Heart is broken...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Chaosuncontained, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    And I really don't think that there is a lot I can do about it.

    Background: In 2007, my ex husband and I divorced. At the time our children were aged 17, 7, 6 (Carson) and 3. We have joint custody of our kids. He remarried in 2008 and so did I. The divorce papers say that they go to school in his district (because the days HE has custody of them is the bulk of their school week--because he is off work Mon-Wed

    When Carson was starting the 3rd grade my ex called me and asked if Carson could come and live with me full time (Carson spends one night with his Dad). They were having a lot of problems with Carson (aggression with his siblings and step siblings, problems at school--"he too much for us to handle right now." I do not work and Carson is an 'only child' Monday-Thursday at my house. I have taken him to all appointments, to all school meetings. *I* got the IEP process rolling and took on all research and meetings for it.

    Last night the ex told me that they are planning on Taking Carson back and changing his school this Summer. I am broken. His behavior hasn't changed (Carson's). I told the ex to be sure and read the copy of the schools evaluation before making any final decision--but... I'm afraid he won't change his mind.

    Carson doesn't want to change schools--though he would love to spend more time with his Dad and with his baby half sister (remember, he LOVES babies).

    I do not have the money to fight him. I can't afford an attorney. I feel ill about this. My two other children ask me constantly to come live with me (11 and 6). They are not fond of their step mother at all. I really do feel devastated.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh no. He has just gotten this IEP started, doesn't sound like this guy has one single clue how serious this is. I am still worried about what they termed his "inability to transition without preparation" etc. He sounds so like he could have some level of autism. (at his age...relationship disorder? not "motivated" to join groups...acts silly to replace appropriate actions, doesn't know how to comfort kids but does show he wants to....processing disorder, adhd like stuff.... kids usually will do what they CAN do) but they see there is an issue and they are starting the process to individualize help for him, he is comfortable, changes ar so hard for these kinds of difficult child's....no matter what... If he changes this just when he is starting to get help it could be such a long time to adjust. so, I know nothing about the law etc. When Carson came to you full time did that go on paper? How can he unilaterally change that? I am so sorry for your heartbreak. I agree this is so not cool
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Given their ages - the 6-y/o not so much, but the 11-y/o for sure - wouldn't a judge listen to their requests?

    If you cannot afford a lawyer, can you contact Legal Aid? I know my kids' bio had a free lawyer for years. Given the situation with Carson, too, you have s bit of leverage with schools and doctors.

    Just a thought. And WHY would your ex change schools?! wow.

    more :hugs:
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Get the psychiatrist, therapist and anybody else involved. Now.

    He's 9. Even for a well-adjusted neurotypical kid, that's the absolute worst time for a major transition.

    This is NOT in Carson's best interests.
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Sorry, maybe I am missing something here, but why cannot Carson go to his father at the weekend? That way he gets everything.
    Don't give up. It may take some time and rallying people on your side, but you can win this one.
  6. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    Buddy, exactly, exactly, exactly. Ex's wife HATES me--I've done nothing to warrant this--Oh, wait. Ex talked to me last summer when he was about to leave her...and she knew from his cell records that he was spending more time on the phone with me than usual. Jealousy? Which is hiarious--I was married to him for 20 years--and I don't call him "Richard" for nothing.

    Step, I believe in Texas the age for consideration is 12. And yes, a judge would then hear a childs preference--but he doesn't base his decision on that alone. Ex would change his school because he lives 20 miles from my front door, in another town, school district and county. Legal Aid? Hmmm, never thought of it. But defiantley worth lookin ginto, thank you!!!

    Remember, I am Bipolar--who has been hospitalized and still has manic/depressive episodes (though I am medicated).

    His attorney, during the divorce was a BULLDOG. When I consulted with 3 different attorneys, when they found out who his was--basically told me I was in for the fight of my life--it would cost me about $10,000 to fight him because it WOULD go to trial...unless I settled. I did get the short end of the stick (one day less per week than he got, no child support and they have to go to his school district...I did get more than half of the equity in the house and he has to pay all medical/insurance costs). And one day my children will know the truth of the divorce.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  7. somerset

    somerset Member

    I know you are scared, and with good reason, but don't give up yet. About changing your child's school - as far as I know, joint legal custody means neither of you gets to make this kind of decision unilaterally. You have some time to deal with this before it happens. I don't know how things work where you are, but here in family court before you go before a judge for custody issues, you have to see a conciliator, who listens to both sides and can help negotiate, and can also make recommendations to the judge. The best thing of course would be to see an attorney. Search free legal assistance or legal aid. We have "Legal Aid" here which will represent someone for free in the family courts, and I think there are similar places everywhere. Also, lawyers often give free first consultations, which can be very informative. As a last resort, there are books which help parents learn how to handle custody issues in the courts by themselves. Nolo Books publishes a lot of this type of book. You need full knowledge of your rights. Even if your son is supposed to live during the week with his father under the current agreement, these agreements are not set in stone and you can request a change at any time.
  8. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    Carson can't go see Dad on the weekend--because Dad works Thursday-Sunday. He works at a hospital and works 12 hour shifts Friday Saturday and Sunday. On Tuesdays he teaches clinicals for the local Junior College. This is why *I* have them Thursday afternoon until Sunday nights
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...But doesn't Carson go to a school in ex's district? That would mean a LOT of maneuvering for ex. And joint custody means you get some say.
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Who has legal custody? is it joint?

