PPD and CPS - BIG UPDATE post 156 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 164 Old 11-23-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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Strength momma. Lots of strength. You are doing many 'right' things.

Please get a lawyer as well. You need someone to represent you legally and who can advocate on your behalf.

Also, the last time a momma on MDC was in this situation, she was urged to just take her kids and leave and it did not turn out well--she lost custody. While several things about her situation were different, the dynamics with her ex remind me of your ex--the ability to consolidate a power base and use it against you in particular.

Don't follow internet advice GET A LAWYER to protect yourself and your babe.

Good luck.

V
This is the way abusive men use the legal system. I have been through that ringer more than once and yet still 5 years on the other side I wish I would have made more decisions based on what I needed to do for me and my boys vs making decisions based on fear of the legal system and losing custody. In my case it was a house of cards my ex had built and there was nothing to it, but the fear kept me stuck and took my power away and allowed him to take great advantage of me (I agreed to many things that I really didn't have to). I also discovered that attorneys can guide you through the laws, but the dollar is still their bottom line and in the end they really didn't advocate well for me or my boys. I guess my perspective is definitely skewed by my experience. OP - you alone know what the details are and combining that knowledge with information on the laws of your state I am sure you can come to a good decision.

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#62 of 164 Old 11-23-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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I really cannot believe that a mother would lose custody solely on leaving the state. That sounds like a court decision made with punishment in mind rather than doing what is in the best interest of the child. There is likely more to that story than meets the eye. Custody is usually established based on maintaining status quo - whomever is the child's primary care taker usually gets physical custody to maintain continuity for the child. That is clearly you, the mother, in this case, your bf wouldn't help with the baby. And while I suppose it varies state to state, where I live, unmarried fathers are not granted automatic rights to the child - they must petition the courts.

I still don't think it is a good idea to make decisions based on a perceived fear of the legal system. A healthy respect, yes, but not fear. You have rights too. The priority here is to get you well. It is a good idea to check the laws in your state before you make a big decision so that you aren't breaking any laws. I was able to talk to more than one family law attorney over the phone for free as I was deciding what to do. Call around and get someone whose willing to answer a few questions. It does not make sense to me that the law would require a new mom suffering from PPD to stay with her abusive ex-bf rather than go home to a loving mom and support because otherwise she'll lose custody. You are not leaving to take the child from the father. I would hope the court system could see this for what it is.
Status quo is the parents living in the same area, with the father having frequent access to the child, and his extended family being highly involved. We may read this thread and say that it's not the best situation for the baby, but that has been the status quo. She would not merely be leaving the state with her child, she would be making it difficult for his father to be involved in his life in any ongoing, meaningful way. Again, I'm not judging right or wrong here, just reporting the way the courts look at it.

All of the above are things that have been used in court cases against either parent; custodial parents can't just move minors cross-country without court permission. Well, they can, but the courts are likely to come right back and place the child with the parent who did not move. I'm not making this up to sound mean, it's the way the courts look at it. Co-parenting isn't just about the mother and the baby, it's about the entire family. You have a primary caregiver, but you also have another parent who has been there since birth, who has had the opportunity to be involved in daily life. Now he won't - even if they split but she stays in town, visitation is easier, the chance to work things out for other days is easier (think of a non-custodial parent coaching, or just driving an older kid to soccer games when the custodial parent can't, or going to doctor's visits) than if they're a great distance apart. Add in the CPS allegations, and it looks worse. This guy is great at selling himself to others as a decent guy, and caring father, so the OP needs to tread carefully.

I'm not saying the best thing for everyone is for this mother to stay in town. It may not be. But she hardly seems like someone who would want to leave, only to end up in another state, with the father having primary custody, and facing either a move or paying for flights to visit her baby. If the court does grant her physical custody, despite a unilateral decision to move, they often force the parent who moved to pay transportation costs, or otherwise arrange travel for visitation; for an infant that will be tricky and expensive. Think of the OP's mother; arranging to come and help the family takes time, time off work, money, and that would happen regularly if any visitation at all is granted. And visitation is usually granted.

