My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California
In March of 2010 I married my ex. I was pregnant and had my child July 2010. After I was married for six months and my daughter was three months old "father" said that he wanted his freedom back and wanted to start going to the gym again, be with his friends, didn't think he was a good husband so I told him that I was going to move out since he wasn't willing to go to counseling or try to do what was needed to make our marriage work. I moved into my grandfathers house in September 2010. "father" stated that he thought it would be better if my daughter and I lived with my grandfather instead of him because it was not as cold as our house and there weren't any animals in the house. Our house wasnt cold! She was born in the summer, how is that cold? in October of 2010 "father" went on a camping trip with his friends to Yosemite and relapsed with alcohol. I told him that he needed to get his crap together and start going to AA meetings. Until then he needed to sign full custody and all rights over to me and agree to a divorce. He did sign the agreement but the only reason why he didn't is because he didn't want us to get a divorce.
The day I moved out of mine and "father's" rental house, he never paid child support but he did pay half of the child care which was only about 70 dollars a week which he complained about constantly. When he was able to watch our daughter I would take her over there so we could save money on childcare. When I started working again after my maternity leave I was working full time but because "father" would text me at 2 am telling me that he's not watching Ali when I had to work that morning at 6am. By "father" doing this it resulted in me calling into work because I didn't have any childcare. He did this a few times which made me unreliable at my job so my hours got cut more and more after time. When I left my job in April to move to southern california I was only working 15 hrs.
When I was living at my grandfathers house, "father" was still living in our old house which was only a 5 minute drive. He never came over on a regular basis to see our daughter. he would text me to see how she was but that was it. I would always ask if he wanted me to stop by his house so he could see her. At this time he wouldn't start work until 3pm so there was plenty of time during the day to just pop over and see "daughter" for even a brief moment whether I was home or not because that is where she was babysat while I was at work. "father" would be very aggressive when I went to his house and he saw that I was talking on the phone. He would always ask me who I was talking to. If I didn't tell him he wouldn't let me in my car, he would try to break my car door and my side mirror. Summer of 2009 I had a domestic violence case on him because he twisted my arm back and hurt my wrist but that didn't go anywhere because the case was dropped by the DA. He has a horrible temper.
If he saw my car in the shopping center in northern california he would text me and ask who I was with, what was I doing, where is his daughter, if I'm with a guy I better bring his daughter to him NOW. He constantly stalked me and harassed me. This is why I moved away to so cal.
After I moved I filed for a legal separation since I hadn't lived in southern California long enough to file for a dissolution of marriage. I also filed for custody of our daughter. After I had "father" served with these papers, him mother and him came to southern california to serve me with papers but said he was coming alone to see "daughter".
He got an attorney so I decided it would be better if I had one too. For a while we were fighting for jurisdiction since we both filed and served papers. The judge in San Bernadino County granted Sonoma County with jurisdiction. Before this, we did our mediation in Victorville courts and everything was fine. The judge in Sonoma County gave temporary visitation to "father" which was every other week Monday 7pm to Wednesday 7pm. So in mediation we agreed that it would stay this way and we would alternate the holidays. He came to his first visitation with his mother. He came to his second visitation with his mother and his aunt which we agreed in mediation that his mother wouldn't attend the visitations since the other times she has been around she would cause problems. He and I would discuss things about Ali and everything would be fine between us until his mother would start running her mouth to me. I told her in a very stern voice to stay out of it because she is not the mother or the father. he even told her to keep her mouth shut. The second visitation he didn't inform me that his mother and his aunt was coming until the day of his visitations so I bought my friend along because I didn't trust what he was going to do. When I was dropping off my daughter at the second visitation "father" told my friend to step aside so that he could talk to me but my friend told "father" that he was there to make sure nothing was going to happen to me and he wasn't going to move. In court he told the judge that my friend and I were there cussing at him and trying to fight him which is not at all what happened. After these two visitations there were four others that he didn't make because he said that he couldn't afford the trip. Court ordered me to pay half of his gas so I did. Even though he missed more visitations then he made the judge in Sonoma county still granted him 50/50 visitation. Now every week on Monday I have to meet him half way. My poor daughter who is only 13 mos old, has to ride in the car for 8 or more hours every single week because this judge thinks that he needs to see his daughter more.
Everything that "father" and I agreed upon has not gone through because of his mother and the attorney in his ear. I can not afford to pay for the gas and the wear and tear on my car to drive every week. I am currently on unemployment and I'm trying to enroll into school but I cant with all of these court hearing and now having to drive weekly to meet up with him. Not only is this hard on my pocket book but its emotionally draining to know that my daughter is with a man who has never been there for her and she has never been apart from me like this since she was born.
"father" was advised by a physiatrist that he saw once that he needed to go back to talk more but he never has. He isn't going to his aa meetings anymore. he works in Sacramento from Thursday to Sunday and sometimes Friday to Sunday so I don't understand why he needs to have my daughter for the full week. he isn't caring for her, his mother is. He also doesn't have his own reliable transportation so he is using his mothers car-his mother pays for the gas and wear and tear, he never paid for the two trips that he did make for his visitation-his mother did, he doesn't have his own place so when my daughter is in his care they all stay in his mothers studio because the judge says that she shouldn't be raised in a motel.
He is deaf and told me that he wants ali to attend an all deaf daycare which in my eyes is not an option. She is not deaf so she doesn't need to go to a deaf daycare and if she is surrounded by deaf children she will not learn proper English and she will have to go to speech classes. she is not deaf and I'm not raising her to act like she is. his mother has unlimited amount of funds and can afford an attorney but I cant afford it nor can my grandfather who was paying for my attorney that I did have. I will do whatever it takes to get my daughter back home to me where she belongs. I am fine with him having visitation but not like this. I feel he is being rewarded for nothing. I need to find a way to change something to get the visitations changed. I saw that at the local college where I'm at, they offer a sign language class for parents and children 12 mos to 18 mos. If I enroll her and I in this class would that be enough to the judge to keep her with me more?
I am sure I am forgetting some information about my case but please feel free to ask me anything and I will get back to you right away.
Im sure everyone has their own opinion about other people drama but please if you dont have anything nice to say just keep it to yourself and dont email me. If you are a true mother or father you know how it feels to go through what im dealing with. im a fair person when fairness is worth giving. I have tried to work with him to make things easier for everyone but it never works. he always goes against what he says and now i just need to play some hard ball or something. my daughter being gone for this long is just not an option.
if anyone can help me with any information or point me in the right direction please email me.