Kids' dad is putting ideas in their heads and it makes me nervous.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, May 3, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Saturday night my mom watched both kids for awhile so I could get some alone time with my boyfriend. When I came by to pick them up afterward, difficult child 1 informed my mom and I that her dad has been telling the both of them that they are soon going to be living with him. Wth??? This just blew me out of the water. Never ever have we discussed the kids moving in with him, and if they ever did, it would be over my dead body!

    Their dad and stepmom live about an hour and a half away in a different county. They are currently looking at buying a new house. Apparently they have been taking my kids along for the ride while they are looking at houses around the area. Ex keeps making comments to the kids like, "Won't it be so much fun when you move in with us," and "Won't it be great to have your own rooms?" Both difficult children are adamant that they absolutely do NOT want to move in with him. Both of them are too afraid to say anything to his comments because they are scared of their stepmom and they do not want to upset her.

    I have no idea what he's trying to pull but it's making the kids paranoid. If they were to move in with him, they would have to completely change schools and leave all their friends. They absolutely hate going to their dad's every other weekend as it is, and living with them full time would be a living hell. I don't know why their dad is saying all these things, but my hunch is that he wants to get out of paying for child support soooooo badly that he will do anything to stop it.

    He has threatened to take them away from me in the past, and he has used my mental instability against me. I have bipolar, anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Last year I was hospitalized briefly due to medications that were no longer working. I finally found the right medication combo and I have been stable for over a year. psychiatrist says he will provide me with a letter should I need to fight him in court, but I really am terrified of going to court on this. I hope it won't get that far. We have also had social services involved a couple of times and I'm afraid he will use that against me as well. I don't know what he's going to do at this point (I'm too afraid to ask) but if he intends on taking my kids away from me, he is going to have the fight of his life.
     
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    You have several things going for you. You are stable now. You have support from your mom. The kids want to be with you.

    OK, so you've had some run ins with CPS in the past. That's not necessarily a bad thing. What was the run in for and what was the outcome? Was it after you were already separated? if CPS says you are fit, then your ex really will have a tough time proving you are not. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm Maybe there's even a notation somewhere in the CPS record that ex is scary and not fit???????????????? (a girl can dream right?)

    I would assure the kids that you know nothing of such plans and that if their dad wants custody, he'll have to go through the courts so you will know if it becomes an issue, and if it ever does become an issue, you will deal with it together. Untill then, he's just full of hot air. They do not need to say anything to him about it.
     
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    (((((hugs))))) I know this is scary, but your ex is trying to intimidate you into doing what he wants. He has to know he has very little chance of succeeding in court.

    First of all, empower your daughter to know that at 14yo, most states will let her CHOOSE which parent to live with unless one parent is proven unfit. So she does NOT have to go live with him unless she is not able to tell a judge that she wants to stay with you AND he can somehow PROVE that you are unfit.

    Having a mental illness does NOT make you an unfit parent. Heck, my exsil still has equal parenting with my bro and she is bipolar, bulimic, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), alcoholic, and an opiate and sex addict. She has NEVER had more than 4mos of sobriety in the decade she has known my brother - and that includes when she was preg with my niece. It is only by the grace of God that niece does not have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). She does have problems from her mother's opiate use during pregnancy. She routinely lets niece wander miles from home unsupervised while she is passed out from her drugs. But that isn't enough to get custody revoked. Even her use of substances around niece and having been PROVEN to have given niece opiates to put her to sleep when exsil didn't want to deal with her didn't get rights revoked. No 8yo should pop positive for oxycodone unless they have had surgery or a major injury. Niece hasn't, but she did pop positive on a test run after she complained to my bro that her mom made her take pills that made her too sleepy. Heck, exsil takes her to school 1-2hrs late and picks her up 1-2 hrs early EVERY DAY that she has niece - unless she forgets and doesn't pick her up or take her to school at all. When she forgets to pick her up, seh won't answer the phone and my folks end up with niece no matter what they had planned.

