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CUSTODY....does he deserve it?
January 21, 2005
8:04 pm
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readyforachange
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My STBX wants to have the normal custody schedule after the divorce is final. Since I filed the restraining order, he has been allowed to have the kids every Tuesday night from 5-9 p.m., and every other weekend. The kids never want to go to his house....he either spends his time sleeping and there is nothing for them to do, or he goes out and leaves them behind. He is living with his mother right now, but when the divorce is final, he will move out and get a place of his own. He gets up and goes to work on Sunday morning at about 1 a.m., and will be leaving them alone in the house. I understand they are 14 and 11, but I still think there needs to be an adult in the house.

This weekend, they were supposed to be with him. My son made arrangements to go out with friends, and then have a friend sleep over at my house. He asked his dad's permission, and his dad said he could stay at my house "the whole freaking weekend" and he "never needed to come to his house again". My son was upset. My daughter thought she was going to be invited to spend the night with a friend, but that fell through. STBX called her earlier to see what was going on with her plans for the night, but she told him she didn't know yet. When she found out her plans fell through, she called her dad and he wasn't home. Grandma told her taht he was out for the evening. She called his cell phone, and left a message. He hasn't called her back. Now she feels like he found something better to do than spend the weekend with her.

He has called the company and disconnected our satellite TV twice in the past few months, just to be onery. He knows I don't watch it, but the kids do, so he's only hurting them. He says totally inappropriate things to them, and he's still going to get joint custody. I just hate sending them to his house!!! And to top it all off, in violation of the restraining order, he calls me all the time to tell me I'd better have them ready for him at such and such a time if they've asked permission to do something else on his weekends.

I feel like his weekends should be his responsibility. That's why I have them call to ask permission if they want to do something. If he says it's okay for them to spend the night, he should pick them up and take them where they need to be, not expect me to drive them to him. I just don't get this whole game....will it get better?

January 21, 2005
8:09 pm
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lostinthismess
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sounds like he doesn't deserve it but unfortunatly the laws will give it to him anyway. Good Luck and God Bless

January 21, 2005
8:12 pm
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readyforachange
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I know, I know. He has done so many things to hurt all of us, but the law doesn't look at that. He doesn't beat them, so he's a model dad in the court's eyes. It is just frustrating to me. Thanks for responding.

January 21, 2005
8:29 pm
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Phalic_Liberator
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Document everything. He sounds really perverse. You may have to settle for joint custody for the time being but if you're careful, and can document these inconsistencies in his behavior, you may have grounds to pursue later on.

I hope, for your kids sake, that you two can reach a phase of ammocability but that not being the case the best you can do for them is to keep a log fully deadicated to his inappropriate behavior.

I know it may be hard but you should focus on keeping your difficulties with him away from your children as much as possible. I'm sure your doing it anyway but maintaining the appearance of neutrality where their father is concerned will be helpful with them in the long run and avoid recrimination and counter-litigation material should it ever become necessary to file for sole custody.

January 21, 2005
8:40 pm
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sewunique
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Ready,

I am sorry you and your kids are going thru all this. You said: "so he's a model Dad in the courts eyes."

I don't see how he deserves to have the children. Certainly he is showing irresponsibility here. If the courts knew his actions, they would not think of him as a good role model.

I would somehow capture what he is saying, either by tape recorder in your pocket, or just writing it down after he leaves. Let the court know how he is treating these children. He is abusing them.

This one incident you wrote about and this one brief conversation he said here, is not fair to your children to be treated this way. What he did and said to them is vindictive, cruel and just plain mean.

He is being selfish, self centered and self serving. I hope you can gain the support of your attorney to have only supervised visits. How much more will the kids have to endure from him before they finally say 'no more to go over to Dad's house"?

I don't know how to make it plainer than that. Good luck with this. I know you love your kids and are a good protecting Mom. you just need some support going your way from him.

I had an attorney once who told me that this type of parent will finally go away. Until then, he will try to make your life miserable.

Sew

January 21, 2005
8:40 pm
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sewunique
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Ready,

I am sorry you and your kids are going thru all this. You said: "so he's a model Dad in the courts eyes."

