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Frustrated, Angry, and at a loss... Child Protective Services took my kids.... by Synthesis
Started on: 03-31-2011 11:54 AM
Replies: 48
Last post by: uhlanstan on 10-21-2011 07:37 PM
Synthesis
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Report this Post03-31-2011 11:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
Let's start from the beginning....

I have three children. My oldest, Leah is 11, going on 12 in June..
My twins, Michael and Kayla just turned 10 at the beginning of February..

The children have a mentor from a mentorship group in the town they live in. Said mentor is a "friend of the family" though I have never met him.
My ex-wife's mother is supposedly dating him.

In February, a teacher overheard my son Michael at school talking with another student about seeing things on the mentor's PC while at his home... Adult things...
The teacher reported this to the county, and an investigation was launched...
The county stated that there would be no contact between my children and this mentor...
Something that my ex-wife agreed with.

Later, my daughter Kayla was asked about the mentor and she stated she didn't like watching "bad movies" at his place. When asked to elaborate she didn't go into much detail.
Leah also stated some very alarming things... I will not post details...

Leah has been known to say things to get attention, whether or not they are true. It is part of her Aspergers, and is something that is being worked on.. But she is too young to know certain details that she was able to share...

Either way, there is an investigation ongoing...

For the last several weeks, the children have spent a day a week with their grandmother... She has taken them to the mentor's home, they've all had dinner, and stayovers, etc...
And grandma actually had the gall to call the County on March 25th to make the following statement: [Insertnamehere] is a good person, and I am not comfortable with not letting the children have contact with him."

This resulted in the county stepping in and forcefully removing the children last Thursday.. Something I was not notified of until Monday afternoon on my way home from work.. On 03/28...
There was an emergency hearing held on 03/29, and I was part of it via telephone.

My children are in protective custody with a foster home, and I have been granted supervised visitation, even though I was not kept abreast of the events by anyone, I am a bad guy.

When I asked that as the father I be considered a placement option for the children while this blows over, the judge told me "That won't ever happen until you prove yourself to me. You don't drive up and visit your children, and you've seen them four times in 2010."
The latter is true. I spent several days and/or weeks with them each time... My ex brings them down and I pay for her gas money.
I only have the Fiero so I do not have a means of transporting the children. Driving up to Northern Minnesota is a 6 hour drive one way, and I have nowhere to stay up there except a hotel, to the tune of 100 bucks a night.

Finances and work scheduling prevent me from easily being able to visit on a whim, yet I am a bad person because of this.

Fortunately, I was able to convince the county to arrange Saturday visitation for me during this crap, not something they normally do.
Instead, a father is expected to take time off of work and lose money from their livelihood to meet the county's requirements..

I am angry at my ex for not keeping me informed of everything...
I am angry with the judge for assuming that I am a bad father based on her own sexist opinion (it is known that she hates men with a passion... Her case record has ruled in favor of the mother 98% of the time in custody cases, even when it was proven the father would be a better choice for the child)...

I was also told today that my divorce records indicate I do NOT have any physical custody of my children, only joint legal...
Something that I know is wrong, but I do not have my records to indicate such as they were destroyed. I need to file for duplicates.

I am going to have to get a family law attorney and I am not able to afford one.. The cheapest I can find that can practice in the state and lives nearby is 140 an hour and wants a retainer of 4,000 dollars before she'll help.
I make too much before child support to qualify for any form of aid, and after child support I am able to pay the bills and not much more..

I have arranged to visit the children this weekend. A trip that is going to set me back nearly 400 dollars because I have to board the dogs for two days, get a room for two days (Friday night and Saturday night) by the county's orders. I can't drive up, visit and drive down, instead, I have to be available all weekend before and after the visiting hours to POSSIBLY consult with a guardian or foster family..
So, I have to sit in my hotel room and wait for them to MAYBE call me and talk with me... And that may not happen..

I have to do that every two weeks for the next two months in order to prove myself....

