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  #1  
December 5th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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I need some serious brainstorming ladies.

So the court order from 10/10 says
"It is ordered that mother will have supervised parenting time Mondays and Wednesdays at soccer practice and Saturdays from 11am-2pm."

"It is ordered that mother will have phone contact with the minor child on Tuesdays and Thursdays."

In court this week, no mention of phone calls was brought up. The reason the phone calls were put in place to begin with was because she was awaiting rehab and the judge knew she wouldn't get to talk to him for a month so he put it in there.

In court this week, he basically just said, visitations will remain the same. She didn't bring up phone calls.

The new court order we got just says, "It is ordered affirming that mother will have supervised parenting time for 3 hours on Saturdays."

BM texted me and asked for Owen to call. He is refusing to. He knew we were going to court and the one thing he asked for (besides staying with us) is that we didn't have to force him to call her. He's still mad at her, and even though he likes seeing her, he has the ability to see her Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Do I force him to call anyway?

I told her tonight he is not in the mood to call and she said, "Well its court ordered so have him call me anyway."

I let her know it's no longer court ordered and she texted him and asked if he wanted to call her and he said no.


Here's the problem. The judge specifically said that he hopes we will continue to encourage their relationship. I hate when people think that it's OUR job to fix the relationship between them. She's the one that broke it. Why should we have to talk her up?

But we don't want to do anything that will make it look like we are withholding him, or being unfair. We're going to have our court appointed conference provider soon, who will interview us and her and Owen, and anyone relevant in his life and act as a witness at our trial in February. But I just don't know.

Last night at soccer he did say he would call her today, so when he gets out of the shower, I told her that since he did tell her yesterday he'd call that I would encourage him to. But are we going to go through this every Tuesday and Thursday?
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  #2  
December 5th, 2013, 06:14 PM
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so he has his own phone? if he wants to call her he can, if not why should you MAKE him?
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  #3  
December 5th, 2013, 07:35 PM
meant2bemommie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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All you can do is ask him if he wants to call her. If he doesn't want to and the new agreement has no phone communication guidelines I would not force him to and you and have DH let her know that he does not feel like talking so you aren't allows seeming like the one that is relaying the message to her.
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  #4  
December 5th, 2013, 09:13 PM
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I would certainly encourage him to call, but I feel it's wrong to force him. That's just my opinion though. I wouldn't want him to dread calling or resent the fact that you're forcing him... KWIM? It's not court ordered... But do what you feel is best and talk to DH about it GL and KUP
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  #5  
December 6th, 2013, 07:48 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Usually when courts use phrases like "encourage the relationship" they just mean don't speak negatively about her in front of him, encourage him to talk to her and have a good time during his visits, etc. They don't/can't expect you to repair damage she's done, and really, he's his own person. No one can MAKE him call her if he doesn't want to. In theory, you could dial her number for him and hold the phone next to his head, but at the end of the day if he doesn't want to talk he won't talk, court ordered or not, KWIM? And any reasonable court will know that too.

She would do well to start with building their relationship during her in person time with him and, if that goes well, I'm sure he'll like talking to her on the phone more. He may never love it because honestly, some kids just don't like talking on the phone, but he may want to talk to her if she starts small, respects his boundaries when he says "no" and works on repairing the damage little by little.

I honestly don't believe she's at a place where she can grasp that. I think she still doesn't realize how sick she is and doesn't realize that her relationship with O is the way it is because of her bad choices. I think she thinks she can just command him to talk to her and love her with no sincere apologies or efforts made on her part. I'm sure it sucks to hear that your kid doesn't want to talk to you, but she needs to accept her responsibility in all of this and stop blaming everyone else if she ever wants to begin rebuilding a relationship with him. He can't learn to trust her again if she's constantly berating people he loves in front of him and trying to force affection (or phone calls).
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  #6  
December 6th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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Ugh this is a tough one. It sounds like you have a judge who gets the situation & is on your side but it's scary that any "wrong" doing could be held against you.

On the legal side, is this a new order or an amendment to the old? I don't know how these things work. Does one replace the other? If you are sure that this one is totally replacing the other then you don't have to follow the old one.

