+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    MyGirlsRMyLife is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4

    Getting Custody of my Girls (very long, sorry)

    What is the name of your state? New York

    I have 2 girls ages 9 and 7. Their father and I never married, but were together for over 9 years (most of that time, living together). He was very controlling and verbally abusive - and constantly telling me to leave his house (not in such nice ways). 3 years ago, it got so bad that I left to stay with my mother who lives out of state, and left my girls behind because he would not let me take them with me). During that time, he filed for physical custody of my girls, and we were sent to mediation. I made couple of trips back and forth to New York to attend these mediation sessions. He then asked me to move back to his house since the children missed me so much, and I missed them just the same if not more, so I moved back into his house (although I no longer wanted to be with him). I thought at that point, we would stop going to the mediation, but he did not back down from this issue, and told me that if I didn't sign off on the papers at mediation awarding physical custody to him, he would throw me out of the house again, and he would make it very difficult for me to ever see my children again, so sadly (and ignorantly) I signed the papers giving custody to him (but unlimited visitation to me within NYC).

    I reluctantly lived in his home for about a year in order to be in my girls' lives, when I realized that we were expecting another child. When I told him of the news, he said it wasn't his child, and threw me out of the house. Because he had custody of my girls, I wasn't able to take them with me. He even threatened to have me arrested for kidnapping. With the help of a friend (my first in years, because he never let me have friends), I was able to get an apartment and furnish it to accommodate my girls whenever I was ALLOWED to have them over. A month later, I lost my unborn child to miscarriage.

    It has been over 1 1/2 years since he threw me out of the house, but during the entire time, I have gone to see my girls or pick them up everyday after work and have them over EVERY single weekend. I make sure they get their homework done, that they eat dinner, and even bathe them everyday (I even tuck them in bed and make sure they're asleep before I head home from his house). He never has the time to spend with our girls - he works 2 jobs and goes to school, and his mother and sisters help take care of them after school during the time I'm at work. I attend every school related event for my children - parent/teacher conferences, music/dance recitals, etc. I love my children and I do whatever I can to be there for them. I also have been responsible for purchasing all of their clothing, school supplies, books, movies, and other necessary items as they come up. I take them places on the weekends, such as movies, bowling, zoo, park, etc. I also pay his mother (through him, since his family no longer speaks to me and are very nasty with me) for babysitting. I just feel that I am doing so much more for the children than he is, and I feel that it would be best if the girls lived with me. I have a 2 bedroom apartment, and am able to house them, although he says my apartment is not big enough or good enough for the girls (he owns a house in a better neighborhood, and his family live with him).

    I feel that I look out for the best interest of my girls all the time, but I'm not able to enforce that because he keeps telling me that he's the custodial parent and what he says goes. I have been able to visit my girls daily at his home, but I'm not ALLOWED to voice my opinions on how the girls are raised while in his care. He says it's his house, and it's his rules - the girls live under his roof, so what he says goes for them as well. He also have the children (especially the older one) very scared of him. When he tells her to do something, she gets very scared and paranoid, and she constantly voices how she is scared of having him mad at her. I just don't believe my girls should be living in fear of their own father. Also, when things don't go his way, he threatens to take me to court for child support from me (knowing that I could not afford to pay, although I would find a way to pay if I had to), but I don't believe that's fair considering that I spend everynight after work with my girls and every single weekend. I have had no personal life for 1 1/2 years in order to be with my girls, but he continues to go out with women and friends on a weekly basis to bars and clubs and have an active social life. He would take days off from work in order to recuperate from hang-overs from nights out, but cannot do the same to attend school related events for the girls.

    I want to find out how I can go about filing for modification of this custody, and would like full physical custody of my children. Although I work a full time job, I'm not able to afford an attorney, so I would like to know where I could go to see if there's any low-cost or free help. I would really appreciate any advice or information in order to get my girls back. I can't continue to live in fear and under his control, and I also want my girls to be free of it. I want what's best for my girls, and I know that is being with me. Please help.

