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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
I see your point Hammerdad, and from the outside it does look like shared parenting is best. Yes, the issues are somewhat between him and I , but mostly with himself. I don't want to deny him the opportunity to parent his child, just to remove the opportunity for him to control me, punish me, go against what is best for our child just to spite me.
Ok, I understand where you are coming from, but here is where I put some onus on you. You can't let him control you. If you are having issues standing up to him you must, for your own sake, seek counselling and assistance on how to deal with your feelings and find combat techniques to deal with his attitude.

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How can one parent who is initimidated into cooperation be best for the child? How can you say it is "best" to have shared custody when he has shown that he cannot do what is best for his daughter?
I don't understand this part. If I read it literally, you are almost suggesting that you are not the best parent for the child due to the fact that you consistantly intimidated by him?? But I know that isn't what you mean. I think you may mean, how can a bully to one parent or something be the best parent for the child. But again, your issues are between you two. You both need to get yourselves into parenting after divorce classes and need to learn how to communicate.

You seem to be giving him too much authority over you. You need to stop listening to him or speaking to him when it doesn't revolve around the child. If you have an issue that pertains to the child, send him an email that explains the issue, your concerns and proposed remedy in a child centric manner. Put in a timeline for response, like a couple days or so, so that if he fails to respond you can take his silence as consent. Outside of that, neither of you should be speaking to each other.

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In fact you have just reinforced my point. From where you sit we look like an ideal shared parenting case. But the issues are much more in depth than what they appear. Decisions that are this important to a child's life and future should not be decided by meeting a formula for "x", "y" and "z" but rather on ALL the facts, both the undisputed ones and the ones that are not as easily seen.
The main fact of the matter is that you've admitted that he is a good and capable father. Parenting roles change during a divorce. Parents who weren't generally the "primary parent" turn into one during their parenting time. And in most instances share parenting puts into place means for dispute management where there is an empass like mediation or arbitration.

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Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
2. family dynamics are taken into consideration but aren't given much weight because, well...they shouldn't be. Each parent should capable of raising the children. While there are some households where one parent takes on more of a parenting role, the other parent shouldn't be punished because they weren't given the opportunity to do more.
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I disagree. If one parent CHOOSES not to be involved, and the child has grown to depend on the other, why make the child suffer by forcing them to all of a sudden lose that stability. What YOU are arguing for is equal rights, which is not the same thing as "best interests of the child". Eventually being with each parent equally is good, but ripping away a child's stability is NEVER a good idea. It's all about building up the trust with both parents, and that takes TIME, not a court order.
No parent chooses not to be involved. Households create roles and responsibilities due to their nature. A divorce immediate fogs those roles as again, each parent is now responsible for taking on all roles during their parenting time. Your focus is on for how long though. You can't argue the fact that he will take on 100% of the parenting role during his parenting time, just as you will. So your issues with stability (which is immediately shot during divorce anyway) and who the child depends on more are really moot, because once the child is in the other house, for however long a time, the child must depend on the parent they are currently with.

So it boils down to time. The issues that exist in 50/50 will be there in 80/20. And immediately when the parents choose to divorce they are "ripped away" from stability. And bringing back your point that the dad is good and capable, is not also capable of providing a stable environment in his household? Or are you linking "stability" to premise that because you were the more involved parent, you are more capable of providing a stable environment? Which to me is a matter of perspective.

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I also want to point out that situations where abuse, neglect and substance abuse MUST be considered.
And they will be. The premise is that it is in the childs best interests to spend equally with each parent. Now, from there you look for instances of abuse and if work schedules permit 50/50, and in some cases if each parent even wants 50/50 (those that don't should be shot).

Quote:
You're right, it doesn't matter who took out the trash, brought home the bacon, or whatever. But it DOES matter HOW that came about. If one person acted to control the family, force another person into a submissive role, should the court continue to reinforce that inequality?
This part brings me back to the issue of parenting roles. What if one parent wouldn't allow the other parent to take a material role in their childs life while married. Should the abused parent be punished by not being able to see their child(ren) because they were not allowed to be involved?

Where abuse has been proven, the courts should take into consideration such abuse and make determinations based on what has been proven and the scale tips accordingly to the abuse.

