Welcome to the club of screwed Dads… Sorry for the abrupt intro but I went through the same.

I have been fighting for my children’s custody for almost three years now. My son is about to turn 14 and he will be able to make his own decision soon. Let me tell you very brefly what has happenned in those three years.

– I filed and paid lots of money.

– She played a delay the process game since of course it was convenient. I practically financed her fight.

– Finally after over a year after my filing we go to court.

– After 2 days of court, I am awarded custody. I did have a lot of good evidence against her mostly dealing with my involvement in school, with teachers, and my childrens care and lives.

– She files for a new trial and because the law or should I say Idiotic law in the state of Georgia that says that if she appeals the ruling returns to the original decree, she gets them back and i continue to finance her fight.

PS: this is aftyer the children have clearly expressed their desire to live with me also.

– We go for the new trial hearing and once again a ruling in my favor denying her a new trial.

– She files for an appeal and once again she gets the children because of that great law in Georgia that allows the children to keep being tugged and pulled back and forth.

– Another year goes by and finally the appeal court submits their recommendation that once again states in my favor that the decision made by the court should remain. Once again I get custody and once again she regains custody by filing an appeal to the Supreme Court, as I understand her last chance.

– It has been approximately two months since this and once again who knows how long this will last this time around. Hopefully not too long.

The court system allows for the custodial parent to be abusive to the system, manipulative, and in control even when a total of four judges have ruled that “THE BEST INTEREST FOR THE CHILDREN IS TO LIVE WITH THEIR FATHER”.

You will hear this “BEST INTEREST FOR THE CHILDREN” phrase over and over and over again. Quickly you will realize that the only interest being served is that of the defendant in custody cases.

After almost three years and over $30,000.00 , it looks like the only way I will get my children soon is because my son will be 14 on November and he will be able to make his own decision. He already said he wants to be living with me by December 1, 2000.

So, what does the system that cares about “THE BEST INTEREST FOR THE CHILDREN” has accomplished?

– My son has to be the one to do the dirty work since the state or courts cannot provide him with the best situation.

– My children will be separated at least temporarily since my daughter is only 12 so she cannot voice where she wants to live.

– My son is aware that his Mother’s family will hold his decision against him and expects mistreatment such as guilt trips and other mental abuse from that side of the family.

It’s OK, this is for their best interest!

I would tell you that the first thing you need to do is tell your wife that your financial situation is not good and so she needs to get back to her full time job. Then talk to her about counseling for both of you.

If possible, hopefully your job allows you to have some extra time where you can become very involved with the school and your children. Maybe you should even find a job that allows you to do this even if there is a pay cut. That is why she needs to work full time. I did it, I took a pay cut and lived my life for my children. Then I realized I did not take a pay cut, I got a big fat raise that was paid daily by the love of my children. There is no amount of money that can beat that! Be the ONE involved in your childrens every day life, you will not be sorry…

It is NOT clear where the contributed money will go. The end of your web page mentions an organization ‘HOW2’ — but will the contributions end up in your own personal account?

In any event how will the contributions be used? Your post mentions “expenses of what necessarily must become a heavily contested case,” but who exactly is on the legal team?

Recently I checked the West and Martindale-Hubbell database for a “Bob Hirschfeld, JD” but no entries appeared under attorneys admitted to some state bar, including Arizona. Perhaps there was an error, but in any case, please clarify this matter very soon.

Are you personally going to take part in the VAWA II challenge, and if so, in what capacity and in what jurisdiction?

Also note that our club will delete all commercial solicitations to our members. Some solicitations for donations will be construed as SPAM, especially if the solicitor is a non-collaborative member whose primary objective appears to be monetary gain.

So please also clarify the nature of your presence at our club. Thanks.

Your chances are better if you file first, while in possession of the children, though I do not persoanlly approve of divorce if it can be avoided. There are a number of things that can be done to improve your chances of getting custody, including keeping a daily journal. I’m in Overland Park and head up the efforts for the MoKan Chapters of the National Congress for Fathers and Children. Give me a call at (913) 385-DADS or (866) SEE-DADS if it is a long distance call.

Let me tell what membership can do to help you and about our MoKan efforts. Also, would you be willing to go on a national talk show to discuss your problems and try to keep the marriage together? Dr. Laura Scglessinger would be interested in your case for her show.

George

There are many men that have given up jobs, job promotions, family, money, homes, and much of their souls to stay in the lives of their children after a divorce.

I would have loved to have stayed home when my daughter was born. Unfortunately after all of the work and coaxing, my nipples would just not provide milk.

If as you say we have a bad habit of perpetuating that which we live, why do we perpetuate discrimination under the guise of quotas, and affirmative action programs. Isn’t discrimination under any name wrong, even if it is being used to correct a past wrong?

