custody

User - posted on 03/04/2015 ( 18 moms have responded )

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my sons father's told lots of lies in court and had an overly expensive lawyer. He got primary physical custody of our three sons. I was a stay at home mom for 10 years but he still gets my kids. I wanted the divorce from him. Yes mad at me and hurting me the My kids. I don't know where to turn. He moved 40 minutes from me and makes all decisions without asking me. I'm looking for a place close to him but I don't Make much money and I have to pay him child support and I'm responsible for all travel for visitation. I drive 4 or more days a week for sporting events for my kids. I only get then 8 days a month this is killing me I have no money for a lawyer we go back to court on Monday. He still he's the best lawyer too represent him with his lies. I need help on what to say and do at court and directions on getting a pro bono lawyer. I just want my kids back. I'm a great mom if never take them from their father the way he has done to me. I'm the fair parent and none will see this. Help me

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Raye - posted on 03/06/2015

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Let's not hijack this thread to address H's concerns. She needs to open a separate thread.

User, your situation sucks. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but unfortunately it is too common. Usually it is the father that is stuck with the crappy visitation, and it's not always because they don't care to do their share. The others are right, though. You need to shift your focus from yourself to your kids. If you truly feel that they are better off with you, then you need to do your research, get legal aid, and fight for them. Don't do it to get back at your ex, whom you feel is getting back at you. Don't do it because YOU need THEM. Take a good hard look and make sure that you are doing it for THEIR best interests. Make sure that you can back up your claims in court that you can provide a safe, stable home life for the kids.

There are two sides to every story, and some of his "lies" might be a different interpretation of the truth. There is obviously so much more to this story that we don't know. and the Judge must have seen something that tilted the scale toward your ex being able to provide the better home. They don't always get it right, though. So, again, you need to do your homework, and fight for your kids without being petty and stooping to the level of your ex.

Ev - posted on 03/06/2015

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I still do not understand why some think that because the father shows no interest, is not told until later, or they think the father is a dead beat in some form that the father is not good enough to be part of the child's life.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/06/2015

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To H: Yes, if the other man is the father, he has every right to petition custody.

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2015

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He can certainly ascertain paternity and if he is the father, he has a right to be part of her life. Unless you provide an unsafe environment, I can't imagine you'd lose custody but you should be prepared to have shared custody with the father. If you put your husband's name on the birth certificate knowing that he might not be the father, you made an error in judgement. If the other man is the father, his name will go on the birth certificate. As far as forcing you to change her name, that is not likely to happen. there is no law that says a baby must have the surname of it's father.

H. - posted on 03/05/2015

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I cheated on my husband, something I will always regret. He left me, but after a while he came back. I got pregnant and it very well could be from the guy I had the affair with. My dear husband has been by my side throughout the pregnancy and delivery. He aceepted our now 4 month old as his own and signed the birth record. I need advice, the other guy was recently able to force all of us to do a dna, and is telling everyone he will take us to court to gain custody and will change the baby's name. Can he get away with that?

Ev - posted on 03/05/2015

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User--I had sent you an email via this forum and I do not know if you got it but I am posting it here.


I can totally understand your plight. I am a non-custodial mother of a joint custody. I understand the hurt, pain, anger, and resentment. I also understand that those boys are your world and that you have taken care of them since day one. I was also in the same boat. I was a stay at home mother. I did everything from making sure the kids got up and ready for school to doctor appointments to extra activities. I took care of the house. I did a lot more too but its too much to add to this. The point is my kids were also my world too and I was lost without them there.

But you have to learn to let go of your hurt, pain, anger and resentment and it comes with time. You need to focus on what time you do have with the kids. Time is short and it goes quickly. You need to find things to get you through the days you do not have them with you. Build on the relationship you do have with them. Having them with you less does not mean you can not have an impact on their lives. Trust me, I know this too well. I will explain it soon. You need to find something in common with the boys and work up from that. You can still be that influence you want to be on them. Despite the facts that your kids' father has told the court what he has and you have not had good legal counsel, you need to focus on them. They need you now more than ever. This is their world torn apart never to be the same again. They hurt too and more than you know. Just do the best that you can for them with what you have. Tell them you love them everyday, Tell them you are there for them and if they need to talk to you they can tell you anything. Tell them that when they go back to dad's that its not good bye but see you later. Do not begrudge dad in their presence. Call them each day you can.

Now I will tell you why I sent you this email. I can understand where you come from. I was a stay at home mom like I said and after 12 years of marriage my ex walked out one day. After six months of trying to get the mess worked out and custody established my lawyer came to me and told me that I did not have a chance to fight for custody and that with his resources he would win it every time. I had a choice to make. I had to decide if it was better for me to have them there just to be brought back to court to decide one more time who was to have custody or to allow them the stability of being in one home with the chance to be able to have them during visitation. I needed to know that for some of what was going on their minds were in a sense at peace about things. What little time we had, I devoted to them. I made the most of what I had. In time, I got used to having them around so little of the time. I also learned some new things about me. I also learned how to deal with the empty house. But the biggest thing of all that came of this was that my kids and I learned the greatest things of all. 1) Not to take life for granted. We would have done this if they had been with me all the time. 2) We had a strong bond between the three of us but it was even more so than it was before. My relationship with my kids turned out fine. And I hope that you can take my example and use some of my suggestions to help better your life. Also, the sad part is that today, now that they are adults, their relationship with the dad is not so good. He had them all the time but he never invested into it. I know because they told me. They also have had two step mothers who treated them like crap. The current one is still in the picture. But beyond all that, they turned out well knowing that they had at least me. And that is what your kids need. YOU.

