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custody rights if i go to a homeless shelter?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
short version:

i live in rural maine. if i let my ex (he's not abusive but my living sitch kind of is) take me to a homeless shelter tomorrow because i'm kicked out of my place (and he won't help me pay for a new place), can he legally deny me overnight visitation because i'm in a shelter? can the shelter prohibit it? if that's the case, i'll take my son with me to a family shelter tonight or tomorrow morning instead, before ex gets here. i just have no transportation of my own so i literally need either the shelter to pick me up or ex to drive me.


heady version:

i have overstayed my welcome where i’m at and yesterday it turned nasty. i haven’t felt comfortable having Cas here for a few weeks but now i’m in panic mode and can’t shake it. i’ve been begging his dad to help us since at least before thanksgiving. i don’t exactly want to go to a shelter but all my friends are too strapped to put us up for more than a night. my housemate friend is gone for a few days so i’m stuck here with her husband and mom, who i guess were just waiting for her to be gone to freak out on me and demand that i leave today. of course, when C’s dad called my friend’s mom (behind my back) she was all sweet, so now he has more fodder for thinking i’m just a crazy, ungrateful whiner. my friend asked if i actually think they’d harm either of us, versus just screaming at us when the mood (and booze) strikes them. i guess i don’t really think so but i do know her husband has cut himself and threatened suicide in front of their own kids and i don’t want to see how far he’d be willing to go with me and Cas. my family basically thinks i’m a deadbeat junky (my aunt that C’s dad rents a room from watches and actually believes in fox news and my mother threatened to call social services on me when i asked her for $ or a place to stay) so i’m feeling very much out of options. we have foodstamps and mainecare already. i never applied for anything else because i didn’t think i’d get it. we have no money whatsoever and no car. our housing needs are supersmall because i’m frugal, we still cosleep, and my eventual goal is to get an rv. but with no savings for a deposit i’d sort of need to magically get a place to live and first giant (haha) paycheck simultaneously. we definitely need to be somewhere in a city or with a bus to a city because i can’t even walk to a convenience store here. and according to a clause i put in divorce (which has obviously backfired and i need to change) C’s dad and i can’t live more than an hour apart. a week ago i was ready to move in with one of my best friends in CT but he was freaking out about it, saying he’d take me to court. i was going to call his bluff, knowing he’d also have to start paying support if we ever go to court, but wanted to give my friend a heads up, in case he really did. she freaked, said i was messing with her life, and rescinded the offer. since that i’ve been crushed. we have equal custody and Cas lives there 3 days a week... unless his dad f*cks the scheduling up like last semester and only pulls off 1-2 days each week, with me or my housemates still trying to pay for his food and such on the extra days with no support. it's not exactly “dangerous” but a lot worse than “uncomfortable”. my friend and her kids still have to live with this after we’re long gone and i don’t want to make things worse for them either. the reason i ended up here in the first place is because at the last minute i found out that the people we were going to live with were insane (the guy beats and emotionally abuses his babymama) and i didn’t want Cas around that. now i’m stuck with passive aggressive closet alcoholics instead. and it feels like it’s simply my own bad judgment that ruins everything. that’s certainly how my ex and family see it and i feel like the rest of my friends who’re married will end up thinking the same way. yuck.

post #2 of 7
I have no legal view for you but would call a family shelter if iy was me.
post #3 of 7
I think you should go to a family shelter, too
post #4 of 7
Legally being homeless is not a reason to take children away. You do have rights as a parent and as a homeless person. Your ex can't use that as an excuse. But depending on the shelter would you rather have your child there with you or staying with your ex in a home? Good luck!
post #5 of 7
Have you been in touch with your local DHS? You could explain your situation and they would be able to put you in touch with local resources to help you get back on your feet. I didn't have money for my rent deposit and found a local organization to pay it for me. If you go to the shelter (with or without your DC) they will have a lot of helpful contacts for you as well. Are you the primary caregiver legally? Based on what you wrote, take your child. If your DC is in school there is a federal law that allows your child to continue going to his old school even if you move out of district, and at no cost to you. Being in a shelter in the short term won't necessarily be bad for your child. Not ideal, but it doesn't sound like your current living situation is either.

And think about the legal aspect of your X's threats. He doesn't pay you child support and is going to take you to court because you don't have enough money to provide a home for you and the child? Maybe if he wasn't such a UAV and paid up you wouldn't have to make this choice. I don't imagine that would make him look all that great in court.
post #6 of 7
I would try the family shelter. Is there a stable place for your son to be while you get yourself together? If there is, then that may be a good plan B.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theia View Post
He doesn't pay you child support and is going to take you to court because you don't have enough money to provide a home for you and the child? Maybe if he wasn't such a UAV and paid up you wouldn't have to make this choice. I don't imagine that would make him look all that great in court.
here's hoping they agree with you when i file this week to have the support readjusted because that makes perfect sense to me.

got a couch to crash on for a few days in lieu of a shelter with kind friends who've both had to deal with a lot of visitation etc BS from their exes. plus she's good with legal stuff. ex says he'll take me to social services later in the week if i can't get a ride sooner. he is being a complete UAV but he's clueless not malicious and that's something anyway. i just wish he'd stop taking advice, legal and otherwise, from people who've always resented my parenting and lifestyle choices and are using him to hurt me. meh.

thanks, all
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