Hi, all. I'm new here, was referred by a friend on another website for advice on this.
My ex and I live in Florida. We have an almost 9-month-old daughter (C) and I also have an older child (J) from a prior relationship. I currently have sole custody of both my kids. Ex (R) is making some very serious noises about wanting to file for joint custody of C. Like, soon. As in Monday. He wants to go to an attorney on Monday and “get the ball rolling on filing for joint custody.” He’s been bringing it up for WEEKS. He wants to use joint custody to get out of paying child support.
I spoke to an attorney when he first started talking about filing a few weeks ago, and was told I didn’t need to do anything until he files because I’m the custodial parent. Now he's talking seriously about filing. I have told him, repeatedly, that I am uncomfortable with this and do not want to do it “right now” and using the baby’s age as an excuse. She’s still nursing on demand, not sleeping through the night (wakes twice a night to eat, every night, more during growth spurts), and still too young to be spending longer than a few hours away from me. Feeding the baby while he has her would just be difficult; I can’t physically pump enough to get her through an entire day. I might be able to get 8 ounces out on a really good day (typically I can only pump 4-5 ounces a day), but she still drinks about three times that much per day directly from me plus solids once or twice a day.
This part I have not yet told him: I don’t trust him not to take her and run because that’s the ONLY promise he made that he hasn’t broken and I don’t want to give him the chance to break it. And he’s trying to convince me by saying he isn’t going to implement any overnights until she’s weaned, but I still don’t trust him even if he puts it in writing. He’s threatened to take her and run before when we argued, but I don't have any proof of those threats.
Add to that the fact that he drinks frequently (I have evidence of that) and he’s apparently somewhat mentally unstable (not clinical, but concerning and I have evidence of that too) and he’s irresponsible (but I am lacking hard evidence of that one). He isn’t listening when I say I don’t want to file. I don’t have money for an attorney to file for sole custody before he can borrow from his parents to file for joint custody, and I don’t want to file, have him contest, and go through all this mess that I can’t afford and make it even uglier. I don’t want to have to use the evidence I’ve collected, because that may cause more trouble and get the courts/DCF/CPS groups involved and I’ve had more than a lifetime’s worth of dealing with that mess because of J's dad. Getting them involved will make R hostile and then I’ll have to deal with that on top of it.
I don't know what the laws regarding breastfeeding and custody are. I'm not sure where to search. Does anyone have any experience, references, or advice?
Thanks in advance,
Fledgling midwife on hiatus, Wife to B, mama to C (c/s 12/04) and S (12/07), m/c (3/12) and expecting another bean 6/13 .