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Oh the craziness....

Started by oklahoma, Mar 01, 2005, 01:37:17 PM

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Back in December SDs called to say they didn't want to come down because I was "mean."  My husband said he would let them decide when they were ready to come down (what else could he do?), but they can't just jerk us back and forth every few months.

They didn't actually make the first call.  My MIL is seriously ill, and my husband called to let them know they needed to go visit their grandmother.  That started things again--a couple visits with SDs while we were up to see MIL, etc.  And SDs came for a regular visit this weekend.  All went well.

OSD wanted to stay a little later, and so called to ask BM if that would be OK, it wasn't.  My husband got on the phone and BM chewed him out.  SDs heard the entire conversation--at least Dad's side--for the first time.  (It wasn't on purpose--our cordless phone is broken, so we have an old phone plugged in and my husband couldn't go in another room like he usually does when speaking to BM, and SDs just sat and listened.)

Long story a little shorter, when my husband took the girls home, they started asking him if they could live with us.  Whoa!  What a shock!!  My husband has been very careful not to push that idea on the girls--occasionally he will bring up the possibility jokingly.  But this time they asked a lot of questions, and he told them straight out that they are old enough to decide.  BM found out about this little conversation and left us a lovely little message.

So I am really nervous to see how things go the next time they come down.  Worried about possibly having a 10- and a 12-year old full-time, worried about my husband if they change their minds (although he has made it very clear to them that it is OK if they do change their minds), worried that they are just learning to "play the system" some more, and worried about the impact this will have on my 2- and 4-year old children, especially with all the conflict that will certainly be there.


The kids are onto the truth.  Just stay your course and be yourselves.  They're starting to see the players for who they are.

Regardless of dad, clearly they're not happy with mom.  The fact that dad is turning out to be an OK guy is curious to them and they're considering their options.

Kids are smart, they do what they do to survive.  Naturally, it's in their best interest to keep mom happy so the home life is tolerable.

I doubt mom is going to let go of them if she's trying to turn them against you.  Mom sounds like she's threatened by you.  I've heard that most judge's won't listen to kids until they're 12-14 y.o.

I wouldn't give my kids an option whether or not to see me, I don't think it's right that your DH empowered his children like that.  The visits need to be consistent and frequent.  The kids may feel like dad abandoned them even tho they said they didn't want to go by you.  I"m sure they were just projecting their mother's words and attitudes.

Don't be nervous.  I think you're feeling vunerable because of the games the Ex is orchestrating.


I agree with Joni.  If there is court ordered visitation, use it.  Even if they say they don't want to come, explain that they need to, they'll have a great time, etc.  They're not old enough to make that kind of decision yet.  Especially taking into consideration what may be BM putting in their heads.  MAKE them come, they may resist at first, but they'll come around.  

Secondly, as far as them moving in with you... if that's what they want, and BM is cool with it, then great.  Otherwise, you've got a big fight ahead of you.  At 10 & 12 yrs old, they are NOT old enough to decide where they want to live.  They're barely old enough to even have a voice in court, let alone be the deciding factor.  A person can not DECIDE where they want to live until they are 18, in most states (14 in GA.)  The 12-14 age range is the average age judges will let the children have a voice in what is going on.  Depending on their age and maturity level, their desires will either weigh heavily on the judges decision, or have very little weight at all.  

Bottom line, your husband should not be putting this on them telling them they are old enough to decide.  This puts them in the middle of their mom and dad at very young, impressionable ages.  Where the girls live is a very adult decision and needs to be handled by the adults in their lives.  You all should take what they want into condiseration, the courts probably will not.  Good luck.


It was not my husband's idea to let them to decide when they want to visit.  It was BM's, even though my husband repeatedly pointed out that she had just signed an agreement (3 months before) that stipulated the girls are not to make that decision.  They are old enough, however, that my husband cannot just show up and drag them out to the car, especially with BM saying they didn't have to come.  (We also could not afford to drive up there every weekend to have them not be at home.  And we do know that at least the first weekend they refused to come, they were at an unknown friend's house that night.)  So my husband decided to be patient about it--not a lot of choice.

Our previous attorney(s) advised us that in our state at age 9 the children can be heard in court, and the judge will generally not go against the child's wishes by the time they are 12-13.  My husband has never brought up the subject before, and has been very careful not to push the girls.  (As I said, he has only jokingly mentioned it in the past.)  His parents were divorced and he knows it is perfectly normal to want to know what it is like to live with the other parent, so he has been waiting.  SDs are the ones who asked; my husband was pleased, but still surprised.

I know there will be a big battle ahead.  Unfortunately for everyone....  Really, how many of us on this website would be here if the "adults" in the children's lives could work together to make important decisions?  My SDs BM has her canned responses ("You're manipulative.  You always have an excuse.  You're a bad father.  I have stepped up to the plate.  You don't do anything.") and there is no getting around them.  When my husband tries to express a concern, big or small, she usually ends up throwing out one of the above-mentioned comments, then hangs up on him.  Then we cannot speak to the girls for X days, or we get served court papers, etc. etc.  And my husband has been in court enough times because of that woman, that he has a very realistic view of what may or may not happen in court.  Those are a few reasons I am very nervous about this new little twist.


Well at your skds ages they are learning what is really going on, or at least in most cases (some 10yr olds have the mentallity of 5yrs depending on the parenting in most cases the CP)

My son is 12 and has figured out exactly what is going on with is dad (his dad just now decided to be a dad after years of me trying to get him involved)

My son loves his dad, however he knows who will always be there for him.

I am from a divorced family and I was with my mom most of the time, HOWEVER I never questions whether or not my dad loved me, I knew no matter what I would have his unconditional love and never questioned it. I went to live with him when I was 15. lol actually my parents lived so close to each other I kinda went 50/50 with them. But whenever I called him to come over I could no matter what time of night.

Sounds like your stepkids are onto moms games and are finally seeing that Dad isn't what mom is saying and they are coming to their own conculsions, let bm continue to dig herself her own grave and document.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**


Please use that courtordered visitaion.  My Ds, aged 14 tried to refuse a visit last Spring.  I pushed the issue.  Dad gothim back in his car adn was gonna leave with him.  After a lot of craziness I called the police for a keep the peace assist.  The office told me my son didn't want to come with me but by the court order he had to make him.

When we got home all I did was say to my son, " Son, you aren't in any trouble.  I love you and we will get through whatever is bothering you."  He dissolved into tears and held onto me for 10 minutes crying like a baby.

He never wanted to refuse that visit.  He was put up to it by SM and dad.  We hd a great time that weekend and every time since them.