Can a mother have her custody order changed from Joint Custody, primary residence being with the father for the past 6 years, to Shared legal and physical Custody giving her the children every 2nd week, or half the month?
Given the reason for the first order, that she seperated from their father and left the children in his care while she moved a long distance from the children, this choice costing her access time with the children due to the distance of her move. Basically, she abandoned them for 3 and a half years. She has a court order to pay Child Support, but has not done so at any time.
She has been back in town for 2 and a half years and been more involved, and the father has always tried to be fair and allow her to be involved, however she will take on responsibility then pass it on to someone else, namely me. I am the primary caregiver of the children and their stepmother helping my husband raise the children, I have had all responsibility place in my lap mostly because BM has decided the responsibilities are not convenient for her, despite being given the freedom to be very involved, which she did for 2 months before passing it all along. My husband and I do 99 percent of all raising and day to day care of the children and have done so for 2 years. The mother has reasonable access as per the court order.
She is claiming that her access with the children is being resricted. Not true, I have all her visitations listed and it is exactly by the court order. That she is not being consulted on matters regarding the children, not true and I have emails of us consulting and informing her of issues with the children. She is claiming that she left due to Post Partum Depression and has a doctor to back her up on that claim. The town they originally lived in with the children has mental health services, so why move so far away? Very soon after she moved, she was in another relationship. This in our opinion, being the real reason why she left rather than the sole reason of seeking help.
On top of this, she forged an agreement that the father and mother share equal access, equal rights, and responsibilities to the children, that all child support is paid in full and no one owes the other any from the date that document was "written up". There is no witness on the document and it is untruthfull, child support has never been paid.
My husband was served with papers to change the order. I have heard that if the current situation is working for the children than they wont like changing it as it disrupts the children. The children are doing very well under our care, we work closely with the teachers to help the children with school work and they are doing well in school, they are happy, and settled. When they are with their mother, they hit her, kick her, yell at her and always give her attitude. She spoils them with toys so they want to be with her, she is arguing that the children repeatedly ask to stay with her, however, the children think that being with their mother is about toys, shopping, movies, take out food. In my opinion, the children are under false pretenses and are not of an appropriate age to know what is really best for them. They are 8 and 9. Besides that, they very rarely express the desire to live with her while with us, they have told us they are happy with the way things are now.
In all your opinion, what do you think her chances are? And what can the father do to prove they are better off staying with him as they have been for 6 years now, and to not change anything in the best interest of the children?
Edited by valentine (03/12/07 04:11 PM)