Daughters Father never interested, now support is an issue and is pretending to care.

Brittani - posted on 01/21/2014 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughters father moved out of state(MI) when she was four months old. He left with his 3 older children to Colorado because he was running from a visitation order he had with the girls' maternal grandparents. Long story short, I filed for child support shortly after the move, he claimed he wasn't working (though he was), he got married, they now have another child. I was given SOLE/LEAGAL PHYSICAL CUSTODY. He's never once contacted me about our daughter. I received bankruptcy papers in Nov. 2012 from them. In Dec. 2012 I filed for a review as it had been 3yrs since our case was open, and I KNOW he was working. So, we had a hearing. He didn't return the paperwork to be on the phone. I went in alone and told the referee what I knew. I got the new order finding he was working and how much the support amount was being raised to. A month (April 2013) later he called and left me two irate voicemails stating if hes going to pay this amount that he WILL see her. Then in August I got papers saying he disagreed with the amount and they didn't send him papers(which they did) and that they didn't count his other children in the formula. The amount was lowered $150...big deal. I'm not after his money...completely. Then I got papers saying he wants visitation. He's only doing this because of the money. We had a hearing with a counselor. He talked the entire time...and lied...She wrote an order. I contested it. We had another hearing with a referee 3weeks ago. I received her recommendation the other day. She's ordering what was ordered in November by the counselor. THIS is CRAP! I know as her birth father he has the 'right' to have a relationship with her... but he's not doing it thinking of her. He thinks if he sees her, then he wont have to pay as much. The court is ordering he comes here a weekend in Feb, and spends 2 8hr days with her, then again in March, then in May or June he gets her for the weekend unsupervised. I don't want him in her life. I did at one point but now I don't. When shes older and can stand up for herself if she wants to have a relationship with him, then I will support her! But, to give him a chance I came up with a plan and offered it in our last hearing, and the ref seemed to like it, but then in the papers said it was crazy. I offered for him to see her supervised once a month for a yr, (that's 12 visits.) If he misses 2 consecutive months then the yr starts over, then supervised 6months in a public place (park, beach, etc.) then the next 6months he could introduce his wife and kids, then wed see how shes doing and talk about the next steps. He says hes financially stable, but then says he cant come here to see her... only 3times like the court is saying.
I am lost what to do. Do I let this order go? What if he doesn't show up in feb? Do I fight this order? If I do, we go to the judge. I don't currently have the money for a lawyer. Its been suggested to me that I offer him to pay x amount (to cover his arreage and a bit extra) and be done with all the support. Or to just tell him to sign off, and if he does (which I know he would-he did it with another child) he'll still end up having to pay, but wont be allowed to see her. ... If I have all the rights, what rights is there for him to sign off??? He is NOT good for her. She is so stable and happy, bringing him(and his family) into her life would be a bad thing. Shes too young to understand. Does anyone have any other information/suggestions? Thanks!

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Jodi - posted on 01/22/2014

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In addition to what Shawnn has said, I take real exception to you claiming that "That's not consistent. Its not going to mean anything to her." with regard to the proposed visitation. Your daughter is 4. It will mean plenty to her. How could you even KNOW what it will mean to her. She is old enough to remember who her father is and get to know him in that time. She is old enough to learn to be comfortable with him in that time.

With regard to continuing to fight it, I am not understanding why you would. You would be taking this into a long and expensive battle - whose best interests are being served then? You can't "prove" that he is just doing this because of the money. I understand that is your belief, but you can't prove it. Your little girl will be fine with the schedule that has been proposed. Eventually, you WILL probably have to let him take her with him back to his family for school holidays and such. It's probably time to start getting used to the idea that it won't always go your way, but that at least she has her dad in her life in some capacity.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/22/2014

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Well, like I said, you can fight all you want, but you may be seen as purposely throwing obstacles to visitation so that you don't have to comply. Which can be seen as an attempt at parental alienation.

The fact is, brittani, you do NOT get to make the decision on this one. The best interest of your child is the most important, and you deciding that "her life is perfect without him and his horrid lies and being treated like he treated his other children" is neither unbiased, nor in her best interest.

You claim he's wanting visits to reduce support amount. But, in your initial post, you indicated that he said "if you want support, I want to see my kid". That's not an attempt to reduce his responsibility, it's his rightful desire to see the child. You want support, he wants to see his child. Works both ways. Oh, and just so you understand, support and visitation are two separate issues, and are dealt with as such.

