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Messages - mistoffolees

Father's Issues / What do you hope to accomplish?
Oct 18, 2006, 11:39:42 AM
Before doing anything, what are you trying to do?

I don't think it's terribly harmful for your son to see her making new acquaintences. As long as that's all he sees, why do you think it's hurting him?

Your state will vary, but in OK, the judge would laugh at you. Screwing around -even if no divorce has been filed- is not a criminal activity, nor can it have any bearing on whether a divorce is granted. It can't even have any bearing on custody decisions unless one parent can show that it's harming the children.

If she'd doing it in front of the kids, I'd take action - but via Child Welfare Services (or whatever it's called in your state). If she's discreet, drop it. It's just not worth the pain and expense it will cause.

Things to consider:
1. You're going to be dealing with her for many years (at least until your son is 18 and probably much longer). Do you want to do that with a decent relationship or do you want to hate each other?
2. You've got the important stuff settled. Why mess it up? If you do this, all your agreements go out the window and you're going to have an expensive, adversarial battle. To top it off, in today's world, even if you convinced the judge that she was an evil adulterer, it's not going to change things much.
3. Why does it concern you? Your old life is over. Face it. You're either looking for revenge or you're still so hurt you can't think straight. Neither excuse is much of a reason for ruining the rest of your life.
4. What do you hope to accomplish? If you've already settlled custody and financial stuff, what do you expect to get out of it. In other words, in what way would your world be better if you did it? I can't think of a single thing.
5. You didn't mention how old your son is. If he's over about 4, it will become clear to him that YOU are the aggressor here. Things seem pretty stable here, but you'll be the one shaking them up. Is that the way you want your son to see you?

Document everything you wish. If she tries to pull something on you, you can use it. But don't do anything with it except in self-defense.
Father's Issues / RE: Not stepkids
Sep 28, 2006, 01:12:12 PM
The situation you're citing is different. If a baby is born and the man supports it and acts as if it's his child from birth, then he'll probably end up supporting the child forever. 

In this case, the kids were always someone else's and there has never been any implication that the SF was the BF. 

Very, very different situation. I know because my stbx is trying to get me to send her kids from a previous marriage to college. My lawyer says she doesn't have a chance of getting that even though I provided the majority of their support for our entire marriage. You don't have any legal obligation to support stepkids unless you've adopted them or signed a contract agreeing to support them.
Father's Issues / RE: I feel your pain
Sep 27, 2006, 11:30:08 AM

The fact that he bought things for his stepkids doesn't obligate him in any way to continue to do so. 

He has absolutely no legal obligations to the stepkids. He may feel a DESIRE to support them, but that's entirely at his option.

If your logic applied, then every time I decide to give money to a charity, they would have a right to demand more of my money forever.
Father's Issues / RE: Trying to understand......
Sep 26, 2006, 12:37:23 PM
Without getting into motivations for why someone would behave a certain way, we can look at the behaviors. Your boyfriend is still very emotionally (and financiallly) involved with his old family. While he should ALWAYS take responsiblity for his own daughter, the fact that he's taking such major steps to support his ex is a sign that there's still a pretty strong link there. 

Even his support of the two older children is understandable. I'm in the middle of a divorce and have 2 stepdaughters who I would go a long ways to help out. But it seems to me that he's gone to extremes - particulary wrt the ex. 

I'm also curious how they maintained 50:50 when they were living hundreds of miles apart. Maybe it worked when she was preschool, but she's in K or 1st grade now and that's going to be a problem if they're far apart. Is that perhaps part of his reason for moving closer?

In any event, it sounds like bad news from your perspective. Whether it's his daughter or his ex drawing him, his heart is in central CA. 

Sounds to me like he needs to cut some strings. A good counselor can probably help him figure out which ones.
Father's Issues / RE: JMHO
Sep 22, 2006, 06:16:16 AM
I would suggest consulting an attorney before implementing the above practice. First, recording conversations is illegal in many cases. Second, many custody agreements ensure that each parent will have privacy in their conversations with the children.
I'm obviously not able to offer legal advice (mostly because I don't know enough). But your first step is to see an attorney and see about an expedited hearing. You might also go to the Socrateaser board since he IS a legal expert and may be able to offer some guidance.

