OK, new to the forum here... so "Hello" to all of my fellow divorcee's out there. Have been divorced from my two daughter's mother for 3 yrs now, and am engaged to a wonderful woman that has blessed me with a now 6 month old son. My daughters are 9 & soon to be 11.
Basically, the situation is that I have 50/50 custody and pay support to the Ex religiously. I get the girls every other weekend, but loosely as we sometimes will double up on weekends if either of us have plans with them that requires the adjustment. Up until about a year ago, the fighting and bitterness was very apparent. She then hooked up with this guy that was her "Mr Amazing" and he moved from Texas to Arizona to live with her.
Around the time he arrived she was behind on her rent and losing the apartment. I didn't know at the time that she was being evicted because they kept it hush hush with it being the holidays and the fear of me finding out. I had previously taken her to court for emergency custody because she was being evicted and she refused to let me take the girls even though they had nowhere to go. Out of the blue she came into money and averted the eviction, thus ending the court hearing.
So, her and her new guy moved out of the apartment and into a rented house. The kids each had their own room and all was well again. Until her drama forced him to bail while they were at the Dr's and they came home to a quiet house - minus his stuff.
A month later, she was evicted from that house and moved into her current apartment on her own terms. Meanwhile her health has been fading and they can't seem to diagnose what the problem is, but it's bad enough that she missed quite a bit of work and her job terminated her. She is now facing yet a 3rd eviction and asked me to co-sign for her to get into a new apartment. I am not willing to do so since I know that she doesn't have the income and will most likely default on that lease as well.
She now plans to take herself, both girls and the two dogs to a friends house that is 20 minutes further away from me (it is currently a 45 minute commute without traffic) and her friend is claiming she can live there rent free until she is back on her feet. This would be fine if she had plans to go back to work and it was a temporary deal, but she told me over the phone that she planned to put the kids into a school close by and that she may end up staying there for quite a while.
I offered to take the kids for a few weeks or months on a temporary basis so that she could find herself a job and get back on her own feet, since I not only am not comfortable with the new living arrangements she is talking about (they won't have a room and will be camping out in this lady's house) and the extra distance between our locations.
She saw this as a threat to her that I was planning to take them from her and that I was persecuting her for her trying to be a single Mom and her failing health. It was certainly not the case, but she is still VERY bitter about our divorce and if she has her way I'll never be allowed to have custody of the girls beyond our < parenting time > agreement.
She is now refusing to allow me to have the girls for my 2 weeks in the summer which I requested to begin immediately, and has flat out told me that I have to take her to court over it. She claims to have dirt on me, and over 4 conversations on the phone rattled off just about everything that I possibly had done wrong during our 10 yr marriage. None of that bothered me, I'm used to her slinging mud my way and I know that I haven't done anything wrong recently.
The last time we went to court, the judge told me not to use her coming to me for help as an excuse to file for custody, and I haven't. She has repeatedly asked for my help and I have given it every chance that I have been able to. However, this time is a bit different. I can't see a judge looking at her having 3 evictions in one year and saying "She's doing fine, she gets to keep the girls."
Am I wrong? Any advice? Words of wisdom???
I'm very frustrated at the fact that she is bad mouthing me in front of the girls and telling stories about me (mostly not true) about how bad our relationship was in the past and all of the things she THINKS that I did behind her back. I'm afraid that all of that verbal abuse that the girls are hearing from her about me is going to adversely effect my relationship with them and the last thing that I want is for my girls to hate or resent me. We have a lot of fun together and I try so hard to be there for them whenever I can. They've always been all snuggly up to me and hanging on me because I am Daddy and they are my princesses.... definitely Daddy's Girls.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.