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Priceless.......

Posted by ashley1979 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 19, 09 at 10:56

Engagement Ring: $700
Men's Wedding Band: $100
Handmade Dress: $200
Non-Refundable Deposit on Wedding Ceremony: $250
Non-Refundable Booking Fee For Condo: $300
Men's White Linen Shirt For Wedding: $50

Not knowing if your daughter can even come to your wedding due to making the varsity cheer squad and being student council president: PRICELESS


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Priceless.......

Oh no! :(

When is the wedding?


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RE: Priceless.......

Neither of those two activities should come in the way of attending a parent's wedding. If we were talking the Olympics, I might have a different opinion, but since we're not, sounds like daughter needs to get her priorities straight.


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RE: Priceless.......

August 5th. I have to pay the remainder of the ceremony in 2 weeks.

And the bad part is that he's been trying to get them to commit to sending her since March. All of these other things have come up since then. It's like they're waiting so that more things can come up and she won't have to come.

It is supposed to be just the 4 of us. How can we have a "family promises" ceremony if both kids aren't there?

He's so upset!

And add onto that this is the 2nd Father's Day in a row that she hasn't been with him. My heart is broken for him!


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Fight back

Dad should have taken this issue to court, no lawyer necessary, back in March. Depending on the time for service of process, it may be too late now. Some things are worth the court fight and this is one of them. Is it just mom not wanting daughter to come or does the daughter also not want to come? And how old?


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RE: Priceless.......

If the girl is old enought to be student council president (that is usually reserved for seniors where I live) -- but making varsity chearleeder is usually 10th or maybe 11th grade. So I would guess 16 or 17.


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RE: Priceless.......

ashley, are you getting married? oh I didn't even know, how wonderful, best wishes! but how terrible his DD cannot attend...

cheerleading, student council? can't be that important. plus it is summer! none of these activities take place in the summer. this is just an excuse.

why is it 4 of you? don't you have a son and he has two kids? am I confusing you with someone?


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RE: Priceless.......

Well, she's starting a brand new school that has no students yet. She made varsity cheer simply because there weren't any other people to compete with.

She's 14 and a freshman.

Same thing with student council president. This was the first class to have elections which meant the entire student council is made up of freshmen.

Marie - you are so, so, so right. And he knows it. He messed up. He should've gone to court and had custody papers modified when she moved March 2008. This thing has progressively gotten worse over the last year.

I've started keeping a spreadsheet that SO isn't involved in. And it contains only the information I have. So if there are things he never told me, they aren't on there. It's all factual information such as dates and times of flights and dates and times of conversations along with what was actually said. No opinions from me.

He wanted me to e-mail it to him today so he could get it to an attorney. I'm afraid it might be too late now since they've lived out of state for over a year now.


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RE: Priceless.......

Its not too late to modify the custody arrangements. Unfortunately, however, he will likely have to seek modification in daughter's new home state, which can be a pain. The problem is really that by the time he gets a hearing, your wedding date will probably have come and gone. But he needs to start the process. Best of luck!


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RE: Priceless.......

Thanks, Marie! You're probably right. I just hope they change their minds. Not much time to do so.

FD - LOL! No, you are correct. But his son is 24 and largely estranged from SO at this point. SO calls, but never gets an answer and stuff like that. Things were getting better a few years ago, but now they've gone back to bad.

I've been so excited about FINALLY getting married. It's been so long and I thought everything was coming together. We were going to get married, but we had a huge financial problem that caused us to have to cancel and re-group. I have had my dress made and hanging in the closet for a year now. I can't wait to get it fitted!

I think most of this is BM. But she bribes their daughter with activities so she doesn't have time to come here. We've seen her all of 48 hours since Christmas. And the Christmas visit was shrouded in lies so much that I didn't enjoy it at all. The last visit was WONDERFUL! But now I'm thinking that the only reason she came here was to get her birthday gifts.

They've taken 2 vacations this year. Why can't we have even 1?


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RE: Priceless.......

Ashely -- congrads

FD, where my D went to HS, activities did start in the summer, and families knew, if you wanted your kid in band, varsity sport, etc, you could not go away the two weeks before school started, or if you did, you made arrangments for the child to stay with someone esle. I have always made arrangements for my D to see her dad whenver possible, but this would be a tough one.

Somehow I suspect mom could have figured this out ahead of time, and shot dad an email as in darling daughter has a chance for varsity chearleeding and student council pres. These will help her fit in new shcool and look good on college appls. If she does make it, she will need to be in school the following days.

However, we are where we are. Following Marie's counsel that it will likely be too late to get custody changed for the wedding, it is at all possible for the date to be moved? I realize you said non-refundable, but sometimes changes can be made. I really do feel for you Ashly -- but there are not many good answers here.


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RE: Priceless.......

I see KKNY. I am clueless about all that. My DD was never involved in any extracurricular activities at school besides being active in GSA. Nothing else. Her sport involvement as well as other social stuff was outside of school. She is like that, she is the same way in college too.


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ashley

ashley just enjoy your wedding, your dress etc I would give up and would not change my date. You waited for it for awhile and it should be about you and your DH. Your son and your parents/sister will be there. have a great wedding! hopefully you can take some nice trip after that.

varsity cheerleading, roll me eyes, yeah life altering event.... forget it.


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RE: Priceless.......

kkny, I am pretty sure that the school would understand if she had to miss a few days to attend a parent's wedding. i think parents should be flexible where visitation is concerned when it conflicts with important activities for the child, but weddings, funerals, etc. should take precedence unless you are talking about once in a lifetime opportunties.


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FD/Marie

FD, I did not mean to say Ashely should change the date, but she might want to.

Why are you rolling your eyes at cheerleading (althoug this is cheer + student govt pres)? Its just as much a sport as anything else. At Ds school the membership overlaps with the gymnastics team. One of the girls from my Ds squad got a cheer scholarship to one of our better state universities. And btw, the school activity with the highest correlation of being a vice president in later life is -- you guessed it - chearleading. And I dont say this becuase I was a cheerleader, or frustrated becuase I wasnt. It was never something I would have had in mind for my DD.

Marie -- whether you or I think the school should accomodate the girl/wedding is irrelevant -- its whether they will. I certianly think mom could have done a better job on giving dad a heads up (unless D just doesnt want to go and this is an excuse - that Dads son is estranged is a ??).

When my D applied for a summer job/internship, the application clearly asked -- will you be avaiable from blank to blank.


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RE: Priceless.......

finedreams, i'm rolling my eyes with you. cheerleading is not a real sport (my honest opinion and it has nothing to do with whether I cheered or not). glad to hear someone got a cheer scholarship, but how frequent does that happen? in fact, that's the first that I've heard of a scholarship for cheerleading. when you go to a basketball, football, whatever game, do you go to see the atheletes playing on the field or the cheerleaders?

thank goodness my dd isn't interested in cheering. i'd support her if that's what she wanted to do, but boy would I not like it.

:-) anyway, back on topic. kkny, I am willing to bet that the school will understand if she has to miss a couple of days, just like a summer employer would understand. personally, i've never had a school, coach, or employer say too bad its the wedding/funeral/big thing or [plug in activity/job, etc].

also, kkny does have a point as to whether the daughter is just making excuses and doesn't want to come. i can't imagine my dd saying she can't attend a family member's wedding due to any activity unless it was HUGE, as in oh my gosh, I am competing in the olympics on that same day.


