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  1. #1
    LilyMD is offline Junior Member
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    Question How do you prove a mother unfit?

    What is the name of your state? Florida

    I am a new stepmomma as of the 19th of next month, and my husband to be has a wonderful little boy (3) from a previous relationship. The mother of the child is not exactly as attentive to his needs as she should be, if she were then there would be no problem. There are plenty of reasons that I think a judge would see that the child may be better off with the father but I am not sure, and my fiance is terrified of losing the custody agreement that he has (50-50), were the reasons not enough too prove her unfit. Please help, this little boy is our world and we just want to give him a chance at a good and healthy life.
    Last edited by LilyMD; 02-24-2005 at 05:44 PM.
  2. #2
    SMURFEELAW is offline Member
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    Short of mom lying in the gutter holding the childs head underwater with her foot while giving oral stimulation to one man, manual stimpulation to another and smoking a crack pipe all at the same time youf stbhubby should keep what he has and make the best of it. I'll be honest b/c I am a step-mom and my hubby just got primary custody, but it was ONLY b/c mom tested positive for drugs in Court. It really had nothing to do with three inch thick paperwork citing police involvement and violence in the home, nor did the judge even look at the piles of transcribed conversation where mom admitted the drug problem and violence in her home stating that the child was better off with dad. It was all the fact that mom thought that she took the right stuff to make a drug test come out clean. My hubby also had 50/50 before this all happened and we had paperwork for 2 years and when he filed it still wasn't enough to convince the judge. Thank g-d that mom tested as she did or that baby would still be stuck in a horrible situation and the judge probably would have stuck my hubby back with standard visitation instead of the 50/50. He didn't realize the size of the risk until it luckily turned out in his favor.
  3. #3
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyMD
    What is the name of your state? Florida

    I am a new stepmomma as of the 19th of next month, and my husband to be has a wonderful little boy (3) from a previous relationship. The mother of the child is not exactly as attentive to his needs as she should be, if she were then there would be no problem. There are plenty of reasons that I think a judge would see that the child may be better off with the father but I am not sure, and my fiance is terrified of losing the custody agreement that he has (50-50), were the reasons not enough too prove her unfit. Please help, this little boy is our world and we just want to give him a chance at a good and healthy life.
    She isn't as attentive as she needs to be**************according to whom? You?

    What you can do is check your states family law code online and look up "Change of Circumstance" and see if it fits. Otherwise, you'd have to PROVE the mother is unfit.

    The reason I doubt that is the case- is because the child does not seem to be in any danger. I think that because you do not mention abuse or neglect, which you would have if you believed it was going on.
  4. #4
    FLFamof5 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyMD
    The mother of the child is not exactly as attentive to his needs as she should be, if she were then there would be no problem.
    First, we would definitely need the definition of "not exactly attentive?"

    Does she provide a roof over the childs head?
    Does she provide the child with food?
    Does she give the child baths?
    The list can go on.....

    Florida is a very hard state to change their shared parenting plan. Unless you prove that she is unfit (drugs, neglect, abuse), get DCF involved, etc it is a very hard case to prove at the age of 3.

    If you go to your county clerks website, they have definitions of Substantial Change in Circumstance or you can go to Find Law and find Florida's criteria. But, Florida is one of the states that does promote shared parenting.
  5. #5
    ENASNI is offline Senior Member
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    Well

    Well you can try her on... if she is too loose.. she don't fit.

    I understand you are trying to find answers.. but sometimes we need to ask
    questions to find those answers.
  6. #6
    LilyMD is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy

    Sorry I was not very descriptive about the not attentive enough part but it is hard to talk about. I felt odd about asking in the first place, it sounds horrible to ask that question, evil stepmom almost. The child is in daycare 12 plus hours a day, and until this week without his glasses, he has a lazy eye that makes the glasses imperative. When we asked why his glasses weren't going to daycare with him the response was, "I can't afford to keep buying new glasses, I can save up for sugery." (he was getting used to the glasses and broke 1 pair and scratched the lenses really bad on another). She paid for half of the glasses and he paid for the other half. Then last month he gets nuemonia and has to be on a nebulizer three times a day, for two months. She decides that he sounds fine last week and takes him off the treatments, knowing what the doctor said. He has now relapsed and has been diagnosed as asthmatic. While this news is bad enough , she and her live in boyfriend are chains smokers, in the house around him. I don't know if they will quit smoking now or not, the doctor says he cannot be around it at all. Everytime we pick him up he smells like a cigarette butt it is that bad, his nebulizer even smells like it. When he is ill and needs to go to the doctor on her weeks she doesn't tkae him, she doesn't have time. Because of this he has had strep bad enough to almost be scarlet fever, she didn't take hm to the follow up. If he runs out of medication she will not refill it, she doesn't have time, and now every time the nebulizer comes back it iis missing a piece.

    I am scared that by the time we could prove it if ever it will be too late.
  7. #7
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Who's "we"?
  8. #8
    LilyMD is offline Junior Member
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    Question

    We refers to myself and the childs father, my fiance. And I meant to ask if the circumstances I stated in my last post were considered neglect or not.
    Last edited by LilyMD; 02-24-2005 at 08:24 PM.
  9. #9
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Well, you do realize that you have no dog in the fight, right? You're a legal stranger - and wil remain so after you marry Dad.
  10. #10
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyMD
    Sorry I was not very descriptive about the not attentive enough part but it is hard to talk about. I felt odd about asking in the first place, it sounds horrible to ask that question, evil stepmom almost. The child is in daycare 12 plus hours a day, and until this week without his glasses, he has a lazy eye that makes the glasses imperative. When we asked why his glasses weren't going to daycare with him the response was, "I can't afford to keep buying new glasses, I can save up for sugery." (he was getting used to the glasses and broke 1 pair and scratched the lenses really bad on another). She paid for half of the glasses and he paid for the other half. Then last month he gets nuemonia and has to be on a nebulizer three times a day, for two months. She decides that he sounds fine last week and takes him off the treatments, knowing what the doctor said. He has now relapsed and has been diagnosed as asthmatic. While this news is bad enough , she and her live in boyfriend are chains smokers, in the house around him. I don't know if they will quit smoking now or not, the doctor says he cannot be around it at all. Everytime we pick him up he smells like a cigarette butt it is that bad, his nebulizer even smells like it. When he is ill and needs to go to the doctor on her weeks she doesn't tkae him, she doesn't have time. Because of this he has had strep bad enough to almost be scarlet fever, she didn't take hm to the follow up. If he runs out of medication she will not refill it, she doesn't have time, and now every time the nebulizer comes back it iis missing a piece.

    I am scared that by the time we could prove it if ever it will be too late.
    The asthma is not a cause of the pnuemonia- but could have been what made him susceptible to it. Smoking in the home with an asthmatic child is serious- have you contacted anyone re; this? You could make it a part of the court order (by modification) that no smoking occur in the home. Smoking with an asthmatic child has been grounds for custody change. The problem is proving it- do you have anyone willing to attest to it happening? This is the one thing I can see as being considered abuse. You may have to contact Children's Services on this one. But I hope you've already addressed the issue with mom first. (Actually DAD needs to address ALL these issues)

    The eyeglass problem can be solved by purchasing insurance on the lenses. It's common for kids to go through multiple lenses (believe me! eeks ) Insurance on lenses is relatively cheap and then when they break or get scratched, they can be replaced without the additional cost. Glasses are something Dad can help pay for the insurance on, right? Also surgery should be covered under medical insurance- is father carrying medical insurance or is mother?

    With mom working and going to school- it makes sense the child is in daycare for around that time. With commutes and 8-9 hour workdays- that's not uncommon. The point is that he is being cared for.
  11. #11
    LilyMD is offline Junior Member
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    Question

    To stealth2: I realize that and thank you for pointing it out, I just wanted information, I love the child and want what is best for him. I know that I can do nothing and have nothing that I can say given as I am not his mother, I just wanted to know if it was neglect or not. As I said I am scared.

