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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    137

    Question How Likely is it for Courts to Change Custody

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: West Virginia

    This is for my husband. We have been talking about what we feel is in the best interests of the children. My husband goes to court PRO SE and so does his EX. I have 2 children from a previous marriage and we have 1 together. We do not really want to have 5 children full time. But we also do not want to see the children suffer. My Ex is not in the picture moved and abandoned my 2 so it would be 5 fulltime if we do this. We really want her (the ex) woke up and to hopefully do the right thing. But will take the children if the court say so. So here is some background.

    We live in FL his ex and children in WV. They havenít been together since 03. He was in the military and was medically discharged in 05. They divorced in 06. He moved to FL in 05. Every summer we have the kids. All summer, she provides nothing, no clothes, not even a toothbrush. Every year its is a FIGHT to get the kids. For two years in a row they were in court before visitation. As Hubby had the court order enforced for her to provide 50% of the transport. Every year she tries to change it. There is no set date in the order so it is always a fight till they day they are here. This year hubby said NO more fighting. So he hasnít fought with her and she has emailed him that she wants to keep them this year. Well she has been slapped on the wrist in court a few times. She doesnít allow him his part in the decision making when it comes to major medical. Her reasoning is he moved to FL and if he doesnít like it to move back. She has started limiting his calls. We have it documented where she said all he does is call to complain and she "allows" him once a week calls. In his paperwork it is unlimited if the kids arenít home she is to call him back. That doesnít happen. Well now the kids are doing HORRIBLE in school. They miss at least 8 days a semester and have been late 11 days this one. One has 4 Fs (Es up there) and 1 D, The other has 1 f and 3 Ds. This has been on going all year. My husband has email communication with the teachers. Obviously, more than she does. As the one teacher just emailed saying I need any and all help you can give with the child. That the child was doing better last quarter with whatever you did. The child is failing not turning in homework and has fallen asleep in class a bunch lately. My husband was calling every night sometimes 2 or 3 times. Then getting on the kids and her about their work. She didnít like this so TRIED to get a protection order claiming harassment. It didnít go but my husband backed off because she will only allow phone calls once a week to go through! He doesnít want to be in court 100 times and ongoing. If he takes her to court what are the chances she will get a good punch and wake up from the judge, will it be another slap on the wrist, or would he be coming back to FL with the kids? Oh and the home life here is standup. My one child is a 4.0 student has missed 0 days of school and no tardys, the other has 4A's and 2 B's has missed 0 days and has only 1 excused tardy. My husband is going to school so is basically a stay at home dad right now also just had 2 surgeries on his service connected injuries so is there 24/7 for the kids. Help what to do what to do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    27,557

    Default Re: How Likely Would It Be for Courts to Change Custody

    The chance of him returning to FL with the kids is virtually nil at this point.

    There are no set dates in the court order? Why not? Why on earth hasn't Dad taken THAT to court, to get dates specified? Because without firm dates, there's an excellent chance that the court simply cannot find Mom in contempt.

    It would be best if your husband could type out word for word exactly what his court orders say about telephone contact - I suspect that's also vague enough as to be practically unenforceable.

    A quick question - you mention that Mom is required to provide 50% of the transportation. Was this ordered before or after Dad moved to FL?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: How Likely Would It Be for Courts to Change Custody

    The dates aren’t in the order as the last time they went to court it was a cluster to say the least. He was complaining about this, she was complaining about that. They were told by the judge that they had to be adults and communicate and that she would not "micro manage" their children. My husband wanted dates. His ex would bring up the kids doing sports or this or that. They only played baseball one year since 05. So the judge told them they had to work together and agree.

    I am will find the order but the order states that the parent that does not have the children in their physical custody is to have open telephonic communication with the children. If the children want to call him/her they are to allow this and not restrict it. That the party that does not actually have the children can call whenever they would like. If the parent with physical custody is not home, or the children are busy they are to return the call. That if it is not that day it is to bethe following day. This was brought up in court as she would have the children put the phone calls on speaker phone and restrict the calls. Well it changed for a while but is back to the original point yet again


    AS far as the 50% when they divorced he already lived her. She waited till he was out of the army to go for the divorce prob incase he got blown up in Iraq she would get survivor benifits. the divorce was 3 years after seperation so just was VERY VERY vague. Only bare bones. We were paying for 100% of the travel. He did take her to court where the judge had it put in an order for her to have to do 50% of the travel.

    If this doesn’t show a complete disregard for his rights as their father and alienation and doesn’t show their best interests what would? Or would this be the case of ok do this fix the kids academics or he gets them? Like I said we both would prefer her to get her act together and coparent with him. To get the kids going in school to having them all the time. But we also donot want to see them fail!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    27,557

    Default Re: How Likely Would It Be for Courts to Change Custody

    No, this is not alienation.

    This is really a case of a poorly worded court order, by the sounds of it. Such ambiguity just can't really be enforced easily. So, Dad CAN go back to court and get the order modified to specify dates for visitation, etc.,

    I'm somewhat surprised that Mom was ordered to pay 50% of the travel costs given that Dad created the distance - he got lucky there!

    The only thing Dad really has is the failing grades. Over what period of time has this happened? What were their grades say...two years ago?

    And (there's a reason why I'm asking and it's not to pry ) , when did you and Dad marry?

    One other thing - this is no longer about best interests. Custody has already been decided - Dad now must show a change of circumstance in order for it to be modified.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: How Likely Would It Be for Courts to Change Custody

    There it seems they see the same judge so to get dates ordered may be hard as that was an issue the judge would put a date on before.

    I guess the judge ordered that as when the divorce was filed he was already living here in FL. She had also moved from the original location of the marriage. Who knows just me speculating !

    The kids grades have been dropping over the last two years. The youngest is only in the 4th grade so in the 3rd grade he started getting f's before that they were C's and D's. This year has by far been the worst. Especially with the teacher just emailing hubby asking for any help he can give. The older is in 5th grade and supposed to be in 6th. His grades have been where they are for the most part. They fluctuate from B's, C's and a D here and there. This year has been his worst as well.

    I was reluctant to get remarried and create this wonderful thing we would all call a blended family lol. WE have been living together raising kids together since May of 07. We didn’t actually marry until April of 10.

    I always thought that the wording had something to do with it. She doesn’t have "sole custody" they have shared parental with her being the primary residential parent. They are supposed to have joint decision making etc.. Though that is def not the way this goes. He has nothing in her eyes except the right to pay her child support and the right to get the kids for the summer if and when she chooses.

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