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#228660 - 05/12/07 03:30 AM Help....
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
I had a relationship with my high school sweetheart, I thought it would last 4ever. Stupidly enough. We had 3 boys, one passed due to SIDS. When we lost the 3rd, I lost my wife. So, our boys are 15 and 13. She hasnt paid cs, she hasnt seen them in over 8 years, but all of a sudden she wants custody. Our children are on the honor roll, and very active in extra-carricular activities. They are awesome kids. She is filing for custody on the groudns of something like parent alienation. I dont know what it is, can only assum she feels I forced her to not be a part of their lives. I understand she had a hard time after losing the baby but it has been 11 years. I would be willing to share the boys with her if she will take it slow with them but she wants to jump into it with both feet and I am nto sure this si a good idea. I am on a few other support groups and stuf, but thought maybe people who didnt know my whole situation might be able to give me some constructive advice. Thank you.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228661 - 05/12/07 11:51 AM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
tsl Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 2274
First off, I am sorry you lost a baby. I can understand what both of you went through during that loss as I lost a baby at 5 months (not to SIDS).

Parental Alienation: basically she is saying you deliberatly kept the children away from her. You refused to allow her have contact with them. Etc.

What weakens her case is it has been 8 years. Unless she is trying to claim she has been looking for them for 8 years b/c you move and leave no forwarding address, or you don't leave it with the Court and the support office... If I were your attorney my first question would be "It has been 8 years since you last saw the kids why wait this long to file something?!)

Do you have an attorney?
_________________________
Duct tape can't fix stupid but it can keep them out of the way."

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#228662 - 05/12/07 03:05 PM Re: Help.... [Re: tsl]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
I still live in the house we bought together. I have never moved, still have the same land-line number. I still work at the same place. I havent even officially filed for divorce, just left it as it was. I know it was harder on her losong the baby than it was on me. I loved hi,m but she stayed home with them. I just want to be able to make the best decision for our kids. I am nto going to fight her on seeing them, but I dont want her tp "play" mommy for a while and decide it isnt for her. I never filed for child support. That doesnt make me better than anyone else on this board, it just means I didnt feel the need for her to pay. I will be sympathetic to a fault with her but refuse to back down on what is best for our boys. To this day, I send all of the boys' school pictures to her mom's, copies of report cards, schedules, and most of this was sent sertified so I knew it made it. I still have the reciepts dating back to 97 or 98.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228663 - 05/12/07 03:08 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
BeckaLeigh Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6879
Loc: Texas
It sounds like you did your part of the bargain and she went through the express lane. Dont sweat it, even if she does get visitation, I cant see her getting custody after this many years. I almost understand about losing the baby, I lost mine at 6 months of pregnancy so although I knew her, I didnt.

Good luck in court. I hope you let us know how it goes.
_________________________
I tried being normal once. Worst five minutes of my life.

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#228664 - 05/12/07 03:21 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
Cinder2 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 4361
Loc: Southern California
Hi Earl,

I'm not sure, but from reading your post it sounds like no one has ever filed for divorce, child support, or custody? And your wife is filing now? Is she filing for divorce as well? I'm sorry - this must be very painful for you after 11 years to have to deal with everything again.

I think you should contact your wife or her lawyer and try to start some kind of custody process. She is their mother and has the right to see them and have a relationship with them. At 13 and 15, they are old enough to have a pretty good grasp on what is going on. Start by introducing them to their mother, either at your house or a neutral site, like lunch or something?

I think you could probably work this out without the courts and god know it will be cheaper if you can do so. Reintroduce them, let her see them as often as she wants, and see how it goes for a few months. If you stall or delay, her parental alienation case will gain more weight.

