Going through a custody battle for my 9 month old son, help please!?

Smile - posted on 08/20/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

24

1

0

I am going through a very difficult custody battle with my ex and need some opinions from the outside. Id love to here others story of how you got through it as well as what you feel about my situation. Please no mean comments. I really need some thoughts on what you all think would be a healthy visitation schedule for my son. This has been one of the hardest things I have ever been through and I am looking for a little bit of advice so here is the story;



My son is currently 9 months old and still fully breastfed. I work from home thankfully so I am able to provide for him and also be here for him 24/7. The father and I broke up a month after I found out I was pregnant. I live in Kentucky and he now lives in California. He saw our son for 2 hour visits about 15 different times from the time our son was 1 month to 4 months and hasnt seen him since.



During the pregnancy he stated he wanted nothing to do with our baby to be, then changed his mind after seeing him. I thought the indecisiveness would have stopped after he seen our beautiful son but since then he has told me he wanted nothing to do with our son as long as I drop the child support case 7 times (all of which I have documented proof of) after each time of him saying that he wants nothing to do with our son a few days later he changes his mind then threatens to take custody of him. This has caused me so much stress, its almost like a game, several times hes told me "you win, you keep him" I cant help but think "win? this isnt a game of chess, my son is the main person who will be affected by our choices" Well guess what, he is back to wanting max time with our son.



Neither of us has ever had any drug/alcohol problems, abuse or legal issues so it is fair to say that we are both capable of taking care of a child.

We both have lawyers and court is coming up soon. So far he has bought our son two outfits, paid no child support or medical bills/coverage. Ive offered for him the opportunity to call our son so that he could stay familiar with his voice or do video/skype with him, ive also offered to fly out there to him so that he could see our son or to allow him to fly here and see our son. He refused all of these things because his "woman" wont allow it.



Ladies, dont get me wrong here, I dont want my son to be with out a father, as much as I dislike my babies father I love my son a million times more and will always place whats best for him above my feelings/wants/needs. I need out side opinion that isnt tainted by emotions.



He wants 10 day visits monthly and he wants them to start next month. I feel like that is way too much for my son at such a young age and right off the bat. First of all he has never been away from me for more than 4 hours, secondly he hast had any contact with his father in 5 months thirdly he is still breastfeeding and last, his father works from 3am to 6pm so even if my son was there for 10 days he would only be able to see his dad on his days off and for 2 hours before bed time.



I'm not sure how state to state custody cases usually work but what do you guys think? Id like to do a step up visitation where each visit we can increase a little bit more and more. I need advice on what you guys think about visitation as far as what would be best for my baby. Im just so confused and scared please help!!!!



Thanks & God Bless

Tweets

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Delia - posted on 08/29/2011

110

0

4

Here's another thought. I know we all want to be good people, do the right thing, not be accused of denying the all important time with GOOD fathers.

I must say that frankly my two daughters would have done better if I had denied that relationship or at least not encouraged it. I tried to foster their relationships, holding an open door policy whenever they or their Dads wanted to see each other, always accepting phone calls, giving them the number to call whenever they wanted to call their dads, believing it was important they have a relationship with their Fathers. Bad decision!!!!!! I never had to say a negative thing about their Dads because the behavior said it all. Sadly, the fact that neither of them ever was a priority, taking last place to cars, friends, other children, other marriages, and being painfully aware that their Dads were even trying to get out of paying child support etc has left them permanently wounded in terms of their relationships with men and their own self respect - now ages 25 and 21 respectively.

I did my part, but I couldn't undo the damage done by their Fathers. If I had to do it all over again, I would NOT encourage the destructive relationship. Yep, you read the correctly. NOT is what I wrote. They could have put their Fathers up on pedestals and "discovered" each other latter on in life when their Father's would have been more capable of relating. You don't create good Dads girls. Good Dads, loving Dads, caring Dads who WANT a good relationship with their children are born that way and will do whatever is necessary to achieve it. I know because I had a Dad like that and my husband is that kind of Dad with our two youngest children.

That's my two cents......

Smile - posted on 08/29/2011

24

1

0

Megan that guy sounds like a total deadbeat!!!! I feel so bad for your daughter :'( Maybe with time she can become close to your husband /her step dad. I was raised by my step dad from age 4 up. My real dad never once paid child support of called/visited me. Now that I am an adult I could careless, I had a great FATHER and evern though he is my step dad we are so close now that we never tell anyone we are not related. He always tells people my son got his blue eyes from "grandpa" lol
Your daughter will realize over time what a real father really means. Not papers not documents not money and not blood/dna. A real father is there in good or bad times a real father outs his children above himself! ♥

Rachel - posted on 08/27/2011

135

55

6

Even though I haven't been in a situation even close to yours, which sounds so hard to be in, I have a few thoughts:
HE left you AND your son.
HE moved away.
HE said/wrote he didn't want anything to do with your beautiful baby.
HE didn't pay ANY child support.
HE is NOT the one taking care of your son, you are.
HE is not breastfeeding, you are. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding should continue until AT LEAST a year, longer as is mutually desirable for MOTHER and BABY.
10 days out of EVERY month? That's just crazy! It really sounds like he is trying to mess with you. According to what you've written, he has no firm foundation for getting anything he wants. I think you have a good idea to make the visits tapered and getting longer as your son gets older. Oh, and if his "woman" "won't allow" him to come see his son, how is it going to be for a visit where she will be?? That doesn't make sense.
You're doing an awesome job! Keep being a great mommy!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/29/2011

6,434

12

67

Mary, my ex never followed through with our visitation agreement, I had to get it changed becuase of a move. And even next year when the child is almost 2 is too long of a separation. I was lucky that my older daughter was almost 2 by the time the visitation and custody hearings were started and my ex was already showing signs of extreme adult ADD when it came to our daughter. My lawyer and I drew up paperwork for the adaquate time in New York where I lived at the time My ex visited once in 2008 for 3 days and tried to argue that our daughter should visit him in Texas at the age of 5 before she went with my parents to Florida even though the out of State visits didn't start on paper until she was to turn 6 and he was pissy. Last year I allowed our daughter to go for 2 weeks when it was only supposed to be for 1 week. I know all about having to follow visitation orders, but my issue is always the other person who can't follow them. I had them changed out of necessity when I moved. My ex still has rights to virtual visits. He never uses any of his rights
until it's to hurt me. My advice is to start low and work your way up.

