View Poll Results: Given the situation, which is worse?
Fighting hard and ruining the ability to get along 16 64.00%
Not fighting as hard as you can just so you can get along 9 36.00%
Other (please explain) 1 4.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-07-2010, 01:38 PM   #1
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Custody - which is worse? LONG

Please move this if it's in the wrong place!

My DD's father is...less than honorable. He never showed much interest in our daughter and would go weeks at a time without so much as a phone call to see how she was. I went off the deep end in December and tried to kill myself (long story...bad decision). Prior to getting commited (a week and a half until I was let out) I did smoke pot with her dad once every few months, I'll admit it.

After getting out, my entire perspective on life changed. I quit smoking, haven't smoked pot since, quit drinking...still a FT nursing student raising her on my own. He partied ALL THE TIME. He's an alcoholic pothead, driving drunk, didn't pay child support, etc.

I told him if he screwed up again that I was going to take Harper. Well, he messed up again and I filed for full custody with supervised visitation for him until he shows long term improvement (AA, clean drug screens for 6 months, etc.).

He has since gotten a job (a month ago), started paying child support, sees her for an hour-ish once every week or two under my supervision (whenever he wants to come around - we have no schedule)...supposedly quit partying but still drinks at home (I don't know how much)...but there are things that REALLY bother me.

I know he couldn't pass a drug test. He told me a few weeks ago that he was driving under the influence and drove off the road...the cops found him and his open containers and pipe in the car and that they threw them out and let him go. He was PROUD of himself that they let him go again.

I have been refusing to take her to his house (he is 24 and still living with his mother) due to his drug use and they swore up and down there was nothing in the house. So a couple weeks ago I agreed to take DD up to visit on the condition that I could search the house.

I found two empty beer cans in his car (didn't get to search the trunk) and in his room there were a lot of pills. There was a small back with 5 morphine pills and a ziploc baggie with smaller ziplocs inside of it that HE identified as percocet and soma. Of course he had "never seen them before" and they weren't his.

He flushed the morphine and his MOTHER said "What'd you do that for? I could have USED those!" which now made me uncomfortable with her, too. The other pills were flushed by his mother. His mother is now accusing ME of having "planted" the pills in the house (riiiiight - I didn't even know what a Soma was and wouldn't have the first clue where to get stuff like that).

So I pushed the custody issue and he was served a few days ago with papers. He and his mother feel that I'm being unreasonable and that he's shown enough improvement to have her at the house, without me present.

He *has* shown massive improvement from how he was...but to me it's still not good enough. Even if the pills weren't his - if ONE was on the floor and our 13 month old DD got one she'd die. He's still drinking and driving, still smoking pot....the problem in all of this is that it will wind up being "he said she said" in court and they will throw my past indescretions into this (the occasional pot smoking prior to quitting and the suicide attempt) to show that he and I are essentially "equals."

The day after finding all of those pills he called and said he was no longer asking to have DD, he was TELLING and he was going to get her for "AT LEAST three days a week."

He has the best attorney in town who was well out of my price range. I know I'm going to lose the fight. Would it be worse for me to fight as hard as I can and sling the mud right along with him and ruin our being able to get along for DD's sake or to concede on a lot of what I want to preserve civility?

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Old 08-07-2010, 02:07 PM   #2
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

I have no idea if it was the right choice but I caved. I didn't have drug issues with my ex. I just didn't like how he parented and I knew my kids wanted to be with me. He had a fab attorney and was willing to go into serious debt for this. I had been on antidepressants for a year and he and his lawyer were trying to make it look like I was crazy. We battled for a year and I knew I couldn't do it for another year. I have no doubt that it would have been better for the boys to be with me more but I also know they needed me in one piece.

