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Hi, my name is nikki, i am 23, and i have a daughter who will be 2 next month, lilyanna. Her father and I were togetehr for 5 years and she was planned, but he started getting strange late in the pregnancy, then when she was 2 months old he moved out. That was in june. He had a few visits with her and then we kinda started trying to work thing out, in september, mean while we had a court order for visitation, 2 times a week and I was to go with her so she was comfortable, because she wasn't at all. So until feb, we were back together and spent quite a bit of time together, then went our seperate ways. The good thing is by this time she was comfortable enough to go with him, so we just stuck with the wed and sat visits, only i didn't go along. Things were fine, but he started taking her less and less, to the point of the 3 summer months he only took her 1 time each for only about 3 hours. Then it picked up to every other saturday for a few hours until december. Then he took his brothers gun, and threatened suicide, the cops found him drinking and on drugs, and he was admitted to the psych ward for 5 days, then the day he got release he wanted her the next day, i did not let him take her, and filed for a modification of custody. Then new years eve he got arrested for theft and held in jail for 5 days on a warrant for not paying child support. The day he got out he sent me a text, "egt me the papers and i will sign over my rights" but he quickly changed his mind again and went to our custoday hearing in a suit, and won the judge over. He didn't look at the history of visits or anything, he just kept saying, "i think you are a level headed guy trying to be a good dad" ***????? Then he said, "i am going to give you 8 weeks of supervised visits, only because I have to because there was a gun involved, then if you don't miss any, we will expand your time, and you will get some overnight visits" *** again??? I was in shock, seriously, i was i mess and in shock, everybody including my atty thought we would go in there and the judge would see the history of visits and stuff and know what kind of man he is and not give him much, but that didn't happen at all. Now we are 3 weeks away from our next hearing and I am falling apart again. It ended up being 10 weeks, so he is already 7 weeks in and has not messed up once, but his mom and gf are making sure he doesn't.
Meanwhile, he moved out of his moms house, (where the visits are currently supervised by her) and now lives with his gf and another couple and thier baby, and they are all alwasy posting picture to myspace and facebook of there drinking, even though he told the judge he can't drink because he is on probation. So I am so afraid he is going to be allowed to take my baby there over night and something is going to happen to her. She is my wolrd, my life, I have been her only actual PARENT her whole life, yet I have to hand her over to this guy who claims to love her. He tried to sign over his rights to get out of paying child support, he tried to sell her basically, that isn't love.
So anyway, if you made it throguh all of this post and have any advice, or experience, or anything....I feel lost because nobody in my life knows what it is like to have to hand your baby to somebody who is on drugs, unstable and doesn't care about her well being. And they all say things like, "just don't send her", "aren't you afraid something will happen to her?", "what if he takes off with her and disappears?", "you shouldn't be taking this chance"........they dont get that I don't have a choice...well a legal one anyway, lol, and it is so frustrating.
You're right...you don't have a choice legally. Give copies of the pictures you have found to your atty and make sure he gets the judge to see that he is vilating his probation...maybe forward them to his PO? I have heard such horror stories about some judges--I have a friend in Oregon who believes her daughter is being molested by her ex and yet SHE was held in contempt twice during hearings because the judge was giving the ex unsupervised visitations and not hearing any of the medical evidence and she spoke up. I think that your ex will taper off his visits with your daughter soon after they are granted--unfortunately so will his CS payments. I think you will be going back to court repeatedly for some time. I wish I had better hope for you and your situation. For what it's worth, I don't think he will harm her based on what you have said but if at any point you think he may, do whatever you need to do to protect your daughter. Judges can be idiots just as easily as the rest of us!
Actually, I am shocked too, that the judge would do that....but sometimes, I think they say those things more for the character of the parent who is screwing up, you know? And it sounds like he has been doing a great deal of that.
Let me tell you what I did on two occasions. The first time, there were multiple court dates...back and forth...to court we went for a couple years. It finally ended with supervised, phased in visitation, that he never continued and now has no rights because of that....
The second time, the father was doing meth, and I had no idea right away...so not consistently but some of the time) my child went with him and the fathers brother (not on meth) took care of my son when he was sleeping for days or coming down or whatever. I just waited until the next time I though he was high, and asked him to sign a paper that stated he would NOT take our child or endanger his life by doing drugs, exposing my child to ANY of that crap and got some help. He signed it. Years went by...with little contact from the father-but I continued the paternal grandparent contact and the father would stop by on occasion. One day, his mom called and asked if he was at my house and I said no. Call it coincidence, or intuition, but I called the hospitals and jails and found out he was in jail for multiple charges...including dealing, doing meth, stealing....etc.
He took the drug court option and has been clean for years now...and we get along great now....he's a good dad.
I tell you that because he may be a POS right now, but you really dont know what the future holds as far as him being a good father.
And really you do have a choice. IF, and I do mean IF you are desperately AFRAID for your childs safety, you do have the option of going to Child Protective Services and starting a case with them. They may tell you to go to the courthouse and get a restraining order (especially if you have proof or grounds to do this) which would limit (NOT ELIMINATE) his visitation until he is off parole or out of trouble or whatever.
You may have to just wait it out. Wait and see if anything happens to your child. We shouldn't have to do that, and I hate to say that...but it just seems that if a judge already ruled, knowing all of his information, and gave him what he did, I would think it would make it more difficult. BUT, if something does happen to your child, go file yourself a pretty big lawsuit for attempting to keep your child safe....that's my .02 with that.
You do have choices, but you have to go about it the right way and follow the judges orders unless you have D A M N good cause not to and can prove it. Does the father live with his mother?
Oh, and anyone who tells you just not to send her doesn't understand that there is a system and one to be followed, and that you can be in trouble for not allowing visitation to occur without good cause, AND in my state, they will also award custody to the other parent because of this.
That was a concern of mine too...what if he just takes off with her? You cant base too much on the what-if's unless it actually happens. You can have it in the parenting plan that he doesn't leave x amount of miles within the state, not permitted in other states, countries, etc....and all that jazz. But really, why would he do that while on parole...and how would he feed her? Buy her diapers? By stealing? Then he would be worse off with no visitation ever. I know these are valid feelings and I remember them well...so I dont mean to sound like they aren't real or valid...just not a whole lot you can do about that, really.
You always have choices AND rights when it comes to protecting your child. Never think that you dont. On the other hand, exercise caution and only have courts and CPS intervene if there truly is a child that needs it.
I would say to keep it at what it is right now. WHY? Because at least for now, he isn't screwing up-NO MATTER WHO IS KEEPING HIM STRAIGHT-whether its his mother or the g/f. Furthermore, you will find out later who is behind the visitation. If someone is 'making' him do the visitation, it wont last because it wasn't his own motivation. If he continues and is consistent, it IS him that is interested in knowing his daughter...time will tell. GOOD LUCK!
Last edited by hopenot4gotten; March 21st, 2010 at 01:28 AM.
Thanks ladies!! I have printed those pictures, and any other thing I feel may be helpful. Meanwhile, he has moved again, now him and his GF moved in with ANOTHER couple. So in the last 8 weeks he has lived 3 places. I am hoping that will not look good for him, because a 2 year old needs a stable home. I have come to terms with the fact that he will more than likely get atleast one over night a week, now my goal is for it to be at his moms house, not just wherever he wants to spend the night. Thanks for the support, our next meeting is april 14th, so I will update then!