i need advice

Caroline - posted on 12/19/2011 ( 51 moms have responded )

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my boyfriend and i have a 1yr old daughter.she is my world.me and him just broke up and he moved back to his home town connecticut and my daughter and i live in california. her dad has been asking when can she come out there to visit him..i have no problem with it but i am afraid of him not bringing her back or filing for custody.but then i think he wouldnt do that. but then i thought he would never leave.i dont kno what to do. i also dont want to keep my daugter from knowing her dad?

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Kelina - posted on 12/20/2011

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file a custody agreement, set up a skype account, set up a time where he and your daughter can talk to and see eachother every couple of days. make sure he knows you want him to have a relationship with her but you want to get all the details worked out first and in the meantime he's welcome to come visit and you can video chat lots so he's not missing out.

Tinker1987 - posted on 12/19/2011

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File a court order on mutual basis,it doesn't have to be nasty but its to protect you both.i think one years old might be a bit small to be away from the mother to long in my own opinion. especially if she isnt used to being away from you.

Jodi - posted on 12/19/2011

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You need to talk to a lawyer. It sounds like you have no court orders, so yes, your ex could very well not return her and file for custody and would be legally within his rights. The two of you need to discuss this issue and file court orders for custody and visitation. As I said, best to get some legal advice on that.

Shawnn - posted on 12/20/2011

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Get a legal agreement in place before you do anything. Plus, since she's only a year old at this point, he needs to come visit at your place. Or he can pay to have you both flown to visit him. But, under no circumstances do you let that baby out of your sight without a custody agreement in place. You should already have one, if he's the biological father, and he's paying support...

Jodi - posted on 12/29/2011

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@ Cherease, that is YOUR case and YOUR situation. In most cases, believe me, the judge will order that the kids will go. I suppose it does depend a bit where you live. Some states and some countries are more progressive and accepting of the need for the child to have a relationship with both parents from a relatively young age.



Besides, as the mother of your children, shouldn't you be encouraging dad to have more of a relationship with their young children than the few hours of scraps you throw them?



Right here and now I will say it utterly disgusts me that some women try to control the relationship with the father in such a way that visitation may only be with the mother present, and may only be for a few hours. Jesus, let the man have a relationship with the kid without you around all the time!!!



Admittedly, in this instance, the father shouldn't have moved so far away if he REALLY wanted a good relationship with his daughter, but it is still perfectly possible for him to have one if the mother is open to discussing it.

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51 Comments

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Threenorns - posted on 05/17/2012

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since he moved away, courts would probably rule that it's his problem to arrange to see her. she's only a year old - unlikely a judge would think it's reasonable the child be taken out of state to see her father so dad'll probably have to bust his hump and come see her, even though it'd probably only be once a month, if that.



if you're feeling generous, offer a compromise and arrange to meet halfway between you.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 01/03/2012

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Like Jen said go to court and get a custody and visitation arrangement so you can actually have legal paperwork in case he doesn't return your daughter.

Also at 1 year old it's not fair to her to travel all the way across the country. If her father wants to see her, he should be willing to go there to visit.

Christine - posted on 01/03/2012

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I would try to out out with your Daughter & if you can't then since he is the one who moved then he should be the one to come out to you to visit. He should step up as a dad I make it a purpose in his life to visit her. I know money is always a problem when it comes to Travel but saving to see your daughter should become a priority. Again he is the one that moved.

Luan - posted on 12/31/2011

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You would know if he is capable of doing something like that by just knowing his personality and the way he carried himself in your relationship. Was he threatening to you at all, did he abuse you or constantly shout at you?? If he was a highly volatile person then maybe I would be thinking twice but if he always seemed caring and reasonable then I see no reason to suspect something untoward. Secondly as he moved away I think that visits should be shared. One time he makes the trip to you and then next time you to him....financially it is unfair for you to be paying for a trip to him all the time.
I would definetly be sorting out a Parenting Agreement - a legal one stipulating visitations etc. Perhaps until then he may need to be the one doing the visiting or having the visits with you in his presence. Do you both still get along to be under the same roof for a visitation period?? You have absolutely no right to keep them apart so as a mother you really need to encourage their relationship but do it correctly and legally through a solicitor or some sort of Legal Aid. Number one priority for you now is to get the Parenting Agreement in place so you both know what is expected of each of you. Hope this helps.

