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At a loss

Started by Laily, Aug 28, 2015, 11:42:58 AM

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To begin with some background; My fiancé has two children, 9 and 11 - nearly 12. He and the children's BM have joint custody, but they live with the BM. Due to living a great distance apart (approx 18 - 24 hour drive) he gets the children on a rotating holiday schedule, and for broken up sections of the summer. ( 2-3 weeks here, 2-3 weeks back with BM, 2-3 weeks with us again, then back with BM before school starts). 

Things have never been... easy, shall we say, when it comes to communication between he and his ex. And for the past approximately year, both children have expressed their desire to live with Dad and me. This is increasing in frequency and  has been causing huge issues.  It has come to the point where we have to tell them not to bring it up around or to their mother because she has now started threatening to cut off any form of communication between the children and their father where she catches them bringing it up. (I.e: If its mentioned on skype, they will no longer be allowed to Skype.  Same for emails, texts, calls, etc)   When they mention it TO her, they are yelled at, and informed they will never be allowed to live with him, and if they keep talking about it their "father could get in huge trouble". 

They are now becoming more insistent at the end of each visit about not going back, it got so bad that last hand over, the youngest actually ran from his mother and hid at the train station. It took their father 30 mins to talk him down and convince him he needed to go with BM. He is also having consistent night terrors after this return. For the past week he has stated he slept in BM and SDs bed because he keeps having night terrors. He *never* has a night terror while visiting with us.

  The older child has stated to us, as well as CPS workers, that she is scared to talk about what goes on at home because "Mom is a powerful witch, and she'll know i talked, and won't like it"  She asks questions like " if i hide/run away/etc, do i have to go back" at the end of every visit.

He is currently in the process of trying to get visitation changed to longer periods ( mostly for summer ).  The BM is on the verge of losing the house they are in due to foreclosure, fiancé is waiting for that to try for a change of custodial parent since we aren't sure if we have enough without a major CoC to even have a judge consider it.   I guess my question is: does anyone have any insight or tips on what we can do before he tries for change of custody to prepare for it? 

And before anyone gets on my case about "being too involved". Please, don't. I do not speak to the BM at all beyond civil pleasantries at hand overs. I am not trying to step on anyone's toes. Just trying my best to help my fiancé get as much information as possible so he has a better chance at having custody changed. 


1) Are y'all in the same state?  I'm guessing no based on the time apart but some states are pretty big so maybe.
2) Why is CPS involved and why haven't they recommended a change in custody?
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!


1. No, we are not. Same coast, opposite ends.

2. CPS has been involved a number of times over the years. BM has been reported a number of times by court mandated reporters, not sure why nothing has come from them. Its always the same CPS worker who comes to investigate.


Probably not enough to change custody and kids are still too young for the courts to take their word on what they want. They will not reverse custody without an open neglect case at CPS and even that, different states will be even harder.

Keep documenting, Will BM take SS to a therapist for the night terrors?
Next time there is a CPS open case, you may be able to ask for custody depending on the issue. I know here if she is considered homeless she will be given a place to stay with kids and a rent voucher depending on her job salary. The kids have to stay with her in order to keep the stipend so I have seen courts keep child with parent to be on the housing list.
How are the kids attendance and grades?

Different parenting styles/issues is not enough to change custody and having kids upset not to leave you after 2-3 weeks of fun is not unusual. Kids think that is the way it will be at your house all year, but with school, homework, chores when being full time will be more like mom's then they realize.


CPS's goal is to reunite the children with the custodial parent.....my former Step-son, shot his mother in the rear end with a paint gun and he was put in juvie over night and no one cared to change custody to an environment where this wouldn't happen again.  We too were geographically too far apart to "be right there" -- which might have made a difference.

There are many of "us" here who have helped our other halves....so being here is not a problem. You got the right idea to "parent through" Dad....

As for what to do....Good luck on getting more time.  Focus on how "more time with Dad" is in the child's best interest.  For that to happen, you'll have to get an expert on the stand to say that.  That was my mistake many years ago.  "Of course" it was in my son's best interest to spend more time with his mother....where does the logic fail in that?  Family court isn't logical....that's where.  Once a divorce decree is set in stone, the level of proof to have that changed changes and you already know it's called "Significant Change in Circumstances" -- I had that.  BUT I failed the second test -- How was it in my son's best interest to spend MORE time with me?"  My word and logic and opinion didn't hold water.....and I didn't get an expert to back me up. I too was asking for more time in the summer since I became a SAHM and Dad worked and son stayed with (evil) fake-wife.  my "became a SAHM" was the COC, but failed on the second part.