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Messages - teacher98

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Visitation Issues / Long-How to deal with BM and upset child
« on: Jan 28, 2009, 01:45:04 PM »
Fiance has a 9 year old son.  BM has sole physical, joint legal.  Original order is only an Order of Filiation from when they were 17 (m) and 19 (d). It states that dad has EOSunday supervised until he learns parenting skills. Both parties can agree to extend parenting time.  Since 2004 they have agreed to EOWkend with EOWeek in the summer. Alternate holidays.
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BM has always said that if we moved closer Dad could have more time during the school week.  Well this summer, she and her husband bought a house and we purchased a home 9 minutes away.  Our house is in a MUCH better school district but closer to the school in her district that she enrolled him in.  STBSS was so excited that both houses would be so close (used to be 35-40 minute drive) He talked all summer of going EOWeek forever.  Mom started “freaking” and took the last 2 weeks of summer with dad away from son and said that son needed to enter counseling or they needed to have the 3 of them sit down for a talk because things are just too different in both of the homes.
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Here is the issue…BM has been giving STBSS decision making power with little things like extra nights or weekends with dad since he was 4. (dad does not agree, but she always asks SS after dad asks her if it would be possible) Since our move she has extended this decision making power to the following:
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1.    SS may choose what school district he attends next year.
2.    SS may decide if he wants to go EOWeek year round
3.    SS can choose his Halloween costume.
4.    SS may decide what district he wants to play baseball in.
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Results of the above:
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1.    Not an issue yet because the year is not over, however, why would he choose to leave friends at age 9?  Parents should place him in the best available district.
2.    SS told BM in the sit down (she said counseling was too much money. We think she didn’t want a non-bias adult telling her her son was fine with dad) that he wanted to go EOWeek. She said ok. One week later called fiancé to say that she was not ready to go there and that maybe he could have extended weekends. SS asked mom on his own accord if he still do it and she told him no because he needs to spend more time with his new baby sibling.  SS has asked dad several times since August if he would talk to mom again. Fiance wrote a formal letter stating SS wishes and how they could make it work. Included a calendar and still gave her about 10 days more for the year. She called next day screaming about “brainwashing their son” and said he only asks that to make dad happy and that she would consider it when he was 13 or 14 and not to bring it up to son again.  She also said that the schedule was not changing and did not allow extended weekends.
3.    SS wanted to be a ______ and asked me to help him make a costume.  He also asked me last year because I happen to be very Marth Stewartish and BM is very far from it to no fault of her own. We put together a very cool costume with just a few missing pieces that we asked mom to get.  When he came to us after trick-or treating, he had on a totally new costume or should I say black sweatsuit.  When dad asked why he didn’t be the other thing he started crying and said “mom said since it was HER Halloween she wanted to pick out the costume this year.”
4.    This Friday, fiancé asked for the birth certificate to sign SS up for baseball in our town.  Fields are 5 minutes from her house. She said she just got info for her town and then said to SS in front of dad, “I guess you will just have to decide where you want to play then, Buddy.  If you play in _____you will be with you friends.”   When they got into the car, fiancé said, I don’t care where you play, but if you choose to play in our town then we have to sign up tomorrow, so it has to be a quick decision.  SS said he didn’t have to think about it. He already knows he wants to play in our town because the sports are better and he wants to make friends in this neighborhood.  Fiance took him to sign up next day. Paid $100 and needless to say, BM called today saying their son would not be playing in our town and would play his sports in his own school district.
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She has set a pattern that if she gives son a choice and he chooses her then his feelings are valid and truthful. If he chooses something with Dad, then he either can’t do it, or she thinks he was just trying to please Dad and he still can’t do it.
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We, however, are left to pick up the pieces when he is in tears or very confused during our weekends.  Fiance doesn’t care where he plays or what he chooses. He is just sick of it being son’s choice and then he is not validated by mom.  He will not address this with mom because when he has tried previously he gets screamed at or is threatened to only see son on the original EOSunday supervised schedule.  Anyone deal with this?  Any advice?  We are at a loss.  Thanks.
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Custody Issues / What constitutes a change in circumstance?
« on: Dec 16, 2008, 03:45:17 PM »
What constitutes a change in circumstance?

