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?
All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.
How long have they been separated and what have been the visitation/custody arrangements to date?
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.
My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.
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.
[This message edited by Catwoman at 6:25 AM, November 7th (Thursday)]
DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
5 Furkids (3 Dogs, 2 Cats)
WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs
Note: I edit often for clarity/typos.
stbxSIL had custody by default
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.
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?
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.
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)]
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?
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.
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.
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)]