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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    2

    Exclamation How Can a Non-Custodial Parent Get Physical Custody

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: New Mexico

    A little background information: My son is 5 years old living with his mother in New Mexico. I am in the military and have been stationed in AK for almost the last two years. My X & I both share Joint Legal Custody, but she has Physical custody of our son since we've been divorced. My visitations are every other weekend, and one day during the week. I also have 6 weeks visitation in the summer, and we alternate 1/2 of the holidays during even/odd numbered years. Father's day is with me, mother's day is with her, my son's birthday is to be spent with both of us having visitation. Our custody order went into effect in the beginning of 2006 and has not been modified since that time.

    While I was living in the same city as my son, my visitations were upheld and carried out. There was an instance where my X disappeared for 4 day while our son was extremely ill. She refused to return to help care for our son. She's been verbally abusive over the phone towards me while I'm trying to talk to her about our son. I've been hung up on numerous times, and I'd say almost 90% of the time when I call to speak to our son, all I get is her voicemail. It seems that this is her method of keeping me out of my sons life as much as possible. I can't even begin to tell you the countless times I've left messages on her phone asking to speak to our son. The times that I've gotten to speak to my X, about 80-90% of the time our son isn't with her. I've learned that our son spends half the week or more out of her care and with her mother. The extremely few instances where I can actually get ahold of my son and speak to him, is mostly interrupted by "someone" distracting my son : giving him a book to read while he's on the phone with me, having him play video games & try to talk to me at the same time. When I speak to my X and she actually has my son in her care, she say's things like "here, its your dad" or things to that extent with a rude tone in her voice while she's telling our son I'm on the phone wanting to speak with him.
    She's moved outside of the home city of our son(taking him with) on 3 different occasions. She did move to another state after we were divorced and that was the only notification I've had. She didn't tell me when she moved back to our son's home city, or anything. I was left to find these things out after the fact. She's constantly having new/unknown men around my son.. a fact that I see as instability on her part for keeping a good parental role around our son. Not to discredit her soon to be x husband, but they are getting divorced aren't they? As far as she's told me, there's another man living with her currently, and she's actually provided me with his name (although she didn't give me it correctly, probably hoping that I wouldn't be able to see if there was anything bad relative to him in case he would be perceived as a bad influence around my son) and other minute details about him. My X is extremely uncooperative. She never tells me anything that is going on in our son's life, activities etc. She acts like anything I ask about our son is none of my business.

    I've remarried, and I don't have any other children. It seems to me that the fact that family courts snub their noses at any father's in the military that want something more than just the weekends with their child(ren).

    I've read about custodial interference, and have heard a little about contempt charges, but I'm not sure if these are even applicable to my X? I really feel that the situation has changed quite significantly in the last 4 years, and that I'm considering filing for a modification of custody. I know that my son is being bounced around from my X's to her mothers on a constant basis, and I know that I can provide much more time for our son than she has demonstrated.

    Can't something be done in the courts? What are my options?

    -Concerned Dad...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    26,492

    Default Re: Ncp Dad - Can I Get Physical Custody N.m

    Quote Quoting USAF_dad
    View Post
    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: New Mexico

    A little background information: My son is 5 years old living with his mother in New Mexico. I am in the military and have been stationed in AK for almost the last two years.

    Okay.



    My X & I both share Joint Legal Custody, but she has Physical custody of our son since we've been divorced. My visitations are every other weekend, and one day during the week.

    Are you exercising the visitations?



    I also have 6 weeks visitation in the summer, and we alternate 1/2 of the holidays during even/odd numbered years. Father's day is with me, mother's day is with her, my son's birthday is to be spent with both of us having visitation. Our custody order went into effect in the beginning of 2006 and has not been modified since that time.

    Okay.



    While I was living in the same city as my son, my visitations were upheld and carried out. There was an instance where my X disappeared for 4 day while our son was extremely ill. She refused to return to help care for our son.

    Unless you did something at the time this is now irrelevant.


