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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 9, 2006, 10:34 am CST

joint custody is not easy

 My husband has two kids ages 7 and 9. We have them over every Tuesday and Thursday.  I have to do all of the  transportation and provide daycare for them when they are over. If for some reason I can't pick them up or watch them when their mom wants me to she complains to my husband and tell him That they just will not come over anymore. He is a little behind on child support so he doesn't want to get the courts involved, so I have to rearrange my life to accommodate her. I feel like I am being taken advantage of. What can I do without causing problems for my husband?
 
January 9, 2006, 10:41 am CST

huh????

Quote From: catsagdn

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?
No offense, but what kind of planet do you live on?  Both parents, if both equally loving and supportive, are important to a childs well being.  You do hear about mothers murdering their babies and children but fathers do it just as much.  You hear more about the mothers because it makes for good paper selling and commercialism.
I am in the starting stages of this whole thing.  I fully admit that I want out of my marriage, but not my son's life.  For years our son and I have endured emotional head games, verbal onslaughts and tantrums from my husband.  NOt to mention pot abuse and my hubby's lack of pulling his weight with respect to financial or any other kind of support.  I have been the one to be there for our son, take him to practices, parent teacher interviews, doctors appt, hold him and be there for him when his dad wasn't.  Now because I have had enough and I want out and a better life for us, my hubby claims that he's been clean for two weeks and is being all nicey nice and thinks that I should leave the house and he'll get custody of our son because he is a 14 yr old boy?  That the judge will go in his favour and I should just go and 'find myself' and not destroy their lives.  I should leave the matrimonial home in his possession and pay him to do all the things I've done for years with our son.  I don't think so.  I say our son will feel like I am abandoning him if I do that, and I could never.  Although the first words out of my hubby's mouth when this was first mentioned was that he would leave the city and see our son 'whenever'.  Now he expects me to believe that in 3 weeks he is changed and is able to provide the nurturing and support and kind heartedness that our son needs?
So no...  I am not with you on this.  Maybe in some cases the father is the better parent.  But do not generalize that mothers are worse for their offspring.

Sorry... you just touched a cord.
 
January 9, 2006, 10:45 am CST

01/09 Nasty Custody Battles

Quote From: fl4012

         but I would like to see this scientific research that shows fathers are more important. 

Like Dr. Phil has said the most important role model is the same sex parent. However, I believe that the best situation is having two loving parents. I think this show is very sad because it is children that are getting hurt but if you are going through a divorce I think you should try your hardest to make it easy for the kids and not put your adult problems( or in this case misinformation) on to innocent children. And do me a favor and don't post garbage like that anymore because it is not true and was probably meant to be hateful. 

 crap!  where did my message go?
 
January 9, 2006, 11:06 am CST

Hang in There

Quote From: dresal

 My husband has two kids ages 7 and 9. We have them over every Tuesday and Thursday.  I have to do all of the  transportation and provide daycare for them when they are over. If for some reason I can't pick them up or watch them when their mom wants me to she complains to my husband and tell him That they just will not come over anymore. He is a little behind on child support so he doesn't want to get the courts involved, so I have to rearrange my life to accommodate her. I feel like I am being taken advantage of. What can I do without causing problems for my husband?

I have always said Step Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  Step Mothers especailly are given a really bad rap across the board.  Because it doesn't matter if your spouse was divorced for 15 years you are still the cause of the breakup! 

You probably are being taken advantage of but your stepchildren will grow up knowing that you cared enough to go out of your way for them and they wil love you for it 

 
January 9, 2006, 11:24 am CST

Parental Alienation!

Quote From: abbiedeen

My husband's ex wife is so bitter toward my husband for leaving her -- and subsequently marrying me -- she says and does things to the children to intentionally hurt my husband and his relationship with his little ones. 

