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Old 03-14-2017, 12:03 AM   #1
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Hey everyone,

I was on about three years ago when I was going through a custody battle with my ex. Long story short, I have primary physical and tie breaking legal custody of my five year old daughter. I'm a 35 year old single guy.

The reason I received primary is because she settled out of court, she waited till the night before court to settle. In out agreement my daughter visits her and her grandparents house every other weekend, and her parents are supposed to be present the entire visit to supervise.

My daughter started Pre-K this year and her mom is reasonable for two Fridays a month of getting her to school, she lives an hour from the school, but knew school would be in my county when agreement was signed. My daughter has missed 6 out of the last 7 Fridays that her mom has been responsible for transportation. I also recently found out she got her second DUI in a three month span, hasn't even been to court for the first one and got a second one. She has a long standing issue with alcohol and after her first DUI, I asked her parents who are supposed to be supervising to do all transportation, they agreed but I found out they haven't been and her mom has been driving her. She lives at home, and has no car, so she has gotten two DUIs in her parents car and they continue to let her drive. Yet I'm supposed to trust them to supervise my daughter's visit?

So I filed for a full on modification, and made her an offer of if she goes to inpatient things can stay the same, if not I'm going to ask for state supervised visitation till she gets the help she needs. I talked to a therapist first and showed her all the off the wall texts, abd she confirmed she has substance issues abd I am doing the correct thing, that it's hard to take my daughter from her but if anything happened to her I'd never forgive myself.

Has anyone else been through this?

My lawyer helped me file modification papers and I denied her last weekend visit till we come to agreement or our court date which isn't scheduled yet.

1) am I doing the right thing protecting my daughter even though it means her not seeing her mom? I've always tried to be the better person between the two of us but I cant look passed her drinking anymore with two DUIs in three months and her still driving.
2) opening full modification means she can request more time then she gets if she counter files, which she will, I've supported my daughter fincially 100% since she was born with no help. Her mom is going to ask for more time and for me to give her money. That scares the ____ out of me. She has been with me primarily for over three years and goes to school in my county, but I'm the dad and scared of her mom getting more time and me having to pay her money when she has never supported her at all and lives at home.

Her mom has three other kids from two different dads as well, and their dads are in similar situations with custody as I am.

I work so hard for my daughter to have a good life with school, sports, piano, friends, etc she isn't involved at all but now wants to fight for custody after getting two DUIs.

Any advice, pep talks, telling me I did the right thing? Something to calm my nerves?

Chris
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:07 AM   #2
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Sorry for the typos can't sleep and typed it from my phone
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:07 AM   #3
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As for #2, don't lose any sleep over it whatsoever. For you to lose custody and pay support you'd need to have done something to show a change in circumstances from the time the first order was created. It sounds like much has happened to show you are only *more* worthy of custody. Does she have a lawyer? Even with one it sounds impossible for her to get custody/support, but without one the chances are absolutely zero.

As for #1, it sounds like you're doing the right thing as there are real dangers involved. I am one to usually say that the kid is better off having some exposure to both parents, as long as that other parent isn't a danger to the child. It sounds like you've come to a fair compromise for your child's mother. I hope she takes it, turns things around, and becomes a better parent to your child.

Really, it sounds like you're handling a very difficult situation wonderfully. Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:24 AM   #4
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Nice to see you back!

1) Abso-freaking-lutely. I went through this with my kids dad. I defied the court order everytime there was a warrant out for his arrest and didn't let the kids go for visitation. They were a lot younger then, and I thought the impact of seeing their father arrested, well, it wasn't worth it to me. As they got older, (I have 3. 22m, 18f, 15m) I let it go, but him being arrested, even thou there were warrants, never happened while the kids were there.

2) I'm with Bobby. My exh tried to get custody of our youngest 2 about 3 years ago. Didn't happen. He just got his weekends back, and I got a slap on the wrist for defying the order for 1.5 yrs (there were lots and lots of issues and I was just done)

An interesting word does come up in this thread, aside from the courts and legalities, define dangerous?
In my experience of 13yrs single parenting with the exh that I have, danger can mean many things. I really wish my exh had walked away years ago. The damage he has caused, mentally, emotionally, and in so many other ways has made it even more difficult to raise respectful, responsible adults.

As it stands now, my 15 yr old is the only one who visits anymore and it's been that way for a couple years. The only reason he goes is because he gets to do whatever he wants while listening to dad bad mouth, well, everything.

What gets me is the courts will fault the primary custodian if anything happens, but yet, were not allowed to make that call where the other parent is concerned.

