I am new to this website but have an important question to ask

Jenifer - posted on 04/29/2015 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I'll start with a brief history of my child's biological father and I's relationship. I had known him a week and got pregnant, so tried to make a relationship with him for the child's sake. While pregnant he was physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive. I don't honestly know what made me stay, but I did. He would leave for weeks/months then show up again, even after my child was born he did the same. When my little one was 3 months old be threw him across the room at me. He would also hit me while I was holding him, at 5 months he threatened to kill both of us so I went and got an order of protection for 2 years. After the op expired, which was a year ago, he didn't try to make any contact with me or my child. It has now been 3 almost 4 years since he has seen my oldest son and I have been in a relationship for the last 3 years with the man who my son knows as dad. The biological father now wants to take me for joint custody. My question is does the biological father have any rights to my child and will he be awarded visitation rights? I am scared that he will get some kind of rights to my child, I am only trying to think of the best interest of my child since he does not know his biological father.

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Raye - posted on 04/30/2015

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Since the father seems to be willing to go to court to see his kid, then you should tell your son. Don't go into the whole history of what actually happened. Keep it simple. Just say that there are many different kinds of families. Some have a mommy and daddy together, and sometimes the mommies and daddies are not together. Sometimes the mommies and daddies who are not together love other people who become step-mommies and step-daddies. The man he knows as daddy is his step-daddy. His real daddy couldn't take care of him when he was a baby, and it was better for mommy to raise him with someone else who loves both mommy and son. But now, his real daddy wants to see him, and arrangements are being made for him to meet his real daddy. Ask him how he feels about it. Tell him it's okay to be scared, or happy, or whatever he's feeling. Be calm and positive when answering any questions your son has. If you can show him you're not upset about it, then he will be more reassured and less afraid of the new situation. If you have a picture of the father, maybe he would like to see that before meeting him.

Raye - posted on 04/30/2015

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Jenifer, the judge will listen to what you have to say, and if you have any evidence they will consider that. However, what happened between you was 4 years ago, and the judge will have to also consider anything the man has done to straighten out his life.

There is a very good chance that some kind of visitation will be granted. Ask for supervised visitation by a third party that can be objective in watching the interaction between the father and child. That will be temporary for him to prove he can handle the child. Then it will probably go to a few daytime hours, unsupervised. Have a conversation with your son when he gets back from these visits to see if everything went okay. Don't interrogate your child on every little thing, but be interested in how things went. If that goes well, it will progress into the standard visitation of every-other weekend. Here's where you'll really see if the father wants to remain involved. If the father is still interested and keeping his visitation, then it could go to 50/50, if he wants to take it that far.

The more calm and reasonable you can be, the better this situation will be. It will look better for you in the eyes of the court. It will show your ex that you're not allowing him to rattle you. And it will be better for your child that his mommy is not stressed out and angry.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/29/2015

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Well, you have rights, do you not? He had the same sexual encounter that you did, and contributed 50% of the child's DNA, and determined the sex of the child.

Yes, he's got the same rights as you do. If you didn't want him involved with you, you shouldn't have jumped in the sack with him, IMO.

If you don't have records of abuse, then you can't claim abuse against you. If you don't have police records of when they were called to your home, or when you made reports, you cannot use that against him.

And, yes, there's every chance a judge would eventually grant joint custody to him. Most of these situations start with supervised visits so that they can get to know each other, and graduate into the joint thing if there is no danger to the child. And, again, he's got just as much right as you do to be a parent.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/29/2015

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Short answer: Yes he's got the same rights you do. If you have proof of abuse (police reports, hospital records) than you may submit those to the courts to request supervised visits.

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Jenifer - posted on 04/30/2015

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Ok I will try that approach with him. I'm trying to come to terms that he will more than likely get visitation of some kind, but it is very hard for me to realize this because it is not what I want to happen. I knew I would eventually have to tell my son everything I was just hoping that I wouldn't have to until he was a little older. But I guess there will really never be a good time for this conversation, I'm just going to have to do it. Thank you for your advice! It really is much appreciated!

Jenifer - posted on 04/30/2015

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Ok I will try my hardest to be reasonable. I have been pretty good about not showing him that he is getting to me. I don't want him to think he is bothering me in any way, even though it really is. Thank you for giving me that advice, and I will try my hardest to be reasonable. So another question, since he will more than likely get visitation, should I tell my son about all this or wait until we see what happens in court to explain things? I'm conflicted on how I should approach this with him because he is so emotional and I know it will crush his view on everything, so I want to be as honest as I can be, while also trying not to change the way that he looks at me. Basically I don't want him to think of me as this huge liar and that I am the worst person in the world for not telling him the truth.

Jenifer - posted on 04/30/2015

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Shawnn I understand what you are saying, I know that if I didn't want the chance of having a baby with him then I should not of opened my legs, trust me I get that fully! But in my opinion it takes a lot more than contributing DNA to have a child. And that is all this man has done. He hasn't once tried to see my child, only complained that the child support was to much, because he now has 3 children by 3 different woman. I have never pressed the issue for him to be in his sons life, but once I mentioned someone else adopting him that's when he changed his mind about everything. So you don't think a judge will look at all the past situations that have happened?

Jenifer - posted on 04/30/2015

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Thank you! Your reply was very encouraging! I am going to try everything in my power to stop him. I know he has some rights but I'm just hoping the judge sees how he really is. He wanted to sign his rights away and then as soon as I got the lawyer to start the process he changed his mind. My fear is exactly what you said, if he couldn't handle a crying baby, how can he handle a almost 4 year old who back talks? I talk to the lawyer tomorrow so hopefully I can get something done!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/29/2015

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OMG how horrible! I really hope that all the abuse he has inflicted on you and your son was reported. Even if it wasn't, you have some sort of documented violence at least to you if you had an order of protection for 2 years right?

I would get yourself a very good lawyer to help deal with this properly. Don't do it alone. This man sounds very scary, and if he is willing to throw a defenseless infant across the room, what will he do to a child that is into everything, and can be defiant? I am so sorry that you both have gone through such horror, but you survived. You can do this.

Unfortunately he does have rights. Now it is time to do everything in your power to stop him.

Good luck love.

Jenifer - posted on 04/29/2015

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So even though he has made no attempt to contact me until here recently he has all rights? I understand that he can take me to court and what not but will a judge grant him partial custody? I do have police records of some of the events but every time I called the cops he claimed he was going to hurt himself. So instead he was just taken to the hospital to talk to a psych doctor.

Raye - posted on 04/29/2015

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Yes, he has rights. if you did not set up custody/visitation when the baby was born, he can choose to make a case of it now. As Shawnn stated, you need police reports and/or doctor records to show that he was abusive and try to limit his access to the child. But the court will decide what they think is best for the child. A lot can change in 4 years.

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