help with child custody

Liz - posted on 08/18/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi, I've got a 14 month old baby girl. I married her father in feb againist my own better judgement. He is verbally violent and i started to fear he would soon become physically violent as well. I left him in April, only 2 months after we married, b/c one morning he decided he was going to get Lillian out of bed when she got up in the morning after staying up all night on his xbox. I woke up to find that she was next to him on the couch and he was asleep! she hadn't eatten yet and didn't even have a clean diaper on after sleeping all night. I had already told my husband serveral times i didn't want him getting her out of bed in the morning b/c he never feeds her or changes her. I took her off the couch and started changing her diaper and i told him he needs to go get in the bed b/c i didn't wanna listen to him snore all day. He instantly got mad and started yelling at me and calling me a b***** and throwing things around. When he went to work that night I had my mom come get me and the baby. In the following days after countless threats from my ex, and then promises to change, i gave him another chance and went back home with my daughter. He has never helped me with our daughter, he lived in the same house with her for a year and didn't know a thing about her except what i told him. I left again in June b/c i just couldn't take it anymore. He has an exstremely short temper and says mean horrible things to me right in front of my daughter. I do not want her growing up thinking that it is ok for a man to talk to a woman the way he talked to me. He will argue with anyone and everyone no matter where he is or who is around. He's mom has custody of his oldest daughter and he calls her horrible things to her face and loses his temper with her over the smallest things. seeing the way he treated his oldest i never allowed him to be alone with my daughter. He has a son from a previous marriage and the mother has full custody, John had supervised visitation but the judge said he had to make so many of those visits within 6 months to get regular every other weekend visitation, he only made 1 or 2 visits. After i left the second time in June he started harrasssing me. I set up a whole new email so he could contact me about our daughter without having to give him my phone number and get 50 calls a day. He kept getting my phone numbers somehow and got mad and deleted me off his friends list online. I tried to be nice and let him come visit her a few times after i left and everytime he came he would only spend a few minutes with her and spent the rest of the time trying to talk me into being alone with him. When i left the second time he got verbally violent with me and broke several things in the house, he chased me down the road saying he was going to beat the shit outta me. i called 911 but the officer never wrote a report, i have a cad visor report which is almost the same but not as good. John is on probation, he has been in and out of jail his entire life for violence and robery. After we got married he would often mention to me how he beat his first wife near to death. I am horrible afraid of this man and i don't want Lillian to be alone around him. Since i left he has been trying to make himself look like father of the year, he cought up his child support with his ex wife and somehow convinced her to let him take the child on his own, i do not know why she is letting him see his son b/c she has never let him be alone with him before, but she is one of those people that cares more about money than her child and i assume since he is paying child support she doesn't really care anymore. He went to a lawyer and had the lawyer send me a letter telling me John can get full custody and i'll lose Lillian and just basically trying to scare me. I have done absolutely nothing wrong, i have NO criminal record, i do not drink or do drugs, i am a very good mother. The lawyer he went to sounds like an idiot, he calls Lillian my son several times. He claims that since me, my mom, and Lillian are sharing the same room that i will lose her. Lillian has her own bed, she doesn't sleep with me, and the room is plenty big enough. He also says that there are unmarried men that aren't family living in the house and that will make me lose Lillian and thats a complete LIE, my two brothers live here and yes they are unmarried, but they ARE family. I have a protection order againist John for harrassment, and that laywer tried o make it sound like I'm in the wrong for having it! when i got the protection order, the judge that gave it to me didn't even ask me any questions, he looked at John's record and said that i was indeed in danger. Has anyone else been threw all this? Can he really get full custody when i have done nothing wrong and he has done so much wrong? Do you think i will be awarded full custody of my daughter in court? And what are my chances of getting supervised visitation because of his violence? thank you for reading, sorry so long!

