Absent father is threatening to take me to court

Carolyn - posted on 02/17/2014 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 year old son whose father only seen him less than 10 times in 4 years. He never wanted me to have my child but I figured I'm a big girl and this was part of my doing, so I will to take responsibility. And I don't regret it. I love my son, couldn't see my life without him. The first time he's met my son was when he was about 6 months old for an hr and never heard from him for months. I've tried to create this father and son bond but the father would always have some kind of excuse that he could not make it. It's been four years now, I've met a great man who loves my son, plays with him, takes him out fishing, all the things a great parent does with a child. We're a family now, i'm expecting a little girl and my son is thrilled. But on my son's 4th birthday, his father threatened me to take me to court. Why? He has not spent time with his son, wasn't around during the holidays, birthdays (even when he was invited). He wants to take my son for a couple of hours but I insisted that my son wouldn't be comfortable since he doesn't know him. He's a stranger to him. Furthermore, I don't trust him. One time I did let him take my son for half a day. My son returned with a broken blood vessel in his eye. His pediatrician wanted to call the cops on him. After that ordeal, how does he expect me to give him my son? My son isn't old enough to defend or look after himself. Until then he will need my supervision. Maybe once he turns 8 or 9, maybe then I can let him decide if he wants to spend time with his father. I've raised my son since day 1. I don't want to have to share custody or let him take him away from me. We're doing fine without him. Do I need to be worried?

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Jodi - posted on 03/16/2016

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"I'm more interested in how Jodi delta with her situation. "

Um, it's not my situation.......we aren't in similar situations, so I'm confused.....

Raye - posted on 03/16/2016

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Mariel, I'm not trying to be controversial at all. I'm sorry you don't find my advice helpful. But this is a public forum, and you have to expect to see some opinions you don't agree with. That's fine, we're adults, and don't have to agree. I don't take it personally, because you don't know me. You don't know what I've been through. And I don't know you except what little you've written here. I believe in what I wrote as being good advice, and you can take it or leave it without hurting my feelings one bit.

Raye - posted on 03/16/2016

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Mariel, it would be great if you all could just come to an agreement. But then you should get that agreement turned into court order. It really is a protection. Going to court doesn't have to mean a fight. If there's no court order, either parent can try to force their own agenda on the other, and make demands that could be unfair. The court orders give you legal standing to keep someone accountable so that no one is taking advantage or failing to comply by the rules.

Raye - posted on 03/16/2016

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Anyone who is no longer in a relationship with the other parent of their kid(s) should go to court and get custody/visitation and child support worked out immediately upon breaking up. Then both parents know where they stand. If one parent has primary custody, and the other doesn't utilize their visitation rights, then that's sad, but that's their choice. Later, if they decide they do want visitation, then the court orders are still here to say when that parents can see the child. And yes, they are allowed that time unsupervised unless the orders say otherwise. If you have never filed for child support, then you don't get to complain that he didn't buy diapers or anything for the kid, because you dropped the ball and didn't make him accountable. It's not all on him.

If you changed your number and he didn't know how to find you, then he may have a very good case against you. Don't go into court all smug like you own that child, and no one can take them away. A child is not a possession, and some judges would be more than happy to wipe that smug smile off your face. And (unless there's proof of abuse to the child) even piss-poor fathers still have rights.

[deleted account]

The situation we're talking about is a father. She said he didn't see the child until he was 6 months and she didn't hear from him after, and she tried to create father and son bond. This doesn't sound like she's withholding the child. Why hasn't he taking her to court sooner, there's no excuse for a parent not to see their child. If it was me I'd do everything I could to see my child, not just when the other parent is settled and happy and pregnant.

Ev - posted on 04/23/2014

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I happen to agree with Jodi on this.
1) Its not only fathers that just come and go as they please in their child/children's lives. There are plenty of moms out there that do the same.
2) Its not about what this woman wants. Its about the child's relationship with the father. We do not know the reasons why dad has stayed away and it could entirely be because mom is holding the child from him. We only have one side of the story here.
3) He can go to the courts and ask for visitation or joint custody. He could also get it.
4) You have to have proof, not just how you feel, that there is danger to the child.
5) Of course the child is not familiar with dad, it has not been allowed on both dad and mom's terms together....just mom's terms.
6) Caroyln--I understand where you come from. You have as you said cared for this child since he was born. Fine. I took care of everything in my house and the kids' things at school or doctor's office as well. Twelve years into the marriage my ex wanted out. When it came down to custody, I could not fight him in court because he had the means to do so and I did not plus I DID NOT WANT TO PUT MY KIDS THROUGH BEING PAWNS because I wanted them with me. He had never really taken care of them like I had. A few times at best. I had to agree to let them live with him and show them that I did not think it was in their interest to be those pawns and to be fought over. Sometimes that is how it goes. Today, my kids and I are closer than we might have been if things had gone MY WAY. And that is all you want is for it to go your way.

Jodi - posted on 04/23/2014

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Honestly, Mary, what a stupid question. I don't need to elaborate, but I have BEEN in a similar situation.

I never said it is OK for a father to come and go as he pleases, but that legally, you cannot stop him seeing the child.

"You know what's better for your son than a stranger in a court room."

Maybe, but what the court room says goes or you risk losing your kid. If this man is threatening to take her to court and she continues to not allow him to see her son, that might just be the risk she is taking. Who wins then?

" I don't want to have to share custody"

This is what I have an issue with - it just doesn't get to BE her choice.

I think you totally missed my point.

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Jodi,Are you really a mother? You think it's ok for a father to come and go as he pleases and this is fair on the child. If the child is not comfortable with this man of course it needs to be supervised until he feels ok with being on his own with his father and I'm sure the courts will understand this. He's probably only looking to cause you problems because your having a baby with another man. If he hasn't bothered for the last 4 years he will more than likely keep making excuses. You know what's better for your son than a stranger in a court room.

Jodi - posted on 02/17/2014

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A hit to the eye could occur as the result of normal play, so I think that is an over-reaction to suggest his dad did it.

With regard to the consistency, you can't control how often he sees his child. You can keep evidence of his visits, when they are, how long they are, etc, but it isn't up to you to "let" his father visits - that is the court's decision. If you decided not to let him, and he takes you to court, he will have evidence that you refused visitation. Have you heard of parental alienation? You don't want to go there - people have lost custody over parental alienation. He would have a very good case that this is what you have done if you refuse visitation.

Carolyn - posted on 02/17/2014

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when we took him to the dr, he was irate because he said it was a hit to the eye, I did ask him and he said nothing happened. I just don't want my son to feel like he gets to see his father whenever he wants to, as in every 6 to 8 months. If there is consistency then I'm all for it. but don't come in and out his life at your leisure. To me every child goes through emotional suffering when his father doesn't stick to a routine when they say they will.

Jodi - posted on 02/17/2014

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The reason he wants to take you to court is that you are refusing him access to HIS child without your supervision. He doesn't WANT to be involved with you, he wants one-on-one time with his son.

Firstly, he is entitled to a relationship with his son, and you don't have the right to dictate the terms. The courts do, but you don't, and that's why he wants it done legally. He doesn't want you to control the relationship.

Secondly, with regard to the broken blood vessel, did you ever ask what actually happened? These things can happen accidentally in normal play - it isn't that unusual.

It really doesn't matter if you don't want to share custody. He has rights. He is the biological father. It is highly likely that the courts will give him joint custody or visitation.

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