How Can a Stay At Home Mom Win CustodyStay at home mothers have a vested interest in keeping their children in the unfortunate event of a divorce. Since mothers who stay home to care for children do not bring any income into the home, it is often difficult for them to retain custody based on financials alone. a parent that has chosen the role of bringing up children rather than earning income has  a difficult job and this can be compounded when going through a divorce or a break-up. Many mothers who have not been working outside of the home can find themselves in financial distress once a break-up or divorce begins. While this may be an uphill battle by itself, there are some other common mistakes that stay at home mothers make that can make it impossible for them to retain custody. Here are the mistakes you should avoid to win your custody case.

Withholding Visitation

This is a huge no-no. In some cases, mothers have a fear that allowing their spouse to visit with or take the children for a period of time will result in them never being brought back. When this fear is present, mothers will often withhold visitation, which does not portray them in a good light to the court.  Instead of taking matters into your own hands, consult with a knowledgeable family law or divorce attorney to follow the correct course of actions. Unless abuse or danger to the children is present, visitation should be allowed. In most cases, when the fear is that the father will not bring the child back after an agreed visitation period, the best course of action is to immediately file an action for custody and child support. This lets the courts know that the mother is the primary custodian and anything that breaks the normal day-to-day routine (such as the father not bringing the kids back) will upset the family court judge. Your first line of defense is a good offense – and this means going to court as quickly as possible. And once a court has begun to hear your case or has issued some type of temporary visitation for the father, you absolutely cannot withhold visitation for almost any reason – in some states, this is even a crime.

Remaining Unemployed

One of the most important things that stay at home mothers need to do in order to win custody is to find a job. Remaining unemployed will not show the court that you are prepared to take on the financial responsibilities of caring for the children and are going to be relying on child support, only making your spouse’s/ex’s case stronger. By working to bring income into the home, the court will see how much having custody and care of the children means to you, so make every effort to bring home a paycheck. This does not mean that rushing out and accepting a full-time minimum wage job is the the best course of action either though, unless you have the ability to have someone watch your children during the day at a low price or for free. When children are of school age, this begins to be a much easier proposition, but when children are still babies, relying on family for assistance is essential so you can begin entering the job market. Just because one parent earns more than a stay at home mother, does not mean they should win custody, although in many instances, people argue both sides of this coin.

Not Presenting a Professional Appearance

Family courts are interested in providing the children in a custody case with the best possible upbringing. Courts usually view individuals who are well put together in appearance as being good, responsible providers. It is important to make sure you are conservatively and professionally dressed for any and all appointments and court dates surrounding the divorce or custody case including court appearances, mediation meetings, and even therapy sessions – you want everyone in deciding who retains custody of the children to view you as responsible. This means not wearing low cut tops, shorts, or wrinkled and dirty clothing. Even though one should never judge a book by its cover, do not think for a minute that the judge will not take that into account.

Bringing in a New Significant Other

Many couples separate long before getting divorced and often mothers meet new men in that time. Even if you have met a new guy, it is important to keep him out of the family home and be very cautious about introducing him to the children. Courts do not look fondly upon mothers who introduce new male figures into their children’s lives before the divorce to their father has been finalized. Since the children’s adjustment to the situation is the most important, make sure you take transitions into new relationships slowly when it comes to new significant others spending the night or moving in. The test for introducing children to a new overnight significant other should be this: are you going to be getting engaged to marry this man soon? If the answer is yes, introducing him to the children is acceptable. If the answer is I don’t know or no, keep him away from your children, especially during overnight periods, as this does not make judges, counselors, or child representatives happy and can turn the case against you.

Getting Legal Help to Win Custody

This cannot be stated enough. As wonderful of a parent as you are, and as terrible of a parent as you believe the other parent to be, a well-trained attorney will run circles around you and flp the case against you in a heartbeat. As stated in the first paragraph of this article, the best defense is a good offense. Speaking with a legal professional and getting the amount of legal help that your particular case calls for is necessary to ensure your rights to retaining custody of your children. Not everyone needs an attorney, but the vast majority of cases benefit greatly by having one involved. You can speak with a child custody professional at no charge and with no obligation by contacting one through the form on this page.

37 thoughts on “How Does a Stay At Home Mother Win Custody?”

  1. I separated from my AL military spouse hoping that the mpo report would be enough of a reason to leave with our son. A protective order was put in place so that he could not return to the home. That gave me enough time to get a ride to SC and stay with my mother. My spouse is threatening to take our son and disagrees with supervised visitation. I have no way of getting our son back if my spouse does not bring him back to me like he says he will. He is malicious and wants to keep our son although he has no one to watch him or any idea how to take care of our son. I am a stay at home mom and my sons and i bond is very strong. I am aware that it is wrong to avoid him but i have contacted free legal services and am waiting to hear back from an attorney. I am wondering if i should lie to my spouse telling him i love him and i want to move back in with him so that i can protect our son from his fathers neglect, impatience, anger, and verbal abuse. This gives me time to divorce him by surprise, file for temporary custody, and leave the state of AL and return to SC. I will only return to AL for court hearings. My military spouse is avoiding divorce bc he does not want to pay child support. He has trued to manipulate my mind to comply with exact 50/50, which is not in the best interest of our toddler to go back and forth between states. I would also be on the short end due to my lack of consistent transportation. I have no vehicle and little driving experience of long distances.

