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Thanksgiving & the new attorney

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Well, the day before Thanksgiving, surprise surprise, BM was not on time, instead of pick up at 4 pm, ended up getting bf's daughter at 5:15 because BM got stuck in traffic on the way home from their "activity" ... like she did not think to include the holiday traffic, no surprise there, at least we were leaving the next day so it was not a big deal, more like an annoyance than anything else. 

Thanksgiving went great with my bf, my family, and my bf's daughter. It was the first time anyone in my family has met his daughter and they loved her. Well they also love little kids and his daughter is super well behaved so that makes it even easier for everyone to like her. It only took the 3.5 hours it is supposed to take to get there on Thanksgiving morning and we even stopped twice so that was awesome! The day after we did our annual Christmas Tree finding at the tree farm, took it home, and we all helped decorate my parent's tree. The next day we made cookies and pizzelles, etc. Literally no complaints about the visit with my family, except maybe that it took us 5 hours to get home because everyone left the same day we did instead of the following day because of this big snow storm that was supposed to hit the north Sunday and today. 

My bf offically signed for and paid the retainer for the new attorney on Wednesday, woohoo. Bad news was the attorney who was supposed to be available until 2 pm, decided to change that plan, so now tomorrow my bf will be bringing all his files to give to the attorney plus what he wants the attorney to write up for an agreement to send to BM & her lawyer. He has decided to try to just have him & BM agree, we think it is too risky and a waste of time/money to go to trial. Last night, my bf and I sat down and discussed what we thought was fair to put in the agreement and he will be presenting that to his attorney tomorrow. We are asking for every other week and alternating holidays until he gets out of the military, plus every other year for claiming the child on taxes. Then when he gets out, to have summer break and Christmas break with his daughter. We think that is more than fair and as we know she won't budge on the school year thing, we decided to just take the loss right now and hope she agrees. My bf is worried she will not agree to this as her older daughter is not a part of the agreement, to which I do not think she legally could include the child anyway as she took his rights away. So we will see what the attorney thinks tomorrow.

Bf texted BM again about the Christmas dates she wanted to switch again and telling her he needed to know ASAP. Big surprise, BM avoided the question completely so he ended up texting again asking to switch the Friday for the Monday that weekend, as we will be going to my parents in that time frame. Guess what? BM then replied and said that works, the Friday is what I was going to see if you could switch..... WHY COULDN'T SHE JUST SAY THAT... we have been asking for weeks. Bf thinks she just wants to make things difficult, which I could see happening.

Also, bf dropped his daughter off at BM's last night and when his daughter saw BM, she said she didn't want to go with her and when BM picked her up and walked away, she was bawling her eyes out saying no. 

That's all the update I have for now!


tog redux's picture

No surprise the little girl enjoys the stability of you two and doesn't want to go back to BM. 

Hope it all works out okay. I'd be shocked if BM agreed to 50/50, but even if she won't, she will hopefully agree to more time than she's giving now.  I'd be prepared for her to agree to 50/50 IF he agrees to take the older girl too, and decide how to handle that.  Unfortunately, the judge now gave her that ridiculous ammunition of "the girls can't be apart too long". 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

after days of getting full on attention from my parents, my siblings, my cousins, etc. plus we decorated my bf's apartment yesterday with her also for Christmas, so it has been non-stop of bonding time really.

Thank you. I hope so too! She had mentioned before about him getting more time, but then last week when bringing up the older child said she would not let him keep the girls apart more than she has to, but then she agreed for him to have extended time the weekend following Christmas... so really, I don't know what she will say.

We have discussed this and it wasn't a fun conversation because on one hand my bf just wants to get this done and over with and of course he is upset he doesn't have the older girl anymore. However, we both decided if that was her terms, than it would go to trial because we are not signing up for more drama, emotional games, etc. with BM in regards to the older child. Yes, which is why we are worried about trial. We basically came to the agreement that it's either agreement with BM only about his daughter or risk it and go to trial because we aren't willing for BM to control our lives and have the never ending emotional chaos from BM's mistakes and choices. Sounds harsh, but I am 100% not willing for any of that to happen.

tog redux's picture

I think having the attorney do the negotiating will help. He can just continually remind the other attorney that the older girl is not your SO's daughter and so any discussion of her is off the table.  BM's attorney will likely agree with that, and let BM know. He may have told BM it was fine to send Older Girl over to SO's place, but I doubt he realized what her plan was. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

his attorney just asked my bf to have what he wants typed up to give to him and to not bother with anything totally unreasonable because he won't send it and then he just wasted everyone's time. I think what we came up with is honestly reasonable, but BM who we know is spiteful because she isn't getting her way, probably won't think so.

