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-   -   Kid-Related Custody/Legal Fears (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=655)

Creatress 08-21-2009 06:25 AM

Kid-Related Custody/Legal Fears
Hey, all.

What can I do to protect myself and my daughter from her dad's family?

I'm moving into a poly family, and we'll be in the same state as BD and his parents. I SUCK at being in the closet, I just do. I can handle it at work and stuff, but not being able to post anything on fb or whatever, there's no way I'm going to be able to keep this from BD for long, and his family is pretty conservative. I don't think he himself would petition for custody. It's his future wife and his parents who are all pretty conservative, and BD is passive enough to pursue it if they talk him into it. His parents love my daughter, she's their first grandchild, and they just met her a couple of weeks ago. BD just met her a month ago as well, for that matter.

I'm hoping that THAT will be my saving grace, that he's just not been that involved. But I WANT him to have a good relationship with our daughter. I know that custody issues always favor the mother, especially if she's been the custodial parent for any real length of time, but IF they take me to court for custody on the premise of me being unfit due to living in a poly family, I'm scared that if I get the wrong judge, they'd win. This would devastate me beyond words, beyond breath...I'm trying not to think about it. I do want to do everything I can to prevent that from happening.

Ideas? Resources?

Quath 08-21-2009 01:31 PM

There was a thread that covered some of this here: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=339

I think it comes down to the state and the judge. However, I think that if you are a good parent and the kid is doing well, then you should be ok. If something did happen, there are a few groups that would defend you if it did happen.

There was a case about a decade ago where a woman appeared on MTV with her husband and live in boyfriend. Her child was taken away. She received a lot of money to fight the case. I believe that in the end, she gave up because she admitted that she did not have the finances to take care of her child.

Creatress 08-21-2009 03:52 PM

Thank you!

It really runs the gamut, doesn't it? From "don't get into the relationship until your kids are out of the house" to "call up the ACLU and let the bugger try for custody!"

I appreciate the resource. Soooo scary. *sigh* Open to hearing any other insight from folks!

XYZ123 08-21-2009 05:22 PM

Does the BD know about your situation? If you're not going to be in the closet anyway, perhaps it's best to talk it over with him and get his feelings on the matter. If you have a decent enough relationship and he knows you're a good parent maybe you can have him sign some legal documents stating he will not sue for custody based on your relationship status? I'm not sure this can be done as I have no legal experience, but maybe it's worth a try? Talk to a lawyer and find out your rights.

River 08-21-2009 07:02 PM

Have a look through the Google search of [polyamory + "child custody"]:

& contact Anita Wagner - http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/. I bet Anita can help -- or direct you to where help can be found.

Creatress 08-22-2009 05:00 AM


Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 5207)
Have a look through the Google search of [polyamory + "child custody"]:

& contact Anita Wagner - http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/. I bet Anita can help -- or direct you to where help can be found.

Thank you for listing those resources. I will make a point to follow through on those.

foxflame88 08-22-2009 03:21 PM

I have no suggestions, but wish you luck. :)

redpepper 08-24-2009 05:51 AM

Yes, I would agree with getting to him first, before you move. Perhaps you will get a sense of what might happen in the future by doing that. If it doesn't look favorable then I think I would probably hold off from moving. Where my child is concerned there is no option that his happiness be put before mine.

That or just do your damnedest to keep it all off facebook and out of your conversations to anyone suspicious. Talk to your daughter, if she is of an age to, and keep quiet until you have settled in for a year or so and then see where things are at.

You can make another FB account no? With a new email? That way you can have a Poly friendly FB account and a non-friendly account to. Be careful who you "friend" though.... Another option? Go into the "settings" at the top of your FB page and privatize the hell out of everything. Block people from seeing things.... be careful though as this doesn't always work on certain occasions....

Oh the thought of losing my child just kills me and fills me with absolute terror. I feel for you! hope it all works out.

Just a note of confidence.... I am like you and unable to keep my own secrets. I have kept this one for 9 months now from my family, once you get into it, it really becomes easier to just pretend you are all good friends that hang out together... or in your case, just live together. Really, it is all financially more practical in this day and age anyway riiiiight?:p

Creatress 08-24-2009 08:13 PM

You know, I probably would do better at keeping this quiet if there wasn't a move involved and if I weren't so proud. People ask if I'm moving for a job or what and it's hard to justify it if I'm just moving from my own house with a hella low mortgage into a communal living situation. As much as I love that arrangement even in the strictly practical sense, would it be worth moving over a thousand miles for? For people who I really didn't want to know, so far, I've said we're moving to be closer to DD's dad, because I'm sick of living alone and I have friends there (which is kinda true), because the winters here suck (which is true, but not a reason worth MOVING for me), and because I need another adventure. I used to move every 4-8 months, for like six years, so it's not that implausible. *sigh* I just hate lying, and this feels like lying.

There's also that pride aspect. I'm proud to be in a relationship with these two wonderful people, and I want folks to know that I don't need help (that's basically not true, everyone needs help, but as a single mom I'm really sensitive to that.)

redpepper 08-24-2009 09:31 PM

If it were me I wouldn't move far away into anyones home with my child. I don't care how well I think I know them. Especially in light of your situation. I'm sorry, but I really see no need to rush these things. Being in the same area, even living next door seems far more approriate and safe.

As for the lying. Yes I know, it sucks, but I would suck it up and do it for my kid. I do it for him now, and for my partners. It really goes against my grain, but I see it as a necessary thing for the survival of the life we are loving right now. What they don't know won't hurt us.

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