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#1 of 14 Old 02-08-2010, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sort of at a loss here. ExDP left when I was 3 months pregnant and I only saw him a couple of times after that. From the day I found out I was pregnant he spent exactly $3 on me, for a bowl of soup, and that was the extent of his financial contribution to the pregnancy.

Fast forward to a week after DS was born; exDP emails me saying an old GF of his wants him back, and at first he was thrilled, but realized that he loves me and our son and wants "us" back. I was rather miffed and nowhere near as receptive as he was apparently expecting. In hindsight maybe I should have been more open but after going through the whole pregnancy alone, him looking to come back on the scene felt intrusive at first. Not to mention the fact that he had obviously been spending time with this old GF while I'm raising my three kids and gestating a fourth ALONE. The whole thing just left me cold.

Then I didn't hear from him for awhile again. So that annoyed me, because, HELLO, this is just getting to be a little too predictable, kwim? Next time I heard from him (email again) he says he "heard" that I didn't think DS was his, and he agreed with that because based on the ONE picture he'd seen of him, he did not look like him at all. Um, okay we don't even know the same PEOPLE so wtf did you "hear" that from?!? Nevermind that there was never any question in my mind as to this baby's paternity. Unfortunately. So naturally, I went OFF. I mean if he wants to hook up with his old GF, fine, but he does not need to vilify me in order to do so. I never once cheated on him. Gah. This *still* pisses me off to talk about.

So he writes back and says "I didn't say that to make you angry". As if being accused of cheating isn't grounds for feeling angry. ::ripping hair out::

Aaaaand then I don't hear from him again.

So I do my own detective work and find the old-(new)-GF's certain social networking page complete with pics of the two of them together and a play-by-play status update of their impending nuptials. And then I freaked out. All of this in less than a month. WHO DOES THAT?!?!

So now that I'm returning to work, in order to get Child Care Assistance I have to have an open child support case against this guy. Ok, fine that makes sense I guess. But this guy and his family are loaded. And he would much rather fight for custody than pay CS for another kid, (he has two sons from two prior marriages he's already paying for). And I'm just a little (okay, A LOT) terrified of losing my baby whom I am desperately in love with and would do absolutely anything for. I mean I am just sick over it. To the point that I almost never put my baby down because I feel like my time with him could be limited and I just want to soak him up.

Obviously as a single mom with now four kids, I don't have the means to fight him. Nor do I care to try. But if I don't get the CCA I am essentially working to pay daycare and that is IT. In fact, I stand to *lose* money working by paying daycare.

If I don't go back to work and live off assistance until next fall at least I will only have my baby in daycare at that point (until summer rolls around again) and maybe I can swing that without assistance and skip the CS crap. But in keeping my (very good) job that I have already had for 2 years, I feel this further proves my stability should we end up in court. And truth be told, I don't know what he's plotting. He could be planning to fight me for custody whether I ask for CS or not, just to be an @ss. I doubt it, but who knows. So I would like to be prepared on all fronts, iykwim.

Any advice from mamas who have BTDT?! I am just wild with fear right now and that is not a good place from which to be doing clear-headed thinking.

...ooO*Ooo*ooO*Ooo...
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#2 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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I am so sorry mama. I don't have any BTDT experience but just wanted to let you know I read this. The only suggestion I can offer is to document all contact with this UAV and hope that if this requires legal action your documentation will show the courts the real truth of the situation.
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#3 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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If you don't have income, you will qualify for legal aid. Also, where are you? There might be a law school near you that has a legal clinic staffed by students - they may be able to help you as well.

Also, with the situation you are describing - KEEP ALL OF THOSE EMAILS!!!!! Thank goodness he's contacting you via email, you can use those in court to show how awful he's being. And start printing out some of those facebook status updates, etc. Especially if they have dates on them.

You - stop using FB to update people on the status of your relationship, delete anything that is negative about your ex. That will help you keep him from using it against you in court.

Next - a judge is not likely (its not certain, but its unlikely) to take a baby from a parent who has been raising them and give that baby to a parent who hasn't been involved AT ALL. Him being loaded does NOT automatically give him custody. And, you aren't married, and you have the baby in your possession - so you technically have custody right now. But, I wouldn't give him any overnight visitation right now, or really any visitation unless you have to (court ordered, for example, or agreed upon by your attorneys).