  2. I am a new mother of 8 months, up until I had my son, I was employed and working full-time, when I got pregnant my husband of 5 years told me he would rather I stay home with the baby until he got to toddler age, that he can afford being the sole financial provider in the household and to focus on being there for my son. Which I was grateful for, the idea of having my baby at a daycare or with a nanny at 3 months old (which is when I would have had to return to work) made me so very anxious. My husband and I had been having a lot of problems over the last few years, and even though my son is a blessing, he wasn’t planned and was a surprise, we both thought that maybe this would bring us closer and potentially even save the marriage, but unfortunately, that was not the case. During my pregnancy, I felt so insanely alone, he would glue himself to his computer upstairs and barely even checked on me, while I went through almost 6 months of morning sickness, I never got any help from him, because of covid-19 I never got a baby shower and so I bought about 70% of the stuff off my registry alone, the rest was my parents, some his parents. I paid for all my doctors visits during the pregnancy, my insurance covered 90% of my hospital stay and he had to pay $700, which his parents paid for as a gift to us. I painted and put together the nursery on my own while pregnant, we moved to a new home during covid and i was putting furniture together alone and trying to make the house livable so everything was done for when the baby came, alone. Everyone kept telling me once the baby came it would become more real to my husband and things would change, but to this day nothing has. He sees our son an hour hour a day in the evenings, which is ok on days he is working, that is understandable and expected, BUT completely unacceptable on his weekends, he still only hangs out with our son an hour a day before bedtime, does whatever he wants the rest of the day, I don’t get days off from being a mother but he acts like nothing has changed, like he doesn’t have a son now. When my son was 3 months old, my husband and I got into an argument, I asked for a divorce, which my husband did not take very well, turns out he had been drinking, alone…at his computer with his “online friends” and he got into my face yelling and threatening me, saying he will make sure he and his parents get my son if we divorce and I will have nothing & I slapped him across the face. After I slapped him, he called his mom…at 3am, crying, and his father called the police. I was taken away by police, at 3am, while my 3month old was left crying in his bassinet, I was held in a cell for 14hrs, the police didn’t WANT to take me but by law, could not ignore any domestic battery calls (yes, apparently being slapped by your wife is considered domestic battery). Obviously, after this I was not very keen on being with him or having anything to do with his family, so I am still looking into divorce, I want to know what my chances are of getting majority custody of my son? As a stay at home mother, will I be grated primary custody? I am currently my sons only active parent, my husband has never bathed him, has never put him to sleep…I mean ever, he doesn’t wake up to help when my son wakes up at night, his only actual contribution, is that 1hr he spends with him and he buys the odd probiotic when I ask him to (which he does only after arguing with me about “does he even need that?”). I need to know where I stand.

  3. I dont know if anyone will read this and tell me if this wrong or not. About 5 years ago on March 5, I started dating a girl. We accidentally got pregnant with our first kid and decided to raise it together. I did not help out enough when our baby was young so we fought alot. I worked everyday and she was a stay at home mom. Then we had our second kid and the fighting got worse. She says I am controlling and lazy. I have accused her of cheating one to many times and now she wants to leave me. If I was ever to be with her again I would accuse her but I’m afraid it’s to late. So now we still live in the same house but she leaves on the weekends to drink with friends. I pay for the house and all the kids expenses. I dont know who is the right but I have told her multiple times I am willing to get counseling and she still won’t believe me. If anyone could help me on this situation, that would be great.

  4. Hi, I hope someone reads this. I feel like I am in a toxic relationship, well here is the story. I served 3 years in the military while I was in the service I met a girl, yes we where talking just getting to know eachother over the phone kind of like a long distance relationship. When I got out of the service I went back home to California and had decided to meet this lady . I remember she even used to tell me hey are you going to marry me but I felt like I didn’t want to get married right away I wanted to take the time to meet this person. Because everything takes time. Anyways we got together and well my plan was going to school and finding a job and try to have a normal life. Then this whole pandemic started. As we spent some time together she decided to quit her job and so we spent some time at a hotel. I was new here and didn’t even knew the place . Anyways she got pregnant and well it happened. I didn’t want to rush but I felt like we did and I didn’t give myself the time to really get to know her ways and her family. I was introduced to everyone so fast when i didn’t want to. Back to the point. I have been taking care of her since she was pregnant, making sure that every day there is something in the table for her to eat and making sure she has a roof to live in. We stayed at a hotel for about 6 months while I searched for an apartment it took me a while but I did find a place. We moved to my aptmnt I kept taking care of her untill she delivered. She always has acted like she is entitled to everything in my place. she never respects my place even her family they all walk in here like it’s their place sometimes. Anyways once she had the baby , there was times where she wanted or told me she wanted to leave. Just because I told her she needed to be more responsible. On some ways like taking care of things in the house or filling up important paper work like her own paperwork because I always do everything even for her and she never appreciates anything at all. she just got mad and she always brought up that she would move back with her sister and family. In other words she gets mad because she can’t reason and its just hard to make her listen so its useless talking to her. She wants to take my kid and we are not married and im the one that has been paying for everything , I pay rent amd make sure that she has everything, I make sure there’s food on the table every day, I even take care of my son and make sure he has everything he needs and yet she still complains about small things. I feel like she has just been living under her mom all the time and she can never grow up and be responsible for herself. I feel like she is trying or was trying to use me since the beggining. I feel like she has been leeching out of me and she always has to be with her family or living with her family and well she doesn’t know how to value certain things cause maybe she just doesn’t care or maybe she doesn’t know what working hard is. I have been paying for many things and I try to explain to her that I dont have time to argue. I just want her to be responsible and at least help me with things small things I don’t even ask her for rent. but I hate when she throws back at me that she will take my baby away. When I have done all this for her and my kid. As a Veteran I dont know what my rights are as a father or what I could do in this case. I feel like she is just living out of me or trying to use me all this time. She has debts as well and I didnt realize it untill a few months I was with her, she was probably expecting me to pay her debts and that’s why maybe she asked me to marry her but I never did because I don’t want to have debts. And well this is how my life has turned out to be . For example last time she got mad again because I had an important call coming in, we where in the living room, she turned up the TV volume in the living room all the way up ,my phone started buzzing it was an important call. I told her if she could lower the volume and go to the other room and watch the other TV in the room and she got mad. Started telling me she was going back to her sister just because of that. And I told her that if she wasn’t going to respect my place and give me space to fix important things or help me at all with small things like these it was better if she did leave. But she wants to take the baby and well as you can see this relationship is just not going to work. I just want her to leave and well I don’t agree on her taking my baby after all she has done to me. I hope to hear from someone.

