I moved to Indiana for school after being discharged from the Air Force while pregnant. I moved to indiana because I got offered the most in scholarships to attend school. Baby's daddy (we were never together, just f**buddies) flew in from Cali (he's active AF) to attend the birth, but only had a few days of leave and was scheduled to fly back two days later. I didn't bond with my baby right away, and was terrified that I wasn't going to be able to be a single mom with no family or frineds around. I panicked. I had the blues and didn't know what to do, so when BD told me he'd take him, and when I got thinks sorted out give him back, I said okay. So I signed over custody and at two weeks postpardom, watched my baby fly 2200 miles away. A few days later, I just knew I couldn't spend my life like this. I wanted my baby back! But BD said no. Long story short, after 4 months fighting, he said if I moved to Cali, we could have 50/50...and we signed the paperwork.
So now I'm moved out there (but to my own apartment)...and realizing that BD is not putting our son first, he's putting himself first. He has a gf now and doesn't think there's anything wrong taking our son on dates with him. (This is after letting a girl who he was sleeping with move in with him, but ther never, and still aren't dating...she just screwed him and took care of my baby when his dad wasn't around). He sees nothing wrong with it. It's things like that and countless others that make me ralize that he has his priorities WAY wrong. Talking to him doesn't help. We just argue.
So I want custody back to move back home to my family and friends and my son's godparents to go to school and raise our son. Does anyone have ANY adivce on how to do this? I cannot afford a lawyer...or I'd need one that can let me pay over a a year or more. I have found NO legal aid here (Yuba County, CA)...I just don't know what to do any more! I don't want to explain to my son why his dad is such a flake. He's only 7 months now, so he doesn't know...but I am so afraid of when he's older!!!!
Honestly, I would give up on getting 100% custody. That will not happen. The only way 100% custody is awarded is in severe abusive or neglectful cases, like when alcohol and drugs are involved. What you describe here does not warrant awarding 100% custody.
If you do try to go for 100% custody with just this, it will hurt you. It will make you look like you are trying to be controlling and unreasonable and alienating the father. That is frowned upon.
As for what choices the Dad is making, it's really not something you can control, unless it is physically putting your child in danger, which from the sounds of things isn't the case. So he has a sleepover babysitter right now. No lawyer or judge is going to bat an eye at that. If she is taking good care of your son, that is the important thing.
Now, what you can do, is ask for right of first refusal. Meaning, if the Dad is not able to be there and another care provider is needed for your son, you would be the first person asked, not having him go to a sitter or GF or whatever, if you are available.
For better or for worse, this is your baby's daddy and you two will need to find a way to co-parent for the next 18 years. ;-) I'm not the biggest fan of my ex and I don't agree with all of his parenting decisons either. But he is their parent, and has a right to make his own choices in regards to them, as long as it is not putting them in danger.
Questionable values do not hold any sway in a court room. It is YOUR job as the other parent to offer other perspectives for the values that you would rather your son know about.
The biggest and hardest lesson for a single parent, is letting go of that control. But it has to be done for the peace of living for you, and also your child.
Your child has a right to know both of his parents. It doesn't sound like a case of neglect or abuse here... just you being upset over some choices the other parent is making in regards to values. It certainly does not warrant a case to strip parental rights.
Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula
Student, Aspiring CNM
DD ~ 1/7/09 DS ~ 9/22/10
Yes. Exactly. This is so hard. Sooooo hard! But it's the painful truth.
I hope you have access to counselling or therapy. This is absolutely critical for you as you work through this. You need help to sort out all of your emotions. This is one of the hardest things we have to go through - don't underestimate how difficult it is.
Big hugs to you. What you're going through hurts.