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This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.

Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
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Children

10/21/2012 new

I am divorced and "childless", as my two young children live out of state with their mother thanks to South Carolina's "family court" system. I guess dads who love their children and want to protect them aren't considered "family" in South Carolina unless mom is a drug addict. Child endangerment doesn't seem to matter to the "family court" when determining custody, only who makes the most money and who can afford to pay child support.

At any rate, when the children ARE with me is the only time they attend church. Their mother was most recently Southern Baptist, having become that after marrying me (she was a 7th Day Adventist years before, and Church of Christ...) She does not attend church. I evidently have the right to raise the children in the Catholic church when they are with me. What can I do for them in the way of first confession/communion? My son will be 8 soon. My daughter is 5. The children spend precious little time with me due to a purely idiotic rotating shift schedule that's virtually eliminated my ability to spend extended breaks with them.


Any tips for helping them develop their faith, from a distance? Again, I see them infrequently due to distance and rotating shift work. There is no 24-hour child care available nearby, and I wouldn't want to expose them to having to adjust to my rotating shift schedule on a long-term basis. (Need a live-in child care person... i.e., a stepmom for these two and a mother for some more. :-) )


Thank you,

Michael

10/21/2012 new

Michael,


I don't know what it right in this case, only what I have observed in a few instances. In one instance I know of the father has made religion a war by turning everything into a teaching moment and preaching about the differences between being Lutheran and Catholic. I feel so sorry for the kids in that situation and think it could turn them away from religion of any kind all together in the future. To the point of making the youngest go through 1st communion in the Lutheran and a 2nd 1st communion in the Catholic Church. Every other weekend he takes her to confession so she can go to communion at his Catholic Church. At one point, I suggested that he just help them to be the best Lutherans that they can be and demonstrate his Catholic faith through his actions but it fell on deaf ears.

I would say talk to good Catholic priest that you trust about what to do but don't make it about winning because the kids never do in that situation. And pray, pray, pray for your children. Some of my children have fallen away and I pray that people will come into their life that will help to lead them back. I used to think I needed to do everything I could and then when that didn't work I would pray, when really I should have been praying from the start and letting God deal with certain things.


God bless you and your children.

10/21/2012 new

I have no experience with long distance parenting save being a single mother. My exhusband chose not to be a part of my daughter's life. I would think that painting an entire state black based on your experience is a little harsh. I am not saying that what happened to you was right, but I am saying that South Carolina is not like that across the board. A close friend at work just finalized his divorce. He was awarded primary legal and physical custody. I think what happened to you is a more a case of a specific judge and/or attorney.


I wish you the best luck with your long distance parenting. I would have to ask, are there any jobs in South Carolina that you could apply for to be closer to your children? That would be a step in the right direction for them. heart

10/21/2012 new

(Quote) AnneMarie-641597 said: I would have to ask, are there any jobs in South Carolina that you could apply for to be clo...
(Quote) AnneMarie-641597 said:

I would have to ask, are there any jobs in South Carolina that you could apply for to be closer to your children? That would be a step in the right direction for them.

--hide--



Good Suggestion AnneMarie. My daughter begged her dad not to move away and he did anyway (not out of state) but it did not help them in maintaining a close relationship. It has taken 6 years to get it back on track and a lot of pain and hurt for her.

10/21/2012 new

(Quote) Michael-780154 said: Any tips for helping them develop their faith, from a distance?
(Quote) Michael-780154 said:

Any tips for helping them develop their faith, from a distance?

--hide--

Michael,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation with your children. Divorce laws, but more particularly as AnneMarie mentioned – judges – make things outrageously difficult and unfair for parents and children. My condolences.

As for giving them faith formation from a distance I would like to offer a few suggestions, taking into account I don't know all the details of your situation so some of these may not work, but hopefully they will.

First, I would involve any of your family members that are on your side here. Your kids' grandparents, aunts, uncles, especially your kids' Godparents from their baptisms. Ask these people to join you in sending them letters and cards that encourage them in the faith. Ask them to remember special occasions like their baptismal day. Together with them, you can be a sort of life-line for the kids.

Next, you might get them a subscription to St. Mary's Messenger, a neat Catholic magazine for kids http://stmarysmessenger.com. This could be a great tool to help them not only stick with their Catholic faith, but also learn to start discerning the truth about what you tell them vs. what their mother tells them.

One more suggestion, pray the rosay every day for your sweet little guys. When you entrust your children to the Blessed Mother, you really can't go wrong. She will guide them and protect them. It sounds like your wife might not like this idea, but you might get them a miraculous medal on a chain to wear. God willing, the effect would lead not only your kids, but your wife as well back to her Son's sacred heart.

Count on my prayers for you and your family!

