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Will BM agree or make us go to trial?

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

That is the big question. Just so happens BM's attorney was in my bf's lawyer's office on another matter so yesterday he was able to hand deliver the settlement offer to BM's attorney and it asks for it to be reviewed with client prior to pre trial (December 12), etc. So the agreement laid out the every other week schedule we are proposing, alternating holidays, 50/50 legal for bf's daughter, no spousal support, no child support at this time (50/50 physical custody is why), bf's daughter to remain on bf's insurace dental and medical, medical expenses to be split 50/50, alternating tax years, communication to be through the co parenting app, child care expenses to be the parent's responsibility when on their time, when bf gets out and moves - bf to have summer break, xmas break, and spring break. Also, BM's older child is mentioned saying physical and legal is sole to mother, visitation to be with *bf's name* as the parties can agree.

As some people commented on my last blog, the mention of the older child, those terms apply whether written in or not written in, as bf has no rights to child. However, since a judge cannot write a court order mentioning older child at all because bf has no rights, that BM might go for it because that is the best she will get in that regard. I really don't like the child mentioned at all in it because as others have said BM can show it to child later or bf's child and say bf didn't want her, etc. Bf and attorney really think it is a good idea though because BM might go for it since she is at least mentioned, but there's no legal obligation or anything as bf has no rights to her so really BM cannot do anything about it, bf isn't accountable for anything, etc. So bf made some promises to me because I really don't like it in there and I compromised to let it be in there. 

Bf thinks chances of her agreeing are 60/40, I think it is 50/50. Reasons we think she might agree: she will not get a faulted divorce (she really doesn't want that), BM got what she wanted about having child during school year which she wanted, at least mentions older child, it is really 50/50 and just holds each parent responsible for their own shit on their time, BM mentioned getting an agreement written up instead of going to trial, etc.

Reasons we think she might not agree: last week she said she doesn't want to split the children up more than she has to, not getting child support or spousal support, disagrees with the holiday/break schedule when he moves, does not set up an actual visitation schedule with older child, and lastly, her attorney might tell her to go to trial because she can do better going to trial than what bf is offering.

We are prepared to offer the 2/2/3 schedule if she doesn't like the every other week, to alternate thanksgiving and christmas break when we move, etc. Basically if she turns it down, the adjustments we are willing to make are in regards to the schedule, but we will not offer anything less than 50/50 for while we live here, will not offer spousal support, or adding anything more regarding her older child. HOPEFULLY we at least get a response before pre trial, but I am really not counting on it at all. At least if it makes it to pre trial, bf's attorney will ask for the default judgement from the judge so we at least have an idea of where he stands to see if there is any other changes we would be willing to make. Personally, we think it is fair, but BM is selfish and entitled so I gurantee she will not think it is fair at all. 

What is your bet on BM's stance to the settlement offer?


futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

though, why would she be entitled to child support with that schedule any way? 

Probably stupid question, but does it look good at all, that bf has been trying to agree outside of court and BM has not? Or judge probably does not care

ESMOD's picture

No it won't matter because she can claim she wasn't agreeing because his offers were unreasonable to her.  

tog redux's picture

Well, in theory, judges want people to settle because otherwise, it clogs up the courtroom. But in the end, they will rule how they think is best regardless of what was offered previously.

I think BM has your BF on the ropes and she knows it. If she goes to trial, she's likely to get child support.  Around here, CS is still paid on 50/50 if one person earns more than the other, but BM could get something like 70/30 from the court and then get CS.

I think it's fine to make the proposal, but she will likely come back with "No - I'll give him 30% custody and I want CS," and then he will have to decide. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Bf's attorney said she could agree to the settlement then next day file for child support. They don't make a huge difference in income, I mean now they do because she is a part time nanny, but we would ask for her income to be imputed because for the whole year previously she worked full time and is capable of making more than she is now.

She has been saying the whole time she doesn't want his money or need it, so I guess we shall see on that one.

SteppedOut's picture

She will end up filing for support. Maybe not right away, but "make her mad" and she will. 

futurobrillante99's picture

Not sure, but I would ask the attorney, if the older child is brought up at all, if a statement should be included that BM has determined that she is not his biological child, has removed his parental rights and understands that any time he takes the older daughter, it is for the benefit of the child and her sister's relationship and he assumes NO financial or legal responsibility for her and BM waives any right to petition for child support or payment of any of that child's expenses in the future. Anything SO does is voluntary and should not be implied as him assuming a parental role. Finally, if the older child visits, BM must remain available for any emergencies and handle them for the older child just as if she were staying at a friend's house since SO cannot make any medical decisions on her behalf.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

disestablished his rights, so he has no rights to her whatsoever or obligation. Plus we really ARE NEVER going to have any visitation with older child again, it really is just in there to make BM think there is a chance and agree to the offer, but bf will never agree to have any visitation. Kind of fucked up really, but giving a sliver of false hope compared to everything BM has done and continues to do does not even compare

ESMOD's picture

She will not like the fact that he is not paying her any child support.  It won't matter to her that it is 50/50.. she will want it.