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Should the court award shared parenting to a person who would continue to squash the other parent until they felt they could not longer stand up for what they though best for their kids? How is that beneficial to the kids?
Again, this is an issue where you need to work on and find methods which work for you in limiting this. He can only control you if you allow him. Only communicate by email or communication book and ONLY about the kids.

How you work on yourself will show you how to co-parent with someone who really doesn't want to deal with you. He doesn't like you and I am sure you don't like him. I really believe you both need a parenting after divorce course and should most definitely have worded into any agreement or order that in the event of empass, you are to seek mediation or binding arbitration. And if that fails, you then go to court.

But by saying that because you and your ex can't get along (like 90% of other divorced couples) and that because you feel like you can't stand up to him and allow yourself to be susceptible to his bullying, your children shouldn't be entitled to share time equally with their dad as they do you??

He's a dick, I get that. But outside of being a dick to you, he is a good dad. So again, why should your kids be denied equal time with both parents who are both good parents solely because one parent spent more time during the marriage with them and because their parents can't get over their issues with each other and learn to co-parent effectively.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post



No parent chooses not to be involved.

Sorry, I have to disagree with this. There are parents that walk away from their children's lives everyday, some might return at some point, some don't look back...

Why, either because they just choose not to be a parent or to be part of the child's life for some reason or they know they can't give the child what they need or some other reasons.
In a perfect world, this forum would not exsist, all people would be created equally and everyone would love and always put their children first.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 06:47 PM
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Billie, one thing to add, if you had full custody and he just had access, he would still have the children the usual every other weekend and Wednesdays or whatever. All of the control issues would still be there. You would still at odds over support etc. He would still be calling you. He would still be coming over to pick up the kids, etc. He would still have contact with you and because he is a control freak he would still be trying to use the kids to assert control.

The problem isn't shared parenting, although that will tend to give you more contact with each other (depending on the schedule). The problem is his control issue. The only way to stop the control issue would be cut off contact entirely, which isn't practical or even possible.

To the extent that you can, you can limit all contact to email, and have the child exchanges happen by you dropping off at daycare/school and him picking up so that you are never near each other. This can be done with shared parenting, or it can be done with custody/access.

You have every right to limit his contact with you, and you should use every means to do so. But his contact with you is the same if you have every other weekend, or week on/week off.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
In fact it has been argued that these laws have to a great extent "taken the heat out" of the most vexed issue in separation, namely that of a child's residence, precisely because of the more balanced and child-centric approach to such determinations.

Of course they have. If there is a presumption of shared parenting then it is up to the parents to prove that shared parenting is not appropriate. It is much harder to prove that it is inappropriate, as one would have to prove domestic violence, severe substance abuse etc and that would simply cost too much for most parents.


The frequency of change-overs is IDENTICAL in both cases

It's not the frequency of changeovers that hurts children, but the change in stability. If parents ensure that their children's lives are as stable as possible (same school, same friends, same activities , same rules) then shared parenting is possible and preferred. But that isn't always how it works. When parents can't work together then shared parenting may not be the best option, and it should not be imposed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against shared parenting at all. It is the presumption that it is the best solution that I have an issue with. I just don't think there is a cookie cutter solution for this. I don't want the judeg assuming anything before the facts are presented. Would you want your kid's fate decided by "what is best for most"??
You state:

"When parents can't work together then shared parenting may not be the best option, and it should not be imposed."


Here is the thing, and I'm a prime example of it. My ex took position the onset of our seperation and was her (lawyers) tactic from day one. " The parties can not get along, therefore joint custody will not work"

When in fact I was doing EVERYTHING to try and make it work, and she was doing everything to show it can't work.

I would be criticized for questioning her choices of daycare providers (we did not have an agreement or order) at the time for custody, she would switch daycare providers with no consult or notice, then expect me to pay the penalties, oh and not even tell me she's done it, would get "oh, I forgot or it slipped my mind". She admitted to doing this 8 times over a year and a half, the judge ignored it. She fired one in home (her home) maid, ah hem, I mean daycare provider, same one I complained about 2 month before that she was incompetent for various reasons, she ignored, then fired her for suspected abuse after a neighbor called her. My ex never told me about this, and I have to learn about it through my children, I call her up to see what the heck is going on...she hangs up on me (oh, and I also find out about the new daycare provider through the children), she lets me know the day of where they are so I can pick them up!

