Should I deny access to bio dad? Will a judge understand? Legal issues...

S&S - posted on 01/01/2013 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I’m having issues deciding whether or not to let my ex have access to my 3-month old baby. This is a long story so I will try to make it as short as possible.
During my pregnancy he left me and spent the whole time doing cocaine, binge drinking and partying, to the point where he couldn’t work.
He started dating my ex-friend, who is an ex because of her cocaine addiction.
Disowned my then unborn daughter and constantly emotionally, psychologically and verbally harassed me. At the beginning of my pregnancy he even grabbed my arm so hard he bruised it.
I thought I would do this on my own. His mother and family were supportive of me.
While I was pregnant, he was diagnosed with anxiety and bi-polar disorder. I gave him two chances to be more involved during my pregnancy and each one was short lived because he would just go and party again and disown the baby.
Once, was for the five-month ultrasound. The other was the birth, which was four days long and I was high on morphine, terrified and not thinking clearly. And he was great support. I now realize this was some kind of show. Biggest mistake ever.
The second we got home from the hospital he went out drinking. Since then I have been 100 per cent on my own.
I attempted to make a visitation schedule which he ripped up. Eventually he came for two visits which he yelled at me while holding the baby. Said things like, “your baby shit herself.” And disowned her in his arms. He also chased me into another room while she was in my arms and she peed right through her diaper while crying.
Then he started harassing me again ultimately resulting in three cop incidences at my house. I denied him visitation for three weeks as I didn’t feel safe with him. He is no longer allowed on my property.
Since then I have gotten temporary sole custody and have set up visits in a public place once a week for an hour.
She is three months and at one point he missed three visits in a row.
Now, he’s shown up at my house again last week. Taken her stroller away, which was a gift from his mother eight months ago. Harassed me and my entire family and even followed me into a café where I was meeting a girlfriend for coffee. He shows up in a different car in front of my house. He claims he was working next door and saw my car parked outside.
He has also posted photo’s of me in labor on his Facebook and many of our daughter after I expressed my opinion about not posting very many photo’s of our daughter on Facebook because I’m a very private person. I don't like to draw attention to our situation and thought it would be recipricol. One of the many ways of emotionally harassing me.
His family buys into his delusional logic and no longer speaks to me. They have only seen her once since she was six days old and that was because I was kind enough to stop by on Xmas. I have tried to be as accomodating as possible.
He is blocked from all my phones due to the ongoing harassment. He seems determined to make my life hell.
It’s been over a week since his last visit and I wanted other Mom’s opinions on if I should deny him access for a while or just say no more visits until this is dealt with in court.
I told him I would meet him on Friday with my friend present, but I am concerned that he’s escalating and will get angry with me while holding my daughter. And god forbid, snap while she is in his arms.
I want a restraining order as well.
The case he has against me is: Apparently, I'm a bad mother for going out for coffee while a family member takes care of her for an hour. He's convinced I was on a date and that makes me a bad mother, and that one of my family member's is unfit, (she's actually fully capable of babysitting. It's just we've had some fights about other issues pre-baby that have nothing to do with babies). Basically, all just him trying to intimidate me. I am a great mother and that was my first time leaving the house without her and she was in good hands. I would NEVER endanger my child.
I know judge’s frown on denying access and I want sole custody for as long as possible.
How should I handle this? Should I meet him in public this weekend with my friend? Or put it off for at least another week? Or cut all ties and deal with this in court?
I am also scared of his emotional outburst if I do deny him access another week. The stress on my household is drastic and I believe my poor baby can feel this. Will a judge understand this concept?
Advice would be very valuable right now.
Thank-you!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Evelyn - posted on 01/01/2013

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I can not answer for a judge. All I know is that if you do decide to go and take someone with you that will be a witness to his actions and words. And also protection for you.

Evelyn - posted on 01/01/2013

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You got to get some back bone. You can not let him get to you and I know this is hard. When my ex husband and I finally parted ways though we have kids together, the first year after we were divorced, he would have this hateful look on his face anytime we had to meet because of the kids. It scared me. And I have never been scared of a man before that. And there is only one other time I have been scared of a man since and that has nothing to do with this. Also, you need to show him you are not afraid. If you are taking a friend or relative with you, then you have a witness to how he acts and what he says. And then again, he might be on better behavior since there is someone with you.

Dove - posted on 01/01/2013

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Document EVERYTHING. I think I'd see about getting a temporary restraining order now.

Do you have a lawyer? If not... you need one. Talk to them and ask them for their legal advice on how you should proceed. If you have documented evidence of all this I don't 'think' it will make you look bad in court to temporarily deny access. Maybe get it in writing that you don't WANT to deny access, but that supervised visitation is in the best interest of your child and you need a court appointed supervisor since you are not safe around him.

I'm sorry. I'm not sure what else to suggest.

