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seeking input from D'ed BS w/kids

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Clarrissa posted 11/6/2013 18:05 PM

I know all of us are from all over the country so I'm not looking for specifics, just general consensus.

Quick back story. DD is going through divorce and is trying for custody of the kids. She lives in Wisconsin and stbxSIL lives here in Ohio but jurisdiction has been granted to Ohio.

(BTW this sitch has roots in infidelity so I'm posting here. If not appropriate, mods please move)

Anyway, stbxSIL is of course fighting her on it. He's accused her of abusing GS because he had a bruise on his shoulder (caused by bee stings) and has accused her of restricting him solely to his room for an entire day (my guess is he's going for mental/emotional abuse with this)

As for pros and cons, DD is in a stable relationship.
Her SO is more than capable of providing for them so she can be there for the kids (be a SAHM if she wants.)
She and SO can provide a stable environment for the kids.
Only con I can think of is stbxSIL and DD live in different states.

As for stbxSIL, his work history is less than stirling. He'll get a job, keep it for a few months then either quit or get fired. He and OW are currently living with his aunt so no guarantee that kids will have their own beds much less their own rooms and no way of telling when they'll have to move (stbxSIL's mouth tends to cause friction with his "hosts"). His relationship with OW is far from stable. It's on again/off again. They're both cheaters so what else is to be expected right?
Of course, this sitch is stressing my DD to no end plus there's the chance that stbxSIL will vanish with the kids should the ruling go against him (they'll be notified by mail via their lawyers).

So, input on those two questions: what do you think of her chances of getting primary custody and what precautions should she take to ensure she gets the kids if she's awarded custody?

Catwoman posted 11/6/2013 18:50 PM

Who moved away and why?

How long have they been separated and what have been the visitation/custody arrangements to date?


Nature_Girl posted 11/6/2013 19:04 PM

Cat took the questions right out of my mouth.

Clarrissa posted 11/6/2013 19:57 PM

DD moved to be with her SO and stbxSIL had custody by default since before she moved she was staying with us and we just didn't have the room. They've been separated for going on two years now, I believe.
I was thinking DD has more than the 50-50 chance her L told her because her situation is MUCH more stable than her stbx's and almost overwhelmingly, family court tends to favor the mother. When H and I talked about it, it seemed to us that stbxSIL would essentially have to prove his situation is better/more stable than DD's and from what we know of him and his history, that will be very difficult if not impossible.
So, in regards to him possibly vaporing with the kids should he lose, what are your suggestions on how she can prevent that?

million pieces posted 11/6/2013 20:15 PM

I know it varies state by state, but here in MD 50/50 is pretty much the norm if both parents want custody. And I was told by my lawyer that I shouldn't expect to keep much custody if I moved over 45 mins away from my kids' father.

courageous posted 11/6/2013 22:33 PM

I moved over 40 less than 100 miles from exwh when I filed for D. Sorry to be vague but I can't give out too many details in a public forum. If you need more info or have questions, you can PM me. I left our martial home and moved in with my parents because I was a SAHM and hadn't worked for 6 years so it took me a long time to find a job... And even now I'm making more than half LESS than I had before kids.

Anyways.... I have primary custody and he has the state minimum. We made an agreement that he gets additional days in the summer as if he lived over 100 miles away in exchange for not coming on Thursday nights. So he has them 1, 3, and 5 weekends of each month alternating spring breaks, and 45 days in the summer.

I did not get in trouble for moving because I had good and logical reasoning behind it. I live in a no fault state but the temp custody hearing judge was pissed at my exwh. She told him he needed to choice his girlfriend or his kids. His behavior doing the marriage will play an important part.

Catwoman posted 11/7/2013 06:21 AM

My thoughts? She moved AWAY from her child to be with her boyfriend. That is a big strike against her.

Second strike against her is that she has willingly allowed her STBX custody (and I assume it is nearly 100% given the distances involved). The court is likely to look at it his way: if he is so awful, why was she willing to leave her child with him.

Bottom line, with jurisdiction where he lives and her up and moving not a small distance away, I doubt she is going to get custody.


Catwoman posted 11/7/2013 06:22 AM

Dupe post--sorry. Darn iPad and train wifi.


[This message edited by Catwoman at 6:25 AM, November 7th (Thursday)]

GabyBaby posted 11/7/2013 11:16 AM

Sorry, but I agree with Catwoman.

sparkysable posted 11/7/2013 12:15 PM

stbxSIL had custody by default
says who?

sparkysable posted 11/7/2013 12:17 PM

Am I reading this right? She moved away from her kids, and left them with her STBXH?

