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Advice Needed Urgently!!!! Please....

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 7:28 AM
  • 15 Replies

I'm new to the site and group and in desperate need of advice. Let me give you some background.

My ex husband and I are admist a custody (modification) battle. I am the custodial parent of our two sons. During our marriage I was the primary parent along with being the "bread winner". He has had his ups and downs with jobs, drugs, etc. I've remained supportive throughout our marriage and continued after our divorce. We have been divorced for 4 years now and he has never felt the need to be a father figure to our two sons until a year ago, which is more so done to "save face". His friends and hobbies have always been his main priority over spending time with his kids. 

Now the change from dead beat dad to father of the year to our children suddenly and coincidentally came around the same time a new man entered our lives. This man is the first and only man I have introduced to my children since the divorce. He is the man I have always hoped to have as a father figure for my kids. My kids immediately showed the same enthusiasm for him. Which in turn reflected on their weekend visits with their father. Slowly but surely my ex husband took notice and did not like that "his" kids were looking up to "moms new boyfriend" as a father figure. My ex husband has done his utmost best to manipulate, control, and degrade me and my fiance to the best of his capabilities to our kids.

When we exchange the kids for the weekend I am constantly reminded that I live off his "child support" payments. He has threatened to quit his job so I won't get any child support. That because I have no job I am a "p.o.s" and will be taken to court. He's recently started brainwashing our sons with video games, toys and etc in return to feed them his own personal opinions of me and my fiance. My kids attitudes towards me and my fiance have drastically changed, raising yet more obstacles. My ex bought our older son a phone recently with the intention to talk to him during the week, which now is being used as a tool to keep tabs on what is happening at my house throughout the week.

This is not even close to all of what he has done and continues to do but it gives you an idea.

My concern is about our upcoming court date. He has filed for custody modification in order to stop (what he likes to call "supporting me") paying child support and becoming the custodial parent to do so. Basically giving me the weekends and him the weekdays. This man has not one genuine concern about the well being of his children, everything is done to benefit him and make him look like the trophy dad he thinks he is. I have no financial means to get a lawyer and have had no luck in finding any free legal aid here in Arizona. His reasons in his petition for me being an unfit mother is because I have no job and no car. Nothing else. He has in the past year been charged with a DUI and has a breathalyzer installed in his car. And in the next month he will be getting laid off...

I'm so afraid of losing my boys to this a**hole. I don't know what to do, I have never felt so hopeless... Please please please... I need all the advice and help I can get.

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 7:28 AM
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Replies (1-10):
shimmifairy
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:05 AM
2 moms liked this

It takes so much more to be proven an unfit mother, Hun....If there is absolutely no way you can afford a lawyer, what you need to do is find your states civil code on the internet and research the laws that pertain to child welfare and chilld custody....If you need more time - you don't say how far off your court date is? - then you can go to the court house and file for a continuance to give you more time to get things together....If you don't have the filing fee, you can fill out some financial paperwork to file as indegent....I know it's an offensive word, but it's just a word, so please don't let that stop you! 

The internet is an awesome source of knowledge - we forget that sometimes while we post on forums and look at silly cat pictures ;) you can find information about the legal process of family courts and custody hearings, you can look up how to write your own argument/legal brief....you can look up terms like "alienation of affections" (hint,hint) and how to get affidavits from teachers,friends and family, records from doctors, and records from his attorney after you enter yourself as Pro Se (which means you're representing yourself) They have to share what they have like that with the other side so that everyone has the same information....You can also request his legal records...or you might even be able to go on your county's Clerk of Courts website and find them and print them out...remember to make several copies depending on your county's rules about who gets a copy of what....Organize, organize, organize! And remember  - though this is an emotionally charged issue for you - to stick to the facts....In other words, he alienated your children's affection from you by "____________" and not because he is a lying dirtbag....Use examples of what he has said to you to make the relationship between you hostile, but don't say "he calls me names and that's not right....." See where I'm going here? Courts and judges are interested in facts, not emotions....It's not just about what you say, but how you say it...See if you can look up examples of these kinds of documents in your state so that you have a foundation to build on....Process is important in the court system, so do the best you can to learn what you need to do and how you need to do it....

Also, don't give up just yet on the idea of an attorney, call around, go to consultations - which are usually free - you may find someone you can work a payment arrangement with....Or you may be able to make him responsible for all court and attorney's fees....

I wish you good luck....

designkal3
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Yesterday at 8:06 PM
by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:28 AM
The above is some pretty awesome advice!! I just went through a similar situation with my ex. If you have any questions, feel free to private message me : )
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breebree04
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Just because you are not working right now, doesnt mean you are not a good mom or caring for your children. I dont see how he could take custody away from you for that, especially when he is going to be in the same boat soon. I dont have any experience with that since my ex never wanted custody but I wouldnt stress too much about it. My ex however does throw it in my face occasionally that he financially supports us (I do work) and I hate that! He thinks just because he pays cs (only $80 a week) that he pays all of our bills or that he pays for half of the kids living expense. Really?! Not even close! So aggrevating! GL with everything. Hope it all works out in your favor

raschwittay
by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Im so sorry your going through this. I know this is hard to hear but, get a good lawyer. take out a loan, borrow from your fiance. Record everything!!!! Talk to your kids one on one about the way they feel and why they feel that way. Open communication with them and being honest is best. Depending on their age, explain to them what manipulation is and what it does. But please do not say "your father is doing this because..." dont talk negativley about your ex at all. Especially around the kids. your financial means, or not having a car has nothing to do with your ability to take care of your children, unless you really cant, which isnt true in this situation. 