    She's been verbally abusive over the phone towards me while I'm trying to talk to her about our son. I've been hung up on numerous times, and I'd say almost 90% of the time when I call to speak to our son, all I get is her voicemail. It seems that this is her method of keeping me out of my sons life as much as possible.

    What have you done about this?


    I can't even begin to tell you the countless times I've left messages on her phone asking to speak to our son. The times that I've gotten to speak to my X, about 80-90% of the time our son isn't with her. I've learned that our son spends half the week or more out of her care and with her mother.

    Is Grandma babysitting?


    If so...that's fine.

    The extremely few instances where I can actually get ahold of my son and speak to him, is mostly interrupted by "someone" distracting my son : giving him a book to read while he's on the phone with me, having him play video games & try to talk to me at the same time. When I speak to my X and she actually has my son in her care, she say's things like "here, its your dad" or things to that extent with a rude tone in her voice while she's telling our son I'm on the phone wanting to speak with him.

    Rude, but not illegal.


    She's moved outside of the home city of our son(taking him with) on 3 different occasions.

    Did you do anything about this?


    She did move to another state after we were divorced and that was the only notification I've had. She didn't tell me when she moved back to our son's home city, or anything. I was left to find these things out after the fact.

    Did you do anything about this?


    She's constantly having new/unknown men around my son.. a fact that I see as instability on her part for keeping a good parental role around our son.

    Completely irrelevant but perhaps more to the point...if you're in AK, how exactly do you know this?


    Not to discredit her soon to be x husband, but they are getting divorced aren't they?

    Completely irrelevant.


    As far as she's told me, there's another man living with her currently, and she's actually provided me with his name (although she didn't give me it correctly, probably hoping that I wouldn't be able to see if there was anything bad relative to him in case he would be perceived as a bad influence around my son) and other minute details about him.

    She doesn't have any obligation to tell you anything at all about her new partner.




    My X is extremely uncooperative. She never tells me anything that is going on in our son's life, activities etc. She acts like anything I ask about our son is none of my business.

    I've remarried, and I don't have any other children. It seems to me that the fact that family courts snub their noses at any father's in the military that want something more than just the weekends with their child(ren).

    No. It's really not that.

    You're absolutely entitled to petition the court and ask for more parenting time - but how are you going to do that from AK?



    I've read about custodial interference, and have heard a little about contempt charges, but I'm not sure if these are even applicable to my X?

    If you haven't done anything about the worrisome issues, you can't really hold them against Mom now. The time to do that was when they actually became issues.



    I really feel that the situation has changed quite significantly in the last 4 years, and that I'm considering filing for a modification of custody.

    Nothing - nothing at all - you have said here comes close to justifying a modification of custody.




    I know that my son is being bounced around from my X's to her mothers on a constant basis, and I know that I can provide much more time for our son than she has demonstrated.

    Can't something be done in the courts? What are my options?

    -Concerned Dad...


    You can petition the courts and request that the current orders are made more specific (like you can have perhaps webcam contact, specifically-timed phone calls etc).


    (Please say hi to your wife. She posted on a different board)
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Ncp Dad - Can I Get Physical Custody N.m

    I have had contact with a few lawyers, and their opinions differ from one to the next. Some say I can try to obtain physical custody. Keyword "Try" - I know.


    I have exercised all of my visitations up to when I was stationed in AK. Obviously flying my son to and from N.M. every other weekend does not work out financially as I'm required to pay for the total cost of transportation if I am outside the lower 48. She is required to pay half if I'm inside the lower 48.

    As far as the phone calls, up until recently, not really was aware that I was able to do anything. This behavior's been a fairly consistent pattern with her regarding the phone calls, over the past few years.

    Grandma babysitting for 3-4 days or more... I'm not positive if these are overnight stays, but I wouldn't put it past my X. My X does not have a full time job, and works very minimal hours. My son's expressed that he spends quite a bit of time at Grandma's. I haven't really pressed that issue with him as he is only 5 and at this point I have no way of actually determining who/where my son is unless I hire a private investigator.

