Please help! Can an unwed single mother refuse father of child from taking him out of town?

Michelle - posted on 02/11/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi. I'm new to this website but I read posts and blogs all of the time!



I am a single mother of a BEAUTIFUL 18 month old boy! His father and I didn't establish paternity, but the father is on birth certificate (child has my last name). The father's family lives 2 hours away and never come visit. The father wants to take him out of town with out me to visit family overnight. My son has never had overnight visits yet and father has a bad habit of texting and driving (has gotten in wrecks because of it). Does he have the right to take him out of town with out my permission? Also, how should the overnight visits start? He's never slept away from home before. His father is active in his life. Any time he wants to see his son, I give him permission, unless plans have already been made. I dont want him on the road with my son because I don't trust him and it's too far if something were to happen. Please help! Thank you!

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Kelina - posted on 02/11/2012

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You know if you're comfortable with it, when you move might be a good opportunity for dad to take him overnight. That solves the problem of what to do with him while you're trying to get everything unpacked and if you can manage it in one day and night then bub's not so stressed because you're stressed and overwhelmed. Possibly you can approach his dad about it like a trial run. He keeps him overnight close to you while you move, and then if he does well and the two of you think he can handle it, another night while he takes him to his parents. But try to adress the driving and texting issues gently. He's going to have to drive with him sometime, you need to be comfortable with it.

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Michelle - posted on 02/11/2012

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Thank you so much! We are trying to co-parent the best we can without the court, but he can be extremely stubborn. It's almost as if he is more concerned about his rights as a father (having the right to have his son sleep over...) than what's best for our son. He has threatened me with a lawyer twice, but backed down the next day. It was just to scare me into doing what he wants. I wanted to start him off at one night and he got upset with me and told me that I'm "denying him his son and rights as a father". We are about to move (10 minutes away) and I know that is going to affect my son and I don't want to overload him with everything at once. Just want to take it step by step and see how he reacts to it and then go from there. Unfortunatly, he doesnt't see it like that. He gets mad everytime he says he wants him for a night and I tell him not yet (I want to wait until he is at least 18 months, which he is now). I don't think he realizes how good he has it. He is able to see his child whenever he wishes. I don't know many fathers who are in this situation that have that kind of visitation. I just want to do what's right and fair for my son.



Teresa - I am so very hurt that the first overnight vist was for a WEEK! That's harsh. Thank you so much for the sdvice. I truley appreciate it. I don't really have anyone I can talk to about this. Thanks again!



Sherri - Thank you so much. He would blow a gasket if I stopped it!! hahahaha....... Maybe that's what it takes to make him realize....lol

Kelina - posted on 02/11/2012

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I agree with Teresa, see about sitting own and hammering out a custody agreement. If you tell him no and he decides to take you to court over it then make a point of voicing your concerns to the lawyer. If he's been in wrecks his insurance will show it. Also, a two hour drive isn't the end of the world, there's no reason he can't make the drive there and back in one day as long as he's prepared the night before and leaves at a reasonable hour in the morning. Bub will probably just fall asleep on the way home anyways.

Sherri - posted on 02/11/2012

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Well you probably can stop it right now since there is no court order but if he takes you to court over it, you will have zero say as to what dad does during his visitation. It will be completely out of your hands.

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In many places if you are unmarried and there is no custody order... the father has no rights (though it would be easy enough for him to get them). My advice... let him know that you are open to overnights, but that you want to get a custody/visitation agreement in place to protect all of you (word this however you think it would be best received). You don't have to let a judge make the decisions. The two of you can sit down together (w/ or w/out a mediator) and work something out that is best for all of you and just get it notarized by the court.



As for how overnights should start... I believe one night close to home and work up from there is best. That was what I tried to get for my son through the court though and was denied (my ex and I do NOT have a working relationship at all... unfortunately). My son's first overnighter was a week straight at 2.75 years old (while he was still nursing, in fact). Thankfully he did very well, but he also has 2 big sisters that were there to help that he is extremely attached to.

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