I just don't know what to do... I can offer a stable environment for the children, I have a job, something my ex-wife has not had in nearly 10 years...
I have a nice home in a nice neighborhood, even if I do just rent it...

I just don't know what to do, and I am so frustrated I am at the point of tears...
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
Get an attorney.
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Synthesis
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Nurb432:

Get an attorney.


Did you not read the post? Go back and re-read...
I quote:
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:
I am going to have to get a family law attorney and I am not able to afford one.. The cheapest I can find that can practice in the state and lives nearby is 140 an hour and wants a retainer of 4,000 dollars before she'll help.
I make too much before child support to qualify for any form of aid, and after child support I am able to pay the bills and not much more..


Sorry for being short... But I very clearly stated the above and I am very cranky right at the moment, so please don't take it personally...

[This message has been edited by Synthesis (edited 03-31-2011).]

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Scottzilla79
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
Terribly sorry about your predicament, I remember your post earlier about the situation. There are father's rights attorneys that advertise here in IL and I'm pretty sure there are groups as well. Maybe some researching might find you some help.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WhiteDevil88Click Here to Email WhiteDevil88Send a Private Message to WhiteDevil88Direct Link to This Post
Another reason why I don't have kids.

May I make a suggestion? Perhaps if your kids are as important to you as they should be, maybe it is time to get a vehicle that can fit a family in it. If three kids are visiting you, how would you take them anywhere?
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RallasterSend a Private Message to RallasterDirect Link to This Post
Dude, that sucks. I wish there was something I could do, but I have no resources at my disposal to help. I know it's not a lot, but all I can do is wish you the best of luck and hope for the best.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
I so hate CPS
I understand the need - but - they go and find things to justify their own existance - which usually means making mountians out of molehills, and leaving it up to parents to pay to have them mountians reduced back to molehills.....

it is an ugly system once entered....I feel for you

good luck
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoondawgClick Here to Email BoondawgSend a Private Message to BoondawgDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by WhiteDevil88:


May I make a suggestion? Perhaps if your kids are as important to you as they should be, maybe it is time to get a vehicle that can fit a family in it. If three kids are visiting you, how would you take them anywhere?


At first glance the above seems kind of harsh, but I think it may just be some very good advise.

And I wish you the very best outcome with your current problem.
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Synthesis
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Boondawg:


At first glance the above seems kind of harsh, but I think it may just be some very good advise.

And I wish you the very best outcome with your current problem.


It is harsh, something I have come to expect from WhiteDevil.. But it is also very good advice, another thing I have come to expect from him...

It does not pertain to this particular situation in a direct fashion, but it is still good advice and something I have been working on remedying... But decent cars that aren't rust buckets and falling apart are not cheap. I don't expect new and shiny, but I want something that I can rely on...
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:


Sorry for being short... But I very clearly stated the above and I am very cranky right at the moment, so please don't take it personally...



yes i read it. I obliviously missed it.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebDirect Link to This Post
Synth, i'm sorry to hear this. I remember you having issues with the "Mentor" before. Hopefully, he's gone for good. Unfortuately, it took CPS to do it, and you're being hung out to dry during the whole thing.

I had a bunch of pretty obvious suggestions, but you're a bright guy, and have probably thought this through. So I'll just say that being "very cranky" shows remarkable restraint under the circumstances.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerDirect Link to This Post
Wow... that really sucks.

As for the car thing, send XB a message... if he still has that Escort, I'm sure you two can work out a deal. I was going to buy it from but now I'm trying to single-handedly finance a wedding.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for revinSend a Private Message to revinDirect Link to This Post
What the heck is a mentor anyway???

My mentor was my mom and dad.

I would kick this mentor's azz if I knew he or anyone was showing bad movies and dirty stuff to my little girl(or boy). Call the cops on his perv azz! say he was showing pron (or whatever) to your daughter. Then tell them your wife is dating him and go after her in the courts.

