joint custody issues

Jennifer - posted on 02/23/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )




I agreed to joint custody to end the fighting in court. It was the supidest move I ever made. My son lives with me full time and visits his father every other weekend friday night to sunday evening. His father was an abusive drunk, who has been court ordered to remain under the legal drinking limit. So, far I think he has complied with that. I am afraid any day that could change. My son is seeing a child life specialist (not councelling) because his father manipulates him into thinking he is sad,lonely and may die without my son. My son feels guilty when he has to come home. I am unsure if he will start drinking at any time and am concerned for my sons safety. My lawyer can't do anything until something happens. I can't put him in coucelling to have them find out if my ex is drinking around my son because I don't have sole custody. Where the hell do I go from here, how do I be proactive and not wait until something happens or my son sees his Dad a drunken mess?

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Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2009




Wow i can totally relate, although mine its verbal and emotional abuse, and my youngest has said about wishing he wasnt alive or he will say if he jumped off the balcony he wont have to go to his dads he is in counselling. 

After a 7yr battle i finally won sole custody but he still gets visitation, arrrgh!!  It is totally frustrating.  Family and Children services told me that he has to beat them before they will do anything, then i want to know what the hell do they do?  My boys are 12 and 9, both have ADHD, eldest also has anger and anxiety issues and the youngest has ODD as well. 

 I totally agree with Pati, keep documentation of EVERYTHING.  That is what i did as well.  Everytime your son comes home from visits and is feeling guilty or distraught calls his specialist or dr and let them know the more you can get documented the better for you.  Does your son express this to his specialist during his sessions?  If so consider gettting a letter from the specialist or anyone else who is  a professional that sees what is going on.  Not sure if this has helped any, good luck and all the best

Pati - posted on 02/24/2009




Hi Jennifer,

My advice is to document everything... time, dates, actions, conversations, and child’s behaviors and comments. Get the life specialist to work with you if you can. I’m not sure what state you live in, but you should be able to get counseling for your child even with joint custody. You are the primary care giver and if you see something that makes you feel he is in need of help, you have the right to pursue it. Talk to the doctor and get a referral.

Man I feel for you, I had the same thing happen. My agreement was made so that he was not shut out of her life but it was quite clear on actions. He did drink around her, he did play the woe is me with out you crap, he took her from me one weekend and it took me 3 years to get her back through the courts. He would tell her that if he lost her he would die and that I wanted that! she was only 9 when he took her and My daughter would tell me how bad it was, then the court counselor would talk to her and she would protect her dad. He would also tell her that if they knew that she was concerned with his health or him without her, they would punish him so she would say things were fine. It was hell I wanted to die but had to fight for her. He did not want to have her, love her or take care of her, he just did not want me to have her.

I found out that his girlfriend worked for cps after I took my daughter there, and she feed him with all the answers and I was screwed big time but Finally, he screwed up with cps and the court, he did not show up to get her as agreed and he was found (by me) in jail for a dui that was it, I got her back, and then he did die..... but not before he could put some very deep scars in her mind and heart. And the first year was very hard getting my daughter to understand it was not because of her, but the drugs and alcohol.



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