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RE: Priceless.......

Marie, there are cheering champtionships throughout the coutnry, and on ESPN. Its as much about gymnastic ability as shouting. Actually mroe. So yes, people do watch them. My guess -- as many cheer scholarships as other sports. No, I did not want my D to do it.

Back to whats really going on -- who knows? Is it the mom or the D?


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RE: Priceless.......

Tangent:
I coach my SD's varsity cheer squad. There is no question that any member of my squad would be allowed to miss any cheer event to attend their parent's wedding without penalty - ESPECIALLY if it's during the summer. We do have manditory events during the summer, but with reasonable exceptions. Sale at the mall? Not excused. Dad's wedding? Excused.

Ashley - this stinks. I'm so sorry it's clouding what should be a perfect day.

Additional tangent: Marie - your attitude about this is rather ugly. I was not a cheeleader myself but a dancer, still never would I make the remarks you've made about girls/guys who work their ass off to be good at their chosen activity. Who died and made you God of Worthwhile Activities?


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RE: Priceless.......

justnotmartha, I guess I crowned myself. ;-) personally, i think my dd is too gifted of an athelete to play second fiddle to those in the spotlight, which is exactly what cheerleaders do when not at a cheerleading competition (and most of what they do is cheer at team sporting events). until kkny or someone can show me statistics that cheerleaders get scholarships at comparable rates to other sports, I'm not buying it. but like I said, to each their own. that's my opinion. we are all entitled to our opinions. if you don't like mine, too bad. im sure there are sports/activities that you dont like as well. get a grip.


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RE: Priceless.......

"Back to whats really going on -- who knows? Is it the mom or the D?"

It's the mom... even if the daughter say "I don't want to go", the mom should encourage her to go because it's her dad and as the adult, the mom has the age/maturity (or should) to realize that if she doesn't go, it will have a negative impact on her daughter's relationship with dad that may last longer than the daughter's teenage rebellion.. if that's what it is.

However, I do not think she should be forced or even pressured to participate in a family ceremony if she is not comfortable doing so. It occurred to me that she may not want to do it and she may not want to disappoint dad & FSM, so it's easier to say "I'm busy, I can't go".

AS a mom, I would encourage my DD to go see her father if he asked. If she said no (and she has), I would listen & be supportive but I also let her know how it can affect her later on... but she certainly knows I am supportive of her decision if she were to want to see her dad, even though I think very little of him (I don't share my opinion of him with her and she's even said I sound like I am defending him.. but I am trying to let her know that I will not be angry with her if she wants to see him, no matter how much I don't like him. I think a lot of kids feel torn when the parents don't get along and kids should not have to deal with the parent's issues)


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RE: Priceless.......

Ima, I think that was partially gnawing at me -- this girl has little contact with FSM, yet she is to be included in "family promises"? Mom should encourage visitation, but this is a little more. Of course who knows what anyone esle wants?


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RE: Priceless.......

Martha, Gettin off my old lazy butt this AM to do a cheer for you!! Snaps!!!LOL Ashley, Yeah, what is a family promise ceremony, does SD know about this? Curious about it too...


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RE: Priceless.......

Ashley - Hooray! I'm so excited for you! Getting married is incredible :)

KK - You blast Ashley for wanting to include FSD in the wedding, and if Ashley didn't want to include her FSD in the ceremony you'd blast her for that too. Boo.

Marie - Have you ever seen REAL cheerleading?? (not just sidelines pompom waving) It's INCREDIBLE! These people are some of the most talented athletes out there. I'd argue that it takes as much or more more talent and athleticism to do a flip when someone has thrown you in in the air, and then land on your hands and do a cartwheel, than it does to skate really fast and get a puck in a net.
That's nice that you think your DD is an allstar. She may well be an allstar, but it's ridiculous to say that cheerleading is not a sport. Oh, and this isn't a defensive thing - I can hardly do a somersault.

Ima - I like what you said about encouraging but not forcing, and helping her not feel torn. I hope Ashley's FDH's exW has the grace to do that.


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RE: Priceless.......

I didnt blast her, I question it. There is a difference between "involving SD" and family promises.

I think a "family promises" -- if it is what I am familiar with, is difficult when some kids live with the new couple and some don't.

Here is one excerpt from a family serivce --

"_Parent speaking_____, I promise to be a good and faithful husband/wife to you, and also a patient, loving father/mother to (children's names), caring for them and providing for them as my own. I promise to be their strength and their emotional support, loving them with all my heart forever."

The childrennow part of a loving blended familycan then repeat "We do" after these words:

"And now, (children's names), do you promise to love and respect your parent's new husband/wife? Do you promise to support their marriage and new family? Do you promise to accept the responsibility of being their children, and to encourage them and support them in your new life together?"

Children shouldnt be forced to say those words, or have them thrust on them. Teens typically take time to be integrated in family. Kids can be included in a wedding, without the family promises. I think it gets tougher when as here Moms kids are more integrated than Dads, and moms kids might be OK with family promises, but not dads. I do think it best to omit the promises then.


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RE: Priceless.......

I do love the ceremonies that include the children when its a second marriage or what not ... but I would have to agree that a child should not be forced to have to say promises they dont feel no more than a bride should be forced to say I do. I like the unity ceremonies better... our families unite blah blah blah give something to the kids ...everyones included but the kids dont have to say anything. It is sad for both you and DH that his children wont be there but you cant force them either. Having been there done that myself and with my kids as far as school activities there is absoutely no reason she couldnt miss those activities for a few days in order to attend her father's wedding. But, that is probably more of an excuse than the actual reason anyways. Perhaps you and DH should file this under more work to do on the relationship column and just enjoy your day. I would even go so far as writing a lovely kind letter saying something to the extent of I am so sorry you couldnt be there we truly miss you and look forward to the next time we can enjoy each others company ... something along those lines. Just something showing no hard feelings we miss you and hope to see you again soon. Being a teen is hard... and even harder when you are caught between a rock and a hard place.

and I do have to join the cheerleading is just as much of a sport as any other fray. For a lot of the better cheer squads being on the sidelines for games are merely practice for competition where you are the spot light.


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RE: Priceless.......

Congrats Ashley

My suggestion give her a part in the wedding and tell her about it but make it a part that if she can't "make it" she can easily be replaced or just do away with that part ... a reading maybe ... something.


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kkny

I am not rolling eyes at cheerleading itself. I roll my eys that someone chooses cheerleading event over attending a wedding of her father (and it is not like her dad keeps getting married constantly or is making some stupid choices, he's been with ashley for a very long time, and they took enough time after his divorce). So for me cheerleading cannot possibly be that important. You can insert any other high school sport (or choir or band) instead of cheerleading, i would have exactly the same opinion. In a long run none of that matters. She has one father.


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promises?

family promises? i missed that. it actually makes a difference. maybe that's why SD doesn't want to come. This is weird, i would never ask DD to say any promises to anyone. parents are getting married to someone and kids have to make promises...

absolutelly unnecessary.


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RE: Priceless.......

