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Author Topic: Air Force Dad needs your advice (long)  (Read 2329 times)

AirForceDad

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Air Force Dad needs your advice (long)
« on: Jul 18, 2004, 07:57:48 AM »
Hi there,

  New to the board and first time poster...

  I don't know where to begin and I hope I do not bore anyone with my ramblins,   I am just looking for some advice from fathers that may be in a similar situation as mine.

First, if you are reading this I want to thank you for your time.

I am currently in the Air Force stationed in Turkey since Dec 2003 and will be here until Dec 2005.  I was divorced in Oct 2001 (after 14 years) we have 3 children and they live with their mother in Calif as she has full custody (first big mistake).  I am re-married as of a year ago and her and her 5 year old son live here with me in Turkey.  Divorce was done in Nevada by my ex as I was deployed to Saudi Arabia.  
  In the decree it states the children aged 10, 13 and 15 will spend 1 month with me while I am stationed overseas.  First summer was fine and without incident the kids flew to Germany and spent 1 month with me and we enjoyed Europe.  Last year we could not do the summer visit as I was deployed to Saudi Arabia again for the Iraq war.  My father passed away and I flew back to Calif and also spent 2 weeks with the kids.  
  The ex told me this year in March that the kids could visit for 2 months this summer as to make-up for last summer visit.  Now the problems began in April, I spoke with the kids and asked them what they would think about coming out for a year if their mom agreed.  They would come this summer and go back to Calif next summer as the tickets were pretty expensive ($3,600) and also that way they could really get to see Turkey.  I also figured as my boys are getting older it might be good for them.  They were transfering schools this summer anyways and my ex had just re-married so I thought the timing was good.  The ex agreed to allow them to come for a year if they wanted, I asked them to think about it and let me know in a week.  They all seemed very excited about it but as it was a big decision I didn't want to push.  A week later we talked and they decided that they would come for 2 months and if they liked it they would stay, if not they could go back to Calif.  Numerous phone calls etc and then my 10 year old daughter had "changed her mind" as her mom said  and decided she wanted to go to summer school instead.  I was very surprised and spoke with her about it.  I checked on summer tutoring here and told her about it but I didn't want to talk her into anything that she could blame me for later so I agreed to just the boys coming.
  I had already sent the three plane tickets to the ex for the kids, they were one way tickets that the Air Force provided me (a perc of Air Force Life) so that way if the kids did decide to stay it would not be a problem.  I had return reservations for them if one any or all had decided not to stay.  The ex told me that my oldest son needed summer school, I called the high school and spoke with the principal about it.  He said we had many options to take care of that and he would not even think of him missing a trip to Turkey.  He was even a little jealous of my son's summer vacation.  We discussed he could bring some extra work or take an extra class or two next year but it was not a problem to make it up.
  The ex also said she was worried about the validity of the tickets so I got a letter from my first Sergeant that said they were valid and faxed it to her.  About this time she found I had spoke with the principal and she went crazy and cut off all communications with the kids and pulled all three out of school 2 weeks before the end of the year.  She filed a restraining order and domestic violence charges against me and my mother (who lives 2 miles from her and has been a very close part of hers and the kids lives)  This cut off all communication with me to the kids and of course she did not send any of the kids with the tickets I provided.  My mother had a very good relationship with her, only 7 weeks before she had made the wedding cake for my ex's wedding with her new husband.  Talk about biting the hand that feeds ya.  Anyways, my mom went to court and the judge threw out hers and my charges and basically scolded my ex.  Told her that he didn't understand what she was doing and why she would do this.  He explained that I have a right to see and communicate with the kids to her three times but that was the wrong court to enforce it.  Now here is where I stand, I have gotten school records from the last three schools they have attended in past 16 months (4th school is coming up next month) They are showing very bad grades, my oldest has a ,667 gpa and the other boy a 1.20.  They are not getting the help they need with their schooling. They have lived in 4 different locations in past 16 months and are moving again next month.   I am in the process of filing contempt charges in Nevada against her and requesting a make-up visitation.  Also requesting to have court mandated phone communication with them.  I am also working on filing for complete change of custody.  She has completely cut me off from them.  My oldests birthday was last week and I couldn't even call him.  The kids are not in summer school now even though according to their grades they desperately need it.  What can or should I do in this situation.  What legal grounds do I have to stand on.  I spoke with a lawyer and was advised that she is pretty sure I would win if it went to a custody issue.   I have 18 years in the Air Force, a very stable home life and a new wife of 1 year that does not work.  I know it is hard to do this from being so far away but i am going to do as much as I can and come back for about a month when I need to for the hearings or whatever they have.  Any and all advice or suggestions will be appreciated.

Thank you,
Serving Proudly....
AirForceDad


stressedstepmom

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RE: Air Force Dad needs your advice (long)
« Reply #1 on: Jul 18, 2004, 08:26:40 AM »
First off I want to thank you for serving our country and keeping us all safe. As an Air Force wife I am well aware of the sacrafices you make. It saddens me that your ex is putting you through all of this. I don't really have any advice for you but hopefully others on here will.  I would check with legal aide if you haven't already. When we have tried to use them in the past they were no help to us, but maybe since you are overseas it will be a little different. I am sure that people will tell you (either in here or a lawyer) that being active duty military will hurt your chances because of the fact that you are overseas or that you could deploy. That has always driven me crazy when it has been said to us. You might want to go ahead and fill out any papers saying how you children would be taken care of if you were to deploy again so that you would have that if it is brought up in court.  You are able to offer your children a chance of a lifetime by living overseas and being able to experience other cultures. Your children have free medical until they are at least 18 and they have tons of free college oppurtunities.
I wish you luck and please keep us posted.

