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Topic : 03/23 Nasty Custody Battles

Number of Replies: 811
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Created on : Friday, January 06, 2006, 01:41:19 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 01/09/06) If you’re getting a divorce, or even considering one, and you have kids, don't miss this show! Dr. Phil talks to parents who are embroiled in bitter custody battles, leaving their innocent children caught in the crossfire. Scott is tired of fighting with his ex-wife, Tiffany, over visitation of their two sons. The bickering has gotten so bad that Tiffany claims Scott spit on her during a recent encounter. Can they learn to respect each other for the sake of their kids? Plus, Angela says her ex-husband, Chris's violent past and brushes with the law have her so scared that she refuses to let him near their 7-year-old daughter. Does a man with Chris’s past deserve a second chance to be a father? Share your thoughts.

 

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January 8, 2006, 12:42 pm CST

Juicy Custody Battles?

Orange juice is juicy, custody battles are not! 

 
January 8, 2006, 5:57 pm CST

We don’t need to reform our family law system we need to eliminate it

Quote From: wintrywood

As long as family laws enable parents to do this to their kids and each other how will it stop?  We desperately need reform in the present family law system to prevent vindictive parents doing this to their most precious marital asset, their children.  The law must do all it can to ensure parental conflict is minimized and encourage parents to work together apart to share the  responsibilities of raising their children amicably after divorce.  If you are interested in playing a part in reform contact me offlist. : )

We don’t need to reform our family law system we need to eliminate it.  Law in this country is very much biased on who has the most money to hire the best attorney.  This means that the statement “in the best interest of the children” gets little more then lip service, because most kids have no money and get little representation in these matters.  Once lawyers get involved everyone losses except for the attorneys. Who have everything to gain to keep the friction going and keep their bill running as long as possible.   

  

 

What we need is a community board made up of child specialists who evaluate each home situation and do what is in the best interest of the children.  No Lawyers allowed just like small claims court. 

 
January 9, 2006, 1:53 am CST

Just some thoughts

I'm a man who had custody: Kids now grown. These are some thoughts based on what I have seen, in no particular order:

1)  Step-moms: If there is friction between dad & mom, go with dad to pick up the kids. There has been an increasing problem with dads facing false charges during pick ups.

2)  Do everything possible to eliminate bad feelings.

3)  Don't ever say anything bad about the other parent.

4)  Visitation is mandatory, so is child support. That includes child support from non-custodial mothers.

5)  Abused men: Take the children and run to the nearest court house. Never ever leave your babies with an abuser.

6)  Judges in family court may well be biased against dads. That said, they are not stupid.

7)  If you have never done any of the day to day child rearing, don't waste everyone's time by filing a custody application.

8)  Try to negotiate a solution to any and all problems. Court is the last resort, not the first.

9)  Don't go after more money than you really need. Divorce is not a profit maker.

10)  Be reasonable.

11)  Do not try to substitute another person for mom or dad. Mom and dad are mom and dad for life: Period.

12)  Do not pass adult problems on to your children.

 
 
January 9, 2006, 2:56 am CST

01/09 Juicy Custody Battles

Quote From: lh2000

First: your husband needs to exhaust all possible way he can to make his ex feel better. 

The fact is that Mom is still very hurt by what your husband did.  Until Mom has those feeling acknowledged getting mom to be reasonable is not going to happen.  The apology and acknowledgement of the pain your husband caused her had to be just that.  It should not include any excuses for his actions or requests for change.  He needs to sincerely apologize without any expectations on his part for her to change.  He needs to apologize for the pure reason that what he did was wrong and hurtful to both her and the kids.  I would suggest he do it in writing with help from a counselor and be careful to not put anything in the letter that can be used against him in court.  If possible he should have joint counseling with his ex to allow for this to happen face to face. 

Second: understand that calling the kids and acknowledging that they are important to you is the only reason you call.  There should be no other agenda.  Expect nothing in return and just understand that by your husband doing this he is giving his kids a precious gift regardless of how they receive it. 

