Decisions being made without me!

Kim - posted on 01/04/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am a Step-mom. My husbands ex-wife is a prescription drug addict and we now have custody of his 10 year old. I am feeling let down today. My step son has allergy induced asthma and cannot be around cigarette smoke. In the custody case the Judge ruled that noone is to smoke around him at all. His mother disregards the ruling and lets people smoke around him as well as in the car, yuck. She also lets the cat that has fleas sleep on the childs bed. He comes home with a stuffy nose and flea bites with open sores every time we pick him up. She zones out alot and passes out on the visits too. Now you know the background. My husband still sends him.aarrgghh. Our lawyer says that it is his decision and he can withhold visitation until we go back to court in Jan. 22. He had talked to his ex before the last visit and she said she had bug bombed the house and talked to his grandparents about smoking. He came home with open sores, and a stuffy nose because she had let the grandparents smoke in the house again. My husband said yesterday he gripped at her again and he is sending the child because once again the ex says I will put up a no smoking sign and wash his bed. Really......He also made this decision without talking to me. I told him its wrong and its hurting the child. He says he doesnt want to get in trouble for withholding visitation. Here is my question. Why was I not included.? Why is he still believing she will do what she says? Please help, This is causing lots of problems in our relationship! Thanks Kim

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/04/2013

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Ok, here’s the deal. The court order is what decides visitation. Not the lawyer, and not the parents themselves. Your husband’s attorney was NOT in the right by telling him to withhold visitation based on the household circumstances. That would (or could) have caused worse problems for the child. The advice to document each occurrence is the advice to follow. Your husband is correct in continuing to allow the contact, at least until the next court date. One thing to make sure of is that the diagnosis as well as the care orders are on file so that your husband can prove neglect in heeding the doctor’s instructions.

As far as why weren’t YOU consulted...honey, you’re the step mother. You have no say in the situation, in the orders, nothing. And you have no right to have a say, really. The child is not yours. You may love him like your own, and that is all to the best, but physically, the decisions must be between the ex, your spouse, and the judge. If you have concerns, document them, and have your husband present them. The only way that you “get” to have a say is if the child’s mother were to sign away her parental rights and you were to adopt the boy.

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Ev - posted on 01/04/2013

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As Michelle has said, it is the decision of dad's. My kids have a step mom too and she has tried so hard in the last 7.5 years she has been married to their dad to try to "help" make the choices where our two kids were concerned. Those particular choices such as medical issues, visitation, education and whatever else is major is between me and him. She can voice an opinion but its ultimately up to us. I know she does not like it that she can not have say or control where my two kids are concerned.

And as Michelle said, even though he could withhold visits from the mother, he is doing the right thing in continuing the visits. This way he is getting the documentation needed to prove to the judge that the child is in harm's way because of his health. Once the judge sees what is going on, I am sure the judge will make the right choice for the child.

Just hang in there. You said court was on Jan 22. Its not too far off.

Kim - posted on 01/04/2013

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Thanks for your reply. I am documenting everything. Wow that is so hard for me to let it go when I see what is happening to the child. Thanks.

Michelle - posted on 01/04/2013

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I doubt he is believing what is being said, he is just following the court order just keep documenting what is happening during the visits and I wouldn't doubt mom will lose her unsupervised access and end up with supervised visitation. You are the step parent, but you are not the parent it is his decision to make. My sons step father does not make any decisions where my son is concerned unless the decision effects the family as a whole. If there is a problem I discuss it with him but in the end the decision is still mine.

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