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Old 12-09-2011, 03:14 PM
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Default Parental Alienation

I have been in a high-conflict divorce for 12 years. My daughter is 13 now. Her mother is very wealthy, does not work but has triple my income through a trust fund. My daughter does not, nor will be a beneficiary of this trust. Our separation agreement of 2003 gave me a good deal on CS, with a break for unusually high access costs. (My apologies if you're reading this story again, but I'm approaching it from a custody issue now...) To recap, right now we are in an argument over retroactive CS. My income increased over the 9 years since our judgement but she never asked for an income update, nor did our judgement stipulate that I provide her with one. For many years I had my daughter more than 40% of the time, although I am the non-custodial parent. Occasionally over the years she would bring up financial issues, saying I should pay more. My response was always that I was willing to pay more, but I thought we should adjust our judgement to reflect what we were actually doing, sharing custody. Then we would share costs proportionate to our incomes. Obviously this was not favourable to her with our income disparity, so we slid along year after year, neither of us taking action to make a change one way or the other. My daughter wanted to be with me as much as possible, and I provided generously for my her, and took care of her nearly half the time. Everybody was happy. Until my daughter reached the age of 12... She became very rebellious and both my ex and I were having big problems. But with one difference: I supported my ex in her discipline issues, she used them to undermine me. When I grounded my daughter one weekend, my ex claimed my daughter didn't want to see me any more. Immediately after this event my ex took my daughter on a one month trip to Italy. That was July of 2010. This deepened a problem that should have been resolved in a few days. I was to have August with my daughter, as per our plan. On their return from Italy my ex announced that my daughter still did not want to see me and that because of this she had invited a friend of my daughter's to visit, for the entire month, my month! She said she could not leave this friend in my care because she was responsible for her, and my daughter was still mad at me, so she had no choice but to deny access. So she shut me out for the entire month. When the school year resumed she kept my daughter busy on my access weeks, kept her in the country with her domestic partner, a trip abroad, etc etc. I emailed her every week requesting access as per our agreement. This drove her bananas. I lined up a family therapist, who made a lot of progress, and I began seeing my daughter a bit more. But when Christmas came along my ex declared that she and her domestic partner were taking her to Viet Nam for her entire winter break. I complained and delayed signing a travel letter, but her lawyer threatened action. So I signed. Unbeknownst to me all this time she and her domestic partner were having a lot of conflict with my daughter. I believe this was because what was going on was unnatural. The three of them had a huge fight the day before their trip, and my ex cancelled the whole thing, blaming it all on my daughter's bad behavior. My daughter turned up at my door one morning in December, and thus ended six months of alienation for me. She spent Christmas with me and we had a great time, like nothing ever happened. But in the new year my ex tried again to deny access, but this time I had a lawyer and with some pressure she backed off. However in family mediation she has successfully negotiated my access time down to what would be a normal non-cusotodial parent's pattern, every other weekend plus a few days here and there, plus August still, and alternating holidays. I feel that she manipulated my daughter into this, because at her age she's not particularly interested in hanging out with either of her parents... We still get a long very well, but she's all about friends at this stage of her life. My ex and I still haven't signed anything yet.
And now the ex is going for retroactive CS all the way back to 2003, and trying for more CS, s7, etc etc. I feel that during those years my daughter was with me so much, acting on legal advice that she was vulnerable to losing sole custody should she open up the case again regarding updating my CS, she planned this whole alienation thing out, found a way to manipulate my daughter's new indifference to parents in general, successfully alienate me for six months, use that leverage to negotiate a change in our informal access pattern where I now have a non-custodial type deal, all to set herself up to be in a strong position now to negotiate for a good deal for herself going forward. (Or original judgement had nothing about future education costs, post-secondary etc. It's a long story, but she lied in an affidavit, and I had proof, and they didn't want to go to court, so we settled on what was a very reasonable deal for me.) Believe me, she thinks this way...

Does what happened to me sound like parental alienation? My daughter came out with disparaging and false statements about me, which obviously came from her mother during the six months where access was denied. Would a court look unfavourably on this mother petitioning over these money issues with these access issues looming in the background? Do I have a case for shared custody at this stage? It's been a year and a half since I have not been in a shared custody pattern with my daughter. My daughter says she never requested to have my access time reduced. It was her mother doing this in mediation. She'll be 14 in March. Is it too late to open re-open the custody issue? If they try to bring me to court for money issues could I petition for shared custody? Does it sound like I have a case?
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:36 PM
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Don't you love when you discipline a kid so they decide not to come back and visit you, and the other parent backs them up instead of you? We have been dealing with this for 5 years now. My oldest step-daughter who is thankfully almost of age now didn't see her father for nearly a year. Her mother said "she's old enough to decide for herself". Maybe so, but the way I see it, you are the parent and she lives under your roof. She does what you tell her to do. If you really cared about her having a good relationship with her father, you'd send her over anyway. But then she wouldn't love you more than her Dad would she? And that's what it's all about for some...
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:12 PM
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At 14 the child will decide where she wants to live.

The Judge will ask her what she wants, and she`ll get it - unless there is very damning reasons she shouldn`t. Think abuse or something.

You would be wasting your time and money.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:23 PM
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CCB,
True and pathetic. My child ran to dad, when he came back I told him never to try that in my home, that there was no way he was going to live here and not have a relationship with his dad..
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:41 PM
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My ex wife was diagnosed bi-polar disorder many years ago. She told me that before we were married. I do believe it effects her behavior. The other component of this situation is her domestic partner. In 2003 he was a stock broker and lost his license and got sued over a shady deal. He brought investors to an investment broker, making a three percent commission. The money was either not invested, or not properly invested while they lived lavish lifestyles, spending their investors money. Eventually this caught up with them and they got sued, investigated and lost their trading licenses. I don't believe there was a conviction, but I do believe he has some sort of wage garnishing judgement against him. He's a charming guy, as crooks tend to be. So then he meets my very wealthy ex, and the problems began for me when they started living together (when my daughter was 12). Not long afterwards the problems began for me. It's been back and forth now for two years, but basically I'm out now, after many years of a happy relationship with my daughter. Wretchedotis, are these damning reasons for me to petition for shared or sole custody of a 14 year old?
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