Victoria - posted on 11/05/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )
I'm just venting but feel free to leave helpful advice. I left my husband of 10 years on April 1, 2009. We had moved to Los Angeles from New Jersey for a job that I had won which showed a lot of promise. After 2 years we lost everything due to my employment collapsing with the economy. I was the sole bread winner of the household for 2 years prior. When the economy started to decline, things got tight, then things fell behind, then we slowly lost everything including our home. My family and I wound up living a motel for 8 months. My then 7 year old daughter was classified as "homeless" by her school, which was upsetting to me because I was doing the best I could do. I had found employment working a tip job 40-60 hours per week. My ex absolutely refused to look for a job even after I personally typed his 3 page resume and made copies for him. They collected dust in a pile for 8 months. Three days prior to April 1, I told my husband I was leaving him- he told me that if I tried to take my daughter, he'd hunt me down and kill me. He was pretty serious from what I could tell, but I intended on taking her none-the-less. Well, to sum things up, the ex called his mommy who flew into town to rescue him. He kept my daughter out of school and took her back to NJ to live with him and his parents without my consent. He told them I abandoned her, which was an incredible lie. They know now what the truth is. I called the police who were no help. They said there was no custody order so I was basically S.O.L. I could file a missing child report after 24 hours if I couldn't locate her...useless! I had no money, I was able to borrow money from a friend to find adequate housing. Still working a tip job, I was barely making ends meet so a legal battle across the country was not even a thought because I could barely afford to live, let alone pay a lawyer. My trips to see my child were wrought with torment from my ex who forced me to agree to have sex with him or he would refuse me to see my child. He would "pop" in to where I was staying (my parents home) to check up on me and to start arguments which would upset my daughter so much. I have recurring nightmares from being put through this by him for 3 years. When I was not in NJ, he would psycho-dial my cell phone if I did not answer the phone.
Fast forward 2 years to 2011 and he NOW wants a divorce because he found some naive girl 16 years his junior to support him and agree to marry him. I could not afford legal fees or a cross country plane ticket to contest anything, though I had been going back and forth to see me child as much as I could. So I got screwed. He had a custody clause put in the divorce papers that he was the parent of primary residence and I had to come to NJ if I wanted to see my child. Its been a year since my divorce was finalized. I am in a better financial place, albeit, not a wonderful financial place, but better than I was, as I can put bits of money toward a lawyer, and am in the process of initiating custody paperwork- just gotta finish paying the retainer. I want my child back, but I am fighting myself not to be solely for selfish reasons. I don't want to cause her harm by moving her across the country, but I have unfairly lost so much time with her. He is trying to push me out of her life completely. He omits me completely from her school records and medical records. He has her calling his new wife "mom" which irks me because she is only 10 years older than my daughter. She is closer to my childs age than to her own husband's age by a considerable margin and I find it creepy. He is 38, his wife is 22, my daughter is 12. I just feel hopeless sometimes