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Father Seeking Sole Custody: Why is the mother "better"

I am a young, married man who is divorcing his wife wife and going for sole custody of our newborn. I understand what I'm attempting is rediculous to many and people probably laugh at. But what I don't understand is how, based on my story, people will say my soon to be ex-wife is better for our child than me.

We married young and quick. I was 23 and she was 19. I just graduated college, had a business, and was ready to start a family. After we were married, I found some disturbing things. She was molested from the ages of 8-16 by her stepfather. Eventually, she told and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. After that, she was ordered by the courts to get help. Her mom never got it for her and stayed married to the guy. She visited him frequently and even requested I write him a letter asking to marry my wife! I knew this though, but I still loved her and didn't see the effect. After we were married, she decided to be a housewife at age 19 and refused a job. She did nothing around the house either. She told me she saw dead people and was serious about it, even having names and backstories. Then, she told me she has seen both of us dying. I didn't know what to do because I loved her so much. Then we had moved to another city 2 hours away because I got a job that would set us for life. We just got our own place. Then we started trying to have a child. We were serious, even going as far as to insert semen into her when she was too sore to have sex. Then she got pregnant and abandoned me! She moved back with her mom and promised me she just needed her mom and we would work things out, even though we had no problems. Not even a full day after, she already started talking to her ex. Within a week, she wanted to divorce me and see him again. He is on drugs and choked her once. Since we have been separated, she moved into 2 different pothead houses, didn't work, didn't do anything to better herself, relied on others to support her and get baby stuff, her mom did all the talking at the prenatal visits, she would not talk with me, she couldn't open her mouth without lying about me, etc. She even sent me a facebook message telling me she felt like she would hurt our child and didn't want her? I didn't know what to say. Since she has had the baby, she has basically kidnapped her. After calling dfs on her, she told me that they told her she has sole custody, which was not true. I called them and they told me she was full of it. She now lives with her mom and 10 other people in a small house. I don't know where our child stays! She brought our child to the pothead house as well, but apparently wasn't doing drugs. She needs help! I went and got a lawyer and filed for divorce and sole custody. I have a good job that I can work from home, my own place, a full baby room, and my child reacted very well to me and this environment the one time I had her here for a weekend. Since receiving the paperwork, my wife has no spoken with me or replied to my messsages. She has 15 days to file a response. If not, I get sole custody. if she does, then we got to court me and my lawyer vs her and she will have to answer for all this. I have everything documented. Its not that I want to hurt her cause I don't, I just can't feel safe with my daughter in that environment. Everything my wife does is what she wants, none of it is for our child. She does not care that she will support her through the government, does not care her environment sucks, does not care she doesn't know how to be an adult. Anyone who talks to me sees I've got my head on straight and my daughter is my own concern. We're not breast feeding either. Why is our child in good hands with this woman? In the house with 10 people? Where she does nothing for her. When she was here, she was so peaceful, took milk from me, fell asleep on my chest, etc. I maybe ranting and raving but I'm just so tired of all these reports that the mother is not denied rights or child is always best with mother, I dont get it. My wife needs help before she can be a mother. If the courts dont see that, how is justice served?
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replied November 27th, 2012
Extremely eHealthy
I am surprised and sorry you didn't get a sooner reply to your rant friend.
I would like to hear how you fared at court.

The assumption a child is better with it's mother is based on a very old-fashioned idea that women are the naturally prominent parent figure and better able to provide continuous nurturing and rudimentary education, are more moral, do not have careers, have more patience and are more readily able to access a support network of friends and relatives...
The mother is the one who is capable of breast-feeding and by the time the child is weaned it is too late to remove the child...
It is an attitude that goes back centuries: the father had no chance of custody unless he could find and afford a wet-nurse!

While this has never been entirely true it has been becomming much less true for the past three-quarters of a century but unfortunately it is still the default position of those interested in child welfare and the courts.

While it is the task of the court to act in the best interests of the child (in theory), a father must provide proof that discredits the natural mother (who is expected only to be a mother) and convince the court he can be a better mother AND father to the child and offer superior welfare and moral guidance.

I hope things went your way on the day.
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