Complicated custody issues, advice appreciated.

Shaylene - posted on 09/29/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Ok so I will just explain the situation and any advice would be greatly appreciated. My sons father went to jail when my son was 1 year old, and had almost no contact with him since birth and never provided any sort of support for him. He is excpected to be in prison for a minimum of 8 more years. I want to make absolutaley sure that he doesn't come around once he is out, but my lawyer said that he can't be served custody papers until he is out....I personaly don't think this is right and would like to know if anyone has some advice or has been in a similar situation. I was also told by a friend of mine who won custody of her daughter because the father had no contact for a year to the day and had not provided any sort of support for her child. I was wondering if someone else is familiar with this and if you are do you know if this would still apply since he has been in jail and that is the reason for his absence? Just any sort of advice would really help

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LalaBoom - posted on 12/03/2013

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He is in jail, after six months you can file "abandonment" charges against him and you will be granted custody.

I'm curious- why would you not want him around when he comes out? And why would you not keep him informed of the progress/growth of your child?
You thought he was good enough to father your kids, which means you had a pretty good idea who this man is.

Be careful about punishing him simply because you don't like the fact that he didn't make the changes you wanted. He is still his father. When you treat the father poorly, you are criticizing 50% of your child.

Good luck with everything!

Elizabeth - posted on 10/30/2009

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Since the father is in jail and will be for quite some time, you can simply apply for custody. My local court has a place called "The self Help Center," you should see if your local court has a similar service available. It is free of charge, they assist in filling out paper work. You can talk to them because I do know why you cannot get sole custody of your child since the father is in jail. You may simply want to get a second opinion. If you want to be mean, you can ask for child support, if it is granted, he will owe. Just stay on the DA to get the money, the more you bother the DA, the more irritated they will get and more likely you will see things being done. But anyhow, just check and converse will all your available resources. Good luck

Brooke - posted on 10/30/2009

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I agree with the everyone but i would try to get advice from another lawyer. If you dont have some kind of agreement then when he gets out he could take your kiddo and there is nothing the cops can do. You will have to wait till a judge can order on the custody agreement before you can get your kiddo back. I've been through a similiar experience with my son. I hope this helps and i hope it works out for you!!

Robin - posted on 10/30/2009

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well i am not sure i would ask your lawyer for sure but since you have always been there you should keep full custody and as far aas i know from my situation is that if he is proven to be the father he can still get visitationa few times a week but he would have to pay to have that done and also unless he is able to prove you to be a unfit mother then you have nottiing to worry about and since he has yet to have any kind of conntact do you really think that he will when he gets out of prision well i hope this helps and i am sorry if i confused you even more

Natalie - posted on 10/29/2009

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GET A DIFF LAWYER. Every state is different, But in Missouri, yes if you go so long without seeing your child, you automatically lose your rights. I am in the process of speaking to lawyers on how to go about this for my daughter's father. She is 2 and he owes me 8 grand so far and is a wanted man. I know I wont see any money, but I rather have his rights signed over so I wont ever have to worry about him showing up with a cop at my door and dragging my lil girl out. YES THEY CAN DO THIS! They have rights to the child, they can show up with papers and an officer and physically pick your child up and leave. Happend to my sister twice. So speak to different lawyers, you as a person have that right for 2nd, 3rd and even 10 opinions!!

Sicily - posted on 10/26/2009

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I don't believe that is true, check with the several different attorney, and the attorney general in the state you live, they should be able to help you.

Denise - posted on 10/03/2009

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keeping it real...my son is now 18 yrs. old in NJ. His father has never really been in his life except for court order c/s. Early in his life because his father never showed any interest and was doing what he wanted to do, i had paper work done up so that me and my mom shared joint custody of my son. This was because if anything every happened to me, i knew that my son would go right to my parents...but this was back in 2000. As far as monies, I would get a court order for C/S and let it build up. In the mean time raise your child as you will have to be both mom and dad for him. If you can find a father figure, like your father or brother than I would do that. A women can not teach a boy how to be a man but we can raise our boys to be the best that they can be. Stick by your son no matter what and always go with what you feel not any one else. You and your son will be fine. Trust me I'm still going through and my son is 18. I don't try to establish father and son relationships anymore nor do I do any explaining to my son for why his dad does not come around....lil to late for all that! I just stick by my son and hope that he doesn't make the same mistakes. Be blessed and keep it in prayer.

Devonna - posted on 09/30/2009

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Hey Shaylene, here's the thing to do and you don't need a lawyer. Go to the Juvenile Court in your area and ask to file the paperwork for custody. All you need to do is fill out some simple paperwork and you WILL be awarded full legal and physical custody of your child. This is essential because if you do not have a custodial decision from the courts, when the father gets out, he can pick him up anytime, even without your permission. This cannot happen with a judgement for custody. You can also get an order for child support, even though he is in prison. Depending on his classification, they may allow him to do work release to earn money to support his child.

Chrisann - posted on 09/30/2009

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Serve the papers...I too went through a similar issue and you can serve him any papers and the court will make their decision to accept the custody papers or not and they will have to transport him to court just as they would anyone serving in a county jail.

