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Joined: 8/23/2005
Msg: 1
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I am a young father of two beautiful girls who mean the world to me! I seperated from my wife going on 8 months ago. She accused me of having an affair. This is simply not true, I work full time 2nd shift and have worked butt loads of overtime. And any spare time I have had has always been spent with my girls. She is trying to take me for everything, even though she admits I am a good father. We are going to court for temporary custody and support issue on the 16th of September. She wants half my monthly income, and primary care of our girls as well as spousal support. She states I am only worried about the money and do not worry about our children. This is not true, We have for the past eight months shared custody of the girls her four nights to my three, and I have paid all of her house bills up to this point in lue of the childsupport hearing. Does anyone have any advice for a guy who is not being treated with the respect he deserves as a Father to her children who wants only Joint Physical custody so that we can share equal right in raising our kids for the rest of our lives. I am lost without my girls and over time they will feel the pain as well. Just looking for any advice from anyone who has gone through or is in this same situation for support it would be very much appreciated!
Joined: 6/11/2005
Msg: 2
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Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/15/2005 11:13:24 PM
My brain can't come up with the correct terminology... Hopefully you have an attorney already? Hopefully you're state uses a formula based system where the spousal support and child support are calculated based on your income. The spousal support "usually" is also based on how long they have not been working and their ability to work. An attorney should have explained all this to you.

Document when you have the children. Document any monies you pay. Do not pay more than you have to, otherwise you set a precident on how much you are willing to pay.

There are two kinds of custody involved, physical and custodial I believe. Unless you can be proven unfit, she is SOL and you will both share in each, and both be involved in major decisions. Child support goes up astronomically the more time she is awarded, so I'd be aware of that.

Good luck!
Joined: 12/24/2004
Msg: 3
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 1:32:38 AM
Advice: get your ducks in order... Document everything in a journal. Time spent parenting. Money given to the ex and spent on children. Inventory belongings that you value. Do NOT trust any one to look after your best interest. Due diligence is the term. Double check everything! I've paid about $20,000 u.s. and my attorney has left major loopholes that are starting to backfire on me now. And my case should have been a breeze! Instead - the ex got everything. Every penny we had - and all our property - and i was well off when i met her. I've succeeded in getting full custody of our 5 y/o daughter - but mostly because mom proved herself to be unfit. Fight for what's fair, and you're kids win. Aloha.
Joined: 9/12/2004
Msg: 4
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 11:18:00 AM
get a good lawyer. Let the courts decide. and do not stress about it amigo. it gets better
Joined: 8/23/2005
Msg: 5
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 4:39:29 PM
Thanks to all!

I do have a layer a female lawyer but that was not a decision in my attaining, she is a family member of a previous employer of mine that I am on good terms with.

The temporary hearing for custody and child support was this morning, I attended although not allowed in the court room was present, she was not, she was attending her class at the local community college.

I have written checks for everything with the exception of roughly the first month. We had just filed for bankruptcy and I did not have access to a checking account yet. I paid in cash at that time. But have since covered everything via check.

She is basing her financial affidavit off of my previous two years of employment tax returns, In which they say I am denying any overtime that is offered to me, which in part is true but I also have a letter from my employer that stated that overtime is not scheduled or manditory it is on an as needed basis in which emplyee's sign up on a sheet. Also I have had the girls every day during the summer and every weekend since our separation with a few exceptions, but had them every weekend regardless.

I have finally started a diary, although I was very reluctant at first I did not think things would go this way, I was very wrong! I did have only been keeping my journal based on the time she is not with the children when they are in her care. I have not kept documentation on when I have them that is a mistake I will now not overlook thanks!

One note I don't want people to take it like she is a terrible mother, She is a very good mom and loves our kids very much and is regularly involved in their life as am I. But she is going to great lengths and as my lawyer told me today after they argued their points in front of a judge, the only argument her lawyer brought up was that I am all about the money and all I care about is the money. Don't get me wrong, but if a father is going to the trouble of paying an attorney and court cost and will continue to do so if I am not awarded Joint Physical custody, sound like someone who is only worried about the money.?

I won't hear about the Judge's decision until probably next week but thank you all for all of your advice and hope it keep's coming in, I really appreciate it! I will post what the court rules when I find out. Wish me luck!
 Just Me 176
Joined: 9/15/2005
Msg: 6
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 6:24:18 PM
Scotty, not sure what state you live in but the hearing you had today is just a temporary provisions for everything until you can get things hammered out, so don't let the Judge's ruling freak you out if it doesn't go your way. Your attorney, if she is a good one, should be able to get you joint custody. Keeping your journal is of upmost importance. Trivial as it may seem. Good luck!
Joined: 9/6/2005
Msg: 7
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 7:19:16 PM
Most of the best advice has been given here already, but I've been where you're at.