There is no right answer, that is the part that completely sucks
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:10 PM   #3
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

Just because he has a good attorney doesn't mean he'll win. You can still fight as hard as you can without slinging mud. Look into low-cost/free legal help in your area. You will probably have to settle for Wednesdays and every other weekend, since that's pretty typical visitation though.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:30 PM   #4
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

If you don't feel she's safe with him, I'd fight. At least then you could say you tried, even if you lose. I wouldn't let him have a baby in that house with loose pills laying around, not locked up. Soma is a strong muscle relaxer prescription. I have some in my house, but they're where the kids cannot get them, in a child-proof bottle. You just can't leave those laying around like that.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisnsteph1022 View Post
If you don't feel she's safe with him, I'd fight. At least then you could say you tried, even if you lose. I wouldn't let him have a baby in that house with loose pills laying around, not locked up. Soma is a strong muscle relaxer prescription. I have some in my house, but they're where the kids cannot get them, in a child-proof bottle. You just can't leave those laying around like that.
This. My good friend just spent 4 years and $25,000 and won full custody of her children last week. Their father was an attorney, so it was an amazingly hard fight. But she won, because he is an *** and it took 4 years for his true colors to come out in the court room. In the beginning, she tried to play nicely. But then he got a girlfriend, and the girlfriend seemed to take over, and her daughters got ignored at visits, and he would not show up just to punish the mom. Right.

I would fight like hell and get custody.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

Can you maybe call CPS on your own child? Tell them that you fear for her life in your ex's house and want the house to be evaluated, and that you're willing to let them evaluate your house as well. She may be taken away while both you and your ex are evaluated, but a foster home would be a far better place than a home where she could find a pill and die.

Pretty sure the attorney can't help with that.

Others may have some better suggestions, but that was the first thing that popped into my mind. A child is in danger, call CPS.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

Great perspective from you all so far, THANK YOU! I just...can't trust him. All he's ever done is lie to me and I think it's dangerous for DD to be in the house. I feel that I can't trust him to even take her out alone because I don't know that he won't be drinking, getting high or taking her to the house anyway.

Believe it or not I've already gone to the police about the drugs (because I know at one point he was going so far as to deal) and called CPS. Neither one even did an investigation...the police even told me that they "couldn't help me" once I told them who I was calling about. Yeah.

My biggest fear is that he'll get to take her to the house and she'll find a pill on the floor and wind up in the hospital or dead. I mean - I'm not even trying to permanently take her...I'm just trying to keep her safe while her dad gets his life together (or doesn't...his choice).
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:14 PM   #8
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

I say fight as hard as you can. If you don't, you may regret the results. In the meantime, document everything that goes on when you visit him (photos in particular). You need a record of what is happening in his home, and why you feel that it is an unsafe environment for DD to be in unsupervised.

I will caution you though that it is certain that his lawyer will bring up your attempted suicide.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:06 PM   #9
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

I would fight with everything I have to keep that guy away from my child.

I have an ex (Levi's daddy, we were divorced at the end of last month) who very similar to what you are describing and its just scary. Do what you can to keep your dd safe, b/c she is not safe with him at all.

I got full custody of my ds b/c of his drug use and crazyness, but I dont get child support (fine with me, b/c he isnt allowed anywhere near ds or me!)

Last edited by leighi123; 08-07-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:10 PM   #10
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Re: Custody - which is worse? LONG

I have kept a journal and made an entry EVERY DAY since I came home from the mental hospital. I don't have photos (stupid me!) but I do have videos of him and his drunk friends (he sent it to me off of his phone) "tbagging" and "mushroom stamping" eachother in the house while Harper was apparently upstairs sleeping.

I do know that my previous pot smoking and suicide attempt will be brought up - but he also went to the mental hospital recently because he was GOING to commit suicide - and in those records he admits to alcoholism and heavy drug use. Also documented in those records is the fact that his MOTHER was medicating him with her antidepressants and klonopin. So while he didn't actually try to kill himself, it evens THAT part of the playing field at least a little bit.

I've also continued outpatient therapy (weekly) and my therapist is willing to testify on my behalf if needed to prove MY stability.

I will absolutely NOT lie...but he wants me to leave out his drug use in this and THAT is my main problem! I'm going to lay it all out on the table and that in itself will likely make him no longer able to be civil to me. I, on the other hand, will likely be able to continue to do so regardless of what happens...long story again but with the stuff he's done/pulled with me if I'm still able to at this point I highly doubt that at the end of this that my ability to be nice will have gone away.
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