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Show ALL Forums  > Single Parents  > CUSTODY BATTLE , WHAT AM i IN FOR ?      Home login  
Joined: 12/16/2008
Msg: 4
CUSTODY BATTLE , WHAT AM i IN FOR ?Page 2 of 2    (1, 2)

The battle is ongoing....the objective is simple..your son.

years ago i went to a lawyer who suggest I do as little as possible and allow things to stay as they were. A number of people suggested taking it to court and looking for custody. Well 2 others gave me the same advice and a third wanted my money and suggested court.

Well after 6 months we started working on division of assets. I was in no hurry as I lived on my income and simply provided for the children and told the creditors the money was tied up in the lawyers office.

Well after 9 months there was saber rattling and it went away. My lawyer suggested at that time i would improve or strengthen my situation the longer things went as the courts are reluctant to change a situation once it has become established.

After 2yrs i started to fear less the time they would depart for their mothers as for her not to return them would have been within her rights since no official custody agreement was ever established....but things worked out.

Your first objective i would suggest is avoid any thought of going for child support until after 2-3 years of you having established you are or have been the primary custodial parent.

Everything else is really secondary?
Joined: 11/30/2008
Msg: 5
Posted: 1/20/2009 3:14:51 PM
she has school and works 3 nights a week has school 1 nights a week . has 2 sons from a previous marriage. I never threatened her with court, just asked to get something in writing and she refused.the hardest part is i still love her and she has found someone else and moved on. I can't say anything bad about her and I'm really not ready to fight her in court untill I hate her and I don't know when that will be . I do know that it won't be soon!!
Joined: 2/6/2008
Msg: 6
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Posted: 1/20/2009 3:25:54 PM
Well OP, not trying to sound harsh but, you are here posting this question too early then. You're still in an emotional quandry and unwilling to heed advice unless it pertains more to your heartstrings. Sorry for what you're going through. I googled NC child custody and may wish to do the same when you start thinking with your head and feel a need to protect your son and yourself. In short though, you're more than likely looking at a year minimum for things to be finalized once 'someone' files. Are you willing to wait that long in an unprotected state? Just sitting on your thumbs waiting for the sherrif to knock on your door and serve you the papers?

Talk to an attorney. If nothing else, ask him/her about separation agreements and mediation. I doubt you will though, until you reconcile your thoughts and feelings to the point of acceptance that "it's" over.

Joined: 11/30/2008
Msg: 7
Posted: 1/20/2009 3:46:48 PM
well I was kind of curios what the actuall court appearences were like . Is it just one acusation after another. do the lawyers do most of the talking. do people agree that doing nothing but holding on to my son as long as I can better than risking starting the fight now > I will fight for my son with everything i have , don't get me wrong , but if I have to get up un the stand and look her in the eyes and just trash her it may be hard right now , that is all . I know I've made mistakes as well as her , but she was over me long before I was over her so I know she won't have a problem trashing me .
Joined: 9/3/2007
Msg: 8
Posted: 1/20/2009 7:15:28 PM
OP to answer your question about what court is really's worse than you can imagine! My ex and I went through the entire process....most of which can be avoided if you can come up with something on paper that you both agree with.

What I found most difficult was that most of the times we were actually at the courthouse, maybe a dozen times, the meetings were between the attorneys and the judge or another court official. I hated sitting in a hallway while my children's lives were being kicked around like a soccer ball.

When we finally did get to our official custody hearing, almost two years later, it was very basic. The court appointed psychologist testified, my ex testified, and I testified. You are right, they can say ANYTHING they wish about you, true or not. You just have to listen and wait for your turn. My ex sued me for divorce so he went first at the hearing. I think that worked in my favor because I could bring up and correct things he had said.

Anyway, here are my suggestions:
Pick an attorney with care. Get references!!! Choose as if your life depends on does!
Make sure your attorney knows EXACTLY what outcome you would like to see, both for custody and division of marital assets.
Request psychological evaluations. They are costly but can be very helpful because they will be an independent voice saying what is best for your son.
If and when, you get to court, keep a tablet in front of you and don't be afraid to tell your attorney to ask you about things that were said.
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Begin now with visits, cancelled visits, doctor's appt.s, school meetings, include every parental function and who attended.
Save all your financial records from now on. Payments made, balances at the time of seperation, checking and savings statements, 401K balances...everything!

Last, but certainly not least, look for a support group. Your friends will wear out quickly, even if they don't mean too. You will find solace in sharing with others in your same situation...and find the strength and confidence you will need to prevail.

Best wishes and hugs to you and your son!
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 9
Posted: 1/20/2009 8:01:19 PM
You're in for a lot of stress and heartache. I'm so sorry for you!

