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Need help to fight father's rights group

 
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HeatherW



Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 1
State or Province: California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject: Need help to fight father's rights group Reply with quote

First let me say, I am a reasonable person. My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have 3 kids together. We have a unique situation, where this divorce (I filed) will completely shatter his life. Think complete role-reversal. He has stayed home with our kids for 9 years as a stay at home dad while I have worked. Not because I'm some *all-busting career woman, but because he couldn't support the family and so I had to work. During this time he has decided to homeschool the kids. The only problem is that he doesn't actually school them. The eldest is very smart and teaches herself mostly, but he doesn't sit down and go over any curriculum with her. (Well now he does, since I've filed the papers, but whatever).

So now he's been in contact with a father's rights group who wants to make this a landmark case where the roles are reversed and they can get sole-custody, he still stays home and homeschools, etc. All I'm asking for a joint custody, and the kids to go to school I have no problem paying whatever I have to pay - alimony, child support, whatever - I'll do what's fair, but it's fair that I have my kids half the time too.

I'm very worried about this pending legal battle - does anyone have any help/advice/etc?

Thanks,

Heather
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myboyismylife



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
State or Province: Texas

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Heather,

Don't despair - there is still some hope for this.

I am also involved with a battle where my ex is with a father's rights lawyer and it's very frustrating. He has mis-construed himself to be a totally different person and he's being totally unreasonable.

Unfortunately, these things get ugly whether or not you want them to.

What's important in your case is for you to be able to say:
- yes, he stayed home with the kids
but then to also say
- this was YOUR decision too, because you made more money and because you loved your kids enough that you felt being at home with a parent was preferable to daycare!
- the decision was not based on any inferior parenting on your part!

Some important questions that will probably come up are going to be:
- how will a 50/50 schedule change (or disrupt) the current one that the kids have. This could work against you so you need to be able to think of what some of the benefits would be for the 50/50. One right off the batt I can think of is that when they were with dad all day, you still came home to them and they had that stability. If dad wins custody, then they don't get to see mom come home every day and that could be emotionally damaging.

Be clear that you are wanting 50/50. You can tell them you want a "joint managing conservatorship" where he establishes the residence. If you get that then you would continue to pay whatever you are paying now, while still getting equal quality time with your children. (the parent not establishing residence is the one who pays the child support basically)
This would make it obvious that you are being beyond fair. But of course, that would go against standard precedent also.
If it's not too late, try and convince him to go into mediation with you. If you do that, then you can arrange the schedule between the two of you. IF you go to court, the judge determines all of that.
A joint managing conservatorship in Texas (where I live) means that both parents have the right to make decisions about the childs education and health and everything, etc. The residency thing is solely about child support.

How old is your oldest? I think the minimum age is 12 - but bascially, at a certain age, children are allowed to testify. If put on the stand, will your oldest be honest about teaching herself? That would be a strength in your case as well.

It sounds like you really want what's best for your kids and I'm sorry that it sounds like your ex is being unreasonable and putting himself before them.
Best of luck. Hope this helps.

~A~

PS: It goes without saying but of course, get a great lawyer! That can make all the difference!
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