FD, I agree the SD should try to attend. And my guess is the mom should have done a better job at giving dad a heads up on school schedule. Maybe mom just didnt check calendar and assumed wedding would be on a weekend.

I find even "unity" ceremonies may make a child uncomfortable. The child may ask himself -- how can I become one with the new family -- I still have an old family. During a "unity" ceremony, when the talk is about all coming togethor, it ignores that child is still part of another family.

I think the idea of giving SD a reading is great. What I dont know how to deal with is where one side of step children have no contact with one bioparent and the new stepparent will be their only family. I really think it best then to sidestep unity with children, but invovle them in wedding in other ways.


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RE: Priceless.......

I do not understand unity ceremonies, promises or any of that stuff. Especially since parents already made the same promises to their first spouses (and sometimes second), and now they do it again, i don't think they have any rights to ask children to make any promises if they themslves didn't keep promises (stay through thin and thick).

I am not remarried, but if I would I would not ask DD to read anything or promise anything. My X remarried last year (16-17 years after our divorce, he did have a long term GF whom he met 7 years after our divorce, but they weren't married), he didn't ask DD to read anything or do anything at the wedding (it was very small ceremony). It would be unfair to DD to make her promise anything to anyone if her own parents didn't keep that promise to each other.


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to add

forgot to add that SD still should attend the wedding. if she is uncomfortable reading or saying something, she needs to say so, but not attending is simply not a nice thing.


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RE: Priceless.......

I cant believe that they cant find something that she isnt comforable reading. My favorite is Desiderata by Erham (spelling??) and some of Shakesperars sonnets, and one of the soliquoities by Portia in the Merchant of Venice. Yes, I find the entire unity concept bizarre to involve children (in many situations, especially where they dont live with the couple)


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RE: Priceless.......

It might be cultural but I have never heard of children being made to read anything or promise anything, in fact their involvement in the actual wedding ceremonies is minimal. Marriage is a contract between a man and a woman, not between their children and stepparents. Especially if those children do not live with the parent and have very little contact with them, you can't ask them to love their new stepparent. They should still attend if they can but that's about it.

We do not read vows at the wedding ceremony (it all is implied), so why would we ask children to read promises. Yes i find unity concept bizzare but i understand that others might see it differently.


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RE: Priceless.......

Its not my culture either but plenty of people I know from work have reading, unity candles etc., write their own vows, etc. Not that my X didnt break his, but OK.

In any event, all I am saying is that if the Bride wants readings, there are plenty that a FSD can do to accomaodate that without expressing her feelings toward FSM. Children need time to adjust. I think the answer is give them an opportunity, but dont ask them to commit.


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thought...

"Not that my X didnt break his, but OK." hahahahaha good one KKNY.

Just a thought that maybe since SD simply does not care about dad's wedding? DD is very involved wiht her dad but she couldn't care less about his wedding. She was excited when she got her baby siblings but actual marriage didn't make a difference to her. She likes SM very much but her attitude would be the same if dad wouldn't be married to her.


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RE: Priceless.......

"I do not understand unity ceremonies, promises or any of that stuff. Especially since parents already made the same promises to their first spouses (and sometimes second), and now they do it again"

I wanted to comment on this statement. Just to clarify, FD, not all stepparents have been married before. Neither I nor my DH were married to our children's parents. DH and BM were together as a couple off and on for 5-6 years, but they never married. And I certainly never married DD's father! So please don't assume that all step-parents are taking the vows for a second time. :)

Secondly, I do understand your feelings on the family promise ceremony/unity candle as a familiy, etc. My DH and I opted to just do a very traditional ceremony for the very reason you stated. Marriage is between a man and a woman and I never felt like our kids had to be included in an extra sense. SS was the ring bearer, DD the flower girl, but that was the extent of their involvement. We were married in the Episcopal church, and our priest, who baptized me AND my DD :) wanted us to have a traditional ceremony, as well.

That said, I think it is a very personal choice and I can see how some couples might feel it is a neat idea to include the kids in the promises. It wasn't for US, but I wouldn't knock someone who chose to do that.

I do think a kid should never be forced to participate against his or her will. Attend? ABSOLUTELY. But participate? Only if they want to, or don't have a problem doing so.


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RE: Priceless.......

Wow! I'm not on for a couple of days and you all have worked up your own scenarios! LOL! Too funny!

Nothing is set in stone. Last year we tried on dresses and I asked her how she felt about being my only bride's maid. She was excited about it and has constantly asked if we've scheduled our wedding since then.

The "family promises" wording hasn't been finished yet. Believe me, it won't be inappropriate for our situation. We will make sure that we take into account her distance from us and all of the sensitive things we have going on.

We will discuss with the kids all of these things as we have learned over the 6+ years we've been together where the pitfalls are. My son was 3 and FSD was 7 when we started dating. They are 10 and 14 respectively now. SO and I being together is nothing new for them. They've almost begged us to get married.

Since I posted, things have gotten way worse. But, we did actually get dates on when she can be with us. Plane tickets aren't booked so I'm not getting exited yet.

I knew BM would do something like this. She always gives SO such a hard time about sending her. It's like they hold off for so long just waiting for things to come up so she doesn't have to send her. First it was cheerleading; now it's student council activities. And, yes, she knew about both of these things in May.

I would be very bitter if I had to change the date of my anniversary for this. That's why SO said that we are having it no matter if she could be there or not. Honestly, I would've given in and changed it if there wasn't some other excuse for every other day of the year.

If either kid feels uncomfortable about the ceremony, we will adjust. But we will not give in to BM's brainwashing. It's ok for FSD to have family promises at BM's second ceremony when she was 5, but not at SO's.


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question

you should have a wedding even if she cannot be there. i find it stupid to change wedding date unless there is medical emergency. her reasons aren't emergency.

i think i asked that before (I do nto remeber the details) why DH and BM do not have set schedule and parenting plan that spells out times and visitations and summer break. since SD lives full time wiht mom i believe she needs to be with dad for most of the summer or at least a significant portion of it. I wonder if your DH should start talking to lawyers.


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RE: Priceless.......

I guess they don't have any orders on visitation because FDH hasn't wanted her to be unhappy about coming here. He talked to them at length before they moved and they swore up and down (BM, SF and FSD) that she would come here frequently and blah, blah, blah. FSD even cried that she didn't want courts involved.

He's a sucker when it comes to his daughter. I tried to warn him, lovingly and gently and then more bluntly when he wasn't getting it. He finally said to me yesterday that FSD has broken all the trust he had in her.

I just wonder what took so long. She's been out-right lying to him and avoiding answering his questions since before she moved. So this is nothing new. He's been catching her in her lies, but never confronting her so she just keeps getting away with it. Bad thing is that BM is the one encouraging the lies.

When I said that things got worse, I really meant it. Turns out that FSD has been setting up calls to FDH so that BM could listen in. When FDH started getting angry with FSD for not being willing to find out information on when she can come, BM came on the phone and told FDH that she had heard the entire conversation. They started arguing and she spouted off that she had already seen an attorney and that it's all up to FSD as to whether she sees FDH or not. She said she has told FSD that she can come see FDH whenever she wants (yeah.....maybe she did, but then she follows it up with all these things they'll do while she's gone and boy won't they miss her...guilt-tripping her into not wanting to go). Anyway, that's not true. FSD is still a minor and would still be subject to court orders. Also, BM said that the attorney she saw said that now she's a resident of the other state and he can't make her come here. Well it may be true that she is a resident of that state now, and yes it will make things harder, but not impossible, especially when there's clear parental alienation going on.

