Married with Children: Custody Issues

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 12, 2011 6:46 AM GMT
    I've been divorced for a couple of years now and have joint (about 50/50) custody of my two young girls. I am curious how many guys here are divorced and what role you have in raising your kids....especially if they are younger and how you navigate the issues with your kids and any special legal problems that crop up.

    My story...the Cliff's Notes Version.

    I have a nasty break-up with my likely BDP (borderline personality disorder) ex that had little to do with my full sexuality that she'd discovered some years earlier. Let's just say she can be a violent knife-wielding psychopath. She tried to use my sexuality against me both in and out of court...threatening to 'out' me and embarrass me at work and with my family and friends. We finally settled on joint custody (she had the girls two more nights a month than me).
    Since then, things have never really calmed down and I find myself in court frequently and finally I am suing for majority custody as an openly gay man (in Idaho no less).
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    Oct 12, 2011 11:59 AM GMT
    If she is really that crazy, I would start purging everything and anything that could possibly be used against you in the next court proceedings. I do a lot of work with Fraternities in risk management and one of the first things I tell them is to decrease internet presence. FB pics, virtually everything and anything could be admitted and a good lawyer will know how to make that spin.

    Additionally, I hope you have been keeping good records of altercations and pleasantries because that will only serve to help you in the end.
  • LIM54

    Posts: 18

    Oct 12, 2011 12:17 PM GMT
    I guess I was smart enough to marry someone who doesn't suffer from any personality disorders. We have been divorced for years. Never been to court once. Nobody ever established custody and we arrange child support on our own. I realize I'm lucky but we're both mature adults with the kids best interests always at the forefront.

    Moral to the story is that it's not always a nightmare, guys. But I'm sorry to hear of your situation and hopefully it works out.
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    Oct 12, 2011 12:46 PM GMT
    LIM54 saidI guess I was smart enough to marry someone who doesn't suffer from any personality disorders. We have been divorced for years. Never been to court once. Nobody ever established custody and we arrange child support on our own. I realize I'm lucky but we're both mature adults with the kids best interests always at the forefront.

    Moral to the story is that it's not always a nightmare, guys. But I'm sorry to hear of your situation and hopefully it works out.


    I thought that was my situation until recently. Been divorced close to 4 years. Oldest just turned 18 and left for college, so support dropped at that point for her. Ex decided to move 25+ miles away to move in with new BF, and my teenage son didn't want to change schools, so we decided to change the address with the school to mine so he was legally OK to stay at the school. Custody was more in her favor ( I had 1 night a week and every other weekend). As with you, we did all the arrangements ourselves and never hit court once. I only pay child support, no alimony.

    Because she was having to drive my son every morning to school when he was with her, which meant they had to leave the house at the buttcrack of dawn, and he was away from his friends, he asked if he could move in with me. Of course I said yes, but that he needed to work it out with his mom first, and then we would have to go through the proper channels to alter support and custody arrangements. Well, when he did, it didn't go well, and she got angry and defensive and basically said she was done with him.

    Now when I challenged paying child support for a child that will be living with me 80% or more of the time, I'm suddenly an ass, and she's threatening lawyer action. Direct quote was "well just because he's living with you, my expenses are fixed". Really? I didn't realize I had to pay for your new townhouse . . . I don't think she'd win, but what kind of message is she sending our kids? I've always tried to keep kids best interests at the forefront, but true colors are showing.
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    Oct 12, 2011 1:26 PM GMT
    Hugs.
    (Sorry I can't be of any help.)
  • BrownsTown

    Posts: 158

    Oct 12, 2011 4:03 PM GMT
    I have 50/50 custody of my boys. My ex works a 7-on/7-off shift, so I get the boys when she's working and she gets them when she is off.

    I've only decided to explore my sexuality—and subsequently come out—since our divorce, but I've now told both her and the boys ... and all have, thankfully, been supportive.

    Love my boys, and the every-other-week off thing actually gives me a chance to be me and figure out the bachelor thing a bit. Luckily, we only live a mile apart, so the boys' friends, schools, etc. have not been disrupted.

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    Oct 12, 2011 4:48 PM GMT
    Sorry you have to deal with this, but I can definitely relate. My partner and I both have 2 children from previous marriages. We've been together 10 years so we've had more time for emotions to settle for everyone involved - ex-wives, kids, families, etc.

    I'm lucky in that my ex and I split custody and child expenses 50/50. We currently have no legal agreement in place and almost always work together in the best interest of the children (now 16 and 13).

    My partner is not so lucky - he has a very difficult ex-wife who outed him to family and co-workers, told inappropriate stories to the kids about their Dad, and ultimately married an abusive, homophobic man. As a result, we now have custody of his kids (now 17 and 14) except for every other weekend.