  5. Hi , I am currently a homeless single mother of two ages 3 and 2. The dad (yes i say dad instead of babydaddy) of my children and I were together for 5 years , 2 years into the relationship I had 2 miscarriages due to hospital nurses not doing their job at their 100% (i get / understand how hard it is in that field) and 1 ectopic pregnancy ended up having to get a D & C removal of embryo so i didnt have a 3 miscarriage. 5 months into the 3 year the relationship was getting a bit rocky not understanding why after work one day in November 2016 after having a huge argument and him shoving me i had gone through his phone saw that he was (probably still is) as he claims ” lusting ” over my younger sister. I tried to overcome the feeling i was feeling but i couldnt i was about to leave him but of course my young self believed in his words so i gave him a chance. Couple months past he went to Mexico to visit family one night i get a text ” babe are you sure your not pregnant” i replied ” babe you saw me piss on the sticks all negative ” . January 2017 when he came back he called my doctors office scheduled an appointment for urine and blood testing. When blood results came in we received a congratulations you are 34 weeks (8 months) pregnant. Close to end of the year 2016 first time he got physical (yes i actually called the police to see if shoving me without physically placing hands on me was considered physical). Fast forward to 2017 after our son was born he had more pressure and stress which caused him to become an alcoholic but he never got physical while drinking he just was angry at me but his lusting turned into an obsession to where i became just for his advantage but i had no clue because his actions showed me otherwise til we had date night one thing led to one thing and we both got drunk talked cried danced then stupidly again i gave in but instead of saying my name he said my sisters. Morning after i just left not saying or seeing him for days he was very apologetic for days i gave in went to his house for an ” im sorry ” dinner i fell asleep while he played his game COD he was texting my sister while i was sleeping she gave him information of my past that he had asked me but yet was not ready to discuss. When i had woke up the next morning everything happened so fast he was yelling calling me names thankfully our son was in the care of my older sister i ended up in the bathroom woth the door locked crying in the corner trying to get ahold of anyone in my family to come get me while he was angrily banging on the door. I was a complete fool to not call the cops because in my heart i believed that it was the alcohol and getting the information from someone else not me that worked him up like that. After that the entire year we worked on ourselves and the relationship. Forward 2018 i found out i was 15 weeks pregnant scared to tell him because we just got close to where we use to be the honeymoon stage after i had told him he again became abusive but more intensively verbally mentally emotionally and by this time FINANCIALLY came into play and then with my sister but this time he sent her pictures of him exposing his area (which i have screenshots of). I stayed because i was able to ignore that side of him i didn’t allow that side of him be seen by my son at the time our son was teaching his sister our daughter how to play with the learn how to walk toy while i was watching him and ready to grab her when she fell. I took my eyes off the most precious amazing moment to look over at their dad to tell him i loved him but i had seen him looking down smiling and texting away while turning my head back i said hope that whatever/whoever is better than this right here. I didnt pay attention to how much further our daughter got she fell and bumped her mouth on the toy NO BLOOD just a crying baby he had hit our son leaving a mark (again to which i have a photo of) on the forearm of our son. I left for a while no police involved because i thought i knew i wasnt going back there was no chance after that but both babies crying endlessly for daddy. I went back with them and let my foolish self get played but our children didnt feel any danger or fear with him so 50% neither did i. He got caught messaging not only my sister but other females he was trying to date before me or females he was infatuated with. I ignored it but i was hurt so i stopped EVERYTHING i did for him he saw and knew it but continued with his double life. I tried to talk to him about it he didnt want to talk to me about his feelings or anything for that matter so i pushed his buttons heard my daughter fart waterly as he STOOD in the one spot i stopped trying to communicate and attended to our daughter changed her fed her while trying to get our daughter to burp i was in the door way he outta no where started calling me names moving slowly and closely towards where i was standing he kept demanding me to move the f out of his way ignoring him because our daughter was having a hard time to burp instead of him trying to help he had shoved his way past our daughter and i. He SHOVED hard enough to where i was pushed back into a door again ignored his ignorance. He went straight into the restroom an hour after he came came still with his name calling but this time he was literally grabbing my clothing and other items in the closet throwing them down im begging him to stop as i try to pick up his mess but he kept shoving and this time kneed me once for not paying attention to where he was stepping. I got tired and completely overwhelmed i decided to fight back but waited for the” right “moment as he stepped into the closet once more and i tried to Nut punch him failed but kept on throwingg my fists as fast as i remembered to not take my eye off the prize. His sister in law and brother busted into the room taking the kids out they not knowing whats happening or see it. I was so completely done with chances the im sorrys the i wont do it again i promise the i love you babe please dont go ill change that if he hadnt grabbed my wrists tightly as possible i would have been the one in jail. Now year 2020 i didnt want to deal with his demanding rude inappropriate selfishness. JULY 3 he was demanding so much and very rudely i finally said NO he apparently didn’t like that he pulled the keys out of the car while it was still on having the windows in the back up leaving our babies and myself in the middle of the road. He tried to take off on foot i wrapped my hands around his arm to try and stop him and grabbed the keys he with half body out of the car angrily closed his hand into a fist raising up his arm moving his hand forward the moment he got close to my face his hand opened and shoved shoved my face so hard he made my head turn from shoulder to shoulder i closed my eyes during the shove my eyes opened to seeing the road. Shockingly i looked back over to the passanger side of car looking into his eyes seeing him realizing what he had just done to me but IN FRONT of our children and yes i have photos of the red marking on my right face. He took off i didn’t know what else to do but to text his boss asking him to see if by chance their dad mistakenly tooken the keys yet again their dad wasnt very to fond about that. I ended up getting the keys headed over to my moms house and the moment our son saw my older sister and my mom his GG he tells them HEY GUYS MY DADDY HIT MY MOMMY. My sister grabbed my kids took them up into the house back back out to the car asked me why the f didnt i call the cops right then and there and i instantly said because they just saw their mother take a hand to the face i didn’t want or need them to see their dad get put in the back of a cop car all in the same day. I did call the police department of the city which that happened in made a report but thats as far as i went. I have not been back to the house since but our kids have not right away but eventually i had to give him the right to see his children but supervised with his verbal concent. Since then i had came up with a schedule fair for us both but just recently i have been on the literal street therefore my family and i asked him for now to just have the kids for the nights and id get them in the mornings if i am able to. Both of us do not have a job but we are currently looking as well as i am looking for some sort of housing for my children and self. Reason why our turned into my is there has not been a day where he messages me my older sister or my mother ” when am i going for the kids or when i tell him i cant he messages my older sister she then calls our mother yelling at her that one of us better go get the kids. I do not have a car and without a job i have no cash. I am getting calfresh and unemployment i lost my job due to becoming homeless and not getting help with child care. He now is threatening to take my kids away from me if by December things are the same meaning him having to keep the kids for the nights and me not having a job. Just yesterday i went on 1 in person interview the other 3 where over the camera. After i had dealt with job interviews i was on the phone with 211 and housing. I ended up landing a interview for a program but its just an interview. NOW his strongest most powerful case he has against me is my addiction. I tried cleaning up and getting sober but i failed the first three tries but eventually i allowed myself to realize i REALLY wanted to be and stay clean & sober. So i myself for 4 years cold turkey stayed clean and sober til one day AFTER my children were born i messed up just because i let him in and take complete advantage of everything. Since September i have been to meeting on my own i have not been in contact with anyone other than my kids dad about the kids. I feel like the best way to avoid court and both of us losing and getting my kids taken away the best thing is filling for a guardian but i do not know how or where to being.