I don't see how he deserves to have the children. Certainly he is showing irresponsibility here. If the courts knew his actions, they would not think of him as a good role model.

I would somehow capture what he is saying, either by tape recorder in your pocket, or just writing it down after he leaves. Let the court know how he is treating these children. He is abusing them.

This one incident you wrote about and this one brief conversation he said here, is not fair to your children to be treated this way. What he did and said to them is vindictive, cruel and just plain mean.

He is being selfish, self centered and self serving. I hope you can gain the support of your attorney to have only supervised visits. How much more will the kids have to endure from him before they finally say 'no more to go over to Dad's house"?

I don't know how to make it plainer than that. Good luck with this. I know you love your kids and are a good protecting Mom. you just need some support going your way from him.

I had an attorney once who told me that this type of parent will finally go away. Until then, he will try to make your life miserable.

Sew

January 22, 2005
8:42 am
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workinonit
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Ready, what state do you live in? The laws can vary in our country. Again, I think you should look into the use of a psychological evaluation. It can be ordered by the judge if you or your lawyer request. Now, does this happen before or after the hearing? I don't know. I'd help you look up the info though if you want.

Also, your children may be old enough to speak to the judge and decide for themselves. I know you don't want this but, give them that option if it comes to that. Wait and see what develops right now though. I think the age for decision is different state to state too.

Hang in there ready!!! He is not going to get everything he wants!!

January 22, 2005
9:41 am
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readyforachange
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Thanks everyone....I have been documenting everything he does and says, and copying all of his emails to give to my attorney. A few times, he has called me in violation of the court order, and the answering machine has recorded the whole conversation, so I do have the things he says to me on tape. My lawyer says he is ruining his relationship with his kids, and that it stinks that they have to go through this, but that the court won't take custody rights away from him for this. I live in Missouri, and I sure don't know the laws here.

I do know that my kids will refuse to go to his house unless he starts acting as if they are a priority in his life. My son was upset a few weeks ago because when he called his dad to let him know we were stuck in traffic and wouldn't be ready to be picked up at the designated time, he got a voice mail message recorded by a woman's voice that my son didn't recognize. He was even more upset when we got home, and my husband had left without him. He couldn't wait 10 minutes for him to get home from school.

Is it the codependent in me that feels GUILTY that my children are having to go through this? I start questioning whether I did the right thing by filing for divorce because I see this type of behavior that they have to endure. He used to take it all out on me, and now that I am "inaccessible" to him, he's started on the kids.

January 22, 2005
10:17 am
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sewunique
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Ready,

We are here for you. It sounds like you are getting your ducks in a row and are handling it pretty well. Not to dismiss the emotional part, tho. That I understand. I have filed last May and have been to 5 pretrials myself and know how this stuff can really take you through much turmoil.

I too have thought, why go thru this? Couldn't I have stuck it out longer and make it work, or just live with it and make it better? questions of self doubt is where I have been. But then each time I see what happens with his meaness, it only confirms my decision and validates again for me I am going what I need to do.

Women that I have talked to that have lived through a situation as yours with children tell me that their chidren spport the mom's decision. Becasue the children have gone thru this as well. Yet going back into a bad marriage is damning for the children as well, having to live with this everyday, just as you had. Does this make sense? In a bad marriage, the children suffer. With divorce they suffer. At least with the divorce, when it is over, you will all be able to move on with your lives, you and them together to a better place than you all were. Hope that helps. I know it is hard.

Sew

January 22, 2005
11:26 am
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readyforachange
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Thanks, sew....I just said goodbye to my daughter; she finally called him this morning and told him she was ready to go and he picked her up. My son has gone off to a basketball game with a friend, because his dad told him he never had to come over again.

I know it will be better in the long run, but right now is so hard... I'm at that self-doubt stage, too.

I thought you had mentioned that your STBX was a principal, or in the education field? My STBX is a teacher, and he brags about the relationship he has with his students, how they all love him and bring him candy and hang out in his room at lunch. He coaches baseball in his school district, and tells us all how much his players love him. But he never got involved in our children's teams but once, and when he did, it was a disaster. He belittled my son's teammates for not being very good, and got thrown out of games for arguing with officials. I feel bad that my kids are hearing how great he treats total strangers' children, when he can't even come to half of their events. My daughter has her DARE graduation at school this week, and he told her he couldn't be there because of work. He works until 2:00, the graduation is at 2:00. He could get there in 10 minutes, but he doesn't want to make it a priority. My son consoled her by telling her that he wasn't at his, either. I told her I'd be there with bells on. What else can I do? It's just so sad, and frustrating....but I'll be there for them.

