IN Need Of Custody Advice

[deleted account] ( 44 moms have responded )

My daughter's father hasn't been involved in my daughters life for 2 years. When I filed for child support he became enraged and filed for joint or full custody to save money. He has no interest in our daughter and is only doing this to save money. Should I drop the child support and file for custody as well? I'm worried about my daughter, thank you.

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Heather - posted on 03/20/2010

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It's a long trying time right now. Custody battle are not fun and when you think your about to break just take a deep breath and know that you going to make it though this. In the courts he's really not going to have much to stand on considering he has been out of your daughter's life for two years. Counter file him on custody and don't drop the child support, even try for back support. It's not fair to the child for him to walk in and out of her life and bring that in your fight. Good Luck and remember your her mama and you've been doing a great job! Just breathe!!

Heather

Christina - posted on 11/21/2010

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He won't get custody. Especially since he lives so far away. Any visitation he gets will require him to pick up your daughter from your home and drop her off back there. I didn't have a lawyer during my custody/visitation thing with my oldest, but he did. The law is very clear on how they handle visitation with parents living more than 100 miles apart.

Kelsey - posted on 08/24/2011

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Is the father going to do harm to your child? Can he or is he capable of being a good father?? Maybe it is for the better to get him involved in your daughters life. If he takes you to court, be honest in court. Say...well I believe he only wants custody because he doesn't want to pay me to support our daughter. I want him in her life, but he has not been around for the past 2 years and I have been the main caregiver. I don't see how he should be awarded even 50/50 custody because he has not been an involved parent so far.

Aisling - posted on 03/23/2010

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I filled for child support and I regret it so much. I wish I had just left well enough alone to be quite honest, He now has access rights and when he feels like it collects her but I still have to hand her over,even when he hasnt turned up for a few weeks before, or if she doesnt want to go. Even your girls dad hasn't been involved the courts will give him chance after chance, He can claim you wouldn't let him see her.It all gets very messy. I personally if i had the option again wouldn't go for the money, good luck with it tho

Andrea - posted on 11/22/2010

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Even if he files for custody, he isn't going to get much. His daughter does not know him, so they would start things out slow. Supervised visitation maybe a couple nights a week. That isn't going to change child support much, if at all. Funny how motivated people are by money. File for full legal and joint, and maybe offer up the supervised visitation. He will probably not show for the visitation.....if he does, then great kiddo gets to see his dad. That is the most likely scenario. However, do not sign anything that you may be pressured to sign unless you 100% agree. The courts where I live like to push for 50/50 physical and legal custody, and like to pressure the mom's to agree to it.

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[deleted account]

Who had full officiaal custody at the time? Get a case for child support going irregardless of his unrelated threats to expect custody rights at this point. Get a good child custody lawyer! Most likely his threats are idle, but your rights to child support from him are 100% sound. You had 100 sole custody for the past 2 years, so back support payments are owed you! If you guys can come to agreement for some time with Daddy that are in any way good for your daughter, maybe, but your lawyer can advise your further on that.

Delia - posted on 08/29/2011

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Are you kidding me? Drop the child support? Of course not! That's money for being able to adequately provide for your daughter. It's not "funny money" and frankly it's not yours. You're doing this for her in the first place!

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Melissa - posted on 08/21/2011

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the attorney general of your state will order standard custody and visitation and support all at the same time and if you dont agree then the judge will work it out for you but you may want to get a lawyer from legal aide (the AG can get you that info. many times they offer free legal seminars or sessions for parents) dont drop a darn thing - ask for the most and they will whittle it fairly - besides its not your money that will be ordered it is your daughters for her care and support. you both will have equal rights unless there are other issues not mentioned and do your best to work it out as agreably as possible b/c fihting never wins anything - been there done that

Smile - posted on 08/20/2011

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How did court end up going?
I have a 9 month old fully breast fed son, we live in Kentucky and the father now lives in California.
He is wanting 10 day visits per month starting next month.
Do you guys think that would be good for my son who hasnt seen his father since he was 4 months old (fathers choice not to see him) Im scared help!!!!!
Let me know how your court went please?

Also I posted a question about my case with full details if anyone could please please please help me with advice stories and opinions

http://www.circleofmoms.com/welcome-to-c...