I doubt he did too or probably would of advised her not to take bf's rights away in the first place lol. My bf is telling his attorney tomorrow that older child is off of the table and to not take anytime to look into things or include her in the negotiation, which I know won't be easy for him to say, but he knows it's the right thing to do. Yesterday when we talked my bf seemed pretty realistic and level headed about it all so I would say things are slowly getting better for him. Not the right wording, but hopefully you know what I mean

tog redux's picture

The truth is, they can't make a CO that pertains to the older child because she's not his. So any offer BM makes to give him 50/50 if he takes older girl would have to be an unofficial offer, which her attorney will discourage, I'm sure. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

just like how a temporary custody order had to wait to be made until the genetic testing happened. My bf just has been worried that 1. going to trial somehow this will get dragged out longer, since that is what has continued to happen time and time again, or 2. the judge will somehow put in the order to take the older child too... As he has not had an attorney since the last court hearing in October, he hasn't been able to ask anyone who could 100% tell him that won't happen and as we keep getting curveballs, he rather not rule anything out till we get there. I've personally not been worried about #2 because I don't see how legally that would be possible

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I think everything asked for is reasonable EXCEPT Christmas break every year.  I think that and Thannksgiving should alternate on opposite years. I think it's going to be like pulling hens teeth to get her to give up SD EVERY Christmas once he's out. If she doesn't agree, which I'm guessing a difficult BM won't, then I think that's a fair alternate to ask for.

Both the girls used to thrown absolute tantrums when they had to go with Psycho, we don't get tantrums anymore, but they still aren't happy. So be prepared for that.


ETA: Legally I think he CAn be added onto a custody order for the little girl.  They'd both have to consent to it though, and it sounds like far too much of a hassle.  But parents can hand over custody or visitation rights to people, the judge may or may not grant it, but they have the option to try, so be aware of that.  She may try and convince him.

tog redux's picture

Yes, agreed.  Maybe Christmas/Thanksgiving every other year and Spring Break the alternating years (or Spring Break every year, if you can get it). 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'm not a fan of this BM, too many f*** f*** games for my liking...  But I don't think pretty well any parent wants to give up their kid for every Christmas.  It's a HUGE holiday.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

we will be on the opposite coast of the US though, so thanksgiving break I feel like is not enough time when she gets her ALL the time except summer. Maybe Christmas and spring break alternate on opposite years? Spring break is usually at least a week, while thanksgiving is like a 4 day weekend. 

It's the first time she has gotten upset like that at an exchange, so I guess only time will tell if this was a one time thing or she is really not that happy going with BM

tog redux's picture

I'd say go for Spring Break every year, and all of the summer, with alternating Christmas breaks. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

That's possible.  Though as tog said, I might even just ask for Spring break yearly then still get alternating Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

I agree it's not enough time, but long distance makes that one tougher.  And even sucky parents hold something to Christmas. (perfect time to brag about how awesome of parents they are)

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

have bf put that in the suggestion for the agreement to take to the lawyer. Selfishly, having her every summer means we would have her for her birthday every year too. 

As for the comment about the judge could add the other child to the court order if both BM and bf consent to it, I do know that is true. However, bf will not consent to it. I have not given him an ultimatum or anything on the topic, but we have had a very real conversation about why to me that is not an option that I would be okay with. 1. The false allegation the child gave about spanking her with a golden spoon, 2. The implication the child's counselor has given about the child possibly have been sexually abused, 3. In regards to 1 & 2, I am not willing to have false allegations ruin our lives, etc. from a child that is not his & BM already took his rights away to, 4. The drama, stress, and strain BM has put on our relationship/bf's daughter already in regards to this child & that the child already herself (major behavioral issues) has put on our relationship/his daughter as well, then would be on our future children as well, 5. BM already took rights away, rubbed it in how he is not her bio dad, etc. and when BM finds a new man, probably would start this whole process over again, ......... there were a couple more too, but I was straight up with him that I understood how he was her father for years, how much it has hurt him and her, etc. but that I would not be supportive of allowing BM to control our lives and/or pretend that BM has not already caused enough emotional damage/like everything did not happen, that is not even taking in account the affect all of this has/had on the child herself. Call me a witch, but to me and even my bf has said it too, once BM took the rights away, it was game over on that end.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Expect BM to put a stink up about that. If she DOES throw a fit becuase she realizes the birthday thing.  You could offer a SPECIFIC time for her to have like a 15 minute facetime with the kid on her birthday.  Just make sure the time and length is specified so she can't move it on a whim.

I agree he shouldn't do it.  Frankly it sounds like a bunch of chaos and just asking for trouble.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I mean the birthday is in the middle of the summer so it's not like we could send her back to BM a week or two early every other year or something. 