    But NONE of that, and not even total refusal of medications to treat her mental illness, are enough to revoke her shared parenting rights.

    You are taking medications to deal with your health issues, so they CANNOT be used against you. You are where the kids WANT to be. Ex has never wanted the kids before this. they would have to change schools and everything and I am willing to bet that any decent therapist would say that this is harmful to them. So get their psychiatrists/tdocs to write that down.

    Cps has been involved. they did NOT take custody from you or find you unfit, so getting someone to say you are unfit will be dang hard. If cps has already found you fit, why would you now be unfit? It won't happen.

    So stop letting him and his new wife scare you. Start empowering your children. Encourage them to tell their fears to the school guidance counselor. WHY are they afraid of stepmom? What has she done to scare them? what has dad done to scare them? Get them to tell this to their teachers/guidance counselor/therapist/psychiatrist. It may start a cps investigation of EX AND STEPMOM. That sure would put a stop to the custody stuff, esp as it isn't you making the report. Sit and openly explain to the kids that if they are willing to stand up for themselves, then they have a lot of power in this situation AT THIS TIME. But they MUST tell someone other than you WHY they are so afraid of stepmom and of daddy.

    I am willing to bet that stepmom has at least threatened them if not actually done something abusive to them. You don't get a scared difficult child with-o something pretty serious. If they can tell an adult other than you this, it is a big ace in the hole.

    Your husband is doing a lot to get out of being ordered to pay child support. If he can afford a new house, there is NO way he is going to get a hardship claim through the courts. He WILL end up paying more than the measly amt he offered you. He knows this. He is using the threat of custody change to get you to back down on the child support claim. He is full of himself, and I doubt a decent atty would support what he is doing. I know that our family atty would kick his tushie from here to Tues two weeks from now, and meet him then to knock his block off.

    You need to get an answering machine that will allow you to record ALL phone calls with him. Sooner or later he or his wife will slip up and say something bad. You also need to start documenting EVERYTHING he does/says, esp things that upset the kids. Just start a log with date, time and what he did or said. Document EVERYTHING. Heck, get school to let you know if he has called or done anything there to mess with what is going on with the kids.

    You are smarter than he is, and a much better parent. Don't let him play you.
     
  4. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Social services…ugh. Let's see, the first time they were called difficult child 1 was four years old and in preschool. She got mad at me so told a teacher I pulled her hair whenever I got angry with her. According to her, pulling hair while trying to get knots out of it with a hairbrush constitutes "pulling." A social worker questioned difficult child about it and she finally admitted she did not tell the truth. She told the teacher what she did so she could get back at me. The social worker told me I had a very manipulative four year old and warned me to be careful because she was probably going to get much worse when she became a teenager. Boy did she ever hit THAT nail on the head.

    The second time they were called they were going to charge my six year old son for sexual abuse. Him and a neighborhood girl kissed in the bedroom and difficult child 1 told her teacher they had sex. She said it to be funny. She knew damn well what sex was at the time and she said it as a joke. Luckily the cps worker who came knocking on my door had enough common sense to drop the case. The third time was the most serious. My kids were actually taken away from me.

    I had developed a kidney infection that turned in to a blood infection. I was supposed to be hospitalized but I had nobody to care for my kids, so I declined. The doctor urged me to admit myself but at the time I couldn't see any way around it. Instead I suffered tremendously at home. I had a very high fever, profuse sweating, shaking chills, and it felt like every bone in my body had been broken. I also couldn't urinate no matter how much water I drank so I was severely dehydrated.