It would be more determental for the children to change their routine just becase dad has a bone up his ass. The courts see this alot. They can see right through people like your ex. So just keep good records, keep your mouth shut about your ex, and fork out money for a lawyer. Unfortuniatly, the bigger lawyer, the better chance you got. 


I wish you so much luck, I beleive you can win!

raschwittay
by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Very very good advice!

raschwittay
by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Very good advice!


Quoting shimmifairy:

It takes so much more to be proven an unfit mother, Hun....If there is absolutely no way you can afford a lawyer, what you need to do is find your states civil code on the internet and research the laws that pertain to child welfare and chilld custody....If you need more time - you don't say how far off your court date is? - then you can go to the court house and file for a continuance to give you more time to get things together....If you don't have the filing fee, you can fill out some financial paperwork to file as indegent....I know it's an offensive word, but it's just a word, so please don't let that stop you! 

The internet is an awesome source of knowledge - we forget that sometimes while we post on forums and look at silly cat pictures ;) you can find information about the legal process of family courts and custody hearings, you can look up how to write your own argument/legal brief....you can look up terms like "alienation of affections" (hint,hint) and how to get affidavits from teachers,friends and family, records from doctors, and records from his attorney after you enter yourself as Pro Se (which means you're representing yourself) They have to share what they have like that with the other side so that everyone has the same information....You can also request his legal records...or you might even be able to go on your county's Clerk of Courts website and find them and print them out...remember to make several copies depending on your county's rules about who gets a copy of what....Organize, organize, organize! And remember  - though this is an emotionally charged issue for you - to stick to the facts....In other words, he alienated your children's affection from you by "____________" and not because he is a lying dirtbag....Use examples of what he has said to you to make the relationship between you hostile, but don't say "he calls me names and that's not right....." See where I'm going here? Courts and judges are interested in facts, not emotions....It's not just about what you say, but how you say it...See if you can look up examples of these kinds of documents in your state so that you have a foundation to build on....Process is important in the court system, so do the best you can to learn what you need to do and how you need to do it....

Also, don't give up just yet on the idea of an attorney, call around, go to consultations - which are usually free - you may find someone you can work a payment arrangement with....Or you may be able to make him responsible for all court and attorney's fees....

I wish you good luck....



Robsessed98
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Being jobless and carless does not make you an unfit mother. Unless he can prove you abuse, neglect or endanger the kids he doesn't have a case. As long as the kids are thriving, there's not much of a chance a judge would give him custody. Just keep being a good mother and don't pay attention to what he says or does.

brieri
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

 Hi and welcome to the group.

I don't know how you will lose those boys to him, unless by chance the Judge says hand them over to him.

A part of your story reminds me of my own situation.  My ex at the time (husband) (we were married) didn't want to be involved in mine and the children lives together.  when he split, he remarried and now he's all ok, that he has the kids in his lives permanently.  I won't go further into how that happened.  It surely was not a Judge who said hand over the kids.  And it surely wasn't the Judge who reversed it either,  it has not been reversed yet.  So I know a manipulating liar, cheater and everything else  of an arrogant ex in the big blue sky he truly is.

Lurion
by Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Good luck!! 

You DO have a job, if you're taking care of 2 kids boys (and without a car). There's no shame or crime or "unfit" in that. You had your turn at making the money and now he has his.  

Courts usually go on what already exists, rather than making drastic changes to the kids' lives. So if you've always been the primary caregiver, chances are they won't change that. Especially without some very strong evidence. 

It was obviously a wake-up call for him to see you with another guy. 

While you're modifying, you can make sure they put an "alienation of affections" clause in there, meaning neither of you can say mean things about the other. I would think you could raise the issue of video games, if he has them playing mature games that aren't appropriate for their ages. 

Keep us posted! Much strength your way. 

MommyKir
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 5:25 PM

in your paper work you received from court it should have stated that they will have an attorney there if you need them, or a number to call to help you get one... And it will take alot of proof to prove you unfit and for you to lose custody. And depending on your kids ages they will ask the children's opinion in the matter. You must share your story and your side clearly but without coming off as just a nasty bitter woman, which we all know is a bit hard when you can't stand that the ex douche is doing what he is. Write up a speech like you would if you had to write a persuasive essay. and memorize it. You may not be able to give the speech and instead just answer questions, but at least that way you know what you will say. Good luck doll, but I don't honestly see a judge not seeing through him... and remember just tossing the ex under the bus and running his name through the mud wont really help you, list facts not opinions and don't cuss in front of the judge.

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