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Need any opinion on a messy case

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by YO0305, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. YO0305

    YO0305 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Arizona
    The situation is the following:

    My husband and his ex wife divorced almost 8 years ago in Texas. She remarried a year after and moved kids to Arizona to her new husband without informing my husband in reasonable amount of time. Basically, she told him that she was planning to permanently move just a week before the actual move. For some reason his attorney at the time said that he couldn’t do anything about it. Anyways, he left his job in Texas and got another one closer to the kids in California (he’s in oil business, so Texas and California are really the only options). Since that moment his ex had started trying to reduce his already significantly reduced parenting time.

    Summer 2012: they didn’t agreed on the time of her picking up kids from California, he showed up at the agreed spot, but she just left without kids because she “had other obligations in Arizona”. My husband told her that she could pick up kids any time she wanted but he couldn’t drive at business hours (forgot to mention, she never worked and is unemployed). The next day she filed a motion for enforcement because she felt that my husband was responsible for the kids delivery (14 hours round trip). After couple thousands spent on attorney, he solved the issue pursuading her to drive half way (like it had to happen originally).

    Summer 2014: one of the kids found an empty beer bottle and licked it, later he told his mother that now he knew how the alcohol tastes. At night we got the police at our house saying that they got a call about a drunk boy in our house. They interviewed the kids the next day, figured out the situation and said that the call was from the kid’s mother. No report was filed because no criminal activity was detected.

    Summer 2015: my husband was laid off. We decided to move to Arizona to save money and be closer to the kids. She refused to modify child support or parenting time in mediation so we had to file papers with the court.

    Spring 2016: she lied to us about the length of kids new spring break (they were supposed to spend it with us). She took them somewhere in Utah and instead of 2 weeks we only got them for one.

    Fall 2016: we moved to Arizona and agreed on 50/50 parenting time. In a week she filed a complain with DCS stating that I was abusing the children. It was found unsubstantiated.

    Summer 2017: my husband finally got a job offer in California. We made a conscious decision not to inform his ex about it, because the new order was sign only in March 2017 and we didn’t have another $10k for attorney. We didn’t want to come back to the schedule where we basically had the kids for 20%. We maintained the 2-2-5-5 schedule pretty successfully for over a year.

    August 2018: she found out that my husband got a new job. So she filed for:
    - injunction against harassment against me based on the same claims she made in 2016 (it was granted and then dismissed at the hearing a week later)
    - emergency temporary modification of parenting time based on the injunction against harassment (was dismissed)
    - change of legal decision making based on the same injunction(she wants sole custody now)
    - change of parenting time
    - 2 different filings for increase child support with different numbers each.

    September 2018: we were supposed to have kids for Labor Day weekend. She checked them out of school early and took them somewhere for camping. We called the police but most probably she won’t be charged with anything.

    October 2018: she started requesting her first right of residual. Basically if the parent doesn’t spend the night with kids, we should offer her that time. (Note: she never gave us that right, she always used her husband or other relatives). Obviously my husband can’t fly home every day on week days, but he occasionally does. He sent her the ticket but she said it was fake and checked kids out of school again. We called the police, but again, probably nothing will happen.

    We agreed to send her tickets and boarding passes by 9 am on our parenting days to avoid stressing out the kids with police involvement.

    Today he sent her all that info at 8:10 am california time. It happened to be 9:10 am arizona time. She decided she had the right to have kids anyway. After being on the phone with 3 different officers for the whole day, she dropped off kids at our house without any message or call at 9:30 pm...

    I’m really sorry for that long reading. We are stressed, kids are extremely stressed. We can’t plan anything because we constantly fight this battle trying to go on with our own life. We have an attorney and since the last court order of 2017 we’ve already spent $10k+.
    The questions I have:

    Is there any way to stop her from reporting all that bull crap?

    Can my husband be rewarded a sole custody based on these situations?

    Any personal legal experience and outcomes are really appreciated.

    I understand that they are supposed to communicate, but it’s literally impossible at that point. She tells kids about court and how bad we are, she tells them that their father abandoned them, she told kids to call her new husband dad... There’s simply no relationship between us.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No.

    No.

    There is an inherent bias in the US court system for awarding custody to the mother. The mother has to be a proven drug addict, drunk, or in jail before the courts will take her children away from her.

