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He filed, asked for sole custody


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Old 8th October 2014, 4:21 AM   #1
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He filed, asked for sole custody

I told my unemployed husband that I was moving out, and would pay his rent and utilities for 2 months. He took 4 days to go sailing and process things, so I took the time off work. But I told him we'd need to agree on a temporary parenting plan, or else go to court for one, and that I'd prefer mediating one.

He agreed on a 5-day plan where I have baby overnight (baby co-sleeps with me, h has always slept in separate room separate part of house), I get him most evenings and some weekdays.

But then H filed divorce petition, and is asking for sole custody.

He's also asking for spousal support. From a one-year marriage, where he worked a bit but squandered all his money on hobbies, and refused to get a regular job or contribute to any expenses or even watch our baby during all my telecommute work days.

Now one misconception I will clear up: It does not at all matter in my state who files first. There is no benefit or edge to being petitioner, and there are policy reasons for that. But it's the sole custody claim that I'm reeling from.

I tried to be very accommodating, tried to avoid using lawyers if possible, paid for 6 months of car insurance for him and am now paying a driving-while-uninsured ticket he got because he says it's my fault for not quickly enough ensuring the car I bought for him (I tried to insure it, insurance company wanted verification that his lic was not suspended, he never got it to me). I bought him a bunch of diapers, baby stuff, bla bla bla. I offered a very generous settlement beyond that, much more than he could get in his wildest dreams for our 1 and a half year marriage in which he never stepped up as dad and never got a steady job and was unemployed before marriage, and worked very part-time last year but squandered one hundred per cent of the earnings on hobbies and cigars. I did other stuff for him too, too much to go into here-- all trying to come to a peaceful settlement and just get the heck out of here without him retaliating against me.

However, I have also consulted the best lawyer in town and will be retaining him tomorrow. I am too weirdly paranoid to go into attorney advice even in an anonymous forum, but the point of this is, I have moved from accommodation to litigation.

Yes, I want what is good for my son. But my husband can only claim to be a functioning father because I am holding him up, moving the puppet strings, bringing home the paycheck, doing all the chores and shopping, cooking all baby's meals, setting up diapers and medicines and pediatric visits and all, coming home and taking baby immediately, having him all evening all night and all weekend, taking care of all husband's doctor appts and taxes and administrative stuff too because he can't function. . . And he uses his position at the top of my shoulders to claim that he can handle and deserves sole custody.

His reason I cannot have custody? That I work. That's right, the reason he thinks I can't have custody is I am employed. And I work from home 3 days per week! I have been caring for our baby 80 percent of the time, 60-70 if you don't count overnights (but oh, those overnights count). Baby needs both parents, which is why I tried to mold husband into a non-deadbeat dad by basically doing it all for him. I am no longer going to do any of that. I won't hinder him from getting a job and functioning and shopping for diapers, but I've got my own diaper-buying and job-doing to do.

You guys on my previous threads were right: It was fruitless to try to be generous with a deadbeat. He was a deadbeat dad with his first child from different wife (now that child is 19 and pregnant)-- he never visited her when he said he would, got contempt of court convictions for failure to pay child support, and has virtually no relationship with her now and she's hurt and mad.

Time to let my lawyer take over. I tried to settle. All the facts about his not letting me come in the room when he is with baby, sending unauthorized pictures of me to his friends et c, will be disclosed. They have to be. As will the earnings he made last year and spent all on sailboats and hobbies while I took time off from my career job and paid his gas for him to go work 2 hours away. As will his contempt of court and blowing off dad duties with previous child.

God, I am just barely functioning after someone asking for sole custody of my baby as if I were some kind of absentee coke addict. I am a lawyer and former nanny and very involved mommy and practically a mother to my husband at this point as well. Hurts.

But one thing is positive: I am sure glad I am leaving this monster.
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Old 8th October 2014, 4:39 AM   #2
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****, he's not going to get SOLE custody right? That would be crazy. The spousal support demand is crazy too but does not bother me nearly as much.

I am absorbed totally with this. Help. Write. I gotta have your LS-peeps' perspectives.
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Old 8th October 2014, 6:49 AM   #3
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****, he's not going to get SOLE custody right? That would be crazy. The spousal support demand is crazy too but does not bother me nearly as much.

