.


OneMan

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2012, 11:51:59 PM »
Simplydad gave a VERY good response, since it is apparent he's been there, done that.  If I could add only one thing, it would be this:  when you look at the entire situation from the standpoint of perspective, consider this....when he LOVES his child more than he HATES you, things will get a whole lot better.  But that is only for him to decide.....
 
BT, DT, too.....


I agree. This is excellent advice.

But something caught my eye about your story--the time arrangement. I've been doing the 50/50, back-and-forth since my child was even younger. To me, a week away from either parent at that age seems very long. My arrangement at that age was that our child should never be apart from either parent longer than two days and a half days. Let me add that my ex takes High Conflict to an entirely new level. She turns even the most minor disagreement into emotional and psychological terrorism of unbelievable proportions. Avoidance of her really is the best way of handling it unless I want my entire day completely ruined.

Still, even with all of that destructive and sick behavior, I feel that the child's well-being is paramount, and at that age it meant as much regular time with each parent as possible. It goes without saying that the ex did not agree with me and felt that the less time with the father, the better. But she was and is just an extreme version of the classic high conflict ex. (With our child, she exhibits much, much less of this as far as I know, though I worry for the kid.)

A week on, week off would have been much easier for me, but not for the kid. For one thing, I would have seen much less of her. I don't know all the details of your situation, but it's worth thinking about.

MixedBag

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2012, 06:29:38 AM »
About that trespassing -- I may have to disagree
 
Not too long ago....down here in Alabama, I was picking up litter (volunteer stuff), and found a full bag of trash with personal information IN the bag down to Social Security Number.  SO, I turned it into the police department  because it was on city property and they had signs up for trespassing.  The police department refused to take a complaint because I was not "hurt" and I didn't OWN the property.  The city (as in Mayor) was required to file a complaint.
 
(Mayor chose to make a phone call and take care of it that way -- person lived outside city limits, came to town to dump their trash etc.....instead of having their own garbage service).

Kitty C.

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2012, 03:37:47 PM »
I also don't agree with the 2.5 day 50/50 split, OneMan.  Here's why:  a recent article in Psychology Today emphasized that with shared parenting in a high-conflict situation, the fewer times a child has to be exchanged between parents lessens the conflict for the child.  Since the child is exposed fewer times to the conflict between the parents, it lessens the anxiety the child has to suffer.
 
Here's 2 links regarding the article:
http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2012/05/18/shared-parenting-reduces-conflict-benefits-kids/
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201205/co-parenting-and-high-conflict
 
It just makes sense that if you lessen the number of times conflicts can arise between the parents, the less the child can get stressed about it.  If there is a week on/week off schedule, then there would only be 4 times a month the parents would be exposed to each other and the child be exposed to the conflict.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

BeKind

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 10:03:57 PM »
Our main reason for one week on, one week off was because he starts school in just a few months. It would be too confusing to follow his school work, etc. once that happens. He has actually adjusted very well to the split and just thinks he has two houses and mommy & daddy share him. We almost never speak to each other in front of our son as it will only lead to arguing. The only time he is brought in the middle is with the comments my ex makes on the phone to him (another tonight that I just had to email him about). I think I may call the court on Monday to see if there is anything I can do about it. This time he directly made insulting comments about me to our son, which is in violation of our CO. Stuff like this makes me only wonder about what goes on when he is at his dad's house.

OneMan

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Re: High Conflict Ex
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 11:14:40 PM »
Our main reason for one week on, one week off was because he starts school in just a few months. It would be too confusing to follow his school work, etc. once that happens. He has actually adjusted very well to the split and just thinks he has two houses and mommy & daddy share him.

Yes, I understand your point about school. But at age 5, there was very little school work, so it really wasn't that big an issue.  Our kid usually ended up doing the work in one parent's house because the other parent didn't leave work until almost 8 in the evening, so all the homework got done in one place. Everyone has to do what they think is right and every situation is different. This seemed the right path for my child's situation. Today, our kid is well-adjusted and performs at a very high level academically. I think it's largely because of maximum exposure to both parents from a very young age and regular schedules.  I really did not enjoy having to see the super high conflict ex that much, but our child benefited. That's why I'm raising this.

I also recall that the ex wanted to have daily contact on the phone, sometimes more than once a day if she forgot to say something. I believed that was super important and there have never been any limits on phone contact. That goes for how many phone calls and for the length of the calls. It also goes both ways. I can call to her place when I want to. And daily phone contact has ended up being important for both her and me. I occasionally get the feeling that she doesn't like me calling and that she puts subtle pressure on our kid to get off. But I still call and she calls too. I believe that every possible line of communication between parent and child should be as wide open as possible. And if child and parent were apart for a whole week, phone communication would be even more important. Unless there's something very pressing going on, I let the call go on as long as they want to talk and go off and do other things. She generally does the same. That is one of the more positive aspects of the situation.

For me, the cardinal rule has always been and continues to be that there be maximum possible contact between each parent and child, both physically and by phone. I believe that the space between a child and their parent is a no-go zone for the other parent. By the way, the other parent hasn't always shared this view, and I've had to fight to get it this way and to keep it this way. Eventually she came to see the benefits, including to her, and so she mellowed somewhat. Mainly she saw the good outcomes.

 

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