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    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #1

    Aug 21, 2006, 02:04 PM
    I'm engaged to a man that has a 6 year old daughter. Because of the mother, he didn't see his daughter from the time she was almost 2 until she was over 4 years old. He finally got to speak with his daughter when she was almost 5 years old (by this time she didn't know he existed) because the mother went to Federal Prison for 15 months and his daughter was living with her maternal grandma. THe mother got out of prison last summer and has custody of their daughter. There is a custody order granting my finace' visitation every other weekend and reasonable phone access. We lived over 300 miles away from her so we couldn't make it to see her very often. (about every month and a half or 2) The mother never allowed his ordered visitation. She always made the rules about the times he got her which was never more than 5 hours. She didn't even let my finace' talk to his daughter on father's day. The last time he saw his daughter was in April even though he's tried to see her since. The mother never answers the phone when he calls so he hasn't even spoken to his daughter since April either. We now live just a couple miles away from his daughter but the mother ignores all phone calls and emails and knows we live close to her now. Our only option is to go to court since she has told us in the past that she doesn't have to follow any court order and not to mess with her "because we know what she's capable of." Do we have any chance here? She is a pathalogical liar and we don't want her lies to make things worse when we go to court. We are writing down everything that happens. Any advice on how to prepare for court?

    Also... the mother has a live in boyfriend that my fiance's daughter calls daddy. She calls my fiance' mostly by his first name. Once in awhile she calls him daddy. But she does know that he is her "real daddy". She also asked to stay the night with us every time we saw her and would get upset when we said she couldn't. (the mother won't allow it) The last time his daughter asked her mother if she could stay the night with us, the mother responded "No honey. Cause when you wake up in the middle of the night I won't be there! You're going to wake up saying 'Wah wah, I want my mommy!' and I won't be there for you. SO you can't stay with your daddy."

    Isn't this brainwashing?
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #2

    Aug 21, 2006, 03:07 PM
    Get a lawyer who is familiar with parental estrangement issues-- they can be some amazing help in this. He/she will want to see the divorce papers and all the documentation you have. From what I have seen, judges are not keen on visitation orders being disregarded and the penalties for those who do are stiff. The divorce papers may even stipulate who pays for legal fees in parental estrangement circumstances. I have heard judges chastise the custodial parent for not maintaining a good image of the other parent with the child since they now know what sort of damage that does to children. The law is on your side. Good luck.
    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #3

    Aug 21, 2006, 03:14 PM
    They were never married. We're hoping the judge won't like her disregarding his court order but she was a way of manipulating people so who knows. She's in therapy and so is my fiance's daughter so I'm sure she's feeding the therapists full of BS and will want them to testify against him.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #4

    Aug 21, 2006, 03:22 PM
    You are welcome and that's why its best to have the experienced help of an attorney. If its worth doing, its worth doing right... I think?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #5

    Aug 21, 2006, 03:24 PM
    In general she is in contempt, she can not set up the rules, of when he can visit, the court does that. Get the attorney to make specific times to visit. Also when the mom went to prison, how come he did not get at least temporary custody, her mother does not automatically get the kids, you go back to court on rhe day she is sentneced to get temp custody while she was in jail.

    In child support, child custody, you will most likely be visiting the court at least once a year if not more. By the time my two boys were 14, I had been back to court at least 14 times, and had won temp custody, lost temp custody at least 3 times and so on.
    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #6

    Aug 21, 2006, 03:46 PM
    It's a long story as to why he didn't get custody of his daughter when the mother went to prison. He wasn't notified of anything until after the mother was sentenced.

    The current custody order has specific times he is supposed to have his daughter. This order has been in effect for over a year and he has yet to get the full amount of time with his daughter. He is supposed to have 9 hours both days on the weekend and he hasn't had more than 5 hours.

    Him and his ex even decided on 2 days a week he would call and at certain times and she still won't answer the phone. She says she's not going to wait around for him to call even though he has only 2 hours in which to call. THe one time every other month or so that she does answer the phone, she says his daughter doesn't want to talk because she's busy doing something else. And now his ex says he can only call once during a month that he can't visit his daughter... otherwise she says it's harassment to their daughter.
    Woomanfoo's Avatar
    Woomanfoo Posts: 32, Reputation: 7
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    #7

    Aug 21, 2006, 03:49 PM
    Take her to court!! I don't think she spent enough time in the pin. Gah. Your situation frustrates me. I'm actually REALLY mad for you and your fiancÚ. That lady doesn't deserve custody... And it is incredibley clear that she is insane.
    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #8

    Aug 21, 2006, 03:55 PM
    Basically we have no money to take her to court. We can't really figure out why anyone would let her have custody. She knows the law really well. She has another daughter that she doesn't have custody of but she's slowly getting more visitation with her and she represents herself in court. She's getting this much done without a lawyer. SHe's very smart and very manipulative. She can lie right to your face, you'll know she's lying, but she can still convince you to believe her. In her psych evaluation at her hearing, they said she was a pathalogical liar and had been abused as a child and had mental issues. Not sure of the specifics but I guess they basically said she was crazy. We're trying to get the transcripts from that hearing but so far we've had no luck. The guy handling it won't call anyone back. Don't know if that will help us or not.

