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  1. #1
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    Default Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Missouri

    Here's my situation:

    My wife and I had recently moved 2 hours from where we lived. We moved because I had just gotten a new job that would be able to take care of our financial needs and we could start our family. She did not want to move, but I explained that we really had no choice, mainly because she did not want to work and at the time, I wasn't making great money and we were still trying to pay for our actual wedding ceremony (we were legally married in a courthouse). So she agreed. When we got here, we started trying to have a child. We were trying all the way up until she got pregnant. 5 days after we had just moved in to our own apartment (we both signed the lease) and bought a ton of furniture and stuff, she took a pregnancy test and was pregnant. We had been living in this new location for only 5 weeks and she got pregnant as soon as we started trying, maybe even the first time. We were happy. Then, she just kinda snapped. She got furious with me because I was upset that she would not call for an ultrasound, after we found she was pregnant. Its not that I didn't want to do it, but because I was in charge of all the finances and did most of the cooking and cleaning, I felt she needed to start doing things if we were gonna have a child. She left for a week to stay with her mom. She claimed at the time she never wanted to leave me, but just needed to clear her head. I didn't make a big deal because I knew she was just finding an excuse to spend a week at her mom's. When she came back, she apologized, but more of the same. After just a few days, she exploded again and told me she was leaving for good. I begged her to reconsider and offered to make changes and we could visit her family every weekend, etc. She still refused and was going to leave. Before she left, we had agreed to see each other every weekend and weren't "separating". As soon as she got there, a family member died, so I came and comforted her. We spent the night holding each other. When I left, she gave me a nice hug and kiss and told me she loved me. Later that day, she contacted her ex. After that, we were done. She claimed we were separated and that she had no feeling for me when I comforted her and didn't love me. Even after this, for about a month, I did everything I could to work things out. I came up there for a few dates, at her request, only to be ignored and informed she was falling back in love with her ex. Everytime I was there, she made a point to let me know that no matter what, we weren't getting back together. She also seemed emotionally messed up as she began talking about me as though I was a monster, when I never did anything but love and took care of her. Eventually, I couldn't take the competition with the ex and told her that if we were going to try and work things out, than she needed to quit talking to him, which she declined, so I turned off her phone and spoke with her mom. Her mom was very against her daughters decisions and thought she was stupid. Her mom told me that I should leave her alone and focus on my work and that she would do her best to make her daughter see how good she had it with someone that loved her dearly. Instead, my wife just started a relationship with the ex and forgot all about me.

    A few key issues with my wife. She was molested by her step father as a child. He is now in prison for it, however, she never received psychiatric or any help for that matter, even though she was court ordered to. Her mother is still married to the man and visits him in prison. She has been in some horrible relationships. The ex she is with now, has choked her in the past and treated her like dirt. He also does drugs and stuff. My counselor told me that my wife suffers from being used to having bad things and bad relationships with men, so when she had a good one, her mind made her believe she was in a bad relationship and needed out. Everyone else I spoke with and other counselors have said the same thing. Being taken care of and having good things was something she could not handle.

    Its been almost 4 months since my wife left and she is due in August. I have no contact with her. I could facebook her a message, but her replying is doubtful. I was able to go to her first 2 doctors apointments, despite being 2 hours away, but missed the last one due to being out of town on business. At these appointments, she ignores me and everything. I told her that when the baby comes, I would like her to stay with me, with baby, because I feel its best. She declined and wouldn't discuss arrangements with me.

    I have contact with her family. There are ALL pissed at her, think she is stupid, they all hate the guy she's with, all love me, all want her back with me, and no one supports her decisions. She now lives with her brother because of this. No matter who she lives with, she will not have a room to herself. Its possible she would be living in a living room with the baby. She also has no money, car, etc.

    I would like primary custody of my child. I have a room ready for them. It is decorated for a child. I also have a ton of clothes for them, and all other baby things needed. I do not want to talk with a lawyer at this time, because I don't want to deal with that as I'm still really sad my wife left.

