This is going to be pretty lengthy and I'm posting it both in the Military forum and the Virginia forum as I am Active Duty and my son and STBX live in Virginia. I am going to attempt to cover all details from 2 weeks before we split to now. I am numbering everything to try to make this more organized and easier to comprehend so please bear with me.
1. This goes back all the way to June of 2013. My son was born September of the year prior and I joined the Navy to provide a better future for my son. My (at the time) wife didn't approve but still let me go.
2. In June of 2013, 2 weeks before we split, I had agreed to an open relationship. Her 3 rules were nobody in our bed, no emotional attachments, and we wouldn't share details. I am polysexual, and at the time she worked in the morning while I worked at night. My son didn't get up until 8 or 9 and she was out of the apartment by 6. On 2 occasions an individual who I had known and worked with for approximately a year came over before my son woke up. Fast forward 2 weeks to the day she told me she thought we should go our separate ways. She had told me she was attracted to somebody when I asked her.
2a. She found out about my visitor through a mutual friend who chose to not pick sides which made her ask me. When I admitted to it she claimed I was endangering my child and neglecting him when I would never and have never done such a thing.
2b. It was also around this time she had a visitor drive from Virginia to where we were living in South Carolina so they could get a hotel room together. This person had a history of being shady and manipulative and on one occasion in the past when they were hanging out and drinking she called me sick saying she thought he had spiked her drink and severed ties with him until this instance, essentially bringing a stranger into the presence of our child.
2c. She was also having sexual interactions with others via Skype and was planning on having an encounter with one who lived in Illinois and was planning on seeing him and his girlfriend when I graduated from RTC. She was hoping I'd have a few days and let her go do her own thing while I was with our son and my parents and brother. I have copies of these conversations, but they are just copied and pasted. I did not have time to screen capture anything nor did I find a sufficient key and screen logging device that I could afford.
2d. Approximately a month after we agreed to split I was hanging out with a few former coworkers, when at that time she had become hostile about me being out of the apartment. When I got back home (less than a 15 minute drive) she proceeded to start an argument in front of our child. To get him out of the apartment I said he needed some things so I put him in the car to get him away from the situation. She then sent me a text that came off as a suicide note and I had gone back inside to find out exactly what she was doing. She pushed me out of the bedroom and locked the door. I called a relative of hers who lived nearby and gave her details of what was happening. More family members got involved and she agreed to seek therapy and denied harming herself, which was a lie. I saw the scabs on her leg a few days later when our son was poking at them. Several of her family members have called her selfish and one of them had made comments implying that she shouldn't have any form of custody.
2e. During all of this we had several arguments and even before we split where she would get out of control and throw (and break) objects, slam her fist on the counter, and damage apartment appliances. She damaged a washing machine and threw an iron into the wall. On a few occasions she had woken up our son because the argument was initiated in front of him, waking him and making him cry. She had at least 3 instances where she had called me while I was at work begging me to come home because she couldn't handle our son, who was crying and hungry, so I came home to take care of him and get him to sleep.
2f. Before I shipped out I spent approximately 17 hours as his sole caretaker. She would go to work in the morning and I would take care of him until I left. He would go to bed a few hours later (my shifts were 3-9) and when I got home if he woke up I would take care of him: feed him, change him, etc., and get him back to sleep, except for a handful of times where I was so tired I asked for her help, which was like pulling teeth. When he was first born I was working 2 jobs before the sun came up and the other until approximately midnight and still taking care of him the same.
2g. Approximately 1 month before I left she had told me she needed to focus on taking care of herself and claimed the people she was communicating with she was severing ties to. She claimed she was going to see a psychiatrist to get put on medication because she recognized she had issues that needed to be dealt with (she's has a history of depression and self-harm. Her arms and legs are a road map of scar, some so deep she has nerve damage, and had been sent to an institution as a teenager), but to the best of my knowledge she was just prescribed adderall so she could focus when she finally decided to go to school.
3. After I graduated RTC I had approximately $250 to my name because she had spent everything. I made over $4000 in that time. She was getting 75% of my TOTAL pay because I never knew who to turn to to find out what my rights were and obligations as far as the military is concerned. She's also used my child as leverage to get what she wants countless times which is one reason I agreed to let her swindle me as much as she has. She knows how much I love me son, and she capitalizes on it. All in all, I have given her approximately $30000 (give or take, probably higher) in the year and a half I have been Active Duty. We are going nearly 2 years separated and our (collaborative) divorce has taken far longer than it should have. I can't afford a lawyer – I had to take a loan just to move as the people at my old residence were PCS'ing soon.
4. I've been doing everything I can to get this over with. I was going to file where I'm stationed (Washington), but they don't have jurisdiction of my child. So we decided to try to file on our own through Virginia, but it's confusing, so we went through a lawyer that does a collaborative divorce. That was sometime around September of LAST YEAR. It was taking so long that I decided to file here just to be divorced and handle the custody and visitation later. I had her served. I withdrew it because the lawyer she knew of did a collaborative divorce – nobody goes to court, done in 45 days. For some reason I trusted her, that was in October or November.
5. She has been in a relationship with somebody since late February of last year. She doesn't hide this. I have screen captures of her relationship status from her Facebook and images where they are kissing. I know he is around my son a lot but to what extent I do not know. I had texts confirming this but that phone died last August and I lost the messages. I do not know if my provider (AT&T) can go back to June 2013 and send me transcripts.
6. She has, more frequently than necessary, been exceedingly hostile when asking her the status of some paperwork I'm supposed to be sent, among other things. She proceeds to curse unnecessarily and mock me for, well, practically everything (she has used almost everything against me just to hurt me. She came from a verbally and mentally abusive home and she carries on those behaviors), and I can only assume she speaks this way in front of our child. I have screen captures of the texts.
8. I have had to take a tactical retreat and agree to a less than acceptable separation and custody agreement. It lists major holidays and birthdays. It doesn't list any weekends, summer, or christmas breaks (christmas day, but that's it.) There are no timed provisions for re-negotiating the agreement aside from child support, which is to be negotiated every 12 months. I have currently agreed to $700 – his monthly daycare bill. She feels she has no obligation to child support as far as her financial information goes and I know she will refuse to conduct changes in accordance with Virginia State Guidelines.
9. She doesn't tell me anything about how my son is doing, she feels she has no obligation to do much of anything. I plan on getting an attorney within a year (once I'm out this financial hole) to get a more fair and balanced custody and support agreement and will use whatever avenue possible to accomplish this. I do not seek sole custody, because I do not believe there to be an issue with her being unfit (to the best of what I know, which is absolutely nothing now), and I am not a spiteful person. We both have a criminal history: I have marijuana charges from 2007 and she has a DUI from 2009. Technically she is committing adultery by Virginia statutes. I do not know of the character of the people she associates with nor do I know how much time she actually spends with him, but I do know of some people she considers friends are drug users (marijuana, as far as I know.) She claims frequently that I left our child, and I can only assume that she says this in front of him (He is 2 and a half years old.)
I know I have acted foolishly during portions of this ordeal and should have gotten more documentation much earlier, but am I still being foolish?
Will I have a good chance at getting something fair and balance and in the best interests of our son by getting an attorney and going to court in a year? Could the comments she makes be considered as alienation of affection? Somebody who's gone through all of this please give me advice. I'm doing the best I can with what little I have to go on with.