I don’t reckon I’ve ever turned to this blog before for help, but there’s no time like now to give it a go.
A close friend of mine has a toddler aged son. He’s a lovely kid, very smart and his smile and laugh are infectious. Unfortunately, he’s got a dud of a father.
Let me explain.
My friend had her son and shortly after things went sour between her and her partner. He was very threatening and all around nasty, not to mention was unwilling to hold down a steady job, so after a few months of it she left him. After quite a lot of harassment and begging on his part, as well as guilt-tripping her about their son not having a mommy and daddy who were together, she went back to him. She realised straightaway that this was a big mistake and after less than a couple of months left for good and hasn’t looked back since.
I wish I could say he’s a deadbeat dad and has no interest in my friend’s son. If only it were that easy.
Instead he has way too much interest in the child to the point where he managed to gain 50/50 custody (in one of the most ridiculous arrangements ever) despite verbal, text and physical abuse and harassment towards my friend. He’s had her followed to and from work, to friends’ houses and he randomly rides by where she lives to see if her car is in the driveway. In his words he “has eyes everywhere.” My friend has tried to get a restraining order with no luck because he hasn’t physically assaulted her. Yet. But it’s coming, and I know it in my bones.
He managed to get 50/50 custody even after kidnapping my friend’s son for a period of over one month, not letting her see him, not telling her where he was or who he was with and only letting her speak to him on the phone a few times to verify that at the least the child was with him. The police refused to intervene as it was a “domestic issue.”
He managed to gain 50/50 custody even though my friend has physical evidence (texts, voicemails, recordings) as an example of his mental and verbal abuse.
He’s given the child hot sauce causing him to be sick, drinks heavily while the child is in his care (he also lives with his alcoholic mother who I believe cares for the child when the father isn’t around) and, from what the boy says, locks him in his room. Now, as he’s only three my friend takes that with a pinch of salt but she wouldn’t be surprised if it was the truth.
In other words, he’s a monster and Kentucky Family Court is an absolute joke.
In a new development, the father has decided to enrol the boy from the autumn in a head-start class which is nowhere near where my friend lives—probably in a bid to try to gain full, primary custody. He’s also refusing to drive to pick up the child for the changeover because this is what my friend “wanted” by leaving him. He’s had the kid’s head shaved, encourages him to “hit mommy” and any number of things. He threatens my friend on a daily basis, except when he’s got one of his many temporary girlfriends around. Last night, he said to her “pretty soon you’ll only have him on weekends” and she’s frightened.
Now, my friend has a very supportive family who she lives with at the moment and who are helping her out with providing stable (and brilliant!) childcare as well as a place to live. They’re by no means cramped in and there’s plenty of space. She doesn’t drink when she has her son, she doesn’t do drugs or associate with people who do and she doesn’t socialise at all when she has her son. She works full time and is a brilliant mom.
So here’s where I need your help, blog friends. What can she do or, if you’re in KY can anyone recommend a good (preferably ruthless) attorney? She’s tired of the harassment and of feeling threatened and frightened that he’ll take the child again. In reality, at this point she would be happy with a no contact order and a location to exchange custody of the child on the days they hand-over. He actually has another child from another ex (I know, right? Stand-up guy right there.) and in the past, due to his harassment of her, they had to exchange his daughter at The Home of the Innocents in Louisville so my friend is desperate for something similar that will hold him accountable.
Any ideas, thoughts or recommendations? Even stories of similar experiences would be good!