Amy - posted on 03/24/2011

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Yes, I would continue with the child support and file for custody as well. My daughter is 3 and her father has not been in her life this entire time as well...when I filed for her last name to be changed to mine he got upset as well and tried doing the same thing. Advice from a lawyer and friends/family have told me no judge will ever grant a father (any parent in that matter) custody of a child who they have not seen in years. They will grant supervised visits to start...for the child and parent to get to know one another. (which means: your daughters father would have to come to your state/county to see her and all on his dime!) I was also told while in court always state: I believe this is in my daughters best interest because.... :o) Hope this helps! Good Luck! I was totally stressed like you when my daughters dad did the same but do not stress everything will be okay! :o)

Kylee - posted on 01/13/2011

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My Daughter's father has not been in her life for two years an now has three other kid's with three other women he rufused to pay me child support i was 15 at the time when i had ashlyn. he has no interest in her or his other children an i would like to get full custudy an back dated child support how can i go about this i need help i want this man gone. im just scared that the courts will take her from me cuz im so young an hes 21 with a good payin job an his own place???

Karon - posted on 11/23/2010

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I am a older mom, however I have been in your shoes. When my oldest son was a baby my ex and I seperated. He stated that he was never going to pay a dime in support, boy did I prove him wrong. It took a lot of strength on my part but all the headache s were worth it . Not only did I get support but my son is better off with out him. He has grown up to be a great father now, and has a new son of two months.So proud of him.Stick to your guns , your child deserves to be supported by both parents. He/she was made by only one of you. Stay involved in this process it may take a while,but worth it.

Kenya - posted on 04/10/2010

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I would not say drop the support but you may want to hire a lawyer to point out he has never been around. Document everything.

Melissa - posted on 04/09/2010

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Good Luck! I wish you well.. Never stop fighting for custody... The distance will be a BIG factor. Travel time and expence. He will try but in the end, you will win. BUT it is important for him to be apart of her life, even a little. Fight for custody, that gives you power of decisions for her!!

[deleted account]

Ok Ladies my court is coming up real soon...April 7th. Thank you all for your opinions and advice....I will let you know how everything turns out. BTW: I filed a counter claim for sole custody

Alison - posted on 03/28/2010

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i am in a similar situation, the only advice i can give is to fight for what you believe in b/c you are trying to do what is best for your child

Arrynne - posted on 03/28/2010

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Don't drop child support but request primary or sole cusotdy. Get documentation of everything, such as letters from the doctors saying only you have brought in the child in the past 2 years, affidavits from family members and friends, etc. Start keeping a journal of all conversations between you and BD, when he see's her, when you offer visitation, etc. If you do this and prove that he is not part of the childs life than there is no way he will get joint. and the possibility anyway of him getting full is none. At the most based on what you said the judge may give him every other weekend visitation and access during holidays if he requests custody and access.

Justina - posted on 03/26/2010

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My name is Justina and I am going through almost the same thing. I have 3 daughter's and 1 of them goes to her father's every other weekend but he doesn't really want her. He only gets her for his mom to see, but he does pay child support.. The other 2 their father hasn't seen them in 3 years, and has no interest in seeing them either, but he is paying child support. Now he has took me back to court trying to get out of paying because he got custody of another child from his first marriage. He says he can't afford to pay child support anymore. So my adive is to fight it with all you got. If you don't fight to protect your child who is? Try to prove he is only going for custody so he wont have to pay child support. The judges hate that.

Tiffany - posted on 03/26/2010

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Ashley, in order for this to go any further in getting what you want, termination of rights. Custody and paternity has to be established. Then, from that final court date is when the time begins. You may be able to get him to do it voluntarily, but if not, those are the steps you have to take. You are lucky you have someone that is willing to adopt, because if not it would be next to impossible to have his rights terminated. I would suggest you get an attorney that is fluent in family law that can advise you further. His lack of being on the birth certificate doesn't matter. Termination of rights cases are extremely difficult. The courts like to give the father's chance after chance. Good luck!

Ashley - posted on 03/26/2010

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I'm dealing with the early stages of the same thing. My son's father wasn't there through the pregnancy except to tell me what a horrible person i was and other degrading remarks i tried and tried to encourage his involvement and stated i wanted nothing out of it but thought it was only fair that my son have his father around. He stated multiple times he wanted to do with us.. remember this was before he was born. His mother found out and was supportive and even made him come to the hospital the morning after he was born. and that was eight months ago since then at first i tried to continue to involve his family even though he didn't want to be directly involved 3 days after he was born his mother and younger siblings came to my parents house and his mother literally threw my child. After a heated discussion about her son's disregard for me and his child she snapped. Her other son tried to fight my brother and father. and neither got involved just tried to get her to leave.She called the police and when the officer arrived he said no charges need to be filed as nothing happened no one was touched etc. But then apparently in my parents home town you can pay $10 and get a warrant issued for an arrest and both my brother and my father. she was accusing my father of child cruelty. My brother was sent over sees before his warrant hearing which basically is everyone going in front of a judge and only the accuser gets to speak and the judge decides whether he should actually be arrested or not. Which my dad was .. this being the first and only thing on his record. after wards it goes to the next level of court which it never made it to the whole case was dropped before it got that far due to lack of evidence and her changing stories. But because of this my dad almost lost his job and did time in jail. It was absolutely ludicrous. My son is now eight month old. and I have yet to hear from his father or his father's family ( not that i'm complaining). He is 24 has no job except in a Marine Reserve which only accounts for two days out of the month.