I fought for custody of my two and I now have full custody.

I got a really good lawyer and, yes, I hired a woman.

The best advice, though: document every single penny and every second.

The hardest thing for me to learn was to actually listen to my lawyer. I kept wanting to be more aggressive and she wanted to wait for the right times, jurisdiction and judge to make it happen. She also knew when to tell me "no" when I wanted to take additional legal actions.

We think with emotions and the lawyers (the good ones) look at the bigger picture and overall strategy.

Hang in there.
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 8
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 7:31:39 PM
A bit of advice - take it or leave it...

MY daughter's dad & I fought for almost three years on custody & visitation. We started out with joint legal custody & I had primary physical. IN the end he proved he was an a$$ to the judge (through documentation & shear stupidity in court). If you are truly a great dad, that will shine through. In the end the judge order us to particpate in a "co-parenting" class & it was the best thing to happen for me. Dad didnt go (this particular one had a parents only version, then a family version where both the parents & the kids particpated [all in seperate rooms of course] which I attended both)... It gave us tips on how to effectively be there for the kids without pulling them apart it was called Kids Turn... if there is something like this in your neck of the woods I would highly recommend it! the website is w w w dot kidsturn dot org.

I got so much on how to deal with the other parent out of this! And much of it centered on keeping things out of the court where you have no decision making power ultimately. Unfortunately there are those who would rather fight than consider what is in their child's best interest & in the end they will lose more than a battle - the child will see the negativity & distance themselves from that parent.

The mantras here are "what is in my child's best interest?" & "where is the higher ground & how do I get there?" - spite never got anyone what they wanted... remember its your girls who will hurt in the meantime.

The other thing I would recommend would be to show with your actions that it isnt about the money - offer to take the girls so that there are fewer expenses for mom (and ultimately you) - I do not know what type of work you do, but if you have a flexible schedule offer to be there to get them after school so there arent daycare costs (thus giving you more time with them), be active in their school life (schedule meetings with the teachers on your own so that you get the opportunity to ask what you can do when you are with them to help them with their studies), ask for the right of first refusal (this is where if the other parent has to get someone to watch the kids - rather than saddling them with a sitter, you get first crack at the extra time; but if you cant do it they would then go to the next alternative). As long as you show with your actions that it isnt about the $$$, but about the kids who m you adore - the judge will see through any argument that they make.

And what is up with not being allowed in the court room? I had every right to be in there - those were decisions about MY kids! Plus many times the judge wants to hear from the parents directly. I'd question your attorney about that!

Good luck - my thoughts are with you!

Joined: 6/5/2004
Msg: 9
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Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 8:53:39 PM
Here the kids get thier own attorney a guardian et litum appointed by the court for the kids .
That can be a blassing or a curse just like everythinhg else.
Its all been coverd here pretty good from one single dad to the rest of ya'll God Bless!
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 10
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 9:11:48 PM
unless you are a threat to the kids the courts should grant u joint custody. and if they dont you can apeal. depending on the state u live. make sure you look at everything around you to be sure that she is not doing something wrong also. keep your eyes pealed, if u know what I mean. good luck!!!oh by the way I got full custody of my daughter 13 yrs ago, never got a dime from her the courts never tried to get money from her. but if the tables were turned u could bet they would have cleaned me out. so never give up!!! and like I said...keep your eyes open!!!!
Joined: 8/23/2005
Msg: 11
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 10:14:47 PM
I am a good father, although she is trying to play dirty, very dirty!

Oh I live in Iowa by the way.
Joined: 6/11/2005
Msg: 12
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Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/16/2005 11:55:01 PM

lawyer told me today after they argued their points in front of a judge, the only argument her lawyer brought up was that I am all about the money and all I care about is the money.

Well a lot of that is just part of the game most likely. After all, it is the job of her attorney to maximize what she gets and the job of yours is to minimize the damage. Hopefully it is formula based. Sucks that she didn't have to go while you did. No loss not being in the courtroom though, once you have an attorney nobody wants to hear a peep out of you.
Joined: 12/24/2004
Msg: 13
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/17/2005 5:53:41 PM
So, what happened?
Joined: 8/23/2005
Msg: 14
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/20/2005 9:55:28 AM
I was under the assumption that I would find out the ruling on the 16th. This was not the case, we are in limbo, waiting to hear what the judge has decided and contacts us through the lawyers. I have been very on edge, not knowing what's to come. I found out that she is going around telling everyone she runs into that I am trying to take the girls away from her and that the girls are scared to death of me. Unfortunately for her she has told this to her cousin who I have been in close contact with since the separation and who does not talk to her anymore. She has also stopped talking to the girls' godparents because as they indicated they would not take sides as she had asked.