    No. My kids were already adults by the time I got divorced.

    But I've been on these legal websites for 18 years and have read thousands of stories just like this one. There is no solution to a hostile lunatic ex wife. Sometimes you need the wisdom to accept that which you cannot change and hope that the kids aren't basket cases by the time they become adults and can make their own decisions about when and where they see their father.
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  3. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    You do realize that you are nobody legally in this? Step-parents are considered 'legal strangers' in this kind of situation. Only the parents have any rights to their children.

    LEO will not do much of anything but let the parents know that this is a civil matter, not a criminal matter. There might be a report written up, but other than that....
     
    leslie82 and army judge like this.
  4. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    There are a couple issues here that seem to be a theme. Understand that the court order rules the day. If it ain't in the order, it doesn't have to happen. If it is in the order, it must happen. Anything not mentioned in the order your husband needs to work out with the mother of his children like a responsible adult. If that is not possible, then one or both will need to file with the court to let the court decide. If either party no longer likes some aspect of the order, they must file to have it modified by the court.

    Verbal agreements carry zero weight. Things that would merely be a common courtesy carry no weight. Even adjustments as a change of circumstance carry no weight until a court agrees and modifies the order. If the order is violated the court is the appropriate venue to adjudicate that wrong, not the police. The police do not enforce custody agreements.

    If the order specifies notice must be given before a move, it must be given, otherwise, you can relocate to the moon next Tuesday for all it matters. The other party can file with the court to modify custody based on your decision, but that is it. If your husband loses his job he needs to file to have his child support modified accordingly, otherwise he owes the same amount he always did. If the agreement specifies drop off and pick up location and who pays for transportation (the parent who relocated is most of the time responsible- meaning your husband moving to CA would put him on the hook for this no matter how much free time you think the ex has) that is what happens. Sounds like he needs to get this into an agreement if it isn't already there.
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  5. YO0305

    YO0305 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for you response,

    Sorry for not making it clear right away. There were several orders since their divorce and since her move to Arizona. Child support was adjusted many times. So the examples I gave are out of the question. We both try to communicate with her but she either accuses us of something or simply ignores. Current order says they are supposed to respond to each other within 48 hours, but she ignores that, so as many other obligations specified on the current order. Our attorney says that judges are not interested in digging into such small things. Currently they have 50/50 legal decision making and 50/50 physical custody. I’ve read, though, that in case if any small question causes arguement and the solution can’t be found (which is pretty much our situation) the court might award just one parent with legal decision making. Unlike her we are not trying to decrease her time with kids, but I think that if my husband got a sole legal decision making, it would eliminate further arguements. So what I was wondering was whether the above documented situations have any chance to show in court that the mother actively tries to stop the relationship between the kids and their father? And therefore, whether my husband has a chance to have sole legal decision making.

    rry
     
  6. YO0305

    YO0305 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for your response,

    Of course, I realize that legally I’m nobody, I use “we” mostly to indicate the point where I was a witness. First, she tried to get my husband in trouble while he was single. After we married and I became a primary caregiver (I cook for kids, I take to/from school, I help with their homework, I buy clothes for them, etc.) she switched on to me.
    Yesterday we got a response from the detective saying that he had sent all the information regarding the Labor Day situation to the district attorney’s office and supposedly he’s working on the second accation. He qualified it as 1 class misdemeanor.
    So what you’re saying is that unless it’s come serious crime, there’s no chance to prove that she’s not interested in kids-father communication and for my husband to get a sole-legal decision making? We not trying to decrease her parenting time, by the way.

    nks f
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You should CEASE communicating with the mother of the children.

    If she chooses NOT to respond to the father, HIS option is to HIRE a lawyer, or simply CEASE communicating with her, too.

    The trouble that has been heaped upon your family and the abuse may have grown so immense that even the father must CEASE any and all communications with the mother and the children, IF you and he wish to lead a normal life.

    Once the children become adults, he can explain to them why he had to CEASE communications with their mother.

    You can't cure crazy, stupidity, or meanness.

    At some point all the father might choose to do is pay court ordered child support to avoid being arrested, investigated, feeding lawyers, and living with chaos in your family!
     
