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Old 07-30-2010, 10:35 PM
1/2timemom 1/2timemom is offline
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Default problems with the 'step'

As my username suggests, I have 50/50 custody of my two boys ages 11 and 13. My boys have a step parent who seems to be under the impression that she has as much influence in their lives as their dad and I do. They've recently moved 20 minutes out of the city and she has started to put pressure on the boys to think about high school in their 'district'. My oldest son is a high achiever and is seriously thinking about the IB program, which is nowhere near where they live. It seems like any productive correspondence between their father and I has completely disappeared since they got married (1.5 years ago). I have tried to talk to him about it and he calls me 'crazy'. It's very frustrating to have to deal with the stuff that comes home with them ie: she tells them they will never be allowed to ride a city bus because that's just for 'wellies' (people on welfare), and that some of their friends are not acceptable because they 'are going in a different direction in their lives', she is trying to dissuade my son from his chosen high school with comments about the weirdo's that go there and that if they go to school where the ex lives that they will get a car. She has taken them over the border without my consent. She tries to set up doctors appointments. She has talked my son out of getting his lifeguard certificate, because she told him working at Tim Horton's is better (it's close to their house). These are just the things from the last month, the list goes on and on. I have always believed the saying that the more people that love a child the better and I believe she does definitely have a vested interest in them but we have completely different morals. I never bad talk my ex and I've had lots of reasons to, but this absolutely sends me over the edge. She is extremely materialistic, and superficial. I feel like she takes every parenting stand that I've committed to and makes a mockery of it. I'm pretty sure she runs the whole show over there and that my ex is actually afraid to make her angry. She brought a lot of money into the situation. I do not have the money to retain a lawyer, and they do. We had a legal separation from the initial separation that gave us plenty of space to do what worked best for the kids but one of the conditions of their marriage was that he take me to court, which he tried to do but when it all came out they were actually worse off as far as the money thing goes. So now we're strangled by this order that she refuses to allow any flexibility in. The kids are scared to even mention any change because it ends up with a lot of nasty things being said about me. I had to block both of them from my cell and email because of the horrific language that was used. Now I feel like I'm up against a wall. Do I have any legal recourse? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am also remarried but my husband understands his role in the boys life is to be a good friend, to always be on their side and to support my parenting philosophies. He is also terribly frustrated by the situation.