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Author Topic: For my oldest children and myself  (Read 4068 times)
mytiltedworld
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« Topic Start: April 13, 2007, 12:18:46 am »

I'm having problems with the public school my two oldest kids from my first marriage attend.  They're saying that since, in our joint-custody papers, my ex-husband is the "residential parent" that I am not legally allowed to sign anything at the school, not even a letter saying that my kids will be picked up on Thursdays by their Aunt, my sister, even though they live with me and their father sees them for a few hours on Sundays, and is a complete non-entity in their school lives.  (His choice, he's working on his "career".)  Furthermore, I am not even listed on their contact info.  Just a big X through "mother's info".  I changed that at the beginning of the year, but they let my ex come in and fill out a new card, crossing me off again.  Ex works almost seven days a week 45 minutes away, I'm 10 minutes away and always here, a stay at home mom.  In an emergency...well, I'd hate to think what could happen.

I've found some things online which absolutely refute their denying me to sign papers concerning my kids, I have written a letter to the Superintendent of schools and I am hopeful of things being resolved but I could really use some prayers and energy.  Ultimately what we need to do is go back to court and get full custody, since joint custody is something my ex-husband (from a family with money, and me with my lawyer from legal aide) got from his lawyer just so he wouldn't have to pay child support.  Financially, this isn't possible right now so just to win this small battle would be such a big deal.

Thanks so much in advance.  Small beans in the grand scheme of things but after seven years of this crap, it's exhausting and disheartening. 

Thanks again.  Smiley
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mytiltedworld
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« Reply #1: April 13, 2007, 12:20:58 am »

Oh, and I also forgot to ask to be added to the Cauldron's Cill. 

Thanks again.  Smiley
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Dania
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« Reply #2: April 13, 2007, 12:32:21 am »

((hugs)) a close friend of mine is going through a downright horrendous custody thing right now. It's amazing what the courts will let people get away with.
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« Reply #3: April 13, 2007, 01:12:49 am »


(((((Mytiltedworld & Children)))))

I have added you to the Cill's Healing Request List.

This is NOT my area of legal expertise and I don't know where you live, so I can't offer you legal advice on this matter.  But from what you've described, it seems like the school is in error.  In general, if you have joint custody, you should have the same rights regarding your children, as your ex-husband does.  Sometimes institutions like school systems must be made to understand that, unfortunately.  And sometimes all it takes is a letter signed by someone with "Esq." after their name.

If it's at all possible to have a lawyer review your case, you should consider doing so.  If you have a law school in your area, see if it has a family law clinic that might be interested in taking your case.  Another idea is to call your state's bar association to see if it has a family law pro bono referral list.

Good luck!  You'll be in my thoughts.
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MojoDiva
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« Reply #4: April 13, 2007, 03:54:20 am »

Praying for a swift resolution for you and your children.
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ScorpioMoon
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« Reply #5: April 13, 2007, 12:49:57 pm »

I live in Kansas and my daughter has primary custody of her two children, but their daddy does have them every weekend and some holidays. I don't know if it's Kansas law or just that the schools in our town are not mindless beuracracies, but they wanted to have contact information for both parents, and at least two other contact people besides. Even though their daddy is an over-the-road trucker and could not get here quickly in an emergency, he still has the right to be contacted about anything that happens to his children at school.

I'm sure this is wearing you down, but I hope you can stick to your guns and get this fixed. I think the letter to the superintendent was a great idea. If that doesn't produce results you may need to ask to speak at a school board meeting, ask the PTO to intervene on your behalf, or even appeal to the media (tv and newspapers). Good luck.
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Starglade
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« Reply #6: April 13, 2007, 04:51:20 pm »

<snippage>Ultimately what we need to do is go back to court and get full custody, since joint custody is something my ex-husband (from a family with money, and me with my lawyer from legal aide) got from his lawyer just so he wouldn't have to pay child support.  Financially, this isn't possible right now so just to win this small battle would be such a big deal.

Thanks so much in advance.  Small beans in the grand scheme of things but after seven years of this crap, it's exhausting and disheartening. 

Thanks again.  Smiley

Mantras going out for you and the kids.

The part I left in the quote--about joint custody meaning he doesn't pay support--LEAPED out at me. That simply doesn't ring true for *this* state, anyway. Joint custody doesn't automatically mean no child support--whoever has primary placement usually gets support payments from the *other* one, at least here in WI.

I'd have my atty do some serious checking into that, if it were me. And if it'd been my atty who let that happen in the first place, I'd be looking for a *new* one.

Just my two cents, as usual--worth what you paid for it.
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Thesaly
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« Reply #7: April 14, 2007, 08:04:43 am »

The part I left in the quote--about joint custody meaning he doesn't pay support--LEAPED out at me. That simply doesn't ring true for *this* state, anyway. Joint custody doesn't automatically mean no child support--whoever has primary placement usually gets support payments from the *other* one, at least here in WI.

is it *joint* custody or *shared* custody?  As I understand it they're two different things, at least here in CT.  Joint custody refers to legal rights, but if one parent has physical custody for significantly more days out of the year than the other, child support is still awarded. 

