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Need custody/visitation advice (long, I'm sorry)


Forum: Divorce and Separation

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  #1  
August 22nd, 2010, 01:51 PM
Alison81's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 7,593
We were never married, but I thought some of you might be able to offer advice.

Rob and I had our daughter Kylie 12/11/09. He had a girlfriend during my pregnancy, would break up with her, come back to me, and then our daughter was born and he came back and we were basically together from then until around april, when he tried to get back together with his ex. Since then he's been taking Kylie when he can, and it's been pretty friendly up until now. He doesn't pay child support, but has been helping with daycare, and with extras when I ask him. We briefly were back together, and now I am pregnant with our second child. But I'd say lately he has her once or twice a week for about 4-5 hours at a time. He used to take her several times a week, but it's been a lot less recently and I'll explain that next. And he also hasn't been helping me with costs as much, I am lucky if I get $80/month since around june. And that is an issue, and we have fought about that, I have suggested I file for child support to have the courts deal with it but right now he's unemployed, so when he gives me $100 one week, I know that's better than I'd get while he's unemployed.

In the beginning of August he got a new girlfriend, and it's been pretty miserable since, she has a child of her own, a 1 year old, and the father is not involved. She wants my ex to be her daughter's "dad". Anyhow, anytime I am talking to him about money for daycare, or how he hasn't seen her even though he has off from work, I get a text from her. The background is, she was a friend of his and tried to be friends with me, until I found out she'd go meet up with him and sleep with him behind my back, even knowing how I felt and that I was pregnant with our second child. So, I can show you the texts, it first started one week after they became "official". That friday they had spent the whole day together, him, her, my daughter, and her daughter, I feel like what he does when he has her is his business but he told me anyhow so I would know. That was fine, and he told me he'd try to drop by $50 for me in a few days. A few days past and I didn't hear from him, so I called him and told him he had promised to pay me $50, and then he said he couldn't because he was with his girlfriend and she didn't think he should have to pay me $50 because he sees his daughter. And I got mad and we argued about it. I told him that his girlfriend shouldn't have a say in our business, and I got upset because I still had that hope we'd be a family (maybe I am wrong to be upset? maybe I am in the wrong there?), and I told him it's bad enough she took that but now she's telling you not to help support your daughter. So, a few minutes later, she texts me this...

HER: Listen alison, i think its a little pathetic how your so jealous. your acting like a little kid. just get over yourself. and stop b*ching at robbie. 8/10/10 12:59pm

ME: please do not contact me again 8/10/10 1:02pm

HER: then grow up and stop b*ching at robbie for hanging out with me..he can hangout with whoever he wants 8/10/10 1:04pm

ME: Do not contact me 8/10/10 1:10pm

ME: What is said between rob and I is between Rob and I so please stay out of it and do not contact me 8/10/10 1:10pm

HER: and what robbie and i do are between me and him so you stay out of it 8/10/10 1:11pm

HER: and ill be at his house everytime you drop kylie off and ill be there tomorrow when you come to his house 8/10/10 1:15pm

HER: why would you file for child support or ask for money when he sees her and gives you money for her? 8/10/10 1:21pm

ME: I have asked you several times not to contact me if you contact me again I will file harassment charges 8/10/10 1:30pm

After this I spoke to him and told him his girlfriend should not be contacting me. I also said I feel really uncomfortable with him taking Kylie after those texts from her, knowing she'll be there waiting for me. I didn't feel like I was bringing her into a safe situation, and I asked him if it was possible that she could not be there. He screamed at me and told me to grow up, that she would be there whether I liked it or not. I was hysterically crying. I did not feel comfortable bringing my daughter around someone like that. He told me it was too bad. I needed a babysitter for work the next day, so I called his mom, and she asked me what happened. I said, nothing much, I told her that his girlfriend had been texting me and I felt really uncomfortable about bringing Kylie there, and he told me it was too bad, she would be there. His mom was really mad about it, and I guess he must have told his girlfriend his mom would be taking Kylie the next day. About an hour after talking to his mom I get this text from her...

HER: you seriously had to call his mother? im breaking it off with him, hope your happy! although you will never be able to have him anyways cause he doesn't even like you 8/10/10 10:36pm

After that he picked up Kylie 4 days later and did take her without the girlfriend and kept her for the afternoon, it was a sunday. Then he told me he'd be working everyday and couldn't take her for awhile, unless it was during the day. Fine.

The next week he asks me if it's too late for me to have an abortion. I said yes, and my mind was made up, I don't believe in abortion. He talked to me, trying to talk me into it. Then he started getting mad at me because I wouldn't give in. And sure enough, a few hours later I have a text from the girlfriend...

HER: hey can i pick kylie up so robbie can see her cause he doesnt want to pick her up because of you. im not trying to be a mother to your kid but every father should see their kid 8/21/10 1:29pm

So, I am not happy. I did not text her back, I called him and asked why she was texting me that, and that he never had a problem coming here and seeing me and Kylie, so what is the issue now? He says that she asked why he wasn't seeing Kylie on his day off, and he told her that I was p*ssing him off and he didn't want to see me. He NEVER had a problem coming to see Kylie before, regardless of how we felt towards eachother. Then he says he can't come anyway, he has no gas money, and I asked why his girlfriend can't help him since she was willing to drive out and pick Kylie up. He says, well, she already paid for my rent and food. Oh boy. I told him if he can find a way to drive 10 minutes, I'd meet him somewhere so he can take her. The girlfriend left his house, and then he had no problem driving to meet me and took Kylie for a few hours to his mom's house so she could visit with her. It was fine, he was able to see me just fine. For whatever reason he's trying to make his girlfriend think he hates me.