Only if the courts could see this information god I would love it!

I will post what the judge rules as soon as I find out! Thanks to all!
Joined: 9/20/2005
Msg: 15
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/20/2005 2:16:27 PM
My husband has gone through exactly what you are going through. He had fought for 4yrs., but finally the fight is over. He got his daughter. One of the things that helped him was he did not ask for child support & stressed to the courts that he wanted his daughter to have a sound relationship with her mother no matter what happened. His ex did the same thing as far as telling everyone how he was a bad father & that his daughter was afraid to live with him & evan went as far as to say I was abusing her. The courts frown on this kind of behavior (the bad mouthing I mean). That was a big part of the courts decision to put Kayli with her dad. My advise is to get written statements from who ever you can that has been told these horrible things by your ex & get them noterized. If you ever go in front of a mediator, these will come into play. In most states, child support is the child's right, but you saying to the court that you don't want it lets them see that you don't care about the money, your only care is your girls. I wish you lots of luck. Feel free to contact me & I may have more helpful advise for you.
Joined: 4/17/2005
Msg: 16
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/20/2005 9:24:02 PM
I feel for you man. I had to do it twice over the same child with the same woman and won both times. Document everything. Divorce court is war. Fight to win and remember that the court decides for what is in the best interest of the child. No one cares what kind of people you are or what kind of relationship you had, but what kind of parent you are is what counts.
Joined: 11/26/2004
Msg: 17
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/20/2005 9:50:22 PM
the important thing is to keep being a good dad, no matter what your ex says or does, if you stay nice to the children then eventually they will realize that mommy is cold and vendictive for keeping daddy away from them for greedy and money related reasons... just don't quit and give in
Joined: 8/23/2005
Msg: 18
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/20/2005 11:30:01 PM
Hmm, I had an interesting phone call to the our daughters tonight while at work. (I call them at least once every night on my two ten minuite breaks I am allowed.) Once I was done talking to both of them to see how their day went their mother got on the phone which I was recording. I started to ask her that if we did not hear from the judge before the weekend that I would like to keep the schedule we were working with intact. She cut me off mid sentence and said, "Oh you didn't know!? You got what you wanted." I asked in confusion what she was talking about. She said she got a call from her lawyer as well as a letter, stating that the girls and I were awarded Joint Physical Custody!!!!!!! Now I am still a little leary because I did not receive such a letter or a phone call from my lawyer today, and I would not put it past her to try and pull a fast one on me. But, she also tried to ramble off the days the judge had decided on. She immeiately went into negotiation mode over the days that were determined. I told her until I have seen the letter and talk to my lawyer that there is no need for further discussion. She also said all I want is for this to be over. WOW!!! Coulda fooled me. But Once I find out for sure if this is true I will post the ruling and let all of you know what it came out to be. Thank YOU All. I know I'm not out of the woods yet, but what I am hoping for is that if Joint Physical was awarded then she will be crushed and will then decide to make decision based on what's best for the kids and this debocle can be ended with little to no fuss.
Joined: 8/23/2005
Msg: 19
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/21/2005 11:23:16 PM
Well verdict is in. She got Joint Custody as the primary care giver. But I got the girls three days every week. Thursday to Saturday morning and then Sunday to Monday afternoon.

She got 618$ in child support but that is all she gets, no spousal support. They gave me a 20% break on the child support for extrordinary care. I owe 309 on the 1st and 15th of every month.

The pre trial date is set for October 28th, according to her mood she seems to think it is over, we will be waiting to see if she is ready to settle or if I get to go back to court in October.

Again thank you everyone for your advice and support!