    1. You have no business raising children being an alcoholic and homeless, those kids deserve better. So get fiber and get a job and take care of your kids this story is pathetic.

      1. Women are their own worst enemies and the male world couldn’t be happier. Women have screwed themselves and are getting what they deserve. “Get fiber and get a job”…….so you can take care of your kids?
        Do you know how stupid that sounds. Think about it. The children born today are losing out on having a primary caretaker…………..called “mom”. Being a mom IS A FULL TIME JOB……not a part time job like you think it should be. Society will get its just desserts. You don’t kill the goose that has laid the golden egg. You support that goose in her role. Our society is doing exactly the opposite…. As a women it is horrifying to watch a mother not being respected by society in the manner she should be. Shame on you.

  6. I got one have preached this about a significant other and dating not only to my family whom tried forcing me to date, along with the ex husband whom has been threw more women than the type of candy Willy wonka has… and dates 6 mos then marries each if he can convince them.. uses the children as women magnets (child abuse) and as of right now, demands I pay him child support without seeing my kids or speaking to them . Weird need assistance

    1. This sounds like the type of case that needs a child representative or a guardian ad litem appointed to get involved and do an investigation into what are in the child’s best interests. That is the legal standard for determining child custody / allocation of parental responsibilities, and visitation / parenting time.
      A child representative or guardian ad litem are attorneys that do not represent either parent, they are only concerned with what is in the best interest of the child – the child is his or her client.
      It sounds like you should file a motion with the court and ask that a child representative or guardian ad litem be appointed in this case. Judges typically do not like kids to be taught bad behavior, and many don’t like dad having a revolving door of partners.
      It may be possible to have a child representative or guardian ad litem appointed to the case for free or extremely low cost even through the County Public Guardians Office. you should look into this option if money is a potential issue for you.
      For now, begin gathering evidence for your case. This does not mean “how you feel and why” or “what he or someone else said to you.” Evidence needs to be different in court to mean something. This means things in writing, like text messages or emails. It means school reports that kids are late, have problems, or are getting bad grades. Evidence means video, or calendars showing dad has not gone to sporting events or activities and is not involved the way he should be.
      But, as far as child support is concerned, depending on your state, the parent the majority of time with the kids (typically the majority of overnight parenting time with the kids) is awarded some amount of child support from the other parent – and whether you see the kids or not does not have a bearing on this. They are sort of considered two separate things.
      If he is denying you seeing your kids and there is a court order in place, you should also consider filing a petition for contempt for his refusing to abide by the court’s order. Again provide proof.
      your best bet is to do whatever it takes to hire an experienced child custody attorney to help – this is complex and you should not go it alone. Speak to an experienced professional right away – and good luck.

  7. Help. I am currently in a marriage with an 18 month old. I am working full time and have a side business detailing cars. My wife, child and I all live in a house that my mother owns. She wants to divorce and take my child from me. She is a stay at home mom that I myself and my mother support along with my son. What recourse do I have? I do want her to have custody of our son. My mother is a retired teacher who lives with my aunt. They can both watch after him while I am working. I will do whatever it takes to have my son with me

    1. What is your motivation to have your mother watch your child instead of the child’s own parent (your ex)? If she is a stay at home mom, then she already has available and precedent.

      It makes no sense for courts to favor a 3rd party (mom and aunt) over a perfectly fit and willing parent.

  8. My ex and I were only together for a little while before I got pregnant, we were not a good match, I realized he’s a very obsessive person. We split up during the pregnancy, he took me to court as soon as he found out our son was born, the case took 2 years to finalize. I’m a stay at home mom and have been since my son was born. My son will be 4 this year. I now have a daughter with my now husband, that will be 2 this year. My ex just had a daughter a few months ago with his now wife. He just quit his job to be a stay at home dad and I just got served with court papers last week, he is taking me back to court because he wants the custodial parent title and 50/50 parenting time, he wants me to drive and he wants to do away with child support. Right now he has an extra overnight and day visitation every week over standard order with an extended week on week off schedule in the summer. He has lived 5 places in the last 4 years. My husband and I have bought our house 3 years ago we have a loving consisant home where my son is very close with his younger sister and step dad. My ex is the type that if you give an inch he takes 30 miles…. I’ve been told by multiple sources that the magistrate on our case, she believes in 50/50 regardless of the fact that my ex lives an hour away and his wife is in the airforce for the next 3 years. Even if I put my son in preschool this fall, I’ve heard the magistrate will more than likely still rule in favor of my ex getting half. I am at a loss of what to do.

