My ex has residential custody of our 16 year old son for the last 10 years. over the course of the last 5 years, my son has been with me almost 2 weeks out of every month a while my ex took business trips or attended to sick family members. Last May he began letting our son stay at my house almost full time and he has been with me ever since. The only exception was 5 days in the month of september when my son was with him and they had a knock down blow up and he ended up calling the police because my son said he did not want to live with him and if he make him, he would "kill himself". This caused my ex to call the police and say that he was threatening to kill himself and they came and carted him off to the nearest hospital psych ward for evaluation. He was released about 2 hours later and went back to my ex's house. 2 days later he came to my house for "visitation" and has been with me ever since. His father never called me to tell me when to bring him home as planned. he did relate in an emal to me that and since He did relate in an email to me that he had to take care of his ailing dad so our son stayed with me, then had jury duty and he stayed with me through that. During all this time, I continued to pay child support to him despite the fact that our son was with me.
My son has not done too well in school over the last 3 years and this year he enrolled in a technical school in the morning to learn a trade and goes to his regular school int he afternoons. He is doing well at the technical school but horribley at regular school. over the course of the years we have grounded him, taken things away, etc but he still does not like regular school and now has been cutting classes and has been getting detentions to make them up. He knows he has to work on his regular grades and not skip classes and right now is grounded at my house, but his father has not even called him in the last 2months. Yesterday, his father got a call from the school about him having a detention that he missed and told him that he was going to serve an inschool suspension. He never caled me to tell me that this was going on, and when I called his guidance counselor to see how he was doing this last week in school, I was told his father got a call about the suspension. I in turn then called my ex and asked him why he did not let me know and his answer was that our son deserved it and there was nothing he could do. He then sent me a letter from his technical course about some absences he had because he was sick and in big red letters it said "Handle this". Well when he returned my call he told me that our son should be grounded (which he is) and told me our son was a failure and it did not matter what we did that our son was going nowhere. I finally lost my cool and asked why he did not even care enough to call our son and why did he not even pick him up or call me to let me know that he was picking him up and he answer was why didn't I bring him to him?
I want to go back to court to change the custody because of status quo but I am afraid that when I go to do this (and by the way my son wants to live here and says that if he forced to go back to his father's he will just take off) the court will look very unfavorably on letting him stay with me due to his grades. When he was with his dad, he also had issues with school. Do I even have a chance to win the status quo issue with him continueing to do so poorly in school? I am going to arrange for him to be tutored in the classes he is not doing well in but it is going to be costly and with me having to support two households, I will be financially stressed. Can anyone suggest what I should do? If his father asserts his rights and takes him back, we then lose the status quo and my son is going to do even worse**************..this is all an avoidance of having the child support that he receives removed- if he really cared about his son, he would have taken much more of an interest in him before now. When I asked him for the support he got while our son was with me, he told me he had to cover his "infastructure"- and would not even concede that he has been with me for more than 8 months and he did not contribute to his clothes,lunch money or food he eats while with me. During this time my current husband lost his job and was in the middle of an artibtration to get it back, my stepdaughter came to live with us and my son was with me. Our prior "visitation " schedule was that I had weekends with him from Friday until Sunday night and 3 hours on Wednesday. That went out the window years ago and even before he began spending more and more time with me, the visitation went to Friday- monday when I took hin to school, and the the wednesday went to over night- so in essence, he had our son on monday tuesday and thursday nights. I probably should have asked for a modification sooner based on the above, but I knew if I did, he would yank all the extra time I had with our son so I left it alone. Now I am in big trouble with my taxes and barely make ends meet.
Question- should I go to court to ask for a change in custody based on status quo so that my son does not get yanked everytime I have to ask for money for my son for things like his lunch at school clothes, etc. Will the fact that he is not doing well in school jeopardize our case? We do have tutors lined up so that will help to address his school issues, and I think we have the fact that his father has basically not participated in his life until now on our side. Will the judge see that this is about money and not our son? Shouldn't he have intervened sooner if he thought he could do something about helping our son ? Do I have a chance at having our son stay with me and to get the child support to him stopped? will they see that he even took support for all those months when our son was with me full time (8months) as something a decent person would not have done?
Please help- any opinions needed and appreciated........
Please- what should I do? I want to do what is best for our son but if he goes back to his father's there will be all out war like the last time and he will screw up even worse**************.