I am absorbed totally with this. Help. Write. I gotta have your LS-peeps' perspectives.
No worries. I am no lawyer and not even from your country, but I don't need to be. Sole custody is never going to happen if you don't agree to it.
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Old 8th October 2014, 7:33 AM   #4
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Don't let him intimidate you. He's going to have a real rude awakening call.
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Old 8th October 2014, 8:51 AM   #5
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I am glad you are getting out of that toxic situation. I find it truly appalling that someone could be so lazy & callous as to use their kid as a lunch ticket to stay out of work.

I was worried about the same thing when I talked to a lawyer last month but he assured me that would not happen: the judge will infer that once you are separated, he will either start working, or be homeless. So any argument that one is a better parent because the other one works is baseless. By the same token you probably can't get full custody if he wants to fight that... though who knows? his defaulting on child support in the past will surely weigh in your favor.
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Old 8th October 2014, 9:09 AM   #6
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Some attorneys simply take the philosophy that "you don't get what you don't ask for." By asking for everything, he expects that every concession they make will have to be met by a concession on your side. It's just a classic negotiation tactic.

As well, if they know what you are passionate about, they may pretend to fight you on that issue until the bitter end, in hopes of getting other concessions from you along the way. In my divorce, I was hell-bent on having nothing less than 50/50 custody. After 10 months of saying as much, it still took 6 hours with a mediator for my wife to agree. After that, I was exhausted and spent and have a few regrets about conceding on other issues. Looking back, I think they knew all along that they would agree to 50/50 but used their argument about it to distract me from other issues (that my wife found important). I'm sorry to say it but this is a game now and you've got your child and your money on the line.

You are right to (mostly) listen to your attorney. Your attorney plays this game for a career and isn't emotionally invested.

As for losing your kid, you're a long way off from that even being a consideration and I think there's about zero chance of that happening. Unless you somehow agree to a custody plan you don't like, it would take a judge's order to make it happen. And you're nowhere near going to court and putting it in the hands of a judge. I never even saw a judge throughout my entire divorce. There are likely to be months and months of financial disclosures and periods where it appears the attorneys are doing nothing. Eventually, you'll probably get to mediation. Personally, I recommend using a paid attorney as the 3rd party mediator. Our literally went back and forth from our room to their room. It took like 10 hours to hammer out everything. Then the marital settlement agreement was written up and sent to a judge for approval (which took about 2 weeks). Your husband's attorney knows he's not getting half of what he's asking for but I'm sure he impressed your H by going for the moon.

One thing I was going to mention...one purpose your attorney can serve is knowing how your judge tends to rule. Some judges believe staunchly in 50/50. Some hate it and prefer to have a primary parent. Some protect mothers. Some just kinda wing it and make their own judgement about who is the good guy in the scenario and they subsequently protect them. In my state, a judge is assigned shortly after the divorce is filed. Have your attorney look it up and tell you how they tend to rule. That can give you an idea about how much you want to avoid going to court (which typically only happens if you cannot agree in mediation).

My point is, you are a long ways away from any kind of verdict that takes your kid from you. I don't even see how you'd get to that point. Chill your emotions and get your head in the game.

Oh, and I wouldn't agree to ANY temporary custody agreement that has you with less than 50% of the overnights, period. Don't set that precedent. And if it isn't an overnight, don't "count" it towards anything - don't get scammed. If you can somehow get your H to agree to less than 50% of the overnights, fantastic. Have some plans written up and presented to that effect.
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Old 8th October 2014, 9:14 AM   #7
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He may just be filing for sole custody in hopes that you will negotiate with him and give him more money as a trade.

Chances are he cares more about money than he cares about his child. Just like before.

File for sole custody too.
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Old 8th October 2014, 10:53 AM   #8
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File your answer and ask for everything you want!

You shouldn't have to pay spousal support with such a short M. Ask for full/sole custody too! Give evidence that he's been unwilling to do what best for the child.

Go big! Stick with evidence!

And stop making it easy for him to vacation on your dime.

Make it clear you no longer intend to pay his rent and all the perks you've provided to him.
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Old 8th October 2014, 11:42 AM   #9
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Go big on your requests, if attorney agrees. What is that guy gonna do with the child when he us on his dates with sis? How about when dude wants his private time in the evenings, that ain't gonna fly. He better be careful what he wishes for, he might it, and holy crap, then what's he gonna do?

