My ex is trying to get sole physical and legal custody of our son

[deleted account] ( 6 moms have responded )

The past 4 years I have been a full-time student and my mother passed away early 2013. During this time, I have allowed my son to go with his dad whenever he has wanted and been very accommodating whenever his dad has wanted extra time with him. Now my ex served me with papers requesting sole physical and legal custody. So I am now paying for being 'the nice guy' all of this time. I feel betrayed and I'm so angry.

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Raye - posted on 02/12/2016

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Nicole, I don't think it was your intention to be "accommodating" or "generous" by allowing your son more time with the father. You made the decision based on a number of factors: your grief, your schooling, and your fear. You admit to being afraid that if you pushed the matter that they would kick you out. Did they actually threaten you? What made you think that they would kick you out if you were abiding by the court orders? Do you have a rental or lease agreement for the condo? If so, they can't kick you out on the basis of child visitation. If you don't have a written agreement, then it sounds like you have made more bad decisions. If you want your two children to grow up together and if your ex was abusive why wouldn't you keep his time to a minimum and not allow more time at the father's house? Aren't your children's well being worth finding a new place to live?

It doesn't matter "what most father's get". It matters what your original orders were. And if he has been taking more responsibility raising the child, paying for food, necessities, etc., then it's reasonable for him to want to change the custody agreement and/or change the support amount. He is not betraying you, and you are not blameless in this situation. Maybe you have a right to be angry that he just served you with papers instead of having a conversation with you. But really that's all you have a right to be angry about.

If your son was having so many tardies in school, why didn't you do something abut it before the father forced your hand? Had you noticed and taken action before this all came to a head, then I might have been able to sympathize more with you. But you are the child's parent, you had primary custody, and you allowed it to happen by not being more active in your son's life.

Both parents need to stop treating your son like a pet that can be shuffled around from house to house at whim, or a possession that you can own. He's a person. He needs stability. He needs to be nurtured and loved and have parents that are BOTH looking out for his best interests. It doesn't appear to me that either parent is doing that adequately.

Ev - posted on 02/11/2016

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Maybe you should have stuck to the custody/visitation orders as they were. My ex and I made verbal agreements on weekends and for other times. Easter the first year was supposed to be his so we switched years. That was until his current wife decided to dictate how we did our visitation. As it stood in our orders we could modify it to our best interests and those of the kids for the kids to have as much time with each parent. The next Easter in the year that was originally his and we had switched, I went for the kids and the whole group was gone. After finally getting a hold of them, they said it was his weekend and I reminded him of our agreement. Little good it did me so we stayed on the custody orders and visitation orders as per the documents after that. We did make exceptions for when his dad passed away and my grandmother passed away and other events that came to pass.

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[deleted account]

Wow Sarah, thanks for the support. You know, you shouldn't judge until you walk in someone else's shoes.
This is the second time I have had to go to court against my physically abusive ex. Both times now are because he has intentionally kept my son from me. The first time, the judge said that he was getting above and beyond most father's get. So why don't you bash on the judge now, k?
He has no other children so he thinks that he is a better parent. He has no idea what it is like to have 2 children that require attention. That being said, my son should not be separated from his little sister who adores him. If he were thinking about anything other than himself and the fact that he doesn't want to pay child support anymore, he would realize that the children need to be with each other and grow up together, not rarely see each other! Children are not pawns!

Sarah - posted on 02/11/2016

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You both deserve to parent your son, you were not being the nice guy, you were permitting your son to be parented by his father because he was able to and you were busy with school. If your ex has had your son most of the time, then he has a right to want to make it permanent. To say he was awarded a generous visitation is absurd:

" on the current custody schedule (which gives his dad Sunday nights on his weekends and every Wednesday night, more than most father's get) "

I don't blame dad for wanting to change it! One night a week, and two every other? If I only saw my child an average of 36 hours a week, I'd fight to change it too.

[deleted account]

Right now we have joint physical and legal custody and I have primary custody. I have an attorney and we went to court this morning for his request for temporary modification of the current order giving him sole custody. Our current orders say that we have to mediate if there are any disputes so the judge left things as is and told us to mediate.
His reason is just that he has had our son more so he should have sole custody and not have to pay child support. He recently got engaged right before he filed. After I was served, he sent me a text the next day saying that I can only have my son every other weekend until court. I had no choice but to take the current custody papers into my son's school so his dad can't keep him from me. They are claiming that my son is used to being with his dad more than me and I was selfish to do what I did. They said that it is abusive towards my son.
My son has been perfectly fine now that he is with me more and back on the current custody schedule (which gives his dad Sunday nights on his weekends and every Wednesday night, more than most father's get) and my son has had no tardies when he had 22 the first and second terms of school when he was with his dad more.
Plus I live in his dad's mother's condo and have been here for 4 years, I never wanted to cause conflict by going against what his dad or grandmother have wanted for fear of being kicked out. Now that I am fighting back for my time I have deserved with my son, I'm just waiting to get the boot.

Michelle - posted on 02/11/2016

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Then you need to get yourself a lawyer and go to court.
What are his reasons for going for full custody? Unless the child is in danger or being neglected then I doubt the judge will give it to him.
What are your current custody orders?

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