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Cust. Mediation in 3hrs today, last minute advice!!!

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My custody mediation is today at 1:30, I need last minute advice to make things go smooth.

My story.

Divorced 10 years ago, Have a 12 and 14 year old girls, great well respected beautiful, smart caring girls, thanks to me and my husband of 8 years.

X wants custody, I think because

1. youngest is 12 now and he thinks she can choose.
2. I had CS enforced, not raised but inforced after 10 years of not getting enough, It raised it by $266 per month because $100 is arrears per month, He's $9,000 behind.
3. current husband went through some tough times in past 1 1/2 years, (son 5 yrs has severe speech disability) we go to counceling once a week for the last 6 months now, things are working out great now. but durig the last year or so they must have mentioned that things were kind of bad around here, and he took the three issues and seized the moment and sued me for custody.

Oh he lives in FL and I live in OH where his family and mine both live. He's full service Navy, as a Master Diver, he's gone sometimes, and he's been divorced twice counting me, He's getting ready to marry number 3 I heard. They barely know her.

He has been offered for the last 5 years the whole summer vacation which he has always turned down because it would be to "inconvenient" or "I would have to get a babysitter"
or "I can't get enough leave time" My answer WA WA WA

I need any suggestions on how to handle this mediation, If mediation dosn't work we have depositions scheduled for tomorrow.

Please Help




I don't have any legal advice, just my opinion. First of all, if he can't handle summer visitation, how does he think he's going to handle full custody? Also, just because one of your children has a speech disability has no bearing on custody. I really don't see the judge taking your children away from a loving stable home that they have been in for most of their lives. Just have proof of the missed summer visitation and anything else that might be useful. He has to have a lot of proof to switch custody. You have to be a real bad mother to do that. I am from Ohio and have been talking to alot of friends that have gone through the same things. They have said that rarely in Ohio does a judge take the children away from their mother. Sounds like you have a solid case and he is just trying to play the court game. Hope things work out for you and maybe I helped relieve a little of the stress you must be going through right now. Hopefully, someone else will respond with some legal advice, not just an opinion.


Senior Member
take a deep breath and hang in there, it is almost over.

its alot easier to say than it is to do. we all tend to get paranoid when it comes time for our court dates - especially me. i want to see into everything and put everything under a microscope. how will this look, how can they take it, what can i do if they see it this way or that way. work out a hundred different plans for all of the what ifs.

although your daughters are of age to voice an opinion, it is just that, an opinion. children can not choose where they want to live. they can ask and a judge will listen to the reasons why and take them into consideration when he makes his decisions. but judges tend to see through all of the usual theories - kids thinking that the NCP will be easier on them and things would be hunky dory dandy at the NCPs cause they are getting made promises left and right.

also, the change in custody because he is wanting relief from CS. depends on how you can get him to mention this, but if you can get him to say anything about requesting relief for the arrears or that it is your time to pay or anything along those lines, you are detalining that he is asking for the change due to a moneitary gain.

everyone has their ups and downs. the fact that you are addressing the issues and attending counseling sessions and working things out is actually a plus in your favor. you are doing things to prevent things from going bad. you are working on your marriage and also showing an interest in a child that isn't even yours. sounds like a loving parent to me.

you have been the one that has raised your children with little input from their father. a court won't just take them from you without him proving that it would be in their best interests. he stays gone alot with the military and they would be in the care of their step mother. not saying that she is a bad person, but she would be the one raising them, not their father. if a court has to pick between a mother and a stepmother - unless the mother is violent, abusive, etc - this would be a hands down match.

just keep calm. don't let the ex get under your skin in anyway. be honest.

come back and let us know how things go.


amber, He says in his court papers that my husband their step-father for 8 years they were 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 when we met is abusive and violent towards children, how insane but he has never called children services or anything to try to get this proven, he couldnt prove it its not true.

We have a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old with a disability that the older girls adore and they adore them, they have been with them all their life and would suffer just as much as the girls if they would have to move to FL. I'm not only worried about the older girls, my X's kids but I'm worried how this is going to effect my younger children.

My husband is not abusive or violent we justs went through some rough patches trying to deal with our son's disability.


Senior Member
<b> their step-father for 8 years they were 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 when we met is abusive and violent towards children, how insane but he has never called children services or anything to try to get this proven, he couldnt prove it its not true. </b>

he can put anything in the papers that he wants to get the request for the hearing. but when he gets in front of the judge he has to have proof. has your current husband ever been convicted for abuse of a child, anything??? it sounds as if he is blowing alot of smoke and trying to scare you into just giving up.

basically he is claiming that he is abusive, but not that he abused the girls? he would have a hard time convincing a judge 8 years later that he has fatherly concern.


truth is powerful

I wish you the best of luck and I encourage you not to worry. It would be one thing if he had them an entire summer and then decided that he would want to be responsible for his girls full time at least the girls would have time to bond and might want to stay there themselves, but to not seek as much visitation as possible to spend time parenting and having a real experience being primary parent recently and then seeking custody sounds like someone who wants to get out of paying support to me. Point out that adolescence is not the time to relocate children and it is also not a time to supervise them less. Your sons dissability should be thought of as a plus by you and if you present it right by others. Children need to know that some people have different strengths and weaknesses, diversity and tolerance are good things for children to learn. Again good luck, stand strong and still offer summers as you have in the past.

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