BM is up to something...maybe?

lovehadleyMay 2, 2009

She and her DH just moved--this has been in the works for a couple months now. Their landlord decided to sell their house, so they got a 30 day notice that their month-to-month was up. They were able to get a little more time to find a place, and the house they chose is 10 minutes farther away from us and the school SS will attend in the fall. DH was kind of ticked about this b/c THIS was their prime opportunity to move closer. Oh well--SHE is the one that will be doing all the driving. Seriously, the new house is probably 25-30 miles from the school.

Well, the last couple weeks SS has been making random comments here and there about how he is going to a new school next year. DH and I both thought that BM had finally accepted that he would be going to our district. (DH got residential custody for schooling purposes last December. So this is all court-ordered.)

Well, this is apparently NOT the case. SS is insistent that he is going to a new school and it is the school RIGHT by their new house.

THEN DH was going through some paperwork in SS's school folder, and there was a sheet that had been filled out by BM. It was sent from his current school, asking if the child would be returning to that district in the fall. BM had written "we are unsure, depends on court case."


We are both SO worried now that BM is going to re-open the school issue. Can she do that? In December, SHE and DH signed papers settling the case, and agreeing to 50-50 custody, with DH having residential for school. The papers CLEARLY state that SS is to finish 1st grade in his current school and then he will start 2nd in our district.

It just all sucks. Plain and simple, it sucks. This stress is going to be the death of both of us.

I don't think BM has ANY leverage, though. I mean, for real---she comes drunk to our house, and tries to drive with her son. Then WE take HER to court b/c of that incident. And meanwhile, she has moved FARTHER AWAY, knowing that SS is set to start school in our district in the fall.

She has nothing, right? Please reassure me.

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i hope SS stays in school close to you.

I certainly am horrified of the fact that she drinks the way she does (it of course effects her poor son), also the fact that she drives drunk alone or wiht a child, and then attacks people and so forth. this woman is crazy, no good. But saying that you do not seem to have much documentation or evidence of her behavior.

her behavior when she punched you and so forth is awful but it is one incident and I wonder if in the eyes of the judge it is not enough. she might be ordered to treatment or anger management but they don't take children away because of one incident. DH was covering up for her and her alcohol addiction for too long.

If DH gets full custody (I doubt he will, not enough evidence) then BM cannot enroll SS in her district. But if it stays 50/50 then who knows what judge decides.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 10:07AM
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I don't think he will get full custody, either. He is not even ASKING for that per the attorney's advice. He is asking for BM to complete a treatment program.

"But if it stays 50/50 then who knows what judge decides."

But here's where I think (hope!) we are okay---the judge ALREADY decided. In December, the GAL recommended that SS transfer to our district. He told BM she was welcome to take it to trial, but that THAT was what he was going to recommend. SO--BM agreed to it. She signed papers, DH signed papers, the judge approved them and that was the end of it.

I'm not sure what grounds she has to modify that now. DH's attorney doesn't seem concerned about it...BUT it is still nerve-wracking.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 10:19AM
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It depends on what state you live in. Since we are going through the court crap right now, I have been brushing up on family law and several states have the same philosophy.

In an initial determination of custody, the court considers the best interests of the child. Since there was an order and if she signed, it was also an agreement on her part last December... that it's in SS best interest to go to school in DH's district. The court ordered it so they have put their stamp of approval on THAT being in the child's best interest.

In a modification, before the court considers the best interest of the child, there has to be a significant change in circumstances. BM moving is NOT a significant change in circumstance unless it affects the child. In my opinion, which means nothing really but I'll give it anyways, her move would be a negative affect to the child, rather than a positive one. She may claim it's in a nicer neighborhood.. better school, blah blah blah... but she moved the child FURTHER from his father. If she claims the move was to be closer to a job or anything having to do with HER... that is definitely NOT a change in circumstances at all. It has to be a change that affects the child... like abuse or one parent is homeless and there is nowhere for the child to live or the child is being so neglected that his schoolwork is seriously affected or he isn't being taken to school or habitually late... it has to be SIGNIFICANT. The courts don't like to revisit this crap over and over.... especially when they just heard it a few months ago and the order hasn't even been implemented to see if it works.

If she were to petition for custody, after the drunken incident, she may very well end up with less time than 50/50 BECAUSE she moved further away. SS shouldn't have to suffer less time with his father because his mother moved away when she could have moved closer. Of course, nobody can really argue that she could have moved closer because you don't want to open the door for her to argue about what YOU and DH should do....

The order says DH is residence for school. He should let the current school know and go forward with enrolling SS in your district. Don't give her any reaction at all. The burden of proving a change is on her. And I would certainly let her know that if she is going to fight to put SS in her district, DH is going to request that BM drive SS to his house during his time because nobody else should be inconvenienced because she chose to move and because she wants to have SS in her district. Now, whether she or he gets any of that... a whole other issue. I don't know the laws in your state but it's not only up to what a Judge thinks or feels, there are written laws that the Judges must adhere to. In custody cases, there is usually a lot of discretion for the Judge to have an opinion, but the law cannot be ignored. If it says there has to be a significant change... the court does have discretion regarding what that means. In my opinion... her moving is not good enough. Like I said, it may help DH if he were to say she's unstable... always moving. Of course, one move is nothing but how many times has she moved? How long does she stay in one place?

If you work on maintaining stability in your home & your life, she will eventually implode. She is an addict and probably craves chaos. If you don't give her a chance to have chaos with you, she will find it somewhere else. Unless she gets help... on her own, she will spiral downhill. It may not seem that way now, but trust me... it takes years sometimes. Of course, if she gets the help she needs, it will get better too.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 10:48AM
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What IMA said about significant change of circumstances is what I have read too. So soon after the initial order the court is not going to want to revisit the same issue (in many states anyways). So relax and discuss this with your lawyer to put your mind at ease.

Continue with enrolling ss for school in your district next year.

And if bm is moving away from that school district that ss is currently in why would she even bother putting anything about a court case affecting his enrollment for next year anyways???

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 8:52PM
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