Nat guard Mom in custody battle

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Pima, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am posting this because recently there were several threads about military women and getting pregnant. Unfortunately, this article shows that it can also be a personal issue

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/nyregion/01guard.html?_r=1&hp

    So sad for the couple and the child. Part of me gets the father, because at that young of an age her mother is now a stranger, but the other part of me feels like this is a kidnapping that used the courts to separate the 2. I also feel for the mother because she signs on with the guard to give a better life, help with the bills, and even though they had an agreement worked out through the military, she will not have to go deeper in debt to pay for an attorney.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  2. Antoinette

    Antoinette Founding Member

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  3. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    The one who will suffer the most will be the kid. :frown:
     
  4. jscam87

    jscam87 Member

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    It tells a tragic story that has been repeated thousands upon thousands of time before on military families. Only this time, the person losing is a woman, which somehow makes it newsworthy. The biggest loser will be the infant, but to treat this as a new event seems odd...
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree zaphod. Like I said, I get the Dad, I remember how Bullet would come home from a deployment and he would put his arms out to hug the kids and sometimes they would run with their arms open and sometimes they would do a death hold on me. However, I always forced them to re-bond.

    I think in this situation the father wants custody and is using this as a loophole to get it. He does not even yet realize in yrs to come his DD will google her name and come to realize that Dad kept Mom away when she wanted to be in her life. He will lose her then from her anger.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    This is indeed sad for the mother and most of all the child. Not the only case. Several other mothers and fathers, too - have lost custody of their children due to their military service. Some folks have been critical of judges, some of whom are intent on punishing parents for their military service.
    This is not a "women's" issue. It is a parental issue.

    I any news article it's difficult to sort out the fact from the hyperbole but there appears to be so much wrong with this case.
    If the Army helped her and formualte a family plan they should help provide legal services when that plan is challenged.

    Scary thing is this can happen to any parent during their military service. Men too. Many men left for war married with kids at home only to have their wife file for divorce and get custody of the kids.
    The courts and judges need to understand that being deployed is not a CHOICE. It is NOT abandoning ones children.
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Agreed.

    Some parents think they're being clever by trying to turn their kids against their ex. It doesn't always work that way. The truth has this nasty habit of popping up and smashing the plan to the ground one day.

    I'm hoping that will be the case in MY case. :mad:
     
  8. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    I have to chime in - this touches me on so many levels, some personal and others just on a moral basis.

    I am copying a part of the article to make my point. See below.

    "Despite the breakup, the couple agreed that she would help Mr. Llares and his parents pay for Elizabeth’s needs while overseas and assume joint custody once she returned home."

    In so many situations both civilian and military, a woman is working and paying a large portion of the maintenance and care of the family home and child. For some reason, in the eyes of the world, a working woman is still less of a mother then a working father is a father. This woman didn't run from any of her duties, yet is being penalized. She served her country in war time and provided support to the father AND his parents while she was away.

    I hope for all involved, the court allows both parents to remain in the child's life and that the parents find a way to get along (though that is easier said then done). It makes me wish I was a lawyer so that I could help on a pro bono basis. Anyone out there?

    GoNavyMom
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    As we saw from the mainstream media and politicians when Sara Palin was running for VP.
     
  10. Antoinette

    Antoinette Founding Member

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    That is how I see it, too.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Personally, I think the father is a Butt-Head. He is trying to take it out on the mother. I really don't believe his main concern is his daughter. No; I don't have proof. But I hope the court can see through this.

    I grew up in a very "progressive" society. New York City. Progressive in the respect that tolerance and social issues were forced on people immediately by society. If people can argue that a child being raised in a homosexual household is totally acceptable; and a child being raised in an inter-racial household is totally acceptable; and mothers (sometimes fathers) are going after the financial support of parents who aren't there (Deadbeat Dads/Moms); then there is absolutely no reason or argument for saying that a "Baby" is going to be traumatized by growing up with shared custody of the father and mother; only because the mother wasn't around for a few months. Pure crap in my opinion. I'm not looking at this emotionally or from the view of parents or raising kids. I'm viewing this strictly on the father's legal defense and stance on the matter. The only thing worse, is that there is an ambulance chasing lawyer who is willing to represent him on this.

    Now; show neglect, disinterest, or similar behavior on the part of the mom; and he can fight tooth and nail. I'll help him. But this argument is pure crap.
     
  12. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    just the facts please

    the single mother
    employment status. unk
    student at Montclair State, full time or part time. unk
    family support, out of state
    relationship with child, strained.

    The single father
    employment status. full time YMCA.
    family support, lives with parents/ child's grandparents
    relationship with child, only parent child has known

    she ended relationship with child's father prior to deployment. agreed to help support child living with his parents.
    after returning from deployment months of arguments ensued resulting in a restraining order being ordered against her. At that time she sued for full custody of child.