The OP really needs a lawyer. Regardless of the CPS situation, custody can get nasty and having someone who knows the ins and outs of the system is very helpful.

OP, I hope the SW understands that your ex is not all he tries to appear to be, and that you end up with some great resources to help you out of this. I'm glad your therapist is calling her. Stay strong!
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#63 of 164 Old 11-23-2009, 08:35 PM
 
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How was your meeting?
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#64 of 164 Old 11-23-2009, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good, let xbf go to his mom's, then you can have some peace. Just because he wants 50/50 time doesn't mean he'll get it. That is called "Defining Reality" and an abusive techinique. He is not god, or a judge, he cannot tell you what he is going to "get". He sounds very narcissistic and controlling.

Are you the child's primary care giver? Are you the one who gets up at night with him, or stays home with him when he's sick? Changes and feeds him? Here is a really good article on how custody is determined by primary caregiver and is decided long before the parents breakup http://www.divorcerecovery101.com/kass21.html Based on your posts I say dad's ship has sailed on that issue. Too little too late. Your biggest hurtle to custody is the allegations and the PPD but you are addressing that. Don't let him bully you. I know its hard.
Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. I'm guessing that I would be considered the primary caregiver - b/c I was practically a SAHM last spring and summer. I do the nighttime feedings - but we usually split up the night WAKINGS, like when the baby is up and about. xBF really IS a good dad - he clearly loves the baby very very much. He does take care of him, and he is very very good with him - he plays with him, he goofs off with him, tickles him, etc.

The meeting with the social worker went well. I finally found out what the allegations are - and they're a joke. It was alleged that I don't respond to his cries, and that I've said things related to PPD (that I hate being a mom, wish I didn't have a baby). THATS IT. WTH??? My xBF told me that it was for "charging" his mom while she was holding the baby (during our argument I moved towards her to take the baby so that she could leave like I was asking her to).

He also told me today after the CPS meeting that he had told his mother that when she's with me that she has to be his eyes and ears, and instead of confronting me with issues that she has with what I'm doing that she's to call him and he'll deal with it. So I'm being constantly watched and spied on. FABULOUS.
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#65 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 12:19 AM
 
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If it's your apartment, why don't you forbid her from coming there? If she has no legal right to be there, then there's nothing they can do about it if you don't let her in. Grandparents do not have legal rights to see their grandchildren while the parents are alive.

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#66 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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If it's your apartment, why don't you forbid her from coming there? If she has no legal right to be there, then there's nothing they can do about it if you don't let her in. Grandparents do not have legal rights to see their grandchildren while the parents are alive.
I agree! There is no reason she needs to be there if you are there. In fact, I wouldn't have her watch DS at all at this point. Glad to know the allegations are not serious.

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#67 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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#68 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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FYI, when your Mom visits and BF leaves, he cannot take your son to his mom's house for half the week without a custody order. If he wants to take your baby anywhere, he needs to go to court and file. You're the mom and not being married has it's advantages in that respect.

I cannot believe this guy who would NOT help with the baby at night and made snide remarks about nursing, NOW gets up in arms about weaning, whatevs. Get his mother out of the picture, I'd refuse to let her in your apt. at all. At this point she is a threat to you and your son.

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#69 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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Ask the social worker if she can help you get daycare assistance. They did that for my brother. When boyfriends mother (she's not your MIL) comes over, leave with the baby. Go visit a friend, whatever. If boyfriend won't let you leave, call the police for false imprisonment. Don't fight, just pick up the phone.

You have to take control here. Control of your behavior, control of your baby, control of the pediatric visits and control of the conversations with the Social worker. Ask for her help, call her for advice and resources.

Stop living with your boyfriend. Ask your mom to help you get an apartment. Get resources, WIC foodstamps, housing assistance, whatever. You need to be out from under his control. Then, the only time his mom can see the baby is on his time. She won't have that power over you. You've had a run-in with a controling man, that's all. Many women have gotten their power back. If you're in law school, I'm guessing you're smart enough to figure out this guy's game and play it better.