You CAN fight him, and you CAN come out of it ok. Lastly, are you BF'ing? No judge will give an *uninvolved* parent overnight visitation to a baby as young as yours if he's BF'ing. If you aren't, it won't hurt you but may make it so he gets longer visitation. Filing for child support (especially if this guy is loaded) might make your life a lot easier since he will be required to provide for your son.
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#4 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Even just the idea of losing our babies for any amount of time is scary, but this guy has no leg to stand on! I think as long as you are able to provide a home, which you are, you don't have to worry.

Do you have a lawyer? (more money, I know) or any kind of legal aid? I just think that having reassurance from an "expert", and also knowing they're already in your corner, should this guy rear his head, will provide a measure of comfort.

Even if he has money, he has utterly neglected any responsibility as a parent; that will look pretty bad to a court. (I mean - a bowl of soup?! You mentioned, "In hindsight maybe I should have been more open" - NO! you had no reason to be receptive, as his behavior is inexcusable and so horribly irresponsible!) You have always been the primary caregiver. I think if he's lucky he'd get visitation.
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#5 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by thyra View Post


If you don't have income, you will qualify for legal aid. Also, where are you? There might be a law school near you that has a legal clinic staffed by students - they may be able to help you as well.

Also, with the situation you are describing - KEEP ALL OF THOSE EMAILS!!!!! Thank goodness he's contacting you via email, you can use those in court to show how awful he's being. And start printing out some of those facebook status updates, etc. Especially if they have dates on them.

You - stop using FB to update people on the status of your relationship, delete anything that is negative about your ex. That will help you keep him from using it against you in court.

Next - a judge is not likely (its not certain, but its unlikely) to take a baby from a parent who has been raising them and give that baby to a parent who hasn't been involved AT ALL. Him being loaded does NOT automatically give him custody. And, you aren't married, and you have the baby in your possession - so you technically have custody right now. But, I wouldn't give him any overnight visitation right now, or really any visitation unless you have to (court ordered, for example, or agreed upon by your attorneys).

You CAN fight him, and you CAN come out of it ok. Lastly, are you BF'ing? No judge will give an *uninvolved* parent overnight visitation to a baby as young as yours if he's BF'ing. If you aren't, it won't hurt you but may make it so he gets longer visitation. Filing for child support (especially if this guy is loaded) might make your life a lot easier since he will be required to provide for your son.
I may qualify for legal aide, but around here legal aide is pathetic. I had to go to court to get a RO once, had myself a legal aide attorney, and I'll be danged if she just sat there and didn't say a word through the entire hearing, let me do it all myself. I can't let the fate of my baby rest in the hands of anyone like that. I can't.

Yes I have kept every one of those emails, believe me!

He is blocked from my Facebook page, and I have never, ever written about him on there or MySpace (which I haven't actually used for ages) for that matter. I'm a private person. His new-old-GF, obviously, is not. I may make vague references to my personal struggles, but never anything obviously related to him. I can't see his FB or MS pages, either. Only hers. And I have routinely printed out her (dated!) statuses as evidence.

He hasn't actually ever asked to see DS. Or made any attempt to visit. Or send money. Or even to email me further after I found out about the new-old-GF and their engagement. I would like to think that this means he is gone for good, but boy I have a feeling once the state starts expecting money from him, he's gonna come around alright. And I'd better be ready.

I know simply having an affluent family can't "give" him custody, but it can sure enable him to fight with better attorneys far, far longer than I can. And this guy is one hell of a liar. Fortunately, anyone even half-witted can tell because he is not a very *good* liar. He trips himself up eventually. But still.

And yes, thank GOD I am breastfeeding. It was touch-and-go for awhile with some excruciatingly stubborn thrush, but he is 11 weeks old now and still EBF.

Thank you for responding! I am really trying to work up the nerve to pursue child support, but oh-my-word my stomach is in knots and I can't seem to get the thought of losing my precious little boy out of my head and it's making me feel physically ill.