    I've read about Parental Alienation, and from what I understand, even this behavior from my X could very well lead into full blown Parental Alienation. I know that there's times where my son will be speaking to me over the phone, and his mood drastically changes from excited to talk to me, to being very minimal with answers to my questions about what cool things he's doing or anything of that sort. It goes to yes, no, I don't know etc.

    I am trying to get some sort of documentation of her moving the times that she didn't notify me. Not sure what I'd need to get for documentation of it or if I can ask her where she's lived since the divorce. Otherwise maybe a Private Investigator would be helpful?

    I know she's in the process of getting divorced through court records available on the NM State website. Her mother's told me about some boyfriends etc, but all I have to go on is her (soon to be X) and her current boyfriend. I've read quite some information about children being exposed to different environments constantly and how that can have a negative effect on a child's development and so forth.

    Fortunately, from what I've read and researched, I have every right to know who my son is around. Especially when it comes to whom is living in my X's home and is frequently around my son. I only asked his name, she volunteered where he worked and that was it. I did a little digging after I figured out how his name was really spelled vs. what she told me.

    I should be stateside soon (hopefully). My wife's just been helping me research different things related to the case etc... if you read her post about it then you already know that she's been doing most of the legwork for me while I'm gone....all in an effort to save lawyer's fee's from getting as much information as possible at this point before we file anything.

    Don't I have a right to know my child's whereabouts? I ask constantly for a weekly schedule for where my son will be and with whom so I can contact him. But the schedule's she's sent are like Son's with G-ma 3 days a week, then the rest of the time with me.... Yet I can't contact him when he's with either of them at any given time.

    There's the parenting plan that is stated in our paperwork, yet she's broken quite a few of the stipulations. I'm allowed to have liberal contact with my son... yet she pretty much makes that IMPOSSIBLE. I have been keeping a log of phone calls and all the emails etc that I've done in an attempt to talk to her about her son and talk directly with him.

    She holds the fact that I'm in AK against me and says it's not her problem I moved... yet as a member of the military, I'm told - not asked. I've already asked her for me to see my son upon my return, and a written notice will be given to her - (I'm thinking I should certify mail it so she has to sign for it... or if there's another way to do that) but she says "We'll see, our son may have things going on. Isn't a months or more notice ample time to arrange a schedule? She's already proven that her schedules aren't correct and true-

    I just don't know why she has to make things so difficult. I have no intention upon hindering my son's relationship with his mother, and I know that my son needs constant contact with both parents. I know that when he visited me last year for our summer arrangment, I initiated most of the phone calls to her while she rarely called to speak to our son. I'll promote my son's relationship with his mother until the end of time.. as my goal isn't to keep my son away from her, but to provide him a better stable environment in which he would thrive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    26,492

    Default Re: Ncp Dad - Can I Get Physical Custody N.m

    Quote Quoting USAF_dad
    View Post
    I have had contact with a few lawyers, and their opinions differ from one to the next. Some say I can try to obtain physical custody. Keyword "Try" - I know.


    I have exercised all of my visitations up to when I was stationed in AK. Obviously flying my son to and from N.M. every other weekend does not work out financially as I'm required to pay for the total cost of transportation if I am outside the lower 48. She is required to pay half if I'm inside the lower 48.

    This makes your quest that much harder. I'm sure you know that...you aren't having regular visitation yet you're wanting to change custody. Dad, it's not going to happen. I'm sorry.



    As far as the phone calls, up until recently, not really was aware that I was able to do anything. This behavior's been a fairly consistent pattern with her regarding the phone calls, over the past few years.

    But unless you've got proof of any wrongdoing, it's not going to matter.



    Grandma babysitting for 3-4 days or more... I'm not positive if these are overnight stays, but I wouldn't put it past my X. My X does not have a full time job, and works very minimal hours. My son's expressed that he spends quite a bit of time at Grandma's. I haven't really pressed that issue with him as he is only 5 and at this point I have no way of actually determining who/where my son is unless I hire a private investigator.

