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Long read, many changes

Lalena75's picture

So to try and make a long story short, since I last blogged FH is now DH as of may, been together 3 yrs, he has sole custody of SS10 (vague custody wording "father had sole custody with mother having visitation at fathers discretion" long story behind that) BM has moved 14 times in 3 yrs, in aug with 24 hr notice took her other 2 kids and husband and move 3 states away for a month till they had cars repossessed. She's only had a job for 6 months ever (ended last june) her DH works cash under the table. She doesn't financially help with SS and no CO for CS or insurance. SS as of the first of the yr goes on my insurance (better coverage) DH wants to go back to court for CS and 50% medical and educational and a more "spelled out custody" she was getting ever weekend in the winter and then we got every weekend may through middle aug. Holidays split based on family plans. 

So the point SS is miserable at BMs she her husband and 2 kids live in the living room of a 2 br apt with 5 other people (adults and kids total 9 when ss is there) he has been periodically kicked out of school for bullying and his behavior sounds exactly like his step dads treatment of him, hes not allowed to hit SS (does anyway popped him in the mouth on Christmas eve for screaming, hits him with other objects and both BM and he are screamers) SS never behaves like that for us, if he gets and attitude its easily redirected, he gets put in time out, loses privileges for behavior at school, but actually asks if we want a chore done, read a plays with his toys etc hes a good kid. I want to help him to deal best with his BM and that situation without overstepping as DH doesn't know what to say or do. My SM was abusive to me and I remember how much that hurt me. BM blames us thinks we must fill his head with her being a bad mom because he constantly asks to come home, she thinks we let him do anything he wants and here he has been reminded his mom loves him and he needs to not yell at adults. DH has refused BMs attempts to get him to parent SS on her time and told her to deal with it and figure out why he behaves that way there and not here. 

.Thoughts suggestions on what we can or should say to help him, to prepare for how court may go, hes afraid BM will get more time (and he wants her to have 0 decision making over medical she has racked up thousands on ER visits for non emergencies and taking him or having her sister take him for stuff he could of been seen at his dr and she never listed insurance because she was told not to take him.) Shes bow pissed the Bill's are being forwarded to her


tog redux's picture

Has CPS been called about the stepfather hitting him? DH needs to do that. He can’t allege abuse in court if he didn’t do anything to protect his son. 

Be prepared for the woman bias in Family Court. DH may come out with an order to pay HER CS if you get an backwards judge who feels bad for her. 

Lalena75's picture

He has yes, they have an open case apparently already because of some other report on BM and ger husband (but doesn't involve SS either)so they aren't starting a new one but adding it on.

justmakingthebest's picture

Honestly if you are trying to retain some control you really have it. If right now visitation is at father's discretion he needs to use more of his discretion. He can put his foot down that there are no overnights until BM has a place of her own or is at her parents house (grandparents). He has sole custody- he has the power to stop medical bills from racking up. The person who takes the child to the emergency room is responsible for the bill. Not you.

I have primary custody of my kids. When my exH takes them in for something he gets the bill. When I do it I get the bill. He holds the insurance (military) but I am still responsible for anything insurance doesn't cover. If you guys get a bill have it routed to her and file a fraud case for putting something in your name with the hospital. 

I honestly think going back to court is a mistake. He holds the upper hand with that wording right now. 

Lalena75's picture

Worse she put it in SS's name! We've contacted the hospital and gave her address and info for the bill but it's still sitting there in his account unpaid. Keeping the documentation for him in case one day it shows on his credit report as a  adult that it's her debt.

Curious Georgetta's picture

But it seems as though it will be a hollow and meaningless victory.

The BM seems to have absolutely no resources , so even if the Court orders her to pay CS ,you are not likely to collect any funds.

The    custody order, though vague, seems to be beneficial to your husband. Is he trying to give this mom more time with this kid?

What exactly is his end game? The mom does not seem to have a stable living environment. Why would he risk having the kid be forced to spend more time in an unhealthy environment in order to have a CO entered for support and benefits that are never going to materialize?

The risk to the well being of the child and the legal cost all seem to outweigh any benefit that your husband might be hoping to gain.

If the mom has no money, you cannot collect money . You can create legal and credit issues for her, but how does that create any benefit for your husband or the child?  Sometimes, the parent is just a financial and emotional deadbeat, and that is not something that can be fixed with a Court Order.

