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Post # 00000099
Visitation and Custody
Time: 10:49:04 PM
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
I have been divorced for several years now. My son is going to be three in October. I left my ex when she was 8 months pregnant. Before you get this horrible picture of me, let me explain. My ex was suffering from severe depression and anxiety. She had been on Zoloft for over three years. She would sleep on average of 15-20 hours a day. She would not get any help. Her parents even said that they would help pay for it.
Her parents are another story. Her father had the beginnings of an affair when she was very young. Even after he ended it, and twenty years later, it was always a huge problem, understandably. But her mother and her and her sister would tell him lies, and do things behind his back. I did not want this to be how my marriage was going to be. Not that I was going to have an affair, but the way the entire family treated the father was a learned trait after a while and it would only be time before my ex started acting the same way with me.
Things were very tense and almost explosive at the end of the marriage, and I didn't want my son to grow up in a family like that. So I left. I knew that she would have to move in with her parents, and that they would at least make sure that my son was taken care of. He also would not have to see me and his mother always fighting with each other. My son is two and a half, and things are still tense when I go to see him.
The problem that I am having is this. We were ordered to go to a mediator to work out visitation. The first meeting it was decided that we would work on a six month system. Since my son and I hadn't had much time together we would have to orientate him with me. So over the next six months I would get to have him for longer amounts of time. I live 1000 miles away from him so I am only able to come up once a month.
So the first month, me, him and his mother were suppose to play in her living room with all of us together. The second month we would all play outside together. The third I would play outside with him by myself, and so on, until he and I were comfortable with each other and I could spend the entire weekend with him by myself.
Well it all went good except for the fact that she never let me spend time with him by myself. So we made another appointment with the mediator. This time it was decided that when I came up, I would start taking him with me, for thirty minutes at a time. I thought that this was a bunch of crap. What could I do in thirty minutes except put the car seat in the car and drive down the street and turn around and come back. But I was not picky. Any amount of time with my son was better than nothing.
Well this is the second visit with him since then, and still haven't been able to take him. In fact this time when I arrived in town and told her I was here she informed me that I couldn't see him until 4 o'clock the next evening. She told me that she had to take her sister to the doctors and that they wouldn't be back until then. I wasn't aloud
[sic=allowed] to watch him while they were gone, in fact I found out that they were not at the doctors all day but that they went and spent a few hours at the library. I need help. What can I do. The courts don't seem to be worried about it at all. I am not abusive, I don't do drugs, I pay my child support. Why can't I have my son by myself? Please, someone give me some advice. Matt
Post # 0000009a
Re: Visitation and Custody
Time: 10:13:30 PM
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
First of all - I think you should congratulate yourself for hanging in there; there are plenty of people who give up as it can get really tough... My partner was in a similar situation to you, but he stuck being married for 17 years, as he thought it was best for the sake of the children. It is now one of his biggest regrets as during the marriage her mental state of mind tore down any balance he tried to create (constantly undermining him, blaming him etc.. and her parents would all get involved etc as they are extremely enmeshed -- her parents moved in next door).
He left her 2 1/2 years ago. His children, who he had a very loving relationship with - are now almost 19 and 17 have now completely disowned him due to alienation (she tells them everything --I mean everything--- which are all her perceptions which are unfortunately severely twisted due to mental health issues). It is a really sad state of affairs and breaks my heart to see it happen and I feel it is so unjust as my partner is a very balanced and loving individual, who pays his child support etc...
I think the courts and support (therapists/mediators etc) have got a lot of learning to do. They still seem to see the father as some sort of "accessory" which I believe is totally wrong. Fathers have such an important role to play in their
childrens' lives and I believe alot of courts etc... have a lot to learn.
The only words of advice I could give is:
Make sure your son knows you love him, and if for any reason (God forbid) you loose access, write to him regularly to keep some form of contact up -he will remember when he gets older and then he will be in a position of choice.
If you can talk to your ex in anyway to help her understand where you are coming from, how important it is for you to have some time alone with him to establish a bond etc... The other option is to ask if someone non-related could be there at the same time - a non biased grandparent/aunt etc? so that at least you can develop a relationship without the mothers presence.
Do you know why she doesnt want you to have contact/ or you to contact him on your own? What is she afraid of? Does she believe that you will try and abduct him? turn him against her? If you know why she is restricting access then you may be able to find a way to gain her understanding through reassurance (this would depend on how healthy she is mentally mind you..)
The only other thing I would say is perserverance - it will not be easy, but remember what you are "fighting" for. Put your sons needs first and you cant go far wrong.
Good luck and keep strong.... (Last changed: February 26, 2006)
END OF THIS TOPIC.
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