You ask "how is a relationship going to develop by putting her in a home...with people she doesn't know..." Honey, what you are proposing is to NOT develop a relationship at all. NOT OK. How is that relationship formed? By allowing the child to know her father, step mother and step/half sibs. THAT is how the relationship is formed...In other words, it's formed by doing EXACTLY what is stated. The child spends time with her father and family, forming a relationship.

Brittani - posted on 01/22/2014

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I understand what you both are saying. Maybe I didn't explain everything clearly.

By asking do I just let this go, I'm talking about the order... do I let it get signed by the judge or do I fight it? We're in the 21 day period.

The issue is, he's 'wanting' to see her because of the money he has to pay. He thinks if he sees her, it will get lowered. Seeing her 3times is not going to lower it. He is making it all about him, the visitation has to take place where he wants, where he's comfortable...not thinking at all about my daughter. This order is slightly different from what was ordered in November that I disagreed with, but its still absurd.

How is a relationship going to develop by putting her in a home where she's never been with people she doesn't know 3 times for 8 hrs each day, two days in Feb. 2 days in March. and then 2 days in MAY OR JUNE.... That's not consistent. Its not going to mean anything to her. Now, if it was going to be every month like I suggested, itd be slightly different.

Yes I know airfare is expensive. But I'm sorry, he's the one who moved. Not us. He was suggested to drive and not fly by the counselor we talked to in November. He thinks he has to come see her once, and everything will be peachy and then she'll go out there. The counselor finally told him that's not how its going to work, as they don't know eachother. He also was saying then (but its not in the order) that if he has to come her to see her, that I need to give him 1/2 the support back to him.. That is not right.. do you she how he is?? Are you getting the picture its all about the money? AND he admitted to the counselor that NOBODY here likes him. His own sister wont supervise the visitation. He's claiming now that him and his wife and their home have been cleared for foster care... can I get proof of that? I don't believe it for a minute. Yes he has 4 of his own children..but what about the other 2 that he stopped caring about without a second thought?(my daughter being one of them.) The only reason why he pretends to care about the 3girls is because of the SSI money he gets from their mother passing away.

Yes, looking at the situation as it is now, and knowing how he really is, I did make a mistake when I was younger. But I'm trying to make the best choices for my little girl now. And her life is perfect without him and his horrid lies and being treated like he treated his other children. That's why I left. I didn't agree, and didn't want that for my child.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/21/2014

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You most definitely do NOT "just let this go".

You were ordered to allow him visitation. You need to follow that court order, or risk going to jail, and giving him not only full physical and legal custody, but also permanent custody.

It does not matter if he shows or not. What matters is how YOU comply with the order. If he doesn't show, document it, and move to the next visit. If he doesn't show...document & move on...and so on. It is not your decision to make. You are not an unbiased party, therefore it will not BE your decision, but that of the court.

You cannot have your cake and eat it too, as the saying goes. You want his support, he gets visits. Simple as that.

And, I'm amazed that the orders don't state that you each either pay equally for the cost of the travel for the visits, or that you meet at a halfway point. You're complaining because he wants to see his child. Then you're complaining because the solution that you provided (he flys out one weekend a month for 12 consecutive months, then you'll "modify" it for another six, and then "modify" it again...You do realize the cost of airfare, right? You are the one fighting for support and fighting visitation, and essentially making his attempts at visitation be too costly...Do you see where you could be seen as obstructing visitation, and considered in contempt of court?

You don't know HOW this would affect your daughter, because you really have no intention of following through. But, in reality, you stand to completely lose custody if you don't.

Jodi - posted on 01/21/2014

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It doesn't matter what you want. It is ordered. You don't get a say. One weekend a month won't kill her, and at least she will be getting to know her father. In fact, one weekend a month won't destroy the stability and happiness. She deserves to get to know him so that when she is old enough she can make her own choices about him. Do you want to have to tell her when she is older that the reason she doesn't know her dad is that you stopped it? It's one thing if he never turns up or never initiates a relationship, but it is quite another if you stop it. Also, if you keep trying to stop it, he MAY be able to argue parental alienation - people lose custody altogether over that. You really don't want to go there.

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