FDH is FURIOUS that FSD is conspiring against him. She's been doing it for quite a while now, but I think this was the last straw. FSD has been brainwashed and shows all the signs of parental alienation and Stockholm Syndrome. FDH has asked what he's done to deserve being treated this way and they never have an answer. But I'm sure they'll make something up just so they can fight any custody agreement.

Basically...it works like this...BM promises to buy FSD things, take her places and put her in activities so that she is too busy to come here. What kid wants to miss out on all those fun things? Even for her own father's wedding? Then, if she does come here, BM texts and calls all day and night telling FSD how much she misses her and how they went shopping and out to eat and went to some festival. FSD feels like she's missing out. As long as FSD is on the receiving end of the bribery, things won't change. Because we refuse to bribe her to come. Plus, we don't have the money to blow.


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RE: Priceless.......

Congrats on the Wedding and sorry about the drama.

When we got married the girls still lived with BM. She refused to let them attend the very small court house type service we had. We didn't bother fighting her about it. The girls are bummed now that they are older because they missed it. We have been thinking aboutdoing a re-dedication service so they can take part. It'll be awhile but it's somethg we need to do. They draw pictures of our wedding with them in it even though they weren't there.

BM also didn't want the girls with us when Layla was born. SInce the girls were not living with her we brought them to the hospital anyway. Even though she was in no position to keep them (even for two days) she was pretty miffed. She expected us to leave the girls with her mother. She actually happened to call us while we were still in the hospital and hung up pretty fast when J told her the baby had just been born and we were in the recovery room.


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RE: Priceless.......

Would BioMom be willing to work out an agreement that doesn't involve 'duking it out' in court?

There's probably a 'standard' agreement floating around online for every state in the union. Maybe Dad could find the one that's standard for her state, adjust it to reflect the distance, and suggest that as a starting point. If they can work it out between them, there's $0 cost involved for the time-consuming part, then they just file it with the court and ask the judge to order it -- also very low cost. Fighting it out with attorneys costs lots of money, and not having an agreement costs him his daughter...

Ashley, please remember that FSD is living in a very awkward position and try not to get to mad at her. She's got Mom pouring poison, bribes and excuses into her ear, and Dad saying ___ (insert whatever) in her other ear. And if she wants to side with Dad, that means she has to stand against Mom -- which is a tough order for a young girl.

Hubby went through this with his daughter, and they ended up estranged for most of her teens. Now that she's a responsible adult, she knows that her Mom manipulated her and orchestrated the estrangement, and she and her father are close again. But it took a while...


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RE: Priceless.......

ashley, at 14, the standard order isn't going to work, and if FDH is brainwashed, it will be tough because she will likely say she wants limited visitation and with a good lawyer, will probably get it. this is a very tough situation that will require patience and finesse and as sweeby says, may require a years to mend. and in sweeby's situation, the result was a good one, but is not always the case.


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RE: Priceless.......

I think at 14 she could say she doesn't want to go and no one can force her. What I find upsetting is that she doesn't WANT to see her dad.


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RE: Priceless.......

My opinion is, if at 14 she doesn't want to visit her dad he may as well disengage and stop the battle until she does. It's difficult to make a child that age do something they don't want to, especially with the other parent on their side. My youngest DD was 15 when I divorced their dad and she pretty much told the judge he could say whatever he wanted to but she wasn't going to spend any time with him. They probably could have made her but it wouldn't have been any fun for him. I wouldn't have made any of mine stay with me if they hadn't wanted to. I would suggest you go on with the wedding as planned. If she wants to be there she will, otherwise it won't be worth the battle. If her mom continues to brainwash her it very likely will backfire on her later.


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RE: Priceless.......

I have a close relationship with my dad now... but I can remember at 14, I did not go visit my dad much. A lot of it was more about my mom not encouraging me or even discouraging or making me feel guilty or badgering me about what my dad was doing.. there were lots of things going on and reasons, also wanting to be with my friends more than parents, but in the end, it was my mom that I grew to resent for it. She always made me feel uncomfortable, she still does.

My dad didn't force me to visit, but he always made it clear to me that I was welcome & wanted. He has always been there for me, never bad mouthed my mom for what she did and while there's no guarantee that you FSD is in the same or even similar situation, or that she will come around or figure out who is really at fault, I can agree that it's nearly impossible to force a 14 year old to do anything without causing some rebellion.

It's your day and as long as you and FDH do all you can to invite & include her, there is not much more you can do but try to understand her loyalty conflict and forgive her for what she feels she needs to do because she's in the middle. If she doesn't come, maybe there is another way to honor her, even in her absence. Maybe it would help to believe she's there in spirit and someday, years from now when she's an adult, she can share her feelings more openly.

Or, you could travel to where she is and have the ceremony there. If it's just the four of you, maybe that's an option.

Your special day should not be remembered with a sour taste in your mouth and you should do everything you can to make it enjoyable and memorable.. with good memories, not bad.

BTW, Congratulations!


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RE: Priceless.......

Of course it's 'excuses' but try not to blame the daughter, she is caught in the middle.

I have two girls, one who talks to me and one who doesn't. The eldest, the one I do communicate with, was quite keen to come to our wedding, then towards the day it all got rather strange and she didn't come, the odd excuses etc.

Our wedding was around holiday time, she told me her mother was taking other sister away for a holiday and for one, the mercenary in her didn't want to miss out on the holiday, this was after she'd been on at me to put her up in a hotel! Not quite sure why that was. Mum guilted/bribed her into it, and, unbeknownst to me at the time mum had a live-in BF at the time - not really my business apart from the fact my girls were still at home, which did make it my business, and I was upset and angry that fact was kept from me, I didn't find out about him til he was near death from terminal cancer.

Aaaanyway, kids feel torn in these cases. Daughter genuinely does like my partner, can see she's good for me and a good person, and, by example I think she can see the contrast between me with her, and me when I was with her mother, and can do the math. Despite all of this, she still acts out of guilt or distorted loyalty to her mother, although she's pretty much told me she avoids seeing her mother now, so I guess there's an answer there in itself.


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RE: Priceless.......

gajopa - how would you feel if it was YOU that your kids didn't want to see? Did their father do something terrible that them not wanting to see him was warranted? Would you, yourself be able to "disengage" as you suggested above? I'm pretty sure that no good and loving parent would be able to. I don't think ANY parent should give up on their kids so easily. Kids, especially girls, need their fathers to fight for them and not just let them be taken over, no matter how much they don't want it at the time.

There's another poster on this board (may have been Ima, but I can't remember) that actually that said the same thing. She said that she was angry at her father for not fighting for her and leaving her in a bad home. SO wants to at least be able to tell his daughter that he did all he could. And if he has to back down at some point, then so be it. The least he could do is get a workable visitation agreement in place and see what happens after that.