Delia, I have the same issue. My 6 year old already knows how her father is and it's not because of what I said but because of what he did. He actually told me that it's our daughter's responsibility to call him back in May. Last year when she was visiting him in GA he worked the entire 2 weeks and never followed through with buying anything he said he would. He just dropped her off with the babysitter or let his wife spend time with her while he worked. Now yes I get that he's in the Army. but even the family court judge wouldn't let that slide as an excuse.

Now I'm remarried. I have a wonderful husband who tries his best to be a good step dad to my daughter and tries his best to balance between our 5 month old (hence being a breastfeeding mom) and my older daughter. But I can tell what my ex did to her did affect her and even how she feels about my husband.

When our daughter tried telling him that he hurts her feelings when he doesn't call. You know what he did? He blamed me for her saying that and told me he wouldn't contact her anymore until I could stop putting words in her mouth! She's called him once since we've been in BC. It's her birthday next month and he hasn't IMed me and I see him online all the time with some dumb picture of him holding his son. I know he adopted his step daughter. I know that in order to do that her father had to be out of the picture. But what bothers me now is the fact that someone else's daughter means more than his own daughter.

Smile - posted on 08/29/2011

24

1

0

I really wish there was some magical answer and everything could be set for the best interests for my son, Like if money was no object and my son could visit his father every other weekend. Or if we lived closer to each other so that my son can to small but frequent visits. Unfortunately thats not the case so I have to make do with what is given to me. Ive never been through any type of court so im clueless on how attorneys work. So far I have spent 9k on my attorney and we havent even had our settlement confrence or trial, I was hoping my attorney would give me a bit more direction but she is more so just telling me to make my own offer based on what I feel is best. I think she is a great attorney but I do wish shed give me more direction on whats usual for infant visitation out of state.



I know this is all about the money and a "winning" game trophy to my babies father. I talked to my attorney today and we decided to go hard for the medical bills and travel costs, go hard for the insurance money that I am paying for and maybe once he sees the money signs he will back off of trying to get max visitation. My attorney told me the settlement confrence is similar to mediation and that I do not have to agree to anything because if we do not agree another court date will be set for "trial" where the judge will make the decision for us based on our evidence (AND I HAVE A LOT OF EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM)



So we will go in there offering 4 days visits a month BUT every other month will be in my town so that our baby isnt traveling all the time (doubt he will ever come here to visit anyways) and a 6 month step up plan that allows my son to slowly get use to his father again. We will also be going hard for the money then as a wager my attorney said we will offer to take off the medical bills and lower the child support amount down from 700 if he agrees to our visitation offer. All we can do now is pray and hope. Im not agreeing to anything I dont feel is best for my son regardless of how hard I am pushed.



As for the visitation after school age, I will be offer a few weeks in the summer 1 week in the winter break and 1 week in the spring break, other then that it will be every other major holiday in which my son is not on a scheduled school day.



I feel like my offer is very fair to the father and MOSTLY I feel it is best for my son. I am giving up a lot here because having to fly to California every other month means I will have to take 2 years off of college which really sets me and my family backwards but I have to give a little in order for my son to have a good life. My advice to anyone who is pregnant with a child where you know you and the father will be fighting custody is LEAVE, literally move to a state like Indian where there is no 50/50 custdy. Give birth in another state so the father has no jurisdiction to cause your childs life chaos. Children dont deserve to have two seperate homes, to always be coming and going. If I did have to do 10 days visits per month my sons bags would practically be packed 24/7 and jus as he got use to his dads house hed be coming back to moms house and just as he got use to moms house hed be going back to dads house. THATS NOT A GOOD LIFE FOR AN ADULT LET ALONE A CHILD. Children deserve stability and YES they deserve to have a mother and father but they dont deserve to be thrown from place to place like a rag doll. I pray the Judge sees it the same as I do so that my son can have a healthy life with ONE stable home to live with his mother and one home to VISIT every so often with his father.



"I'm glad I didn't let my experience with one deceitful/shady person turn me into a distrustful, pessimistic, or hateful person. I wont go through life thinking all men are liars and tricksters."

"I did however, learn to take what people say with a grain of salt, as well as taking the TIME to see for myself that those people are who/what they say they are BEFORE I let them in my heart or life!! As the saying goes; "Action Speaks Louder Than Words"

My advice to other women is to get to know someone FULLY before you get to comitted to them, even if it feels like love you may really be in love with a person whom they are pretending to be so take the time, in the end it will be worth it!!!!!





I appreciate everyones advice and if any one has anymore advice or reference to what happened during their custody battle or how you got through the days when your child was visiting their father please let me know. I need all the support I can get. This situation has me stressed beyond belief I laying in bed at night exhausted but cant sleep because this custody battle keeps running through my head. Im so glad I found this site, if anything just to be able to vent to other moms helps me, most of my friends dont have children and wouldnt really understand how scary a custody battle is.

♥ Tweety

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

34 Comments

View replies by

Ellen - posted on 10/01/2011

49

33

1

Hi Tweety, I (thankfully), have never had to go through this, but we do not live close to any family and when my mum visited, despite talking on Skype etc to my, then 9 mth old son, he still took at least 4 days to warm to her, (as in not cry when my mum picked him up instead of his dad or myself). I say if your ex wants to have extended visits at this early age, he should come to your town and spend that time with his son. Otherwise he needs to stop playing games! Wishing your little one the best of luck...