Good luck!
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroRumorClick Here to visit FieroRumor's HomePageClick Here to Email FieroRumorSend a Private Message to FieroRumorDirect Link to This Post
I hope this situation gets resolved, good luck.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
Jeff offers good advice. It might also prove how serious you are about your kids to the judge.
All I can recommend is to stay cool and work with the system. If you lose your temper with anyone at any time, you can kiss your chances for guardianship goodbye.

The way domestic law is today, if you're male, you're in the wrong automatically. You have to work extra hard and keep your nose spotless to prove you're not a deadbeat or whatever failing they imagine you have. I've seen it play out with several people. It's almost like they try to push you to lose your temper so when you do go off, they can point and say, "see, I told you he was unstable." Don't fall for it.

Maybe someone on here has a cheap 4-door they could sell you?
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Direct Link to This Post
I'm really sorry to hear this.

If you can, I would try to get full custody of the children. Life is going to be VERY hard, but on the flip side, you won't be paying child support anymore because they'll be in your hands, not your wife's. Do whatever you can to get them. Talk to your boss and be as begging as you need to be. Children are extremely important, and you only get one chance with them before they're grown up. They definitely need to come first. If it means selling your dogs, moving, or selling off your stuff and hobbies to take care of it, you've got to do it... it's important.

Not only because they'll pick your retirement home, but because they are your flesh and blood... you don't want animosity towards you, or resentment. You want them to be proud of you. Children learn from their parents. They are probably going through a very difficult time right now, and when they're older, and they see you going through a lot of hardship and struggle to get them back, they will appreciate it, and it will mean a lot to them. They may not realize it until they're in their 20s... but they'll remember it, and they'll pass it on to THEIR children.

Do whatever you can, they are first and foremost the most important thing to you...
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoondawgClick Here to Email BoondawgSend a Private Message to BoondawgDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Zeb:

So I'll just say that being "very cranky" shows remarkable restraint under the circumstances.


I must say I agree.
Keep your head up, my expirience has shown that it will eventually turn your way.
But a lot of time & work on your part will pass first.
It's the nature of this particular system that you are now a part of.
The quickest way is just to follow their lead and remain eager to comply.
That is what I have seen in these cases, anyway.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RandomTaskClick Here to Email RandomTaskSend a Private Message to RandomTaskDirect Link to This Post
May be I'm reading this situation wrong, but seriously? "Driving 6 hours is hard" and "having to get a hotel at $100 a night". Let me propose some things. First, you can blame: the judge, your mother in law, the mentor, etc but none of that blame will help your situation. I'm sorry, but when you have kids, man up. Your life is no longer about your livelihood, rather your childrens. I mean this entirely to help you out. Chin up, put your big boy pants on, and do what you have to.

Cheers
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WhiteDevil88Click Here to Email WhiteDevil88Send a Private Message to WhiteDevil88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:


It is harsh, something I have come to expect from WhiteDevil.. But it is also very good advice, another thing I have come to expect from him...

It does not pertain to this particular situation in a direct fashion, but it is still good advice and something I have been working on remedying... But decent cars that aren't rust buckets and falling apart are not cheap. I don't expect new and shiny, but I want something that I can rely on...


I wasnt trying.to be harsh. I like and respect you. But making that kind of sacrifice for your kids should make some difference to a judge. I don't mean to imply that your kids are not a priority for you. Hopefully you will be blessed with affordable and reliable family transportation. Do you have a Goodwill in town? Often they sell cars that have been donated. Good prices should be had.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fastblackSend a Private Message to fastblackDirect Link to This Post
I really feel for you. You seem like a really good guy and don't deserve any of this. I wish there was something I could do but for now I'll just send ya some good thoughts. Hope everything works out for the better.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 12:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
I agree about the car situation, you need something more practical. However I think the judge is a real loser. He's their father and unless he's done anything other than divorce their mother to hurt them they definitely belong in his custody. Even a somewhat irresponsible, not saying you are but hypothetically, is a better place for kids than any government agency can do.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 01:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for datacopClick Here to visit datacop's HomePageClick Here to Email datacopSend a Private Message to datacopDirect Link to This Post
CPS is a necessary evil. I'm mega-glad that they exist for those kids who really need to have someone intervene on their behalf. However, having said that, their policies of "Parents are guilty until we determine beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are innocent" really sucks. I had a run in with them a few years ago when my GF's 11 yr old was nagging us to death while we were fixing some cocktails one evening.. wanted to know what the pucker tasted like.. after an hour, she poured her half a shot of apple pucker and let her taste it.. half a friggin ounce. Her ex heard about it and called CPS saying that we were constantly getting the kids drunk, having wild parties, etc, etc, etc. Yea.. I drink so much that I've got a 12 pack of coore's light in the fridge in the garage that I've had for 7 months. Took us 3 months to get that cleared.

