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Man divorce sucks sometimes!


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Not mine.  My son's friend's parents.  Nasty, nasty divorce.  Son's friend (I will call him Fred) lives primarily at dad's house.  Mom seems to have some control issues (possibly mental issues, but I haven't spent a whole lot of time with her.). Anyway, kids don't like being with mom, but go one weekend a month and one afternoon per week after school.  Meanwhile, there is a lot of arguing and fighting.

Mom says to me, "If Fred is at your house, you need to let me know so I can come get him and he can be at MY house!"

Um, if it isn't her day, that isn't my job, right?  

It is going on right now.....he is here for New Year's and she says she is going to come over and get him and MAKE him come to her house, when it isn't her turn to have him.  

And she is so mean to the kids, verbally and emotionally.....I can't even tell you all she has done, but I am not one to lightly say parents are mean......and dad is way too permissive to compensate for her controlling behavior.  It is such. horrible mess for the kids.

JAWM.  if you ask too many questions, I can't really respond on a public board about the details.....I have given the overview. 

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My dad when he was teaching could not released the kid to the wrong custodial parent or the other parent would come after the school. His gated public school has police on duty because of non-custodial parents trying to grab kids from school. 

It’s not only not your job, it puts you into a mess if she really comes to your home and try to grab the kid 😞

Edited by Arcadia
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Just now, Arcadia said:

 

My dad when he was teaching could not released the kid to the wrong custodial parent or the other parent would come after the school. His gated public school has police on duty because of non-custodial parents trying to grab kids from school. 

It’s not only not your job, it puts you into a mess if she really comes to your home and try to grab the kid 😞

 

We have the same policy, but in this case, technically both parents are custodial and both are on the release forms.  

They WILL be fighting for custody later in the year, and I really wonder what is going to happen.

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Tell mom you will only release kiddo to the parent that authorized the visit.

If you got kiddo from dad, only release to the dad. If you got kiddo from mom (which sounds like it will never happen), then only release to her. The parents can work out the transportation between homes.

If mom gets mad, then tell her this is your standing rule for all split families. It doesn't mean you can't have other 'exception rules' for other families.  It is just your 'standing rule'. 

Under no circumstance would I let mom put you in between them. Block her number if you need to. 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

My dad when he was teaching could not released the kid to the wrong custodial parent or the other parent would come after the school. His gated public school has police on duty because of non-custodial parents trying to grab kids from school. 

It’s not only not your job, it puts you into a mess if she really comes to your home and try to grab the kid 😞

this is more common that people realize.

I was talking to a grandmother who picks her grandkids up from school.  she thought it was such a nice policy how the school would call kids who weren't reported absent. . .I used to be a parent volunteer making those phone calls.   they call because of non-custodial parent grabbing kids  (if the office person calls - they generally know who the at-risk kids are, and will only call them).  and they make the parent show ID to sign a kid out early for the same reason.

our district used to have extremely open building plans - with outdoor hallways.  (hello?  PNW - what part of "it rains most of the school year dont' you get???)  now - the only way in is through the office.  lots of exterior doors, but they are kept locked from the outside and can only be opened with a keycard.

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I hate when parents use their kids as pawns in their arguments. It's my least favorite divorce thing. My parents didn't do everything right by far and both of them slipped up and badmouthed each other sometimes when we were kids, but I give them massive credit for never making us into pawns in some game between them - especially having seen so many horror stories play out.

Poor "Fred." Yeah, I'd try to emphasize that you're not going to play her games.

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8 hours ago, Slache said:

How is it going? I can't stop thinking about you and poor Fred.

 

Sorry, it was a crap show last night.  I couldn't get on here due to both parents shooting me texts and calls until almost 2am.  I didn't sleep well.  I was asked to lie by one parent and said no, I would not lie.  

One parent way too controlling and mean, one far too permissive......makes me more and more thankful for my husband.

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So......here is my biggest problem......this is my first time being in a situation where I wasn't friends with one of the parents first.  Normally I am friends with one of them, and, even if I feel they have some culpability, I have a "side" to take out of loyalty.  