Holly - posted on 09/19/2011

50

5

2

Oh i really feel for you. I want to leave my husband but can't even imagine going threw the custody battle with someone like this. I feel him and his woman are doing this just to get at you! It is so sad when parents use their children:( Your son is so lucky to have you as his caring mother!!!!!!!!! What state was he born in? He should have to come to you and your son for visits cuz that is way too much for your LO to go threw just to visit him. You need to fight with all your might girl and don't go easy, your son will thank you later! I must admit i have not read all the posts but am so anxious to hear the results.

Kristin - posted on 09/14/2011

89

64

1

I really think that he is trying to make it hard on you, and syaing things to get you mad I think if he wanted to see his son he would not be so up an down about wanting to be in his life, and he would have paid you to help raise him other then 2 outfits that prob said something like I love my daddy. My friend is going through the same thing and she gives him chance after chance I guess what I'm trying to say is dont let him get the better of you and if the courts say that he gets to see your son just make sure he does his part by picking him up and droping him off like he should. The 10 days in a row is crazy I dont think any judge willl go for that, he is the one that moved away he should have to move back Kentucky and if he really wants to make it work he would. I really hope that it did of come off mean, but I would just make him prove him self and make sure he is doing this for your son then just to make it hard on you.

CHASTITY MERCYDES - posted on 09/06/2011

4

26

0

I have been thru 2 custody battles inthe past year. Ask for the first right of refusal- this will ensure that anytime he will not be able to care for the child himself directly, he has to return the child to you. I think at best it may get every other weekend and the two of you will have to meet somewhere in the middle to exchange the child. The courts still believe in the father being a part of the childs life no matter what they say or do. Be happy that he is not in Louisiana because here they believe in joint custody. With the hours that he works, he will not be able to care for the child so I dont see him getting 10 days straight like that. Let me know the outcome. Best of Luck to you.

Chloe - posted on 09/06/2011

1

0

0

I just emailed you Tweety- but now I see the comment button! Wahoo. Seriously this is soooo familar to me though! My S.D. ditched me while I was pregnant and went to great lengths to ensure I couldn't reach him too!

He deleted his email acct, changed his phone number even... When I called him at work he tells me he's a married sex addict and is sorry but his Pastor told him he can't talk to me! Nice eh??
Needless to say I was horribly depressed and shocked...
I called ONCE again after the ultra sound and asked if he wanted to know the sex of our baby... he said No. He would rather wait for the legal stuff. I tried to call one last time after our son was born only to discover he had my blocked from calling him at work.
He called a few weeks after our son was born- FROM A BLOCKED NUMBER- and request a paternity test be done telling me how he wants to be in our sons life. I felt relieved for our son in that regard and agreed. Little did I know he just wanted the documentation so he could file a suit against me before the Child Support Enforcers could get ahold of our case. So there it was... a petition from him claiming I seek to exclude him as the Father and he is requesting 50/50 custody.

I forgot to mention how days before he filed this petition he called me from his pastors number (i'm still not allowed to have his number??) telling me how he wants 50/50 and instead of paying 370/mo for CS he would pay 150/mo! He never once asked to see our son, how he was, what color his eyes were ... nothing!
The sperm donor just wanted to keep his CS as low as possible and his wife- turns out is also infertile (like Tweety's situation) so of course she sees this as the chance to have a baby.
I also have my trial coming up-- in a matter of weeks and as much as I have on this guy and even though Texas is NOT a 50/50 state this has got to be one of the hardest things I'll ever go through.
My older sons father has never been around, though some of that may be my fault for moving out of the state before paternaty was established- but as much as I've cursed him for not even calling our son, in a way I'm glad he's left us alone after dealing with this nightmare of a man.

This dead beat in the making went and quit his long time job with benefits right after he heard what he'd have to pay in child support at our mediation. We had a hearing scheduled for 2 weeks later (we ended up negotiating for a visitation plan- one he hasn't followed through on) and he announces that he will start a new job in 1 week making a little less- so they dropped his support by $20.
He wouldn't give the 'new' employers info to the state though- so when they pushed his church (just as sick as he is IMO) stepped up and said he works for them and what do you know.. now I'm lucky to get half of what he's suppose to pay. I know he's working somewhere under the table and the church job if it's even real is something part time he's doing... I just hope the judge fries his ass and I hope the judge who's on your case tweety fries yours. It's bs that these jerks can get away with doing as little as possible for their own flesh and blood while we do the work, we nurse, give birth ALONE, we stay up late and night and give the baths and then some jerk of a man whose mad he has to pay child support or just doesn't want to can put us through all this grief.

Leah - posted on 08/30/2011

15

32

0

I feel for you Tweety. There isn't a magical answer to all that you are going through. I have never had to go through a custody battle or divorce but I have a ton of friends that have. My husband is a great father to our two children and is always there. But he wants to be. He has NEVER said anything mean to our children or about our children. The difference between your ex and my husband as a father is that my husband wants to be a father and no matter what will be there for them. Even if me and him are not happy with each other, he loves his childrend and is happy with them. He doesn't take anything out on them and is a good daddy. Your ex doesn't seem to want to be a daddy to your son. He may have ponder the idea and may have looked loving upon his son on the times that he saw him but hasn't shown to be a good father. Good fathers seek to be a good father, they can't be forced by court, by you or your son. It's sad. I have many friends and family that are on both sides of the issue. Either they are the dead beat parent or they are the good parent trying to be apart of the child's life or they are like you trying to keep the other parent in their child's life.

