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Here we go again with step dad

Tatiana's picture

Got to give a language warning here, just in case. I will be quoting an idiot to tell this story, so it is what it is.

 My last post talked in the comments about how my step daughters creepy step dad makes verbal threats to my husband. So here we go with the drama yet again...

My husband and his ex made an agreement about holidays. It's verbal, but voice recorded and documented. In our state, voice recordings are admissible as long as one party knows they are being recorded -- my husband knows. 

In the agreement, we split Thanksgiving, she always gets the Saturday after thanksgiving in addition to the split day (my husband always trying to keep the peace). Christmas alternates -- each parent having Christmas either on Christmas Eve or day with the kids spending the night the night before, and step families are scheduled around this. Bio families take precedent, step families have to pick another day. Fair enough, right? 

We asked our lawyer about putting this agreement in a court order but he advised against it because we have several other verbal agreements that technically could put mom in contempt of court -- they are agreements in her favor that are not in line with the court order. The idea is that if she pulls some crap we have leverage (lawyer understands how crazy she is). 

This year step daughter tells me that her mom said we won't see her for holidays this year because they all fall on her moms time. So my husband messages his ex wife (we no longer communicate verbally because she lies about the conversation then step dad becomes volatile) and asks about Thanksgiving. She asks what we have planned. He tells her. She adds step dad to the message group. Step dad tells us that his family is having thanksgiving from 2-4 pm (two hours away from us) the kids will be with him, and we can drive the two hours to get them no earlier than 5 pm. My husband asks about the agreement, reminding them of what was decided. Step dad messages back calling my husband a fuck, then tells him that we WILL drive the 45 minutes to pick up the kids at 10:00 am (at their home, they live 45 minutes away from our kids school district) on thanksgiving and we WILL drive the 45 minutes to have them back the next day by 10:00 am . My husband (I'm coaching him here to stay calm as our lawyer has advised, he wants to pop off) tells him thank you we appreciate it. Step dad sends back a middle finger emoticon, then tells my husband that he's wrong about any agreement and to "study-up asshole". 

I have to clarify here that we took the kids on a two week vacation to the Greek islands in September (paid for by my mom). Now clearly, we interfered with her time. We gave her a years notice, got her approval for them to go (she had to sign off on the passports), we offered on three occasions to give her days back in full at different times during the year, including the weekend we returned (she kept telling the kids that they'd been gone for an eternity during the trip) and she declined them. She declined that weekend to see them after them being gone for two weeks because Saturday was the only day she had to go birthday shopping for step daughter. So they stayed with me while my husband went to work.  Step dad is now using this to say that we do not receive them on holidays this year because we interefered with their time for the trip to Greece.

We have 50/50 custody, we pay our child support on time, we provide for our kids. We are not perfect, but I do not think we should have to deal with this every time something comes up. If he treats us this way, what kind of crap is he pulling with these kids? Our lawyer has already told us that we just have to be the better people and document so that when they take us to court it demonstrates that we are not the volatile ones. My husband is struggling not to argue back, I tell him that arguing back is what they want so we need to stay calm. 

What would you do?  


tog redux's picture

I would find a new lawyer, yours is an idiot. There is no reason stepdad needs to be involved AT ALL in any communication with BM, and "being the bigger person" just makes DH a doormat.  And saving up endless violations for one big court date seems silly to me. 

I'd see about getting a CO saying that stepdad can't be part of communication, or even harassment charges if possible for the things he says to him.  Also the holiday schedule needs to be clearly specified so they don't have to make "verbal agreements" that BM is going to violate anyway.

In the meanwhile, DH needs to tell BM that given how stepdad treats him, he will no longer participate in any conversation that includes him, and then if she adds him, he needs to stop communicating.

beebeel's picture

Dad needs to refuse to communicate with asshole stepdad. It's not his place to make demands and set the schedule. Dad should tell stepdad to cease any and all communications and if stepdad persists, he should press harassment charges.

I would consider another attorney as well because any decent one would have a judge chew stepdad a new one.

Tatiana's picture

So unfortunately our attorney has been voted in the new county family court judge. So he will be the one we face with BM if/when it comes to that. 

weve considered a cease order against step dad. Since this interaction we've talked about it. 

beebeel's picture

If you've paid him for services already, I would think it would be a conflict for him to rule on this case. It's likely you would have a different judge and that will probably be a good thing...

tog redux's picture

Yes, I agree - if it comes to court, you need to request a different judge - it wouldn't be fair to BM anyway, to have your prior attorney be the judge. If there are no other judges in your county, they will have to go to another county.