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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    3

    Default Making Child Custody Arrangements Before a Divorce

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

    Some backstory:

    My Ex and I were together for about 4 years, married for two and have a two year old son. She cheated on me with our roommate at the time, who was also my best friend, and I moved out about a week after finding out. That was last year. She took it upon herself to file for divorce somehow, I guess with legal aid, and failed to finish the process which resulted in the divorce filing to become null. I found out later that she is now pregnant with another mans child, not even the guy she cheated on me with, and we're still legally married. I understand that I can start the divorce process, but now I can't divorce her until her new baby is born and I prove that it isn't mine. She doesn't have a place of her own or a vehicle, and lives back at home with her parents. The catch here is that her parents house is absolutely filthy, they have something like 6 or 7 dogs that just just let run loose all over the place. Her parents bedroom literally has a closet full of dog feces, their beds are covered in fleas and every time I pick my son up from their house he's covered in bites and I have to comb lice out of his hair. They constantly send him to me in dirty clothes that stink of dog urine.

    She doesn't want him to live with me, because she says she knows what's best for him and I'm never around. I pick him up on the weekends, every weekend. I give her money for child support, but I'm still called a bad father and WE DON'T EVEN HAVE A CUSTODY AGREEMENT. I understand it's my obligation to pay child support, I don't mind that. I feel like she uses him as a pawn to get her way. She used to leave him with random "friends" of hers to go a local rave club known for drugs and sex with random strangers, she doesn't go anymore because the club was shut down during a police raid so I know I can't use that against her anymore. I understand that since we have no legal custody agreement that I am able to pick up my son and not return him to that situation, I'm not the type of father who would keep his son away from his mother but the living situation over there is really bad and it's to the point that I worry for the well being of my son. What can I do? Or better yet, what SHOULD I do? The moment I take him away her parents will lawyer up and she will fight me for custody.

    I have held a full time job for 4 years, I have my own place and a vehicle. I'm not rich, I don't make a lot of money, but I make enough to take care of myself and my son, provide for his needs and keep the bills paid. My household is much more stable, and it's clean. She hasn't held a job longer than 6 months, and has lived in 3 different households within the last year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Making Child Custody Arrangements Before a Divorce

    If you are serious about seeking custody, you should try to document the facts -- mom's behavior, her lack of attention to the child, the poor conditions at the grandparents' home -- because you can expect that they're going to deny any allegation that you cannot back up with admissible evidence. You would be well-served to discuss the matter with a custody lawyer.

    When you file for divorce, you would want to make sure that your complaint denies paternity of the child conceived and born post-separation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    3

    Default Re: Making Child Custody Arrangements Before a Divorce

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    If you are serious about seeking custody, you should try to document the facts -- mom's behavior, her lack of attention to the child, the poor conditions at the grandparents' home -- because you can expect that they're going to deny any allegation that you cannot back up with admissible evidence. You would be well-served to discuss the matter with a custody lawyer.

    When you file for divorce, you would want to make sure that your complaint denies paternity of the child conceived and born post-separation.
    Thanks, I figured I needed to consult with a lawyer, but I wanted to know if there was something else I could do as well. Getting evidence is going to be tricky, she doesn't let me anywhere near her parents house anymore. Probably because she knows it's going to be brought up when we go to court and doesn't want me to have any evidence.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,932

    Default Re: Making Child Custody Arrangements Before a Divorce

    Quote Quoting matt91
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    Thanks, I figured I needed to consult with a lawyer, but I wanted to know if there was something else I could do as well. Getting evidence is going to be tricky, she doesn't let me anywhere near her parents house anymore. Probably because she knows it's going to be brought up when we go to court and doesn't want me to have any evidence.
    If that is the case then you really are SOL on that issue. You simply cannot make any allegations that you cannot prove.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Making Child Custody Arrangements Before a Divorce

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    If that is the case then you really are SOL on that issue. You simply cannot make any allegations that you cannot prove.
    What about pictures that she or her sister have posted on Facebook? They don't show all of the house, but you can definitely tell it's not sanitary just by looking in the background of the pictures. Also looking up the address on google maps shows a bunch of trash in the front yard of the house.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    RTR/WDE
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    1,718

    Default Re: Making Child Custody Arrangements Before a Divorce

    Quote Quoting matt91
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    What about pictures that she or her sister have posted on Facebook? They don't show all of the house, but you can definitely tell it's not sanitary just by looking in the background of the pictures. Also looking up the address on google maps shows a bunch of trash in the front yard of the house.
    That's the conditions at the time the picture was taken. You can't prove that the condition still persists. As far as google maps, if you look at my house on there, you can't see it from the road; however, when the county put in the water line two years ago, they cut down all the trees/shrubs that blocked that view and now my house is visible from the road.
    Don't make me quote Monty Python at you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,128

    Default Re: Making Child Custody Arrangements Before a Divorce

    If you believe your child is really in danger, you can call CPS. You can take someone with you when you pick the child up and take pictures of the child when you pick him up. You may need to prove that the pictures were taken when you picked the child up and not afterwards. So be sure the date and time stamp on the camera you use is accurrate. And you also may want to keep a log of each time you pick the child up and the conditions you find him in and how he is dressed and if he is clean. Do you take the child any place right after you pick him up, like a friends or relatives ? If you do it won't hurt for them to document what they observe in pictures and in words. Chances are the childs mother and her parents will say that you changed the child clothes and got him dirty so you need to be able to prove that you didn't have time to do that.

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