I think I'd consult a lawyer to be sure. Would she & Eric considered joint counseling for O & her? It really might be a good idea. It might help O.
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  #7  
December 6th, 2013, 02:35 PM
Stepmom2Be's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stresswife View Post
so he has his own phone? if he wants to call her he can, if not why should you MAKE him?
He does, but she usually will text us and ask for us to have him call her. He always says he doesnt want to. If she tried to call his phone, he probably just wouldnt pick up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meant2bemommie View Post
All you can do is ask him if he wants to call her. If he doesn't want to and the new agreement has no phone communication guidelines I would not force him to and you and have DH let her know that he does not feel like talking so you aren't allows seeming like the one that is relaying the message to her.
She never believes us. She says he loves talking to her. We have had to assure her he does not like calling her multiple times a week. Its understandable, he only liked calling us once a week when he was with her for a week straight. Then again, we never called more than the once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightMaiden View Post
I would certainly encourage him to call, but I feel it's wrong to force him. That's just my opinion though. I wouldn't want him to dread calling or resent the fact that you're forcing him... KWIM? It's not court ordered... But do what you feel is best and talk to DH about it GL and KUP
Yeah, the encouraging I have no problems with. Its when he starts getting visibly upset about it that I dont want to be the one making him do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
Usually when courts use phrases like "encourage the relationship" they just mean don't speak negatively about her in front of him, encourage him to talk to her and have a good time during his visits, etc. They don't/can't expect you to repair damage she's done, and really, he's his own person. No one can MAKE him call her if he doesn't want to. In theory, you could dial her number for him and hold the phone next to his head, but at the end of the day if he doesn't want to talk he won't talk, court ordered or not, KWIM? And any reasonable court will know that too.

She would do well to start with building their relationship during her in person time with him and, if that goes well, I'm sure he'll like talking to her on the phone more. He may never love it because honestly, some kids just don't like talking on the phone, but he may want to talk to her if she starts small, respects his boundaries when he says "no" and works on repairing the damage little by little.

I honestly don't believe she's at a place where she can grasp that. I think she still doesn't realize how sick she is and doesn't realize that her relationship with O is the way it is because of her bad choices. I think she thinks she can just command him to talk to her and love her with no sincere apologies or efforts made on her part. I'm sure it sucks to hear that your kid doesn't want to talk to you, but she needs to accept her responsibility in all of this and stop blaming everyone else if she ever wants to begin rebuilding a relationship with him. He can't learn to trust her again if she's constantly berating people he loves in front of him and trying to force affection (or phone calls).
I think she very much thinks that since we have him full time, we're supposed to hold their hands through the whole process. It's not our job to fix what she broke. Its our job to encourage him to talk to her about how he feels, but when he does that, she just tells him she doesnt believe thats how he really feels, and not to let anyone put ideas in his head. Its like she doesnt wanna hear the truth from him if she doesnt like the way he feels.

She really needs to take advantage of the time she was given. She doesnt think showing up 15 minutes late for visitation is a big deal, but HE does. Until she sees that, shes only got herself to blame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
Ugh this is a tough one. It sounds like you have a judge who gets the situation & is on your side but it's scary that any "wrong" doing could be held against you.

On the legal side, is this a new order or an amendment to the old? I don't know how these things work. Does one replace the other? If you are sure that this one is totally replacing the other then you don't have to follow the old one.

I think I'd consult a lawyer to be sure. Would she & Eric considered joint counseling for O & her? It really might be a good idea. It might help O.
Exactly. We want to find a happy balance. I consulted with a lawyer friend (she doesnt do family law though unfortunately) and showed her the orders. The order from 10/10 clearly says "Temporary Orders" and says right on it there will be a follow up hearing on 12/3. She said from the looks of it, our order from this week completely replaces the temp one from 10/10 that was just put in place to accommodate her going to rehab. The judge actually said at the 10/10 hearing that he was putting phone contact in the order only because she was about to go into rehab.
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  #8  
December 6th, 2013, 03:38 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stepmom2Be View Post
I think she very much thinks that since we have him full time, we're supposed to hold their hands through the whole process. It's not our job to fix what she broke. Its our job to encourage him to talk to her about how he feels, but when he does that, she just tells him she doesnt believe thats how he really feels, and not to let anyone put ideas in his head. Its like she doesnt wanna hear the truth from him if she doesnt like the way he feels.