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Liz - posted on 08/19/2010

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thank you both. I have an appointment with a lawyer tomorrow, and she is a really good lawyer in the area, and i'm really hoping she will work out affordable payments with my mom b/c i still don't have a job, but i'm still trying hard. I'm not all to worried about custody b/c i know i will get full custody of my daughter, I'm mostly worried about what kind of visitation the judge will give him b/c i don't want him alone with her, i never have, even when we were together still. I'm also planning on moving to New York, were most of my family is, i live in Georgia now and i hate it here. In NY i will have a much roomier place to live, a free full time babysitter which i don't have here, there are more job opportuinies, and when Lillian starts school, the schools are way better up there. I'm really afraid the judge will tell me i have to stay here, i don't want to stay here, my daugher deserves an awesome life which will never happen here. And even if i stayed he wouldn't make any of his visits, once i get custody he won't care about her anymore just like he stoped caring about his other two kids when he didn't get custody of them. I want full custody, i want to move to NY with my daughter, and if they give him any visitation i want it supervised and i'd feel much better if he had to take anger management classes which i totally believe he will refuse to do. I really hope the lawyer helps me tomorrow, and tells me what i should do.

Ashley - posted on 08/18/2010

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I had a similar situation, except I was lucky and figured things out before I actually went through w/ the marriage. I am not sure what state you are in but I know here in the state of MI it is almost impossible to take a child away from their mother. You have to be a huge crack head that wont reform to have that happen. Courts don't like to take kids away from their mothers, in the BEST of circumstances. With his previous parenting record, and his jail time it should be easy to convince a judge. I would get a lawyer to be on the safe side though. Sleep good, I would bet anything that you will have full custody of your daughter and the father wont even get supervised visitation.

Rita_2_davey - posted on 08/18/2010

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Well he sounds like a winner of all!! Liz he has been in so much prior trouble that I am 99.9 percent sure that he will never get custody. I am happy to hear that the judge provided you with a protection order without saying a word, only looking at his file. With that being said, he obviously doesn't have a leg to stand on. He can't just walk into your life and take over Lillian. So what if your living with your mom. There is no law that states that a child cannot sleep in the same room as yourself and mom. You and your mom are providing for her, not him. He hasn't even offered a cent towards' anything that she may need. Yet they like to call themselves' a father.
I dont' know where he found this lawyer (out of a crackerjack box). No lawyer is ever going to get full custoday for him via a judge. The judge again will look at his records and he will walk out alone. The only reason he is paying for his other child, and she is allowing him to see her is to make himself look good, for no other reason. She is a fool to fall for his antics. The way he speaks to his mother, with no respect and his child in her home, who does he really think he is. Obviously "Gods' gift to women". He will never wake up. He can't get full custody, this is a scare tactic, period. Like I said if a judge reads his previous records, violence, theft, the list goes on, pardon the expression but there isn't a chance in hell.
As for him getting supervised visitation, thats' iffy. Like I said this is the reason behind him taking his other daughter to make himself look good.
If I were you, I would talk to a lawyer just so that your not caught offguard. At least you will have one there for you if he pulls something. He sounds like a real case in itself. If I were a judge, which I'm not, I would be telling him to work on his life, his mistakes, anger management courses' etc. prior to seeing any child. As for the other, I'm surprised. She has a court order against him as well. For that matter, it sounds as though everyone has. Pls. dont' let him play you for a fool, and whatever you do, dont' give in to someone like him. You have the protection order and its not just for you alone, its for you and your daughter. I wouldn't trust him at all, he has something loose.
I honestly dont' know how he can walk around with a clear concious, there is nothing clear about it.
Stay within your mothers' place, when you go out, make sure someone is with you. Maybe it is best that he deleted his friends list online. Who knows what friend isn't going to talk and tell him your intentions. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about anything as in him getting custody or even visitations.
After all that he has done, and hasn't done with his other children, I would say he hasn't a chance. Just sleep peacefully knowing that you are now safe and away from that monster. He certainly isn't a man!!
Like I said, he is using a scare tactic on you in hopes that you will feel sorry for him and take him back. Dont' even think it. Get your ducks lined up in a row and if (this is a mighty big if) he happens to take you to court (I don't believe this for a minute) then you will be well prepared. Any lawyer he goes to see and they look at his rap sheet, he isn't going anywhere.
Stay safe but most definetly stay away from him. I wouldn't trust him, regardless of this protection order. I am adding you to my list of friends, pls. dont' hesitate to chat with me or email me. I'm here anytime. Take care and look after yourself and your little one. You deserve much more than him.

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