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Meeting an old friend for lunch

justmakingthebest's picture

Hey ladies, I am meeting an old friend for lunch to talk about what he has been going through with his ex. I wanted to throw out some bullet points and see if you have any advice you would offer him. DH said he is likely F'ed because Virginia and they weren't married but I don't think so... let me know what you think if you have a few minutes!

- They were together for 5 years, 2 kids (18mo and 3yrs old). Engaged but never married.

-She has 2 kids from a previous relationship. Her oldest was seeing a therapist that she wound up having an affair with. They are moving in together at the end of the month.They were both (therapist and BM) sleeping with other people up until 2 months ago when they became exclusive and BM lost custody of her son (the therapist's patient). My friend and BM have been apart for about 8 months now.

- She is an alcoholic and smokes weed (weed is illegal in VA). My friend has pictures and videos of her being passed out drunk. That was how he found out about the affair- she left her phone in her hand and he read all the messages. She drinks and smokes cigarettes and weed in front of the children and they often reek of it when he picks them up.

- She is a hair dresser so she makes most of her $$ in tips. He is a grocery store manager so his is all on the books.

- She filed first. He does have an attorney and was planning on filing within days of when he was served :( - She wants full custody and CS. He is asking for 50/50 because he feels that is realistic to start and then go for full later.

- He has proof that she was sleeping with a number of men and women with the kids in the house. Her oldest told my friend about all the people in and out of the house and how he could hear mommy having sex and then coming out of the room joking about it.

- He is a good guy. Never gotten in any trouble, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, he is so sweet and kind. My parents always loved him as my friend and a "good influence" when we were in middle and high school.

- He wanted to be civil and try to work things out without a bunch of drama but she has started trash talking him to the kids and withholding the kids.

I told him that he needs to go full force - lay out everything he knows and has proof of. Demand drug testing and go for full custody. Work back to 50/50 but start full. What would you ladies recommend if you could go back to the beginning? What do you wish your DH/SO had done differently? DH was married to both BM's and I was married to my kids dad so there was a different set of expectations from the court. DH got full custody of OSS but he fought hard because BM1 was such a bi-polar train wreck. He didn't understand what BM2 was doing until it was too late. I wasn't crazy and always did a fair parenting schedule with my ex. 


nengooseus's picture

If they weren't married, I'm not sure that the affairs and such will matter.  This will be a Custody and Child support case only.  He will need to demonstrate how involved he was in the kids' lives every day and argue that it's essentially status quo for them to be with him at least 50% of the time, save for the last 8 months, during which I assume it's been hard to get access.  A GAL could be useful, and is likely to be assigned if requested.

He can ask for drug testing and he may get it.  If she pops positive, there's a better chance of proving her unfit, which is essentially what he needs to do.  His lawyer may have a plan for this, too.  

Meanwhile, I would file a complaint with the state board about the therapist--or at least tell the other parent of the oldest child about BM and the therapist.  I'm pretty sure there would be an issue there.

Ugh!  I feel for him.  Being a man in JDR in VA is hard.  Encourage him to stay even-keeled and never show frustration or anger.  Our courts are full of people who think mommys are always best, for some reason.

futurobrillante99's picture

The courts no longer care about weed, so that's a non starter. Unless her alcohol and weed use have resulted in documented abuse or neglect, that won't get anywhere either.

Infidelity will not be considered where the children are concerned, and they weren't married. Even if they were married, courts don't really care much about infidelity anymore. It doesn't usually give someone the upper hand.

If he's really concerned about the welfare of the children, he should call child protective services to do random calls at the house.

He'll likely get 50/50 custody, and because she works mostly off the books, he'll have to pay some child support.

Sorry, but I don't think the BM is doing anything egregious enough for the courts to give him full custody.

justmakingthebest's picture

CPS wouldn't investigate when he called before. I told him to do one anonymously and tell them what he saw in the facetime with his son. Make it sound like he was actually there. 

beebeel's picture

So I don't know how it works in VA, but here you can't just ask the court to drug test your ex. There would have to be some criminal charges AND convictions before they can violate people's rights.

Most courts also don't care about parents having sex. A 3 year old doesn't understand sex and couldn't possibly be a witness to any inappropriate incident.

I highly doubt the affair will matter either, since they weren't married. No marriage? No adultery.

Honestly, none of this will matter much. His best bet is to hire a badass attorney and keep shooting for 50/50, but with the kids' ages and the fact that they were never married, he's very likely going to be demoted to an EOWE daddy.

justmakingthebest's picture

It was a 14 yr old (her oldest) who told my friend about all the men and women and sex. He went to live with his dad because she is so unstable. His dad won't respond to my friend - he was hoping to get a written statement about how BM is drinking to the point of passing out with the 18mo old and 3 yr old in the house and smoking weed around them. 