I would send her emails with my objections, pleading with her. Anyway, in his decision, he mentioned about the parties not being able to get along, in fact I did everything humanly possible to make it work...why wouldn't I? I mean if you're looking for sole custody and all you had to do is show the parents can't get along, and why wouldn't she? then, wala! The father and children have just been screwed, didn't even get dinner and a movie.

SO from my preseptive, that pharse is too much of an weapon for the side wanting sole custody, and again, I'm a prime example of that hum dinger.
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Billie, one thing to add, if you had full custody and he just had access, he would still have the children the usual every other weekend and Wednesdays or whatever. All of the control issues would still be there. You would still at odds over support etc. He would still be calling you. He would still be coming over to pick up the kids, etc. He would still have contact with you and because he is a control freak he would still be trying to use the kids to assert control.

The problem isn't shared parenting, although that will tend to give you more contact with each other (depending on the schedule). The problem is his control issue. The only way to stop the control issue would be cut off contact entirely, which isn't practical or even possible.

To the extent that you can, you can limit all contact to email, and have the child exchanges happen by you dropping off at daycare/school and him picking up so that you are never near each other. This can be done with shared parenting, or it can be done with custody/access.

You have every right to limit his contact with you, and you should use every means to do so. But his contact with you is the same if you have every other weekend, or week on/week off.
I agree, it's very rare that I have to see my ex's face, usually pick up is at the daycare provider or school for the most part. Telephone message and emails/voice mails. IF you really want it to stop YOU can find a way! Or at least limit as much as possible.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2010, 09:24 PM
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Hammerdad,

I appreciate your feedback. We have shared parenting (albeit temporary). We have 50-50 and I don't dispute that. I have gone through counselling and continue to do so. Yes, he continues to intimidate me, but I stand up to him now. It's hard, really hard. And yes, I can see a little co-operations starting. But then next time we have to communicate, he reverts back to controlling. Does this sound like he is acting in our child's best interest? By preventing what is best for her?

I can only do so much, try so hard. He however has refused to go to counselling, claims that he suddenly does not have any mental issues (despite 10 years of treatment) and is showing everyone the perfectly cooperative father role. He is a well known Jekyl and Hyde character. Which is what makes it so hard for anyone to believe anything I say happened.

Maybe becasue I am big enough to acknowledge his efforts to be a good dad it seems that there is more potential here for shared parenting than there really is. I will take credit for that, since I am the one who has done everyting I can to make it work. I have bent over backward to design a parenting plan that allows the 50-50 to continue, despite recommendations from lawyers and counsellors. Because I BELEIEVE he deserves his daughter, and she deserves him.

But just because I know he has good intentions and is starting to become a great dad, doesn't mean that I should erase his past behaviour. Some very wise people have told me that a leopard doesn't change their spots. I've done everything I can to limit contact with him to prevent communication over anything but our child, but when we do have to commuicate he starts his manipulation all over again. Should I have to apologise because it still hurts? Should he be able to continue to hurt me (intentionally) just because he has a right as a parent?

I don't have the answers to that. I wish it were as simple as you claim (get over it, get counselling and parenting class). It's not. When one person refuse to move on and move forward (like my ex does) then the other person is left doing what they can to make the best of it. Don't assume that I am not trying my best. I'm only human.

Lost father: I'm sorry that your ex set you up that way. That is not what I am doing. I could have had him charged, but I didn't. I am seeking 50-50 with final decision making when there is no agreement.
FWIW, we have limited contact now, and there is less conflict. I refuse his calls, unless emergency, and there is little written in our communication journal. In time I hope that we can parent together, but right now I don't think its possible.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
Hammerdad,

I appreciate your feedback. We have shared parenting (albeit temporary). We have 50-50 and I don't dispute that. I have gone through counselling and continue to do so. Yes, he continues to intimidate me, but I stand up to him now. It's hard, really hard. And yes, I can see a little co-operations starting. But then next time we have to communicate, he reverts back to controlling. Does this sound like he is acting in our child's best interest? By preventing what is best for her?