    I have googled this situation left and right and can find no information. I guess my situation is that rare? I came across abandonment. Would my case qualify for that? What about my wife leaving me with this stupid apartment lease? I know the courts always favor the mother. If the mother has done what she has, has no permanent residence, money, baby stuff, and could have mental issues from not receiving help, than how could they still favor her? That may be hard to answer. I guess I just would like to know what my options are or what I can claim to help my situation?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    I totally disagree that you have no chance of custody of the baby due to the fact you are the father. Fathers win custody all the time these days. I know this for a fact as the father won in my own hearing even though he left me for someone else and I had proof of it. Judges seem to look at what's in the best interest of the child these days and no longer "automatically" grant custody to mom.

    Truthfully, from what you have expressed here, I think you have an excellent chance. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    the first thought that comes to mind:

    have a DNA test to prove paternity. While your explanation does not include the possibility of somebody else being the father, her actions suggest it could be otherwise.

    second; pregnancy wreaks havoc on a woman's hormones. It can cause some very erratic, irrational, and unusual (for her) actions. That coupled with the move could be more than she could bear.

    I would like primary custody of my child. I have a room ready for them.
    for the first several months to a year, that is just not going to happen unless she is just plain incapable of caring for the child. It is the way it is.

    If the child is not yours, I would suggest a divorce may be the best action. If the child is yours, what you do is up to you. Her hormones will return to somewhat normal after a few months after delivery. If you are willing to wait, then wait. Neither you nor she should really make the huge jump to divorce during or immediately after the pregnancy, unless it is another man's child (in my opinion).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    Quote Quoting joeviking11
    View Post
    My wife and I had recently moved 2 hours from where we lived. We moved because I had just gotten a new job that would be able to take care of our financial needs and we could start our family. She did not want to move, but I explained that we really had no choice, mainly because she did not want to work and at the time, I wasn't making great money and we were still trying to pay for our actual wedding ceremony (we were legally married in a courthouse). So she agreed. When we got here, we started trying to have a child. We were trying all the way up until she got pregnant. 5 days after we had just moved in to our own apartment (we both signed the lease) and bought a ton of furniture and stuff, she took a pregnancy test and was pregnant. We had been living in this new location for only 5 weeks and she got pregnant as soon as we started trying, maybe even the first time. We were happy. Then, she just kinda snapped. She got furious with me because I was upset that she would not call for an ultrasound, after we found she was pregnant. Its not that I didn't want to do it, but because I was in charge of all the finances and did most of the cooking and cleaning, I felt she needed to start doing things if we were gonna have a child. She left for a week to stay with her mom. She claimed at the time she never wanted to leave me, but just needed to clear her head. I didn't make a big deal because I knew she was just finding an excuse to spend a week at her mom's. When she came back, she apologized, but more of the same. After just a few days, she exploded again and told me she was leaving for good. I begged her to reconsider and offered to make changes and we could visit her family every weekend, etc. She still refused and was going to leave. Before she left, we had agreed to see each other every weekend and weren't "separating". As soon as she got there, a family member died, so I came and comforted her. We spent the night holding each other. When I left, she gave me a nice hug and kiss and told me she loved me. Later that day, she contacted her ex. After that, we were done. She claimed we were separated and that she had no feeling for me when I comforted her and didn't love me. Even after this, for about a month, I did everything I could to work things out. I came up there for a few dates, at her request, only to be ignored and informed she was falling back in love with her ex. Everytime I was there, she made a point to let me know that no matter what, we weren't getting back together. She also seemed emotionally messed up as she began talking about me as though I was a monster, when I never did anything but love and took care of her. Eventually, I couldn't take the competition with the ex and told her that if we were going to try and work things out, than she needed to quit talking to him, which she declined, so I turned off her phone and spoke with her mom. Her mom was very against her daughters decisions and thought she was stupid. Her mom told me that I should leave her alone and focus on my work and that she would do her best to make her daughter see how good she had it with someone that loved her dearly. Instead, my wife just started a relationship with the ex and forgot all about me.
    So it sounds like she's made very clear that she no longer wants to devote emotional energy to her marriage, but instead wants to pursue a relationship with her ex. Nothing you can do about her choice legally - except that you can terminate your marriage to her with the divorce process.