Good luck,
Cinder

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#228665 - 05/12/07 03:22 PM Re: Help.... [Re: Cinder2]
Cinder2 Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 4361
Loc: Southern California
p.s. I forgot to add - there's no way in hell she's going to win custody from you based on the facts you have given, so stop worrying about that and just worry about what shirt to wear so you look better than her when you see her again. :)

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#228666 - 05/12/07 03:30 PM Re: Help.... [Re: Cinder2]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
No filings have been done whatsoever. My lawyer wants to bring up the fact that she has not helped financially in the past years but that is the last concern I have.
As for her seeing the kids, I told her I am free most evenings and any weekends for her to get to know the boys slowly. Not at our house, or her house, but at a park or maybe something like that. She thinks since she is the mother, she has the right to waltz back in and take them when she wants. What makes her the maddest is that I refuse to argue with her. She wants to push and push and I let her but I keep my temper. I have always wanted her to be a part of their lives but she has chosen not to. She just got in touch with me for the first time in about 6 years 3 or 4 weeks ago and demanded I drop the boys off at her house. The boys did sya they dont want anything to do with her, but I have told them to give her a chance. They have agreed and know I will be there every step of the way. I am willing to work i tout without he courts' involvement but she is so insistent on her Mother's right, I dont know if it is going to be possible. She has refused to see them inthe last 3 weeks because I wont let her take them off by theirselves.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228667 - 05/12/07 03:55 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
PhoenixRising Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 01/05/07
Posts: 3681
Loc: New York
Cinder is right. You need to file for divorce and custody...

What were you thinking all these years?

You are withholding children from their mother w/ no legal right to do so...

Your motivations are pure and that works in your favor. But as this drags on, she can use your "interference" against you.

Go to court, get temporary custody. She will probably get a graduated visitation schedule... Where she starts limited and it becomes more liberal as time passes...

You have denied her for three weeks; you need to get the law on your side at this point or it will be on her side...

Do not jeopardize all the good you have done for your kids by dragging your feet at this point... You already did that for too long the way it is...

Sorry, if this sounds harsh but it is coming from someone who has had the legal system used against them by a pro. You don't want to be me.. It becomes expensive and the kids are the victims..

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#228668 - 05/12/07 04:20 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
jimmie Offline
member

Registered: 12/19/06
Posts: 117
Earl,

If you've posted all relevent facts in your situation, I would not sweat what is going on.

You seem VERY VERY reasonable and responsible. I'm sure mom cannot just waltz in and do "whatever". If this went to court, I would imagine you would get what you think would be best for the kids. Your wishes seem very level headed, and kid centered. Good luck to you!

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#228669 - 05/12/07 04:29 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
tsl Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 2274
Are the boys in therapy of any sorts? If not, I would recommend finding someone that will help in the "runification" process with their mother. Someone to talk to them about their thoughts and feelings. Maybe where you go the neutral 3rd parties way.
_________________________
Duct tape can't fix stupid but it can keep them out of the way."

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#228670 - 05/12/07 06:08 PM Re: Help.... [Re: tsl]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
The boys have ben in therapy for about 4 years now. I thought they could talk to someone who wasnt biased or however you want to say it. The therapist suggested my wife come in for a session with the boys but she refuses, so I guess we will do what we can.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228671 - 05/12/07 06:10 PM Re: Help.... [Re: jimmie]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
I dont want their mom to be out of their lives, I just dont want them being thrown into an unknown situation with someone they dont know. I want her to be a main part of their lives, she just has to understand that having given brith to them doesnt automatically mean they know her.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228672 - 05/12/07 06:18 PM Re: Help.... [Re: PhoenixRising]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
What were you thinking all these years?

I was thinking I am taking care of my boys because mom took off and has had no contact with them at all til 3 weeks ago.

You are withholding children from their mother w/ no legal right to do so...

I AM NOT withholding the boys from their mom. I have sent text after text to her, along with certified letters that I am more than willing to pay for the therapy, meet her in a neutral setting so they can all get to know one another again so she CAN have them by herself. I have never withheld them from her because until recently, she has never even asked about them. I have not denied her for three weeks, I have tried to compromise with her. If you want to see it as withholding them, you are wrong. The kids are the victims already because mom took off with no regards to them. I am more than willing to meet her more than halfway to being her back into their lives. All matters will be brought in front of the judge when we go to court. Yes, I should have filed for custody and whatever but I didnt. We will settle it, in or out of court.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228673 - 05/12/07 06:20 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
supermansdaisy Offline
addict

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 658
Loc: SC
Just want to say, Earl, that it is wonderful that you have sent the pictures and report cards, etc to the children's mother. You sound like a very caring father, and I have no doubt in my mind that you will remain the custodial parent.