I would never force one of the kids to do anything they aren't comfortable with. But it's up to the parents to try to get these young adults to do the right things and avoid problems later in life. FSD likes me (see previous post about her actually wanting me to come to the game with her and SO). She feels like she's betraying BM if she likes me because BM has made her feel that way. In my heart, I know she would regret not being there. If, in the end, she decides not to come, we won't press the issue.

Ima - I think you understand really well the dilemma she is dealing with. She has a poisionous parent.

pjb999 - I think you understand from SO's point of view. He loves his DD and has always been an involved, loving and generous parent. He's never done anything wrong to deserve this. But he's dealing with it anyway.

He said something to me the other night that summed this whole thing up. He said "You always hope the other parent has your child's best interest at heart so you always do things expecting that. But she doesn't. It's all about her and what SHE wants; not about sacrificing her selfishness for her daughter."


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RE: Priceless.......

Ashley ~ I probably wouldn't feel good if they didn't want to visit me but as I stated above I wouldn't make them. I don't think that accomplishes anything. And yes, she had a very good reason to not want to spend time with him. She had told me if I didn't leave him she was going to. Still I wasn't able to do it until he made it easy for me. At 1 a.m. without warning he put me AND the kids out. By the next day he was begging me to come back. He tried to bribe her by offering to buy her things he knew she wanted. Her sister did go back to live in the nice home and have her own car but she regretted it many times. Did I quit loving her? Absolutely not, but I wasn't going to try to make her live with me at that point since she obviously needed to be in the home she was used to. Both girls tolerate their dad now that they're adults but they don't put up with much. My DS hasn't had anything to do with him for 20 years. All 3 have a very good loving relationship with me.

I was simply stating my opinion that a 14 year old is capable of deciding if they want to visit their parent and IMO it accomplishes nothing to try to convince them. IF she wanted to spend time with you and her dad I doubt her mom could keep her from letting you know that. IF she did, that would be a good reason to fight for it.


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RE: Priceless.......

I completely disagree. A 14 year old is still a child. So is a 15 year old. And a 16 year old. And a 17 year old. They are still children and as a child they take their cues from their parents. In some cases, like Ashley's, they take their cues from a toxic parent. However, in cases where a child "decides" at the tender age of 14 that they do not want to visit the other parent, then I feel that it's the custodial parent's responsibility to foster the relationship (barring abuse and like circumstances, etc.). That might sound somewhat harsh, but children need guidance with a loving hand. Deciding to discontinue a relationship with a parent is NOT a decision a child should be making. Once they turn 18, then the choice is theirs. Why would anyone think to give a child this kind of power??? What a fertile breeding ground for future issues.


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RE: Priceless.......

Why is it the custodial parent's responsibility to foster the relationship? If at 14 (or 15, 16, 17) a child decides that they don't want to visit the other parent, there are obviously issues. A child just doesn't decide out of the blue that they don't want to visit the other parent. While we may disagree with their reasons, there are always reasons. Forcing them won't have good results for either the custodial or non-custodial parent. The noncustodial parent needs to get to the root of the problem and work to fix it if it is fixable. I have a 10 year old who doesn't want to visit her dad and she has her reasons. Forcing her to visit doesn't help their relationship, just causes her to resent me and dislike him more. There is a good reason that courts don't normally force kids that age to visit the other parent if they are adamantly against it.


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RE: Priceless.......

although i believe here is mom's toxic influence i believe there is more to this story and I mentioned it before. I think we only address one part of the issue.

My relationship with DD is up to me. X's relationship with DD is up to him. If i would not have close relationship with DD, it wouldn't be X's fault. It is wrong to discourage a relationship but it is not up to me to make sure DD loves and misses her dad. It is just not my place.

i think one of the roots of the problem is that SD doesn't want to see her dad. But this problem was never addressed. It is always about how it is BM's fault. It is possible but what about SD's wishes? Why would she rather do cheerleading then see her dad?


I don't know. i was a custodial parent and DD and X had to travel to see each other (part of the time). If DD didn't see her dad for a longer period of time she used to cry in her room. She couldn't wait to see her dad. No force could stop her from seeing her dad (not like i ever tried but if i would, both she and X would raise hell). She was excited to talk to dad. ashley's SD doesn't even return his phone calls. She is 14. She doesn't need mom's permission to return phone calls. I think the saddest part of the story is that SD is not close to her dad.

It is not about geographical distance, it is about emotional distance. Some of DD's friends never wanted to see their dads yet they lived close by. you can live in the same house and be far away emotionally. It is very sad.

i don't know how to fix it.


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RE: Priceless.......

Actually I've always been under the impression that the court will uphold the visitation plan regardless of whether the noncustodial parent pays child support and regardless of the "wishes" of the child and/or custodial parent (barring abuse). It is very hard to have supervised visitation granted, etc. Many posters on this board can attest to this. For a judge to decide to eliminate visitation with the noncustodial parent just because a 10 year old doesn't want to see her father seems quite unreal.

If your 10 year old decides she no longer wants to brush her teeth - will you discard her tooth brush for her? If she decides that she no longer wishes to attend school - will you help her burn her school books?? Just because a child doesn't want to do something does not mean that a parent should just shrug their collective shoulders and declare "she obviously has her reasons."


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RE: Priceless.......

As I said before I think CP should encourage visits (absent issues), but that is all. Again, some flags here. Dad not speaking to his older son.

Also, Ashley -- I see it one sided to critizie mom for lisening in on phone calls, when as you say, dad is angry with FSD for not coming up wiht days to visit -- that is not FSDs responsiblity. If dad cant agree with mom, he has to consult attorney, not blame FSD. Mom may just be trying to protect FSD by listening in.

Sometimes people have to accept that people change. Dad may not be the same guy he was when FSD was younger.


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visitations

lonepiper,
I agree that courts will uphold visitations but how are you going to drag a 14-year-old and older anywhere? And if there was never any agreement about visitations, how could courts uphold somehting what is not there? ashley's DH never had any agreements.

Yes I was surprised to hear that his older son is estranged from him. I assume it is with the different BM and he is an adult. I agree with KK, it is a red flag right there.

now ashley i think you should just focus on your wedding. Your DH's relationship wiht his children is up to him, you don't need this aggravation before the wedding.


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RE: Priceless.......

I disagree that if a teenager decides not to have contact that there are issue or reasons- teenagers are notoriously capricious, looking to the short term and also not a little self-centred- if a teenager decides s/he prefers to spend time with friends rather than family it does not mean s/he likes the friends better or that s/he dislikes the family, rather that s/he is only considering the short-term goal of spending time with friends.
As an adoptee, I never seriously looked for my BM because I always felt it would hurt my (adopted) mother. This was never voiced by her that I can consciously recall but with her personality I thought at heart that if I did look for my BM that my mother would consider herself invalidated as my mother. So I didn't. And now that I am 48 and my mother has been gone for over six years, I still haven't.
So I can see that if a child senses (rightly or wrongly) that her/his custodial parent doesn't want her/him to have contact with her/his non-custodial parent, s/he will find excuses not to. I can also see that if a child is swept up in the excitement of a new hobby/activity, previous commitments or obligations will fly out the window. Combine the two, and the previous commitment is toast.
I do think that in later years once the teenage hormones have settled down (or possibly even before) if she does not attend that Ashley's SD would regret not attending her Dad's wedding and might even wish that the adults in her life had been a little more proactive in guiding her to make better decisions for her long-term happiness.


