Seperated with no agreement - custody question


#1

my ‘soon to be’ ex and I seperated last august. We have an 11 year old son. I moved out of the house and pretty much gave him everything. I saw an attorney and had a seperation agreement prepared, but he would not sign it because he couldnt afford and atty to review it. The agreement called for shared custody and we have been very agreeable until recently. My son has been acting out for the past few months (trouble in school, lying, temper tantrums…etc.) I have recently really cracked down on him to correct this behavior, grounding him, taking away privlidges…etc. I called the ex and explained what i felt was happening and asked for his help by making the rules stick at his house. I even wrote out the rules, chores list…etc and gave a copy to the ex and he agreed to uphold the same. I find out later that he is not. As a matter of fact, he told me “I decided not to”.
I have been seeing someone and he is spending more and more time with me and my son. He has been very supportive of my efforts to correct my son’s behavior, but doesnt directly displine or repremand him. My ex is now saying that my son says he is ‘afraid’ of him - which just isnt true and is now saying he will not allow my son to come to my house if my friend is here. I know he has no legal right to do so, there is no signed agreement, and even so, it had no provisions for ‘future’ relationships, dating…etc. I am not sure what I should do at this point, can I file for custody immediately even thou we can file for divorce for a few more months? He has threatened to not let me have my son. Any thoughts anyone?


#2

I am the child of divorce (as well as a grandchild of divorce, a divorcee, and a stepmom). There are a couple of things I can say about your son’s behavior and about stepparenting.

First, it seems to be harder for kids who come from non-chaotic environments to adapt to a divorce situation than it is for those who grew up with their lives always in flux from the get-go. Having said that, your son may be at one of the worst age ranges for dealing with a divorce situation simply because he’s dealing with the beginnings of puberty. Hormones AND a high stress, highly emotional situation at the same time.

On one hand, yes, you are doing the right thing by expecting decent behavior of him and holding him up to a standard. On the other, he needs to be heard because he’s probably feeling all sorts of things, some of which he can’t express well, and may not believe that he can tell you what he feels. Create a safe place where he can talk even if you don’t agree with what he has to say. Let him know that even though you may not kowtow to his wishes, you will always take them under consideration.

Your child may be under the assumption that he would get mom all to himself for a while and now there’s another person in the picture who takes away from time that he expected to have devoted solely to him. Keep that in mind when dealing with him.

Oftentimes, children feel a loyalty to their biological parents and your child may feel that in order to like or get along with your BF, it would be disloyal to his father. You might want to let him know that you aren’t seeking to replace his father…that no one will replace his father. However, you are human and that this new person makes you happy. Also let him know that you don’t expect any behaviour towards the BF other than civility…you aren’t forcing the child to see the BF as a parent. Have special time that is just you and your son and once the BF is in the pic on a more permanent basis, see if there is some common interest that they can share and bond over.

Many children look to see if there is an edge to manipulate one parent against the other. Unfortunately, a BF/GF can provide that opportunity and so it’s entirely possible that your son is telling your ex that he is afraid, whether or not that’s true. It’s not that they are being bad children, but that they are trying to get their desires met and don’t always fully understand the consequences. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get your ex to see/understand that this might be a possibility.

There isn’t much you can do about the other parent’s reaction. The only thing you can do is be as well-centered as possible and understand that whatever your child throws at you during this time isn’t really personal. He is trying to make sense of a situation that he can’t control. Really, the only thing you can do is keep the lines of communication open.

As far as your ex’s ability to take your child away, rest easy on that account. Short of the new BF being a child molester or abuser, there really isn’t much he can do on that account. As long as you provide a stable, healthy environment and can prove such, you should have no worry.

Lastly, yes, you can file for custody at any time after the separation. Keep in mind that regardless of what is decided, the courts can and will always step in to the middle of custody if they feel that the best interests of the child are at stake. Judges may listen to a child’s requests to be given custody to one parent or another, but they are not obligated to adhere to any such requests. Keep records that you can of attending parent/teacher conferences, school events, doctor/dentist appointments, or missing work to care for a sick child. The parent that is the most involved in their child’s life AND is the parent most supportive of BOTH parents being active in the child’s life is most likely the one to succeed in a custody battle.


#3

Hello,
Thanks for sharing your story. I advice if you separated you should have a agreement until you have agreement there will be arise in future. And in case of your child if you want to take his custody you have take care him well. Court will decide who is able to properly take care of child. Court also consider the choice of the child. Make sure you child is with you spend as much as time you can spend with him.

I hope this will definately helps you and best wishes for your future.

Thanks Regards…