My children want to live with their Dad, he is never home, what do I do?

Valerie Ann - posted on 09/26/2012 ( 62 moms have responded )

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I need all the advice I can get! I am in a tough situation. Financially, things have been really hard. I am not in the best of situations to take care of my children like they deserve. I have been trying to find a job for months and to no avail. It's hard being a single Mom and to need a job that will coincide around your children's schedules. I have no available family to watch them and the cost of daycare is out of the question. My daughter is 12 and son is 11. My youngest son is 5 but he is from my last relationship. With the financial hardships, it's been quite a challenge to adjust. We went from a beautiful 2,000 sq ft home to an apt less than a 1,000 sq ft. I have tried to instill in their minds that material things do not make you happy. Their Father buys their love. Now they are at that age where material things seem to matter more than anything else. So they are demanding to live with him. But he works as a commercial fisherman and his job requires him to be gone year round. I have full custody established through the court system. He is putting it in their heads that they can come live with him anytime and that his soon to be wife can raise them. Advice anyone???

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Elissa - posted on 09/27/2012

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I can't tell what country you are in... so I hope that this is helpful....

I am also a single parent, raising 3 children... aged 16, 13 and 6. I have a part time job.

Unfit Mother means that you are not meeting the emotional and physical needs of your children.... having less money is not a reason for anyone to take your children.

At 11 and 12, they are still not old enough to make the decisions about what is best for them. They are children... they have parents, and it is their parents (both) responsibility to make decisions for them that are in their best interest. It is unfair to everyone for him to suggest that a step parent can replace a parent... she can't. Nor does she have any legal claim to do that.

Do not shy away from court... you are not his wife, girlfriend, or subordinate... you need to do what is in yours and the kids best interest... not his. Maybe he doesn't want to go to court because he makes more money than he is telling you about.... do you know for sure that he is paying the right amount of child support? Secondly, Child support is there to help you cover the expenses of raising your children... THAT INCLUDES RENT!!! YOU CAN'T RAISE THEM IN A HOLE!!!!

It sounds to me, like you need to get very resourceful and find out where the community supports are for families that are in your situation. Google financial assistance for single parents or help for low income families... look for government and municiple programs that might be available. For every bill that you pay, look at who sends you the bill and if they have programs to reduce the payment. Look at going back to school... often, especially if you can't find a job, this is the best place for you. There are grants and loans available and you get to upgrade your skills at the same time. Look for programs at municiple pools and recreation centers... I found one that gave me a $150 credit for each of my family members that means they can go to the rec center to hang out with friends and the entrance fees and skate rentals etc are all PAID FOR... they just need to give their names at the desk. Schools will often give kids meal cards for free (same card that other students have to pay for). Look for rental assistance programs, free health and dental programs for low income families. You have a computer... that's a huge blessing!! Figure out how to use coupons!! Every bit helps.... you may not be able to go spend a couple hundred on new ipods, but you don't have to.

Jodi - posted on 09/26/2012

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Valerie, is he paying child support to you to help with the cost of raising the kids? It sounds like you are trying to do this all alone.

And do NOT sign anything without legal advice. I can understand your ex not wanting to go to court, with what that costs, BUT it sounds like he is pressuring you. You don't want to sign anything like what your ex is suggesting. Definitely seek legal advice, but get your OWN lawyer.

Amber - posted on 09/27/2012

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Actually, if your children are around the fiance you do have a right to know why her son is not in the picture. It could effect her ability to be abound your children legally. I have a friend who was able to bar the new fiance from being around her son during visits because of the fiances alcohol abuse and the fact that she was only allowed supervised visits with her own dd.

I live in Oklahoma her went parents split the court assigns a parent coordinator. It is a mediation that has some ability to make decision when the parents can not agree or there are issues like yours, They report to the judge and usually the judge agrees with there findings. either party can dispute the decision made by the coordinator and have a judge review it. In most cases here it is vary beneficial to the parents and the children. It sounds like you have a very strong case to have visits suspended temporally and possibly permanently.

I lived with my dad and step mom for a year. During that time I did not bond with my dad. I was just another person in the house to him. Truthfully it was not until I had my oldest son that i realized how bad he treated everyone around him. We had a falling out when my son was just over a year old. I did not speak to him again for two years. Then it was only to tell him that he had another grandson and let him meet him if he wanted. He has not contacted me since. That was ten years ago. Honestly my children are not missing anything from him being gone. This way he does not get to make them feel less important than what they really are.

Bobbie - posted on 10/15/2012

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My brother in law is a state trooper who served as Sheriff for two terms. I spoke to him about the things communicated here. His advice was to file an order of protection. It covers yourself, your children, all children in your home,your property and hold him finacially responsible for any damage he does to it. It also keeps him from all of your family, your sitters, daycare provider, schools and after school activities that you or your children take part in. Best of all he is permitted by law to not call you or your children, if he does he can be arrested.

You need your ex name, where he can be found(hang outs, business), his address and also very helpful make and model of car as well as plate and a photo of him. With this information they serve him within 24 hours, without it they have to hunt him down first. Take this info to the Sheriff's department and request an order of protection State that you wish to place the order to protect your children predominantly as well as yourself. They will serve him the paper free of charge. Appearance in court will be required after serving him and you need not get a lawyer as social services will be called upon represent you because you are protecting your children as well as yourself. Once in court your ex will have to explain his actions, his verbal assaults, the children's treatment but especially the previous court ordered portions that he abuses and neglects to comply to. I was surprise to learn that he thought the protection order will be the best approach for you. He said it is not widely known that the judge has the right to over turn previous legal documents, such as your divorce and custody agreement and set new visitation orders, restraints on phone access, increase you child support based on his previous last two years income tax return, which he will have to bring to court and even force your ex into anger management classes by order. The rulings of this judge would override any previous documents and if your ex doesn't comply to this order, which can be put into place for a year and reinstated every year that, he gets a lot more than a legal threat from you to go to court. He gets a bench warrant out for his arrest. In addition, prior to court while he has been served the papers it will legally ban him from contacting you or your children in anyway. If he calls you, comes to your house or any of your family's homes he will be immediately arrested for being in contempt of a standing filing to a protection order. He said to relay to you that past abuse of any physical kind should be mentioned first when you file. You should bring a witness to his actions, such as your mother and especially the cases against him when charged for abuse even if it wasn't against you, it shows a pattern. He said to make a note to yourself of what you what you see as the most important in order to the least of importance to file against him so you can readily read it off to the clerk .

