+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    nemom3 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Omaha, Ne
    Posts
    57

    Unhappy High profile Step-Mom

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? We live in Ne, paperwork was done in Colorado

    Here is a little background. My ex and I divorced in 2004 (Separated since 2001) we have 3 children who are currently 9,11 and 15. Divorce, custody and child support were handled in Colorado. We have both since remarried. In 2007 it became necessary for me to move to Nebraska and the children came with me. Our divorce decree/parenting plan did not require me to have his permission – just required that I notified him which I did. The visitation was redone so he had every other Christmas/Spring break and all summer (1 week after school ends to 1 week before school starts).
    After the last 3 summers it has become apparent to me that something needs to change. Dad is trying hard but he seems totally incapable of restraining his new wife (he works nights and sleeps days) and she refuses to agree with anything he and I have agreed on for the children.
    Just an example the children were provided with phones (the younger two shared one while the teenager used her own) to allow ease of contact for them with both myself and their friends. Dad was fully aware of (and agreed to) this BEFORE they went for visitation. Step-mom announced they were disrespecting Dad by wanting to talk to their friends and confiscated the phones and refused them access. (Unfortunately the children overheard Dad having an argument with her over this in which dad said it was okay while he was asleep but SHE still refused to return the phones and he gave up the argument). She even refused to let the kids talk to Grandma over the summer (which resulted in a welfare check by the local PD).
    The children’s therapist refers to step-mom as a “High Profile Step-Parent”, and has advised we attempt to have the visitation changed – not to cut Dad out but to limit exposure to Step-mom. The kids love their Dad very much but have all made it clear that they do not like the treatment they receive from step-mom (during our last therapy session the oldest announced that she would refuse to go visit as soon as she was old enough). Dad has spoken to the therapist on several occasions but does not seem to care one way or another. The children are terrified of talking to him about it (We have all tried to encourage them to speak with Dad on this matter – by we I mean myself, my current husband, their therapist, my mother, and his mother) because (as they tell us) any and all discussions are family discussions and include the entire household step-mom included.
    I have always insisted that Dad be part of their lives and I have mixed emotions about this. I am extremely tired of attempting to co-parent with step-mom (when by my orders I do not even really have to co-parent with DAD) but do not want to restrict parenting time with Dad. At the same time I cannot continue to ignore her constant interference. Is there any legal (and enforceable) way I can insist she remove herself from parenting decisions for our children? I don’t think either of them realizes that her actions are sabotaging the children’s relationship with Dad.
    Yes I have tried to talk to him about this – he seems to think that it is merely because I do not like her and tells me “what occurs in his household is none of my business” – which is usually true unless it directly effects my children at which point I need to know.

    Has anyone had any success in having orders written that made it clear that the step-parent to back off - and did it actually work? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    65,916
    Quote Originally Posted by nemom3 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? We live in Ne, paperwork was done in Colorado

    Here is a little background. My ex and I divorced in 2004 (Separated since 2001) we have 3 children who are currently 9,11 and 15. Divorce, custody and child support were handled in Colorado. We have both since remarried. In 2007 it became necessary for me to move to Nebraska and the children came with me. Our divorce decree/parenting plan did not require me to have his permission – just required that I notified him which I did. The visitation was redone so he had every other Christmas/Spring break and all summer (1 week after school ends to 1 week before school starts).
    After the last 3 summers it has become apparent to me that something needs to change. Dad is trying hard but he seems totally incapable of restraining his new wife (he works nights and sleeps days) and she refuses to agree with anything he and I have agreed on for the children.
    Just an example the children were provided with phones (the younger two shared one while the teenager used her own) to allow ease of contact for them with both myself and their friends. Dad was fully aware of (and agreed to) this BEFORE they went for visitation. Step-mom announced they were disrespecting Dad by wanting to talk to their friends and confiscated the phones and refused them access. (Unfortunately the children overheard Dad having an argument with her over this in which dad said it was okay while he was asleep but SHE still refused to return the phones and he gave up the argument). She even refused to let the kids talk to Grandma over the summer (which resulted in a welfare check by the local PD).
    The children’s therapist refers to step-mom as a “High Profile Step-Parent”, and has advised we attempt to have the visitation changed – not to cut Dad out but to limit exposure to Step-mom. The kids love their Dad very much but have all made it clear that they do not like the treatment they receive from step-mom (during our last therapy session the oldest announced that she would refuse to go visit as soon as she was old enough). Dad has spoken to the therapist on several occasions but does not seem to care one way or another. The children are terrified of talking to him about it (We have all tried to encourage them to speak with Dad on this matter – by we I mean myself, my current husband, their therapist, my mother, and his mother) because (as they tell us) any and all discussions are family discussions and include the entire household step-mom included.
    I have always insisted that Dad be part of their lives and I have mixed emotions about this. I am extremely tired of attempting to co-parent with step-mom (when by my orders I do not even really have to co-parent with DAD) but do not want to restrict parenting time with Dad. At the same time I cannot continue to ignore her constant interference. Is there any legal (and enforceable) way I can insist she remove herself from parenting decisions for our children? I don’t think either of them realizes that her actions are sabotaging the children’s relationship with Dad.
    Yes I have tried to talk to him about this – he seems to think that it is merely because I do not like her and tells me “what occurs in his household is none of my business” – which is usually true unless it directly effects my children at which point I need to know.

