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custody change is NOT always the best option

Posted by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM
  • 63 Replies

so why do smom (yes i'm guilty) always jump to that first thought. ok so according to most of us in here the bm's we are dealing with SUCK like hell, even the bm's i have dealt with past and present and i even hated my neices bm at first. and i'm sure smom hated (hates) me to this day. but why is it always (mostly) "the kids would do so much better with us" - would they really?

how do we know this for sure? when i was with xh i just KNEW that my xskids would be better off with us, hell i bitched about bm  A LOT and how nasty they were (stinking, lesser lifestyle, etc etc) but when youngest sd did come to live with us, i was learning quickly that it WASN'T the best idea.

and when bm has a hard time, instead of gathering information it's automatically "we want custody" but most of the time, unless it's a long term position or bm is on drugs or around people doing drugs it's just not that easy to get a custody change unless the other parent is ok with the idea.

I understand not all bm's are "talkable" so that's why you just simply gently approach the subject, if that blows up, then send a letter from an attorney stating that she has til x date to provide reasons for her change and a game plan to get out of it or custody changes will be sought. at least this way you can PROVE you TRIED to talk to the op and give them a chance to clean it up before just ripping the child from the other home

just makes no sense to me so please help me understand why custody battle is always the first thought. in most posts i have read, once custody got changed, the smom HATED be careful what you pray for

by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 9:57 PM
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by Ruby Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I don't know, that is one battle DH and I have never engage in with BM. I can't imagine anything but BM being CP for SS. Under no circumstances would I want to in a custodial situation with a stepchild.

by Gold Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I've never been a NCSM. It's dang difficult for a father to gain custody of his child, however, so one might reasonably infer that when SM becomes CSM, there's a good reason. The kids are always affected tough. Brady Bunch was fiction.

I agree that custody battles should not be about the SP. There's either a problem or there isn't. If dad wants more, he should fight for it. If SM wants dad to want more, she may be in for a rude surprise.

I suspect some SMs may believe they can eliminate BM by taking over as primary female influence. BDs are guilty if that same mentality, often attempting to burden SM with the role of "mom". But it doesn't work that way.
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by Silver Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:31 PM

personally i am 1:1 lol...we took in both step kids, one is totally doing better. She went from being a D student to all As and Bs. BM couldn't help her with homework and refused to get her a tutor and now she is doing SO much better. Even emotionally she seems much more stable. We also took my SS last year and we have him as well this year...he is doing equally bad here as he was doing there. We are unable to help him and we have tried everything.

I guess my point is custody change CAN help but not 100% of the time. The reason why the kids aren't doing well is important to consider from my experience. SD was doing badly in school and her BM was dumping her problems on her. SS is doing badly because....well...because he doesn't want to do well becasue neither parent could help him.

Before we had custody, personally I kept thinking that kids would be better off if they were under our care, doing it our way. I am sure everyone thinks that their way is best.

by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:32 PM
This isn't something we have ever really desired. We know we would be trading one set of issues for another.
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by Hi, my name is... on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I don't want a custody change but I think it's be better for my Dh to have his sons on school days. IMO.

I did. I knew it would REALLY suck for ME. but I did feel and still do feel in the long run it would help my skids w being in time to school. (Last year SS had over 15 tardies. Even this year on BMs time) yss is about to fail 8th grade. He has to make up 80 after and before school days. ..ect...

The years before bm didn't have a home. Which would be fine if she didn't leave them w me every single day.

I do like your point. Good post. I really would not like a CC. But I do feel it would help these skids.

BM is leaving to another state in 4 years,those boys future will be here w us so I'd hope they did well in school now.
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by Hi, my name is... on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Me either. I don't think it would fit me well at all.

Unless something horrible happened to BM (knock on wood) I would not want it either,personally.

Quoting leegirl_jm:

I don't know, that is one battle DH and I have never engage in with BM. I can't imagine anything but BM being CP for SS. Under no circumstances would I want to in a custodial situation with a stepchild.

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by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:48 PM
We KNEW sd would be better off here and so did bm. Thats why she voluntarily gave up custody. Since moving here 3 years ago, she's getting a better education, is functioning better emotionally (is going back to counseling now though with a different set of mommy issues), has more friends, the schedule and structure she needs (she is mildly ocd), and is getting alobg with her mom better.

We dont see the benefits so much for trying for custody of ss (different bm) because its a much different situation. So its def not a "1st reaction" for us.
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by Hi, my name is... on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree Custody change shouldn't be the first thing to do unless there's abuse.

But then again I feel (in my fake fantasy life of when I lived in an intact family) that moms should always have their children more. Dads should visit.

Things should be worked out before if possible.
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by Platinum Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Well, in our case SD is better off in our home. Her special needs were neglected while living with BM. She wasn't seeing any of the specialists required to properly treat her disorder. She had one specialist established with BM and that she only saw him once a year.

In the two months since living with us we've established 6 specialists and are working on determining whether or not she has a need to see yet another. She didn't have an IEP or any developmental assessments done while living with BM, even though DH asked and asked about them. We just completed her IEP evaluation and all of the developmental assessments. The assessments prove that SD is severely delayed (she had 3 years of kindergarten and no supportive academic or educational supportive services while living with BM). Her teacher and the full IEP team at school believe that she won't be able to meet the academic requirements of middle school when she starts next school year.

So yes, I do believe that SD is better off with us.

BUt, I also don't think that it's the best situation for everyone. Honestly, if BM and BD are both happy with the custody order until all of a sudden a new step-parent is in the picture, it might be time to consider who the problem may be. 

by Ruby Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:09 AM
I think (in my personal experience with SMs that are my friends and with the SM in my life) that women sometimes believe that they are the best parent period. They have different ideas of how things should work, how the family functions, how the kids do their routines (bedtime, bath, homework) and if mom is doing things mom's way, often SM just feels that the kids would be better with her because her way is the best way. The SM in my life believes that she is a better choice for custodial 'woman' (not mom because she isn't mom I am) because she doesn't work outside of the home, she is available with a moments notice, she can have dinner fixed and on the table by 6pm, extra curriculars can be handled between 3pm and 6pm so that the evening is spent as a 'family'. Homework can also be done before dinner. Kids can be in bed at an extremely early hour and things just run 'smoother' in her house. She has time to shop the farmers market and to buy more healthy, whole foods, and has time to prepare them in a more natural form.

I work full time. While I can be available at a moments notice, My day ends at 5 and family life begins at 5. We are rushed, we eat quick dinners and often eat out because we have ECs in the evening, homework often goes into the later evening hours etc etc. I love my life though. She loves her life. I love mine. And I believe I am teaching my children to be independent and to be successful in a career. To obtain happiness in the home and outside of the home.

One woman's way of parenting and raising a family can differ greatly from another woman's way of parenting and raising a family and neither are wrong. But sometimes, I think that (since this is an SM forum) we hear more from SMs that believe their way of raising a family is better than how Mom raises her family. And because SM on this forum is NCSM, voicing on this forum that she believes the children should be in her home, is just what we see on here most often. And usually what I see is that an SM that is asking for advice to change custody it is because she wants everyone to tell her that she is right, mom is wrong and give her advice on how to obtain that custody because she doesn't know where to start. A lawyer should be the only advice anyone ever gives.. Because a lawyer would be the best person to tell SM if she has grounds or not to gain legal, residential custody. Or if her husband has grounds.
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