DMcD

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RE: Air Force Dad needs your advice (long)
« Reply #2 on: Jul 18, 2004, 09:46:51 PM »
There are a few things that you might want to consider. First, don't forget that you are covered under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act. If she takes you back to court for just about anything, the court can't hear the matter. In fact, in CA, she should have to sign a declaration that you are not in the military if she files or else the court won't even accept her filing.

There is a lot of civic pride for our boys overseas, so you might actually be slightly better off than some who are long distance but in CONUS. My DH was able to get custody of his children, mostly due to grades similar to the grades your kids have, so that is certainly something you might want to push. Under the parenting plan samples, there is one for military personnel, so you should definitely look that up to give the court a realistic plan on how you propose to have custody and still allow her plenty of time with the kids.

File contempt of court if she doesn't send the kids this summer. That's strike one. Get a court order for her to have the children available for phone contact. Have the court investigate her living arrangements and the support the children have regarding academics. If the investigator finds problems, that's strike two. If she still refuses to allow calls or refuses to send them for visits, that's strike three. Just keep the pressure on her and the court to make decisions in the kids' best interests. Eventually, someone will shape up or buckle under the pressure. Either way, your kids win. That's what it's all about. Good luck to you.

wendl

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RE: Air Force Dad needs your advice (long)
« Reply #3 on: Jul 19, 2004, 11:43:14 AM »
I would do as the others suggested and make sure to document everything, I would get all your phone records out to show how many times and when you call the kids.

Get copies of the entire school records file from each school, including copies of any disaplinary actions they have had to take or conferences that mom was called into due to poor attendence and/or grades.

Confir with the schools, drs etc, aslo contact the drs they go to and request medical files on each child.

read everything here.

:)

Peanutsdad

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RE: Air Force Dad needs your advice (long)
« Reply #4 on: Jul 19, 2004, 01:42:24 PM »
As a former militaryman myself,,, I know exactly what you feel right now.

The older children may not be in much danger of mom being able to pull this,, but the 10 yr old,, certainly is at risk of PAS.


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THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART I)
Parental Alienation Syndrome is a distinctive family response to divorce in which the child becomes aligned with one parent and preoccupied with unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other target parent.
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rand01.htm - size 40kb - 20 Oct 2003
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This article looks at parental alienation syndrome (PAS), which is a complex manifestation of mental and emotional abuse resulting from conflicted parents fighting for custody.
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13. Recommendations for Dealing with Parents Who Induce a Parental Alienation Syndrome in Their Children
PAS is commonly seen in highly contested child-custody disputes. The author has described three types: mild, moderate, and severe, each of which requires special approaches by both legal and mental health professionals.
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/pas-gardner02.htm - size 54kb - 20 Oct 2003
14. THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART II)
Studies of target parents who are falsely accused of abuse report they tend to be less disturbed than their accusing counterparts.
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rand12.htm - size 53kb - 20 Oct 2003
15. THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART II)
Parental Alienation Syndrome is a distinctive family response to divorce in which the child becomes aligned with one parent and preoccupied with unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other target parent.
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rand11.htm - size 44kb - 20 Oct 2003
16. Parental Alienation Information Archive
All the information on the SPARC site regarding Parental Alienation has been consolidated on this central reference page.
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17. THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART II) (cont.)
In the following case, the accused father was an officer in the military. Testimony on PAS by the defense expert provided the judge and jury with some alternative explanations as to the reasons the children accused their stepfather of abuse.
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18. THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART I)
Parental Alienation Syndrome is a distinctive family response to divorce in which the child becomes aligned with one parent and preoccupied with unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other target parent.
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rand02.htm - size 44kb - 20 Oct 2003
19. Expanding the Parameters of PAS
The newness of the parental alienation syndrome (PAS) compels its redefinition and refinement as new cases are observed and the phenomenon becomes better understood.
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Although parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a familiar term, there is still a great deal of confusion and unclarity about its nature, dimensions, and, therefore, its detection.
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MixedBag

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RE: Air Force Dad needs your advice (long)
« Reply #5 on: Jul 21, 2004, 05:52:14 AM »
Glad that you found this site!!!

I too was stationed in Turkey but way back and it feels funny right now to say it was from 81-83.....retired now.

As I read your post, I was thinking this.....(honestly)....step one has actually already been accomplished when I read that your kids have already been overseas with you for a month while you were in Germany.  That means they have valid passports for international travel.  MANY folks run into this hurdle because the law now requires both parents to get passports.

I also think that it sets a precedence....and that's not good for her.

As I read your post -- and look at the calendar, I have to ask...  Where are the kids now?  Most schools are gonna be back in session in 4-6 weeks....so did she allow them to come at all or are you still "working that issue?"

I also agree with you that experiencing Turkey would be wonderful for them -- it's the closest thing you can safely do for them that is remotely like an unaccompanied tour because of how behind that country is in many things.  

If you do miss out on seeing them, the ONLY thing you can really do is to take the whole thing back to court....and unfortunately by then you will have missed out on the summer....but maybe the judge will clearly give you the time back over the next years (like by increasing your time in the summer permanently or something).

On the other hand -- I can also see your EX being totally concerned about TURKEY!  That's so close in most people's minds to everythng going on over there.....just keep that in the back of your mind.   I had both positive and creepy experiences off base over there -- so I think I understand both sides.  

(Last I heard too was that AFPC was not allowing families over there -- guess that changed.  I have a friend stationed over there coming back next month who couldn't take the family back in May 03 -- so consider yourself luck not to be on an unaccompanied tour!)

Good luck and like PD gave you -- read through the links....

 

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