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mommie2alex
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22 Jan 2008, 12:21 pm

I have a bit of a situation. I am divorced from my son's father. he lives in Tennessee and my DS and I live in Pennsylvania. Currently, the custody arrangements are he gets DS every other xmas and every summer for the ENTIRE summer. I've tried telling him that it's way too long for DS, even before he was diagnosed with ADHD and started showing more and more symptoms of AS, but he doesn't care or believe me. He actually accused me of letting the doctors "f**k up his mind" with medications, and that was when he just knew about the ADHD. DS had a very hard time the past two Summer visits when coming back (the whole transitions thing is very hard for him) and I'm going to attempt to talk to the ex about changing the Summer visits to two short visits, but I just know he isn't going to go for it, no matter what DS is dx'd with, so I am worried that I'm going to have to sue him for full custody, which I will do if necessary, just not looking forward to the experience or the expense (i'm a single mom currently out of work and living with my mother :(). has anyone gone through a similar experience and can possibly give me some advice?

Thanks



ster
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22 Jan 2008, 12:27 pm

can you have your son's dr talk to your ex ?



Azharia
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22 Jan 2008, 1:03 pm

Couldn't he have some some of summer every summer instead of all every second summer?



Tortuga
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22 Jan 2008, 1:06 pm

It's not likely that you can change your custody arrangement from joint to sole custody, unless there has been a significant change in circumstances. Even if you did get sole custody, your ex would get visitation.

My ex has not been very understanding of our son's issues and sometimes the visitation schedule has been inappropriate. But, we've survived it. As my son has gotten older, he's found ways to cope. However, he pretty much resents his dad and I don't see that changing as he gets older. The resentment will probably get worse.

Oh, and I get a lot of blame thrown at me. I get told that our son doesn't have autism and all of his problems are the result of me leaving my ex. Fun stuff. 8O



duncansbass
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22 Jan 2008, 2:31 pm

First off, I am not defending your ex, but some people, myself included, have a deep distrust of doctors. That may be part of where he's coming from.

It may be possible for you to modify the order as far as visitation, but that would require either cooperation from your ex (not happening, it looks like), legal advice (not affordable, it looks like), or you to represent yourself as an attorney. This is a huge undertaking in time and energy, and if your ex gets a lawyer when you have none, you may be up a creek.

Best thing I can tell you for now is to be there for your DS and be supportive. If your circumstances change, check into modifying the order for visitation only. Just because you have shared custody doesn't mean it's a cookie cutter arrangement. You should be able to modify it to a different arrangement without going whole hog for full custody. Full custody requires that you prove he is unfit for shared custody, and it is up to you to prove his unfitness, not him to prove his fitness.

In the meantime, be the best you can for your son and help him through. Let him know there is someone there for him if things get tough with his dad, and work together to discover some coping skills for whatever difficulties he may have.


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CockneyRebel
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22 Jan 2008, 3:07 pm

I knew a single dad that I used to babysit for. His son was very likely an aspie.


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Tortuga
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22 Jan 2008, 3:26 pm

duncansbass wrote:
It may be possible for you to modify the order as far as visitation, but that would require either cooperation from your ex (not happening, it looks like), legal advice (not affordable, it looks like), or you to represent yourself as an attorney. This is a huge undertaking in time and energy, and if your ex gets a lawyer when you have none, you may be up a creek.


Yes, this is an excellent point.



blessedmom
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22 Jan 2008, 8:54 pm

I have sole custody of my 3 sons and have had for 13 years. Their dad has reasonable and generous access but neither of us wanted to set the visitation in stone. We agreed when we split up that we would always keep in mind what was best for the boys at any given time. The agreement wasn't for us, it was for them.

There have been times when one of the boys didn't want to go to dad's for whatever their reasons were. In the summers, we judged the length of the visits to dad's by how the kids were feeling. My youngest son has AS and more than a week at dad's was enough. My middle son spends the entire summers there. My oldest son had a falling out with his dad when he was 14 and quit seeing him for 2 years. He's finally started visiting him again. If one of the kids have plans, their dad understands that they have a life that is more than just their parents. And if they decide that they want to spend 3 weekends in a row with their dad, I have never disagreed. Our responsibility is to do what is in the best interest of each of our children.

As for the diagnosis of our two AS sons, I forwarded all copies of documents regarding the kids to him as soon as I had them and kept him informed every step of the way. When he balked, I matter-of-factly stated the facts. It took awhile but he soon came around. I sent names of books and other materials in his e-mail. It was quite clear to him that the issue wasn't going away simlpy because he didn't see it or like it.

I wish you the best of luck. Being a single parent is never easy but many of us are walking that road with you.

Lauri