Can my ex-husband get custody because of our 11 yr old child's failing grades?

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Since: Apr 11

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#1
Apr 14, 2011
 
My ex-husband is seeking full custody/primary parent of our 11 yr old daughter. We have been divorced for 10 years and never had a change of custody or child support. My grandmother/mother who raised me passed away Feb. 3rd 2011. My daughter and I lived with her till my daughter was 4 years old so they had a very close relationship. Since she died, my daughter has wanted to spend alot more time at her house with her grandfather. She has probably stayed at her grandfathers house 3-4 days a week during the months of Feb and March. She is now staying at home (with me) every night. My daughter has also changed schools this year and isnt adjusting well with the change. Her grades are failing and she is in danger of failing the 5th grade. Her father told me he is going to get custody of her because she is failing school. My question is what can I do from this point going forward. My daughter has had a tough year this year changing schools and her grandmother passing away. Her grades have improved some since her last report card was sent home. I need some advice please. I don't have lots of money for a custody battle so I need the best advice I can get. I may be wrong but I don't see a judge taking my daugther away because of this. I'm doing everything I can to talk with our daughter and support her and encourage her to do better in school. She is extremely upset now that she has found out about her father seeking custody of her. She has never wanted to go to his house even every other weekend. His visitation is every other Saturday night. He wasn't even a big part of her life till she was 5-6 yrs old. He doesn't call her during the 2 weeks she is at home with me. The only contact he has with her is every other weekend. Our daughter says most of the time her dads isn't even at home when she goes to visit and she spends most of her time with her stepmother and siblings.
Someone

Jackson, TN

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#2
Apr 14, 2011
 
Typically, they won't consider a one year record of failure as an issue, but you need to be able to explain how you're involving yourself to improve her grades. If the grades don't improve, it is considered a strong indicator that you aren't doing your job as a parent.
dont let him scare you

Union City, TN

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#3
Apr 14, 2011
 
All this man is doing is talking shit just let him run his mouth.If he was such a great "father" he would be more involved in ur childs life.It is very very hard once you have custody for someone to take your child.As long as you are doing everything you are suppose to be doing and not out here drugging and acting crazy you have NOTHING to worry about.He's only trying to scare you and give you a hard time trust me been going through similar thing for several yrs.When he starts his shit just tell him ok well let's go to court I've got a very good lawyer bet u he will shut his damn mouth.Good luck to you,and DON'T let him get to you.
yep

Atlanta, GA

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#4
Apr 14, 2011
 
Bottom line..he wants to stop paying child support. I don't see enough evidence in the slighest that he would win a court battle. Especially if she does not want to live with him.
jackson

United States

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#6
Apr 14, 2011
 

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You can win by winning nothing! Always remember this is a child and let her be a child. As parents fighting you can create a bitter person that has been cheated out of her childhood. You as the mother should only think of being a mother first. listen to her, support her, help with homework, comfort her and let her be a child. I know that you cant controll your past but this child is your future. You can have a good stable loving daughter or another teen out of controll.You just be the best mother you can and you will win everything even if life is not always fair. all fathers want their children to have a great mother and all children want to be like their great mother. If you have an ex that doesnt see that then that is his problem you just stick with your job and be her mother.
Try this

Fort Worth, TX

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#7
Apr 14, 2011
 

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If you haven't done so, go to her school and speak to her teachers and get their suggestions. Then DOCUMENT this. Keep a calendar that you keep up with study time every school day after school. Ask the school about tutoring for her. Also ask if the school offers counseling or get your family doctor to recommend a counselor for her. If you don't have insurance ask the school guidance counselor who you need to talk to for free counseling. If you have TennCare call them. DOCUMENT dates, times, names, etc. If your husband gets a lawyer and this goes to court, the judge will ask for reports from teachers, principals, guidance counselors, and family physicians. The judge will ask your plan of how you are dealing with her study habits at home. Hope this helps.

Since: Apr 11

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#8
Apr 15, 2011
 
Thanks so much for the comments and suggestions. I'm not really worried about him getting her now. I'm just dreading going thru the whole process of going to court and being out all the money that I don't have.
insight411

Saint Paul, MN

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#9
Apr 16, 2011
 

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There are times when a mother can be to wrapped up in her own personal affairs to focus on the child.
Some fathers do have a stable environment that could serve as a benefit to a child who is not getting the attention and discipline they need.
If a child were to be failing school and telling the child to lie about it, is that ok. For some mothers it's about the child support check, not the child. I realize there are a lot of wonderful mothers who often get harassed by the father, unfairly. Often times it is all talk, but sometimes it truly is from a fathers heart with a childs best interest in mind.

-I am a mom, i am referring to my personal experience as a step mother.

Thank you for hearing me out.
toots

Orchard Park, NY

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#10
Jun 16, 2011
 
TooMuchBS wrote:
Hello stupid, men do not get their children to get out of child support!!!! It takes far more to raise a child vs what you would get in child support! You SOB's are so shallow!
Oh really? Because my son's father specifically told my son that he wanted to see how I liked it to have to pay support and that is why he was going for custody-it's all about control. The sad part is he tells my son this crap.
Step mom to adoptive mom

Jackson, TN

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#11
Jun 16, 2011
 
There are 12 factors the judges use to rule on custody changes. Judges don't like to change households for kids unless there is a damn good reason why. Your attorney should have those 12 factors. If not, google them then find a better attorney. Your papers should also require mediation first so this could settle out of court. Keep a journal like someone else said to do but do it for ANY and ALL contact with your ex. Even if nothing happens. Don't stress. From experience, if he's serious about going for custody, hes gonna blindside you.
FYI some factors are
Ability to provide
Mental/physical health of parents
Abuse?
Character of all people around child
Past parenting responsibilities
School record is considered usually for changing schools etc
Degree to which parent has baan primary caregiver
Current and past relationship status
stability of homes
Love for child
Hope this helps
lol

