Overnite visitation

Meghan - posted on 02/24/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have a 16 1/2 month old son. He was 8 1/2 months when I was told to leave and in that 8 1/2 months my ex was a very absent father and very mentally abusive and controling to me. His father lives 3 hours away and he wants me to drive him twice a month to his house (which isn't babyprrofed and our son wouldn't have his own room) however it is court ordered that he has to drive to our place to have visitation. (I know this is costly for him but my financial means are A LOT less than his) Now I even have issues with our son spending nites with him here and the courts haven't ordered any set visitation. My ex refuses to follow the schedule I plan (bedtime, snack times etc) because he wants to spend as much play time with him. He returns him un napped, un changed, in dirty clothes, doesn't eat any of the food I pack for him. He argues about little things such as how many bottles our son should have, what time he should be napping etc. My son comes home angery, agressive, constipated and wakes with nite terrors the first 2 nites he is back. I don't want to keep my son away from his father but I really don't think I should give in because I don't feel my son is ready..what would you ladies do?

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Deanna - posted on 02/24/2010

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If there is no court order regarding what type of visitation, then put a stop to the overnights. Then go back to court and get the visitation set through them. This keeps things clear. Also, document everything. Emails, phone calls, how your son returns. The courts may or may not believe what is occurring, but you can at least make your case and just keep saying that you are trying to do what is in the best interest for your son.

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Rebecca - posted on 04/27/2014

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Wana sign my Petition? I'm going to try to change visitation rights that no over nights with the noncustodial parent take place until the age of 3 or 4. I'm sorry if this gets some dads upset, but I'm fighting to protect my daughter. I have put a petition together for you to sign. Please do so by going to this site and sign it and share it PLEASE!!..I will have proof of how it effects our children. I need 2000 signatures! Thank you so much!! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/281/518/8...

Robyn - posted on 02/25/2010

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sorry, re-reading this as i am a little sleep deprived-- so these are overnights!? your son is still young, and clearly not benefiting from this. it does sound like you may have a court order, and you have a right to insist he follow it ("however it is court ordered that he has to drive to our place to have visitation." from your post) you do NOT have to stretch your finances and comfort zone to accommodate this, and with such a long drive, the father should be making the drive, not you and your son at his age. plus, if he comes to visit in your town, then- worst case scenario- but you can show him how things need to be done, what his routine is, help do it yourself (even though this is supposedly HIS "parenting time" and he should be doing some parenting in theory- unless you are more comfortable doing it yourself, myself i don;t mind doing stuff like the feeding and diaper changes when bio-father visits but that's just me, and because my son is a bit younger and sees his dad less often) but yeah, request he abide by the court order, and tell him that if he cannot do basic parenting tasks you will need to stop or modify the way these visits happen. plus, i think daytime visits for a one to two year old make more sense anyway, if he wants to play then do it during the day, sleeping babes can't really play lol. hope you can find a good solution and sorry if the above post doesn't apply as much; i misunderstood parts of your situation in my sleep-deprivation lol.

Robyn - posted on 02/25/2010

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document document document.

i'd say still try to let him see him if you feel your child is safe, but tell him (and record the talk or email for proof) exactly what your concerns are and come up with basic parenting expectations. genes don't make a father. if he cannot properly change, feed, clothe, etc. the kiddo, he is not parenting, he is simply playing daddy, albeit irresponsibly. i get that he might want to maximize his time, but he needs to understand that babies and toddlers have basic needs and routines and he needs to abide them just as you do. you shouldn't be stuck with the clean-up and the fall-out, and clearly it is causing stress for your kiddo. so, i'd say do what you can to talk it through and document it all, and if it continues, you have every right to deny visitation. if he is serious about wanting a role, he will then go to court, and if you have documentation as to your concerns, you can have an order in place that makes provisions for those concerns.

is another option to spend time together? though this could also lead to all the play with dad and all the other "chores" (dipe changes, feeding, etc.) falling on you, at least you would know the basics were being done and your child was safe?

finally, i do advise getting a court order, but look into your state laws. some states, custody is 100% to the mother unless/until the father gets on the birth cert by proving or agreeing mutually as to paternity and making this order legally enforceable. others, either parent can act equally, so he could "kidnap" your son, which you don;t want to live in fear of. that said, if he really has his and your child's interests at heart, i would hope to god he wouldn't do this out of vengefulness or to prove a point; the child's best interests should come before anything like that, and if he cannot see that then you have a pretty clear picture of where he is at.

i hope for the best for you all, and that by simply communicating and maybe making a basic legal stipulation, he can realize what parenting entails and learn to do all aspects, not just playtime, which is more like a friend or babysitter (but even then they would do basics like diaper changing and feeding- that is just unacceptable!)

babies and toddlers need stability and consistency. i think if he is a good and safe father and your son enjoys being with him it is good for them to have this time together but on the other hand, he needs to understand that as the primary parent, you know your son's needs best (i.e. how much and when to eat/have a bottle, etc. that you mentions he argues about) and that he does indeed need to follow this basic routine for continuity during his time with his son for his son's sake and health.

keep us posted, hugs!!

Alison - posted on 02/25/2010

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Everyone is right. If there is no court order, you don't have to do a thing to make visitation for him easier. HOWEVER if there is no court order, he can come get your son WHENEVER he wants and keep him as long as he wants. Trust me, my ex did this to me before our custody was set. I highly advise getting a court order. But document everything and use it in court. He should also be paying you support. Choose your lawyer wisely because a bad lawyer can do more harm than good for your case. I just went through all of this recently, so if you want advice or a referral, send me a message. Good luck!

Savanha - posted on 02/25/2010

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If there is a court order no there is nothing you can do about it at least right now. Keep things written down with the time and date. Like say he brings your son home unchanged tomorrow at 3 write it down, if he comes home and is having night terrors write it down. The more documentation you have the better off you are in court. Take all this to the lawyer and let him deal with it in court. If the court order is for HIM to drive to see your son then no i wouldnt drive my son there. That is not your responsibility. You have to save that money for food for your son, gas for you to get to work etc. And it is not your fault if he cant come to see your son. And you know your son will be safe with you. That is the best advice i can give you. I hope things go better for you and your son you are in my prayers.

Alicia - posted on 02/24/2010

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not much you can do if there is a court order. the courts wont do much unless you have solid proof he is doing your son harm. It sucks majorly when put into that situation i can not even imagine. good luck

Marla - posted on 02/24/2010

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If there is no court order then you dont have to let him see your son. If the court order him to drive to your place then make him drive to your place you cant get in trouble for not taking your son over there. Most court orders will say he is responsible for getting there and taking care of the child. Take pictures of your son when you get him back and use it all in court.

Meghan - posted on 02/24/2010

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like I said, there is no court order, it has been left up to me pretty much. I just want to know if I am fighting a loosing battle

Candice - posted on 02/24/2010

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if there is a court order, you have to honor it, or it can be used against you if he fights you for custody down the line. if you have concerns, bring them back to the court. unfortunately, we really have no say as to what happens during visitation, but if you think the child's welfare is affected, then tell the courts.

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