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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default Upcoming Custody Battle

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

    I have shared legal custody of my 12 yr old son. For the last couple of years i have been patient and tried to be understanding. His mother took him to ocean city maryland without my knowledge. She also allowed his uncle(her brother) to take him to wildwood for a week. I had to call for three days to find this out. In both situations i was never called nor made aware of the travel arrangements. I wasn't even called to speak with him while he was where he was. She once disappeared for a year+ and left no phone number or address. I had to go to my sons school to see him until the court case came up. Even now she won't let me see him at times and will only allow me to see him when she wants to go out. Two years ago, i had him for christmas in the morning and tried to be respectful and took him to his moms on christmas in the afternoon. This past christmas she said she didnt even think of him coming over on christmas. she said i can pick him up the next day but to bring him right back because of a party.
    Well anyway. I recently travelled to florida. i took my son with me. I let her know when I got to the airport because of the drama in the past with getting him. well she said she never agreed to let him come with me and that i cant do it. She threatened to call the police and call amber alert. But i told her. she said i cant take him across state lines without her permission. when i reminded her of the trips she took she said it wasnt on a plane and it was only in jersey and maryland. While away i let my son call her twice but she still went to the police and reported a violation of court agreements. Again i have shared legal custody and i let her know when i was leaving. I have the text messages and phone records to prove i told her before i left. no where in the court agreement does it say i need to tell her in a certain amount of time nor ask for her permission. we have no special arrangements in our court papers...just regular shared legal custody. Let me also add....that i have never put my son in any danger, i don't drink or smoke or use any drugs. I always make sure he respects his mother even thought he doesn't want to live with her anymore because she is always scrwaming and cursing at him. Her dad that she lives with has no job and screams and curses at her mother who is retired. My sons loves my house because no one curses and no one is mad at him all the time.
    So can i call her on making false statements?
    Do i have the right to do what i did as long as i let her know?
    Does she have a leg to stand on as far as modifying the court order back to visitation?
    can she go to the police everytime i don't do what she says?
    Since she is always mad at me and my son and curses at him, can that be a type of abuse?
    Do you recommend a court appointed home visit and maybe therapy (i forgot what its called)so the court can see that something may be mentally wrong?

    any help would be great.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Upcoming Custody Battle

    Quote Quoting pralims
    View Post
    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Pennsylvania

    I have shared legal custody of my 12 yr old son. For the last couple of years i have been patient and tried to be understanding. His mother took him to ocean city maryland without my knowledge. She also allowed his uncle(her brother) to take him to wildwood for a week. I had to call for three days to find this out. In both situations i was never called nor made aware of the travel arrangements. I wasn't even called to speak with him while he was where he was. She once disappeared for a year+ and left no phone number or address. I had to go to my sons school to see him until the court case came up. Even now she won't let me see him at times and will only allow me to see him when she wants to go out. Two years ago, i had him for christmas in the morning and tried to be respectful and took him to his moms on christmas in the afternoon. This past christmas she said she didnt even think of him coming over on christmas. she said i can pick him up the next day but to bring him right back because of a party.
    Well anyway. I recently travelled to florida. i took my son with me. I let her know when I got to the airport because of the drama in the past with getting him. well she said she never agreed to let him come with me and that i cant do it. She threatened to call the police and call amber alert.
    So let her call. There are very strict guidelines for amber alerts to be issued, and a civil custody matter, when you HAVE legal right to the company of the child and no restriction in your order stating otherwise, isn't going to qualify. Police will yawn and tell her that there is nothing in the order for them to enforce. If she wants those specific issues addressed, she'll need to go back to the court and have them specified. In writing.

    But i told her. she said i cant take him across state lines without her permission.
    Her permission is meaningless. It's the court's permission that counts.


    when i reminded her of the trips she took she said it wasnt on a plane and it was only in jersey and maryland. While away i let my son call her twice but she still went to the police and reported a violation of court agreements.
    And police did what, exactly?