This situation is filled with sleeping dogs that should not be disturbed.

twoviewpoints's picture

It doesn't get any better than an order that states "at father's discretion".  Yet here Dad is sill sending his son over to be neglected and physically abused at BM's? WTF???

That order reads as it does for a reason.  BM is entitled to exactly what it says she is. She can be allowed to see her son when and if the father feels it is appropriate aka when and if she is stable, functional and in Dad's option, not going to be acting out, abusing, neglecting blah blah blah. Visits can be deemed supervised , they can be single afternoons only, Christmas can be solely 12pm to 4pm , they can no overnights, blah blah.

My SGS's court between his BM and my SS read "at child's discretion and approval of father". But my SGS was older than this little boy is by 4-5yrs. And there was good reason for why the court read as it did.

Sure, your DH can go to court and ask for CS. Yep, he'll get an order (at most about $200 if she doesn't work or receive any type of disability) , but you can't get blood out of a turnip, so to say. The state can refuse her a driver's license when she fails to pay (but, hey, she had her car repossessed anyway, so not going to mean much to her). It's not like she'll suddenly run out and get a job and/or keep one if she did. Her new *sshole man in her life is not responsible for CS so doesn't matter if he works under the table or not. and as long as Dh and/or you for DH are providing health insurance and the kid isn't on Medicaid , court can order split of medical, but again, turnips don't have blood. 

What would happen if bills simply be sent to her (even under a curt order) is your SS will be denied by providers in seeing the child. Because bottom line? The facility doesn't care whether the cash comes from BM or Dad, but they will stop accepting SS as a patient ... the hospital will be only place to actually take the kid (and yes, Dad will be having to cover whatever his/your insurance does not as Dad is the one with sole legal custody and the one responsible for the minor). 

Eventually (aka a number of years) the AG may go after her, but putting BM in jail isn't going to get Dad CS or medical bills paid either. 

Winterglow's picture

I very much agree.

OP, yoiu said that the wording  "father had sole custody with mother having visitation at fathers discretion" is vague. I say that it could hardly be any clearer. He can keep SS all the time if he chooses. He is under no obligation to send the child for visitation. So why does he send him knowing the bm is living in squalor and the SF mistreats him? For goodness sake, keep him home and only allow him afternoons with his mother or days with her but no overnights. Why does this child have to be miserable? To be fair to his mother?  It's time to think of HIM!

notarelative's picture

"father had sole custody with mother having visitation at fathers discretion" 

Why would he want to go to court for more spelled out custody? He has total control now. He can stop sending his son to a house where he is miserable. 

DH should be afraid the court will give her more time. He is practically asking them to with his I want it spelled out ask. Right now he can deny having SS stay overnight. With a spelled out order he most likely couldn't. 

DH needs to think carefully before he goes to court. He needs to understand that his using his discretion for BM to have overnights, says to the court, that he is ok with the living situatuon.




Lalena75's picture

I think he's afraid she will some day have a way to take him to court and is afraid that not allowing her to see him will look bad on him somehow. We sat down and had a heart to heart that regardless of the future protecting his son now is more important she can cry oh woe is me all she wants but until she does what's in the best Interest of her kid, she gets no overnights ( for those that asked about her parents supervising her mom and stepdad have been on again off again various drugs so that's not a safe option and her dad is an alcoholic and his wife hit SS a few years back leaving a hand print so aren't allowed near him). He is agreeing to put SS in counseling to help him cope and know that this isn't his fault help him deal with his anger and if need be we will join him. I appreciate all your input it made it a lot easier to get my point across to him that others agreed stay out of court and keep him safe.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Please encourage your DH not to "rock the boat." He has a custody order that most father's can only dream of having. For the court to give a father the power over the mother's parenting time, the situation with the mother had to be very bad. That hardly ever happens. He has no reason to worry about looking bad if he limits her time. Document everything so the information is available if he needs it in future court Proceedings.

There is a recent blog wondering why father's are often scared of BM's. Your situation shows this must be a strong feeling for father's when a father who has all the power is still afraid to use it.

Your DH's primary role is to keep his son safe. It is beyond my why he continues to send SS to a living situation where he is being physically abused by another man. SS should never be around SF again. BM can see her son away from the house with some sort of supervision.