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Old 04-01-2011, 14:24   #46
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I would spend a lot of time searching for stories good and bad about living aboard with kids, make sure you address the bad things and how you would prevent them. That way they see you are not just blue-skying how its all good. Use this to show your ex and you will have it for court also if needed. Try and get your ex to see how things are good for his son to explore the world a bit. maybe make a one year or two year agreement to have him back full time. With the hope your son will be able to tell his dad what a good time he had etc. etc
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Old 04-01-2011, 14:39   #47
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Actually, AllezCat, we're trying to foster a good relationship with this guy. He on the other hand tells the boy to lie. He steals the boys phone and monitors any communications the boy has with his mother or his friends while with the other dad. They've even pretended to be the boy and caused him to loose friends over the internet. He complains that he doesn't get enough time but in the last 6 months has give up over two months of visitations because it wasn't convenient and didn't fit in with what he wanted to do. The "real" dad spends almost no time with his son when he does have him and allows the "step mom" to punish and belittle the boy while at their house. The list of atrocities goes on and on.
I recognize there are two sides to the story but I also know over the last 5 years how this "dad" has acted.
If we were the type of people this jerk is we would just leave and not say anything to anyone. Instead we are really working hard to get advice from people in similar situations and to make this situation as amicable as possible for all involved.
One thing I can absolutely guarantee, there are not many that would have put up with as much lying and abuse as we have and not just up and run off. You can say what you want but the fact is we're the only ones trying to do what is right. The "dad" in questions drags us through court complaining he doesn't get enough time then gives up every other visit because it's not convenient. You can call all the rest "heresay" if you want. The fact is these are very real facts and we have very real concerns about the appropriate way to handle it. So what do you suggest? Should we spend our way into poverty in a broken and screwed up legal system where there will be more damage done to this poor kid than good? Because in our home we've already seen the effects of how this dad takes everything out on the boy and the legal system is so screwed up that they don't care. In the meantime we've got a young man on our hands that has broken down and cried at school over the things his dad has done to him and no one, not even a judge, seems to really give a S***!
We're just trying to help by asking for advice from as many different sources as we can. Quite honestly the saddest thing out of this whole situation is that emotionally this young man is being mentally abused by all the things his dad does and no one seems to care about him or whether he thrives or not. In fact, it seems more important to the courts that the "dad" be allowed to continue to abuse this young man than it does to protect the boy. It is at times so sad and overwhelming for us and our family that we just feel like sitting down and crying over sheer helplessness.....
But just like you, the morons that get to make the decisions call those very real tears and fears "heresay".......
I'm going to close this with a TRUE story.
I volunteered at a family services and mediation organization years ago. We had a case where 4 and 6 year old little girls told in great detail how their dad was molesting them. It was not the kind of thing ANYONE wants to hear from a young child. The mom spent most of her time in tears and the poor little girls were scared to death. The mom had no money to pay for a good attorney. The dad's parents were part of upper management for a world wide oil company. The dad even admitted in court that he slept naked with the little girls! Guess what, one day in court the judge ordered the mom to take the girls and leave them over night at the dads house or he would have her thrown in jail and would award custody of those little girls to the dad. All because the dad could afford a better attorney. That was the first time I ever wanted to take some guy out back and kill him and I quit shortly after that experience. I just couldn't stomach it any more. This is what our legal system has become when it is involved with children. I hope this story makes you mad as hell because if it doesn't you don't deserve to be allowed to waste good oxygen.....
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Old 04-01-2011, 15:27   #48
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Well heck.... I'm the "evil" step dad (and husband of Rn) in this situation so I'm gonna open my mouth. (I'm sure I'll be in trouble fairly quickly.)

To the poster that said wait to go... Everyone we talk to or read about has some quite different advice. They say the biggest mistake they made was waiting to go. Their kids were incredibly blessed by the experience as were they.