Once you have the order if you ever need to call 911 tell them you have an order of protection and they take these calls more seriously with a quicker response time so he can do no harm emotionally or physically if he comes to your home or tries to pick your kids up from school.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
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Kelly - posted on 11/05/2012

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It doesn't sound like an ideal situation as an alternative. Does his father have any off time where he is home? Maybe you can let him stay there part time when his father is home and maybe arrange something like that instead of it being a full time thing.

Vanessa Jacky - posted on 10/30/2012

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I don't know about the legalities. But, from conversations I've had with friends in similar circumstances, it seems you've got to put your children first. And placing them in a home with a "new" mother is not in their best interest. They are 11 and 12 and children will shift their attention from one spouse to the other throughout life, but through it all, don't you want your children to know that there is one secure person in their life. And that's you. Materialism is a big deal at the age, but a little hardship and appreciation for what we do have will teach them more in the long run. Keep looking for that job, life will be easier with it. And don't be afraid to reach out to your community. And there are ways to fill in the material needs with love, and humor, and a careful ear. You can do it!

Mother have always found a way to do it and always will.

(Think about when you son is 25 and thinking, Wow, despite the odds, how did my Mom do it? She is so strong and she loved us so much.)

Tara S - posted on 10/30/2012

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Don't do it!! I was in a similar situation and have bee. Living in hell without my kids and now it's almost impossible to get them back.

Jessica - posted on 10/26/2012

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I can definitely understand why you feel bad for not being able to give them everything, however as long as you can feed them and put a roof over their head, they are being cared for and everything else is a luxury. Being part of a family means going through the ups and downs together and you shouldn't just give your children over to someone who can't take care of them because he is never around. I am a step mom so I'm on the other side of the fence, but I still know that it is important to have a parent who is there than it is to have one with money. As long as you are doing your best and can feed and clothe them I would stick it out. Maybe give him a little more time when he is home, but they don't need to go live there.

Linda - posted on 10/25/2012

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If you haven''t estabilished a strong bond by doing activities that don't cost money by 11 and 12. You may just have only a chance with your daughter As a single parent,. I have been told that sons will gravitate to their father At age 12 my oldest son moved out to live with his father for a couple of years. Was heart wrenching for the younger brother and I. But he returned. His Dad tried hard to get both boys. . Also for your youngest you need to move quickly.Spend time with your kids if you can. May be to late. Teenagers don't like to hang out much with parents



. Now my boys are older and still have fond memories of what kept us so close.They have memories that I made crafts starting at age 3 to 11 I think. .,Gave them crayons and stickers and made lots of Cards for their relatives. Or we baked cookies together. Summer and Fall we rode our bikes to through trails and trails and brought a picnic!. Or we went to the library, got books, or free videos to borrow. Activities kept us together keeps you close.Made ourselves great memories through rain and snow. Keeps you and your kids in shape. You have to start young way before age 11 and 12. And listen to them talk. We also went to summer Bible camp every year "family camp" I am not real religious. But hey, it was some of the greatest days. We did this every year from age three to age 16. The camp remembered us and looked forward to seeing my kids grow up.

. We lived in cheap housing. I raised my kids alone. I moved from their Dad's town. Best 10 years of quality time with my children. I didn't work full time. I went to local Adult Education as often as I could,upgraded for College. Reason was I didn't want my kids raised by daycare. They went a couple times a week for plays and enjoy other group activites.

So yea after a legal seperation your standard of living drops. But my kids look back and don't think they were poor. They say they missed nothing because they felt so loved. They learned continuity and reliability. That I was reliable. All kids want is quality time. Not a frazzled parent who feels sorry for themselves. They remember an encouraging parent who knows how to have fun and play basketball, taught them to swim, bake! Just try and enjoy them when they are young. Bike with your kids! Whatever you can do to be active with them. My kids looked at parents who never baked, never biked or spent time with their kids. They felt sorry for the "lock and key: rich lonely kids. Those are the poor kids. They go home to nothing,no supper waiting.



I lived on poor but my kids knew I went to school and kept educated and fit. Summers they took swimmiming lessons. Government programs helped pay for some swimming lessons.I am grateful and pay it forward. My kids are admired lifeguards who contribute their skill.and respectable teenagers. A single parent needs to invest in their kids first. Quality time is what my boys remember. Trust me it paid off.



I hope this helps. Time is precious, gather yourself and fight for all its worth!

Bobbie - posted on 10/17/2012

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I had a conversation with my daughter in law today about the many efforts that you can come up with to generate income when you don't have a job. We laughed when we realized just how much both of us had done on our own that made ends meet more than little. Both of us kept up these jobs until we had full time jobs.

My kids were age 3 and 7 when I became a single mom. I made little slips of paper with a neat handwriting to keep in my purse. When I wasn't job hunting I was posting on boards inside of convenient stores, grocery stores, laundromats, that I was single mom looking for provide added income. In the months before Christmas, as it is now, I really hit the streets hard to earn a good word of mouth for odd jobs. I started out going to an elderly lady's home in the morning to get her out of bed, into her wheelchair, feed her breakfast and wait for her daycare bus to arrive. I soon found work cleaning elderly person's homes, doing their laundry, deep cleaning when they already had a cleaning lady. I offered services like cleaning all drapes and windows, ironing them and rehanging as well as light fixtures. Due to my finances I allowed for the fact the people provided all washing machines, dryers, irons, detergents and cleaners at their home and that I would charge even less if they paid me by the job rather than by the hour. Never do housework by the hour, learned that the hard way.

