Coming fast

I never knew a month can pass so fast. It has my stomach in knots. As you know Erin court is next month and as I say this I really would like to know a few things to ease the knot from my stomach.

A. Since Feb 2007, I have had temp custody of my child with very little visitation from the father. He took our child for maybe 7 weeks in the yr. 2008. He had our son 11 weeks (some of which he refused to bring child back to me) in 2009.

B. I kept the rental we had until the end of the lease (no choice in that matter), got another home and still living here, 1 yr today.

C. I have children from my past that live with me, and then also our son and another daughter from someone else. Yes got pgnt with her while we were seperated for the 4th time during our marriage. But we talked and we made promises and I kept mine but he didn’t his.

D. I married my best friend and we are going strong and con’t with each and every day that passes. Kids love him as well as he loves them. We didn’t do anything but stayed as friends for a long time.

E. Husband bought this home for the kids and I, because my lease was about up and he wanted to make sure we had a home. I paid the bills for this home. Yes, he would be here off and on but we didn’t share a bedroom together. It was like in a sense having a roommate. Now does this have any barring on custody?
EX was with someone physcially and mentally after we seperated. I know two wrongs don’t make a right. But seperations papers were signed and in the courts.

F. Ex is now engage to the women he was with while we were still married and he got together with her not to long after we seperated. He thinks they should get custody to raise my son because I have other children (6 total including son in my home). He feels that our son would be better off and loved more if he was with him. I love and care for my child all the same. No one is left out or alone. We are a family and do alot of family things together.

G. Ex feels that my past before him (being married before and the kids) will put an impact on the custody case and he will get custody. He also thinks that me letting one of my boys live with his father will hurt my custody as well.

H. I will take my children to the Dr/Hospital if they are sick, get a cut that I feel needs to be looked at, problems I see fit to be seen by a Dr, etc. He didn’t even take our son to the hospital when he got bite in the side of his cheek by a dog this past summer during his visitation. NO it was not a huge bite, but he did get a hole in the side of his cheek and now has a scar. I wasn’t even told about this until about a week or so later when I saw my son on web cam and asked what was on his face. I pretty much tell the Ex everytime our son goes to the Dr/Hospital. He will be so mean to me about it too. I thought as a mother it was my duty to do so.

I. My ex beat one of my children and left major brusing. He did have a court ,but judge found him not quilty. But he still did it. He was mentally and physically abusive to my other children and I have DSS reports on that. Our son won’t even talk to him on the phone, (all the 6 times he has called him since the last week of Aug when I got my son back). He doesn’t call to see how he is doing either.

I am scared because court is coming up fast. I do believe that I wouldn’t lose custody but there still is that one chance because I have other children. (so he says). Our son is very happy here and in a stable home. Siblins love and care for eachother.

Ex moved to IL at the end of June 2008. I have been the primary parent of our son. When we went to court in Aug 2008, all he wanted was two weeks in Sept and two weeks in Nov. Yes, he didn’t return child and was very mean with it on all his visitations time and was wrong for doing it. He went way over and there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t up and leave and leave my other children here to go get my son.

Now in saying all this and you being an attorney, what would you say to me?

I cannot predict what will happen in any given case, however in my opinion your role as the primary caregiver will carry weight in court, as well as your son’s relationship with his siblings.

Thank you Erin.

Well wanted to give you some updates and ask a few questions.

Our court date was continued to next calendar so that stress is gone for now. I do though have a few questions.

  1. Ex states that he so called hired a PI for custody purpose’s and that he has stuff on me that can take my son away. I have ran through everything in the last almost two year and can not think of of darn thing that I have done wrong, not one. The only think I can think of is that my 16 and 15 yr old watched the three lil ones which are 6,3,and 2 y/o for about an hour and a half until my husband gets home from work because I go to school Mon thru Thurs. But by law they are allowed to watch them. Did I do something wrong?

