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done4now
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Reged: 02/13/12
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Wanted to come back here....
      #777601 - 02/13/12 08:01 PM

I was on this exact forum many years ago....7-8 years ago to be sort of exact. I had to come back to tell my happy ending. My ex and I were in a typical horribly contested custody battle. He was living in another family's home and I had signed a separation agreement giving him physical custody...did this with no lawyer...he had one though. He began to seriously restrict my "visitation" and I hunkered down for the fight of my life. Learned all I could about custody/visitation in my state. I knew I had a tough one as I had signed a paper giving him custody. But eventually, through the biggest emotional battle of my whole life, I "won". The visitation for Dad was fair/equitable and life got better. After all the drama, he got remarried and moved away. If I had known then, what I know now....I would have just relaxed...chilled out and realized that all would be fine. And to add to the happy ending...my daughter and I are moving to be closer to her Dad. Sounds wild I know...but his new wife and I are very good friends and I know my daughter needs us both. The relationship between her father and I is awesome.

So I would tell you all, struggling in what seems the worst storm you have ever faced, there is light at the end of your scarey ugly tunnel. Be fair, don't involve the children in your ugliness, and don't do anything you will regret later.....

Take care all...and to Gr8Dad....thank you for all the kicks in my a$$...they motivated me and I have to say thank you now....


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MrsB
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: done4now]
      #777602 - 02/13/12 09:08 PM

Thank you so much for sharing! It's so wonderful to hear how these things work out so many years down the road - I hope several of us here who struggle with the relationships we currently have with our ex's will be able to come back years down the road and have a positive story to share as well.

I'm happy for you! And especially, happy for your child - looks like everyone has won! :)


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M5M5
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Reged: 07/29/05
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: done4now]
      #777603 - 02/14/12 01:11 AM

This. This is why I could never totally give up on this place. Thanks for sharing...I love hearing the good stuff!

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Cassie23
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: done4now]
      #777609 - 02/14/12 05:21 AM

So I would tell you all, struggling in what seems the worst storm you have ever faced, there is light at the end of your scarey ugly tunnel. Be fair, don't involve the children in your ugliness, and don't do anything you will regret later.....

Take care all...and to Gr8Dad....thank you for all the kicks in my a$$...they motivated me and I have to say thank you now....

---------------------------------------------------------

WOW. Given many people's current situations this is extremely helpful! But...WHY did you have to go off of giving Gr8dad a big 'ole head? LOL


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done4now
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: Cassie23]
      #777612 - 02/14/12 07:31 AM

LOL Cassie23! You have no idea how furious Gr8Dad used to make me! He seemed to always want to play devil's advocate and I was sure he was just trying to piss me off. But actually he was showing me reality, he was reorienting me to what was really important....my daughter. We have to face up to our choices and always, always, always take the HIGH ROAD. I believe that is what made me victorious in my fight....I got very emotional but never vindictive.

Good luck to all who are in the midddle of their struggle/battle right now. Have faith that you will overcome......:)


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MrsB
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: done4now]
      #777614 - 02/14/12 08:02 AM

<<Good luck to all who are in the midddle of their struggle/battle right now. Have faith that you will overcome......:)
>>

You are so right! It may take years, as it did for you - and I'm sure it will for most of us, if it hasn't already - but I do have faith that everything will work out in the end! One of my new favorite quotes I ran across recently - "Everything will be ok in the end. If if isn't ok, it's not the end."

:)


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NikkiL
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: done4now]
      #777624 - 02/14/12 10:22 AM

Glad to hear everything worked out for you and your family. Gr8 is good at getting people to see the other side, like it or not. I can agree that Gr8 changed the way I looked a few things over the years. I dont always agree with him, but he does have a way of making you look at the situation from a different perspective which is helpful at times. :)

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Anything4Love
journeyman


Reged: 10/09/11
Posts: 76
Loc: Virginia
Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: NikkiL]
      #777641 - 02/14/12 12:42 PM

Thanks so much - your words are inspiring. My stbx won't let me see my kids except for a few minutes at HIS home only while HE is there until we are divorced and the state is making me wait a year for the divorce. I am so afraid he will succeed in alienating me from my kids. He was so impossible to live with I HAD to leave. Your story gives me hope.

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MrsB
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: Anything4Love]
      #777645 - 02/14/12 12:54 PM

Do you have an attorney? Why do you have to wait a year to divorce? Can you not get a temporary custody order?

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Anything4Love
journeyman


Reged: 10/09/11
Posts: 76
Loc: Virginia
Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: MrsB]
      #777646 - 02/14/12 01:17 PM

[quote]Do you have an attorney? Why do you have to wait a year to divorce? Can you not get a temporary custody order? [/quote]

I can't afford an attorney. Virginia requires one year of separation before you are eligible to be granted a divorce. As for going to court for a temporary custody order I am afraid to because he is threatening to go after his stepchildren, who are with me now, if I do that plus I'm afraid he will get a lawyer and I'll have to fight him without one and I won't have a chance.


