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Author Topic: New to all this - can anyone help?  (Read 2546 times)

Lizbeth

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New to all this - can anyone help?
« on: Jul 20, 2007, 04:10:54 PM »
Hi, this is my first time here and from what I am reading I sure help someone can give me some advice.  It's nice to (or not so nice depending on how you look at it) to know we are not alone in this crazy world of divorced parents.

My question is, as a third party but biased (Step Mother) what right do I have to insert myself in a bad situation?  My husband is the father of one 8 year old girl who lives 5 hours away from us - we have limited visitation.  He and his ex-wife can not agree on anything and can not communicate effectively on anything.  Meanwhile this little girl, who for the most part is healthy and happy is lacking much needed attention in several areas.  I admit the communication problems are two sided - neither one of them is completely to blame but both of them are at fault.

Recently, I have been feeling that his daughter needs some developmental evaluation - possibly a speech therapist, or a hearing test?  Not really sure, but she does not articulate well for an 8 y/o and clearly does not hear well.  Can I as a step parent speak to her school to ask for evaluation?  I want to go around both of the parents because it will just cause a battle between them that none of us needs.  Is there such a thing as a child advocate for divorced parents to mediate through?  I just feel so badly that this child is not getting the benefit of many people looking out for her because of an inability to put aside their anger and hatred for each other.

I am also divorced with a 14 y/o child, but I maintain a healthy open communication with my ex-husband - we share all the important decisions and work together on all the issues - I want to help this child achieve some semblence of what I have created for my own daughter.

Any advice?


Jade

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RE: New to all this - can anyone help?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 20, 2007, 04:22:07 PM »
>Hi, this is my first time here and from what I am reading I
>sure help someone can give me some advice.  It's nice to (or
>not so nice depending on how you look at it) to know we are
>not alone in this crazy world of divorced parents.
>
>My question is, as a third party but biased (Step Mother) what
>right do I have to insert myself in a bad situation?  My
>husband is the father of one 8 year old girl who lives 5 hours
>away from us - we have limited visitation.  He and his ex-wife
>can not agree on anything and can not communicate effectively
>on anything.  Meanwhile this little girl, who for the most
>part is healthy and happy is lacking much needed attention in
>several areas.  I admit the communication problems are two
>sided - neither one of them is completely to blame but both of
>them are at fault.
>
>Recently, I have been feeling that his daughter needs some
>developmental evaluation - possibly a speech therapist, or a
>hearing test?  Not really sure, but she does not articulate
>well for an 8 y/o and clearly does not hear well.  Can I as a
>step parent speak to her school to ask for evaluation?  I want
>to go around both of the parents because it will just cause a
>battle between them that none of us needs.  Is there such a
>thing as a child advocate for divorced parents to mediate
>through?  I just feel so badly that this child is not getting
>the benefit of many people looking out for her because of an
>inability to put aside their anger and hatred for each other.
>
>I am also divorced with a 14 y/o child, but I maintain a
>healthy open communication with my ex-husband - we share all
>the important decisions and work together on all the issues -
>I want to help this child achieve some semblence of what I
>have created for my own daughter.
>
>Any advice?

You can't request an evaluation.  But you can talk to your husband about your concerns.  If he has joint legal custody, he can request an evaluation.  

And if he starts ranting about his ex, simply say:  Love your child more than you hate your ex.  



Lizbeth

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RE: New to all this - can anyone help?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 20, 2007, 04:48:18 PM »
Thank you I like the "Love your child more than you hate your ex" response - I will use that one a lot.

The problem is we have not had much luck with the school, he'll certainly try asking but unless the mother agrees - which she won't because it came from him - it won't get done.  Thats a whole battle in it's self, all of this get's him so angry because he is her father and should have the same rights to parent but the system just doesn't seem set up that way.

mistoffolees

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RE: New to all this - can anyone help?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 20, 2007, 09:04:52 PM »

>My question is, as a third party but biased (Step Mother) what
>right do I have to insert myself in a bad situation?  My

The answer is simple. You have absolutely no legal right to be involved. Period.

Your moral right depends very much on the situation, but in general, while the child is with you, you can treat her as you will. While she is with her mother, you have no say in the situation.

>husband is the father of one 8 year old girl who lives 5 hours
>away from us - we have limited visitation.  He and his ex-wife
>can not agree on anything and can not communicate effectively
>on anything.  Meanwhile this little girl, who for the most
>part is healthy and happy is lacking much needed attention in
>several areas.  I admit the communication problems are two
>sided - neither one of them is completely to blame but both of
>them are at fault.

You have no direct involvement. It's between her parents. Your involvement is limited to whatever advice/counsel/encouragement you give to her father and to her when she is with you.

>
>Recently, I have been feeling that his daughter needs some
>developmental evaluation - possibly a speech therapist, or a
>hearing test?  Not really sure, but she does not articulate
>well for an 8 y/o and clearly does not hear well.  Can I as a
>step parent speak to her school to ask for evaluation?  I want

No. But you can suggest it to her father.

>to go around both of the parents because it will just cause a
>battle between them that none of us needs.  Is there such a
>thing as a child advocate for divorced parents to mediate
>through?  I just feel so badly that this child is not getting
>the benefit of many people looking out for her because of an
>inability to put aside their anger and hatred for each other.

Step parents have no legal rights to speak of. Lots of responsbility, but no rights.

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt, wore it out.

 

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