  9. I was with my ex for 12 years married for 9. We separated Sept 2019, he moved in with a girl that same month. He didn’t start getting his 3 children until December 2019 then we started every other weekend visits on our own with no court order. In Jan 2020 he filed for divorce, that is the same time he found out his live in girlfriend was pregnant. Here it is may and still we haven’t seen a judge and there are no orders. He has taken 1 of my 3 children with no intention of returning her home on the grounds that “the children are in danger” he has it in his head that I am dating someone he doesn’t like, the man he assumes I’m dating is on probation 3 years deffered for assault. I am in fact not dating him, he is not around my home or my children at all. But my ex refuses to take that for an answer. He has now called CPS and made false reports against me trying to get them to remove my other 2 children and give them to him. My older 2 children that live with me still are terrified he is going to take them like he did their sister. This has emotionally distressed them majorly. He and his pregnant, due in August, girlfriend (yes we are still legally married) live in a 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment where my children sleep on couches or air mattresses in the living room when they come or the 5 year old, whom he has taken possession of sleep with him and his gf. I have a 3 bedroom home where each child has a bed, full pantry and fridge, running water and lights etc. I was a stay at home mom for 11 years so he is now trying to prove that I am unfit and can’t provide for my kids and have an unfit living environment as well as use the criminal record of someone who is not even around my home or children against me to take my kids.

  10. My ex and i have been together since 2012 and have two children ages 5 and 2. On october 16 2019 i came home from my first night at a new(2nd) job to find him and my children’s preschool teacher (who was a close friend of mine) in my bed naked. I have been a stay at home mom for a majority of my childrens lives or working part time. My schedule has always worked around my exs schedule to ensure my children have one of us unless they are in school. My youngest started Montessori preschool in September and after the incident that i learned my ex and my “friend” aka childrens teacher have been having an affair for months inside my home i pulled my son out of the school. Because of no longer having the support i did since my ex left the home i have missed a lot of work at my primary job and ended up not being available for my new job as well. Ive had to ask my brother to help me with my son while i work and my oldest is in school. My ex has continued to pay the bills (for the home we’ve lived in for the last 6 years) because if he didnt the children and i, including our animals, would be homeless. His schedule makes him unavailable to care for the children Monday through Friday so him and i agreed they would keep their routine with me in their usual home and spend weekends with him. My landlord passed away around Christmas so on February 6th my new landlord gave me a notice to be out of my home by april 17th because he is moving his family in. On February 10th my ex and i each went to court to file for custody. He is asking for a week on week off and joint custody and i am asking to relocate because im facing the possibility of being homeless and need to live somewhere i will have support. On February 11th my ex closed our joint bank account which has detoured our federal tax returns and most likely making them take longer to arrive which is going to effect my financial options to move anywhere. I need to know if anyone has been in this situation and what has happened to them. I may not make enough but i have always done everything for my children and the thought of becoming homeless and losing custody because of my ex terrifies me

  11. My husband is verbally, mentally, and emotionally abusive to me and our toddler. He possesses and uses a few class 1 drugs. He legally possesses multiple firearms. He has never hit me or our children (he knows I’d have him arrested on the spot and he’s to cautious for that). The only way I’ll feel safe about leaving him is if I involve the police. But this will result in him going to jail most likely. Will I be safe if I do that? The drugs are in the house we live in and I know about them. I have asked him multiple times to stop using them and throw them away. He always gets really angry and starts yelling and throwing things. I made sure he stored them somewhere the kids couldn’t get them since he won’t get rid of them. And I can’t throw them away because I don’t know how he’d react and I’d be afraid to do that for my own sake and for the sake of our kids. He also doesn’t do anything at all to take care of the kids. We have a 3 year old and a 5 month old. He has changed maybe 10 diapers in his life. He doesn’t feed or care for the children. He can’t be bothered to play with or spend time with them. He regularly blames me for his lack of relationship with them even though he chooses to not spend time with or care for them. He is jealous and suspicious and doesn’t trust me. He constantly accuses me of having people over to the house even though we have security cameras. He has told me multiple times he doesn’t want to have sex with me and wants to have sex with other people, which at this point I don’t even care about. I just want to be free of him and have my children far away from him. He hasn’t been a parent a day in his life. He’s too selfish with his time and his means to parent. Also, we have 2 daughters, and he’s already said that they’re never allowed to go to anyone’s house and he wants me to homeschool them so they’re not around boys or male teachers. He is going to treat them the same way he treats me. And any time divorce comes up in conversation, he threatens me that he’ll take the kids and the house. He is also the only one who works; I’m a stay at home mom. But my parents have plenty of money and would pay for my living arrangements and watch the children so I could work. But he’s a very vengeful person and I would be afraid that he would try to abduct the kids from my parents’ house as he knows where they live. Even if he were in prison, I’m sure he’d get one of his friends to do something or at least try something. How can I get him arrested and removed from the home and get protective custody of our children and not get in trouble for his drugs that I can’t do anything about because he’s abusive and unpredictable? If he ever had custody of them he would try to take them and run.

