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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118115
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I feel my ex is abusive. How do I file custody of our kids?

Customer Question

I feel my ex is abusive. How do I file for sole custody of our kids?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does he still have to pay child support if I were to get sole custody? I'm dependent on him right now & he holds money over my head... I'm stuck & can't get anywhere in this position...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what are the chances of getting spousal support? I do have major depression, social anxiety & ADHD... I can't find a job that works around his schedule, so I have no one to help with my kids. I've only bartended & that's all I know how to do.. I don't have anyone to watch my kids at night & no one to get them from school if I find something during the day. I also don't know where I'll be living. We have till may here bc my awesome husband stopped paying the house & went to live at mommys.. So it's in foreclosure. He doesn't have a license & can't pick up or help with the kids at all... I can't afford daycare & there isn't any at night.. Plus my kids have school & I can't be getting them up in the middle of the night if I were to find someone to take them....
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You feeling he is abusive and you proving he is abusive can be two completely different things. In order to get sole custody, you would need evidence of him being abusive to you and the children. This means witnesses of the abuse must be presented by your attorney to the court.
If the court awards you sole custody, he still has to pay you child support. He is also supposed to take his turns and share of caring for the children, including picking them up or assisting in their care. Many single parents have child care issues when they are working, you understand that you are not the only one, so the court will make you find work and will generally make him responsible for paying child care during that time or make him responsible for taking the children so you can work.
I understand he does not have a license, but the court will make him pay for care or someone to stay at your place overnight with the children while you work if necessary. Even if you get sole custody you could be in the same position as you are now, so that would not necessarily change things.
If you can show he has no interest in helping care for the children, that is grounds for the court to award you sole custody and as part of that you would ask for child care expenses to be paid by him, since care is necessary for you to work and the court most times will order him to pay for that child care.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He doesn't have any interest in paying anything. He gives me 100 a week when he feels like it. He spent 130 at a bar last week & another 300 in cash withdrawals. My kids don't have enough food. I went to his mommys house to get my big 100 on thanksgiving after calling him all day & they called the cops on me. He left his phone on my front porch & says he won't pay the bill now. I have no way to reach him. I can't take my son to his doc appts or go to my doc appts bc I have no way of paying the copays. He changed his checking account info & took over the bills to "save me the stress".. None of them are paid. My car insurance is cancelled. Yet he lives at mommys with no bills. He left me in this house that's being foreclosed on after my dad gave us 20k last year to get us out of trouble with the house. He stopped paying on it & moved out 2 months later. Him & his mommy called cps on me. The case was closed after I had to let those ppl into my house to investigate. He tells everyone I'm on drugs even my own family. He trashes me to everyone. He also called my ex & tried to get him to take my son from my previous relationship by trashing me. He's told my son "your mom is crazy". He's messed with my head & put me through emotional hell. He does not care if my kids have what they need or even have enough food. He refuses to give me checks to pay these bills myself or to use for copays for doc appts or what the kids need from school. I have no access to anything & no way of reaching him. If I go to his mothers I will get a trespassing charge. He dumped my child off at my mothers house to go hang out with some girl who I saw he'd been talking to for months on phone records. He tells everyone he gives me money all the time & I have to fight to get my big 100$ a week. My 12 year old son who's been in his life since he was 3 has been pretty much disowned by him & his family. He does not see him or try to see him at all. He had a week vacation from work & didn't take even one day to spend with the kids he sees when he feels like it. He just tells everyone I keep them from him.. I could go on for days about all the sick things this man has done to me & my kids. That's not abuse?! Then what is?!!
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
THank you for your reply.
Whether he has "Interest" in paying or not the court will force him to pay.
If he has no interest in the child, then you need to go to court and show the court he has no real interest in the children and that is the basis for sole custody, whether it is abuse or not, parental disinterest and failure to provide proper support is a basis for you to get full custody.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He did have a domestic charge, I lied for him in court & he was acquitted. He had a domestic charge in his previous relationship too... I thought economic & emotional abuse were part of domestic violence? Apparently not right?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I find a free consult lawyer as my first step? How do I make sure I have a lawyer equipped to handle this? He's very manipulative & lies about everything. He's a pro. Idk where to start.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If you dismissed the domestic charges, the court will not consider those.
No, financial and emotional abuse are not domestic violence under the law. They are abuse, just not sufficient under law to constitute domestic violence.
You can go to legal aid, since they will take on emotional abuse cases. They would be the only low cost or free legal assistance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well that's strange bc it says so under michigan domestic violence law that economic & emotional abuse are considered domestic violence. And I didn't say I needed free legal counsel. My dad can help me but considering he got screwed out of all that money it's hard to ask. My husband lives at his mothers & pays no bills there. Can't he be responsible for my legal fees? You're not much help really.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It is not considered criminal domestic violence, it is considered "abuse." He actually can be made to pay for your attorney's fees if you prove that he is committing the emotional and financial abuse. You also did not say you could afford an attorney, you said you find a free consult lawyer as your first step. Few family lawyers give a free consult, they will want money for their time.
Also, do not get angry or frustrated with me, as I did not cause this to occur and I agree with you that you should get the sole custody from this guy based on what you said. You need to focus on his lack of interest in the children, because that would be something the court would consider more heavily than some of the other issues you are raising. The lack of concern about the children is a big deal to the court.