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  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 04:35 PM
BlazenBurn BlazenBurn is offline
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Default Custody Battle- Starting to get scared

I have always been poly but was in a mono marriage for 18 years. When I finally approached my husband about opening our marriage, at first, he was accepting and excited. In reality he couldn't handle me loving someone else and we separated (if it had merely been sex he says he would have been okay). He states I cheated on him. We have two daughters 15 and 13.

I am now seeing Darling who is married to Micky and also dating Chatty. We are pretty open about our relationships. My daughters know about Micky and Chatty, stating that "it's weird but not bad". They have accepted everyone as part of our family.

Darling wants to be their step-dad. He loves them and they love him. He is emotionally and financially supporting my children. Due to some violence in our home, they only see their dad for an hour a week, supervised. He contributes nothing financially.

We are now in a custody battle with Dad. He has stated that our lifestyle is abnormal and that I am "rediscovering" my sexuality (because I'm bisexual). I know he will bring up being poly in the custody evaluation. We live in a fairly conservative area.

Darling is more than willing to be interviewed during the evaluation and confirm that he loves me and the kids. That he will take care of us. His wife is willing to do so also. I would like to keep Chatty out of the process because she has serious mental instabilites. I am really afraid she would make things worse.

For some reason, people we have opened up to have been okay with Darling having a wife but another GF doesn't seem to go over well. We certainly don't want to hide anything but I am very concerned about losing custody of my kids. Would it be advisable to downplay Chatty's involvement. It just feels wrong.

Anyone go through this?
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:17 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazenBurn View Post
Would it be advisable to downplay Chatty's involvement. It just feels wrong
This is a question for an experienced family law attorney who has spent a lot of time in the court room. An experienced attorney will know which judges are available to preside over your case. He will not be able to choose the judge who will hear your case, but he will have a pretty good idea of which ones could be assigned to it and how they think, based on their past decisions. He will be skilled in finding the truth and presenting it to the judge who is assigned to hear your case.

It's time to find an attorney with extensive courtroom experience, because it sounds to me like your situation is not very likely to be resolved at the negotiating table.

Last edited by snowmelt; 11-15-2012 at 07:37 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:11 PM
Razorbacktat Razorbacktat is offline
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Where do you live? I am interested because I am attorney. You do need a good lawyer. Most will be scared more than likely because of not understanding poly. You should research laws concerning same sex relationships and the rulings of the appeals courts in your state. Or any other non traditional relationships. It will give u a good indication of how the court will treat this.

You do have an advantage because you have temporary custody and there is supervised visitation. You are ahead at this time. Also because your husband participated in non traditional relationship you are at an advantage. He gets less traction because he participated also at some point.

Finally I would have kids testify to prove they are not negatively effected.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:23 PM
BlazenBurn BlazenBurn is offline
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We are in CA. My attorney says that my sexual orientation is not an issue. The courts here can not use that at all in determining custody. However, she is not too happy about Darling being married. She keeps emphazing that he needs to be "seriously considering divorce" when we go into the evaluation. Most of the judges here are conservative and rule on the side of the traditional family structure. As far as Chatty goes, everyone including my therapist (who is poly friendly) says to keep her in the background. Keeping Chatty in the background bothers Darling.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:26 PM
psychomia psychomia is offline
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don't leave this up to an attorney. I learned the hard way that the only way to get your money's worth out of a lawyer is to educate yourself on the laws and statutes as best you can, so you know what you're dealing with.

some states have made it very clear in their courtrooms that sexual orientation is NOT to be considered in custody cases, and neither is extramarital sex a factor in the fitness of a parent.

if you can, for your own sake, get down to your local law library or see if you can access lexis nexis... search for published court cases covering dissolution of marriage, adultery, affairs, sexual orientation, sexual conduct and see what you turn up. if your ex is represented, you will want a lawyer as well, but if he's going in pro se, you can get away with going pro se IF you make sure you're informed on case law to make a defense against any attack he brings in regarding your personal life.
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:29 PM
psychomia psychomia is offline
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oops sorry Blazen... I missed your last post before I wrote my rant.

it might be useful to check into a family evaluation. it's doubtful that your kids can testify... family court judges don't like to bring kids into divorce proceedings... but a family evaluator can interview everyone and write an assessment based on parenting fitness and whether or not your kids are thriving.
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2012, 01:47 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazenBurn View Post
We are in CA. My attorney says that my sexual orientation is not an issue. The courts here can not use that at all in determining custody. However, she is not too happy about Darling being married. She keeps emphazing that he needs to be "seriously considering divorce" when we go into the evaluation. Most of the judges here are conservative and rule on the side of the traditional family structure. As far as Chatty goes, everyone including my therapist (who is poly friendly) says to keep her in the background. Keeping Chatty in the background bothers Darling.
Well, Darling can bitch and complain all he likes about downplaying his marriage and not letting Chatty testify (which I think would be an insane thing to do), but look at it this way -- you have the choice between trotting his wife out just to prove something to him and losing custody, or keeping a low profile and ensuring you get custody. What's more important?

If I were you, I'd even consider backing off from your relationships with both Darling and Chatty until the custody case is settled. If it meant keeping my children with me, you can be damn sure I'd be celibate until the papers were signed. It is simply not the time to take a political stance about your relationships. Some things have to be prioritized.
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