    Imagine how frustrated and mad my fiancÚ is. IT's really wearing him down. And it makes me just as mad but I can't imagine not being able to see my own child. Especially when we only live about 10 miles from her.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #9

    Aug 21, 2006, 04:04 PM
    Don't wait to seek legal help. It may be possible that you can make payments over time or some other arrangement. Please don't wait too long --the discouragement to you and the alienation to the child only grows. Get busy making phone calls to find out what's out there to help you.
    fed up's Avatar
    fed up Posts: 91, Reputation: 6
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    #10

    Aug 21, 2006, 07:01 PM
    Make sure you document everything. Get yourself a good lawyer. My son is going through the same mess. He has had access to his child but the mother is doing a real head job on the child. Sick mothers can ruin a child. Good luck.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #11

    Aug 21, 2006, 07:17 PM
    Yes, but I will be honest judges are not always fair, and don't even seem honest many times, I wish I could tell you they will rule on right but sometimes it seem they don't have a clue.

    During my biggest push for custody we showed to the court that she was living with 4 children ( two of them mine) in a 2 bedroom trailer next door to a XXX area of town and right next to a XXX store. We had photos ( got to love PI's) of the inside of her trailer showing trash bags all down the hall, and dirty dishes over all the counters and table. We had documents proving that she agreed was correct that she was sleeping in the house with various men for money, while the children where in the other room. We had proof she would leave them alone for hours at a time when she went out to drink.

    Guess what I still lost custody, and I had a job with $$$ dollars, a 4 bed brick home, a house keeper and more. But the judge said she was living this way just because I was not paying enough money to her ( and he just uped my payments each month)

    I got to know the police and jail in their city ( they lived in another state about 500 miles away from me) ** and they moved out of state without permission but the court would not do anything about that either.

    I would go on my scheduled time to get them and yep, she would call the police that I was threatening her and harassing her and that I was tresspassing. So After a 12 plus hour drive I would end up sleeping in the jail overnight normally. The police and court would not accept or honor my out of state court papers. Even when I was awarded temp custody she would not give them back and Texas would not honor that court order. So I had to "take them back" and could have been arrested for kidnaping my own children, once I was out of Texas, then they could not do anything, since I had a valid court order

    So you have to fight, fight hard and dirty. But don't do it with the kids, just love them, and don't use them as pawns, use the court system and attorneys and even then it does not work right all the time.

    IE, she was killed when the boys were 15 and 14, and I did finally get them,
    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #12

    Aug 22, 2006, 07:43 AM
    We have quite an outstanding bill with our lawyer since this has been going on for so long but haven't accomplished anything. It seems like as soon as we start getting things going, something happens and the court date is put off. For example, since my fiancÚ had been kept from his daughter for a few years, he wanted to take things a little slow and didn't want to overwhelm his daughter since she had been moved all over the place and put with different people and really didn't know him very well... so anyway, when his ex got out of prison she decided to move 25 miles away from us and a court order was issued that said he could see his daughter every other weekend and talk to her on the phone. We decided to put off the custody hearing so he could take this opportunity to establish a relationship with his daughter. After awhile we were going to go back to court to try to get custody.(his daughter was never shy or scared around him. First time he saw her, she ran to him and gave him a hug. She always wants him to carry her and she always stands up for him.) Anyway, he never got his weekend visitations. He got one Tuesday evening for 4 hours and a Thursday evening for 4 hours. On the third visit he was supposed to have, his ex called and said they were moving that day so he couldn't see his daughter. She had only lived in this place for a month. She said she would call with a new phone number and get things worked out so he could continue visitation. THat was at the end of August. He didn't hear from her again until a couple days before christmas. Until then, all he had was a P.O Box number and a phone number that was disconnected. His ex found out he was wanting to see his daughter over christmas and she called to chew him out for not coming to see his daughter sooner! How could we? We had no idea where she lived! Since then, he has only been able to have 3 visits with his daughter. Like I said before, the last one was in April. SO now his lawyer has given us a break on how much he wants to be paid before going further. In the meantime, we're trying to find a new place to live and get settled after moving across the state to be close to his daughter. I don't know how long it will take to get a court date, since the judge we have is in a different city. Hopefully we can get something going but things never seem to work in our favor. We're just trying to get as much info as we can on what we should do. We have all her emails and a record of his phone calls and a log book of what happens. But I'm sure she'll twist things and we'll end up looking like the bad guys.