She really needs to take advantage of the time she was given. She doesnt think showing up 15 minutes late for visitation is a big deal, but HE does. Until she sees that, shes only got herself to blame.
See, that's the kind of thing that makes it so difficult to root for her. She doesn't see him as a PERSON with feelings and thoughts. She will NEVER heal that relationship if she continues to think of him as an extension of her that she can will into feeling one way or the other simply because they share biology.
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  #9  
December 6th, 2013, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
See, that's the kind of thing that makes it so difficult to root for her. She doesn't see him as a PERSON with feelings and thoughts. She will NEVER heal that relationship if she continues to think of him as an extension of her that she can will into feeling one way or the other simply because they share biology.
Her problem is she still sees him as a toddler. Toddlers can, for the most part, be manipulated and controlled. She texted him today asking him "Hi honey what do you want to do for our special mommy and Owen time tomorrow?" He is 9. He does not call her mommy. She refuses to let him grow up. She doesnt realize that he may have been 6 years old when her problems first started, but he is a 9 year old with his own thoughts, ideas, and opinions now and she is not accepting that yet. And until she does I dont think things will be fixable.

We emailed her tonight.

Quote:
In regards to Tuesday and Thursday phone contact with Owen. Our new minute entry, dated 12/3/13, does not state that phone contact is required anymore. The only contact it does require is three hours supervised visitation on Saturdays. You currently have 3 opportunities a week to see Owen in addition to your Saturday visitation. If Owen wants to call you, he is more than welcome to do so. That being said, during the break from soccer, (December 14-January 12,) I understand your desire to have more than one opportunity a week to have contact with him. Jennifer and I will encourage Owen to contact you by phone during the week. We will not, however, force him to make a phone call. You are, as you always have been, more than welcome to communicate with Owen via text message at any time during waking hours, (Prior to 8:30pm.)

In regards to Owen's soccer game tomorrow (12/7.) The soccer game is at Cactus Park at 10am. We will be arriving at 9:45am, however, all players arrive at this time in order to warm up before the game, not to socialize. Please refrain from asking Owen, or asking Jennifer in front of Owen if we can bring him there early to kick the ball with you, as that is not part of your court allowed visitation time. If you would like to kick a soccer ball with Owen, then feel free to have all or part of your visitation at a park. At this time, we will not be arranging any extra visitation time.

In regards to your 3 hours of visitation tomorrow. Owen has requested to begin visitation time at Subway again. Since his game may go past 11am, we would like to suggest a 12pm-3pm visitation tomorrow, in order to give Owen adequate time to come home and shower after the game. Does this work for you?

In regards to Michael's birthday party on 12/14. Owen's final soccer game is on 12/14 at 10am. You said before that his cousins party is from 4-7pm. Where is the party located? We are comfortable with allowing Owen to attend the party as your visitation time with Owen, with your parents being supervisors during that time.

Please respond to any inquiries we have made, and let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you.

Eric and Jennifer
Hopefully it didn't come off as too mean. We just feel that the little things she tries to pull need to be stopped before she tries to pester us for even more.
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  #10  
December 8th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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Yeah, new orders almost always replace old and temporary orders. So if there is no mention of the calls, then you aren't legally bound to it. However, keep doing what you are doing by trying to do what is in his best interest. He doesn't have to and you shouldn't make him make those phone calls. It doesn't matter if she doesn't believe you that he doesn't want to because he has such a great time. Just have your husband let her know where you stand, end of discussion. If she wants to call him directly, that is her choice, and it is your ss's choice not to answer.

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  #11  
December 8th, 2013, 07:44 PM
Stepmom2Be's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by asnoraford View Post
Yeah, new orders almost always replace old and temporary orders. So if there is no mention of the calls, then you aren't legally bound to it. However, keep doing what you are doing by trying to do what is in his best interest. He doesn't have to and you shouldn't make him make those phone calls. It doesn't matter if she doesn't believe you that he doesn't want to because he has such a great time. Just have your husband let her know where you stand, end of discussion. If she wants to call him directly, that is her choice, and it is your ss's choice not to answer.

Good luck
Thanks. We ended up having him call her that day. We will see what happens come Tuesday of this week.

Oh by the way..

She was FIFTEEN minutes late for his soccer game. Ya know.. his first soccer game since she's been out of rehab....
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  #12  
December 9th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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Was this game that she was late for the one she asked if he would show up EARLY for to practice with her? And you let her know that he WOULD be there early warming up with the team? See, if I were her, I would have shown up at 9:40, waved hi to him as he got there, and made a point to watch warm ups.

As far as the order, it definitely sounds like the new replaced the old. I know with DH's arrangement, they modified the original agreement, but anything not specified in the NEW agreement was deferred back to the old agreement (this was stated specifically in the new agreement). However, their agreement is the size of War & Peace and I don't think anyone wanted to rewrite it all. In that case, the phone contact would stand. In your case, it does not sound like it does.