In Shared custody, arrangements are made so that each parent has physical custody approximately 50% of the year.  Support is not awarded in these cases (unless the situation changes) because the courts assume that if each parent is providing for the child during their 50% of the year, that each parent is contributing 50% to the support of the child.

I end up with my son going to his dad's every friday afternoon and coming home every monday morning, with an extra two or three weeks at his dad's every summer.  I don't get support, but by mutual agreement I get to declare him on my tax return, as I have him slightly more than 50% of the year. It works for us.  I don't hate my ex, and he's had enough trouble just getting his rent paid.  I don't think it would benefit my son to have his father evicted, so I don't begrudge him the child support.
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Starglade
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« Reply #8: April 14, 2007, 10:05:27 am »

is it *joint* custody or *shared* custody?  As I understand it they're two different things, at least here in CT.  Joint custody refers to legal rights, but if one parent has physical custody for significantly more days out of the year than the other, child support is still awarded. 

<snippage>

I have to say I've not heard of "shared" custody in WI, in my experience. Everyone I know, including those who have a nearly 50/50 split in placement, refer to it as "joint."

Perhaps I went off too quickly. Alarms are raised with a hair trigger in my life, these days. (Not for myself, for my sweetheart who's in the midst of a very ugly divorce and custody battle. He stands to have primary placement, and joint custody--so far--only because the state *requires* the custody evaluator to maximize time with both parents. However, the evaluator wrote his report in such a way as to say "Read between the lines and you'll see what I *really* think should be done--I'm only saying this because I have to.")

I'm a little jumpy. Sorry if I misspoke.
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Thesaly
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« Reply #9: April 14, 2007, 11:21:23 am »

Perhaps I went off too quickly. Alarms are raised with a hair trigger in my life, these days. (Not for myself, for my sweetheart who's in the midst of a very ugly divorce and custody battle. He stands to have primary placement, and joint custody--so far--only because the state *requires* the custody evaluator to maximize time with both parents. However, the evaluator wrote his report in such a way as to say "Read between the lines and you'll see what I *really* think should be done--I'm only saying this because I have to.")

I'm a little jumpy. Sorry if I misspoke.


Not at all - I'm right with you on the definition of "joint" custody.  This was how the OP referred to it, but as you point out, most people will say "joint custody" because it's a term they're familiar with.  They may not even realize that there is another configuration with different rules, even if it's only in another state.  I wasn't sure if the OP truly had joint custody, or was it shared custody, which would make a difference in the child support arena. 

In CT the "shared custody" is mean to maximize the time with both parents, and is the state's goal with most custody cases.  "Joint custody" is one where one parent has primary physical custody, the other has a visitation agreement that is less than half the year, and the parent with primary custody is entitled to child support.  At least that was how it was explained to my during my divorce.  But then I'm in another state, so YMMV.
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mytiltedworld
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« Reply #10: April 14, 2007, 07:24:23 pm »

Thank you all, *so* much.  It's nice just to have others sympathise or know what you're going through.  Smiley  I'm on my way out the door or I'd respond to you all individually but I *did* want to say thanks.

And just to clarify: We have a "shared parenting agreement" and from what I've read it's the same as joint custody, Ohio law just changed the language in 1991.  Even if it were different though, I've had the kids more than 50% of the time almost every year since we divorced, except last year.  He gets to claim them on his taxes as well.  *rolls eyes*  There seems to be no end of things that he has going for him, or ways I was screwed in the divorce.

I got an email back from the Superintendent yesterday saying that after consulting with a lawyer they have concluded that I really don't have the right to sign any papers for my kids.  I still just don't get how I can have these kids and raise them, and then be told that I have limited rights.  It makes me angry in ways that I can't even describe. 

I'm off to a lawyer on Monday.  Hopefully Legal-Aid can squeeze me in, I'd like to have this resolved before school starts next year.  I have also emailed my ex asking if he wouldn't consider the both of us heading downtown and filing new papers ourselves, giving me residential parent status since he is too busy to bother with them.  I'm hoping to appeal to the side of him that wants to do nothing but work and hang with his friends.  Right now, those are the best plans I have.  I'm trying my best to be optimistic.

Thanks again, so much.  I'll keep things updated.  Smiley

Daph
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Dania
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« Reply #11: April 15, 2007, 11:57:54 am »

Quote
I got an email back from the Superintendent yesterday saying that after consulting with a lawyer they have concluded that I really don't have the right to sign any papers for my kids.  I still just don't get how I can have these kids and raise them, and then be told that I have limited rights.  It makes me angry in ways that I can't even describe. 

Oh, school systems are *so* stupid. :facepalm:
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