Sounds like a strategy to twist some extra alimony from you, through fear. Seems to be working, you are mortifed, shocked, right? That was the effect they were going for, so you will crack. Don't let THEM crack, manipulate, or control you. But take it dang seriously, and open the mean can of worms. Yas

What a jerk. I'm ticked.
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Old 8th October 2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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God, I am just barely functioning after someone asking for sole custody of my baby as if I were some kind of absentee coke addict. I am a lawyer and former nanny and very involved mommy and practically a mother to my husband at this point as well. Hurts.

But one thing is positive: I am sure glad I am leaving this monster.
Never thought your vision of an amicable split with some mutual agreement was realistic. Expecting compromise and consensus in a divorce where it was missing from the marriage is a tough ask.

At least now you know and you can make your plans based on facts instead of speculation. My bet is on you ...

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Old 8th October 2014, 12:58 PM   #11
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****, he's not going to get SOLE custody right? That would be crazy. The spousal support demand is crazy too but does not bother me nearly as much.

I am absorbed totally with this. Help. Write. I gotta have your LS-peeps' perspectives.
Honey, you are the attorney, not us!

You never know what a Judge and/or the System will do. Much less what "odd people" will do. It is always a crap shoot. That is why an attorney can never make a promise of an outcome to a client. Judge's are people that have their own set of personal inclinations and belief systems.

I guess I would try not to be an idiot in front of the judge by over-reaching, appear reasonable, but place all the dirt on a silver platter for consideration, and make the CONCESSION an obvious choice.

Live and learn. That is life. You have come a long way. You are an upstanding citizen, a non-alcholic, a non-non-nonsense child supporter, a contributor to society, etc. What is this man? Does he have a criminal record by chance? That would be nice. Records of his finances towards the home - haha, right. I hope his purchases were made in some form that can be traced back to him. Toy car? Really? That is a pricey hobby, toots. Yas
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Old 8th October 2014, 1:06 PM   #12
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I told my unemployed husband that I was moving out, and would pay his rent and utilities for 2 months. He took 4 days to go sailing and process things, so I took the time off work. But I told him we'd need to agree on a temporary parenting plan, or else go to court for one, and that I'd prefer mediating one.

He agreed on a 5-day plan where I have baby overnight (baby co-sleeps with me, h has always slept in separate room separate part of house), I get him most evenings and some weekdays.

But then H filed divorce petition, and is asking for sole custody.

He's also asking for spousal support. From a one-year marriage, where he worked a bit but squandered all his money on hobbies, and refused to get a regular job or contribute to any expenses or even watch our baby during all my telecommute work days.

Now one misconception I will clear up: It does not at all matter in my state who files first. There is no benefit or edge to being petitioner, and there are policy reasons for that. But it's the sole custody claim that I'm reeling from.

I tried to be very accommodating, tried to avoid using lawyers if possible, paid for 6 months of car insurance for him and am now paying a driving-while-uninsured ticket he got because he says it's my fault for not quickly enough ensuring the car I bought for him (I tried to insure it, insurance company wanted verification that his lic was not suspended, he never got it to me). I bought him a bunch of diapers, baby stuff, bla bla bla. I offered a very generous settlement beyond that, much more than he could get in his wildest dreams for our 1 and a half year marriage in which he never stepped up as dad and never got a steady job and was unemployed before marriage, and worked very part-time last year but squandered one hundred per cent of the earnings on hobbies and cigars. I did other stuff for him too, too much to go into here-- all trying to come to a peaceful settlement and just get the heck out of here without him retaliating against me.

However, I have also consulted the best lawyer in town and will be retaining him tomorrow. I am too weirdly paranoid to go into attorney advice even in an anonymous forum, but the point of this is, I have moved from accommodation to litigation.

Yes, I want what is good for my son. But my husband can only claim to be a functioning father because I am holding him up, moving the puppet strings, bringing home the paycheck, doing all the chores and shopping, cooking all baby's meals, setting up diapers and medicines and pediatric visits and all, coming home and taking baby immediately, having him all evening all night and all weekend, taking care of all husband's doctor appts and taxes and administrative stuff too because he can't function. . . And he uses his position at the top of my shoulders to claim that he can handle and deserves sole custody.