When my son was 3 I took him along to care for the elderly woman. She dearly loved him. I had jobs working in the a.m. and was always home for my daughter to arrive home from school. This gave me the freedom to cash on hand everyday that I did a job to cover those school things that come up all the time. When my son was school age and only going 1/2 day K I kept him out of school on the days that I had a morning house cleaning job or care for a person that would have any risk of not being there to pick him up. The schools don't need to know why your child missed just 2 or 3 days in a grading period.

This time of the year is great for getting the word out that you can walk dogs, feed cats, house sit and preform daily checks on property while they are away for the holidays. I made great money simply walking my son in his stroller and holding the leash of tiny dogs that wore out easily.

I went to adult daycare centers and asked the front desk if they would allow me to leave my information on the many caring and duties that patients family usually had to deal with like getting them ready for the care bus, being there to watch over them until the family member got off from work. One elderly woman I saw every morning at 8:15 and sat with her watching children's programs on her tv for my son while she told me great stories of her life. Her daughter didn't have anyone to care for her until 9:00. For that 45 minutes I was paid $40 every Monday for the upcoming week. Paid in advance regardless if I spent 5 minutes or 2 hours due to delays.

Yesterday a VERY PREGNANT WOMAN came through my neighborhood pushing a stroller with a toddler in it. She was leaving a slip of notebook paper with her cell phone number and the simple notation, "must find work - unemployed, no job too small" That is what sparked our discussion on making ends meet anyway you safely can for your kids without relying on child support. I was so proud of my daughter in law when she told me that when she was laid off in the summer, even though she had to put her 14 month old in backpack to line up the jobs. She then hired a teenager at $5 an hour who lived in the same neighborhood to care for her baby while she mowed in the mornings for two hours. She mowed each for just $12 but in 2 hours she could easily complete 5 jobs and clear $50 after paying the teenager $10.

In one week she was able to make the next month's rent!~!

Look for jobs that your son can go along with you before or after school.

In the evenings you can always be home with your kids and still make the money you need for Christmas, rent and other needs.

Bobbie - posted on 10/17/2012

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I just don't think you are getting how things are and how they work. Your ex or others are getting you confused with LIES!

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS - custody

HIS LEGAL RIGHTS - visitation



WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON"T COMPLY AND REFUSE HIM CONTACT AND VISITATION DUE TO HIS ACTIONS? - NOTHING! He can't have you arrested. He can't call the police it is not something they will get into with him. He can only do one thing and that is to file a "failure to comply with visitation" order against you. IF he does he will have to wait until the court schedules a hearing. Meanwhile you have custody, you have all rights to your children and he has no rights! GET IT!

When and if he files he has to show up in court as do you on the date scheduled AND NEITHER ONE OF YOU NEED A LAWYER!!!! You will be asked to explain to the judge why you stopped visistaion and cut off communciations. This is your golden chance to tell the judge WHY and then he will make his ruling. The worst that can happen is that you go back to the same visitation guidelines but the best that can happen is that judge hears your children speak to you about living with their faither that you have evidence of and the judge correcting the current situation by forcing your ex to act properly and make him fully comply. THAT IS IT. IF PEOPLE TELL YOU THAT YOU WILL GO TO JAIL, HAVE TO GET A LAWYER AND ALL THAT NONSENSE THEY ARE NOT KNOWLEDGEABLE OR THEY KNOW THE LAW AND DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW IT!!!!!!!



SIMPLY CUT HIM OFF FROM SEEING, SPEAKING TO THE KIDS UNTIL YOU GET THEM STRAIGHT THEN WARN THEM THAT FURTHER ACTING OUT WILL MEAN THEY AGAIN GET CUT OFF FROM THEIR FATHER. AND FOR GODS SAKE STOP TALKING TO HIM!!!! HE HAS NO RIGHT TO CALL YOU FOR ANYTHING!!!!!

THIS IS HOW IT IS - FACTS

Question: You have custody and he has legally enforced visitation. How does that visitation get enforced when you don't comply?

Answer: He can only file a "failure to comply" order against you and have you served to stand before the judge. YOU DON'T NEED A LAWYER!!!! When he files, IF HE FILES to bring you to court, the judge will hear WHY you aren't complying. REASONS ARE BECAUSE HE ISN'T COMPLYING AND IS DOING THE CHILDREN HARM.





YOU are complying AND THEN ALSO BENDING OVER BACKWARD for his visitation while he is not complying to all legal language in the custody papers with his demands and actions.

Kylie - posted on 10/16/2012

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Hey, stay strong as your children grow older and wiser they will see him for all he is, maybe try extra babysitting thou school hours n this pays cash most times, n ask work n income or ird if u can get extra help worth a try, you will get thou this just doesnt feel like it know.. Are you able to move closer to family or take in a boarder...LIfe is set to try us sometimes and kids grow outta toys but never love n they will know u feed them n look after them when they where sick..And chjild support is used for rent and food and power as those are the everyday things u give your children..

Valerie Ann - posted on 10/15/2012

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I live in Oregon...I am looking into getting legal help through Legal Aid Services of Oregon. I hope they can be of great help! Because things are getting much worse.

Gemma - posted on 10/06/2012

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You don't need money and a nice home to bring your kids ups, all they need is there mum that loves them so much... Sounds to me like there dad is trying to buy what connection you have got with your kids and he hasn't!!

[deleted account]

You don't really even need a lawyer, just file the papers in court and leave it to the court to decide how much support he is supposed to give you. You sound like you want the kids but it's just hard "right" now. As a single mom who went through what you are going through. I wouldn't have made it without my kids. As hard as it was to support them at times. I hope you can hang in there I wish you luck

Bobbie - posted on 10/05/2012

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I have to say that with all this craziness going on with the dad the children are at a great advantage by you being with them full time. Regardless of the financial struggle they are being nurtured and cared for 24/7 by a strong mother. That is paramount to their emotional, physical and psychological well being. What children don't allow want more things? Even those parents with a healthy bank acct but good common sense keep their children from getting too much.