    1. When dealing with an abusive spouse, like this, you have to make decisions based on your children’s best interests. You mention that your parents have income available to support you through a transition – why not speak with them immediately about preparing to leave and have a divorce filed at the same time?
      It would be wise to document his drug use; take pictures of what he has in the house, etc.
      If you don’t want to get him arrested, involving the police is not an option. If you call the police and say “my husband is threatening me and has drugs in the house” do you think they’ll just tell him to leave? Of course not.
      Your best bet is to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer immediately, and then prepare with your parents, quietly, to make your move. And then do it all at once. Leave and have him served all on the same day, at the same time.
      And have your attorney prepared to file an emergency motion for sole custody, restricting parenting time with the kids (since he could be under the influence of drugs), and to grant you exclusive possession of whatever residence you are staying at.
      Then, your attorney is going to file a petition for maintenance (alimony) and child support, and that will assist in supporting you as you move on to the next chapter as well.
      Clearly having a conversation with this individual is not going to do anything positive for you except maybe get him ready to prepare for court. So, yo need to act quickly and do it the right way.
      And if he makes any kind of threat that you have proof of (ie. video, text messages, etc.) use that for an order of protection as well to keep him away from you. In most states, when an order of protection is issued, the police will also confiscate his weapons as well. And violating that order would subject him to jail for a crime. In fact, him having a friend do something on his behalf (even talking to you about him) would most likely be a violation of an order of protection.
      The one thing you can’t do is continue to stay there with your kids and feel bad for our situation – either make a plan, get a lawyer, and put things in motion to end this and protect your family, or continue on with what sounds like a dangerous and unhealthy situation. Do the right thing for your family, no matter hos hard it will be for a little while. It will not be this hard 2-years from now – but you have to make the right move and fight through the tough times and you will come out the other side in a better position than ever before.

      1. I’m worried that if I don’t involve the police, he will either try to come take the kids from me physically or he will go to court and try to win some custody, which I’m not comfortable with because he’s not a suitable or trustworthy parent. If he has any alone time with the kids, he will try to take them or he will mistreat them.

  12. My husband and I have been together for 5 years and married for only 1 year. We have had so many fights in the past year. He does coke and he’s an alcoholic who got a dui a couple years ago. When he drinks he becomes aggressive and he has broken a lot of my things and even pushed me when I was pregnant and yes I defended myself and fought back. Once I would start fighting back he would stop pushing me and say that I was the only one hitting him. Now today he got drunk and when we finally went to bed he started fighting with me over my phone. One thing led to another and I got my son and was ready to finally leave him. He didn’t let me walk out. He got in my face while I was holding my son and he said he wanted to “beat my ass up” that he’s been wanting to but he hold it and that he just had enough. I’m a stay at home mom but I’m a food delivery person for door dash when I have someone to watch the baby. He said he can take full custody of my baby and I don’t want that. So my question is, can I get full custody ? Or can we get shared custody even if he doesn’t want shared custody?

  13. my (now) ex boyfriend and i have been together for 3 years and we share a 1 year old baby girl. he got physical with me tonight in front of her and has been emotionally and verbally abusive plenty of times before. i called the police but i’ve officially decided enough was enough and i’m choosing to leave the relationship so my daughter doesn’t have to see and go through these things thinking they’re normal. i was raised in a very loving and safe home and i don’t condone his behavior towards me at all. my mother has offered me to go stay with her in another state with the baby and i’m in a state of mind where all i want to do is take the baby and leave as soon as i can within the next 48 hours. do i have the right to do that? i’m especially afraid of retaliation and threats by this man. i don’t know what to do!! help!!

    1. i’m also a stay at home mom and made the decision to go back to work but all i want to do is get my daughter out of here…

    2. If there is no court order in place stating that you cannot leave the state, you may be allowed to do so. This is not true in many states though, so you need to speak with a local child custody expert who can inform you of local law.

      Now, keep this in mind: even in states where you can leave, it is possible for him to file a petition to establish paternity and a motion to return the children to their home state. If that happens, and you have quit your job, left your apartment, etc., what will you do? Be careful to not fall into this trap.
      Your best bet is to file for an emergency order of protection listing both you and your child as “protected parties.” Abuse in front of a child is viewed by many judges as abusing the child itself because of the trauma it can leave on a child.

      Get the order of protection, and then prepare to make your move to safety so that when he tries to fight and bring you back to the child’s home state, you have the ability to show the judge why you left and that it is in the child’s best interests to have left – that is the standard: “best interests of the child.”
      Get an experienced child custody attorney, they’ll know the local laws and how to handle the order of protection as well – but do not delay – waiting will destroy your case because an order of protection is your allegation that you are reasonably afraid that he will harm you and your child without the order in place. And if you wait 3-weeks to do it, the question that will be asked is this: “If you are so afraid of him, why didn’t you pursue an order of protection sooner?”

      Contact our team of child custody attorneys and get started ensuring your and your baby’s safety.

  14. Julieanne Mangini

    Back in June of 2016, I ended it with my boyfriend/father of my daughter. In March of 2016, he was arrested for domestic against me. I took care of her every day since she was born including working a part-time job. The 4 hours I’d work at night, he’d bring our child to his parents bc he couldn’t “parent”. The last weekend of July 2016, (we still had an apartment together and lease was up in Sept. – he stayed with me and our daughter here and there but bc of the domestic his family told him it would be best NOT to stay consistently and after I ended it, of course, he was back and forth still bc it was his apartment still too) he asked me if he could take our daughter for the weekend and I, of course, said yes. He picked her up that Friday night and I never had her again. He claimed he got a temporary order and he says where, when, how and with whom I see her. I saw her 3-4 times for a few hours each time for 2 1/2 months until our first court date on October 16th. Mind you, we were never married – meaning the mother automatically has custody (in MA at least), but I knew none of this and even when I got a lawyer, he didn’t make that clear to.me nor did he even care really. His focus was literally soley on the fact that I had a history with addiction, but so didn’t my ex/daughters father and dare I say, a worse one.