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Lisa D - posted on 01/03/2013

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This is why so many times you hear it said,chose who you lay down with wisely. People aren't going to like me, but both parents have equal access in a childs life unless there's physical harm. He can't cause any undue stress or harm to you unless you allow him to. So go to court and set up a visitation schedule that is workable for both of you. Good luck

Lisa

Ashley - posted on 01/02/2013

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laws are so messed up these days. that's just like where i am, if you call dfs, they wont do anything unless the child has been hurt already. it doesnt matter if they live with a sex offender, or even threaten to do things to the children, they dont do anything until it is too late and the child is already physically hurt or sexually abused. i think it is ridiculous.

S&S - posted on 01/02/2013

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The reason why I have to is because some judges view it as abuse to not let the bio father see their baby three times a week unless there is physical violence against the child. I disagree with this concept but I'm so fearful he won't get supervised visits that I have to be cautious. We do visits once a week, in a public place for an hour right now.
I live in Canada, so the laws are different. But I would imagine they would still be similar.

Ashley - posted on 01/02/2013

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if there is not a court order in place for his visitation, then you do not have to let him see her until there is. it wont look good on your part, but if you can prove he is unfit and a danger, then the judge will look at that also. i dont know where you live, but in my state, we can get a restraining order if someone is stalking us. you should go file for one even though your lawyer said you cant. the judge signing it might think differantly than your lawyer.

S&S - posted on 01/02/2013

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I just wanted to update you all. I spoke to my lawyer today and I have to do the visit this weekend, even though he's harassing me and causing my baby emotional trauma.
I can't get a restraining order even though he's obsessive, possibly stalking me and making my life a living hell because he's not threatening my life and hasn't hurt me or my baby.
Once he threatens to kill me and hurts me I can get a restraining order and then he will STILL have rights to visit with his daughter!
I didn't marry the guy for a reason. It disgusts me that someone like this can get away with such harrassments, because it is verbal and emotional. Something is wrong with this world... I'm bringing a friend with me on Friday. I'm so sick of being bullied. I feel sick to my stomach. I needed to vent. Thank-you.

Ashley - posted on 01/01/2013

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go get a restraining order immediatly. then, it can be dealt with in court and until then he can not contact you in any way, whether it be email, phone, or show up where you are at the time, and if he does he will go to jail. you need that to protect you and your daughter. and when you go in front of the judge for custody, you can show him the restraining order as well. good luck.

S&S - posted on 01/01/2013

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Thank-you so much for your input. That's the scary part about this all. My life and my baby's life is in the court's hands.
I have a lawyer and hopefully will discuss this with him tomorrow when he is back from holidays.
Everyone's opinion's are very valuable in this situation.

Evelyn - posted on 01/01/2013

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I have to agree with Dove. None of us here can actually tell you unless someone has been in your shoes. My situation is different than yours as yours is different from another person.

Dove - posted on 01/01/2013

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If there is no court order for access.... I'd wait and call the police if he shows up at your house. IF you do decide to give him access... do not go alone.

No one here can predict what your particular judge will or will not see. Even a lawyer who KNOWS a particular judge can not always accurately predict what a judge will decide.

Just do your best and GET a lawyer.

S&S - posted on 01/01/2013

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If I meet him will this impact me getting a restraining order? If I meet him could a judge view this as me not being concerned for my child's welfare around him?
If I don't meet him will a judge view me as controlling?
I don't know. I would think he would be on better behavior in public and because a friend is with me. But still, I don't want a the courts to view me as being a bad mother for endangering my child.

Ugh, this is so confusing!

S&S - posted on 01/01/2013

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Also, I do not engage in his weird behavior whatsoever. I ignore snide, threatening remarks and am very businesslike.

S&S - posted on 01/01/2013

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We didn't discuss visitation. He did not show up for court. I was too intimidated by him at the time to discuss it... There is no court order for access.

S&S - posted on 01/01/2013

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Your advice is so greatly appreciated. Thank-you.
I have been documenting everything. Emails and keeping a diary. I don't know if he's drinking or using drugs now, but I do know his behavior is not normal. He is not stable.
He is just so intimidating and has delusional logic that I'm scared a judge will actually believe. This will end up in court and we do need to get visitation in order because I cannot take this harassment.
I'm just so scared my decision on about access this weekend could affect my potential for a restraining order or worse, sole custody.
Would most people agree that I should not meet him this weekend? He says he's calm, but I can never be sure... Or should I meet him to prove I'm so extremely accomadating? But then am I setting a precedent that he is not a danger? I'm so confused about how a judge will view this...

Dove - posted on 01/01/2013

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*Since then I have gotten temporary sole custody and have set up visits in a public place once a week for an hour.

What does the court order say about visitation?

Evelyn - posted on 01/01/2013

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You just need to set custody and visitation up. No more playing games. You need to get proof he is doing the drugs and drinking. You need to keep a record of how he is with dates, times, things said, things done, and anything else you think is important to this case. You must also list any threats he has made to you. Until you have a custody set up and visitation set up you can't really do much.

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