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View Full Version : I could use some advice...



OriginalWacky
July 20th, 2004, 07:36 PM
Okay, this is going to be a long post, but I'll try to keep it brief.

Here is the situation: The Mate has custody of his two younger children (his oldest is 22, and lives with us as well, and wants to keep doing so). Their mother abandoned them in 2001, then filed for custody in 2002. The Mate won full custody in 2003, and she has visitation. She has now moved to Florida, and has the children until mid-August.

Here's the problem. She is pushing the middle very very hard to try and convince him to talk The Mate into allowing him to stay there. Her boyfriend (who also pays her child support because she refuses to work) is helping him line up jobs (that he can't likely do anyway), and she is trying to talk him into things like emancipation (which he wouldn't be able to do anyway) and so on. Oh, he's 16, by the way. The youngest is not really in the loop this time (maybe because he makes no bones about wanting to live with Dad- he's 11), but all the going back and forth is hurting him.

Her parents just moved to Florida as well, so the middle is claiming that it's in his best interests to be ther close to them, and with his mother. The problem is, his mother was very abusive to him, though in his eyes she can do no wrong. For example, the oldest has told me that she used to rub feces in his face for messing his pants (which he did until he was 10 or 11), she has kicked him, and slapped tham, and so on. Of course, she isn't doing these things now, and the middle says she has changed. The oldest disagrees. As far as Grandma and Grandpa... these are the same grandparents who refused to stop and visit the boys for THREE YEARS because it was "out of the way". But, it was ON THE WAY from their weekly trip from the Bronx to Long Island... in fact they drove RIGHT IN FRONT of our place every week for months.

Here's our problem. They have been there for just over a week of a six week visit... and it's getting ruined by all the drama of how The Mate won't let him move down there. He has thought about it, and he firmly believes that the best place for his children is with him (she's moved 5 times in three years, to different states every time) in a stable home (we bought this house), where we can help him with his severe panic attacks (mostly when he goes to school- we're considering homeschooling him) and try to help him succeed in the long run.

Should we consider talking to his doctor and finding out how this might affect him (the middle)? Should we start looking for a lawyer, and see what else we can do? Or should we just leave it alone, refuse to play the games, and let the kid be miserable for the entire summer? The Mate is firm, and is not going to give in, and I highly agree with him (although it would actually be to my benefit NOT to have to deal with the kids... as much as I love them, they can be a hassle and all). I care about these boys (in spite of what their mother tells them, and what they may think) and I want the best for them as well.

The Mate is hurting, here his kids are a few minutes away from Disney World, and all the things there are to do down there, and he's spending his time emailing The Mate about how he wants to live down there. He's hurting because he has tried extremely hard never to badmouth their mother, though he has ample cause to, and she's stabbing him in the back every chance she gets.

The middle never thought that our house was disgusting and unliveable until his mother came to the house and started saying these things. He never thought life was so bad until he got down there. I'm just at a loss as to what to say or do, because everybody is hurting, and I can't fix it.

Help?

blugirrl1
July 20th, 2004, 07:42 PM
wacky, i wish there was something i could say that would help. it just sounds like a tough situation all the way around. But i do agree with your mate in that if he feels that he is offerering the children what is best for them. be firm don't play her games.
i hope the situation gets better for you soon. keep us posted. and if you ever need anyone to talk to feel free to pm me. :)

skatha_mare
July 20th, 2004, 08:07 PM
I understand what you are going through. Unfortunately my hubby doesn't have custody, yet his ex is neglectful.


Children try to please the parent they feel least secure about. Encourage your mate to take the high road (but keep in contact with a lawyer). When the middle child gets back things will be rough, but give him the stable environment he needs and in the long run you two win. He's old enough that Dad can explain (when he gets back) that there is a reason an un-biased 3rd party chose him to have custody, and encourage the boy to express what he feels (even if to a therapist/doctor/ teacher/guidance councillor- this gives him a chance to talk freely on his own).

Shanti
July 20th, 2004, 08:25 PM
At 16 the court system takes what the kids want into consideration. If the kid says I want to live at moms or I'll run away, the court will usually say ok. The kids feeling at this age play a major major role.

Thats what I have seen from people from several locals.

I wish you's the best but you are in a tough situation to say the least!

OriginalWacky
July 21st, 2004, 11:40 AM
wacky, i wish there was something i could say that would help. it just sounds like a tough situation all the way around. But i do agree with your mate in that if he feels that he is offerering the children what is best for them. be firm don't play her games.

The Mate told him last night that he was not going to exchange emails every day about this. He told the midle that when he comes back, they could talk about it in a mature fashion, and until then, enjoy the time with his family in Florida. Strangely enough, the kid was surprised that his father didn't capitulate immediately, but he has dropped it.. for now. With major pressure from his mother and her boyfriend, it's only a matter of time before it starts again.


Children try to please the parent they feel least secure about. Encourage your mate to take the high road (but keep in contact with a lawyer). When the middle child gets back things will be rough, but give him the stable environment he needs and in the long run you two win. He's old enough that Dad can explain (when he gets back) that there is a reason an un-biased 3rd party chose him to have custody, and encourage the boy to express what he feels (even if to a therapist/doctor/ teacher/guidance councillor- this gives him a chance to talk freely on his own).
That first sentence applies to my kids very much. It's why they chose to live with their father (I think).

The Mate is always very calm, and logical about these things, and tends to think things through a lot before deciding anything (Libra and all :tongueout ). I think the hardest part is avoiding saying anything bad about their mother, even to the oldest, who is quite unhappy with her in general. We have never had a lawyer through all this. When we consulted with on during the custody hearing, two of them actually told us we didn't need one because we were almost certain to win! (Of course, nothing is certain, as they said, but it turned out pretty true so far.) We've had them in couseling before, and will do so again if needed. Of course, when the kid refuses to go, there's not much to do then.. if he doesn't want to talk about it, then he doesn't.