My dilemma is he isn't listed on the birth certificate but for my soon to be fiance and husband to adopt they require the father to sign off his rights. I've been told i can file for abandonment after 12 consecutive months of not making a PHYSICAL attempt to see his child at least in Ga. He is an unstable person and i dont want to risk him trying to get visitation or custody when he hasn't been there and my guy has all along. My son's face lights up when he is around. this is the father he knows. and that has been there whether biological or not. Does anyone know of anything i can do ?? I'm not receiving child support of any kind. Though i wouldn't refuse it and it would help so much that's not really a concern of mine.

Suzi - posted on 03/25/2010

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I am sorry to say...yes...drop the child support for now, file for custody & go as far as to get him to legally sign over ALL right to you in exchange for you not asking for child support...I know that is drastic, but there is a change in the tide of custody & unless he is a convicted, child-molesting, stark raving lunatic, he most likely will be awarded a joint custody or at least liberal visitation.

Jacquie - posted on 03/25/2010

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Oh no you don't. I was in a similar situation. Don't let him think he can intimidate you. The courts will take a big notice that he is just doing this because he is mad. You will get your child support and be primary custodian. And don't be surprised if in the end that he still does not have as much interest.

Victoria - posted on 03/25/2010

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In MI, it is really hard to get full custody. Typically it is joint legal custody with one parent being the custodial parent and the other parent gets every other weekend and one day a week. My advice is to get a lawyer. Even though you may not be able to afford one, try your best to save. They are worth every penny in a custody battle. The lawyer can tell you realistically what you need to do and what kind of documentation you need to keep, because it will be your word against his. My lawyer suggested keeping emails or text messages and printing them out for the court, for example. That way you will have proof he is not taking your daughter.

Bev - posted on 03/25/2010

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Oh Mileisa, I really feel for you. It can be quite overwhelming dealing with this all this. The courts are all too familiar with and can spot a parent who does not have a genuine interest in whats best for your daughter. The courts concern is the child. Don't allow him to scare you into dropping your request for child support as your daughter needs and deserves it. I also recommend you get legal representation from a lawyer who specialises in maintenance and custody matters. When a matter goes to court its the information given on the day that influences the outcome. Please dont be put off by the cost as you can find organisations who will be more than willing to help you in matters like this. Hang in there ... it will be worth it.... bless you Bev

Tiffany - posted on 03/25/2010

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In my case, my ex threatened me with joint custody as well. He was pissed I didn't do things his way and keep our separation out of the courts. If custody is not established, he could take your child and there would be nothing you could do about it because custody was never established. File for custody, file for the support. My child's father lives 6 miles from us and has seen her twice in the 2 years of her little life. No support, no nothing. That's fine with me. I was awarded full custody and all rights of my child. He gets to see her 1 hour per month, supervised until she is 18. The fight is never over, even after the final. You will have good days and bad. Keep your head up and fight for custody and financial support of your child.

Amy - posted on 03/25/2010

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I feel for you. My daughter's father has gotten a DUI with her in the car and been arrested with her drunk at a pool. He has seen her maybe 15 days since Jan. 4, 2008. He has seen her 6 hours since June 09, but because he shows interest the court has given him overnight visits. Im in California. I have full custody. Fight for custody you might have to forget the child support. Child support is the only reason my ex-husband fights for custody. When he gets it he stops seeing her till I file again. It is a non-stop battle. I pray for you and your daughter.

