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  #1  
Old 07-15-2019, 08:01 AM
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Default Does anyone else have kids from a man in the freeworld & are MWI?

Not sure if this is the right place but I want to know if anyone else has kids from a free world relationship, and then later hooked up with and started dating a man in prison. If so, what did the kids think? How soon did you introduce them? Did the other parent fight you on whether the kids could be around them if you're still together when released?
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:00 PM
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My daughter was 20 when I "met" My Mr and no longer lived at home. Her father had died when she was 7. While I can answer yes to the initial question, your other q2uestiions are not applicable to me. There are MWI women here with children from someone other than their MWI, but whether or not they speak up is their choice...some may not be comfortable posting about their children, especially if they are minors.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:22 AM
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I introduced my daughter, who was 4 at the time, to my man graduallly and naturally, as the situation unfolded. I didn't do it in any formal or sudden way -- bascially, I followed her natural curiosity. She saw mr write letters and asked who I was writing to; or she saw me speak to him on the phone and asked who I was talking to. I'd answer simply by saying I was writing and talking to so-and-so. Later down the line, this allowed to open up more questions form her. It was a years-long, gradual process. Depending on how old the children are and what their temperament is like, it will probably be a variable process. I'd say the younger they are, the easier it is for them to accommodate the situation -- before they're school-age, they don't carry the socially-ingrained judgments about incarceration that older children, teenagers, and adults do.

I cannot speak to the issue of the biological father's reaction, as my daughter's father passed away. I would imagine that is a far more volatile proposition than the child's introduction to the prisoner. Adults carry very harsh prejudices against anyone in prison -- unless, perhaps, if they've been in prison themselves, but even then... The parental instinct to protect one's children is one of the strongest drives, and I imagine it kicks into high gear in this scenario. And, I'd add, justifiably so. Most people in prison are there, at the very least, due to very bad judgment. At worst, it's because they're outright sociopaths. What we're asking our families is to trust our judgment that the man we've chosen for our partner is an exception to the rule. In my experience, most don't.

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Old 07-16-2019, 08:40 AM
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I was introduced to my man from his family. Before I wrote him I talked to each of my kids aged 15, 23 and 28 at the time. I told them his charges and that I was considering writing him. They also know his family so that helped. Basically they all said I make good choices in life and they trusted that. Now that he is out they all have a great relationship with him and he loves my grand babies that came while he was locked out and one when he was out. Writing someone in prison was something I did not take lightly. He has also been in and out since he was 13 years old/ is 42 now and def looks like he just walked out of prison. It’s not an easy life we get followed around stores, questioned at the emergency room over and over if I feel safe at home. We laugh about it now when it happens but at first it’s shocking. I wasn’t just bringing him into my life I was bri going him into my family. If my kids would not have liked the idea I probably wouldn’t have wrote the first letter. I also had to step back and allow them all to form their own releariknship with Him.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:39 AM
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I didn't talk about my now husband or introduce the kids until he came home and we got to know each other a bit on the outside. My ex husband did know about him (found our accidentally) and did try to fight it, but there wasn't really anything he could do because my MWI hadn't actually done anything. It still causes lots of drama and eyes on us, and my MWI had to be aware that there was no room for screw ups around my kids or he'd have to be out of the picture because I will not sacrifice custody or their well-being for anyone.

My ex still hates him, refuses to speak to him or acknowledge his existence, but oh well.

Btw, my kids are younger and in took some time to adjust, but now they love him and he loves them like his own. We're currently separated because he relapsed, but they're still cheering him in rehab
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:23 PM
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Yes! My kids are 5 and 10 and while they know him on the phone, they do NOT know he’s in prison. I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible (forever?) and my MWI agrees with me. We’ve kept it going for two years now.
I tell them he’s my friend in another state (true) with a crappy phone that can’t facetime or send pictures and hangs up every 20 minutes (true). I tell them it’s because he’s poor which is also true LOL
I’m afraid it will send the wrong message to my kids if they know mommy is in love with a man in prison. It’s something I struggle with regularly. Thanks for making this post!
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:26 AM
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When you are a single parent...I don't know how you can keep a secret from your kid like that for years depending on their age. I mean I had photos of us together, we were on the phone all the time, when I would visit and my family would watch my children (it took 7-9 hours to drive there and I would stay for a day or two), my kids would ask where I was going, who I was talking to, why we cannot call him whenever, why we can't visit him whenever, etc. Their father was not in the picture. There's a lot that goes behind that and I won't get into that here. So, yes I have children and they knew about my relationship. They would talk openly with him when we were together. He would send them cards (for their birthdays and holidays) or letters just to say hello and sometimes they would send him something back. I think just like relationships out here there are difficulties when it comes to having children and the other parent not always agreeing. I mean...we have to look at their side too. We would probably be skeptical if they entered a relationship with someone in prison and our children were around it. We tend to trust ourselves and our intuition a bit more but that doesn't take away from the concern at times. There's no right or wrong here. Just do what's best for you and your children and realize that adjustments for everyone will be difficult. When JT got out and our relationship fell apart my kids were devastated. It had such a huge impact on them but the same would have happened if I had began a relationship out here and it had not gone well. My kids would have gotten attached and hurt if it didn't work out. It took me quite awhile for me to introduce my children. Years.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:39 PM
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Yes! My kids are 5 and 10 and while they know him on the phone, they do NOT know heís in prison. I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible (forever?) and my MWI agrees with me. Weíve kept it going for two years now.
I tell them heís my friend in another state (true) with a crappy phone that canít facetime or send pictures and hangs up every 20 minutes (true). I tell them itís because heís poor which is also true LOL
Iím afraid it will send the wrong message to my kids if they know mommy is in love with a man in prison. Itís something I struggle with regularly. Thanks for making this post!