    A few key issues with my wife. She was molested by her step father as a child. He is now in prison for it, however, she never received psychiatric or any help for that matter,
    Ok. But you married and attempted to have children with her with these issues still hanging in the air. They won't be legally relevant to the issues of your marriage, paternity, custody, etc.


    even though she was court ordered to.
    No. Courts cannot force or ORDER victims to react to their victimization in particular ways. The court may have ordered an offender to pay for treatment, but that in no way OBLIGATES a victim to attend.


    Her mother is still married to the man and visits him in prison.
    Not legally relevant to the situation between you and your wife.


    She has been in some horrible relationships. The ex she is with now, has choked her in the past and treated her like dirt. He also does drugs and stuff. My counselor told me that my wife suffers from being used to having bad things and bad relationships with men, so when she had a good one, her mind made her believe she was in a bad relationship and needed out. Everyone else I spoke with and other counselors have said the same thing. Being taken care of and having good things was something she could not handle.
    Ok. No one's denying there are probably some major relationship issues for your wife.



    Its been almost 4 months since my wife left and she is due in August. I have no contact with her. I could facebook her a message, but her replying is doubtful. I was able to go to her first 2 doctors apointments, despite being 2 hours away, but missed the last one due to being out of town on business. At these appointments, she ignores me and everything. I told her that when the baby comes, I would like her to stay with me, with baby, because I feel its best. She declined and wouldn't discuss arrangements with me.
    Be aware that she can also bar you from the delivery room.



    I have contact with her family. There are ALL pissed at her, think she is stupid, they all hate the guy she's with, all love me, all want her back with me, and no one supports her decisions.
    As an adult, she has complete freedom to make poor decisions, even against the advice of every living person on earth.


    She now lives with her brother because of this. No matter who she lives with, she will not have a room to herself. Its possible she would be living in a living room with the baby.
    Ok. But she doesn't NEED a room to herself, and neither does an infant.


    She also has no money, car, etc.
    Ok.


    I would like primary custody of my child.
    Then file for divorce, and once the child is born, you can seek custody. However, given the timeline, I wouldn't assume that you're the father - you REALLY need to get a paternity test done BEFORE you address custody. Last thing you want is to battle for a child that ends up not being yours, and whom you later loose to the actual father if HE should bring a paternity case.


    I have a room ready for them. It is decorated for a child. I also have a ton of clothes for them, and all other baby things needed. I do not want to talk with a lawyer at this time, because I don't want to deal with that as I'm still really sad my wife left.
    Paternity testing can't occur until after the child is actually born, so you appear to have some time.


    I have googled this situation left and right and can find no information. I guess my situation is that rare? I came across abandonment. Would my case qualify for that?
    She abandoned your marriage. The solution for that is divorce.


    What about my wife leaving me with this stupid apartment lease?
    You'll want to address that in your divorce.


    I know the courts always favor the mother.
    Yes, because the mother births the child, and typically spends the most time with the infant, right off the bat. Exceptions to this with an infant would be, for example, if mom were a drug addict and the child was born with dependency issues and ordered by a court to not be returned to the mother.


    If the mother has done what she has, has no permanent residence, money, baby stuff, and could have mental issues from not receiving help, than how could they still favor her?
    Because none of those things are applicable to her ability to mother her child. It's not a contest about who can do it better, it only matters to the court that she can provide the child with the minimum requirements. If the child has shelter, clean diapers, and eats every day, that's really the basics. Things that were already issues when you married and possibly impregnated her were your responsibility to weigh THEN, not the court's responsiblity to weigh NOW (such as her employment status or mental health issues). If this child turns out to be yours, the act of getting her pregnant tells the court that she meets your minimum standards for being a parent, even WITH her other issues.