I thought your DHs email was worded well. It sounds like you are making allowances and helping to make sure she has Owen ample time and that they are able to do the things she wants him around for (allowing him to go to the birthday party). Actually, my only issue with that, are you dropping him off/picking him up from the party? I might try to do that. I know that in the past you've had issues with her parents allowing them to go off together during what was supposed to be supervised time. I would just hate for the judge to see that you were okay with them as supervisors and when you go back to court, he may say that since you allowed it, it should be allowed moving forward. Ugh! I hate that every little move in situations like this needs to be analyzed from every angle. How could the courts see this? What if we did it like this? Would that look better or worse? Are we being too lenient? Are we not "encouraging the relationship enough"?

As far as encouraging a relationship, I think you guys do a good job of that by keeping her infomred of things, encouraging their time together, etc. You can ask him to talk to her, but you can't force him. You CAN say to him, teach him, that you know he doesn't like phone time, but sometimes it's important to do things because the people we care about enjoy them and need them, even if we don't like doing it all the time. Tell him a 2 minute call is fine. Just say hi, if that's all he can do that day. We have to encourage DD like that a lot. She doesn't love the phone and her mom is super chatty, so we just tell her that she can talk as long as she likes and when she is done she will say bye and hang up (which her mom actually hates). Maybe even ask BM next time if she'd prefer a brief call like that on multiple occassions, or just one, quality call during the week?
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Last edited by AtomicMama; December 9th, 2013 at 07:41 AM.
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  #13  
December 9th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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I think the email is worded fine too. Glad to hear this order replaces the old. Keep doing what you are doing!
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  #14  
December 9th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicMama View Post
Was this game that she was late for the one she asked if he would show up EARLY for to practice with her? And you let her know that he WOULD be there early warming up with the team? See, if I were her, I would have shown up at 9:40, waved hi to him as he got there, and made a point to watch warm ups.

As far as the order, it definitely sounds like the new replaced the old. I know with DH's arrangement, they modified the original agreement, but anything not specified in the NEW agreement was deferred back to the old agreement (this was stated specifically in the new agreement). However, their agreement is the size of War & Peace and I don't think anyone wanted to rewrite it all. In that case, the phone contact would stand. In your case, it does not sound like it does.

I thought your DHs email was worded well. It sounds like you are making allowances and helping to make sure she has Owen ample time and that they are able to do the things she wants him around for (allowing him to go to the birthday party). Actually, my only issue with that, are you dropping him off/picking him up from the party? I might try to do that. I know that in the past you've had issues with her parents allowing them to go off together during what was supposed to be supervised time. I would just hate for the judge to see that you were okay with them as supervisors and when you go back to court, he may say that since you allowed it, it should be allowed moving forward. Ugh! I hate that every little move in situations like this needs to be analyzed from every angle. How could the courts see this? What if we did it like this? Would that look better or worse? Are we being too lenient? Are we not "encouraging the relationship enough"?

As far as encouraging a relationship, I think you guys do a good job of that by keeping her infomred of things, encouraging their time together, etc. You can ask him to talk to her, but you can't force him. You CAN say to him, teach him, that you know he doesn't like phone time, but sometimes it's important to do things because the people we care about enjoy them and need them, even if we don't like doing it all the time. Tell him a 2 minute call is fine. Just say hi, if that's all he can do that day. We have to encourage DD like that a lot. She doesn't love the phone and her mom is super chatty, so we just tell her that she can talk as long as she likes and when she is done she will say bye and hang up (which her mom actually hates). Maybe even ask BM next time if she'd prefer a brief call like that on multiple occassions, or just one, quality call during the week?
Yup. Same game. She knew we would be there at 9:45, which we were. And she showed up at 10:15, after the game had already started. She was very distant with him, too. He wasn't allowed to go all the way down to the end of the field where she was, because they are expected to sit with their team. She showed up with two water bottles too, so I think she thought she was going to get to play mom for a bit. She waved to him, and he waved back, and she waved him over, and he said no. When we were leaving, they were chatting for a few minutes, and we heard both her and her mom tell Owen not to be so rude to them. Ya know what? You damaged this child on more than one occasion. If he's pissed at you for not showing up on time, he's allowed to be.

