Post # 1
Hi Bees….I need your help/advice. I left my husband 2 1/2 years ago…main reason, he is an ASSHOLE. Long story short…he has another daughter from a previous relationship and he was horrible to her…he kicked he in the leg and knocked her to the ground for letting the cat out…he punched a hole in her all because she wasn’t getting ready fast enough…he drug her across the room by her hair for eating in the living room (even though I told her it was ok)…all this happened when she was about 10. He would ‘go off’ on her for little things, calling her a cunt, bitch, ect. She lived in a different state than us and all this happened during a 3 week summer visit to our house. I married him before I knew he treated her like this. I was 3 months pregnant with his child when I witnessed this. We dated long distance for most of our ‘dating’ life…so looking back I didn’t really ‘know’ him. Lession learned.
After my baby girl was born things got worse…when the baby wouldn’t sleep when he wanted her to..he would call her a bitch and a mother fucker. I moved across 2 states away from my family so I had no where to really turn. I plotted for months and finally got a transfer back ‘home’ and left him in April 2009.
He saw our daughter a couple of times…the last time being Oct 2009. Then nothing, no contact until Feb 2011 when he sent me a text saying he had moved here (to my city) to help raise our daughter. He has NEVER paid me a dime of child support…He never sent her a present or card for xmas, birthdays, ect. He left his job without having another one lined up to move here. I had never asked for support becasue I was happy that he was staying out of our lives. I have am not trying to keep her from him so I have allowed ‘supervised’ visits with myself or my parents meeting him at parks, ect.
He filed a motion for child custody/mediation and I have mediation orientation tomorrow. He wants to have her to what works out to be about 35% of the time. I am soo scared to send her off with him…(she will be 3 in Oct). He smokes at least a pack a day, has at least 3 unlocked handguns, lives with a 60 yr old lady who he helps take care of becasue she has some type of brain cancer, lives at a house that has a pool that is not gated off….UGH… He wants joint physical and legal custody. He can’t even take care of himself…how is he going to take care of my little girl. I have spent every second of the past 3 years protecting her…and I think the courts are not going to care about all of my concerns. and make me send her off with him. And to add insult to injury…I will probably have to pay him child support becasue he does not have a job. I am scraping by now as it is.
Sorry that I am sort of rambling here…I am just stressed beyond belief. Anyone been through a child custody fight? What was the outcome? Can anyone tell me what they ask you in mediation…does the court usually go with whatever the mediator recommends? THANKS for any help!!
Post # 3
If you can prove he is unfit then the problem is sovled for you. I would contact your local child proctective services to ask for advise to keep you daughter safe. Maybe request that they do a home visit to his house. Maybe even contact the mother of the child he abused, see if she has any documented proof of the abuse. You could always request that he is only allowed suppervised visits, which might be easier then trying to keep him from her entirely. At least then you know she will be safe since there will be someone who is court appointed there with them.
I hope this helps, I am really sorry your going though this.
Post # 4
I don’t have in-depth knowledge of family law and I’m not sure what state you’re in, so all I’ll say as far as the legal battle is that I would STRONGLY recommend when you speak to the mediator (and the Court, probably, at some point) you tell them about all the abusive things you have witnessed him do and say, to your child, his other daughter (and you, if he has). If he’s doing these things, he is not just an “asshole,” he is a child abuser. You’re a more forgiving person than I am, because no way in hellll would I be allowing him to have contact with my child, even supervised, absent a court order telling me I have to. I think you’ll probably need to decide whether you want him to have contact with your child at all, because if not, you should express that to the court or the mediator, and if so, you need to make it clear that you want any visitation with him to be supervised by someone appointed by the court. 35% custody time, is he nuts? He needs to have a criminal record for what he did to his other daughter.
Post # 5
Restraining order. Everything he is doing is creepy and abusive. You need peace of mind to raise your daughter, and she has the right to a relatively peaceful childhood.
If he must have custody, ensure it is supervised visitation
Post # 6
Why did you not report him to the police when he physically abused his daughter??
Since you did not report anything before now, it is unlikely the courts will believe the stories of past abuse. They will also probably grant him whatever he is asking up to 50% custody without batting an eye. And yes, you will be ordered to pay him chid support.
The only way they would deny him custody would be if you could prove that he is unfit to be guardian of a child, which is very difficult if it is your word versus his. Smoking and having a pool (while both present risks to the child) are not grounds to deny him the right to joint custody.
If he really is as scary as he sounds, I honestly would run away. The court system SUCKS. Since you already have custody now, it wouldn’t be considered kidnapping.
