Candice - posted on 08/06/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )
i started this group in hopes that other women who are feeling the same stress i am can have somewhere to go to support eachother through this nasty process. I'll start things off by talking a bit about myself and my own situation.
my 15 month old daughter has lived with me since birth. her father and i never lived together (for many reasons) and we broke up within months of my daughter's birth because he was just not pulling his weight or treating her as a priority. also, i guess, my standards went up when she was born and i realized he wasn't good enough for her...so why should he be good enough for me.
he paid minimal child support for the first 8 months, and none for the last 7 (threatening suicide and violence when i asked for any), and i had to fight with him to get him to see her more than once a week. so i finally got the nerve to get a lawyer and sue for support and get legal custody.
when i started talking to other moms about how nasty the court process can get (mudslinging and accusations going back and forth in paperwork for years) i talked to him and told him i just didn't want to fight. i told him i just wanted to keep things the way they were but legalize it, but that i needed some child support. i offered to lower his amount (from what the government guidelines are) if he would just leave things as they were. it really was in his best interest to do so, since i have always allowed him to see her whenever he wants and i worked around his schedule.
well, he agreed to my face...until he was served with papers. an hour later he sent me a text saying he was going to fight for shared custody. he suddenly wants her 4 days one week, 3 days the next. i told him to go to hell.
i'm not going to slam him here and tell you all the reasons why i wouldn't give him custody over my dead body, but i assure you the reasons aren't anger based. he has shown me multiple times that he does not make decisions in the best interest of his children (he has other children from a previous marriage). his decisions regarding his children are usually made in anger, retribution, and control of his ex, and i don't want someone like that making decisions for my daughter. And if he hasn't been able to make time for her more than once a week up until now...who will she be with if he gets her 4 days a week? this is just another attempt at him asserting control. so the battle begins....
he's already started pushing for more visitation, but he still isn't considering her best interest as his requests are to pass her back and forth on an almost daily basis, which i don't think is healthy. i had to put my foot down (as per my lawyer's advice). in order to maintain power he rearranged the whole schedule just to annoy me (again, not in his best interest, as he didn't even take the amount of time i offered him, which was quite alot of time). i'll be pushing for scheduled visitation in court. no more working around his schedule.
anyway, this is not going to be pleasant. he's the type to throw mud to get his way, so i'm sure the accusations will be fun to read. i'm confident he won't win, but he'll make my life hell as he tries. i haven't slept a full night since he was served. i can only imagine what is to come. hopefully others relate to my story and we can support eachother through this crazy process.
best of luck to all the moms fighting for what's best for their kids.