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RE: Priceless.......

lonepiper, at 10, DD really has no say, but usually at age 12 (may be a year or two older in some states), the child does have a say in visitation and custody. This is a much more complicated issue than making a child brush their teeth. And no one is saying that the parents should throw up their hands. I am in total agreement with finedreams. Obviously if the child doesn't want to visit the noncustodial parent, its a sad situation. But it will not get fixed by forcing the child to visit. Take my DD for example. At 10, DD really has no say in visitation and so she is forced to go. She is unhappy the entire visit and when she comes back, as far as she is concerned he doesn't exist -- she has no desire to speak to him. Then next visit comes around and she is forced to go again. Did forcing her improve her relationship with her father? No, and it wont. Only the two of them can do that. And as the custodial parent, there is nothing I can do to make her like her father. They are missing that emotional connection, which has nothing whatsoever to do with me.


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Child vs Adult: And the winner is...

"I agree that courts will uphold visitations but how are you going to drag a 14-year-old and older anywhere?"

How do you drag a 14 year old and older anywhere? You don't. You explain to them that sometimes there are things they may not want to do (i.e., school, changing their underwear, showering, using the toilet instead of pooing in their pants, etc.) but a fundamental process of growing up is realizing that certain things are beyond their control and they sometimes have to do things they don't necessarily want to. We are NOT their friends. A parents job is to teach them the basics so they are ready for the "real world." Yeah, they may resent you (I know I resented my mom on occassion) and yeah, they may not like you (I remember those times also). But I was taught valuable life lessons and even though I didn't like a particular "lesson" my mom was trying to teach me, I trusted her enough to know that she had my best interests at heart and I did what I was told (regardless of my resentment). (A healthy dose of respect and a fear of the repercussions were also at the forefront of my mind as well!)

"And if there was never any agreement about visitations, how could courts uphold somehting what is not there? ashley's DH never had any agreements."

Oops, I forgot that Ashley's DH does not have an agreement (why doesn't he have an agreement???).


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Marie

I understand what you are saying. And yes, it is different than brushing one's teeth. I still think the custodial parent should not influence their child into disassociating from the other parent but I also understand what you said in your last post. Why does your daughter's father want visitation if he does not attempt to have a relationship with her?

I also completely agree with Colleen.

I need to amend something in my previous post - it is foolish of me to assume that everyone has their child's best interests at heart. Sometimes my own ignorance shocks me!


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RE: Priceless.......

coleenoz, this is completely different. you are talking about upsetting your MOTHER (and I believe your adopted mother was your REAL mother in a true sense of the word) by looking for a mother who gave birth to you. Like you would be replacing her. It is not the same as a mother and a father. When I talk to my father it doesn't upset my mother. You can have both parents. You compare apples and oranges.

yes parents job to teach them. I believe it is dad's job to teach her and build close relationship wiht her. You cannot possibly make her mother be the one solely responsible for her relationship with her father. His other son wiht different woman is estranged as well, whose job is to fix that, other BM's?

I agree that we need to explain to children why they need to do certain things but what trully bothers me is that she needs to be forced to see her dad. why is it so? and who is to force her? Mom? Why?


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RE: Priceless.......

Whew! So much to address here that has already been addressed. But I'll do my best.

KKNY - "Also, Ashley -- I see it one sided to critizie mom for lisening in on phone calls, when as you say, dad is angry with FSD for not coming up wiht days to visit -- that is not FSDs responsiblity. If dad cant agree with mom, he has to consult attorney, not blame FSD. Mom may just be trying to protect FSD by listening in."

If you read my last post it said "She said she has told FSD that she can come see FDH whenever she wants (yeah.....maybe she did, but then she follows it up with all these things they'll do while she's gone and boy won't they miss her...guilt-tripping her into not wanting to go)." BM IS THE ONE THAT HAS PUT THIS ALL ON FSD; NOT FDH. Since FSD left last year, FDH has tried to handle everything through BM. But BM is the one that has been putting it off on FSD. So, yes, you are right, it is one-sided of me. But that's because it IS one-sided.

gajopa - "I was simply stating my opinion that a 14 year old is capable of deciding if they want to visit their parent and IMO it accomplishes nothing to try to convince them. IF she wanted to spend time with you and her dad I doubt her mom could keep her from letting you know that. IF she did, that would be a good reason to fight for it."

The key words here that you said were "a 14 year old is capable of deciding if they want to visit their parent....." First, if a 14 year old is capable of making that decision, then why is she not capable of communicating that decision? That's the thing....she HASN'T made that decision. BM is making that decision for her because BM controls the means to get here. DUH! If FSD wants to come, she has to go through BM to get here. BM doesn't want her to come, therefore, it's too much hassle. Second, if a 14 year old is capable of making that decision, then she is also old enough to be accountable for the slew of lies she's told FDH over the last few months. Third, she is 14. She is easily bribed with things and trips and what-have-you. We don't have the money BM does and can't "bribe" her to come here. It's not as fun here as it is at home because she hasn't been here in over a year and has lost all her friends. Part of the other reason she lost her friends is because she has told them she's better than them now because she's changed and they're still "little girls". So if BM is offering diamond rings from Jared and camps and fishing and snowboarding and blah, blah, blah, then what's so fun about coming to Dad's house where we might just be able to afford to spend time together?

Lonepiper - "I completely disagree. A 14 year old is still a child. So is a 15 year old. And a 16 year old. And a 17 year old."

THANK YOU! Isn't there a reason why minors are considered minors? It's because they don't know what's best for themselves.

Lonepiper - "Oops, I forgot that Ashley's DH does not have an agreement (why doesn't he have an agreement???)."

I wrote above "I guess they don't have any orders on visitation because FDH hasn't wanted her to be unhappy about coming here. He talked to them at length before they moved and they swore up and down (BM, SF and FSD) that she would come here frequently and blah, blah, blah. FSD even cried that she didn't want courts involved." He has orders from when she lived here, but they were not revised when she moved. BM lied and had FSD lie to FDH about when they were moving until 2 weeks before they left. IMO (and my opinion has been verified more and more as time goes by), they lied and delayed so that FDH wouldn't have time to file papers and that when he did, FSD would already be an established resident of the other state and they could have the case moved there so it would be harder for FDH. That theory was all but verified when BM threw out "she's a resident of (insert state) now" when she was arguing with FDH last week.

As far as FDH's estrangement from his son, a lot of the blame for that falls on his DD's BM, as well. This is the story I got from FDH and other members of his family (including his SIL who was good friends with BM).

When they were dating and got married, BM was all for getting the son. He's always lived in another state and his visits were long, but infrequent. After he and BM got married and had their DD (she was about 2 or 3 and son was about 12 or 13), BM decided she didn't want the son around anymore. She told FDH that she didn't want the son to come here anymore and that she would have nothing to do with him if he did come. Who wants to bring their kid in a home where he's not wanted? So then every time FDH tried to go there to visit his son, BM would throw a fit and cause problems. That went on for a couple more years until they divorced when FSD was 5. But those years from age 12 or 13 to 15 or 16 did some damage. After the divorce, FDH was in constant contact with his son. Even gave him a car and went up for his graduation from High School. Just a couple of years ago the contact became sparse again. Basically because the son was busy working and then his GF got preggo. Everything has been fine since the baby was born, but with sporatic contact. We got pics and Christmas cards. FDH sent him a card for his b-day this month and an e-mail on Father's Day congratulating him on his 1st. He got a great e-mail back with pics of the baby, wedding news (getting married next year) and that they are pregnant with their 2nd. Things are getting better, but BM caused a lot of damage.

