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    sosaj22's Avatar
    sosaj22 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Oct 23, 2008, 07:43 AM
    Custody father deploying to iraq
    My husband is getting ready to deploy to iraq and my step children want to live full time with us. There was a PFA in order because the biological mother his the older one. The girls are 12 and 14. We have been going to court for a while. They both say they don't want to live with her. Bills don't get paid. Water gets shut off. CYS even went to the house with the water shut-off and they don't think much of this. It is a matter of time before the gas too will be shut off. Is there a similar case that any one knows of where the step mom was granted custody of the stepchildren while father was deployed? The last time father was deployed kids had no food, water, light, their hair was never done. Biological mother is always at the bar drinking. Just wrecked the car which was owned by my husband and by a court order she had to retain. (she received a DUI and wreckless driving charges.) The kids were with her this weekend but not in the car, thank GOD. Can anyone help?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #2

    Oct 23, 2008, 07:49 AM

    Have you thought of adopting them? The father should be applying for custody. If he has custody, then it wouldn't matter whether he was deployed or not. Custody would remain in his household.

    So he should be filing for full physcal custody.
    sosaj22's Avatar
    sosaj22 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Oct 23, 2008, 07:57 AM
    We are currently in a custody battle and have court in December. The judge told my lawyer he wants to give me custody while dad is away but she has never heard of a case doing so. Brief statements will be due soon and I want to provide examples. In the beginning the judge was all for the biological mother but she keeps on doing things that just turn her off.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    Oct 23, 2008, 08:05 AM

    See that's where I think someone is looking at the wrong angle. You as step-parent have NO legal standing here unless you adopt. But if the father is granted custody, then be default they live in his household. If he's away they still live in his household. So all that needs to be done is to give him custody.
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    sosaj22 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Oct 23, 2008, 08:11 AM
    Yea No legal rights is correct, but father is already in training and not in the house at the moment. The girls still come over on his scheduled days, but the judge at first said that since he is leaving that the girls should go to their mom and my husbands lawyer stated why should he get penalized for serving his country. I thought just as you did if he gets full custody which I am sure the judge would have given him had he not been going away. But because he leaves she is hesitant to do this as I will be in the house with them and not us both, his and I.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #6

    Oct 23, 2008, 09:04 AM

    I understand the judge's concern. She's worried about being reversed on appeal. She's worried that the bio mother would appeal stating that the judge knew the father would be away so how could she place him in that household.

    Frankly, I'm not sure of any way around this (other than for you to adopt). The fact that you have no legal standing is kind of tying the judge's hands. If he could have gotten custody BEFORE he deployed it would be a different matter.

    The only other thing I can think of is for CYS to state that they don't recommend giving the mother custody.
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    sosaj22 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Oct 23, 2008, 09:21 AM
    That is the thing that the judge wanted them to do too. But they didn't they said she meets minimal requirements for them. They are going to make do alcohol counseling and the fact that she had no water doesn't mean anything either. How is this possible?
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    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #8

    Oct 23, 2008, 10:18 AM

    Its possible because its very hard to take a child away from a mother.
    ashley0716's Avatar
    ashley0716 Posts: 121, Reputation: 12
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    #9

    Oct 23, 2008, 11:16 AM

    Actually, even if he has custody, unless you adopt them, and he deploys, the mother DOES have the option to take temporary custody. I am a military wife and stepmother to my husband's other daughter. It's hard too because you love your stepchildren as much as you love your own and you feel like because there's no blood there, people don't care. I would suggest you try your hardest to adopt them or get any evidence you can that she is not a fit parent. Most courts, once a child is 14 or older, will let that child decide who he/she wishes to live with. Best of luck to you and your family.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #10

    Oct 23, 2008, 01:28 PM

    If the father were to be granted " full " custody before being deployed then the dad could grant you legal guardianship before he actually goes giving you legal rights in his absence so long as its not permanent ( i.e. It states that the duration is while he is deployed and away from the home ) you might try that one on the judge. Short of outright adoption that's about the only other avenue. In doing so you would have nearly the same rights as given to the father.
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #11

    Oct 24, 2008, 12:56 PM

    ( open quote )ashley0716 disagrees: the mother has to agree to giving the stepmother legal guardianship, just as if the father passed away, the mother could take the kids then too. She isn't their adoptive mother or legal guardian. She needs to adopt them ( close quote )

    Actually no its not as if the father passed away. In fact since he is alive and if he were granted the power of legal custody then he also has the right to transfer that to another individual. There were conditions and limitations in my statement. With those being true he can do it without the mothers permission because he is only doing a simple temporary transfer of his interest. Its done all the time.
    ashley0716's Avatar
    ashley0716 Posts: 121, Reputation: 12
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    #12

    Oct 25, 2008, 06:11 AM
    No, I'm telling you from a personal experience. My husband is a SM, deployed twice to Iraq, with a daughter from a previous marriage. For military, during a deployment, the child, if the parent wants them, has to go live with that other parent. The other parent has to AGREE to let the child stay with a stepparent. When my husband deployed, his other daughter had to go back to live with her mother, never mind the bond that my daughter and her shared or that she was living with us for so long. Well the mother then got custody of her, my husband agreed to let her have custody, but then she had to go off on military duty, stateside, but still, and my husband had to sign an agreement to let another family member of her's have temp custody until she was done with her assignment.
    ashley0716's Avatar
    ashley0716 Posts: 121, Reputation: 12
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    #13

    Oct 25, 2008, 06:12 AM

    Military is a whole different world, state laws usually don't apply
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,687, Reputation: 1438
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    #14

    Oct 25, 2008, 08:01 AM

    Thanks ashley. I wasn't aware that in some circumstances military law supercedes local law. I went and did some research and I see where your point of view is coming from. Looks like yet another mess for divorcing parents to deal with.

    Section of Family Law: Military Committee


    http://www.abanet.org/family/military/june06dvl.pdf

    http://www.abanet.org/family/militar...ent_enlist.pdf
    sosaj22's Avatar
    sosaj22 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #15

    Oct 27, 2008, 10:23 AM

    Thank you all for your advice. I am just so fed up with this system. Why is st that a step parent can love a child more than their natural parent and that doesn't matter. Some people take being a parent for granted. Just because you don't have the same blood doesn't mean you love the child anyless.
    ashley0716's Avatar
    ashley0716 Posts: 121, Reputation: 12
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    #16

    Oct 27, 2008, 11:59 AM

    I'm sorry you're going through this. Maybe you could try showing evidence to the court, or even getting the eldest child to testify that her home isn't fit for children. Good luck to you and your family!
    sosaj22's Avatar
    sosaj22 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #17

    Oct 27, 2008, 12:10 PM
    Thank you all for all your answers CYS has finally stepped in and given them to me :)

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