Saturday, October 28, 2006

Asking for custody advice

I have this wonderful 14 year old daughter who wants to come and live with me. I don't know exactly how to make it happen. Her mother wants a fight in court, and Jed doesn't want to become lawyer food anymore. I never find the service from lawyers very helpful for the cost, because the laws are set. I never have the funds to find loopholes, so I get the standard pre-set deal they have for serfs like me.

My daughters reasons for wanting to live with me are sound enough. She wants to live in this area for a bit more of an urban lifestyle and a better school. She is coming to that age where she craves the scene of hipsters, music and hanging out where she can walk or bus herself to cool localities. She also says she wants to get to know me more on a day to day basis. At first, when she brought this up, I told her we don't have any money to go spend on fun. Also, we live in an overcrowded two bedroom rented house. The more we talk about the possibility of her living here, the more my hope and excitement grow. It ain't about the money, it is about the experience of living here with me in the city and the love of her dad. While her living here will be hard, I am willing and very able to make the arrangements.

My daughter's mother (aka baby momma) is so hurt and afraid, she will offer every stumbling block to stop it. The baby momma and baby have been locking horns daily, and it is bordering on severe emotional abuse. Jed doesn't use the emotional abuse phrase very often because every relationship has its share of it built right in. This baby momma is making every effort to guilt and control the baby with church freaks galore. She's even begging for money to send her to a church type school.

The thing about my daughter is she is smart about this kind of guilt, and she sees right past it to its core. My Daughter knows her basic human nature of being, and the overwhelming urge to do what humans do. I have been talking to her more about aspects of life that you can't ignore. You can only control those natural instincts with your intellect. I think she gets more advice from her mothers side to feel guilty and stifle nature. While Jed knows the deception of intellect, I still prefer to work from that level rather than the emotional angle.

So the reason for all this rambling is to not make matters worse. I would also like to ask your advice on how to request the court system to interview myself and my daughter and consider letting her come to my house to live without overspending on land sharks.
:: posted by Tennessee Jed, 11:23 AM


I wish I could offer usable advice. My 16 year old recently decided the same thing. However, in our case, I had a sledgehammer threat if her daddy had wanted to give me any trouble over it ... both he and his wife had been convicted of abusing my son. I told him that all I had to do was pick up the phone to invite his worst nightmare back into his life. He capitulated almost immediately, and didn't even yell about the amount of child support he has to pay now.

Unfortunately, the state of Tennessee doesn't readily recognize emotional abuse as a crime. But it is possible to make the threat, if you think she would respond to it. You could try the angle of "what's best for the child" and appeal to her wanting that, rather than being selfish.

I wish you luck with this, but do realize that the family court system is totally irrational at times, and rewards those who play dirty more often than those who are honest.
Blogger LissaKay, at 6:31 PM  
Thanks Lisa, family court does stink if you are a dad for sure. I wish the court would hear the case without all the trouble and cost. I hate the world seems like the only people who do well steal and lie.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 7:26 PM  
See if you can get a CASA for your daughter. The CASA (who is free) represents your daughter and her best interests in family court. Sometimes, just knowing what the CASA is going to say to court is enough to make the parents try something new.
Anonymous Cathy, at 7:37 PM  
Cathy thanks, but I don't want to launch an attack on the ex. I only want to let the daughters wishes be considered. I thought they would consider her wishes at her age.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 7:48 PM  
At her age, her wishes will be taken into account. My babes were aged 9 to 14 and all were consulted, but in the end it had little effect. It was still 2 years of hell. Try mediation, try counselling, try everything you can before taking it to court. Give her mom a little time to realise she can lose her daughter for a little while physically, or risk losing her forever emotionally.
I'm sorry. I do wish I had some wisdom for you. At least I believe that you will not make matters worse.
Anonymous Chameleon, at 8:13 PM  
chameleon, that sounds like good advice. I don't want to fight...I'm tired, poor and unwilling to do anything agressive. I have been beat about by the system so many times the only way to fight is let them have their way and live with it.