I can only do so much, try so hard. He however has refused to go to counselling, claims that he suddenly does not have any mental issues (despite 10 years of treatment) and is showing everyone the perfectly cooperative father role. He is a well known Jekyl and Hyde character. Which is what makes it so hard for anyone to believe anything I say happened.

Maybe becasue I am big enough to acknowledge his efforts to be a good dad it seems that there is more potential here for shared parenting than there really is. I will take credit for that, since I am the one who has done everyting I can to make it work. I have bent over backward to design a parenting plan that allows the 50-50 to continue, despite recommendations from lawyers and counsellors. Because I BELEIEVE he deserves his daughter, and she deserves him.

But just because I know he has good intentions and is starting to become a great dad, doesn't mean that I should erase his past behaviour. Some very wise people have told me that a leopard doesn't change their spots. I've done everything I can to limit contact with him to prevent communication over anything but our child, but when we do have to commuicate he starts his manipulation all over again. Should I have to apologise because it still hurts? Should he be able to continue to hurt me (intentionally) just because he has a right as a parent?

I don't have the answers to that. I wish it were as simple as you claim (get over it, get counselling and parenting class). It's not. When one person refuse to move on and move forward (like my ex does) then the other person is left doing what they can to make the best of it. Don't assume that I am not trying my best. I'm only human.

Lost father: I'm sorry that your ex set you up that way. That is not what I am doing. I could have had him charged, but I didn't. I am seeking 50-50 with final decision making when there is no agreement.
FWIW, we have limited contact now, and there is less conflict. I refuse his calls, unless emergency, and there is little written in our communication journal. In time I hope that we can parent together, but right now I don't think its possible.
"Lost father: I'm sorry that your ex set you up that way. That is not what I am doing. I could have had him charged, but I didn't. I am seeking 50-50 with final decision making when there is no agreement. "


Hey, sorry about that wasn't trying to say that you were, just about that particular comment and my problems along the way with it being used at a "tactic" to gain sole custody. Though I can not speak for all the fathers out there, but I think that there are many who've gone through the same thing.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:03 AM
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no doubt there are many fathers that have been "set-up". I know you weren't implying that I was doing that. No harm, no foul!
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:10 AM
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Billie,

It isn't a matter of getting over it. It is more just moving on. The past is the past, yes it sucks, it hurts and we should always remember what happened so that we stay wise and never let our guard down when dealing with these ex's.

M ex was abusive to me. She would constantly put me down, to the point where it was like I couldn't even wash a dish right (and we had a dishwasher). She said she hated me, didn't want me around. But when I wasn't around, she would say that I am neglectful and selfish. She said she was only with me because of the child and she hated being with me in general. It wasn't until her father threatened me that I left her for good. Now she is a complete control freak, to the point of telling D4 what she can and cannot do on my parenting time, or who she can and cannot play with. Even telling D4 that she believes that I am not a good dad etc.....standard alienation.

I still remember all of the barbs and insults. But I've moved on, found my current fiance and came up with coping tools with my controlling ex. I don't speak to her face to face, ever. Everything is done via email (I have a gmail account where I store all emails to or from her, being doing this for about 5 years). Emails from her that are not child centric or insulting are not replied to, just stored for future use. I will not get into a pissing match with her.

My focus is my D4. I parent as best I can. When my ex tells D4 that she can or cannot do something on my time, I let D4 think about a bit and explain that it is daddy's house, he takes good care of you and if he says it is ok, then you can do it. I then note in my journal that the ex again tried to influence D4 during my parenting time and move along.

When it comes to activities or changes in scheduling, everything is done via email and all emails must remain child centric, as if you were writing a business letter or letter to a judge. Emotions have no place in this and can only lead to problems.

As for counselling for HIM, what you do is you state to the judge when the time comes is that if 50/50 is ordered that you request that you each take a parenting after divorce class in order to help facilitate communication. And then let the judge order that he take the class. If he doesn't he could be held in contempt. And if he tries to control you in the future, if you still to emails, it should give you a quick paper trail.
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2010, 11:08 PM
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Hammerdad, thanks for your feedback. I am moving in that direction, however it hasn't even been a year since we separated, so I am still catching up to where you are. I know I've come leaps and bounds from where I was when I joined here. I hope in time I can brush off his manuipulations as easily as you.
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