The title pretty much says it all.
I'm trying to move back to MA to live with family (or I will end up in a shelter due to financial issues) and the father of my 3 month old is an abusive and controlling nightmare. We currently have a restraining order against him because he was violent towards me, emotionally abused my teenaged son behind my back, and refused to let me feed the 100% breastfed baby because it was "his" time with the baby.
My lawyer tells me it's a risk, but due to a legal loophole, if I moved before paternity was proven (June 1), I might be able to to it.
There's a 3 1/2 hour car ride (5 by train and bus, 9 by bus alone, not counting possible time for transfers) to and from where the baby's father lives. Neither me or the baby's father have a car or a license. My family has limited resources to help me travel back and forth and the baby's father has friends with cars and loves to travel (though he will no doubt tell the judge otherwise). The chances are pretty slim that I will be able to move litigation to MA, so I will be struggling to travel (with the baby, as I'm his only food source) to and from court, but I don't want to have to do that on a regular basis- my family is literally draining their savings to help me. Is it even feasable to ask for supervised visitation in MA, with the father traveling, because the travel is too long for the baby and I can't afford it? Could I sell it to a judge that somehow he gets to visit once a month, supervised, but in MA, and perhaps he can even claim the travel expense as a reason to decrease child support once child support is issues? The judge, I'm told, is very "Father's Rights"- I need to somehow convince her of how in MA, the baby will grow up surrounded by a large extended family, living with and cared for by family, in a country home with a big backyard and a world of opportunities (summer camp, swimming, youth clubs, heck, even hourseback riding), and in a stable home that's been in the family for four generations now that he will likely be able to live in from this age until he moves out, or he can grow up in NY, with just his Mom (older brother is too emotionally unstable at this time to go into a shelter and will likely be 18 by the time I find stable housing, so he'd stay with my sister), in poverty with very little contact with extended family.
Even if the father wasn't abusive, I truly believe the baby (both children) will have a happier childhood in MA that if we stay in NY, so I need to convince the judge that it's in the baby's best interest, but I have no means of bringing the baby to NY for visitation on a regular basis.
Anyone ever been in a similar situation? Advice?