Marion - posted on 03/25/2010

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yes file, u do have ur baby 2 years, log every time he see her, how he is with her and speak to child services to ease ur mind my mother in law taught she could get 4 of my children the judge told her if she had kept her nose out of the marriage things would have been better for us all and granted supper vised access to keep an eye on my husbands behavior he doesn't bother with any of them any more and no money comes from him. has he gone for access?if not he hasn't a leg to stand on and if he does he needs it supervised because the child does'nt know him don't worry it will fall in ur favour u have created the home for her

[deleted account]

Words can't express the gratitude I have for all the comments posted.....Thank You!!!!
To be honest I have be doing some thinking and am going to file a counter claim for custody but I still have this strong feeling to drop the child support. My daughter's father is a City Marshal in Las Vegas and his money is so precious to him. I was doing just fine without him but felt that he needed to assume some kind of responsibility after almost 2 years of empty promises to help with our daughter. I hope you ladies are right and that the judge is able to see the reality of this case as a personal attack on me and is able to make a decision based on the best interest for my precious angel. Also I'm a little worried she might favor him because of his position. (I'm not a man basher and give credit where it's due but this man really doesn't care and has a way with words)
Many thanks to all the mommies :)

[deleted account]

My sons father did the same thing. I live in New Jersey and my sons father lives in Georgia so the process (interstate child support) takes a lot longer than instate child support and custody. My son will be 2 in May so I have been raising my son alone since he was born. Recently the court dates started picking up and my sons father whom is spending on the money he could of used to help raise our son on high end lawyers to fight for him, but now its a pain in back side. Depending on your daughters biological fathers income, of course would depend on the amount of support you would get for your daughter but in the end would it really be worth all the trouble? and If you think he really has no interest in your daughter and is only looking at it as a financial point, have him sign his rights over so you can just move on. If you drop the case and dont have him sign his rights over then at any point and time he can file for custody so just make sure that if you do drop it you do follow up with the rights. Looking back at all the headaches I have been through and non stop legal battles I wish I just dropped it all and walked away from it. I raised my son without the fathers help or money so whats the difference now? All I will be doing it taking his money and giving him rights to a son he wanted nothing to do with in the first place, and making my life hell.

Melissa - posted on 03/24/2010

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File for custody, YES. But the Judge will see right through him and ask WHERE he has been PRIOR to this case? Don't let the father get away without supporting his kids, BUT be prepared that if you DO get support, he will get SOME type of visitation, thats how it works.. Money vs days... sad really,

Jeanne - posted on 03/24/2010

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He hasn't seen your child in two years. He is still responsible for his child and has abandoned her for two years which would clue any judge in on how much he wants his daughter. He's only trying to scare you. Do not give up child support! What he will do is say he's going to take her on weekends and will not even bother. Even if he gets her every other weekend he will not give you less money "joint custody" means sharing the responsibility of raising the child together, not that he has her equal amount of time.

Andra - posted on 03/24/2010

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I live in El Paso, TX and my son's father lives in Austin. I do not know the age of your child, but in my case it was pretty straightforward when I went to court after I filed. There wasn't even a judge, it was a mediator. Basically explaining that we have joint custody (my son's father has seen my son TWICE in his entire life and this court date was one of those times). I wasn't too terribly worried about the joint custody situation because of the fact that we do live 600mi apart, and my son is under 2yrs old, he's not even allowed to go on overnights with his dad yet. The "joint" custody wording really favors the parent who is solely responsible for the child, and otherwise attempts to have the parents figure out what works best for them in terms of visitation. Your daughter's father sounds like his bark is worse than his bite. I'm sure he's just trying to bully you into backing down. Don't! Its her right to have financial support from him!

Almost a year after the child support hearing in my son's case, my son's father hasn't called once. Hasn't sent but one check..but at least I know I've done what I could and there is a court order against him now for back support. If I hadn't at least attempted to collect, then I would feel like I was letting down my son.

Alexlv05 - posted on 03/24/2010

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Is there anything specified in your separation agreement? It is your child's right to have support from his father...don't drop it. In fact, if he'd like to bring about custody issues, legitimately, you can ask for the arrears in child support for the past two years. Custoday doesn't necessarily mean who-lives-with-who, but decision making with regards to health care and education and their basic everyday needs. Consult a lawyer and see what your rights are. Rarely, a judge will give joint custody to parents who cannot speak about the most basic needs of their child and since your child has been with you through all of this, I would be surprised if much changed. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 03/23/2010

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i agree with Deanna Richter. no judge is going to give him custody unless you are being unfit. which more than likely not happening so dont worry get the child support it is about time go for it.