  8. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Co Parenting can be near impossible when one or both are not willing to play fair. You need to remove yourself from this situation as any involvement can hurt him! He needs to hire an Attorney and work on his goal through that Attorney. Until that time he should follow ALL court orders to the letter and document everything. Save text,emails, voice messages etc.
     
  9. YO0305

    YO0305 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Appreciate your input.

    We do have an attorney, and we do follow the orders to the letter. However, so far it looks like even if she breaks every single obligation in this order and my husband doesn’t, it doesn’t really matter for the court. Nobody in above responses thinks it can affect the change of legal decision making.
     
  10. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Your attorney (not a forum site ) is your BEST resource for legal questions
     
  11. YO0305

    YO0305 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I don’t think we can just cease the communication, the order specified that we have to communicate with her. For the last 4 month, since she’s started another modification, she wasn’t following anything that wouldn’t get her arrested. I was thinking maybe there’s away to somehow get her evaluated by psychologist, because this behavior is not normal at all and there’s no obvious reason for that.
    Paying child support is another issue we have with her that I didn’t mention before, since this topic is just about the custody. Over the last 8 years my husband paid her above $500k in child support, he was also mostly responsible for the medical insurance, travel expenses, extra curriculum activities, etc, because she always claims to be unemproved. Meanwhile, she’s married to a wealthy guy who covers all her and kids expenses. We don’t have a dept in child support, but we can hardly cover our own expenses, while she’s unemployed and technically owns half of the properties on $1 million, all being purchased in the last 2 years... according to our attorney (with a very good reputation and rating) the court won’t look into it as well.
    The only reason I’m on this forum is see if other people ever got any success and justice in the court. So far, with all our money spent, the only response we get from the attorneys is “well, sorry”.
     
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    There it is. Wish I had a buck for every time I read that story.The same old lament from the second wife about all the money that's going to the ex-wife and his children. Well, you married him knowing he had children to support and an ex-wife that was already making trouble for him before you married him. You're like the people who buy houses near the airport and then complain about the jets flying overhead. Sigh.
     
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  13. YO0305

    YO0305 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I hoped for a civil discussion and relevant advise and not analysis of my life and intentions.
    I didn’t know there were such problems (because by the time of our marriage it wasn’t a problem), I didn’t know she would be calling the police on me and filing court papers against me while in fact parasitiing not just on my husband’s income but on mine as well. I married a person whose kids’ presence was 20%, I didn’t know it would become 50%. I gave up my friends, family and well-paid job to live with him. Obviously, I did it to complain about the money and his ex... In my native country an unemployed mother with no intention to provide for her children would never become a custodial parent. So, I guess you can poke my nose in the fact that it didn’t cross my mind to check his divorce decree and it’s modifications. I also was stupid enough not to dive into the research of family law of a foreign country.
    We always accepted whatever child support was assigned knowing that she never enclosed her real income and that she basically worked the system every time.
    That’s why my question was about legal decision making and not child support. Change in legal decision making doesn’t modify the amount of child support if schedule isn’t changed. And as I said before, we aren’t trying to change 50/50 schedule. In fact even if it was modified, and we had the majority of the time with kids, my husband would still have to pay her child support, because her unemployed status will never change.
    But yeah, it’s of course about money. Hope that realization pleases your ego - you got me.
    I appreciate your previous input, but it doesn’t look like you’re interested in helping any further.
     
  14. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    NO ONE here can help you! Any help on this legal issue has to come from your Attorney!
     
  15. YO0305

    YO0305 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We have an attorney, so far it’s not very helpful. It’s a complicated case, and even our attorney with 22+ years of experience can’t predict our chances. I consider personal experience of people in similar situations (especially people from Arizona) very useful.
     
  16. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Then maybe a "legal"forum is not what you seek. This site host a "parenting" site. Parent Nook Forums - Index page they deal with parenting and issues but not from a legal angle. You might find other parents there who have had similar situations and learn how they dealt with them.
     
  17. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    An attorney cannot help this OP, since she is a legal stranger. An attorney could help her husband aka Dad, but not her.
     
  18. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    I respectfully disagree an Attorney can answer these questions if asked. I agree the legal status of OP is naught. However as the link below describes they have much invested as well and care as well. I dont understand why many mistreat Step parents on forums.

    Step Parents and legal forums | Parent Nook
     
  19. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    No one can predict your chances unless they have the ability to see into the future...
     

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