HELP! Move to Live Aboard Sparks Custody Battle - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #11  
Old 09-01-2011
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There are lots of forums about living aboard, and I've seen some that specifically talk about living aboard with a family. There are tons of examples of families that even have gone on long, extended cruises (like months at a time, covering thousands of miles) with kids. A guy working on the boat next to mine in the boatyard about a month ago told me he and his wife took their two kids on a 28-foot sailboat from Canada all the way down to the southern tip of the Bahamas - they lived on the boat for six months.

Google "living aboard" and you'll find the forums and some blogs as well.
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Winkler View Post
Dear Bonmot,
kids like boats usually (moving or not) - we all know that. You say he likes the idea, and you do as well. Maybe you could add a supporting statement of a psychologist. This should impress the court, I think.
Best wishes
chris
Thanks Christian. I agree. My son had a few sessions with a counselor back during the "main event". I'm going to request the doc to meet with him and try to gauge what precisely my son would prefer.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2011
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Well, if you're never leaving the dock then I guess you can't impress the judge with the way that navigation puts mathematics to practical use. Trig and even spherical trig make sense when you're navigating, geometry becomes practical, and math skills (will we make port before the storm?) become a matter of "gee, I ought to know that".

OTOH mother's do worry about kids falling in the water and drowning, simply having water around with constant adult supervision seems to be a greater hazard than all the equally real dangers we ignore in homes.

Does her home have natural gas or propane? Couple of those blow up every year, but we all ignore it. Got an attic? Attracts bats, which carry rabies. Same thing for any critters under the porch. Or poison ivy invading corners of the garden.
Good points Hellosailor. My ex recently switched from oil to nat'l gas and I have mentioned that in one of my written statements. There have also been rats and mice in the house on occasion. Not much danger of falling in the way we're situated to the dock, but of course an ex with an agenda can summon up all kinds of threats; real or imagined.
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Old 09-01-2011
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All I can think is, poor kid. Divorced parents is tough enough, and now he needs a lawyer and a psychologist? At least he gets to spend half his time on a boat!

I'm with hellosailor. Boats provide more opportunities for practical education than just about anything else you can do.

As for experience, don't have much of my own. However, this is one of my favorite blogs: two parents with two kids, one just a few months old, somewhere in the Chesapeake: Zach Aboard. They seem to live pretty comfortably, and the author tells boat-related and non-boat-related stories. Every couple of weeks I send my wife the link in the hopes that she will see the light
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikerust View Post
There are lots of forums about living aboard, and I've seen some that specifically talk about living aboard with a family. There are tons of examples of families that even have gone on long, extended cruises (like months at a time, covering thousands of miles) with kids. A guy working on the boat next to mine in the boatyard about a month ago told me he and his wife took their two kids on a 28-foot sailboat from Canada all the way down to the southern tip of the Bahamas - they lived on the boat for six months.

Google "living aboard" and you'll find the forums and some blogs as well.
Of course the key words here are "he and his wife". If a couple is in accord about any kind of lifestyle they want, they're free to pursue it. If one is seeking an advantage in the name of gaining more control over the child, almost any change in living situation can open the door to a battle over parental descretion. And let me tell you, there's not much worse in the world of parenting then having a court system micro-investigating and micro-managing one's paretning choices. It's both frustrating and humiliating. It's also stressful on the child to know that there is a battle raging over him and that more than anything else is why I detest my ex's decision to instigate this process.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
All I can think is, poor kid. Divorced parents is tough enough, and now he needs a lawyer and a psychologist? At least he gets to spend half his time on a boat!

I'm with hellosailor. Boats provide more opportunities for practical education than just about anything else you can do.

As for experience, don't have much of my own. However, this is one of my favorite blogs: two parents with two kids, one just a few months old, somewhere in the Chesapeake: Zach Aboard. They seem to live pretty comfortably, and the author tells boat-related and non-boat-related stories. Every couple of weeks I send my wife the link in the hopes that she will see the light
Thanks for the link and words of support. I look forward to checking out that blog. It appears to be an extremely useful resource in making my case.

Best of luck in accomplishing your goal to move aboard. I guess it depends just "resistant" your wife is to the idea. If she could try it with an open mind she might come around. If not, at least she gave it a try. There are sacrifices to living on a boat to be sure, but there also rewards aplenty. Each person has to decide if the pluses outweigh the minuses. Even with all this incredible stress and nonsense, it still makes the most sense for me. Just wish I'd started 30 years ago!
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Update

I just received a communication from the court addressing our new "temporary" schedule. For the past year and a half or so, it's been 1 week with Dad and 1 week with Mom with a night swith on Thursdays just to break it up a little. This was great. My son pretty much designed this arrangement and it worked out well for a kid who really strives to maintain equity.

After my ex filed an emergency order for full custody (she claimed living on the boat had caused his very mild case of pneumonia even though he had only been on the boat a few times by then and despite his pediatrician flat out denying that living on the boat could have caused this illness), the judge had temporarily altered our arrangement to Dad on Tues, Wed and Thurs. During the summer months this wasn't too, too awful. But with school starting (yesterday) it would have been pretty bad.

As a temporary until a late October pre-trial (yes, trial, if you can believe it. We didn't even have a trial for the divorce), it's to be Dad Friday after school until Sunday evening. It didn't sound too good at first until I realized school days don't provide a lot of opportunity for hanging out anyway. Having every weekend is a real boon. So for now, it's ok. I'd still prefer the old schedule because I think that's what my son was looking for. We'll have to wait and see how this sorry mess unfolds over then next few weeks.

Thanks again to everyone who has responded. It has helped me feel encouraged and I hope this thread will continue to grow so as to be available for anyone else who has the misfortune of facing this kind of issue.
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Old 09-01-2011
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Bonmot, is there a school bus involved?

If so, it becomes a red tape nightmare to have your son in two different places during the week, the school authorities can't deal with changes in bus pickups and dropoffs.

(All part of why I'd ban school busses entirely, they've convinced me that those are way too dangerous to have anywhere near kids. Left behind, run over, hit by crossing traffic, seat belts, fights in aisles...they've made the point, the busses need to be banned outright.)
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Old 09-01-2011
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Being cooped up in a 34ft boat in Salem, Mass. in Winter may not be ideal.

Why not relenquish custody in the Winter for his benefit??
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Shame about the pneumonia thing. The association between drafts and pneumonia is an old wives' tale and has no scientific support. The National Institute of Health does not list cold air, moist air, drafty rooms, or proximity to the sea as risk factors of pneumonia (Pneumonia - PubMed Health).

My parents divorced when I was 6 or so. My brother and I lived at my Mom's and had dinner with Dad every Wednesday and Friday, and on alternate weekends we stayed at Dad's until Sunday night. I feel like that schedule worked out well, but my relationships with the two parents definitely did not develop the same way. As I got older, visiting my father started to feel like a chore. Probably would have been different if he lived on a boat, though.
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