Mischa - posted on 09/16/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )
I need advice and support here? I'm a single mom raising an infant with zero support- that means no family residing more than 4-8 hours away to help with the baby or provide financial assistance. I'm on my own and have paid 100% of all expenses relating to the baby by myself. JC refused to take any kind of responsibility for this baby. I was self-employed before I was pregnant and stopped due to being a high risk pregnancy. I had no other option than to go on CALWORKS to receive aid. I am a “volunteer exempt” meaning, I technically do not have to do 32 hours of “job readiness activities due to baby, but in order to attend school and get childcare paid for, I agreed to do a minimum of 20 hours a week in schooling (counts as “job readiness”) in exchange. The anticipated child support is enough to pay back 100% of all aid ever received. I digress; I became pregnant mid-way through attending college to obtain a degree (BA). I am still attending college, on good standing, and currently applying to Law School. Here is what happened: from 8/10-6/12 I was involved with this JC. I was on birth control and took anti-biotics to treat an infection. Unknowingly, it messed with the effectiveness of the birth control. I broke up with him 18 days before finding out I was pregnant. The reason was that we were having a long distance involvement (250 miles) and wasn’t going anywhere. After telling him, he demanded an abortion. After an exchange of hurtful responses from him saying he did not want any involvement and I was “on my own”; he ceased contact. He refused to attend the birth or respond to my text letting him know and that a pic of the baby was sent. Then, 8/29/2, my child support hearing I get broad-sided with this: "I'm a head of household with two step-children". Before you judge me, I swear to you that I never knew about another woman. He lied to me about being in another relationship. Hearing that he is married embarrassed me and I was stunned. I have no knowledge that the wife knows or the JC’s parents and have never met them. The judged ordered him to pay $1050 a month in Child Support (base only) based on income and zero percent current visitation. His request to impute my income was denied by the judge. Prior to this hearing he had agreed verbally to sign a stipulation granting me Sole custody and no interest in visitation. About a week ago (Sept 2012), he had a “change of mind” and him and his attorney has been pursuing this aggressively with my attorney and initially made threats and puffery to my attorney regarding custody and visitation. He wants 50% joint and visitation and if I do not agree to his terms then he takes 100%. My attorney thinks this is unreasonable. He also wants to get to what they really want because he has a financial incentive to knock down that support significantly by getting max visitation (meaning rejecting my request for “gradual visitation”) including expenses for travel which lowers it some more. He reasons that since he is married, there should be no reason to take the baby on overnight visits right off the bat because she will take care of the baby. He works 60-70 hours at his job. I hired a private investigator to check his background because of the lying and potential; custody dispute. He married her 3 days after me informing him that I was pregnant. There is serious doubt that she knew I existed and was pregnant before she married him. I am afraid that I will receive unwarranted anger and disrespect from the wife. I believe if JC did come clean, it would make sense to lie to vilify me in order for her to forgive him and be on board with this. If he is capable of lying to me, why not her as well? The wife is 37 years old and has two teenage kids. I’m not sure if she is willing to have another baby, or able to because of her age as it relates to correlated conception rate for that age (9-16% - if prev. C-sect. Then rate is much lower and discouraged). It has been confirmed that my son is the grandparent’s first child. JC is their only child. With the entire situation in mind, any of you has been in this situation? How did you manage with a stepmother in the picture and not exactly starting off on great terms? I calling into question a genuine interest in my child because he has been absent, refused to acknowledge his son, have done nothing by lie to me, and have financial motivation to pay as little as possible in child support. I really think it’s about that. Every time I attempt to work things out with him, he either use coercive tactics to avoid responsibility or involvement, or he ignores me and gives me the silent treatment. He has been inflexible and not amenable, to this day. This kind of behavior makes it impossible to co-parent. If you add wife that has been lied to and cheated on exacerbates a frustrating situation. Have you had experiences like this and how have you resolved them and navigated through them? I don’t want to deny JC visitation. What I want is gradual visitation as it is appropriate for a young infant. I want sole custody because I do not trust his sincerity, and he has shown zero responsibility for his son. The entire time that I have known him he has never been reliable and followed through on what he said he would do. I believe that making joint decisions will be based on what he wants and disregards what I want. I believe that he will ignore my requests if it is not what he wants exclusively. There is no compromise with him, and never was. I am terribly afraid of being treated badly and very little recourse. What can I do?