Lawyers are required to maintain a certain number of pro-bono hours in order to maintain their bar status. Perhaps you can convince one of them to take your case on this basis.. esp if you find one that likes to take on the CPS.

I gotta agree with Stimpy on the car thing.. you need to do everything you can to *PROVE* to anyone looking in from the outside that you are capable and prepared to take full care of the kids. It truly sucks that you have to do it.. but it is what it is. As a single father, you have to allow your entire life to be an open book ready for inspection by anyone who gets a burr up their rear to take a look. Not only that, every page needs to be spotless.

I've been lucky enough to have my kids their entire lives. It hasn't been easy since their mom left 12 years ago.. but it has been worth it.

I wish you the best as you travel down that road.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 01:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for datacopClick Here to visit datacop's HomePageClick Here to Email datacopSend a Private Message to datacopDirect Link to This Post

datacop

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quote
Originally posted by RandomTask:

May be I'm reading this situation wrong, but seriously? "Driving 6 hours is hard" and "having to get a hotel at $100 a night". Let me propose some things. First, you can blame: the judge, your mother in law, the mentor, etc but none of that blame will help your situation. I'm sorry, but when you have kids, man up. Your life is no longer about your livelihood, rather your childrens. I mean this entirely to help you out. Chin up, put your big boy pants on, and do what you have to.

Cheers


I gotta give you the prize for the most unthoughtful, improper and blatantly wrong comment thus far.

Yes, you were reading it entirely wrong. Driving 6 hours is very hard.. spending $100 a night for a hotel when you only have $80 in the bank after paying bills, paying support, buying food for the week, filling up the gas tank, etc is VERY friggin hard.

Walk a block in Chris' shoes before you judge him and whatever pants he maybe wearing.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 01:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Pyrthian:

it is an ugly system once entered....I feel for you

good luck


I am not going into detail on a public forum, but from experience, no truer words can be said.

So sorry to repeat this, but you DO need an attorney. Without one, the courts will milk you for every dime, and the initial cost of an attorney seems out of reach, it is the cheaper alternative. A necessary evil that the courts are able to play with.

Tony
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Report this Post03-31-2011 01:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for acemanSend a Private Message to acemanDirect Link to This Post
Chris,

If you want to call me, I'm available 24/7 these days. I'd give you my two cents, but I won't do it on the forum. You know me well enough that my two cents may not be what you want to hear, but you may need to hear it. Remember, Tami work in family law and we do have some basic advice and pointers that may help you.
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Report this Post03-31-2011 02:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
Just like EVERYTHING the gov gets involved with, they do it all backazzwards. They take your kids because OTHER family members take them around stuff they shouldnt. Yet everyday you hear about some girl with a convicted child molester boyfriend who lives with her and her 2 kids for years and doing nothing about it...even when they get calls from people giving them the info. The answer when something happens to those kids is that CPS was too busy or understaffed to check.

In the end, if anyone has to get a lawyer...the only one benefiting is that lawyer by getting a fat paycheck from someone who cant afford them anyway.