    Was the court order ever changed when Carson came to live with you?

    When is the last time that Dad saw Carson?

    When is the last time that Carson spent the night at Dad's?

    When is the last time you were hospitalized?

    Was Carson with you when you did whatever you did to need hospitalization?

    Who took care of Carson when you were hospitalized?
  11. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    My ex husband lives in a different school district as I do. Two of our children go to school in his town, his school district and his county. Since Carson came to live with me, he goes to school in my town, my school district and my county. He is enrolled in the school that is within walking distance of my house. EX lives 20 miles away. On the days that DS6 and DD11 are in my care...I DRIVE them to their school, 27 miles away.
  12. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    1. We have joint custody.

    2. The court order was not chnaged when Carson came to live with me over a year ago.

    3. Carson last saw his Dad for 15 minutes last night when we picked up his brother and sister.

    4. Carson spent the night with his Dad on Novermber 27th.

    5. I was hospitalized in November of 2005 for 5 days. Suicide plan.

    6. Carson lived with me and Dad)and I was a stay at home Mom when I went to my doctor and advised him of my plan (my sister was babysitting).

    7. Carson and his three siblings were taken care of by Dad and my family who came and stayed at my home for a month.
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh no! I am so sorry you have to go through your husband's pita antics.
    Legal Aid, yes, yes, yes.
    by the way, just because you're bipolar doesn't guarantee that your ex will get to change school districts for Carson. You HAVE been taking care of him properly, and transporting him to school, and have done a great job. You're just assuming you're down for the count. I would fight.
    Never mind the Big Shot atty. As the others pointed out, you still have joint custody.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    First, sending hugs. Second, wondering why Ex wants this change at this time. Seems odd that right in the middle of the school year he would seek custody. What is his reasoning? DDD
  16. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    I really have NO IDEA his reasoning. I can only assume it is because Carson is having so many problems here of late--and I am being blamed. Also, EX says that CARSON said he wants to chnge schools and live with his Dad full time. I serious doubt this. SO I asked Carson if he wanted to change schools and live with Dad. I NEVER say bad things about the kids OR their stepmother in front of them (behind their backs is another story though lol). Carson said "No, I want to visit my Dad and "M" (his half sister who is almost 2). I want to spend extra time this Summer too. I don't want to change schools!"

    Stepmother is the main reason Carson came to live with me full time in the first place. She was afraid for the safety of the other kids and she was unable to "handle" him when EX wasn't there.
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    If there are no valid concerns about your care and no motivation (I was wondering if financial) maybe you should take a deep breath, exhale, and then respond by saying "Carson is being evaluated at this time and feel comfortable at his school. The faculty is doing xyz and Dr. K is doing xyz and his therapist is also on board to get him through this crisis stage. So many people are connected and supporting his path to wellbeing that I honestly believe it is in his best interests that we not pursue the idea of making changes at this time."

    If he is a caring Dad and works in any way with the medical system he might have a "light bulb" moment and put the idea on the back burner. Should he insist that he wants the change then you will have to get your team members involved. I'm sure you are shocked and your heart hurts. on the other hand, "the best interests of the child" dominate in almost all Courts. Stay focused on what is in Carson's best interests.
    Hugs. DDD
  18. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    DDD has some great ideas. Besides if you go to court over this that e-mail (and any response ex sends or if he doesn't respond send an e-mail pointing out he hasn't responded and ask for a response stating that you feel you two can work things out before it gets to court.) would be a very good thing to present to a judge.

    I'm willing to think that ex wants Carson now because you have started getting Carson help and ex doesn't want to admit his genes could produce a child that needs help. (Stupid but still happens.)
  19. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You are in great shape. If you have not been hospitalized since 2005, the court will likely consider that very old news. The fact that dad allowed Carson to live with you full time and that you have the other two nearly 50% tells the court that dad thinks you are a fine parent.

    I would recommend filing in court to formalize that status quo (Carson lives with you and sees dad 1 night per week, etc -- and that the other two remain on the schedule ordered by the court on XX/XX/XXXX date.)

    Hopefully you can find an attorney but if you go pro se, then be sure to read up on your rights, on court procedure, etc. (You should object to dad bringing up your hospitalization from 2005 since it occured prior to the last court order and it therefore not relevant to this proceeding.) (Even if it WAS relevant, you did everything right (a) made sure the kids were with a safe caregiver (b) sought help -- you did great.) Do not listen to ex's attorney as his job is to get ex what he wants and his attorney can try and convince you to roll over and let dad win.

    (Note: I am NOT an attorney and none of this is legal advice, just common sense from reading a lot of legal support sites. Legal advice can only be obtained from your attorney. )