|TerrifiedPage 1 of 2 (1, 2)|
|As a divorced father myself, I feel your pain, but I congratulate you also. If she doesn't want those kids, she at least had sense enough to bring them to you. Please forgive me if I seem bossy or pushy on this, but you are going to find out on this that time is of the essence. You don't have time to waste on this.|
The main thing is this: Your kids are safe and will be taken care of.
Now, you need to see a lawyer. If you can't afford an office visit at the moment, find one that does free consultations. To get any help that you need...food stamps, health care, etc., you need full custody of those kids, and meet the income criteria. Also, if she is drawing those food stamps because of the kids, you will need to show you are the custodial parent to get that changed. She will still get them otherwise.
It may not be this way where you live, but where I live, if the mother has custody and has any kind of aid, the father can't even see the files. The mother has to authorize in writing that the father can view the stuff. Bottom line: If those kids are going to live with you, get full custody of them.
See your lawyer first thing, then call the DHS and tell them of the situation and if you can get help. They will direct you there. It will probably just consist of some writer's cramps from filling out paperwork, but it is a small price to pay.
I know I have said this twice already, but whatever you do, SEE A LAWYER. Your case should be a cut-and-dry situation. Your grounds for custody will be abandonment. Even if she changes her mind later, you should win. Just don't waste any time filing. The sooner you get the lawyer and DHS things started, the sooner you can get custody and any help you may need and qualify for.
I wish you the best of luck and as speedy a process as possible. I do have a friend that had the same thing happen to him, and he had custody in less than thirty days. No way of knowing if it will he that way in your case, but I certainly hope so and will keep you and your kids in my prayers.
If you would, drop me a line or post how things go. I for one, will be cheering for you.
Posted: 6/23/2009 12:36:47 AM
|do you pay child support to her? if so is it garnished or put in her account automatically, if so, pull it out.|
your first priority is n ot to get food stamps or change dependants, bu t to go to court, and seek legal advice. right now she wants this to be temporarily. what type of custody did you have before this happened/ Sounds like she's doing this for the sake of her bf, so at least she's trying to remove the kids out of the situation, or out of her frustration if she has the kids all the time. What was the situation, she prevented you from seeing the kids, or were you fine with the every other weekend dad?
keep your kids active and go do activities to keep them busy. depending on how old they are, you should talk to them and ask how they feel. perhaps there are some self help books at library to help you and them go through this transition.
And why are you terrified/ that yo have your kids full time? that you donht' know what to do a sa full time parent?
Posted: 6/23/2009 1:39:22 AM
|Your county courthouse has a law library and if like Texas, there is a book of forms about filing for custody and child support. You can do all of the paperwork yourself and file and if you feel you need an attorney later, get one then.|
If your wages are garnished stopping that immediately should be a priority. As far as food stamps, you should be able to inquire with them about whether the ex is getting them and what you need to do to have that headed your way.
I too would suggest filing for full custody of the childen on the basis that you will provide the more stable home and your intention to facilitate regular visitation with their mom should she choose to use it.
Thinking back to the title of the thread, you can do this. Focus on the kids and putting one foot in front of the other!
Posted: 6/23/2009 5:36:18 AM
|Kids can be overwhelming and if she needed a break I can understand that but if that was the case she should have said I need a break can they stay here. She was probably dodgy cause she is wanting to leave the possibility open for when she is done playing. Especially if you are paying support etc she probably figures if its just an extended visit you will still have to pay. I would do whatever you could to prevent this from happening again. I can only imagine what it feels like as a child to have mom suddenly say I am done and just drop you off...granted it was a good place to drop thm off but still. |
I don't think those kinds of games are fair to anyone involve especially the kids. So you do need to get the legal stuff taken care of. Also if you need assistance from food banks etc (I know its not something you want and I don't know what your situation is but being this came out of the blue it may be something else to help while you are getting everything together) some of those places want social security cards so you will need to get those from her or replace them but if you replace them they will not accept a birth certificate as ID for them... I think its school ID, medical records etc.
As for the rest... I agree do not bad mouth her as hard as that is... I started blogging so I didn't have to bad mouth my ex and I didn't have to hold it in either.
You will want routines and stability for them. Start some silly/small family tradition... let them help with chores...let them each pick a meal they like...do a project together. Its like decorating for the holidays but its for the long haul. Look for things that show togetherness and that they are important. My kids and I did an art project together that we could hang up. They like to eat together and we do "joys and concerns" at dinner...name one thing that made you...happy, sad, angry, proud...etc.
