From parents who are denied visitation for virtually no reason, to courts that allow custodial parents to move across the country, child custody horror stories all too common. Take a moment to share your experiences, along with any tips you have for getting justice within the family court system.
Note: If you would rather ask child custody or visitation questions please visit the Single Parents' Forum.Share Your Story
- I was in a relationship -- married and a baby within 17 months. It was never a sound relationship with an age gap between us. The day it ended I got in my car and had to leave anything to do with our lives behind. Over months I was pulled along by a string; she would not leave me with my son or with my family due to the facts surrounding my marriage. I did not want to be in her space, especially when spending precious time with my son. I would be accused of being abusive or being in a bad state of mind when she visited. I made note of this and spoke out to the neighbors hoping they heard what had just transpired. She then started to tell me I would do harm to my boy! There were periods where I did not see my son for two months or a month. I can't fit the rest in, but my life has turned up side down and I have had no rights. I do not plan on seeing my child. I feel unsafe and my name has been tarnished by the other party. I have felt vulnerable for a long period of time.
- —Guest Marsh
Lost Child Because I Left for My Safety
- Just yesterday -- after a year and a half of separation -- I found out that my ex would gain sole custody of my 4-year-old son because I left MD due to a domestic violence situation. At the age of 30, I was diagnosed with cancer and was mentally, verbally and physically abused as I lost both breasts and received chemotherapy. Through the whole process, I remained strong and took care of my child to the best of my ability. My ex is retired military and suffered through depression and PTSD. We had to move to an isolated area of MD due to his job. I had no money, no car, no family and no friends. An argument between us turned violent and became the turning point for me to leave and return to my home state of MD with my son. I didn't call the police ever in fear that they would take my son away and I constantly told that I was a "snitch." In turn, I packed one bag and took my son after being threatened and isolated in a room for a weekend. I left for my son and my safety; now punished.
- —Guest Guest Dionn
- I cannot understand how these people in positions of power cannot take into consideration the details. Why would the judge allow a person who was in and out of jail all the time to have the kids? And with a girlfriend, too, who had felony charges? Unbelievable! It only shows you how superficial they are and do not really care for kids. It's just awful. I wish you the best and KEEP FIGHTING. Someone will hear you in the near future. Best to you!
- —Guest bridget prager
Horror of Divorce
- I cannot understand how these people in a position of power cannot take into consideration the details. Why would the judge allow a person who was in and out of jail all the time to have the kids -- and with a girlfriend, too, who had felony charges. It's unbelievable! It only shows you how superficial they are. They don't really care for kids. It's just awful. I wish you the best. Keep fighting! Someone will hear you in the near future. Best to you!
- —Guest bridget prager
Hate Controls My Child's Growth
- I have a three-year-old son and have supported him throughout his life. When I was 17 years old I graduated high school early, worked full time in a law firm and helped my son's dad make ends meet with little help during my pregnancy. I moved to a larger city to continue my full-time law degree and work full-time for a larger firm. My bills ranged from $1000 per month and I lacked any support. My son's dad randomly decided to 'kidnap' my son from daycare before I got off work. Later that night, I got the message my son tripped over a hot wheel and demanded my insurance card. At the hospital, CPS was called due to a spiral fracture of the femur. The abuse was pointed at me, although the dad refused to stay overnight with my son since I was there. I was thrown into rehab, wherein CPS dropped the case. I was thrown into jail and custody papers were served, in which I had two days to prepare for court and get back into rehab--though unnecessary. I now pay child support and have my son's father constantly calling the police on me.
- —Guest legalblondemom
Fighting for my children.
- I have 4 children, and my oldest has special needs. I have been fighting their father, who is very manipulative and has a very deep wallet in the court system. It has taken me 3 years to get my son a diagnosis for Asperger's, because the father chose to use his autistic symptoms to attempt to prove neglect and depression for my son. I have only recently been able to get my son's diagnosis, because of the father's lies to professionals. Because of his lies, I have had a temp parenting time arrangement for 1 1/2 years now. I see my children every other weekend and on Wednesday evenings. I have more motions in front of me, the father is trying to take away my mid-week visits, and is scheduling the children for activities that further restrict the time I have with them. I have not had my children for holidays, birthdays or school breaks for the past 1 1/2 years because of the temporary order still being unresolved. According to court orders, we have joint physical custody. Plus, I'm out of money.
Add On to Zero Access
- After this overnight visit (which went well ) my ex has not allowed me or my family to see or have contact with our daughter. My ex is an unpredictable person who has lied and had me jailed for her lies, so I am afraid of her in a sense. I cannot be sure of her reactions in the case of a custody issue , and I feel like my hands are tied. I can live with this, but I don't think my daughter is feeling the same about her moms' position on this. I am worried about her because she has not made any attempts in months now to contact me, and no is the answer I get when I call her mom. This woman is, in fact, or was, an abusive person to myself and to another one of her kids from an earlier relationship. I was appalled by the extent of force she used on her youngsters, and she is very dramatic when it comes to the authorities, so they believe her stories. So it's a no win situation, but what of my daughter?
- —Guest robin hood
- I am a man of 43. I was involved with the mother of my daughter. It's been 10+ years since we first separated. At the time, I was a serious drug abuser, although I would never have exposed this to our daughter. I tried several times to see my daughter, even just at her mother's place, but my ex said it was impossible. I questioned her decision but felt at the time that it was, in fact, best for our daughter not to be subjected to a drug-addicted dad. Then I moved 2000 miles west. Four years ago I received a call from my daughter. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed! It was good, and I understood that her mom was aware of this contact. I guess she got my number from my mom, who she had been in regular contact with. I was still using, but I didn't acknowledge it. So two years passed, and I heard from her frequently. Then, two years ago, I gave up everything and have been clean since. Last fall, her mom let her come to my sister's place for an overnight visit.
- —Guest robin hood
I Was Told That I No Longer Have Custody
- I raised my son for 10 years with no support from his father, as a single mother living off of the state with pretty much $200 to my name. My son and I were very close. However, just recently, when he turned 10, we became homeless. At his time, his father had recently became more involved. I believe it had to do with the new relationship he was in, which meant that he had help. During the summer he'd see him every weekend until he had him for the summer. Because I needed help while I was trying to get back on assistance, I asked his father to have him until I could get a place. Within two months I received my benefits. However, when I went to collect my funds I saw that the amount was lower then expected. I questioned this and I was told that I did not have custody of my son. The father had gone to court and got custody, saying that I abandoned my son! It's been two years now and I have a place to live, but I am still struggling with him taking my son from me with little-to-no visits. I have been too nice!
- —Guest Rebecca
My Horror Divorce
- My ex husband filed for a divorce. Two years later the judge gave him my kids and I get every other weekend and every other holiday. I cant take my kids out of state for any reason, even though my parents live in KY. My ex-husband has a criminal record going all the way back to when he was a minor. He has 47 felonies and at the time we were going through my divorce, he was on felony drug probation, which he had violated. The judge still gave him custody of my kids. My divorce was a nightmare and I couldn't believe what I heard when the judge took my kids out of my three-bedroom, two-bath home and gave them to him. He lives in a two-bedroom, one-bath trailer and his girlfriend has felonies, too, including domestic violence. She also has drug charges. All the way through my divorce, the judge told me he wasn't going to take my kids from me, and then in the end he did take them. Two weeks after my divorce he retired from the bench and another judge wound up stamping my divorce papers.
- —Guest Dee