My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Texas (Harris County)
My ex and I (never married) have a 2 year old son together. Our current court orders are that he sees our son every Saturday 8AM-8PM and every Thursday from 6-8PM. He avoided me during the pregnancy and attempted to get 50/50 custody established even though he did not follow any of the 3 rule 11/TO's I had tried to work out with him. He did start seeing our son regularily after final orders and once I seen our son was comfortable I suggested he spend more time with him and was agreeable to every weekend, which he did for about 6 months. Then he met a girl out of state and started to cancel all of the time, lying and claiming he had to work, but the truth came out after their break up that he was really visiting this girl out in Iowa.
It has been nearly 2 years now (our son is almost 3 now) since my ex has bothered to see him for a mid-week visit, claiming he has to work all of the time. It has become the norm for him to only see him one weekend out of each month and sometimes not even that much. Normally, when he does take him he picks him up between 11AM-2PM on Saturday and returns him between 4-6PM on Sunday. He always says he has 'things to do", but recently admitted he had 'rope tying' classes to go to with a married woman he was seeing.
All of this time, I have been living the life of a hermit and sharing an apartment with my Mother and my brother while going to school full-time, majoring in bio-engineering (or trying to!!) I've had a hard time finding work, but the one job I did have I was let go from because I could nots be counted on- because of my ex always canceling his visits and my inability to afford a sitter, as well as my Mother's bad health (COPD/Severe anxiety attacks) that left her unable to handle watching the kids for very long.
A few months ago, my mother's COPD had become so bad she had to go on short term disability and my brother's job was transfered out to Dallas- just when the lease was ending. My mother was apprehensive about re-signing a lease, unsure if she'd be able to return to work and I am unable to afford to rent an apartment and pay the utilities and my other bills all on my own. My ex did say we could live with him, while my Mom went to share a room with her sister until she knew what her condition and work life had in store for her, but just before it was time for me to move in, my ex said he can't have us (me, my 2 other children and his son) live there because girls wouldn't want to see him or have sex with him if they knew me and all of the kids were there. He did agree to let us stay one week and during that week he spent about 8 hours worth of time with our son. Within our first hour there, he brought home an 18 year old girl he had never met before and spoke to for a few days online to his home and bed and she stayed the night. I had to knock on his door and kindly ask the girl to leave before my young child woke up to some stranger coming out of his room! I cringed thinking- if he behaves like this with me and our son there, I hate to imagine how he behaves when I'm not around!
Two days later- on the day he's suppose to see our son for his mid-week visit- the one he's been saying for nearly 2 years he can't attend because he has to work-he was home before 6pm, said 10 words to our son, took a shower, and was out the door by 7 to meet yet another stranger from the internet. Two days after that he brought ANOTHER stranger over.... in which I blew up on him and had her running out the door.
My children and myself have been living at a homeless shelter since the morning after girl number 3 was over. I probably could have refused to leave his home dispite his constant nagging and worrying about how these strange women wouldn't have an interest in him if I was there and the kids, but I did not want to be around him and his lifestyle choices any longer. Since we've been at this shelter he has canceled his visits numerous times, so many that he has seen our son for the sum of one over night visit that was still short of 24 hours in total and one 8 hour visit. Plus I suppose the 5 hours he has had him so far today.
I have been getting on him about his canceling, especially since I'm trying to pass 2 5 week long summer classes, which is hard to do when I have a very active 2 year old at my side 24/7. He keeps saying he'll take our son for his visits because he wants to and so I can study, but then he cancels to 'work' or because he has to fix a fence, might have someone move in or has 'stuff to do." Since I've been complaining he has said he can get custody of our son because I am living at a shelter. Is this true???????
We've been here a little over a month, he's the one that kicked us out- over what strange women might think of all things, he's always canceling his visits. I've never been in a shelter before, but have a case worker here that is trying to find me a program that can give me housing vouchers to help us out. My brother in Dallas and my mom are just waiting to see if I can get the help to get my own place at this point. If it doesn't pan out by September then my brother is going to get a 3 bedroom apartment for us and I'll have to move to Dallas since my ex doesn't care to help out and is more concerned with his penis than anything else.
Since he canceled again for Friday- then Saturday and said he couldn't come until next weekend, I asked if I could take our son to his step-dad's and have him babysit for the day and night and when he came back into town my ex could bring him back. He said sure. I dropped him off around 1PM Saturday and when I called Sunday morning to say good morning to my son, my ex's step dad said my son was not there and that his son and daughter in-law picked him up the night before. I asked for their number so I could call my son or if he'd have them call me. He said he'd have them call me, but they never did, even after I called the step-dad again.
Around 7pm my ex called to say he picked up our son and that he was going to keep him for a few days. I am supportive of him FINALLY spending some time with our son, but I suspect he is intending to file an ex parte hearing tomorrow. If he does, is it likely that a judge will actually grant him custody on the spot just because I live in a homeless shelter and without giving me a chance to be there?
Should I call the family court clerks office in the morning or throughout the day to see if he has filed a claim and if he has will they be able to tell me when the judge will see them so I ensure the judge is aware of all of the facts?
Sorry for the very long post. I am hoping to give as much info as I can to get the most accurate advice possible. If there are any questions I should have asked, but didn't think to feel free to toss any info my way that might help me understand what to do or if there are pertinent facts I may have left out feel free to ask away.