HELP WITH CUSTODY AND RIGHTS

Elle - posted on 08/11/2015 ( 26 moms have responded )

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Okay, so here is the deal! My husband and I are trying to get a divorce and have been trying for over 18 months. I have moved on with life and live with my fiance now who is in the military. He just received orders to move out of state. I moved in with my fiance 6 months into our relationship because he had a room for my daughter and a stable home for us all. My Fiance and I have a 6 month old together and I finally got the money to get my divorce filed. I know this sounds terrible but it is what it is. I have had my daughter since day one. And have never refused any visitation to her father. He comes and gets her MAYBE 1 weekend a month. Here she has a stable home, her own room, her toys and all her clothes. When her dad comes to get her we pack her a bag like a weekend visit. But now that I have mentioned that we are planning on moving out of state and getting the divorce done. He is saying he is going to take my daughter from me and I can only have visitation. And if its up to him I can't see her again. And that if I do move he will call the police on kidnapping charges. He has bounced around 5 different jobs in the past 2 years, got a DWI and is currently on probation with that. And he is living with friends. Do I have a legitimate case? Can he take my daughter away from all she has ever known? What do I do? I am suppose to speak with an attorney tomorrow but would like some answers before then I am so shaken up over this.

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Jodi - posted on 08/14/2015

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We are writing to you because you aren't giving Elle good advice. Moving without the permission of the other parent or the court is not a good idea because it "could" be seen as parental alienation. You "could" be accused of the same thing if your ex decides to pursue it too. So don't go around advising people it is okay to do.

Raye - posted on 08/14/2015

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Bryony, you talk about protecting the child, then think about this... if you have no legal custody order, the police will not help you. The father could come and steal the child from you, and the police could do nothing because there's no court order to enforce. The child would be hostage by the father for as long as it would take you to go through the courts to get the child back (assuming he isn't in hiding with the child by that time). The child is 50/50 yours and his, so it would be your word against his on what your personal agreement was for custody. The police won't give a shit in that dispute and will leave you to fight it out. That's how people get murdered. If there's a court order, then everyone knows what their rights are and are less likely to create a serious domestic situation.

We are trying to help by telling people to have custody ordered by the court. That way there is legal protection for you and the child. But if you want to stay on your high horse and preach about things that have no legal grounds, go right ahead. Nobody ever said you were wrong for removing the child from a bad situation. We only said to make it legal so it wouldn't come back to bite you in the ass.

Jodi - posted on 08/14/2015

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I don't think it is EVER a good idea not to have court orders for custody and visitation, but that's your choice. I sincerely hope it doesn't backfire on you, like it does to many. That isn't sarcasm, that is genuine sincerity. Unfortunately, many people do decide not to pursue it and it turns around and bites them in the ass years later.

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Sarah - posted on 08/15/2015

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Wow, I missed a great debate...Young single mothers, every one here knows you want your kids to be safe, health, and happy. No where in any of the posts do I read anything but support for your desires. Just advice to do it the legal way, no matter the cost. Remember that you created a child with another person, simply because you don't THINK he is good enough to parent, does not make it so. Is it true in many cases, sure. Do many well intentioned, motivated and loving fathers get refused their opportunity to parent? Yes. Follow the law, get the court order and you have nothing to argue about. At least until your children are grown and want answers as to why they do now know their dads.

Sarah - posted on 08/15/2015

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Wow, I missed a great debate...Young single mothers, every one here knows you want your kids to be safe, health, and happy. No where in any of the posts do I read anything but support for your desires. Just advice to do it the legal way, no matter the cost. Remember that you created a child with another person, simply because you don't THINK he is good enough to parent, does not make it so. Is it true in many cases, sure. Do many well intentioned, motivated and loving fathers get refused their opportunity to parent? Yes. Follow the law, get the court order and you have nothing to argue about. At least until your children are grown and want answers as to why they do now know their dads.

Bryony - posted on 08/14/2015

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Thank you I will keep that in mind and consider taking it to court in the future after all we will eventually want to take our family overseas and as you said the only way to do so is court. Thanks and sorry if I seem snappy losing my mind a little with a newborn and no sleep.

Bryony - posted on 08/14/2015

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Jodi please read my post to Raye I agreed legally is the best way to go in most cases. However mine is a little more complicated so please one more time keep your opinions about my family to yourself you have absolutely NO idea about my situation. To Elle I really hope it works out for you I only tried to share as I thought you might feel less alone and meant no harm by my post, I only joined this forum as a struggling mother with another newborn who is just looking to talk and I truly hope everything works out for the best for you and your family. Best wishes.