  2. EX is still coming down here this weekend to see his attorney on Monday. Something about going over paperwork and stuff and he want to see our son. I don’t trust that he will bring my son back to me before he heads back to IL. There is no order stating that I have to give him to him. There is only a temp order stating Sept 2008 and Nov 2008 for two weeks in each month. Can I refuse him to take my son?

  3. EX said yesterday his attorney said that we will go to court on the 29th. I don’t understand how when the calendar is full for this month. How can his attorney file for a hearing yesterday within 15 minutes of a phone call that EX did with his attorney when our trail for custody has been continued to next calendar?

  4. Now in saying about the order that we got Aug 2008, it doesn’t state other visitation or Holidays. He is the one who requested those times not me. I have given him extra time at which he took advantage of. I didn’t let him have him for Thanksgiving because my attorney told me not to let him have our son anymore because he couldn’t keep to the agreement that him and I set up for ourselfs out of court. So, EX said that his attorney said he can have our son for Christmas because I didn’t let him have our son for Thanksgiving. EX had him last Christmas. My attorney said, “no.” I would like to know in your opinion as another attorney on what is correct. There is no other order in place other than the very first order we did. Would I looked down upon by the judge when we go to court for custody in a bad light? I allowed the EX to have him 4 weeks over the summer and he refused to bring my son back and ended up keeping him for many weeks to follow until he was threaten court and his attorney was advised to talk to his client before we filed the papers.

  5. What are the grounds of a mother losing custody of a child/children? I have read everything that pertains to custody in here. EX’s attorney is a snake and everyone in this town/county knows of it. (reason why ex got him). Is my attorney going to know what is going to be thrown up in court? ex: so called PI reports, People in court.

  6. If Ex’s attorney throws stuff up that we don’t know anything about, what happens?

Sorry for being long. I just have alot of questions and am worried on what is right or wrong in all this.

Whether or not a child is capable of watching another child depends on the maturity of the individual child.

I would not advise against refusing visitation, but would suggest you set something up in a public place where you can remain to ensure your ex does not attempt to abscond with the child.

I can’t say how the calendar works in your county, but if you do have a court date on the 29th you will have to have received notice of it.

As for Christmas vacation I agree with your attorney. Your fears that your ex will take the child can be substantiated by the events of the summer, and a judge should not hold that against you.

A parent can be stripped of custodial rights only if they are unfit.

Your attorney should have an exhibit list from the other side before going to court.

Thank you so much Erin,

My 16 yr old, she has her first aid and cpr certificates. I called DSS and OCSD and they said my daughter is by law allowed to watch my children. That is why I asked about that because i know how my ex is.

Okay another question if you don’t mind. Should i give my attorney all the DSS reports that were done against my ex when him and I were married? It was when he abused my daughter.

I would recommend you turn those reports over to your attorney.

If I have the reports, but he hired an attorney and went to court over it and the judge did not find him quilty even though he admitted it to the judge, can I still use it? The judge stated his decision wasn’t that he condoned it but that since she learned from her mistake by being beat with a belt with metal piece’s on it and left HUGE bruises from the middle of her back to just above her knees, that he found him not quilty. Can I still use the paperwork from DSS?

I have a concern that is bothering me.

At the end of July 2008, I bought a swimming pool about 4 ft deep (water in would be about 3 1/2 ft) from walmart for my oldest daughter brithday party for we were throwing the theme of Hawaii. My son was in IL with father. Fence around pool on top of a fence for the kids playyard. Locks on both. Pool not in kids playyard, quit a ways away from it. Latter never left in pool and locked up in a storage building next to house. Anyhow, son comes back and gets to swim maybe two days in pool. We drained it to clean it out. We have a tornado’s coming through and it was blown over and broken. That said, I get a message saying that I let my 2 yr old out side and he got in pool and almost drawned. I was in shock to hear that when I am a very, very, freaked out person when it comes to pools. I even draine the stupid kiddie pools after they are done playing in it. I asked the ex what he was talking about because that had never happened. His reply was that my husband was there and my oldest son was putting up a fence. I still can’t think of what he is saying because raking my brain I can’t remember anything like that happening. I’m ver causation when it comes to anything that I think would hurt my children.

