Hello, I am just trying to get a different perspective, thanks for listening... My husband and I divorced 12 years ago, our children are 15,14, and 13. We were married in Cal and I moved to Ohio to be near my parents 10 years ago, my ex moved to a state nearby 6 years ago and got a < parenting time > order so he could see the kids every Christmas and have them for a while in the summer. He has paid child support regularly for the last 6 years, but sporadically before that. He has now moved (as of this summer) to within 2 miles of where I live. When he first got here, the kids spent a lot of time with him, during the summer. My middle child lives with his grandparents--he is waiting for me to renovate my house for him to move back in with me--and my ex tried to get him to move in with him instead of my parents. That's when I started to limit the time they spent together, my parents know that I don't want him over there until paperwork is filed, and our daughter, also-- she hasn't been over to her dad's since then. (mid august). Our older son is another story, he has not been home since mid august, I have barely seen him, he is living with his father. Apparently, he is going to try to file for full custody of all three children. What do you think his chances are, given that he has had only < parenting time > with the kids for all of these years?? (and given the fact that- the oldest has settled in with him and our younger has been living with my parents for over a year??) thanks again for your opinions--
I won't tell you anything about what his chances are. i will tell you that if you deny this man equal time with his kids then you are not a good parent. If he has moved that close then he has every right to be their father. Every right that you have to be their mother. If you are at all a decent parent then you will recognize that your children need their father EVERY BIT AS MUCH as they need their mother.
Otherwise you will likely be falling into the category of most ex wives who believe they own the children and are generous to let that walking wallet see them. After all, he is not a father. He is your bank, right? Whew. Thank goodness that guy pays his child support. Without that he might as well not even be around?
You choose your path. God will be the judge. SO will your children if they ever realize what you do. Good or bad.
What your post boils down to is, "The kids' dad moved nearby and is trying to see the kids more regularly. I don't like that, and so I've really started limiting their contact with him. Now I'm afraid he's going to go to court to see them."
Lacking any other information, the only feedback I can offer you is, "Duh?"
If you want to stay out of court, let the kids see their dad as much as they want. They'll likewise see you as much as they want.
If both homes are safe and nurturing, that is the right thing to do for the KIDS, though you may not like it.
Sure, a structured parenting schedule (i.e., note that kids don't VISIT parents) would be fine.
Work with your ex to determine the schedule that would be best for the kids.
The part that you're going to hate is that the kids won't be with you as much as the past many years.
It's very understandable that you'd dislike that (what parent would want to give up any time with their kids?).
However, you have to recognize that their dad moved to be only 2 miles away from you for a specific purpose. He wants to be more involved, obviously.
It's reasonable for you to want to keep their routine. So, perhaps your first communication with your ex is, "Ex, now that you're closer, I think we need to talk about a new arrangement for when the kids are with each of us. I just want to share that my biggest concern is for the kids to keep their routine... so maybe we can figure out how to do that together."
Teenagers can easily keep routines in two homes (e.g., bedtimes, homework, going to sports practice, going to social clubs). So, you and your ex just need to be on the same page with what all that means.
The POSITIVE of this all for YOU is that you can expect to see your kids much more in the summer now.
It really is up to you how you approach this-- clearly, your ex moved closer to be near the kids. It's his goal to spend more time with him, and I bet he's going to make that happen one way or another. If you ignore him, he's left with court as the only option.
If the two of you work together, each making concessions, and figure out what's best for the kids together... then draw up a new parenting plan and file it with the court, you'll have done extremely well.
Plus, try to stop the kids from seeing their dad (if they enjoy him, and if he's not a threat to them), and your kids will eventually hate you.
I hope this all has helped offer you perhaps a different perspective.
Is it likely that he'll get sole custody of the kids anytime soon? Nope. Unless you're a drug addict or prostitute or child molestor, the only way it seems you'd ever lose custody of the kids is if you severely restrict their ability to have a father.
So, perhaps for your own long-term interest in avoiding a change of custody, give dad more time ASAP, and draw up a new agreement for the same.
You'll enter "Stipulated orders" that both of you will sign and then file with the court. They then become enforceable court orders.
What you may want to do is come up with layperson language on your agreement, and then the two of you can split the cost of a family law attorney or mediator to draft up everything in language that would be appropriate for the court. You'll each spend a couple hundred bucks, but you'll have a solid document at the end.
you can make up your own schedule. and please do. if you are serious about being a good parent, and you sound like someone genuinely looking for information, PLEASE do everything you can to make sure your children get to see dad as much as mom. That is absolutely what is best for your kids. Every man here (cept a couple of kooks) will tell you that they are DYING to be everything to their kids they can. You ex is probably the same kind of guy. Recognize that we are not saying your ex deserves more. Neither of you deserve anything. Its the KIDS who deserve. You and your ex hubby are too blame for ripping the kids apart and forcing them to only say goodnight to one parent each night. You are both to blame, no matter what happened to end the marriage. So you both owe them. Owe them everything. GIVE everything you can to try and make it up to them. That includes not trying to hoard them or keep them from their father for selfish reasons. No matter how tempting. I know. GOD knows how bad it hurts when I do not have my son at home. It HURTS. But I know he needs his mom. I know he loves his mom.
It really sounds like you are being a good mom. I respect that more than you can ever imagine, and so do every decent dad on this site. Good, fair, unselfish moms are few and far between. I salute you if you are that person. And I thank you. And your kids will thank you. I know, because I thank my mom all the time for being so wonderful and going to herculean efforts to get my dad (not a decent dad) involved. I am 37 years old and I tell her that she is my hero and how much I respect her ALL the time. Because I am going through this hell with an ex who is not a good and fair person, I am reminded every day how wonderful my mom was.
Be that mom. And when your kids are 37 they will tell you how much they appreciate you being a good person, not a selfish person. I cannot think of anything else in this world that would be better.
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