At 16 the court system takes what the kids want into consideration. If the kid says I want to live at moms or I'll run away, the court will usually say ok. The kids feeling at this age play a major major role.

Thats what I have seen from people from several locals.

I wish you's the best but you are in a tough situation to say the least!
But will they still want to move him, even after The Mate has gotten full custody (twice!)? The Mate has already told the middle that when he turns 18, and is not included in the custody order, he can move wherever he wants. Until then, he doesn't get to just decide on a whim to move in with his mother, and he especially doesn't get to use that as emotional blackmail to get his way around the house.

Everything that he claims is so much better there, he can have here as well. He can swim here, we go do things as a family here, and he can get a job here as well. The problem is, he never starts in with any of this until his mother has him alone away from the rest of his family.

I guess the best we can do is continue what we've always done, and that is to calmly let him know that he will be living here until h is of age to decide for himself, and at that point, let him go and hope we've done a good job in teaching him morals and ethics we believe in. Beyond that, he's going to have to make his own mistakes and learn from them. He will always be welcome in our home.

Thank you, all of you for your advice. It helps to know that there is someplace I can come and whine to when things get rough.

ivygarland
July 22nd, 2004, 08:46 AM
That is hard. That is a tough age. I remember wanting to live with my dad (parents divorced, I was with mom) and screaming at my mother for it. As hard as it is, you should probably let the anxiety about it go. Nothing you do will change the situation, and you need to be supportive of the Mate, when he needs you. If the son wants to move in with his mom, the courts would probably let him, regardless of how she is been in the past. Unless you could prove that she was actively doing horrible things in front of him, and that would be a lot of trouble, and cause a lot of pain. It may be really really hard, but if he is insistent, there may be nothing to do but let him go.

Hopefully it all works out okay.

Temair
July 22nd, 2004, 11:03 AM
I believe I read that children will always try to win the affection of an abusive parent, so that is probably what is going on here. I would just advise you to not give in to the mother's pressure and stand firm, knowing that he is much better off with you. Remind him that once he turns 18, it will be his choice, but you hope that he will think things through and make the best choice, but until then, everyone but his mother believes he is better off with you and so that is where he will stay. And remind him also that you love him very much and only want for him to grow up happy and healthy.

Zoritsa_Nepenthe
July 22nd, 2004, 01:00 PM
You may want to contact a lawyer and just see what he/she has to say(though you all probably have one already since he's been awarded custody before).If you have reason to believe it is in the best interest of the child to be with you...and the oldest can attest to it with his stories,I don't see how the courts would allow her to keep the middle child.

I wish there was something more I could say...I feel for you all.My step-fathers son is going through this exact type of thing,and they have contacted a lawyer(he doesn't have full custody yet).It just breaks my heart when I hear of parents neglecting and using their children against the other parent.

:hugz: I hope things turn out.

Zori

OriginalWacky
July 22nd, 2004, 02:37 PM
That is hard. That is a tough age. I remember wanting to live with my dad (parents divorced, I was with mom) and screaming at my mother for it. As hard as it is, you should probably let the anxiety about it go. Nothing you do will change the situation, and you need to be supportive of the Mate, when he needs you. If the son wants to move in with his mom, the courts would probably let him, regardless of how she is been in the past. Unless you could prove that she was actively doing horrible things in front of him, and that would be a lot of trouble, and cause a lot of pain. It may be really really hard, but if he is insistent, there may be nothing to do but let him go.

Hopefully it all works out okay.I don't know if the courts would be so inclined. The Mate has been the sole caregiver for three years now (and won custody twice in that time), has a stable home, and a stable income. She has no job, refuses to follow the court orders, and is threatening not to bring the kids back. Oh, and in front of the kids, she called their father things that I can't possibly type here if I hope to retain my posting priveleges. Let's just say it wasn't nice.

What we really want out of it is for her to stop making the kids miserable. Stop talking bad about everybody they know, about their home, about the town they live in. She's lived in worse.


I believe I read that children will always try to win the affection of an abusive parent, so that is probably what is going on here. I would just advise you to not give in to the mother's pressure and stand firm, knowing that he is much better off with you. Remind him that once he turns 18, it will be his choice, but you hope that he will think things through and make the best choice, but until then, everyone but his mother believes he is better off with you and so that is where he will stay. And remind him also that you love him very much and only want for him to grow up happy and healthy.

I think that's the plan so far. The Mate isn't about to just capitulate to the whim of a 16 year old, even if it's been put there by his mother. This is almost as bad as last year, when she had them for the sumer, and refused to get medical treatment for the youngest, and he now has permanent hearing damage because of it. We had to get the court involved just to get her to buy the boys' medicine. I mean, what kind of mother would refuse medical treatment for her own child in pain?? (Besides mine.)


You may want to contact a lawyer and just see what he/she has to say(though you all probably have one already since he's been awarded custody before).If you have reason to believe it is in the best interest of the child to be with you...and the oldest can attest to it with his stories,I don't see how the courts would allow her to keep the middle child.

I wish there was something more I could say...I feel for you all.My step-fathers son is going through this exact type of thing,and they have contacted a lawyer(he doesn't have full custody yet).It just breaks my heart when I hear of parents neglecting and using their children against the other parent.

:hugz: I hope things turn out.

Now just to find a lawyer. We aren't sitting on lot of money to pay one, but don't qualify for assistance. Between this, and the stress of my previous job trying to screw me over, I'm so not having a good week. And The Mate, he's miserable as all get out, because of this, and his worsening back from the assault by our neighbor, and everything. I hate to see him hurting this way.

Thank you all.