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Need advice: Child custody battle

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by AreaMan, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. AreaMan

    AreaMan Member

    Has anybody gone through a child custody battle experience that they can share? My wife and I are about to go forward on a possible battle over her 5-year old daughter (my stepdaughter).

    Here's the situation (kind of long, sorry).

    My wife was in a relationship years back (2002-2004) with the father of her daughter (born 2003). That relationship dissolved and legally they have joint legal custody with my wife having primary placement. That was ruled in 2004.
    My wife has allowed her daughter's father to have plenty of visitation, even though most of the child's time is spent with the father's mother and father, who he lives with.

    I began my relationship with my wife in 2005 and she moved in with me about half-a-year later. We are now married and live in another city about 35 minutes away.

    The daughter's father has a history of having a bad temper and was abusive when he was in the relationship with my wife. One incident was documented and he was thrown in jail for a short time.

    But even so, through all this time, my wife has given her daughter's father plenty of visitation. The two have spoke several times and this was considered a good gesture due to the daughter's eventual placement in kindergarten this year, which would obviously limit the time spent with her dad.

    We thought everything was cool until recently, there was an incident around the first of this month where neither the father or his grandparents would return our calls when we inquired about picking the daughter up on her designated day. Because of his past violent history, we headed down to pick her up and alerted a county deputy to keep the peace as we picked up the daughter.

    It was an embarrassing situation for all involved, which I'm sure triggered this legal action. But we later found out that the father and his parents were trying to have her enrolled in kindergarten in a school by them even after they knew she was already enrolled in a school in our city. Her first day was supposed to be the day after she was to be with us.

    Now the father and his parents are claiming that the daughter was spending "nearly 100 percent" of the time with them these past several years and that the mother had mutually agreed to become the secondary placement because of all the time the child spent with her father and his parents.

    We're not really worried that we will lost this legal decision. The child's father lives at home. He has a construction job in which he's off four months of the year essentially, collecting unemployment. My wife is a stay-at-home mom and we have a little boy of our own. We recently purchased a house and have an ideal family setting.

    Am I naive to think that I shouldn't worry? The father wants mediation involved but he also wants to have primary placement. My wife wants to counter with sole custody because its obvious that the father (and his parents) cannot be trusted to act in a fair and equitable manner.

    We've contacted several lawyers, but if anyone has experience going through something like this, your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  2. KG

    KG Active Member

    Based on custody battles my friends have gone through, and just common knowledge, there's no way this guy is getting primary custody.
  3. KG

    KG Active Member

    This asshole may have his mommy and daddy in on his stupid scheme, but no judge is going to fall for his idiocy. Instead of trying to lie and manipulate with him, his parents need to tell him to grow the hell up and at least make an attempt at becoming a decent man, so that maybe he'll one day have a chance at becoming a decent father.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    No way does this guy get the kid. Who does the child have health insurance with and where do they send the bills?

    I would also ask your lawyer how to document their trying to enroll the daughter in their school. Needless to say, it is time for set visitation times.
  5. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    If you have an actual ruling with a signed custody decree, doesn't it specify who makes decisions regarding education?

    How do they plan to show that she spends 'nearly 100%' of her time there?

    Document everything he/parents say and do, keep a detailed schedule of your daughter's visits, and see what he actually does...maybe nothing. Can he really afford a long custody battle? Is he just making noise to piss you off?

    Sounds like a mess you'll have to deal with for a long time, but hopefully it's just going to be an annoyance, not a crisis. Good luck.
  6. AreaMan

    AreaMan Member

    That's what we're most disappointed in. My wife has been more than fair in lettng him (and his parents) see her daughter. But it appears they're taking her willingness to let her daughter see her father and making it appear as though they have the daughter ALL the time.

    It's frustrating. And hopefully it gets resolved without having to go further than mediation.
  7. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Not exactly being well-versed in child custody disputes or anything, but I'd say fuck mediation and go right to court.
  8. AreaMan

    AreaMan Member

    He has insurance for her, but it's not through his job, it's through a state-wide program (think Medicaid). We actually put her on our insurance for a year in 2007-2008, but my company dropped her off the insurance when they found out she was on the state insurance program. We want to try and put her back on this coming year.
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    "my wife having primary placement"

    From what I read online, that ends the school BS.

    Check the application to see if the ex lied about placement.
  10. KG

    KG Active Member

    One of my friends had been going through a back and forth battle for quite some time with her ex. He tried to pull that he is here more and blah blah blah stuff with the judge. He also tried to enroll him into school down there. He and his stupid mother were trying to claim that my friend wasn't actually homeschooling her son and that he couldn't even read. They even went so far as to try to drill it into this little boy's head that he couldn't read, when clearly he could. Needless to say the judge slapped that one down, but not before my friend had to be investigated by DFACS.

    Anyway, so this father has been pulling crap like that off and on for years now. At this point, he's allowed only supervised visitation and has to go through random hair strand drug tests (yeah, this shitstorm is deep) to be able to even see his son. The boy is 12 now and wants nothing to do with his father because of all the years of this stupidity. The only reason he still goes to see his father for the supervised visits is because it is court ordered.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Get her off of his insurance, ASAP.

    That is crap that your employeer did that. Pure crap.
  12. AreaMan

    AreaMan Member

    Thanks 21.

    My wife and him have joint custody with she having primary placement. They're supposed to decide together where she goes to school, but they had verbally agreed that the daughter would go to school wherever we lived, which is why we let her father see her more the past several years. We knew that come the start of school, she would be with us five days a week, minimum.
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