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Author Topic: Father getting custody in Arkansas  (Read 6178 times)

spitfire

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Father getting custody in Arkansas
« on: Jun 26, 2009, 01:35:06 PM »
I realize that the background for my question will be very long, but please be patient.
 
I am the oldest of 9 children, 7 of which are minor ranging from 15-2.  We all still live at home with our parents. 
 
My mom has been a stay-at-home mother every since I was born.  We have all been homeschooled.  Dad has a well paying job, plus he makes a good living dabbling in real estate (remodelling and renting), and was the pastor of our church.
 
We are very religious, and have always believed that divorce is forbidden except in the case of marital infidelity. 
 
In September, my mother announced to Dad that she didn't love him, had never loved him, and wanted him to move out so that she could have some space.  He refused.  He immediately resigned our church.  He started going to marital counselling, even though mom would not go with him.  After a time, she started seeing the same man, but would not attend with Dad.  Dad also started seeing two different therapist to see if he could "fix" whatever was wrong that was keeping mom from loving him, plus reading every self help/marriage counselling book he could get his hands on.  But the more he tried to fix things, the angier and more hateful mom got. 
 
Over the last year she has become more and more disconnected from the family.  She claims that she is only distant from Dad, but that is simply not the case.  She spends at least 90% of the time either shut up in her room or out of the house, leaving the 15yo to watch all the children (Dad and I both work 6-4).  The schooling is not being done, and she is not involved in any of the regular household activities.  The 15yo has been planning the menu and making the meals for months.  She ignores the little ones, and when they demand her attention, she quickly become frustrated with them and has to "escape", usually involving her leaving the house.  The 15yo keeps the house together the best she can during the day, and Dad and I jump in with laundry and heavy cleaning evenings and weekends.  She has decided that she no longer wants to homeschool, and is looking into putting the children into public school. 
 
Dad and mom have not been living as husband and wife this entire time.  Dad even moved a bed into the music room so as to give mom as much space as possible.  He asks nothing of her, but to allow the status quo to continue, but she can't even be courteous to him. 
 
Never one to make decisions quickly, mom didn't serve Dad with divorce papers until two weeks ago, despite announcing that she wanted a divorce in December.  In the papers she asks for sole custody of the minor children.  Dad is not willing to give her custody, as he does not believe it is in the best interest of the children to be just with her. 
 
 I realize that the courts usually are in favor of the mother in custody cases, and she is alleging "personal indignities" as her grounds (which probably will not help Dad).  Dad does not want to take the kids from mom, he just doesn't want them taken from him, or for him to be forced to leave his home (a good protion of which he built himself).  He is perfectly willing to continue living the way we are, but mom simply can't stand him anymore, and wants to continue her life exactly the way it is, just without him there. 
 
Now for my question.  What chance do you think that Dad has of stopping mom from getting temporary (and then permanent) custody of the children?  Does the fact that I, along with the 15yo are willing to testify as to this state of affairs? 
 
If I have left out any background that you feel is relevant, let me know.  Please tell me that we have hope.
 
 


ksmarks

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Re: Father getting custody in Arkansas
« Reply #1 on: Jun 26, 2009, 06:54:32 PM »
If dad hasn't already made his way to attorney he needs to get himself there asap, courts aren't the way they where years ago, and mother doesn't always know best.
 
 That being said, dad's are afforded an equal right to custody these days.. so chin up, and try not to worry and keep posting, the good people here will attempt to assist you and your father when ever and however they can.
 
Dad has to respond in a per-stated time frame if he needs assistance, he needs to get to an attorney...
 
Keep us posted as to how you are doing..
 
Best Wishes and Angels on your shoulders..
 
K
 
 
KSMarks

Momfortwo

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Re: Father getting custody in Arkansas
« Reply #2 on: Jun 28, 2009, 07:56:30 AM »
As hard as this is going to sound, you need to stay out of your parents' divorce.  It is their divorce and is between them.  The children shouldn't be involved, even if they are adults.  Sure, be there to comfort the younger kids.  But your parents need to step up to the plate. 
 
And you can't blame the entire situation on your mom, your father isn't doing his job either.  He's letting a 15 year old child do the job of a parent.  He needs to put a stop to that.  If the mother does not want to deal with the kids, then he's going to need to enroll them in public school and find childcare for the younger ones. The burden that both of your parents are placing on you and the 15 year old is not fair to either one of you. 
 
 

Davy

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Re: Father getting custody in Arkansas
« Reply #3 on: Jun 29, 2009, 11:23:09 AM »
Spitfire,
 
I can idendify a LITTLE with the expectations and what the secular world may consider constraints or demands in your family's life style.
 
I might be going out on a limb.  Based on your posting and the convenient exuse provided by the fallacy of the divorce world (ie I need space) I hope for ya'll to get past the shock of divorce to find if there exist other reasons for your mother's behavior.  To me, she appears to be turning away from the entire family, especially the little ones that depend on her, her home and the lifestyle and not just the husband/father that often are called upon to share the burden of their wife's sickness.  In other words, her problem could really be physical and/or mental and she doesn't even know (ie for example a brain anoryism) and may not or should I say will not be visual by outward appearance.  She may need to be examined by a neurologist or neurol (sp) surgeon as well as a qualified mental health expert.  Just do not take for granted what she (or a money-grabbing attorney) says. 
 
I doubt if her behavior towards her family and husband changes post divorce.  I might even go as far as suggesting a change in her current environment until and if she balances out.
 
I suspect you, your sister and your dad are wise enough not to carry these burdens on your own so seek or gather wise counsel/support.  And Bless you.
 
By the way, is there another non-minor child in the family ?   
 