Good luck to you.
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Report this Post04-02-2011 09:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Direct Link to This Post
At one point, we had taken in a "foster(no money involved in our favor)" child for two years. Unfortunately, she was rebellious(typical middle school thought processes) and we decided to turn her over to the state for the good of our two biological children. We had to hire an attorney before the judge would acknowledge our petition. The ironic thing about it was, as we were leaving the court-room, the DFACS lady approached us and asked us if we'd be willing to keep her if they'd cut us a monthly check. This was never about any money, so that was not an option. Related to that was the "Christian" foster home that we got her from. The lady running the home had swindled gullible churches in the are and was investigated for running up a church's credit card to the tune of $10,000. We were in on the investigation. The bottom line was that she received very little time for her conviction, and DFACS was in a huge panic trying to decide where'd they place all of these foster kids. So, what I'm trying to tell you is that DFACS most likely truly doesn't want to keep your children, and that your getting custody of them is probably going to be easier than you think. Going against you is the fact that they'll expect you to provide some type of child care and apparently your finances may not be able to cover that expense. On the other hand, without child support, you may end up with enough $. Do you have any lawyer friends?

[This message has been edited by carnut122 (edited 04-02-2011).]

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Report this Post04-02-2011 09:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for $Rich$Click Here to Email $Rich$Send a Private Message to $Rich$Direct Link to This Post
i have not read alot of the replies, but why have you not taken responsibility and been a main father figure in their life?
people do it all the time, even if they do not get along with their ex's! living several hours or half the country away is not acceptable
having a fiero as only vehicle is not an acceptable answer either. if you need 4 seats in a car, than that is top priority

i grew up with out a good father figure, (other than my wonderful grandpa)
my dad is / was a POS that never wanted anything to do wit me i still have not met him (im 31) and he is local

children come first!!

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Report this Post04-02-2011 10:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Doug85GTSend a Private Message to Doug85GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Pyrthian:

I so hate CPS
I understand the need - but - they go and find things to justify their own existance - which usually means making mountians out of molehills, and leaving it up to parents to pay to have them mountians reduced back to molehills.....

it is an ugly system once entered....I feel for you

good luck



This is not CPS' fault. The ex and her mother were told the children were to have no contact with the mother's creepy boyfriend. If CPS wanted to as you say, "find things to justify their own existance", then they would have taken the children when the teacher reported the potential abuse. The ex and her stupid mother had plenty of warning and they chose to ignore it. At that point CPS is compelled to act in order to protect the children.

The judge being a ***** really sucks. Family court judges tend to be on a power trip because they have so much power when it comes to matters like this. Judge Judy is a total ***** and guess where she came from?

I'm sorry Synthesis, you are in a tough spot. Do your best to comply with the judge's order. The most important thing is to document everything that you do and document all interaction that you have with your children. If you make a phone call, write down when you made it, how long it was, who you talked to and briefly what the topic(s) of the conversation were. Do this for all contact and especially for your visits. Keep copies of your emails and text messages too. You need to show that you are a part of your children's life and that you are making an effort. If worse comes to worse and the judge rules against you, you can use the documentation in an appeal with another judge.

Also, keep receipts and records of everything that you send to your kids above and beyond the child support. This includes birthday gifts, cloths, school supplies etc.

The documentation does not sound like much but the courts run on paperwork. The more you can show, the better your case will be.
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Synthesis
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Report this Post10-21-2011 11:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
Sooo...

An update to this...

Finances have improved, especially since I built the camper... Saved a lot of money, and it has paid for itself twice over already.

This is a SNAFU currently, but things are looking up.

The situation as it stands...

There is no contact between this Mentor and my children. At all.
Grandma (Ex-Mother in Law) is on supervised visits only with the children.

My ex-wife and my ex-Mother in Law have been advised by the county social service worker and several other people to file for a protective order against the mentor to keep him away from the children. They have not done so, at all.

I also found out recently that my 12 year old daughter was given a PREGNANCY TEST by the hospital... I realize this is mandatory in any case where there may have been inappropriate contact... But WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED OF THIS EARLIER?! I am thankful that I am not up there and do not know this mentor guy... I can't promise he'd survive what I'd do to him.

