kids being used as weapons

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kids being used as weapons

Postby californianfather » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:32 am

I need advice for multiple issues. I have full custody of my children. Per the court order my ex has < parenting time > every other weekend and we share the 5th weekends. All major holidays are shared odd/even years.

Recently the ex moved 9 hours away from me. She has moved about 8 times in the last 3 years. She currently lives with her boyfriend and 5 other children. In keeping our children in mind we drafted up an agreement alloting her a bulk of their summer vacation and keeping the rotating major holidays clause. This was never filed with the courts. My fear was she and her boyfriend would attempt to alienate the children from me and try to coarse the children to want to live with her as they have done so in the past.

They are due back to me soon and in speaking with the ex she went on a tirade on how our son wants to go to school out there but my daughter wants to remain with me. Blaming me for her lack of involvment and current custody situation/living situation etc. She attempted the same thing before she moved asking the kids where they wanted to live. They both told her with me however this put a strain on my kids until I explained to them that unfortunately they did not have a say in this decision. In speaking with the childrens counselors a year ago it was relayed to me that it is never a good idea to discuss this with children and I have been very very careful on what I say to our children. I feel like it is time we had an adult conversation about what is going on as it is very clear that the behavior from her is not going to cease. My son is 14 and my daughter is 12.

Has anyone had similar issues? If so what if anything did you discuss with your children? I am contimplating dropping the draft agreement and just abiding by the court order. Wondering if that would create more problems than its worth? Sorry if this all sounds jumbled I have not been sleeping well. Please any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby BartSimpson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:13 am

9 hours? Did she remain within the state? In a general sense, where is she and where are you?

Yes, you should return to the Court ordered parenting time.

The mother elected to move, was it with the boyfriend, or to the boyfriend? Who are these 5 other children?
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby fatherinGA » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:46 am

She moved 9 hours away, you didn't. It's unfortunate you have to stick with the court plan to the tee but that's what you gotta do. Changing priorities on her part doesn't constitute an emergency on your part.
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:24 pm

californianfather wrote:the ex she went on a tirade on how our son wants to go to school out there
This has nothing to do with "child's choice. It's what mommy wants. She's baiting you, Bro. It's plain to see the war ain't over. Whenever she starts in, maintain radio silence. Child custody is not up for discussion.

californianfather wrote:My fear was she and her boyfriend would attempt to alienate the children from me and try to coarse the children to want to live with her as they have done so in the past.
In Oregon, this is called "enticing," and is grounds for sanctions, up to and including custody reversal (just sayin' - which wouldn't apply in this case).

californianfather wrote:we drafted up an agreement alloting her a bulk of their summer vacation
You're a parent too, Bro. You should also get quality summer parenting time. Indeed, your kids need to have that too. Remember, you're not the one that moved 9 hrs distant.

californianfather wrote:I am contimplating dropping the draft agreement and just abiding by the court order.
This is exactly what you should do!! What you don't want is to establish status quo with the current arrangement.

BTW - I trust you're keeping a well-written journal.

Tom
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby californianfather » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:46 pm

Thanks for the responses guys. Has anyone had to talk to their children in regards to disparaging remarks the ex makes about you also and also the guilt trips? I'm torn on how to proceed about talking to my kids about it. Should i wait and see if they bring it up?
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby BartSimpson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:11 pm

Talk to your children about what?

About age-appropriate critical thinking?

"Mommy says you are mean, Dad."
"Do you think I'm mean, Son?"

Elicit specific details of "being mean" and relate it to your child's life - teach your child to think.

Bottom line is that children take their cues from their parents - if you respond and make a big deal of it, then the children assign greater weight to it. The overwhelming advice you will see on this forum is to deal with this in a distraction and move on:

"Mommy says you are mean, Dad."
"Oh well, hey look - a bright shiney object!"



How about the answers to my questions, sir?

Did she remain in the State and generally where are you two located?
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby californianfather » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:40 pm

we are in california yes she remained in the state. the court order states children are not to be removed from the county i am in. She has 3 other kids of her own with 2 different guys and her current boyfriend has 2 kids. I was more concerned in talking to my kids about teh pressure is she putting on them to want to change custody.
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby BartSimpson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:56 pm

That's easy - here's the test:

How are your kids doing in school?
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby fatheroftwoboys » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:57 pm

The advice given has been good. My ex lives in the same town. She is beginning to incite my kids to not come to my house. I nip it in the butt telling her they had no choice and by sending her an R3 letter reminding her the decree has some wording against scheduling things on the other parents time and from inciting the child to not go. I also mentioned i will get the police involved if she gets to that point. The key is to keep it cool/nice.

Keep in mind my children are s4 and s6. They have a healthy relationship with me. My NJ, as is the cade with yours, just wants the kids to herself. Kids need both parents. I'm realizing that now that I've had then for 5 weeks this summer. They miss the other parent, NJ.
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Re: kids being used as weapons

Postby californianfather » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:12 pm

I will probably draft up and send her an R3 letter after my attorney reviews it. I've had to get the police involved before was not pleasant(she would not return them during one of her visits). She screamed and hollered and cried in front of the children prompting the police to tell her to knock it off or be arrested.
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