The ex wife filed for more support. the state gave her more than double the old child support.they figured my wages wrong. i am going to file for an hearing, but how do i get them to not take the new amount of money? it is more than half of what i take home. i am desperate. I would appreciate any help you can give me. thank you.

Regardless of you not wanting to drag the children into this, it is your job, not only as a father, but also as a US Citizen, to do whatever is necessary to protect these children. And that means you fight long and hard for custody of the children. Social Services may not be on your side, but the fact is they have confirmed these allegations and a judge should have a completely different view from them.

Also, it is likely that you will not need to involve all the children. Testimony by the 14-year-old should be sufficient, if it is needed at all. Documentation for Social Services may be all you need, though I would recommend the children be interviewed by an independent psychologists.

You need to immediately request an injunction preventing her from removing the children from the state, or even the area, pending a complete resolution of this matter. You need to play hard nose, with no punches pulled. Regardless of what the step-father or the sister was doing, the mother knew about it and was not doing anything. Likely it has changed now, but the fact it did happen and may happen again.

You should also involve all your friends and relatives in this. Every time there is a court hearing, you want to pack the courtroom with as many people as possible to act as court watchers to make sure the judge does the right thing. They will not be able to be in the room whenever the children testify, but otherwise they should be there. You could even ask a high school Civics teacher if any of his students would like to volunteer to do it for extra credit.

So, get out and fight tooth and nail for your children.

Well, from personal experience and seeing what others in your situation have done, your wife’s cleaning habits and laziness unfortunately have little bearing when it comes to custody, unless you have custody to begin with. My suggestion would be to leave her first and take your sons with you, but when you do make sure that the first thing you do is file for divorce and request permanent physical (or Custodial) custody.

Your best bet is to make sure you have an attorney, I didn’t but I was also VERY lucky. Always remember one thing though, this is the one thing that saved my butt, always remember to document everything, no matter how insignificant it may seem, including her habits, such as cooking, cleaning, time spent with the children, language used around the children, and especially how much of a role she takes or doesn’t take in the children’s education.

All this REALLY DOES matter. Good Luck

You have the makings of a good page – but you need serious help with alignment and spelling.

As for the Why? question – because since the dawn of time, males gave – yes, gave – the task of raising children to the females – and for a very long time, it was all we had. There’s a statement on a club with Yahoo that says – I grew into the Dad I didn’t want – sadly, we have a bad habit of perpetuating that which we live.

Your father was too busy for you, and now, because of social expectations and work habits, we become too busy for our children.

Just as it took – and is still taking – years to create equality for females and those of color, it will take additional decades for fathers to receive the just due for those who want to claim it. There will always be those who don’t want to claim their fatherhood as a prize, tainting those of you who do.

The question remains – how much and what are you willing to give up for your children? Women consistently lose job promotions because of the choices we make of our children over all else. Again, like with fathers, not all women are like this, but they are out there.

It’s a puzzling and sad social problem.

So, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been renewed by Congress. Now the legal battles begin to have the Supreme Court declare it unconstitutional based on its bias against men assault by women, and children abused by mothers. Billions will be spent on programs to promote the myth that all women are victims, that all men are either abusers or potential abusers, and that children abused by anyone, other than men, are not really being abused. Or, that mothers who abuse their children are victims and are not to be blamed. According to the study, ‘Murder in the Family’ by the US Justice Dept. (1998) mothers account for 55% of all fatal child abuse, regardless whether they are custodial, non-custodial, or part of an intact family. Fathers account for 8%. Makes one wonder about the safety of children living at ‘women’s shelters.’

Over 180 studies, including the one most commonly sited, show that women begin the physical side of an argument over 50% of the time. Ask any female police officer and you’ll learn how often a domestic violence call turns out to be a woman battering a man, or trying to get him to hit her. The officers are frustrated by the fact that there’s no place men can call for help. Government financed programs, either helps women only, or provide little resources to help men and their children. So the man is left with the choice of leaving the home, but leaving the children in the care of the abuser.

If we’re to address the issues of domestic violence, we must address the whole issue. When a woman shows up at a hospital with a black eye, we need to be asking if she was urging the man to hit her. One hit and all the power of the government, and women’s groups, come to play on her side, regardless of whether it was a mutual fight, or whether she had also been abusing the children. It would be assumed that if the children were being abused, that somehow they had caused it. Just ask Mary Bass or Dr. Debra Greene. In both cases they had chased off their children’s fathers.

I don’t know what needs to be done to address the ‘whole’ domestic violence issue, but something needs to be done. If not for the men, than for the children who not only face an abusive mother, but give their very lives for society’s ignorance about domestic violence.