My ex gave my children unbelievable things. They had so much it was criminal. It could have very easily warped their sense of what love means.

I think not working isn't a negative as it allows focus and consistency for your children after an emotional loss and a relocation. You are still making ends meet while looking for employment. Only your ex sees you being jobless as a negative. He isn't taking into account your recent move to be near your family so each person can be there for the other with emotional support after the passing of your father. What this move did for your children was to show them the importance of family and how one draws closer to those they love for support when they face the passing of a love one. To think you are going to just jump back into any job that will give you money regardless of how your children would respond, or go without parental guidance shows his and his woman's ineffectual ability to gauge a situation and do what is best for the children. Some may think that since the oldest is at the legal age in most states to be left alone and to care for a younger sibling that this gives you the green light to leave them unattended. Never, and I do mean never, has been leaving children of any age unattended been for the best for them. They are the ones effected.

I recently read a question where a mother was going to school a lot and working part time and didn't understand why her girls age 10 and 14 were so distant and mean to her. These girls are of legal age to be alone but the impact felt is deep and scaring.

Keep doing what you are doing. Sometime soon a job will arise that is a good fit for you and your children.

Valerie Ann - posted on 10/05/2012

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My children are 12, 11 and 5. My two youngsters school does offer extended before after-school care that runs from 6:30 am to 6 pm. But my youngest son is in pm kindergarten. The district offers full-time kindergarten but it is tuition based and there's a waiting list. The before and after school care full-time costs $288.00 a month per sibling with a 20% sibling discount. There is a YMCA but not in the city we live in. It's about 20 minutes away. My kids do get along with their soon to be stepmom but it's more of a buddy relationship type. And they haven't spent time with her on a regular basis, it's sporadic because of their Dad's occupation. I am not sure how she would be able to handle to all of the sudden play that full-time Motherly role when she doesn't even have anything to do with her own 13 year old son, who has lived with his own Father since he was 3. That's a whole other story though. I would be okay with leaving my oldest daughter at home for a few hours but not my other two sons.

Keri - posted on 10/05/2012

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Your kids sound like they are school age, so is your daycare situation more of an after-school situation? Schools usually have after school/extended day programs that are either run by the school or an outside company like the YMCA or something and usually run until about 6 or so. With public school it's usually free or a very minimal cost so you should look into this first. Since you have full custody, there would have to be a custody hearing before any permanent living arrangements are changed. The other worry there is knowing whether this soon to be stepmom and your kids get along - would they listen to and respect her or would they try to make a playmate out of her rather than a parent? I'll add that by the time I was 11/12 I coming home from school and was alone for the couple hours between the time I got home and my mom got home from work. I have an older brother but that's all and we were able to take care of ourselves and one another during that short time. Maybe you could put the older kids in charge of the younger one. Hope some of this helps.

Bobbie - posted on 10/04/2012

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@Janice,

Give yourself a chance to level out emotionally. Then send your son a HAND WRITTEN Letter of your emotions and his feelings of wanting to try it as being the only reason you let him go. Also let him know that you are always there for him. That you want to LISTEN anytime he wants to talk, day or night. Tell him you realize that everyone makes mistakes and your heart is telling you that you have made one by letting him go. That being without him is very hard but you will give him the time to work through how he feels. You will be there to support him no matter what his choice.

Though it is tough please don't feel like a failure. A good parent knows when to let their little ones try their wings. Stay connected and present in his life regardless of where he has chosen to live. YOU as the parent now take on full responsibility to write, send him cards, text or call him on a regular basis. That doesn't mean getting involved his home life and contacting his dad or step to see how he is doing. Of course they will sugar coat things and get defensive it isn't going as well as they had hoped. Set the goal to stay out of the fray to keep your son from feeling once again in the middle and torn.

I still send my children cards on a regular basis just to say Hey and I love you. Never underestimate the power of the handwritten word to our loved ones. Just having something with your handwriting on it can sometimes bring them comfort and a different level of feeling that a voice on the phone.

Janice - posted on 10/04/2012

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I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. Just last night I let my oldest son, who is 12, go to live with his father and I am devastated! I have been crying so hard that my eyes are practically swollen shut. I have been having many of the same problems you described above. I did not let him go to solve the problems, but rather to hopefully give him some insight. He has been so hateful lately and thinks, just like your children, that the grass will be greener on the other side. I finally decided to let him see for himself. I hope and pray that I made the right decision and that he will eventually decide to come home. Like you, their dad is gone with work a lot and he will be staying with his soon to be step mom. If anyone has any ideas on how to cope with this I would love the advice. I feel like a failure as a mom right now....

Bobbie - posted on 09/30/2012

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His circumstance may have IMPROVED but he has no change in circumstance for custody.



Found this on file from my custody battle - copied portion below from lawyer



What You Need To Prove

Since you filed the Motion for Change of Custody, you must prove

the reason or reasons for that request. You must convince the

Judge that:

• circumstances have changed regarding the child or

residential parent since the original custody order

granting your ex-spouse custody

AND

• as a result of those changes, it is now in the best

interests of the child or children that you get custody

AND

• the change of environment would cause more good

than harm to the child or children.

Examples of circumstances that justify a change in custody:

Your ex-spouse is:

º currently in jail or has been convicted of a crime;

º has been charged with child neglect or abuse;

º is drinking or using drugs excessively; or

º is in the hospital for some physical or mental incapacity.

Your child:

º is not doing well in school; or

º has been declared unruly or delinquent.



CHECK OUT THIS PART I FOUND - SOUND FAMILIAR VALERIE?



If you and your ex-spouse agree on the change of custody,

your testimony and the testimony of your ex-spouse should be

enough to get custody changed.

