How Even A Good Dad Can Lose Custody

This will be a little bit different from most things I write, it will be very personal as it pertains to my current situation in life. To understand the situation you first have to know a few things about me , I am a 40 year old dad who shares custody of my child with my ex, another thing you need to know is that I have Bipolar Disorder and a big part of it for me is Agoraphobia and panic attacks, I am not able to leave my house very frequently and when I can it’s never for too long.

As far as being a dad goes I absolutely fucking love being a dad! My son is 9 now and he has never been hurt ,abused or neglected while in my care, we have a great relationship and he’s a great kid, super well behaved for me, him and his mother don’t get along great and I honestly can’t tell you much about why because I am totally shut out of my son’s life, he lives almost 2 hours away from me while with his mother and she won’t talk to me so I’m left guessing as to what’s going on in his life on that end.

so a bunch of stuff happened a few years back and she wouldn’t let me see my son for 8 months, I don’t want to share too many details but it wasn’t anything bad , the court even awarded me more time in the end , it took awhile for the court shit to happen and we went through all of it and I was awarded the summers with my son instead of half the summers like I used to have, this was partially to make up for the 8 months me and my son just missed out on.

So fast forward to this past summer and a similar situation came up , so once again I had to file with the courts and that’s where I’m at now but see the thing is I can’t afford an attorney and my ex can, so here I am ready to try and go up against a lawyer in court in a month or so and finally realizing how out of my element I really am. I’m incapable of focusing and gathering my thoughts at all when out of my home, I can’t properly represent myself , I have reached out to every pro bono or low income lawyers I could find in my area but I live in a rural area and there just isn’t any help as far as I can find….So what does one do when they know they can’t represent themselves but they can’t afford an attorney? If I was a criminal I would be given one for free but since I’m a law abiding dad I can’t get help.

In a month or two I will walk into a courtroom and I am very worried that I will walk out without my parental rights intact. I’m not a drug addict, I don’t even drink, I’m not a felon or any other kind of criminal and I have never hurt my child in any way, he’s only ever happy when he’s here with me….I’m used to life being unfair to me but my son needs me in his life so I can only wait and hope for the best at this point.

There’s been no wrong doing on my part , that much I know and although I won’t and really can’t get into the details my son’s mother has broke many,many different aspects of our parental agreement and it seems like no matter how many times I bring it up to the courts that I am just not taken seriously and although I’m sure that would change if I had an attorney ,I just can’t afford one, I could afford to make payments to one but every one I’ve contacted wants more money than I have up front. I have a good case, I have done nothing wrong and the opposing party has done everything wrong yet I almost guarantee I walk out of court the one to pay the price.

We all take something for granted at some point and time but there is one thing I will never take for granted and that’s the nights that I get to see my son asleep in his bed at the end of the night and know he’s safe, currently during the school year I get that 4 days a month, not because I’ve done anything wrong or his mom did anything right but simply because I’m a dad and that’s the accepted arrangement these days. It’s changing in some places but in a lot of courts it just takes the mom screwing up really bad for the dad to even stand on equal footing, in the majority of cases I would agree the mom is the better parent but it’s not so in all cases and the cookie cutter approach to custody arrangements just isn’t viable.

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