CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #1
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Confused CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

My son's father and I were never married, but together on and off for 4 and a half years. He was living with me and my parents in Payson, AZ, and was not a very good father. He worked graveyard shifts as security at the casino, making $9.50 an hour. He very rarely gave money to our son Alex or to me. Alex is 4 months old. I have been unemployed since I got pregnant. He occasionally bought diapers and wipes, but towards the end of our relationship I spent my money I had saved from my birthday and Mother's Day, and the money I had intended to save for Alex for emergencies on everything he needed like teething things, diapers, and wipes. I ran out of money right as I broke up with Michael (my son's father) and he moved over 100 miles away to Surprise, AZ. He hasn't contacted me to ask how our son is or attempted to see him at all. He has not paid a single cent to help our son. I had to find a job cleaning 4 nights a week to buy him diapers and things he needs. i get paid 90 dollars a week. I also am currently enrolled full time in school to become an RN. I made it very clear he and his parents are welcome to see him anytime they want, but I won't let him take him out of my sight until we've established custody. I know he is working on a case against me, and I am working on one myself. He doesn't really care about his son, he never once woke up in the night in the beginning to feed him, he only changed maybe 5 diapers tops, and has not watched him for me for over 4 hours (in which my parents were there to help him). He doesn't know how to take care of him, and I am terrified he will get him for overnights. Our son rolls over in his sleep, I sleep lightly so I can hear if he starts to suffocate so I can turn him back over. I know my ex will not wake up in the night to make sure he is safe or help him if he needs it. He is a heavy sleeper, and has slept through him crying right next to him when he was supposed to be watching him. I do not trust him and I don't think he really even wants Alex. I think he is doing this so he doesn't look like a bad person, and I think his mother who is a paralegal is pressuring him and taking care of all his legal things for him. She will probably be the one watching him most of the time because Michael always sleeps and only cares about himself and his entertainment/event company he is starting. I don't approve of his lifestyle or his choice of friends. I do not want that around my son. I have always been the one to care for Alex and we are very bonded. Michael is not bonded with Alex. My concern is that October 29, 2011 I was arrested for domestic violence. I was charged with a class 1 misdemeanor "criminal damage." I had to pay 300 in fines and go to domestic violence classes once a week for 6 months. I finished all of this, paid my fines, and it is done. but the state pressed charges because in the state of az if something is broken during a domestic dispute, you go to jail. I broke a Christmas tree ornament. I did not throw it at him. I simply broke it during our argument. I am scared this will be used against me in our battle for custody. I do not want him to take our son for overnights until he is older. I'm not sure how old, but I want to feel comfortable about it and make sure he is capable of taking good care of him. With our son only being 4 months old, I want to make sure he doesn't leave overnight yet. I am fine with Michael coming to visit every day all day if he wants to spend time with his son. I don't want our son leaving overnight with him yet, though. What do you think the judge will most likely decide? Will I have physical custody? Will he? Will Michael be able to take him from me over night? Do you think Either of us will have to pay child support? Michael is currently unemployed as far as my knowledge. Does that matter? Will my past matter? With the domestic violence on my record against him? It was before my son was born and I am a different person now. I have a bad history from when I was younger, I was an exotic dancer, I had a drug issue when I was younger (cocaine) and I partied a lot. I also have ADHD, I don't know if that will count against me also. I was young and stupid, I am a responsible parent now. I have been clean since long before I got pregnant, I even quit smoking cigarettes when I found out I was pregnant. I am sober, I don't drink, I am going to school to become a nurse and get my life together, and I am a great mom. ANYONE will tell you that. Even my sons pediatrician loves me and tells me how great of a mother I am. Michael has never even been to an appointment or met his pediatrician. He wouldn't even come with me for Alex's circumcision. I cry everytime Alex gets shots and he wouldn't even come to help me. I have no idea what the outcome of this will be. I am worried and I don't know what to expect. Any advice would be very helpful and I would love to know what you think the outcome will be. Thank you!
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 10:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

From the trenches, it does not appear either of you are spectacular parent material. You appear to be growing up rapidly though. Unless he is on the birth certificate, you are the only custodial parent, you need to wrap up a court action to establish custody, visitation and child support. It is commendable you are trying to become a nurse. Have you determined whether that conviction can prevent you from being licensed? You may need to get an expungement before attempting to license. If you were a stripper before, I suggest you investigate doing it again. It sure pays better than $90 a week. It seems if you want what is best for your child, you need to give dad parenting skills. You may need to teach them firsthand.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

I am actually a fantastic mother. I have had a very rough past but it was all before I got pregnant. I don't have the birth certificate yet because the form is unclear and I think they might have given me the wrong one. I'm in the process of figuring it out and seeking help on that matter. We have established paternity though, and he is the legal father. I'm not sure about expungement to be honest I don't even know what that means. I don't know anything about the law really, it is so confusing! I have never even had a parking ticket so it was crazy for me to be arrested. Especially since the situation was so ridiculous. I broke a Christmas tree ornament! It's not like I threw it at him or anything! But I don't think it can stop me from nursing. I will not dance, I don't want to be THAT mom and I'm not that person anymore. I want my son to be proud of me. I want to make an honest living and I won't dance again. I am going to school full time, and I want to spend the time I'm not in school with my son. I don't want to miss out on his life. This cleaning job allows me to put my baby to bed every night and work while he sleeps. My parents and sister are home to make sure he is okay in case he wakes up. It works, its just not much money to work with. I tried to get him more involved with the baby when he lived here and we were together, but he'd rather sleep or work on his music or text on his stupid phone. I tried to have him watch the baby while I showered or went to a doctors appointment and he'd always say "I was about to sleep. Take him with you." When he was just texting. He made excuses. you can't teach someone who isn't willing to learn. When he came to pick up the rest of his things, I asked if he wanted to see Alex. He didn't respond. Didn't see Alex. Just left.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 12:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

If you haven't been to court and no one has signed the AOP (hospital personnel can help) paternity has NOT been established.

