My husband and I have 3 children all together. He has a 8 year old daughter, I have a 7 year old son, and we have a 3 month old daughter together. We have had a lot of issues dealing with my SD's mother. When they divorced the court ordered my husband only 2 weekends a month ( he works out of town for 2 weeks at a time and then is off 2 weeks). A majority of the time we have her most of the 2 weeks he is off even though she lives in a different school district because my husband is able to drop her off and pick her up from school. It always seems as though we can only have her when it is convenient to her mother. She had just started working in August as LPN, this is pretty much the first time she has ever had a job since SD was born. So when she is working during the week she is more than willingly to allow us to have her so she does not have to worry about doing homework and such. After she got fired (from her 2nd job since August) she did not want us to have her, only when it was convenient to her and would not set a schedule. She feels as though she is being "nice" by allowing us to get her even though it is not CO but it always comes at a price.
For example, my husband pays her $989 a month in CS and $500 a month in alimony. To me that is quite a generous amount of money , he pays 89% she pays 11%. At the time this amount was set they had put her at working a minmum wage job because she was in school and her income has probably tripled since she has became an LPN. We also provide school clothes, shoes, backpack, food etc while she is at our house 30-40%. Well BM recieved a school lunch bill from the school for $22 and she called DH wanting him to pay it. He told he was not going to because that is what CS is for. She then proceeded to tell him that he would no longer be able to see SD only on his CO weekends. She has tried to get him to let her claim SD every year even though divorce papers state that they are to rotate years on taxes. This has been going on for as long as I can remember.!!! I am really tired of her calling wanting to more $ and then using her daughter as a pawn to try to get her way. Just recently my SD called DH asking if he could pay $150 for half of a ski trip she wanted to go on because her BM couldn't afford it. He told her we did not have the money to pay for it right now and SD said "well you will getting your taxes back soon". MMM I wonder where she heard that from?!?!? SD also knows how much money my DH makes and a lot of other things that I believe children should not know!! Even after my DH told SD that he could not afford it her BM called and asked him to pay $300 for the whole thing. He told her the same thing that we couldn't afford it. BM went on and on about how if he loved his daughter he would pay for it and that he is money hungry! Really? Yet BM is paying for herself to go on this ski trip, but she wants him to pay for SD to go. He told her that if she could pay for herself she could allow SD go instead of her but obviously she didn't see that as a valuable option.
We always try to be civil with her BM and be flexible but it seems as though she more concerned about herself than what is best for her daughter. I go out of my way to attend all her sport activities even when my husband is not home. I try to have her come over when he is gone because I want her to know that this is always her home and she is always welcome. I have asked probably at least 1x a month the last 7 months and her BM has maybe let me have her once. Yet she is more than willing to call me to watch her when she wants to go out to a movie or whatever. I just need some advice on how to deal with her!!! I really just want to call her and tell her that it is about what is best for SD not what benefits her!!! In the end she is only hurting SD because she enjoys coming over to our house and spending time here. SD should not be made to feel as though her father is a only good for $ or that she can't love/spend time with father because it would hurt her BM feelings. Help?!?!?!?
We are considering speaking to a lawyer this spring and trying to get joint custody. Does anyone know the chances of this and what the court looks at when considering if it is a viable arrangement for the child/parents?