My fiance (BD) and his ex (BM) (never married, teenage pregnancy, now 25 and 27) had an order of filiation in 2000 regarding soon to be SS.  That was the only court order they have regarding custody, visitation, and responsibilities.  There have been support orders modified since then, however, nothing regarding custody or visitation.  That original order states that the mother recieves sole physical (law for unmarried in Michigan) and joint legal with father. The visitation was every other sunday for 2 supervised hours so fiance could learn parenting skills and they could extend as agreed upon by both parties. Well since then (child will be 9 in March) they have worked out their own schedule. It was very rocky in the beginning. They fought a lot over time, but for the past 3 years it has been EOWeekend, split and alternate holidays, and EOWeek in the summer. The past 2 summers BM even agreed to the first 2 weeks with dad. My fiance requested to her in writing last school year 2 weekends on and 1 off during school and she denied saying that she needed to be able to spend that time with him (even though she was working) and said that if he lived closer that he could have more time during the week. We were living 40 minutes away. Well, this past August we did move very close. We are 9 minutes from her house and in a much better school district than hers. We even live closer to his son's current school than she does. At summer's end, the 3 of them had a sit down meeting because STBSS was very upset when at BM's about the different rules and also regarding a permanent EOWeek schedule. They all agreed to try, however, when school started, BM said she wouldn't do it.  STBSS has cried every weekend to his dad since then that he wants everything "even" and requested that his dad please try to talk to mom again. My fiance put together a typed packet outlining the sharing of holidays, a sample calendar, and a very respectful letter requesting that they try this out and gave it to her at drop off on Sunday.  BM called the next day threatening to take it back to supervised Sundays if he didn't stop "brainwashing" their son and told him that maybe they could try it when son is 13 or 14 and isn't just trying to please us and say what we want to hear.

There are many major and minor issues with the whole situation that I will save for another time, however, my question is...Is this move so close to her new home a significant change in circumstance from the original 2000 order?  If not, aside from physical abuse, what could constitute a change in circumstance? Should my fiance go for joint physical or just get what they already have been doing in a current court order?  He knows he is the better parent, however there is no evidence supporting that she is unfit as of yet. He doesn't want sole physical because he truly believes it is best for his son to have both of his parents as equally as possible.  I would really appreciate any and all replies.

General Issues / RE: Documenting electronically
« on: Jun 10, 2008, 02:15:34 PM »
I really don't know if you can attach emails or other files. We just keep those things saved separately.  Fiance has created a folder in his email account for school and coach correspondence. We also have a separate folder on the computer and saved to a flash drive with all typed documents that have been sent to his son's mother. The new version may allow you to attach files, however.  It is a great time saving tool.  Good luck with whatever method you choose.

General Issues / RE: Documenting electronically
« on: Jun 09, 2008, 02:31:14 PM »
There is a downloadable program called Custody Toolbox for 49.95.  Just google the name and it is the first hit.  It keeps track of parenting time, mileage, extra expenses, and information for each child.  There is a modifiable calendar as well as a journaling component. The journal comes with codes for school, medical, drop off/pick up, as well as a few others, and you can add your own. The program can print journal reports for specific key words, like "no return call," and can also print mileage and parenting time. It figures it all out according to what you have already typed in. My fiance has been using it for about 2.5 years now and it is well worth the money. I believe an updated version is coming soon.  Just be sure to save your reports in a word document and email your attorney or email to yourself each month to get a date stamp for your updated information. Good luck!

Custody Issues / New poster. Looking for opinions.
« on: May 21, 2008, 03:36:22 PM »
I am new to this board, so I am not sure if this is the correct spot.  Here's the background and my question:

My fiance has an 8 year old son, never married, teenage parents, joint legal, sole physical custody to the mother. Eight years ago the visitation was EO Sunday supervised (nursing baby) and they could extend as fiance gained parenting skills.  The first 2 years, fiance went to ex's house 3 or more times a week then she met someone new, began fighting w/my fiance, and then cut off all communication except to ask him to sign off his rights, and later moved in with this man in 2002.  Two years went by where my fiance sent holiday cards, gifts and CS, but no longer called due to the constant fighting.  Her BF said he would not play "daddy" when her son kept asking about his own and that she should contact him.   In October '04, she called to say that their son was asking about him. She realized supervised visiting at her house was not easy on my fiance and agreed to work out visits on their own. Two daytime visits on the weekend quickly turned to weekend overnights and EOW.  Summer '05 he asked for one whole week, which she agreed.  January '06 he asked for spring break and every other week in summer.  She agreed however, the summer never truly worked out that way. (3 solid weeks and then a few 4 day in a rows) Currently, EOW+ extra sometimes, alternate holidays, spring break with dad, split extended holiday vacations and first 2 weeks and last 2 weeks of summer EOWeek in between. On even years, he gets about 30% overnights, odd years about 28%. He knows he has it very good.  He has documented nearly everything along the way. Does not ask for an abatement during 6 consecutive overnights and provides every single thing his son needs in our home except the meds that go back and forth. Son plays baseball in Dad's town and football in Mom's town.

This frequent amount of time has lead to other circumstances, and fiance may be taking ex to court within the next 6 months.  If he is unsuccessful with his attempt, will a judge end up giving my fiance the standard, which in our state, ranges from 20-26% without joint physical? Any experience and opinions would be helpful.  I have many other questions to ask, but thought I would start here.

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