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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Most of you are very lucky and seem to be happily married, raising your children with their father. I am unfortunately NOT in that situation and am embroiled in a nasty custody battle with my girls' father. You may not be able to relate.

My stress level is through the roof. Right now my ex and I have joint custody of our girls, with a 50/50 time split. I see him not raising the girls right and it just kills me. He hates me and many things he does seem simply to be for spite.

For example, this week my parents drove 950 miles to see us and it is his week, and he would not let the girls come over except for two hours. The thing is, he is not spending time with the girls. He is working at night (don't even ask about the job - it is horrible). He left the girls with his girlfriend's 12 year old SON as a babysitter until 3 AM. I begged him to leave them with me, I told him I found the situation unsafe and inappropriate but he refused to even discuss it. I told my oldest to call me if she had an emergency and she told me it was not allowed, that she could only call her Dad, who works 45 minutes away from them. I called the police and Children's Aid Society to discuss this, and while they sympathized, there was nothing they could do. This is legal. I was up all night worrying about them for the past three nights while this was going on.

It is still another month until the next courtdate. He does not know I have an attorney, he thinks I am just going to go in there and get walked all over.

Not sure of the point of this little rant. I guess I just needed to vent and ask you all to keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and also, for those of you with good marraiges to good men, remind you how very lucky you are.
 

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I'm sorry Karen, for you and your girls. Hope you can get a better working arrangement when you go to court. :hugz:
 

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Glad you have a lawyer Karen, (good thinking) & I hope he/she is going to be able to fight for you & the girls. An unsupervised teen male and young girls would have me concerned about all their safety on a few levels. He might be a great kid but it's just not right. I'm sorry you all are in this situation. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you & the kids. :heartsm:
 

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:hugz: Good luck to you, Karen!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks ladies. I am with you Darlene, about the young boy unsupervized with the girls. All kids get curious at some point, and why tempt fate like that?
 

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My friend had a similar problem with her son's father. She kept a log of every phone call, every e-mail and every thing her son's father said or did. She brought that into court and it really helped her situation.

I would worry about the girls staying with a 12-year-old boy. I would think that would not be a safe situation. I would certainly educate the girls and make them aware of anything inappropriate to let you know immediately or if they felt unsafe with the boy babysitting to call 911 themselves. It is awful to think that way but give them the power to protect themselves as their father doesn't seem to concerned. I will pray for you and your girls and also that he comes to his senses and realizes that you are both here to nurture and keep your children safe.
 

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I so understand where you are coming from. I have a 12 year old ds from my first marriage. His "father" never calls, or sees him except for maybe once a year. He is gone with him now until next weekend. His father sent us an email out of the blue wanting him at such and such times, etc. Then gets mad when I tell him that my ds doesn't want to come back for the second two weeks. My ds is not allowed to call us either however he did the other night at almost 11 P.M. Scared us to death! We have told him that is he ever needs anything to call us collect at anytime but he called direct so I hope a phone bill doesn't come before he gets home, or he'll ne in trouble. The weather was bad where he is, thunderstorms and rain, and I think he was scared. He said that everyone was in bed when he got out of the shower so he called us and couldn't remember how to call collect. I think a lot of what my ex does is out of spite too. Just the popping up every now and then out of the blue with no warning is a major strain on one's emotions. He was complaining about how he is never able to get ds for the second two weeks. What he seems to forget is that most of the time he is the one that calls and says he isn't able to come back for whatever reason. Now having said all of this about my 12 year old ds, no I would not leave him in charge of anyone. If you want to "talk" feel free to email me anytime.
 

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My ex was like that, doing things outta spite, even if it was at the expense of my dd. So sorry that you are having to go through that and will keep you in my prayers. That's great you have an attorney, will pray things go in your favor next month at the court hearing. Big (((hugs)))!
 

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I agree with Darlene, allowing a 12 yo boy to babysit an 11 yo girl, along with a 5 yo? That's crazy!!!
I will certainly say a prayer for your dd's and hope the Judge in this case will be fair and wise. :hugz:
 

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:hugz:

It must be very hard for you to have that 12 year old babysitting your 11 year old and 5 year old. I sure hope some judge uses his or her brains when it comes to this. If they are going to be with a sitter anyway, they should be allowed to be with you. I think the 12 yo boy is highly inappropriate. I won't even let my 17 yo brother-in-law ever, ever be alone with my 3 yo. :hugz:
 
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Just wanted to send hugs and prayers your way - fortunately I'm not in the same situation, but I have friends and family members that are also involved in custody battles, so I have a small idea of how hard it must be for you. Hang in there!

:hug2:
 

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I hoe things work in your favor when you go to your next court date. :hugz:
 

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((HHHUUGGSSSS))) and prayers are coming your way!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ladies, your good wishes mean so much to me. I have re-read this thread many times and it really helps. It is hard to do this, because at this point my kids just don't get it -- sometimes I wonder if they will ever realize I am doing it for their own good. If so great, if not, well, I will just have to live with that and know I am doing the right thing.

Thank you all so much.
 

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Why don't you invest in an inexpensive prepaid cell phone like Tracphone and give it to your daughter to call you in case of emergencies. She doesn't have to tell her father that she has it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kay, what a fabulous idea! I will do just that. I have worried myself sick about them not being able to contact me if they need me.

I looked into it and up here they have an inexpensive phone you can get that allows you to call up to 4 numbers, which you program in. The numbers would be for example, Mom's work and Mom's house, and maybe Granny and Grandpa's. To be used for emergency or whenever they just want to talk to me. Not an outrageous expense, either.
 

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not to sure of what states allow this - but there is something you can put in your custody arrangment that basically states "if the parent who has custody at such a time cannot watch child, non-custodial parent must be asked first, then if also unavailable, custodial parent may chose babysitter".
that would help with you being able to watch the kids when he is at work, but that might also backfire for when you have custody.

good luck - As a child of divorced parents, I know it's hard.
 

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MandiDawn said:
not to sure of what states allow this - but there is something you can put in your custody arrangment that basically states "if the parent who has custody at such a time cannot watch child, non-custodial parent must be asked first, then if also unavailable, custodial parent may chose babysitter".
that would help with you being able to watch the kids when he is at work, but that might also backfire for when you have custody.

good luck - As a child of divorced parents, I know it's hard.
Yep, I was going to suggest the same thing. I have a girlfriend who's going through a really nasty divorce and her attorney put a clause like that in the papers. You could ask your attorney if that could be added to your divorce papers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The clause you are talking about is called "right of first refusal". I asked my ex if we could do that before, and he said no, but hopefully the judge will agree it is for the best.

My kids have gone to the US to visit their grandparents for most of the month, so thank God, they are away from this mess. My oldest and I had a long talk last night before she left, and the way her dad treats her breaks my heart. It was a good conversation though because it made me even more certain I am doing the right thing.

I meet with my attorney again next week, hopefully we can get the ball rolling -- the waiting is really hard! Our courtdate is near the end of July.
 
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