attempt at parenting settlement coming up

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sevenyears

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attempt at parenting settlement coming up
« on: January 29, 2020, 02:33:38 AM »
Well, tomorrow, we have another round of a settlement attempt on parenting responsibilities. I wanted a parenting schedule where the kids are primarily with me, but the court was unlikely to grant that. So, I agreed to keep the current 50/50 arrangement with shared legal custody, and asked for something called the decision making authority. Even with this authority, we still have to agree on decisions - at least it gives me a little bit of support. uocpd xh also wants this authority. I've been breaking down all his arguments and building the case why I should be awarded this. I'm still working on the financial aspects though. The judge is really pushing us to settle. I don't want to give in or give up my rights to someone who bullies me into doing what he wants. He doesn't cooperate, and actively works to undermine me. I've told my lawyer during the past round that if we don't settle, I want to go to trial. I don't think she was being particularly helpful one way or another. I will remind her of that today.

Meanwhile uocpd xh and I met with our foster (long-term) daughter's social worker recently. I told her about some of the anger issues DD7 is having, uocpd xh said she has no trouble when she is with him. Well, the social worker wants to speak with DD next week in order to make a recommendation whether she needs therapy. I've been telling DD that her role is to tell the truth when she talks to the social worker. On one hand, I'm relieved because now we've started the path to getting DD some extra support. On the other hand, I'm nervous because I've made a couple of parenting mistakes (who hasn't), and wonder what xh is doing to manipulate her. Last week, she was angry with me and told me that she would tell the social worker that I beat her. I told her she could tell the social worker that she is angry with me and why (foster children transfer their anger with the FOO to the foster parents), and reminded her that she needs to speak the truth.

DS4 has been having trouble since mid-December at kindergarten saying good bye in the mornings. The KG teacher has become impatient at drop offs. I asked her to be patient since there is still so much turmoil in DS's life. Turmoil wasn't the word that I used, rather I explained how much is going on for him and about the weekly transfers and changes and, and and...
« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 02:40:57 AM by sevenyears »

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athene1399

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Re: attempt at parenting settlement coming up
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2020, 10:12:31 AM »
Seven,

It may be helpful to think about some things you are willing to compromise on and things you absolutely will not compromise on. And do not feel guilty on the stuff you won't compromise on. Another thing is ask your L what will/may change if it goes to trial. When BM petitioned for custody and it went to trial, even though she was petitioning for joint custody with her as custodial guardian, since it went to trial, if SO lost BM would be awarded full custody. That's just how our state law is I guess. I don't know if that's because she was petitioning or if that's just the way it is no matter what. So just check with your L in case that occurs in your state/situation as well.

I think it's good that DD will be speaking with the social worker. I am sorry she is threatening you by saying she will say you are beating her when that is not happening. But I think that shows that she does need T. I hope they are able t help her.

I also hope the teacher become more patient with DS. That is sad that the teacher is impatient. DS is going through a lot. Maybe ask the teacher if there's anything you can do to help the transition at drop off. Even without everything going on, some kids don't handle being dropped off places well. The teacher may have some suggestions on how to prepare him for the transition.

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Penny Lane

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Re: attempt at parenting settlement coming up
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 05:21:02 PM »
sevenyears, if you want to say - how did it go?

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sevenyears

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Re: attempt at parenting settlement coming up
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2020, 05:50:00 PM »
Athene - thanks for your advice, and Penny, thanks for checking in. Kids had time off from school for a winter break, so I've been busy with them. :-)

As for the settlement - we went backwards and around in circles. I ended up accepting/proposing through my L some of the financial aspects that uocpd xh wanted. He refused, and insisted on keeping the decision making authority for himself. HIs L kept trying to provoke me. I responded each time that I disagreed and that I had a different experience with him. At one point, the judge proposed a financial arrangement, which xh shot down. I kept relatively ok while sitting in front of the judge. At one point, my L recommended that we go to mediation. L was not with me before the divorce when we went through 9 months of awful mediation. I asked for a break and went into the hall and cried. L told me she proposed mediation because if the judge were to decide at that point, she might decide in his favor because there were no other options since he disagreed with her original suggestion. WTF?? Anyway, I agreed to try mediation again since the judge seems rather biased in his favor already - at least in the divorce case. The judge was skeptical that we can agree on anything. She gave us an appointment in 2 months to either endorse our agreement, or decide for us, or go to trial.

On a (hopefully) positive note, DD has an appointment tomorrow with her social worker to determine whether or not to get her additional support. She's scared. Admittedly here, I am nervous. The social support system hasn't been very supportive. This is the same social worker who earlier seemed to be helping me extract myself and kids from the toxic home environment before threatening to take DD and DS into temporary foster custody.  Ever the optimist, I'm hoping for the best tomorrow.

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athene1399

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Re: attempt at parenting settlement coming up
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 09:55:31 AM »
Seven, I am so sorry you cried, but it's  good to realize you needed a break and took it to express the emotions you were feeling.  Even though mediation is not what you wanted, maybe it will help to show the judge that you can be reasonable and are wiling to compromise while your ex is not. Court can be so stressful. Make sure you make time for self-care and relaxation.

I hope the meeting with the SW goes well with DD. I hope they give her additional support.