And.. the part where he would get every Xmas once he is out?  again.. she won't like that at all.  

Plus, she will definitely want support at that point because it doesn't seem like those periods will be equal to 50/50.

I think it's a much lower chance she will go for this... probably not without some support for her.. I mean the child.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

swing for the fences, see what she says back, then offer what we really are willing to get to which would be alternating xmas and thanksgiving break instead of every xmas break.

She would get child support then of course, but at this time for 50/50, we are not offering child support.


futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

and it is happening, 100%. BM herself plans on moving, we don't know when but she wants to move back to her home state. This is why we want to do an agreement vs. trial because then when we move in less than 1.5 years we don't have to go back to court

susanm's picture

I think that re-opening the door on the older girl is a giant mistake.  There was a line drawn in the sand and your DH was teaching BM that he was serious about it.  Now he just told her that nothing he said mattered and she can make him change his mind eventually if she just waits long enough and messes with him forcefully enough.  She is just like a stalker.  If you relent and interact in some way with them even once then it re-sets the clock all over again because they are willing to pay any price to get their way.  

Your DH just taught her that he will eventually cave to her if she just holds out no matter how "firm" he sounds in the moment.  If you can prevent that offer from going out to her attorney before giving it serious thought, I would do it.

futurobrillante99's picture

Exactly! I wouldn't even mention the child in the agreement. But, if the attorney thinks it's okay.......

susanm's picture

Given that it is a new attorney and there was an issue with coming up with the retainer, I would be curious how frank the DH was with the atty regarding the disruption the issue of the older girl was to the family versus the desire to save money on the case.  While saving money is obviously a big deal, this is goiing to set the course of the future for this family.  Now that BM knows DH will waffle if pushed hard enough on the girl, he is vulnerable to her messing with his head forever.  And whether or not they ever actually take the girl, a legal document that could be interpreted as accepting any sort of responsibility toward her could come back to haunt them.  I hope that he has fully explored all possible outcomes of this with his atty!

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Tuesday and called late Tuesday afternoon since my bf sent what he wanted in the agreement as well. So the attorney asked why he does not want to include the older child and he told him about all the reasons/issues surrounding it. When the attorney set the retainer, it included if he was going to include the older child or not, so has nothing to do with saving money. 

However, my bf will not waffle and he will shut her down about the child. That was our promise if he was going to include that little bit on the agreement. He has kept all of his promises to me, so I am not worried about him giving in and taking her at any time.

The settlement agreement does not give him any responsibility to the child, she disestablished his rights, the agreement states how she has full legal and physical custody of her just that if the parties agree, my bf can have visitation with the child. It does not hold us to anything

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

because even yesterday afternoon when I was stressing how much I don't like it in there. His attorney already made the five changes my bf emailed and then he emailed saying changes were made and he gave it to her attorney. 

Except she will be retaught because we will never take the child for visitation, just now have to kind of start that part over again

Gimlet's picture

If she refused to agree and it goes to trail, take the older child out of it completely.  I agree that it's dangerous territory and I would not open that door again.

AlmostGone83's picture

I’m sorry I haven’t read all of OP’s past blogs, what is the issue with having the older child visit?

tog redux's picture

She is not the bio child of her BF, and BM had his legal rights taken away (he thought she was his for 3 years, but BM was the town bike when he was deployed and got knocked up by someone else).  BM still wants him to "act as the father" even though she took legal rights away. 

Thumper's picture

This happens a lot to military men. Very sickening. Some never find out the truth.


Gimlet's picture

Nutshell: older child isn't his, BM hid that until he filed for divorce and then she disclosed it and filed to take his rights away, he still wanted to be in her life and fought for rights, he lost, BM still expects him to take her and support her financially even though she explicitly took his rights away.

Sounds correct, OP? 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

nailed that on the head! Plus in addition to false allegations child has made against bf already and counselor's insight that the child displays symptoms of sexual abuse which definitely never happened and never would from us. After everything BM has done, we are not willing to set ourselves up for BM to use child that isn't his to cause legal and serious trouble with more false allegations too

Livingoutloud's picture

SO had an attorney who told him he has a chance of getting full custody of both kids and should file for it (what a moron  attorney) so SO threatened to take kids away from mom, file for full custody and move both kids out of state.

BM freaked out and said he isn’t going to take older kid away from her because the kid isn’t even his. Then then ball of paternity establishment started rolling. Etc 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

legally add the older child because he has no rights to her. It would only be if bf asked to include her that she would be. If it goes to trial, bf is going to say the CO to not mention older child at all. Basically, we are sort of dangling a possibility that really isn't one in hopes BM will agree

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I think you're headed to court TBH....  Not to be brash.... But she'll want CS... She'll want the "kid's together" for no reason other than she wants to be a pain in the a$$.  She took rights away without thinking, probably thinking having full rights to the card gave her a gambling chip whenever she needed a free babysitter because she could approach it as "well I'll let you see her tonight if you want...."  

I think that 50/50 mshould be a reasonable schedule, and every other holiday, BUT I think the schedule after he's out is a bit unfair TBH... I think summer is fair, I'd go with a set 6 weeks, with a set time frame, add in that if BF comes to town to see them, he just has to let her know so far in advance and she has to make them available, and I'd add in set phone and video call options where she needs to make them available, in emergencies she can let you know in advance why it won't work and allow you two to agree upon a reschedule (but never just cancel, and your BF would need to agree or she'd have to make the phone call happen still).  I think alternating spring breaks, and alternating Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks though...  Frankly, no parent should lose their kid EVERY Christmas just becuase your BF decided to move accross the country.  She sucks a$$, but still, that's a bit ridiculous to ask. imho.

So I'd prep for court, and be willing to arrange and do a little bit of compromise while at court to something similar to above.  I don't think she'll like losing the girl for 6 weeks durign the summer, but I DEFINITELY would not go any lower than 4 or 5.

Best of luck

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Part of the reason we included all the breaks in there was to see what she would agree to. I think it was better to ask for more than see her response and then we can meet in the middle hopefully. Good to know what sounds reasonable to other people

ESMOD's picture

Unfortunately, if it goes to court.. it gives her a reasonable response to why she didn't want to work with him to settle it out of court.  He was being unreasonable.

I really think the older child in the agreement is a mistake.  She isn't his child and should not be part of his CO with his EX. period.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

but bf and lawyer think it is a good idea. Apparently since she can't make him do anything for or see the child, that it is not a big deal at all. But you bet your ass if it goes to trial, she will not be in the CO, bf already said that at least.

susanm's picture

Very wrong.  If it is in there that he can take the older girl for visitation "if the parties agree", for the forseeable future it will be "your daddy COULD take you if he wanted to but he won't - what a shame" in front of both girls.  Most likely each and every time that he picks the other one up and when planning for every holiday.  This woman has no shame and obviously does not care if her girls are confused and in pain if she can twist the knife in her ex-husband.

bananaseedo's picture

If she says no and you guys ammend the order a bit to switch around holidays, I would take advantage and remove ALL mention of older child in there.  

Did you know that in divorces where that statement is included w/out a set schedule, 'as both parties agree' creates a HELL of a lot of issues, and that's WITH both parties bio child- Imagine having that red cape waving for his NON kid.  OMG. I think this is horrible advice.  Leave her OUT entirely. You know bm will say when it comes back to ammend, REMOVE her. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I mean BM can never force bf to take her, see her, or have any obligation towards her. Personally, I hope BM goes back to what she said months ago of older child to be left entirely out of agreement, but as BM has been acting since she took the rights, make me think she won't 

Thumper's picture

OK I think we can all agree that your BM is NOT going to say OK to boyfriends offer.

Very very bad decision to include bm's daughter in this offer and possible order. As previously mentioned, the topic of bm's older daughter IN the order will draw out, CHURN this case, costing you folks more money, and epic drama. Drama is billable hours aka churn.

By adding her as part of 'this matter', no matter what the reason for the inclusion,, BM will use the daughter for her benefit. Same thing to add a grandparent, other sibling, aunt uncle or ANYONE into an order as possible visitors to /from child. Just tell bf to stop.

. Its awful to have to think in those terms but it may be a reality. BF will have to now take a defensive position not only during this case..but when BM wants a babysitter---AND if you think BM is not going to blast bf every time he tells BM no, your mistaken. BF daughter will be in that mix too.  VERY bad decision. I would pull bm's daughter off the table the second she declines bf offer and pretend it was never in there,, DO NOT answer to BM again about her daughter other than NO, do not explain anything.. LET your 'smart" lawyer handle it.  (eyeball roll).

Next, BM is not going to give up 1cent she may think she is getting from bf. I doubt she is getting cs from lover boy who is older daughters dad, right? SOOOO she needs it from your bf.

Good Luck.


BethAnne's picture

TBH I would not be worrying too much what happens over the next year as long as you get what you want when you move (if the move is definately going to be taking place). 

Fighting an expensive battle over 1 years worth of 50/50 when you are planning on moving in a year seems pointless to me.

Try to get what you want, but accept that it may just be weekends for now. TBH moving from a weekend schedule to long distance  will probably be less disruptive for SD than going from 50/50 to long distance. I know that might not be a popular opinion, but I could imagine a judge agreeing with me.