Memphis, TN

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#12
Jun 20, 2011
 

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my ex bought a new car within 6 hrs of the judge ordering child support when my child was two years old.

we have equal custody now...she's still a crappy mother and gets a check every month from me.

she hasn't had a job since the child was born...remarried and had another one. will soon be getting a check for that one.

she lived with her mother and father for 3 years during her "transitional phase" no job...no school...just a lazy bit ch.

her first question when i got equal custody was.." is MY child support gonna change?" Hilarious

i hope she chokes on a hotdog
Joy

Sioux City, IA

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#22
Dec 15, 2012
 
We have been living seperated for four years now, my children and I were protected by a PFA that just expired. He has no relationship with our two oldest children and didnt have any contact with the youngest until 12 months ago. No birthday cards for them no phone calls. Nothing. I wonder why he wants full custody of a child he ignored for over three years. He has not made any attempts to have any relationship with the oldest two. Children and youth agency told me he is a sociopath. I chose to stay with an abuser for all those years and finally left thanks to the help of a concerned friend. I Hope that the court system will take into consideration that I've had two PFA's against him for me and another PFA for the children and I. The only reason he stopped physically abusing me is because I had a PFA. I know what he's capable of , he is a monster and damages children.
guest

Jackson, TN

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#23
Dec 15, 2012
 
If he has a lawyer then you better get one too or you will be railroaded. I learned that the hard way. The judge wouldn't even really listen to me & my ex-husband's lawyer got all the documents I brought kept out. If you want to keep your daughter for sure get a lawyer.
NotTrue

Jackson, TN

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#24
Dec 15, 2012
 

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This topix should not even be posted. Go see a lawyer. Not publicly post your issue at all.
getreal

Lexington, TN

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#25
Dec 17, 2012
 
there has been some great posts with good advice that I totally agree with so here's another something to think about. When my Mother passed away I was devastated and went thru a long period of depression. I wish I'd realized how deeply my grief affected my role as a parent during that time, my kids grades also suffered. Your ex may just be an opportunistic jerk but there may be some things that he honestly sees that you don't realize. That was true for me although I didn't see it at the time. Take some time to really evaluate things, breaks in a child routine, grief and depression can affect both you and your child in ways you don't expect. Just a thought. Best to you, Merry Christmas!
Layla1980 wrote:
My ex-husband is seeking full custody/primary parent of our 11 yr old daughter. We have been divorced for 10 years and never had a change of custody or child support. My grandmother/mother who raised me passed away Feb. 3rd 2011. My daughter and I lived with her till my daughter was 4 years old so they had a very close relationship. Since she died, my daughter has wanted to spend alot more time at her house with her grandfather. She has probably stayed at her grandfathers house 3-4 days a week during the months of Feb and March. She is now staying at home (with me) every night. My daughter has also changed schools this year and isnt adjusting well with the change. Her grades are failing and she is in danger of failing the 5th grade. Her father told me he is going to get custody of her because she is failing school. My question is what can I do from this point going forward. My daughter has had a tough year this year changing schools and her grandmother passing away. Her grades have improved some since her last report card was sent home. I need some advice please. I don't have lots of money for a custody battle so I need the best advice I can get. I may be wrong but I don't see a judge taking my daugther away because of this. I'm doing everything I can to talk with our daughter and support her and encourage her to do better in school. She is extremely upset now that she has found out about her father seeking custody of her. She has never wanted to go to his house even every other weekend. His visitation is every other Saturday night. He wasn't even a big part of her life till she was 5-6 yrs old. He doesn't call her during the 2 weeks she is at home with me. The only contact he has with her is every other weekend. Our daughter says most of the time her dads isn't even at home when she goes to visit and she spends most of her time with her stepmother and siblings.
Dan

Hermitage, TN

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#27
Feb 28, 2013
 

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Why is your 11 year old failing and why are you allowing it? Most of the posters on here are hard up to find a nice comeback for the father figure...ie...Birthday cards, etc. REALLY? Shut your pieholes. If you child is failing THEN SO ARE YOU!
guest

Jackson, TN

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#28
Feb 28, 2013
 
NO HE CANNOT!
Rambo

Montgomery, AL

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#29
Feb 28, 2013
 
NotTrue wrote:
This topix should not even be posted. Go see a lawyer. Not publicly post your issue at all.
Are you that paranoid? This topic describes half of America.
Rambo

Montgomery, AL

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#30
Feb 28, 2013
 

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Dan wrote:
Why is your 11 year old failing and why are you allowing it? Most of the posters on here are hard up to find a nice comeback for the father figure...ie...Birthday cards, etc. REALLY? Shut your pieholes. If you child is failing THEN SO ARE YOU!
Really? My child struggled with school and she worked her butt off to make C's and ocassional B's. We finally had her tested and dicovered she had a learning disability. She is very intelligent and makes sound decisions; it's the processing of written information she has trouble with. You might want to back off of your statement because it is very wrong.
someone

Royal, AR

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#31
Mar 1, 2013
 

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This could be considered a change in circumstance and he could get more time and or custody. Plus the fact the child wasnt staying at home could be used against you. Parents have first rights just the way it is. Hopefully you are doing everything you can to get your childs grades up. Most schools and places offer tutoring of some sorts and theres a wealth of information on the internet for practice. Plus school guidance counselors. I hope you are seeking these things out for you child even before dad said this. The goal is for our children to become good self supporting citizens. Grades are important.

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