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  • gaining automatic primary caregiver

    Please refer to my other thread titled "messy seperation starting" I have a question for anyone who would have any thoughts about this and what the legal reprocussions would be if any. I was given advice from someone I know that went through a custody battle, and he told me that I should not return the kids when I have them in my care, and go down to the courthouse and file as primary caregiver, and get my ex served with papers saying such. Being that she would now have to fight me so see my kids, I would be totally willing to let her, but it would stop the amount of times I am refused to see them. Any thoughts about this, I know that it's playing dirty, but I just want to secure a future with my kids for at least half of their lives. Thanks to any thoughts about this.

  • #2
    I think a maneuver like that will most likely backfire completely in your face. You would have to give very compelling reasons as to why you are moving your kids from the only home they have known. As well as having to explain if you had such concerns over her parenting ability why wait til now to make a move..I've read your other posts and I do think you have some cause for concern but the questions begs to be asked why now and not when you left?

    If you were to go through with it, think of the repercussions..if you did this and the courts returned the children to the care of the mother to continue the status quo I think that would likely look like a really big strike against you in further court proceedings. I think you would inadvertantly give your ex the upper hand by having a court say 'the children should be with their mother' for the sole reason of maintaining status quo, as well as it would likely infuriate your ex and encourage her not to be co-operative and go for sole custody, and from that point on your a coming from a strictly defensive position instead of an equal one. She could make various claims that she is scared you would take the children and not bring them back, and a court would likely see validity behind her concerns as you will have created a history of such behaviour.

    I speak from experience, my ex and I seperated and he immediately took the kids and claimed I was a neglectful mother etc..that was on a Sunday..on the Thursday I was able to obtain an ex parte order to collect my kids and have them back with me. Further into the proceedings it came to light that all his allegations were lies or extreme exaggerations and twistings of the truth. Because of his past behaviour of taking the kids and attempting to keep them from me a court ordered a temporary restraining order against him that he was not to have contact with the children outside of specified times set out in the court order. I didn't ask for the restraining order, the judge took it upon himself to make the order.

    I know its extremely difficult right now, but it ultimately would be in your childrens best interest to remain civil with your ex and be as co-operative as possible. If she chooses not to co-operate then that will reflect on her. Unless you feel your kids welfare and safety are in jeopardy I don't think you'd have a whole lot of luck with the courts.

    Although the family courts have come a ways in regards to granting Dads custody of their kids, it still is biased for the mother. I'm not saying you can't get custody, but I don't think you should do anything to jeopardize your chances.

    I would also advise speaking to a lawyer...see what your best options are....

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Thank you jlalex, it was something that was brought up to me today. I agree with you that because of the time that has gone by, it could look like I was abducting my kids, and I know the ex would try to do anything to bury me. I just have to go on what I have been from day one, proving that I am the rock for my kids, which I have been. My daughter, according to people who are willing to sign for me, says that my daughter is much happier when she's with me. By letting my ex have enough rope to hang herself has been working, it's been tougher than anything I could possibly imagine, but I have to get through it for my kids. I'm not even going for sole custody of the kids, I want to be split 50/50, because I know from articles I've read and councillors I've talked to that the kids need both their parents equally involved in their lives. That's all I want. My ex always used to brag about how good I was with them, I just want to ensure that I can be there for them. My daughter today had an ultrasound appointment in the morning, I didn't even get a call or a message about it. She isn't a bad mother, has her neglectful times, but all in all, the kids are fed, bathed and decently rested most of the time. They aren't living thier lives to the fullest, but I have to deal with that and make sure they are when they are with me. Thank you for your reply, you answered the immediate fear I had when hearing this, I just wanted to hear what others on here had to say. Soon I'll be able to give advice on here from my experience. Take care.


      • #4
        I think the route you are presently taking is the correct one. It is a shame that anyone has to fight to be a consistant present in the childs lives. You are doing your best to be a good Dad, and you are to be appluaded for it, unfortunately there are a lot of parents out there both men and women who use their kids as leverage. Hopefully someday the courts will have a default shared custody instead of the present situation where parents ( Dads mostly) have to show their worthiness to stay a constant presence in the kids lives.

        I've been on both sides of this myself, my comman law husband is fighting for his rightful visitation but his ex is being a massive pain in the a$$ cancelling visits at the last minute, leaving nasty messages on the answering machine, making wild accusations....but keep the faith because chances are things will work out in the end. I know it seems like a lot of people have really bad experiences in family court, but not everyone gets shafted and there are a lot of examples of the court working they way it should. Remember there are a lot of people out there who don't feel the need to seek out a site like this because they are satisfied with the results of their experience with family court.

        Hang in there!


        • #5
          I agree wit jlalex.

          Not everyone gets the shaft, and it sound's to me like jlalex is where we were 5 years ago. FYI keep the answering machine messages, and document the cancelled visits and if you have any physical documents like an email from the ex stating said visit was cancelled because or blames your husband, keep it.

