Can stepmom keep my son every other week while his dad is overseas?
Asked May 26, 2007, 10:34 AM
My ex and I have shared custody and our son spends one week with each of us, changing every Friday. He is getting deployed to Afghanistan in August for 6 months and he wants the custody rotation to stay the same, even though he won't even be here. He wants his wife, my son's stepmom, to have him for a week at a time. I understand that my son should still see his half brother and stepsister and I offered to let him go spend some weekends with his stepmom but I think a week is too long for him to be away from me, his natural parent, when his father isn't even at the other house. His father says that by law the custody situation will stay the same and I'm required to do this, that I have no choice. I think I will need to get a attorney for this but was just wondering if anyone knows what my rights are? We have a parenting plan and it doesn't say anything about stepparents.
You aren't going to like what I have to say. Get a lawyer if you feel you must, but the fact that your ex is actively serving his country, won't make you look too good in the eyes of the court. Yes, you have a parenting plan in place and Dad won't be around for 6 months. It is going to take a while for you to legally change that agreement. Until that happens, you have to stick to the agreement or you will find yourself charged with contempt. Does his stepmother mistreat him? Unless she is mistreating him, isn't there some way you can work out a satisfactory agreement without going to court over this?Your son has half-siblings that he has a relationship with. This shouldn't be so much about your ex not being around, as it should be about whether this will upset your son and his usual routine. Is he unhappy with the current arrangements? Shared custody means shared custody. It is going to be tough enough on everyone that Dad will be deployed. Why make the situation worse for everyone? Your son is going to miss his dad. His siblings will miss their father. It might make it easier on the children if they continue to have their usual contact. That is what should be your primary focus, not whether your ex is there.
yes, you may have a legal case, but I will say that he is serving our nation and if this went to a jury you would lose even if the law says he does not have a right
By law I believe you are right but my moral values, you are going to look very bad in court with him being away at war. If he was a truck driver just on the road it is going to be a lot different due to the reasons.
If this is only because you don't like the step mom or is it some safety issue for the child. Plus I guess has anyone asked the child what the child thinks ( depending on the child's age)
This happened to my youngest brother when he served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. His ex became a royal pain about their son's visitations. He wanted their son to maintain the visitation schedule and she did not. When he got his deployment orders and talked to her, she said all was well, that she understood, since there was now a step sister (from current marriage). She pulled her ace out of her sleeve the day before he was deployed. She told him that Thanksgiving day that she was not going to allow the visitations. He left that Friday morning at 5:00 a.m. Not much time to attend to the problem.
But he did get this settled. His Colonel was also an attorney and once she got the papers for court, she backed off. But you know, she made my sister-in-law's life miserable the whole time; making fun of her not being "the true mom" and ny niece "not a real sister". How pathetic.
Now that could be you - a pathetic excuse for control in a situation that you should, for the sake of decency, be a better person and understand that your child needs maintain contact with his family. Did you get remarrried? What about your husband? Isn't he a step parent?
In my state it doesn't matter if the what the father is doing or where he goes... if he isn't there during his visitation time with the child it is up to him where the child goes for the duration of his visit. He can send her to a family member or a friend, he can leave her with his girlfriend. The law says mom's time is mom's time, dad's time is dad's time. The end.
I am with the mum on this one. I am in the uk so our laws are different, but if my ex husband was not going to be there on visiting days, I wouldn't expect my kids to spend the time with his partner. The visitation should be for the parent, not the parents partner! I wouldn't expect my partners kids to come here when he isn't around! That would be too weird! They are here to spend time with him not me!
Yes squiffy, but there are 1/2 brothers or sisters that are being visited also, and often after visiting enough the step parent grows to love the child also.
But normally yes, we would see this as something where the step parent does not have that right, but please understand I guess what we see different here is why the father is not home, he is serving his county in the war.
The way I see it, the mother has said she is happy for the child to visit its siblings, so that's not really the issue. While the child's routine should be kept the same, I don't think personally that it is right to send a child off to spend time with the father, which is what custody should be about, when the father is not there. It doesn't matter really where the father is, it is admirable he is fighting for his country (my ex husband was a soldier also) but I don't think it is right to send a child off to a step parent for a week at a time. Of course if the child wants it that may be different, but as a mother I would not allow it at all, and as a step mother of five other kids, I wouldn't expect their dads custody to come to me if he is not there, wherever he may be. I guess it is one everyone has very different views on!
I don't feel the child should have to be there for a full week without dad either, but I know in PA if he didn't agree to less time while he was away she would still be legally obligated to send her son for the entire week. It seems unfair to the child to me as well, but the courts aren't only looking at the child's rights, they are looking at the parent's as well. It (in PA) is dad's right to determine what happens to the child if he is unavailable, unless there is some sort of stipulation in the custody order addressing the issue.
I think FR_Chuck has given wise advice in this situation. The children need to be together while there father is away fighting in the war.
MNieves... do you realize that if he is killed in this war that his OTHER children have RIGHTS to visit YOUR CHILD regularly, even if his Father is killed?
It's not just about you and him anymore... your child has other family members now, call them Half brother, Half Sisters... it all means the same!
And that word is FAMILY!
And FAMILY has RIGHTS!
They have a RIGHT to see your son!
And he HAS the RIGHT to see them!
MNieves is not in the wrong for wanting to raise her son. There is nothing selfish or immature about a woman wanting to care for her child 24/7. A child should be with his parents. Bonding with brothers and sisters is not as important to a child as being raised into adulthood by his parents. MNieves has made it clear that she does not want to hinder her son's relationship with his siblings. As a parent it is MNieves right to raise her son. It is not the right of the father to decide who does it in his place.
MNieves is not in the wrong for wanting to raise her son. There is nothing selfish or immature about a woman wanting to care for her child 24/7. A child should be with his parents. Bonding with brothers and sisters is not as important to a child as being raised into adulthood by his parents. MNieves has made it clear that she does not want to hinder her sonís relationship with his siblings. As a parent it is MNieves right to raise her son. It is not the right of the father to decide who does it in his place.
Thanks for actually seeing my side of it, some of these people can be really harsh. My son is only 3 yrs old and doesn't really have a choice yet but sometimes does ask if he can stay with me. Another thing that I didn't add my question is that I will also be away this summer for 6 weeks to get my Montessori certification for my job which provides me with a promotion, pay raise and Associate's degree (there is no training facility where we live) and when I asked my ex if my son could still see my husband and stepson (even just on weekends) he was against it and wasn't planning on letting my son come to my house at all for the whole time I would be gone. (I will be getting back right before he leaves) At that time he let me believe that my husband and I had no rights for my son to still come to my house at all. So to all of you who just want to stick up for him because he's fighting for our country remember that there is always two sides to every story and I didn't include this part of it because I wanted to keep the question simple and stick to the point but some of you felt the need to attack me about it.
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