...ooO*Ooo*ooO*Ooo...
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#6 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post
Even just the idea of losing our babies for any amount of time is scary, but this guy has no leg to stand on! I think as long as you are able to provide a home, which you are, you don't have to worry.

Do you have a lawyer? (more money, I know) or any kind of legal aid? I just think that having reassurance from an "expert", and also knowing they're already in your corner, should this guy rear his head, will provide a measure of comfort.

Even if he has money, he has utterly neglected any responsibility as a parent; that will look pretty bad to a court. (I mean - a bowl of soup?! You mentioned, "In hindsight maybe I should have been more open" - NO! you had no reason to be receptive, as his behavior is inexcusable and so horribly irresponsible!) You have always been the primary caregiver. I think if he's lucky he'd get visitation.
Yes, the thought of losing him is absolutely unbearable! Just the thought gives me fits of anguish!

I just filed my taxes this morning and am getting a pretty hefty return which I am devoting first and foremost to procuring myself the very best attorney I can find. If that takes the whole damn return, then so be it.

I just don't have a CLUE where to start looking for this Very Best Attorney. Any suggestions how to get started or even *where* to start?? I thought about calling the battered women's shelter for a few names/numbers. Surely they must deal with family law issues all. the. time. Don't you think??

...ooO*Ooo*ooO*Ooo...
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#7 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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I'm sorry about your sitatuation.. Where I live, we have a local yahoo group for our county, where people ask for referals and recommendations. I have seen many posts about divorce lawyers. Maybe there is something similar in your county?
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#8 of 14 Old 02-09-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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I know personally an excellent attorney in the chicagoland area. She is a pitbull. Don't know where you are located.

goorganic.jpgwife to footinmouth.gif, currently WOH and geek.gif on my doctorate. (I'm dissertating!) We: novaxnocirc.giftoddler.gifgd.giffamilybed1.gif  with DS (4/09)!
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#9 of 14 Old 02-10-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sleepyheaded_Mama View Post
Yes, the thought of losing him is absolutely unbearable! Just the thought gives me fits of anguish!

I just filed my taxes this morning and am getting a pretty hefty return which I am devoting first and foremost to procuring myself the very best attorney I can find. If that takes the whole damn return, then so be it.

I just don't have a CLUE where to start looking for this Very Best Attorney. Any suggestions how to get started or even *where* to start?? I thought about calling the battered women's shelter for a few names/numbers. Surely they must deal with family law issues all. the. time. Don't you think??
I do indeed think that's a good start, a good place to find recommendations for family law attorneys. Consult with a few... I actually consulted with eight before I found one that seemed to get that it wasn't money I was interested in, it was visitation concerns (well, with two of the lawyers, it turns out that ex had already consulted with them, therefore I couldn't use them)!

So it's okay to keep going until you find one that you feel is really on your side. I do think that even a consultation will help to put your mind at ease and make you feel more in control. I know at the beginning, I had no clue and it made me feel so vulnerable. Once I got some legal advice, I started getting my feet under me again. My situation was quite different, but I know the feeling of the fear feeding on itself until it looms larger that what is reasonable. It sounds like that's what's happening to you, PLUS, it sounds like your baby is still very little, so you must be kind of exhausted! which also makes things seem worse than they are.

You will take the steps you need to take - you will find the lawyer to answer your questions and be in your corner - your ex has money but you are the primary (the only!!!) parent in your child's life and that looks super-bad for him. Try not to worry so much... I know it's hard. You only need to take things one step at a time. I just truly don't think that worse will come to worse in your situation. Hang in there, you'll make it!
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#10 of 14 Old 02-10-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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Is he listed on the birth certificate? If you are willing to forego child support don't say who he is and go from there.
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#11 of 14 Old 02-10-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sleepyheaded_Mama View Post

If I don't go back to work and live off assistance until next fall at least I will only have my baby in daycare at that point (until summer rolls around again) and maybe I can swing that without assistance and skip the CS crap.
This plan is not going to work for you - as soon as you apply for assistance, the state will require you to name any and all putative fathers. And they WILL go after him to prove paternity and have him pay. If you refuse to name him? You may well not get any assistance. Seriously - not a good plan.
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#12 of 14 Old 02-12-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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Ok, I know legal aid stinks sometimes. BUT - that doesn't mean you can't get a good atty for next to nothing.

