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Phoenix9572 posted 10/6/2013 23:35 PM

My stbxh is a control freak and has already threatened me with the fact that he will spend massive amounts of money defending his parental rights. We cannot come to an agreement on parenting time. He wants this awful 2,2,3 schedule and I say we start with the one evening a week and every other weekend and go from there.
He has now filed a motion to have judge set up a parenting schedule and to have a Guardian ad litem appointed and to have us ordered to mediation. Can anyone share what this did for your case? I have nothing to fear as far as an investigation goes but I am afraid that he is going to try to get full custody somehow. I have tons of dirt on all his call girls and dating websites so I can sling some mud if necessary.
Thanks for any input folks can share.

SBB posted 10/7/2013 01:16 AM

I'm not in the US but here in Australia 50/50 shared is standard here unless the kids are in danger.

The courts do not see his drug/alcohol abuse nor his emotional issues as posing a danger to the kids. Call girls and dating sites would most likely not register either.

In Australia we are required to go through mediation before any sort of parenting plan is is locked in. They do this to keep this kind of thing out of the courts. If it reaches the court they generally go with 50/50 without spending too much time on it.

Keep documenting - document every single interaction you have. Get a VAR so you can record any conversations.

Unfortunately you don't get to make this decision. It is something he could force you to do whether you agree or not. There is most likely a 'standard' where you are too.

2/2/3 sounds extreme for teens - I can't see them being happy with it. At what age can they choose? I have the 2/2/3 because my girls are 5.5 and 3 and I can't imagine week on week off, I can't imagine not seeing them for a whole week on a regular basis. But as teens?

Is X doing it because he wants the kids OR to reduce CS or just to stick it to you?

Actually, it doesn't matter why - he is doing it.

If you haven't already I would move half of your joint cash into your own account before he does it. Again, talk to your L before doing so.

nowiknow23 posted 10/7/2013 07:40 AM

Phoenix - There are a couple of members here who have lots of experience with a GAL and will undoubtedly be along soon to share their wisdom.

Hang in there.

cmego posted 10/7/2013 08:26 AM

What does your lawyer say?

For me, I was always the SAHM, that was the precedent. My ex made a little noise at the beginning about 50/50, but that quickly stopped. He would say, "I can't imagine not seeing the kids everyday!" Well, now he can go weeks without seeing them.

It is all about appearances.

Catwoman posted 10/7/2013 08:36 AM

My kids hated the constant running from one house to the other. That would be my concern about his proposal. I know folks have successfully done week on/week off schedules with older kids.

Unfortunately, his extracurricular activities will not factor in at all. What will factor in is the relationship of each child with each parent, the historic parental involvement and things like work schedules, etc.

I would go in with the goal being to minimize disruption and provide as much contact with each parent as schedules permit. I doubt you will get your proposal, unfortunately.

Cat

kg201 posted 10/7/2013 08:52 AM

Phoenix, I think having a Guardian ad litem involved is a good thing. These are professionals whose focus is on doing what is best for the children. You can think of your children as their clients, and these attorneys take their responsibility very seriously, under the most difficult situations. So no matter what the outcome I would try to think about the fact that it will be best for the kids under a horrible situation.

My WW and I are doing a 2,2,3 schedule right now, but the kids are staying put in the marital home, and my WW are the ones moving in and out. I can't imagine this working if it is the kids moving in and out. I know I'm exhausted from it, so I wouldn't do it to the kids. The only way I could see it working with the kids moving is if the homes are very close together in proximity (I.e. Within one or two school bus stops)

Good luck with this.

[This message edited by kg201 at 8:52 AM, October 7th (Monday)]

TrustGone posted 10/7/2013 09:17 AM

Unfortunately my dealings with a guardian ad litem during my D 11yrs ago with a NPD XWH#1 was horrible. He was constantly at this lawyers office demanding this and that as far as custody went. It was a joke and a huge waste of money. My kids and I went through psycological evaluations, home studies, drug tests, counceling sessions, mediations, etc.. I had nothing to hide and took very good care of my kids so it was ridiculous what all we were put through. I worked full time and my ex didn't work at all, so he was constantly demanding something and the ad litem would comply everytime. It almost cost me my job because of court dates and all these things I had to miss work for. The worst part was the toll it took on my kids.

I of course won custody, he got standard visitation of one evening a week and EOW after 2.5yrs of this ridiculous custody battle. The bad part was I never threathened him with visitation. If he had of acted like a decent father through the divorce I would have let him see the kids whenever he wanted. Dealing with a NPD STBX and a custody battle is hell. It wound up costing me almost $50,000, plus interest in lawyer fees. I could have paid off our house with that money or paid for the kids college. It took me 5 yrs post divorce to pay off my credit cards.

The worst part is that the guardian ad litem in our case is now sitting in prison for murdering the DA, the DA's wife, and the assistant DA. To know that this man was an influence in deciding custody of my kids makes me furious now.