    The best advice I can give you is keep good documentation, have a good lawyer, and take the high road whenever possible. Your daughters are young now, but as they get older they will remember the actions of both their parents, including the way they treated one another, and form their own impressions. I'm often amazed by what our kids remember around the time of our divorce. The best thing you can do now is set a positive example, love your daughters, and treat your ex with respect, at least in front of your daughters.

    Best of luck!
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    Oct 12, 2011 7:28 PM GMT
    johngray saidSorry you have to deal with this,[...]

    The best advice I can give you is keep good documentation, have a good lawyer, and take the high road whenever possible. Your daughters are young now, but as they get older they will remember the actions of both their parents, including the way they treated one another, and form their own impressions. [...] The best thing you can do now is set a positive example, love your daughters, and treat your ex with respect, at least in front of your daughters.
    Best of luck!


    I have no personal experience with divorce but I agree completely with johngray.

    Personally I can say that children remember so much from their childhood, specific details and events. Chances are if it's bad, they'll remember. Again, johngray said it right (above)- excellent advice.
    Stay strong, chin up, and on the right path.
    Hugs.
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    Oct 12, 2011 8:11 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement!

    Currently we're in court because she keeps preventing the girls from going to their appointments with the psychologist. I had it built in the decree that the girls can get counseling and the court has reaffirmed it twice now and since she is refusing to take them, I am asking for more days so I can take them myself.

    As to cleaning out my computer, she's already shown the judge my naked gay pics. They simply have nothing to do with my rights and conduct as a father. Just as a straight man, I keep my sexual life private and away from my children. I am dating a local guy and have been for coming up on a year. We often take the girls to cultural events at our nearby University and often have dinner together. It is no different than if I were dating a woman. After an appropriate time, my girls met him and now adore him, as do I.

    I do document everything and keep insisting that the girls have mental health care, if for no other reason that it keeps my ex from being able to get away with anything crazy with them. The psychologist will find any abuse and she will go to jail and lose her right to see the girls.


    Mike
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    Oct 12, 2011 8:16 PM GMT
    moscowmikey said[...] I am dating a local guy and have been for coming up on a year. We often take the girls to cultural events at our nearby University and often have dinner together. It is no different than if I were dating a woman. After an appropriate time, my girls met him and now adore him, as do I.[...] Mike


    Happy for you all Mike!
    Looking good for when the storm blows itself out!
  • matt13226

    Posts: 829

    Oct 12, 2011 8:24 PM GMT
    i cant offer any advice or anything but i hope you win full custody you are a nice guy so i can only hope for the best bro
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    Oct 13, 2011 5:27 AM GMT
    That's the beauty of this space is that when you need a boost from some friends and brothers....I can always count on you guys!
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Oct 13, 2011 5:29 AM GMT
    hey u know i am here for u sir. kick her ass those two girls r your world go get her.icon_twisted.gif
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    Oct 13, 2011 5:35 AM GMT
    safety43 saidhey u know i am here for u sir. kick her ass those two girls r your world go get her.icon_twisted.gif


    you have been a true friend sir. icon_smile.gif

    Mike
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    Oct 13, 2011 6:19 AM GMT
    Kick Ass Take Names-
  • bladeaddict

    Posts: 93

    Oct 13, 2011 6:32 AM GMT
    moscowmikey - my heart goes out to you.

    the good news is you have two girls who you love more than anything (I have two girls, too, so I know that must be how you feel) and who love you, too.

    And you have a relationship that sounds solid.

    I can't really offer you any sage advice, as I'm the guy who's still married and trying to deal with that. It's OK for me, but everyone's circumstances are different. I know there were times when I wanted to be divorced, and times when I thought she was gonna come at me with a knife, too (big fat kitchen knife!) But it has calmed down for us - for a lot of complicated reasons -

    I will tell you this, though: There are a lot of clichés about child-rearing, and most of them are true. The truest one is this: it's over before you know it. So keep your eye on the ball and spend as much time with those girls as you can, because once they get to high school, they start planning the rest of their lives and you start seeing your life in an empty nest. It's as hard as dealing with being gay. But it's life; it's how it works. It's our job as parents to make sure they can fly away on their own. But man, it hurts!

    So fight on if you have to, just get that time with your babies!

    Peace.

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    Oct 13, 2011 6:37 AM GMT
    feel for ya.... going thru the same thing.. 1 son, 16.... everyone knows ( cept work). the 3 of us share the house, son and i up, ex down. Aside from her suicide attempts, thangs are great!!!!
    wish ya all the best.