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  1. #1
    KarenWalker is offline Member
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    Angry Oklahoma Custody

    What is the name of your state? Texas

    Has anyone fought for full custody in Oklahoma before? We're finding the laws are so weird there. It's gotten nasty and I need some pointers. Here's what she's done, let me know if you see anything to aggressively pursue:

    1. Improper tax reporting (unreported cash income, fully claiming children).
    2. Improper reporting to school to get reduced lunch rates.
    3. Misusing child support (admittedly putting wood floors in home, getting leather furniture)
    4. Putting children up to calling my husband (their dad) and cussing him out for "suing" the ex.
    5. Reported son's birthday inappropriately on tax forms to add a year to his age (in 1991) to get the $4000 EIC.
    6. Contempt for not allowing us to see my stepdaughter (ever).
    7. Late to drop stepson off at our agreed time.
    8. Harassing emails and calls.

    The list goes on... Goin' for the jugular; any ideas?

    THANKS
  2. #2
    stepmom&mom is offline Member
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    #'s 1,2,3,5, & 8 would have not bearing on a child custody case. You would need to show a significant change in circumstance or continued denied visitation or PAS for a change in custody to be considered. I live in Oklahoma and I didn't find any of the laws to be "weird." Oklahoma law is pretty clear about child custody and visitation. There shall be no preference for custody based upon gender of parent and denial of visitation is grounds to file a motion for enforcement of visitation.

    But, besides all that...

    is there a custody order or divorce decree?
    Were the parents ever married?
  3. #3
    KarenWalker is offline Member
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    The grounds we are suing for custody on is that they are in a very rough neighborhood, not supervised, running with thugs, custodial parents didn't even know teen son was failing most classes, they scream when we call and threaten to kill us (in front of the kids) and put the kids up to calling us with cussing and yelling themselves. We haven't seen my stepdaughter in 3 years so we think she might be being abused (therefore they hide her so she can't blurt out the "wrong thing").

    With that said, all of the rest is just to keep her busy so she is weakened (we're past being nice). She has continually hit us with contempt charges (all dismissed) and suing for this and that. We have money so we use real lawyers (not DHS or the likes).

    Yes, the custody is set to joint custody in the divorce decree, so we are entitled to 50% of the childrens' time, but we only enforce this when their time permits. We've had enough and my husband DEFINITELY has PAS. Have you been through a custody battle in Oklahoma? We've had little response from gov't agencies and our lawyers seem slow despite being excited to file these suits.

    Any ideas on keeping her busy while we go for full custody?

    Thanks!
  4. #4
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    What is the name of your state? Texas

    Has anyone fought for full custody in Oklahoma before? We're finding the laws are so weird there. It's gotten nasty and I need some pointers. Here's what she's done, let me know if you see anything to aggressively pursue:

    1. Improper tax reporting (unreported cash income, fully claiming children).
    If she is the custodial parent then she was fully entitled to claim the children.
    Fudging her taxes is irrelevant to custody. I am an accountant and a tax preparer.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    2. Improper reporting to school to get reduced lunch rates.
    Again irrelevant to custody

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    3. Misusing child support (admittedly putting wood floors in home, getting leather furniture)
    Were the children fed, clothed and housed? Then she didn't misuse the child support, it merely freed up HER income for more discretionary purchases.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    4. Putting children up to calling my husband (their dad) and cussing him out for "suing" the ex.
    If the kids are old enough to have an opinion, and it certainly sounds like at least some of them are, then you have no grounds to be certain that she "put them up to it. It could very well have been their own idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    5. Reported son's birthday inappropriately on tax forms to add a year to his age (in 1991) to get the $4000 EIC.
    While I am not going to go back and research 1991 to be sure, I can't imagine any circumstance where adding a year to a child's age would effect EIC.....and even if for some bizarre reason it did back in 1991...the SOL is LONG GONE on that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    6. Contempt for not allowing us to see my stepdaughter (ever).
    That is possibly of value, depending on what the court orders say and depending on how long dad has let it go on without doing anything about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    7. Late to drop stepson off at our agreed time.
    Possibly of minor value, depending on just how late she actually is...

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    8. Harassing emails and calls.
    Subjective...can't respond without knowing more

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    The list goes on... Goin' for the jugular; any ideas?
    Doesn't seem like you have much here that would be relevant to custody.

    THANKS[/QUOTE]
  5. #5
    stepmom&mom is offline Member
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    I certainly hope it's not your husband who has PAS. Living in a rough neighborhood is not grounds for a change in custody. As for the rest...

    Do you have copies of his son's report cards showing he is failing? If not, he needs to request a copy of the child's school records from the school.

    In the state of Oklahoma, only one of the parties to a conversation has to be aware that a conversation is being taped. Have you been recording the conversations when the CP calls and screams and cusses or the kids call using expletives? If not, you should be.

