how to stay sane in the midst of insanity

Candice - posted on 08/06/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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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.

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Candice - posted on 10/09/2009

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i have legal aid, but i like my lawyer...and i know 2 other women who had legal aid and got full custody. either way, he has a snowball's chance in hell if he fights. he hasn't paid a dime since last december, and in the last few months has 1) forgotten to take a weekend that was his 2) rejected multiple visitation days 3) shown up late multiple times 4) lost joint custody of his other children from his marriage 4) lost his house because he hadn't paid taxes in 3 years and missed a bunch of mortgage payments 5) moved into his mommy's basement. no judge in his right mind would give him custody of any kind. and my lawyer's exact words were "He will not get joint custody as long as i am your lawyer".

Antoinette - posted on 10/09/2009

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hope u got a paid lawyer cause i had legal aid and she didn`t do shit for me now i`m going for full custody and have a paid lawyer good luck let me know what happens cause in the state of pa no matter what they try to go for the rights of the father even though he ain`t noting

Sara - posted on 08/19/2009

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Delicia, haw you contacted SRS?? especially when he has them or right after they get home. If the children have seen him drink and drive you can get emergency full custody b/c of child endangerment and neglect

Candice - posted on 08/13/2009

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that is insane. driving drunk with kids in the car isn't a custody issue, it's a crime and a child welfare issue! sickos. who are these people? (rhetorical question)

Delicia - posted on 08/13/2009

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I do have statements from a babysitter and I have reported his actions to the police. They were no help. There respose was" I am sorry mam we just do not have the man power to send someone to his home right now." and this is a case we do not usually get involved with because it is a custody issue. I also contacted the Gal and she said she would contact the babysitter and never did. Does anyone else have a GAL, childrens attorney?

Candice - posted on 08/12/2009

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that's UNBELIEVABLE. that's one of those stories that makes a person realize why parents kidnap their kids and run away. i hope your lawyer is a good one. have you tried getting affidavits from friends who know he drinks when he has the kids? or from the daycare provider who saw him pick them up drunk? document EVERYTHING this time around. if you hear he's drinking and driving, call the cops. any threats, anything...do what you can. although it sounds like the messed up law in your state doesn't seem to give a crap about the well being of your kids. oh man...keep us updated...and i thought MY ex was a nutjob.

Delicia - posted on 08/12/2009

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So glad I found you guys! This is my second battle for custody. I have been divoriced almost two years from an alcoholic abuser. I unfortunitly live in a small county in BFE were the laws just don't make sense to me. In our divorice process we were given joint custody with 50 50 placement. Dispite my argument that he is an alcoholic and abusive verbally and phisically I had no police reports to back my story other than the one time he broke into my home drunk and beat me up in front of our two children. I was told it was the stress of the situation and a one time incident. We have shared joint custody because of a clause in our divorice that states we can not go back to court over this matter for two years. Wouldn't you know that a month shy of the two years he gets a DWI with both girls in the van going 78 in a 55. He was taken to jail in front of our daughters. I have a lawyer and we started this process in march. The judge ordered mediation, and then appointed a GAL. Who has done nothing since I met with her in early july. He has been able to maintain visitation and keep his placement dispite picking them up from a daycare provider after drinking and continuing to drive with them after drinking and with no license. I am in hell! It is very hard to have hope the more time that passes and seeing my kids go off with him is unbearable. I do not understand why he is being able to have unsupervised visits. I am just praying that my girls will stay safe during this process and the obvious choice for there safety would be made soon.

Candice - posted on 08/08/2009

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it seems every man who gets taken to court for support goes for custody thinking that taking the kid full time is cheaper than support or something. or maybe they think they can get custody and pawn the kid off on gramma. either way, i'm sure it will be stressful for all of us until the kids are 18! lol

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I am in the process of trying to get child support from my daughters father and I am afriad he will try for custody...everyone tells me not to worry because I have a restraining order bc he threatened my life and they wouldnt let him take her from me...its very stressful

Candice - posted on 08/07/2009

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i'm confident he won't win, and he's really just screwing himself even trying cuz he's gonna end up with weekends, like you said, and he's gonna have a hell of a time convincing his boss to give him weekends off. but yeah, he can fight this forever if he wants. oh YAY!

Melissa - posted on 08/07/2009

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I went thru divorce and parenting plans, I am still going back to court atleast once a year because he keeps trying to change it. So it never ends.The judge will never go for split custody Psychologist have actually determined that this is very unhealthy for a child. It will cause behavior problems and many more. I know from experience also. The most he will get is standard visitation. Everyother weekend, alternate holidays, unless you note specific, and 2 nonconsecutive weeks in the summer unless you can come up with a reason he shouldn't.

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