And don't give up hope. Good luck.
Yes, you have rights. Your first step is to see a good lawyer. NOW. As more time elapses, you won't lose your rights, but you may find that you get less and less time with the baby.

If you are given legal papers (from the court) saying that you owe child support, start paying it immediately. While failure to pay child support is not grounds for denying visition, you want to show that you're proactively working for the child's welfare.

I would also suggest discussing what you really want with your attorney. It sounds like you have a stable life now and may be able to demonstrate a solid, stable, healthy home for the child. It's hard to say from your post, but can your exGF say the same thing? Are you looking for full custody, joint custody, or visitation? Your decision may influence how your attorney responds.

Good luck.
Father's Issues / Advice for newbies (long)
Sep 21, 2006, 09:50:34 AM
For any men just starting to go through the divorce process, I thought I'd add my free advice. Of course, it may be worth exactly what you're paying for it, but maybe it will help someone.

My situation is that I'm in the process of ending a 14 year marriage. Two college age SDs and one 8 year old for my wife and me jointly. NOTHING in the world is more important to me than my daughter and I am doing this partly for her (my wife is fairly abusive and getting worse).

1. If you're not sure whether you want a divorce or not, get the book "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" by Mira Kirshenbaum. She outlines her research from analyzing thousands of couples who split up or stayed together based on many criteria. Each chapter asks a question and then says 'if your answer is yes, most people in your situation were happy they left' (or whatever). GREAT book for clarifying what's on your mind.

2. If you're even THINKING of a divorce, don't do anything stupid. That might mean drinking too much, going out all night with the guys, chasing women,  ignoring your kids, whatever. Anything you do can AND WILL be used against you. There will be plenty of time for that later.

3. Keep a notebook of everything that happens with dates. This is not a vendetta book, but is rather a book showing your history. For example, my daughter is important to me, so a lot of my book says: "December 2, 2005. I took xxx to the zoo and spent the day. We then went out to dinner and I helped her get ready for bed and tucked her in. She thanked me for a nice time". There may be cases where you'll want to document bad things your spouse did, but that's not really the purpose. In my case, at least, it's more to show the positive things I've done than the negative things she's done.

4. Get a good lawyer. The difference in cost between a great lawyer and a lousy one isn't as much as you'd think and will pay off. Make sure your lawyer specializes in custody/divorce issues. Ask your divorced friends for recommendations.

5. Stay calm. It will feel like it takes 3 lifetimes, but will be over sooner than you think. Don't get frustrated.

6. If you're feeling depressed, don't stew in it. Get help. The professional help will get you through it. Again, get a good counselor. It will help you stay calm during all the endless hearings, negotiation, etc and that's worth its weight in gold.

7. This one's easy for me to say because my daughter is worth more to me than any amount of money, but do your best not to worry about the money. You want the distribution to be fair, of course, but please don't play games with trying to cheat your spouse. First, it's not fair to them. Second, it's not fair to you. You'll feel much better about yourself if you can hold your head high and say you were fair.

8. Don't let the rest of your life wither. You need a life.

There's much more than I could add, but that's the gist of it. Good luck (and please wish me luck, too).
I'm not sure why that would matter (other than making things less comfortable).

If I were him, I'd tell her that I'm moving back in with my wife and child. Probably in writing.

Now, if she or her parents say that he's not welcome there, then he'd have pretty good evidence the he hadn't abandoned the child - and that they are actually trying to keep him from his child. If they let him move in, then he's defeated the abandonment argument. Seems that he wins either way.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer, but that seems like the best thing to me. He really needs to talk to an attorney.
I would recommend Sharon Corbitt. Last time I talked with her, her phone number was    (918) 583-3145. 

She's very aggressive, particularly in the area of getting men the rights they deserve, but she's not going to waste your time and money if you jointly decide not to pursue something. IOW, the ideal lawyer.

I forgot to mention - she's in Tulsa, so if you're in OKC or farther away, she may not be able to help.