child custody worries - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 11-30-2012, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Im not sure if this right spot for my post. But here goes.. I am a single mom and my ex boyfriend all of a sudden is wanting full custody or 50/50. My kiddos are now 4 and 5, have lived with me the entire time and the means of support he provided was paying the electric bills. I don't work and have received food stamps, housing and medical. Next month I have a disability hearing due to PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Arth.... I've no criminal record nor have I been in a mental hospital. He's advised me that he intends to use these things against me. There is a past between he and I where he's physically abused me however I kept dropping charges (like a idiot) it's been awhile since even reporting it though. Approximately 3 years. He hardly ever takes the kids to his house, he works (i don't), and he's a major alcoholic. He usually sees them at my house so he can try to bully me. He's threatening to try to make me lose my housing (calling some false allegation in) if i don't agree to whatever custody agreement he and his attorney present me with. I have no $ for a attorney and legal aids saying they don't have the staff. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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#2 of 4 Old 12-03-2012, 04:51 AM
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Hi sorry I just saw this.  I am sorry you are in this bind.  I would contact the women's center or shelter in your area and let them know what is going on and set up counseling and a time to talk to their legal advocate.


I honestly think he is just trying to scare you and this would also look bad at him in court.    Even if you dropped the charges you have the documentation from original police report proving there was abuse.  This is just his way of being able to continue to abuse you.  Do not let him in your house any more if you can help it.

Many victims drop charges.  It's sad but normal.  It takes women who are being abused an average of 7 times of trying to leave to actually leave her husband or spouse.  Don't beat yourself up over it- the good news is you got out and you are making it- of course it's rough but you are doing it.


Start keeping track of everything- document( get a notebook and write down when kids go to his house , when he texts or calls, when he threatens you and exactly what he says etc.)



Many men say this and it is very hard to do and would take a lot of money from him to do it( he would have to come up with at least 1500 at least for a retainer for an attorney- and that is a very low estimate for a custody dispute. 


It's okay that you have those illnesses as long as you are able to care for your children, they are fed, bathed, get to school, living conditions are ok, no illegal drugs in the house, no abuse or dcfs cases, etc. 


Good luck to you:)  I have been there and it is rough and scary but do not back down to his demands.  Housing also hears all kinds of crazy allegations from mean ex's upset ex mother in laws etc.  You should be okay.

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#3 of 4 Old 12-03-2012, 05:43 AM
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He is just bullying you.  Which is horribly wrong of him, of course.  But the things he's saying are based on wanting to scare and control you - they are not based on how things actually work.


Even if you feel you can't get legal aid, call a lawyer who does family law and ask for a consultation.  They're either a half hour or hour -- some lawyers don't charge for a consultation & all is means is a chance to ask some questions.  Tell the lawyer the things you told us here, and I hope the lawyer can ease some of your fears.  Also, like Mom31 said, google for a local women's shelter or women's resource center - and tell them what's going on, too, so they can advise you.


You are the children's primary caregiver, and that counts for a lot.  He has not even been paying child support!  One of the things to ask the lawyer is if your ex would be responsible for paying back child support. 


Whatever crap he threatens you with, do not engage with him, and I wouldn't bother trying to defend yourself because that just shows him his scare tactics are working.  He's a bully and will only bully you as long as it's working.  Arm yourself with real knowledge about your rights - don't let him tell you what they are!  And you'll be doing better than you think.  Good luck!

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#4 of 4 Old 12-03-2012, 10:19 AM
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These women are wise and know what they are talking about. Please keep a log of when comes, the time he spends with the kids, when he's drunk, as much of what he says to you as you can write down. Do not talk on the phone - only text and email so it is documented.

I am sending you support. You are in a dangerous and very painful and scary situation. Please call a domestic violence hotline or a shelter and meet with a DV counsellor there. They will help you build boundaries. I would make this your first step - call a shelter or DV hotline ASAP.

HUG!!!! xo
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