    You say you haven't seen the stepdaughter for three years and you said that the reason is because you haven't had time to enforce visitation. Why? How is the court order set up (alternating months, weeks, or days?) You should be sending a letter of Notice of Intent to Exercise Visitation in advance of the dates that your husband is supposed to have the kids advising the CP that you will be picking up the kids on xx date and at xx time and if those dates/times are not feasible, she should reply via U.S. mail with alternate dates/times. Keep a copy of all of these letters and if she picks them up (send them certified mail, return receipt) and doesn't reply or denies the visit when you show up, then document it and then send a letter of denied visitation. Make sure to send a copy of all the letters to the Oklahoma County Court (assuming they have jurisdiction.)
    Last edited by stepmom&mom; 01-17-2005 at 05:43 PM.
  6. #6
    KarenWalker is offline Member
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    LDIJ, thank you for your input. Stepmom&mom thank you for the timely analysis...

    Yes, my husband has PAS (it was an awakening researching this topic! It all makes sense now!). We do get copies now of his report card (even though she reported her current husband as their biological father). Our lawyer said that both parties have to be aware of recorded conversations. Where can I find this out?

    We already have a contempt charge for visitation and we will be going to court this month but after we win that we will be going for full custody. I know a rough neighborhood is not grounds for a custody win, but her letting our son walk unsupervised to a smoky dingy pool hall with no money until after dark is inappropriate and alarming!

    Also, he has nothing on his walls while our daughter has crap crammed to the ceiling. Lawyer said it's a sign of covered abuse of the daughter. All these things add up and alarm us. Do you know anyone who has won custody from the custodial parent? Is anything I've said grounds for custody award?
  7. #7
    stepmom&mom is offline Member
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    Here's the law regarding one party consent in Oklahoma.

    [url]http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/deliverdocument.asp?citeID=65575[/url]

    Pretty much what you say about the neighborhood and living conditions is hearsay. Only a custody evaluator could really confirm this unless you know of a third party who would vouch for such (not a relative.) You can't just make accusations....you have to back them up.
  8. #8
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    The grounds we are suing for custody on is that they are in a very rough neighborhood, not supervised, running with thugs, custodial parents didn't even know teen son was failing most classes, they scream when we call and threaten to kill us (in front of the kids) and put the kids up to calling us with cussing and yelling themselves. We haven't seen my stepdaughter in 3 years so we think she might be being abused (therefore they hide her so she can't blurt out the "wrong thing").
    Well...how old is your stepdaughter? If you are claiming she added a year to the stepson's age back in 1991, we know that he has to be at least 13...if not older, therefore I have to assume that she is older than he is (because otherwise you wouldn't suggest that your husband get in trouble for the JOINT return they would have filed in 1991) If she is a teenager I don't think your abuse theory is going to work...

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    With that said, all of the rest is just to keep her busy so she is weakened (we're past being nice). She has continually hit us with contempt charges (all dismissed) and suing for this and that. We have money so we use real lawyers (not DHS or the likes).
    She has had you constantly in court and you have never addressed the issue of your stepdaughter not visiting? after three years? While in the world not?
    That isn't going to help you. It appears that you had plenty of opportunity to address it and didn't....If she is under 17 you can probably get visitation reinstated, but I think you are going to have a hard time making it look like you didn't go along with her not visiting.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    Yes, the custody is set to joint custody in the divorce decree, so we are entitled to 50% of the childrens' time, but we only enforce this when their time permits. We've had enough and my husband DEFINITELY has PAS. Have you been through a custody battle in Oklahoma? We've had little response from gov't agencies and our lawyers seem slow despite being excited to file these suits.
    How does the order actually read? There are many different forms of joint custody, they don't necessarily default to 50/50....and the way that the order actually reads can have a dramatic impact on court proceedings.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    Any ideas on keeping her busy while we go for full custody?

    Thanks!
    These kids are apparently teenagers....with one of them maybe even being an older teenager. Their wishes WILL factor in to this case to some degree or another. So far you haven't given us any info to indicate that you have a winnable case...at least not guaranteed to be winnable.

    Plus it also appears that you are dealing with two teenagers who do not WANT to live with you.

    Have you really thought this through carefully? Have you thought about the impact of two extremely angry teenagers on your household if by some chance you DID win?

    What was the catalyst that sparked this action?
  9. #9
    KarenWalker is offline Member
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    1991 refers to my stepson, my stepdaughter is only 8 and has no verbal filter (and has never called us cussing). They've admitted to us that mom puts them up to calling us.

    Joint custody filing was very simply put that time is to be split, 3 days a week at our previously made arrangements and one of the two months in the summer, alternating holidays. It's closer to 170 days rather than the standard 120.

