Confused. Didn't your son tell you that seriously wrong things are happening there and that his safety is imperiled?
You may feel powerless but you're not. If it was me I might think about recording my son's calls to me--after I check if it's legal in my state.
Your ex does not have any legal rights. I feel certain that there is some kind of record of his substance abuse issues and bad judgment, let alone how he puts your son at risk.
Have you thought about calling your ex and telling him that the visit is over, you want your son home. Don't get caught up in justifying it to him. If you believe your son is at risk, you kind of have to do this. If your ex does not bring him back, go to the district attorney's office.
What about Al Anon groups online? They would help.
Confused. I don't understand why you are letting your ex set the terms when you have all of the legal power.
Would you consider answering back to your ex, "No. That arrangement is unsatisfactory to me. We discussed 3 months, at the longest and I don't think that's in son's interest."
But before saying this I would think through what you want. And tell ex that. The people here on this board will help you be strong, and to advocate for yourself and your child. Al Anon will help with that too.
Basically, the only evidencevb i would get is if the judge was a fly on the wall inside his house. My wx knowsvto be careful what to say to people, how to get kids / girlfriends to lie gor him. Hes charming and knows what and how to say to turn it on others. He knows how to cover up.
My sons overall behaving, doing school and showers. Ya, not only is this new but being threatned with a belt and seeing the possible threat against a sibling...
Ya, id do everything and agree with him i wanted him...
Unless my son sees this is bad, wants out, i know im at a loss.
Again, strong woman, get a lawyer. Cops don't get involved in custody cases. When my sister's ex held her son on her days the cops came but told her he could not force son to go with him to her house, can just try to talk to him. The cop was shown the parenting plan and said it's a court issue so back to court they went. And are still.
Once this is settled never give your ex your child without going to court first or ex can say you gave him son because you couldn't handle him or anything he wants or his lawyer wants and you will have a new custody battle ahead. Family court is different from other courts. So don't do anything new on your own as teen custody battles reopen all the time. And kids have a say and are given their own lawyers. Sons lawyer will talk for your son a lot of the time if it gets that far. But Son will talk too. No custody ruling is forever.
If you are lucky enough to have free legal help where you live use it. Where I live we don't have this. But try. See. See a Family Lawyer only. They know the strangeness of Family Law. Other lawyers usually don't. My one sister had to switch from a general lawyer to a family lawyer to match her exes lawyer.
Try the cops although I don't think they can do much (or want to) about these matters. Can't hurt to ask.
The fact that your son is on another state now makes it harder. Each state is different which is why one parent often runs off with child to a different state. Complicates things
That's why I say don't trust us...get a lawyer. Your ex is his legal father and you sent your son to him and unless you wrote a contract and he signed it for all any Judge knows, you gave him to his father which is not a crime. For you. For him.
Courts have changed a lot regarding custody. I remember when Mom automatically got majority custody and Dad got every other weekend. Thanks to equal rights for both sexes these days Dad will get 50/50 unless he doesn't fight for custody at all or he is in prison. Seriously. Often kids decide to get to know even a once absent Dad in their teen years and Dad goes to court to get his share of custody. There are MANY scenarios like yours.
Lastly think about yourself too. Do you want your son and his disruptive behaviors and his possible fights to see Dad? I'd see a therapist. Often therapists know about custody law too.
Attack this proactively. My sister's did. They both will likely end up with 50/50. Both had primary custody when the kids were little but the Dad's, who are friends, decided to go for more. They won't have to pay child support either with 59/50 but my sisters make enough money and don't care. However neither children like living with my kind sister's and one in particular will spit at her and scratch her car and run away. He behaves for Dad and says "I want to live with HIM all the time. You kept me away from him."
This is a fat lie. Dad didn't want custody when he was little. Dad had a girlfriend. But now it's 8nyears later and he and now wife want custody. Go figure.
You are.not alone. There are things you can do. Not easy! But you can do this. You came for help. We are all standing here holding you up, trying to send you courage, hope, love and our best suggestions.
Confused. There are different ways to look at this. I agree with much of what Busy writes. In my town, there is free legal help through legal aid, and through the courthouse.