You need to get a court order to collect child support. He has zero legal obligation right now.

Once he gets custody/visitation established then he will begin to get court ordered visitations. If he follows the schedule then typically by 18 months he will have overnights.

I think you are looking at yourself a little too rosily. In your first post you discuss your DV conviction, by the second you don't even have a parking ticket!!

Young men do not typically have a great affinity for infants. They are loud, boring little creatures. As your son gets bigger, begins walking, his interest should increase.

It is ok for you to have family watch the baby but not him? You need to learn how to coparenting.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

Even though you appear to be a bit rough around the edges, you appear to be shaping up fast. I think you need to consult a doctor about the child possibly having sleep apnea. They have monitors, that send a loud warning after so many seconds of not breathing. My son was actually on one as a baby. We'd be driving down the road quietly talking and SHRIEK!!!!, off to the shoulder of the road, to wake him up. If you choose not to return to a profession where you can make good money, because you feel there are moral implications, that is a decision you are free to make. On the other hand, it is a perfectly legal profession. You should investigate to see if there are some co-parenting classes offered locally. I really wish you luck as a nurse.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

yes we have established paternity. we just have not gotten a birth certificate yet, but i'm in the process of doing that. I know I need a court order to get child support. But that can't happen until we establish custody. Which is what I'm trying to do right now. Legally he isn't obligated to help his son financially right now, but as a parent he should want to if he cares about his son at all. I am not saying I'm perfect, I admitted I had a rough past before I got pregnant. But it's true, I've never been in trouble with the law ever, I've never even been pulled over. I was stating that for you to understand how shocking it was to me when I got arrested for domestic violence. I wasn't being violent, I wasn't threatening anyone, I broke a freaking Christmas tree ornament in my own home. I did not throw it at anyone, I simply broke it. I was kind of tricked, that's a long story in itself, but not the point. The point is, I am not a repeat offender and I haven't been in trouble before. That was my only offense EVER and it was a stupid situation. I don't care if young men don't like infants, this is my SON. He is my LIFE. I CARE. If he doesn't, he should back off and stop trying to take him. He is only doing this to get to me, he doesn't even care about our son. It makes me so mad. He's not a weapon to use against me. He is a human being and should be a reason for peace. I don't know what infants you've been around, but my son is not loud and boring. He is amazing and smart and sweet. He is beautiful and he's my love. And obviously you don't know how to read, because I'm pretty sure I said I tried to get him involved, I tried to have him watch him and he wasn't interested. When he did, it usually turned out bad with him neglecting Alex. My parents watch Alex and actually pay attention to him and care for his needs. I look out for the best interest of my son. It sounds to me like you don't want to offer legal help or advice, you just want to try to find ways to kick someone who's already down. Does it make you feel better about yourself? I am a 23 year old single mother going to school full time, working a part time job, supporting my son, and spending time with him nurturing, loving, and raising him the best I can. No one helped me get into school. No one helped me find a job. No one is helping me with this legal situation. I am trying my hardest and doing a pretty good job. Yet you are criticizing me as a mother, defending the POS who hasn't contributed anything to his own son and is using him to hurt me, and telling me I need to learn co parenting when I made the effort to make things work, but he didn't want any part of it. Why are you even on this website? obviously you don't want to help. I don't need your negativity. I was looking for legal advice, not your rude opinion. If you can't help then mind your own business.This situation has me stressed enough without your bad attitude. Thanks.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 04:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: CUSTODY BATTLE! someone help please :(

Disagreeable- yes I was pretty rough around the edges. I am a new person now, and I am on the right track. He doesn't have sleep apnea, but thanks for the suggestion! He just rolls over in the night onto his tummy. When he's awake, he can lift and turn his head to breathe. When he's asleep he is unaware he needs to turn his head. He goes face down in his sleep, and when he tries to breathe I hear him struggling to breathe against the mattress. I sleep very lightly now and when this happens I turn him over. I have a certain way I position him with his blanky now to keep him from flipping over but it only works for so long. It helps him not do it as often, but it still happens. :/ I'm sorry you had to go through that with your child. My friend had to with hers too and it was really hard on her It is a good idea to look up co parenting classes! Thank you, I didn't know there was such a thing, but if I can convince him to go and it helps, I would feel a lot better about Alex's safety when he goes with his Dad. I just want him to take our son seriously, and spend time with him and build that bond. I want him to pay attention to his needs and safety. He's already starting to crawl (I know its ridiculous at 4 1/2 months) so he can't take his eyes off him or he could hurt himself or get into something he shouldn't. I will definitely look into the classes though, and thank you for your suggestion!
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