Daughter wants change in custody

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby colodad76 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:58 am

I need some advise.

Basics of a long story -

Colorado
Separated 2008
Divorced 2011
4 kids with ex. I have approximately 33% custody. Weekends and extended stay in summer.
I remarried 2011 (met new spouse during separation in 2009)
I have 2 new kids with 2nd wife. Happy marriage.

Ex has been in and out of several relationships including a 2nd marriage and divorce. Most changes in her relationships involved her moving into and out of someone's house. Throughout these changes, she managed to keep the kids from having to change schools too often. Kids maintained good grades, friendships and dispositions. After her second divorce, she finally bought a place of her own. Given that she'd bought a home and "settled" in an area, my wife and I bought a home 5 minutes from her to be closer to the kids and in their school district. This living arrangement has been in place for 7 months now. Ex let new boyfriend move in with her about one year ago. They recently split (2 weeks ago) and daughter expressed to me how much she disliked said boyfriend.

This week, boyfriend is back and daughter is very upset. She told her mom that she wants me to be primary, she doesn't want to live with her anymore. Ex tells daughter that I won't be able to win custody because there are things she can tell the court that would keep me from winning custody.

I'm assuming these are accusations of abuse which are not true. She threatened some of the same stuff during our divorce, which didn't concern me then because I knew the accusations were false, but she never actually made an accusation to the courts.

I have been happily remarried for 6 years now. Our home is happy and not full of conflict like Ex's.

I pursued increased parenting time after moving closer to the kids and discussing parenting time options with them. They want more time with us. I dropped it because my eldest daughter was dealing with some stuff that I wasn't aware of while pursuing the additional parenting time. I wanted to remove as much stress as possible from her plate so I asked for the case to be dismissed while we helped her.

She's now the one asking me to pick it back up and Ex is attempting to scare her out of it by saying she will learn stuff about me in court that will keep me from getting more custody time. This was all conveyed to me via texts from daughter last night.

My question is, if the kids want an adjustment to parenting time, would some false accusation about stuff that my ex says happened almost 10 years ago have any impact on a judge's decision to allow the kids to spend more time with us?

Kids ages first marriage (12,13,14,18) - 18 year old is in military and not involved in this but he also attempted at one time to have me get primary custody. He was upset at his mom about something fairly trivial.

Kids ages second marriage (3,6)
Last edited by colodad76 on Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby BartSimpson » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:40 pm

Hello,

Who led your daughter to believe she has a choice? (Hint: She doesn’t).
What change of circumstances for the child(ren) has occurred, that wasn’t anticipated, that warrants a change of custody?
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:21 pm

colodad76 wrote:.....would some false accusation about stuff that my ex says happened almost 10 years ago.....
Although your ex would certainly differ, what supposedly occurred 10 yrs ago (even if true) would be entirely irrelevant if argued in court.

When it comes to parenting plan modification, all that matters is the here and now. But that doesn't prevent your ex from hanging dirty laundry - because she will.

You've gotta disconnect your buttons, Bro. This game is psychological. And the dirty laundry NJ intends to hang is an example of that. You mustn't let her spook you.

colodad76 wrote:Ex tells daughter.....
Ex is filling D14's head with crap. And D14 knows it. She's not a little girl any more.

What you need is a well-orchestrated game plan. You start by maintaining radio silence. Keep D14 out of it. She's not a party in this matter.

Next - Ask for more parenting time. The idea is to establish a new status quo over the course of a significant time period (like 6 mos; preferably longer). Try to work your way up to 50/50. Keep track of everything in your well-written journal and parenting time tracker.

Tom
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby colodad76 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:25 pm

BartSimpson wrote:Hello,

Who led your daughter to believe she has a choice? (Hint: She doesn’t).
What change of circumstances for the child(ren) has occurred, that wasn’t anticipated, that warrants a change of custody?


Until recently I've lived out of school district, about 30 minutes away. Now I live 5 minutes away and am in the kids school district. I never wanted to move close to EX before because she wasn't settled. Because of the uncertainty of her long term living arrangements, I attempted to stay somewhat central to the kids and my work (both being about 30 minutes away). Most of her moves didn't affect the kids having to change schools again after our original separation, but one involved her moving almost an hour away in a totally different direction. After she bought a house and established at least some roots, I did the same and extended my commute to be closer to the kids. After moving closer, the kids asked about spending more time with us. I've always been involved, attending after school activities, parent teacher conferences, etc, consistently since our separation/divorce. Now that I'm closer to the kids, the kids want to spend more time with us and we'd love to have them more often, isn't that enough to consider a change to parenting time?

If a 14 year old wants to change primary residence, the parent is willing, isn't that enough despite whatever false accusations she might bring up that she claims happened almost 10 years ago?
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby colodad76 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:37 pm

Tom Kirkpatrick wrote:
colodad76 wrote:.....would some false accusation about stuff that my ex says happened almost 10 years ago.....
Although your ex would certainly differ, what supposedly occurred 10 yrs ago (even if true) would be entirely irrelevant if argued in court.

