Need help with a joint custody question please?

Tanya - posted on 07/30/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am in Colorado. My ex, my daughter's father is in jail until 2012 for felony Domestic Violence. I was living with my ex and our daughter before this all happened. I tried to do it by myself but couldn't. All my family live in Australia, so my only option was to move in with his mother. I have been with her for a year. He is still trying to control me through his mother and she wants us to get back together, and is enabling him with all his wants etc. I have recently found a house and want to move out. She is going to explode when I tell her this. She has joint custody. She took me to court two years ago the last time this happened and got joint custody because I was having money troubles and got joint custody from her son because of Domestic Violence. I later found out it was so I could not take my daughter back to Australia. The embassy said if it wasn't for her having joint custody I could take her to Australia without his permission, because he is in jail as a felon with no rights to anything.

My question is when my daughter and I moved into her grandmother's house I moved in with all my furniture and my daughters furniture. I am scared that when I go to move out she won't let me take any of my stuff because she could say it is her son's stuff or that it is hers. I can't afford to buy her new furniture for my daughter and I again. Some people have said I should tell the police I am moving out and put them on stand by, but I have no proof it is my stuff except for friends that have seen it in my last place. I don't know what to do, especially with all this joint custody stuff. I am a mess at the moment. I just am so tired of living with my abusive ex's mom. She is mean and manipulative. Not mean to my face but a big backstabber, as is her whole family. I can't afford a lawyer. Or I can't get legal aid because she has joint custody and unfortunately they base everything on her income as well.

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Bo Lynn - posted on 08/01/2010

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Make sure you have all your ducks in a row though, that you are SURE you're going to move into this place, SURE that you can keep your bills paid and your baby is in a proper school or daycare. Keep your side spotless and do all that you need to and don't tell his mother ANYTHING until the day comes for you to move. She might try to mess things up for you just to keep you stuck there!

[deleted account]

I live in Colorado too & worked at Boulder County Sheriff's Office. There is something where you can call and ask them to just come and help you feel safe. I forget exactly what it's called but I can find out if that would help you. I'm happy for you standing up for yourself and your daughter! It will be difficult but very worth it!

[deleted account]

DOmestic abuse isn't always violent. The woman is abusing you using words and emotions and it is NOT right! Carol is right, the police will back you up and I might even suggest going as far as to try to file for a temporary restraiing order based on emotional abuse to both you and your daughter. Then, take her back to the family court (with the temp order if it is granted) and go for full cusotdy of your daughter.

Neither one of you needs to be in that situation and you are a strong woman for realizing that and trying to get not only yourself, but your daughter out as well.

Good luck!!!

Carol - posted on 07/31/2010

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The police will support you .... they will be there whilst you remove you stuff. Come on girl. Grit your teeth, just go down and talk to them to see what help they will give you. Do nothing and nothing will happen. Take control. Sincerely hope all goes well with you. It will be hard, it really will, but this is something you need to do. In six months time it will be a distant memory. Take care, be bold, be strong

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Carol - posted on 08/02/2010

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We have a restraining order against him and his family. He is not allowed to come within 100 yards of us or contact us in anyway. It is such a relief, runs out in September which makes us feel a tad insecure. He has broken the conditions twice and been arrested for it. There was no physical abuse, just mental, emotional and control. I say 'just', but as you know its hell because its constant and takes away all sense of control and you live in fear. The trick is to stop being a victim, you are on the road and so are we!! Takes a lot out of you though.

Carol - posted on 08/01/2010

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Well said Holly!! Its difficult when you live in fear of others emotions to stand tall. But we have to remember that when we have children we find strength that we didn't know we had. My daughter and I are struggling with an abusive manipulating partner right now and with two small children. Just remember, that EVERYTHING is temporary. You may feel bad today, but tomorrow WILL be different. That keeps me going through the really rough times when I think we are beaten. We are now chosing to be proactive rather than reactive, and the power nips away at the fear. Wish you all happier days

Bo Lynn - posted on 08/01/2010

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As for deciding who's properties' whose, the small claims court can figure that out. Go to Legal Aid or similar place that can help you get with an attorney for cheaper and see what your options are. Grandparents have rights but I don't know why a judge wouldn't let you take your baby home to your family. Get yourself some legal armor and give it all you got! You'll be amazed with how strong you are!

[deleted account]

I live in Australia and here that kind of assistance from Police is called a Keep the Peace job. BUT here POlice are not allowed to decide either way whose possessions are whose if there is some debate, that has to be settled in Court. Here all Police can do is make sure no one is abused in any way. But obviously I dont know if that's the same in the US and in particular from state to state.

Michelle - posted on 08/01/2010

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It sounds to me like you are still being abused emotionally, first off tell the police your intentions have them oversee your move. Second go see a lawyer because you should not have to share custody of your daughter with the grandmother she is not that childs parent explain to the lawyer you wish to move home and therefore need to get things changed in order to do so. I know it is a costly and painful process but once you are in another country he can't hurt you anymore

Tanya - posted on 08/01/2010

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Thank you Holly. I have thought about getting a restraining order against the whole family but wasn't sure if I could because it is emotional manipulation and control. Thank you though for recommending that - I will look into it.

Tanya - posted on 08/01/2010

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Thank you Kristen, I would be very grateful if you could find out who exactly I should call.Thank you for your encouraging words!

Tanya - posted on 07/31/2010

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Thank you Carol. I don't know why I am so scared of this family but it has been a horrible 5 years with all of them. I can't wait till it is a distant memory.

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