My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Illinois
Single father of an almost 3 year old here. I have lived with the mother for about the last 6 years. When she moved in with me, she had agreed to split rent and bills. She paid for a couple of months and then stopped. It was kind of my fault for not demanding it, but we had discussed and agreed that I would just be saving it for a house deposit anyways, so I would just keep track of it and she would pay for it then.
Well fast forward to right after my daughter is born and I find out that she has been lying to me since day 1 about her job, background, how much she works, finances, etc. and is not only essentially completely broke, but has also stolen thousands of dollars in cash from me (that's how I finally pieced everything together). I have been trying to make things work for our daughter, but things are now fairly volatile between us, and my daughter is old enough that she definitely notices.
I have tried to talk with her about separating since we are miserable together, and it always gravitates back to the same thing. She works part time and makes next to no money so watches our daughter most of the time, while I work full time to pay for everything. If we split, she says she has nowhere to go here, and will be forced to take my daughter to Florida to live with her mother. That is obviously unacceptable to me, but she says since she is the mother and primary caregiver, she will get custody and make me pay child support.
I am not sure that that is entirely true or could really happen, but that isn't even my real question. She is a good mother and I have no intentions of taking our daughter from her, but am also very tired of essentially being held financially hostage over the threat of her taking my daughter from me. I have been working on buying a house, even with the $50k setback from her lying and stealing from me, and plan on moving before the end of the year. For obvious reasons, I don't want her tagging along to my new house, and see this as a good opportunity to try to fix the current cycle of me paying for her to be a freeloader while telling me there's nothing I can do about it.
So that is my question. What will happen if I purchase a new house to move into without my daughter's mother? She will no longer be able to stay in our current condo. I have floated joint custody, or me taking primary custody until she can get her life together and a place to live and then go back to joint custody, but she always immediately snaps and says no way then I am taking her to Florida.
It is extremely frustrating to me that I don't get to spend as much time with my daughter as I would like to because I am forced to work constantly to pay for everything, and then have that held against me like I am a bad father. I also understand that she has nowhere to live here if I don't let her live with me, but at the same time don't see why that is my problem to sort out.
Sorry for the excessive background but I feel it is relevant to the situation. Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated.