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  #1  
August 24th, 2012, 12:08 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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So the court ordered custody evaluator has said that I have inserted myself as the primary decision maker for the kids often times and that I need to take a step back and let Neely make all the decisions for the kids. Neely and I do discuss things with each other before we answer Jen's requests for modifications to the visitation or whatever. And oftentimes I do make decisions without Neely's input because I'm home with the kids when he's working. He trusts me of course, and any big decision I always run by him and get his approval.

Jen has complained that I shouldn't be the one to say yes or no to extra visits, but the reality is that I do the family scheduling and Neely needs to make sure that he doesn't agree to something that would mean the kids miss out on something or miss a scheduled appointment. I also make the doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, etc. and I always take them to them once Neely has been the first time to give his consent for me to be the point of contact.

So for those of you who have primary custody of your steps, does it work this way in your house too? Even if you don't have primary custody of your steps, please give your input because I really want to know if I'm too involved or overstepping. The fact of the matter is, I run the household and Neely works to provide for us (not that I don't contribute, but he is the primary breadwinner) and this works for us. He depends on me to help with the kids and has said that he wouldn't have been able to keep them if I hadn't taken such an active roll.

ETA: He always goes to school functions like parent-teacher conferences and deals with the administration for disciplinary issues (for Will), but mostly because the the school has to.
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  #2  
August 24th, 2012, 12:43 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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When it comes to scheduling things, that's my role in the family regardless of the child. However, if something like visitation can be affected, then I discuss with Kev first or vise versa. Personally, I don't see you overstepping anything. But maybe to appease Jen, you could respond with I'll speak to Neely and one of us will get back to you. If it's something she can't wait on, then she has to deal with the decision you make.

What I don't understand is how the custody evaluator can even say that you insert your self too much. I mean it's not like Neely is home 24/7 to make those decisions. Making scheduling decisions is not being a primary care taker. And as a matter of fact, since you are the one with them the most, you are the darn primary care taker! What does this person think? That Neely can just drop what he's doing on Jen's whims? She's proven multiple times that she's not a responsible parent and that Neely, mainly with your help, is. So why she's even given so much input is beyond me.
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Last edited by K.A.T; August 24th, 2012 at 12:57 PM. Reason: After thoughts...
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  #3  
August 24th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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I agree with Liz. What are you supposed to do? I'm mean what man schedules doctors appointments???

I'm not in that position but if dsd lived with us, I would handle everything you do as well. I'm the main breadwinner as well but that's just the role I play with my kids so why would I treat them any differently?
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  #4  
August 24th, 2012, 01:14 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Because apparently she has bought into a lot of Jen's claims. I'm really irritated.
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  #5  
August 24th, 2012, 01:27 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Then she must not be good at her job. She obviously hasn't done her observation properly either. I know you had some scheduling issues on that part, but still. Lady doesn't know what she's doing if she's buying into that crap that Jen is spewing.
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  #6  
August 24th, 2012, 01:54 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Yeah, she never actually observed us interact with the kids and only did a telephone interview with me because Neely was in the hospital.

The biggest thing that bugged me about her report was that she said that the emotional needs far outweigh their physical needs. Like it was OK for Jen to move around so much because kids adapt. Crazy.
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  #7  
August 24th, 2012, 02:14 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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*sputter*

I'd have Neeley talk to the lawyer about having the evaluation redone since it could not be done properly due to a medical emergency.

I so far agree with everyone else, you handle the house, you make the decisions.

Ya know.. these kids are going to one day resent the hell out of her for all this stuff.
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  #8  
August 24th, 2012, 02:29 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
Yeah, she never actually observed us interact with the kids and only did a telephone interview with me because Neely was in the hospital.

The biggest thing that bugged me about her report was that she said that the emotional needs far outweigh their physical needs. Like it was OK for Jen to move around so much because kids adapt. Crazy.
Um... that IS an emotional need. Moving a lot is hard on a person not physically, but because they have no structure in their lives. It throws off the mind!
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  #9  
August 24th, 2012, 02:38 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Yeah OK so lets create unstable homes thus creating an even bigger emotional void for the kids down the road. Real smart logic. I would request another evaluation, and actually another evaluator to boot.
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  #10  
August 24th, 2012, 02:44 PM
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I would request another evaulation too. If Jen doesn't want you to answer then allow her to wait until Neely can answer her. I bet she won't enjoy waiting.
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  #11  
August 24th, 2012, 03:15 PM
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you could humor her. let Neely appear to make all the decisions. but he would have to say "let me check the schedule and get back to you" he talks to you. he talks to her.

But that all said. when I was with my ex and he(we) had primary custody of his kids his ex had the same issue as well. But M worked a late shift. so I was the one home with them after preschool, got the ready for ved, fed them, bathed them, and all together parented them. it's what worked for us (then). we had to go to court on something not even related to him or her, but pretaining to the kids and I was at all the meetings and hearings and the one answering questions. She(his ex) brought up her distain for me doing that. but as his(our) attorney stated. Ro is their primary care giver, even if M has custody. she has the right to be here and make these decisions

so that all said. If you are their primary care giver on a day to day basis, and as the at home parent and the one that organizes and schedules you have that right.

She'd be better to keep working with you, as she'll get a faster reply to requests, but you could put up that front it if makes the ripples dispell a little.
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  #12  
August 24th, 2012, 03:24 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I'm not a custodial sm and the other ladies have pretty well said it all, but I couldn't read without adding my own and .
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  #13  
August 24th, 2012, 03:36 PM
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I schedule all of the kids doctor's appointments and dentists appointments. I have even attended one of Robert's parent meetings without Jonah because it was scheduled for the next day and Jonah could not get off work the next day. Jonah works full time. I am at home. We consult on all of he major decisions made on all 3 of the kids. I am the one who keeps the family "master schedule" in my phone so I can keep up with who is doing what and when so no one is overbooked and that is a major task!

We do try to both attend all the school meetings with the kids but if an emergency meeting comes up, it is usually me handling it.
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  #14  
August 24th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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We don't have primary custody but he's the brawn and the money, I'm the brains and the mouth. He doesn't really make a move unless I say he's got the availability because he simply can. not. remember loads of details. That's just how we work. *shrug*
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  #15  
August 24th, 2012, 04:07 PM
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I agree that if you do the planning then your DH should discuss with you but I would try to make it seem as if you are just there as a support and not the main person. Just in the eyes of the courts. Judges don't tend to label step-dads as over stepping but are often quick to label step-moms as that. My DH often just says "let me get back to you" and responds at a later date. That way we discuss but he responds and remains the main point of contact. I'd also try and make everything tie back to him. Like for me I pick up papers and make contact with SS's teachers but if something comes up we usually end the convo and I tell DH to e-mail the teacher so that whatever it was was handled through him. It just ends up looking better even though we do discuss things as a family and I do most of the scheduling since DH can't remember when we have plans.
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  #16  
August 24th, 2012, 05:12 PM
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Honestly the evaluator is crap. And I'm not saying that just because her evaluation is against you. Judges HATE for kids to be bounced all over. What in god's great green earth would posses her to say an unstable home is ok? That right there puts her integrity into question. It sounds like she's someone BM hired and asked to look at the case. (I know that's not true but where's the impartiality?) People have jobs. DH is in the Navy. There's NO. WAY. they can always talk to him. And I'll admit they hate it. There have been times when the kids have gone without because they felt like they shouldn't have to deal with me. And he said straight up I have email access but internet web browsing is tricky so transferring money is hard. J has access to my money and is in the States with you. Let my kid go without again and you'll be unfit and I'll have custody. That was the end of that.

I'm not saying I don't get where they're coming from. It's hard to see someone you used to care about with someone else especially if it wasn't your choice to end things or if you regretted it and didn't get a second chance. But why let that get in the way of your CHILDREN? Shouldn't she be glad she's getting extra time? Because even though some of the officials involved are being ridiculous tweak this situation and take Neely out of it. Children Services would have taken the boys FOREVER ago. And I hope a ***** knows that. She's LUCKY Neely is involved and she's LUCKY Neely married a good woman who's even willing to work with her. Some would not. Some would make her wait on Neely even if they had an answer for her.
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  #17  
August 24th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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I pretty much do all the scheduling. Eric's family lives far, and Eric works nights, so any planning is between me and my family or me and his family.

BM once told me I am not O's mom so I don't get to make decisions for him, but the fact of the matter is, I do. Any time she has asked Eric anything, he has checked with me. Not because I'm the decision maker. But because I am the planner.

We have joint custody, but there are still requests for things that require decisions by us, and neither one of us usually acts unless the other has been briefed and agrees.

I think it is unrealistic to assume that just becase he is the bio parent, he is going to make all the decisions. That's what blending a family is about. When we are all home and O needs something when he's in the shower, he calls me. Not because he sees me as the decision maker, but because it's what he's used to. I answer more of his questions on a day to day basis then Eric does. That goes the same for when BM has questions. I'm awake, I get asked.
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  #18  
August 24th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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M overheard the saying happy wife happy life and repeated it incessantly. We women tend to be planners and we tend to run things. Kids don't care.
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  #19  
August 24th, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Whether or not you are the one making decisions it should be presented as if it's Neely calling the shots. That's just how it goes.

That is, if you know for a fact that Neely would agree with you.
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  #20  
August 24th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Katie. View Post
Whether or not you are the one making decisions it should be presented as if it's Neely calling the shots. That's just how it goes.

That is, if you know for a fact that Neely would agree with you.
See, that's just it. I always tell her "let me run it by Neely" or "I'll check with Neely and let you know". And not only that, she asks for me when she wants to ask something. I've told the boys a lot "give the phone to your dad". Ugh. The only thing I don't ask him about is on Friday nights when she wants to get here early because he's not home, won't be home till after 10:00, so what would it matter to him if they left early, kwim?

Or it may sound like I'm making the decision, but the reality is Neely and I have already talked about the situation and I know what he desires.
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