My ex-wife has had the children for several weeks in what is known as a "trial home visit". Custody remains with the county, but the kids live with their mother. She takes them to all of their appointments, etc. She has not been doing so. She has missed numerous appointments, made many mistakes. She takes them to Grandma's house and they visit with their great grandmother who also lives there. Read the "Supervised" comment above about Grandma. Apparently, Grandma has "been in the basement" while the children were upstairs, and she "did not come up and see the kids, so she had no contact"... This was relayed to me by the social worker. This is what was told to her by my ex.

My oldest is under a lot of stress with all of this going on, and with her Aspergers and depression, she started talking about suicide. She was talked to by several adults with the Children's Mental Health unit. They were concerned, so my ex took my oldest into the hospital. There were no beds available at any of the children's mental health units in the State of MN, so the hospital kept her there. Grandma showed up at the hospital and raised holy hell about "locking up her grand daughter" etc... Again, NO CONTACT UNLESS SUPERVISED BY THE VISITING GROUP... The rules do not seem to apply to grandma.

I have maintained my steady visits with my children, I am no longer under supervised visits, and the children come down and stay with me once a month, while I drive up once a month.

About 10 days ago, the social worker and the Guardian Ad Litem came to visit me at home.
We had a fairly lengthy discussion, and they are now recommending the children be placed with me.

At the court hearing yesterday, everything I stated above was brought up. The G-A-L and Social Worker both suggested filing a petition for change of custody to me. But, another alternative "last ditch effort" was also brought up for my ex-wife to retain custody.

The children are going to go into what is called Shared Care. It is a foster program in which they live with a foster family. My ex-wife will then move in with said foster family, and learn parenting skills. For far too long she has let her mother (Grandma) be the "mom" to the kids... An unhealthy situation all around.
This can last up to 90 days. This is her last chance to prove herself... If she fails this, a petition is filed to transfer custody to me.

If the ex fights it, then a lengthy court battle ensues, and she still loses the children... But whether they come to me or not is up to the court at that point.

If she agrees to the petition, I get custody of the children the same day.
I may fight for custody even if the Shared Care succeeds... Because this is just going to happen again in a few years.

My home is more stable than my ex's. I am engaged to be married, I have a job, and my fiancee Cindy is fresh out of school and looking for work... She has already had one very promising interview.

I live in a good neighborhood with a good school system....

I am rooting for my ex to learn how to parent... But at the same time, I am hoping the children come to live with me.


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Report this Post10-21-2011 12:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RallasterSend a Private Message to RallasterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:

Sooo...

An update to this...

Finances have improved, especially since I built the camper... Saved a lot of money, and it has paid for itself twice over already.

This is a SNAFU currently, but things are looking up.

The situation as it stands...

There is no contact between this Mentor and my children. At all.
Grandma (Ex-Mother in Law) is on supervised visits only with the children.

My ex-wife and my ex-Mother in Law have been advised by the county social service worker and several other people to file for a protective order against the mentor to keep him away from the children. They have not done so, at all.

I also found out recently that my 12 year old daughter was given a PREGNANCY TEST by the hospital... I realize this is mandatory in any case where there may have been inappropriate contact... But WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED OF THIS EARLIER?! I am thankful that I am not up there and do not know this mentor guy... I can't promise he'd survive what I'd do to him.

My ex-wife has had the children for several weeks in what is known as a "trial home visit". Custody remains with the county, but the kids live with their mother. She takes them to all of their appointments, etc. She has not been doing so. She has missed numerous appointments, made many mistakes. She takes them to Grandma's house and they visit with their great grandmother who also lives there. Read the "Supervised" comment above about Grandma. Apparently, Grandma has "been in the basement" while the children were upstairs, and she "did not come up and see the kids, so she had no contact"... This was relayed to me by the social worker. This is what was told to her by my ex.

My oldest is under a lot of stress with all of this going on, and with her Aspergers and depression, she started talking about suicide. She was talked to by several adults with the Children's Mental Health unit. They were concerned, so my ex took my oldest into the hospital. There were no beds available at any of the children's mental health units in the State of MN, so the hospital kept her there. Grandma showed up at the hospital and raised holy hell about "locking up her grand daughter" etc... Again, NO CONTACT UNLESS SUPERVISED BY THE VISITING GROUP... The rules do not seem to apply to grandma.

