I've been here before and have had a hard time figuring out the best thing to do. I've finally come to the decision that what's best for DS is to have both of his parents in his life but that X and I need to live separately for us all to be happy. It's been such a difficult decision to make because I really didn't want X or I to miss out on time with DS but this is our reality. So, with that said, DS and I are moving out in early October.
Until then, I will be back at work in September and DS will stay home while I am working. X works from our home and has sporadic part time hours. So he will be enlisting his mother to come to our house to watch DS while I am at work since he will be at home but unable to care for DS while he is working. This arrangement will be for about a month.
I've been trying to get DS in daycare for this first month that I'm working before we move out because I really don't like X's mother and X is not willing to adjust his hours to stay with DS as much as possible, he wants his mother to take over and to be able to come and go whenever he wants. (He hasn't said so but I know this is the case).
I feel the best thing for DS (ignoring my personal feelings) is to be home for this first month while I am away and I'm hoping X will be around as much as possible to spend time with DS as DS is in love with his father. He just turned 1.
After we move out in October, we will likely have DS see X every other weekend and 2 days a week but he will always spend the night with me as we co-sleep and he's still nursing. We've agreed that this will change as DS gets older.
My questions are:
1) Should I wait until we move out to apply for custody? If I apply now and X is the one "caring" for DS while I work, won't that work against me?
2) How will this affect my case since X will have spent most of September with DS while I'm working 9-5pm?
3) X and his mother can get very ugly (his mother threatened to take me to court for grand-parents' rights though I've never stopped her from seeing DS). Will spending this month with DS beef up her case should she try to take me to court for grand-parents' rights in the future?
- ETA: X's mother has a 14 year old son and she is going through a separation with her son's father (never married). It's an ugly situation and child services have been called on X's mother... I don't know what the issues are but I know it hasn't been dismissed yet... a worker has been to the home on a couple of occasions. I know that X's mother makes poor decisions in life but I know that DS will not be in harm's way if he is watched by her at our place. She'll also be bringing her mother who is in her 80's whom she cares for. I guess I'm worried that if things get ugly and I have to fight her in court that any reasons I have would be nullified because she's been to our home to watch DS -
4) Right now (until we move out) I get DS on Saturdays and X gets him on Sundays (today). I know that X kind of fades in to the background and lets family take over with DS so that he can get a break (not that he needs one - I do most of the parenting, he does most of the fun and games). Also, I know that his mother will take over many times when he has DS. I'm pissed about the fact that I will miss out on time with DS (and that DS will have to do all this extra commuting - we'll be a few cities away from each other) so that X's mother can get time with him. Can you give me information about the "right of first refusal" clause? How will I know that X is not with DS? How is it enforced?
Thanks for reading and for any possible input.