It doesn't have to cost money...try to bake a cake together...make up a holiday. LOL Hey I've done it.
And if you haven't already...not sure how much time they were with you prior to this or their ages... find out what they are into... what are their strengths/weaknesses, who are their friends, what are their hobbies, etc.
I know its a lot to take in. If you have to make a list (or 3, legal stuff, financial stuff, family stuff) and take it one thing at a time.
Posted: 6/23/2009 9:26:41 AM
|Been there, have full custody, she abandoned our son on me after getting in trouble with the law and *moving on*.|
I know all the steps to take and everything you'll have to go through for proper legal routes.
...and also know (from experience) how the kid(s) are taking it and what you need to do to make sure they grow up without it being a problem or having them walk all over you.
If you ever need advice shoot me a line.
P.S. IRS dependants don't mean diddly squat. You need paper, something legally written out and not something you two wrote up but something the courts make up as court orders and immediately.
YOU DO NOT NEED A LAWYER. All courthouses have available 'help centers' that can give you the proper documents you need, including the fee waiver documents and file them with the courts. The only real cost you will have to spend is on having the mother served.
Up to you to contact the mother about you filing, I did with mine and she didn't care. You're might, who knows. Say something diplomatic like "Hey i'm going to make this legal so that I can get some help for them." - and never rub the legal fact in their face and NEVER bring up finances, the minute someone starts realizing how much of a debt they're going to be in financially for not having custodial rights the minute they forget about not wanting the kids around and start fighting like crazy, not for the kids but for the money's sake, nasty how that works but it's how it is.
Next thing is after you get those documents head immediately to the district attorneys office and make sure they know your the custodial parent so they dont keep getting on your case about child support.
Check with children services if they have something called "Family Preservation". It's a ton of free-things to support you and your kid(s) including programs with department of housing to subsidize your rent/house payments. AS WELL as a child psychologist to talk to your kid(s) .. and for gods sake, if they want to put your kids on drugs SAY NO.
As a male your maternal instincts are going to kick in and want to coddle your kids through the rough times, don't. Just be the loving dad you need to be and give them the daily I love you and hug and be proud of them in positive-reinforcement ways but do NOT lax on discipline. If they walk all over your house-rules even once they're going to try to see how far they can get. DO-NOT-RELAX on rules and boundries.
Last but not least, get a support structure. I don't care what anyone says - you cannot do it alone. If you have family in the area talk to them. Make sure you get settled where they will be after school while you're at work. You CANNOT quit your job just because you have the added responsbility. There are plenty of 'children resource centers' that you can get information about that can actually pay for the child care you need to have.
Posted: 6/23/2009 10:05:53 AM
|As stated, first things first.|
Get an attorney, yesterday and get the ball rolling on custody.
This may be a little trickier, but you might want to consider contacting CPS, Child protective services, not sure what they would call it where you are at, but it's the same thing.
See about charging her with abandonment.
Posted: 6/23/2009 10:47:09 AM
|You have been wanting custody for 6 months according to your posts. Go to court ask for a sole custody agreement. Call a lawyer. Call your family you are going to need a lot of help. Good luck.|
Posted: 6/23/2009 12:38:25 PM
|You should immediately contact a lawyer and get custody legal. |
I cannot believe someone could do this to their kids.
Were you married to this woman? Do you have a custody agreement in place already making you a legal guardian? I would want to make sure that the other parent wouldn't be able to just come and get them after they realize what they have done.
Posted: 6/23/2009 7:09:13 PM
|I think a lot of us make bad choices. I've had days I wanted to drop them off (and probably could leave them at my moms) but I tell my kids...Moms need time outs sometimes too and I step away. It lets them know that I am not perfect either but that I am trying...|
It sounds like you had a really good day with them. Letting them get to know extended family is great!
I have no idea about the felony...being that it was what 10-11 years ago, I suspect a lot would depend on the details of it and whether she pushes it or not.
She needs to make up her mind because the back and forth is just not healthy.
Posted: 6/23/2009 8:57:27 PM
|Everyone here has good suggestions but the only advice you need to follow is GET A LAWYER! Get a Family lawyer..one that specializes in custody cases. He/She can answer all your questions concerning custody, the felony conviction, child support etc. I would not give the children back until I spoke with a lawyer first. It's the only way to truly protect yourself and the children.|
Oh yeah..hug them kiddos til your arms are sore and then some! Sounds like all of ya'll need it:)