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Main Forums => Custody Issues => Topic started by: rainbowkiller23 on Sep 03, 2013, 02:11:30 PM

Title: Please help! Father seeking shared parenting of 8 month old.
Post by: rainbowkiller23 on Sep 03, 2013, 02:11:30 PM
I am the biological father of an 8-month old girl. (Paternity & child support established & my name is on birth certificate.) Her mother & i only dated 2 months and i was not present during the pregnancy or birth since she was unfaithful and i didn't know if the child was mine. As soon as paternity came back that i am the father, i have stepped up and tried to be as active in my daughters life as possible. I am due to go to court for a pre trial at the end of September per a motion i filled with the court for visitation/shared parenting. I have a few questions if anyone could answer?

1. What are the chances i will have to do supervised visitation?
(I only am able to see my daughter, at most, 1-3 times a month and the mother is always present. I have not been able to see my daughter in 1 1/2 months due to the mother having surgery and denying me visits)

2. How often in the state of ohio do unmarried fathers get shared parenting?

3. Does the mother have to agree to shared parenting or can a court just order it?

4. Since the mother has had a surgery and been unable to care for my daughter since mid july, does that give me the upper hand in any way? She is unable to lift our child, play with her, change her, feed her, ect. Her mother is the one caring for the child right now. I've not been able to see my daughter because the mother has many excuses like my daughter doesn't know me well enough for me to have her an hour by myself, or that she's getting more surgery (this is the 4th "surgery" in a month and a half and she has had numerous hospital visits during that period as well.), i also got the excuse that the mother of our child feels its for her own protection (the mothers protection not the child's) that i don't have the child by myself.

Any other suggestions/advice/personal experience anyone can share is much appreciated.

Title: Re: Please help! Father seeking shared parenting of 8 month old.
Post by: ocean on Sep 03, 2013, 03:05:47 PM
You should not have to do supervised visits. You will get a parenting plan when each of you will have child. Getting a complete shared 50/50 is very hard to get but that is where you should start off. Do you have a lawyer? Her medical inability to care for child might have some pull in getting more than the "usual" amount of time. Some people agree to a gradual upgrade of time.
Up to year old- father will have child xx day from xx time to xx time.
From 1 year old - 2 (increase time...)

Make sure you get exact times and days, where the pick up and drop off will be (mom when she is better should be doing some transportation too). You pick up at beginning, she comes at end of your time.

What you agree to NOW is VERY VERY hard to change later even though child is be very careful signing anything that does not have a long term plan. Since you are in court hash it all out now. What happens when child gets to school age?

Take a child CPR class and parenting class through your library, fire department or department of child services.
Looks good for court and good to know anyway.

Title: Re: Please help! Father seeking shared parenting of 8 month old.
Post by: rainbowkiller23 on Sep 03, 2013, 03:40:50 PM
I currently do not have the money to obtain a lawyer, so i used custodyxchange to create a parenting plan and parenting time schedule. we would have equal rights & id have 32% physical custody and she'd have the rest. i thought if i low balled it a bit that i could atleast get something close to my proposed plan. Of course id like as much time with my daughter as possible, but without a lawyer, and as difficult as my ex is, i didn't wanna go in asking for too much at first and coming out with nothing.

I figured i could obtain a lawyer after i save up a few months and go back to court to petition for more visitation. Do you think that's a bad idea? Should i be asking for more?
Title: Re: Please help! Father seeking shared parenting of 8 month old.
Post by: ocean on Sep 03, 2013, 04:10:46 PM
Always ask for more so there is room to negotiate. This probably take a few times in court at the very least. Family court is very very slow. They have hearings first to see if you two can work it out. It gets stressful and if she has a lawyer, they may to push you to signing something. You can always ask to go in front of a judge and have a trial.

It is VERY hard to change first order. It is not easy to go back and ask for more time as you have to prove there was some change since the last time you were in court. Look online and maybe see if she is will to do a progressively more time parenting plan over time. Do NOT agree to supervised. If you have a car seat and valid driver's license, you should be taking child outside her home or she is dropping child off to you. Look at parenting plans on here. They entail a lot and if it is not written, you do not have it. Vacation time? next summer? Father's day? Child's birthday? Halloween? Along with the major holidays.

Most states have a "standard" plan they use unless you ask for something different.
Title: Re: Please help! Father seeking shared parenting of 8 month old.
Post by: Kitty C. on Sep 04, 2013, 02:34:08 PM
In order to change an original order, you have to request a 'modification'.  In order to do that, you have to PROVE that there has been an 'significant change of circumstance' regarding the child, ie. abuse, neglect, etc.  So get EVERYTHING you possibly can into the original order, because once it's signed by the judge, it almost takes an act of God (or the mother going to prison) to change it.
And I wholeheartedly agree with ocean....ask for MUCH more than what you're willing to settle for, because if you only ask for what you want, you will no doubt get MUCH less.  Think of it like a business negotiation....both parties start at opposite ends and wind up somewhere in the middle....hopefully.