Can my daughter's father take her from me?

Monica - posted on 06/16/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My daughter has lived with me since birth, her father and I have never been to court, he is on her birth certificate. We live in Illinois, my daughter had an accident while visiting with him. She was left in the care of his girlfriend and fell off of the bed and smacked her face on a weight lifting bar that was placed next to the bed. This is not the first injury she has received in her care but it is her first trip to the ER. As a result she had to have surgery to remove four teeth that were shoved up in to her gum. She is doing fine now, and healing nicely. I had to pay for the speaciaiist, she has all kids insurance so that paid for the surgery itself. I told her father that she was not going to spend the night for awhile, and then he exploded. I had spoke to my daughter, before her surgery and she was the one who asked me if this was ok. I was not going to stand there and allow her father and his girlfriend to verbaly attack me so I told him to get a lawyer. I live with my mom and have had to go on food stamps in the past. I am looking for work, and do odd jobs that I can find to provide for my daughter. Is there any way I can lose my daughter? Please help, I will do anything to provent this.

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Tricia - posted on 06/21/2012

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From our experience its very hard to get a child away from his mother. If there is any siblings its almost impossible. He does have visiation rights. The only good thing about going to court is that you can get money from him for child support and possibly past child support. You can also get him to pay for daycare, you can get him to pick up and drop off during visitaion and help with those doctor bills. We live in Il too. You have to write down everything. Meaning all the bad stuff that happens, when he doesnt visit, when he pays and doesnt pay, ect. Too much info is better than not enough. You would have to be a really bad mom to loose your child and even then its hard. Dont worry about not having money, it doesnt really matter. Odds are you will get joint custody with your girl living only with you but he can visit her regularly. And if he doesnt pay you after you get everything settled you can get him thrown in jail. Good luck, I hope that helps.

Carol - posted on 06/17/2012

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The question is does he support your daughter. The best thing is to get legal advice. More than one injury in their care needs to be investigated especially such a severe one. Might well be an accident but in your daughters best interest should be ascertained and cleared first. Rather do it legally - get custody arranged then there are no grey areas. So if he does take your daughter and not return her it would be kidnapping. A child needs both parents and it is best to ensure that this is done without the child been traumatized. So get a legal opinion and do it the right way for your daughters sake.

Dove - posted on 06/16/2012

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If he's on the birth certificate and you have no custody order... you both have equal rights to her. Meaning that yes, you can refuse to let him take her, but.. he can also take off with her and it would be you fighting to get her back. Get a lawyer and get custody/visitation established asap. You've already pissed him off, so there's no telling what he will do next.

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Dove - posted on 06/16/2012

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Also... that sounds like a horrific accident for your daughter to go through and I'm so sorry it happened, but if she's old enough to have a conversation about not wanting to spend the night with her father... she's old enough that her falling off the bed most likely would not be seen as negligence in court. Accidents happen. Hopefully that also means that she's old enough that the court will take her wishes into consideration though.

Kelina - posted on 06/16/2012

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the other question is does your daughter not want to go back there for a while because she got hurt or for some other reason? And what was she doing on the bed that caused her to fall off with such force she required surgery? HAve you asked her dad for child support or help with the specialist bills since she was injured? Is he good about helping out with other things like clothes?

Kelina - posted on 06/16/2012

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Well this depends. How old is your daughter? If she's over six and he takes you to court, you can see about having a delegate appointed for your child who will talk to her and help figure out whats in her best interest. If she's over twelve, generally her opinion will be taken into account in court. However, this is only if he takes you to court. Like Dove said, at this point, if he decides that he wants to have custody of her, all he has to do is take her and not give her back. But even in court, there's a good chance that he may get joint custody. If he works, has stable employment, housing and is in a stable relationship, that all looks good on paper, so you'd be trying to prove that he's an unfit parent.

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