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#70 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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If daycare assistance is not available for school (in some places it's only available for work or looking for work) check with United Way for scholarships for childcare for students.

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Ask the social worker if she can help you get daycare assistance. They did that for my brother. When boyfriends mother (she's not your MIL) comes over, leave with the baby. Go visit a friend, whatever. If boyfriend won't let you leave, call the police for false imprisonment. Don't fight, just pick up the phone.

You have to take control here. Control of your behavior, control of your baby, control of the pediatric visits and control of the conversations with the Social worker. Ask for her help, call her for advice and resources.

Stop living with your boyfriend. Ask your mom to help you get an apartment. Get resources, WIC foodstamps, housing assistance, whatever. You need to be out from under his control. Then, the only time his mom can see the baby is on his time. She won't have that power over you. You've had a run-in with a controling man, that's all. Many women have gotten their power back. If you're in law school, I'm guessing you're smart enough to figure out this guy's game and play it better.
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#71 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I CAN BE ALONE WITH MY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!

SHE CLEARED ME!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so she spoke to my therapist - who said I was a wonderful mother who is totally and completely in love with my son (which is true - he's the cutest baby in the whole world ) and she spoke to my mother, who had some good stuff to say about me, and some bad stuff to say about xBF.

AND SHE CLEARED ME!!!! And, I got to tell her some dirt on xBF - like the fact that he left baby in the car while he ran into the pharmacy once (he was out getting medicine for me) and she didn't like hearing about that, and I told her everything that xBF has said to me about his family, what his plans are, etc. I'M SO HAPPY!!!!

Oh yeah GRANDMA DOESN'T GET TO COME HERE ANYMORE!!!!! BECAUSE THE SOCIAL WORKER IS GOING TO TELL XBF THAT!!!!!!!

:j oy

But, I still need a lawyer, and I still need to file for custody. So the fight is really just beginning. Social worker told me that if he files for custody first though, that I MUST tell the judge to contact CPS to get her report and that way the judge will know how "this guy operates"

I'm so happy. And yet, this is going to get really really hard, really really fast.
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#72 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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That is awesome! I'm so glad your SW knows which way the wind blows!

Do you have any family that can help out with a retainer for a lawyer? Also, check with legal aid in your city, they might be able to help. Also, you're in law school, right? Do you have any contacts via school that could help?
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#73 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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That's wonderful! See? There not all out to take your kids but you do have to be calm and not look like a nut to them. They often deal with woman in abusive situations so they figure things out pretty quick once they start talking to everyone. There is the occasional one that's crazy but for the most part there trying to help you.

Seriously?
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#74 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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I came over here to see what the full story was. And I just caught up with reading. Whew. You are dealing with a lot!

Try to get to Columbia and get seen by Kristen Leight, MD.
try 212-305-6001 --

The women's mental health center over there is awesome. They did an hour intake with me, then spent a week talking to all my past psychs and therapists, and used that info plus the most current information on medications to help me make a plan. They printed out info from reprotox.org, which is a listing of ALL the studies and results on just about anything you put into your body medication wise.
I feel listened to over there, supported, and since they specialize in women's issues, and especially on mood changes complicated by hormonal changes, they "get it".
I've found that Dr. L is also very action oriented, which I like. The approach is about helping me find a plan that works for me.

You've covered an amazing amount of ground in just a few days. Make sure that you take the time to give yourself credit for that. You really mobilized yourself well. You went to the ER, which DOES take a lot of bravery. You've returned phone calls and connected to a way with a CPS caseworker whose intital contact was not good -- when most people would have just said "i messed up" and given up.
You are fighting, and right now, you are winning. The next steps won't come so quickly clearly, or concisely -- so it might be easy to forget just how far you have come. You are doing very well. Keep that in focus as you continue this process!
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#75 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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I CAN BE ALONE WITH MY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!

SHE CLEARED ME!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so she spoke to my therapist - who said I was a wonderful mother who is totally and completely in love with my son (which is true - he's the cutest baby in the whole world ) and she spoke to my mother, who had some good stuff to say about me, and some bad stuff to say about xBF.