The fact he did not want to sign an agreement cuts both ways. You did not agree for a full 3 months. Your permitting son to go for a visit during summer vacation was just that. And it was contingent that son be safe and not in harm's way. Son with his own mouth told you that it is dangerous there and illegal things are happening.
Is son in school already? Is he close enough for you to drive there? Is there somebody (a man, preferably) who can go with you? Do you have the papers from the legal custody decision?
Was it decided between you that he would be enrolled in school there?
Now the thing is this. I am not justifying here how your ex is. And I am not minimizing the dangerous things he does. But the thing is, there may be advantages for son to be where he is, if this is where he wants to be. You are the only one who can evaluate this. Your son was giving you a run for your money, and it sounds as if he is acting better with his Dad, for whatever reason. And he is saying now, he wants to stay there for a while. I am not taking a position, here. I don't know anybody involved.
What I am saying is you need to think through what is in your son's and your own best interests, here. If it is a truly violent and abusive situation, there's no leeway as I see it. Then you have to act.
No i did not give permissin to change schools. Only agreed up to 3 months and do his online school. No i cant drive and get him. He constaly told my son live here live here look all you can do etc....down graded me...
I understand my son is doing a little better doing school, thats what i want.
But to have a kid at any age be with someone who has no regreds for safety laws, for laws of the court( wjich some couet rules stink like their non belief in people like us and criminals have a great life esp in my town) as well i.e. changing my sons school without permission, approves of a minor drinking and smoking, driving illegal, parent drives/drinking and is drunk a lot with kids in the car , threat/and will hit with a belt for any reason if das sees fit,puts stuff in the childs head to change their mind .... he knows how not to get caught. As i said he pressured son to change his mind. Youd have to be a fly on the wall for proof before what i know , will happen, to not happen.
But yet, doesnt get caught or if does on drinking and driving, is a slap on the wrist and told "bad boy".
Oh, and ex says son says no mental issue just needs live life. So no counsler....
But hey, great party life for any child right? My kid who i was debating if he did or didnt have mental issues, who was diagnosed as a child, needed another new eveluation. Just to be sure either way...dad says no...
So, my son will not get therpy and medications if needed and become an aloholic teen. When a parent pushes alcohol is ok child sees parent is telling truth. Son is vulnurable,as most kids. Will give in.
I know my son. I know my ex. Judges and others can say oh it hasnt happened yet...etc....
I lived this with my cousins, friends kids, strangers kids, on the news. Look at all the many people getting restrianing orders(some lie, i agree) or some who just put their fear known and they get told"you dont know, people change, your over thinking, your jelous, your lying" and they are dead, or abused in various ways. Or, kids turn out to be alcholics, druggies, etc". Wait until something happens they say.......you look like an idiot they say.....
He's there on a visit. You call the shots. You have the legal paperwork. I believe (but of course I can't promise this) you can get him back now, with a fight--not even a fight. More, sticking to your guns. Telling your ex: I want him back by xx date. Or I want him back NOW. I believe you can find a pro bono attorney who can give you counsel. I believe the police will help you. If your ex does not bring him back when you say he should, I see this as no different than an abduction. There is no legal agreement between you. You have not forfeited any of your rights. You believe your son is in danger because your son has told you he is.
Why don't you write down what you believe your options are, and what you want to do?
Your sense of doom and that he has all of the power are based upon feelings, and the past. There are reasons you were given full legal custody. Maybe it's because the judge knew what your ex-husband is like.
I don't think you help yourself or your son with the sense that there is nothing that you can do. But nobody here is an attorney. We can't give you advice in terms of your legal situation. But we can tell you how to be strong in yourself. It's not easy. Not one of us here is 100 percent strong in our own life. I know I am not. I am a work in progress.
Confused, there are separate types of custody. I know this for a fact. One is primary physical custody where one parent is primary or both share equal physical custody. Two is legal custody where one parent makes the decisions and often this is shared 50/50 as well. If it is, both parents are supposed to agree before a decision is made such as which sports a kid can play or if the child needs medications for his ADHD. I can tell you that many parents do what they want in their own homes and don't tell the other parent about it and often the kid doesn't either. If they do tell, you still need to go back to court to fight for legal custody. Even if you get this, often the other parent still doesn't do it and the teen age kid, who doesn't want medications, doesn't tell. See? Very complicated.