Thanks for listening....

January 22, 2005
2:03 pm
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on my way
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Hi ready...unfortuantely, unless the guy is an axe murderer, most courts will decide that kids need both parents. Even drug addicts get to see their kids.

January 22, 2005
2:09 pm
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workinonit
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My ex told my son the same thing ready. It breaks your heart and I understand the guilt thing!! Why did I have to pick this jerk for my kids father???

Not to mention, couldn't I have just endured? No way!! My children would rather have a sane mom than a dead one. That's where I feel I was headed. A slow progressive death.

Sew is right. The kids who stay in these dysfuncytional families only grow to produce more of the same. You are showing them choices are important and sometimes those choices are hard but YOU CAN DO IT!!!

January 22, 2005
6:18 pm
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readyforachange
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Yes, I can, and I will...for my kids' sake. My daughter just got a letter in the mail that she has won a Young Achievers' award and I am so proud of her. I only hope her father can find the time to come to the awards ceremony, but I will be there for her no matter what. They will be okay, and I'll be glad I didn't allow that slow, progressive death that workin talks about. That's the way I felt, too. Thank you all.....

January 23, 2005
9:41 am
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readyforachange
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workin, one more question about the psychological evaluation you've suggested to me a few times: I don't know if I've shared this recently, but he is diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder and takes Buspar (when he feels like it), but is also an alcoholic and drinks while he is on this medication. We're hoping not to have to go to trial with this, but if we can't come to an agreement about custody, I will. He wants the kids to spend the night on Tuesdays, and he wants then for 6 full weeks in the summer. They don't want to do that at all.

So, would this psychological evaluation be something I would ask my lawyer to order for him? Would the court look at it when the decide custody? Would they read the documentation of all of the things he's done to them and to me?

This is all just so....I don't even have an adjective for this feeling. I've never been through anything like this before.

January 23, 2005
12:15 pm
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sewunique
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Ready,

Just dropping in to give you a shout; Hello! And wondering how are you holding up?

Getting back to your post to me; my STBX is a teacher, not a principle. He wouldn't want that responsibility. He likes to be teacher's Union leader and pres., has been every other year exchanging with his cousin. Nice power play, huh? He loves the negotiating part of it. More power and control, just as our marriage and pending divorce.

You teach as well. I'm a nurse. So you can imagine my disgust at my STBX's behavior being a sixth grade teacher and his history of taking soft porn pictures! Gives me a chill when I read about your situation and how he can treat your children the way he does. They both should know better in how to behave!

BTW, if you recall my first postings in October, I had found pictures (he has a darkroom) that my STBX had taken of my daughter and one college girt that he taught when she was in sixth grade. How did he keep in contact with this past student all these years? Students return to see him to visit. They all call him Mr. Wonderful at school, even the teaachers. Disgusting, isn't it?

Sorry I went off here, your story really touches my heart. You will get over this. You will survive and get thru it well.

Sew/C

January 23, 2005
2:29 pm
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readyforachange
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Sew,

Thanks for the encouragement and for sharing your story with me...I did remember about the pictures, and you are right...WE WILL BOTH GET OVER THIS!

My STBX is a 6th grade teacher of history too, is that a weird coincidence or what? And he is - according to his reports - the most popular teacher at school. He's only been teaching for about 4 years, as he has had 9 different jobs in the 17 years we've been married.

Anyway, my son and I went to church this morning and then out to lunch. He's with me this weekend even though it's his dad's weekend. He wanted to hang out with his friends as all 14 year olds do, so his dad told him to "never come over again". And hasn't called him to talk or apologize since. So my son and I had a nice talk. He's acting like he doesn't care about his relationship with his dad, but I know he does. I just wish he had a male role model right now.

Glad you're posting again, sew...we missed you around here.

Take care.

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