Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

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Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby Tht1Guy » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:43 pm

I'm going to give you the latest details on my situation.

I'll try to keep this condensed so bear with me if this gets a little long but it is going to give you the start to present.

Right now, we have a Child Custody Hearing this week so time is of the essence and I want to know your thoughts based on your/others experience.

1) I was attacked by STBX. DV filed as recommended here. Case with detective and still open.

2) DV TRO filed as recommended here.

3) TRO hearing; non-Clet RO in place with her receiving every other weekend dropping off on Monday and 1 over night a week. Only contact is via email/text regarding the child only. As of today, has been followed with exception of a couple texts about me to have my attorney contact her attorney.

4) Mediation took place and my concerns of her mental stability, violence, and other serious concerns such as a child molester who has had two cases deemed by the system as "inconclusive" and not officially on record as a sex offender. Mediators recommendations in California hold a lot and judges typically go with that decision 90% of the time. Mediator recommended that mother be seen by gov't psychiatrist regarding wellbeing and medications. Mediator also recommended that the custody remain the same with my having custody and mother getting every other weekend. Once evaluated, 1 day overnights are recommended. Her declaration stated that she disagrees with the mediators decision and requested to the judge to have the RO removed as it makes it difficult to co-parent and that I need a psych-eval. She wrote about her work history, her being the primary caregiver of the child when I somehow was mysteriously gone every night she was at work. Maybe it was my ghost putting the child to bed, not sure, as I apparently stay out drinking at bars until 4am all the time leaving her with the child which is obviously nonsense. On paper she looks like an angel and wrote "Father filed RO against me in order to retaliate and hurt me in the worst way possible by taking my child bc I stated I wanted to divorce him." which she has stated she wanted separation and divorce many times. The reason for the RO is obvious. Your thoughts on #4?

5) Declarations submitted on both our ends. Her declarations made numerous false accusations. Some of which were that I all of a sudden am physically abusing the child and my family is speaking poorly to him about her. I've never hit my child as he for one is extremely young and can't really express himself. Why would you be harsh on a child who fully doesn't comprehend? It makes no sense. But she on the other hand HAS spanked him for things she allowed and decided on changing her mind later which was irritating and caused verbal disagreements. Your thoughts on #5?

6) She now is stating that the child is psychologically depressed and suffering from anxiety and needs to see a psychologist for possible treatments and medication. Again, this is a child so young that they cannot even express themselves in full articulated sentences and acts like any other happy child. She's basically creating issues that are not there. Her reasoning is that "since I am not in his life on a more frequent manner, he is now regressing and not behaving normally, and not exhibiting normal behavior such as using the training potty seat. He needs me to give him stability". With me he's fine and now in the last 2wks he's all of a sudden has problems. If anything it is her as she does not have a stable place to live bouncing back and forth between her family. One of the family members has a teenage boy and a young girl in the same room and their mother is in the other room plus my STBX and my son. Neither residence has a toddler bed and he sleeps with her nightly. Your thoughts on #6?

7) On Thanksgiving we were going to have a drop off of the child to her parents at a specific time. She requested that I drop him off and once I arrived, saw her vehicle there. I continued driving and texted that since there is an RO in place, I would like to meet her family member to pick them up and a family member met me at a neutral location an picked p the child. Why would she do that? To say "see, there is no reason for an RO and nothing occurred when he dropped off the child". I'm not exactly sure her logic or reasoning. Your thoughts on #7?

8) She stated that I am holding her belongings hostage and that is the reason she cannot secure a stable home. This is nonsense because if she were to obtain her things, she has no place to take it. Aside from that, my attorney expressed to her attorney that he does not want her in my home due to the fact that there is an active RO due to her attacking me. She has expressed getting a Pods to drop in the driveway to load up bringing multiple people and her family into the house to remove belongings which would most surely create issues of them grabbing things that don't belong to her, taking things that are joint and bought during marriage, etc. Her attorney then stated that she is offering to have a retired sheriff come over to keep the peace at a rate of hundreds of dollars and is their family friend. My attorney said that will not work. She expressed my possibly destroying her belongings and so my attorney stated that she should drop the Pods off and get licensed/bonded movers and if they break the bed, etc. then they are insured. She refuses to adopt this solution. Nothing of hers has been touched and in the same places she left them. Its tough as I cannot establish myself with all of her crap here. I was planning on boxing all of her things after taking pictures before/after boxing and have it ready to drop off. The larger stuff save for court perhaps. It was mentioned to me by a buddy that I'm going out of my way for a woman who is clearly not rational and is not my friend by any means. Should I leave it as is in closets, etc. or should I box it and during the hearing just say "all belongings are boxed and ready for delivery with the exception of larger items such as bed, dressers, couch, etc.". Is that a better idea as she really has no need at that point to enter my home (new lease signed and home is officially mine now). Your thoughts on #8?

