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  •  Some Advice here....First of all thank you for (69+ / 0-)

    your service.   You do have options.

    1.    If you have a lawyer change that custody deal and ask for an emergency total custody ..ex-parta or something like that..Giving you total custody.   Apply for TANF.  Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

    2.   You will not be granted custody without am acceptable housing situation.   Again, you may qualify through Family an Children for emergency housing through Hud but living with extended family with your child is acceptable through most states.

    3.  Demand she pay child support and that is where the TANF comes in if she does not.

    4.  DO NOT allow this guy around your child but ask the attorney or judge for jer to have supervised visitation only.

    5.   You may not want the state involved in this but they can help you, if evrything is on the up and up in your life.

    6.   The grandparents are stable, so they will look and so will the judge at one thing and one thing only.. WHAT is in the best interest of the child.

    7.   Are you still in the marines?

    8.   Does anything in your life prevent you for having custody?

    These are all hard questions and hard advice and I applaud your bravery and courage.   I assure you I know where you are and it is not a good place.   We adopted all 4 of our grandchildren after proving the bio Mom unfit.  ( not our daughter)...Our son signed custody papers over to us and we went for adoption due to his financial hardship and bascially emotional strain from the marriage.  2 of the children were not biolgically his but legally they were.  

    You need to look at your options here and keep a drug addicted stranger away from your child.  HE heas no interest in that child.   The mother in our case was given two years to straighten up and it did not happen.  We ended up with permanent custody and then adoption.

    You cannot think short term in this matter.   So many things can happen...First of all she can leave the state with your child and then it gets really complicated.  She can set up residency with this guy and apply for him to adopt in another state and you may never be aware.
    Please.. get you and your child into some of the relatives home on a stable basis and then look to your state resources for some real long term help including legal aid.

    I am thinking of you and your family as this is extremely hard and emotionally volatile and devastating.   You also need a CASA worker.

    5.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 02:47:40 PM PST

    •  THIS (25+ / 0-)

      Vetwife is absolutely right, especially about custody issues...and you might want to set up an e-mail account for your kid that only you and the kid know about to maintain contact in case your wife and her fun new druggie friend decide to pull a powder.

    •  These are all excellent suggestions. (28+ / 0-)

      Sounds like this isn't your first rodeo Vetwife!

      I'm a former CASA and couldn't agree more.  PvtJarHead should ask the court to recommend an extra pair of eyes on this case and get a CASA if he can.  The mom isn't in a good place given her recent choices and without the right supervision there is a potential danger to the child.

      One thing I always tell my friends is something I heard on Dr. Phil: The person you marry isn't the person you divorce.  Always keep that in mind.  

      •  4 time rodeo circuit and won all 4 times (22+ / 0-)

        3 children at once in 1999 when state stepped in on the mom and the last time was 2006.  Same Mother.
        4 times at the rodeo.    Thanks for the kind words Hushe and Ellid.  
        It is not an easy feat to prove a Mother unfit.
        The documentatiion spoke loud but the stability of we as grandparents then helped tremendously.   The courts look at familiar family, they look at stable roofs and schools and relationships...and consistency.  Disability does not matter unless it is affecting children in a negative way.   Age does not really matter.  As long as you are there for your children and there is stable income and housing and no neglect, the judge will look at that and do not think for a second CASA or Homestudy, or child advocates do not come into this if there is a custody issue because it does come into the picture.  Always better if you ask for the help too for your child.   Once the state stands behind you it is a good thing.  

        She can go to the state and lie like a dog trotting and make you out the bad guy, cry crocodile tears and win sympathy of the court.   Get the truth out there BEFORE you go to court and make a stand  Good luck.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 03:22:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just for the record... (20+ / 0-)

          My wife is not an unfit parent.  She is doing some stupid things and making horrible decisions right now based on bad advice from a friend of hers.  Even though our relationship is over, I still love and care about her as a person and as the mother of my child.

          It is my sincere hope and desire that all of this works out in the end and we can all find some peace.  Right now my sole mission in life is protecting my child.  Period.

          I am indeed thinking long term, but I'm taking each situation and day one at a time.

          "Ich bin ein Dachs!"

          by PvtJarHead on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 03:51:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did not mean to say you felt she was unfit (14+ / 0-)

            but that is the only way a judge will grant custody.  A small child usually is perceived to stay with the Mother unless proved unfit.   If you feel your child is not safe, I don't know how to respond because a child does not have time for a parent to correct some mistakes and the safety of a child is what should always come first 24/7.
            if drugs are involved then ...you need to understand, she is not looking out for her while exposing her to illegal behavior.   You seem to be hopeful of a resolve and reconsile of the mistake and I hope you can salvage this problem but look at the situation you are in.   You must face the gravity of it.  I am not trying to put you in defense mode...it is what it is.  That is all we have to go by.

            I wish you luck.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 04:20:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Vet Wife is so right about this, the most a judge (5+ / 0-)

              will grant you is joint and shared custody if he feels she is a fit mother.  But if you want sole custody, it must be shown that the child would be in an unhealthy or unsafe environment living with her.  

