Child custody battle... Do you think I will lose?

Natalie - posted on 01/28/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hey yall. I live in TX, and my ex and his family live 7 hours away from me. My child has been living with my ex's mother since he was two, he's almost 4 now. I have recently filed the motion to modify... It's going to be a long post but please be patient!
A few months before he took off with my child two years ago, our marriage was pretty much done. He was jobless for about 3 months and was not looking for a job. I could not work because of my legal status here in the States (now i have a greencard). We were living in poverty and I was really miserable and severely depressed... and one night we got into a really bad physical fight and I was on the merge of losing it, so I stayed at my neighbor's house for 2 nights to cool off.. When I came back he and my son were gone... I could not go after him cause I had no money no job I mean of course I wanted him back more than anything, but since I knew my ex was back under his parents' roof and my son was safe, I let it be. I thought it was doing the best thing for my child for not being selfish... So I stayed here and started taking care of all the debts my ex left me with. Then I went back to school full-time.. My ex, in the meantime.. finally got a job but got kicked out of his own parents' house and started living with his buddy's family for a long time, and my child has never left the house. My ex's parents, especially his dad, would always tell me I could take my son whenever I am ready and settled... I tried my best to visit him frequently. I've been in constant touch with my child. Some time has passed and I am remarried now, I know it happened really fast but it is what it is. When I told my ex's family they were FURIOUS, because they always wanted me to get back with my ex. I would not ever consider that because he was abusive, deceiving, and irresponsible. I was married to him for 2 years and it was the worst time of my ilfe. Anyway, soon after I got married my husband deployed(yes he is in the military).. And I ran into family emergency back home.. My grandfather was very sick and my parents needed me since I am the oldest daughter... I wanted to take my son but of course my ex would't sign off the passport so I left by myself under the agreement that it was my turn to have him when I come back.. I was overseas for 6 months. When I came back, I couldn't get him right away cause I wasn't settled. I came back to where I originally resided, and started settling down... When my husband came back in summer that's when we told them we were coming for my son... No doubt, when we showed up my son was nowhere to be found, the sheriff would not get involved because we have shared custody of our child and he just told me to go to court. I sweettalked my ex just so I could see my son for a little.. then the next day my husband, my ex, my son and I all went to the mall because I told him I wanted to buy him some clothes. When I saw my chance, I just took off with my son... Well. I guess my ex tailed me back to where I live and the next day when me and my husband came back from the grocery store, as we were unloading the groceries, my ex appeared out of nowhere and snatched my child. In the process of stopping him I injured my hand(broken fingers). Furious, I went and got a lawyer the next day demanding motion to modify... Two months later at court, all they did was transfer the case to their jurisdiction.
Now I am waiting to go to court in their county but it's not until June and I am losing my darn mind because my child is being brainwashed by the dad... He asked me if I am a bad mother the other day and it really broke my heart. I know I have been away for so long but it was never because I've had problems with drugs or anything of that sort.. I feel like they're taking advantage of the fact that I am a foreigner... I have been struggling to better myself and I finally have my own place, my own car, and in a year I will have my bachelor's degree... The last time I paid money for my son was when I came back from overseas... I stopped paying my ex's mother cause she would use the money for her leisure... (Child support isn't ordered in the divorce decree). So to sum up, my ex is going for primary custody but giving me visitations. Of course he can't afford a lawyer so his mommy is supporting his little butt... Yes he has been paying for my sons day care but my son has been pretty much raised by my ex's mother not my ex because my ex lives 40 minutes away from her. He gets my son on the weekends and well, he's been living with his grandfather this whole time until he passed away recently. Sorry I side-tracked, so I want to go for primary+physical custody because I am ready and I am not an unfit mom. I have been trying to better myself so I could provide a better life for my son but I feel like they are holding grudges against me for marrying someone else and not moving to where they live.. HELLO I have been stuck in this city trying to clean his mess up. Anyways, any advice? Do I really have no chance of winning custody like my ex's family is saying?

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Grace - posted on 01/28/2013

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It sounds like you can present a strong case for full custody. If you can prove a stable home environment, stable income, and your spouse's good standing, the court should see that you are fit to care for your son. The running off with him from the mall should be a small detail. Try to document in detail and financial support you've provided, and communication with your ex-in-laws. I pray all goes well for you.

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