Does anyone share joint custody with their ex-husband or the father of their children?

Lisa - posted on 01/29/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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The father has physical custody of them and he is a truck driver and the step mother has them 24-7, but he won't let me have them except maybe once a month. The step mother used to be into drugs and I don't trust her with my children what should I do?

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Cindy - posted on 03/15/2009

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It sounds like you share legal custody while he has sole physical custody, which is strange however not totally uncommon. The problem comes from trying to change custody, you have to PROVE your home is a BETTER place for the children, and not just as good a home and they are currently in. These women have given you good advice. Retain a lawyer, it will cost money but it will be worth it. Research good family lawyers in your area, most of the time if you call and explain your situation they will at least talk to you for free to begin with. Save the money, pay the retainer and go to court. Get a custody agreement (the standered seems to be every other weekend, and one day every other week). It sounds like the 2 of you live close to each other so this shouldn't be a problem, also make your self involved. You are legally entitled to be an emergency contact on everything, and he can't stop you from going to activities the kids are involved in, awards days at school and those kinds of things. Do everything you would do if the kids were still livign with you, but go above and beyond. Also request drug testing of ALL adults, yourself included, AND you can request a DSS case worker to make visits to both homes, and have supervised visitation so that your parenting can be documented. The new wife has ZERO legal rights when it comes to the children, and if you have a custody order you CAN go to the police, and have them come with you to enfore it on the new wife. If you do NOT have a visitation agreement, on paper and signed by a judge go straight to court, file the paper work yourself if you have to.

Beth - posted on 03/11/2009

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Go to court! You should have a visitation order in place - and I would stop at nothing to make sure that your children do not have much contact with the step mother. While I realize that you can't completely cut her out since they are married - you can use that to take away his physical custody of the children so you will take over.

Heather - posted on 03/07/2009

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If not to personal how long have the 2 of you been seperated? I know where I live you can go in and change your child support and custody arrangement every 3 years (that is if elidgable to do so) The other thing is to start talking to your ex and see if you could rebuild a friendship between the 2 of you and see if you could change the joint custody so that you could see your child more then once a month.

Dawn - posted on 02/27/2009

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I have been struggling with a similiar issue with my ex... we both have shared custody of our 2 children but I have physical custody... he is a chef and is never there on his weekend.  According to my attorney... as long he provides care for the children it does not matter who the kids are with.  I tried fighting for something called first rights to access where if the children are being cared for by someone other then their father for more then 4 hours then I get the kids... unfortunately unless this is stipulated PRIOR to an settlement agreements...more then likely it does not matter who cares for the children while in the fathers care... UNLESS you can prove otherwise that the kids are in harms way.... Dawn

Jennifer - posted on 02/27/2009

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If you have proof take him to court. We have the right to first refusal so anytime they are with one of us and we can not watch them we have to let the other one have the chance. I think this is something you could have added. It is hard to make happen but it might help.

Shannon - posted on 02/26/2009

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If you qualify for legal aide, start there. Call your local Legal Aide department and get help to file for visitation or for shared custody at least. If you can afford a lawyer, I'll tell you this - if he fights you, it will be a long drawn-out expen$ive process. I've been throught it, believe me. It took me THREE YEARS to get my custody situation figured out.

Gwen - posted on 02/04/2009

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I agree- go back to court IF the situation doesn't work for your kids.  AND IMO request drug testing of ALL the adults (I assume you'd be willing to take one too).  That should solve all your problems right there!



Personally, I get a little irked when someone smokes in the car with my kid, no way in HELL would I put up with illegal drug use around him. 

Cheryl - posted on 02/04/2009

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It sounds like an unfortunate delema that you are in. I would be distressed about it also. I think that as soon as you could, get a lawyer and try to find out anything you can to get your baby back if your children are under the care of someone other then the father, ask a lawyer and he will beable to help you with your problem at best. Hope everything works out well for you in the end. :)



Cheryl

Melanie - posted on 01/29/2009

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Go to court and fight to get shared custody or visitation on a more regular basis. Maybe you can get an order stipulating that they need to reside with you when he's away for business. I have custody, but we make joint decision and he has regular visitation every other weekend and a set holiday schedule that we alternate. Sometimes you can settle things with just a meeting and sometimes it takes a judge. I've found that the longer you're a part, the easier it gets.

Connie - posted on 01/29/2009

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take him to court and fight for your share of custody.  Talk to a family law counselor.



Ask your child questions, see if she's happy or content over there.  If she IS than don't panic over it.  My son's step mother has him most of the time when he goes there, I know she smokes marijuanna and she used to around him but I've threatened CPS on her if she smokes it in the same room and now she doesn't anymore...I know cuz I ask my son all the time and he now says she doesn't, plus I no longer smell it on him.  It's so hard but the best thing we can do as mom's is consider their safety first and not get the kids too much involved in the dramatics of the whole divorce situation.  I always tell my son how lucky he is to have 2 moms and 2 dads that love him so much.  Even though I really want to say "Your dad is such a LOOSER, you'll see one day, don't EVER be like him!!"  But I dont, i bite my lip and when we have arguments I try to not discuss it around our son.

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