BUT REMEMBER

If your ex-spouse cannot or will not appear in court, have

him/her write a paper stating that he/she agrees to the

change of custody. Get that statement notarized (sign the paper in

front of a notary public who will also sign and stamp the

document).p

Valerie Ann - posted on 09/30/2012

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That's a great story! Really makes you open your eyes. His change of circumstances are that yes, he has been in a stable, loving relationship and can provide a stable and loving two person home and that he makes good money and can provide them with whatever they need. I had questioned him why he hasn't offered to pay for our daughter's braces if he is so concerned about her well-bring? (She has needed them since she was 9, she is now 12). I found a reputable orthodontist and gave him the forms to fill out to get her in for a consultation two years ago. He returned them unfilled. His answer today was that he does not know the orthodontist and would rather her live with him and take her to someone in his town. Ridiculous. He also stated the fact that our daughter has been in three different schools will show I am not stable. The first school she went to, she went from K-2. We relocated during the summer. Resided in Portland for three years. Relocated during Spring Break in March of '10 to where I have resided since. My Mother lives less than 15 minutes away and so does my sister and brother and their families. That's why I moved here. He states they need to live with him where they can have a house to grow up in for the rest of their childhood and know that they won't have to change schools and move. Does that make me a bad Mother? No!

Bobbie - posted on 09/30/2012

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@Dove, I love your response too!

When you mentioned that if he wanted the kids he would have to go to court to get custody, and pay her lawyer fees it reminded me of something very important for Valerie to know.

I know from personal experience that this would be impossible for him to do.

My ex and I had joint custody during our legal separation but my lawyer had overlooked adding the provision about either parent moving. My ex took my kids and relocated 800 miles away. He had "primary residence" until the end of the school year to ensure that the kids were able to catch the bus at his house and the school district not change. I of course applied immediately for full custody. I was shocked to find on the day of court that the judge was not moved by the fact that my children were just moved so far away for him to take a job. That I had to travel 9 hours once a month and stay with them in a hotel for the weekend in order to see them. That their father had changed their schools mid year when that was the main reason for the 'primary residence" wording. To me that was plenty of reasons to request for a change in custody. After hearing just my side the judge said he couldn't rule to change custody due to the fact that there had been no change in circumstance that reflected a need to change the standing order from the previous judge. (ex did sign over full custody to me when the court wouldn't give him custody or child support)

Point here is, that even if her ex found a lawyer to take his case, and his money, and he went to court to file for custody the judge would ask for the change in circumstances to which there are none. It would be funny to watch him tell the judge, " I am getting married and I have more money. The judge would throw his butt out of the courtroom for wasting his time.

Bobbie - posted on 09/30/2012

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@Bonnie, Kudos ! Well said!



@Valerie, follow Bonnie's advice and give yourself that pat on your back and add one from me and all of us here at Circle of Moms that know your pain, see your strength and applaud you for the mother you are.

Bobbie - posted on 09/30/2012

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So glad to hear you are keeping your children with you no matter what they think they want, you have all that they need.



I watched a young man coming to terms with a bad relationship with his mother on a showed about "fixing my life". He said something very powerful to his mother in response to her saying that she thought his father should raise him since he could give him more, provide him with a college education and all the things he needed growing up. This grown man told her through tears, "I could have lived in a cardboard box under a bridge and been happy if it allowed me to be with you".

Bonnie - posted on 09/30/2012

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I too posted wanting to help before reading your posts and response to others postings. Stand your ground. Your children probably have enough friends but need you to be extra strong for all of you in your being their the parent. Don't allow your ex or whomever he is with to humiliate or discourage you, most of all don't allow them to make you second guess your Mothering skills. Children can live without stuff...........its love, respect, support and being there for them that they need and will remember forever. Hang in there and find someone whom you can talk to and trust, and then give yourself a pat on the back for trying to do what is the best for your children.

Valerie Ann - posted on 09/30/2012

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Thank you to all you Mom's for all your awesome and encouraging words! I can breathe a little better knowing and realizing what is best for my children and that is to stay where they belong, with me! They are my world and just because you are married and have lots of money does not make a family! Lots of love and kindness along with positive structure and discipline do and that's what I have always provided!

Lori - posted on 09/30/2012

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It irritates me when an ex pig says that child support should not pay your rent. Paying rent puts a roof over his children's head! He should have no say in how that money is spent unless you were treating yourself to mani's and pedi's ect. You divorced this man because of his drug problem and women. I know things are hard for you right now but can you live day in and out knowing that your children are living with this man even on a trail basis. You may not be able to buy them expensive clothes or dream vacations, but you give them love. My husband and I are having a hard time financially and gave thought to letting my sister keep our two kids until we could get back on our feet. When it came down to it, I could not let my babies go. They had a roof over their head, foot in the bellies and our love. That should be enough. Good Luck and I will be saying a prayer for you!

Bonnie - posted on 09/30/2012

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Say no and stick to your guns. If your childrens Dad had a job that allowed him to be home and around them I would think differently about your sitiuation. (Not that another woman should raise your kids but about the situation of time spent with the Father) but you are their Mother and no matter what pitfalls come your way there are ways to make a happy and stable home happen. I do believe that it is important for you to work things our with their Dad and that they should get to be with him as much as possible when he is not away. You can share with them that you understand that they love their Dad and want to be with hin and that you know he it is important for him to have them with him also, but that you are thier Mom and will continue to fight for them to be with you. Whether we like it or not when we have children in a relationship that ends in a divorce we are forever connected to the other parent. A positive communication relationship only solidifies the foundation for the children in knowing that both parents care and want the very best for them. I must say also that if you are lucky enough that the step-mom does geniunely love your kids and was willing to care for them as her own you are lucky in knowing that when they are there they are welcomed with love and respect, Good luck in your decision and in your future. Blessings

Nicola - posted on 09/29/2012

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Hi Valerie,

I'm just responding again as I've just read more of your posts.



My previous response was about you getting some restbite, however this one is about your ex and court.



I really doubt that your ex would get custody due to his past convictions and his history with the police, the domestic violence, and his current fiancé having her child removed from her. 

Yes, your probably right when you say that it's why he wants you to sign the kids over to him behind the courts back.



I can't see that anything needs to change unless he files a court application. 