This time I don't.  I am on the kids' side for sure, but it gets murky when both parents are telling me different things about the other one and asking me to be stuck in the middle.  While it isn't fair, I have no plans to cut out this family as we really like their child.  And I feel horrible for him and his siblings.  

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13 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

How would the mom even know the kid was at your house if it’s not her night? Is she texting the kid 24/7? It sounds like she needs to be on a need-to-know basis for everything. Does she have your address? 

 

I can't answer that without giving some specific details I don't want to give on a public forum.  

And yes, she has been to my house, so she knows where I live.  

it got really ugly last night and is continuing into this am......I am praying about how to handle everything.  I feel like I know both sides better now and both need a lot of help that neither seems to be willing to seek.  

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Wow, what a terrible situation. 

Would it work to say, "I can not be in the middle of your conflicts, and I won't be. If Dad makes arrangements for Billy to be at our house, I'm only going to be talking to Dad about it, and will only change plans if Dad asks me to. Likewise, if Mom makes arrangements . . . Unless law enforcement instruct me otherwise, I won't be giving Billy to the "other" parent without the dropping off parent's instruction. Billy has a cell phone. Please contact HIM if you want to, but please do not contact ME."

Then, stop answering your phone/texts. If they leave a message, read/listen (within reason), but do NOT respond unless there is some emergency that requires a change of plans. You could wait an hour, then send a quick text back .  . .

8PM text from Mom: "I hear Billy is at YOUR house! I'm home and could have him! I want to come pick him up right now!"

9PM text from you: "You need to deal directly with Billy or Joe (Billy's dad). As I've said, I won't be in the middle of these issues. Please don't call/text unless it is an emergency."

Give Mom (and Dad) a handful of similar interactions to "learn" to respect your limits. If they don't learn, then block their numbers.

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3 minutes ago, StephanieZ said:

8PM text from Mom: "I hear Billy is at YOUR house! I'm home and could have him! I want to come pick him up right now!"

9PM text from you: "You need to deal directly with Billy or Joe (Billy's dad). As I've said, I won't be in the middle of these issues. Please don't call/text unless it is an emergency."

 

I am worried the mom would turn up at OP’s house if OP did not respond to her text. Sounds like they stay close by and the mom is controlling enough to come by and harass.

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3 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

I am worried the mom would turn up at OP’s house if OP did not respond to her text. Sounds like they stay close by and the mom is controlling enough to come by and harass.

 

Indeed, if that happened, I'd call Dad, leave my door locked, and call the cops to report the situation and ask what I'm supposed to do. I would NOT be handing over a minor child to the "other" parent in this sort of situation w/o instructions to do so from the parent and/or the cops. 

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I am so sorry you are experiencing this.  Fred is lucky to have your son for a friend and that you are welcoming him in your home despite your having to deal with this.  It must be a wonderful relief to him when he is there.

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It is standard in some jurisdictions to write a clause into custodial agreements that the other parent has the first right to babysit the kids. My parents had a clause like that, and my bio father tried to use it to prevent us from visiting friends or spending the night at friends' houses; he insisted that anytime we weren't with our mom, we were required to be with him. That isn't the intention of those clauses, but just throwing that out there as a possibility. 

Holiday custodial arrangements can be particularly contentious. My parents called the police on each other a lot and in hindsight 75% of those police calls/visits occurred over the Christmas/New Years holidays. Emotions are so high, and often each parent is certain that the other parent is cheating them out of holiday time with the kids. I know you want to support this kid, but I would be wary of hosting him overnight during the holidays. That puts you right in the middle of the parents' custodial dispute. Save the overnights for a regular non-holiday weekend.

Hopefully things will calm down once a custodial agreement is finalized. In the meantime, I would expect emotions to run high, and the parents to act pretty selfishly. Fred is lucky to have a good friend and a calm place to go. I had a wonderful family who was my refuge (as long as my bio father didn't know I was there), and they did so much by just quietly letting me be in their home.

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This is bringing back memories of those days for our blended family.  It is really painful to be the parent who rarely sees the children and then find out the custodial parent has gone away for the weekend and left your children in the care of a new step grandmother or some such.  Dh finally got a clause written into the custody agreement that gave him right of first refusal so to speak if the custodial parent was going to be away over night.  I will say that dh and his ex wife had many heated discussions about it but dh never tried to go and retrieve them from wherever she had left them.  He knew it would just needlessly upset his boys.  