Brandi - posted on 03/21/2010

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i would def file for custody....my baby's daddy is in jail...i'm on state aid for her and i both (medical, food stamps and wic...plus i am getting unemployment right now). im goin to court for paternity/child support and custody. i live in wisconsin..so basically i will get full/primary placement and full/primary/sole custody...he'll prob have visitation when he's out, but only on a schedule that i'd agree to since she is so young yet...and he hasnt been involved since she's been born/concieved. its not rare at all here in wi for a mother to get that either, it is VERY common. dont let him get to and like the other girls said,, dont back down, fight for your daughter and her well being. she is owed and deserves the money he will def pay, i seriously doubt any judge will grant him custody, especially since he hasnt been involved for the last two years

Paula - posted on 03/20/2010

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Do not drop it and yes file for full custody because he isn't going to get it based on the fact that he hasn't been in her life for 2 years. He needs to start paying for the child he helped make pure and simple, a judge will not give him custody I doubt he will even give him visitation because he hasn't wanted anything to do with her so why would he now. I think the judge will ask him why now and if he's as dumb as my kids dad he will tell the truth about it!

Lisa - posted on 03/20/2010

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I am under the impression that once the other person files you can counter file and now save the money on the filing fee!! In the end you will wind up with custody and pay much less than what he did! Once the judge hears that he was absent, he is going to see right through this and you will be fine!!! Rock his sorry @$$ for child support gf and don’t back down!!! Your child is OWED this money!!!! Don’t fear this attempt from the deadbeat! As far as back support goes, I think that they will only retro it from the date that you arranged for the child support hearing and not the entire time he has been gone.. I waited 4 years to file on my son’s father out of fear and I only got the month retro from the date that I called to arrange my dispute. After a visitation that I agreed to, my ex decided that he was never going to give my son back.. and by law without anyone having custody the police would not get involved at all! They told me it was a civil matter that I would have to call the sheriff dept about and then file for custody!! This could be a blessing to you to protect your daughter, you need to pursue this! By the way.. I filed for custody immediately and I was awarded FULL primary legal and FULL primary physical.. I was told that this is extremely rare. Most have SHARED primary legal and I believe SHARED primary physical, meaning that they live with you and visit them and dad might have such rights as say so in school, church and things of that nature. My advice is find a man hating female attorney.. lol.. sorry but its true!! Don’t back down!!!!!!!!!!!! You will make it!!!!!!!!!

Kelly - posted on 03/19/2010

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Hi, I have spent a lot of time in family court over the last year. You should file for custody and I don't think any judge would grant him full custody when he hasn't wanted anything to do with her for the last two years. Just remember when you go to court be strong and let the judge know that he hasn't been involved at all. With you 2 living so far apart he may not even get vistation, if he does they will require him to pay for that and for someone to travel with her, which you can fight.

Deanna - posted on 03/19/2010

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Wow, he lives far away. I would sincerely hope that no judge would grant him much visitation. You can't exactly send a 2 year old on a plane by herself. Sounds like he would have to do a lot of figuring out to have visitation since he lives so far away. Also, I was told by a close friend that in NY, that when you file for child support you will always get the money, because the state makes sure you get it and then they go after the father to get the money back from him. Here in NJ its all on the father, so if he does not pay, then the mother is out of luck until the back logged system catches up to the father and possibly throws him in jail to shake him up to start paying.

Good luck with everything! Its hard, I know, but at least we have some place to talk with others who may be in similar situations.

[deleted account]

Thank you Deanna!!! I appreciate your insight. I will most certainly see if I could consult with a lawyer.
I give credit where credit is due but he really doesn't care. All he does is mention his money. I'm really trying my hardest to stay strong :) Btw: I live in NYC and he lives in Las Vegas.

Deanna - posted on 03/18/2010

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You should definitely file for custody. I would not drop the child support, he is responsible for your daughter financially. Just because he has joint custody does not mean he will save money. They take into account what he makes and what you make and what day care costs (typically). If he were to have overnights they sometimes give the father a credit of money (I know from experience it is not much). He may try filing for full custody, but the fact that for the last two years he has not been involved says something to the judge. Also as frustrating as it is, the odds of a judge removing custody from the mother and giving it to the father completely is highly unlikely. The most you will probably look at is that he gets visitation. It is so frustrating that these men feel that it is all right to skirt their responsibilities and will attempt to scare us into believing that they are going to try and take our children away in an attempt to make us back off. If its possible get a lawyer to help you out. If he has not been around for 2 years I would imagine that no judge on the planet would give over custody to the father nor give him much visitation to start with because it would not be good for your daughter. See if you could get a free consultation with a lawyer would can give you some more information and tell you if you need to do anything else. Good luck and stay strong. I know its difficult and frustrating.

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