You are handling it well, and doing the right thing, imo. Better than I did Raising 3, with no child support, I had no time or money to modify legally, just had to do what I thought best, which got my hand slapped by the judge.

I do not feel that it is always in the best interest of the child to have time with parents who cannot act responsibly, behave properly, respect the law (A BIG ONE in my opinion, and should be in a Judges eyes). Kids mock the behavior they see. It's basic psychology.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:03 AM   #5
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As for #2, don't lose any sleep over it whatsoever. For you to lose custody and pay support you'd need to have done something to show a change in circumstances from the time the first order was created. It sounds like much has happened to show you are only *more* worthy of custody. Does she have a lawyer? Even with one it sounds impossible for her to get custody/support, but without one the chances are absolutely zero.

As for #1, it sounds like you're doing the right thing as there are real dangers involved. I am one to usually say that the kid is better off having some exposure to both parents, as long as that other parent isn't a danger to the child. It sounds like you've come to a fair compromise for your child's mother. I hope she takes it, turns things around, and becomes a better parent to your child.

Really, it sounds like you're handling a very difficult situation wonderfully. Good luck.
Thank you, I keep rereading your first paragraph and trying to breathe, but it's so stressful
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:05 AM   #6
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Nice to see you back!

1) Abso-freaking-lutely. I went through this with my kids dad. I defied the court order everytime there was a warrant out for his arrest and didn't let the kids go for visitation. They were a lot younger then, and I thought the impact of seeing their father arrested, well, it wasn't worth it to me. As they got older, (I have 3. 22m, 18f, 15m) I let it go, but him being arrested, even thou there were warrants, never happened while the kids were there.

2) I'm with Bobby. My exh tried to get custody of our youngest 2 about 3 years ago. Didn't happen. He just got his weekends back, and I got a slap on the wrist for defying the order for 1.5 yrs (there were lots and lots of issues and I was just done)

An interesting word does come up in this thread, aside from the courts and legalities, define dangerous?
In my experience of 13yrs single parenting with the exh that I have, danger can mean many things. I really wish my exh had walked away years ago. The damage he has caused, mentally, emotionally, and in so many other ways has made it even more difficult to raise respectful, responsible adults.

As it stands now, my 15 yr old is the only one who visits anymore and it's been that way for a couple years. The only reason he goes is because he gets to do whatever he wants while listening to dad bad mouth, well, everything.

What gets me is the courts will fault the primary custodian if anything happens, but yet, were not allowed to make that call where the other parent is concerned.

You are handling it well, and doing the right thing, imo. Better than I did Raising 3, with no child support, I had no time or money to modify legally, just had to do what I thought best, which got my hand slapped by the judge.

I do not feel that it is always in the best interest of the child to have time with parents who cannot act responsibly, behave properly, respect the law (A BIG ONE in my opinion, and should be in a Judges eyes). Kids mock the behavior they see. It's basic psychology.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, I don't have the money to file modification either, going to try to monthly pay my lawyer or ask that she has to pay my attorney fee, since I had to file beause she got the two dui's. I live in Maryland, I just always hear the nightmares of Dad stories because moms get favored.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:10 PM   #7
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TD, you are doing great! The fact you are losing sleep shows you have a conscience and do care for what is best for your DD. Keep it up. We're here if you need to vent.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:19 PM   #8
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Apologies. Not very well versed these days. There's a lot that happened in 13 years, including DUI's for my exh, multiple arrests, etc etc.

I am sure you don't and was just trying to impress how well you are handling things, for the sake of your daughter.

I find my anger refreshed these days as the kids get older, and I see the effects of the past years, conversations we have had, the effects of situations on the kids, how no one would listen, CPS, courts, LEO's.

In my opinion, it's an icky path that our kids should not be subject to.

Agree. There is favortism in the courts, but I think, hope, that is changing. Lots of fathers have come through here and have succeeded in obtaining custody.

Wish you the best.

PS; Check with your county, or city LEO. I don't believe you have to make a child get into a car of a driver that doesn't have proper rights to be on the road, even for visitation. And if mom does drop her off, you could always consider (sucks) calling LEO if you know she is driving illegally.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:56 PM   #9
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TD, you are doing great! The fact you are losing sleep shows you have a conscience and do care for what is best for your DD. Keep it up. We're here if you need to vent.
Thanks for the kind words

I was worried about this during the first go around of custody, for a year it was back and forth with lawyers, till the night before court she settled out of court. I've spent so much money in lawyers fee's over the last 4 years I don't know what to do. I have fully finacially supported my daughter for her entire life, haven't been on a vacation since she was born. Finally got all my lawyer bills paid off from the past, paid off all my credit cards, and was looking at a small trip and a new truck (payments of course). Now I am back to having to pay $4k to a lawyer that will take me two years to pay off.

