Parental Alienation how can I stop my ex from cutting me out of my son's life?

Denise - posted on 11/19/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My ex- has completely cut me out of my son's life and his new wife does everything she can to make me feel like dirt. They have custody of my son and won't even let him call me or anyone in my family. The court system is not helpful when you have no money to fight and the ex is in another state. I send greeting cards by way of my ex's grandmother since she is the only address I have for anyone in his family.

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Laura - posted on 12/10/2009

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I'm a lawyer (in Texas). Although my practice is in commercial real estate law, I do some pro bono family law work. Every state, every jurisdiction, has legal aid offices and pro bono programs through the bar association through which people on limited incomes can get legal assistance with things like this. If you lost custody through the courts, you still should have been given visitation rights. If you did, and he's not abiding by the court order, you can get help from the court to make him. The only reason a noncustodial parent would NOT be given visitation rights would be because the court found some seriously bad behavior on that noncustodial parent's part. If that's the case, and you've "cleaned up your act," so to speak, you can go back to the court to petition for a modification to the order. If you don't have funds to pursue this, you need to call legal aid and/or the local bar association and get some pro bono help if you qualify. Generally, if you qualify for this type of pro bono assistance, the courts will waive filing fees, etc., as well. And the fact that you have no address for your ex is not necessarily a problem. The laws provide for notification by publication, etc. A lawyer could help you figure out a way to get your ex served.

If all you say about what's happened is true, it truly sucks, but there are ways you can get help to get it fixed.

Sharon - posted on 12/10/2009

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So you weren't telling the truth. He has legal custody. Maybe he lied to get it, it happens a lot.

I don't see how you can fight this. You lost. You can't prove anything. It must be horribly frustrating. I can't begin to imagine the frustration level.

More men have been in your position and totally understand how you feel. The way my guy friends dealt with stuff like this was to just wait. Eventually the kid(s)begin to ask questions the parent can't answer or they get frustrated and reintroduce the child to the missing parent. OR the child has to search on his own when he turns into an adult.

Your ex likes doing things quick & dirty. I doubt he'll hang in there for the long haul. And wish him much joy with the woman who won him through adultery. She'll never trust him 100%. And knowing how dirty he treated you, she'll walk on glass trying to keep him happy so she can keep her child. Her life is a misery whether it shows or not.

Every time he is late, deployed she'll spin off into the nightmares of him sleeping with other women and he probably is. Lets hope he comes home with syphillis.

Becky - posted on 12/10/2009

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Sorry......I didn't read everything before I responded......being ex-militery myself......my ex-husband being ex-military and friends that went through this very same thing while in the military......this doesn't sound right. The fact that he commited adultry during your marriage is a no-no with the military, him being given custody(ODD) while being able to be deployed at any time usually makes them an unstable invironment (simply meaning that they are not gareenteed to stay in one place very long before haveing to leave). As far as civil litgation goes...contact another attorney because this sounds odd as well....the whole situation is civilian due to it not being a military issue.....so that should probaby be your first step. There is multiple cases that have and are going on with the men and women that are overseas as we speak and they have to have someone able to represent them in the states while they are gone (parent,attorney,spouse).I'm thinking......if things are as you say....you had an extemely lazy lawyer/ attorney to begin with......you need to find a different one....and it needs to be onewilling to go the extra step.....when you do this for visitation,custody whatever it may be your after talk to them about anything and everything that happened .....from him getting with his wife while you were still married to every little thing involved up to now.....anything you give them will help them build a bigger, stronger case against him.