- Lisa Duffy

10/21/2012 new

Michael, this is a good question for your priest! Consult with him and what you can do to get your children to the sacraments. I was dealing with something similar to that when it came time to Baptise my daughter and I was going through the divorce and was limited by what the Church could do without the other parent's consent. My priest gave me some good advice and I felt much better about the situation. God bless you!

Cat

10/21/2012 new

Michael,


I would strongly echo another poster's advice to find a job closer to your children. Your ex may relent over time, and allow you to be more involved in their lives. As far as faith formation, talk it over with your priest. I think the best you can do is teach by word and example, give them the basics, and take them with you to Mass and Adoration. Most important for young ones is to understand that they are cherished by God, and to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ (amen, protestant brothers, we do need that). Your priest may or may not let them receive First Holy Communion if he feels their catechesis is not consistent - his call. But just keep doing the best you can - show them your faith by your love. Even if they don't receive as children, the seeds will be planted and they may come to the Church as young adults. As always, prayers and blessings. Praying

10/21/2012 new

I may have SOME word of advice...maybe pointing you in a direction anyway. My ex is now an atheist, and we had some MAJOR disagreements since I just converted April 7 about how our daughter would be raised. He is really, really anti-all organized religion, and especially the Catholic church since he is a lapsed Catholic.

I know you don't have your kids there, so your situation is more difficult than mine since I actually have my daughter all the time. But, every other weekend when she is with him, of course he would not take her to Mass.

O.K. So, in our Parenting Plan, my attorney laid it out, going through every single Day of Obligation, and anything else on the church calendar where she needs to go to Mass. Our legal plan then was designed so that she would be with her Catholic parent (me) on every last one of those days so she would be in Mass. I mean, our judge cut into his Christmas time to make sure she was home so she could go to Mass. And it says in black and white that she is to be raised Catholic, end of story. If/when he mentions his atheism (a recent problem), my attorney said to wanr him, then he'll fire out a warning letter, because it is against the Parenting Plan.


If you do not have this specific language in your parenting plan, you can consult your attorney and ask to go back to court for a revision. One major point to consider is that if YOU are involved in your Parish, you can show that this is, indeed, your religion. Point being, if you aren't in Mass as you need to be and involved, you may not have as good of an arguement, but if you are, you should have some legal ground to stand on. The rotating schedule is impeding your freedom to raise your children in your chosen religion. It is legitimate.
As for First Communion, etc., I just don't know how you can do much unless they are with you more. I know from experience in my own case that you cannot make the other parent take the kids to the Catholic Church. But you can make sure they are with you so that you can. I know you don't want them exposed to your rotating schedule, but at that point, you have to decide what the priorities are - maybe consider hiring a nanny from your parish, or even find a job without a rotating schedule and sue for more time with the kids.

10/22/2012 new
I think it varies state by state and judge by judge as far as parenting plans. Seek an attorney in your area, try mediation. Going back into the legal battle post-divorce is very costly, and what I have encountered in the court system has not been sympathetic. Be cautious. Be prudent. Work it out as best you can as co-parents. PRAY.
10/23/2012 new

(Quote) Michael-780154 said: I am divorced and "childless", as my two young children live out of state with their ...
(Quote) Michael-780154 said:

I am divorced and "childless", as my two young children live out of state with their mother thanks to South Carolina's "family court" system. I guess dads who love their children and want to protect them aren't considered "family" in South Carolina unless mom is a drug addict. Child endangerment doesn't seem to matter to the "family court" when determining custody, only who makes the most money and who can afford to pay child support.

At any rate, when the children ARE with me is the only time they attend church. Their mother was most recently Southern Baptist, having become that after marrying me (she was a 7th Day Adventist years before, and Church of Christ...) She does not attend church. I evidently have the right to raise the children in the Catholic church when they are with me. What can I do for them in the way of first confession/communion? My son will be 8 soon. My daughter is 5. The children spend precious little time with me due to a purely idiotic rotating shift schedule that's virtually eliminated my ability to spend extended breaks with them.


Any tips for helping them develop their faith, from a distance? Again, I see them infrequently due to distance and rotating shift work. There is no 24-hour child care available nearby, and I wouldn't want to expose them to having to adjust to my rotating shift schedule on a long-term basis. (Need a live-in child care person... i.e., a stepmom for these two and a mother for some more. :-) )


Thank you,

Michael

--hide--
Michael,
when things are completely out of your control put them in Gods control. Pray, Pray - Pray unceasingly.
But remember God cannot do his part unless we do our part. As others have said "talk to a priest" - "Move closer". God will work through others to answer our prayers, so talking and working with others towards a solution is a way to allow God to help. To post on CM for ideas is well but the leg work is up to you.
The best way to help your child is to help yourself - rehashing painful experiences helps no one (a person never gets ahead by looking behind). Keep in mind that with God every day is a good day, some day's are just better than others. If you can keep that mindset then you will never have a bad day.

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