    First court date, our history with addiction was the basis for his case/reason he had custody and because he lived back at home with his parents so he had “more support”. I moved in with a friend 2 min away from the apartment we had until Sept. (we received an eviction notice bc he stopped paying and only working part-time, I obviously couldn’t pay even 1/4 of the rent). I wanted to be able to keep my part-time job due to the fact that I wanted to show that even though it was part-time, I was still willing to work and take care of my daughter. Due to the schedule they handed to me, knowing my work hours, and him and his lawyer wouldn’t budge, the judge AGREED and I had to quit my job to be able to see my daughter the days I was able to. I was responsible for EVERY RIDE TO AND FROM even though I had sold the my car to pay for the repairs for my ex’s truck.

    Before our first court date though, I found out a month and a half after him taking my child that he never had a temporary order. I had been calling every few days to every courthouse I knew of and researched in Bristol County, MA (bc our apartment, at the time he filed, was IN Bristol County. One day a light bulb went off and I thought to myself “OH MY GOD, his parents live in WORCESTER COUNTY”. And what do ya know, I call Worcester Courthouse and sure enough, he filed there, claiming my daughter’s address was the same as his parents even though BOTH of our names were on a lease in Bristol County, so he lied and that’s when I found out the day of our first court date.

    He has filed Modifications once, claiming I’m using, another time claiming myself and my fiancé (which turns out to be the friend I moved in with and we are still together being January 2020), and they’ve had me drug tested and I’ve passed each one. He’s failed for marijuana though and of course, failed the last time and just two days later he claimed he was getting a medical marijuana card (which to the judge was totally fine). The judge hates me and idk why. I had to get rid of the lawyer I had bc he didn’t care about WHAT MATTERED at all. I can’t speak for myself I get too emotional and do you know what my current schedule is with my daughter?! Every other weekend from 9am Saturday to 5pm Sunday. I do all rides STILL. That’s 32 hours EVERY OTHER WEEKEND.

    And what’s even crazier, is that my fiancé was going through a custody battle with his ex for their 2 kids (she had a drinking problem and no permanent housing) and he went to Bristol County Courthouse. His ex brought up my history, but after talking to me the court found me perfectly fine to help take care of the kids and be in their presence, so for 3 years now they’ve lived with us full-time. I take care of two kids full-time but can’t even have my own daughter full-time?!?

    1. Drug use and addiction is a tough one in the eyes of the court. While you have and are proving to them that you are clean and have left that in the past, the court needs more than just a random drop here and there. You should be seeking counseling, be enrolled and completing multiple 12-steps or similar groups. Build on the positive changes you have made and showcase them to the court. This takes time, but it is what you have to do.
      Unfortunately, what happened in 2016 is ancient history. You have to move past the lies he told to trick you back then, because all that matters is what is in the child’s best interests now, not what someone did in the past. And keeping with that, show that it is the child’s best interests to be with you more – that you have a loving home, that you left those negative things in the past, and that you are a positive impact in your child’s life.
      Also, you need an attorney. The reason most judges don’t like people without attorneys is because they either A.) get overly emotional in court with outbursts, arguing, or discussing irrelevant topics; or B.) people without lawyers don’t know what they are doing, and so it takes a lot of time to deal with those cases. And judges typically have hundreds, sometimes over 1,000 cases at any given time, and when things are not done correctly, they get frustrated, annoyed, and tat comes out as ruling against the person that frustrated them.
      You need a lawyer here, that might mean getting additional jobs, side jobs, whatever it takes to get some additional income, because int he end, you will not all of a sudden walk into court alone and have the judge just change his/her mind out of nowhere. Best of luck, please contact our team of experienced child custody attorneys for more help.

  15. I disagree with what is said. Only because it depends entirely on the judge. My ex took our kid out of school without telling me, left the state, unemployed, and I didn’t see them for almost 3 months. I FINALLY found them and got her into court. The judge?? He let her keep them, and I had to pay $1400 each month on $15 hr. There was no abuse either. She just wanted a divorce and left the state. If it’s a male judge, the woman will be ok to violate their children’s rights to their dad, If it’s a female judge, the woman MAY be held accountable because they’ll say it’s not good for children to be kept away from their father. I think it’s because men judges want to seem like the “crusader” for the woman because they view women as incapable, totally dependent and their only purpose is for cooking and raising children(enter child support, alimony). And women judges don’t like seeing their own act so callous, so they are more likely to put a stop to bad behavior. They are also more likely to understand the duress a child could be under. In almost all instances, the judge is older, so with age comes stubbornness and an unwillingness to learn something new. Like every study has shown, it’s much better for kids to have 2 involved parents, but good luck convincing a 70 something year old male judge about that. In his time, woman took care of the babies and men worked. Period. So, we have a nation of out of control adults now who are the products of horrendous family court rulings (just spy the kid with 5 lip rings and green hair next time at the store, I bet he/she came from a broken home with 1 parent, but plenty of child support). 26 out of the 27 deadliest mass shooters came from single parent homes. Fact. My kids are next on the statistics list too. Avoid family court at all costs. Judges are arrogant people and more protected than any branch of government. They didn’t get there because of some stellar record as a lawyer, they were appointed by a Governor, usually as a favor, or some inside deal. Now, mean old jaded grandpa has enormous power and no accountability and here come the litigants!

    Parents beware. It ain’t what ya think. Take it from someone who has been crushed financially, and rendered an absent parent all because of a failed relationship. Ridiculous.