    Again i have shared legal custody and i let her know when i was leaving. I have the text messages and phone records to prove i told her before i left. no where in the court agreement does it say i need to tell her in a certain amount of time nor ask for her permission. we have no special arrangements in our court papers...just regular shared legal custody. Let me also add....that i have never put my son in any danger, i don't drink or smoke or use any drugs. I always make sure he respects his mother even thought he doesn't want to live with her anymore because she is always scrwaming and cursing at him. Her dad that she lives with has no job and screams and curses at her mother who is retired. My sons loves my house because no one curses and no one is mad at him all the time.So can i call her on making false statements?
    What did the say that was false, and who did she say it to? What was the outcome of what she said?

    Do i have the right to do what i did as long as i let her know?
    Unless your court order says otherwise. I can't see it from where I'm sitting to tell you otherwise. What does your attorney say?

    Does she have a leg to stand on as far as modifying the court order back to visitation?
    She can try. You can try too. It'll certainly piss the judge off when she bitches about you taking him out of state only to find out she's done it too. Again, assuming it's not addressed either way in the standing court order.

    can she go to the police everytime i don't do what she says?
    Yes, anyone can go to police at any time for any thing. Doesn't mean police will get involved. They don't want to be involved in your ex's drama any more than you do. Again, it's all going to center around the EXACT language in your order.

    Since she is always mad at me and my son and curses at him, can that be a type of abuse?
    Sure, but not a level that's going to make any difference. Parents are allowed to be bad parents, and being mad or cursing aren't crimes or actions that rise to the level of abuse as looked for by social services or that will be considered by the court.

    Do you recommend a court appointed home visit and maybe therapy (i forgot what its called)so the court can see that something may be mentally wrong?

    any help would be great.
    Unless there's something outrageous going on where the child is in a situation of physical abuse or neglect, parents are allowed to parent in whatever style they so choose - even a bad style. Therapy for your child might be helpful if it can help build coping skills for dealing with being in the middle of a tug of war. A therapist is also a mandated reporter - someone who doesn't have a vested interest in the child, and IF there is ANY level of suspected abuse going on, having a neutral third party documenting and/or reporting such abuse is always perferable to one of the parents doing to (courts pretty much expect that in custody cases, one or both parents are going to try to paint the other as a total monster who is moments away from totally destroying the child in question).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Upcoming Custody Battle

    well let me also add....
    that she lives with her parents....and i have to sometimes run the guantlet just to see or speak with him. i will call only to be told hes not home or call back when his mother is home....when i just dropped him off. I have darn near got into fights with her dad that doesn't want me to correct bad behavior with my son. So in the court order i asked for him to be dropped off at the police station to avoid futher confrontations with the dad(knowing it will soon turn into something it doesnt have to). But then guess who still comes to drop him off. And guess what? guess who got into another confrontation? So i also have to deal with the harrassment from her father.
    Again what are my options?
    Will all this benefit me in a hearing? Along with the superior school district (North penn- with after school activities vs philadelphia with close to nothing) and stable residence with much lower crime rate.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Upcoming Custody Battle

    You're going to have to deal with her dad, and do whatever you can to avoid confrontation. Even if that means just keeping your mouth shut when he starts in on you. You asked for police department drop off, and you got it. If what you really wanted was ask for dad to not be around, you'll need to SPECIFICALLY ask for that, but I wouldn't count on that happening. Not every situation that is unpleasant is going to be addressed by the court, who expects that at least ONE party in such matters acts with the discretion and people/coping skills of an adult. If it's not going to be her dad, then it needs to be you. Whatever issue you bring up about these conflicts, dad is going to paint his side of the story too. Your side of the story centers around you and dad not getting along, dad's story is going to be that the problem centers around his concern about your lack of parenting skills - which of those do you think the judge (whose job is to attend to the best interests of the child) is going to pay the careful attention to?

    Obviously mom is happy with the educational choices and crime rate where she is, and just living with her parents doesn't constitute an unsteady residence (in fact, courts find a lot of positive things about having grandparents around). Stick to the facts of your custody case; the court is going to loose patience really quick with a whole lot of "yeah but" type grasping at straws. If you think there has been some siginifcant change in circumstances and you want to ask for primary custody, you can do that too - but stick to the key issues and leave the petty stuff behind if you want the court to seriously entertain the issues.

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