Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

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Latest post 01-15-2013 7:35 PM by splum1. 11 replies.
  • 01-15-2013 3:17 PM

    • EESales
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    Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    My wife and I have a friend who is divorcing her husband because he cheated on her, among other things.  She has filed divorce papers and has served him with custody papers as well, stating that she has custody of their kids and that he is allowed visitation.  Their young daughters are not comfortable going to where he is staying to have him get them off to school, pick them up, etc.  Today, their girls didn't want to go see their dad, so our friend asked my wife if she could possibly watch the girls and get them to school and pick them up while she was at work.  My wife agreed and our friend gave her a copy of the custody papers that she has filed.  This afternoon, he texted my wife with a profanity laced rant that ended with him claiming that he was calling CYS and the police.  My wife is naturally upset since the involvement of CYS and the police affects us, our kids, as well as our friend's kids.  My question is this:  Since our friend has the papers filed with her having sole custody and him having visitation, even if he does not agree with her having us watch their kids, is there any issues that we can be faced with?  The last thing I want to do is get myself into a bunch of legal trouble because we were willing and able to help out a friend.  Any advice or information would be helpful.

  • 01-15-2013 3:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    EESales:
    is there any issues that we can be faced with?

    Yes.

    If the husband wants to push it you can be prosecuted for custodial interference or worsh.

    Just because your friend "filed" papers doesn't mean she has a court order accepting the details.

    You wife had no business agreeing to watch the children and would be foolish to do it again.

    You don't need to be in the middle. All you have to do is say no.

     

     

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    • shall not be infringed.
  • 01-15-2013 3:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    I am not a lawyer, but I have been divorced with children.

    So far as I know, you can just file papers as to you having custody, and your soon to be ex can have visitation, and that's the end of it.  Wow, wouldn't THAT be interesting!

    Your friend can file she wants her soon to be ex the moon, stars, and the planet Mars, but has she actually gone to court with him?

    And I will tell you something else that is certainly just a personal opinion.  This 'not being comfortable with dad' is more than likely something mom is involved with.  I know it's your friend, but I saw it not just in my divorce, but numerous others.

    "Gosh, dad is now living in a bad neighborhood.  Dad is not very responsible.  All dad cares about is work.  Are you children afraid to have dad take you off to school?"

    And so it goes.

    MY opinion.  You've done enough already.  Hopefully nothing comes of it.  But this is a divorce.  You don't want to be hit and injured in their cross file.  It's likely to get worse before it gets better.

    Good luck, and hopefully, dad was just ranting on the phone, because he was angry.  I DO NOT blame him one SINGLE bit.  He is the dad.  Mom decided whatever she felt like, and dad is left sucking wind.

    If I were dad, I'd have her mom in court so fast her head would be spinning, and I would spare no cost to make sure it happened yesterday or the day before.

     

  • 01-15-2013 5:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    Let's not get carried away. It sounds as if your wife was asked to babysit. There is nothing preventing her from saying, 'yes.' This dispute is between them. Your wife hasn't interfered with custody and the father owes her an apology. Who knows what the wife told the husband to cause him to send a nasty text instead of calling or attempting to just come pick up his kids.

    As long as your wife's motives are pure (not taking sides and helping wife deny husband visitation/custody time), she's fine. You may need to have a chat with the husband about the tone of messages he is sending YOUR wife.

  • 01-15-2013 5:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    Unless these "custody papers" are a court order, they're worthless.  And unless and until a custody order is in place, mother's free not to send them anywhere to see father.

    "This afternoon, he texted my wife with a profanity laced rant that ended with him claiming that he was calling CYS and the police."

    And your wife (don't get involved unless wife asks you to ... she's a big girl) is free to politely respond asking him never to contact her again, and that she didn't appreciate his rant.  Not sure why she's going off the deep end, even if he threatened to call the protective services and alleged you two are abusing your kids. 