You might be able to get the court in your favor for child support and all but your ex is showing to be that dead beat parent who will never be there for your son. So don't favor anything he is asking. Don't think your son needs to see him for visits away from you right now because he doesn't. Your son is still a baby and needs his mama and your milk. You carried him without your ex, you birthed him without your ex, you are raising him without your ex, you don't NEED him. And your baby doesn't need him.

Now if your ex truly wants to be in his life (which really does sound like he gots his wife talking in his ear), then give him the opportunity to visit with him in your town for however long but not overnight. My kids didn't spend the night at their grandparents house until they were almost 2. They weren't ready and neither was I. So pace yourself on that. Let him spend days with your baby but not overnight.

Stand your ground and keep your baby with you. Your baby only knows you. He doesn't need to be forced to get to know the father. It's the parent's job to get to know the child and be there.

And it is absolutely ridiculous that your ex is wanting for you to fly the baby to see him and for all that time. I hope your judge has some brains and a heart. Your lawyer sounds lazy and careless. I would defintely go for another lawyer. Just remember that you can't force your ex to be daddy and don't think he will be there even if he gets his visits in court. I think you have a good amount of evidence against him and it shows that he doesn't really care about being there for your son. He only really cares about how much it's going to cost him. He probably thinks that he can go to court, get 50/50 custody and then will have to pay less money and it will work out because his wife can take care of the boy while he is at work. His wife is probably the one that had the idea and he is looking at as him having to pay less money and making his wife happy in having a baby to take care of.

I wish the best of luck. Seriously get another lawyer. Also there are places you can go to get counsel on fighting custody when you are a single mother (they do here in Cali). Google it for your area or call the court houses. Stand your ground. Give him visits in your town and that's it. Then as your son gets older and knows him, then talk again about more time away from you. Your baby is too young! Good Luck!

Niki - posted on 08/29/2011

33

42

1

You have NOT made his life horrible, please do not blame yourself. You had no idea this man would turn out to be such a selfish jerk. You cannot control his behavior. It is quite clear that you love your son with all your heart and that is the most wonderful gift anyone can give to their child. My heart breaks for you reading your posts, I am practically panicking for you as I think about how I would feel if this were happening to my little boy.

I don't know that I can give you much advice on how to handle the situation, but it sounds good that you have been documenting everything. I know you want your son to have a relationship with his father, but it kind of sounds like he might be better off without him because it sounds like your ex is more interested in "winning" than in his son's best interests. I wish you the best of luck and hope you get a resolution that is best for your son soon!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/29/2011

6,434

12

67

Delia, I guess I should be glad that my daughter at 6 decided that she wants nothing to do with her father. She talks about her 'Daddy who lives in GA' and she calls him the 'daddy who doesn't call her'. I've asked if she wants to contact him and she says "why do I want to do that when he doesn't want to call me?'

Another thing that makes me angry about him doing that is that his mom did keep him from his father. He never even got to have a relationship with his father because he died in 2003. And yet instead of realizing the opportunity that he has with our daughter to have what he didn't have. He decides to shut her out because he has his own new family and can't make a place for his first child. I just try not to push the subject anymore. It hurts me when she says that her daddy doesn't love her. Thankfully she had a friend in school last year who has the same issue with her father. She lives with her mom and grandparents and doesn't have visits with her father either.

My husband also knows how it can be because his parents are divorced and his mom made it hard for his dad to have visits with his dad. He and his dad are very close down to the fact that they're both dark eyed and left handed (his brothers and mom are both blue eyed and right handed) So he tries to have a relationship with my older daughter by saying she's his buddy. He doesn't try to take her father's place by getting her to call him dad.

That really sucks what your husband did. Who cares if he's crying? He's a grown man who made decisions to shut his other children out when he made a new life. Suck it up buttercup. That's what I'd tell my ex or one of his kids if he started crying about what my daughter told him

Mary Renee - posted on 08/29/2011

831

16

25

Tweety, I think you and your lawyer are going too easy on him and I would let this go to trial. I wouldn't settle for less than 50% for medical bills. You have a good case, you have evidence against this guy. What evidence does he have against you? You do what you think is right but I think if this goes to trial and goes in front of a judge you have a better case than this guy. If he is threatening and bluffing in hopes to get his child support lowered, you should not give into that.

I'm going to make a prediction here. You guys will go to court, you'll get everything figured out. Your son will go for his visitation with his dad, whenever that is, and your ex is going to be SHOCKED at how difficult it is to care for a child 24/7 and even more shocked about how much it cost for food, diapers, wipes, how much the electric bill goes up when you have to do baby laundry etc. He has no idea what he is in for, and I wouldn't be surprised if after all is said and done he doesn't regret it and start skipping out on the four days a month visitation agreement.

Delia - posted on 08/29/2011

110

0

4

Megan, I totally understand that storyline as I call them. He says xyz, your child feels xyz, and they respond with xyz. The same storyline is repeated with many other people.

It was really nice when I encouraged my daughter to express her feelings to her Father by writing him a letter expressing her desire to have some time alone with him, her sadness about his not returning her calls, leaving on big vacations with grandparents, sister, sister's husband and kids, his wife, their kids - everybody except her (they lived 3 miles away) leaving her to discover he hadn't returned her calls because they were on vacation via his son (1 year younger than she) saying "Look what I got when we were in Hawaii".

His response to the heartfelt letter of his 8 year old? He read the letter out loud to his family, in front of her half brothers, cried and blamed her for "making me feel this way". Her little half brothers were angry with her for "making Dad cry" and..............nothing changed. The poor girl knocked on the door that was slammed in her face by people smiling at her as they slammed it, and she STILL knocks so to speak and has it slammed on her. Sad, sad, sad.

Mary Renee - posted on 08/29/2011

831

16

25

Right Megan, but until you go BACK to court, it is set in stone and it can hurt your case if you don't follow it to a tee, so why not just save yourself the heartache and get everything figured out NOW with the foresight to keep the future in mind, instead of setting things up knowing that you have to spend your hard earned time and money going BACK to court to have it changed.

