To make a long story short, my new fiance' unknowingly signed away his full rights to his children in October of 2009. The effects of such signing did not begin to take affect until December of 2010 after he and I had a more established relationship (changing from every Friday through Monday Evening to every other weekend).
Coming from Seattle, Wa. To Michigan upon his ex-wife's wishes (she had met someone over the internet to whom she is now married). The divorce officially took place in Washington State. His ex-Mother in law apparently made all of the arrangements in the divorce, including possibly forging some documents, while they were residing here in Michigan.
All of the specific implications go on and on but the important part is this one that I am coming to.
My new fiancŽ signed papers while in a state of emotional distress, living in the basement of his now ex-wife and her at the time new girlfriend's home (conveniently right next to vents where he could hear EVERYTHING taking place in their new exciting life). Finding it difficult to establish his new life thousands of miles away from everything and everyone he knew.
He continued to take the children every weekend (with the exception of Mondays, as he was working extra and has been working to pay an outstanding bill of over 800 dollars for daycare for those mondays, charged by ex-wife and her new wife) (which completely confuses me because his rights had been taken away? But I don't mind paying the back "child support" as they call it). Up until he and I established our relationship in December of 2010. But let's put all of that aside to address the real issue.
What I care about right now is the fact that the children are only allowed to come over every other weekend. And even those times are constantly being taken away and disrupted to cater to the other set of parent's needs. (Church, grandparents visits, playdates, sleepovers) We want to establish a routine with the children in our loving, supportive, creative and very involved family but find it almost impossible to do having the children only 4-5 nights a month.
My fiancŽ is in a very well state of mind now, we both work hard, I have majority custody of my own children from a previous marriage and I do not see what would stop us from regaining legal rights to the children.
We just aren't positive where to start. We are also concerned with the children having to see a custody battle, which is so unhealthy for them. We just want to be able to have a nice routine with them and watch them grow and be involved in their lives more. Any advise is greatly appreciated.