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Readers Respond: Child Custody Horror Stories

Responses: 5

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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.

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.
—michelle7479

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

Zero Access

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

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