Becky - posted on 12/10/2009

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I am not sure what state you are from or their laws but unless you were proven unfit or a danger to the baby they can not keep you from seeing,talking or corisponding with them. If I was you I would call an attorney and ask for their advice, many will do this at no charge......they may also be able to steer you towards one that does pro bono(free) work. If that doesn't work.....sorry but I need to ask .......do you pay child support? if you do call your state child support recovery center and ask if they could explain some of the laws......they will know more about the other state that is involved and their laws(states are always different) and may even be able to help you find an affordable attorney.....sorry to say ( and no I am not judging you or assuming anything) i am just saying ....but it sounds like there may be a little more to the story? I am saying this only because it is usually pretty hard to get a child away from the mother unless they are proven unable to care for them....if that is the case then you need to work at getting yourself stablised as to be able to prove to the courts that are and will be safe to be with or around the child......this will be a difficult and long road for you but you can do it......for your baby ....you can do it. From what your saying they are in another state.....I know money is an issue......but if you are single with no other children it will be easier for you if you could somehow move to that state. Then the laws therein apply to you both on equal ground and attorneys will be cheaper.Most attorney's need to be able to have or get a license in the state the case is in to be able to help....from my understanding at least but I may be wrong......Hopefully someone with a legal degree sees this and can give better advice.......but for now keep your head up and try different avenues and never stop trying....it will be hard, tiring work but just keep going ....you will hit a crack somewhere and be able to get it where you can see your baby again.

Denise - posted on 12/10/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

Sorry. Whoever you talked to is lazy.

There is no 'slipped through the cracks' regarding custody of a child. Someone is lying, them or you.

The fact that he is military should have been dealt with at the time of the divorce. Any one who is military knows this.


  


First, you don't know the whole situation so how can you make such a blanket dismisal of how complicated something is when it comes to deaIing with more than one state, the military, custodial issues with children of angrily divorced parents and the legal system.  Not to mention the expense of dealing with lawyers and litigation when someone just gets by financially to start with.  I had never had to fight like this in my life. 



I have sent numerous emails to my ex asking for address so I could file for family mediation and to reconnect with my son.  He is very hostile and demeaning to me and continues to refuse to send me any kind of documents that I could respond to legally.  In our original divorce decree, I had custody and he had visitation.  When he got remarried he wanted to change that and he got real ugly with me from then on.  When I refused to give up custodial rights to him, he said he would do what ever he had to do to take him from me regardless of how good a mom I am or not.  There is so much more to the situation than just simple cut and dry stuff.  When he defamed my character and got custody the way he did, it was such a blow to me personally I was on the brink of a full nervous breakdown. 



Not everyone who has had an military involvement knows how that system works.  We separated a year after he went in to the Army and divorced more than 2 years later because he got deployed out of country to Korea for a year then to the Middle East.  I was told that you can't do any civil litigation while a service person is deployed  and by this time he had already fathered a child with the new woman while we were still legally married.  It was a nightmare all the way around and more complicated than I could manage or care to explain here.



He and his wife made unsubstianted claims of abuse and neglect and after fighting them for more than eight months in court I ran out of money for the legal battle.   I was so devastated by how DCF had been involved and had handled everything up to and including suddenly taking my child out of my home, not allowing me any contact supervised or otherwise, then the ordeal of going back and forth to court, my stressful job at the time, I fell apart.  They never filed any actual charges and as soon as they had him in their home in Washington State, he got deployed a couple more times and I lost them for about 2 years.  I tried following up, going through my State system that had taken him in the first place and they told me I would have to go through his state since he was no longer in their jurisdiction.  They basically handed him off and left me out in limbo land.  There are many people who get shuffled around and given the bums rush to the point where they are at a loss for how to deal with the situation.  Most of it boiled down to he had money and I did not.

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Denise - posted on 04/16/2014

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Well after 5 years, through my adult daughter, we were able to bring my son back to Florida. He stayed for most of his 8th grade school year, but was again yanked back by his father and again contact was greatly limited. Finally though, during the summer after 8th grade completed his father sent him back to me, throwing up his hands saying he was out of control and a terrible disciplinary problem. He said he'd sign him back over to me for my custody as long as I never asked for any child support again and that my son would be excluded from any inheritance should something happen to his father while still in the military. I was so glad to have my son back I jumped at the agreement and signed the papers to have him returned to my custody. His father was shortly afterward discharged from the military and out on disability.
Since my soon has been back with me, there have been absolutely no discipline problems, he has made honor roll and has been participating in AFJRROTC and doing fabulously. He was just awarded a national award this year through ROTC and he is a model citizen. I think it proves my fitness as a parent and that the other side of the story was a tall tale.

Dorothy - posted on 12/10/2009

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what if something were to happen to the father the child would legally go back to you, secondly if he is military then you have rights. Find out what command he is in and talk to the CO or the XO or anyone who will listen. Do you have to pay child support? Unless your an unfit mother if you are paying child support then you would have some type of visitation. If you have your childs Social Security Number then run his credit report. There is also a website to find persons in the military, which means if he is active duty you can keep tabs on him..