Milihka - posted on 12/30/2011

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Cherease your info on the law is not correct your judge missed a few steps or there were some things in your case that just arent being discussed on here which is every persons right but if we are gonna quote the law lets get it right. I know it very well!

Milihka - posted on 12/30/2011

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Jodi you are spot on I dont know where cherease got her information or what judge forgot the law and ordered such a thing but in every state I have lived in that just would not fly. Mothers you do not have more rights than the fathers do and what you consider age appropriation has nothing to do with anything. Judges have taken infants being breastfed by their mothers and have said tough give them formula!!!! You may not agree nor even like it but hogwash is hogwash I have dealt with it myself and its right there on the books for every state that the only time the courts will even consider not giving a father visits due to him being in or out of state is due to abuse of the child or sibling or a conviction of sexual misconduct involving a child so please dont listen to people spouting out what they think is correct when infact it is not! You go Jodi you know something about the law.

Cathy - posted on 12/30/2011

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Get some legal advice. Have some sort of paperwork written up. It isn't like you can put her on a plane and send her.

[deleted account]

Not out of state, but have to take a plane to get there and my son's first overnight visit w/ his father (that lasted for a week) was when he was 2.75 years old... his sisters were 9. Then they spent 4 weeks w/ their father when my son was 3.25. Now they are back w/ their father for a week and my son is 3.75.... Granted he DOES have his big sisters w/ him, but he was still breastfeeding for the first week visitation and the judge didn't care. His father is his father and they have a right to see each other.

My ex DOES have to pay for all travel arrangements and DOES have to accompany them on all flights til our son is 5 (the youngest he can fly as an unaccompanied minor), but he still gets those visitations. As much as I can't stand the man... my son loves his Daddy and I wouldn't want to do anything to take that away from him.

Ruthie - posted on 12/29/2011

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Caroline maybe you can suggest to your ex-boyfriend in coming to see his little girl, until she gets older?

You might want to speak with a childrens advocate to become informed on laws and etc. in your state.

Keri - posted on 12/29/2011

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maybe he shouldn't have moved so far away. Also, if you're worried he wouldn't bring her back, go with her. If you have custody of her, you should go with her in any case. I think she should know her dad, but it's kind of on him for moving.

Cherease - posted on 12/29/2011

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@ Jodi FYI the judge will deny overnights visits until the child is an appropriate age. It happened in my case when my own children were small. If you would know the law then just maybe you will get my point. The man lives outta town duh many states away . Ah for the record you cant judge me I am a parent that has delt with the same issue. An out of state dad...

Jodi - posted on 12/28/2011

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Except that this man is her FATHER. I'm sorry, but going to stay with dad for a few nights here and there is NOT the same as your child staying out overnight. Those are not words of wisdom, those are the words of someone who is not a parent who has ever been denied visitation. A judge in a family court will not agree with you that a child should not be able to do overnights with a parent until that child is six, short of there being abuse. It is the most ridiculous notion I have ever heard.



How would YOU feel as the MOTHER if the child's FATHER did this to you? How is the mother's rights more important than the father's?

Carol Jane - posted on 12/28/2011

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I can't think of a better explanation of why your daughter shouldn't go than what Cherease Dillon said. This mother has alot of experience . . . and wisdom.

Michelle - posted on 12/27/2011

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It seems that those who have been burned are too distrustful and those who have not been burned aren't distrustful enough. The reason we have a legal system and court orders are to help keep people honest. Maybe he is really a great guy, or maybe he's not. If you discuss child support and custody and reach an agreement that is put into a court order, it protects everyone. Again, I wouldn't send a 1 year old alone to Connecticut, and I don't even think you could if you wanted to. If you can afford to take your baby for a visit and it wouldn't be a hardship to you and her and you're that generous-spirited a person, then by all means make the cross-country trip, but I would be present throughout the visit. As for 'both parents have to be happy so it's ok that the father moved to Connecticut, leaving the baby in California,' I think that's a bit of a stretch. I wouldn't buy it that my dad couldn't be happy unless he was 3,000 miles away from me. I would think he's a douchebag for leaving me. Period. That's just me. I think that sending a child all over the country for state-to-state visits to see her father is unfair. It's selfish of the father and deprives the child of a continuous, physically present parent to help with all the myriad need she has on a daily basis. That's just how I see it.

