Can a father get joint custody of a child when they haven't really been there the last 2 years?

Chelsea - posted on 05/03/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi everyone. So I have a daughter with my ex and he recently started showing interest in being in my daughters life. She is 2. It seems he only does this when it's convenient for him. On several occasions we have arranged to meet somewhere and he has flaked out. In all honesty, I think he is only showing interest to get closer to me. He wants to get back together but I told him there is no way in hell that would ever happen. I really want to get something in writing, but I am terrified of him being given joint custody. He is immature and has never been great at parenting. He just doesn't get things you can't do as a parent. He is also a type 1 diabetic, so I am scared of the possibility of him going into diabetic shock while watching our daughter. Call me dramatic, but that is something to consider. Any advice? Thanks :)

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Brittany - posted on 05/04/2012

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If you want to try to keep him from your daughter (which I don't recommend) then you should immediatly apply to the courts yourself and tell them of your concerns. But honestly if he wants to be part of the childs life and tells the courts this he is absolutley ENTITLED to joint custody.

This shouldn't be something to be terrified of though - it does not affect your day to day custody, your daughter will stay in your care. It may also help secure those visits he hasn't been showing up to knowing that he could face consequence throught the courts. Maybe he really does want a relationship with your daughter.. I think you should be hopeful of him maturing and becoming a proper father. These are things that need to be learned. It will take him having her in his care alone to mature his parenting skills.

Also I don't think the diabetic issue will stand in his way from joint custody. Lots of people have health problems and diabetes is absolutley controllable with proper measures.

Plus on the happy side, your daughter gets to have a father. She deserves one, as we all do.

I know all these things can be very hard to see when you feel unsupported and alone in your parenting struggle. But really this could be a sign of things changing for the better - try to embrace it, don't let the work 'joint' intimidate you.. You both made her, you both deserve time to bond with her.

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