Not saying FDH isn't responsible some, but that's one of those situations where he should've fought harder for his kid and told BM to shove it up her a**!

Now, the funny thing is that if I would've told you all that story without the one about his DD, you would have chastised him for not trying harder. But now that he's trying harder with his DD, you say "don't force her". Give me a break!

On another note, thank you all for your support about the wedding. We booked our hotel yesterday and got an awesome deal at a resort! I'm so excited about it! Beautiful pools and hot tubs and beaches! Only $67 per night! Wooo hoooo!


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RE: Priceless.......

Ashley, what I said was if dad cant agree with mom, he has to see an attorney. Instead he chose to deal with FSD. You go on to whose fault it is, ignoring that dad is still trying to work out (or guilt - hard to tell) FSD into visiting.

I'm still unclear on the moving situation. I thought you said earlier that your FDH signed off on mom and FSD moving?


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RE: Priceless.......

FDH is going to see an attorney after we get back from the wedding. He already has consulted with one and has an appointment. He knows he was stupid to ever think that they would keep to their word.

Believe me, I'm not ignoring that he shouldn't be going through FSD. I know and he knows he shouldn't be doing that. But BM left him no choice. She always says "I'll talk to ____ and get back to you". So he figures it's better that HE talk to her from the start so she doesn't get the wrong information. That exact scenario happened when my brother so graciously offered to pay all of our plane tickets to visit for Thanksgiving. BM talked to FSD first and convinced her that she was with us the Thanksgiving before which wasn't true at all. She was with BM, SF and sister at the home of the director of that all-consuming extra-curricular activity she did for 4+ years. But because BM talked to her first, FSD decided not to go with us because it "isn't fair to my mom to be with you for 2 Thanksgivings in a row." Even though we told her it wasn't true, she wouldn't change her mind.

No, FDH never "signed off" on anything. He didn't have to. BM has sole-managing conservatorship. She can do what she wants when she wants and how she wants.

Now THAT is FDH's fault for being so stupid!


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RE: Priceless.......

lonepiper, I wish I had time to explain all the reasons why ex wants visitation but doesn't want to put in the effort to build a relationship with DD, but it would take much more free time than I have. One of the main reasons, which I understand from DD, is because of the type of career he has, he wants everyone to believe he is a great father -- a lie which he can't maintain if she doesn't visit (DD tells me that he lies to people about where she lives, where she goes to school, and all the things he has done for her or taught her (yeah right) when she is visiting). For them to build a good relationship, ex would have to change as a person, which I don't see happening any time soon. I saw this estrangement coming since she was a baby and tried to help him see that the way he treats her will just not work well with her personality. He has made no effort to change and compound that with the fact that he allows his new wife to treat DD like Cinderalla (I'm not kidding...like scrubbing the bathroom, etc. while her bio child does nothing and is treated like he can do no wrong) and you have an instant situation for estrangement. Because DD is the type of child that whether family or not, if she doesn't like you, she just doesn't care about having a relationship with you, there's just not much to be done on my part. But let him and his family tell it, its all my fault DD doesn't want to deal with him.


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RE: Priceless.......

Posted by ashley1979 (My Page) on Fri, Jun 19, 09 at 14:05

"But his son is 24 and largely estranged from SO at this point. SO calls, but never gets an answer and stuff like that. Things were getting better a few years ago, but now they've gone back to bad."

Posted by ashley1979 (My Page) on Wed, Jun 24, 09 at 11:40

"Everything has been fine since the baby was born, but with sporatic contact. We got pics and Christmas cards. FDH sent him a card for his b-day this month and an e-mail on Father's Day congratulating him on his 1st. He got a great e-mail back with pics of the baby, wedding news (getting married next year) and that they are pregnant with their 2nd."

I'm confused.


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RE: Priceless.......

Sorry about the confusion, gajopa. The "insert" function was on and when I went back to revise my wording I guess it typed over the end of the sentence. It was supposed to read "Things were getting better a few years ago, but now they've gone back to bad...with the exception of when the baby was born"

That was also written before the Father's Day e-mail and FDH has also had a phone conversation with him yesterday. So I guess things weren't as bad as he thought. Just 2 busy adults not able to connect.


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didn't DH have to agree for BM to move? I don't think she could move their child without his permission. How could it be possible? I was a custodial parent, yet I needed X's permission for me to move with DD. I don't think you could just move children away.

I don't believe that DH has to give up on SD and stop visitations. But one cannot force a teenager, it might be too late to enforce a relationship.

i am also confused. First SS is largelly estranged (your words) then all of a sudden everything is fine. I think we women have a tendency, when we love a man we want to convince ourselves that they could no wrong.

What if he buys a ticket and sends it to SD? would she come then?


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RE: Priceless.......

a custodial parent with full custody (sole physical and legal)/sole managing conservatorship can usually move without permission unless the order has restricted the child's residence to a certain town/city. you just need to notify the noncustodial parent of the move and provide new address, etc. in many situations, the visitation will need to be changed unless the order already has provisions dealing with long-distance visitation.

i made sure i got sole custody of DD so that I do not have to deal with ex trying to exert influence over where i live.


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RE: Priceless.......

Marie - exactly how did you make sure you received sole custody? Inquiring minds want to know!


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RE: Priceless.......

Yep, a custodial parent can relocate without permission of the ex if he/she has sole custody.

I have sole physical and legal custody of my DD and all I have to do is provide the sperm donor with my updated address and phone numbers.

Sounds like that's what Ashley's FDH's has, and why she was able to move away.


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RE: Priceless.......

lonepiper - shared legal custody (decision-making) is only in the child's best interests if the parents can work together to make decisions concerning the child. ex and I agree on nothing. therefore, court was not willing to give shared custody. that is more often than not the case. and when we have gone back to court and he complains that i dont give him information, the courts repeatedly tell him that we don't get along so he should get any information he is interested in on his own, which as father, he cannot be denied from schools, doctor, etc.) (i dont give him information because he's the type of person that for your own sanity you need to have 0 involvement with besides confirming visitation via email or text).


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RE: Priceless.......

My X and I have shared legal. It can also get the child in-state tuition in Xs state. Other benefits like that. I do have primary physical.


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That is interesting, marie. My DH and his ex do not get along at all---but the courts and GAL said shared legal was almost a guarantee. Sure enough, when BM's attorney brought up her having full legal cust. she got shot down, and vice versa with DH and his attorney. The GAL actually pushed for them to have shared legal...so they do!