I don’t care how broke I was, if the courts were going to let a monster like this time alone with my DD, I would DISAPPEAR with her. Better living ANYWHERE than to let him have a chance to hurt her.
(Not a lawyer, but did go through a custody/child support case. Best friend did as well, and he fared much worse.)
Post # 7
Also, have you spoken to him? Ask point blank if he is looking to reconnect with his daughter or get child support. If he indicates it’s just for the money, offer him the money if he drops the custody case. I would seriously PAY this person to never see my DD again. It would be worth it to me.
Post # 8
Whoa reading your story made me cry a bit….
I’m so sorry you are dealing with this!!
Fortunately you are most likely going to be favored due to the mother status ( assuming you have no bad record)
Talk to people about the abuse, preferably you should have called to file a complaint when it happend- did you happen to?
Hire and invest in a great lawyer! This is one battle you can’t loose or scrimp on. Stress the unfit status and past abuse
Post # 9
I was also going to suggest leaving the country or going somewhere you can’t be touched, but for some that isn’t possible. You really gotta think this out because if you have no proof, he said she said doesn’t work and his bad living conditions don’t matter.
I second the offer to pay as well
Post # 10
I would not advise running away. First of all, it seems his only contact with the child at this point has been with OP’s consent – he is not actively pursuing/ threatening/ harassing them. OP, I don’t think that will have a positive impact on the situation. If anything, it will only serve to make you look sketchy, especially if he is there to give his story and you are not. If you ever are at a point where you truly fear for your safety, you should pursue a restraining order. You should be able to get one ex parte, which means quickly and without giving notice to him. But issues of moving a child out of the jurisdiction are complex and depend on the law in your state and what orders are currently in place. I don’t know if you guys had a custody order from when you first left him, or whether there are any temporary orders in place as a result of him filing this action. Don’t put yourself in a position where you are in violation of court orders or the law. Now that the custody action is pending against you, it is probably better to respond and fight it than ignore it and risk some kind of default judgment against you. I would recommend getting an attorney or at least going to your court’s self-help center.
Post # 11
I’m sorry for your daughter. This isn’t a question for weddingbee, it’s a question for a lawyer in your state who has handled cases like these. Mighty Sapphire has a good point about not reporting the abuse, but again- go talk to a lawyer.
Post # 12
Contact your local legal aide. Google it for your state. They can hook you up with a family lawyer who will help you for little to no money as long as your income is low enough.
Usually child support is paid to the parent who has the child the majority of the time. I don’t think you will end up paying support to him.
I have been through a custody battle. What you should do before mediation is write down a time line of every single thing you can think of. If it is possible to contact the other daughter’s mother, I highly suggest it. Does he have visitation with her?
We have my stepson 35% of the time and that was a battle. It was difficult to get that much visitation when the mother had done nothing wrong. And Mr. A had played a very active role in his son’s life.
Tell the court you fled because of his violence. If you have anyone who witnessed the abuse or who knows of why you left, get a signed written statement from them.
Do not call him a single name. If you start swearing, it will undermine your case. Don’t be afraid to show emotion, though. This is your child.
If you PM me your state, I will help you find a lawyer. Also, if you go to your local courthouse, you should be able to talk to a victim’s advocate.
I’m sorry you are going through this. I remember how terrified I was of having to hand my daughter over to someone abusive. I wish you the best of luck.
Post # 13
Thanks for the responses ladies. I do have an attorney…she is great. I was just hoping to see if any other Bee’s had gone through this. My biggest regret is that I didn’t report him at the time. The good news is that after the hair pulling incident, he went into my former place of employment and told one of my co-workers what he had done (trying to put a positive spin on the incident I am guessing…I am sure he assumed that I told her what had happened). She is giving my attorney a written declaration of what he told her. And yes, I am prepared to tell the court/mediator of each and every reason I am scared for my daughter. I have a detailed list of dates, times, ect. We have a temporary custody order until after we go to mediation and then to trail Nov 16th. I will be asking for supervised visitation and full legal and physical custody. I will let you guys know how it goes…thanks again!!
Post # 15
I agree with PP: Get an attorney asap and do not try to negotiate or speak to him yourself. This is a very complicated issue. And know that judges are particularly in favor of children having regular contact with their fathers. He would have to practically be an axe murderer for the court to deny him at least visitation, so get moving and get that lawyer!
Post # 16
I am going through a similiar situation so I know *exactly* what you’re going through. The best advice I can give you right now is to ask for a social study to be done.