Hi all. Please don’t flame this…
In October of '03 ago I left my husband who is an alcoholic and has been arrested several times for domestic violence. In May of '04, I moved out of the state with our two children to go live with family members. My husband had been arrested, lost his job, had no vehicle or income, was not supporting myself or the children, and had no interest in seeing the children. I hated to do that to my kids, but our safety came first. It’s tough living as a single parent without a support group. I couldn’t afford the cost of living, daycare etc… and I was working a third shift job with a law enforcement agency.
Now I’m ready to file for a divorce, and will be doing it by myself. I’ve asked my husband several times what kind of custody arrangements he thinks is fair, for both of us but mostly the kids. (he lives out in CO.) I think he loves his kids, and I certainly don’t want to keep the kids from their dad.
My husband refuses to tell me how he’d like to fairly arrange visitations. I’ve tried my best to be fair with time, as fair as you can be when two parents live in two states! Unfortunately, all he can suggest is for me to sign over parental rights to him, or to come live in his basement so I can see the kids when I want. [?]
Now he’s threatening to call the police and have me arrested for ‘custodial kidnapping’ of the children. (This doesn’t work in a CO court. There were no custody orders existing when we moved. The PD I worked for said that I was within my rights to move.)
Anyways, I’m really scared to go to court. I’m afraid a judge will think I’ve done a bad thing and will order full custody to the kids’ dad. I’m desperate to get a divorce. I just want freedom from the abusive relationship that I have endured for way too long. The kids and I were just not in a safe or healthy environment out in Colorado. [V]
I suppose I just don’t know what else to do here. Writing this out helps a bit… But any feedback from anyone would be greatly appreciated! I can’t figure out what to do about visitation and parenting time (the kids are 7 and 4, much too young to fly on a plane alone.) and I’m certainly scared to file for this divorce. He’ll be able to figure out our address now, and I’m super scared he’s going to show up here. Lord only knows what would happen then!
The Women’s Center only offers minimal legal advice…I’m not working so an attorney is out of the question.
Any words of wisdom???