After all of this, if you read this far, I really want to get a custody/visitation schedule in order. But I have no clue where to start. My older daughter's father gets visitation, but I asked for the court to decide it because he never follows through. So I don't know about making our own, but I would rather do that. I'd like to have set times so that he can't blame me when he doesn't take his daughter. And I'd like it to say, he picks up, I drop off, etc, and where we will do that. Is there also a way I can put into our custody/visitation arrangement that Kylie not be allowed alone with his girlfriend or in the car with her? I feel really uncomfortable about all the texts, and I feel like she will continue to overstep her bounds, and I feel like I need to draw up the boundaries for her through the courts. I don't want Kylie in a bad situation. He wants to be in her life, and I am all for that, but I don't want anymore episodes of being texted anytime we are discussing child support or visitation or Kylie. How do I handle a situation like this? How do I be the bigger person? I have no desire to be with him again. I have someone I am seeing, and he would never even CONSIDER texting Kylie's dad and calling him names or anything, I just would not allow it, not when kids are involved, but obviously these two are clueless. They are both 20, if that makes any difference. So the maturity level is not very high and honestly, I don't know how to handle it. I am so stressed all the time, feeling like everytime I talk to him she'll be texting me, who knows what else she would do! Please give me some advice, about handling this, visitation, whatever. I just want things to be as smooth as possible.
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  #2  
August 22nd, 2010, 06:41 PM
CassCramer's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm not in your exact situation, but I can relate. About 5 months ago, when I started seeing my current bf, my son's dad wasn't doing much. He was being really immature and seeing a girl I did not want around my son no matter what. She was one of his "friends" while we were engaged and living together that was constantly telling him to leave me and that I wasn't good enough for him. I found out he had brought my son around her and she was pushing him around in a stroller. I'm still waiting on him to help out with his son, who is almost 2 now. He started working a month ago, and is now getting married next week. If he doesn't start paying, I'm filing for child support. I know in Arizona, you can request supervised visitation in which you can specify who is supervising the visits. You should definitely look into that - it seems like not only your ex is playing games, but this girl as well. I'm glad you have someone better now, but still make sure you do what you need to take care of yourself and your kids.
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  #3  
August 22nd, 2010, 06:55 PM
KrazE's Avatar ShutTheFrontDoor
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Posts: 2,546
I think that the best thing you can do in this situation is to see about free legal advice to get an actual court order. Make sure you have the texts that she has sent you to enable you to use them as evidence. Also, start writing down all contact with him that is not in writing - and if possible, start communicating with him in writing as much as possible.

You can use his requests that you have an abortion, and the harassment from his present girlfriend to back up what you are requesting.

I would suggest that you ask for sole custody of both children (the one that is not yet born) with visitation for him.

Ensure that you try to make a reasonable visitation schedule and also include the fact that he is required to give you 24 hours notice prior to a cancellation.

Also have 'additional access upon reasonable notice' to be at your discretion (meaning he can ask, but if you have plans already or you do not feel that he has provided you with ample notice, you are within your rights to say no).

Now, the issue of the girlfriend. Since he is now on a second female already, and that female is harassing you, ensure that you are clear that you do not feel that this is in the best interest of your child for her to be involved in your child's life at this point in time.
All pick up & drop off cannot be done by her, nor can he leave your child in her care during his visitation time.

Be reasonable, but firm and there should be no reason why you cannot get this in a final order.

As to his unemployment - is he not drawing some sort of benefits? If so, they can take money from it for child support (at least in Canada they do). If he is intentionally unemployed, or under-employed, you can ask the courts to impute an income for the determination of child support.

In the end, this is about your children and the basic fact that he is financially responsible for them no matter what.
You will need to work really hard on taking your emotions out of the equation when speaking to a lawyer and/or the courts as they will not net you any additional points; the courts want facts and tangible evidence to make rulings.

Because I have the option where I live, I dealt with my own case for custody & support as I personally do not feel that lawyers out here do enough to get the case moved through the court when you are paying out of pocket for them; see what there is for offer in your area in regards to legal services and take him to court.
Without an actual court order, I don't see him following any agreement in the way you might hope, and the girlfriend will continue to add stress to your life.

Best of luck
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  #4  
August 22nd, 2010, 09:29 PM
Alison81's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 7,593
This has been very helpful. Thank you. I actually found the number of a mediation center, and they can also provide some free legal help, so I will try that. I also found a parents group for unmarried parents, it is part of the mediation, to help maybe me and him understand how to be the best parents we can to Kylie and the new baby. I am going to try it and hope it helps.
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  #5  
August 23rd, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Get a restraining order against the girlfriend and if she contacts you again, call the cops on her. She has no right to interfere with your communication with your ex nor should she be calling you names and giving you such a hard time. Perhaps if she understands that she can wind up in a lot of trouble for doing this, maybe she will stop. If not, a few nights in jail might help her understand.
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