My wonderful wife is way to nice towards the "ex". They divorced because he was abusive and still is in many ways. At one point (and here's another elephant in the corner.) I had to be out of town and our newly born daughter was running a 103 fever. The "ex", when informed that the baby was VERY sick and could die if she had to be put into a car seat for a 3 hour trip, said that wasn't his problem and he could care less... (which should tell you what a wonderful person he is). There is an incredibly long list of other things like telling his son that if he didn't keep secrets from his mom then the "dad" would never have any respect for him. and I could go on and on but you get the jist of it.
Then there's something else you should know about our family. The two oldest are my step-sons from a previous marriage. Their biological father never showed much interest in them. Their mom suffered a severe mental health issue and in the process left. When she did the two boys stayed with me. My wife and her family, who deserves many attaboy's, have taken to them just like they were their very own. The oldest will complete his second year of college and already has a job waiting on him when he finishes architect school. The other one will graduate high school this spring and wants to be a welder and marine diesel mechanic. (Yeah, he'll get to see the world by boat on his own terms! I'm actually a bit jealous.)
My wife's son, my step-son, loves the boating life. But at the same time the dad keeps filling his head full of baloney about how dangerous sailing is, he teaches the boy to jump 4-wheelers on home made tracks and makes fun of him if he won't preform the dangerous and stupid manuvers his dad does. (Some piece of work huh?)
Then at the bottom rung of the ladder we have a beautiful little girl. (almost named her "whoops" but that's another story. Suffice it to say I never thought I would be a dad again at 51 years old)
Is her life to be of a lesser quality than we could provide for her just because her older brother has a jerk of a dad? Is she to be deprived of all the wonderful and awesome life experiences that would come her way if we could move aboard and travel? She's already somewhat bi-lingual because of all the kids shows that teach spanish along with english so we know she's incredibly intelligent.
So in the end I'm left with many mixed feelings due to one final piece of the puzzle. At a much earlier time I had a daughter but because of the ignorance and low life scumbag actions of the courts and her mom I didn't get to spend much time with her as she was growing up. We were deprived of a father daughter relationship because I didn't have the funds to battle in court. I told the judge I couldn't afford to hire an attorney and ya know what? He didn't give a crap and told me as much. That was the day I learned it's all the justice you can afford to buy. Attorney's and judges are the bottom feeders of the planet, making their living sucking up crap. I don't want my wife's son to be subjected to the decisions of some moron in a robe anymore than I want my 3 year old daughter or my awesome wife to have their lives ruined by some jackass that takes an oath to something as foolish as "Above all else the law". Especially when they do that with total disregard for what is right and wrong. And let's all face facts here, that's exactly what happens in the majority of cases.
I love my family and I want the absolute best for ALL of them. My wife is one of the kindest, most gentle and awesome people you'll ever meet. I'm still amazed that someone so wonderful and beautiful would agree to marry me. The two oldest are well on their way to being very fine young men. Sailing has had a considerable influence on that. The third son, the one we're having problems with his dad, is suffering terribly because of the actions of his dad, my wife is just to nice to say so. But you know what? The courts would rather a child suffer than to do the right thing and force the dad to get the psychological help he really needs. This boy would benefit beyond words from being shown that there is a giant and wonderful world out there and he's not trapped into becoming the kind of person his dad is attempting to force him to become. He gets that gentle and kind soul from his mom and he deserves to have that nourished.
Sure, we could spend a fortune in court and we might actually win in the end, but the price would be that we would have to forfeit our dream to provide something wonderful for our kids. How's that for a great choice to have to make?
So, in the end we wait. I'm healthy now but by waiting we deprive all the members of our family of beneficial experiences that they will never get while stuck on land AND we gamble that we may never get to provide those things for our kids because we never know how our health will be in the future. By waiting we may go past the day when we're physically able to go.
I know there's no good solution for us. I know we are forced against our will to wait. I also know that we may be forced to wait beyond the point where we can actually go and will totally miss the opportunity of something wonderful for our family.
I also know that my mariage to the most wonderful woman in the world and the kids we have been blessed with is incredibly important. So is doing the absolute very best for each and every one of them. I happen to believe that as adults we have an incredible responsibility to all kids. One of the things my wife and I have discussed is how we can help the those that are less fortunate than us that we'll encounter once we do get to move aboard. My wife wants to use her medical knowledge to do basic health screenings and provide basic vaccines to kids. I know we can't save the world. Heck, from my perspective we may not even be able to save/protect a kid in our own home, but we can and will continue to make a difference in the lives of all that it is within our power to help. We believe that moving aboard and showing our kids what is out there is important beyond description. Not just to them but to us also. Our problem is figuring out how to balance that against the "rights" of a jerk that isn't even human enough to set aside his own feelings and care about a helpless child when they were sick......
God Bless each and everyone of you. May your lives be blessed and fulfilled......
No offence, but none of what you just said really matters. What really matters is that for your own selfish reasons you want to take a child away from regular contact with his natural father, who, be it right or wrong in your eyes, parents the child his way.