Joined: 5/6/2008
Msg: 10
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Posted: 1/21/2009 6:30:37 AM
OP, keep your chin up and do as some have told you. Keep records of when she comes to see them, calls them or any kind of contact.
Keep records of any conversations you have and be truthful in what was said even if it was an argue ment.
Keep track of if she moves, changes jobs, gets into trouble with the law.
And stress the point to your lawyer that she left WITHOUT the kids. That in some cases is the same as abandament.
My ex left for someone else, I knew she was leaving and come home from work and took my kids riding while she was packing and then left. I have full custody of 3 beautiful girls, ages at the time of divorce was 3,4, and 6.
So dont let anyone tell you that the courts automatically give the mother custody.
Get temporary custody and the longer she waits the worse case she has.
I still keep records of visits and calls to this day just incase she wants to try and get custody.
since june of 08 she has called them 37 times with an average of 6 mins per call.
And she has only seen them 18 times with 30 mins being the longest visit.
records like this will prove that being a parent isnt what someone with this kind of contact history is really after.
Good luck
Joined: 11/30/2008
Msg: 11
Posted: 1/21/2009 6:42:45 AM
I would like to thank everyone for there advise. That day in November my world crashed all around me and I am slowly putting it back together.As the truth continues to come out I realize that the last 7 years have been nothing but lies and the only true love in my life has been my sons . I doubt everything I do and every decision that I make less and less every day as time goes on as I realize that she was the one living the lie and nothing I did was ever going to be right in her eyes. I also have come to believe that every decision a parent makes comes with doubt . That's just part of being a parent. I hope and pray that when the time comes no matter what the outcome is it is truely the best for our child and he grows up to be stronger,smarter and a greater man that I ever could of dreamed he could become.
Joined: 11/20/2008
Msg: 12
Posted: 1/21/2009 3:42:25 PM
That is terrible Custody battles are hard to go Thru I went thru one a little more than a year ago. Mine was not easy in the beganing tell we decided to reason. In the long run the only person that gets hurt is the child if the parents don' t agree.It sound like your trying to. I would say see if she might reason with you to go to a medatior first so you could oraginize a custdy plan that will work for both of you then you could get a judge to sign it so you don't have to go thru trail. She says that you'll lose your child because the kids go to the mothers but that is not always true it is what is best for the child since she left you with him that wont look good to a judge If you need some one to talk to I'm here
p.s. Good Luck you sound like a good dad dont try to worry .
Kay mel
Joined: 9/4/2006
Msg: 13
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Posted: 1/21/2009 9:05:21 PM
I suggest you let it lie and parent your kids and let your ex sees the kids when she can. Just document when she comes and goes, save documents showing you went to the doctors for your kids, teacher meetings, etc. Courts are primarily used only if parents aren't cooperative with custody and support. However, if you are filing for divorce, custody may be issued. Also, you'd have to go through the court process in case you want to travel and flying with kids require both parents or whoever is in the birth certificate authorization. I'm not fully sure the extent if it's out of country only or both applies to out of country and out of state.

Best thing to get better advice in regards to custody is to talk to a lawyer and know your rights and what laws are given in your state. Your ex may not be the best mom but she may still be given joint custody. And right now with breaking up, emotions usually will be high and strung, so it's not going to do both of you any good to go to court.

Best advice for you personally is to lay it low and just be there for your kids and have an open door to when your ex can see them. try to work it out amicable for awhile, and take it each day at a time. Try to heal your emotions and feelings and accept that she's move on and you deserve to move on too. Your kids need to see that you are going to do fine and be treated better by someone that's good for you and them rather than cling on to emotions done by someone who deserts you and the kids You can let bitterness and hatred eat at you or you can shrug it off with indifference and realize you deserved better and now you can do this on your own and do things. Of course this would be after you regroup and get over what happened.
Joined: 1/3/2009
Msg: 14
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Posted: 1/21/2009 10:21:07 PM
A lot will depend on three different things. These are the state you live in, the judge you draw and what went on/is going on that directly affects the child.

I say the state you live in because some states are more progressive than others when it comes to giving custody to the father. In some states, and among some judges, it is just assumed that the child is better off with the mother. This gets modified by the age of the child a lot of times, i.e. if the child is under seven, mom almost always gets 'em, under twelve it's a toss up and past that the child's wishes get top priority.