  

A little background:  My husband left his first wife when she was about 5 months pregnant with their youngest child.  Granted, it was probably not the best time -- but there were extenuating circumstances.  I met him shortly after he left.  She blames me for the break up of their marriage.  She says (and possible, she's right) that if he hadn't met me, they would have reconciled.  The fact remains, they married young, because she was pregnant with their oldest, everyone told him not to marry her and they had split up and gotten back together several times before.  The end of the marriage was inevitable. (Thats the short version).   That was more than 4 years ago.  In that 4 years, she has spoken to him less than a half dozen times (no exaggeration!).   She refuses to speak to him about anything, including the children, their education, time with them, etc.   

  

Recently, we movd from NC to WA.  His children are in OR.  So we are now 200 miles, door to door from them.  My husband is asking for more time.  She said she is remarried now, her new husband is the kids dad (she has even told his kids, now 8, 6 and 3, that they MUST call her husband "Daddy" and my husband "Mike" in her presence; that he is not their Daddy anymore because he left "them"), so they do not need any more time than the 30 days a year he had while living across the country.  (He is military, so that was feasible, at the time).  It's back in court and we'll find out what the judge says on the 25th. 

  

Meanwhile, his 3 year old daughter told him last Sunday "You're dumb.  I don't love you anymore.  I have a mommy and a daddy here, I don't need you!"   She then got on the phone with me and said "I don't think I should come to your house anymore!"  When I asked her why not, she said "Because you're dumb and I don't love you!"  I said, "Well, I love you, and I would like you to come to our house again."  To which she replied, "I can't!  It makes my mom mad!"  Hmmmmmm  wonder where she got that! 

  

I have tried to stay out of things with his ex and him.  I type and mail letters for him, because I have an office job and can do things that he can't, due to his job.  I also help him with his legal stuff because we can no longer afford the attorney and I was going to law school before we moved.  I don't speak to her, don't say anything bad to her or about her in front of the kids.  She has no issue with me other than that her husband married me after divorcing her.  She, on the other hand, has told the children horrible things about me, my husband, our families, etc.  

  

So.....what do you do about a biological parent who does not want to "share" the children with the other biological parent and who twists the kids up just to hurt their dad?  How do you handle a situation like this when you see your husband hurting so bad because his 6 year old hasn't gotten on the phone with him for 6 weeks now because "You're mean and  I don't want to talk to you!", and his mother won't get on the phone with his dad to try to gt to the bottom of WHY he is saying that?  What do you say to your husband when he says "I give up!  I might as well just stop calling and trying to see them!  They don't love me anymore!  They don't want me around anyway!"  Especially when you KNOW that's not true -- that they are just saying what their mother wants thm to!  What do you do??? 

  

Anyone? 

  

Erin 

Hi, Erin, 

  

From what you've described above, it appears that you are dealing with a case of "Parental Alienation". PA is characterized by one parent saying and doing things in the presence of the children that turn the child(ren) against the other parent that are not true.  Now, this is only truly PA if those things are not true, which appears to be the case here, and wherein the children reject the other parent based on what the alientating parent is saying and doing. 

  

My personal experience with PA goes back 14+ years.  My 16 year-old step-daughter (2 years old when we met), was in the custody of her mother until she was 13.  The whole time they were together, even though the mother HAD CUSTODY,  Jamie was constantly told how awful her dad (my husband) was, and how awful I was.  Fortunately, we had Jamie with us quite a bit (every other weekend, all summer, etc.) as her mom liked her "free time."  Now, the mother, in the course of her adult life, has been married 5 times, has had 3 kids w/ 2 men, a parade of men thru the bedroom (which Jamie could hear starting at a young age), and has been convicted of child abuse on two of the kids.  Of course, we have done everything possible to get custody of Jamie since the divorce on up.  Every time we'd turn Mom in for the child abuse, she'd tell the social services people we were "just making stuff up to get custody" and intimidate Jamie in to changing her story!  We were accused of "abusing the system" and trying to get custody!   Finally, when Jamie was 12, she was hit with a belt on the bottom, and was brave enough to tell her school nurse and continue to tell her side of what happened, until at last someone did the right thing and the mother was convicted!  Even after that, the courts did not automatically take Jamie away from her!  We had to try to negotiate w/ the mother (she wanted us to continue to pay her child support "so I have a place for Jamie to come and visit me"!), and finally, we went back to court to get permanent sole custody.  As soon as we did, and she was ordered to pay CS, she ceased wanting to see her child!   

