Last week I went back to court to conclude my custody hearing. I had a billion things on my mind. I had no idea how it was going to turn out or how the outcome would change my life. All day I ran scenarios thru my mind and none of them ended with Busta Rhymes lol.
I was worried my baby momma wouldn't show, that she would find a way to drag this out longer. That I wouldn't get custody, That I would get custody and not be able to handle it, That I would get custody and it would ruin my relationship. Basiclly I was worried about everything. when I get nervous I just kinda zone out, I prepped for that day and I need to just stop thinking and live in the moment.
When I got to the courthouse I had to wait... we waited over a hour before our case was called. The judge took us last because he knew we were going to take a while. If you remember the last time we were in his courtroom things didn't end so well, he was in a bad mood and was having a horrible day. Thankfully he reconigzed that and apologized for it. He explained his actions and we progressed on with the case.
After about 4 hours of talking and testomony the judge went into his ruling. As I sat there I had no idea how it was going to go, the more he talked the more unsure I was. I sat and tried to figure out what I was feeling, I was sacred, happy and worried all at the same time. It wasn't till towards the end that I had a idea where he was leaning....
He mentioned how me and my baby momma could not agree on anything and it's like we are coming from different planets. Due to that he said Joint legal custody was impossible
*sidebar: Legal custody is who has the rights to make life choices for the child. Like school, doctors, church. Things like that. Most people have joint legal which means the parents have to agree on choices. Physical custody is who the child lives with a majority of the time.*
So with joint legal custody off the table he began to talk about physical custody. He mentioned how if things didn't change LMS would lose her relationship with me. Her mother had no interest in making sure I was a part of her life. I should mention that my Baby momma interupted the judge like 3 times while he was talking. If you have ever been in court this is a big no no. Anyway the judge mentioned that uprooting a child from one home and moving them to another is a huge decision and not something he liked to do personally or professionally.
After all that he said "I grant sole legal and physical custody to the plantiff (thats me!)" then he proceed to lay out a visitation schedule for my baby momma. *Here's when the drama starts* As the judge is saying she would get every other saturday - sunday she stands up and yells "That will never happen!! I gave birth to her!" and proceeds to storms out of the courtroom. Once she stood up, the judge adjusts his ruling and says she can have supervised visitation and he was going to forgo the exception period and make the order offical first thing in the morning. It was a crazy couple minutes and it took me a minute to realize what happened. I walked out the courtroom and everyone was gone. We were there till 6pm and court ends at 4:30pm. I mean the only people in the halls were cleaning folks. I hugged my mom and my lawyer (which might have made him uncomfortable lol) I held back tears of joy and tried to focus on what he was telling me.
So what happened? I got sole custody of my baby and her mom basiclly has no visitation. In order for her to visit with LMS she has to schedule it with a approved visitation center. No overnights, no trips anywhere. Just meet and play in a monitored place. Its like a complete 180 from everything that was happening. I went from no kid around to kid all the time.
I can't explain how excited I was, I got a sense of releif that finally I could move on to the next chapter of life. I knew my work was far from over but this was a huge step in creating a better life for me and LMS. Let me end it here, I'll continue the story of my first weekend as full-time dad later.
Thanks to everyone for your kind words and prayers, God is good and prayer works. You just have to be patient and realize things workout in thier own time not yours.