Also, I wasn't suggesting a month-long summer vacation visit THIS year, I was suggesting it for NEXT year, or even like she said, starting small and getting longer as the child gets older. I am going through something similar (and also breastfeeding) but I believe that in the long run, coming from a child of divorce, a couple longer visits twice a year are much less disruptive for the child than four day visits every single month.

People have different preferences though.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/29/2011

6,434

12

67

Mary, visitation orders aren't set in stone. I recently had mine revised from the original one back in 2007. Yes it does mean going back to court again, but no outcome is permanent. It also seems that Tweety's not considering any long term visitation at this point.

I wouldn't try a month to start out with even during the summer because of the child's age and the distance. As I stated before my daughter didn't do very well on a 2 week visit to her father and she was almost 6. When considering out of state visitations you should keep the child's age and ability to understand what's going on into consideration. Money should also be taken into consideration because you'll both be paying for travel expenses. You'll also need to decide upon how to manage paying for the travel expenses since you'll have to buy a plane ticket for your child and most travel sites do credit cards. I'm not sure how they do partial payments because my ex backed out on it saying he didn't have the money and didn't want to take time off from work or pay for a baby sitter. Never mind that he'd see his daughter for 3 weeks since we changed the visitation order since I'm living in BC instead of NY.

Delia - posted on 08/29/2011

110

0

4

My dear Tweety, it sounds as if your "counsel" aka attorney has about as much understanding as your ex. As such, I am concerned that he/she is not an effective advocate for either you or your baby. I should think it would be possible to get a withdrawl of attorney and get the hearing continued until you have good representation.

I was sold down the river by an attorney I stuck with long after I knew he was incompetent. By contrast, we (my husband is an attorney though not for family law) made sure my daughter had a kick _ _ _ attorney when she had to go up against her babydaddy, who like yours was disinterested in regular visitation until he discovered he would have to pay for it in terms of the amount of child support he would have to pay. What a difference it made! She was not having to come up with schedules or anything. He made great suggestions which were very reasonable and she either O.K'd them or protested and asked for something else. There are already visitation guidelines for Moms receiving welfare. You might take a look at them just to get a feel for what courts generally see as reasonable. Get a GOOD attorney.

A court order is not forever because you can always go in for a modification, but it's a hassle, and once the nose of the camel is already in the tent, it's very difficult to get him out.

By all means get this done properly and completely the first time. It requires a change of circumstance ordinarily to get a substantive modification. P.S.DO NOT WAIT TO GET YOUR MODIFICATION OF SUPPORT taken care of when you are entitled to an increase (I think it's every few years). It will neither make nor break their relationship, and it will enable you to do a better job of supporting your little one. Each child comes into the world with both a Mother AND a Father and is certainly deserving of the support of both parents.

Mary Renee - posted on 08/29/2011

831

16

25

Before you agree to anything (including 4 days a month) you have to keep in mind that this will be written into a court order and applicable forever! Your child won't be a infant or a toddler in three years. He will be starting school. I don't think that even 4 days a month is a good situation for a family that lives so far apart. How is get going to maintain 4 days (or more) a month if he is in school? He isn't going to be able to participate in any sports programs or activities because two weekends a month he's going to be in a different state? I think you should really re-think this.

I would come to the mediation table with a completely different offer. I'm thinking... maybe a month in the summer (starting NEXT summer) and a week over the winter holiday and/or spring holiday. 4 days a month even doesn't make sense to me for a child that is going to eventually be in school. That is too much traveling.

Smile - posted on 08/29/2011

24

1

0

Megan, I really believe his new wife is the one who wants my son too. Like I said earlier the father works from 3am to 5-6pm every day and he has already told me that his new wife will be watching our son and when I said it doesnt make sense for our son to be there for 10 days straight when he will only see you 2 hours a day before beg time he said "my wife deserves to be able to spend bonding time with our son too" I dont think he wants our son for his own good intention reasons ,hes proved that by saying he would sign over rights or go for minimal to no time if I dropped child support and by also threatening to go for max time because he was ordered a high child support order (which he is also fighting) I truly think this is all a game and my son is the prize to be "Won" It feels like a battle of who the winner is, instead of a battle over whats best for our son, and truly I think his wife is the one who wants him since she can not have babies herself. Its off subject, and I do realize I can not control who my son is around on his father time it just makes me upset that im being put through all of this out of his spite and "getting even." And it makes me even more upset that my son is going to have such a confusing life.

Ive been doing research and everything I have read says children get their long term memory around age 3 which is why longer visits can slowly begin to occur then. As for him wanting him next month for 5 days straight I am saying NO to that and requesting a Step up visitation so that my son can slowly get use to being away from me for longer periods then 4 hours and become more familiar with his father. Then to his recent request for 10 days starting at 12 months I am going to say NO to that and ask that we do 4 days per month and ask that it be increased slowly.I hope the judges choses what is best for my son so that he isnt stressed out or scared. All I can do I guess is be the best mom I can be always pray for the best, say no to everything that I dont feel is right for my son and live day by day with strength if he gets long visits :'(
You girls are all great help I really appreciate it all thank you so much

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/28/2011

6,434

12

67

Tweety, what you stated that your ex said about your son. have your lawyer present that in court as evidence. Use anything you can. I used the fact that my ex husband opted to skip his last weekend visit with his daughter in New York because he had his STEP DAUGHTER'S birthday party. He kept claiming that he could give our daughter things, he never stated that he could give her a loving relationship and that's something else you and your lawyer have to show the judge. That's how you get sole custody.

Also never agree to visitation after he's agreed to withdraw his parental rights if you don't ask for child support. He's already decided not to claim parental responsibility for that baby don't let him turn around and decide he wants visitation. And I'll bet you anything it's his new wifie or whatever who really wants the kid, not him because that's how it was during my custody and visitation hearings with my ex. He was about to be deployed and his new wife wanted me to allow her to continue to 'establish the bond she felt with my daughter' Bull shit.