    1. That is a tragic story and I do not doubt the veracity of the claims. Many times father’s are the ones that are automatically given a negative view by the courts right off the bat. This isn’t always true, of course, as you know. One big thing that seems to make a large impact on the effectiveness of judges that handle cases like this is whether they actually were a practicing attorney that handled divorce/custody/family law matters. What may be surprising to many people to learn, is that the vast majority of judges – especially those in family court – were never a divorce lawyer to begin with. They may have been a states attorney/prosecutor for years, a civil trial attorney, an insurance defense attorney, or something else. And then they are thrown into family court and are merely using it as a (hopefully)? stepping-stone to move into big civil court lawsuits (think – multi-million dollar business lawsuits over contract disputes, etc.) or to gain experience for an appointment to the appellate court.
      Obviously, this is not always the case, but it is more common than you would ever imagine (probably over 50% of the time).
      Your situation is tragic because it sounds like you did all you could and the judge still wouldn’t see your point of view. The best advice that can be given in a situation like yours when a parent takes the kids and moves far away or moves out of state is to immediately file a divorce/parentage case and immediately file an emergency motion to return the minor children to their home state. The longer that anyone waits, the harder it is for a judge to want to drag the kids and that parent back to live in their original state – especially if that parent now has a better job in place, kids are in school, and maybe more family support is available there.
      It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong, you moved as fast as you could in finding them, and that is what is makes it so hard to hear stories like these – sometimes you just lose and it’s not your fault; it’s just the system that has been built and you and your family end up as casualties of the flawed process.
      So sorry that this happened to you. Don’t stop fighting for your parenting rights – there is no reason why you shouldn’t have large blocks of time with your kids over school breaks like summer, Christmas/winter break, and spring break. But you will need an attorney to fight for you, especially because, like I explained, many of these family law court judges never handled these types of cases as a lawyer and a good lawyer needs to teach them the law so they make the correct and fair decision. Best of luck to you and your family.

  16. I am the mother of my child i have taken care of him all my life I don’t work and his father don’t work and has a live in girlfriend that is a sex offender who would get custudy

    1. What is the reason no one is working, is this a temporary thing (between jobs) or something long-term (disability)?
      If your child’s father is now living with a registered sex-offender, it is very likely that the court will look unfavorably at that and decide that it would be “in the best interests” of your child that he/she stay with you and that you be awarded primary custody. It is also possible that parenting time / visitation with dad could be ordered to be supervised to ensure your child’s safety. Click here to contact our team.

  17. I was a stay at home mom .. until he kicked me out and now I have no job or a house but I’m staying with a friend in her apartment but father gives me such a hard time with parenting he harasses me and sometimes when he takes the boys and I don’t hear for them for a whole 4days ..now he’s a musician and is out during night which I am at my friends apartment and they can sleep with me . I can’t afford a lawyer

  18. I am wondering how someone who has lied against seven people could even be considered to have a child in their custody. My husband and I have had our granddaughter in our care since she was three days old. The mother and father chose drugs over this child and abandoned her at five days old. Now the mother wants custody. She had no job, no drivers license, and lives with her parents and her sister and her niece. She blames all her troubles on everyone else and takes no responsibility for anything she has done. This little girl is healthy and very happy and makes us smile and laugh every day with the things she does from dancing to making funny faces. Neither one is responsible enough to look after themselves that alone another human being who didn’t ask to be brought into this world under these circumstances. To me the baby to the mother would be a possession to hold over everyone else and say look at me I can decide if I want you to see her or not. The other parent just likes to tote her around and show her off when he feels like it, so not good for this little angel. She has been with us for the last eighteen and a half months and she is our little angel. We wake up everyday trying of new ways to make her day better. She’s a ray of sunshine even on the darkest of days. We love her to pieces and would never use her as a pawn against anyone.

  19. My Partner ( boyfriend) and I have been together for 12 years we have two boys. We were living together all this time. Its been a year now since he moved out the house… He has left me and my kids alone to live with his mother( even though she doesn’t like me).. We are still in a relationship the kids and I get to see him sometimes.. I have been a stay at home mom. But now the pressure of living with his mom is very frustrating and I just want to move back home with my kids just he keeps telling me if I leave I shouldn’t go with my boys coz I do not work he has been supporting me financially all these years…
    Please help

    1. This is a bit confusing. Your boyfriend of over 12-years left you to live alone with his mother? And the kids are there with you as well? Where is he and why are you not living together if you are still together?
      Also, what is meant by you just want to move home with your kids, they are living with you, correct?
      I think that you need to find out what exactly is going on that has led to this living arrangement first, because if you two are together still, why aren’t you living together?
      Best of luck. We’re available to talk if you call and we can help guide you on whatever steps are needed to ensure you and your family are taken care of properly.

  20. Hi, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 9 years and have two kids together 3 years old and 1 and a half year old.hes been very abusive physical, emotionally, mentally and verbally with me.he cheat a lot.everytime I tried to leave ,he keeps threatening me that he will get the kids away from me and get full custody because I don’t really have a job.is it possible that I can lose my babies because I don’t provide half and half on the bills.? Please help!!

  21. My ex-wife changed my kid’s school without first discussing it with me (the new school was 30 minutes away and in the opposite direction that I work). She then proceeded to withhold 1/2 of my visitation for an entire year (I had 40% custody and she relegated me to 1/2 of that). I asked her to discuss alternate scheduling arrangements that would work for both of us and was completely ignored. All I could do was go back to court. It took an entire year to get a court date! The judge not only didn’t care..the judge ordered that she have increased custody of the children! At this point, I wholeheartedly believe the California judges have no interest in doing what’s in the best interest of my three children.

  22. in recent times, the trend is starting to become secretely sabotaging your partner in order to ensure that you win custody. some folks that do this usually don’t do it for their kid but for themselves and to spite the partner. i advise that if you know your partner will be a better parent you shoul not do such but if your partner seems to be the one to win custody and you are sure your child will be better off with you as you can teach him better values and morals then you should not waste a second. contact payloader,at,tutanotadotcom he can help you get dirt on your partner and if your partner is without dirt, he is able to fabricate enough dirt on your partner to tip the battle to your end.

  23. I didn’t know that withholding visitations will actually not be good in the eyes of the court. I’d assume that it’s really hard for parents not to jump the gun and do something like that. Getting professional help seems like one of the easiest ways to avoid making any of these four mistakes.

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