Calandra - posted on 09/30/2009

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Well personally my advice is, if he hasn't have any contact with him because of being imprison I don't think it would reserve him the right to have any custody, but with the laws now he can very well share custody with you. You would be the custodial parent. I haven't been in this sort of situation. I agree with some other mothers on here. Save up your money, enjoy life with you baby, and when it comes to it just be prepared for whatever happens.

Francine - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Shaylene:

Complicated custody issues, advice appreciated.

Ok so I will just explain the situation and any advice would be greatly appreciated. My sons father went to jail when my son was 1 year old, and had almost no contact with him since birth and never provided any sort of support for him. He is excpected to be in prison for a minimum of 8 more years. I want to make absolutaley sure that he doesn't come around once he is out, but my lawyer said that he can't be served custody papers until he is out....I personaly don't think this is right and would like to know if anyone has some advice or has been in a similar situation. I was also told by a friend of mine who won custody of her daughter because the father had no contact for a year to the day and had not provided any sort of support for her child. I was wondering if someone else is familiar with this and if you are do you know if this would still apply since he has been in jail and that is the reason for his absence? Just any sort of advice would really help



 



I am writing from Canada and I don't know where you are, but I just won sole custody of my 4 children with no access/no contact for him. I served my ex with custody papers right after he was sentenced. I would consult another lawyer... just the fact that your son will be almost 10 years old before any contact could be made... what would be the point of the courts wanting contact to start at that point. In the meantime you could meet someone wonderful who would become dad to your son. All that opening contact at the age of 10 would do is open up a lot of problems for your son. Remind him frequently that his identity is not dependant on who his father is. A real man keeps contact with his children and puts them first. Biology does not a father (or mother for that matter) make. Any man can donate sperm... a real man gives his time, energy and financial resources to help raise his children.  Please see another lawyer. Your son is the most important thing you have. He deserves the very best. Good luck.





 

Monica - posted on 09/30/2009

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but even when he gets out there are no guarantee's. My kids' father has been able to see the kids and still doesn't pay his support. He is now, oh, $75,000 in "arears", and the state has done nothing about it. They know where he lives and everything. So even when your son's father gets out, there is nothing that says he will pay. Men for some reason find a way to get out of paying this debt. Funny is they don't mind "practicing" having kids, but when they do, it's a different story. I have been taking care of my kids by myself since they were all born. Now they are 13, 9, and 7. They still see their dad, and I just gave up on the money. If you can't do anything for another 8 years, don't bother till its time. I hope one day I will see the money, until then I do what I have to do as a mother and that is what is important. Your son is young now, but he will see who has his back when he is older!!! Good Luck!!

Christie - posted on 09/30/2009

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Just hold on hun, wait til he gets out. If your child hasseen that you have been supporting, caring and loving him for all these years.... there's a good possibility that your child won't want anythign to do with him when he does get out of jail. I'm going through that right now with 3 out of 4 kids... my oldest 3 don't want anything to do with their father and my youngest doesn't even know who he is cause he ain't been in my son's life at all. Things will get better hun, don't sweat small stuff like that when you got 8 yrs to wait to find out the outcome.

Ashley - posted on 09/30/2009

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hi shaylene every state laws are different. here in texas if the father goes 6 months with no attempt to contact the child and there is someone willing to adopt the child then the biological father's rights can be terminated and yes he can be served while in prison. I am currently attempting to do the same with my ex husband so far im 3 months down.

LeAnn - posted on 09/30/2009

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Great advice! Hold out and see if there is any movement to try and establish a relationship with your son. If not, that lack of interest could work in your favor - worked for me!!! I got sole custody & a name change :-)



Think of it this way... you have no worries for the next eight years because he is not around!!

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Hey! Since he is in fact in jail there is nothing you can do at this time i have been there !! Yes you could get Child Support for your son but nothing is gonna come until he get out of jail i mean he's only gonna billed up what they call back pay and that only if your are on any public assitance and the state assits you ! So trurthful Your F&%? for the next 8 years ! Stay strong u have done it all this time and u will still hold it down when he comes out but when he does ; HAAAA give he the line up " OWN up to our son or pay up on time through the judge" see the thing iswhen they get out is they are most likely on probation (can't get in any trouble ) which means Child support as well or they will get a "GO BACK TO JAIL CARD " volation of probation .. hope this helps

Jaime - posted on 09/30/2009

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There is such things as child abandonment laws,different for every State, but with him being in prison I don't know where that would stand wiht him?? You might want to check that out.?

Billie - posted on 09/30/2009

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Yeah I agree with Melissa. Right now even your lawyer is telling you that there's nothing you can do until he gets out of prison, so you just have to let this go for now and focus on building a strong relationship with your baby. Good luck hon.

Melissa - posted on 09/29/2009

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save your money on lawyer fees. let it ride. he wont be out for awhile. things might seem different then. take note of the old saying "cross that bridge when it comes" just love your baby. it will be ok

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