I'm sorry, I know you said you don't want anything mean or hateful, but what your ex is trying to do (pretty much establish joint custody and joint residency) to you mirrors what I went through from 2005-2008 and again from last October to right before I had my 5 month old back in March. My heart goes out to you because no one- especially a child- deserves to be treated as a pawn and that's pretty much what your ex is doing. My ex told me last year after I found out I was pregnant and I wanted to move to BC with my now husband from NY that if I agreed to joint he'd let me leave. I was so tired from being sick with my baby that I completely forgot I have sole custody and residency while he only has visitation which he hardly uses. NEVER agree to joint unless the two of you parted on mutual terms or you will never get anything done. I read up on joint in NYS and realized it couldn't work. Also the judge had asked him to come from GA to NY to plead his case and he never did so everything was thrown out the day before I had my baby. And my ex -who claimed I was trying to keep him from his child- never calls. texts (well he could've sent a text in the past week, I kinda lost my phone in my apartment) emails or IMs to ask about our daughter. This is possible for you too. So really just go for money. I know it sounds shallow, but in the long run it's worth it. Sorry, that was a tangent, anyway I just hate thinking of people having to go through what I went through.

Use whatever you and your lawyer have at your disposal to make sure the out of state visits don't start until your son is around 4 or 5 and can comprehend what's going on and make sure your ex spends more than just a weekend in your state before having your son stay with him for a week or two. it went with my case (I'm sorry, I keep giving you my visitation hearings as an example and I don't even know what state you live in) My daughter's first out of state visit was last year for 2 weeks when she was a month shy of being 6 and she'd only spent a weekend with her father beforehand. It didn't end well because she was crying for me the whole time (at 5 years old) and they only let her call once the entire 2 weeks. I still want to beat him for that.

That's really all I can add right now. I wish you the best of luck

Kaitlyn - posted on 08/28/2011

97

8

7

While you just never know, I certainly hope there is not a single judge that feels that 10 day visits on the other side of the country are appropriate for a child that has not even celebrated their first birthday yet. There are crazy people though, even judges, out there so you do have to prepare yourself for the worst!

Like I said earlier, I would bet even if your ex gets what he wants out of this hearing, he won't live up to it because of the costs to him alone. Is he going to take 10 days off of work every month or deal with paying for childcare while your son is visiting and he has to work? Something else he may not have thought about completely prior to putting you all through this ordeal. Either he has to shell out a ton of money for daycare, and it can be difficult to find someone/someplace willing to take a baby for such a short amount of time each month (he will be filling a "spot" and not full time, which most places will dislike, meaning he may have to pay a full month in spite of only utilizing 10 days), or he has to take a loss in wages in order to stay home with your son, which a lot of employers will not like either.
It really does not sound like your ex has thought this through completely or he is in a place where he can afford to have nothing else matter other than getting revenge on you. Hopefully the first, but either way you have to stay strong for your son and simply do your best with whatever is handed to you. Things are not always fair in life, and sadly often the wrong people suffer for no reason.

I would ask for no more than one weekend a month AFTER your son turns 1, or when you stop nursing, whichever you are comfortable with, and then you can adjust the visits maybe every six months to a year by adding a day or two, again whichever you are comfortable with, up to a number of set days (or weekends) you are comfortable with until your son reaches, say, maybe 5 and starts school in which then things can be adjusted again to fit his school schedule, but allowing for the father to get more time too, if he still wants it.
I wish you all the best and hope you get a very sensible and realistic judge to decide your child's fate. Don't beat yourself up for things/choices you have made though. What's done is done, and your son would not even be here if you had not chose his father in the first place. All you can do is move forward and ensure YOU do everything to make your sons life happy and healthy, even if others try to make it difficult for you!! He will never blame you for anything if you simply do your best with what you have been handed!! Good Luck!

Smile - posted on 08/28/2011

24

1

0

This whole situation is almost a joke to me, I feel like I am being pranked and not in a funny way. Everyone who knows me or the babies father and knows the whole story is flabbergasted that the court is even having a hearing or entertaining his wishes

The father has called our child the devil and said he was not a blessing to anyone. He has told me that as long as I agree to drop the child support he would sign over the rights or go for minimum visitation. The problem is once I agreed to go for child support through the DA I couldnt take it back and as soon as he got the notice that he was being served for 700 a month child support plus 10k in medical bills he said "now that you did that I am going for max visitation"

I have proof of all of this, and of every single time he has said he would sign over rights or that he wanted nothing to do with our son and none of that matters. unfortunately the way the court sees it is even if 2 days ago he wanted nothing to do with our child all that matters is he wants something to do with him now. My attorney told me about a case where a mother decided she didnt want to be mom anymore and left for 2 years with no contact with the kids, when she came back and went to court asking for 50/50 custody the judge gave it to her because "the past is not what matters, the future is"

How could a parent who wants nothing to do with their kid suddently come back and get 50% of this kids life, what happens when they change their mind again?

Im so lost in all of this, I guess I dont understand the judicial system but it all seems wrong to me.

I have court in 2 weeks. I am so worried. My attorney wants me to come up with a visitation plan that is fair,

all I keep picturing is my son being scared with his father whom he has had no contact with over the last 5+ months.

He agreed to do 5 day visits until 12 months then 10 days visits. I cant see how 5 days straight would ever be ok for a 9 month old to be with a stranger basically. and at 12 months, im sorry but 10 days is way too much. Everything I have read, every bit of research says not overnights until around 18 months. or 1 or 2 over nights at a time and no more.

