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Old 02-14-2010, 04:02 PM
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I will sum this up as quickly as I can. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Our daughter is 4 months old, I am mixed feeding. My relationship with her father was extremely tumultuos due to addiction to gambling, alocohol, and his depression. he is going to an addiction specialist (MD) in march. He is very verbally abusive and volitile, and has said that his behaviour is fine becuase our daughter won't remember/doesn't know. he has lost 3 jobs in one yr due to personality conflicts and aggression. I have anxiety attacks when he comes to get her or calls me and have asked him to use email primarily. He lies constantly, to the point where he didnt take her supplies with him because then I would know he wasnt going where he said he was

He owes me a bundle of money and has not paid child support (to be fair he gave me $80 once in the last 4 months). I tried to go through a Family Justice counselor/mediation but he put it off for 2 months, so she has advised me to file with the supreme court as that way if he doesn't follow the agreement I can get authorities involved.

Is it unreasonable that I feel sole custody (with me) with liberal visitation is best for my daughter in this situation? At this point, we can't agree on anything, and I find that anything I suggest is the opposite of what he will want out of spite. I grew up with divorced parents who fought, and I want to avoid doin gthat to my daughter. I currently encourage him to see her 12 hours a week (3 4-hour visits). He doens't take that much time, usually seeing her from 2 hours a week to 10 hours. He is asking for an overnight, but I am nursing and am concerned about her safety due to his psycological issues and his roommate, who is a big drinker. I was thinking that if he can be sober for a while and provide a safe place for her to sleep when she is weaned (estimate 8 months old maybe sooner?), (safe roommate, maybe a playpen?) one sleepover every second week, 5pm-10amish, plus 14 hours a week? I have read that short but frequent visits are best for the infant.

He has come to pick her up smelling like booze a few times, and other times I drop her off to him at his parents house and he smells like booze as well. I asked him to stay sober within 24 hours of seeing her, because I am not an expert and can't judge whether he is hungover or still intoxicated.

He is also asking me to pay rent for the apartment we lived in since I left.

Thank you for listening to my side of things. Any advice is greatly appreciated! I am wondering if I am being reasonable. He has told me I have bad first time mom syndrome and am alienating him etc which is the last thing I would ever intentionally do.
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:52 PM
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I think you are. You have recognized the importance of having him in her life, but you have also taken steps to protect her. He might think that "she won't remember", but there is an impact from abuse even on babies. It often shows up as delayed development and sometimes difficult with attaching to people. Any counsellor could tell you about it.

Even though you are breastfeeding you are giving him a good block of time the I suspect is the whole length of time between feedings. I think that is all he could really hope for until she is weaned.

Given his history and present living situation you are trying to protect her. You do need to make sure he is not drunk (or drinking). If you have any suspicions do not let him have the visit and offer make up time another time when he is sober. Make it clear that you are only refusing because he has been drinking, and make a record of the reason and circumstances.

I've never heard of "bad first-time mom syndrome". I doubt it is a real thing. I suspect he is only saying that to intimidate you. What you have posted sounds like you are a capable of making responsible decisions. Make sure you get your agreements in writing and reviewed by a lawyer (and a awyer for him too).

As for the apartment you are only responsible if your name is on the lease. If it is then contact a community legal clinic for advice. If he has a roomate why can't he pay the rent? was the roomate there when you lived there? Did the roomate move in after? all of that info would help to know.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singlemama View Post

Is it unreasonable that I feel sole custody (with me) with liberal visitation is best for my daughter in this situation? At this point, we can't agree on anything, and I find that anything I suggest is the opposite of what he will want out of spite. I grew up with divorced parents who fought, and I want to avoid doin gthat to my daughter. I currently encourage him to see her 12 hours a week (3 4-hour visits). He doens't take that much time, usually seeing her from 2 hours a week to 10 hours.
I would stop encouraging him to see her. Leave it up to him to contact you to see your child. Just dont deny him access unless otherwise you have been informed by a lawyer (regarding his drinking etc)
I know you want only the best for your child but forcing him to spend time with the child is getting you nowhere.
I did the same thing when I first left and then stopped being a door mat. He then went to every 2-3 weeks for a few hours here and there after that.
ps- going for sole custody myself. wish me luck!
Do you have a lawyer? You should go speak to one regarding the drinking- is he picking her up drunk?
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:06 AM
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Thank you for responding both of you!

My name is on the lease. His roommate moved in this month, but I didn't not pay rent for the last couple of months I lived there becasue I was on maternity leave. When I moved out I offered to try to sub-lease the apt and he declined. I offered to help him find a roommate and he declined my help. I don't have any of that in writing though as I didn't foresee him wanting backpay on rent. It's very frustrating as he isn't helping me financially. He says he is taking me to court for rent money, I'm hoping a judge will see that I had to get our child out of that household and gave him ample chances to change..

I have been to a lawyer. They offered me a good deal on a retainer so I think I am going to have to go that route as he isn't negotiating with me or acknowledging the questions/issues I'm bringing up, just being condescending (telling me I need to focus on the child etc.).

He isn't picking her up drunk as far as I can tell. I have told him that if it seems for any reason he has been drinking/doing drugs within 24 hours of picking her up he will have to make up the visit.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:44 AM
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If he has taken in a roomate then he does not have a basis to go after rent from you for the time since that roomate moved in. He has basically accepted a sub-letter.

You could owe him the months that you didn't pay and lived there, but if he is only going after it now that you are separated, then a judge could assume that he accepted (at the time) that you were not able to contribute. If you were actually in relationship the judge would likely decide that he is only going after you in revenge, since he has no proof that he asked you for rent at the time.

You didn't sublet from him, did you? Did you sign anything?
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:31 AM
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Both of our names are on the lease. I'm hoping under the circumstances he won't have a leg to stand on. As I said, he owes me a chunk of money that I leant him as well. I'm not counting on seeing that again.
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