    To Casa: The father always address all these issues, I know better then to get in it, thus my asking questions on a web site. The father carries and pays for the medical insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance. But the child has already gone past what the insurance will pay for in glasses in one year, and as to the surgery he doesn't need to have it unless he is not taken care of with his glasses and his patches. When it comes to the smoking I hope that she will quit around him, but we will be able to tell if she doesn't, after the next week that we pick him up if his hair and skin still smell like it we should know, it is not a faint smell.

    The father's idea is to take him to the police station and have them document it, but I don't think that will work somehow.
    Last edited by LilyMD; 02-25-2005 at 05:06 AM.
  12. #12
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyMD
    To stealth2: I realize that and thank you for pointing it out, I just wanted information, I love the child and want what is best for him. I know that I can do nothing and have nothing that I can say given as I am not his mother, I just wanted to know if it was neglect or not. As I said I am scared.

    To Casa: The father always address all these issues, I know better then to get in it, thus my asking questions on a web site. The father carries and pays for the medical insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance. But the child has already gone past what the insurance will pay for in glasses in one year, and as to the surgery he doesn't need to have it unless he is not taken care of with his glasses and his patches. When it comes to the smoking I hope that she will quit around him, but we will be able to tell if she doesn't, after the next week that we pick him up if his hair and skin still smell like it we should know, it is not a faint smell.

    The father's idea is to take him to the police station and have them document it, but I don't think that will work somehow.
    I meant additional insurance on the lenses of the glasses. When you get the Rx for the glasses- ask about ins. on the lenses (It's common for children). If the provider won't do it, take the Rx to somewhere like a local store (even Wal-Mart does this) and get the glasses, which will be about the same price as the co-pay and ins. is around $25-45 for a year...then if the lenses get scratched or fall out- take them back and get new ones in.
    Also with lazy eye they have eyedrops now- for children who have a hard time keeping the patch on. Ask the Dr. about it.

    Re; the asthma- You can call and talk to the Dr. about your concerns so they can notate it in the child's file. Ask the Dr. what signs you should look for which will indicate whether the asthma is getting worse. (There are many signs, but it depends on the child's individual case and how severe his asthma is)

    Don't forget if you take this to court, you can request a GAL be assigned- who will look at both parents and both homes to determine which is the best custody placement. You can check the guidelines for GALs online via your states Family Law Code. Many times (not all) the assessment includes home visits, which can be very telling.

    There are also organizations which help offset costs of medical equipment in children. Contact one to see if you can purchase replacement parts for the Nebulizer at low cost. Keep all receipts to show that you are continually replacing parts.

    This is going to be a process. Document everything.
  13. #13
    jslopez711 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyMD
    To stealth2: I realize that and thank you for pointing it out, I just wanted information, I love the child and want what is best for him.
    What is best for the child is that he spends as much time with mom and dad as he can. You can try what ever you guys want to try but like it's been said here before, it's going to take something in the realm of an act of congress.
    And as for the mother, its's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what she does. If the Kid is not in harms way then there is nothing wrong.
  14. #14
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jslopez711
    What is best for the child is that he spends as much time with mom and dad as he can. You can try what ever you guys want to try but like it's been said here before, it's going to take something in the realm of an act of congress.
    And as for the mother, its's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what she does. If the Kid is not in harms way then there is nothing wrong.
    I agree....but what about that the smoking in the home with an asthmatic who requires nebulizer treatments? That would concern me. (Assuming it's true- giving OP the benefit of the doubt)
  15. #15
    jslopez711 is offline Member
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    Smoking around anyone is bad, bad, bad and even worst around children. The latter is of course an opinion. However, smoking is not illegal, smoking around a child with asthma is not illegal either (perhaps should be). I understand the concern, but you would first have to get the judge to even hear you out because if it is a smoking issue then it is most likely going to fall on deaf ears. Now if the child is getting worst and the medical records can prove this, I still donít think the judge is going to go for it. At worst, there would be something placed in the CO to protect the child from the smoke, which is not to say he will be taken from his mother. You kind-a see where this is heading? She keeps doing it they keep going to court the child is getting worst, all that.

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