Third: Make it clear to both kids and Mom that visitation is not optional.  Kids have no choice period.  Even if they put up a fuss they go.  If Mom interferes then use the police.  Force all court ordered visitation.  The kids are young enough that if you get this settled now the court will back you up.  Now it the time to set this in stone and not budge at all about this.  If there is an important even that the kids really need to attend get a hotel and stay there with the kids and take them to the event yourselfs.   

Fourth: Have as much visitation as possible. 

Fifth: acknowledge the kids feelings but don’t try to change them. 

Sixth: Don’t use the kids a go betweens.  If Mom won’t talk get separate school conferences and use a mediator to discuss any issues that need to be resolved.    

Seventh: If you think that your presents at pick up and drop off is antagonistic then stay home or have him leave you at a nearby Starbucks (I hear you have lots of them up there) and pick you up on the way home.  If you husband is antagonistic then do the pass off at a public location or have a third party handle the pass off. 

Eighth:  and most important always be positive don’t talk to Mom in front of the kids if she can’t be so also.  Just pick up with as few words as possible.  Don’t take about mom when you have the kids and don’t debrief the kids.  Stay in the present. 


Point three really makes me angry, everyone always talks about putting the childrens needs first, and yet they get shipped around with no choice and no say in the matter. My parents divorced when I was 5 and I hated being passed around when all I wanted to do was relax in my own home, not being forced into doing things with the parent i hadnt seen all week.
 
January 9, 2006, 3:05 am CST

Sole custody should be given to fathers

Fathers are extremly important to a childs well being. Fathers according to much scientific research are far more important then mothers, contuary to popular belief, mothers are responsible for 70% of child murders and 80% of all child abuse cases, we should go back to the 1800's and demand that children belong to the father not the mother. who is with me?
 
January 9, 2006, 6:31 am CST

ex-wives

I think this show is so sad!!  Why do people have to be so ugly when there are innocent children involved?  My husband's ex-wife is one of my closest friends.  I know this is a rareity but it should become the norm.  I believe it's the new wife's responsibility to make a loving home for her step-child and do everything in her power to get along with the child's mother.  After all, it wasn't the child's fault his or her parents got a divorce!  We wonder what's wrong with today's children and why the divorce rate is so high. . .they learn from examples we set. 
 
January 9, 2006, 6:37 am CST

01/09 Juicy Custody Battles

Quote From: jaxxxxxx

I'm a man who had custody: Kids now grown. These are some thoughts based on what I have seen, in no particular order:

1)  Step-moms: If there is friction between dad & mom, go with dad to pick up the kids. There has been an increasing problem with dads facing false charges during pick ups.

2)  Do everything possible to eliminate bad feelings.

3)  Don't ever say anything bad about the other parent.

4)  Visitation is mandatory, so is child support. That includes child support from non-custodial mothers.

5)  Abused men: Take the children and run to the nearest court house. Never ever leave your babies with an abuser.

6)  Judges in family court may well be biased against dads. That said, they are not stupid.

7)  If you have never done any of the day to day child rearing, don't waste everyone's time by filing a custody application.

8)  Try to negotiate a solution to any and all problems. Court is the last resort, not the first.

9)  Don't go after more money than you really need. Divorce is not a profit maker.

10)  Be reasonable.

11)  Do not try to substitute another person for mom or dad. Mom and dad are mom and dad for life: Period.

12)  Do not pass adult problems on to your children.

 
AMEN!!!!  AMEN!!!!   Thank you so much!  I'm a step-mom and I agree with each of your thoughts, especially #11.  A step-parent should never take the place of a mom or dad and shouldn't be called "Mom" or "Dad" by the child.  There is only one real "Mom" and one real "Dad" for every child born in this world.  I have a step-father that is WONDERFUL!  He has been a father to me when my father was not around for the past 18 years but he is still called "Mr. Ronnie."
 
January 9, 2006, 6:56 am CST

01/09 Juicy Custody Battles

I am not really sure if he deserves a second chance, my ex has been extremely lucky this year.  He came so close to going to jail many times, I am not even sure how he got out of it. 

