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I was directed to this site by a great friend who thinks I could benefit from all the awesome info you girls have. My name is Jamie and Im 27. My daughter Addilynn just turned 1 in January. My soon to be ex left us when she was just 6 months old. He has only seen her maybe once a month except for around Christmas and her birthday. He now has filed for full custody and the hearing is this Thursday. Any insight on what to expect??
You have what is called De Facto custody, and as long as you have not been refusing your ex from seeing your child, he has allowed what is called Status Quo. I can never, and will never say 100% on things because every situation is different, but the courts typically rule in favour of status quo.
Im not worrying about loosing custody...I know he wont win that one....but he wants to have her overnight...but he doesnt know a thing about her schedule, eating habits or bedtime. Im worried he might actually get that awarded to him.
Seems to be a few of us here , myself included, that are going through the same thing especially with babies or younger children. I think the hardest thing for me in the beginning was thinking that my baby was just so little still. And because I was their mother, grew them inside me nine months by myself, with no support, and undue stress from the father, then no one knows better how to take care of my sons than me. I know them best. I know what they need when they need it. And while I still think that I am more in tune with what the babies needs or when they are sick and such... than he is, I cant hold that against him for the limited time he does have. Unless he REALLY screws up in parenting, in such a way that harms my sons emotionally or physically, the kids are entitled to have a relationship with their father. I look at it as doing it for my children. And times where I dont want them to go with him, I look at it as a break-that I very much need at the end of the week.
Also, think way ahead when the baby is older. Would you rather try to explain to your child WHY the other parent had nothing to do with them? It's possible that they can interpret that there is something wrong with them-as being rejected. Or would you rather your child know their father so they can either man up and perform their parenting duties (you get a break!). And even if they dont 'man up' and be responsible, the child will find out eventually find that out in his/her own time, you know? From my experience, it is better for a child to know and have a relationship with the other parent because without ever having known the other parent, leaves a child to either wonder what is wrong within themselves, or leaves room for them to have fantasies about how fantastic (even if they aren't fantastic) their father is...'he's a millionaire....he builds castles in the sky....he.....blah blah blah. I deal with this in my own family dynamics as well as every weekend visitation where the babies go visit their father. It's really hard.
There is just no way around his entitled time with your baby. My ex left when my toddler was 5 weeks old. then when he 'wanted to work on things' I got pregnant with my 5 month old.
It also my opinion that the worst thing you could do is to fight over stupid things...save that for the big time..if necessary. Besides, if you are agreeable to majority of things, they often just give up...when they find out how much responsibility comes with it. maybe it's the testosterone causing the fighting? HA HA HA
Another thing that is helping me deal is counseling. It is still going to be hard for me when the baby goes over nights. It would be much easier if overnights came when the breastfeeding relationship was over...
Glad you are here! You aren't alone in all the grief, the loss, and the emotions, for sure. Some of my posts here sound off the wall-crazy even. But I dont care...it's honest and its where I am right at the moment. This will pass-all of it...someday.
Hang in there! Keep working through it!
Last edited by hopenot4gotten; February 9th, 2010 at 09:55 PM.
Welcome to the group, Jamie! I'm Dani, the host here. KrazE and Hope are right. I don't think you have much to worry about other than the fact that there is not much you can do about his rights as a father and accept that SOMEDAY he is going to get her overnight...and yes, it is much easier to explain that to your heart than to explain to your child why daddy didn't want her. I speak from personal experience there! My father left before I was born, came back just after I was born and pretended to care...until they were living together again then his true feelings came out. When I was 7 months old I spent an entire month in the hospital and he never even asked where I was. At that moment, my mother knew she was getting out permanently. I met him when I was 19 and needed so much to understand why he didn't want me. I never got my answers but I wrote him out of my life many years ago and never looked back. It took him rejecting my sons to make me see how little he cared about me. His loss. Not mine. Sorry to run away with your thread here. lol I wish we lived in a perfect world where mommies and daddies stayed together and loved each other and raised their babies in a loving home. Life isn't like that for most of us. That's why we're divorced. We're tied to these men for the rest of our lives because our children are always going to have both of us in their lives. (for the most part anyway) There are going to be graduations and birthdays and weddings and births which must be shared by both parents. This is just one situation of many yet to come where you are going to have to deal with him wanting one thing and you wanting something different. HOPEFULLY, you can get past this and are able to agree on some sort of visitation schedule that works out well for both of you. Don't worry about her schedule too much. She's young enough that she will show signs of needing to get to bed when her bedtime rolls around and she will get whiney enough he won't forget to feed her. Let him know what her schedule is and he will learn it--or pay the price! LOL
Let us know how things go for you on Thursday!
I never want him completely out of her life...I want her to know him and grow up around him. We (my ex and I) still talk almost daily and have mutually decided on most of the items to be divided. He says he wants to see her more, he knows he wont get full custody, but he just wants to see her more. Well I told him all he had to do was ask...and of course I would let him. I have never refused him except once that he texted me at 11 PM and wanted her the next day.
I want things to stay just as they are...he asks to see her and he gets her. No set schedule. Right now she comes to work with me everyday, so we dont have to pay child care.
My issues is with his gf. He lives with her. She has in the past had charges brought against her for harboring a dangerous pitt bull that injured someone. The dog was put down, but she now has 2 others. I dont know anything about her living conditions, she smokes, and also doesnt even have custody of her own 2 boys.
Even when we were together...he was rarely involved with my daughter. Even pregnant. So I think his gf and his family (they are a bunch of nut jobs) are pushing him to do this, because otherwise he wouldnt do it alone.
Thanks for the luck though! Tomorrow this time, we will be there!! I will let you all know how it goes!
I dont think you are being unreasonable at all! I think you are doing great! You can always present your evidence for the dogs and her history and request something in the parenting plan about the dogs staying away from any children. And when she smokes...that it outside and away from your child. These are legitimate concerns and totally understandable!
Let his family or girlfriend be the motivating factor for his visitation. If he is doing it out of pressure of an attempt to look good, it wont last long. But if he isn't, then he will continue consistently, you know?
I think the same thing about my ex. It is now every weekend....he wants to change it to every other weekend with no midweek visits in between. I think it should stay the same as it is right now because 2 weeks is a long time for a baby without a midweek visit. (Plus I need the break!) Funny how things change........