What went on/is still going on will definitely play a part, especially where the child is concerned. Everything else being equal, where the judge feels that the child has the best chance of thriving and being cared for will be the overriding factor. This is why it is so VERY IMPORTANT to document everything. This includes her behaviors around the child, how much and for how long she calls the child when the child is residing with you, whether the child comes back in decent clean clothes or do they have holes/are dirty all the time. This isn't just since she left, either. Try to document all behavior since the child has been born and even before. Also, document what you do with the child, what the child does during a normal day (such as what time they are learning while being at the daycare, what time they normally eat lunch there, what time they normally are at play there). You never know what might be useful. Some of these things might include how many times a person has changed jobs or residences before/while/after being a couple, how "hot-headed" a person is (really convincing when you can get it on audio or video tape) and the "friends" the SO hangs around.

The judge you draw will be the most important part of the equation. Most judges will try to be impartial and try to do what they feel is in the best interest of the child. However, each is an individual with their own values, feelings and life experiences. There used to be a judge I knew that almost never gave the man custody, no matter what the mother had done or was doing, and that judge was a man himself. It was even worse if you were both a man and a cop, as he wouldn't even listen to the attorney for the cop at all. He'd tell them that they could put on their case, if they wished, but he'd already made up his mind about what was going to happen. Luckily, this type of judge isn't in the majority.

My advice to you is to shop around (just don't dawdle doing it) and find the best attorney you can afford, that really has an interest in your case and get filed. Once you have filed, don't look back and document, document, document! If your once SO changes her mind (doubtful from what you posted but still possible, even if it's only as a tactic), don't give in and go back. The court looks at this as accepting the prior behavior, no matter what it was.

Sorry if this was a little long. However, after having to go through this, I was lucky to have learned a few of these lessons before I got blindsided in court by them.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 15
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Posted: 1/22/2009 3:29:54 PM
Why would you get into court and trash her? You go to court and you tell the truth, i.e. why your home is stable and a good place for your child and/or why it is superior to the environment your X can provide.

The longer you have the child the better in terms of custody and I don't know whether it is North or South Carolina that requires a year mandatory separation before granting a divorce so that might come into play as well.

I can't say anything bad about her and I'm really not ready to fight her in court untill I hate her and I don't know when that will be . I do know that it won't be soon!!

David was correct, you are more concerned about this woman doing you wrong than your son. When you are done feeling sorry for yourself get online and read the information available about the divorce, child support and custody laws in your state so that you can start making some decisions about making sure you are protected. The one way you are left hanging out with no custody agreement is that she could take off with your son at any moment and you could do nothing about it, it would not be considered kidnapping because neither of you have custody and neither of you have an order in place that bars the other parent from leaving the jurisdiction with the child.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 16
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Posted: 1/22/2009 4:03:55 PM
Also, you can go to the family court in your jurisdiction and sit in on hearings about divorce, custody and child support, these are not cases that are closed to the public.
Joined: 2/6/2008
Msg: 17
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Posted: 1/23/2009 6:26:00 AM
OP, another point to consider in this debate about sitting back and being stoic ("let sleeping dogs lie") versus taking action to get the ball rolling......

Your ex is not flying solo....she has a boyfriend. How long do you suppose it will be before he starts pressuring her to get end her last chapter (you) so that she can begin her new chapter with him?

Perhaps who files is not as big a factor in your state as it typically is elsewhere. This is another question (maybe the first) you should be asking an attorney in your area. Keep in mind though, the person who files is named the Plaintiff and the person filed 'against' is named the Defendant. The Plaintiff (via their attorney) spells out on the Petition the reason the divorce is sought. The Defendant is required to answer with a response within a defined period of time. If you were served the divorce papers say next week, are you comfortable with having to scurry around hunting for an attorney, gathering all of your information and data, making copies, writing reports, notes or letters, calling friends and family for witnesses/permission, all within say 20 or 30 days? Do you think the chance you might miss or forget something is greater under this pressure?

Would you rather be playing offense, or defense? Talk to an attorney asap, OP.

Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 18
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Posted: 1/23/2009 7:18:29 AM
$500 a month also makes her look like a huge ass when he has custody of the kid. You don't think the judge is going to wonder why she accepted child support for the kid when she was not caring for the child?

If and when you do consult an attorney, do a lot of checking. I thought years ago that board certification was some level of qualification only to find later that a six hour class with no time in court would qualify one as board certified.

Also, if you find someone willing to work with you on a retainer, they are probably a bad lawyer and need the money. It has been my experience that those who don't want a good chunk of change up front don't know what they are doing and will not be a proper advocate for you; I think they realize if you had a choice you would have a better lawyer so they don't care.
Joined: 1/19/2009
Msg: 19
Posted: 1/24/2009 10:26:28 AM
Hire Fran Fine she will help you..
there are laws She cant take your son..
Document everthing...
Good luck
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