  

Now, Jamie is 16.  Fortunately for all of us, she's got a good head on her shoulders and most of what her mom's said and done over the years is not greatly affecting her life.  She's a good student, she's got lots of friend, a sweet boyfriend (she's still a virgin, hip-hip-hooray!), she's completely blossomed and become a confident and outgoing teen, and best of all, she really and truly appreciates all that her dad and I have done all these years to protect her.  We have done everything we can to be good, consistent parents for her and our 11 year old son.  She does call me Mom, and has since our son was born, at her own choice.  I never told her or asked her to do so!  She says, "you are the one who's mothered me all these years, you are my MOM!"  I know Dr. Phil doesn't support this, but at a minimum, perhaps we should agree that all cases have special circumstances and maybe there needs to be some flexibility with the "RULES" for all cases.  Jamie and I have spent many many hours TALKING about her life, her mom and dad, SEX, making good choices, how to treat others and YOURSELF with respect, etc., etc.   I cannot imagine my life without her, and she frequently says the same about me.  

  

 Please know that Parental Alientation is very real and can cause real lifelong damage to any child, young or teen or adult!  Type it in your search engine and see for yourself.  The courts in some areas may finally be starting to recognize it now.  When you are dealing with these issues, it's harder than lots of things, because it's so hard to "Prove" that it's happening.  So don't give up.  My situation is living proof that you can get thru successfully, with a lifetime of love and hard work. 

 
January 9, 2006, 11:34 am CST

In a hell...

I am personally in the middle of a custody battle for my two children.  They are ages 4 and 7.  Yes, the parents are a big part of the problem however..the bigger issue is the court system.  My soon to e ex was and is a controlling, screaming, angry man.  He decided to fight for the children (it is a simple money issue, if he has the kids he can keep the house and save a bunch of money!).  He truely did not one thing with my children before I filed.  Since I filed he gives the children everything they want..candy, soda, toys and tell sthe children horrible untruths about me.  The saddest part is that I cannot get him out of the house unless there is physical violence.  You have to work through the "system" and this has so far taken more than 10 months and we are looking at possibly four more.  I have complained to various attorneys, court personal and even court appointed lawyer for the children.  I have no doubt that in the end of this "battle" I will have my children but, he will make sure that what he will leave me with is no money, no friends and 2 children who hate me bc they have been told lies about me.  And the courts just stand by and let it happen.  They say that they have the children in their best interest - if they did I would not be living in this hell.  I can seriously see how some wives "snap".  There is only so much a person can take and if I wasnt so strong and didnt have such strong support from a few people I do not know where I would be.  People looking in say that you should stay together for the children...well, I am divorcing for the sake of my children.  What he has done to the emotionally and what they have seen him do to me is horrible and I would fail as a mother if one of my children grew up to think that it is okay to treat another human being the way he treats us!  But, no one in the court wants to see that - they just spend an hour with you and think they can possibly get the two of you to do a 50/50 agreement - regardless od his past.  The courts need to be revised - they are putting the children and others in a very dangerous situation!!
 
January 9, 2006, 11:45 am CST

hang in there...

