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Author Topic: I don't know what to do.  (Read 3600 times)

zutalurs

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I don't know what to do.
« on: Oct 06, 2005, 08:21:46 AM »
I really need some clarity on this and talking with my family is only feeding my anger.
My son is 20 months old, and lives in West Virginia. I live in North Carolina. Even though the mother fought me long and hard, trying to prevent me from having any visitation with him at all, I have court ordered visits every three weeks for four days. This schedule was set up so I could actually have time to bring my son back to NC for the visits.
Each and every visit I've had with him, local or back in NC, the mom or the grandmom has called me right before the visit to tell me how sick my son is and maybe I shouldn't get him that weekend. This happened again this past visit.
I got a call that my son had an ear infection and that driving on such a trip could burst his ear drums. I told the mom that if he was that sick, I would probably just exercise my visit in town that weekend. I then called his doctor and found out the truth. The fact was my son had the beginnings of an ear infection, and the doctor had even prescribed antibiotics only because he knew we would be traveling and as a preventative measure in case the journey made things any worse.
When I picked my son up, I could tell he felt fine and was fine to travel, but to compromise I decided to take him to my mother's home in Cincinnati, rather than all the way to NC.
My son's mother was furious that I was going against her orders to not take him out of town for the weekend. And she made this fact clear by her repetitive calls to me all weekend to check on our son and to speak with him. I finally had enough and told her that her constant calls were intrusive and harassing and that she needed to stop. As soon as I told her that she started screaming at me that she had a right to call her son whenever she wanted. Well, the court order says differently and I had had my fill of her abuse, so I told her to shut up.
Well, when I brought my son home on Monday, I arrived to find her entire family awaiting us. After I got my son out of the car and said goodbye to him, his mother began following me back to the car claiming she needed to talk to me. I told her to call me, that I would not talk to her in front of my son and with all of these people present.
At that point, her father pulled his crane-truck next to my car keeping me from pulling out or even getting out of my car. He then got out of his truck and began screaming and yelling at me that if I ever said anything derogatory about his daughter or his wife, I would not like the consequences. He also went on to say that if I "called the law on him" I really wouldn't like the consequences.
The entire time he's yelling at me, my son's mother is also trying to get her licks in as well. She kept trying to step in front of her dad and out yell him. Each time she did, he would grab her and sling her out of the way very violently. Now, bear in mind, that all of this is happening on the front lawn where I had just dropped off my 20 month old son.
Eventually I was able to get my car out and to leave. I called my attorney and told him of the altercation, and at that point he sounded optimistic that this might be something we can use to get custody of my son.
But since that call Monday night he's done nothing. I called him Tuesday and left a message that I would like to know that they did not abuse my son after I left, and he did nothing to try and get someone to see my son and make sure he was OK. He hasn't read my detailed email about what happened, and he hasn't even listened to the audio recording of the entire confrontation (I record every pick up and drop off and most phone calls).
I don't know if I'm being unreasonable expecting him to move a little quicker on this or not. I know he has other clients, but at least touching base with me, instead of me feeling like I have to hound him to get him to talk to me, would be nice.
And what about filing charges against the father? I know I have up to a year to do so, but I really don't want to keep waiting. At the same time, I don't want to file until I have gotten advice from my attorney about that.
Am I over-reacting? Should I sit back and give my attorney time, or is he dragging his feet too much?
Also, what does anyone else think about my chances of full custody based on this? She is obviously accustomed to physical abuse from her father. She is obviously not afraid or worried about exposing her son to physical abuse. How long before she finds a husband who abuses her and possibly my son?


Kent

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Glad we could help... ;o) nm
« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2005, 08:59:16 AM »
.

MYSONSDAD

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #2 on: Oct 06, 2005, 11:20:33 AM »
I read your post earlier before you decided to delete it. I understand, my ex follows me here too.

In answer to your post, I would not hesitate to press charges, take it to the fullest extent of the law. Protect yourself. I would also get a Restraining Order on all persons involved.