Best to all of you and keep posting.

spitfire

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Re: Father getting custody in Arkansas
« Reply #4 on: Jul 30, 2009, 11:26:47 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  It had originally appeared that we had a great judge (very impartial, didn't like to split up families, big on mediation), but at the last minute he had a family emergency and they brough in an retired judge who didn't think women should be lawyers (Dad's attorney was a female) and that mom's should always get their children.  He didn't want to deal with the case, so he just gave mom everything she asked for even though it was patently obvious to the entire courtroom that she didn't deserve it. 
 
Dad was given 48 hours to get out of the house, and as I wasn't going to live with her after the lies/insinuations she made in court, I moved out with him.  The 21 yo has been in college for the past several years and hardly ever comes home, so is mostly out of the loop.  The 15, 13, 10 & 8 yo are furious that they have to stay with mom, but they don't want to abandon the little ones, so there we are.  I'm positive that mom would give them up if they asked, but the 4yo complicates matters.  The only ones mom really wants is the baby (2) and the 6yo (her special pet), but of course she can't come out and say that in court.  As Dad is contesting the divorce this could go on for a couple more years. 
 
I do have another question.  In court the judge said that he was ordering child support and spousal support according to the charts which works out to about 60% of Dad's income.  However, we have received any kind of order actually stating how much the support is.  My understanding is that the "winning" side drafts the original proposal and the other side then either agrees or proposes a compromise.  Mom's lawyer has not sent anything.  If it were just dealing with Dad's income from his regular job this would be quite simple to work out, but we own a great deal of rental property which greatly confuses the matter.  So should he be paying support already?  Or do we wait for the actual orders? 
 
It isn't that he is trying to avoid taking care of his children, but mom has proved herself completely untrustworthy in the last couple of months. She has taken huge amounts from their joint accounts and hidden/spent it, then purposely wrote a hot check to her lawyer to make it look like Dad is leaving them destitute.   I just don't understand her problem.  Before she filed for temporary relief she had all the money, Dad just had about $500 dollars to work with, and he would submit an expense report weekly to get reimbursed for his living expenses.  Did she expect that he would continue to do that after she had him removed from the home???
 
I probably sound so bitter, but believe me, it is justified.  The things she said in court........aside from the outright lies, she/her lawyer said that Dad embezzled from the church (she knows this isn't true.  She was the treasurer and I was the clerk for crying out loud), then they suggested that I was "abnormal" because I don't date, and then insinuated that there might be something inapproriate going on between me and Dad.  She specifically requested that no one be allowed to dispose of marital property, then she completely wiped out one of the retirement accounts (fortunately the other company realized something was up and froze the accounts or that would be gone also). 
 
For the longest time we thought that she was just going through a really big mid-life crisis, and things would all fall back into place in the fullness of time.  I still think that is playing a big role here, but I think there are spiritual things at work as well.  I realize a lot of people won't agree with me, and that's okay, it's just my beliefs.  I think mom chose Christianity and didn't really have a true conversion.  She thought all these years that if she just did what was right, she would be happy and fulfilled.  But it didn't turn out like she wanted it to, and now she is turning her back on it all, and she has to dump dad to really get away from it.  When in court she was completely unable to explain in what way Dad controls her (the "personal indiginities" that she has suffered).  The only thing she could come up with was that he controls her with the scriptures, ie he tells her what the Bible says is wrong and right.  Personally I thought that is what they were for. 
 
Thanks for taking to time to read this.
 


spitfire

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Re: Father getting custody in Arkansas
« Reply #5 on: Jul 30, 2009, 11:43:34 AM »

As hard as this is going to sound, you need to stay out of your parents' divorce.  It is their divorce and is between them.  The children shouldn't be involved, even if they are adults.  Sure, be there to comfort the younger kids.  But your parents need to step up to the plate. 

And you can't blame the entire situation on your mom, your father isn't doing his job either.  He's letting a 15 year old child do the job of a parent.  He needs to put a stop to that.  If the mother does not want to deal with the kids, then he's going to need to enroll them in public school and find childcare for the younger ones. The burden that both of your parents are placing on you and the 15 year old is not fair to either one of you. 

 
If I could stay out of this, believe me I would.  I gave being neutral my best shot.  If it was simply a matter of mom vs Dad it would have been different, but it has become a division based on beliefs, ie there is a clear "wrong" and "right" side. 
 
We don't believe in public school.  It isn't like the kids are in any immediate danger, it is mostly a matter of how they will develope long term with the (non)parenting they are currently receiving.  For the past month she has been trying to appear like she is involved, but it is a total facade.  For instance, she has been hiring a 16yo friend of the family to watch the kids when she goes to class two nights a week.  This kid is far more immature than our 15yo and she doesn't even have the benefit of being able to drive.  But then when mom is home she spends the entire day either in her bedroom or office and completely ignores the kids.  According to them (and granted kids exaggerate) they have been eating macaroni and cheese or popcorn since Dad and I moved out.  What is Dad suppose to do?

spitfire

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Re: Father getting custody in Arkansas
« Reply #6 on: Jul 30, 2009, 11:47:36 AM »

If dad hasn't already made his way to attorney he needs to get himself there asap, courts aren't the way they where years ago, and mother doesn't always know best.

That being said, dad's are afforded an equal right to custody these days.. so chin up, and try not to worry and keep posting, the good people here will attempt to assist you and your father when ever and however they can.

Dad has to respond in a per-stated time frame if he needs assistance, he needs to get to an attorney...

Keep us posted as to how you are doing..

Best Wishes and Angels on your shoulders..

K



 
Thanks.  Dad has an attorney, and he is really pleased with her.  I just feel like I don't know what is going on, or what to do about it (Not that I really can do anything). Courts have become more balanced, but as I mentioned in my update, we ended up with an 80+yo judge who still things moms should have their kids. 

 

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