The first thing you need to do is calm down before you make some really foolish decisions. It is understandable that you are upset and your strong reaction to being served with divorce papers is reasonable. But you need to keep it together, brother. Don’t let your anger get the best of you.
You have no idea the hell that you will unleash on everyone, including your child, if you go on the attack like this. YES, get an attorney now. NO, do not run to DSS over some bruises and scrapes when you have no other evidence of abuse. I guarantee you that you will look like a vindictive, jilted husband seeking revenge against his wife for filing for a divorce. Allegations of abuse during divorce are rampant and you could end up looking like the bad guy if you don’t have something substantive to back up your accusations.
Take your child to a doctor if you are concerned about the bruises and scrapes. Ask for a professional opinion. If a doctor suspects that the bruises could not have happened in the way your wife has suggested, then perhaps you should pursue the matter. But for heavens sake, DO NOT MAKE A FALSE ALLEGATION OF ABUSE - no matter how much leverage you think it will give you in a case.
You have a year of mandatory, legal separation to go through before either of you will be granted a divorce in NC. Slow things down. Think smart and strategize! This is a period in which you need to use your brain and some logic rather than listening to the wild emotions roiling around inside you.
I can already tell you that the “case” you are trying to present is full of holes. Back up and start over. If you are a good father then you have every right to the care and companionship of your child. You’ve already got two strikes against you. 1) You are a man 2) You have a record of assault. Don’t strike yourself out by using a dangerous legal strategy or making wild accusations of abuse.
Believe it or not, even if your wife is secretly bisexual, that is not sufficient reason to take the child away from her, order supervised visits and compel her into mental health counseling.
I recommend that you take time to ask a bunch of questions here in this forum and read other messages about how divorce really works in NC. This isn’t an episode of Law and Order.
Educate yourself. I recommend the books “Custody for Fathers” and “Father’s Rights” - both of which can be purchased at major bookstores. Document the dates, times and circumstances of anything important - especially if you think it is related to child neglect or abuse.
Create a timeline of events and keep taking photos. In NC you can record conversations between you and your wife without her knowledge or consent. If she is prone to bragging about doing anything unethical or has a pattern of screaming or berating you, then buy a small digital recorder and get it on tape.
DO NOT get into any arguments with her that become heated. Naturally, don’t stalk or harass her. Whether you deserved your assault conviction or not, you have a record of violence. All it takes is for you say the wrong thing to her and she can get an ex parte (restraining) order against you. That won’t look good. You need to protect yourself against false allegations. If you suspect she is going to make one, then document your concerns in advance.
Most important of all, take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Exercise, eat healthy, DON’T TURN TO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, pray, spend time with friends… whatever helps you. The emotional turmoil of divorce, especially in a down and dirty relationship like you apparently have with your wife, can destroy your sanity. Find some peace anyway you can. Forgive your wife as best you can and remember that if your marriage must end, you still must work with her in a coparenting relationship. Put the needs and welfare of your child ahead of your own desires for revenge.
There is a lot of good info and support out here to help you through this! But the first step is to release some of this anger and anxiety and focus in on what things you actually have some control over. You can’t change your wife’s mind or improve her behaviors, but you can use this time to be introspective and focus on how to be the best person you can be for yourself and your child during this distressful ordeal.
I wish you luck.