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.