Quote From: mackersmom

No offense, but what kind of planet do you live on?  Both parents, if both equally loving and supportive, are important to a childs well being.  You do hear about mothers murdering their babies and children but fathers do it just as much.  You hear more about the mothers because it makes for good paper selling and commercialism.
I am in the starting stages of this whole thing.  I fully admit that I want out of my marriage, but not my son's life.  For years our son and I have endured emotional head games, verbal onslaughts and tantrums from my husband.  NOt to mention pot abuse and my hubby's lack of pulling his weight with respect to financial or any other kind of support.  I have been the one to be there for our son, take him to practices, parent teacher interviews, doctors appt, hold him and be there for him when his dad wasn't.  Now because I have had enough and I want out and a better life for us, my hubby claims that he's been clean for two weeks and is being all nicey nice and thinks that I should leave the house and he'll get custody of our son because he is a 14 yr old boy?  That the judge will go in his favour and I should just go and 'find myself' and not destroy their lives.  I should leave the matrimonial home in his possession and pay him to do all the things I've done for years with our son.  I don't think so.  I say our son will feel like I am abandoning him if I do that, and I could never.  Although the first words out of my hubby's mouth when this was first mentioned was that he would leave the city and see our son 'whenever'.  Now he expects me to believe that in 3 weeks he is changed and is able to provide the nurturing and support and kind heartedness that our son needs?
So no...  I am not with you on this.  Maybe in some cases the father is the better parent.  But do not generalize that mothers are worse for their offspring.

Sorry... you just touched a cord.
I am towards the end of my custody battle - if you dont mind I have a few "suggestions" for you - find a good lawyer, dont trust anyone, write everything down - what he does and what you do everyday!  trust me you will need this!  and most of all remember that you are doing this for your son.  What would you do if in 10 years your son turned out like his father?  Most of all - I truely believe that a person can change habits, they way they dress etc.. but you can not change your "core" that being your anger, your rage, the basic person that you are!  So, dont buy the whole - I have chneged line.  It is a bunch of crap!  I had some of the similar things in my marriage and a person canonly take so much.  Hang in there - it really is not as bad as everyone says.  It takes a while but just remember why you are doing it!  I had a friend of mine tell me - What doesnt kill you makes you stronger!  It is true!
 
January 9, 2006, 12:23 pm CST

Divorced Child

Alright here's my piece. 

  

I am a child of divorced parents.  They split when I was 3 and I am now 26.  My parents were the most irresponsible and childish people. 

For 20 years my mom and dad couldn't have a civil conversation and can't now, they just avoid each other. 

I had 2 households and 2 sets of rules and zero communication. 

I got away with murder and listened to my parents call each other horrendous names. 

Weekends were missed because they couldn't stand the sight of each other. 

Holidays were always ruined because they bickered about who gets more time, no one cared what my brother and I thought. 

I need to express the importance of being CIVIL to each other in this kind of situation. 

I was aware of way to many things because my parents hated each other and they forgot that they were both my parents and that I loved them both. 

This is such a hard position to put a child into and its not fair, your child didn't ask for this - you did it to them! 

 
January 9, 2006, 12:25 pm CST

sounds just like my story

Quote From: hlavery

Being a stepmom has been one of the most challenging things in my life.  I have a friend that is also a stepmom and I don't know sometimes what I would have done without her.  When things get really crazy and stressful, it helps to have someone to talk to that is going through it.  People that have never been a stepparent, don't understand.  My husband has a 13 year old daughter that lives with her mother and new stepdad just 30 miles away.  Things have been better since she moved to the next town, but we still have issues frequently.  My husband's ex is very manipulating with people and uses her daughter in the mix.  She is a big party goer and one of our biggest fears is that my stepdaughter is going to be wild and manipulative, too.  She is already showing signs of sneaking behavior.  We try to get along with the ex, but some people are just not logical.  She spends her time trying to cause conflict.  She likes turmoil.  I know that there are a lot of fathers who don't show responsibility for their children, but my husband is a very good father and wants what is best for his daughter.  We have tried to gain custody, but back away to save hurting his daughter more.  She is not supervised and doesn't get the attention she needs.  She is at a critical age, and we worry a lot.  So far, the best thing we know to do is just try our best to get along with the ex, not communicate anymore than we have to, and enjoy every minute with my stepdaughter we can.  We have to be the parents in her life and it is very difficult when we only see her part of the time.  If I could win the lottery, I would fight for responsble dads to have more rights.  The law is definitely not on their side.
I too am a stepmom with two 12 year old girls.  My husband had the children 3 to 4 days a week until recently. His ex wife kicked out both girls for the second time and refused to see them for 2 weeks.  We called children's aid because one of the girls told us her mom had grabbed her wrist. CAS did nothing. Now their mother is letting us see the girls amybe 1 day aweek even though the girls are asking to come to our house. What a mess.  Any advice you seem to be dealing with the same sort of person.   
 