    Thank you.What is the name of your state?
  2. #2
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    10,184
    Frankly, you made your own bed. For the modification,....file a motion with the courts. I'll be honest, it won't lok good that you left the kids in the first place, or that you gave him custody.
  3. #3
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,059
    Quote Originally Posted by Shay-Pari'e
    Frankly, you made your own bed. For the modification,....file a motion with the courts. I'll be honest, it won't lok good that you left the kids in the first place, or that you gave him custody.
    IF (and that is a really BIG if) she can PROVE the abuse AND convince the judge that she only signed the original agreement under duress due ti the abuse, she MIGHT have a chance at modifying the order, even though primary custody would still be a long shot.
  4. #4
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    10,184
    Quote Originally Posted by ceara19
    IF (and that is a really BIG if) she can PROVE the abuse AND convince the judge that she only signed the original agreement under duress due ti the abuse, she MIGHT have a chance at modifying the order, even though primary custody would still be a long shot.
    Agreed, but at the same time she left her kids with an abusive man? That will not look good.
  5. #5
    CJane is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    19,800
    Quote Originally Posted by Shay-Pari'e
    Frankly, you made your own bed. For the modification,....file a motion with the courts. I'll be honest, it won't lok good that you left the kids in the first place, or that you gave him custody.
    I don't know that it's really that big of a deal that she gave him custody. It woud be different if during a trial, custody had been awarded to dad, but mom agreed as part of a settlement. Through my own experiences, I can tell you that there's quite a difference in how the courts look at it. In my case, I also agreed out of court for dad to have custody of the kids. At our modification trial, I stated the reasons I agreed to the order (very similar reasons to OP's) and we moved on.
  6. #6
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,059
    Quote Originally Posted by Shay-Pari'e
    Agreed, but at the same time she left her kids with an abusive man? That will not look good.
    You're right, it won't look good, but some courts will accept "Battered Woman's Syndrome" as a valid defense for making stupid mistakes like the OP did. A consulatation with an attorney that pactices in her area could give her more insight as to whether this is an accepted excuse in HER area.
  7. #7
    MyGirlsRMyLife is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4
    You are definitely right. I know I shouldn't have left the children with him when I first did. I stayed as long as I could with the constant verbal abuse, but I just couldn't any longer at that time. I was weak, and that was my fault. I only blame myself. But being in a situation where I had no support was unbearable. He always had his family right there to back him up (no matter how nasty he was), and having everyone ganging up on me on a daily basis, and having him control every aspect of my life just got too hard. I hoped to get custody of my children and have them move with me, but NH had no jurisdiction over my children who were considered residents of NY.

    I am a good mother. I put all of my time into caring for my girls. I walk (because I don't have a car) an hour each day to be with my children. I provide everything they need at the moment, and he does nothing but provide a roof over their head. I thought custody is awarded based on the best interest of the children. I already do everything for them, and I can just as easily provide a roof over their head. I need legal advice or any resources to get this process started. As much as I value your opinions, I would much more appreciate more useful advice. Thank you.
  8. #8
    MyGirlsRMyLife is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4
    In response to Ceara19, thanks. I will look into attorneys in my area, and hope that they give free consultations.
  9. #9
    MyGirlsRMyLife is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4
    In response to CJane, thank you for the positive note. I hope the court in my area can work the same way. My ex is also a federal police officer, and he has so many "pulls" with law enforcement, and they seem to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to my words against his, and that has given me problems in the past. I wish I knew a website like this existed back then. I would have sought advice from nice people like you before I did what I did (although he used to keep tabs on the websites I visited). I could probably have found a better solution.
  10. #10
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,059
    Quote Originally Posted by MyGirlsRMyLife
    In response to Ceara19, thanks. I will look into attorneys in my area, and hope that they give free consultations.
    Many of them do and others only charge a nominal fee.
  11. #11
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,059
    Quote Originally Posted by MyGirlsRMyLife
    In response to CJane, thank you for the positive note. I hope the court in my area can work the same way. My ex is also a federal police officer, and he has so many "pulls" with law enforcement, and they seem to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to my words against his, and that has given me problems in the past. I wish I knew a website like this existed back then. I would have sought advice from nice people like you before I did what I did (although he used to keep tabs on the websites I visited). I could probably have found a better solution.
    There is a much higher prevelence of various types of domestic abuse (physical, mental, emotional, etc.) amoung law enforcement officers then there is in the general population. If BWS is a recognized disorder in your area, the fact that he is a police officer might actually work in your favor. But, at this point, BWS, is only something to look into as an option. There is no way to know whether or not this will actually be allowed as a reason to modify your order. (Which I'm sure you already know, I just don't want to start a debate over chances of this actually being allowed.)

Similar Threads

  1. Custody battle/ please help me get my girls
    By eckocity in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 01-22-2012, 09:19 AM
  2. Can I stop my divorce and regain custody of my girls back?
    By dawn francis in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-27-2005, 06:19 PM
  3. want custody of 2 little girls
    By vvianmar in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-12-2005, 10:22 AM
  4. Please Help! I want custody of girls who live in another state!
    By Mom234 in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 08-13-2005, 03:20 PM
  5. my girls
    By ojibwaydad in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-07-2000, 05:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.