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Old 07-27-2010, 10:09 AM   #1
Heart.on.my.sleeve Female
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Default Feeling lost...

Hello all!

I am new to the forum and oh so glad to have found you! My husband and I have been married for almost a year and together for pretty much the duration of his son's life. His son, whom i will refer to as "L", is now 3 years old and just the most amazing little boy!

After reading some responses on other parts of the forum, I feel my situation is a bit different. My husband is a very good father and has always been very involved in his son's life. Atleast as much as his ex would allow him to be. They were not together when she told him she was pregnant and insisted she did not need him in her life to raise her child. He has had to fight her on everything just to get minimal time with his son.

Unfortunately, they have settled nothing legally in court, as we do not have the money to hire the lawyers needed to get things done right. Her parents have paid for everything, and handed all the money in the world to her to ensure that she got what she wanted with L (including screwing my husband out of time with his child).

Now, as L gets older, she has continued to restrict the time we have with him by cutting weekends to a saturday overnight and return sunday afternoon. It is so frustrating because my husband will not fight with her. he is terrified of losing his son.

We live in Baltimore and She lives in South Jersey with his son. she threatens us with hollow legal threats saying we can't take him out of state. so, we have to spend the weekend at my in-laws just to have a day and a half with L.

It breaks my heart to see this vibrant, wonderful child stuck in the middle of all the BS. He deserves so much more than the manipulation his mother is subjecting him to. Is there more, as a step-mom, that I can do? any advice and/or support is much appreciated. thanks for your ear if nothing more
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

There is someone here by the name of LSL she will be able to give you great advice in regards to step parenting positions and legal actions for your husband. Personally I would say have a talk with your husband again and let him know if he wants more time with his child then he has to go the legal route. Sorry to say but since there is no legal custody and visitation established then L's mother will do anything to get what she wants. Don't allow her mother's money to intimidate you nor him. I am pretty sure if your husband take her to court and let him/she know that all he wants is time with his child i am pretty sure they will not any problems with it. If your house is suitable to take care a child, no history of violence, he has a stable job then I would say get your lawyer and he need to go to court.
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Hello and welcome! I am a stepmom too, though mine are grown now.

Not a whole lot you can do but encourage your hubby to stand up for his rights and the rights of his son. He is letting fear rule him and it isn't fair to anyone involved. BUT he has to be the one to realize and take action if he is going to. You do not have to have a lawyer to file for a parenting plan with more reasonable visitation. Shorter periods of visitation are not uncommon when the children are under 2 or 3. I don't know the specifics in NJ, but at 3 he should be able to get more time with him.

Just like we advise custodial parents here all the time, the same for non-custodial - having a court order as a guide does away with a lot of the BS most of the time. It is well worth doing. But as a stepmom all you can really do as far as I can see, is to encourage your hubby to do what he needs to and not be a victim of mom.

Good luck!

---------- Post added at 09:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:27 AM ----------

Take a look at this http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/family/paretime.pdf
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Old 07-27-2010, 10:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Thanks so much for the feedback. It seems that no matter who I turn to, the common agreement is that We need to get legal action in place. i agree. It is a very sensitive subject in our house. With no children of our own yet, L is really the main focus of our lives. NJ is a great home-state to have because the courts do STRONGLY enforce the involvement of both parents. He has a great job, as do I, where as she is currently unemployed and living off of her parents and boyfriend. I know there would be no way at all we would lose time with him at this point. Just convincing my husband it's a better idea than submitting to her at this point is proving to be difficult. She had a lawyer present at the birth of L, refused a DNA for the baby and also gave L her last name. I know step number one will be convincing my husband that he needs to get DNA proof and then (God willing L is in fact his child) we can proceed from there.

I really appreciate the support and advice!
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Welcome!!!! I'm sorry your husband is intimidated by his childs other parent, but I don't think he need be.
He has a bond with the child. As long as he is the bio father, he has rights. If the mother doesn't comply, she will get herself in trouble.

Contact your local bar association. They may be able to help you find a free or reduced cost lawyer.

Also, this IS his fight. You are in a supportive role only.

