Absent father wants visitation of 3 year old in another state (halfway across the country)

Jaclyn - posted on 06/29/2014 ( 19 moms have responded )

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The father of my child and I had been together for only a few months before I became pregnant. Needless to say, I was too young to be making adult decisions at the time, and I happen to fall into the arms of a convicted fellon. He had previously spent over a year in prison due to heavy drugs, assult, and using a be b b gun out the window of his car one night before we had met. During my pregnancy he had exhibited behavior that was showing his original lifestyle which proceeded into my daughter's life after she was born. About six months of trying to bring him back to ground, I decided enough was enough. I packed up my car overnight along with my daughter and we started our journey from minnesota to north Carolina to be with my mother. Since then I have held a job for over two years, met a wonderful man, and have put us into the makings of a great future. During this time of building for us, he had landed himself in a prison for a second time for drugs again, and also has on his sheet a instance where he had assaulted a younger boy- this time serving a sentence of two years. I have always allowed open contact, and have never induced barriers between noelle and her father. Though now that he is out he is asking for her to have a week or two of visitation in Minnesota with him and his family. Noelle is a very smart, and mature for her age, but I am very confident that she just is not ready for this kind of step. I am genuinely very concerned for how this will affect her if the tables possibly turn in his direction. Last month I had been awarded temporary custody of her, but he does still have the opportunity to combat if he chooses which I think he may. If there is anyone out there with any advice or has any information regarding the pros and cons of the drastic move please help! SOS. Sincerely- a very worried mama!!

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User - posted on 07/03/2014

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Sweet! Well it looks like you're on your way girl! Nothing feels better than freedom!
Still document, document, document. Keep in touch with your attorney and make sure he stays on task with the case.
Glad your future looks so bright. Smiles all around!

Ev - posted on 07/03/2014

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And there you have to wait and see. Since you got documented proof of his dangerous activities and life style, that is going to play in the custody by a big margin. You would most likely get full custody at that point, but then again, I am no lawyer or judge. And with his living so far away, it would cost him to come visit even with supervised visits as well unless he moved to your state. So there is no telling what will happen in the future.

Ev - posted on 07/03/2014

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I have read the posts here and have to make comment. Please do not take this as anything other than what need to be done.
1) You need to go to court and file for custody, child support, and visitation.
2) You need to have proof of anythng he does that would be considered a danger to that child ie. arrest records, criminal reports, other documents listing things that a judge would consider, his jail record or prison records.
3) Custody, child support, and visitation are separate issues and will be set up by the judge. You may have your ideas on what you find acceptable for visitation such as supervised. But you do not get to tell the judge that is what you want. The judge will take all things in consideration and give a verdict on it as what is best for the child. YOU and HE will have to abide the court orders.
4) Since the father is so far away, the judge will take that into consideration as well and set up visits based on that.

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Jaclyn - posted on 07/03/2014

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I just spoke with the paralegal regarding going directly for full custody. She stated that it is probably better to wait it out because enticing a court date kind of in a sense puts gas on the fire. She stated leaving it sit would be okay since currently I do have full decision making rights and if he chooses not to go for custody that she will remain in my bearings. I do appreciate so much all of the feedback.

Jaclyn - posted on 07/03/2014

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I do have an attorney. The attorney had advised me to go for temporary custody due to the fathers incarceration at the time, he stated that since the father was incarcerated and could not be present the judge would award temporary custody to me and set forth a court date in the future after he was released to allow him presence. I have in fact already been awarded temporary custody via an ex parte order. My attorney has expressed that if Tyler does not combat within the next 9 months that the temporary custody will switch to a full, sole, physical custody without a court date. I am just concerned what will transpire in the future.

User - posted on 07/01/2014

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The only thing that could hurt this is that he has contact with her... if its frequent enough he can use that... if its just once a year he can use it and if he pays any bit of child support he can use that as well... I'm not saying he will get anything but its odd you only were granted temp custody when you are automatically the custodian because of no previous court battles over custody.

