Need tips and resources for custody battle of 5 month old

Samantha - posted on 12/28/2014 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I am a new mom of 5 month old baby boy! I am 25 years old (dad just turned 21- not here to get into THAT predicament) and would like some advice on custody. Dad and I were split up when I found out I was pregnant, he told me up and down that he *couldn't * have a baby, he was "too young". Well, we later tried to work it out. I moved to an apartment by myself, towards the end of my pregnancy we were inthe works of having him added to my lease when I found out he started seeing his ex. I called it off and here starts the predicament. From the day my son was born, his father only saw him a handful of times. He made excuses as to why he couldn't (I lived too far away, he worked late, etc) so I stopped putting the offer out there for him to visit. He moved into a house of his own 2 months later (even farther away). He had 3 roommates (all just recently turned 21) move in with him as well. One of those roommates being his new girlfriend. He has yet to help me at all with child support, although we do finally have a hearing next month. Throughout my maternity leave he called me a bum (I only took 6 weeks) and I was close to bring evicted. He has also sent me harassing text messages about seeing our son. Here is my issue, there is 4 young adults living in his house (at first he wasn't even going to tell me who they were). And he still has not allowed me to know where he lives. He says it is none of my business. He is a heavy drinker, so I know there are a lot of parties going on, and he also has a UDD. Needless to say, I have not allowed him to take our son. If he wants to see him, he can do so when I am there. Another bit of information, I breastfeed. I have been more than compliant with him, I brought our son to his mother's for Christmas. I brought him up to his cabin in the summer, etc. But we have hit a wall. He seems go think he will get 50/50 custody, and that I will have no say in the matter. Essentially, I do not trust him with our son, as he has proven that his priorities are not in order right now. He has no experience with children (he didnt even know you cant leave them in the car when you exit) and seems to think he will also be granted overnights. Has anyone gone through a similar situation? And what resources do I need to protect our son?

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Samantha - posted on 12/29/2014

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That last bit of information definitely helps. I don't know what my rights are in regards to this situation, and I have no idea the things I can request if need be. I am more than willing to go along with whatever his father thinks is necessary, as I am more than willing to work with him. I basically gave up trying to communicate with him because he harasses me. I have explained to him that I will literally drive our son to his house, or welcome him into mine so that he can visit. He refuses to do either because he does not want me to be there. He won't even look me in the eyes the times I have seen him. There needs to be some type of communication between us before I trust him, and he refuses to give me that peace of mind. How do you co-parent if you won't speak to each other? I think that would be very detrimental to my son.

Samantha - posted on 12/29/2014

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I agree, I don't really have anything that proves he's been of any physical threat to my self, or my son, but I do believe I have a right to say no in allowing him to see him right now. I have a legal aide and a public health nurse that are backing me up in this as well. All I get are harassing messages sent from him telling me I'm a terrible mother, he has no mature means of communicating with me on this matter, making it impossible for me to feel comfortable with him seeing our baby. I live in the state of MN where they are more than likely on the mother's side unless she poses any problems. And I have friends who have , unfortunately, been in my situation and only granted the father joint legal because they allowed them to have it. My main reasoning for posting was to ask, what are some things I should be prepared for? Or bring to the judge's attention, if I feel he's not exactly fit for this? Can I request parenting classes? Or for him to visit with our son at his father's house instead?

Samantha - posted on 12/29/2014

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Thank you for the replies. I am not court ordered to allow his father to see our child right now, and because of the danger I see it putting my son and I in, I do not believe it is necessary. We were never married, when our son was born he signed the ROP. About 2 months later, he retracted his ROP and got a paternity test. He has been come and go in our son's life and I believe that to be damaging to him. I have all documented times on when he has seen his son from the day he was born. We have come down to the point where he only wants to see him if he can "take him" from me. Since he will not tell me where his house is, I will not allow it. He also explained to me that he will not tell me what he does with him when he has him, and might even give him formula because that's the "normal" thing to do. Im hoping the judge can see he doesn't have our sons best interest at heart, as this is only a battle to him, one that he wants to win.

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