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RE: Priceless.......

lovehadley, i understand that your DH and ex don't get along but I've never gotten the impression that they don't agree on things so far as child is concerned, which may explain it. the key is to demonstrate that the parties just cant agree when it comes to the child and that one parent more than the other would make better decisions. in our case there was overwhelming evidence of that. GAL and court recognized that we would be in court regarding every little decision if there was shared legal custody and ex is selfish and made many bad decisions where our DD was concerned. a good friend of mine recently got sole legal custody. at her hearing, her attorney appropriately focused on how difficult it was for them to reach any agreements regarding everything from the smallest thing regarding their child to large decisions such as school and that her ex could not be trusted to always put their child's needs first.

but so long as parents can cooperate for the best interests of the child, there will be shared legal custody. it is the default rule.


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RE: Priceless.......

Finedreams, once again you got the wrong end of the stick... (and pointing out that at no stage did I make any mention of "real" mother or otherwise- for the record the one who change my diapers and put up with me when I was a snotty teen is my real mother). My point is that if SD feels that by undertaking a particular course of action (in this case going to her BD and SM's wedding) she will upset her mother, this puts pressure on her not to do it, no matter how much she would LIKE to do it.


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RE: Priceless.......

In my wedding, it was between the man and the woman. Its OUR vows not the kids. SS was a ring bearer and SD was the flower girl. That was the extent of their involvement....and my Sd made a wondering speech for us at the wedding which made me cry! so yeah, i have real good memories with her.
ANd no, i dont beleive that sd should be placed in a position to make her uncomfortable like promises vows..or ceremony involving her to such an extent. I think if she truly feels put on the spot , then that is the reason for her not attending.
Why dont you invite her and ask her if she is not comfortable in takign part of hte ceremony, she sits it out and participates by just being there.
And again, if she dosn't want to attend, she's 14, she can do so and i kmnow it is breaking your dh's heart but its not fair to force someone and then be resentful for it. Do you want her misery overshadwoing your wedding day???? If she doesn't want to come...so be it. Its her loss. You extending the invite..afte that the ball is in her court. She will have to live with the decision she made this year for the rest of her life. Dont let it eat you...support your hubby when he's in pain and enjoy the day of your wedding!


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RE: Priceless.......

"but I've never gotten the impression that they don't agree on things so far as child is concerned, which may explain it."

Hahahaha.

They have a hard time agreeing on much of anything.

BM enrolled SS in her school district, without consulting DH. Once DH found out, he was livid. Big court issue w/the GAL and initially the GAL said yes, he can stay in mom's district, but he needs to be in K again, not 1st. BM refused to have him repeat K.

Three monts later the GAL totally reversed his decision and gave DH residential custody for schooling purposes.

Seems to me school district is a big issue and they coudl not agree on that.

Let's see, last summer, DH enrolled SS in a 2 week day camp, and BM refused to take him.

She withheld DH's parenting time for 3.5 weeks last summer just to be spiteful because DH was taking her to court over school district and to get the parenting plan in writing.

DH now wants SS to repeat 1st grade, BM says no way. So this is the next issue, I'm sure.

The counselor SS was seeing told BM flat out she needs to stop putting her child in the middle, and she also flat out told BM that DH is the more reasonable parent, and BM needs to work on her reactions to things.

They do not get along, and the courts still wanted to hear nothing about one parent having sole legal. I think the bottom line is, the courts really, really want the parents to (be forced) to work together.


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RE: Priceless.......

My X and I have a "joint managing conservatorship" with me having primary physical custody. In short, it means I have to consult X (and he has to consult me) on every decision regarding DS.

Would it make my life easier if I had sole managing conservatorship? Sure. Would it be right for me to take his rights as a parent away from him just because I wanted to have all the control? No. Has he ever done anything to show me that he doesn't have the best interest of our son at heart? No. Do I agree with everything he says? No, of course not. It was the same way before I got pregnant, before marriage, during marriage and after marriage. We don't always agree, but we both have DS's best interest at heart, although we may not agree on how to go about it. Parenting is about compromise.

Sole managing conservatorship basically strips the other parent of all parental rights other than visitation and CS. Other than that, FDH has no authority over anything where FSD is concerned. And BM has made sure FSD knows this.

Look, I do tend to side with the man I love. Who doesn't? But, to be honest and fair, I am a very analytical person and I don't just side with people because I love them. I am on FDH's side because he is right. From every angle I look at it, he has done nothing malicious and has only had the best interest of his child at heart, even down to the stupid things he's done to get himself in this situation.

Colleen - you hit the nail on the head! When Swine Flu was a big problem, FDH offered to drive out there and pick her up because the excuse then was she couldn't get on a plane because of Swine Flu. So when he offered to pick her up, then it was all kinds of activities she couldn't miss and a trip to Vegas with her mom, SF and sister. This was directly from BM; not FSD.


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RE: Priceless.......

"Look, I do tend to side with the man I love. Who doesn't? But, to be honest and fair, I am a very analytical person and I don't just side with people because I love them. I am on FDH's side because he is right. From every angle I look at it, he has done nothing malicious and has only had the best interest of his child at heart, even down to the stupid things he's done to get himself in this situation"

Well said, Ashley. I feel the same way regarding my DH's situation with BM. Do I think he is a perfect parent? No. I think he has made mistakes, as all parents do, but never have I thought he doesn't have his son's best interest at heart. And I do recognize that BM loves her son---I just think she is so overwhelemed with her behavioral issues, and her addiction to alcohol that she can't think clearly. "Stinking thinking" is what the GAL referred to it as--an alcoholic who is not in recovery is not capable of making good choices. Period.

Ashley, it sounds like you and your ex work well together, and that is great. It shows that you are both mature, level-headed people.


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reply

"Look, I do tend to side with the man I love. Who doesn't? But, to be honest and fair, I am a very analytical person and I don't just side with people because I love them. I am on FDH's side because he is right. From every angle I look at it, he has done nothing malicious and has only had the best interest of his child at heart, even down to the stupid things he's done to get himself in this situation"

Well said, Ashley. I feel the same way regarding my DH's situation with BM. Do I think he is a perfect parent? No. I think he has made mistakes, as all parents do, but never have I thought he doesn't have his son's best interest at heart. And I do recognize that BM loves her son---I just think she is so overwhelemed with her behavioral issues, and her addiction to alcohol that she can't think clearly. "Stinking thinking" is what the GAL referred to it as--an alcoholic who is not in recovery is not capable of making good choices. Period.

Ashley, it sounds like you and your ex work well together, and that is great. It shows that you are both mature, level-headed people.


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RE: Priceless.......

ashley, I don't think anyone disagrees that joint custody is ideal, but it is just that, an ideal. It simply does not work well in many situations and in the end, if the parents can't compromise to make decisions, the only person that it hurts is the child. Therefore, where it doesn't make sense, one responsible parent should be given sole custody. I didn't write the laws, but to me it makes sense. Thanks to sole custody, DD is a happy, well-adjusted child. I can't say with any confidence that that would be the result if her father and I had joint custody.

On another note, I would never again have a child with someone with whom I did not share a similar life outlook and parenting philosphy, nor would I suggest that anyone do that. The children are the ones who suffer because of such incompatibility.


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RE: Priceless.......

Oh wow, well congrats Ashley!

I don't know what to say about your FSD as it sounds like she definitely wants to be there. What a difficult situation.

I hope you fully enjoy your day no matter what happens!


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