9) I have custody, not sure which type, but was recommended by mediation that we share joint decision making. She sent me a text asking me to go to sign a release for the child to attend his psychological exams. My attorney had me respond that this should be saved for family court services. This was last week. So it was a no go and will be brought up then. With her he has all these issues, with me he's fine. Not sure of her angle and perhaps you could chime in. He also has an appointment this Tuesday. I asked that she "postpone it due to my not being able to get off work. I also scheduled his apt for shots in early January" giving her the date and time as it is my understanding this is very important. I have been to every single appointment from before birth up to this point in time. She stated tonight that "I scheduled this 3mo in advance and have the day off. I am going to pick my 1 day over night for Monday/Tuesday so I can take him to the appointment and spend the day with our child. I expressed this to you and I am sorry that you cannot make it to the appointment. It wouldn't work anyways due to the RO being in place so I'm going to bring him. I have also schedule a wellness appointment on Wednesday at 8:00pm. Maybe you can go to that appointment and I can call you and speak to the doctor while you are there". So it's like wait, you never even told me he had an appointment on Wednesday and is not even your < parenting time > day. How was I even to know there was an appointment. Was she planning on telling me the day of the appointment? Another important now was I obtained a copy of medical notes on the child. In it states "mother states that father has custody and placed an RO on her with unsubstantiated claims." Its like, no, the RO was in place because she attacked me. Your thoughts on #9?

10) Child Custody Hearing. My attorney basically says "I really don't need anything to bring due to us not being able to speak much and the entire hearing being 20-30min tops as they have a heavy case load in such a large city and all declarations have been submitted. The judge will give their orders and you have a very good chance of everything staying as is. Why? She has an open DV case, an active RO, admitted mental issues, and you have been the caregiver up to this point without issues. She may take it to trial which the next trial date will be appx 6mo - 1yr out due to heavy case loads in a major city." I am wondering if I should pay for programs that show custody times such as Parenting Time or Delta Bravo. I have seen others but these go for $150/yr or one time fees of $300. My attorney says for other cases it would be helpful as parents aren't agreeing on time and one needs to show such but in our case at the TRO hearing a judge signed off with my getting custody and her getting every other weekend and 1 day a week overnight. So there really isn't anything to have to prove. What about activities I do with our child when in my care such as activities together, etc.? Should I have a list of that or is that not necessary at this point? Also, according to her paychecks, which I didn't know, she apparently makes $30k more than I do. As of today, I have received not a penny in child support; it's been appx 3mo. She is also seeking child support and attorney fees because " he is driving up my costs on purpose requesting my attorney contact his for issues that could be resolved between us so that I'm not able to afford representation". We have an agreement that she is to contact me regarding the child only. Well, asking about things like bills owed have nothing to do with the child so I asked that she have hers contact mine. Your thoughts on #10?

11) If this goes to trial, which it was mentioned the judge is not going to waste days on end, and a day would be expected. What should I do to prepare for this assuming that she isn't just going to walk away and have a feeling she is going to fight. Do you things typically stay the same in terms of custody orders? Your thoughts on #11?

Thank you in advance as always for your assistance.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby massdad1234 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:51 pm

First off, you are doing great!

at this point, it is probably best to cease all contact with the STBX's family unless there is a really darn good reason they shouldn't be denied conflict. There is a likely chance they will provide the STBX access to the children if left in their care no?

If so, and anyone reasonable would make that assumption, you need to think about that. You have made some sound decisions, but I fear that you are vulnerable.