Good luck!
_________________________
------------------------- A problem shared is a problem halved.

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#228674 - 05/12/07 06:22 PM Re: Help.... [Re: Cinder2]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
Thanks. i just want what is best for the boys, and that is to have both parents in theri lives. She has no drug problems but I think losing the baby really messed with her head. I am not saying she has severe mental issues, just that maybe it hurt her to be here and with the boys after losing him. I am hoing she will be reasonable about this in court.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228675 - 05/12/07 06:28 PM Re: Help.... [Re: supermansdaisy]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
Thanks for th evote of confidence. I am not saying I am a perfect parent, made mistakes of my own, i.e. not filing for divorce, custody, etc... but I have always been there for our boys. And when they ask why mom isnt there, it breaks my heart. I dotn have an explanation. I just tell them mom had some things to work out. I've never had all the right words. I wish I did but I dont. How do you tell kids that their mom pretty much abandoned them without looking like a vengeful person? I dont want them to think bad of their mom, although at times they do. But, I have never said anything cross about their mom to them. Hell, to this day I havent gotten any explanation as to why she took off. It hurts but it hurts more to see my kids suffer.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228676 - 05/12/07 06:33 PM Re: Help.... [Re: BeckaLeigh]
EarlF Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/12/07
Posts: 20
Loc: Hades
I will. And I appreciate all of the advice and constructive crticism I have recieved, even what I didnt like. The express lane? Hell, she didnt go through a lane, she hit the back door.
_________________________
Earl Very grateful for my two boys.

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#228677 - 05/12/07 06:57 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
tsl Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 2274
Earl:

IMO, step 1: contact attorney like yesterday. Talk about what steps you need to go through to file for divorce, custody, visitation and (yes) support.

Does Mom have attorney? If so, I think you need to go through your attorney to her attorney as to what is best for the boys. Maybe she'll listen to her attorney then.
I know in my experiences with my D's biofather that he would hire a new attorney (one that doesn't know the truth) and tells what he wants them to know. Then they file. Then my attorney contacts their attorney and all heck breaks loose b/c their attorney finds out they lied. See, I have had same attorney now for over 5 years. They have been through 3 attorneys in a year!
_________________________
Duct tape can't fix stupid but it can keep them out of the way."

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#228678 - 05/12/07 07:41 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
PhoenixRising Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 01/05/07
Posts: 3681
Loc: New York
I totally understand what you are saying. And I AGREE with you...

But you are looking at this as a parent. You are not looking at this legally....

You are withholding them from their mother. She asked, you denied to do so under her terms. That is withholding. As a parent, everyone here completely agrees with you..

But you have filed no paperwork, you have no LEGAL right to not comply with her request on her terms..

I am sure a court will see things your way as this point. But if she continues to compile a litany of refusals (regardless of how good the reason) the tide could turn against you.

You haven't filed anything to secure your rights in all these years. By "trying to resolve things out of court", you are giving her time to create a case against you.

I was/am a good parent but I almost lost custody because I thought that was all that mattered. I didn't have the high-priced attorneys that could make almost anything look bad against me..

You need to file for divorce and temporary custody like yesterday. You should definitely get it just based on the status quo. After that, worry about how you are going to configure visitation in your kid's best interest...

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#228679 - 05/12/07 08:37 PM Re: Help.... [Re: EarlF]
supermansdaisy Offline
addict

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 658
Loc: SC
Well you will get plenty of legal advice, I am sure. I only have one piece of advice: continue to be supportive of a mother/child relationship. Never lose sight of the fact that the most important thing is the children, and helping them to grow with love.

I wish there were more parents out there like you...:)
_________________________
------------------------- A problem shared is a problem halved.

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#228680 - 05/12/07 08:45 PM Re: Help.... [Re: PhoenixRising]
Relayer Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 9506
Loc: Moorglade Mover
Pheonix is right. You need to file. Monday if possible. If you don't have an attorney or can't afford one, you can do it pro se until you get one (or whatever).