    Has anyone had any success in having orders written that made it clear that the step-parent to back off - and did it actually work? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Yes, people have gotten orders like that and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. It depends on the personalities involved.

    When it works is when dad also realizes that his wife (or mom her husband) is being unreasonable, but won't go against his wife to keep the peace in his home. The court orders then somewhat enpower him to do what he feels is right.

    However, if he feels that his wife is right in making her rules, or is so kowtowed that he won't oppose her at all, then he will pay lip service to the orders, but will do whatever he thinks that she would want him to do.

    I have a friend who is the nicest person in the world, but she is so rigid in her "rules" that she doesn't recognize at all when she is being unreasonable.
    Usually someone she respects, who is outside of her family, has to tell her that she is being unreasonable before she will "get it".

    For example, she wouldn't let her stepchildren make or receive calls from their mother, at her home. It wasn't because she had any reason to oppose them talking to their mother, it was simply because she had a rigid rule that children were not allowed to use her telephone...period. When I pointed out to her how much trouble she could get her husband into for blocking communication with the children's mom, she got a second phone line for the kids to use.
  3. #3
    respectthedad is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    157
    Quote Originally Posted by nemom3 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? We live in Ne, paperwork was done in Colorado

    Here is a little background. My ex and I divorced in 2004 (Separated since 2001) we have 3 children who are currently 9,11 and 15. Divorce, custody and child support were handled in Colorado. We have both since remarried. In 2007 it became necessary for me to move to Nebraska and the children came with me. Our divorce decree/parenting plan did not require me to have his permission – just required that I notified him which I did. The visitation was redone so he had every other Christmas/Spring break and all summer (1 week after school ends to 1 week before school starts).
    After the last 3 summers it has become apparent to me that something needs to change. Dad is trying hard but he seems totally incapable of restraining his new wife (he works nights and sleeps days) and she refuses to agree with anything he and I have agreed on for the children.
    Just an example the children were provided with phones (the younger two shared one while the teenager used her own) to allow ease of contact for them with both myself and their friends. Dad was fully aware of (and agreed to) this BEFORE they went for visitation. Step-mom announced they were disrespecting Dad by wanting to talk to their friends and confiscated the phones and refused them access. (Unfortunately the children overheard Dad having an argument with her over this in which dad said it was okay while he was asleep but SHE still refused to return the phones and he gave up the argument). She even refused to let the kids talk to Grandma over the summer (which resulted in a welfare check by the local PD).
    The children’s therapist refers to step-mom as a “High Profile Step-Parent”, and has advised we attempt to have the visitation changed – not to cut Dad out but to limit exposure to Step-mom. The kids love their Dad very much but have all made it clear that they do not like the treatment they receive from step-mom (during our last therapy session the oldest announced that she would refuse to go visit as soon as she was old enough). Dad has spoken to the therapist on several occasions but does not seem to care one way or another. The children are terrified of talking to him about it (We have all tried to encourage them to speak with Dad on this matter – by we I mean myself, my current husband, their therapist, my mother, and his mother) because (as they tell us) any and all discussions are family discussions and include the entire household step-mom included.
    I have always insisted that Dad be part of their lives and I have mixed emotions about this. I am extremely tired of attempting to co-parent with step-mom (when by my orders I do not even really have to co-parent with DAD) but do not want to restrict parenting time with Dad. At the same time I cannot continue to ignore her constant interference. Is there any legal (and enforceable) way I can insist she remove herself from parenting decisions for our children? I don’t think either of them realizes that her actions are sabotaging the children’s relationship with Dad.
    Yes I have tried to talk to him about this – he seems to think that it is merely because I do not like her and tells me “what occurs in his household is none of my business” – which is usually true unless it directly effects my children at which point I need to know.