Meanwhile she lives off the system, lives at home with her parents at age 36, gets child support from her younger sons father, and has no laws or rules or consequences apparently.

I mean she got two dui's in 3 months and is still driving around, how does she have a license? Her parents who her dad is a retired cop and her mom is a teacher continue to give her their car, after two dui's. I am supposed to be trust them to supervise the visits of my daughter. Just last night her mom on the phone said see you this weekend, to my daughter. I kept her two weekends ago and she didn't go to her visit, why does her mom think anything has changed? When she hasn't even reached out to my lawyer yet, since she claims she doesn't have one right now. My guess is she didn't pay her previous lawyer and owes her money.

She filed a petition for contempt against me, I guess for keeping my daughter and not letting her go for her visit. That scares me but it's what my lawyer told me to do.

The whole thing scares me, common sense is she has a drinking problem, got two dui's in her parents care who are supposed to supervise, that I am doing the right thing. Courts are so reactive not proactive though.

It terrifies me that she would get more time, and my daughter would be in danger even more. Or worse I go from primary and tie breaking legal to seeing her every other weekend paying her mom money for beating the system even more.

I am such a positive person in most aspects of life but not when it comes to my daughter's future and well being it scares me I will lose her.

ha you said vent, sorry
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:31 PM   #10
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As single dads, I think we are a bit more scared of the "process" than mothers are....so you are right to be concerned, but not to worry. It sounds like you are doing all you should. Don't worry about what might happen. If it does....then react, but just keep documenting the negative things about the mother so you have it on hand to show your concerns in court if it comes to that.
As for her living off the system while you struggle.....that is a common story as the "good and responsible" parent. Hang in there!
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:03 AM   #11
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As single dads, I think we are a bit more scared of the "process" than mothers are....so you are right to be concerned, but not to worry. It sounds like you are doing all you should. Don't worry about what might happen. If it does....then react, but just keep documenting the negative things about the mother so you have it on hand to show your concerns in court if it comes to that.
As for her living off the system while you struggle.....that is a common story as the "good and responsible" parent. Hang in there!

Thanks

I know it's easier to react IF something happens then to worry but I can't help it. I've built such a strong life for my daughter with school, friends, sports, a stable life. Her mom moves from guy to guy, or lives at home, then repeats the cycle. If somehow she got more time than me out of this modification hearing when all I am trying to do is protect my daughter, that would be something I am not sure I could come back from. That scares the ____ out of me.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:57 PM   #12
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It might be scary but don't let it paralyse you. The stronger you build her world the less chance your ex has of interrupting this. She will always have rights as a parent.....something we often find disheartening. But as a lawyer said to me, unless you have proof of her splashing battery acid on the children, you just have to put up with her. Just pray it is as minimal as possible.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:03 PM   #13
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Courage is not the absence of fear, it is having fear and still moving forward. Fear is good as long as we don't allow it to control us.

As for the DUI's and driving. Each state is different. But here if it's a blood draw it has to be sent off to a lab. Results may take 30 to 90 days. The a Notice Of Suspention/Revocation has to be served. Then there will be revocation hearing set, 30-40 day out. Even if she did a Breath test the hearing can be out past a month.
It can be frustrating when the system is so slow that someone racks up multi-DUIs. I have arrested on guy twice in one day, then he bonded again and was arrested by the city PD. All within a 7 hour period. The city officer and I called the judge and got a no bond hold. We did not want to do a 4th report on the same guy in one day.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:16 PM   #14
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Courage is not the absence of fear, it is having fear and still moving forward. Fear is good as long as we don't allow it to control us.

As for the DUI's and driving. Each state is different. But here if it's a blood draw it has to be sent off to a lab. Results may take 30 to 90 days. The a Notice Of Suspention/Revocation has to be served. Then there will be revocation hearing set, 30-40 day out. Even if she did a Breath test the hearing can be out past a month.
It can be frustrating when the system is so slow that someone racks up multi-DUIs. I have arrested on guy twice in one day, then he bonded again and was arrested by the city PD. All within a 7 hour period. The city officer and I called the judge and got a no bond hold. We did not want to do a 4th report on the same guy in one day.
Thanks, I have some buddies on the force in different areas in the state. One looked up some stuff for me, I can't use it in court but at least I know a little back story.

