Need Advice (Not a Debate!)

Lacye - posted on 08/21/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Ok ladies! From most of the communities I've been on, you guys have the most common sense. I just need a little bit of encouragement because right now the hubby and I are about to get into a major throw down with his ex.

So it starts off, my husband's ex will not allow his daughter to come visit us without his ex coming as well. There has been nothing we could do about it until recently. Anytime we've wanted to see his other daughter, we've gone to where they live (which is 3 and a half hours away and with the way gas prices have been it hasn't been very often). When we have tried to discuss this issue about my step daughter coming here to visit without her coming, the mother said no and if we wanted it to change we would have to take her to court. So earlier this year, I say it was around January, we contacted Legal Aid in our state and we just now finally got a lawyer to take our case. Woo Hoo! As of right now, hubby's ex does not know about any of this. We have been keeping it from her for as long as we possibly can. We already know how she is going to react when she finds out and it's not going to be pretty. I know what we are doing is the right thing. My husband loves his daughter and wants to be a part of her life.

If any of you can give me some suggestions that I can give to my husband, like what we should do about visitation or just anything in general, please let me know. Thanks all!

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JuLeah - posted on 08/22/2011

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Fear is a BIG motivator. We all make choices based in fear from time to time, and when we do, they are seldom the 'right' choice; meaning, they don't actually help move the situation forward, but create more fear.

Now we all know this

Safety is a BIG motivator - we will do a LOT to feel safe in the world. I have figured out with my ex that she feels safe when she is 'right' when she is in control, when she feels she has the upper hand. Jacked up? Yah, but it is what it is - I can not compete with her feeling of safety and most things I have done in the past cause her to feel her safety is in danger and she reacts big time

Court is all about fear. It is not ever about the best interests of the child, or the best interests of anyone really, except the folks getting paid for their time, but at the end of the day, they go home and families are left to rebuild

Can you husband connect with the child via the net? Photos, letters, phone calls?

Can he show up for school functions? Yah, 3+ hr is a hike, but it is his kid.

Maybe your husband can start a book club with his kid ... they pick a book to read, agree to read X number of chapters by ... call on the phone and discuss it. I don't know her age, but will guess the book will be more for her then him, but it is connection

Can they play chess long distance?

Does she have an on-line game he can join to play - my kid has a Build a Bear she play with on-line. I got one and join her there - she is at the ex's house I am home ....

Does he get vacation time with her? They can plan that out.

They can pick a topic of study, something she loves. He can send her worksheets, color books, stickers on that theme ... outer space, Disney, dogs, horses ... whatever

Can he take pictures as he goes about his day to send to her, let her know he is thinking of her?

There are many ways to be involved, but the courts ... they don't really solve anything, usually make things worse. I have learned that love is the only way out and through a mess like this - compassion and love which means letting go of who is right, letting go of pride and keeping your focus on the child -

[deleted account]

Considering the sheer numbers of kids who are molested, I don't think the judge will give any weight to the BM's "issue" with your husband's childhood trauma. There has to be something more than a bad event in someone's life to disqualify them as a parent. By the BM's logic, a women who was raped could never be a good parent because the women might molest their child.

[deleted account]

Marina - I SOOO know what you're talking about! lol

As far as advice here, I agree with the other ladies. You and your hubby need to always take the high road (no badmouthing BM and stuff like that). I love the saying "Kill her (or him) with kidness" especially in custody things because then if the other parent does something horrible (i.e. restricting the child's time with the other parent) then it only makes THEM look bad. Along these same lines, no matter how tempting it is (and I know it can be very tempting sometimes) never stoop to BM's level and NEVER respond to any sort of communication she sends you (and I mean you directly, not your hubby - your hubby should ignore any communication from her that doesn't pretain to the child though).

Also, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT! Serioulsy, our huge documentation is a major part of what won us our last custody battle (my hubby and I now have full physical and legal custody of our oldest - my SD - because of stupid stuff the BM has done). Even if it doesn't seem relevent, document it because you never know when something will be needed. I would also highly recommend looking into what you mill most likely have to pay in child support and put it in a savings account in case BM asks for, and wins, back support. If you save it up beforehand you won't have to break the bank to pay it back later. I've seen women who did this with their husbands and it's been a life saver for them.

In the end, child custody cases can suck big time. Try to stay as civil as possible, let the other party "dig their own grave" and always focus on what is best for the CHILD. :)

Good luck!!!

[deleted account]

Lacye I am so sorry hon, this is a nightmare for you all I imagine. I would definitely PM Holly if I were you- she is something of an expert on the topic and her advice will be incredibly helpful to you.

[deleted account]

Lacye- I know Holly and her advice is spot-on. We are both in your same situation. Firstly I will ask are you living in the Us or elsewhere? I am not from the US so the reason I ask is that my advice might be useless to you. The other advice I would add to holly's re the possible molestation issue is this- my hubby was threatened with this false accusation by our BM and he handed himself in for Police investigation- basically said she has threatened to accuse of me of this and I want you to investigate me to show that i have nothing to hide.