In the words of Cool Hand Luke, "I got my mind right here boss"
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 8:37 PM  
I can not give you any legal advice but I can say that I believe you to be a loving and reasonable parent and your daughter would benefit greatly by living with you. I wish you and your daughter the best outcome.
Blogger red molly, at 12:06 PM  
Thanks RM, I can always count on you for an uplifting word!
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 12:35 PM  
Baby momma here and you know that there are 2 sides to every story. I only said once that I would make you sue for custody when you said you thought it was ok for her to continue a supervised relationship with an 18 year old boy that she lied about, saying he was 16. (Which is still too old to me) I have said several times before and since that she may go freely at the end of the semester (Christmas) against my will but I will not fight it. This child is addicted to the whole myspace world and I believe her to be too naive to make a choice at this age, but she is miserable with me and her sister.I know you love her and will try your best and I can't deny her what she wants, but I don't have to love the idea either. I have been dealing with the grief, the loss and please excuse my emotional abuse. I adore my children and I make mistakes. Afterall, she is God's child and I'll have to leave her in His hands. Thank you
Blogger church_freak, at 5:06 PM  
baby here, no need to defend yourselves. i love you both.
Anonymous myspace_freak, at 5:52 PM  
Hey Now Church Freak, Amen on the fact there are two sides maybe even three or four in this case. I think you are making a wise call to give her some credit.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 6:14 PM  
Let your daughter decide who she wants to live with, it's her decision at her age.
I'm sure she loves both of you.
I feel its all about where she wants to go with her life.
God bless both of you. x.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:31 PM  
Thanks Anon! We are just trying to do the best we can with we have to work with.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 10:14 PM  
yeah hopefully her psycho mom will let her move in she needs to get far far away from her.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:02 PM  
Anon, play nice it ain't about the hate over here.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 5:59 AM  
Sounds as if you are as guilty of emotionally abusing your child as your ex. Children do not need their parents to be "friends" to them. They have plenty of friends in their own age group. Parents are the people in their lives to guide them, to set safe boundries, to protect them until they are old enough (and mature enough) to make decisions for themselves. Fourteen is neither. Of course she wants to live with a Dad who is offering freedom to come and go as she pleases, live urban life, ride buses to whatever destination she chooses, basically live what sounds like an unsupervised life. My children would probably like that too. My advice....grow up... be the parent, stop putting down your ex, (she is still your daughter's mom) You and your ex reach a point that you can stand together so your daughter is not the one manipulating the whole situation. She has both of you right where she wants you.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:57 PM  
Dang Anon that is a lot to say without putting a name on it! I feel a large amount of judgmental crap dropping from your uninformed and unnamed orifice.

I never said my daughter would be unsupervised nor have I manipulated her with any promise of special freedoms. I keep her in my eyesight while she is on-line and I compare her actions with her peers. Did you get laid at 14, 15 or 16? I’ll bet you did. You cannot stop the human animal only train it, and I am a damn good trainer as I have been stuck in this skin of sin for 42 trips around the sun.

She has earned in my eyes the credit to make good choices as she goes into early adulthood with her Christian faith/learning as a major part to her score. The only time she lies to me is when she thinks I am going to be upset/disappointed in her, because she has never been punished by me. Now when she was rudely taken away from me at seven years old I had no options only an every other weekend fun dad sort of thing the court hands out to keep you sending money for them to handle and suck the interest off of.

I somehow with the help of my wife keep our stepdaughter alive and well along with my kids when they are here. Now y'all without sin go on and cast the first stone, but I try and open communication with the mother of my beautiful daughters to no avail, I have known her a long time and will never break that narcissistic shell. While I am willing when we come to the negotiation table to give, she never sees it any way but her own or any error with her actions. I only get the tired judgmental crap like you just spewed.

As a matter of fact the last time I spoke with her was her plea for me to talk my daughter out of living with me, which I had already done because her physical comfort will be cut in half here with no money to spare, but she like her mother is set in her mind. While that conversation was flowing I let slip with some info on the boy whom I had met and spoke with on the phone who wanted to take her to the movies one night. Daughter had said he was 16 turning 17, but in fact he was 17 turning 18 as a senior/freshman relationship, that isn’t all that unusual but we need to chaperone them well I said. Her mother then went into freak out mode and forbid her to ever speak to him and started cutting liberties like King Kong smashing cars in New York and put her daughter in defiant mode that ended in a late night of hair pulling drama between the two.