It wont matter to the child that you wanted to be the florence nightingales of 2011. What will matter, when he looks back, is that you took him from his dad. There are two sides to every story. To be fair, I would love to here his too.

Sadly though, it appears you are both trying to get the moral "ok" from everyone here. To be blunt, I honestly doubt youre going to get it.

Cheers
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Old 04-01-2011, 19:14   #49
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No offence, but none of what you just said really matters. What really matters is that for your own selfish reasons you want to take a child away from regular contact with his natural father, who, be it right or wrong in your eyes, parents the child his way.

It wont matter to the child that you wanted to be the florence nightingales of 2011. What will matter, when he looks back, is that you took him from his dad. There are two sides to every story. To be fair, I would love to here his too.

Sadly though, it appears you are both trying to get the moral "ok" from everyone here. To be blunt, I honestly doubt youre going to get it.

Cheers
Oz
I agree - well put
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Old 04-01-2011, 19:49   #50
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The OBLIGATION is to foster a loving feeling with the child and parent. if you are unable to or unwilling - then find a young chick without kids...
I know plenty of people with yachts and private jets and helicopters who could show THE child a better life. BUT, it can never replace the real love of a parent.
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Old 04-01-2011, 19:59   #51
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rn,

In the final analysis, the only person you have to satisfy, and live with, is yourself.
If you are not emotionally and philosophically 100% comfortable in your own being, you can't be expected to provide that shelter for others.
IMO,there is no experience more traumatic than a divorce to teach us that you absolutely HAVE to take care of #1 first.
You appear to be a person with enough love to go around, but NOT until you love yourself first. I feel that you know what I meen.
All the how-to advice from this forum doesn't meen a thing in relation to how you live your life.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:24   #52
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Wow....lots of opinions....

I guess my initial post made it sound as if I wasn't sure of what I know to be right or wrong for my family....this is what I am totally sure of. I'm also totally sure about the best interests of my son. I'm also very happy and positive I made the right decision regarding my divorce and remarriage.

Wasn't asking for opinions on that stuff....only wanted some information about how others have handled their situations logistically speaking.

However, thank you for reading and offering advice. Will take what works for my family and me and leave the rest.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:35   #53
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(One moderator deleted most of my previous post (#33) by error, I'm reproducing it here)

That's an issue that is close to me, too. My advice, which is worth what it cost you:

I agree with post #5 about the moral imperative. But there are good reasons that have nothing todo with morality:

  • A child needs both parents to grow emotionally healthy. Even if the father is not a completely positive person, important lessons are learned from the relationship. Chances are your new husband will never be a good enough replacement for his real father, the same way that your ex could not find a good replacement for yourself as a mother.
  • The father needs the child too, to be a better and complete person. Don't forget you loved this person once and probably still have affection and respect for him.
  • A child needs normalcy. Spending most of your time in a boat is not normalcy, no matter how fulfilling it is for you (you are probably done with normalcy). He'll be missing friends, roots and a lot of socialization.
Screw what the courts says. They are bureaucrats without a real interest in your kid, using templates made by others (without particular knowledge of your case) to make decisions. The will not feel responsable of the final outcome of the life of your son. You will.

If you insists in taking your son with you, be sure that is his decision too. And provide him with exit points if he changes his mind. Worst case scenarios are ugly.