His reason I cannot have custody? That I work. That's right, the reason he thinks I can't have custody is I am employed. And I work from home 3 days per week! I have been caring for our baby 80 percent of the time, 60-70 if you don't count overnights (but oh, those overnights count). Baby needs both parents, which is why I tried to mold husband into a non-deadbeat dad by basically doing it all for him. I am no longer going to do any of that. I won't hinder him from getting a job and functioning and shopping for diapers, but I've got my own diaper-buying and job-doing to do.

You guys on my previous threads were right: It was fruitless to try to be generous with a deadbeat. He was a deadbeat dad with his first child from different wife (now that child is 19 and pregnant)-- he never visited her when he said he would, got contempt of court convictions for failure to pay child support, and has virtually no relationship with her now and she's hurt and mad.

Time to let my lawyer take over. I tried to settle. All the facts about his not letting me come in the room when he is with baby, sending unauthorized pictures of me to his friends et c, will be disclosed. They have to be. As will the earnings he made last year and spent all on sailboats and hobbies while I took time off from my career job and paid his gas for him to go work 2 hours away. As will his contempt of court and blowing off dad duties with previous child.

God, I am just barely functioning after someone asking for sole custody of my baby as if I were some kind of absentee coke addict. I am a lawyer and former nanny and very involved mommy and practically a mother to my husband at this point as well. Hurts.

But one thing is positive: I am sure glad I am leaving this monster.
Usually you ask for more going in to get what you want in the end. Talk to your lawyer. i wouldn't do H anymore favors though.

Just curiosity on my part. Why did you marry your husband knowing he was a dead beat?

I am curious. My ex walked away from our child. No support, visit etcc.. for 17 years now. Yet he got remarried and had two kids with his new wife. I always wondered why a woman would marry a dead beat, knowing he was a dead beat. And have kids with them. mean aren't the chances pretty good he'd do the same thing to you as well?
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Last edited by hotgurl; 8th October 2014 at 1:42 PM..
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Old 8th October 2014, 2:24 PM   #13
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Usually you ask for more going in to get what you want in the end. Talk to your lawyer. i wouldn't do H anymore favors though.

Just curiosity on my part. Why did you marry your husband knowing he was a dead beat?

I am curious. My ex walked away from our child. No support, visit etcc.. for 17 years now. Yet he got remarried and had two kids with his new wife. I always wondered why a woman would marry a dead beat, knowing he was a dead beat. And have kids with them. mean aren't the chances pretty good he'd do the same thing to you as well?
Dont feel bad, Jakrbbt. I got same question everytime I told some new sob story for over 2.5 decades. There is something about unloading our stiry, I think. Not especially about the gain we receive when we do get the advice. A twisted form of a Munchouser's sort of thing, possibly (see recent articles posted undef Critcal Readings). I didn't consciously want people to see me as a victim, but it was soothing to me to rattle off these stories that really shocked people. I dont even say his name anymore. Done, dusted, dead.

It is not all on him, we picked them. Now, we get to sleep in the bed we made. Not so great now. Sucks big time. And the spouse doen't give a rat's behind. Thank God's green Earth you woke up, this soon, honey. Therapy will guide you to the reasons why you settled on the lower elk of mankind to make your family. And it is good you know where to start this jouney so you dont spend years in psychotherapy flopping around like a half dead trout on a line.

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Old 8th October 2014, 11:36 PM   #14
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I think him rushing to file (he must have had his papers ready) and what he requested tells so much about him.

He doesn't intend to work. He intends to sit at home with the baby. He also isn't thinking of how much any young child needs their Mom.


He's a bigger jerk than you thought.

Don't take it personally - he has an agenda - and he doesn't stop to consider others feelings.


I'm not sure he ever has.


Go at it with a vengeance. He deserves to get nothing from you.

Have you moved money? Have you closed all ways he can access money - including his credit cards?

Don't pay for one more things for him.

Find daycare ASAP too.
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Old 9th October 2014, 7:33 AM   #15
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So sorry you are finding out now what a jerk your stbx is, or what a bigger jerk he can be. It's all about money, I guarantee it.


I'm right there with HotGurl....my first exH walked and had no relationship with his daughter for over a decade. But three years after he walked and then filed the divorce, he tried to ask for sole custody. His attorney dropped it after I called their office and told them to run a background check on their client before I embarrassed their law office in front of a judge. Sometimes you don't know what a deadbeat they are until after you marry them unfortunately.


Hit back hard with sole custody as well. And I agree, only being married a year hardly qualifies for spousal support.
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