Honestly, I don't see where he has anything to fear. I don't know about taking the child out of state, but I do know he is, as an involved, compentant, father, entitled to much more time with the child than he is getting...and he WILL get it if he fights for it. I think the worst she could do in retaliation would be to file for child support....which he should be paying anyway. Even so, that is a seperate issue she would have to go out of her way to "sue" for.

So many parents run from responsibility, I would think the courts would find your husband a breath of fresh air.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Child support is definately not an issue. He has payed her religiously, whatever amount she asks him for, since his son was born. She spends the money then foots him the bill for half every month and he always writes her a check, in full, for whatever she asks.

It has, in many cases hindered our own standard of living, but since it's for the baby, we do what we have to do. I try to be as supportive as possible. it just gets very frustrating sometimes when she acts the way she does, and e-mails him with all sorts of outlandish demands.

All we really want is more time and an uninhibited relationship with him. not the "mommy said I don't have to listen to you" situations we unfortunately deal with right now. I think the biggest obstacle right now is getting reality to smack my husband in the face, bc he is not one to listen to gentle coaxing and logical pleas. All I can do is be there unconditionally for both my husband and his son and pray that it either works out for the best or he decides to take action. either way, I truly appreciate the kind words of wisdom and support!
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Quote:
They were not together when she told him she was pregnant and insisted she did not need him in her life to raise her child.
Quote:
He has payed her religiously, whatever amount she asks him for, since his son was born. She spends the money then foots him the bill for half every month and he always writes her a check, in full, for whatever she asks.
Quote:
she acts the way she does, and e-mails him with all sorts of outlandish demands.

From what I can see (and I'm not a lawyer), that mother has a serious screw loose, and your husband has a VERY good case. Even if it turns out he isn't the actual bio-dad!
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Good luck to you! That is a tough position to be in, because it is his fight - but you are affected very much by what he does or does not do. Good luck!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Um, why is he paying her with an order? Do you know the courts do not have to count that towards any legal child support he may owe? Wowzers, he could be in for it.

You need to seek legal enforcement NOW! For child support and for legal rights. You actually have a great case, or your husband does. Go get at least a free legal consultation.

As a step mother you have no rights. Sorry. Just be supportive and try to urge your husband to do the right thing.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

YES, As LSL Said...

Get Paternity established. Make sure the child is His. a petition to establish Paternity should be fairly inexpensive and you don't neccessarily need a lawyer. just need to make sure you get the forms filled out correctly and she gets served acording to NJ State Law.

Check for "Father's Rights" groups in your area and also in NJ.
He may be able to find an awesome "Father's Rights Lawyer" to get it all going and into court.

Any Lawyer will immediately get the paternity established. Make sure the child is his son. if it turns out to not be, then he's basically S.O.L for all the support he's been paying her, but then again, she loses her meal ticket.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Wow...your husband sounds like a responsible father with good morals, meaning he is sticking to his guns and pursuing his rights. Many single mother's like I would want more fathers like him around. Just because he moved on with life and got married and even though L's mom is being difficult he still wants to be involved. And I just want to commend you for being patient and understanding and wanting to be an involved stepmom. I'm in a situation where I begged my son's father to be involved...he is now in a serious relationship and pretty much brushed my son to the side. I had hoped that his partner would be like you...wanting my son in her life. Afterall if she decides to marry him she will become his stepmother. I hope everything works out for you and husband and don't give up.
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: Feeling lost...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bravesjp8 View Post
Wow...your husband sounds like a responsible father with good morals, meaning he is sticking to his guns and pursuing his rights. Many single mother's like I would want more fathers like him around. Just because he moved on with life and got married and even though L's mom is being difficult he still wants to be involved. And I just want to commend you for being patient and understanding and wanting to be an involved stepmom. I'm in a situation where I begged my son's father to be involved...he is now in a serious relationship and pretty much brushed my son to the side. I had hoped that his partner would be like you...wanting my son in her life. Afterall if she decides to marry him she will become his stepmother. I hope everything works out for you and husband and don't give up.
yea i too think so..
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