    Then it's also a non-issue. Without actual proof that, for example, your son is spending 5 days and nights at grandma's house it's not going to matter.


    I've read about Parental Alienation, and from what I understand, even this behavior from my X could very well lead into full blown Parental Alienation.

    I haven't seen anything coming close to proving parental alienation. Got more examples and - more to the point - PROOF?


    I know that there's times where my son will be speaking to me over the phone, and his mood drastically changes from excited to talk to me, to being very minimal with answers to my questions about what cool things he's doing or anything of that sort. It goes to yes, no, I don't know etc.

    Hon, he's FIVE. That's what 5 year olds do. They change their mind, actions, demeanor more frequently than the weather.



    I am trying to get some sort of documentation of her moving the times that she didn't notify me. Not sure what I'd need to get for documentation of it or if I can ask her where she's lived since the divorce. Otherwise maybe a Private Investigator would be helpful?

    It doesn't matter. If you didn't do anything about it at the time, you really can't hold it against her now.



    I know she's in the process of getting divorced through court records available on the NM State website.

    You and she are divorced too, right? Divorce doesn't indicate that either parent is unfit on any scale.

    So...ok, you got me there. I'm not sure where you're going with that one.




    Her mother's told me about some boyfriends etc, but all I have to go on is her (soon to be X) and her current boyfriend. I've read quite some information about children being exposed to different environments constantly and how that can have a negative effect on a child's development and so forth.

    You would need PROOF that your child is being DIRECTLY harmed.


    Fortunately, from what I've read and researched, I have every right to know who my son is around. Especially when it comes to whom is living in my X's home and is frequently around my son. I only asked his name, she volunteered where he worked and that was it. I did a little digging after I figured out how his name was really spelled vs. what she told me.

    Please provide the statute.

    Mom doesn't have to share a darned thing with you unless it's specifically stated in your court orders.

    I should be stateside soon (hopefully). My wife's just been helping me research different things related to the case etc... if you read her post about it then you already know that she's been doing most of the legwork for me while I'm gone....all in an effort to save lawyer's fee's from getting as much information as possible at this point before we file anything.

    Okay. Your wife, however, needs to seriously take about a gazillion steps back from the situation. There will also be no "we" filing anything. I know, I know - because I'm a stepparent myself - that you're "we" in day to day life. But in the legal world? You're not "we". Period.


    Don't I have a right to know my child's whereabouts? I ask constantly for a weekly schedule for where my son will be and with whom so I can contact him. But the schedule's she's sent are like Son's with G-ma 3 days a week, then the rest of the time with me.... Yet I can't contact him when he's with either of them at any given time.

    There's the parenting plan that is stated in our paperwork, yet she's broken quite a few of the stipulations. I'm allowed to have liberal contact with my son... yet she pretty much makes that IMPOSSIBLE. I have been keeping a log of phone calls and all the emails etc that I've done in an attempt to talk to her about her son and talk directly with him.

    As I suggested, you perhaps need to get it SPELLED OUT. "Liberal" is far too vague. Get it spelled out.



    She holds the fact that I'm in AK against me and says it's not her problem I moved... yet as a member of the military, I'm told - not asked. I've already asked her for me to see my son upon my return, and a written notice will be given to her - (I'm thinking I should certify mail it so she has to sign for it... or if there's another way to do that) but she says "We'll see, our son may have things going on. Isn't a months or more notice ample time to arrange a schedule? She's already proven that her schedules aren't correct and true-

    I just don't know why she has to make things so difficult. I have no intention upon hindering my son's relationship with his mother, and I know that my son needs constant contact with both parents. I know that when he visited me last year for our summer arrangment, I initiated most of the phone calls to her while she rarely called to speak to our son. I'll promote my son's relationship with his mother until the end of time.. as my goal isn't to keep my son away from her, but to provide him a better stable environment in which he would thrive.

    Dad, I see nothing here that justifies a modification of custody.

    I do see areas that you can perhaps address with the court, such as getting a long-distance parenting plan actually spelled out.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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