And if he does, you can always respond yourself .. You sound like your an articulate and intellectual woman, and with all the proof that you have you can do it if need be!



An alternative to getting a lawyer or representing yourself,  is requesting court support from the womens resource services, and once in court, you will likely be allocated a legal aid lawyer. (particulary regarding your exs circumstances).



In the meantime, it doesn't sound like he will Persue any court action, because chances are, he will lose.



He's got a phone to communicate with the kids. 

Inform him that correspondence via a simple text message for drop off and pick up is sufficient. 



Email for other parental correspondence but remain factual only.

Even if he threatens or demands, remain factual and stick to your current court order patenting plan, and refer back to it when he tries to manipulate. 



Closing the control that he has over you will feel fantastic! 

Don't sweat the small stuff hunni, (his threats feel monumental but in reality he has very little accountability) 



You deserve to be free and start a new life with your little ones. 

Patricia - posted on 09/29/2012

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explain to them what it is like and the dads sould be helpout more with money for what the kids need i would never let mine go

Dove - posted on 09/29/2012

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If you haven't already... explain to the kids that the court gave you full custody... which means they live with you. End of discussion no matter what their father puts in their heads. If he wants to have the kids.... let him know he is welcome to take you to court... as long as he pays YOUR lawyer fees since he has no legitimate reason to change the custody orders.



As for the rest of your posts.... I'm sorry! I have no idea what else to suggest that hasn't already been mentioned.

Nicola - posted on 09/29/2012

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It sounds to me like you need some support and maybe some time to recover from all that you have had to endure. 

Do you have family in another state or area who could provide you with a bit of restbite and have the kids for a month or even a week?



From what you have explained, it sounds like you ex is grinding you down in every way.. Financially, emotionally, physically and mentally.



You sound like a your a fantastic, responsible and strong mother, but over years under your exs controlling ways, i agree that hes pushed you into a corner of defeat. 



My father has always said to me "never make big decisions when emotional or stressed"



This is a huge decision and one which, if you give your ex temporary full custody or full custody, you may be manipulated further and lose your kids.



For your kids to be expressing material wants is normal for they're age. 

And kids will often be lured by less rules and gifts. But us as responsible parents know better and see life as a bigger picture. 

We want our kids to grow into responsible adults and rules are a part of that. 

But from what you have expressed, that's exactly what you have been teaching them from the day they were born. 



His past abuse, and his ways don't sound like your kids would be better off with him. And for him to say that when he's away for months at a time, a new partner will care for the kids. That sounds like warning bells for huge future issues for your children. 



Try and get some time out, it's hard to keep going as a mother when your faced with consistent conflict and exhaustion when the light at the end of the tunnel isn't there.



With a bit of restbite and peace, it will help you to make a better decision, because at the moment "your expected to run when they've cut off your legs" (so to speak) of course your going to grab the first hand that offers a release. But it's still his game.. It's a strategy. But to grab his hand.. My have worse consequences for you and your children.



I wish you some peace of mind and hope xx

Sue - posted on 09/29/2012

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Hi Valerie,

I feel for you! Just FYI: My husband used to be a shrimper/crabber and he made good money! Usually about $1400 - $2500 + per trip, depending on how much they pulled in of course and how big the shrimp boat is. He worked on a 90' boat. A trip was usually about 7 - 10 days. They came home when the boat was full.

You need to get a lawyer. you are low income so the gals are right, you are entitled to free legal service and the recorder for the abuse is a great idea, but ask a lawyer if it would be admissible. A lawyer can supeona(sp.) his income records. You're children are at that age that material things matter especially when they see other kids at school getting these things. Even if you do a trial visit once a month as someone suggested, the kids will eventually learn it's not so great with Dad.

BUT: make him go to court! DO NOT sign anything! You have to stand up to him and do not back down. You have to be strong for your children and teach them that the way he talks about you and to you is not right.

Good luck! Keep us posted. hugs to you!!

Laura - posted on 09/29/2012

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I can relate to your troubles and everything changed for me when I began to see my lack of material wealth as a blessing. I joke with my kids that we are like Diary of a Wimpy Kid - when with me they are like the Wimpy Kid's family (free day at the municipal pool) and when with dad they are like Rowley (country club pool). I tell them they are lucky to have the best of both worlds. I place my trust in the Lord to provide and I find fun in looking for free events to do with the children. When we go to the grocery store they ask for a million things and we make it a joke - I will give them one special thing each that they want. I make up for what I lack in finances with Love and teachings of Jesus Christ who says it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. I urge you to find a good Bible-based Church for yourself and your children if you haven't already so you can begin to see the blessings of a humble lifestyle.

Malinda - posted on 09/29/2012

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Child support pays for food clothing and shelter, he can not dictate what you spend the money on, ...oh child support pays light gas washing powder! get it?

Bobbie - posted on 09/28/2012

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Valerie,

Here is the Oregon.gov information on Children's protective services~at the page dealing with children being around domestic violence / abuse. There are however many other pages of information. Maybe something there will just what you need to have him investigated through the state agencies meant to protect our children when we can't pay a lawyer.

http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/children/pages...



Also, when I stated that your children have a case worker/lawyer I meant through social services, child support division. If you aren't going through them for child support payments you can start and get the increase without paying anyone to file it. Does he pay through the state and they mail you a check? I sure hope you don't have to jump through hoops to get your support straight from him! If so then social services is the way to go. They will force him to pay the proper amount, put a bench warrant out for his arrest if he doesn't pay, and best of all, visitation and support will be two different issues in court. Say he doesn't pay and he gets hauled into court on nonpayment. He can't whine to the judge that you are keeping the children from him. The judge won't address it. Let him take you to court for visitation and pay his own lawyer. You can then show up without a lawyer but with all your evidence past and present as to why you are not allowing your children into that unsafe environment

Here is the Oregon state law page on child support laws. This is the legal response to the question of visitation and child support payment...........



Do I still have to pay my ex-spouse child support if she keeps me away from my children?