She is on a temp license right now, given to her by the MVA until court because she said she has kids who need transportation. The fact she could use that as an excuse and the MVA could be like this person getting DUI's should def have a license and drive her kids, is beyond me. The system is a joke it seems to me.

Also found out her second DUI she wasn't technically in the car, but on the side of the road puking and the only one around for miles, next to a car that was running on the shoulder and her purse and phone were in the car. Im sure she will get off for that one somehow some way. It's unreal, makes you feel like there are no rules and you can do whatever you want, except us law abiding citizens would have the book thrown at them the repeat offenders just keep beating the system.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:38 AM   #15
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Just adding some updates, looking for support as this is very stressful and hard.

Long story short above, I have primary custody of my daughter, her mom got 2 dui's in three months, so I filed for modification and full custody. Still waiting for court and my lawyer has me withholding, and supervising visits until court, no over nights.

1) I found out that my daughters mom has been calling the school, and going to the board of ed, trying to get my daughter taken out of Pre-K and put in Kindergarten. All with out my knowledge. She seems overly focused on wanting to be able to brag about her children rather than what is best for her. My daughter is smart enough to be in Kindergarten but why try to have her changed in April of the school year, seems non sensical to me.
2) I took my daughter to a therapist, and I met with her one on one first. She told me I was doing everythign correctly and had my daughters best interest at heart. She then met one on one with my daughters mom and asked me to come back in again, in the second appointment the mood totally changed, and she said I didn't tel her all the information and was grilling me almost. To the point I felt I had to be defensive. Her mom has a long history with alocohol and has faked her way through many therapy appointments, the therapist would not tell me what she was told by my daughters mom, and said I would have to ask her, but the therapist went from being on my side and helping me to almost accusing me of not working hard enough with her mom at communication. Has anyone come across this before, as always there are two sides to every story, but I was open an honest with the therapist and I am sure as she did to my lawyer when she reached out to him, my daughters mom made a bunch of stuff up to the therapist. I want the best help possible for my daughter, but how do I achieve that if she isn't getting the truth from both sides?

We are coming up on 6 weeks of with holding and supervising visits and it's so stressful and scary, just looking for support and advice more than anything.

Also her mom opened a new case in the county she lives in, where she is the plantiff. I can see it on case search, but get no details does anyone know what Case Type: APA Case Status: PPWP would entail?

Thanks, sorry for rambling
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:19 AM   #16
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As for the therapist, these things will sort themselves out......sometimes the other party can be very convincing in the short term. But don't forget the therapist is not there to "be on your side" she is to be neutral and is there to help your daughter. Since you don't know what your ex said to the therapist, you won't know if it's truth. Don't get too far ahead of yourself.
As for the legal stuff.......ask a lawyer!

Keep doing what you are doing.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:44 PM   #17
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I need some serious advice now.

My daughter's mother took my daughter tonight. Like threw her in the car took her.

You can read above for back story but I have primary custody. Tonight after teeball, I drove my daughter to McDonald's so she could have dinner with her mom , brother and gpop. I parked a few cars away from her gpops. After her mom walked out with my daughter, said can I show her something I made her real quick. She walked over to car and before I could get out of mine she threw Taylor in the back seat and took off.

In the agreement for spring break, which this week is, it states her mom can pick her half of spring break in odd years. She has mentioned nothing of spring break, didn't try to work on a schedule. I have been withholding Taylor on her weekends because her mom has two DUIs in three months and a suspended license and continues to drive.

I called talked to her for 20 seconds and Taylor cried and said she was sorry because she thought I was mad at her. Then her gpop took the phone and said we wouldn't have had to do this if you followed the agreement and law. And hung up.

She was balling on the phone, so confused and scared and upset. She has no idea what is going on. I couldn't help her feel better. Then they took the phone and hung up.

The agreement states I get her at 2 on Easter. But I'm scared I may never see her again or they are trying to keep her from me for good or at least until court a month away.

She has teeball piano PreK and other activities and now ahe is going to miss them. I'm terrified and scared. Someone talk me off the ledge of thinking I'll never see my daughter again.
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:59 AM   #18
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Get your local PD involved. Sadly, this is a gray area for officers. Depending on the department, and officer, and papers, and wording in the papers, they may assist. I assume you called your attorney?

So sorry TD. I cannot imagine.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:26 PM   #19
Dad1st4boys
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Depending on state laws, some states those set of actions might be considered non-custodial kidnapping.
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