Anybody else have a grandchild, an adult child, and a crazy ex?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sportsfan isn't perfect, but he's calming down and is determined to make a good home for his child, my grandson. I'm very grateful he is stepping up to the plate. His soon-to-be-ex is so ditzy that she is giving him almost EVERYTHING just to get out of the marriage quickly. My son is able to keep the house that Grandson grew up in and, at least when Grandson is with Sportsfan, which will be 50% of the time, his home life will be stable and unchanged from what he was used to.

    I'm worried about how Grandson is being treated by soon-to-be-ex, who I will just refer to as X. The divorce should be final at the end of July.

    She got a very tiny apartment because her credit is terrible and she couldn't get a better place. Grandson, who I will call Little S. is a lot like my son. My son is high anxiety and so is Little S. He is high maintenance and does best with routine, structure, a good sleep schedule, and calmness.

    X has been going out all night, stumbling home early in the morning, yelling at Sportsfan and Little S. When she takes Little S. out it is to see her group of friends that she parties with. Although there is no divorce yet, Little S. has already met her new boyfriend and she keeps him out until 10 or later at night so he is crabby the next day and overstimulated.

    There is nothing SportsFan, me or anyone can do about it and nothing Judge will do about it. My son has a great lawyer, and even he said X's behavior, unless illegal, is not factored into anything. I am really afraid of what Little S's life will be like when X has him. She is very impulsive, lives in the moment, is irresponsible and flighty. I have never seen or heard about her hitting Little S., but she gets very harsh with him and he cries and she just yells more so he cries more.

    I really don't understand how parents can get divorced and then get so involved with their new honeys that they put their kids behind them, which is what she is doing. She seems to have no understanding how hard it is going to be for Little S. Or she doesn't care. To date, she has refused to sit down with Sportsfan to even tell Little S. that he is going to be moving out with her. Little S. is going to go ballistic and be terrified. And she'll probably yell at him for it. In case my post was unclear, although X has her apartment ready to move into, she hasn't packed and left yet. That will happen this weekend.

    There are so many parents that I just don't understand. It makes me really sad.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your son may have a great lawyer, but he is wrong! A parent's level of care and lifestyle are totally factors in custody cases! If she is not providing a stable/safe environment for her son, then your son has a legal and moral obligation to present those facts to the court. I would imagine a truly adept attorney would advise him as to how to begin gathering evidence to prove it so. At that point, your son could file for 100% physical custody if he truly believes it is in the best interest of his son to keep him full time and not something he is doing to "get back" at his X.

  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    MWM - LDM is right. The odds aren't good, of course. But verbal and emotional abuse is what this is, plain and simple, and it could factor in. (Proof, on the other hand, is a bear to get.)

    However, if she wants to spend all that time with her boyfriend... Or friends... Can SportsFan "offer" to watch SweetPea during her time if she needs him to? A "friendly" gesture? She could get used to it... Then... SweetPea gets what's best, without a huge mess...
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and thanks. She hasn't done anything other than keep him up late and yell at him and he has told his lawyer. He wants to get the divorce over with first, then see what he can do. Little S. loves his mother. It's tricky. Although lately he has been crying for his daddy when X is the one who drives him to the babysitter etc.

    Sportsfan has been looking through her things when she's gone for evidence of, say, drug use, but he hasn't found anything. If he ever does, he will go right back to court. He can't afford a PI. We talked about it. His father is already paying for the lawyer. We can't afford to help financially. I wish we could.

    X is only moving fifteen minutes away from Sportsfan and he has already told her that he will take Little S any time if she needs a break. Right now he is trying hard to be cordial so that she doesn't back off on the agreement, which is very favorable to him. And it's favoable to Little S. because if Sportsfan can stay in the house, Little S. can often be at the place he loves. Also, Sportsfan will have extra pocket money for Little S. We think X believes her new boyfrirend is going to marry her and they will live happily ever after and she won't have to worry about her bills. She just wants out.

    Sportsfan is documenting X's behaviors. You can't just say, "X is not acting in kid's best interests." You have to prove it.

