How to get beyond this mess??? Need help badly.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2012
How to get beyond this mess??? Need help badly.
6
Sun, 01-15-2012 - 6:27pm

My ex and I have been divorced for almost six years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
It sounds like you need to go back to court and amend the custody order.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2012

Do you mean because of the spankings?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
No because of the financial conflicts. It seems as though the current order is not working. You can also request parenting classes as well.

But it will be hard to fight the use of spankings. You would have to prove abuse.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I'm sure you could find a counselor or mediator who could help you work this out, but would your ex go?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2012
I'm not a lawyer, but it sounds to me like this is not a custody issue so much as a breach of contract issue. If your ex is not paying for things he's supposed to (ie giving the kids enough lunch money) or is not providing your kids with medically necessary testing and treatment, he is likely in breach of your divorce agreement. I AM in healthcare, so I'll say this - can your ex produce a medical license with a board certification in the same specialty as your doctors? No? Than who is he to be challenging their medical decisions. On the off chance that you can answer "yes" to that question, then your ex would be putting his medical license on the line if he were to treat (or not treat) his own child. Doctors don't treat family members because they cannot be objective. So, with respect to the MRI, tell him that he's going to pay for 1/2 of it because it's his child, and if he doesn't, you'll make sure that he will be followed by Child Protective Services for the rest of his life. Not to mention the court fees he'll have to pay when you sue for full custody on the grounds that he's endangering the life of his child. (Again - I'm not a lawyer - so most of this is venting on your behalf, which may not be helpful).

Emailing back and forth will get you nowhere. I usually makes you more upset than when you started because he'll do exactly what he did, and use it as a way to get out his frustrations. I would avoid email. Instead, address the problem directly. Ask someone at your son's school to let you know if your son is spending too much for lunch or if he can't afford it. Ask your ex to provide you with a written account of how much your son is given each day and what he spends it on - you can tell your ex that it's a great way to start teaching your son about the value of money etc., etc., etc. Also, being the bigger person DOES NOT mean apologizing when you haven't done anything wrong. It means paying attention first to what's most important (in an urgent situation) even when you have your own needs. You have nothing to apologize for. Again, I'm not a lawyer, or even a mother, but here's where I would start:

1. Your kids definitely need counseling - not psychotherapy or medication, but play therapy or art therapy. This will help them work through their anxieties in their own "language."

2. Call the school about the lunch stuff. See how they can help you. You should also check in with their teachers to see if they're seeing any behavioral changes.

3. Set up a meeting with the two specialists about the MRI asking them to re-explain, in detail, why it is necessary and what the down-sides of NOT doing the MRI are. Tell your ex when and where and behave as though he will have no problem re-arranging his schedule for something as serious as this. If he says he won't go, you can honestly and calmly explain how it concerns you to have someone making medical decisions for your child when he does not have all the relevant information. Then ask when you can expect him to meet with the doctors himself (not if, when?).

4. Arrange a meeting with your ex on neutral territory. Be clear that you only want to discuss 1 or 2 issues, and stick to it. Stress that none of this is about you or him, it's about the kids. Perhaps one way to address the harsh punishment issue is to say, "I know how important consistency in parenting is for children. Maybe you can share with me how you think we should discipline the kids and we can talk about it."

I know this is all easier said than done, but sometimes it helps to break things down. Stand your ground. You'll be okay.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Mom,

The others make excellent points and the sooner you