I am sure that not all guardian ad litem's are like the one I had, but I feel the money is a waste and the fact that these strangers decide the fate of our children is scary to say the least. I really wish you strength and luck with dealing with your STBX and hope I didn't scare the hell out of you. (((HUGS)))

Nature_Girl posted 10/7/2013 11:35 AM

You need to make sure that your attorney understands domestic abuse and tactics of the "fathers' rights" community. I want you to research the GAL's in your area and propose the ones you feel will do the best job. They are not equal.

Your STBX is going to fight very dirty. Prepare yourself.

Undefinabl3 posted 10/7/2013 12:05 PM

I see you live in indiana. I can tell you that it is pretty darn hard for the father to get custody of a child.

You either have to have a serious mental illness, be a known felon, or a user.

They also could care less about the women he brings around unless you can prove who they are and if they are felon's themselves. Your dating websites will not help you.

I am assuming that the 2, 2, 3 means that One person gets monday/tuesday, the next person gets wed./thursday and then the first would get the weekend.

Also, your 14 year old could actually voice their opinion on where they want to live, and 13 is the age that courts reconize the opinions of the children.

If you really do have no mental health history issues, issues with job stability/life stability (ie can't keep a house), are are not a druggie fluzy, then he will be wasting the courts time, and courts dont really like that either.

my suggestion is to get a lawyer if you dont already have one (call either IU Law School or the BAR Association to find one in your area) and go with a little muscle. I would suggest one to you, but she doesnt go very far south of Indianapolis.

PS...we tried to get custody of DH's son a few years ago. Even after he attempted suicide and Bio-mom was arrested and told the cops that she was going ot blow up the trialer with both of them in it...we still didnt get full custody, only 50/50. It was a mess.

Phoenix9572 posted 10/7/2013 17:21 PM

Thanks everyone for their experiences. They helped and scared the crap out of me at the same time.
I do have a lawyer and I'm about as straight and narrow as they come. I was wondering if it does come to having a GAL can I bring up that our therapist thinks he's a sex addict and require him to get tested?

Catwoman posted 10/8/2013 04:42 AM

I was wondering if it does come to having a GAL can I bring up that our therapist thinks he's a sex addict and require him to get tested?

I think it would make you sound vindictive.

However, I would give the GAL your therapist's information and give your therapist leave to talk to the GAL. This leaves you out of the loop. Frankly, the premise is that anyone can do what they wish during their non-parenting time and the only threat to children are things like illegal drugs and hanging about with felons and such while children are present. A prostitute habit (unless there are arrests), indiscriminate trolling online, etc., will not affect custody.

Cat

sparkysable posted 10/8/2013 05:56 AM

The worst part is that the guardian ad litem in our case is now sitting in prison for murdering the DA, the DA's wife, and the assistant DA. To know that this man was an influence in deciding custody of my kids makes me furious now.
AYFKM? I bet your alarm bells were going off big time with this guy during all this! JEEZ!

Undefinabl3 posted 10/8/2013 08:37 AM

I was wondering if it does come to having a GAL can I bring up that our therapist thinks he's a sex addict and require him to get tested?

You can bring up anything you want. It will be up to the GAL to determine if this information effects his ability to raise and care for a child.

In my friends case, her history and her current metal status came highly into question, and therefore the court choose to have her evaluated. (past sexual abuse, unstable post foster life, actions during marriage)...and of course her saying what she would do to get her kid put her metal well being into question.

The thing that you have to understand is that the GAL won't care how your relationship combusted or why. They only care about the best interest of the child is and if both parents are able to care, the best way for both parents to have a meaningful relationship with the children.

If he has a liveable space, wtih the children having a seperate sleeping area, can provide food and water, and is otherwise a good parent (no drugs, no felon history, no questionable activities) then there's no reason why they would reject visitation.

Our 50/50 custody (one week with us, next week with her) was not court ordered, it was agreed to between DH and Bio-Mom and they filed the custody change with the court. I think it is fairly rare for the court to order 50/50, as they tend to want the kids to have as stable and environment as possibly.


sleepless34 posted 10/8/2013 13:41 PM

I am dealing with a similar situation. My STBX is going to fight me for 2,2,3 too. I am not down with that. He said, "this is where we are going" and I said "it is not just your decision."

Unfortunately, the courts here in this ridiculous state default to 50/50 as well, for the same reasons as stated below.

There are LOTs of other plans though besides 2,2,3...and you can work on trying to prove there are better options because of your particular children and your particular family. I am going to fight like HELL to make sure we dont have to do it that way because I think it would be a very very bad fit for our family. IT would involve lots of interaction between parents, it would be disruptive to the kids during school week, takes them away from their neighborhood, pets, school too much. I hate the idea of it for them, and for me too.

