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Main Forums => Custody Issues => Topic started by: MommyShark616 on Mar 28, 2019, 04:01:27 PM

Title: Ugly Custody Battle
Post by: MommyShark616 on Mar 28, 2019, 04:01:27 PM
My 5y/o son has been in my de facto custody for his entire life. His dad was in and out of both of our lives the entire time and has drug and violence issues. It's been 2 years since any of us have heard from him and now he's filed for joint custody and requested partial-week visitation. Since the day my child was born, he has not been alone with him for more than a day or two at a time. Even at that time, I found out that he was dropping our son off at relatives homes so he can go and do whatever wherever.

When he was having regular visits with his son, he was always dropping him off early or I would have to contact him in the first time just to get him to even attempt to get his child. He never attempted real contact and when I had family emergencies (my grandmother and uncles untimely deaths as well as my sister's open heart surgery) and requested he watch his son for a day or two, but he would always come up with an excuse like he had a doctors appointment or had to work. Never valid reasons to avoid taking care of your child, so I ended up taking him to funerals and hospitals because there were no other options.

Recently, after our initial scheduling meeting, he began showing up at school and requesting to alter the emergency forms and access to the records without notification to me or the school. He came into lunch with our son at school and my son had no idea who this man was (he hadn't seen him face to face since he was 3). The school didn't let me know either so I had to find out through my son days later. When I spoke to the school they said they thought it was strange that this random guy who has never been on an Emergency Card or signed a single paper was there asking for this stuff, but didn't call me.

I previously had temporary protective orders against him because of the violence and drug abuse, but every time I went to court they made it seem like my requests were invalid even with my bruises and police reports. They also would not allow the protective order to protect my son, so emergency temporary custody filings are not an option. In the past, he has picked up his daughter (not my child) and ran with her while she was outside playing with her uncle and friends and just drove off without letting anyone know. Police officers knocking on doors and put out alerts and if he's done it before I believe he will do it again.

It just drives me crazy that he never attempted to contact me or request access for years and now he's doing all of this stuff and going behind my back and over my head. On top of that, I am pregnant and trying my very hardest to stay calm and collected for my health and my baby's but I am just SO FRUSTRATED! Advice, please!
Title: Re: Ugly Custody Battle
Post by: ocean on Mar 28, 2019, 04:43:20 PM
If the father is on the birth certificate he has laws the protect his rights as a father and he is protected to get school records, change school records to include him, and unless you have a court order with his days he would be allowed to sign child out of school. Many fathers use the school to have access to child when in a custody battle as the other parent is not allowing access. Do you have an court ordered visitation order now? If so, give it to the school and child will only be release if it gives end of school day on certain days to dad. If not, then file temporary custody and visitation as dad is showing up to school after 2 years of child not seeing him. Keep it about child. What brought this on for dad to file? If dad is serious, then maybe do a step up schedule where he sees child a few hours each week, then 1 over night , then every other weekend....Good luck!
Title: Re: Ugly Custody Battle
Post by: MommyShark616 on Mar 28, 2019, 05:05:54 PM
I have no idea what brought this on. He doesn't work or anything so there was never a reason before for him to not have time for his child. I got really tired of telling my 3-year-old why his dad was not coming to his birthday parties, school events, etc. so I always kept the communication open as an option but stopped initiating. This has always been about my child. If you walked in on your infant in his swing crying while his father slept in a narcotic-induced coma you would run for the hills too. But the threats were always coming in and he always made them in a way where I didn't have hard proof. Police and judges always shot down my requests for protection and it continues to happen. In my county, any requests for drug testing can take weeks and the parent doing the testing is notified about 10 days in advance - so of course, that is more than enough time to clean up the pills. I've tried temporary custody but they would not allow it because his father wouldn't agree to it even though there would be an official hearing at the end no matter what. Our lawyers have spoken about building a progressive schedule, so there is no shock to my son, but they swear they need to keep him at their house at least 3-4 days a week right now after a 2-year gap. I also didn't mention that they live nearly an hour from his school/daycare/sports practice and his father doesn't have a valid drivers license. I've spent all of this time making sure my son is happy and healthy and he is able to just jump in and mix it up. None of this seems like he actually wanted to see his son. It seems more like a spiteful situation than anything.
Title: Re: Ugly Custody Battle
Post by: ocean on Mar 28, 2019, 05:30:59 PM
When is your next court date? Until court, keep offering to meet at a public place for a few hours each week (library, food place) so child can get use to him again with you there. Who is driving him to the school? Are they going inside? His lawyer is telling him ways to see child without you. What is the school policy on coming into school? Ask to talk to the principal about what they will/will not allow. Here a parent can not just walk in and have lunch, they can sign child out only or come in if invited by teacher. Who does dad live with? Does he have a bed/room for child to be there overnight?  Split custody probably will not be given anytime soon since he does not live in school district and can not drive to and from school. Is there any schedule now in place?

Title: Re: Ugly Custody Battle
Post by: MommyShark616 on Mar 28, 2019, 06:22:00 PM
Next court date is June 17th.

We've been offering to invite him when we go to sports practices and fun plans on the weekend when we have them and he refuses to do it if he can't take the child with him afterward. And when we try to reason and let him know that it could be scary for our son and he screams and stomps and threatens to come to my house.

His wife drives him around and lives with him, and they were both able to go into the school without notice even though the parent handbook states they must have 24-hour notice with approval from the school. They were still able to come in. His wife is also not on any cards/birth certificates/forms so she should have never been allowed in the first place.

I have a meeting with the principal tomorrow anyway to get records for the court case and my lawyer, so of course, I have my list of questions for her when I get there.

His last apartment had a second bedroom but no bed. at the time our son was still co-sleeping but one night he came back and told me he slept on the floor so I brought it up with his father and he just screamed at me for "doubting him as a parent" since then they have been evicted and filed for bankruptcy so I actually have no idea where he is actually living. The apartment listed on the case is the one where the eviction was filed and he signs all of his money orders with his attorney's address.

We did have a plan in place initially where he would go Friday-Saturday but that was back in 2014-15. He would skip visits or decide to drop our son off at weird hours of the night or early in the morning. He eventually stopped contacting me for visits. There hasn't been a plan since he stopped attempting to contact me about it. I ignore most of his texts because he sends me messages like "Hey gorgeous" or  "I miss you" and I have no time for that BS.
Title: Re: Ugly Custody Battle
Post by: ocean on Mar 29, 2019, 03:28:43 PM
Try not to stress over all of this....just keep texting or emailed offering times to see son. Then your lawyer can use the texts or emails to show you tried to get dad to come for a few visits to meet son again. No response to any craziness is necessary. Just ignore and keep as evidence. Let all phone calls go to voicemail where he can leave a message. What did the principal say?