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Messages - trystero

I've posted before without much success, but finally getting to the end of what has been a long and painful journey in a complete circle.

Search for posts by me.  You'll find that before Feb 14, 2009, I had 50/50 parenting time with my ex since 2006.  During that time there have been 3 documented calls to 911 made by her all tagged as domestic disturbence all while kids were present.  None resulted in an arrest.  One resulted in husband being asked to leave for 24 hours.  Numerous instances of mother simply leaving the house when fight got bad enough and leaving chlidren behind.  Kids start seeing LCSW based on complaints from mother that son had 'self-esteem' issues.  However, kids have always been outgoing and shining when at my house.  LCSW soon discovers that problem is not with the children but with mother's parenting skills....or more likely, lack there of.  Been on her to take a parenting class for a year and a half and for her to seek couples counselling to work out issues with husband.

Feb 14, she loses it, attempts suicide while kids are in her custody.  Kids call me and I pick them up.

Feb 14-17...mother admitted to mental hospital for observation and protection from herself.

Feb 20....mother calls me requesting to have children back, first for the weekend, and then say's she'll just exercise her full week of parenting time.

WTF?!?!?!  Kids counselor has been saying 'take it slow, take it slow' to both of us.  Or so she told me. 

I lawyer up with 'national fathers rights law firm' and file for suspension of parenting plan given circumstances.  Motion is granted.  Hearing set for 3 months later.

Have the hearing.  I get slated by counselor as parental alienator because I attempt to teach my values to chlidren and it makes mother 'feel bad' because she has different beliefs.  Instances referenced by counselor are all based on heresay.  My lawyer just sits there.  Counselor doesn't say a word about al the stuff that has happened at mothers house leading up to all this.  My lawyer doesn't cross or raise any issues to give some balance to the situation.

Judge doesn't rule, but sets status conference for 60 days or so in the future where the parties are supposed to work together and with LCSW to gradually expand parenting time to see where tipping point is for 'too much' between no overnights and reinstatement of 50/50.

Rock on a few more weeks to set status conference and at first LCSW agrees w/proposed plan to make alternating weekends and floating overnight during the week put forward by me as 'reasonable', then recants and says there should be 'more'.  So more gets put into place, and another status conference is set for late October.

My lawyer says nothing.  I speak up and say to the judge that this unfair to the children, to me and to the mother.  How long are we supposed to drift along to get to permanent orders.  She says (yup, Judge is a woman) I'll just have to deal for a little bit longer.

Now, get word from my lawyer that otherside is positioning for 50/50 reinstatement and that they believe LCSW is in favor of that position.

SO.....$15,000 later, having done NOTHING but follow firggin' LCSW's directions and trying to protect my kids from the instability of the environment at their other house......looking like its all coming back full circle.

Great eff-ing system we have here!

Steps away from washing my hands of the whole thing.  When will it end?  When will there NOT be an issue to fight over?  When will the next time be that she calls 911 or tries to kill herself again?  And when it happens, what do I do?  Nothing?  Great set of options, eh?

I posted here to see if there were ANY legal strategy options or sympathetic lawyer who can help for free?

I am now well in debt over my income, behind on credit cards, and 1 card in good standing is over the limit......can't help but feel screwed.......

Dear Socrateaser / Re: Child Support Help
Jun 10, 2009, 08:09:58 AM
You say she owes you back child support, that to me implies there is a court order for child support.  If so, start there.  Options may depend on the state where you live.  I may be able to try private enforcement agencies, or the state may help you with wage garnishment/assignment.

If there is no court ordered or agreed to support arrangement, then you will definately have to go through the courts.  I agree with previous poster about check w/court's self-help center on which county you should file.

I think you're best tactic, assuming an order for support exists, is to first send a certified letter with a copy of the order to your ex.  State that you will pursue further if the matter is not rectified in 30 days.  (This approach seems tactically poor to me because you show your hand before your maneuver, but I think its 'proper').  Then in 30 days with no response you can file a Contempt motion, together with Motion to request Wage Assignment.  Those 2 things may get things rolling, the ex may contact you to work out an arrangement and avoid the wage assignment.  Personally I hate wage assignments.  We all have our own budgets, and while funds may exist monthly to pay, when bills are due can vary, and assignment takes away the right to sort out your own finances.

Quote from: ksmarks on Jun 06, 2009, 10:32:16 AM
In rereading your original post - you say that your ex is claiming that he is going to bring you up on fereal charegs, unless he is a federal prosecuter, he is just blowing hard.... I think most of us has said crazy things when we were divorcing, and that what it souds like he has done. If your attonrey is not worried I would not be either.