I would not be surprised if your daughter was present during this conflict. This created a Hostile Environment and the Judge should look at what they do infront of your child.

Most of us here have gone thru very similiar situations. We are here to help and give suggestions. I hope you feel you can ask anything. On the more legal side of things, we have Dear Socrateaser.

If possible, bring a videocamera with you to every exchange. A witness who will testify in court. Make arrangements to meet at a public place, not her home. Take all steps to cover your butt. These people sound dangerous. Any chance of asking the Police for a Civil Standby?

I wish you all the best, been where you are right now, and it's no fun....

zutalurs

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #3 on: Oct 06, 2005, 11:31:48 AM »
Well, I haven't asked the police in her home town about a civil standby, but that's an option.
When I had my first visit with my son in NC, his mom had asked the court to make me let her come inspect my house.  My wife was very upset by this, since the judge said yes, but we had to let her.
My wife wanted to get a police officer at our house for that day, but none in our area would come, since there was no history of domestic violence.
But maybe once I file the report the police might be willing to do that.  If not, I have every intention of hiring a security person, i.e. bodyguard, for the exchanges, and asking the judge to make an allowance in my support for the need for this expense.
I'm trying not to be paranoid, and hopefully won't delete this post too, but I am really starting to wonder if my every move isn't being monitored.
My child's grandfather was more upset about some suppossed offense to his wife than anything else.  And I know for a fact that I never aid anything to her or about her to anyone else in that family.  It's made me think that they are "bugging" me and yes, in the privacy of my home or phone calls to my friends and family I have no problem expressing what a see you next tuesday she is.
I really doubt this pack of inbred hillbilly bumpkins has the cognitive abilities to spy on me, and probably the mom or the grandmom lied to the grandad to get him angry enough to do something, but still part of me worries about what I say making it's way back into court.
The most frustrating thing is that I have a ton of evidence about what kind of person this woman is.  I believe I have plenty of proof that she is not fit to be raising a child, and numerous instances where she has thwarted my attempts to be with my son.  And when I bring any of this up to my lawyer, he simply says "Let's sit on it until we have enough." Which makes sense, but still, she calls me every name in the book to the judge and the judge has never heard a deragatory thing about her out of my mouth.  I would really like for the Judge to know who this person really is and stop taking the high road all the time.

MYSONSDAD

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #4 on: Oct 06, 2005, 12:48:30 PM »
Not only would I keep track of this BM, but also her family. Go to the courthouse in their town, they should have a public use computer so you can investigate all public records on all of them. This guy is violent. He may have had reports on him in the past.

Here is a site where you can monitor local news in their area, just type in the zip. I also found my ex's local paper on line. I keep a very complete and up-to-date files on everything, let the attorney pull from it "what matters". Don't forget to search their archives. If you feel they are really shady, hire a good PI.

http://www.topix.net

Usually, if you are polite, let the Police know you are trying to avoid any conflicts, they will come and do a civil standby. But, it never hurts to have a good witness by your side.

What State are you in? It might be helpful for others who are also in your State to help you with additional information.

"Children learn what they live"


zutalurs

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #5 on: Oct 06, 2005, 12:54:04 PM »
Well, this is taking place in West Virginia.
I live in North Carolina, and that's one of the issues is that there is such a distance between us.
When she got pregnant, we both lived in Texas.  As soon as I refussed to pay her rent and medical bills during the pregnancy, she ran back home to West Virginia to sponge off of Mommy and Daddy.  She was even dumb enough to write that up in a Response to Appeal, that her mother and father have supported her and son since his birth. Anyway...
Once I knew she had moved, and an opportunity to move closer came up, I moved as close as I could without having to move back to my hometown in WV.
I had heard somewhere that sometimes you can petition for a change of venue based on where the child was conceived.  Does anyone know if that's true?
In WV the courts side with the mom, especially on last name.  But Texas is a little more old fashioned and would probably make her change the baby's last name.  Does anyone know if I could move to have the venue changed to Texas, since that's where she got pregnant, and at that time I had a reasonable expectation that any child I fathered would be born under Texas law?