    My husband doesn't want to hurt anyone so he's gone along quietly trying not to upset their household despite her coming after his wallet annually (in court). It's been 3 years because they threatened his life and he had had enough of them being like that. He was single and not ready to fight. Now, PAS has set in, but he got to see our stepson for the first time in years and learned about all that he is allowed to do and that he fails classes. He now realizes that he trusted her to parent and she has shown that she does not and she allows them to be in the house with a verbally abusive husband (her current).

    We have to take action now because we had trusted that they were less disrupted by his absence (sparing them witnessing the X screaming for my husband to just go away and die), however she has not changed the atmosphere and level of care in their home. They don't seem to care about the kids!
  10. #10
    stepmom&mom is offline Member
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    LdiJ

    I agree this definately looks bad. The fact that they waited so long and are now suddenly being demanding full custody might look suspicious to the a judge. They'd be better of just focusing on enforcing current visitation. So far they haven't even proven visits have been denied.
  11. #11
    KarenWalker is offline Member
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    When a judge sees documentation of letters denying visitation how does that change the situation as we do have proof that she lets us see one and not the other.

    I do understand that it looks odd after being away for so long. It's a hard battle but we are convinced they are not being raised properly and are being raised in an uneducated, verbally violent atmosphere.
  12. #12
    stepmom&mom is offline Member
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    What proof do you have? A letter will establish that you agreed upon dates and times for visitation. A letter of denial will show that she did not produce the children on these dates and times. Just walking into court and saying she never allows you to visit the daughter isn't proof.
  13. #13
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    LDIJ, thank you for your input. Stepmom&mom thank you for the timely analysis...

    Yes, my husband has PAS (it was an awakening researching this topic! It all makes sense now!). We do get copies now of his report card (even though she reported her current husband as their biological father). Our lawyer said that both parties have to be aware of recorded conversations. Where can I find this out?

    We already have a contempt charge for visitation and we will be going to court this month but after we win that we will be going for full custody. I know a rough neighborhood is not grounds for a custody win, but her letting our son walk unsupervised to a smoky dingy pool hall with no money until after dark is inappropriate and alarming!

    Also, he has nothing on his walls while our daughter has crap crammed to the ceiling. Lawyer said it's a sign of covered abuse of the daughter. All these things add up and alarm us. Do you know anyone who has won custody from the custodial parent? Is anything I've said grounds for custody award?
    Hon, you haven't seen the stepdaughter in 3 years...your lawyer isn't qualified to make psychological judgements and your stepson's word is questionable at best. Teenagers CRAM their walls with stuff....I find it more disturbing that your stepson has nothing on his walls than his sister having her walls crammed. I have a 17 year old daughter...believe me her walls are crammed, and believe me she is not being abused!

    Honestly, no....so far you have told us nothing that would guarantee you a custody change. The most significant factor is your stepson's grades at school and even that is iffy.

    How much did your attorney quote as a retainer? The harder the case, the higher the retainer.

    My honest opinion is that you aren't likely to win...OR that you are focusing on the wrong issues.
  14. #14
    KarenWalker is offline Member
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    You are absolutely right! We knew a long time ago that words mean nothing! So, not only do we keep a detailed written journal, we bought a video camera with a time/date stamp on the bottom. When we show up early/on time to pick the children up we are taping the arrival of us and the lack of arrival of them. This with the emails where she has agreed to times/dates/places will hopefully show a judge she has no intention of following court orders for visitation.
  15. #15
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenWalker
    1991 refers to my stepson, my stepdaughter is only 8 and has no verbal filter (and has never called us cussing). They've admitted to us that mom puts them up to calling us.

    Joint custody filing was very simply put that time is to be split, 3 days a week at our previously made arrangements and one of the two months in the summer, alternating holidays. It's closer to 170 days rather than the standard 120.

    My husband doesn't want to hurt anyone so he's gone along quietly trying not to upset their household despite her coming after his wallet annually (in court). It's been 3 years because they threatened his life and he had had enough of them being like that. He was single and not ready to fight. Now, PAS has set in, but he got to see our stepson for the first time in years and learned about all that he is allowed to do and that he fails classes. He now realizes that he trusted her to parent and she has shown that she does not and she allows them to be in the house with a verbally abusive husband (her current).

    We have to take action now because we had trusted that they were less disrupted by his absence (sparing them witnessing the X screaming for my husband to just go away and die), however she has not changed the atmosphere and level of care in their home. They don't seem to care about the kids!
    How is it that he gets to see the older son...but not the younger daughter? Why didn't he address these issues on one of the many times she dragged him into court? Another poster suggested that a better strategy would be to enforce visitation at this point....I most sincerely agree. If the daughter is 8 and hasn't seen her father in 3 years there is NO WAY a judge would give him primary custody of her, let alone full/sole. (and you seriously need to get that 1991 EIC bit off your list...even if it wasn't valid dad signed that tax return too.)

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