I need some advice on a custody issue with my ex-wife regarding my son!
Not sure if this is the right forum.
And you'd need to ask a specific question.
And which country you're in, and even which state or county, will also have an influence on the situation.
I live in the United States, Wilson, North Carolina. My ex left my son at school yesterday for an hour. Three months ago my son's bus driver called me twice an informed me that no one was home when she dropped my son off. These two matters really upset me. Do you think anything can be done about this? Thank You for your time Brad.
Ask your ex-wife is she minds having if you arrange to pick up your son afterschool. Or, offer to enroll him in an afterschool program that provides educational activities, that way your wife will have some time to run errands and the like. One of my friends is not married, but she is raising their son on her own with the boy visiting his dad on the weekends. Often he gets mad at how she does things, but she is overwhelmed and is trying her best. How old is your son? I do not know how things work these days, but I started staying at home alone when I was ten and I was babysitting neighbor kids by the time I was twelve.
My first question is whether you have any kind of custody, such as joint legal custody. If she has physical custody, but you share legal custody, you should have been notified by the teacher long before (s)he did that your son was there. In that event, to prevent this kind of thing from happening again, I would impress upon the school that you need to be kept in the loop much more closely.
Next, if you are presently in a custody battle with your ex-wife, I would suggest documenting all communications in writing. Keep a file of correspondences and be prepared to show the court that you are a responsible person. Try to keep the tone of the correspondences you write to be as low key as possible. If you show yourself to be a level-headed, concerned parent, that will bode well for you. (I found, when my stepsons were younger, that the more calm, cool and collected I was, the more angry my wife's ex became. It was actually kinda fun!)
There's a lot of good advice in this thread so far. Be sure to read it a few times.
In Australia it's more about residence and contact. If both parents spend time with the children, it is joint custody. If only one does and the other is not allowed contact, it's sole custody.
So in a joint custody arrangement, one will have residence, and the other will have contact. Though there's also shared residence. Not wanting to confuse you, but if these are things that may apply to you, it'll give you something to chase
While it is upsetting, if you were to pursue legal action, these incidents wouldn't amount to much at all I'm afraid.
But do document them. Make a record of it. Keep a diary.
Also keeping your cool, as you've already been noted for, is an excellent plan. Keep everything civil. Including all correspondence. If there's ever a situation where she wants to call you names, don't play the same game. Again, document that too.
In the meantime you can put into writing your feelings about the incidents. Keep copies of the correspondence. Mail it to her.
Depending on how your local or state (or Federal) court system runs, here in Australia it's through the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court that deals with these matters, you could see about either having a mediation session with a court appointed counselor or a referral to a private counselling service.
If you need to use a lawyer, be sure to pay attention to everything that happens. Ask lots of questions. Do your own homework. Find out how much it'll cost. Don't take anything for granted.
Lawyers will charge you for paperclips.
Are you saying it's mean of me for saying it because it's a) true, or b) false?
Or are you saying that it's mean of the lawyers who do charge for sundries?
I am saying that its inaccurate. I have never met a lawyer that would sink so low as to charge for trivial office expenses such as paperclips. Yes, lawyers will charge for reasonable disbursements such as court filing fees, courier charges, even photocopying - but paperclips ?! - this is a bit of an exaggeration and an unfair characterization of lawyers as money hungry vampires.
Don't get me wrong, however - it is not unethical or unreasonable for a lawyer to charge for "sundries" as long as the lawyer and client agree in advance on how the fees will be charged and what costs may be passed on to the client. Just as a carpenter would charge his/her hourly rate to a client plus the cost of materials such as nails, wood, etc , why shouldn't lawyers do the same and charge for their materials?
So to clarify, my point wasn't that lawyers do not charge for sundries, but rather that the example of paperclips was unfair.
So they don't, but they can? But they have, but it can be considered reasonable?
I've had an interesting 'relationship' with lawyers. Here in Australia we call you guys 'solicitors'. I have had a solicitor do the right thing for me, though there are practices and habits that I find very draining, both morally and financially.
I have had a solicitor do the wrong thing by me. And I got to discuss this matter at length with the Law Society, then the Legal Services Commissioner and then the Attorney General.
There have been others, but these two in particular I've spent the most time (and money) on.
I really don't want to get into a debate on who is meaner, me for mentioning paperclips or lawyers in general.
What is interesting is that a person asked a legal question, yes it was a little vague, but a few of us pitched in to get a better idea of what the problem was and then tried to point him in the right direction. Little did we know that we had a real lawyer as a member of HubPages. Whose only input is to zoom in on the mention of being charged for paperclips and then make a big deal out of me being mean.
Thanks for reinforcing my opinion of lawyers!
I didn't take the example of paperclips literally. I think it was more of a comment about the fact that with many lawyers, nothing comes cheaply.
Quotation, you must be the exception, a Lawyer charged me 4 hours for training his assistant.
That is bad. I would have refused to pay it and if the lawyer refused to reduce the bill, report him/her to their State Bar or Provincial Law Society. There are rules against overly aggressive billing.
I may not be the best person to ask this about because I am not divorced (although it feels like we're always teetering on the edge....) but I have been involved in the issues as a stepfather of two great guys.
Thanks for responding. My ex and I are going through a custody issue with my son. I received a phone call yesterday from his school teacher, he had been waiting one hour after school for someone to come and pick him up! Three months ago I received two phone calls from the bus driver, no one was home when the bus driver dropped him off at my ex's home! Is this enough to make anyone upset! What can be done about this matter? Thank for listening Brad.
Reading these responses makes me want to never have kids. I think you are doing yourself a favor by being cool, calm and collected, but maybe you are still doing something to set her off. Custody battles can become very bitter and I have seen them from both sides of the fence.
You know, I understand why you would say that SweetiePie, but I have to say that having my children in my life makes it all worth while. Seeing my little girl smile, it's all the warmth my heart needs!
I am glad you are a great dad and I encourage everyone to have kids that wants to. I just saw many of my friends being tugged back and forth over custody battles. One friend used to fight with his ex over the fact she pierced their daughter's ears. They went to arbitration over this and he was refusing to pay her child support so he could buy a new car. It is just scary all the things people have to deal with if there is a divorce, but I think children are great.
This is key. Also, talk to your lawyer about all this. If you don't have one, consider getting one. Something similar to this happened to my brother and...well, the father of his former(?) stepdauther. His ex-wife is a harpy, what can I say? They pressed upon her to call them if they couldn't be there for the kids after school or any other time. Finally, the ex-wife left the kids alone one day when the little girl's father happened to call. He showed up at the house with the police to make absolutely sure this was documented and not his word agains hers. While she didn't lose custody, she is court ordered to be less of an idiot.
I did refuse to pay it, he billed me the next three months, then dropped it.
Oh wow. I am a lawyer too. I'm not my own boss, that is, I work for a law firm, but the only things that for which I charge my clients are (1) my own time reasonably spent; (2) copying and fax charges; (3) long distance telephone calls for his/her case. If my assistant takes 4 hours to put together a notebook, that time is not billed to the client. Nor can it be, unless he or she is a paralegal and is using those skills in doing so (i.e. not just performing secretarial skills).
Office supplies are overhead expenses of running a business, as is electricity, heat, monthly rent and coffee. Those will not and should not under any circumstances be billed to a client.
Thanks - I feel better now.
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