AnneMarie - posted on 12/10/2009

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It sounds like a partner who feels he has to make him "not like you" in order to be able to deal with the divorce. I'm afraid unless you can get your son back, the kindest thing you can do is let go and hope when he turns 18 you can begin to meet with him and tell him your side of a story that I can bet he has not heard.

Hayley - posted on 12/10/2009

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Apply for visitation hun, they have to stick to it, keep a diary of everything, phonecalls, texts letters everything, dates, times etc, after a certain period you can persue it.
My ex walked out last year leaving me with 4 children, i stopped him from seeing the kids for 4 months, but then thought they needed to see their dad, he was having them every other weekend for the weekend. His girlfiend has caused non stop problems and is due to have their baby soon, 8 weeks ago my ex had moved and changed his number so the kids cant get hold of him. I do feel sorry for you hun, but good luck x x x

Amanda - posted on 12/09/2009

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See if there is legal aid place that can help you with the visitation rights. I and my husband know exactly what you are going through. My husband wants to be a dad to his son and hos one night stand will not let him see his son but she wants the child support from him. Good luck to you.

Sara - posted on 12/09/2009

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I am in a situation where we have not alienated my husbands ex wife. But in all honesty either he is selfish and rude or in our situation the biological mother is a very unfit mother. I am not saying that you are unfit but he could feel that in his opinion you are. Now if he is thinking this, then show him he is wrong and keep it up. If he is just be a selfish jerk then fight for your son! He deserves to know his mommy. We make sure that our son knows his biological mother. Even tho she doesnt deserve to be around him. Good luck!

Adelaide - posted on 12/09/2009

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I'm on the other side of the world, but surely there is a good support worker in some agency that can help you along your way. Besides no matter where you live in the world we all need a support person when we're starting life on the hop. Usually a support person with credibility can be used as a character reference in court. Maybe doing self help courses. Anything to let the court no that you're responsible and not sitting around doing nothing. How do you apply for legal assistance in your country/state.GOOD LUCK!!!

Brandy - posted on 12/09/2009

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I have MANY military friends as I am an ex-military wife. Once you answer Sharons post I MIGHT be able to find out SOMETHING. I make no promises but I am certainly willing to help if I can

Sharon - posted on 12/09/2009

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Sorry. Whoever you talked to is lazy.

There is no 'slipped through the cracks' regarding custody of a child. Someone is lying, them or you.

The fact that he is military should have been dealt with at the time of the divorce. Any one who is military knows this.

In your divorce decree, who was given custody? Its stipulated it has to be, a child existed, the judge doesn't let that 'slip through the cracks'.

Denise - posted on 12/09/2009

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Quoting Lydia:

try moving close to where they are and finding someone who can provideyou with legal aid to fight fo partial custody there?


Up until a few weeks ago, I didn't even know what state they were living in.  They are military and could transfer at any time....even to just keep me out of the loop.  Moving to their location is not an option.

Denise - posted on 12/09/2009

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Quoting Natalie:

Tough situation, its sad really. He and the new bird really are cruel. Denying you your right as a mother, you haven't said you want him back and that you really care about his new bird - all you want is to see your son on a regular basis. They are very immature if you ask me, why doesn't anyone ever consider the children? and you know what when your son grows up how will they feel when he turns around and looks down on them for denying you that right, they can never bring back those lost times. Q. Surely when this custody happened you could have visiting rights??



My ex is in the military and they moved a couple of times after they got custody. There was really no custody agreement.  Just the state handing my son over to his father in another state and then telling me that since he lives in another state they no longer have any juridiction and can not give me any assitance in tracking them down. I don't have the new address and they haven't voulunteered it.  It is one of those slipped through the cracks things and I don't have the money to chase them down even to take them to court whereever it is they live.  I know that they live in TN again and are probably living near or on the same base where we were when we were together.  I tried to track them down through the military, but being active duty, they are not giving me any information, but will forward letters to them for me.  SO I guess that is a start.  I can't even file a motion though without their address.  I got nothing.  No rights, no visitation, no family mediation.  It is as if I never gave birth to him.

[deleted account]

try moving close to where they are and finding someone who can provideyou with legal aid to fight fo partial custody there?