Yes. Be sure not to confuse child support obligations with custody and visitation. They are two separate legal issues. If you have visitation rights and your ex-spouse is keeping you from them, you need to petition the court to enforce your visitation rights. That being said, every parent has an obligation to support his or her children. Keeping your children from seeing you is not an excuse for you to not pay the court ordered child support. Remember, it is what the court has ordered you to do, and not following the order could subject you to jail time. If the custodial parent disappears with your child for any lengthy period of time, the court may rule that you temporarily are excused from paying child support. Just remember, that if your ex-spouse is interfering with your visitation rights, this does not affect your legal obligation to pay child support. The proper remedy is to keep paying child support and have the court enforce your visitation rights.

http://family.findlaw.com/child-support/...

D'Etta - posted on 09/28/2012

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Ok. 1. Seek financial aid. I'm not sure what state you are in, but they have programs to help you find work, and they help pay for daycare. 2. Child support is to help you support your kids. This includes putting food in their mouths, clothes on their back, and a roof over their heads, and whatever else you deem appropriate so don't let him make you feel guilty for using child support to help pay rent! 3. Calmly explain to your children that Daddy cannot take them because he works away. Explain that to your ex too. Would it REALLY be better for your kids to be raised by a step parent and part-time dad rather than yourself? You do whatever you feel is best. Legally, they are almost at the age where the court would have them decide for themselves anyway but until he takes you to court, I would keep the arrangement as it has been and use whatever resources are available in your state to find a job and pay for daycare.

Rose - posted on 09/28/2012

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I hear what you are saying BUT! If you do this then the children will have the control and so will your X. IF this is what you want then let it be. BUT you can sit them down and tell them that you love them, you realize it is not easy right now but that their dad is only trying to buy them to keep from paying child support.. His new wife may want them now but who is to say in the long run how long she will want them around- Tell them that he is not home alot due to his job and so the answer is NO! Now if he wants to take you to court-- get a attorney and counter sue for increased child support-I currently have 2 daughters going thru this.. There is a job out there for you that will work for the kids.. Hang in there-

Tori - posted on 09/28/2012

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I just read through some of your other posts. Wow. I would keep my kids away from him much as possible. Put your foot down! But continue to show them your love. Allowing them to live with him is like allowing them to use drugs: you would not want your children to be hurt emotionally, mentally, or physically. Continue to be honest with them, remind them that you are there for them and what your plans are. Keep them involved in this process of transition in their lives (steps of moving forward). It seems like they may be hurting, continue with counseling. They may be saying they want to live with him out of stress, anger or to hurt you. Sometimes kids blame one parent for the disruption in their lives and its usually the one they love the most.

Tori - posted on 09/28/2012

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P.S. You sound like a very articulate, intelligent woman! Maybe consider administrative assistant work! Good luck!

Tori - posted on 09/28/2012

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Hey Valerie, I am so sorry to hear that you are having a tough time. Its crazy how unfair life can be. I think that Elissa has alot of great ideas. Not sure where you are, but in NY there are alot of programs that can assist you. First off, I would say to check if there are any social services out there to help you with finding a job. I was in a similar situation with my daughter, and its terrible how money plays a role. Get online and do tons of research! hopefully there are free rec centers, job assistance programs, and other social services in your area. Perseverance means everything right now. Giving up your children could not only scar you, but them as well. Honestly, and not to be petty, but I would allow them an extended stay with their dad so they can see more of what he is like. And they need to know that he does not respect you. You can't keep them in a bubble forever (i know we all want to!!). Its hard to keep going sometimes, but Im sure that you love your children and it seems like keeping them with you (and away from a racist, controlling father) is in their best interest. I know that at the end of the day, money means confidence. I felt awful not having a job to support my then 4 year old, so I can't imagine having to deal with the pressure of 2 adolescents asking for so many things. So I implore you to keep researching and asking around for any free programs to improve your skills and hopefully help you land a job. Not sure what your talents are, but the health field is a great place to start. I know its rough, but be strong, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. God Bless, and always remember who you are.

Elissa - posted on 09/28/2012

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It is my understanding that people who qualify for social assistance in the states get a free lawyer to deal with child support issues. If legal aide can't help, it might be worth going there....

Venitra - posted on 09/27/2012

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Girl I wish that I could help all I can do is just provide proof that he's not there full time....

Valerie Ann - posted on 09/27/2012

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I have one video recording of a pick up while the police were present. I can't think of anyway to have future ones recorded without it being unseen. A recorder in my pocket is a great idea though! When we separated in 2004, I was working at the time and was able to afford a lawyer to retain sole custody and so forth. I went to see an attorney through Oregon Modest Means last year but even still, it was too expensive. There is a program called Legal Aid Services in the county I reside in but help is very limited although I will look into it again. I also contacted a Women's Advocate agency and explained my situation. They have volunteers to come along on drop offs and pick ups so that would be a great resource too. I will look into that nationwide free service. My daughter was also in counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder that involved all the issues while I was still in a relationship with her Father and all the aftermath after I left him. Plenty of records in that sense. I agree as well that it will only be more detrimental to my kids to keep being exposed to all of this non-sense. It just seems that it costs money I cannot afford to get the legal help I need. I have always wanted to request anger management classes, drug tests and have supervised visits. His fiance has a 13 year old son that she has nothing to do with and my ex told me it was none of my business to know why she doesn't. That's another issue I want looked into.

Bobbie - posted on 09/27/2012

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pick up ~ drop offs question. Anyway to have someone unseen by him to record it?

Oregon state law is unknown to me but maybe a recorder in your pocket to catch the nasty verbal exchange?

I agree with Amber, try to have the visitation suspended until they can be investigated.

I know of a situation where a parent of two children was verbally abusive. The other parent upon return of her child had an "emergency custody hearing" to block her husband from seeing the children. She also added the risk of physical abuse with proof of his arrests for it recently. Within three days of her filing her children were evaluated and found to be effected by their fathers abuse. His rights to visitation were suspended until he appeared before a judge on the charges and completed the anger management and parenting classes the judge sentenced out. Your children have a lawyer through the system ,do they not? Perhaps you can speak to someone in the free family court time that they offer one day per week at the court house. I was told that was a nationwide free service.