Chris - posted on 12/24/2011

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I agree that you should not move because he moved. If I did that, I would have moved six times in five states because he moved wherever a woman would support him financially, doesn't pay his child support and bad mouths me to everyone because his son does not want to spend time with him at whatever woman's house he is currently living in.

Bonnie - posted on 12/24/2011

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They are not together anymore. He decided to move, why should they have to follow? And to a place where they likely know no one at that.

[deleted account]

That's absurd Judy. So because my ex decides to go play family w/ someone else I'm supposed to uproot my children and their entire lives... other family members, all their friends, their church, their school, EVERYTHING they know all because their dad couldn't make the choice to stick around and actually BE a dad?! I don't THINK so!

It is HIS responsibility to maintain a presence in the lives of his children. My only job is to not try and stand in his way when he follows the appropriate channels to maintain that contact.

When my ex left he told me that if I didn't let him take our girls he would take them anyway and never return them. Yeah, that sounds like a man thinking of his kids and their best interest. @@

I definitely don't think Caroline should stand in the way of her ex knowing their child, but a court order helps protect EVERYONE. I tried to make arrangements for my ex to see his kids here, but there was no way I was sending THEM to him w/out a court order saying when they could be there and when they needed to be here. It's just smart to have that.

Cindy - posted on 12/23/2011

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SO if he decides to move elsewhere once you move to where he is now, are you supposed to pick up and follow him again and again? That's crazy!

Krista - posted on 12/23/2011

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Yeah...that's not a very practical suggestion, Judy. The father's the one who made the decision to leave his daughter. Why should the mother uproot her entire life to chase him around the countryside? And it is the FATHER'S place to ensure that he actually IS a significant part of the family.

Jodi - posted on 12/23/2011

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So...the FATHER moves away, and SHE has to follow him? Are you kidding me? In that case, I'd better uproot my family and move interstate because my ex made a decision to move away. Wow......

Judy - posted on 12/23/2011

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You should take your daughter and move to Connecticut so she can know her father. When you have a baby with someone, this is a special committment and is very important to all 3 of you. It is your place to insure that the father is made to feel very significant part of this family.

Chris - posted on 12/22/2011

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You did not say if you have custody paperwork already. If you do and it gives visitation in CA and he relocates to CT, visitation as stated becomes void without court orders to change the out of state terms. Be very careful to not work something out without going through the courts. I got blasted by the courts when my ex tried negotiating a change with me without involving the courts. I had concerns that he would not send the child home (rightful concerns because of a lot of deceit) so I decided that I needed court paperwork. The judge blasted us for trying to change visitation without court approval. Without court approval, if there is a problem, they will be slow/less likely to act on the problem. It is best to always involve and attorney and get court paperwork.

Alicia - posted on 12/22/2011

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I would file for custody in your home state and send him papers to be there. If he doesn't show for court that will prove that it didn't matter to him. That would also give you sole custody and the only visits he would get had to be approved by you. And in your situation I would make him come to you for supervised visits.

Milihka - posted on 12/22/2011

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One more thing never think that because youre the mother that you make the rules and thats something you can hold over him because thats not just right and if he doesnt go along with the drama and the mess that comes with all of that your daughter will miss out on something she will really need. I also read where someone said he should move back why should you work with him he left? Well people have the right to leave and go where they want to but being that he wants to see his daughter he didnt leave her the only thing that ended was you and him. Dont end up being one of those women that cant seperate your personal feelings from whats best for your child thats part of the reason there are so many children out there with only one parent and theres nothing good about that if it doesnt have to be. The truest thing I read on here was dont let other peoples horror stories become yours before you even try search your heart and be positive but its silly to say he should move back you want your daughter to have two happy functioning parents and if he is happy where he is thats great be happy momma.

Carol - posted on 12/21/2011

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Be very, very careful! I agree with Jodi that you need to see an attorney. I have a very good friend who, a few years ago left her husband. She thought she could trust him and left the kids with him for his weekend. When it came time to get them back, he refused and at that point her only recourse was legal. They were both honest, Christian people, but he felt his agenda was the right one so the man she thought she could trust turned out to pull a fast one. The problem is, he could have trusted her. Sad. It's often the trusting person who gets burned. I would avoid a situation like that at all cost.