Regarding GAL- I have been told repeatedly to STAY OUT OF THE COURT SYSTEM. My therapist, my lawyer, everyone else that knows anything about the family law system says that you do not want to go there. You are asking a virtual stranger to make a decision about what is best for your family- and it will probably not be better than what you could work out on your own. My friend used one in Mass and it was terrible outcome. Her X was a mental case and he still got 50/50.

One idea: perhaps you could stall him. Tell him it takes awhile to figure out what is going to work and takes a while to get used to the transition from one to two homes, need to go really slow for best interest of the kids. He may then back off a little if he thinks it is progressing. It will give you time to get your ducks in a row.

In my state, I have been told drug use matters, their past work/travel schedule, Porn, abuse, the biggies...but no morality or lifestyle issues have any impact. They might not matter legally, but i think you can use that stuff to discredit them during negotiations- which hopefully is where you get things figured out vs having to go to court.

rainagain posted 10/8/2013 21:13 PM

If you feel strongly that a different set up of 50/50 would work better for your kids than the 2/2/3 then you could begin to negotiate that. Your kids are old enough to have a voice in this. But do prepare yourself for 50/50.

Can you have their guidance counselor or IC if they have one help document their preferences?

My teens wanted a week on / off with a wednesday eve with the other parent. They also needed the "exchange" time to be flexible to accommodate their plans.

[This message edited by rainagain at 9:16 PM, October 8th (Tuesday)]

ChoosingHope posted 10/8/2013 21:29 PM

I don't have any experience with a GAL, but I just wanted to follow up on your comment about him being a sex addict.

My STBX was officially diagnosed several times through the years as a SA. He's also NPD. Anyhow, my best guess right now is that he'll get every other weekend and maybe one weeknight a week. I think that's his best case scenario right now. His behavior is documented, he's been evaluated by professionals, and he's just a MESS.

I'm only sharing this to show you how difficult it is to fight joint custody, even if your STBX uses prostitutes. First, the burden of proof is on you. Second, it's your burden to prove that he does this stuff around his children, and that it could hurt them. It's really difficult otherwise.

It's not fair, but that's the way the system is set up these days - I'm sure it will change in the future, but not in time for anyone here.

Phoenix9572 posted 10/8/2013 22:39 PM

Thank you again for everyone's posts.
I have talked to our sons and explained at a high level that their Dad is asking for a courts help on deciding a parenting plan. The oldest is pretty adamant that he wants to live with me and just do the minimum visit with Dad. I think the youngest is torn and would like to see Dad more and of course he really doesn't have a voice in the courts at this age.
I told them that if they are interviewed then they need to speak about how they really feel and WHY. I explained that no matter the outcome we want what is best for them.
I have tried to stall my husband by asking for him to let us ease into this transition with the idea that if they kids want more time we will adjust in the future. No dice on his part.
I feel like we are playing mind games with each other too which doesn't help things.

Undefinabl3 posted 10/9/2013 08:26 AM

Just out of curiosity, why is it that you are against some sort of 50/50 split?

Keeping just the kids in mind, is there a reason why this option would not be a doable situation?

I don't know the whole story obviously, but if he lives in the school district, is active in their lives, and can support them in his own space, is there another reason?

I know for us, one of the unforseen benefits of the 50/50 was the removal of Child support since we both had DSS equally in the year. It wasn't our plan when we started, but it was a perk.

Could your stbxh be going for it simply because he doesn't want to pay the CS?

ChoosingHope posted 10/9/2013 10:07 AM

Just out of curiosity, why is it that you are against some sort of 50/50 split?
Keeping just the kids in mind, is there a reason why this option would not be a doable situation?

I'm not speaking for Phoenix, but having kids move back and forth three times a week is not considered ideal anymore by most therapists and parenting evaluators. It's a very unstable and chaotic way to live. Unfortunately, the court system is way behind the latest thinking.

Also, if there is any animosity between the two parents, this sort of situation is impossible and ends up putting the children in the middle of a war zone. Just imagine the level of coordination that must occur - homework, clothing, scheduling, packing sports equipment three times a week . . .

A 2-3-2 schedule with a NPD - makes me shudder.

ChoosingHope posted 10/9/2013 10:18 AM

I know for us, one of the unforseen benefits of the 50/50 was the removal of Child support since we both had DSS equally in the year. It wasn't our plan when we started, but it was a perk.

I think this is great if you both work and make the same amount of money and own roughly the same assets. But it couldn't work for SAHMs or SAHDs. They need child support until they start working - and often for many years afterwards.

Even if one spouse has never stayed at home, very often they have made other career sacrifices or chose more flexible but lower-paying jobs in order to "be there" for their kids. So these parents are going to need child support too.

I wish I didn't need child support from my STBX, but I gave up my career to raise my children, and my earning potential is nowhere near that of my crazy lawyer STBX.

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