I am divorced, have 50/50 custody of kids. He is taking me to court to get full custody and alienating the my kids and they are parroting what he is saying. I can't afford a lawyer where can I go?

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Divorce was final at the beginning of year. We agreed to shared custody, he agreed to pay for the bills, I received no alimony, and came away with a settlement amount, which will by no means allow me not to work but will help in getting me settled and pay bills. He has not complied with giving me my settlement amount, or paying the bills. I have a part time job i'm working 1-3 days a week, we lost our home, but was by the grace of God able to find a home in our kids school district. The landlord is willing to work with me. My ex is alienating the kids from me and does not allow them to have contact with me when they are with him. I just call at the end of the day to ask about their day say good night and that I love them. He says they don't want to talk to me. The middle child has her own phone but now ignores my calls due to strong influence by my eldest daughter (who has taken sides with her dad) and dad . The 2 youngest were neutral until lately the middle child has done a 360 degree change. I know this is due to her dad and her sister. I can hear the words she uses are the exact words my ex has used against me during his arguments with me. .

I do not want to go the route of bad mouthing their dad to my kids and have refrained from doing so. No matter what the problems between he and I he is still their dad. But he has told them HIS side of the story and has left out quite a bit of the truth. My kids bombard me with questions and want to hear 'my' side of the story. I refuse. They think I am ashamed and hiding something from them. The only thing I do not tell them is exactly what happened between their dad and I. What happened has no bearing on our love for them They shouldn't have to take sides.

I have always been a spiritual person and have drawn my strength from my faith in God. But now my ex is making me sound like a lunatic/fanatic. He has gotten the kids to turn from the church and they insist they not go to church. I am careful not to read my bible in front of them and do so only when they are in bed. But they say my faith scares them. He does not give them any religious structure. And has turned completely away from his faith. His demands are penetrating the home I have set up for my kids without him. I do resent it as his control is bleeding into my home.

He came to my home with a tape recorder and got my middle child to say she no longer wants to come stay with me. The home I have set up scares her...she is constantly on the phone with him and my youngest is having a hard time handling this. He is trying not to take sides.

He served me with papers that day wanting full custody. I don't have the money for a lawyer to fight this. I am on food stamps, financial aid and make extra money doing yard sales.

I love my kids and he has done a campaign to turn the kids against me. But I am not giving up and will fight for my kids. But I don't know where to turn. I live in AZ. Does anyone know of where to turn for someone in my situation. His parents are paying for his lawyer. I can't afford a lawyer and had to represent myself at our divorce, it was awful. I can't and will not lose my kids.

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Sherri - posted on 08/03/2012

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No court is going to give him 100% custody unless there would be a reason you would be deemed unfit. Other than that virtually all states now require 50/50 custody.

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