Bryony - posted on 08/14/2015

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Maybe give Elle some of that positive advice I'm not seeking any advise I have done all the lawyer shit, my Aunty works in the family court and my step father is a police officer so I've been very well informed. All that matters is that you just try and give your child the best chance in life. My child will have the opportunity to know her father as soon as she can understand but as I said while she has no voice someone needs to protect her from harms way, her father sure as hell isn't. I really hope people stop writing to me Elle needs the support, obviously that's why she's written on here.

Jodi - posted on 08/14/2015

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Bryony, just be aware, too, that if you don't have court orders spelling out custody and visitation, your ex can object to any decisions you make about education, medical, and so on, at any point in that child's life he chooses. So 5 years from now, he might suddenly decide he wants to opt in and refuse entry to a particular school (yes, you have to get the biological father's permission for some schools), or refuse you permission to get a passport for your child (yes, he can do that - regardless of arrangements you MUST get permission from a biological parent to travel overseas). All he has to do is file an objection (it doesn't cost $4k to file) and you can't actually do anything until it is either mediated (free) and agreed, or heard in court (and it doesn't cost $4k to take to court if you choose to represent yourself, which he could do if he chose).

Hence the advice to get actual court orders - it is also protection of your custody of the child in the future.\

Also, just remember, supervised visitation is available if you are concerned for your child's safety. Every child has a right to make up their own mind about their biological parents, so it doesn't have to be black and white, you can request supervised visitation. But moving without permission of the father or the court may result in losing full custody....yes, even in Australia. If you moved without the father's permission and he decided he wanted a relationship with his child he has the option to file to have the child returned to the location you moved from. Not saying he would succeed in your situation, but plenty have. He can't file for YOU not to move, but he can file for the child to be returned.

Bryony - posted on 08/14/2015

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Look fair enough in most situations you are completely right, just mine is a little different. Your completely right I should not get on my high horse it's just been a long hard road of constantly having to defend my self and my decisions so apologies for jumping the gun. By all means women need to protect their children and themselves in any way possible and legally is the way in this day and age. You certainly want to cover all grounds if needed.

Bryony - posted on 08/14/2015

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I'm not on here to looking for your opinion. Why would I take it to court when the father hasn't contacted me since I moved? Please don't talk about my frame of mind you really have no idea of the person I am. I don't know if your Australian but the amount of domestic violence and murders are rapidly rising with fathers/ex partners or hubby's being convicted daily In my case he is a convicted drug dealer and an abusive person who had me terrified for a very long time, as I said in my post I tried to give him the opportunity to have a relationship with my child but bringing her home with meth on her arm is not on, If you would willingly put your child in that situation with someone who is out of his own mind then I'm sorry but I think that makes you an irresponsible mother. Raye I actually came on here to offer this women some support so she doesn't feel alone, not to be criticised by someone who has no idea about me or my situation. Please keep your opinions about my family and this poor women's family to yourself unless you can offer her some positive advice. She obviously is seeking help!!!!

Raye - posted on 08/14/2015

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Bryony, we're not saying that she doesn't have a legitimate case against the father, we're saying that she needs to go to court to make it legal. If you have spoken to a lawyer, and acted according to their advice, then that's one thing. But just to say the "the child is mine and you can't see it" is not legal. You are too close to the situation and have all the built up anger toward the father, you're not in the right frame of mind to know what's best for the child. If you're so right, then go to court and make it legal so there's no risk of losing your child down the road if the father takes it to court.

Bryony - posted on 08/14/2015

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By the way you have a ligit case a stable home always wins. Trust me I know and he can't call the police my ex tried that one when we left and he has to go through family court which costs around 4 grand to get a recovery order. My lawyer has advised me to not send my baby there anymore as it's only causing her more harm. I wish you all the best. Mum to mum seriously try to not let it get you down everything is going to work out just the way it's supposed to. 😊