    Has anyone had any success in having orders written that made it clear that the step-parent to back off - and did it actually work? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Im confused. You want to stop step-mom from taking the children's cell phones and want her back out, but yet your husband (step-dad) is allowed to talk to them about talking to their dad about what step-mom is doing??
    Kind of mixed signals I think the kids are getting.
    And when you have an entire family against Dad it wont help his situation trying to reason with his wife and you all the same.
    Does your court order say you can call and that there must be communication between parties?
    Example; I am allowed to call my daughters each week. Our order does not give my ex that right ( not that I dont allow 20 minute conversations with our 3 year olds when the time is there).
    That is possibly something to ask for.
    Is Dad and step-mom isolating you from the children?
  4. #4
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Taking notes
    Posts
    39,592
    Quote Originally Posted by respectthedad View Post
    Im confused. You want to stop step-mom from taking the children's cell phones and want her back out, but yet your husband (step-dad) is allowed to talk to them about talking to their dad about what step-mom is doing??
    Kind of mixed signals I think the kids are getting.
    And when you have an entire family against Dad it wont help his situation trying to reason with his wife and you all the same.
    Does your court order say you can call and that there must be communication between parties?
    Example; I am allowed to call my daughters each week. Our order does not give my ex that right ( not that I dont allow 20 minute conversations with our 3 year olds when the time is there).
    That is possibly something to ask for.
    Is Dad and step-mom isolating you from the children?
    A very valid point.

    And I can see both sides of this - I can understand Mom feeling StepMom is interfering (about the phones in particular)...but I can also understand StepMom wanting to prevent the kids from disrespecting their father (and Dad, by not disagreeing, is apparently ok with this).

    While the kids are with Dad it's Dad who has to stand up to, or negotiate with, StepMom. Neither you nor Dad have to agree with each other's parenting methods but if Dad won't stop or intervene when StepMom is doing something then he's basically agreeing and giving her actions his blessing....which he's allowed to do (provided it's not actually interfering with YOUR parenting).

    (and taking their cell phones is not preventing the kids from having contacting you - there's a landline, right? a house phone? problem solved. The kids don't need a cell phone in order to speak with you)
  5. #5
    nemom3 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Omaha, Ne
    Posts
    57

    overstepping

    I do not think we are sending mixed signals to the kids. Step-dad does not bring the subject up they try to talk to him, so being a good step-dad he listens. His response is usually to advise them to speak to Dad about their concerns, as he is the only one that is capable of fixing it. Should he get up and walk away from them when they ask him for his opinion? They need to know they can talk to the adults in their lives (all of us!) without recriminations or judgments. I feel incredibly lucky that they can talk to him and know that whatever it is he will not freak but will actually listen to them. I wish they could have the same relationship with step-mom! But it hasn’t worked that way.

    Entire family against dad? I think you misunderstood - the entire family has encouraged the children to express their feelings to dad – as far as I know dad has no clue this is occurring since the children have not yet taken our advice. How would us encouraging the children to talk to dad make it harder for him to deal with his wife?

    Our order states the parents will have “reasonable phone access to the children during their normal waking hours”. There are no set times or days which has only become a problem since we moved to Ne. The children were provided with phones to ensure that they could contact friends and family without incurring additional bills for their father (long distance calls can get rather expensive) but they were removed and the children are not allowed to answer the home phone (when it’s actually turned on). I do realize that they do not NEED phones but I also realize that they would feel more ‘settled’ if they were not completely isolated from their friends and family.
    Yes I feel that the children are being isolated and not only from me but from everyone while they visit. The home phone is turned off 98% of the time so having the landline # does no good – it’s leave a message and hope someone calls back within the next 48 hours. This summer step-mom did not even let HIS mom talk to them, they only let me talk to them on a regular basis once I reminded them that they were violating the order.

    The phones are actually the least of my concerns – it was just the easiest one to explain. Suffice it to say many of her decisions do interfere with my parenting. Such as the refusal to take the kids to the doctor or dentist if they need it, forcing our 9 yr old son to wear protective pants (pull up diapers) insisting the children call step-mom mom so as to not confuse the baby….. I could go on but I believe that paints the picture well enough.
  6. #6
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    65,916
    Quote Originally Posted by nemom3 View Post
    I do not think we are sending mixed signals to the kids. Step-dad does not bring the subject up they try to talk to him, so being a good step-dad he listens. His response is usually to advise them to speak to Dad about their concerns, as he is the only one that is capable of fixing it. Should he get up and walk away from them when they ask him for his opinion? They need to know they can talk to the adults in their lives (all of us!) without recriminations or judgments. I feel incredibly lucky that they can talk to him and know that whatever it is he will not freak but will actually listen to them. I wish they could have the same relationship with step-mom! But it hasn’t worked that way.