I have maintained my steady visits with my children, I am no longer under supervised visits, and the children come down and stay with me once a month, while I drive up once a month.

About 10 days ago, the social worker and the Guardian Ad Litem came to visit me at home.
We had a fairly lengthy discussion, and they are now recommending the children be placed with me.

At the court hearing yesterday, everything I stated above was brought up. The G-A-L and Social Worker both suggested filing a petition for change of custody to me. But, another alternative "last ditch effort" was also brought up for my ex-wife to retain custody.

The children are going to go into what is called Shared Care. It is a foster program in which they live with a foster family. My ex-wife will then move in with said foster family, and learn parenting skills. For far too long she has let her mother (Grandma) be the "mom" to the kids... An unhealthy situation all around.
This can last up to 90 days. This is her last chance to prove herself... If she fails this, a petition is filed to transfer custody to me.

If the ex fights it, then a lengthy court battle ensues, and she still loses the children... But whether they come to me or not is up to the court at that point.

If she agrees to the petition, I get custody of the children the same day.
I may fight for custody even if the Shared Care succeeds... Because this is just going to happen again in a few years.

My home is more stable than my ex's. I am engaged to be married, I have a job, and my fiancee Cindy is fresh out of school and looking for work... She has already had one very promising interview.

I live in a good neighborhood with a good school system....

I am rooting for my ex to learn how to parent... But at the same time, I am hoping the children come to live with me.




I've seen situations like this and the children have threatened harm to others because they didn't adjust well to the stable environment after going through an ordeal similar to yours.


Please excuse me while I bad mouth your ex...

If the situation were reversed, you'd have been drawn, quartered and left to die in the legal system after the 1st screw up.
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Report this Post10-21-2011 12:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 1988holleyformulaSend a Private Message to 1988holleyformulaDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:

Sooo...
snip
I am rooting for my ex to learn how to parent... But at the same time, I am hoping the children come to live with me.



Good to hear good news Chris! Good vibes your way man.
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Report this Post10-21-2011 12:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for nitroheadz28Send a Private Message to nitroheadz28Direct Link to This Post
What a screwed up situation, I hope you get custody in the end.. I feel bad that your kids have to go through this
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Report this Post10-21-2011 12:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tbone42Send a Private Message to tbone42Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:
I am rooting for my ex to learn how to parent... But at the same time, I am hoping the children come to live with me.



Screw that, she had plenty of opportunities to do that. I am rooting for you to get your kids and provide them a more normal life they deserve. I'm pulling for you man.
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Report this Post10-21-2011 12:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
I AM rooting for her... I want custody... But how else is she going to care for them when they visit her?

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Report this Post10-21-2011 01:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:

Sooo...

About 10 days ago, the social worker and the Guardian Ad Litem came to visit me at home.
We had a fairly lengthy discussion, and they are now recommending the children be placed with me.


WOOO-HOOOO!!!

 
quote

I am rooting for my ex to learn how to parent... But at the same time, I am hoping the children come to live with me.



Let her learn on somebody else's kids. Better yet, learn and then have kids. My wife & I went through a multi-year custody battle for her son. It doesn't compare to the crud you've been put through. Stand firm, Synth. It's all you've got. YOU WILL PREVAIL!
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Report this Post10-21-2011 01:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Synthesis:

About 10 days ago, the social worker and the Guardian Ad Litem came to visit me at home.
We had a fairly lengthy discussion, and they are now recommending the children be placed with me.