Added to this is teens make more choices on their own and court doesn't try to control everything like when the kids were small. I believe last is medical custody which can also be shared....which doctor to see etc. This is often screwed around with too and you have to go back to court and hope the child listens to what the judge says. The child can say "I don't want to see a therapist and I won't get in the car. You can't make me go." And nobody can make a kid talk to a therapist even if he us at his appointment. Or carry a six foot tall teen to the car. And the cops won't either. Teens are so much fun (sarcasm)
Another thing. The longer you wait to file in court about this, the more that Son living with Dad and going to school there becomes *status quo." This is very important in custody cases. The longer your son is there the harder it will be for you legally to get a Judge to order him back. And if Son is doing better in school, the Judge will like that.. so ...lastly
I was not going to say this but I sort of agree with Copa. If your son is happy there, for any reason, in my opinion he could regress and fight you forever if you drag him home . It is hell for my sister. Now about Dada drinking...
Sadly, because Dad is a substance abuser, your son is at high risk to become an addict even if he moves back with you. Peers also have beer and drugs. Hopefully he won't go there for anyone or any reason. But he will be exposed. I am on board with letting him maybe stay and seeing how it goes. To get him back you will need to go to court and that is costly. I hope you have money or a way to borrow some. We lent one sister mone for her lawyer.
Your son may enjoy male contact now. Boys do like knowing their fathers. They interact in a male way. It's not the same as Mothers. Are you married so he has a male caretaker with you?
This situation will be complicated no matter what. Most of us have had the pain and cried the tears and later on second guessed our decisions. Trust me, we get it . Trust me, we have been you.
Lastly even if your son lives with Dad until 18 you will always be Mom. My guess, having raised an unstable daughter, is that your son will go back and forth between you and Dad and have some hard times ahead no matter who he lives with. It's the nature of most "different" children, then "different" adults. But there is no ending to write. Some kids turn it around. There is no way to predict.
For your own self I again recommend Al Anon and/or private therapy. There should be some sliding scale therapists near you.
This is not just about your son. YOU are sad and upset and need and deserve some real life quality support. You are torturing yourself, like we all do. I refused therapy for ten years. My daughter's outcome so far is that she is in her 30s and homeless, but my grief over her almost caused a divorce and almost ruined my relationships with my two other nice kids and my grandkids. Getting help for me saved the family, except for my homeless daughter. And she ran off to the other side of the country, won't talk to us because we cut off the money finally, and thinks she is perfectly mentally well (she is NOT). But it is what it is. As life is for all of us. We deal. We learn to accept. It takes time.
Hoping you start taking good care of yourself. The only person you can control is you. It is the same for all of us once more. Get your hair done. Visit someone you love. Walk in nature. Go to a loving church if God is in your life. Give your son and your own life to God. Let God handle all of this.
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
I wear a necklace with this prayer on it. Keep reading it. It makes so much sense even without God being mentioned.
Wasnt going to write. But found something out (i really kinda knew) why son was acting out. Not the only reason, but mostly.
Son wants to overlook his dads drinking and driving and a couple other issues.
Says it wont affect him...son doesnt see/understand/care what the problem is,says he knows not to drink even if dad lets him. We all know thats not how it works.
I feel as if im trying to move a brick wall. Im all for visitations....no alcohol, and the other couple issues if solved. But he will lie for long enough to fool the courts.
Im back and fourth what to do here. I honestly have no hope for him to come home. I been working on things and hitting brick walls. Im getting no where.
Not only all this with son, but other work and life
issues are going on. This is just so painful and draining. I cant get ahead. I try and get kicked back two steps..
We understand. It's a roller-coaster ride that is hard to get off. I think I may have been here for 8 to 10 years, wondering how to fix things, where to get help, how to get a child back on track. The sad thing is, it took almost that long to realize I can't do it. I can't control someone else. I cant write their story.
Most of the long term people here have never had the happy ending. But, some, like Copa, reach out and reassure us that its OK. Most of us are a work in progress, like our kids, and we try to have hope that things will get better. And if they don't, we learn to be strong, even when we are breaking.