I would like to know how in the world he can think and say something like this, and how in the world do I defend myself against his statement that is not correct.

Here is another:

Ex get son on the 8th Dec til the 21st of Dec, I had a judge sign the terms. Well when ex got back to IL with son, ex took off out of town/state and left son with girlfriend. Can he do that when son has barely been around ex girlfriend? granted he was only gone for two days, but I feel it wasn’t right. The weather was in the teen’s and she had him out in it all day shopping and buying a car. We live here and he is not use to that weather and also didn’t have the clothes for that type of weather. He now has a cough and told me he doesn’t feel good. He also got the H1N1 mist Dec 8th, Dr warned that he could still get sick. I’m worried that he is getting sick, especially being out all day in this type of weather. If he didn’t take him to the hospital when he got bite in the face by a family dog, what makes me think he will take him to the Dr for being sick.

Very concerned mother here.
Thank you.

If the DSS reports find that no abuse occurred they will not be very helpful in court.

If your ex has no proof of the pool incident, it will be hard for him to convince a judge it happened.

As long as the current order does not prevent your ex from having his girlfriend around the child, he may do so.

DSS did say it was abuse and made him take classes for it. On the paperwork it states him admitting to it.

Thank you for answering my questions.

You are welcome. I wish you the best.

New court date has been put on calendar. I have a few questions.

During Christmas break visitation was good to go. He kept up with his side of the deal only because I had a judge sign the agreement. If it was not signed then it would have been a fighting battle again.

The ex has not called his son but for once which was on Christmas. Ex still has not found a job and it has been almost two years. He will not be able to pay support at all on our son. He is now back with his girlfriend and they are now engaged to be married. She is a RN and I had to stop going to school because we are moving out of state. I have had temp primary since Feb 2008. I am stressed about the hearing coming up because it is for custody. Do I really have anything to worry about? I know I have ask many of times before. I just really need to know what would be the possiblies of me losing primary custody? Remember I do have children from a previous marriages which live with me for I have custody. The ex thinks that since I have other children that my son is more to handle and I do not see that for I have been taking care of him since birth. Ex did not do much at all. This past visitation though, he did more than what I expected. Ex even kept up the potty training and thank goodness I did not have to work on number 4 of potty training him. So, I did thank the ex for keeping it up this time. (I gave him high 5) was I stupid to have done that?

Ex girlfriend is really getting in the middle of alot of stuff and has now turned to being the boss and harassing me to the point that I can’t deal with it anymore. She is name calling, and calling me a bad mother, etc… I was even nice to let her say good bye to my son when we met to me to pick him up. I should have just closed the door and not let her but I didn’t want to show any meaness while my son was present. I hold my tongue alot with her and it is really getting to me when this girl is only 22 yrs old and I am 38 yrs old. Can I get a RO against her? How would that effect custody? How would it effect custody with her and the ex together, meaning she has a good job and the ex doesn’t have one at all? My husband works of course because he is military. I was a fulltime student but we are about to have orders to move so I dropped my classes for I will not be able to finish this semester.

Should I write down every single text message from my ex and his girlfriend? What about the ex’s family and also in messenger, should I print those off? I know his family will not be in court but should I do it anyhow?

Thank you.

I cannot predict what will happen in your trial, but the fact that you have been the primary caregiver for the past year is a good indication that the child residing with you and his other siblings is a good indication that that is in is best interests.

I am glad to hear your relationship with your ex is improving, the court will see this as a good thing.

As for the girl friend you cannot get a restraining order against her, but may request that she not be present at the custodial exchanges.

If you have evidence that shows the girlfriend is hostile towards you, you should certainly bring it to court, to show your basis for eliminating her from custodial exchanges.