That it is! Still makes me feel bad, almost like making him choose between the child he raised or me, but he swears it is not like that for him.

tog redux's picture

He can't put the older child in the order, that would give DH visitation rights, which he doesn't have. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I think we both are just so worried about things happening we don't know could since it has been one thing after the next lol

tog redux's picture

It's not his child, he can't be ordered to do anything with her.  It would be like a judge ordering one of us to have visits with our stepkid - that's effectively what she was. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

If BM won't do week on/off, then try a 2/2/3 schedule. Yes, it's more interaction with BM, but that skirts the "keeping the girls apart for too long" issue for the next year. The girls will never be apart more than 3 days at a time, which is the same as EOWE as far as length of time is concerned. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I mean personally, I rather it be more days consecutively, but that is a good counter offer. Any idea what to put in the agreement regarding already made travel plans? What I mean is from 1/31 - 2/3, my bf and I will be getting on a plane to go to the other coast for 4 days, plane tickets are already bought, it is on our current weekend of not having his daughter, but how do we integrate these plans into the order?

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

anything written up in regards to them? Or I guess we could try and make it take effect that those days aren't our days to begin with

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'd avoid Christmas trade offs though. Frankly they're stupid.  We swap 6PM Christmas day.. So no go to me going home for Christmas with them EVER.  And Psycho tried to swap the schedule because she planned a trip, then tried to pull the "well they shouldn't have to be in the car all day on Christmas..." To which we thought "Nope. They shouldn't be. So either leave them with us while you're on your trip or don't go if thats really how you feel."  (we just said NO. lol)  But it's a hassle.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

in what we wrote down it begins 12/23 and ends 12/26 alternating years because while we are in VA we will definitely be visiting my family up north. There is no way in hell we are switching on the day like he did last year, let's you not be able to do anything

Thumper's picture

I would be surprised IF a Judge will sign off on any new plan based on WHEN your boyfriend gets out of the service because it could change for any number of reasons including recall.

Does he have his orders to transition out? I get it his contract is for x amount of time...BUT does he have orders and exit date?

Maybe I am missing something here---but I think the smartest route is to have IN Hand, highly redacted orders  to reflect with concrete fact a  'new' parenting plan/custody orangement WILL work because boyfriend is officially no longer on active duty.... Not a hearing based on " when if's:...

How old is boyfriends daughter?

About the trip you have do not need that in a court order. IF it comes UP remind the court those dates have nothing to do with BM. I wouldn't hand itinerary over either. Not her business.






futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

specifically helps people in the military with divorce/custody issues. He has said he has done it before where it is in the CO when divorcing so you don't have to go back to court in like a year to get it all changed for moving when out of the military. He is definitely getting out May 2021, technically 2 months sooner because of leave, you can take leave for your remaining time. 

We definitely will not be handing BM our itinerary, especially since the child is not even going with us. His daughter is 3 years old.

bananaseedo's picture

Good luck hon! Maybe it is smarter this way. I also wouldn't do ROFR with a high conflict BM. ...not to mention EVERY time she wants a day off you'll be stuck with the kid.  And major guilt trips if he doesn't comply/accept -just as she does with older child. Whatever happens-air tight CO and stick to it and NEVER deviate unless a big time emergency.  Otherwise favor requests will fly at you like bullets 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Yes, I agree to not having the ROFR due to BM being high conflict and how already her "offer" of more time to my bf, isn't really any offer of more time, but more of for him to be her driver. BM has offered more time in the form of taking his daughter to dance, so 1.5 hours in total whereas about 30 mins is really spent with her in the car. BM if we had the ROFR would do exactly what someone earlier on here mentioned, take a selfie with the child post how wonderful she is, etc. then leave her with us until she felt like being mom, yeah no way.

tog redux's picture

Plus - there is no way to enforce it. BM here had a herd of cows if DH didn't give her ROFR (and SS always told her) - but she never gave it to him, and SS was sworn to secrecy about her time away from him.  So she will just use it to make trouble.

Ispofacto's picture

With a BM like yours, DH needs to aim high so BM can shoot him down and feel like she's winning when you get what you really wanted.


thinkthrice's picture

it is anti-father NYS.  Hate to be a Debbie Downer but no matter what is put in writing, OP's  HCGUBM is going to violate it like nobody's business.  She's already played elaborate games with the older child as a pawn. 

She most likely will ramp up the PAS on SD as she had a wonderful time with you and dad's family which is verboten. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

She thinks she is above the court order. Although, I will say, she has not offically actually not followed the temporary court order yet at least. She has been late. She has threatened things that go against the court order, but in the end she actually follows it. So perhaps she will forever test and try and get her way, but when it comes down to it, she will follow it? I doubt it, but I have to have a sliver of optimism to get through it!

I am sure she probably will. I bet she was NOT happy that his daughter was crying and saying no about going with her. I guess we will wait and see!