Awesome!
I cannot believe I did not know all this was going on. I know thementor was a bad thing from a previous post, I knew you had been travelling looong distance to visit. I missed this whole thing where the kids were removed.
Sorry man for this hard situation, and I feel for your kids especially.
I'll be praying for your whole families well being.
Keep doin what you're doin.
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weloveour86se
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Report this Post10-21-2011 02:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for weloveour86seSend a Private Message to weloveour86seDirect Link to This Post
I personnaly can vouch for what your saying about fathers being second guessed as custodial parents. IMHO mothers can and usuallly win the courts favor. Further there is no such thing as joint custody in reality. Your court papers may say so but the simple truth of the matter is this. Every time a primary custodial parent makes a life decision for the children the other, non primary resident parent has no say so. Ultimately one parent or the other will have say so, the courts will not be involved in every basic life decision. Joint custody is a funny way for the courts to tell you, you have some rights. Someone has to be able to decide if your kids are gonna be Hindu or the likes per say, and it almost always favors the custodial parent.

Lets say the custodial parent wants to move as far away within state lines. The courts will not move to stop this move and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. As a non custodial parent your hands are tied. Your at the mercy of the custodial parent and changing things would take drastic measures. Maybe even drasctic and traumatic events. Accountability for child support payments are non-existent. How many custodial parents do you suppose spend the weekly support payments on drugs or alchohol or tobacco and the like? The custodial parent often receives state aid. Along with that state aid comes a myrid of support networks ranging from free legal help to college funding, housing, food stamps, ( which the non custodial parent will be held accountable for) and more.
ohh I could go on and on...

How many couples are there that have split because one parent or the other can receive state aid in the above mentioned forms and live an easier more relaxed life? I personally can think of a few examples.

As a non custodial parent your hands are severly tied and your only options are to play ball so to speak. The people who are most at risk are the children, while you wait for the custodial parent to "fall apart". I personnaly can attest to all of this. I have been to the ends of hell and back, jumping through flaming hoops. DHS has run me financially, emoitionally and mentally through the wringer. It took all of four months for my ex to "fall apart". There is no tellin what our mutual child experienced in this time and I shudder to think of the possibilities.

Now After the custodial parent "falls apart" the children are hanging in the system. All the "I told ya so's" will be mute points. There will be no recourse for lost time or damage that has occured. Grim I know, sad, angering.

The bright side of this is.... wait there is no bright side. The only thing IMO one in your situation could do is get them outta there. Invest every ounce of energy on them and their recovery. Be it counceling or what evers needed. Seems you know all this already tho.

You've already done the hardest part IMO, and thats making it over the initial shock and not flipping out! You seem to have done all the right things and I personally commend you for your efforts. You don't know me from Adam so it might not seem like much coming from me but in 20 years when your children say, "I love you dad". you will know that they really mean it. That in itself will be all the reward a father could ever ask.

How do I know any of this one might ask themself? I personally have lived it. Well the first 3/4's of it anyway. My sons now going on 12 and he's lived with me since he was in diapers. Even when the child or children finally get to your house and settle in it wont be over for a very long time, maybe never. My son attends weekly therapy and it seems to be working for him. The best tool I have at my disposal at this point is talking with him, not at him, but with him. It's no esy task being a single father. People will say things like, "wow your amazing" or "how do you do it?". My reply to those that do is usually, "there is and never will be any other option" or "What have I done that anyone else wouldn't?"

I guess the jist of it all is this. Any mofo can be a daddy but it takes a real man to be a father!! And you appear to be just that, a father! Kuddo's to you good man! Hang in there and some day in the future your children will be grown and they will say' " I love you dad".

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Report this Post10-21-2011 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ls3machSend a Private Message to ls3machDirect Link to This Post
My best friend is a single father. 3 kids. The eldest is 6 and she has MS. The mom started cheating, then just left. Hasn't seen them in over a year, pushing 2 now. Didn't show to court. Both attorneys are suing her for court cost. He works an evening shift, so child care is a major problem. Plus all of the physical therapy that the daughter has.Real shame.

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Out of a week I stay in a lab for 6 days.

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Report this Post10-21-2011 03:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ToddsterClick Here to Email ToddsterSend a Private Message to ToddsterDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by WhiteDevil88:

Another reason why I don't have kids.



That's the spirit. Don't have kids because the government might take them. Why bother trying to roll back the power of government in our lives?

All hail the government. They are right. And we are not worthy
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