Divorce is hard.  And in this situation it sounds like the time at your house wasn’t you babysitting but him spending time with your son as a friend.  

Edited by Scarlett
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4 hours ago, StephanieZ said:

Wow, what a terrible situation. 

Would it work to say, "I can not be in the middle of your conflicts, and I won't be. If Dad makes arrangements for Billy to be at our house, I'm only going to be talking to Dad about it, and will only change plans if Dad asks me to. Likewise, if Mom makes arrangements . . . Unless law enforcement instruct me otherwise, I won't be giving Billy to the "other" parent without the dropping off parent's instruction. Billy has a cell phone. Please contact HIM if you want to, but please do not contact ME."

Then, stop answering your phone/texts. If they leave a message, read/listen (within reason), but do NOT respond unless there is some emergency that requires a change of plans. You could wait an hour, then send a quick text back .  . .

8PM text from Mom: "I hear Billy is at YOUR house! I'm home and could have him! I want to come pick him up right now!"

9PM text from you: "You need to deal directly with Billy or Joe (Billy's dad). As I've said, I won't be in the middle of these issues. Please don't call/text unless it is an emergency."

Give Mom (and Dad) a handful of similar interactions to "learn" to respect your limits. If they don't learn, then block their numbers.

 

Again, don't want to share too much, but no, they don't communicate and I do not want to block as that only hurts the kids.  

Edited by DawnM
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2 hours ago, MinivanMom said:

It is standard in some jurisdictions to write a clause into custodial agreements that the other parent has the first right to babysit the kids. My parents had a clause like that, and my bio father tried to use it to prevent us from visiting friends or spending the night at friends' houses; he insisted that anytime we weren't with our mom, we were required to be with him. That isn't the intention of those clauses, but just throwing that out there as a possibility. 

Holiday custodial arrangements can be particularly contentious. My parents called the police on each other a lot and in hindsight 75% of those police calls/visits occurred over the Christmas/New Years holidays. Emotions are so high, and often each parent is certain that the other parent is cheating them out of holiday time with the kids. I know you want to support this kid, but I would be wary of hosting him overnight during the holidays. That puts you right in the middle of the parents' custodial dispute. Save the overnights for a regular non-holiday weekend.

Hopefully things will calm down once a custodial agreement is finalized. In the meantime, I would expect emotions to run high, and the parents to act pretty selfishly. Fred is lucky to have a good friend and a calm place to go. I had a wonderful family who was my refuge (as long as my bio father didn't know I was there), and they did so much by just quietly letting me be in their home.

 

And that is just it....I want him to feel welcome and that this is a safe refuge from the storm.  So, I won't be a hard nose about things.  I won't block anyone.  

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3 hours ago, MinivanMom said:

It is standard in some jurisdictions to write a clause into custodial agreements that the other parent has the first right to babysit the kids. My parents had a clause like that, and my bio father tried to use it to prevent us from visiting friends or spending the night at friends' houses; he insisted that anytime we weren't with our mom, we were required to be with him. That isn't the intention of those clauses, but just throwing that out there as a possibility. 

Holiday custodial arrangements can be particularly contentious. My parents called the police on each other a lot and in hindsight 75% of those police calls/visits occurred over the Christmas/New Years holidays. Emotions are so high, and often each parent is certain that the other parent is cheating them out of holiday time with the kids. I know you want to support this kid, but I would be wary of hosting him overnight during the holidays. That puts you right in the middle of the parents' custodial dispute. Save the overnights for a regular non-holiday weekend.

Hopefully things will calm down once a custodial agreement is finalized. In the meantime, I would expect emotions to run high, and the parents to act pretty selfishly. Fred is lucky to have a good friend and a calm place to go. I had a wonderful family who was my refuge (as long as my bio father didn't know I was there), and they did so much by just quietly letting me be in their home.

 

Not really, this is all an ongoing issue, not just the holidays, all of this has happened before the holidays.

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