Bobbie - posted on 09/27/2012

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At first I stated I thought they should get a chance to stay with dad for a month. But after reading your additional info and the posts from those that have taken the stance that they should not go with dad at alll, I have to agree with them 100%.

Valerie Ann - posted on 09/27/2012

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My 12 year old daughter is very mature for her age and very stubborn and strong willed. She has been a challenge to say the least but I have always stood my ground. I know she will appreciate how disciplined I am with her someday. But yes, his love and approval is what my children want. What is a parent coordinate? Like a mediator? I have notebooks full of documentations on all the bad mouthing involving drop off and pick ups, phone calls, etc. I have witnesses (friends and family) that have been exposed to pick ups and drop offs. So you went to live with your Dad when you were 14?

Amber - posted on 09/27/2012

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Valerie,

I was the child in a situation similar to yours. My bio d was a dead beat. However he never put my mom down or ever made her out to be the bad guy. My mom still tried to protect me from him the best she could. When I was 14 I demanded the chance to go live with him. I wanted his approval and love. I am now grown I have 3 kids of my own and I can honestly tell you I wish with all my heart she had said no. I was a strong willed teenager and very hard on my mom. But as an adult I appreciate her no's more than the times she said yes.



It does not sound like your ex is a very safe person for them to live with. From what you have said he sounds abusive to you and the children. Find out if the court can provide you with a parent coordinate. You maybe able to have his visitations suspended. Then they will not have to listen to him bad mouthing you. The courts take a very dim view of that.

Good luck

Valerie Ann - posted on 09/27/2012

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There are many reasons he wants to avoid court. Number one being he makes way more then what he has told the division of child support. He actually incorporated himself years ago for tax purposes and I found his company profile info and it shows how much his company grosses each year, etc. I printed all the info out along with forms to have my child support reviewed and modified. The last modification we had was in 2007 and he claimed he only made $26,000. He is self-employed and I know a lot of people who are self-employed that can write off many things as expenses. I live in Oregon and so does he. But we are in different cities and counties. I have used many resources. I have been on section 8 Housing Assistance waiting list for over 2 years. My kids are on the Healthy Kids Program which thankfully they are totally covered. They do get free lunches at school as well. I am a coupon freak:) I get low-income energy assistance and even a discount on my cell phone! And yes we are on Food Stamps. The town we live in, our Parks and Recreation Center has a lot of great programs that offer grants and low-income discounts. I had to take a break from school. My Father became very ill with cancer and I used all the free time I could to help my Mother. Sadly he passed away this last December. I have less than a year of school left. I just need to go back and finish my degree in Health Care Administration. My children have seen their Father's dark side many times. But he has a way of manipulating them to the point where they are afraid to stand up to him. It's a very difficult situation. Another reason why he wouldn't want to go to court is because of the domestic violence records he has not only with me but with his fiance. That would be a huge factor against him. He has been verbally abusive towards our kids, makes racist remarks, puts them down...makes fun of what they like to do for hobbies but yet they still yearn for his approval. It's really sad. Him and I can't even communicate. He blocked my number. He bought a cell for for our kids to share and he communicates through the kids to me which I have expressed he can't do. And his fiance chimes in on everything. She makes everything her business and makes it a point to put me down right along with him. I dread the times my children go visit them because every time they come back, they have horrible attitudes and treat me as if I am a horrible Mom. Because of all the bad mouthing that occurs in his household. I am not a drug user. I drink beer once in a blue moon. I don't go out and party. I am literally a stay at home Mom who does the best she can to raise her kids. I have a wonderful man in my life who I have been with for two years now and he supports me emotionally 100% and has done so many wonderful things for our children and I. We plan to get a house of our own next summer. I didn't want to transfer my kids to a different school so I opted to stay another school year for them. My boyfriend lives about 30 min away in a different school district obviously. We plan to relocate to Beaverton/Hillsboro area. This weekend my ex is to have them for visitation...not looking forward to it at all.

Elissa - posted on 09/27/2012

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I also want to point out since I am reading that you have full custody of your kids that you have the responsibility to make sure that you kids are being raised in an appropriate and safe setting where they are being guided to make good decisions with their life and where they have emotional support and people who care about their wellbeing... You were given custody by the court... that means it is your job. It is very easy to throw stones at the parent that is actually raising the children, and to think you can do better when you aren't in it and doing it. I think that it is important for kids to know about the dirty parts of their stories before they are 12... so that they have the information necessary to make the choices they are going to start to make... this means knowing who their dad is... if it is not safe for them to know this first hand, they need to get the information some other way...

Valerie Ann - posted on 09/27/2012

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Thank you Jeanenne! It's sad that my children can't see the reality of it all. A part of me can't bear the thought of exposing his racist, narcissistic and controlling behaviors to them because they are too scared to stand up to him. But yet the other part of me wants me to give them a chance to see that it won't be a bed of roses. Right now they just see the materialistic sides of things and beings that they only see him a minimum amount of time through out every year, there's no structure, no discipline...it's all fun and games. They can do what ever they want @ their Dad's. They don't have to do chores so yeah I'm the parent with all the rules and it sucks to be at Mom's type of situation. It's really unfair how us Moms are made out to be bad. I have raised my children on my own since they were born. My ex and I were together for 5 years before we had kids and another 4 after. He was never home. Always gone crabbing and fishing. When he was home, he wasn't involved like he should have been. And now he acts as if he is Father of The Year. He has never been involved in their schools, never attended a parent teacher conference, last year our son signed up for Basketball...his Dad didn't come to any of his games. I keep in contact with all their teachers and make sure they succeed in school. They have always got good grades. They are all up to date with their immunizations and dental check ups. But yet I am labeled as an unfit Mother because I am unable to find a job? Am I supposed to leave my kids at home to fend for themselves? I know a lot of single parents and married parents that do so. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. All I can do is stay strong and never ever give in!

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