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BM making blatant moves to push out the SSs?

lieutenant_dad's picture

DH dropped the boys off at BM's last night. According to OSS, BM and her new DH have gotten rid of (or had repossessed, who's to know) the couches in the living room and replaced them with two chairs and an ottoman. They also apparently got rid of the dining room table and shoved a bunch of junk in OSS's bedroom to store, including the dining room chairs.

Now, on the surface, this seems like it could just be money troubles. If you get your couches and table (but bot chairs, odd) repossessed, then you're likely just going to go buy what you can to fill the space. Or, maybe, when OSS leaves for college, the chairs are going in his room since his room is technically a den. Where OSS will sleep on breaks is unknown, but I can understand reclaiming space (we're doing it here with OSS's room, and I'm working on a bedding solution if he stays for a holiday since his room will be my office).

But, this isn't just furniture. BM has been "co-parenting" with DH a lot more. She actually let him take the boys to their doctor! She has offered up 50/50 custody during the whole pandemic! DH has been doing EVERY college prep thing with OSS (and according to OSS, BM doesn't even acknowledge him going). 

Now, all of this may seem like "yeah, duh, parents should do these things so why is it so special that DH is doing them now?" Because it means she's handing over control, and it breaks my heart for the boys because BM giving up control means BM is giving up (per other situations) and washing her hands.

There are other things, too. Her social media has switched to photos of her and her DH where she used to have pics of her and the kids. Her new DH has some number of kids, but you'd never know since they don't have space in their home and the boys couldn't even tell you their names, ages, if they're boys or girls, or how many there are. New DH also bought himself a vehicle that won't fit more than 2 people, which seems odd since the "family" vehicles they have need to be fixed before buying a toy.

If it were just me seeing these things, I'd probably call myself paranoid. But DH notices, too, and he's a bit pissed. YSS starts high school this year in a specialized program that isn't offered in our school district. YSS needs supervision over schooling that BM doesn't provide. So, now DH has to decide how to approach this with BM. Does he offer to take YSS and give her EOWE? Do we move or just make two, 45-minute round trips each day to drop off and pick up YSS for the next 4 years? Do we see if we can transfer him to a closer school district that has the program (if it has the program)? DH and I have no problem "taking" YSS, but this dribs and drabs of giving up parenting isn't going to cut it, especially when OSS is gone and not there to be a buffer for YSS.

I feel a bit like the boy who cried wolf because I've been predicting this would happen for years, and it never has. But this time, I'm reminded of what my mom and former MIL did when THEY were personally done with parenting. My XH lived at my parents' house on breaks from college because his mom sold all his furniture so she could move (she ended up dying before that happenend). Then, as soon as he and I had a place to live full-time at college, my mom and SF packed up and moved across the country without my siblings, two years before my brother graduated and 4 years before my sister. Them stepping out of parenting lasted all of two years before they came back to my rightfully pissed sister who still hasn't gotten over how, over the course of a summer, my mom quit her job, sold all my siblings' stuff, and left them with my dad with no discussion with my dad (never paid CS to him, either, and went several months still collecting it).

So, yeah. I'm hypersensitive and I hope I'm wrong.


tog redux's picture

Is CS a factor here? ie, is OSS getting to the end of CS and so she's done with him? If so, then she'll probably hang on to YSS to keep the money rolling in.

What is your custody schedule now? If BM agrees to let YSS live with you, I'd guess there must be a similar school program closer to you, but that could wrong if BM is in an urban area and you guys are rural.


lieutenant_dad's picture

CS isn't a factor. DH got a significant bump in salary this past spring, and BM started working again. If DH went to court to drop OSS, the adjusted CS would be roughly the same (we've done the calculations, and it's +/-$100 a month, depending on how much she makes). 

Custody schedule is supposed to be EOWE and that's it. No extended breaks, no holidays, just EOWE. They haven't followed that for a few years, which is fine because the boys have needed more time with DH. DH has zero desire to go back to court because of how badly he lost the first time and how much every other father we know hasn't made headway without spending several thousands in lawyer fees only to still get just shy of 50/50 and pay CS.

BM lives in the suburbs and we live between suburbs and rural. The school system we live in doesn't offer the program (because it's a rural system), but the system we live next to (which is a suburban system that is in the same county as YSS's system) might.

This is an area where DH isn't going to budge much if it means going back to court. He has zero faith that the court systems care about the kids around here (can't say I disagree) and he doesn't want to get them involved. So, he wants to sort this with BM directly. CS isn't the issue for him; he'd keep paying it even if YSS lived with us just to protect YSS (and I would reluctantly agree for YSS's sake). But I don't think CS is a motivating factor for BM. I think it's control, and as the boys get older, she has less control over them, but she'll keep some amount of control over their lives (and DH's) as a reminder that she is their mother. It's what GBM has done, too.

tog redux's picture

I certainly wouldn't want to move closer based on an unofficial agreement that YSS will stay with you guys, that BM can revoke at any time.  And DH probably can't enroll him anywhere else unless he has official residential custody (at least that's how it works around here).

So I'd say keep it as is, or see if BM will agree to 50/50 and then make that 45 minute drive half the time (but that sounds awful if you live in a snowy area, I'm not sure). Also - will school even be in session in the fall? 

Harry's picture

You think BM has money trouble,  couches and dining room table disappearing. With our replacements.  On the second hand you think CS is not a factor for BM ??    BM is most likely living on CS from DH   If that stops she will be SOL. And living on the street. 

CS is going to be a big factor in BM life and she is not going to give that up.  Unless SS stays with you and DH keeps paying BM   He is going to stay with BM.   And why do you want SS living with you ?   He has to be in his teens and never really lived with you.  You are noy going to be a mother to him.  You will not break his bad habits.  Could be Hel* 

Gimlet's picture

Your BM is immature and always has been.  I know your DH/SS had to ride her to complete the FAFSA.

I do wonder, along with you, if the boys growing up and needing more structured and informed help, as opposed to being kids and her being able to cry to your DH to bail her out of her bad decisions "for the kids", has made some of the sparkle wear off.   She seems very much about herself and about her own short-term gratification and it may be that older kids just aren't providing that for her anymore.  She can step back and just stick her nose in enough to maintain some semblence of "control".