Good luck!

PS: I have a kid about the same age as your son. He's agreed to go cruising with me for a while as soon as he's done with school at 18. We'll see what he thinks then...
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:49   #54
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Wow....lots of opinions....

I guess my initial post made it sound as if I wasn't sure of what I know to be right or wrong for my family....this is what I am totally sure of. I'm also totally sure about the best interests of my son. I'm also very happy and positive I made the right decision regarding my divorce and remarriage.

Wasn't asking for opinions on that stuff....only wanted some information about how others have handled their situations logistically speaking.

However, thank you for reading and offering advice. Will take what works for my family and me and leave the rest.

I know a Swiss couple each with a separately parented kid who are happily cruising W Africa/Carib/Med and are aiming for Brazil.... when they get round to it.... have not a clue about the land bound parents feelings on the matter but its happy families on that Hunter....
Only you can make the decision... and deal with any consequences that may arise... just check out all possible permutations before you act... step outside and look down impartially.... if you can, and not many can.
Seeking approval/experience is a waste of time, all situations like this are different in varying degrees... in the end its down to YOU and your situation.
Something like this brings out the RAW in people and they think in Their Box and cannot step outside....
Just be grateful we're not like lions and the new man walks in and slaughters all the previous siblings... although that was practiced in certain parts of the world till fairly recently...
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Old 06-01-2011, 19:36   #55
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Out of all the things you could do in this world, you have decided to do something that takes your son away from his father. It doesnt matter if you think he is a jerk - If you still liked him you wouldnt have divorced him so in this you are no different from most divorced people. But taking a child away from a parent is not something you should EVER have put on the table.

You arent entirely innocent either. You have now set up a situation where your son could go on a really cool sailing adventure if only his damn father would let him. Kind of manipulative to lay all that on a kid before working it out.

Do a thought experiment. What if the situation were reversed and it was YOU who was never going to see your son? THAT is the level of pain you are talking about inflicting on another human being. And that doesnt even begin to address the effects of all this on the boy.
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Old 06-01-2011, 22:04   #56
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Out of all the things you could do in this world, you have decided to do something that takes your son away from his father.

.... But taking a child away from a parent is not something you should EVER have put on the table.

If you are referring to the OP, did you actually read it?


"We have a business and aging parents at home so will be forced to travel back every few months to touch base and my son would have these opportunities to see his father. He would not be seeing him less, but the visits would just be longer each time instead of every other weekend."

And

"It is not my intention to take my son away from his father."

Please explain how ...." But taking a child away from a parent is not something you should EVER have put on the table." fits in the package of divorce. In a perfect world, or in your world, do divorced couples just do a room addition and everybody lives happily ever after?

Life is just messy. It does not flow smoothly. Painful stuff happens.

We try to minimize the pain for ourselves and those we love. Hopefully you do the best you can with what you have. If the OP says there's an option to wait, I vote for that. But I'm not part of that family and as such I don't think I'm qualified to make NEVER NEVER and EVER EVER statements.

To keep it short, I travel for the support my family. One of my kids has decided I’m a jerk for not being home when they were growing up. According to your statement, should I NEVER have done what it took to try and make sure food and clothing and medicine were there for my kids?

I agree with the principal. I even have to say (again) that if the option to wait is available, then that's a better choice IMHO. But the hair on the back of my neck bristles when I hear opinion stated as though it were fact, or judgements dispensed without qualifications.

We all carry toxins from the emotional scars that life hands us. And we all drip those toxins on the ones we love from time to time. Part of being human, which is hopefully better than the alternative.
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Old 06-01-2011, 22:36   #57
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From my experience, divorced for 14 years, shared legal and physical custody with a visitation schedule of 24%, who fought tooth and nail to maximize the time, I have the following comments...

(Im the father). My daughter is currently 18 and currently doesnt speak with me. She moved out 3 months ago. She blew me off for my b-day and holidays...and with that state of current affairs, here is some back ground...