AND SHE CLEARED ME!!!! And, I got to tell her some dirt on xBF - like the fact that he left baby in the car while he ran into the pharmacy once (he was out getting medicine for me) and she didn't like hearing about that, and I told her everything that xBF has said to me about his family, what his plans are, etc. I'M SO HAPPY!!!!

Oh yeah GRANDMA DOESN'T GET TO COME HERE ANYMORE!!!!! BECAUSE THE SOCIAL WORKER IS GOING TO TELL XBF THAT!!!!!!!

:j oy

But, I still need a lawyer, and I still need to file for custody. So the fight is really just beginning. Social worker told me that if he files for custody first though, that I MUST tell the judge to contact CPS to get her report and that way the judge will know how "this guy operates"

I'm so happy. And yet, this is going to get really really hard, really really fast.
I am so happy for you! Congratulations!!!
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#76 of 164 Old 11-24-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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I am so thrilled for you and your son!

Wishing you peace and healing!

Feel better soon!

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#77 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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Oh, thank God! I have been worried for you!

Now, can you get your posts here removed so your xBF doesn't find the older ones and use that against you?
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#78 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 01:37 AM
 
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Wonderful news!!!! Now, keep your eyes very wide open because he may pull this stunt again. He really needs to get out of your place because this is so unhealthy for you and your son. You did it mama!

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#79 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 02:04 AM
 
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I CAN BE ALONE WITH MY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!

SHE CLEARED ME!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so she spoke to my therapist - who said I was a wonderful mother who is totally and completely in love with my son (which is true - he's the cutest baby in the whole world ) and she spoke to my mother, who had some good stuff to say about me, and some bad stuff to say about xBF.

AND SHE CLEARED ME!!!! And, I got to tell her some dirt on xBF - like the fact that he left baby in the car while he ran into the pharmacy once (he was out getting medicine for me) and she didn't like hearing about that, and I told her everything that xBF has said to me about his family, what his plans are, etc. I'M SO HAPPY!!!!

Oh yeah GRANDMA DOESN'T GET TO COME HERE ANYMORE!!!!! BECAUSE THE SOCIAL WORKER IS GOING TO TELL XBF THAT!!!!!!!

:j oy

But, I still need a lawyer, and I still need to file for custody. So the fight is really just beginning. Social worker told me that if he files for custody first though, that I MUST tell the judge to contact CPS to get her report and that way the judge will know how "this guy operates"

I'm so happy. And yet, this is going to get really really hard, really really fast.
Yay I am so happy for you! You did it! In the face of all that stress you kept your head and made things right. You ARE a wonderful mother. And yes things are going to get really hard, but you've proven you have the strength to handle it. Go read those books (Lundy Bancroft) and links about custody, it will help give you some strength. And if you can get through what you have been through honestly it will probably all be downhill from here. In fact you will be amazed at how much lighter and happier you will feel now that you are out (or soon to be out) from under his boot! Good luck to you and keep us posted!

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#80 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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SO I thought I had been victorious. HOWEVER - last night he was asking me what, if anything, I had disclosed to my THERAPIST (ummm...yeah, I'm not telling him what I told her), and that unless he knew that I had disclosed everything to her that he wasn't going to leave me alone with the baby anyway.

SO HIS MOM IS HERE TODAY!!!!

I'm going to call the social worker at 10, since thats when she gets to her office. I'm pissed.

I'm about to go for a walk with baby and call the lawyers whose numbers I have. I'll update later.
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#81 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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You really really really need to not live with him. Does your mom have the money to help you get set up in a new apartment? Do you have a car?
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#82 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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NAK
Whose apt is it? Just yours or yous and X? If it is just yours I would call the police and have her removed. Can you get out and leave even to a friend's house? He can not force you to say against your will.
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#83 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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I agree that you need to get away from him and his god awful mother. They are toxic. I know this is better said then done, but he really is just trying to beat you down. And to be honest, if my husband suggested his mom be around half as much as he allows his mother to be around, I would suggest he just move back in with her. WITHOUT your son.