Clarrissa posted 11/7/2013 16:57 PM

What I meant by he had custody by default is DD was staying with us after they separated and we didn't have room for her and three kids. That was the *only* reason the kids lived with him and not with her/us. However, visitation was fairly generous. There were plenty of times they'd spend a week or two with us. Yes, it was a bit cramped but we weren't exactly in each other's back pockets, if you know what I mean.
As for her moving to be with her SO I agree it may not have been the smartest move under the circumstances but if I'd remembered the fact that stbxSIL is an unremorseful wayward (and paid more attention to what other BS went through in this sitch) I'd have advised her to wait until custody had been settled.
As I see it, stbx isn't *just* after custody. I think he *does* want the kids but I think he's also doing this (in part) because he's pissed that DD has moved on and is using this to get back at her. You know, the old unremorseful wayward thinking that "*I* can move on but *you* had better wait to see if I change my mind". She didn't and now he's using the custody fight to "get even".
I'm hoping (perhaps against hope) that the fact that she can provide a much more stable environment than her stbx can will at least partially negate the points you brought up. I *do* know that if stbxSIL gets custody, we'll see them even less than if DD gets custody because he tends to hold a grudge. The fact that we're her parents will be enough for him to keep them from us and Ohio doesn't recognize grandparents' rights. So yeah, I'd like DD to get primary custody for our benefit too. I won't lie about that but I also believe quite sincerely that the kids would be better off with her. I know how stbxSIL is. He can't keep a job, is constantly moving due to friction with *someone* and unless he's done a major turnaround, he doesn't really interact with the kids that much. It was like he overlooked them unless they were bothering him somehow. He was especially hard on GS.
Anyway we'll hear the news, good or bad. within the next week. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

Catwoman posted 11/7/2013 18:10 PM

Personally, I don't think environment is going to play as much of a role as who is taking care of the kids day to day. As nice a fellow as her SO may be, he is not the child's parent. It is going to come down to who willingly moved away and left the kids and who is doing the majority of the day to day.

As a parent, I cannot fathom this. I would have lived in a studio apartment with cots for beds and sleeping bags for bedding before moving hundreds of miles away and leaving my children with my not-yet-ex. What was she thinking?

How often does she see the children?


Clarrissa posted 11/7/2013 19:02 PM

Cat, because of distance she's unable to see them as much as she wants though I'm sure she saw them while she was here for court.

My main worry is if stbxSIL gets custody, he'll find "reasons" to default on the visitation agreement. Like I said, he's the type to hold a grudge and I *do* think he's using this sitch to get even with her. I also think he'll use the kids to force her into concessions. Basically "I'll let you see the kids *if* you do..." whatever. Because he's the type to do sh*t like that. He's also someone wants someone to take care if him, even *expects* to be taken care of.

I know he's had the day to day care of them for the majority of the last two years but wouldn't the court take his history of constant changes of jobs and lack of a really permanent address into account? Or will they just tell her "You moved and left the kids with him so he gets primary custody."?

I know I'm probably grasping at straws here and admittedly I'm putting a lot of that hope in the fact that the family court system tends to find in favor of the mother, especially if young children are involved, as it is in this case. I'm also hoping they'll look at her documentation of the times he refused to let her see/talk to them when she was still here, things he should have done for them but didn't, etc., etc. I gave her the advice to document after seeing it given to so many BS going through this with their WS. I don't know how much (if any) good that will do if they'll just look at who has the day to day care and who moved.

Anyway, if you can spare any mojo for her, I'd be so greatful.

Catwoman posted 11/7/2013 19:51 PM

The court is going to consider the day-to-day care and the parenting actions of each parent. As long as he has been able to provide for them adequately, I am not sure his employment history is going to play as large a role as your daughter moving hundreds of miles away and leaving the children in his care. This could be considered abandonment.

Yes many courts do favor the mother, but that is mainly in situations where the mother is present. She hasn't been present. She willingly moved far away. You cannot expect a judge to believe that her doing so was in the best interest of the children AND that she is the superior parent due to her sex.

I am sorry if I appear harsh, but her actions are troubling and puzzling. She left her kids. She could have stayed,, put the boyfriend on the back burner and dedicated herself to being present in their lives. But she didn't.