Two months after final hearing, the ex called me up and told me i could have my daughter during midweek visits as she was going to Jr college for 'pottery classes'

so my visitation went from every other weekend and alternate holidays to the exact opposite...

the condition, I pick up and drop off, and i dont go back to court to correct the paper work...

For the next 12 years things were perfect... except the occasional missed days or holidays by the ex...

the last 2 years the daughter seems to have changed. not really changed but not progressed... no motivation, no drive.. no nothing except party, play, chat, text, myspace...dances.. kick-backs...

I havetried may things with lots of discussions about working, going to school/college, something... but, nothing.

since she has moved out, (back with her mom), she is working about 20 hours per week, actually more during the holidays as she works at a clothing store at the mall, and registered for college, I think?

My advice / suggestions are as follows:

Do you think the EX will object, legally if you unilaterally alter the visitation schedule? Are you willing to negotiate, and give up something you want in exchange for this deal? will whatever you give up be as 'painful' as whatever your ex thinks he is hurt? Or is your deal just to whatever and expect himm to accept everything and say thanks, may i have another?

which is kinda the way it appears? I am not sure if you have SOLE custody as i agree with the other poster about the types of custody...Unless the ex has no parental rights at all...

ultimately, and 'finally', my comment is whatever is best for the child, and knowing that in 8 years he will be 18 and probably wont be home and or dealing with you the way you expect...there is no prediction, although I think most children and families are more successful then I was, and no, i am not giving up on my daughter, and believe that things will change and be better sometime in teh future...

but ultimately, whatever you do isnt as life altering as you may think it is...and children arent fragile and are rarely broken


good luck


bill
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:18   #58
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If you are referring to the OP, did you actually read it?


"We have a business and aging parents at home so will be forced to travel back every few months to touch base and my son would have these opportunities to see his father. He would not be seeing him less, but the visits would just be longer each time instead of every other weekend."

And

"It is not my intention to take my son away from his father."

Please explain how ...." But taking a child away from a parent is not something you should EVER have put on the table." fits in the package of divorce. In a perfect world, or in your world, do divorced couples just do a room addition and everybody lives happily ever after?

Life is just messy. It does not flow smoothly. Painful stuff happens.

We try to minimize the pain for ourselves and those we love. Hopefully you do the best you can with what you have. If the OP says there's an option to wait, I vote for that. But I'm not part of that family and as such I don't think I'm qualified to make NEVER NEVER and EVER EVER statements.

To keep it short, I travel for the support my family. One of my kids has decided Iím a jerk for not being home when they were growing up. According to your statement, should I NEVER have done what it took to try and make sure food and clothing and medicine were there for my kids?

I agree with the principal. I even have to say (again) that if the option to wait is available, then that's a better choice IMHO. But the hair on the back of my neck bristles when I hear opinion stated as though it were fact, or judgements dispensed without qualifications.

We all carry toxins from the emotional scars that life hands us. And we all drip those toxins on the ones we love from time to time. Part of being human, which is hopefully better than the alternative.
I think your case is far different. You were travelling for the betterment of the family. In this case however, they want to travel for there own (hate to use this word) selfish reasons.

Of course they say they are going to come back. But look at reality. When they return to visit elderly grandad or to run thier businesses, do you think they are going to focus on quality time for the 11 year old with his dad? I seriously doubt it.

Now they will come back when ever they want and Dad will just have to drop everything based on her plans. Sheesh.

As I alluded to in a previous post, it appears they are here seeking the moral ok from the group.

Can we get back to talking about guns now? Hehe
Cheers
Oz
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:04   #59
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As I alluded to in a previous post, it appears they are here seeking the moral ok from the group.

Can we get back to talking about guns now? Hehe
OK, You got me with the guns line.

hummm. I think my case clouded my point. So I'll be direct. Don't judge.

I agree. OP seemed to be looking for allies. I hope that I do not depict myself as either in favor or otherwise.

what size gun?
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:42   #60
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OK,

Snip the stuff about he Op

what size gun?
Howitzer, nuke ? You know.. Something the kids can play with ;-)

Cheers
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