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OK, a little background. I got pg with my daughter when I was 15, had her when I was 16. Her father was 19. As soon as he found out I was pg, he decided he wasn't ready. Fine. I met my Dh when she was 2 years old & he has been there every day since. She is 10 now. In the meantime, her bio dad decided when she was 4 he wanted to see her. Being the nice person I was, I said yes. He was in her life till after she turned 5, then disappeared. He got married, he has 2 sons. When she was 8, her grandmother on that side passed away. We had to read about it in the obits, he never bothered to call. Being who I am, I personally took my daughter to the funeral so she could say good-bye (her grandmother constantly called & saw her on occasion even when he was not around). At the funeral, he was introducing her to everyone as "his daughter" and taking credit for how how beautiful she looked & how polite she is, etc. It made me sick but I let it go. He told her he wanted to start seeing her again & she told him if he messed up again, she was done with him. I have never pushed any issues with her, it is totally her decision. That time he stayed in her life for a total of 5 months. And during all this time, he only lives a mile from us. A year and a half later brings us to the present. He actually came over & TOLD me he has every right to see her, even if she doesn't want to go. He has NEVER taken me to court for any formal visitation and in fact, when she was 5 he asked if my DH would be willing to adopt her so he didn't have to pay child support anymore. I think it takes a lot of nerve for him to make these demands. Both DH & I have talked with her about this. She is adament about not going, telling me I can't make her. And I am not.
Here are a couple of points to bring up also:
*her brother is 8 years old over there. He threatened her with his Cub Scout pocket knife but her father &
his wife do not want to believe her. And one thing my daughter is not, is a liar!
*her step-mom has resented her the whole time, not wanting him to see my daughter. She told my daughter
she was a brat & she has every right to spank her
*she was supposed to be the flower girl in their wedding. That is the time he diappeared when she was 5.
I found out it was because his wife's family didn't want her there, let alone in the wedding. But their son
was in the wedding and when she went over to their house, there is the wedding pictures all over the
house reminding her of the broken promise
*her father used to pay me $328 a month in child support. He got a lower paying job to get it lowered & then
went back to the higher paying job b/c I couldn't take him back for another review for 3 years. Well, the 3
years went by & now he is working under-the table. He is ordered to pay me $96 a month & he pays $25
maybe every 2-3 weeks. And now that she is getting older, her expenses are going UP!!
*his wife says I am taking "her" money in the child support but the woman has NEVER worked a day in her
life. I am sorry, my daughter was here way before her and her sons came along & if he couldn't afford all
3 of the kids, he should have kept "it" in his pants
*I think the only reason they even want her to come over there is to have bragging rights & treat her as
their "barbie doll" because they don't have their own little girl & were very disappointed when their 2nd
was another boy
*he has a MySpace page. He says he is a "proud parent" and has pictures of his sons up & talks about them.
No picture or mention of my daughter. And he DOES have pictures of her I have given to him over the years. I have not shown this to her because I have a feeling she will feeleven more rejected by him. I have shown my DH though.
I also think this is a slap in the face to my DH. He has raised her all these years & for the bio dad to take credit really hurts him. It is my DH who goes to talk to the GS troop, who attended the daddy/daughter dances with her, is there to take care of her when she is sick, comfort her when she is upset. Her bio dad has NEVER done any of these things for her.
I don't know what to do anymore about him. He is now threatening to get a court order to see her but I do not want her to be forced to do anything she doesn't want to do. And here she has to be 12 years old to voice her opinion in court of what she wants. I am afraid a judge is going to order the visitation, even though he hasn't made a really good effort over the years. Nowadays the courts are siding more and more with the fathers.
Can someone please offer me some advice on this that may have gone through it??
Oh BTW, my older son's father & I have joint custody of him. Right now he is doing an internship 4 hours away & still coming to get him every other weekend faithfully. When he was in town, he was taking him every other weekend & 2-3 days during the week. He doesn't pay me child support but I waived it because if we were both taking him pretty much equal time, he pays for JJ when he is with him & we pay for him when he is with us. The only thing we haven't been able to totally agree on is his ADHD treatment but it has gotten a little better. He sees the difference the meds are doing for him now as far as school and stuff.
Thank you KimberlyD0 for my absolutely beautiful siggy!
Honestly, to me, it sounds mostly like a control issue for him. He wants to control the situation, and how dare his little girl tell him she doesn't want to see his loser #####. Plus, if his other 2 kids are such losers, no doubt he wants at least one "good" child. I am sure his family is pressuring him to be with her. I would think, that time time, even if he did somehow get visitation rights, he would pretty much ignore those rights. I doubt he wants to put forth the money for an attorney and I think he is just threatening you and her for control. I believe that this would need to be brought forth before a judge. If there are risks of a dangerous situation, I think the judge would have some hesitancy to allow the little girl to be put into that situation. With all of the things that have been brought up here by you, it sounds like the judge might deny him the right to have her at his house, or maybe out of your sight. I would just not argue about it with him, ask if he has filed he papers and hired an attorney, bring up the topic of child support as well, seem totally non-plussed about the sitation. Let him know that at the time of court date you will make sure your attorney orders a complete review of child support. Yes, I am pretty darn sure this can be done. I think he is making a big deal, for the reasons mentioned above. I know that in the case of a divorce, the other parent has a right to see the child, except in specific instances. I do not know for certain the laws that might apply in your case. Make him see some ramifications to what he is doing, in his pocket, where it will hurt, and just seem totally like you don't mind them seeing each other, if he takes it to court, show him otherwise. Don't give him anything to suspect, or play against you if he does take it to court. Go to your local court systems web page and look up information about the "Friend of the Court", hereafter referred to as FOC. The FOC webpage will probably (at least ours does) have lots of information about when a child can go to another parents house, and reasons for them to NOT be allowed to go. Read up. Best of luck.
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Thanks for the advice & I will be reading up. I had never dealt in this situation before. With my son's father we went to court but we agreed on just about everything, just wanted it official. I don't think I can agree too much with this man without the risk of my daughter's well-being.
My MIL just told me that her friend works in family court. I guess if we do go through court, the child support would automatically be looked at. And considering my daughter's age and he expenses (i.e. medical, glasses, girl scouts, sports, clothes, etc...) they will probably raise it. And this friend said it doesn't matter in the eyes of the court about his other family because they are not in the court system & legally through the courts he is not obligated to his wife & 2 other children. I am not trying to screw them over or anything but if he has trouble affording everything, he can go get a 2nd job or something.
Because my DH is raising my daughter without any help from bio dad, he has to pick up overtime a lot. He works in both private EMS & is a volunteer firefighter. But he is getting a really good pay raise soon b/c his certification just went up & the higher you go, the more $$. He is currently going for his associates in Emergency Medical Management.
Oh and her bio father is the BIGGEST hypochondriac (sp?). He claims he gets these lower paying jobs because his blood pressure is through the roof, his diabetes is not under control, blah blah blah. Well, my DH had a stroke at the age of 29 & he is the hardest working man I know. Thank God it was a mini-stroke but still. It was scary!
Thank you KimberlyD0 for my absolutely beautiful siggy!