Caitlin - posted on 06/30/2014

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Do you have a lawyer?
I have very, very little doubt that the only visitation he'd be able to get for right now would be court-supervised, and that could potentially cost him a lot of money. Still, move quickly.
Document everything you can remember about his faults and your own negative interactions with him, and be as accurate as possible with the dates and details. Obtain physical copies of his criminal record. Keep track of and document everything pertinent to your case from now on. Have physical, documented, and ample evidence of your own stability.
Find a good pro bono lawyer--or pay for one, if you're able to--preferably one who specializes in family law and child custody disputes. Having a good lawyer--they are out there and ready to help you--will take a lot of stress out of your life.
Make the move for full custody.
Being quick and resolving the case early is key to having things turn out the way you want them to. Right now, your ex is in a halfway house. He has a lengthy, violent and drug-filled rap sheet. He'll be lucky if you are not able to terminate his parental rights completely. If he was so absent before, a judge won't look to him for any type of overnight visitation. As far as the court is concerned, he has little, if anything, to do with your daughter's well-being. On the contrary, they will probably uphold the case that he poses a potential threat to her.
The man is powerless.
Stay calm. Stay sane. You already have temporary custody. Lawyer up!--(if you haven't already). Get ready to receive full physical and sole legal custody of your daughter, and once you have it, ask for the sun, the moon and the stars regarding visitation. It should be left to your own discretion when and how he sees your daughter. The court will probably see no reason to change things, if he already gets to visit her. You'll likely settle out-of-court.
So that's Hard Ball.
By the way, when is your next court date, if they have set one?

Jenny - posted on 06/30/2014

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Keep doing what you are doing. Three years of her being with you and you only is a positive for you and her. She doesn't know her father and that is hard to push on a child at her age. Hang in there stay positive and keep us posted.

Jenny
Mother and Co Creator of
www.brokenfamilysolutions.com

Jaclyn - posted on 06/30/2014

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I so very much appreciate all of the feedback! I feel as if my nerves are calming again. I always knew these days would come eventually, but I genuinely did not think I would feel this rough due to his past.

Jaclyn - posted on 06/30/2014

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I'm sorry if I've made unclear.. I will not be accepting any unsupervised visitation on my own terms... I am concerned how the judge will rule with his newly found morals. I am just nervous there is a chance.

Jenny - posted on 06/30/2014

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I have to agree with Caitlin. Your daughter is 3 years old, I can't imagine any courts saying he can have visitation with out supervision. His background is very unstable and children need stability! Try not to worry ( I know easier said then done ) but when you are in a situation that you can't control, you need to take your energy and put it towards what matters, your daughter. Hang in there and keep us posted!

Jenny
Mother and Co Creator of
www.brokenfamilysolutions.com

Jessica - posted on 06/30/2014

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Honestly the way his background is I wouldn't let him near her unless he wants to see her in your care ONLY...The court would look at you like not a very smart woman if u let your daughter stay with this type of guy, daddy or not. Supervised visits only, get a dash cam or any kind of camera and video tape it. I swear to the video taping, I was with my exs while he had my kids and since he knew every cop in town I got screwed...Just make sure u have one. I doubt he'll come all that way, but people surprise you. and if u don't want him at your house, that's cool too, make it a public place where u have people u know n trust who can stand by and watch...He takes her no where.

Jaclyn - posted on 06/30/2014

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I am located in North Carolina, he in Minnesota. My record has been relatively clean apart from a few seatbelt tickets I'm not proud of, and Noelle has a great home life- a wonderful schedule that I have worked on diligently to perfect. What worries me the most is that throughout this process I have encouraged him to find the Lord and try to wean out the negatives in his life. After the past two years of me trying to explain to him how good his life could be, I feel like I can't distinguish between if he is genuinely attempting to do the correct thing or if it is disguise. He has enrolled himself in a Christian halfway house, got a job, and now there is talk of him coming to see her within the next few months ahead. My previous perception of him is that he is a master of manipulation, so I am left at a loss what the true nature is and very concerned as to how a judge will rule. With that the issue still remains, she is just not at a level of maturity to be taken out of my reach and I'm nervous with all of these new developments that there may be hope for him. It's not that I don't appreciate and am grateful for him attempting to do the correct thing. It's just that when we become adults we make decisions, and sometimes those decisions change the rest of our lives forever. He had 9 months of my pregnancy, 6 months after she was born, and another 6 months after we had moved to make a decision to be her father. And consistently he chose other directions. Like I said, I have left the doors of communication wide open, and completely respect him coming here to meet with her, but as far as leaving, as her mother, I feel for her emotional stability, and comfortability cannot accept.

For 22 years old, I feel like these are some of the hardest decisions I have ever had to face. And I appreciate so much every little bit of guidance.

Caitlin - posted on 06/30/2014

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First off, what state are you in? Second, regardless of the state, as long as your record has been nice and clean and you have a solid home life for her, it's safe to say that, legally he hasn't got a leg to stand on. Hold your ground and follow your instincts. Court is a lengthy and draining process for both sides, but the winner is often obvious from the start. From what you've disclosed, you seem to be the one on the winning side. I wouldn't be at all worried. Let him come to her, but seriously, don't for one moment think he'll dig himself out of the ditch. He doesn't seem to be safe. Don't let her go.

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