Good- Luck and keep us posted as to how you make out.

Yes and no.  There is a long list of possible civil rights that have been leveraged in court, I'm talking United States Codes regarding things like 'due process', freedom from government intervention, etc.  There was a case in Teneessee i think where a Dad appealed his very restricted parenting time on the basis that the order violated is federally granted civil rights.   I don't know the outcome of any of these types of appeals.  Technically he can file a Motion for Appeal based on these federally granted rights, but that would elevate things to federal court, etc..  I don't think they would come into play in County Court.

Just my opinion and understanding, NOT legal advice.
Custody Issues / Advice sought....
Jun 10, 2009, 07:45:39 AM
Actually posted in Socrotes forum, here......,
Dear Socrateaser / Advice Still Sought.....
Jun 10, 2009, 07:43:59 AM
I've been posting about my current plight over the past several months so I'll address most current stuff first, brief history at the bottom.

Went to court on Monday for 'final orders' hearing before the judge.  This is the follow up hearing to an Emergency Motion hearing in March to suspend last ordered parenting plan (50/50) and grant 100% custody to me, minimum 2 hours supervised visitations by mother with expectation by judge that the 2 hrs would gradually be increased.

WHAT HAPPENED SINCE:  Mother never requested any increase in her supervised parenting time, not directly to me, not through either the supervisor or the children's therapist (LCSW).  However, mother through her lawyer made repeated attempts to collect child support via my employer under guise of never ordered wage assignment (this happened 2x over April and May).  LCSW DID request a jump from 2 hours to 6 hours around mid-May.  She sent her request via fax to my attorney and to mother's attorney.  Mother's attorney never acted on this recommendation either through my attorney or through the courts.  I expressed verbally my concerns with to LCSW and attorney this requested increase:  (1)  mother has not shown any interest in additional time, (2) 2 hours to 6 hours was not gradual as we agreed on 23 March, (3) step-father has not been present to any parenting time to date [Note:  majority of problems result from arguements between mother and step-father].  While I agreed that I too was surprised that we were still sitting on 2 hours of visitation, it was my opinion that it was the mother's responsibility to ask for more if she wants it.  LCSW argued that there were 3 parties involved here, me, mother and children and it was her opinion that the children needed more time with mother.

WHAT HAPPENED IN COURT:  Things started out okay.  We proposed a modified schedule moving from this min 2-hours per week to 4-hours (supervised initially) every other weekend with 1-2 unsupervised dinners during the week.  Then LCSW takes the stand.  Initially she agrees with the proposed plan, then opposing attorney pulls out her request from mid-May which was much more agressive.  (6 hours 'lightly' supervised one weekend, followed by 6 hours the following weekend, followed by 6 hours on Sat and Sunday in same weekend.  LCSW would monitor progress/problems and would base recommendation on what next).  LCSW said that she still agreed with her proposed plan, but if all parties were in agreement w/4-hr plan she was happy with that too.  Then, LCSW trashes me in court, paints me as unsupportive of her recomendations (but makes no reference as to WHY, nor give her opinion as voiced to me verbally that it was indeed strange that mother isn't requesting additional time w/children).  Judge, tosses out agreed to 4-hr plan and orders plan proposed by LCSW.  Further, judge orders that parties comply w/LCSW recomendations, and if either disagrees then we have 5-days to appear before court to explain.

CONCERN:  (1)  LCSW has too much power, too much sway over court.  I suspected this and tried but failed to find equivilent expert who could counter balance her somewhat.  (2)  LCSW stated in court that she did NOT want this responsibility and that she was concerned about the appropriateness of her acting as Parenting Time Coordinator [I will follow up with LCSW licensing board on whether this order is even valid].  (3)  LCSW has always had sympathy towards mother and in this case has placed children's emotional needs to be w/mother more above risk posed by repeated DV calls to 911, suicide attempt by mother in presence of children, and 18 months worth of examples of overall volatility in the house.  She said in court that the children were 'thriving' with me 100%, and they seemed more relaxed, less stressed and better behaved.  (in my mind these are contradictory things).

WAY FORWARD:  We are supposed to follow judge's laid out plan for 3 weeks, then see what LCSW 'thinks'.  We have another status conference in August....presumeably for judge to decide final orders.  After this last court fiasco, I am of the opinion that ALL correspondence w/LCSW from me has now got to be in writing.  She selectively remembers facts and conversations, often omitting the 98% good things I do as a parent and only comments on the things she thought could have been done differently/better.  She also failed to comment on the fact that whenever she's provided us parenting suggestions/feedback we've tried to adopt her suggestions (I am a hell of a great Dad, but I am not perfect). 