Even with a legal agreement or order in place, if he wants to take your daughter and face the risk, he can do that. It's like with a restraining order . . . it's only as good as the person the restraining order is against. Once he has your child with him, he's gone, along with her.



Whether you have a court order or not, if he sees your child, you should find a trusted friend or family member (not his) to monitor his visit, and you should stay with them. If he tries to leave with her, you have the power to keep her there where as the other person may not. (I don't know about legally but it just sounds logical to me. Whoever monitors the visit should not be a girlfriend but should be someone experienced a little in life. The person HAS to be able to say NO for you or with you if he wants to step out of the room or the house with your daughter. Find someone STRONG in mind and will to help keep your daughter safely with you and never let your child out of the room FOR ANY REASON.



I'm not advocating that he never sees her. I just think that until you have something legal and have stayed with them during the visits enough to KNOW you can trust him, you should err on the side of caution. Your daughter will thank you for it someday.

Kelly - posted on 12/21/2011

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I agree with Milihka. First I cannot begin to describe how important it is for your daughter to continue to bond with her father. Waiting until she gets older will make this more awkward for her and in the long run you want what is best for her. Maybe you could fly up as well. I'm not saying that would be easy, but when my ex and I lived in different states that is what we did until my son was old enough to go on his own. I wish you the best.



One more thing, if it will give you peace of mind, seek legal advice, but do not let anyone's horror stories be your story. You know this man and you know your circumstances. Horror stories will always abound. I remember when my parents divorced my mom gave me a quarter to put in my shoe so I could use a pay phone to call for help if he tried to kidnap me. Why? Because everyone filled her head with stories. Do what you feel you need to do, but remember you are holding a lot of cards that are going to impact your daughter. Do your best to keep her and her father in contact. We, as mothers, often have to make sacrifices in order to do what is right for our children. If you have an amicable relationship, it really may be best to just go along on these visits for a while and have him fly down to see her as well.

Milihka - posted on 12/21/2011

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Well im sorry to say I dont agree with some of the advice given. I have a fourteen year old and his father and I split when he was one. I understand your concerns but ask yourself if the shoe were on the other foot being that the child belongs to the both of you would you want to be kept away from your daughter? Its hard as a mother to be away from her child but you cant judge the situation based on the fact that he left you so now he cant be trusted. The question is is he a good father? If so she needs both of you infact what some people forget is when you start drawing lines in the sand without it being warranted between yourself and the other parent it creates problems that dont need to be there and in the long run end up not only hurting you but the child. Just a little food for thought I have been doing the stae to state visits for 13years and ive never had any problems.

Cherease - posted on 12/21/2011

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Hi Caroline,Your daughter is too young to be visiting any one for more than a few hours a day. The dad needs to visit when he can. I honestly think that you guys should wait until she is much older humm maybe like six years old, that way she can talk and she will be more comfortable being alone with him and his family. I am a mother of 4 ages 19,18,14 and 12 and I have never let my children spend nights with their dad until they were able to talk,bathe themselves,and make phone calls. Im old school and I beleive that children should know how to communicate effectively before they can stay the night out. This comment is more about your daughter,s safety. In time they relationship will develop. The dad needs to move back to cali to be closer why should you have to accommodate him. He left..

Mary - posted on 12/21/2011

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I have read the other post and they have given you some great advice seeking legal help protects everyone.

Nana - posted on 12/21/2011

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You may think that the fact that your daughter is yours and is with you means you have legal custody, but it does not. Unless you file for legal custody, he can come and take the baby and he has as much right as you do if he is listed as the father. Get it done right away.

N'Keesia - posted on 12/21/2011

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Speak with your daugher's father and a custody agreement and hire an attorney who will draft and submit the same to the Court, so it can be an officical legal document.

Michelle - posted on 12/21/2011

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Agree with the first post. In my state, NJ, when I divorced my husband I was told that I was not allowed to live in a state other than NJ because we had joint custody. I would have to have the father's permission. In a situation such as yours where you live 3000 miles away already it could be very tricky to share custody. Did the father leave California and move all the way to Connecticut and now wants to have you ship the baby to him? I don't think a court would look favorably on that for his request. I would NOT send the baby without a legal custody decision in hand. If I were in your shoes, this is what I'd say to him: I understand that you and I aren't together, but you decded to leave your daughter. The door is open whenever you want to come see her. I want you in her life. But she is too little to be traveling back and forth, she's just a baby. It's selfish to do that to her. We should discuss joint custody and work out a visitation schedule so you can be a part of her life.