January 9, 2006, 12:28 pm CST

you hang in there too

Quote From: lcaesar123

I am personally in the middle of a custody battle for my two children.  They are ages 4 and 7.  Yes, the parents are a big part of the problem however..the bigger issue is the court system.  My soon to e ex was and is a controlling, screaming, angry man.  He decided to fight for the children (it is a simple money issue, if he has the kids he can keep the house and save a bunch of money!).  He truely did not one thing with my children before I filed.  Since I filed he gives the children everything they want..candy, soda, toys and tell sthe children horrible untruths about me.  The saddest part is that I cannot get him out of the house unless there is physical violence.  You have to work through the "system" and this has so far taken more than 10 months and we are looking at possibly four more.  I have complained to various attorneys, court personal and even court appointed lawyer for the children.  I have no doubt that in the end of this "battle" I will have my children but, he will make sure that what he will leave me with is no money, no friends and 2 children who hate me bc they have been told lies about me.  And the courts just stand by and let it happen.  They say that they have the children in their best interest - if they did I would not be living in this hell.  I can seriously see how some wives "snap".  There is only so much a person can take and if I wasnt so strong and didnt have such strong support from a few people I do not know where I would be.  People looking in say that you should stay together for the children...well, I am divorcing for the sake of my children.  What he has done to the emotionally and what they have seen him do to me is horrible and I would fail as a mother if one of my children grew up to think that it is okay to treat another human being the way he treats us!  But, no one in the court wants to see that - they just spend an hour with you and think they can possibly get the two of you to do a 50/50 agreement - regardless od his past.  The courts need to be revised - they are putting the children and others in a very dangerous situation!!
 I'm not sure if things are the same here in Canada, but I assume they fall on the same lines.  My problem is that hubby has been talking to someone, who has been talking to a lawyer and giving him all this information second hand.  Of course these people know nothing of the real situations going on or how our son has cried and packed his own bags and threatened to leave and asked me to come with him.  Some of this is teenager angst, some is manipulation, and some of it is a learned behaviour from his dear old dad.  Yes, that is one reason why I finally said ENOUGH!  I am raising someone's future husband or partner here.  I want him to repsect other people, not berate them or call them idiots because they have a different viewpoint.  Of course, hubby being all nicey nice for the last few weeks will remain in our son's memory.  Kids never want to betray either parent.  But for my hubby I feel the same as you, he only started talking about custody and that kind of stuff when he realized I was serious and hey he'd have to start fending for himself.  He needs to control the situation and me.  By keeping the house and having ME come visit, he can be aware of my comings and goings.
My hubby says I spoil our son because I allowed a t.v. in his room & I bought him a personal dvd player for his b-day (he's going to be 14 for crying out loud!)Yes, he turns the t.v. off when asked, does his homework (for the most part) and I am the reason he is a smart mouthed teenager.  Hmmm... thinking that might be just society, but I agree at times our son has a smart mouth.  He doesn't swear to us or anything like that... just never does exactly what he's told when he's told.  Hubby says son is going to be trouble... never trouble yet, comes home on time, asks permission to do things, maintains a "B" average,  is a good natured boy, but according to hubby he can see trouble.   Of course telling the boy he's getting fat and his arms are getting big and his face is round isn't damaging to him at all (5'10 @ 165lbs)  Yelling at him for eating chips while he's munching down on them.  My solution... remove the chips from the house.  Problems solved.

Anyways...
Good luck to you.  I hope this gets resolved for you soon and you can start to rebuild and repair the damage done to your kids!

Keep me posted.
 Whatever!
 
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