    That may be hard to answer. I guess I just would like to know what my options are
    To file for divorce, to seek paternity confirmation, to ask for custody, but without an attorney, you'll have an uphill battle, and even WITH an attorney, there's a HUGE difference between mom not being mother of the year versus mom being found legally UNFIT. You need to be talking with local family law attorneys sooner rather than later to sketch out a strategy and timeline of when and how to bring your various motions to the court.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    Have a paternity test ASAP. Consider yourself lucky to be getting rid of her now, before you accumulate anymore "assets".
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    I appreciate all the comments. Trust me, I have thought ahead to if that may not be my child. The fact is, we were inseperable for months. We didn't spend 5 minutes apart for at least 3 month prior to her getting pregnant. She ended her period and became pregnant while we were living here, which at the time was in my uncle's basement. She didn't know anybody and didn't go anywhere and the only male she was around, other than me, was my uncle and don't anyone try and say that my uncle and wife slept together while he has his own wife and kids and again, we were never apart so it's not possible that the child isn't mine.

    I really don't get some of you outsiders. You all have pre-determined notions. The fact is, I am in a very shitty situation and I know it is rare, because I can't find the answers. Which is why I've stooped to a forum with other people, who may want to help. I guess I'm wrong so far. I was given to my dad as well, because my mother had similar problems as my wife, so there we go. My question was on abandonment and trying to help my case so that my daughter can be spolied. I know all about divorce and have left that up to my wife for the initiative. I don't want to divorce. Even after the crap she has pulled, I still love her. She does need help, everyone, even her own family, agrees. Its just not rational for someone to tell someone they love them so much that they wanna have a child, and then just leave. Again, I didn't want anyone's opinion on her, but if anything she's done that has been irresponsible, irrational, etc. will help my case? I decided to write this as well after seeing that abandonment can make custody battles worse. That is all. Don't need no lectures about it. And if you read closely, she does not have some of the minimum things the baby will need. Wow

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    I second aardvaarc's post (and I'm one of the posters who has been, here and elsewhere, accused of being too pro-DAD when it comes to paternity and custody).

    The court will look at who has been the child's primary caregiver. Money doesn't matter. What you and Mom have or don't have really don't matter. It's who has taken care of the child on a day-to-day basis which will influence the court hugely where a newborn is concerned.

    But have you thought about HER hormones and feelings? Of course she's not rational! She's going through a maelstrom at this moment in time. She likely doesn't know one end from the other. PLUS she moved when you both know she didn't want to move. Put yourself in her shoes for a second.

    (No, legally this does not constitute abandonment at all, by the way).

    One thing I will say though - if you sling mud at Mom, your own hands are going to be dirty. Y'know?

    For support (because this isn't a support forum, really) you can deltabravo.net - they have some great forums for Dads there.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    Quote Quoting joeviking11
    View Post
    I really don't get some of you outsiders. You all have pre-determined notions.
    They are the notions the COURTS are going to have. We don't know you or your wife - so we have no vested interest here. As unpleasant as some of the "notions" may be, they are what you'll be up against with the judge. Nothing here is so uncommon as to be unpredictable.


    Which is why I've stooped to a forum with other people, who may want to help. I guess I'm wrong so far.
    No, you're not wrong. Not getting the answer you might LIKE isn't the same as not getting accurate answers. Not liking what things the court will and won't find important fall into the same category. It really does no good to you for us to blow sunshine up your skirt only to have reality come crashing in once actually in court. All we can do is give you the benefit of experience as to what the courts look at and why so you can potentially see your own case a REALISTIC light and may be able to develop plan of attack and have an idea of what to expect.


    I was given to my dad as well, because my mother had similar problems as my wife, so there we go. My question was on abandonment and trying to help my case so that my daughter can be spolied. I know all about divorce and have left that up to my wife for the initiative. I don't want to divorce.
    Maybe not. But neither can you FORCE your wife to remain married if she doesn't want to - either legally, phyically, or emotionally. And, so long as you REMAIN married to mom, your ability to enforce any sort of visitation with your child is going to be either at the mercy of whim or you working to "extract" the child against mom's will. When parents are married, possession is what counts, and if mom births the child and takes off, you have no legal way to FORCE mom to allow you any knowledge of or visitation with, the child. If you want something legal that can be enforced, you'll need a custody/visitation order.