To answer your question, the more things stay the way they are, the more status quo will be in your favor. At the end of the day, your focus should be what is best for those in your care that are counting on you. you need to provide them a safe place that is free from domestic violence and stabilize them. Others have shared that you should encourage their mother to get healthy and support her having a good relationship, but right here and now, she is not in that place. So until that time comes, you need to let her focus on that while you focus on safe harbor.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby a dad » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:48 am

You are looking for logical reasons for her actions where there may be none.

Focus on closing the deal.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby steelmark » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:52 am

Seems like simply staying the course, being dad and remaining logical and firm in your goals is all you need to do right now.

Seems as though you’re being handed a silver platter. There is never complete certainty, but you seem to be in a good position.

She’s cooked her own goose and it sounds like she preheating the oven to do it again.

Super great time to maintain your radio silence, remind yourself you are an army of one and keep going.
Prepare and execute to win by a thousand miles, just to be in position to win by an inch.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby massdad1234 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:54 pm

agreed steel, probably such a silver platter, one might constantly second guess themselves.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby LovingDadof2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:22 am

My Thoughts:

4) STBX is gonna do what she's gonna do. Stop worrying about the what if's. We have been through this before. Let her say all she wants.

5) Same as #4 above.

6) She's gasping at straws. May be her only play left. Do not grant any consent to psych evaluation until ordered by court.

7) Who knows, may have simply been convenience thing? You did right thing by not going to same residence as her.

8) Ignore.

9) Same as 6) above.

10) Judge will decide.

11) Not there yet, so don't get ahead of yourself.

Just hang in there. You seem to be in a great position. Keep doing what you have been doing and all will be fine.
Last edited by LovingDadof2 on Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby massdad1234 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:38 pm

OP - the only way this comes off the rails is if YOU do it. You have nothing to do, your ex handed you your case on a silver platter. Focus on stabilizing things first post divorce for a while, then a reintroduction plan based on milestones the ex meets.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby Tht1Guy » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:06 pm

Sorry for the late reply as it’s been a bit busy lately. Once everyone goes to bed I’ll be back to respond and give you the updates.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby Tht1Guy » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:17 am

Got back form court from court a few weeks ago.

The results:
1) Child custody remains the same until February due to her lawyer submitting "character reference" late despite he having some of them since November. All of her friends, coworkers, and phsychiatrists stated she is a great mom and doesn't have mental issues that hinder child.
2) Her belongings: Mom is to get a Pods to be dropped in driveway; Dad loads up Pod with mothers belongings. He family is not allowed over.
3) Phone calls: Every night deemed excessive by her demands and what has been done for a month and a half. 2 days a week and if I am available on other days at home, child can speak
4) In court her lawyer stated < parenting time > is not far off from 50/50 as one more day would virutally be such. Judge stated to wait until our side had a chance to review character reference letters.
5) Child suport: denied until next court date in 2mo. Been 4mo so far.
6) During holidays we, for the first time, had to meet face to face with child transfer at location advised by Family Court Services. Normally, she drops off on her days and I pick up in evening. Dash cam in vehicle always running. On 3rd day she texted she felt uncomfortable. I responded by my feeling the same and to have a family member or friend arrive. It went back and forth so I texted her parents to pick up and drop off. The father kept saying she never had an issue so why am I making it diffuclt. I expressed to him, its not me, and she was the one that said she was uncomfortable. I gave up as they are on her side and could care less about the child by their actions as its about their mentally disturbed daughter who will be more of a burden on them if things get worse for her. She'll have to be on meds, living with them 24/7, even though she won't admit such.

I just thought I'd give you an update as its been so very busy that its hard and I'm worn out often. When the kids sleep, I find myself passing out as well. Betwene work and being the main custodial parent can be tough. I have decided to quit feeling sorry formyself and just have to do what's best for the kids as they depend on me. It's 2am and I'm working on the budget, bills, etc. I'll be up in 3hrs to hit work for a full day followed by being there for the kids until they sleep. Once down, I can get back on the bull and continue.

Thanks for the replies. I'll have to comment late on your responses.
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Re: Assistance Please: Divorce/Custody w/ timeline

Unread postby a dad » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:25 am

Great job so far. You've really turned a corner.

About the long days with kiddos, eventually you hit your stride. So keep it up.
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