custody battle

‘They were dropped off sick with pneumonia. The oldest had underwear that had been worn for so long, it had fecal matter stains.’: Stepmom stands her ground against abusive ex-wife, ‘It breaks my heart’

“You want to talk crazy? She requested the judge order him to refer to her as his ‘wife’ and sleep in the same bed as her. It felt like I was in the twilight zone. She even refused to work or support her children financially. She didn’t let him see his children for over a year. It eventually tore my husband and me apart.”

‘I put my husband on the backburner. Sex became a chore. We were roommates who co-parented. Our marriage lost its spark.’: Woman candidly shares lessons she learned from divorce

“Every time he touched me, I cringed. I was so busy and obsessed with being a first-time mom, my son came first in every situation. We stopped going on dates, sex was non-existent. He sat me down and told me his needs. I brushed it off. After all, I’d just birthed a newborn! The last thing I wanted to do was have sex. Time went on and his needs went unfulfilled. Eventually, we became strangers who lived together.”

‘It’s not fair,’ my daughter said, tears welling up in her eyes. I’ll never forget the first holiday I spent without her.’: Single dad determined to make splitting holidays with his ex work, ‘we were together, and that’s what the holidays are all about’

“As a single parent, I had to get creative. I jumped in an Uber and 45 minutes later I met my ex to pick up my daughter. We rushed inside to open presents. We had an hour to spend together in the comfort of our home. All while holding my breath that weather wouldn’t derail any of this. There was no margin for error. I wear sleigh bells and an Elf costume. We have fun with it. We were together, and that’s what the holidays are all about.”

‘It’s been 6 months since my husband and I filed for divorce. I pass off my kids to him every other week, for the entire week.’: Woman claims divorce has made her a ‘better’ mom, ‘I’ve learned to cherish each moment’

“The first time I dropped my daughter off at ballet for her father to pick her up after her class, I remember bawling my eyes out in the car, regretting my decision to divorce. I came home to a big, empty house and sat on the couch, just wailing. As a mother, I’m programmed to tend to my children, but without them, what was I to do with my days? Divorce has forced me to step up as a mother. I have no other choice.”

‘I was accused of murder. Twice.’: Mother of 6 recalls murder accusations brought against her after gaining custody of half-brother in wake of parent’s deaths

“My father signed over custody to me. The judge granted it one day before he died. We were settling into our new lives when I heard a knock at my door. A USPS worker handed me a certified envelope. I read the horrific accusations. Homicide. Someone is saying I murdered my father. Murdered. That I killed him. Me. His daughter. I hit my knees, sobbing, wanting to die. ‘This is it. I’m going to be arrested.’ I was petrified. What if someone actually believes this?”

‘Nobody dreams of being a single, middle-aged dad swiping on Tinder. When I entered Single Parent Land, half my brain was sobbing. The other half was thinking, ‘I can run free!’

“As a single parent, every decision takes on a new meaning. If I give my child an applesauce pouch made in China, will my ex bring it up in court? But back to the easy stuff. Remember naps? You know, those times when you could sleep in on a weekend without your ex coming in and yelling at you? There’s a silver lining in all this.”

‘I dropped my 18-month-old daughter off with strangers. She cried and hung onto me. Why was my ex doing this? I hired a private investigator.’: Woman details divorce, custody battle with ex, ‘Even when it doesn’t make sense, keep fighting’

“Panic started to set in. Time went by, and no one showed up. Finally someone answered their phone. My knees buckled. I dropped to the ground. They weren’t coming. They wouldn’t tell me where she was. My daughter cried in the background. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know if I would ever see her again. He had filed for divorce without my knowledge and was granted full custody. Everything was chaos.”

‘I wasn’t the stereotypical addict on the streets with no teeth, begging for money. I had children. I was functioning. I’d get up, eat, go to the gym. Then, I’d go on a bender for days.’

“I’d do whatever I could to distract myself from the fact that I felt alone. I always wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. People around me knew, but never said anything. It made me feel like it was okay. I didn’t realize I needed to change until I lost my children. I decided if I couldn’t beat this and see my kids again, I’d kill myself.”

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