    Even after the crap she has pulled, I still love her. She does need help, everyone, even her own family, agrees. Its just not rational for someone to tell someone they love them so much that they wanna have a child, and then just leave.
    People aren't always rational. What else can we say?


    but if anything she's done that has been irresponsible, irrational, etc. will help my case?
    Not unless you can show that she poses a danger to the child, which hasn't happened so far.


    I decided to write this as well after seeing that abandonment can make custody battles worse.
    As much as it pains you, it doesn't really impact custody that she abandoned YOU. Relationships end all the time, and for lots of different reasons. What the court would care about is if she abandoned the CHILD - and since there's not even a child to BE abandoned at this point, it's a moot arguement. Her having left you for her ex isn't going to be a golden ticket to custody.


    That is all. Don't need no lectures about it. And if you read closely, she does not have some of the minimum things the baby will need.
    The baby needs shelter, passible sanitary living conditions, age appropriate food, clean clothing, and access to medical care as necessary. Who knows where she'll be or who she'll be living with and under what conditions months from now when she's actually GOT a child - but if the child is living without those necessities, it would certainly be beneficial to your custody petition. Should you find out that the child is being neglected, the best thing you can do to help your case is to have that neglect documented by a neutral third party by contacting child protective services. If there is neglect occurring, their documentation of such is what the court will want to see. However, be aware that the level of what must be provided for a child is so low that most people could trip over it - and that if investigation of your complaint finds that the child IS adquately provided for, that will HURT your case. This is why working with an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with your LOCAL judges, courts, and CPS workers is vital.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    well, I guess we have another guy who is a masochist and only wants to hear what he wants to hear, so, I guess this is what you want to hear:


    her abandoning you has nothing to do with the custody of the child. It is important only for divorce purposes which you do not seem to want to entertain at the moment. If you would rather continue to be a cuckold, so be it. It isn't my place to judge you on that.

    I could not find any parenting guidelines for your state but generally, unless the mother is proven unfit, she will have physical custody of the child for somewhere around 3 months to a year. Especially since there is a distance between the two of you, overnight visits may not even be a possibility for that time as well if she nurses.

    after that time you can address custody again and see where it goes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pregnant Wife Left Me After Becoming Pregnant

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    well, I guess we have another guy who is a masochist and only wants to hear what he wants to hear, so, I guess this is what you want to hear:


    her abandoning you has nothing to do with the custody of the child. It is important only for divorce purposes which you do not seem to want to entertain at the moment. If you would rather continue to be a cuckold, so be it. It isn't my place to judge you on that.

    I could not find any parenting guidelines for your state but generally, unless the mother is proven unfit, she will have physical custody of the child for somewhere around 3 months to a year. Especially since there is a distance between the two of you, overnight visits may not even be a possibility for that time as well if she nurses.

    after that time you can address custody again and see where it goes.
    Also, once she has been the primary care giver for the first year due to her being the mother it will be very difficult to change that unless she is found very unfit, which is not what you think is unfit, she needs to be a drunken drug user pretty much.

    My suggestion would be to serve her with custody papers ASAP after the child is born because it will take time to establish a court order. then do everything you can to follow the order and work your way up to every other weekend and extended holidays, with the distance 50/50 wouldn't be option but if you move to where she is now its very possible.

    I am very pro dad as well. That being said I also believe its very traumatic for a newborn to be take from there mother. The baby has heard her voice, her heartbeat, survives off her body... you need to consider whats best for your child. Establish a connection with your child and do what you can. Its a tough situation but a court does not care about how you feel or what you think honestly. They care about facts, whos following the court order, whos paying support ect.

    Also the minumum the baby needs is a roof over its head from her. Her body will feed the child, you will cover the childs insurance and child support which will provide diapers, wipes, clothes ect...She doesn't have what you feel are the basics, but if you say this is court they will just order you to provide more.

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