How to get ex to give me back the kids

Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:My ex-husband fought for custody and won. I was in a terrible place financially and newly unemployed when our divorce hearing was held- I think this was the deciding factor as the judge wrote that we were equally capable as parents (that and he hired the lawyer in the tiny jurisdiction we were in that wins all cases he’s involved in…but that’s another discussion).

It’s been the greatest heartbreak of my life, and I’m sure he fought for custody to hurt me. I’ve worked as hard as I can to be a constant source of love and support to our children. My ex-husband, by all appearances, hates the responsibility of fatherhood and is supremely neglectful: he expects the kids (who are only in elementary) to basically take care of all of their own needs, leaves them alone for long stretches, and drinks heavily/nurses hangovers around them pretty much every day. He’s also extremely impatient and hypercritical of them. My kids have begged both of us to live with me; he ignores it and I tell them it’s not up to me.

Recently I said to him that I don’t even want child support (which is true), but that I just want the kids back. He said that he was open to discussing this. FWIW all of his animus toward me seems to have faded and we are on friendly enough terms. He’s said he doesn’t want to have to go back to court and I agree (I’ve been through three lawyers; he’s still paying bills for his one).

How do I sweeten the deal so he just does it?



You start by refraining from casting aspersions upon him like the bolded. You must have been in an extraordinarily dangerous situation for the children for a judge to have denied you custody. And so this assertion that he did it to "hurt you" falls flat to me. Also, you say you're not there, so how can you know that he drinks heavily and nurses hangovers around them every day? That's some wild-ass conjecture. Moreover, expecting late-elementary school students to be somewhat self-sufficient isn't necessarily neglectful -- an entire generation of Xers will happily explain about how being latchkey kids was beneficial in the end.

The fact that you moved away AND got remarried is another major complication here. If you were local, 50-50 would be easier to obtain if you have, in fact, gotten your shit together. But asking him to essentially send his kids to you to live -- and make them live with another man who isn't their father, to boot -- is a little more problematic, IMO. I wouldn't agree to that based on what I know about the statistics of abuse, etc. by step-fathers.


man, just stfu because you have no understanding of the situation.

what happened is that OP moved away *with her kids.* at that point when the matter goes to court, the judge has to award full custody to one parent because joint custody is not physically possible. per OP the court awarded physical custody to her DH because of her financial situation. now arguably OP is at fault for moving in the first place and setting up this scenario, but she did not abandon her kids, and the court did not find she was an unfit parent because of an “extraordinary dangerous” situation. plus based on what OP says, her ExDH doesn’t even want to parent anymore. Your whole take on this situation is extremely biased.


First of all, allow me to disabuse you of the notion that you can tell me -- or anyone -- to "stfu." Especially with your invalid and ridiculous take on the situation. And your finger-pointing about bias? Three point back at you.

It's obvious something very extreme happened. My guess is it had something to do with her taking her kids with her in the first place -- you can't do that and it probably played heavily in the father's favor when it came time to get a ruling. She was found to be an unfit parent. She's prattling on about how he did it to "hurt" her but it sounds like he was just looking out for the children's welfare. It's HER interpretation that he doesn't want to parent -- women often draw that conclusion, but it's usually not true.

It sounds to me like he's amenable to 50/50. That is reasonable and customary. But the minute she tries to demand full custody, my guess is he will rightfully object, especially since she intends to physically remove the children from his state and make them live with a stepfather. I would never allow that and would go completely scorched earth to prevent it.

But, let's review here: You DO NOT tell me to "STFU." Do you understand me? Nod and tell me you understand.



please stfu before you embarrass yourself further. she was never declared “unfit.” primary custody was granted to the father because they lived too far apart for 50-50 and she was broke/unemployed.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Wait so you moved away from your kids to remarry? The judge is not going to uproot the kids for a parent who abandoned them —the bar will be very high for abuse and neglect for them to be uprooted. I assume that’s why you don’t want to go through judges or lawyers.

The answer to your question is, you can offer to take them for the entire summer and then enroll them in school where you are. After they have been with you for six months it is considered their new jurisdiction but if you simply don’t return them in violation of a filed existing custody order it is kidnapping if it’s without his consent.


I did not leave my ex to remarry. I left with the kids. When I fell on hard times my ex kept the kids under the guise of giving them back after a year so I could get back on my feet - but then filed for custody. Covid also prolonged the time between his time getting them and is having our case heard. We were separated for years before we got divorced.


There seems to be a key piece of this story you are glossing over. Judges do not award sole custody without really good reasons.
Anonymous
Didn't read the whole thread, but man there are some mean people on here.

OP, I hope you and your ex can work towards an agreement and your kids can come back to live with you. I do think you eventually need something in writing, preferably filed with the court, that reflects your new agreement.

Best of luck to you.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I think it’s wrong when dads are denied their children. Same with woman.. The state courts make it really easy for extreme decisions to occur as a result of interpersonal fights.

All kids need their father. Daughters especially need fathers. All kids need their mother. People should stay out of courts on family affairs— especially during divorce when you are hotheaded and dividing your live savings. Why? bc it’s hard to do over. It’s hard to reverse/ It’s hard to get out of the awful “I’ve won mentality.”

Many who go Family court to fight should be treated as pariahs. Obviously there are exceptions.


This is why if you are a dad and your ex wants sole custody just tell her fine. Next find a descent lawyer (not even a great one) and your changes of success for joint will be close to 99%. Folks sole custody is not easy to get. You need to prove the other party is a danger to the children.


I hope what you are saying is correct, but I have heard stories (no proof just hearsay) of perfectly functional dads having couple of days visitations every other weeks or so. I don’t know whether that’s still the case but some fathers truly think that some judges are biased and favor moms and will give them sole custody if they ask. These dads are often devastated as a result and their lives turned upside down completely.


It’s awful. No one should go to family court. The lawyers are a big part of the problem.

The kids end up missing their childhood when the parents fight over and over …. on an artificial county court timetable. It drags on. Each parent feels victimized because the court process is so difficult, expensive, and combative. The divorce lawyers make it go.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I don't think you should (or would be successful) taking the kids away from their home, school, family and friends and shipping them off to wherever you've moved with your new spouse.

Maybe you could look at moving back and then you might be in a better position for 50/50.


Ex is planning to relocate somewhere in the next few months, hopefully closer to me. He has no plan for his life.

At least his plans included his children? What does yours include? Moving away and a new spouse. Why wont you consider moving closer so they dont have to uproot their entire lives?
Anonymous
The only right way is to file for a change in custody.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:The only right way is to file for a change in custody.


+1 you’re giving him all the power by just hoping he does what you want. If you believe the kids would be better off with you and that’s what they want, then file for change in custody.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I don't think you should (or would be successful) taking the kids away from their home, school, family and friends and shipping them off to wherever you've moved with your new spouse.

Maybe you could look at moving back and then you might be in a better position for 50/50.


Ex is planning to relocate somewhere in the next few months, hopefully closer to me. He has no plan for his life.

Huh? If he has no plan then he’s not planning to relocate. Why would you *hope* he’s moving to you? You need to go wherever he is/goes if you want 50/50.

What does your new husband think about all this? Is he ready to pick up his life and follow you for your kids? Getting remarried before you hashed out your long-term custody agreement seems very shortsighted.

+1
How did you meet, date, get engaged and get married to someone all without giving AF about your children? Who were apparently being abused while youre off galivanting and fking your way across a new state?
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:My ex-husband fought for custody and won. I was in a terrible place financially and newly unemployed when our divorce hearing was held- I think this was the deciding factor as the judge wrote that we were equally capable as parents (that and he hired the lawyer in the tiny jurisdiction we were in that wins all cases he’s involved in…but that’s another discussion).

It’s been the greatest heartbreak of my life, and I’m sure he fought for custody to hurt me. I’ve worked as hard as I can to be a constant source of love and support to our children. My ex-husband, by all appearances, hates the responsibility of fatherhood and is supremely neglectful: he expects the kids (who are only in elementary) to basically take care of all of their own needs, leaves them alone for long stretches, and drinks heavily/nurses hangovers around them pretty much every day. He’s also extremely impatient and hypercritical of them. My kids have begged both of us to live with me; he ignores it and I tell them it’s not up to me.

Recently I said to him that I don’t even want child support (which is true), but that I just want the kids back. He said that he was open to discussing this. FWIW all of his animus toward me seems to have faded and we are on friendly enough terms. He’s said he doesn’t want to have to go back to court and I agree (I’ve been through three lawyers; he’s still paying bills for his one).

How do I sweeten the deal so he just does it?



You start by refraining from casting aspersions upon him like the bolded. You must have been in an extraordinarily dangerous situation for the children for a judge to have denied you custody. And so this assertion that he did it to "hurt you" falls flat to me. Also, you say you're not there, so how can you know that he drinks heavily and nurses hangovers around them every day? That's some wild-ass conjecture. Moreover, expecting late-elementary school students to be somewhat self-sufficient isn't necessarily neglectful -- an entire generation of Xers will happily explain about how being latchkey kids was beneficial in the end.

The fact that you moved away AND got remarried is another major complication here. If you were local, 50-50 would be easier to obtain if you have, in fact, gotten your shit together. But asking him to essentially send his kids to you to live -- and make them live with another man who isn't their father, to boot -- is a little more problematic, IMO. I wouldn't agree to that based on what I know about the statistics of abuse, etc. by step-fathers.


man, just stfu because you have no understanding of the situation.

what happened is that OP moved away *with her kids.* at that point when the matter goes to court, the judge has to award full custody to one parent because joint custody is not physically possible. per OP the court awarded physical custody to her DH because of her financial situation. now arguably OP is at fault for moving in the first place and setting up this scenario, but she did not abandon her kids, and the court did not find she was an unfit parent because of an “extraordinary dangerous” situation. plus based on what OP says, her ExDH doesn’t even want to parent anymore. Your whole take on this situation is extremely biased.


First of all, allow me to disabuse you of the notion that you can tell me -- or anyone -- to "stfu." Especially with your invalid and ridiculous take on the situation. And your finger-pointing about bias? Three point back at you.

It's obvious something very extreme happened. My guess is it had something to do with her taking her kids with her in the first place -- you can't do that and it probably played heavily in the father's favor when it came time to get a ruling. She was found to be an unfit parent. She's prattling on about how he did it to "hurt" her but it sounds like he was just looking out for the children's welfare. It's HER interpretation that he doesn't want to parent -- women often draw that conclusion, but it's usually not true.

It sounds to me like he's amenable to 50/50. That is reasonable and customary. But the minute she tries to demand full custody, my guess is he will rightfully object, especially since she intends to physically remove the children from his state and make them live with a stepfather. I would never allow that and would go completely scorched earth to prevent it.

But, let's review here: You DO NOT tell me to "STFU." Do you understand me? Nod and tell me you understand.



NP here. Please just STFU, both with your lectures and nonsencical takes.
Anonymous
You abandoned your kids because your car broke down?? Thats all it takes?
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:You abandoned your kids because your car broke down?? Thats all it takes?


That’s a little unfair. OP clearly was in a bad way, mental health-wise. It was more than the car.

When we first met OP in 2017, she was a SAHM/trailing spouse of a GS-13 FSO whose ex questioned her spending. She found out her ex was flirting with a coworker, got pregnant, left her husband with the kids and came back to the US. Then he sold her BMW, which sent her over the edge. Her mom tried to tough love her into reconciliation for the kids’ sake.

Then OP moved to a farm outside Cumberland, couldn’t find work and contemplated become a topless cocktail waitress at a gentlemen’s club.

Then, because of the lack of a job, and the fact she couldn’t live off child support, she returned the kids to the dad.

Clearly, she had a lot going on.

Childless, she went back to school, met someone, graduated, got married, bought a house, and now works for one of the regional health systems. Maybe she has sought therapy for her likely personality disorder. And now she wants her kids back because her life has stabilized. Which is fair.

Except the kids don’t live in a commutable area to her. They have lived with dad for years. They are about 6 and 8. They cannot realistically do a regular back-and-forth schedule, and it would be amazingly destabilizing to flip so that OP has primary physical custody. OP is practically an stranger at this point. Even though Dad is probably a dirt bag, and even though Dad’s up for a new assignment, Dad has been the stable presence in their lives for four or five years now.

OP, your kids have been through a lot, and it is in their best interest to not rock the boat. If you want to be a part of their lives, you need to try to work with their dad to move someplace jointly, where you can reasonably coparent these kids. Or you need to start making arrangements for you to spend your holidays and summers wherever Dad ends up so that you can spend time with your kids and they can adjust to you on their terms. Your new husband may or may not like that, but if you want a parental relationship with your kids, you need to prioritize them.

And you need to be super stable and consistent from now on. That probably means a lot of work with a mental health professional because from the outside, your decisions and actions don’t seem to be rational or well thought-out.

It does seem like you have pulled yourself together in the past few years, and you should be proud of that progress. But I think you still have a lot of work ahead of you. Focus on that with the goal of re-establishing a relationship with your kids. Not engaging in dramatic legal battles that will set you back even further.
Anonymous
Wow, 17:26 PP, what a thoughtful and helpful post. And thanks for the recap of the background.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:Wait so you moved away from your kids to remarry? The judge is not going to uproot the kids for a parent who abandoned them —the bar will be very high for abuse and neglect for them to be uprooted. I assume that’s why you don’t want to go through judges or lawyers.

The answer to your question is, you can offer to take them for the entire summer and then enroll them in school where you are. After they have been with you for six months it is considered their new jurisdiction but if you simply don’t return them in violation of a filed existing custody order it is kidnapping if it’s without his consent.


I did not leave my ex to remarry. I left with the kids. When I fell on hard times my ex kept the kids under the guise of giving them back after a year so I could get back on my feet - but then filed for custody. Covid also prolonged the time between his time getting them and is having our case heard. We were separated for years before we got divorced.


There seems to be a key piece of this story you are glossing over. Judges do not award sole custody without really good reasons.


For sole physical (not legal) custody “the parents live far apart” is a really good reason.
Anonymous
If you moved away OP, either move back and do 50/50, or draft up a plan for 50/50 between two states (likely school year versus vacations and summer break) and go to court where the children currently live.

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