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Lacye - posted on 08/23/2011

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Mandie, I do live in the US. Thank you for the advice about the police though. I might have to talk to him about that.

JuLeah, my SD is 2 years old but my husband does call to talk to her on the phone. The BM did make up a facebook page for my SD but she has blocked my husband and myself from being on it. As of right now, he does not get vacation time with her because the only way he can see her is if we go down there and we have to stay at the BM's parent's house (which is where BM and SD are living).

Karla - posted on 08/22/2011

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And postal workers will all "go postal?" I don't think so.



Just in case, you hubby may want to get a complete psychological evaluation and clean bill of mental health. Keep your head high, and keep moving forward.

[deleted account]

I think the same as Marina. I would tell your hubby to voluntarily go to a professional (psychologist, therapist, whatever he chooses) and talk about it. That way, if BM brings it up he can say that he's been seeing someone and that person's opinion and evaluation can be taken into account right away (and not hold up things even more). Also, this would fall into that "documentation evne though you may never need it" category. Even if she doesn't bring it up in court, it might be good for your hubby to talk about it with someone anyway :)

I think it's a SICK person who would use something like that against someone though! What a horrible woman!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/22/2011

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WOWZA! It makes my stomach turn that she would use something like that to her advantage. What a horrible person! I would ask your lawyer about this. Maybe it will end up that your husband might need to be evaluated by a professional to check his current emotional state from his molestation as a child. That is all I got on this.

Lacye - posted on 08/22/2011

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Thanks everybody! Now I have another question and it really irritates me to have to ask this because what happened was not my husband's fault but the BM is going to try to use it against him because when they were having an argument about my SD coming up here she said she would.

My husband was molested when he was about 5 or 6 years old by his uncle. His ex has said before that if we take her to court she is going to tell the judge that it is because of that that she will not allow my SD to come up here on her own because she is worried that he will do the same to her. Now my hubby takes care of the daughter we share together when I am at school. He is a great father, he would never do anything like that, but she thinks she will be able to take away visitation because of that. I'm pretty sure she can't unless she has absolute proof, but I'm just asking just in case.

Thanks everybody for the wonderful advice! It will be hard to keep my mouth shut because we know she is going to come up with some off the wall shit about my husband and myself. That's just the type of person that she is. I do try to keep the peace but it always ends up in a fight.

Karla - posted on 08/22/2011

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I just wanted to say good luck, and I think everyone here has given you some great pointers. I've been lucky enough not to have faced this dilemma, but my brother did. It wasn't easy but he definitely conducted himself well throughout.
-don't stoop to their level, or allow them to dictate the direction of the conversation
- remember this is about the child's relationship with her father.
- document everything (my brother could have done more of that.)
Good luck.

[deleted account]

Oh, and possible visitatin schedules. I would ask for one weekend a month, every other major holiday, every father's day and half of summer vacations (when she's old enough for school). That's a pretty standard schedule for people who live farther away from each other (I have a friend who has a schedule like that with her SD).

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/22/2011

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How immature am I when I see BM for biological mom, I laugh, especially when the BM is a piece of shit!

Krista - posted on 08/22/2011

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From most of the communities I've been on, you guys have the most common sense.

That's rather terrifying, isn't it?

As far as your quandary goes, the other ladies have been giving good advice. Stay above it all, be civil, have a good explanation as to why you want your SD there without her mom ('cause her mom will likely try to make it look like you want the kid alone for some sort of nefarious purpose.)

Nikki - posted on 08/22/2011

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Also, if you have any worries that she might try to take the child out of state or keep her from you during the case, see if the lawyer can get an order filed to keep her fro taking her.

When I was young and my parents had joint custody. I went to my dad's for 2 weeks every summer. One in June and One in August. Since you guys are so far away an arrengement similar to that night work. Maybe try for a week in each of June, July, and August.

Sal - posted on 08/22/2011

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like brandy said don't bad mouth,be nasty or catty, keep it civil and totally focus on your sd...don't let your actions and reaction mirror the ex's bad behaviour,just speak the truth and show the officals that you are 100% committed to the welfare of the child not interested in revenge, bitter disputes, or selfishness on your part....and good luck..

[deleted account]

First things first, when you go to court DO NOT bad mouth the BM, no "cutting off what EVER Bm is saying, no arguing ect, judge will not have it and it will only make Bm's case stronger. And since you guys live 3 hours from each other it shouldnt be all that hard to get a judge to agree to a few weeks with you guys during summer and every other birthday and one or two holidays.

And if child support comes up, again living fairly close to eachother I would request support be paid by both BM and BD.

There is really no reason why the bm should have to be present during each visit (unless she has valid reasons to be) and a judge will more than likely agree with that.

Good luck though :)

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