I feel so bad for my son, hes going to have such a hard time with this and it will be so confusing. So im laying here in bed staring at my beautiful baby biy who is asleep next to me and tearing up just thinking about how horrible I have made his life for him because of the father I chose for him to have. My heart is going to break when the visits start and im just going to have to take it day by day because california is a 50/50 state and chances are we will be splitting custody regardless of whether its whats best for my son or not. Anyway I have to come up with an offer for visitation by tuesday morning and I am literally lost at what to ask for, I will be requesting step up visitation and fighting the 10 days straight visit, im not asking for my son not to have a relationship with his father I just dont think its fair to throw my son stright into a 5 day visit at 9 months old with someone he doesnt know and I dont think a 10 day visit could every be healthy for a 12 month old but what is decided will all be up to our judge pray for me and my son all thanks so much for your support

Jennifer - posted on 08/28/2011

714

1

26

I don't think 10 days right off the bat would be good, but I've heard of judges doing worse. I'd put all my evidence out there and ask that he have an adjustment period. With back child support he's gonna take a hit, and you may want to see what the court sets it at, and then offer (privetly) to drop it some if he will drop the visitation demands to an amount you can agree on. The visits will be more out of his pocket after all, but you'll be getting child support that will hopefully cover your cost. You may not make any additional on the child support, though! My ex and I did go to court, then we worked out a deal after he saw that (in his words) he was gonna get screwed. I wasn't happy with it either, but acted like I was pleased, he actually saw me as better than the court after our deal. And that is legal, the courts actually prefer you work it out.

Delia - posted on 08/28/2011

110

0

4

Babies are to be BREASTFED a minimum of 1 year per The American Academy of Pediatricians. The CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention) states the following:

When should a baby start eating solid foods such as cereals, vegetables, and fruits?

Breast milk alone is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth. For these very young infants, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that water, juice, and other foods are generally unnecessary. Even when babies enjoy discovering new tastes and textures, solid foods should not replace breastfeeding, but merely complement breast milk as the infant's main source of nutrients throughout the first year. Beyond one year, as the variety and volume of solid foods gradually increase, breast milk remains an ideal addition to the child's diet.

How long should a mother breastfeed?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Here is the link:
www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/faq/index.htm

Nice try, but I don't think so. In the words of that famous comedian "So get to know me", and that is what I have to say to your ex re: your baby. I'd be surprised if a court would have you, the MOST IRREPLACEABLE person in your INFANT'S life right now abandoning your baby to an individual who is unfamiliar with the breastfed infant, thereby disrupting your ability to continue nursing and nurturing your little one which is what your job is right now.

If he wants to get to know the infant and be a part of the child's life. then by all means, he knows where the baby lives and he should visit - frequently. In the meantime, the first step in becoming a parent is learning to put the needs of the child first. He has no real experience, so of course he has no understanding. That can come latter when he marries and has children he lives with. Meanwhile YOUR job is to do what's in your BABY's best interest and to protect that best interest. They have time to develp a relationship when baby is 2 years old, walking, eating solid foods, and capable of expressing needs with words. Go get'em tigress!

I had a similar situation minus the miles between us with a daughter who is now 21 years old. It's just a bad memory, but I did prevail and she nursed for 15 undisrupted months. Curiously when he was granted visitation times to come visit her and there was no fight to be had, he got busy with his own new family and rarely showed up. That has never changed in 21 years. The funniest part is I was the one responsible for educating and supporting his wife to VBAC and breastfeed their second child (the first was an unnecessary cesarean section followed by bottles of formula, allergies etc etc). I even lent her my sling which he refused to pay for. Hee, hee, hee.

Kaitlyn - posted on 08/28/2011

97

8

7

I would bet that given his "indecisiveness" and lack of paying support thus far, even if he got what he wanted from the courts, he would give up on it pretty quickly since you 2 live so far apart. Even splitting the costs of travel will still add up VERY quickly and flight costs alone will be daunting. Unless money is truly no object for him, I don't foresee him wanting to carry out an arrangement like that every month if he were to be granted it. I agree with the PP who said it seems more like a scare tactic to get you to drop child support. If he truly wants a relationship, and a healthy, "whats best for baby" one, then he would not try so hard to make life so difficult when your son is still so young. That is, unless he feels that maybe you are a risk of some sort and there is more to the story that we don't know about.
Good luck and I truly hope everything works out for the best for your son!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/28/2011

6,434

12

67

Ok first off your ex sounds a lot like mine, except since my ex is in the military I was able to make sure I got my child support (Sadly no back child support) direct deposited into my account 2 months after he divorced me. I've done visitation twice and won both times, the 2nd time was this year so I could move from NY to BC while he lives in GA. So I have experiance in this.



10 day visits each month when you 2 live pretty much across the country is ludicris even when your child isn't 9 months old. It can't be done even with a school age child because of the ammount of time the child will miss school. No judge in their right mind would allow it. A state to state visitation at that age usually involves the non custodial parent coming to the state where the custodial parent lives for visits when both parties agree on it. The judge should be made aware of the fact that you breastfeed as well since that will most likely play a role in the visits.



Even when your child is older and doesn't breast feed there's no way 10 days a month visits would be likely unless they were summer visits. That's what happened when my ex moved to TX (those never materialized and he only visited once in NY) and then to GA (He had a 2 week visit with our daughter last year and begged off this one because he doesn't have the money to fly from GA to BC) Family courts tend to favour the mother except in extreme situations. I mean I won full custody over a career army guy (of course my ex is an ass and he even made the judge hate him) Just make sure that your lawyer is able to explain everything. Especially the breastfeeding, at such a young age I can't see anything more than visits done in your home town when he decides to come out and visit.



Edit: I almost forgot that it's customary to have to pay 50/50 for travel expenses, but it's based on income and it's only for the child, not the traveling parent. I have to pay 1/2 of my older daughter's plane ticket if she ever decides she does want to visit her father and her father ever decides not to be such a cheap ass about spending money to see his first child. However as I've said before it's unlikely a judge would make both of you travel across the country each month.