Yes, we are dropping him off at the party and picking him up. The party is at BM's brothers house. BM's brother actually came out and talked to us one day while BM was in rehab and told us he thinks we're doing the right thing and she needs help and she will never learn if we go easy on her. So DH was texting with him the other day and said yes he can go to the party. When we drop him off, we are going to make it very clear to BM, her brother, and Owen that they are not to go anywhere. He is there for the party and we are allowing for her brother to be the supervisor for that visit. When the judge originally said we have to be supervisors, he understood that it was because her parents let her take him unsupervised before. I like having it say that we will supervise, absent agreements between the parties, because that means we can give her a chance to be with her family, and if she breaks the rules, then we can go back to just us. It allows us to look good and do the right thing, but gives us the control if she doesnt follow it.

The phone call thing, I told Owen that it's hard because while we know he is still angry and might not want to talk to her, hearing from him everyone once in a while is what she needs to keep going and work on getting better. We said that it doesn't have to be a long talk, especially since she will see him a few times during the week when soccer is in session. But I said that when he's here, which is always, she doesn't have anyone. It was easier for dh and I to go a few days without hearing from him because at least we still had each other. He seemed to understand, and I told him I won't force him all the time, but I do think it's important that he at least try.

And yeah, its so hard trying to predict how every little action we make will be perceived in court in February. Especially since we did nothing wrong. Like, we have to attend a parenting conference because they can't agree on anything, so this person will interview all of us, interview Owen, come to both houses, and make a statement in court as to where he is better off. Both parties have to pay $300 for this. It just really sucks that we're being required to pay $300 for something that shouldn't even be needed. Like, if DH was an alcoholic.. there'd be no question and BM would be granted full. Why does she get so many chances? Give her every other weekend and let's move on already!

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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
I think the email is worded fine too. Glad to hear this order replaces the old. Keep doing what you are doing!
Thanks! Hopefully it all pays off in a couple months!
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  #15  
December 9th, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Don't assume the mother gets it automatically. My ex was diagnosed bipolar, was untreated and was very unstable & I didn't automatically get custody. I am a degreed professional who had a good job, good home, etc. I fought for years and spent a huge amount of money to protect dd - all while not getting child support. And my dd was only 2! I wish it had been so easy.
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  #16  
December 9th, 2013, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
Don't assume the mother gets it automatically. My ex was diagnosed bipolar, was untreated and was very unstable & I didn't automatically get custody. I am a degreed professional who had a good job, good home, etc. I fought for years and spent a huge amount of money to protect dd - all while not getting child support. And my dd was only 2! I wish it had been so easy.
True. I apologize. That was kind of a blanket statement.

I just think it's funny that when DH and BM split up, she automatically got full custody. And Dh has been nothing but an amazing father for 9 years, and now she's screwing up left and right, and we have to jump through all these hoops just to get what is deserved.

BTW, for those keeping score. She showed up on time to practice tonight. Don't get so excited yet. After 30 minutes in the cold, she decided to spend the remainder of practice in the car in the parking lot.
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  #17  
December 9th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Mother of the Year award right there!! Can't even tough it out to watch a practice!!
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  #18  
December 10th, 2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Stepmom2Be View Post
True. I apologize. That was kind of a blanket statement.

I just think it's funny that when DH and BM split up, she automatically got full custody. And Dh has been nothing but an amazing father for 9 years, and now she's screwing up left and right, and we have to jump through all these hoops just to get what is deserved.

BTW, for those keeping score. She showed up on time to practice tonight. Don't get so excited yet. After 30 minutes in the cold, she decided to spend the remainder of practice in the car in the parking lot.
That's odd to me because in general the courts want shared custody. Certainly shared legal custody (equal say in education, religion, medical, etc) at least.

I had to get my ex to sign off agreeing to sole custody of dd & visitation. The courts wouldn't have given it to me automatically.
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  #19  
December 10th, 2013, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
That's odd to me because in general the courts want shared custody. Certainly shared legal custody (equal say in education, religion, medical, etc) at least.

I had to get my ex to sign off agreeing to sole custody of dd & visitation. The courts wouldn't have given it to me automatically.
This was 9 years ago. They weren't married so BM got automatic full.

She gave Owen to Eric every weekend so he never fought it. He thought if he fought it he'd end up with less time than she was giving up.
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Jennifer - Married to Eric 3.10.13 - Full Time Stepmom to Owen - TTC our first together- 1 year and counting
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December 11th, 2013, 09:59 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,999
It was 9 years ago for me too. Maybe it was different because they weren't ever married.
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Kris

My 2 miracles: Lucinda & Noah
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