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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 11-24-2014, 09:37 AM
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Epona Epona is offline
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My youngest child (13 yo) has been having problems at home and school. The child is a bit sensitive and misinterprets some social cues. He also is sometimes being bullied. His older sibling can be a bit cruel (and refuses to go to any type of counselling).
There was an incident earlier this month which ended up with me calling 911 because of the behaviour of the youngest child (medical). Now the younger one says he wants to live with Dad. I'm devastated. Yes, of course it's more fun at Dad's house (for lots of reasons), especially when the older sibling isn't around.
I'm also infuriated because the father told our youngest that I've been trying to keep the youngest away from his father for most of his life (which is absolute BS -- the father unilaterally decreased access more than two years ago). Apparently the father (my ex) asked the younger one if he'd like to spend more time with him and described the regular access schedule per the court order. Then told the younger son he'd go to court and have some changes made.
Why would he need to go to court for access that is already in place? He knows he can't make unilateral changes to a court order (I hope he does), so I'm wondering if it's a potential custody battle the ex is planning.
I presently have full custody.
The problems the younger one has won't go away because he lives with Dad.
It's not knowing and fuming over the lies ex told. I don't think a 13 year old could have made them up....
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:33 AM
DowntroddenDad DowntroddenDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
My youngest child (13 yo) has been having problems at home and school. The child is a bit sensitive and misinterprets some social cues. He also is sometimes being bullied. His older sibling can be a bit cruel (and refuses to go to any type of counselling).
There was an incident earlier this month which ended up with me calling 911 because of the behaviour of the youngest child (medical). Now the younger one says he wants to live with Dad. I'm devastated. Yes, of course it's more fun at Dad's house (for lots of reasons), especially when the older sibling isn't around.
I'm also infuriated because the father told our youngest that I've been trying to keep the youngest away from his father for most of his life (which is absolute BS -- the father unilaterally decreased access more than two years ago). Apparently the father (my ex) asked the younger one if he'd like to spend more time with him and described the regular access schedule per the court order. Then told the younger son he'd go to court and have some changes made.
Why would he need to go to court for access that is already in place? He knows he can't make unilateral changes to a court order (I hope he does), so I'm wondering if it's a potential custody battle the ex is planning.
I presently have full custody.
The problems the younger one has won't go away because he lives with Dad.
It's not knowing and fuming over the lies ex told. I don't think a 13 year old could have made them up....
In my experience the best way to handle this is to be very transparent.

Tell your thirteen year old what the agreement says about access, and tell him you have not had any objections with abiding by the agreement. Don't accuse your ex of lying or being manipulative, don't go there, it won't help you. Just be honest, supportive and open to talk.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:19 AM
Links17 Links17 is offline
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Consider the following:
-you've had sole custody and now you are complaining your kid has problems. (sole custody does ruin children...)
-perhaps the fact the child has been in sole custody IS the reason the kid has been bullied and "misses social cues"
-so now: there is the recognition of a problem and there are some changes possible (custody change, access change etc...).
-Instead of saying - could a good male role model (i.e: the father) not perhaps help my kid against being bullied AND also get my older kid in line you are worried about some weird hypothetical situation.

What you should do:
-Tell the dad, yeah X is having problems maybe you can help, go for it. I tried and failed. I would actually tell the Dad also about the older vs younger kid issues too.

__________________

Each parent has strengths and weaknesses maybe the father, children dynamic would have made it so that your younger child would have never been bullied but since you had sole custody that relationship is destroyed and now it is just damage control.

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My personal experience:

I am very very strict about bullying between my kids I don't let my son bother my daughter and at the same time I teach my kids to stand up for themselves at school if they are disrespected or put down. I bring something different to the table than the mother and if I don't teach that to the kids then I'll have failed as a parent and I won't let the mom stop me.

Hey they aren't drug addicts yet - maybe there is hope. My 2 sets of cousins whose parents got divorced and had mothers that were irresponsible idiots out of 4 children, they all started off living with their mothers. Eventually 1 became a meth addict, 1 almost died from a drug related disease, 1 has strange relationship issues and only 1 is actually fully functional. Guess what, in both cases the Dads (besides ALWAYS being the ones financially responsible for the kids) got the kids out of jail, off drugs, got them jobs etc.... The kids are still ruined today but they aren't dead...

Last edited by Links17; 11-24-2014 at 11:23 AM.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2014, 01:48 PM
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"Consider the following:
-you've had sole custody and now you are complaining your kid has problems. (sole custody does ruin children...)
-perhaps the fact the child has been in sole custody IS the reason the kid has been bullied and "misses social cues"
-so now: there is the recognition of a problem and there are some changes possible (custody change, access change etc...).
-Instead of saying - could a good male role model (i.e: the father) not perhaps help my kid against being bullied AND also get my older kid in line you are worried about some weird hypothetical situation."

