What Happens when the Custodial Parent gets a Custodial sentence?
I have shared care with my ex of two of my kids aged 9 and near 11.
Their mother has committed an offence that is shortly due to see her incarcerated for anywhere up to 4 years or possibly more. In reality she will only serve 1/3 of that so in all likelihood, will be out in 12-18 months depending on actual sentence length.
The Mother and I are the Natural Guardians of the children and there are no others. She is adamant that the children will not live with me while she is inside but my lawyer does not think there’s anything she can actually do to stop me just picking them up after D-day and just taking them.
I’ve tried to raise this with her family but to no avail. They’re equally determined not to let it happen.
Some background – she remarried and has another child with her husband and believes he is going to stand by her and look after all the kids while she is away. Unfortunately due to the nature of her crime, it’s very unlikely that they’ll be able to keep their home. She’s not told the children yet that this is likely to happen and is telling them that things will just stay the way they are if in the event she does actually in end up in prison.
I work from home and have the support of my employer to take on the kids full time. I’ve made arrangements to see to their care when I have to travel for work and they’ll stay in the same school with as little change to their routines as possible.
I fought her in Family Court for 6 years to even get a Parenting Order in place as she believes even still that I should not be in their lives at all. However there has been a period of detente over the last four years where things have worked out for all concerned. I’ve always paid child support as per IRD etc and have the balance of a hefty legal bill to work through over the next few years to prove my commitment to my kids if nothing else!
Does anyone else have any experience or a view that I can consider moving forward to tackle this issue? I’m well aware that it’s always better to get agreement from everyone concerned than end up in Family Court but I doubt I’ll have that luxury.