Bryony - posted on 08/14/2015

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Hi there I'm writing from Aus as I almost felt like I was reading about myself. I have a two year old and my ex left me when I was pregnant as he went down a bad road of drug dealing and drug abuse, full blown meth head now but when I had bubs I thought I'd do the right thing and stay living where he was even though my family were all at the opposite end of the country and begging me to get away from him, but not long after my first was born I met my now fiancé to whom I have a second bubba with. We met living in the same apartment block and fell inlove he was there for me and was more than willing to step into the father role with my first. He also wasn't from that area and was very keen to take me and my daughter away from the unstable life my ex was leading. One time the ex bought my daughter home with a large meth rock on her arm, he used to take her to motels with his crack head girlfriend and do god knows what. So when my baby got to 12 months enough was enough and we risked it all and just took off, even though him and his family had been threatening to take me to court from the day I had my bub, which really takes away from enjoying your child. For the whole year so many people would say "he is the father he has a right to see his child" well I say bull crap now!!! No way is anyone ever going to do physiological damage to my daughter father or not and until she is old enough to make some decisions then I will make what I believe is best. I was that little girl and my mum made me see my mentally abusive father because of people telling her that " he is her father he has a right" and I am still seeking councilling if I could go back and never know my dad and just have my step dad I wouldn't hesitate for a second. So my advise to you is only you know the best interests of your child none of these women on here can judge you because they aren't you and even though a court can rule against don't ever forget you are the only person who knows what's best for your child. At the end of it all you will win because if he's a useless as he sounds he doesn't stand a chance against a fantastic mother and step father with a beautiful home. You are doing the right thing for you and your family. Remember only you know the best intrests of your child!!!!!!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/13/2015

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"But we'll be moved before he can get the paternity test done".

VERY adult of you, my dear. I sincerely hope that, once he proves his paternity, he fights you tooth and nail for every single thing. You were coming across as fairly mature and understanding of things, but now you're just coming across like any other 'baby momma'...The kid is MINE, and he has to deal with ME and MY TERMS before he can have any access...

I'm truly sorry that you can't understand that he's got rights as well, whether you like it or not.

Raye - posted on 08/13/2015

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If you have spoken with a lawyer, then you know what the law is in your state. You may act according to his counsel. The father can still take it to court and be granted rights.

Gena - posted on 08/12/2015

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Ella please don't flag posts just because you don't agree with the advice you are getting from others.
Gena W. WtCoM Mod.

Elle - posted on 08/12/2015

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And to me there shouldn't be a reason for him to protest the move. He will see his daughter the same amount of time as he does now. And the best interest of the child is with me the mother. Mothers Pros- We have the stable household with her own room and space to play, we have medical benefits that her father does not receive or obtain for her, we have Pre- K Programs with all the children at the military base, she will have her college paid for, and receive a lot more benefit from the move then staying with her father in Arkansas, there is a child's savings program that our family has signed up for her, she has a yard to play in with her dog and her swing set, has a great father figure for a role model her sister is here. Cons of mother- Living with fiance, moving out of state, military moves. Pros to living with father- establishing a bond between father and daughter. Cons- Living with her fathers "buds", being in a home where there is smoking and drinking on a daily bases, meeting different girls all the time, sleeping in the same bed as her father, not having her own room, no medical coverage, not knowing if he will have the money to pay utilities because he bounces around from job to job. I am just stating I am all for fathers rights. When the father is in the right. But in this case I do believe I have made the best decision for my daughter and I.

Elle - posted on 08/12/2015

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No, I have been trying for over 18 months. Its been almost 4 years since we have been separated. He has around 3 girls at all times. So in my opinion I am no worse than him. Only difference is there has been one man in my life since.

Elle - posted on 08/12/2015

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Correct. But we will already be moved before he can even get the paternity test done.

Dove - posted on 08/12/2015

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You've only been trying to get a divorce for 18 months and you have a 6 month old w/ another man already? Am I the ONLY one that got caught up on that part? You sure move fast....

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/12/2015

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Ok, I get it. The only reason you were told that he currently has no rights is becasue paternity is not proven. Once it is, he DOES have rights, and that will include the right to protest the move.

Elle - posted on 08/12/2015

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I spoke with an attorney today. As of right now he has no right to tell me that I can't move nor can he stop me from moving. All he can do is take the paternity test, and ask for visitation. I plan on still giving him the same amount of time he has now. Just relieved to find out that I can move into the house we have already purchased.

Elle - posted on 08/12/2015

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I spoke with an attorney today. As of right now he has no right to tell me that I can't move nor can he stop me from moving. All he can do is take the paternity test, and ask for visitation. I plan on still giving him the same amount of time he has now. Just relieved to find out that I can move into the house we have already purchased.

Jodi - posted on 08/12/2015

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To be fair, your ex has a right to be upset. You are planning on taking his daughter away from him by moving. That will potentially interfere with their relationship. He could very well file to stop you moving until you have court orders that state you may move. Can you still provide the visitation he is currently getting? If so, then it is highly likely you will be permitted to move.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/11/2015

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Just be calm and follow through with the attorney. If there are grounds, they'll help you get terms that will allow your child to know her father, but keep things on the level and safe for all.

You're doing fine. Don't be stressed about it. This is the best way to handle it, I promise.

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