          Not every one that is in the family system is on this site or similar, I like to believe there are so many were things worked out for them and the system worked it's magic properly and alot of children are happier because of it.

          Just be yourself, love your children and be there when they need you. And above all never, never say anything negative in the presence of or potential presence of the children about their mom. They will figure that out on their own, they are smarter than most give them credit.

          Just be good to your children. That is all that matters in the end.
          Not returning them is definetly not a good thing, I had a similar experience like jlalex and my children were returned via exparte order and the ex lived with this as a history of his behaviour, don't make the same mistake.


          • #6
            Thank you very much for your responses. This is just the way I'm handling everything right now. I hear something, then I investigate and be informed before I do anything. I am actuall going to pick them up in about an hour to spend a few hours with them before I have to go to work. That's been something that I've been finally allowed to do is to have a couple hours with them before I go on nightshift. I try not to say anything about my ex infront of my oldest. For example, I had my kids all day last week, and she kept calling me insisting that I leave where I was at because she didn't like one person. Luckily, when this happened my oldest was having a nap. But she is definitely very smart, takes after her old man. jk. Once again, I thank you for your response, this site has helped me more than the people I am paying right now, jk.


            • #7

              I echo what "jlalex" and "FL" has suggested. Follow the course your on unless your children are in substantial harm. Co-operation and communication on the best interest of the children is the best strategy with your ex spouse. Praise the mom and bite your tongue if you have to. Be calm cool and collective at all times and remain focused on your children.



              • #8
                here's another interesting thing that just happened to me. I was on my way to where I am staying right now, when who do I pull up to a stoplight with, my ex, bf and my kids. I'm doing my best right now from calling her and telling her what I think. I have the time and location of where they were travelling. But I really need my kids. I have a witness to the fact that my eldest is really confused. When she plays with things, she always tries to find that toys daddy and mommy and get them together. Breaks my heart. I really need to start expediting the process if possible, any idea as to how I can speed things up. The only people that I associate are already familiar to my kids, and I am not dating let alone living with anyone who my kids are around. I need to get her out of my house, I'm sending tomorrow a letter to her lawyer saying that if she doesn't get the proper financing in 14 days, there's a for sale sign going on the house. Any ideas?


                • #9
                  Crispy, you find yourself in an extremely difficult position. Patience is probably the most difficult thing you need to find the strengh for right now. A judge when you eventually get in front of one will care not about what your witness says about the children being confused. You are so far from that point yet you can not imagine. They most likely will order an assessment. Personally I prefer to keep away from social workers and try to go straight to a specialist this will cost anywhere from 5 - 20K and take 6 - 12 months to complete. I really hate to be a downer but you will have great difficulty putting the house for sale without the consent of your ex. Why would she agree to sell right now when nothing has been decided and you are paying. Some food for thought. Continue documenting everything. Stop paying for anything except child support. Get an agreement or start the process of getting in front of a judge. A very long process. Perhaps you should take the initiative to get a case conference going, it will at least get your issues on the table right away. Personlly I took my ex to court within the first 3 months, but still took very very long to finalize.


                  • #10
                    today, as far as getting the house for sale, I will get a court order for that. I'm giving her two weeks to get the financing, and then my full payments are stopping and I'm going to start paying child support. Which she has agreed infront of the mediator that my mortgage payments are counting towards child support, because it's more that the charted amount. The mortgage and loan will then become split. She will start to pay her half of everything. I'm not focussing on her directly, I'm focussing on my kids, and trying to see them pretty much everyday. And documenting when I'm not allowed and what I do with them, etc. My witnesses are not for assessing whether or not my child is confused. I know that she is not qualified to make an assessment. This is a place to vent some frustrations that you are having with the present situation, am I not correct? All the advice I've gotten on here is being followed. I am going to be filing to have a case conference. I do thank you for being the devil's advocate though.


                    • #11
                      Crispy, I think you are doing an awsome job of holding it together. I know it is a really heart breaking, difficult deal you have here. I for one think you are doing agood job of focusing on things that are inportant such as your children, certainly being betrayed as you have is very difficult. Keep up the good work and yes I do play devils advocate but have great compassion for the situation you find your self in. I really hate to see people shocked once they get into the system, personally I would have greatly appreciated the advise you can get here, biut was not availabl;e at my time of distress.


                      • #12
                        today, thank you for the words of encouragement. Yes it's hard to deal with the betrayal. I also really appreciate you playing devil's advocate, because you've helped stay on target. I also appreciate to everyone that has warned me of the courts being biased. That's why I'm not trying to get sole custody of my kids, because I feel it's important for both parents to be equally involved. I only want 50/50, which is highly attainable from my lawyers standpoint and very practical. My kids are everything to me, and it's been killing me not to see them as much as I ask. Once again, thank you.


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