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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 02-04-2009, 10:16 AM
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Default what are her rights? what are my rights as a mom?

I am not the bitter mom. I am not the vendictive mom. It's not about me, it's all about her. I am a mom that hears my daughter cry. I hear her say "mom, how come I have to go?" I explain that right now she has to go - and with eyes full of tears, she goes. She is on every waiting list possible for councelling - I am to the point that I might take her to crisis in hopes of expediating her on the list.

I am the mom that is afraid of the legal system. I am the mom that said in the beginning "you have to go honey". I didn't want to be in contempt of a court order - now, she cries, looks at me and just goes - she sometimes sneaks a phone call to me.

I have been told that all she has to do is call her dad and say she isn't coming today... she's 12, her dad would never let her do that.

I've talked to her about maybe things this visit will be different. I understand the courts wanting to spare the child pain later in life if "hey, he is a good guy or she is a good mom" by making things as equal or as fair as possible. It is just difficult at the moment hearing her cry every time she has to go.

So what are my rights? What are her rights?

I don't want to alienate her dad, or take her away or him out of her life. I just want to be informed. I'm the tou tou mother in a boxing ring.
help
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:21 PM
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Your posts sounds like you are a very loving and thoughtful parent and have done your best to put her interests first. I can also understand the frustration of being a waiting lists. The one thing you have not mentioned is why your daughter wishes not to go to dad's house? Is it that horrible for her there? Please do not be offended by this nor am I stating daughter is doing this but in most cases with children from separated/divorced parents what they do is play the two parents against one another. At age 12 she does have a voice but just because she does not wish to go is not a reason to the courts as well it is not good to force the child to go, I guess in the end if you do take this back into court it will be ordered by a judge on how this issue is to be handled. Personally I would try to settle this between you and your ex try speaking to him about how she feels if you still communicate with each other that is and making a plan that you both could be happy with in order for her to maintain a health environment as she know grows into her teen years which is tough enough on a child now a days. If not you could request the involvement of the office of the children's lawyer (OCL).
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:45 PM
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Have you been able to convey this to the father?
Let me explain a small part of our situation, which may be right out in left field compared to you.
We are the "non-custodial" home, dad picks child up for a visit, she comes running into his arms, visit is absolutely wonderful. Dad drops off the daughter, that night mother emails or calls explaining child was devastated after dad left, and child was in the closet having tantrum crying, asking never to be sent back to visit.
Dad explains (with pictures no less, of the great week end outings etc) that the daughter was nothing but smiles and laughter the entire weekend, he's doesn't understand what's going on.

Next visit, same thing, no issues at pick up, drop off the daughter is crying and ranting slams her bedroom door and refuses ever to go to another visit.
Mom again emails demanding dad to listen to reason and deal with the issues or she'll have to deal with them via court action.
Again dad replies with a step by step of what happened over the week end, and nothing would lead him to believe that she was anything but happy with his time with her.
This cycle continues, every time we are more and more concerned that the daughter is acting out due to PAS at home and is doing this only in the presence of the mother because we feel that for her to demonstrate anything except negative things about her visit would be seen as not ok, so instead of telling mom and the grand parents of all the fun she had, she's resorting to tantrums to get attention etc from the other side of the family.

Dad decides next visit to see how things go with daughter and try to se things from her perspective. So dad asks the daughter while in a quiet time with her "Is there something about our visits that upsets you in any way?" Daughter says no. Then he asks later in the visit (again not to seem conspicuous), "sweetie, do you think that there is something we can do differently that would make time with us MORE fun?" Again the daughter says there is nothing wrong, jumps in daddy's lap and hugs and kisses him telling him how much she loves to visit with him. So we shrug it off. After this visit the same threatening email from the mother, if dad doesn't take action ASAP to rectify the negative emotional damage that he is causing the daughter she'd have no choice but to take this to court blah, blah, blah.
Dad calls, he hates email, it doesn't convey enough emotion or sometimes the wrong tone. Tells mom everything that happened, and that he tried talking to the daughter what exactly was said and she had zero problems. Long story short mom was content with dad's explanation, but later in the month before the next visit mom emails stating that dad should not come for visit, daughter is too traumatized, and that he needs to address it ASAP, and went on about him talking litigation with the daughter blah, blah, blah. NEVER happened! But we couldn’t reason with mom about what did happen and what was said.