I hope to God I am wrong, but I feel the cards are very much stacked against her. The court is especially going to look at her giving him custody while she went off with her SO. It might be different if it were a job or certainly a military deployment. But a boyfriend? Really? And it goes against her credibility for her to argue that he has issues because she willingly left the children in his care not to better herself or for a job but for a relationship. She cannot have it both ways, and the court will see that.

I am sorry this is not what you want to hear, but this is reality. She is likely to get very little traction with this. Frankly, she gave up her chances for custody when she chose a boyfriend over her kids.

This upsets me greatly, as you can probably tell. I could have moved 1000 miles way when we separated, but I felt strongly the children needed a relationship with their father, as much of a cad as he is. When I moved last summer, I chose a location tht would not be inconvenient for the kids, as they are the ones who need to travel back and forth (they are young adults now). Shoot, I don't let my SO stay over when my kids are home because they deserve a home that is THEIRS, not one where they might run into someone that they don't know well while making their morning coffee.

Parenting requires sacrifices at times. I am saddened for you that your daughter didn't see this when she made her decisions because it is likely to affect her and, unfortunately the children, for decades to come.


[This message edited by Catwoman at 7:54 PM, November 7th (Thursday)]

courageous posted 11/7/2013 20:24 PM

Wait, she left her kids for two years!? Yeah that's abandonment. The fact that she made the choice of her boyfriend over her children and now she wants full custody.... Not going to happen. Judges do not like to take children from their stable and consistent home.

The stbxsil may lose jobs over and over but he has always provided for the kids. He is and has been their only constant. I understand hardships... I'm living with my parents because I can't afford my own place but to move far away just to be with a boyfriend shows that her priorities are very skewed.

I just went back and reread your first post... No where did you mention how she misses her kids. All you said was about the SO. the SO is not their parent and can't be considered as part of the equation.

You might want to prepare your DD for just getting minimal visitation. Her lawyer could just be telling her what she wants to hear. I don't want to sound like I'm being mean but your DD really needs to start thinking about the best interest of the kids and not for herself. If the situation was reversed, as it has been many times here on SI, and your DD had stayed and stbxsil left to have his new life/ relationship, hardly seeing the kids, and then 2 years later came back wanting to take the kids far away... Probably out of DD's life we would all be saying hell no!

Why can't she move back? This is sending a subtle message to the kids that they are not more important than SO. Are the kids in IC?

Clarrissa posted 11/7/2013 21:03 PM

While she was staying with us, she was going to school. We were supporting her during this.

As far as abandonment, I may have given you the wrong impression. She didn't move *just* to be with her SO and while here she saw them when stbxSIL felt like bringing them. As for the relationship between SO and the kids I guess mutual adoration describes it pretty well. It's not like he's a stranger to them and they just spent the last six months with them in Wisconsin. As it stands now, the older two are *not* in school because of the lack of even temporary custody orders. stbxSIL can't enroll them without it. To be honest I can't say how well he's caring for them since I'm not there to see.

courageous, she *does* miss her kids. Every time stbxSIL came to get them it was obvious she didn't want them to go but was bowing to the circumstances. She isn't fighting for them to screw with her stbx but because she wants her kids and believes she (and her SO) can provide for them more consistantly.

little turtle posted 11/7/2013 22:01 PM

She would have a much better chance if she had waited for this to be settled before she moved away.

You never said, what is the current visitation schedule like? The kids were in Wisconsin for 6 months?? They aren't in school? I'm confused.

If the kids have been primarily living with their dad for 2 years and doing well, I don't see why anyone would remove them from their home now. She should be hoping to get the 50/50 and not less.

courageous posted 11/7/2013 22:32 PM

I'm a bit confused. Why did she not take the kids with her when she moved? Did stbxsil not allow the kids to go? The kids are not in school! does he get in trouble with the school system for the kids being out for so long? If he prohibited the kids to go that could be huge for her case.

Clarrissa posted 11/8/2013 04:01 AM

The kids spent the summer with them so school wasn't an issue. She had the younger ones for a while before that and got GS when the school year finished. Admittedly I'm a little fuzzy on how/when stbxSIL got them back but since he has them, he's unable to enroll GS because of the lack of even temp orders so even though school has been in here in Ohio for the last couple months GS has been unable to go. GD1 is eligible for preschool but evidently here in Ohio parents must pay for preschool. In Wisconsin, it's part of the regular school system.

I have to get ready for work now so I'll revisit this when I have more time. Thanks again for your input.

[This message edited by Clarrissa at 4:06 AM, November 8th (Friday)]

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