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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 04-19-2011, 02:08 PM
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On the court documents I was served by my soon to be ex-husband, he claimed that he was (since separation) the primary care giver for my 11 year old daughter.

This is a complete fabrication. I have always been the primary caregiver for my daughter. In addition, he isn't even the secondary caregiver since he leaves the house at 6am for work and doesn't return until 6pm. My family has always managed secondary care of our daughter. The only day that he is supposed to watch her for the entire day...which is Saturday...he sometimes drops her off at my mother's home for care. He also takes business trips and comes home late without even informing me that he is going to be out or home late.

My first case conference is coming up in June and I'm curious to how this might play out in court. He has zero witnesses and in fact, my family plans to support me in any future testimony.

Does anyone have any experience with this that can provide feedback on how this might go or any actions I should take?

Thank you very much!
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:18 PM
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Get your family/friends to start working on lots of very specific examples proving you were primary caregiver. You want to submit a few affidavits from people with different viewpoints all see you as primary caregiver, with specific examples to back up their statements. Specifically, if you can prove that he has made some false claims, definitely include that too.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:49 PM
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Thank you for the reply. He's petitioned for sole custody of our daughter.

And since he isn't even physically present...it would be difficult for him to even suggest such nonsense. He leaves home at 6am...arrives back at 6pm and goes to bed around 8-9pm because he gets up early in the morning. My daughter has to go to school from around 9-4pm. He has no secondary support from his family to even provide care and doesn't call or help with our daughter in any way on a monday to friday schedule. I cook her meals, clean the house, and manage her day-to-day schedule..always have. My working hours are set up to correspond with her school hours and its always been my family who help me...his family has never helped with child care.

On the weekends, I'm generally out of the house on Saturday and he generally watches her on that day. Although that's only post-separation. She used to spend Saturdays with her cousins and grandmother. However, he makes a point to not let her go there now on that day.

I have been keeping a short list of times when he goes out of town or comes home late without bothering to even contact me. Aside from a weekly note to let him know that I won't be home on Saturday (not because i need his help..its just an obligatory note), I don't contact him for any help with her care since I've always managed on my own.

Being as he has zero witnesses and his very own work schedule conflicts with his statement...I'm just very curious as to what the court will think of this lie. Its one of several lies on the claims he made against me including fabrications on his financial statement.

If he lies once...especially this blatantly does it set up a immediate problem for him in court? I really cannot imagine how he thinks he's going to get away with this one.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:16 PM
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Primary caregiver should be used to refer to a stay-at-home parent. If you don't work, then refer to yourself this way.

Since separation, where does the child reside? If it were me, I would not get into a huge argument about primary caregiver designation if the child were spending roughly equal time with each parent.

The child goes to school during the day so you don't spend all that much more time with her. Arguing over a few hours after school just makes both of you look petty.

Get a calendar, sit down and write up the schedule since separation, show what is a typical week and list any exceptions, like if she stayed with other parent one week on a holiday. Total up the overnights with each parent each week and figure the percentage. Be fair, don't get into an argument about after school time, the judge won't listen.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post
I really cannot imagine how he thinks he's going to get away with this one.

Unfortunately that was my assumption when I read my ex Application... and I still asking my self this question almost 1.5 later...

So I would be very careful with that assumption. My understanding is that probably will make sense only on trial. (that my also biggest hope)
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:57 PM
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We are separated and unfortunately still residing in the same home since he won't let me put it up for sale.

I don't stay at home. I work basically the exact same hours she's in school so I can get her to school and be home when she gets off the bus. When she gets home, I make dinner, clean up, start her homework, etc. If I need help with her care, I call my family for assistance. I never call him. He basically assumes no responsibility to ensure that she's managed before or after school.

Thank you for the clarification on primary caregiver, however, its what he stated in his claims in order to gain full custody of our daughter. Although I was initially ok with a shared custody arrangement with me as the primary residence parent..he's been acting very erratically since I filed and i'm wondering about his ability to manage our daughter going forward. He's very bitter and vindictive. I intend to fight as hard as possible for her to spend the maximum amount of time with me.

However, since he's the one who made the original accusation of primary caregiver...I'm assuming that the majority of the burden of proof is on him. Again, he has no family in the country and no one to support his claims.

My primary question is just how do judges handle a blatant lie like this?
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:59 PM
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I guess I was assuming that the burden of proof would be on him since he's making the claim that he's taking care of her full-time. Maybe you're right and that's a bad assumption.

I just have a hard time believing he has a chance at sole custody.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:04 PM
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By the way...the schedule is pretty regular. I have her Monday through Friday...and almost all day Sunday.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:19 PM
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I believe there are some things you can gather together to prove that you were primary caregiver as you don't want to assume anything and you want to disprove that him having sole custody is a bad idea. I think rather than assume in family law, you do your best assuming the worst. Documents that you could gather to support your claim of primary caregiver are possibly letter from school or daycare that you are always the person to drop off/pick up child, copies of all report cards showing that you've always signed them, doctors note that you are always the parent which brings the child for check-ups and any illnesses, possibly your families admission that you were primariy caregiver. Just a few thoughts and I can't say I've done this myself but have heard these ideas tossed around!
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess4
Primary caregiver should be used to refer to a stay-at-home parent. If you don't work, then refer to yourself this way.
IMO this is false. The Primary caregiver is the person who takes primary responsibility for someone who cannot care fully for themselves; you do not have to be a stay-at-home parent to be a primary caregiver.
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