What do you do when....

United States
April 11, 2007 11:19am CST
Yesterday, I got my daughter back from her father, but I had to go to her school to do so. Because there's nothing legally stating that I have full custody of her, he has every right to take her, and go for custody. We'd never been married, and I have an order for him to pay child support that helped me get her from her school. He had the cops show up at my house, saying that there's cat pee and feces all over the place, that it's unlivable. I happily let the police officers in the house to check it out, and see what's going on. There were 3 of them, and they said that my ex had no case, that the house was great, and just looked lived in. The thing is, the cat that was doing those types of things didn't like my ex, who was staying with me briefly to help out so I could work, and would take it out on him when the litter box needed to be cleaned. I work 45 hours a week, and am hardly home to make messes, let alone really have the time to clean them up. My ex was living here rent free, getting fed and had access to everything he could have needed, yet still complained, saying that I was using him and that he didn't deserve that. I'd come home and the dishes would have piled up, for he'd never get them done, and I'd have to do those as well. I never ate here at the house, and still was doing things that I had nothing to do with. My kids started to complain, because they weren't able to do things, but were made to clean up all the time. Considering how easy he had it, and the fact that he went behind my back to start proceedings to get custody of our daughter, it really bothers one that he could be so cruel. He didn't give her a choice in it, either, just took her and told her that things had to change. Now, I'm trying to get legal help so that I can at least put her back in school. She can't go until I have a court order stating that he cannot take her from school, otherwise he can just walk in and say that he wants her, and they have to let her go with him. His girlfriend is the one that is pushing him to do all these things, and though I know that she's also pushing him to make his life better, I have never met the woman and she refuses to meet me. I will not let someone into my kid's life like that, who thinks they don't have to deal with me, being the minor child's mother. She wants nothing to do with me, so I told him that his girlfriend has nothing to do with the custody issue, and that she needs to keep her nose out of it, since they aren't married. What advice do you have, and what might you do in that sort of situation?
5 people like this
4 responses
• United States
12 Apr 07
I have been in a situation such as this, and I will have to tell you that custody is the worst in the world to go through. If I were you, I would find myself a very good, upstanding, female attorney that deals with these types of cases. I would look into paying some type of money to them; don't get legal aid. Although they are good for some things, they aren't worth it for custody. You need to find someone who can be harsh and set the record straight with this guy. I also had to deal with his wife (we were never married either), and she would tell my daughter to call her mommy and told me that I had to deal with it. Then, she would spank her, and we told the judge about this and she was told not to do this. My daughter was terrified of her and wouldn't ever want to go with her father when she was around. I finally had to tell him that if he was going to pick her up that his wife couldn't be there when he did, or she didn't have to leave with him. He saw this, and then he realized something else. Also, you have to be careful with this woman because you do not know her history. She could be abusive, or have a family member on her side who is abusive. My daughter was sexually abused by her stepmother and the family, and they tried to blame this on my family. After taking her to the doctor and children's hospital so many times, I got tired of it. So, when she actually did get abused (after I received custody and she had come back home from their house for summer vacation), she told me everything. I immediately called my attorney, who called his attorney to ask her father for supervised visitation, and he (father) said "no." So, finally, she was free of them. I'm not saying that this could happen, but I would do everything in my power to keep my child with me at all times. If this means that you may have to find another job, then by any means do what you have to do to protect this child from him. It just seems to me that he is doing this to get back at you, which is not right and not fair to your child at all. Hope that I didn't scare you any and hope this helps! Good luck!!!
• United States
12 Apr 07
You didn't scare me, and I agree whole heartedly with you. I'm talking to legal aid because I can't afford a regular attorney not with missing work all this week so that I'm assured that he doesn't come and take her again. He involved child protection services in this, and so I've got to be very careful with how I'm doing things right now. As it is, things are going a bit smoothly, but I know that when we go to court that it's not going to be nice. I still can't really believe that a guy I've known most of my life could be like this. Guess that's why it took me so long to try to get things rolling. I should have expected it, though, with how others have done things behind my back like that. He never had the guts to try anything like this before. He's never lied to my face before, either, which he did on Easter. I guess that's why I always gave him the benefit of the doubt; I'd never had a reason not to.
• United States
11 Apr 07
Sounds to me like you need to find a good lawyer. pro-bono lawyers are ok, but if you can afford to get one from your own pocket you will be a lot better off. My second word of advise would be a protection order to keep him from taking her from you again until the court papers are finalized. That is what I had to do with my children and my ex. He was always threatening to take them from me, and I finally got to the point where I believed him, so I filed for a protection order with a temporary permanent custody suit in place so that he couldn't do that and the school didn't have to release the kids to him either. He tried that too. I was almost out of my mind with worry the whole time, but finally realized that we both just needed to be adults about it. The order is up this month, but hopefully we can still be adults about visitation as now papers are in place. Good luck and I hope you have a better day today.
• United States
11 Apr 07
I am having a better day already. I just got off the phone with legal aid, and someone will be calling me back today in regards to the case. I also found out that I do indeed have full custody of her in this state, as the father and I were never married. The way he went about things is just going to look very bad for him, and by me letting the police in here to check things out last night is just going to make things all the easier for me to keep custody of her, but now have the legal paperwork to prove it. Now, if I could just keep my job after this is all said and done...
1 person likes this
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I know where you are coming from. I had a child with a man that I never married and luckily, I got custody of her when we set up child support, but he did file for custody and he did try to say that I was an unfit mother too. He tried saying my house wasn't right or anything, but he never got anything done as I was a good mother. He had a girlfriend who was behind it too and she hated me as I was the one who had the child with him and she didn't. She was jealous of me for some reason and she constantly tried to cause problems for me. She did meet me but she said that I was only a one night stand with him and we had dated for almost 2 years. She had no clue! Anyway, she talked him into filing for custody and then when we fought it, they finally gave up. A year later, he asked my husband (who had raised my daughter since she was 2) to adopt her. Naturally, we went to court immediately and had those papers filed and had that done. It cost a lot of money and it was time consuming, but we are vey thankful that he is now out of our lives and she loves her "daddy". Make sure to hire an attorney and get things taken care of now. He does have the right to take your daughter and not return her and we all hear about parents who take their kids from the other person just for meaness and if he has already taken her from school,he might do it again. Protect your child!!
@ktwags (52)
• United States
25 Apr 07
That's crazy, you were never married and you have papers stating that he pays support YOU DO HAVE FULL CUSTODY , that is unless he has papers saying he does wich for some reason i really doubt. On the net there are alot of lawyers who are willing to take cases for cheap, look around i am doing the same for my current situation too. Have you considered homeschooling her or is that not an option were you live? I know all you can think right now is how can he do this to me but you really need to think about how you can get your little girl out into a stable environment, so that she isn't confused about who or where she lives her entire life. You did the right thing taking her out of school for now , you can't have just anyone picking her up all the time , that's gonna mess iwth her head. I will be praying for you and your daughter.I truely hope things get better for you.