Good luck. IM me if you want some support, because I've been through this.

Jennifer - posted on 08/27/2011

123

3

2

I can't offer any helpful information, but you have my prayers. I agree that he is trying to scare you into giving up on child support. He certainly sounds like a selfish person. I would not suppose that any intelligent person could think that such an arrangement was good for your son. If he is such a concerned parent, why did he move away from his pregnant ex? I hope the judge sees through all his nonsense and doesn't divy up your son like an RRSP. At that age, my daughter was having 2-3 hour visits with her dad a couple of times each week. I let my son go with his dad for longer visits because we had lived with him till my son was 6 months, and he is a good dad. I don't think he had overnights until he was about 18 months and 2 nights when he was closer to 2, and even then, the 2 day visits were every 4 months or so and for particular reasons where one night didn't make much sense. Good luck, decency and common sense are on your side.

Ania - posted on 08/21/2011

703

25

52

I don't think he would get visits like this considering the fact that he never cared or a baby and he would be far away. You should make a good case because o breastfeeding. They can't take a baby away because you have to maintain milk supply and I bet that would be traumatizing or the baby to get separated from her primary caregiver or so long. In my opinion your ex will not get visits at this time it would be just stupid, but this is my opinion not based on anything just a feeling. I feel so bad for you. Good luck

Mary Renee - posted on 08/20/2011

831

16

25

Different states have different rules but I don't think the guy stands a chance in hell to have 10 day visits monthly! What kind of arrangement is that?

Basically he has not paid child support and you have various things in writing where he states that he wants nothing to do with your son.

First of all, you do not have to agree to ANYTHING yet so don't. Don't agree to anything until it's been decided in a court of law. Don't agree to anything in mediation, and don't be scared of this ten-day bull shit because it's total bullshit! In a lot of states they won't let a child under the age of 3 be removed from the home of the mother for an overnight visit!

He is trying to scare you and manipulate you in to agreeing with his request. Knowledge is power in this kind of scenario and you NEED to be talking to your own attorney.

Why would you agree to pay travel expenses 50/50? This guy isn't even paying you child support! Do not agree to pay 50/50 for travel expenses.

I understand your desire for your son to spend time with and know his father. I was in a very similar situation and understand the heart ache. Speaking with a lawyer from my state helped immensely because my daughter's father could no longer make threats about taking my baby or that I wouldn't be able to leave the state with her or anything like that. They are threats. Don't let it stress you out.

As far as breastfeeding... I would prolong it as long as you can. Do not agree to the 10-day-visits until it's been declared in court and signed by a judge. You have default custody of the child until there is a court order. He can't touch you until then so don't give in!

As far as an arrangement goes, How would you feel about summer vacations and/or alternating Christmas and Easter? This was something my daughter's father and I talked about. I feel like that would be much less intrusive then this 10-day-visit a month thing. His scenario doesn't even make sense. What about when your child starts school?

I'll write more in a message to you, but just do not agree to anything in writing until you talk to a lawyer!

Smile - posted on 08/20/2011

24

1

0

He moved and in the first court (before mediation) it was decided we would have to pay travel 50/50
We have our hearing coming up next month since we didnt agree at mediation but he told me during mediation that he would do everything in his power to make sure he has no less then 10 day visitation and he will be going for more once he is 3. Its a nightmare, my son cries when im gone for 5 minutes i cant imgine 10 days straight i dont know what to do

[deleted account]

10 days in a row would be crazy! I hope and pray that the judge sees that.

I do live in a 50/50 custody state, but my ex moved to where that isn't practical since he has to fly to see them. His location was the ONLY thing that kept him from getting 50/50... even though he only saw the kids 2-3 times in almost a year and a half!

I've never heard of 50/50 custody when the parents are 3000 miles apart. Isn't that a little crazy on flight costs if he plans to do this once a month? Did HE move away... or did you? That might help as well.... since my ex is the one that chose to move away from his kids.... HE is responsible for 100% of the travel costs.

Smile - posted on 08/20/2011

24

1

0

Teresa,
We live about 3000 miles apart so it would be a plane ride.
He is wanting 10 days in a row where he will come to Kentucky to pick him up and I will goto California to bring him home after the 10 days. Where you live is it a 50/50 state as far as custody goes?
I would mind starting a 18 months my son do a 4 day visit every month even if we split the travel cost but he says no way 10 days minimum. We just did mediation last week and court is next month. I am having so much anxiety about my son being gone for such a long period, im worried about how he will handle it and the worst part is the dad wants it to start next month before my son is even 10 months :((((((

[deleted account]

I have no idea if I can help you or not. What's the drive time like between where you are and he is... or would he fly to get the baby and then fly back in the same day? Is he talking 10 'random' days... or 10 days in a row?

Courts are so hard to predict, but I would 'think' at this stage he wouldn't get more than 2 weekends a month. I'm really not sure though. We didn't go to court for visitation til my son was almost a year and a half (even though my ex left when he was born). My ex has to fly to come see the kids... or bring them to him. He has one weekend a month (if he takes it) over here and they can fly to him (if he can afford it) 2-3 times/year. For the first several weekend visits.... my son would go w/ his father for 3 hours, come home for 2, and back w/ him for 3. (9-12 and 2-5 on Sat and Sun w/ his father). Then he went to 8 hour days. He didn't start going to his father's til last December (he was almost 3 at that time).

I don't know if any of this helps you or not. If you have a good lawyer and a reasonable judge.... you should be fine, but be prepared to be disappointed anyway... unless you can go through mediation and work together (best for the kid... not possible for me and my ex). A lot of courts won't consider overnight visits for a breastfed kid under a year.... but some won't care.

Good luck w/ it all!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms