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Anna
Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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I am a divorced mother of 2 boys 7 & 9. We have Joint Custody

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I am a divorced mother of 2 boys 7 & 9. We have Joint Custody and their is nothing positive about it. The Father pushed for it because he thought it meant no Child Support. We live in Michigan. Currently, my ex lives in a camper in Illinois or Missouri. 9 hours away. He wants to transfer the boys back and forth every 2 weeks over the summer. He works a minimum of 6 days per week. Then they would have to spend 2 days driving. Our Family Court Judge is considering this. My ex has left my boys full time with an 11 yr old to babysit. He has left them with his sisiter who lost custody of her boys due to child abuse and neglect. He has left them with these teen boys one of which is bi-polar, violent and accused of sexually abusing his younger cousins. He has asked my boys for a blow job. His main caregiver if his parents who have Custody of these troubled teens but who the State of Michigan has found to be neglectful caregivers. The dead beat dads rights come first not the chil
Wow! What a horrible nightmare.....but can you clear up a couple things?

Did you report the blow job request to child protective services? How long ago did that occur, and are you willing to report it now if you didn't then? (Remember...it's their job to investigate, not yours)

Who would be drinving the 9 hours every two weeks?

The family judge is considering this...is there a current case that is open? Did he sue for this visitation?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The Court assigned a Parenting Time Coordinator who I contacted. She said the blow job incident was normal behaviour for a teenage boy and that my ex-inlaws would keep a closer eye on him in the future. The school creported my ex to CPS on a seperate issue and I informed him of this incident. He said he looled into the teens background and that he was accused of sexually abusing others. This was in a report that I shared with the Parent Coordinator and the Court. My boys are not supposed to be at the house anymore per a Court order but their dad does not always follow this.

 

The driving would be done by the dad. When I suggested to my ex's Atty that he come home for visits he said that he could not because he works weekends. What is the point to make my boys travel so far away from friends and family just to sit in a strange daycare 6-7 days a week?

 

Our Parenting Coord said this arrangement is not in the best interest of the boys in May. Russ said he will do it anyways infringing on my Parenting Time. I paid for summer daycare in May. I cannot change it now. I have to pay daycare on his weeks as well since he has been gone and then try to get him to reimburse me. I filed a Motion to prevent him from taking the boys. The law says he cannot take them over 100 miles away. I was awarded sole custody while he is away but the Judge is open to hear a plan from my ex. My ex filed a Motion yesterday to enfoce this visitation schedule. How do you have Joint Custody when one parent lives in another State? As it is he lives 50 minutes away from the boys school in Michigan,. There is nothing Joint about this arrangement.I have FULL responsibility financial and otherwise.

Again, this is a horrible situation for a mother. I can completely understand your anger at the system not protecting your children. How these kinds of abuses can be tolerated is beyond me, but I see the results of it in my counseling practice all the time.

It sounds like you're well into the legal system and that monolith has a speed all it's own. You can only do what you're doing now and keep pressing the issue. Don't for a minute let your guard down. Gather as much evidence as you can and keep documenting. When staff changes at the courthouse, you can lose information, so always keep your own copy of everything.

Get support for yourself. Read some of the blogs on this site:
http://www.thewordslinger.org/your_tribe/
You'll hear women like yourself deal with these same issues. Abusive men will use their children to get control, and control is the name of the game here. What is happening to you is abuse.

Talk and vent and share with people. Don't hold his shame for him. Make the best life that you can with your kids, knowing that this time in their lives will not be totally dominated by him. They're with you right now_keep making that count without letting him wear you down.

You're not crazy, and you're not making this stuff up. Men do this all the time to women and yes, they often get away with it. Fight the good fight for your kids and don't give up. It sounds like you've done so much already. You're doing the right thing...just keep it up!

I admire your courage.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What is your professional opinion about what is BEST for the children? Home with mom in daycare 9-3 M-F or Full time daycare M-Sat 9 hrs away in a city that is one of the highest crime rates living in a camper??? I have offered flexibility for my ex to visit the boys.
My professional option is limited in that I'm only hearing your side of the story and I don't have all the facts, but yes, it is best for them to be in their normal routine. I would continue to offer him the option to come and visit with them at your location. I also wouldn't be working really hard on comprimising...let him do that. I wouldn't SOUND obstinant, but I'd be smiling and not moving from my position unless court ordered. He doesn't need to know what you're up to. Talk to your visitation coordinator and keep letting her know of your concerns and willingness to let the kids see him withing the limits of the current order only.

I hope this helps you.
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