ANTICIPATED/DESIRED OUTCOME:  I think because of comments from the court, there is strong likelihood that the final custody arrangement desired would be something like 25/75.  But could go all the way back to the 50/50.  This of course is all based on there being some kind of stability in mother's home, which hasn't ever been the case in 3 years!

WHAT I NEED:  Advice/help.
- I think that there should be consideration for the fact that kids have been with me since 14 Feb 2009.
- I think that I still could use some other independent expert to weigh in.  I've tried the avenue of foster home assessment, and while I think that worthy and a good process, don't know how to have such an assessment made as to whether or not even foster kids would be placed in this home.
- Strategy/plans that have worked in the past.
- Suggestions on how to soften LCSW if possible.  But as said above, she has repeated demonstrated selective recall so i think putting my communications IN WRITING is a good idea.

HISTORY:  On 14 Feb 2009, a minor arguement between mother and husband resulted in children calling to be picked up (with mother's permission), while making 20 min drive from my house, mother escalated to point of attempting suicide.  Police came, ambulance, she went to mental hospital for 3 days evaluation.  I've had 100% custody since.  She attempted to exercise her parenting time, despite objections from LCSW and from me, so went to court for temporary orders (which were granted).
That is great!  I would love to share in your experiences to do please write it up for the rest of us when you can!
Father's Issues / Re: Irratic Mother Issues ....
May 11, 2009, 02:40:31 PM
Dang it!  Sounds like an interesting situation!

Don't think I've thought much about custody issues without the addition of usual divorce stuff...but here is what I think as a Dad, not an attorney.....

I think what you want a lawyer to do is file what is called a parenting plan here in Colorado.  Not sure if its the same in OK or not.  Its a document that spells out who has primary custody (e.g. place where kids spend majority of their time) and who is the non-custodial parent.

It then schedules out who has what time w/kids.  Based on your description, I think you're wanting 100% custody with liberal visitation (but no over nights for mother).

What you will need in addition to your testimony is evidence.  Start document that snot out of the situation.  Pictures/video, I got a digital voice recorder from Kmart for $30 that can download right to my PC to record conversations.  Depending on how much she really wants to fight you on this, you may need some kind of independent assessment of the living conditions....

A few things that do bear merit....judges don't like to disturb the status-quo for the children.  Document and get some witnesses who can say how long the kids have been staying exclusively with you....the longer the better because it shows stability for the children...

Sounds like you do not pay any support, but if you have the kids 100% then there would be no support required.  Its usually the $$$ that makes for the least in my experience.
Just thought I'd post for general thoughts/comments that we've all struggled with in those days/weeks leading up to a hearing.  I feel I have to be so closely guarded with what I know, or not wanting to reveal our strategy that perhaps often I come across as not having a plan at all?

Case in point.  This afternoon had call from children's counselor.  She appears to be PUSHING for additional parenting for my kids with their mother.  Mind you, I have not had 1 request from my ex or her lawyer for an expansion of their supervised visiting time.  Counselor appears to be more of an advocate for the ex- than the ex is or her attorney.

I have researched and now know how to file a complaint against the LCSW.  She has sent 2 letters to attorney's in my case that are both biased towards the mother's needs and completely omit details from conversations I've had with her.  She goes as far as to request that mother be given permission to attend kids school functions even after I have told her 2x that she can come to their end of year play, etc..

So part of me wants to go off on her, but I am hesitant to have her say in court that I'm hostile, or whatever.

Where's the line?  As a parent I certainly have a say, more of a say than she does.  But what to say....and when.....
I have a hearing in just over a month after ex- attempted suicide while children were in her custody.  Aside from what treatment she has or hasn't had, I'm finding lots of study info and tech journal papers to indicate there some 1 in 4 chance she'll attempt it again in the next 3-5 years.  (that and I don't believe the right kind of treatment is being obtained).

So my thoughts were, facts would sound more credible coming from a Dr. than from me or by submitting these studies as a possible expert witness with experience in failed attempted suicide could be a consideration.

As I've learned the hard way, cases ALWAYS come down to evidence and 'expert' opinions and feelings are 2nd or 3rd or 10th.....
Dear Socrateaser / Expert Witnesses in Colorado
Apr 28, 2009, 05:57:28 AM
Hi!  This looked like the right place to ask this, so...

Anyone familiar with expert witnesses in Colorado?  Specifically psychiatrists/psychologists?