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done4now
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: Anything4Love]
      #777648 - 02/14/12 01:47 PM

Document everything. In most cases, if the restriction on visitation is not in the best interest of the child...it will NOT look good for the parent who has custody at the time. Why is he being so restrictive? Is there some past history that is causing him to restrict your visitation?

As I said in my original post, if I knew then what I know now, I would have chilled out and not gotten so emotional about my ex's actions. Keep trying to spend time with your children, document all interactions, and try your very hardest to not lash out at your STBX.

Maryland has the 1 year separation rule as well. But you can put a separation agreement in place that can provide guidelines for the year apart...including information about custody, visitation and support of the children. You WILL need a lawyer though, I am sorry. I tried to sign an agreement with no attorney and I ended up with no rights at all.

I will say one last time...document everything. Keep trying to see your children and don't lash out at your STBX. Taking the high road will provide victory. And though the year of this might seem excrutiating, a judge will determine what is in the best interest of the children...period...


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Anything4Love
journeyman


Reged: 10/09/11
Posts: 76
Loc: Virginia
Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: done4now]
      #777651 - 02/14/12 02:11 PM

Thanks for the responses. He is being restrictive only because I live with someone else and he is angry that I left him. My other 2 children are thrilled with their new home and have reservations about visiting him because of his living environment. I agree about taking the high road - that's why I let him see his stepchildren even though he is denying visitation of my own children. I have been documenting everything in case he does get a lawyer and drag me in to court - the only hope I have is what I have been able to document about his living conditions. I feel the court ought to be a lot more concerned about those issues than the fact I am with someone else, but from what I've read Virginia courts like to impose moral judgement and I'm afraid I will come out even worse off, even though I feel his home is unfit due to a serious hoarding problem, unsanitary conditions, and a bug problem he refuses to rectify. He also got a 5 day or quit eviction notice after I left - he paid and stopped the eviction but I still feel it reflects very poorly on him that he got it in the first place. He also has what I feel is a drinking problem. Thanks again for the encouragement - I hope there is a chance I will ultimately get the joint custody and diplomatic relationship with him I am seeking.

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done4now
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: Anything4Love]
      #777659 - 02/14/12 03:40 PM

I had a similar situation but my ex had custody based on a separation agreement I signed giving him custody (long, stupid story). My ex lived in the filthy home of another family that was eventually determined too small for all the occupants by a court social worker. My ex clearly was just being vindictive because he was hurt I asked for the separation...which was proven when all was said and done and he just got married and moved away. A new woman changed everything for him...luckily.

Don't second guess the courts. I was told which judges in my county would be most lenient, most mother oriented, most father oriented but none of it was true. Have faith that the court will look at EVERYTHING and determine what is in the best interest of the children....really. Your STBX's restriction of the children will not be looked on kindly.

Don't let what others say cause you emotional trauma. There was no greater mountain to climb than mine as I had signed a document giving my ex custody...clearly meaning that I felt he was fit to have custody. And yet with his behavior I overcame one of the biggest obstacles a person can face. If you left him, who you are seeing....none of it matters...as long as the children remain your priority.

Don't ever feel that taking the high road, being fair and equitable despite his vindictiveness will not pay off....it will...I promise.

Document all you see and hear. Save any correspondence. Emails requesting time that is denied are just as good as letters. Document what your children say. Try to leave emotion out of your documentation.

And realize one year of your life is not as long as you believe. And to spare the children will be your biggest accomplishment....


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javajunkiee
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: Anything4Love]
      #777678 - 02/14/12 10:03 PM

If the home is unsanitary, seriously unsanitary and not just lived in, its a health hazard for those kids.

REPORT IT.

I'm sorry, but the way you described it brought to my mind images from a hoarder show. If you're not doing drugs in front of the kids, beating them with a lead pipe and living with a child-molesting axe-murderer, and he's a hoarder with nasty house, HE has more to worry about than you do.

At the very least, get a couple of free consults from family law attornies. You don't have to hire one if you can't afford it, but get some information about your chances in court from someone BESIDES your ex. He's only going to tell you what benefits HIM, not YOU.

Knowledge is power~

--------------------
Marriage doesn't come with a money-back guarantee.


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gr8Dad
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: javajunkiee]
      #777694 - 02/15/12 09:39 AM

Aw, shucks...you guys (blushing)...

--------------------
Why give a "senior" discount, they have had plenty of time to raise the money...


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Eve
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Re: Wanted to come back here.... [Re: gr8Dad]
      #780023 - 03/15/12 12:23 AM

Anything4love........Your stbx has absolutely no right to not allow you to see your children or spend time with them. Why are you letting him determine how long you see the, which doesn't seem like much time at all? Do not be worried about who you see or live with. Just do not bring the children there if you are concerned about that. It is crazy for you to let him decide how much time you spend with your kids. At this point, you have just as much right to be with your kids as he does. He is intimidating you and you are letting him control you. Call the police if he tries to bully you.

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