I may not have gotten Joint Physical custody but I got the girls my 3 to her 4 and broke her spirit in the process. My girls and I thank everyone!
Joined: 6/11/2005
Msg: 20
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Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/22/2005 12:25:11 AM
Thanks for updating us. I think you did very well all and all.
Joined: 11/14/2004
Msg: 21
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/22/2005 6:24:22 AM
It sounded to me like you are giving up in your last post, don't. You, your ex, and the girls should have to go through a custodial evaluation with a psychologist, though I am not sure about county you live in. I fought for two years, and I heard over and over how the courts favor women, and I don't believe it, except when it comes to non-payment of child support. Judges don't seem to care when women don't pay. Ask around, there are many guys that have sole custody of their children, and many many more that are primary physical custodian. Most courts tend to lean towards joint, and the quickest way to get into trouble is to interfere with visitation for ANY reason. Lots of women think that if a guy is behind on child support they can deny visitation, and they have a rude awakening in court. If you are ever denied visitation keep it well documented, and ask your attorney if there is a supervised exchange site in your county, it should be related to CASA or a similar entity. I have to go, but you have been given lots of advice, and you are in the middle of it anyways, my point in KEEP YOU CHIN UP AND FIGHT MAN, THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR CHILDREN. And if you have any queestions email me and I will answer in detail when I have time, this is an issue I have dedicated my professional career to.
Joined: 4/17/2005
Msg: 22
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/22/2005 7:17:57 AM
First of all - kudos to you for wanting to be a good dad.
Let me give a little advice that has proven invaluable to me. Although things are settled FOR NOW - it will be in your best interest to continue to document everything in order to establish a solid pattern of being a good parent. You don't have to go overboard - just a simple diary showing every overnight is important. Either parent can go back to the courts in the future to get custody arrangements or support payments modified. You will need to be able to back up your position with documentation. And nothing impresses a judge or a lawyer like solid facts.

With all of that said - one of the best things you can do moving forward, is establish a good civil relationship with your children's mother. Like it or not - she is a part of your life for a loooong time - and it will not be good for your children if you 2 are fighting.

For now - enjoy your life and your girls. All the best!
Joined: 7/3/2005
Msg: 23
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/22/2005 8:24:13 PM
Hopefully things went well on the 16th. My advice to you is to ask for joint custody with equal access so that each is responsible for the children with their own income. If you do this, you may save yourself in the long run and get your children equally instead of things like every other weekend. I have found children would prefer 1 week on, and 1 week off so they have less moving around.
If your ex has not completed school, or is not working you may be entitled to spousal support but only for the maximum of 2 years usually. Long enough for her to get some kind of education to support the children.
If she cannot prove that you had an affair, then it is your word against hers. A judge cannot be persuaded by one opinion or the other. Guys have more rights than they realize, but sometimes you have to prove yourself. One way, is to say you will take parenting courses to keep yourself up to date on the development of your child.
The other thing that works well (for the children), is if you and your ex live reasonably close together. That way, your children have access to both places should they forget something. (and believe me, they will).
Sometimes the courts still lean towards the woman, but if a man can show that his life revolves around the children, then a good judge always looks out for the best interest of the child. Watch out for those double shifts sometimes. If a judge catches wind of that,they could think you will be unpredictably unavailable. Just make things clear that you will revolve your work schedule around the stays with you.
I have more ideas if you want to chat more Good luck.
Joined: 8/23/2005
Msg: 24
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/26/2005 11:06:52 AM

I understand what you are trying to get across. That is why I posted a forum in the first place to seek advice from as many people as possible. It can simply be put that everyones situation is different no two situations are alike. I disagree with your arrangement but if that is what works for you than congrats. I myself grew up in a family with two homes and two seperate families. I know for a fact that it does create major stress on the kids, but at the same time, adults and kids can and will adapt. WIth my situation I am not pleased with the times that are appointed and the constant back and fourth, but she would not agree to any other scenario that was propossed and the only propasal I received in return was the obvious. In my case my two girls have grown up with me by their side at every moment, helping them grow and make decisions, I have stated before their mother is a good mother but lacks the ability to put the childrens needs before her own and it would be a tragedy for these girls to grow up and learn from this behavior and to apply it to their everyday lives. I admire the fact the you and your ex get along, that was all I had hoped for in my situation and it started out to be that way until she found out she could not control and manipulate me anymore. As much as this sucks for my kids I am hoping that she will come to terms with whatever demons she has fabricated and will start to look at the bigger picture. I myself, beleive that one week on and one week off is what is best for the girls and I's situation. SO thanks for the input congrats on being able to work things out in your best interest for your situation I appreciate the input, and no worry all I care about are my two little ones. That is why I have taken the action I have to this point, I understand the importance of a seperated family that works, I am giving her every opportunity to get to this point but I can only lead the horse to the water.

Joined: 9/20/2005
Msg: 25
Dad trying to fight for his rights any advice?
Posted: 9/26/2005 2:45:47 PM
try to keep sharing custody.. you can get that done.. possibly no one will have to pay support and you both have the same amount of time and responsibilities with the kids.. however,, from what i've heard the person with the kids in their possession usually gets to keep them unless they can be proven unfit... and no matter what don't you dare agree to anything regarding the kids till you feel comfortable with the agreement.. ask for extended visitation.. ask for shared visitation.. give in to as much other stuff as you can but never on the kids issue.. the kids are the most important thing....
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