    Entire family against dad? I think you misunderstood - the entire family has encouraged the children to express their feelings to dad – as far as I know dad has no clue this is occurring since the children have not yet taken our advice. How would us encouraging the children to talk to dad make it harder for him to deal with his wife?

    Our order states the parents will have “reasonable phone access to the children during their normal waking hours”. There are no set times or days which has only become a problem since we moved to Ne. The children were provided with phones to ensure that they could contact friends and family without incurring additional bills for their father (long distance calls can get rather expensive) but they were removed and the children are not allowed to answer the home phone (when it’s actually turned on). I do realize that they do not NEED phones but I also realize that they would feel more ‘settled’ if they were not completely isolated from their friends and family.
    Yes I feel that the children are being isolated and not only from me but from everyone while they visit. The home phone is turned off 98% of the time so having the landline # does no good – it’s leave a message and hope someone calls back within the next 48 hours. This summer step-mom did not even let HIS mom talk to them, they only let me talk to them on a regular basis once I reminded them that they were violating the order.

    The phones are actually the least of my concerns – it was just the easiest one to explain. Suffice it to say many of her decisions do interfere with my parenting. Such as the refusal to take the kids to the doctor or dentist if they need it, forcing our 9 yr old son to wear protective pants (pull up diapers) insisting the children call step-mom mom so as to not confuse the baby….. I could go on but I believe that paints the picture well enough.
    Its very "telling" that stepmom wouldn't even let them speak to dad's mom.

    Also...you will find that many people here have an opposition for some reason to kids having cell phones that allow them to freely communicate with others. Its not really an opposition to the kids having free communication. It seems more of an opposition to cell phones for children in general.

    In any case, many judges do NOT share that opposition and will in fact, make orders allowing the children to have their cell phones...particularly if the household regularly turns off their landline.

    I also have a great deal of sympathy with your other concerns. Making a 9 year old wear pullups is humiliating and forcing the children to call stepmom, mom is totally unacceptable.

    I certainly think that you have enough to at least have a conversation with an attorney about your concerns, and see what the attorney has to say.

    I will also tell you that if stepmom came here, explaining the same story from her perspective, that she would get seriously slammed...as would dad.
  7. #7
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,159
    Quote Originally Posted by nemom3 View Post
    insisting the children call step-mom mom so as to not confuse the baby…..
    that is probably the most stupid thing i have heard this month. my two older boys call their step-dad by his first name. my two younger children by my husband, call him dada. they have never been confused.
  8. #8
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Taking notes
    Posts
    39,592
    Is it just me....

    ....or is the problem here less about Mom and StepMom and more about the ex-husband who apparently lets his new wife keep his wobblies in a jar on the mantelpiece while she's ruling the roost?

    (And btw - forcing the 9 year old to wear pull-ups is appalling)

    (I was actually wondering if I'm not being overly harsh to Dad here....but given the "pull-ups" thing and the insistence that the kids call his wife "Mom" he really needs to grow a pair. Or at least retrieve his from the mantelpiece)
  9. #9
    nemom3 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Omaha, Ne
    Posts
    57

    Thank you

    Thank you for the advice. I totally understand about the cell phones - our oldest actually pays for her own (it only cost $10 per month since we merely added her to our plan) with her babysitting money so was very difficult not to allow that one. It comes in very handy as she has 3 'regulars' and it's nice that they are not always calling us asking if she is available (she asks us before agreeing but is an independence issue for her). The other two actually only got phones because was less expensive for us to provide them with cell phones than to keep our landline. We didn't even buy them new phones as they inherited our old phones from the last time we upgraded - saved ourselves $40 per month!

    I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about asking here due to the frequency that people seem to get 'landed on' but I was really curious and wanted a good answer.

    We have talked to several lawyers and I think some of their replies have been overly aggressive - I don't want to cut him off just minimize their exposure to step-mom - so was fishing for a clearer take on the situation. Guess I just need to keep looking for a reasonable lawyer.

Similar Threads

  1. My high elf profile pic has been stolen!!1!
    By skittlypoo in forum Libel / Slander / Defamation
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-20-2007, 03:35 PM
  2. Step Son Quitting High School
    By MINNIES MOM in forum Child Support
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-14-2007, 07:31 PM
  3. high profile divorce
    By doc0818 in forum Divorce, Separation & Annulment
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-14-2003, 07:15 PM
  4. seeking pro bono lawyer for high profile capital murder case
    By mary_hendrix in forum Other Crimes – Federal and State
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-10-2001, 03:44 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.