              My nephew's wife deserted him and took their baby out of state to live with her lover while he was deployed to Iraq. It was during the worst part of the war in Iraq, when it was most dangerous. She told him via email she was leaving him and moving out state and taking the baby with her. The most he has even been able, 6 yrs later, is joint custody. He was fortunate to get transferred to the state where the mother and child reside.  He had to change his entire classification in the Army to do so but it finally worked out.  He has now remarried with another child and the ex wife has remarried.  The mother has a history of cutting herself and other mental illness but he was never able to get sole custody no matter what she did and no matter what the psychologists said who backed him up and said the child needed therapy because of the mother. The judge simply refused to grant sole custody to him because he is still active duty Military and career military.
              The only good thing is he is now able to see his child most anytime he wants but he is still pushing for custody and it is a tough road.  The problem was he was in Iraq and he could not stop her actions or take her to court until he returned home, his hands were tied.  

              You are more fortunate as you can take her to court quickly and you got a lawyer quickly..that is good.

              Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

              by wishingwell on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:22:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent advice (7+ / 0-)

      I've seen and in some ways been involved in (as a relative) such situations myself and they're really messy, complicated and hard on the kids. Always think of your daughter first and whatever kind of person your wife used to be (or you thought she used to be), don't trust her on anything having to do with your daughter. These situations bring out the worst in some people and make them act really irrationally and against the interests of the children involved. Who knows what this guy is telling her to do. He's obviously a big time user.

      Best of luck. With a father like you I'm sure you'll both do ok.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 05:35:45 PM PST

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      •  Actually, from what I understand... (7+ / 0-)

        He has a very serious medical condition for which he has had more than one surgery.  That does not excuse what he is doing with my wife or what my wife has done exposing my daughter to her selfishness.

        As I told my wife, I don't care if he's an Eagle Scout, an Alter Boy, and he fosters rescued puppies.  No one that I know, hang out with, or would expose my child to would travel half way across the country and interject themselves into someone's marriage.

        "Ich bin ein Dachs!"

        by PvtJarHead on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 06:23:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Want to second moving in with the grands (9+ / 0-)

      I've been invloved in the insanity of the foster care system for 7 years. Inspired to do that because when married, my husband & tried to get full custody of his son to keep him safe. I saw the system fail that child miserably. I wanted to become the safe place for children to come when there was horror at home.

      I have been, but after the utter insanity & incompetancy of the custody case, I've seen much more of the same with the foster childrens cases. That is, the current system around child custody is a flaming mess. DO NOT think that just because you are "right" that you can win.

      Just. Do. Not. Plan on that.     That's how we lost.

      By now, I've been in foster support groups locally and online, and am familiar with hundreds of cases.

      What Vetwife suggested re getting into one of your grandparent's homes is BRILLIANT. It could absolutely be the deciding factor for you. I am not kidding. This doesn't need to be your life plan, of course, but for now -- it is THE choice. We do what we gotta for our children.

      1) You need to be with people older and biologically related
      to you. Your grandparents/parents. That will look great to the judge.

      2) I think you say you're living with in-laws now? You need to move out of a space with any of her relatives. This is because the courts have seen a JILLION times that relatives will do a "pass through" of a child to their child/grandchild/relative... once the dust of the court case clears. Maybe these folks would never do that purposely, but the judge, SW (social worker), etc. will fear it, and from bitter experience. (Then there's the "sure you can take her to the park, honey", and they're on way outta town.)

      3) You need to get a signed, possibly notarized statement from YOUR relatives saying you're welcome to stay there a year or more. They love you, love their grand daughter/ niece/etc. Things will be tight, but you'll make it work, that's what families do. That it's a privilege to help & they look forward to being able to help you with child care, etc. Be SURE to have the mushy family stuff in there, not just "He can stay." Put support in there.

      4) If by any reason you can't live with bio family, which is
      400% your best option, then look into something like renting a space from a family at a church or similar, or a place on your own. If there's to be anyone else there, get them background checked immediately.

      Others had good advice about the CASA, help from SW at VA, etc. Will ponder further for you. Hope this helps.

      Ps I typed this whole thing on a cell phone, which nearly drove me nuts, so you'd better listen!

      This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

      by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:43:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Finding CASA, which means "Court Appointed (6+ / 0-)

        Special Advocate" and is a program to have a volunteer represent the best interest of the CHILD, period, being the eyes and ears of the judge, as it were.

        http://www.casaforchildren.org/...

        I'm not actually sure if they do this type of case, but if not, they still might be able to advise you in some way.

        This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

        by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:49:41 PM PST

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        •  And after all those positive ideas... Need to (6+ / 0-)

          second those who said to document. In regards to your recording. What you really need to record is her saying she has chosen him over you. Sad, but true.  
          And something about the oxy being in their lives, because if she's living with him, it's in her life.

          And if she's supporting him in any way... Ugh, it all gets so icky, but we tried to be "nice" in our first trial, and didn't bring as much dirt to the table as we should have.

          And get another bank account, eh? In a credit union, natch!

          This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

          by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:57:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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