When he starts with his threats, repeat to yourself, its not me, its him, its not me, its her (MIL)

Do what you can to get OUT of this situation. For your sons sake, and for your sanity! I remember some other things he said to you in the past, and NO MAN speaks to his babies mama like that unless hes trying to beat her down emotionally.
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#84 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're both on the lease.

BUT - I took the baby for a long long walk this morning, and when I got back I asked her leave!! And I asked for her key back!!! AND SHE LEFT!!! AND GAVE ME THE KEY!!!

I feel so empowered! I also have a meeting with an attorney this afternoon, she's expensive but very close to my apartment. She is an alumni of my school so she was referred by my professor. Even if I can't afford her she may be able to advise me in some way, or recommend someone that I can afford.

I'm nervous. But excited.

AND - more good news! All the people at my school that I've told (people I trust not to talk, I've sworn them all to confidentiality) are rallying to help me - one person is on the apartment hunt in his neighborhood (within walking distance to school), another is willing to have me at her house anytime, and others have put out offers to help in any way possible! I HAVE FRIENDS!!!!! AND THEY BELIEVE ME!!!! It's great!
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#85 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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Good luck w/ everything.

If I may make a suggestion (if you receive this b/f meeting w/ your atty):

I am an atty in MI (law may be diff in NY, but I doubt it would be drastically so.) In MI, an unwed mother is presumed to have custody of the children, UNLESS there is a court order or written agreement b/t the parents stating otherwise. Being on the birth cert has zero relevance. If there is no agreement, you can go wherever you want w/ the baby (out of state, out of country, the moon) and you are not violating any law (you cannot kidnap your own child.).

If you walk out w/o the baby, however, he could file for custody (based on a "change in the custodial environment") and start the ball rolling...against you. I have talked to waaaay too many women who "take a breather", leave the baby w/ an ex and end up screwed 2 months later when it comes to parenting time/custody.

I would ask your atty whether this is true in NY as well.

Expect this to be expensive -- when kids are involved, rates tend towards astronomical.

You may also be eligible for Legal Aid. They may not be able to provide you w/ direct representation (quite frankly, you may not need it) but they should be able to walk you through NY law w/r/t custody.

I also suggest that you continue to lean on your law school. Ask if there are any school-run clinics; my law school had a rental housing clinic. You said both you and the ex are on the lease -- you are on the hook for your part, unless the leasing company agrees to release you.

Take advantage of the breadth of knowledge you have at your fingertips. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed. Not to heap it on, but you need to make informed decisions NOW.

Again, good luck. You are in a unique position in that you have a team of ppl wanting to help you!
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#86 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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I am really glad things are looking better for you now. Just wanted to wish you lots of strength.

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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#87 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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I'm glad things are going well.

Do talk to a lawyer like a pp advised and then go to your mom's once you square leaving legally.

I agree with pp who said you need to get out from under his thumb.

And I would expect some sort of dysfunctional BS to be triggered by the SW clearing you--he's not going to like that and I would expect he'll try some other nasty underhanded crap.

V

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#88 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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Oh mama, I'm so glad that you've crossed this first hurdle safely. There's people all across the globe with their hearts in their mouths for you and your son, and I'm glad that there is hope for you.

Tomorrow is another day, and potentially, an even better one.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#89 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He filed for custody. He got a court order stating I can't leave the state of NY with the baby.

It's been a bad bad bad day.

My mom is coming though, she has permission from her work to be here as long as she needs to be. So at least until we have a temporary custody plan in place and I move out.

I can't wait for this whole thing to be over. I really can't.
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#90 of 164 Old 11-25-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guestmama900 View Post
He filed for custody. He got a court order stating I can't leave the state of NY with the baby.

It's been a bad bad bad day.

My mom is coming though, she has permission from her work to be here as long as she needs to be. So at least until we have a temporary custody plan in place and I move out.

I can't wait for this whole thing to be over. I really can't.
He already got a hearing? How did he get one so fast without you being served? You sure he's not lying to you? Made up documents?

Seriously?
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