    We're also wondering if we should get married before going ahead with this since we're getting married anyway. MAybe just move the date up? I don't know how much it would help us...
    fed up's Avatar
    fed up Posts: 91, Reputation: 6
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    #13

    Aug 22, 2006, 11:13 AM
    Hello Dunno. I can understand your frustration. As I have said before my son went through basically the same thing. He decided not to try to find the money for a lawyer and has started representing himself. Have a chat with your fiancÚ and see how he feels about taking matters into his own hands and representing himself. Two can play the same game. It is a very touchy situation. Better get on top of things now before too much time passes. Good luck.
    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #14

    Aug 22, 2006, 12:13 PM
    Hi fed up! (sounds like a good name for us too!) I hope things go better for your son. Why can't people think of the kids in these situations? It shouldn't have to come to all this. My fiance's ex always says she's doing what's best for their daughter but if that was true, we wouldn't be going through all this.
    LUNAGODDESS's Avatar
    LUNAGODDESS Posts: 467, Reputation: 40
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    #15

    Aug 22, 2006, 12:25 PM
    This is not I need to go to court situation... first establish relationship with the guardians of your child... prove to them that you are not a danger to the child... ask of supervision... visitation at the home... go get a drug test not just blood and urine... hair samples tells all thing... association makes useful habits.. need good friends to support your position... a lawyer will tell you something similar... then write and send cards weekly . And remember her birthday... well, do you remember her birthday? Remember her guardians important days... this is your child you are fighting for make her part of your life... get into her life... the important point in you short request was that you did not know the mother was in trouble... that meant you have not been in the child's life for a long time... check yourself... this will take time... much damage have been done...
    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #16

    Aug 22, 2006, 12:34 PM
    Lunagoddess. First of all, the daughter is living with her mother. He has been trying to establish a relationship with his daughter but the mom won't answer the phone when he calls even though the court order says he gets reasonable phone access to his daughter. Second, when he tries to send any emails of picture or cards to his daughter, the mother gets mad and says he can't email anything. When we send things in the mail, the mother doesn't give them to his daughter. We can't see his daughter or talk to her. THe only way we will be able to do that is by going to court and hopefully the judge will not look kindly on her violating his court order and find her in contempt. And yes, we know when her birthday is. We tried to visit her the weekend before her birthday to celebrate that and Easter but the mother wouldn't allow it because she had "things to do." THere is no reasoning with this woman. And we knew the mother was in trouble before she went to prison. The FBI had been after her but nothing was really being done. It happened suddenly and quickly. We found out that the daughter was in a different state after the mother was sent away.

    And one other thing, the grandma that his daughter was living with while my fiance's ex was in prison? SHe's worse than the ex.
    fed up's Avatar
    fed up Posts: 91, Reputation: 6
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    #17

    Aug 22, 2006, 07:00 PM
    Hi Dunno. The mother is on a power trip and her mother isn't far behind her. We like to think that we live in a world full of good people, but we must also remember that we have some nasty people sharing this world with us. Your fiance's ex is taking up valuable space not to mention air. She thinks in her sick little mind that she is a good person. I would be willing to bet that if she was honest with herself she would have to see herself as the nasty piece of dirt that she is portraying. If she isn't careful and start thinking of her child she will be the one in the long run to suffer. Her daughter will learn to hate her mother for keeping her from her father and his family. Hang in there. You two will figure out what needs to be done.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
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    #18

    Aug 22, 2006, 07:16 PM
    As you said, write down everything that happens, including time, date, place and specific description of the incident. Also gather all documentation related to the original visitation order. Lastly, hire a crafty family lawyer and tell him/her that you'er out for blood.
    dunno's Avatar
    dunno Posts: 160, Reputation: 19
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    #19

    Aug 23, 2006, 07:28 AM
    We're just hoping that no matter what happens, someday his daughter will know what her mother did all these years. His daughter will come looking for him eventually, if he never gets to see her, for some answers and we'll have it all documented. I think, if we pay him, we have a pretty good lawyer. That's what we've been told by others anyway. So hopefully...
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #20

    Aug 23, 2006, 07:44 AM
    Hello Dunno:

    Well, I dunno (love your name). I have an off the wall solution. It worked for me.

    My ex and I had the same kind of fight, OK not as bad, but it was ugly. I hired the best lawyer I could and he did well for as long as I had money. But, the case lasted a whole lot longer than my money did. Bottom line - she won.

    So, I ended the fight and never spoke ill of my ex (in front of my son) again. And, then I moved into a house a block away. He was 7 at the time. The older my son got, the less the "legal custody" situation mattered.

    You could do that.

    excon

    PS> On second thought, my battle with my ex was WORSE. I was the one sent to the joint. She took ALL the money (a substantial sum, indeed), my son and then married my broker.

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