What I can recommend is to read the essay, than read ‘Men Don’t Tell’ by Annette. This Missouri woman grew up watching her father, a local County Sheriff Deputy, being battered by her mother. He’s deceased now, but only after enduring years of abuse, and when he tried to leave being charged with domestic violence. Testimony by his daughters made the difference between freedom and imprisonment. But, that freedom was fleeting, because just months later he died. This story will bring to heart the problems of domestic violence against men. Problems that the VAWA not only ignores, but promotes the idea that men cannot be abused by a woman.

Actually not that simple… for example, one would think that spending say over $50,000 each year in legal fees over five years would produce results for a dad. Not so!

In fact, this example originates from a personal acquaintance. This particular dad falls slightly under my subjective benchmark in terms of timeshare, and pays huge child support.

His attorney runs $275/hour ;-{ Every little detail is contested.

Now that amount above does *not* include psychological support. There is an evaluator on the payroll, and a psychiatrist for the child.

One could ask how much better off this dad would be, if he had simply decided to go pro se, ie. self-representation. (Of course, that requires self-motivation and research initiatives.)

Or one could ask the future value of say $250,000 invested over 12 years, payable solely to the emancipated child.

So did $$$ here bring “justice”? No – that dad still feels he is in the grinder.

Perhaps, we can slightly re-state the proposition as:

“The more $$$ [wealth] you have, the more time you will spend in the family court system.”

Remember, there is an entire industry behind the system.

My husband and I got Social Services to do a check in because of the filth and garbage his children have to live in – their response was – it’s not as bad as some we’ve seen, sorry.

She’s an alcoholic and never there, but the kids are 12 & 16.5 – the house is a pigs-sty but according to the child welfare people, oh, well……I’m sorry there isn’t better answers out there.

sara

Plus, given that your kids are so young, unless you can show she is an unfit mother (being a slob doesn’t meet that definition), and you didn’t try to suggest it in this forum, my guess is that isn’t worth the argument.

If counseling doesn’t work and you can’t stand your wife, how about joint custody? I’m working out an agreement where I would have my daughter 7 days out of 14 on a 4-3-3-4 night schedule.

If you still care for her, I’d suggest a mediator and counseling. If there isn’t love there and you can’t or are afraid to communicate with her either one to one or with a counselor, then it’s time to find a lawyer or bite the bullet.

The odds…..not good, sadly. Lawyers cost a lot of money and if she’s with you because it’s easier than working herself and supporting herself, then she’ll fight it and use the kids against you.

I wish there were easy answers. If you have the money, find a good family law lawyer and talk with them.

sara

Ok, here is my situation. I am married with two boys 10 and 6. My wife worked full time up until about 6 months ago when she cut back to part time to “spend time with the children”. She never has been much in the housework category, I’m not talking minor things here either, she cleans if someone is coming over or if we’re out of clean dishes. Otherwise the dishes sit dirty, leftover food doesn’t get put away etc, it gets pretty bad.

Part of the agreement with her cutting back to PT was that she would keep the house clean. Well she hasn’t done it I still work full time and manage to keep the house clean, laundry done, etc… She also doesn’t spend time with the kids, I work at home so I know exactly what she does all day which is watch tv, and play on the internet.

I am an Assistant Leader for my oldest son’s Cub Scout Den, try to take him to the movies once a month just the two of us, and spend time playing with my youngest son. My wife doesn’t get along with my oldest son at all she is always yelling at him for little things, I used to do the same thing and saw the error of my ways and now I have a very good relationship with him. My youngest son has always been a Daddy’s boy if he’s hurt he comes to me, when he wakes in the night, he comes to me. I could go on with more, but I think I’ve given a pretty good synopsis of my situation.

Now for the question, what are my chances at getting my children in a divorce? I can’t take living like this anymore, my kids are seeing that its ok not to clean, and I don’t want them growing up like that.

Sorry for the long rant.

Thanks to all who have replied to my recent post, As I stated I filed a motion for permanent physical custody, well today my ex came to me and asked for a private meeting with just her, me, and our children……. how did it go you ask???

Well it seems documenting everything as I have been doing and learning all I can from blogs such as this has paid off…. I get my children in a week.

We sign apers tomorrow…. Yahoooooo. It seems her Lawyer isn’t too happy but…… Oh Well… :o)

So often on this board and others I hear the battle cry to fight for what is best for the children. I totally agree, children need their father.

Now my question….how? The legal system is to complex and convoluted for a laymen to understand and a lawyer has you right a check for thousands just to start a custody fight.

Its all fine and dandy to rally for a fight but it does you no good if you don’t have the $$$.

The more $$$ you have the more justice you get from the family court system. It’s that simple.