    One day I was driving the kids to the grocery store in the midst of all this pain, and they were fighting in the back seat. They were getting very physical with each other. They began hitting, pulling hair, biting, and scratching. difficult child 1 scratched my son really hard and I had finally had enough. I reached over to the back seat and scratched her back to show her how it felt. Normally I would never have done that. I was not in my right mind. difficult child showed a friend her scratch the next day at school, and the teacher happened to see it. He called social services and they were taken away to a group home. I had to go to court to fight to get them back. I googled sepsis on the internet and found all sorts of lovely side effects it can cause, such as delirium and abnormal aggressiveness. Described me to a T. I informed my attorney of this and asked if we could submit my medical records as evidence but he said no. He told me it wouldn't make a difference to the courts.

    They found out I was bipolar and accused me of being manic. I was not manic. I was just really, really sick. It didn't matter to anybody. They were taken away from me for 18 months. They were temporarily given to their dad and stepmom. My ex and his new wife were on their best behavior when CPS was watching their every move. Of course they went back to their old ways once the case was closed. Anyway, I had to jump through hoops to get my kids back. Had to take parenting classes that were a JOKE. I tried every damn one of those discipline techniques in the past that they told me to do and they did NOT work on a bipolar difficult child. Besides the classes, I could only have supervised visits with my kids for only a couple of hours at a time.

    It was very degrading to have a total stranger sit and watch my every move when I was with them. After 18 months of hell the court gave me my kids back. Thank goodness because I felt totally lost without them, even as difficult as they can be. This all happened about four years ago. My ex never lets me forget it. Told me he did me a huge favor by taking them in for 18 months. Threatened to use it against me on several occasions. He collects all my mistakes and throws them in my face, and I'm sick of it. I feel like we are enemies instead of parents. I know I don't exactly look like mother of the year, but my kids know I love them and they want to continue to live with me. They are not treated well at their dads and they do not like it there. Hopefully that will count for something.
     
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    WOW! ((((HUGS)))) I am so sorry you had to go through that. As I was reading that last part of the strory, all I could think of was "Where the Effervescence was your ex when you needed someone to watch the kids so you could get medical care????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????"

    Anyway, are you lucky enough to get any of his stupid statements in print or on recorded messages? Told me he did me a huge favor by taking them in for 18 months. FAVOR???????? WTF? he's the father for crimeny's sake!

    And sorry you got a stupid lawyer.
     
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This doesn't change your situation now, but... doesn't your area have emergency care for kids with a severely ill parent? If you needed to go to hospital, here, and didn't want to go because nobody to care for kids, the system would step in with a "medically mandated" temporary foster - and you'd be guaranteed your kids back, because YOU were wise enough to initiate. If you need 3 days or 3 weeks... that is what they are there for.
     
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I have some of his stupid texts saved including the one where he pulled a no show and admitted he did it out of spite because I opened a child support case against him. Plus I have some of difficult child's that she has texted me when she was over there, including the one where she told me her dad and stepmother were making fun of her. She also texts me saying how mean her stepmom is and that she's a witch. Unfortunately I didn't save any of ex's emails when he threatened to take them away from me. I wish I would have. Yeah and I hear ya, "big favor" he did for me. At first he didn't even want them. He told the court he couldn't take them because he didn't want to ruin his relationship with his new wife. The judge couldn't believe his ears. He kept hounding him, asking why the hell he would choose his new wife over his kids. Ex didn't have a valid answer. They stayed with my mom for several months, until my bipolar stepdad had enough of difficult child 2's mouth and pushed him to the ground. I had to report it when I found out. The kids were yanked out of their custody and put into a group home. Ex had a last minute change of heart and finally agreed to take them in. It was the least he could've done.
     
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. If I would've known I could have gotten help I would have. I just didn't think I had any option at the time. Now I know better. I would never put myself in that same situation again.
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Don't kick yourself. Here? The MD would be in trouble for not telling you where to go for help. THEY are expected to know these things. You told the MD you couldn't go in to hospital. because there was nobody to care for the kids... HE needed to close that gap.

    However... if things do go to court and court brings this situation up, you can explain that there are options that you didn't know were available then, and that were this to ever happen again, you would do X and Y...
     