Pam - posted on 11/22/2009

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Definitely go to legal aid, befriend a family law professional, check out resources for women in your area and women's rights organizations that may be outraged enough to fight for you. Make friends with powerful women. Going to the media can be risky, but you could do one of those milk-carton "Have you seen?" so people are aware you want to connect with him (maybe someone else has some experience with this). . Did you not have a divorce lawyer? Why would a judge grant full custody to a cheater? I'd ask to speak to the judge or someone in authority from the court case and have questions ready to ask him (I can't imagine a woman would allow this).

Offer to take your son for a while when the new baby is born because they'll be exhausted and your son may be jealous and act out so they might be willing to take you up on it.

Work with the schools, anyone you know in the vicinity of where your son lives to get access to or messages to your son away from the ex, and you should be able to get the names of his doctors and be included on all medical decisions. It's tough because the ex will probably list the new spouse as the mother, and most people won't bother to check.

Most schools have Web sites so you could find out when he's in a play, program, concert or game and go see him if it's not a hardship for you to travel there. Also, if you give him stuff in a school settting, he can keep it in a school locker away from the ex & his spouse. .

Sadly, too many parents get away with using child custody as a club to beat their ex-spouse. Kids do open their eyes eventually, though I know one dad who, with his new wife, spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to have access to his daughter when she was young, to no avail. The ex was full of games, not being home when it was his turn to pick her up, taking her out of the country, etc. BUT once she turned 18 she reconnected with her dad voluntarily and they have a great relationship now, and she and her mother don't have much of one.

Some states allow a child to pick which parent to live with when they turn 14. Find out the laws in your state and his.so you can fight for him. I'm so sorry and wish I could offer more hope, but even if you miss his childhood, you can still have the rest of his life--60+ years probably--to be with him.

Deana - posted on 11/21/2009

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do you have visitation? if not you can file for it and in some states you can do this yourself.

Christine - posted on 11/20/2009

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I'm with all the other ladies who replied, this situation is rotten. And you are right, if you don't have money to wage a legal battle, you are pretty screwed. You should keep in mind, though, like everything else in life, this will pass, it will change, I don't know how, but I do know that nothing stays the same. Your son will grow up and sooner or later his living arrangements will change and then, if not before that, you can step in, reach out, and reconnect. You will let him know that he has always been in your heart and that you tried to reach out to him and that your love for him has never gone away.

Natalie - posted on 11/19/2009

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Tough situation, its sad really. He and the new bird really are cruel. Denying you your right as a mother, you haven't said you want him back and that you really care about his new bird - all you want is to see your son on a regular basis. They are very immature if you ask me, why doesn't anyone ever consider the children? and you know what when your son grows up how will they feel when he turns around and looks down on them for denying you that right, they can never bring back those lost times. Q. Surely when this custody happened you could have visiting rights??

Denise - posted on 11/19/2009

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Thank you Natlie and Kylie for your support. My ex is one of those vindictive persons who feel that I have to pay for some feigned ill that I brought upon him through my son. We separated because he was cheating on me and we divorced when he got the replacement pregnant. I don't think there is any reasoning with him because then he would have to take some responcibility for being a lousey husband to me. It is easier if he just make me out to be the wicked witch in his mind. Lots of men are like that. They project their guilt on the mom. She made him cheat because she didn't do something right. In any case, I just think the new wife also pulls the strings with him. He steps to her orders as much as he projects his own guilt onto me. It is a tough situation and I write often and I keep a journal for my son to read some day when I can be back in his life. I also keep a blog for him. That's how I found out how the step mom is pulling the strings.

Natalie - posted on 11/19/2009

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Oh man! I feel so sorry for you Denise, how can your ex do this!? what have you possibly done to deserve this. If you don't have money, find it or loan it do whatever you have to do, fight for him. If all else fails, make videos, send lettters (and copy them) and when your son is old enough to want to know you at least he knows you tried, if you don't he'll just grow up to think you didn't care. Just do your best, he'll come back to you if not now, in the future. My heart goes out to you.

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I'm not sure how to help, but that sucks so much. Maybe try to appeal to your ex away from his new wife, try and put it to him as it would be better for your son to be in his life, you could try some legal aide with might be cheaper or free.

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