Yeah I have an ~8 y/o and a 4 year old and they think he's a "cop." My eldest always tells me to text my MWI and I'm like ... if only I could.
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:05 PM
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I need to vent and idk what to do. My stbx is not only putting a term in our separation agreement that says my MWI cannot have contact with my kids, but that he’s going to file something with the court as well - like a no contact order.

I’ve reached out to my lawyer but he’s terrible at responding. I’m kind of freaked out right now.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:35 PM
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I need to vent and idk what to do. My stbx is not only putting a term in our separation agreement that says my MWI cannot have contact with my kids, but that heís going to file something with the court as well - like a no contact order.

Iíve reached out to my lawyer but heís terrible at responding. Iím kind of freaked out right now.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have no practical advice, and to be honest, the only advice you should take on this is from a solid family law attorney. I'm sure you know you don't have to agree to those terms in your separation agreement. No clue about no contact orders filed by one parent under the present circumstances.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:43 PM
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I don’t have to agree to the terms, you’re right. I’m afraid he’s going to
Take me to court and rail me though, so I’ve just kind of been taking it. I guess I figure I’ll fight it if my man and I make it into the free world. He and I face a lot of challenges as it is - idk if he’s gonna be 900 miles away or sent 9000 miles back upon release. The whole thing sucks... but my man is supportive, understanding and considerate. He wants so badly to be a part of my kids lives, and like I said, they love him. Ugh. Hopefully in time it’ll be ok.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:28 AM
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I agree, you dont have to agree to anything. A judge would have to agree that a no contact order was appropriate, and I don't think it would be all that easy considering he shouldn't be able to show any evidence of harm to the children. And he's not even living with you or your kids, so it's a little weird.

But at the same time, fighting it too much would probably come off as very strange considering yall have never been together in the free world. I wouldn't want to go in front of a judge and explain I was in a relationship with someone in prison whom I'd never met on the outside and already was allowing him contact with my kids.

Kind of a sucky situation either way. I think I would fight back by having a condition put in for BOTH of you so it isn't specific to you...like, no one living with either of you until marriage and having the other parent meet the potential spouse first or something like that. And if he does get the no contact order, maybe fight it after your MWI comes home and has had sufficient time to prove himself as a stable partner/parent.

The reality is, our kids are our top priority, and protecting them will never be a bad thing. People coming out of prison can be soooooo unstable and at least agreeing to some sort of compromise will make sure he's going to stay in their lives.

I know in my case, since my husband relapsed (even though it was brief and the kids were with their dad) my ex now actually has a case for no contact vs in the beginning when there really was none. Better if he would've relapsed or screwed up before he was integrated into their lives.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:55 AM
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I agree, you dont have to agree to anything. A judge would have to agree that a no contact order was appropriate, and I don't think it would be all that easy considering he shouldn't be able to show any evidence of harm to the children. And he's not even living with you or your kids, so it's a little weird.

But at the same time, fighting it too much would probably come off as very strange considering yall have never been together in the free world. I wouldn't want to go in front of a judge and explain I was in a relationship with someone in prison whom I'd never met on the outside and already was allowing him contact with my kids.

Kind of a sucky situation either way. I think I would fight back by having a condition put in for BOTH of you so it isn't specific to you...like, no one living with either of you until marriage and having the other parent meet the potential spouse first or something like that. And if he does get the no contact order, maybe fight it after your MWI comes home and has had sufficient time to prove himself as a stable partner/parent.

