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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Default Transgender Teen Wants Parent to Petition for Full Custody

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

    My son (or daughter as it may be now) has recently come out as transgender. At first, he wanted to keep it a secret from his father. I put him into counselling with a therapist who deals almost exclusively with LGBT kids. Two weeks ago, "C" told his dad. The result was what I expected. My ex is now remarried and has become incredibly religious. He told C that he would always love him, but he doesn't agree with this lifestyle. His new wife is very judgemental. She tells C that he is living a lie, is sinning, is going to hell, is corrupting her children, is a bad influence. C is heart broken and does not want to live with his father anymore. We share 50/50 custody right now. When he came home last night, he was in tears, begging me to not send him back to his dad's next week. I'm very upset and really can't afford a lawyer to help me fight for my kids. The verbal (emotional) abuse seems to be on the upswing and I see no sign of it ending. I expect them to start "praying the gay away" at any moment. (Even though he isn't gay.) As it is, they are going to church 4-5 nights a week and my ex wants me to allow him to pick up the kids on my weeks to go to church. I said no. What can I do to help my children?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Transgender Teen Asking Me to Seek Full Custody

    How old is the minor?

    What is the current custody order (who has the minor for what period of time)?

    What is DAD's feeling about where the child should live? (Gotta be careful here - on one hand if his new wife thinks the child is a "bad influence", she may convince dad to support the idea of your child living with you...on the other hand, they may be determined to "save" the child from himself, or may even feel that you "encourage" the child or foster the child's proclivities. Knowing what dad thinks is the "solution" will be a big part in formulating a response.)

    How long has the child been in therapy? Are they seeing the therapist regularly? Does dad know?

    Are you emotionally and financially prepared to seek custody?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    2

    Default Re: Transgender Teen Asking Me to Seek Full Custody

    Quote Quoting aardvarc
    View Post
    How old is the minor?

    What is the current custody order (who has the minor for what period of time)?

    What is DAD's feeling about where the child should live? (Gotta be careful here - on one hand if his new wife thinks the child is a "bad influence", she may convince dad to support the idea of your child living with you...on the other hand, they may be determined to "save" the child from himself, or may even feel that you "encourage" the child or foster the child's proclivities. Knowing what dad thinks is the "solution" will be a big part in formulating a response.)

    How long has the child been in therapy? Are they seeing the therapist regularly? Does dad know?

    Are you emotionally and financially prepared to seek custody?
    C is 13. He will be 14 in September. I will also be seeking full custody of the 10yr old.

    Current order is 50/50. We each have 7 on and 7 off.

    Dad wants the custody the same, or possibly to take my custody from me. He does think I am encouraging the behavior. But I don't see it as that. I see it as accepting C for who and what she is.

    For this particular therapist, it has been a month. C has been in and out of therapy since age 7. A family friend molested my children and went to prison in 2007.

    I may not be financially prepared for full custody, but there will still be a child support order. And I have very supportive parents. They actually just purchased a house for my sister and I. We pay the mortgage but they own the house. (Ideal renter situation?) Emotionally, I am prepared. I will and have done everything in my power to protect my children.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    16,307

    Default Re: Transgender Teen Asking Me to Seek Full Custody

    What can I do to help my children?
    You've taken the correct first step by getting C into counseling. The next step is to call her by her preferred pronoun, not by the one assigned to her at birth. Gender dysphoria can be really hard for the patient to deal with - even small gestures of understanding can help a lot.

    You are correct in not allowing your ex to pick the kids up for church during your weeks. Please do continue, and if he throws a fit, you can point to the court order.

    As far as seeking full custody, I'm afraid you really are going to need the help of an attorney. Ask C's therapist is s/he knows of any Trans* friendly attorneys (such therapists often do), or get a referral from your local bar association. You might also check around to see if there is a chapter of PFLAG in your area, or other LGBT youth advocacy group, as such organizations often have member attorneys who can help for little or no money.

    (The PFLAG site will be of great use to you as you navigate the initial shock of parenting a transgender child. Unless and until you can get a custody modification, C is going to need all the emotional support you can give her.)
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