Debbie - posted on 03/05/2015

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User,

First I want to tell you that I am truly sorry for what you are going through, because I myself have went through this exact same thing! I have 2 daughters with my 1st EX-Husband (yes, I have 2 ex-husbands)and I have a son. I was a SAHM from 2002-2007 with my daughters then worked after we split up. The girls both lived with me and he moved 30 mins. away from us. He only saw them on 1st & 3rd weekends, by his own choice... I told him about school functions but he only came to 2 or 3 within the first year or so and after that none! so from Jan. 2008 to Nov. 2013 he came to about 4 functions of his daughters'! At first he kept up with his weekend visits, but by 2009 he was missing more visit than he was having... always stupid excuses! When I did a modification of child support, within 10 of him receiving the letter about it, he picked up the girls for the weekend and refused to bring them home and in the mean time he filed for modification of custody! I had to get a lawyer to get them back home, it only took my lawyer calling his and telling him he had 24 hours to return them. Anyways after 2 years we finally got into the court room. On the stand he DIDN'T lie about anything, he actually told the truth, I was shocked!!! However the false claims that he made about stupid crap to begin with that he addressed in court and answered purgering himself... well when I got the ruling in the mail the judge separated my girls placing one with each of us... they had never been away from each other for more than a week and neither wanted to live with him! in the papers the judge agreed with his false claims as if he didn't hear the testimony in the court room... so I contacted my lawyer who would only go back into court to get this fixed if I paid her another 3,000.00 to appeal it! I had lost my job due to all the appointments with my lawyer and the girls lawyer and counselor and court... so I couldn't fight it. Now he won't let me see or even call my daughter, it's been 3 months! His wife is a witch and my girls hate her... its all about money with them... every text I get refers to money from them... He doesn't care about them... but he has more money than me and a more expensive lawyer!

So I understand what it feels like to be the one to put you kids to bed almost every night since YOU GAVE BIRTH to them, kissing boo boos, changing diapers, cleaning puke, etc... and then not seeing them for days and in my case weeks/months! watching them from afar and talking for 30mins or so isn't the same and I know its hard to do! Both of my girls have had surgery since we split up, surgery that he had at least a months notice for... he didn't even come to the hospital or call and check on them, but yet he is now their caregiver!

Keep your head up... I know it's hard... but I will tell you this, if you post something like this online you need to expect to get some negative comments and a lot of times from someone who has never even been in the same situation. You can google Legal aid for your state and should be able to apply that way for some help or contact your local prosecuting attorney and they may have some info on who does pro bono and/or legal aid!

Ev - posted on 03/04/2015

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Jodi,

I sent an email to User and hopefully my message will get through to her. I know where she comes from and how it feels. I just hope she reads the message.

Evelyn

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2015

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No-one was "bashing" you, but I was making the point that a 40 minute commute to school each way may be seen as too far, and that therefore, one or the other of you is going to end up with primary custody. I also pointed out that you need a lawyer. The I asked what "lies" he told about you and what evidence he had. Others have also not "bashed" you. However, as has been pointed out, you aren't entitled to primary custody just because you are the mother. That's just the way it works.

He clearly put up the better case for the best interests of the child. What you are focusing on here is how YOU feel, and if that is what you put forward in court (I'm not suggesting it was, but IF it was) then it won't win you your argument. You need to be able to sit down with a lawyer who can fight with the best interests of your children in mind. Maybe the judge saw that it WAS in their best interests to be with their father during the week and you on weekends for various reasons. Your court transcript would state the judge's reasoning. You may need to look through that so you can identify ways in which you can change that.

User - posted on 03/04/2015

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No I wouldn't do this to him or our children. He had a lawyer I had a law student. Who count represent me with any aggression. No one knows how this feels. I had them every minute they were not in school. This seems more like a circle of bashing moms web they're down. I don't need negative comments I'm hurt enough. My kids cry beg me to come get them he wont let me. How would you feel not being able to get your kids when they are begging you to..

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2015

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So how fair is it that this is also the visitation many fathers end up with? Is this the arrangement you want for him? If your children are school age and it is a 40 minute drive, equal time could be quite difficult. Regardless of what arrangements you end up with, you are not going to get to tuck your children into bed every night. This isn't about what is best for you, but what is best for your children.

Anyway, you are going to need a lawyer, but some judges may see a 40 minute commute to school each way as not really in the best interests of this children.

What "lies" did he tell about you in order to gain custody? A judge isn't going to listen to lies unless there is evidence.

User - posted on 03/04/2015

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You get to tuck your kids in bed only 8 nights a month and tell me how fair you'd think the agreement was. I'm a great mom I do/did it all for my kids. How can my kids be better off just because he has more money. I carried them in my body. They need me. He's selfish and angry and wants me to hurt the way he hurt me and he knows my kids ate the way to do it.

User - posted on 03/04/2015

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I get only 8 overnights a month. The other evenings I just go watch then play sports then they go with their father..

User - posted on 03/04/2015

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I go to the sports games 4 nights a week. To watch them play. I only get 8 over night visits with them I did everything for them He wasent involved. He only wants them to hurt me. I think we should have been equal time. He wants control he won't give me an extra minute with them.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/04/2015

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a 40 minute drive (a minor commute...there are some areas here where one has to drive an hour each way back and forth to work...) isn't that problematic, really, and if you're making that time 4 days a week, in addition to the other 8 days a month, that means, in an average 30 day month, you are seeing your kids 25ish out of 30 days, so you're actually getting better than average time. (4 days per week x 4.33 weeks in month, plus the 8 custody days)

If you want that changed, it will take a lawyer. If you want pro bono, google pro bono attorneys in your area.

Honestly, every non custodial parent claims the other 'lies' about what happened in order to get custody, but in reality, quite a few things are taken into account, one being who can better provide for the children in their current situation.

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2015

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How much visitation are you getting? If you are seeing them 4 days a week, that sounds like you have pretty equal time.

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