Child Custody when father has history of abuse and drugs

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I was with my son's father for 6 years. The last few years his father was verbally and physically abusive. He was arrested for abusing me a few months before my son was conceived. (Yes, I realize it was not the smartest thing to return to a relationship with this guy now as the abuse only stopped for a little over a year.) November 2012 my son's father informed me that he had been addicted to opiates since my third trimester. He detoxed at his parents house and all seemed well. A few weeks later he returned to his old ways. In January 2013 he decided to start a methadone treatment program. After still having to deal with abuse to me most cases in front of our son and his father nodding out (which I believe was due to him abusing his methadone) I decided to leave him in May 2013. Since I have left him he has once illegally with held my son from me (I had to get a police escort to get my son back) and has continued his methadone "treatment". He very rarely calls his son (I have our son call him 2+ times a week for my son's sake) and he filed for joint custody for our son a few months ago. His parents agreed to supervise my son's visit with his father (his father lives with them as they do not trust him to live on his own) so I agreed to let him visit with them. After his first visit with them my son's father accidentally let it slip that his parents were not always supervising and even let him/my son's father drive him around town by himself. My son's father never thinks of how his actions will affect our son. I have no idea what my next move should be regarding our custody (we were trying to do an agreement without having to go in front of a judge) as my son's father's parents clearly aren't going to supervise him like they said they would. I am a single mom with a part time job (the only job I've been able to find here and I have to have some type of income for my son and I) and I just don't have a large amount of money to spend to try to get court ordered supervised visitation. I want my son to have a relationship with his father but I am scared. If anyone has any advice or a similar situation they could share Id really appreciate it. Thanks!

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Sarah - posted on 01/13/2014

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Oh sorry about that. My parents wouldn't be able to supervise. My son's father moved in with his parents whose house is 5 hours away.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2014

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I was asking about your parents in relations to being suitable to supervise visits, not with giving you money.

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2014

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Also my relationship with his family is not very good. They blame me for everything their son does and are currently pretending that they have no concerns about my son's father being alone with our son. I spoke to my son's father's father about how I was concerned about him not supervising him fully and he admitted he let him go off with our son and then wouldn't admit to any concern. They are acting like everything is a-ok because if their son loses visitation then they will lose at least some visitation as well as he lives with them. As for my parents, they do not make a lot of money either.

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2014

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I forgot to mention that we were never married. Where we live that means the father has no rights until a court order which we are still trying to work on.

Jodi - posted on 01/12/2014

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OK, firstly, if you did not have court orders giving you custody, then he did not illegally hold you son from you. Just saying.

With regard to going to court, the courts are likely to award a minimum of supervised visitation too, so if you can come to an agreement that can be legally enforceable without huge cost, I can understand the incentive for that. However, if you refuse him visitation now, he is likely to take you to court and you will have to fight that anyway.

Have you spoken to his parents about the issue? Do you have a reasonable relationship with them? Do you have parents who could help you out with this at all?

Beth - posted on 01/12/2014

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Go for FC. You will get it. Goin through the same. Document every call,what's said,if he's late picking hi up etc etc etc. Build a case on him and even get input from his school. Work ur fingers to the bone mama. I'm sure u already r. God bless you!

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