My friend is concerned that if she has/had all of these random partners in and out of the house- what is to stop one of them from moving on to the children once she passes out.

beebeel's picture

Oh you and I both know she's being a shit parent, but we also know the family courts don't care. Succubus had a proverbial parade of dick, many of them felons, moving the skids in and out of these men's homes and apartments. Three lawyers told us there was nothing the courts would do UNTIL the kids were seriously hurt. And my DH had the benefit of having married the skank.

justmakingthebest's picture

That is so sickening! 

Why won't the courts protect these kids?? Why wait until irreparable damage has been done? 

somethingwicked's picture

She sounds like a cluster f*ck train wreck. Screwing a bevy of random men and women  with these  children aware of the rotating bedroom antics and the drug /alcohol use are alarming but ,unfortunately, her sleaze bag character choices probably won't figure in a court of law where custody of little kids' welfare  is under consideration.

The therapist  sounds like someone with no professional morals .

I hope your friend could get full custody but that's probably unlikely . What does his lawyer say are his chances?

Maybe he should go in asking for full custody and lay it all out for the judge, hope for the best and the judge will put a thumb on the decision scale in his favor as the stable parent . 

I hope this isn't a case of  nice guys  finishing last but your friend  should hope for the best and go in fighting but anticipate the reality of family courts and the skewed idea that 2 birth parents is ideal even if  one is a rotten low life hobag. 


Winterglow's picture

I'm of the opinion that, in any situation that involves negotiation in any way (work, divorce, etc.), you should always ask for MUCH more than you want and then negotiation down to what you'd be happy with.

simifan's picture

I agree with the other posters, the courts won't care about most of this. In general though, you should always ask for more then you want or think is fair so you have negotiating room. This is especially true if the other party isn't reasonable. He should ask for full custody & be willing to accept 50/50. 

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

Therapist is targeting vulnerable people and has no self control! 

This should be flagged up in case it is a pattern. 

justmakingthebest's picture

He canceled lunch. He said he didn't sleep last night, so he woke up really late and has to go get the kids. I feel so bad for him. 

tog redux's picture

He should go for full custody and focus on her drinking and passing out in front of the kids, the fact that her older child chose to, or was ordered to, live with the father.  He should keep his cool at all times, not take her bait and get angry, don't say bad things about her, just focus on the risk to his kids. "ie, my ex was a good mom until she started drinking heavily and since then have found her passed out several times, here are the pictures," NOT, "she's crazy and a horrible drunk and awful mother."

Statistics show that men who try for custody usually get it, which sounds odd to all of us who've had horrible experiences. The truth is that most men DON'T try for custody, they just accept every other weekend because that's often all they want.  Or like for many of us, custody is settled and then BM chips away at it.  But apparently, the small percentage of men who seek full custody are often successful.

justmakingthebest's picture

He did to the employer/practice he worked for and he was fired but he did not report it to the licensing board. I told him he should! 

DPW's picture

I'm surprised the employer did not report him. I'd make sure he could never provide therapy again in his lifetime. 

Livingoutloud's picture

Was he ok with her drinking and smoking weed while they were a couple and had two kids? Now when they aren't a couple he is concerned with her trashy behaviors. Where was he when children were conceived? I assume he was right there fully aware of her ways. Why was it ok to have two kids with her if she is a neglectful parent? It baffles me every time. She was ok to be a parent while they are together but apparently is a terrible parent as soon as relationship is over. 

they weren't married. Who she slept with is irrelevant in custody disputes. Judge won't care  


GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

Sorry, I did t get past the part where she had an affair with her therapist. That person needs to have their professional license revoked. Seriously. That's a HUGE violation of ethics. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

but the judge here in VA did not want to separate the siblings in my bf's case and since she has other children, the judge may also feel this way too. Although I guess the difference being these kids knew they were not full fledged siblings (meaning having different dads) whereas my bf did not even know for years he was not the father of the other child. 

As for the rest, I agree the judge probaly won't care about the affairs because they were not married. The weed thing, again the judge on my bf's case did not care about BM being arrested for weed and having them in her system, etc.

I think his best bet is showing how he has been there as their father caring for their needs from the beginning, that is his intentions now and that he plans to support the children having a continued relationship with BM, etc. instead of trying to show how BM is unfit because unfortunately I don't think the judge will see it this way, he needs to prove how it is essential he be in the children's lives equally as the BM is.