April 06, 2008,
S.K. asks from Downers Grove, IL on April 01, 2008
Single Moms Fighting for Custody...
I am in a horrible custody fight with my ex-boyfriend. We were together a year an a half. We moved in with his mom and dad when I was 3 months pregnant. We had only been together about 6 months. After the baby was born. I realized how much of an addict he was. He spent all of our savings on gambling. He was an alcoholic/Rx drug user. He threw me and the baby out. He sees the baby 3 days a week, no overnights. He does not pay $1 for her. Not sure why the courts allow it. We have court this month. He is trying to get sole custody of her.
Just looking for someone else to talk to. Only a couple of my friends have children. Nobody understands what I am going through. Anyone can help me. Please respond...Sincerly The Fight of My Life!!!!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Two Years. The hardest fight of my life. But I won SOLE CUSTADY! Thank you for all your help.
H.D. answers from San Francisco on April 02, 2008
First of all, get a lawyer! Most lawyers will see you for an hour for free, go with a list of questions, don't wing it. Most of them will be able to tell you where to go if their fees are too high for you. You MUST get legal aide.
Second, keep a journal, take notes. Write things like...
"Jimmy picked baby up 3 hours late today, he screamed at me and left with her. He was 4 hours late returning her March 5th, 2008, she was dirty and had no bottle." "Talked to Jimmy today at 3pm for 15 minutes, he says he isn't paying a dime for child support and no court can tell him what to do."
Call CPS if he comes drunk or high. Call the police if he has the baby and you KNOW he is drunk or high and have them do a "well child" check at his house. GET IT DOCUMENTED! Does "Jimmy" have a record?
You say he is suing for sole custody, on what grounds? You say nothing about yourself. Do you have a job? A safe place to live for yourself and baby? Is your baby well fed? Up to date on her well baby check-ups and shots ($6.00 or so at the county health dept. you have NO excuse and a judge will say so) Do YOU have a record? Do you have a support system of family and friends that can help you? The safer, more normal your life is the more likely you are to have custody of your child. If these questions are NOT true then you need to start this moment and make sure that they are. The courts only look at the facts in front of them and they don't like hearsay, which means "well he said he would do...she didn't do..") Have it written down, date, time, who was there.
You are lucky in that you are the mom, not the dad. Mother's get custody MOST of the time. If you were in the state of Texas it is 96% of the time, I believe in Illinois it is closer to 88% of the time.
Yes, I know way more about this subject than I would like to. =(
Clean up your life, get a journal, get a lawyer.
Take a deep breath. You have more power and strength than you think you do. *HUG*
1 mom found this helpful
S.H. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
ok i can say i have been through this, but just a little different.
yes i am a mother, and my man has three other kids.
one good thing to do is have records of everything.
dont be scared of the judge and tell the truth. state that your ex is addict to something, whatever he is addict to.
i have lots more to say but not enough typing time.
it sounds like this man would use his child and nothing more then that.
he kicked you out with the child, if he really wanted the child he would have kept the child with him.
any question just let me know.
1 mom found this helpful
H.S. answers from Chicago on April 06, 2008
I know you will receive advice and stories from lots of people, but keep in mind that the two best sources of support and advice come from God (Bible) and from an attorney. Now that may sound strange to put those two together for you but you will need the spiritual love and words from God and you will need the lawyer to act on your behalf in areas you are not familiar with. Some of the other women mentioned their struggles and some had a lawyer some didn't. My passion is to help women know that there's an option to have an attorney at an affordable price. That may be hard to believe but we've helped several single moms in situations similar to yours. Give me a call to explain what we offer and how we've provided a service that has helped other women like yourself.
We have gone thru our share of custody issues and I would love to just talk and find out what I can do to help you thru this situation. Take Care- ###-###-#### H. Smith
V.H. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
The courts tend to lean in favor of mothers and if you have yourself together then you should have no problem making your case. But if you go before the judge and focus on your ex boyfriends issues and you do not have yourself together you may loose, expecially if he demonstrates more stability. Identify your weaknesses and address them before you get to court, if you don't he will.
L.W. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
The chances of him getting sole custody are slim to none in the state of IL. Unless he can prove you to be EXTREMELY unfit I would not worry about it. Just be sure you have your ducks in a row as far as legal counsel and don't be afraid to point out his shortcomings b/c you certainly don't want your child put into any dangerous situations especially at such a young age. Good luck!
C.M. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
I am so sorry to hear you're going thru this! It's not easy but hang in there. It will get better. I have sole custody of my boy who will be 16 next month. We were very young when it all happened, but my ex almost never pays child support. In fact, he remarried a month after our divorce was finalized when our son was 2 years old but he is now a stay at home dad! His wife supports him and their 2 daughters.
Anyhow, the laws have changed now and it's very difficult to get sole custody. He really doesn't stand a chance... I think the other gal is correct in that he's just trying to scare you.
L.W. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
I have no experience going through this, but I just wanted to say I'm so sorry that you have to. Don't give up hope. Your baby will stay with you in the end. There are very few occassions that the court will give full custody to the father, and this does not seem to be one of them. I hope her father can get the help he needs and eventally be a support for your daughter throughout her life.
Again, I am so sorry you are going through this. You are such a strong person. Good luck with everything.
W.S. answers from Chicago on April 01, 2008
I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I was a single Mom before, but my ex just dropped off the face of the planet... maybe yours will do you the favor of doing the same.
You have legal representation, right? Do you feel confident with your attorney? Are you sure your ex is trying for sole custody? (it's going to be very costly for him). Some guys will just say that to try and scare you off of limiting their visitation rights - don't let him intimidate you. If your ex was / is abusing, he can be court-ordered to do a hair folicle test and they supposedly can tell what he's been up to for six months to a year previous.
If he is ordered to do such a test, you will be likely ordered the same (not to scare you, just to prepare you) and they will also look at alcohol intake. If he comes up positive for anything you should not have any problem being granted a requirement for supervised-only visits for your ex and your baby.
Once granted supervised-only visits it is likely he will lose interest in visitation (if he's not going to pay child support you are far better off without him, believe me on that).
I hope for your little one's sake your ex comes around and gets into a program so he can be there for your baby. But please just rest assured as long as you are doing everythiing right for your baby - it's all going to work out okay. Your little one is going to be just fine as long as you are okay.
K.H. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
Do you have a good lawyer? I am a single mom to almost 4 year old B/G twins, my divorce was final as of Septmeber 10th. I was married for almost 9 years together for 11! He cheated on me for the last 6 years and I just figured it out and was finally done. Anyway... if he is an addict he will have a really hard time getting sole custody of her. He would have to prove that you are an unfit mother which I am sure is not the case. Most people get joint custody but you should provide the primary residence and with that you would get child support which in the state of IL is 20% if his net income. Joint custody means you both have a say in how you raise your daughter, school, religion, health related issues, etc. He should also pay 1/2 of any unpaid medical bills, school, extras like sports, dance, activities. My ex sees them two nights a week and every other weekend. You should put in your joint parenting agreement JPA that there are not over night stays with a person of the opposite sex until you both have been in a realtion ship for six months or more you feel your child can accept it. I did this because I new he was cheating on me. Kids are confused enough they don't need to be tossed in out of relationships. Just a thougth. I can certainly give you more advice if you want it. My home email is ____@____.com
Good Luck and don't give up!!
single mom to twins who works full-time!!!