The father had NO interest in ANY custody, until this weekend.
The father does NOT communicate with me.
The father is telling lies about me (i.e. telling the child that I have tried to keep him out of child's life and who knows what other lies he's been telling)
The father reduced the amount of access time more than two years ago -- that was HIS decision, NOT mine.
The child is an easy target for bullies. I too was bullied (and am still bullied)
The problems have been recognized for some time. Not my fault the father is non-responsive.
The father is a liar. How good a role model is he? Not very good. In fact, perhaps HE is part of the problem by modelling lying in front of the kids and arguing with cashiers that they are stealing from him etc.
It may not be a "weird, hypothetical situation". Asked him for input and youngest child child tells me that the father said I've been keeping him out of his life as much as possible ...
What's the use.
There are always the disgruntled ones with a mountain on their shoulder here who won't believe what you write.
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:59 PM
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Whether or not your ex is a liar is irrelevant. His reasons for cutting down access before are also irrelevant. If increased access could have a positive impact on your childrens lives and emotional development is the only relevant aspect of this situation. Your kids are older than they were before. They have issues that have developed as a result of this growth and development. If your ex husband can help in any way with the issues surrounding this, dont you owe it to your kids to do something about it? He could be the worlds biggest douchebag but that doesnt automatically equal worlds worst dad. Plus, he has some access so hes not abusive, dangerous, or a physical/emotional threat. Why cant you try to work together to help a positive outcome for your child?
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:07 PM
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I agree with DTD. Thirteen years old is probably old enough (depending on maturity level) to level with the kid and possibly even show him/her the agreement with the access schedule that you and Dad agreed to. Tell him that Dad doesn't need to go to court because everything is already agreed and that you will talk to Dad so that S13 can see his dad more. But make it clear that this is something to be decided by the parents together, not S13. He doesn't get to pick and choose where he lives.

It may also not be a bad thing for S13 to have more time away from his older sibling if the two are in a phase of conflict right now. This doesn't have to mean moving in with Dad full-time.

I can imagine that it's very hard to hear your child say they don't want to live with you any more - but kids are fickle and can be easily swayed by what's more fun, what makes them feel more important. All you can do is remain stable and loving, but firm.

And no, sole custody in itself does not ruin children, and a male role model is not the answer to every parenting issue. Lots of kids with two non-divorced parents have issues, go through problems, etc. The difference (unfortunately) is that kids of divorce can play the "I'm going to go live at Mom's/Dad's!" card to avoid dealing with their issues, if the parents aren't united.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:33 PM
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I think that SOME level of transparency with children about the custody arrangement is important at ANY age.

Obviously, the amount of specifics that they are exposed to varies with how old they are, but think about the basics of it:

Any kid that is shuttled from one house to another needs to be able to talk about it, since they are living the reality day-to-day anyway.

My little guy is five, and he is recently able to articulate, in words, exactly what he has been living with for over two years already. He has begun asking exactly how many days/weeks that he is at each parents house, and wants to know where there are exceptions, and what the transfer days are, and WHY mommy and daddy have it set up like this, etc. I tell him what I can, and I present the details in the most positive light as I can. I use statements like "Yes, you were supposed to be at mommy's starting today, but she had to work tonight and all day tomorrow, so she asked if you could stay here until she is done work."

In the case of the other parent being a liar about the whole business, I think that is unfortunate, but it is a distraction from the real issue. If you have a signed agreement that gives your ex access, send him an email and tell him that you are going to take him up on his offer of taking your son for the majority of the time, and ask for him to provide a schedule that still allows for your son to 'visit' you. Tell your ex, in that email, that you are delighted that he feels that your son is old enough to hear about custody matters, and that in the spirit of that transparency, you will be sharing emails related to custody (including that one, and your ex's response) with your son.

Call his bluff. Your kid, being 13, is only a few years from being able to decide which house he wants to be in anyway. You won't find too many folks out there that are able to dictate access to a 15-16 year old child of the marriage. Many just come and go as they please, for as long as they are welcome at either house. Also, if your kid really is just trying to play one house against the other, they'll change their mind pretty quick once they discover the realities of no longer living in the house that they have spent most of their life in up until that point.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:34 PM
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I have NO trouble returning to what the access schedule should be. I wish the ex and I COULD work together.
If we could work together, shouldn't he have contacted me, instead of telling the child, "This is what I'll do."?
Please, where is the working with the other parent there?
Problem is, I don't believe the 13 year old knows what he wants. A third party put the idea in his head a week ago and the 13 year old thinks this will solve all his troubles (it won't).
The father is a malicious, vindictive person with regards to me. I honestly do NOT know what I've done to deserve it. I fear I won't see the 13 year old son if he moves with his father. The father has been feeding the kids untrue stories for years about me.
If he moves in with his Dad, there won't be any moving back because I'll have to sell the house -- I can't afford it without any extra financial help. No help = no home.
So yeah, I'm scared. I also really don't see it working out well for anybody. If I could, then I wouldn't be so upset.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:43 PM
Straittohell Straittohell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
If he moves in with his Dad, there won't be any moving back because I'll have to sell the house -- I can't afford it without any extra financial help. No help = no home.
So yeah, I'm scared. I also really don't see it working out well for anybody. If I could, then I wouldn't be so upset.
Okay, as a child support payor, and one who hasn't been in court or consulted a lawyer, I'm going to ask the more experienced folks on the thread to help me wrap my head around this:

Should people be banking on child support to be able to afford a certain level of housing, whether it be a larger house vs. a smaller house, house vs. apartment, etc.?

What exactly is covered as part of child support? Is the impact of a loss of child support a valid reason to determine whether or not there should be a change in custody?
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:48 PM
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What does your signed agreement, including access schedule, say? Can you send your ex a note saying you are happy that he and S13 want to resume this access, you'll expect him to pick up S13 at time and place and you in turn will pick up s13 at time and place? This would facilitate s13 having more time with his father.

As for moving in full-time with Dad - if s13 does decide to pull this stunt, and Dad doesn't do the responsible thing and contact you to discuss it, that doesn't mean Dad is off the hook financially. If he wants to pay less CS because S13 is living with him, he can't just cut it off - he would have to go to court (or get your agreement) to change the terms of the order. Sole custody/primary residence doesn't change to joint custody/shared residence just because a thirteen year old wants to live with his dad. Dad still owes you the full amount he is required to pay under your order until the order is changed, either by agreement of both parents or by a court order. If, at some point down the road, s13 has been living with dad for an extended period and it doesn't look like the situation is going to change, a judge might rule that your order must be updated to reflect s13's primary residency with Dad. But that day is far away.
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