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    If the court will even believe me. They didn't buy the whole kidney/blood infection thing. They said it happened because I was bipolar and unstable even though it wasn't true. They absolutely insisted on it. My therapist that they forced me to see was on my side. She thought I was being treated unfairly but unfortunately her opinion didn't matter either.
     
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    What is the Change in Circumstances in the children's lives??? Um.....there isn't one! He is talking out his behind!

    Just reassure your girls that only a judge can change where they live and that they are not to worry about it; that you love them and want them to live with you!
     
  12. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Yes my son and daughter both know I will fight for them if I have to. I think at their ages they can speak for themselves, right? At least that's how it should be.
     
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I think legally it varies from state to state and province to province.
    Here, they legally MUST consider the childs views at age 14, and should have good reasons if they are not going to consider the childs views starting at age 12.
     
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    Here you have to first petition the court to allow a child to speak at a divorce/custody hearing. They prefer kids not being involved at all.
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't think we have anything like that except the above mentioned CPS, which is often quite scary. If there is family, I believe we are expected to have them take the kids...and these kids have a father...jerk or no jerk.

    Agree that court is the best place to fight this. I feel badly for your kids. How dare your ex tell them they are moving in with him and his new honey, pulling them away from their entire world? Some people...
     
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Your attorney will best be able to answer this but generally, you would need to motion that the judge interview the children in chambers OR (often the better option) is that a GAL be assigned to the case. A GAL will interview all of you and make recommendations to the court.
     
  17. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I've been trying for years to get a GAL. Here they only assign them if abuse is proven. Makes me want to shake the court system.
     
  18. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I have been battling with this man all day today. I am in the process of getting more money out of him for child support and he is fighting me on it. A child support representative called me this morning and told me that he should be paying an extra $450 a month PLUS half of daycare. When they told me how much he makes, I almost fell on the floor. He makes $1600 more a month than me and that's not including any income from his wife. He is trying to claim financial hardship because she is not working but child support isn't buying it.

    As soon as he found out how much more he would have to pay, he flipped out on me. Told me to hire a good lawyer. Then started talking about the kids living with him. Told me he is going to gather his info and see about taking the kids in the summer so they can start their new schools in the fall. I told him over my dead body. I started having anxiety attacks about it but I tried to remain calm. I told him that the kids are old enough to decide where they want to live (bluffing on my part because I don't really know the legal age) but I'm sure that at least my daughter, being a teenager, will be allowed to have her say. I will make sure she does. Plus he has not been involved in their education at ALL since we split up six years ago. difficult child 1 has had an IEP since she was six. He has never not once been to one single damn meeting. Never made it to any parent teacher conferences either. He is not involved in their medical care either. Does not attend doctor's visits and such. He is not equipped to deal with two mentally disabled kids.

    This man will do anything to get out of paying child support. He rubbed it in my face and said that from now on I can see them on the weekends and I can start paying HIM child support. If this man is serious and he's going to fight me on it, I am pulling out the big guns. I am hiring the best attorney I can afford and I will be using any incriminating texts and emails against him. He promises he will do the same. I don't know how we ended up like this but he is in for the fight of his life. God help us.
     
  19. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Calm down. I know where you are right now. You are panicking. I get there too, and don't blame you. Our mediation date is May 10th and x is asking for the moon. Calm down. I'm sure he isn't the only jerk to try to get custody so he wouldn't have to pay child support. I'm glad you are getting a good lawyer. Stop talking to him and start having all communication go through e-mail or text. That way you have proof. You and your kids will get through this and he won't come out of it well. It doesn't look good that he is asking for custody after he found out the child support amount. It will all be o.k. with a good lawyer.
     
  20. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Liahona. I'm trying to calm down. He has so much ammunition to use against me right now so I'm really scared because of that. Hopefully I can afford a pretty decent lawyer. I have a feeling it's going to get ugly.
     
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