The reality is, our kids are our top priority, and protecting them will never be a bad thing. People coming out of prison can be soooooo unstable and at least agreeing to some sort of compromise will make sure he's going to stay in their lives.

I know in my case, since my husband relapsed (even though it was brief and the kids were with their dad) my ex now actually has a case for no contact vs in the beginning when there really was none. Better if he would've relapsed or screwed up before he was integrated into their lives.

I agree with everything you have said, and that's my plan of action for sure. I would never bring someone just released around my kids as soon as they're released. I'd need to know he's adjusted and isn't a threat or there is no chance he'll go back. I figure I'll let my stbx have all these provisions right now - the no contact, no pictures, etc. and when/if my MWI make it in the free-world and he's a contributing member of society then I'll fight it. But for now, to fight it, seems silly. It'll definitely be easier to prove my case if I say "your honor, MWI is a contributing, harmless member of society who has successfully reintegrated, holds down a job, attends church (or not)" etc rather than "but judge!!! I wanna be with this guy in prison who I don't know on the outside and I'm willing to throw my custody away because of it!!!!!"


What sucks right now is I'm all set to see my MWI for the first time NEXT week.... this trip was planned and paid for 2 months ago..... and my own boss (a criminal defense lawyer) is telling me I'm making a huge mistake in going to see this guy, because a judge, if stbx and I go to trial, will say I have poor judgment.... I'm trying to convince myself that it'll be okay because every parent needs time alone, my kids will be with their grandparent (it's not like I'm bringing them out there with me or having a stranger watch them), etc. But, because of this, I have to bend to pretty much all of my stbx's demands.


The whole thing is so crazy and I'm starting to question wtf I'm doing - but only because that's how literally everyone I've talked to about this has reacted.
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Old 08-01-2019, 01:33 PM
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Yeah, it sounds like a lot is going on. Been there. But it will calm down...eventually.

I don't know about going to see him. I agree with you. I could see if you were leaving your kids every week alone at home to go visit, but one trip is hardly a detriment to your children, and why would it even come up down the road? Unless your husband knows about it? If he does and is making it a big deal, I guess I can see how better safe than sorry staying home.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:10 PM
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Yeah, it sounds like a lot is going on. Been there. But it will calm down...eventually.

I don't know about going to see him. I agree with you. I could see if you were leaving your kids every week alone at home to go visit, but one trip is hardly a detriment to your children, and why would it even come up down the road? Unless your husband knows about it? If he does and is making it a big deal, I guess I can see how better safe than sorry staying home.
He knows Iím going to see him. Iím a terrible liar. I canít stay home though... itís cost me so much $$ I canít get back. Plus, I need a damn break too lol
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:58 PM
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Your STBX is threatening you with custody issues , he could use your trip against you, a lawyer has warned you not to travel to see your MWI at this point as it could be seen by a judge as bad judgement on your part.
However you still want to go because of how much the trip has cost? And "lol" you need a break??
I think maybe you should rethink as you can visit your MWI any time, your children must come first. Sort your custody issues first show the judge you can make good judgements and your children always come first. That way your STBX will struggle to get a judge to impose any restrictions on you. Don't give him any legs to stand on.

As parents we have to make very tough decisons and I feel for you but making good decisions for our children is what we mums do.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:06 PM
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He knows Iím going to see him. Iím a terrible liar. I canít stay home though... itís cost me so much $$ I canít get back. Plus, I need a damn break too lol
Yeah, if he knows, I honestly wouldnt go. You're looking at possibly a nasty battle where every little thing can be used against you.

In economics, your trip is what theyd call a *sunk cost.*

You've paid the money. It's gone. You won't get it back by going on the trip any more than you'll get it back by staying home.

I know it's hard, but I would just let it go or it might end up being something you regret for the rest of your life.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:21 PM
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Wait a minute, everyone is assuming now that going to see a prisoner will cost her custody. I think this is a big overreaction. As far as I understand it, that could be a realistic issue if she were to demonstrate that she is putting the kids in harm's way, which her trip to see him is obviously not. "Poor judgment" of this public-opinion variety doesn't nearly qualify to have your kids taken away from you -- and entering a relationship with an inmate, while questionable in a folk opinion sort of way, is not a crime on the books. Driving while intoxicated with the kids in the car, on the other hand, is an objective, provable breaking of a statute. That does demonstrate actionable poor judgment.

I strongly urge you to discuss all this with a kick-ass family attorney and don't feed your paranoia.

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Old 08-01-2019, 09:39 PM
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Custody is not determined by crime. It's determined purely by opinion, and often comes down to miniscule things when both parents are seen as generally "fit." As in, no abuse or neglect. Being MWI may not be a crime, but it's a liability in the middle of a battle. I know people who've lost custody battles because they work 12 hours shifts instead of the 8 hour shifts their spouse works. Literally anything can happen. And it's very easy to paint someone in an MWI relationship (while still married) as unstable.