Toni - posted on 12/21/2011

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Before I offer my advice, I need to ask:
Is your boyfriend's name on the birth certificate? I know that in several states, they will not allow you to put a man's name on the BC unless he has signed a paper accepting paternity, and that without his name on the cert, the courts will not do anything regarding custody. That is the first thing you will need to do, if he's not on it. It's a fairly simple fix: he has to get the form from the state vital records dept, sign it in presence of a notary, and send it back to the state. It may take them a week or two to return the new birth cert. Then you can go to an attorney ( or your local Legal Aid Society, if you want to file without a lawyer... They can help you with the paperwork) and file for joint custody with your home being the primary placement location.
A few considerations:
If you aren't interested in child support, you need to arrange to trade off or split the transportation costs. Flights are not cheap!
For the first few years, you'll have to accompany your child on any flights, so there's that added cost ( don't forget to add hotel costs, unless you're comfortable staying with him during the visit).
For now, until you have a visitation agreement in place, tell him you're fine with him coming back to CA to see her, but you cannot send her to CT. Legally, as well as emotionally, it just makes more sense that way.

I wish you luck, and a beautiful holiday season with your little one. :)

D'Nisha - posted on 12/21/2011

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If you are having doubts about him bringing her back for you're own sanity get legal help. Or you can have him come to Cali to see her, right now you are her sole provider 24/7 so you make the rules and guidelines as far as what you feel comfortable doing.

[deleted account]

As for flying as an unaccompanied minor... I don't know about ALL airlines, but I believe the majority have 5 as the minimum age. My ex had his first visit where he lives w/ just our girls (who were 8 at the time) and only had to pay for the unaccompanied minors fee (he's legally responsible for all travel costs), but now that our son goes.... my ex has to fly back and forth to get the kids until our son turns 5 (he's 3.75 right now).

Dawn - posted on 12/21/2011

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My advice, she is too young to travel, so use Skype or some other video calling service for now and file for custody. asap

Bonnie - posted on 12/21/2011

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Yes, you need to deal with this legally. As of right now, you are going on his trust only. That is not good enough. It could take a split secnd for him to try to do something in his favour.

Karrie - posted on 12/20/2011

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Either go along for the safety of her visit back to her dad's for a short visit or don't visit at all. Go with your gut feelings and research 'why' you are feeling so strong with this concern. If anything, write down the pros and cons to this situation and verify your concerns as they are supportted so it is logical not just an emotional whim...you can show support Vs. hypothetically speaking about your concern in other words. Miss Adams has a great point also...seek legal counsel and get their perspective on the matter...

Lynn - posted on 12/20/2011

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Absolutely, you need to go to court, and you can get help from legal aid on what and how to file for sole physical and sole or joint legal custody. One thing I didn't see mentioned was how he would get your daughter TO him for a visit. Whatever you do, Do NOT allow a 1-year old to fly without a parent-even if he pays the fee for the stewardess to watch her. I'm sure they don't offer that until she's much older, but make him come get her. You can have that written into your custody agreement.

When my husband and I moved to AZ from CA, his kids were 5 and 9, and we wouldn't have them fly without a parent. We all drove halfway and met for lunch every visitation (4-5 times per year). A few years later, we started having them fly, only non-stop flights and we met them at the gate. We split the transportation costs where we would each be responsible for one round-trip travel either coming or going. We could chose to drive the whole way, or pay for the flight. We always had them fly because 8 hours of driving in one day, then back again a week or two later wasn't okay with me. Their mom often chose to drive them on her turns.

Just something you may not have thought of yet.

[deleted account]

Get a court order (the 2 of you can work one out together) that specifies custody and visitations. You may not think he would keep her and he MAY not, but people frequently change in divorce/break ups and do/say things you NEVER thought the person you got together w/ would do/say.

My ex promised me many, many times that he would always love me and never leave me... no matter what. Yeah, well.... I've been on my own since our 3.75 year old son (third child) was born.... and that was the LEAST of his lies.

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