    What hassles you can be faced with depends on what the guy's willing to do.  Naturally, if he's bonkers, you don't want him showing up and diverting his rage onto you and yours.  Can't know whether a protection order is warranted for the friend, but unless he continues to pester your wife after she's made a reasonable request for him not to contact her again, I wouldn't involve police.

  • 01-15-2013 5:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    While in theory anything is possible, I don't see any "custodial interference" argument here.  :)  Unless the guy has high-level ties, I don't see a call to the police or children's protective services going anywhere.

  • 01-15-2013 5:36 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 10-08-2001
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    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    EESales:
    he texted my wife with a profanity laced rant that ended with him claiming that he was calling CYS and the police.

    Personally I would love to know what he would be reporting to CYS or the police.   Not saying he wouldn't get some sort of action, but what kind of story would he have to tell?  If allyour wife is/was doing was babysitting and transporting the kids to and from school, I don't see a problem.  If somebody does inquire of your wife, all she has to do is say she was doing a favor for a friend and shut up after that statement.

    EESales:
    She has filed divorce papers and has served him with custody papers as well, stating that she has custody of their kids and that he is allowed visitation.

    Does she have some sort of court order or did she just file?  In either case, the problem is between your friend and her husband.  You and your wife need to bow out gracefully and not get involved with the drama that is fixing to hit the fan.  I suspect that it won't be pretty.

    Might be a good idea to let the husband know that neither you nor your wife appreciate profanity laced text messages and that if she receives another you will do whatever necessary to make sure it doesn't happen again.  That, by the way, is not a threat.  That is a statement of fact and you can make it happen.

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 01-15-2013 5:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    Being anal like I am, one is free to "threaten" someone about taking legal action.  (And as to the word "threaten" in general, I prefer everyone use Gavin deBecker's definition in the "Gift of Fear".  A "threat" is something that presents imminent danger, in this context such as someone calling a place and saying "You'll be dead in two hours" or "Your house will blow up in two hours."  It isn't "I'm gonna do X if you don't do (or do do) Y."  :)

  • 01-15-2013 6:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    adjuster jack:
    If the husband wants to push it you can be prosecuted for custodial interference or worsh.

    I disagree. Nothing in the situation posted suggests they are interfering with custody. They are not bound by the custody agreement between the parents, and the kids are there by permission of one of the parents, in this case the custodial parent, apparently. Presumably if a parent of the kids came over to pick them up, the OP would release the kids to the parent, so there is no iterference with any parent's rights, so far, anyway. If the father came over and asked them to release the kids to him and they refused, that MIGHT present a legal problem, but that's not what happened from the facts as posted. 

  • 01-15-2013 6:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    Chancey1:
    And as to the word "threaten" in general, I prefer everyone use Gavin deBecker's definition in the "Gift of Fear".

    Yes, I'm aware that you have your own somewhat unique take on the use of the English language. But the rest of us don't have to speak and write English the Chancey1 way :-)

  • 01-15-2013 7:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    EESales:
    She has filed divorce papers and has served him with custody papers as well, stating that she has custody of their kids and that he is allowed visitation.

    EESales:
    our friend has the papers filed with her having sole custody and him having visitation

    It is unclear from these statements what "papers" you're talking about and whether the court has entered a temporary custody/visitation order pending the finalization of the divorce or whether your friend is merely requesting primary physical custody.

    Pending your clarification of this, unless the court has entered an order regarding custody/visitation, both parents have the same equal rights regarding their kids prior to the separation and filing for divorce.

     

    EESales:
    is there any issues that we can be faced with?

    Maybe.  Depends on how you clarify the issue mentioned above.

  • 01-15-2013 7:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Caught in the middle of friends custody dispute

    I agree with Taxagent...nothing your wife did was custodial interference. 

    If the wife was given temp court orders naming her the custodial parent and she asked your wife to babysit, that is perfectly fine.

    If there are no court orders and the wife asked your wife to watch the kids, that too is perfectly fine.

    If the Dad had custody and it was his custodial time and your wife had the children and refused to return the children to him, that is a different story but not the one you told.  The guy sounds like a jerk.

     

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