I'm new here, but hoping to make some new friends, and get some advice from those who've been in the trenches.
I'm a single mom to a wonderful, loving daughter who just turned 6. My ex is suddenly wanting to "have" her at his place, despite never having been very involved or providing real child support. There is no legal agreement, so my question is, how can I make this crazy situation work for us...or at least suck less. I have been scared off going to court thanks to all the father's rights stuff and 50/50 agreements unless (sometimes even if) the dad is a child abuser. He is not physically abusive, but he can be emotionless and cruel, & always puts his own needs first. I believe he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Her dad & I were engaged but never married. My ex had a son from a previous relationship who lived with the mom. Ironically, I felt sorry for him not getting to see his son much, and I thought it was sweet how he'd call every day to talk to his son.
My ex moved out when our daughter was 2 months old, to get back with his son's mom/his ex, who had previously lived outside of the U.S., but who moved to my state when my daughter was 2 months old (allegedly she gave him an ultimatum to pick one family or the other, and allegedly said she'd move far away again if he didn't pick her). Their a son is now 10.
My daughter has always lived with me. There was no formal, legal custody agreement since we were never married. At first, my ex came by a lot, in between jobs (he was in home improvements). But he quit that job, & has never since been very involved. He sees our daughter once a week max, at my house, for a couple hours. His wife makes him bring their son, since she thinks we might get back together if left alone. My daughter only sees her dad one-on-one about once a year.He refuses to be tied to a schedule of any sort, ie taking to / picking up from childcare (age 3), pre-K (age 4), or Girl Scouts (age 5.) He has refused to babysit her in our home on the 2 nights a week I work (I teach Mon & Wed, 9 am - noon & 6-9 pm; one of his days off is Wednesday, but he has never used it to see his daughter one-on-one- does not even own a car-seat!!!). However, since she turned 6 AND tested as "gifted & talented" at the end of kindergarten, he now is demanding that he have her at his house, for weekday evenings and some overnights on weekends.