Now tell me if I am wrong here Anon, but these things run the course when we keep an eye on them and the senior gets bored of the freshman or vice versa and the season turns in a meaningless manor like Soloman sees it. We would all do better to read our Bibles than have some other sinner present it to us while all we can think about is having lunch.

If you have real issues with me please let us do this in the private of our e-mail accounts, you can set a disposable one up at hotmail or yahoo if you do not want to reveal yourself.

Good day and thank you for your insights and checking up on Jed Sir or Madam.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 2:35 PM  
Well said, Jed
Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:34 PM  
Thanks everyone for this emotional train wreck of a post and comment session. I am right sometimes and wrong the rest...human and humble. I did ask for this input and I walk away wiser. My quote d'jour is: "A good human is bold enough to ask for what he wants and yet humble enough to accept what he gets." I want to be a good human and that will never make matters worse.

I am going to post something else right now!
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 6:22 PM  
A quick question Jed, why is your wife not posting on the internet these days
I noticed she hasn't posted since March and I have always enjoyed her blog.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:44 PM  
She has found a new love! Blogging is old hat to her (actually she post to several now for the game). She is writing and playing these ARG things (alternate reality games) It is sort of an interactive novel, gps treasure hunt, code breaking, adventure tying the real world to the internets communication possibilities....hard to explain exactly what they are try Wiki on "ARG" and "I love bees"

from Wikipedia: An alternate reality game (ARG) is a type of game that overlaps the game world with reality, by utilizing real world media, in order to deliver an interactive narrative experience to the players -- a kind of surrealism.

ARGs are typified by involving the players with the story and its characters, by encouraging them to explore the story, solve plot based challenges, and interact with game characters. ARGs can be delivered via websites, email, telephones, or any other means of communication which is readily available to the players.

ARGs are growing in popularity, with new games appearing regularly. They tend to be free to play, with costs absorbed either through supporting products (collectable puzzle cards in the case of Perplex City) or because they support or promote an existing product (Halo 2 in the case of I Love Bees).
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 7:34 PM  
Thank you for your reply Jed. Any links would be appreciated. but not xbox . I'm a computer user only!
Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:13 PM  
Shucks, thanks for the blog compliment. I have been writing for these games and posting elsewhere. Also, I've been quite busy with school. Beyond my normal teaching, I am now attending school in the evenings. This is my fourth semester, and I have 14 hours on top of a full time job. I would love to keep up my personal blog, but I'm afraid it's going to have to wait a bit.

Here is an excellent link to get you started learning more about ARGs.
That link is to a forum where the games are discussed. You can pick one and see how they progress. Jed mentioned the wikipedia article. It can be found here:
There are more links at the bottom of the article as well.

Blessings Abound, All!
Blogger Mountain Girl, at 10:14 PM  
Oh, and no Xbox required! :)
Blogger Mountain Girl, at 10:15 PM  
Jed, I'm envious of you being able to forge a dialogue with your daughter and your ex. Here the courts tend to side with the childrens' wishes and if these can be bent discreetly by the resident parent to his or her own whims then the other (usually the father) hasn't got a hope in hell's chance of even being considered. It's been over three years now and my children are rapidly growing up with no paternal influence whatsoever, as far as I know. We have no recourse save for appealing constantly to the child, which then makes you look desperate and foolish. Sometimes I wish the courts would enforce an arrangement. We have one but it doesn't have to be adhered to. Pointless.
Anonymous richard, at 9:50 AM  
Jeb - me think you doth protest too much! I have no problem with you - just expressing my thoughts.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:05 PM  
The Shakespeare quote is inflamnatory in nature, and I see no need to retort at this point.

Please, if you want a battle of written witt then take it to the email level and off this comment box.

Thank you.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 6:33 PM  
Mountain Girl,
Thanks for the links. I'll check them out.
Best wishes to you and Jed x
Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:54 PM  
Your daughter is a lesbian, and easy. She needs some parental guidence.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:42 PM  
Go figure the person who left the "lesbian" comment remained anonymous. Your daughter is a wonderful person. I go to school with her and enjoy her company. She's told me a small amount of information about the situation she's in with her mother, and her desire to move in with you. I think her moving in with you would be for the best, although I will be very sad to see her leave.
Anonymous Maggie, at 10:30 PM  
are you my neighbor?

Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 PM  
Anon w/lesbo issues, If she is and she does then I recon it ain't your business. I look at it this long as anyone's crotch don't become my problem then I will be keeping my mind on my own troubles and you would do well to do the same.

Maggie, I am glad she has friends.

Falstaff anon, Backdoor neighbors in fact! Nice to meet you!
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 11:33 PM  
well i'll just be damned... small world and all that crap. wish i'd walked around and seen that pumpkin. i was so impressed when i read about it and didn't know it was in my own back yard.

glad to have all you'ns in the 'hood. and hopefully one more.

sbl (falstaff went to sleep... where he can't make matters worse, no matter how hard he tries)
Anonymous sbl, at 1:30 AM  
sbl, I wish I had known you were reading me! Our family would love to get to know yours. Your hubby and I have been speaking for weeks now. We have some friends in the music scene here and it would be fun to get all our buds to some sort of mixer. I don't have a myspace but my daughter does and has added you as a friend. See you in the hood and web!
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 11:36 AM  
well i go to school with camry and i've known her for a long time. i know that she is a good person, despite what everyone says about her. a lot of people have judged her and have tried to ruin her rep. even though i know she's a good person and a great friend, a lot of people at school look down on her because of rumors and things like that. i think that if she moved and started going to a new school that it would be the best for her. It would be a second chance that she could have at life.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:59 AM  
I would just like to say how proud I am to know this sweet young woman. She is cute, quirky, original, witty, smart, kind, and devoted to God. She is artistic and creative. She has a wonderful sense of humor that is tinged with the resin of black comedy. She is truly her father's daughter.

It is a beautiful thing to see she and Jed interact in the setting of home. The familiarity of time spent living together opens a new dimension to this relationship. I think there could be nothing better than for this father and daughter to spend time really getting to know each other.
Blogger Mountain Girl, at 7:02 PM  
Hello, there, "Jed." I'm one of Camry's better friends. (Clint) I would like to say that Camry is a great person and is fun to be around. So many people don't like her, here, because of rumors and things that float around. Of course the occasional "I'm going to beat you up" threat comes around to her. But it will never actually fall through. On a final note, I'd just like to say that while I'll miss Camry alot, I'm good to see her leaving this place, because it is indeed awful here.

Take care.
Anonymous Clint, at 6:48 AM  
Clint, You're great! I will have to have you over @ dad's with me sometime. Goodluck at HHS, hope things get better there. Go talk to your guidance counsilor, haha, I'm getting switched out of Rine's English9 more than likely. Hoorah.

And dad,
I really need to call you more, we have been getting home at 9 or 10 every night this week, and I would like to have a long conversation about theropy, guidance, friends, family, and church members. This is all a little overwhelming, haha. But, for real, I want to talk to you about it, since I really don't know who all I can trust over here other than Clint, Maggie, and Shaelyn. And I will send you an email a little later about coming over and stuff, if I can't find my phone.

Love youuuu. :]
Anonymous Camry, at 7:22 AM  
I would like to say that I have stumbled on your page due to a google search. From reading several of your blogs, I would like to say that reading your statements about your daughters mother disturb me. First of all, I would like to say that I have a 14 year old daughter of my own. She wants to move back and forth between myself and her father. While I understand, what you say your daughters reasons are, and they sound ligitement enough, I must also add that your slander about your childs mother is wrong on your part. This does not help the situation and, can also be used against you in a court of law. While I understand your feelings, I do think you need to cowboy up and not put your personal feelings toward your ex out on the net for the nation to read. It causes more harm than good. I know because I have already paid the price for this. Some of your blogs just seem mean spirited in the first place. Think before you type is all Im saying. Lawsuits happen everyday for slander.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:42 PM  
Well anon the cool thing about having nothing is I can say whatever I feel like saying. I am already garnished to the max with child support. I have nothing except my very life and body (and due time will take that soon enough). I was born with nothing and I will die the same way. I am sorry you see my post as mean spirited, "I just got my mind right here boss". So sue the shiite outta me I don't give a flying cornhole! I will live another day regardless of your unnamed view point. Thanks for coming to see Jed, and please come back for more misunderstanding.
Blogger Tennessee Jed, at 6:12 PM  

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