Dad is seriously upset, calls, no answer, goes for the visit any way (6hrs one way). No one home, no one answering phone. Continues like this for the next two visits. Sends multiple email to, mom and telephones daily, still nothing. Takes it to court for a contempt of court order against mom.
This was the beginning of a three year court battle and tens of thousands of dollars spent on psychological assessments. Dad alleging PAS, mom claiming emotion and psychological abuse on both our parts towards the daughter.
When this court battle started daughter is almost 10, by 12 still no resolve, dad is literally at bankruptcy, mom still alleging abuse and Dad claiming PAS by mom and her parents. To this day dad has zero visitation, and from our best guess the daughter continued these tantrums until dad said that he could no longer watch as the daughter was used as a tug toy in an access battle. He refused to watch her go through the emotional roller coaster, we knew we hadn’t done anything or said anything to cause the behaviour and to stop what ever was happening at her home (maybe it wasn’t mom, maybe it was only the grand parents, who knows???), all we knew was that the only one getting hurt was the daughter and it was time the real parent gave up the child to spare the child from being cut in half.
So can you see the two perspectives here?
Maybe it was the daughter being a young teen using the two parents to gain her own way, maybe it was PAS by mom or the grand parents, we really don’t know as nothing was ever resolved in those three years in court or the three years since.
I want you to take a detailed account of what happens right before your daughter starts crying etc, and what was said, etc, and even after and during the visit. Maybe there is something else going on that isn’t obvious. We have our suspicions as to what was going on and the old saying hind sight is 20/20 is defiantly true. If we could go back and do it over we’d defiantly do things differently.
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:24 PM
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Transfer times are very stressful for children. It is not at unusual for children not to want to leave the care of the parent they are with.

I highly recommend you schedule an hour for a visit (without the child) with a child therapist to gain some insight into this so that your concerns are addressed.

Moreover, the therapist can recommend appropriate ways for you to deal with the child when this occcurs, so that the child is comforted and especially so that the child's positive regard for the other parent is protected and nurtured.
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:48 PM
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Hi
Thank you for your replies. I am so sorry that this can not be easier for everyone. It really does not further any of us to fight over these issues. The kids really do suffer...and really, my stomach isn't enjoying this one bit so it certainly is something I can't wait to finalize.

Believe me, I wish I knew why she aches inside. I have taken inventory of what happens when the tears begin. Sometimes it is just her looking at the clock after supper and the tears begin. Often she'll say "I wish I didn't have to go to sleep" - and when asked why...she says because I have to go when I wake up.

I want the transitions to be smooth. I want her to not suffer from anxiety. I want a healthy happy young lady. So I know that I must work dilligently at finding that right path for her. I don't bad mouth him, I try to suggest things she can do.

I can not judge my ex. He is doing his best amongst all this I'm sure. I just can not share this with him because he believes I am evil. I've tried to think of ways that I can say it so he does not become defensive...it just doesn't work. He begins to yell and the conversation is therefore over.

I just want help for my girl.
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:21 PM
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Then go see a counsellor. It helps. I've been there.
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:46 PM
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I'm curious to know how she explains her anxiety?

Does she say she hates it at her Dad's...does she give any reasons?

If she isn't articulating why she doesn't want to go then she might be reacting the way she thinks you might want her to react.

Please don't be offended by that! Let me explain: When I was 9 my parents told us they were getting a divorce. My 13 year old sister started to cry. I didn't really get what the big deal was but I observed my parents and sister crying so I pretended to cry as well.

Your daughter might think that is what you expect; possibly by your reactions in the past (consoling/concern) or just because she has it stuck in her head.

I agree with Dadtotheend...take her to a therapist! It can't hurt, and honestly I should have been in therapy after my parents broke up. Despite the fake crying bit it really did effect me.

Lastly, from what you describe regarding the Fathers behaviour...I hope that is not being done in front of your daughter!

I wish you all the best!
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:11 PM
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Default great replies

Thank you for the insight. I have us on a list for councelling. For adults, there is a "plethera" of places and individuals to see. For kids, less than a handful. So, she's on the list. Waiting patiently and trying hard to continue encouragement.

Yes, I have considered she might be reacting to please me. I can only continue to reassure her that it is okay to go to her dads. That I am okay and I'd want her to have fun there.

I don't ask what goes on there, I don't interrogate her about her dad, I can only deal with what goes on in my home so that's where my focus is. We are different people and we parent different.

I'm not perfect. And I do not hold him to be. If we could just keep the trauma to a minimum, that'd be awesome.

So again, she's on every list I can find - in X# of years, I know we'll be in that much better of a place. She is already stronger.

You know tonight...she told me "I'm scared...but I'm okay". See, progress yes?
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:14 PM
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You don't say where you are. Check this out:

http://www.fsatoronto.com/

They are all over the country I believe. Families in Transition is a place I went within this organization. They are awesome.
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