    I'm going to try to get down to St. Louis very soon to help Little S. He isn't getting fussed over much when he is with X. He is being dragged around with X's "new friends" and boyfriend and it's not about HIM, it's about the adults. I want to spend a few weeks making it all about him.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Seems like he is doing it just right and good that he has also a smart lawyer. Bad parenting can indeed be a factor in custody issues, but usually what constitutes a bad parenting has to be pretty grave. If you have any kind of hope of cordial custody situation, going on and starting a fight over parent keeping child up too late and introducing him too early to new boy- or girlfriend or yelling to the kid is not wise. If they are headed to favourable deal for your son's point of view, that is what he should concentrate, keeping the peace.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Three things he should try and have in the parenting plan part of the court order:

    (1) ROFR -- right of first refusal, requires them to offer the child to the other parent instead of using a babysitter if they will be gone more than a set number of hours (usually 4); maybe add that if the parent will be gone past 9pm, that the child may sleep at the other parents house

    (2) Receiving party picks up -- A neighbor went through a similar divorce and we recommended that he do this since mom was so into her new beau. Many times, mom has not shown up to pick up the kids so dad gets extra time. Like Sportsfan, he kept the house so the kids were fine in their own rooms. (On a good note, when mom realized what damage she was doing to her kids, she straightened herself out a bit.)

    (3) Have Sportsfan residence be the one used for "school residency" purposes
  7. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    He has to keep the peace until this is over. He can go back and rectify custody issues. His main goal is to keep everything in his favor, it's great news that she just wants out, he has to keep her dumb and happy for now.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much for the posts and for the advice (JJJ). He lives right near the school district. X is going to live near Sportsfan so it would be no problem for Sportsfan to drop Little S. off at his school once he starts kindergarten (he has another year before that). I love that right of refusal! I am definitely going to tell him to put that into the agreement because I'm sure he doesn't trust who she would choose to babysit for her child.

    When X was with Sportsfan, I felt funny visiting. Now I can go over there and spoil Little S. to pieces. And I will. Poor little boy. The kids are always the ones who lose out.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    One more thing to consider... Little S is very young yet, so SF is in it for the long haul.
    He needs to build a team around him and Little S.

    Any doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, school resource, etc. that works with Little S... SF needs to get to know them, if possible.
    Because... IF things go downhill in a few years and X's parenting seems to be a problem? The more "outside experts" he has on his side, the better. In court, "he said, she said" doesn't go very far... but "therapist said" and "pediatrician noticed" and "school is concerned about" go MUCH farther.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, they are going to have joint custody and idiot X doesn't believe in therapy. I'm not sure he can take Little S. for help without X's approval. I've seen this on the forum as sometimes an area of contention. I sure hope X allows it, but I'm not optimistic.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Doesn't have to be therapist/psychiatrist stuff. Little S will HAVE to have a pediatrician or family doctor, for starters. And once he gets into school... school's opinions count, too.
    It's just so unfair... to the kids, especially.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, he is thinking of a support group for children of divorce. X doesn't need to know everything. If she denied him help, if he needed it, I don't know if the court would be sympathetic to her. Like I said, Sportsfan wants the divorce to go through the way the agreement is written. Once she is safely out of his life, he can tweak things a bit.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    And yes... Those support groups for children of divorce? At least the ones I've known about, have been a GREAT help. Those aren't even considered "therapy"... (officially, it's "support"), so denying THAT would not look good for X.
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Unless the court order says something to the contrary, they each can put the kids in activities on their own parenting time without input from the other. I'd say a 'children of divorce group' would fall under 'activity' and not therapy.

    Good for Sportsfan for looking out for little sport.
  15. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    MWM---as you know, my son is in a very similar situation. She is still in the house---papers have been filed---she was supposed to be out July 1, but has asked son for another month or she will have to revisit agreement---ugh. He needs peace. I have had grands all week. They are definitely feeling the affects of the situation. It is sad.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    everywoman, it really Hoovers until the X-to-be is gone. And it still hoovers for the kids. I feel so bad for all kids who go through divorces. The really young ones don't understand. I'm not sure any kids ever like it.
  17. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    The only way I can answer this question is to say "NOT YET"

    (trying to add some levity - and hope this makes you smile)