Send me a PM with your location - maybe I can help you track down some good, reputable atty's who will take you on. There might be some atty's who work for non-profit organizations that can help you for a discounted price - and they aren't associated with Legal Aid.

Was he ever abusive towards you at all? If so, an abuse hotline might be a good place to start.

Also, with the evidence that you have, you'll be ok.

When looking for a lawyer, I would advise you NOT to get a "pitbull" - get someone cautious, someone you feel comfortable with, and someone who is ethical. A "Pitbull" can make you look vindictive (NOT A GOOD IDEA in family court esp.), and you don't want to go into court with the goal of making this guy look like the worst man ever born - you want to look reasonable, well put together, with a well thought out case.
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#13 of 14 Old 02-12-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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Pitbull doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. In this instance I meant someone who is a fierce advocate for the woman and her rights as it pertains to her child. Someone who will be focused on the details and someone who understands the law and doesn't overlook things. I can't see how those are bad qualities in an attorney. I would rather have a pitbull than someone who doesn't take my concerns seriously or someone who sits back and is reactive instead of proactive. JMHO. I don't see how a lawyer can make you appear vindictive. :


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Originally Posted by thyra View Post
Ok, I know legal aid stinks sometimes. BUT - that doesn't mean you can't get a good atty for next to nothing.

Send me a PM with your location - maybe I can help you track down some good, reputable atty's who will take you on. There might be some atty's who work for non-profit organizations that can help you for a discounted price - and they aren't associated with Legal Aid.

Was he ever abusive towards you at all? If so, an abuse hotline might be a good place to start.

Also, with the evidence that you have, you'll be ok.

When looking for a lawyer, I would advise you NOT to get a "pitbull" - get someone cautious, someone you feel comfortable with, and someone who is ethical. A "Pitbull" can make you look vindictive (NOT A GOOD IDEA in family court esp.), and you don't want to go into court with the goal of making this guy look like the worst man ever born - you want to look reasonable, well put together, with a well thought out case.

goorganic.jpgwife to footinmouth.gif, currently WOH and geek.gif on my doctorate. (I'm dissertating!) We: novaxnocirc.giftoddler.gifgd.giffamilybed1.gif  with DS (4/09)!
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#14 of 14 Old 02-13-2010, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is he listed on the birth certificate? If you are willing to forego child support don't say who he is and go from there.
No, he is not listed on the birth cert. and I would love to forego child support but cannot afford daycare without some assistance and cannot get assistance if I don't have an open child support case on this guy.

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This plan is not going to work for you - as soon as you apply for assistance, the state will require you to name any and all putative fathers. And they WILL go after him to prove paternity and have him pay. If you refuse to name him? You may well not get any assistance. Seriously - not a good plan.
Yeah, I figured as much. Thus I already filed the paperwork for child support and have gone back to work. Now I really *do* need to secure myself an attorney as it's only a matter of time before he gets ugly...

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Was he ever abusive towards you at all? If so, an abuse hotline might be a good place to start.

Also, with the evidence that you have, you'll be ok.
No, he wasn't physically or verbally abusive. Just a big liar with a penchant for ridiculous head games. Disgusting but not dangerous.

I hope with what evidence I have, that it even matters. I have heard of judges not even looking at much in the way of evidence, preferring to focus on things in the here-and-now, not who has been doing what all along.

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Originally Posted by New_Natural_Mom View Post
Pitbull doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. In this instance I meant someone who is a fierce advocate for the woman and her rights as it pertains to her child. Someone who will be focused on the details and someone who understands the law and doesn't overlook things. I can't see how those are bad qualities in an attorney. I would rather have a pitbull than someone who doesn't take my concerns seriously or someone who sits back and is reactive instead of proactive. JMHO. I don't see how a lawyer can make you appear vindictive. :
That is exactly what I'm looking for!!! Now where-oh-where are they???

...ooO*Ooo*ooO*Ooo...
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