When it comes to parenting plan modification, all that matters is the here and now. But that doesn't prevent your ex from hanging dirty laundry - because she will.

You've gotta disconnect your buttons, Bro. This game is psychological. And the dirty laundry NJ intends to hang is an example of that. You mustn't let her spook you.

colodad76 wrote:Ex tells daughter.....
Ex is filling D14's head with crap. And D14 knows it. She's not a little girl any more.

What you need is a well-orchestrated game plan. You start by maintaining radio silence. Keep D14 out of it. She's not a party in this matter.

Next - Ask for more parenting time. The idea is to establish a new status quo over the course of a significant time period (like 6 mos; preferably longer). Try to work your way up to 50/50. Keep track of everything in your well-written journal and parenting time tracker.

Tom


Thanks, Tom.

D14 expressed this desire to me while stating that she didn't want to pursue it if it was just going to backfire and not work. She knows if she asks for it, we pursue it and we fail, life will get more difficult for her with mom.

I originally pursued more parenting time earlier in the year. I attempted to discuss it with EX first, but got nowhere, so I drafted my own motion to modify to increase parenting time from 33% to 50% given the change in my proximity to the kids school and ability to get them too and from school and after school activities. EX lost it, we discovered some other stuff D14 was dealing with that took priority, so I dismissed the motion to focus attention on D14.

Ex will never allow extra time despite what the kids want unless ordered by the court. If we go to court, will the kids desires given their ages (12,13,14), affect the outcome?

I appreciate your comments about the dirty laundry. All she has is her false accusations. I have many people that would attest to the fact that I'm not the kind of person that would do the things she accuses, including EXs own parents and my wife of the past 6 years. I just don't want to put my kids through having to be involved in something like that unless I have a high probability of getting what we/they want.

Ultimately, I want life to be as easy on them as possible. If some short term pain will improve things long term, I'm willing. If it won't, I'd rather not put them through it.
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:45 pm

colodad76 wrote:If a 14 year old wants to change primary residence, the parent is willing, isn't that enough.....?
It's not enough, Bro.

Unless your ex agrees otherwise, a significant change in circumstance must have occurred since the last order was written. You don't have anything close to that.

Your best bet, at least for now, is get your ex to agree to parenting plan modification. And at the same time, you need to establish a new status quo. Ask your ex for more parenting time. Document everything, including her refusals. Remember: "It's not your parenting time" isn't good cause to deny you more time.

Don't let NJ rattle you. The past doesn't matter. All that matters is the here and now.

colodad76 wrote:.....I drafted my own motion to modify to increase parenting time.....
You tipped your hand, Bro......cart ahead of horse theorem. Establish new status quo first. Quietly work your game plan. Maintain radio silence as you do. When new status quo becomes well established, then file your motion.

colodad76 wrote:If we go to court, will the kids desires given their ages (12,13,14), affect the outcome?
^^^ This, in and of itself, is not enough.


Tom
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby colodad76 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:01 pm

Tom Kirkpatrick wrote:
colodad76 wrote:If a 14 year old wants to change primary residence, the parent is willing, isn't that enough.....?
It's not enough, Bro.

Unless your ex agrees otherwise, a significant change in circumstance must have occurred since the last order was written. You don't have anything close to that.

Your best bet, at least for now, is get your ex to agree to parenting plan modification. And at the same time, you need to establish a new status quo. Ask your ex for more parenting time. Document everything, including her refusals. Remember: "It's not your parenting time" isn't good cause to deny you more time.

Don't let NJ rattle you. The past doesn't matter. All that matters is the here and now.

colodad76 wrote:.....I drafted my own motion to modify to increase parenting time.....
You tipped your hand, Bro......cart ahead of horse theorem. Establish new status quo first. Quietly work your game plan. Maintain radio silence as you do. When new status quo becomes well established, then file your motion.

colodad76 wrote:If we go to court, will the kids desires given their ages (12,13,14), affect the outcome?
^^^ This, in and of itself, is not enough.


Tom


Ugh. The system is messed up. Children want to spend more time with their dad, dad wants more time with them and EX is in and out of different relationships every year and is extremely uncooperative, but it's still not enough to get the court to enforce a modification to parenting time?

Are you saying my only recourse is to keep asking for more time, let her tell me no and document it?
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby Fatheroffour » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:04 pm

Tom will offer you the most negative spin on your situation.

Yes, courts will listen to the preference of a 14 Yo.
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby colodad76 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:09 pm

Fatheroffour wrote:Tom will offer you the most negative spin on your situation.

Yes, courts will listen to the preference of a 14 Yo.


Thanks. Are you in agreement that whatever false accusations she makes about something that supposedly happened 10 years ago won't have a bearing on the outcome?
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Re: 14 year old daughter wants change in custody

Unread postby Fatheroffour » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:11 pm

She'll make stuff up, that's what happens. Ignore it and execute your own plan.
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