You need to legally establish your custody, regardless if she has been away for 100 years. She can say anything she wants when she gets to court (you hid them, beat her, absued her, PAS, whatever..it's very common), so do it now.

At the same time, set up supervised visitation with the kids. If really is in their best interest anyway and after you win physical custody (which you will as long as she doesnt use the abuse card) you can expand the visitation arrangement if the boys want that. Your kids are no longer at the age where they are going to be influeced by her much anyway.

It's extremely important to establish this stuff legally. Get off your a** and do it Daddy-O...

BTW, your kids will have a LOT of input into this as far as the court is concerned. Heck, one is going to be emancipated in a couple of years..it's not like they are infants.
_________________________
GO CUBBIES!!!!

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#228681 - 05/12/07 09:38 PM Re: Help.... [Re: PhoenixRising]
jimmie Offline
member

Registered: 12/19/06
Posts: 117
I think we all are in agreement as to what Earl should do, however, letting mom know that he and the kids are available to meet with her most evenings and he would allow for her parenting time in a neutral location does not sound like withholding to me. Just because the other parent is present doesn't mean the visit didn't count. I think dad in this case can and should offer only supervised time. He is there to supervise the children, not the other parent IMOP.

Besides, not only would sending the kids off willy nilly w/ mom be potentially very upsetting to the kids, it also sets a precedence that dad is just fine with letting them go off with her (IE kids do not need introduction phase or counseling etc). The dumbest thing Earl could do is not stand his ground in this case. It wouldn't be what he honestly thinks is the right thing And I believe what he thinks IS exactly the right thing.
But of course, he needs to listen to his lawyer...

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#228682 - 05/12/07 10:59 PM Re: Help.... [Re: jimmie]
FrustratedbyPA Offline
recently joined

Registered: 04/27/07
Posts: 24
Earl, I kind of jumped in on the backside here, but it seems like you are trying to do the best for your boys. I respect that. If all divorced parents concentrated on that, not their hurt feelings or need for control, many of these people here would not need help. Myself included.

Good Luck!!!!

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#228683 - 05/13/07 03:13 AM Re: Help.... [Re: supermansdaisy]
4yroldmom Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 40
I think it depends on the state as to whether or not you Legally had to do anything. She left 8 years ago and you have records of offerings etc. of you trying to keep her involved and she wasn't. The court here says that basically I did the wrong thing by having an agreement with son's father because now I can't deny what we agreed to in court. Which is ridiculous because he hasn't excericised that right in MANY months and this goes on and on... Anyway - You are doing the right thing, but I would go see a lawyer. I know now that if we go back to mediation I'm adding a stipulation about missed visits and he can kiss it if he doesn't want to add the stipulation because IF we go back we are going to meet a state safe house where I drop off and he picks up and we don't have to speak to each other. And here if you miss or are more than 15 minutes late 2 times you automatically lose your visitation until you go back to court and can prove why you deserve it.

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#228684 - 05/13/07 03:17 AM Re: Help.... [Re: 4yroldmom]
Relayer Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 9506
Loc: Moorglade Mover
[quote]I think it depends on the state as to whether or not you Legally had to do anything. She left 8 years ago and you have records of offerings etc. of you trying to keep her involved and she wasn't. The court here says that basically I did the wrong thing by having an agreement with son's father because now I can't deny what we agreed to in court. Which is ridiculous because he hasn't excericised that right in MANY months and this goes on and on... Anyway - You are doing the right thing, but I would go see a lawyer. I know now that if we go back to mediation I'm adding a stipulation about missed visits and he can kiss it if he doesn't want to add the stipulation because IF we go back we are going to meet a state safe house where I drop off and he picks up and we don't have to speak to each other. And here if you miss or are more than 15 minutes late 2 times you automatically lose your visitation until you go back to court and can prove why you deserve it. [/quote]

No judge s going to order that. Although I agree the Dad should see his kids at each possible moment.
_________________________
GO CUBBIES!!!!

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#228685 - 05/13/07 03:20 AM Re: Help.... [Re: Relayer]
4yroldmom Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 40
Really - i've done research here. It's part of the order when you go to a safe house. If you miss it you are done until you go back to court and request it back up again.

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