I am separated with two kids, the worse part is in 12 months my ex their dad has not even asked to see them or even talked about sharing summer vacations nothing at all.  At the begining he would see them every other weekend, then it slowed down to about once a month not all weekend neither, for a while he did not even see them or call them for weeks at a time. 

If a dad wants to be a part of his kids life I would not refuse him, If I was really uneasy leaving him alone with them, supervision is always an option. 

Kids should never feel rejected or abandoned by a parent no matter what the reason.  My sons cried themselves to sleep too many nights wondering why their dad did not even call them. 

  

I would never wish that on any child, no matter how bad the parent is they should know their parent still loves them and cares for them.  Even if they aren't allowed to see them, telephone numbers can stay anonymys, let the kids call the other parent.  Theirs always a way to keep parents and kids intouch to some degree. 

 
January 9, 2006, 6:58 am CST

Step-Parent authority

I am a divorced father of 2 children.  I have shared custody with my ex.  My girlfriend is a divorced mother of 2 children and has full custody.  In this age of blended families, I am curious as to what level of authority a step-parent can realistically have.  My girlfriend and I talk about how to raise our kids and we have the same ideas when it comes to respect, chores, and discipline.  We are both strict with our kids but we also do a lot of things with them. 

  

In today's show, Dr. Phil mentioned that a step-parent should not discipline their non-biological children.  Where is that line drawn?  I will watch my girlfriend's children when she is at work.  They love me and I love them, but when they do something wrong, am I supposed to wait until their mother gets home so she can handle the situation?  I would think that would do nothing more than undermine their respect for me. 

  

Thoughts? 

  

Brian 

 
January 9, 2006, 7:04 am CST

ongoing custody battles

I retained custody of my children when my wife left us 10 years ago but it has been a ongoing battle to keep them out of harms way. My ex wife has sued me in court mulitple times (4+ but never once asked for custody in the divorce) utilizing multiple attornys and has lost every time, probably motivating her to find another attorney. I have spent enough money to put the girls through college to get through this. My ex wife eventually married her last boy friend. He is a convicted narcotics trafficer and has been physically abusive to the kids. He has a lengthy criminal record that includes assault and battery on me, drunk driving, non payment of his own support, and illegal weapons convictions. I give this information to give a better idea as to what I am up against. My exwife is very manipultive of this entire stiuation. She has convinced all involved  from time to time that I am a terrible, terrible parent, only to be rebuffed in court when her claims and accusations fall short. I have endured totally biased investigations by our Friend of the Court only to have it revealed in court that the investigator failed to actually investigate but rather relied on my ex wife's words. I have endured threats from her husband and physical beatings from her. In fact, my ex wife's last attorny dumped her for being "offensive, agressive, and belligerent".  I have to patiently listen to the children repeat what has been said against me by their mother and her current "other". I get little financial help from my ex wife as she is currently over $10,000 behind in support and fails to pay what is ordered. She has never voluntarily paid any medical bills. I have listened to pleas of wanting to cooperate, both in and out of court, only to have her refuse all cooperation as well as all comunication. There is much much more that would shock anyone that has never been unvolved in something like this. 

My children are thriving believe it or not. It has taken many hours of therapy and thousands of dollars in medical, therapy, and legal expenses. I litterally have had to stop living my life and live theirs 24/7. What I have found is that few "professionals" have the best interests of the children in mind but rather what is easiest for them at that moment. Changing any laws should be put off until equal, gender blind, enforcement of existing laws takes place. Like it has been said previously, only the legal system wins here, espeacilly when one party wants to keep fighting. 

The main thing I always think of is that my children are a "blank slate" and that if they are taught that a way of life is acceptable, they will most likely end up like that. This is not their fault and it is my responsibility as their parent to help them live their lives to their highest potential. This helps me somewhat to give up things I would like in order to pay what is necessary to do this. 

I guess in most seperation situations, just as in marraige, one parent must make up for any shortcomings of the other in order for the children to thrive. 

  

 
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