Custody battle HELP

Jennifer Maribel - posted on 04/12/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am going through a custody battle for my daughter Olivia.We live in College Station. I have been her primary caregiver and have had her more than 80% of the time her ENTIRE LIFE. I was a stay at hime mother from September 3rd, 2013 (the day she was born) until October 31, 2014. I got a part time job and only worked twice a week for 4 hour shifts. During mediation the father agreed to her being with me and for him to have standard visitation (1st,3rd,5th weekend of every month). It was this way since January 21st. The judge (court was April 1st, we got the results on April 8th) ruled that her father would be primary and would determine the residence and that Olivia would live with him for one week and with me one week. I have never heard of a judge making a call like this. I feel like I am running out of options. This ruling is a mistake and will hurt my daughter. What are my options?! I am going to appeal but my lawyer is defending the judge more than she is defending me. I am not a drug addict, an alcoholic, and i do not go out and party. They have had no solid evidence that I am an unfit mother because I am a fit mother. They have nothing to use against me. I am enrolled full time in college, ALL online so I can take care of my daughter. I have a 3.19 GPA and am only one fall semester away from being able to apply to nursing school. I am restricted to live in Brazos county but asked for an extension of 100 mile radius outside of Brazos County. The judge ruled that if I moved outside of Brazos County that the father would get her and I would get standard visitation. I need help. This is not right. My daughter is very attached to me. She will suffer greatly. Her father also works 6 days a week, usually from 1pm-10om. This means his mother would be watching her over 50% of the time. If anyone has any suggestions or attorney recommendations please submit them. I am trying to do everything I can to fix this.

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Dove - posted on 04/12/2016

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Sounds like you guys were basically awarded 50/50 custody. That is a fairly standard ruling in many courts unless either parent is solidly proven unfit. You haven't lost... your daughter won... time w/ her father.

Ev - posted on 04/12/2016

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{{ The judge (court was April 1st, we got the results on April 8th) ruled that her father would be primary and would determine the residence and that Olivia would live with him for one week and with me one week. I have never heard of a judge making a call like this.}}
~~~~~There is entirely nothing wrong with one week with dad and one week with mom. A judge makes the call as they think best fits the interests of the child not the parents wants, desires, needs, or thoughts. What is wrong with dad being primary?
{{ I feel like I am running out of options. This ruling is a mistake and will hurt my daughter. What are my options?! I am going to appeal but my lawyer is defending the judge more than she is defending me. I am not a drug addict, an alcoholic, and i do not go out and party. They have had no solid evidence that I am an unfit mother because I am a fit mother. They have nothing to use against me.}}
~~~~~It does not matter that you do nothing that expressly makes you a bad or unfit parent. Anymore, dads are getting primary custody or residence, what have you, where the kids are concerned. They are just as capable of caring for a child as the mother is. The ruling is not a mistake. The Judge took all things into consideration and made his or her choice. YOU can appeal it all you want to do so but think of the ramifications it will do to your daughter to be pulled on from two directions. SHE will suffer the most for it. I know this from experience. My kids ended up with their dad because I did not have the funds to fight him in court for custody all the time and more importantly; because they needed some stable peace of mind. I got the visitation and holidays and such and more if we could work it out. It was in their best interests that I did not fight him over custody. I was like you a good mom and not a drug/alcohol abuser, criminal record, or unfit in any capacity. But that did not stop the fact that I could loose custody and not gain it back. He and his lawyer offered the option of joint custody and him the primary. I took it for their benefit not his or mine.
{{ I am enrolled full time in college, ALL online so I can take care of my daughter. I have a 3.19 GPA and am only one fall semester away from being able to apply to nursing school. I am restricted to live in Brazos county but asked for an extension of 100 mile radius outside of Brazos County. The judge ruled that if I moved outside of Brazos County that the father would get her and I would get standard visitation.}}
~~~~~Good for you being a college student. But as far as getting extended living outside your county, the judge can make that call. It might impede dad's visitation if you had her and he had to come to get her etc. That is normal...most of the time its usually used in moving out of state in most places.
{{ I need help. This is not right. My daughter is very attached to me. She will suffer greatly. Her father also works 6 days a week, usually from 1pm-10om. This means his mother would be watching her over 50% of the time. If anyone has any suggestions or attorney recommendations please submit them. I am trying to do everything I can to fix this.}}
~~~~~~Your daughter is going to have to learn that her parents live apart and to get used to being with one of you one week and with the other the next week or however the visitation is set up. On his time he can have whomever is capable to watch her when he is working. It seems unfair but that is how it works anymore. Just because you gave birth does not mean you control things. It also does not mean that the judge is going to give primary anything to just the mother either. Dad's can contribute to the nurturing of their children.

I think this post is mostly about how you feel of this situation not the best interest of your child. You do not like it that things did not go your way. You do not like it that dad is primary. I understand how it feels. My kids were and still are my world though now adults. I cried the day my lawyer told me what was going on. I had not cried in over 6 months! I was numb from my ex wanting to leave and to get divorced. This was the tip of the ice berg falling into the sea. I never felt so crushed. Be glad you got 50-50!!! I only got most weekends, split holidays and summer. I did not trust him to care for the kids as I had either. He did it for a few weeks total their entire lives up to the point in 2002 when he wanted out. But I had to abide the judge's orders and so did he. If you are not thrilled with your lawyer get a new one and appeal but I can tell you this: Your little girl is going to become a pawn with your thoughts and feelings ruling how you want this to come out and she won't know for sure if she is loved by her parents if they fight over her all the time.

Dove - posted on 04/12/2016

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And yeah... you can't move away from the child's other parent because she has a right to equal access to BOTH of you. That is fair... for your child. She will develop a relationship w/ him and gradually be less clingy to you. It's a transition, but a positive one.

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Ev - posted on 04/12/2016

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It is not a battle. It is custody. The child is not a thing to be fought over. She needs both her parents.

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