I've been there, done that. If they were already divorced and custody was set, I'd agree with you. It's not going to change an existing agreement. But the decision about finally custody hasn't been made yet.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:44 PM
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I'm not sure what you should do, but in regard to a lesson learned keep certain pieces of information close to your heart.

Not many will understand your love someone you haven't even physically met yet. Being happy and content in your relationship is one thinge, but discussing it too soon is another.

Plus you need time for this to blossom and really get to know one another and few months truly isn't long enough. It is best to play the slow and steady card.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:10 PM
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I'm not sure what you should do, but in regard to a lesson learned keep certain pieces of information close to your heart.

Not many will understand your love someone you haven't even physically met yet. Being happy and content in your relationship is one thinge, but discussing it too soon is another.

Plus you need time for this to blossom and really get to know one another and few months truly isn't long enough. It is best to play the slow and steady card.
Very wisely said. Another argument why it's not such a great idea to do battle with people's opinions of inmates.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:14 PM
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Custody is not determined by crime. It's determined purely by opinion, and often comes down to miniscule things when both parents are seen as generally "fit." As in, no abuse or neglect. Being MWI may not be a crime, but it's a liability in the middle of a battle. I know people who've lost custody battles because they work 12 hours shifts instead of the 8 hour shifts their spouse works. Literally anything can happen. And it's very easy to paint someone in an MWI relationship (while still married) as unstable.

I've been there, done that. If they were already divorced and custody was set, I'd agree with you. It's not going to change an existing agreement. But the decision about finally custody hasn't been made yet.
I believe you -- though it seems crazy and unfair. If one spouse, for example, goes to a bar and gets drunk there while kids are in the other's custody, is that a liability, demonstrating poor judgment and instability? How far do these potential challenges go?
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Old 08-02-2019, 02:16 AM
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I donít think anyone is saying that the op will lose her children. However the op is going through a separation and care of the children is going to be an issue. The stbx can and will use any evidence that the op is making poor judgements against her.

My advice donít fuel his fire to place restrictions on her custody of the children. The Mwi isnít going anywhere. Rearrange the visit when things have calmed down and keep it to yourself your ex doesnít know what he doesnít know.
The important thing is the children.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:00 AM
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I agree with Maytayah. No one is saying that loving this person is wrong. Priorities are shifted and what we are all saying is that if this situation is causing you stress (the custody battle) then it's probably best to play it safe. That doesn't mean she can't visit him...and if he's (your MWI) so eager to be in your children's life and in love with you, generally most will respect and understand the situation. I get it. When I was with my MWI all we wanted to do was be a little family, but your situation is causing you distress.

There is not a single person who can tell you what is right or wrong. Only you can make the decision that is best suited for you and your family. A judge won't just make a no contact order...unless he feels there is some level of safety risk with the children. Meaning does he have a violent crime? Were any of his crimes against children or vulnerable people? They might take that into consideration. Just as if you were going through a divorce out here and a person stated that the person you were with was of unsound moral character the judge and the court would take that into consideration. They would look into what the other parent was stating. So, my question would be to you, what do you feel is the best thing to do right now given your current state of distress? What would help calm that? I'm sorry you are going through this.. I hope that things get a little better and easier to work through. These are some tough decisions and I don't think anyone is telling you to not be with your MWI. They are just asking if this is causing you distress to think about your situation and the best course of action for you and your children at this time.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:08 PM
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ILLINOIS.PAL ILLINOIS.PAL is online now
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Thankfully my MWI is very understanding of things. He’s sad, of course, but he can handle it and will respect things how they are right now.

I think I’m going this week. I’ve wanted to see him for a while now. It’s screwed up and I hate where I am in life but I get a lot out of my relationship with him and I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t go. My stbx and I had a very calm discussion Friday about custody and property, and I think we’ve reached an agreement. I’ve agreed to no contact between kids and MWI. He is aware I’m still going and we’re both aware he could use that in a custody battle. I just have to trust he’ll only fight if I put the kids in danger in the future.

Oh and so for his crime - murder. He went, at age 16, with some friends who wanted to collect on a debt. He was getting tattooed and then another guy stabbed the victim a whole bunch of times. I’ve found this out from newspaper articles. I haven’t really talked to him much about it. He definitely understands my stbx’s apprehension about intruding our kids to a man in prison for 20 years for murder..

Last edited by ILLINOIS.PAL; 08-03-2019 at 08:10 PM..
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