Another really long one
Originally Posted by jennlyn
...there are men who are willing to run their business into the ground just so the ex will not get any of it. Hopefully your STBX is not one of those. As hard as it is to hear, a disinterested parent is not disqualified from having partial custody- though it is amazing that all of a sudden they are so terribly interested in everything about the child that they had previously done nothing for. Just remember that you are your child's primary caregiver and that does count for something.
Stbx IS one of those, he already threatened to "quit" the business and not renew his contracts this coming year, so that I would not only not get anything from it, but also so he wouldn't have to pay cs. He straightforward told me that, and yes, I documented it.
I FINALLY talked to a lawyer for nearly 2 hours (free of charge!
and she brought home to me some serious realities. Its everything that everyone here has already pointed out...but she pointed out a couple things that kinda shocked me (I'll admit, I'm a bit naive in the divorce/custody arena, so I keep getting shocked). The first thing that she told me was the courts AREN'T going to care that I have been the primary caretaker, and that it really doesn't count for anything. I truly, really felt that this was the crux of my defense - I've always been, not only the primary, but ONLY caretaker. She told me they wont care. If he suddenly wants to be the primary, that's good enough for the courts. It angers me beyond belief.
That the court system takes babies away from their Mamas is infuriating especially when the father doesn't REALLY want to take care of them, and is not going to provide nearly the same quality of parenting time. Not to mention, what about the child? I agree that fathers should be involved, (lol, I left because he was so NOT involved and it angered me), but I feel like my child is being "practiced" on to gain parenting skills in the eyes of the court. Who's going to suffer? - my kid! He wont get the hands on attention I give him from anyone, not even his dad. And joint physical custody will probably mean early weaning. And so much for co-sleeping. Stbx informed me tonight that he never agreed with co-sleeping anyway, that ds is 15 months old, and "should" be sleeping on his own, in his own room anyway.
: he said he would let ds CIO if ds lives with him part of the time, and on weekends.
In my opinion, he was irritated that I was cosleeping with ds, because it meant HE wasn't getting laid.
Sorry for the rant (again)
I mean, I know the courts dont give a squat about bf after age 1, or co-sleeping (on the contrary I probably look like the bad guy fro cosleeping, knowing the mainstream point of view on it). It just pisses me off that my parenting principles are all of a sudden being thrown out the window by HIS callous disregard. Its not like its a newborn we're discussing who hasn't already known the closeness and the attachment involved with bf and co-sleeping. This is a 15 mo. old who will have a very, very hard time adjusting to life now that he's already been raised with all the closeness and nurturing that I've given him. Whats it going to feel like for him to have all that ripped away from him? To not only NOT have his Mama at night, and not be able to nurse, but to have NO ONE answer his cries while he's sleeping alone in a room? Oh my God, my heart breaks.
The lawyer told me, bottom line, start negotiating and settling things with him before we get to court on Feb 9th. Because the courts aren't going to have any reason to NOT award him joint physical, and if they think I'm going to leave the state again, they'll give him full custody. Basically, if I want primary custody, I better talk him into it, using whatever persuasive powers I have. So far the negotiations are not going well. But I have 4 weeks before mediation, so maybe something will sink in for him. I have essentially offered to walk away from all the marital assets/business/property etc if he will agree that ds lives with me primarily. Once we agree to that, I will try to talk to him about ds and I living in Oregon. But all I really care about is that I have primary, whether its here or Maine.
I told him that if I have to return to Maine because he wont agree to let ds live with me in Oregon, I will try my hardest to negotiate a fair settlement from the business and house. I can provide a decent life here in Oregon for ds. But I cant do the same in Maine, and as a result, I will ask for everything I can get from the marital assets in order to provide the best home possible for ds, and maybe also use some of that money to pay for school. (The scholarship program I want to apply for here isonly for Oregon residents, and there isn't a similar one in Maine)
Bottom line: Let ds live with me in Oregon, and I will do everything in my power and budget to make sure ds sees him frequently- with travel, webcam, phone, etc. Plus prolonged visits in the summer that will increase as his age increases.
If I have to move back to Maine to parent ds (whether its primary or joint), I will take a large chunk of his house, business and assets.
I think it sounds fair. He can have custody, or he can have his business. I guess the truth will out eventually here what his TRUE priorities are.
I know it sounds callous, but its all I've got right now. Keep your fingers crossed.