    Spec Mendoza stated that if her unit was deployed again,"she would not go".

    opinion:
    Spec Mendoza wants to remove the child from the only home she has known. why because a child needs to be with it's mother. BULLshe wants the kid to insure she will not be deployed again and possibly receive state benefits due to an unwed mother.

    this proves that the military is not the place for pregnant single service members, nor the place for single mothers as Spec Mendoza stated a child needs to be with it's mother.

    You may fire when ready
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  13. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    I agree.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    gunner,

    I can't even place my words together because of your post. Fine, you're right let's call back all women including the nurses and docs that work in the military. Let's not forget the pilots, navs, intel, weather and JAGS.

    You are obviously young, and have never had a child. Get back to me when the mother of your child places a restraining order and refuses to allow you to see them.

    Your post was cold, and it showed that you do not realize the amount of torment parents go through, married or single when they are deployed.

    Question for you, if the roles were reversed and the father was deployed, should he lose all custody?
     
  15. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    Pima:
    Who should have custody is not something you or I will determine. That is a matter for civilian courts.

    My question to you is:
    If having full custody of the child which Spec Mendoza is seeking would prevent her from performing her military duties as it would with Spec Mendoza, if unit is deployed again "she will not go". Should she be retained in the military, if yes in what capacity?

    Was my post cold? Yes it was. it was also cynical and harsh. I view Spec Mendoza as being a self centered egotistical manipulator. I view the boyfriend as an immature gold digging leech. They were old enough to breed but operantly not mature enough to parent. Both need a good spanking and told to grow up.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    gunner -
    You are missing the point. Custody should be determined by the parents and when they don't agree - the courts. The questions is - should a custodial parent have their custody revoked out from under them when they are deployed in the military?
    Most people feel that being deployed and returning from deployment does not an unfit parent make.

    Full custody does not prevent a parent from performing military duties or even being deployed, unless of course the court will pull the custody out from under him/her while she is gone.
    She is required to file a family plan to be in the military. That plan needs to have some teeth in it and protect her as well as her child.
    If she is unable to file a family plan then she can request to be separated.

    Again stop thinking of this as a female issue. It is not. If you ever have children while you serve this could indeed happen to you.

    Here is an update from the Army Times:
    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/09/ap_custody_090109/

     
  17. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    My question still is, should SpecMendoza be retained by the military when she has stated she will not deploy with her unit if mobilized. For the sake of her daughter.

    This question will not be addressed due to the fact an answer will not fit into the prestructured discussions of most.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JAM is 100% correct. I have seen many fathers end up on the short end of the stick, because of his military commitment.

    You are young and have no children, you cannot even begin to fathom the heartbreak that military parents feel, come back when you have held your child while you imagine your wife taking them away because you are in the military.

    The way I read this story was that she enlisted to give a better life, she never thought the father would place a restraining order, She even utilized the military to protect her rights. She did not ask them for special treatment, they called and she answered. Instead of condemning her, we should stand behind her because not only was she willing to sacrifice her life for you to say that women should not be in the military, but she lost her child.

    I have my own issues with women, but IMHO, my issues about breaking down barriers and the thought we are weaker. I.E. women should not be given a lower PT, especially if you want a combat position (AF= fighter pilot), since the last I knew a bullet does not have a heat seeker for the slower runner. I am against female submariners, since to reconfigure the sub would not be cost efficient, but do support that any new sub should try to be configured for women. I get ticked at women who do get pregnant because they make the path for the next female that much harder. Finally, unless I missed a class in sex ed, if a woman gets pregnant on a boat or a deployment in the sand box there was a man...if not notify the VATICAN.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That is for the military to determine. She may be forced to deploy for commitment purposes or they can release her, it has no bearing on the custody case.

    This is a special case, I have met many mothers in the military that are AD, you cannot use a unique case as a reason why women should not be in the military.
     
  20. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Aer you saying she should be separated now because the article reported that she will not deploy again? Not sure what you are getting at and you lost me on the last part of your post.
    The question:
    is the crux of the case.

    There is a difference between telling a reporter that you won't deploy in the heat of the moment after your child has been taken away and officially telling the Army you won't deploy.

    If she tells the Army that she will not deploy with her unit then they will separate her.
    My understanding is that everyone in the military with dependents must file a family plan regardless of if/when they will be deployed.
    If she files a valid family plan and then refuses to follow through on it she will be AWOL.

    Here is a question for you:
    Should the judge refuse to grant her custody of her daughter ONLY because of the POSSIBILITY she might deploy again?
     

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