MYSONSDAD

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #6 on: Oct 06, 2005, 03:32:00 PM »
Jurisdiction is based on where the child lived for 6 months, if you did not go back to court from then until now and have a CO, then it should be where you got your CO originally. Has there already been a change of venue?

My bro just got thru something like this. He became a very active father, shared in all responsibilities to his child, caregiving, medical expenses are split after insurance, paid child support the day his daughter was born. He has worked with the BM, sucking up if he has to, they do not want their child raised by the heavy hand of the State. This child is their responsibility and they share all of it. My bro does all doctor appointments. After 4 months, his name is on the birth certificate, his daughter bears his surname. He now has more time with the child, then the BM. He played the cards right, got established as a caregiver. If this ever goes to court, he stands a darn good chance for nothing less then shared. They also worked up a Parenting Plan that works for both of them, had it signed by a judge.

I can understand why you did not pay her rent, it is an expense she would have had pregnant or not. But if you were the father, I can understand why she felt you should have helped out with the medical bills. You were both responsible.

Here are some links to help you understand the States and their statues. I found the best way to keep on top, is educate myself.

tgbwv.htm
TGB's Links Pages - WEST VIRGINIA State of West Virginia Main Page West Virginia State Code Office of Family Support Governor's Cabinet on Children & Families DADS Against Discrimination, WV.,...
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/tgbwv.htm - size 2kb - 24 Oct 2003

TGB's Links Pages - TEXAS
Links and resources for the State of Texas.
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/tgbtx.htm - size 4kb - 24 Oct 2003

Recent Case Law On Relocation Of The Custodial Parent
STABILIZING FAMILIES IN A MOBILE SOCIETY: Recent Case Law On Relocation Of The Custodial Parent STABILIZING FAMILIES IN A MOBILE SOCIETY: Recent Case Law On Relocation Of The Custodial Parent...
URL: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/moving3.htm - size 94kb - 20 Oct 2003

What exactly are your goals in relationship to your son? More time? Shared? If so, move as close as you can, preferably in the same area. Show the court your child comes first in every way. You have not mentioned what you are trying to accomplish..... And I wonder what your objective is.

"Children learn what they live"

zutalurs

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #7 on: Oct 08, 2005, 07:37:21 AM »
The reason I didn't pay for anything while she was pregnant, or even after until it was settled in court, was because I had a firm belief that I was not the father.
When the BM got pregnant, what she was telling me wasn't making sense.  Anytime she talked about being pregnant and how far along she was, she always added a week or two to the number.  Considering I knew exactly what date we had had sex on, her numbers weren't making it seem like I was the dad.  Add to that the fact that only after she became preggers did I find out about another boyfriend she had, whom she said wanted to marry her.  Well, all of that made me very suspicious, and I wasn't going to start paying bills for what might be someone else's baby.
After the paternity test came back, I have never had misgivings about paying my support.

You ask what are my goals with my son?  I want us to have a strong relationship.  I want him to grow up healthy, both physically and emotionally.  I want him to have everything I can possibly give him.  And I want him to be safe and happy.

I would love to have full custody of him.  I honestly believe I could provide for his emotional, intellectual, and physical well being MUCH better than his BM or his BM's family.  I think the incident that occured Monday just proves that there is a history of abuse and neglect in that family, and I do not want my son growing up in that environment.

The BM has a brother my age.  We actually went to school together which is how I knew the BM to begin with.  He is 34 years old, has never moved out of his parents home, has never had a serious romantic relationship, and only recently began working for himself.  Up until that point he lived completely off his parents.  

This is what I am afraid will become of my son being raised by this family.  They feed on created dependance.  I want my son to be independant when he grows up.  I want him to have a sense of self worth and accomplishment.  I want him to have a conscience and a soul.  All of these things are missing from everyone of the BM's family, and I know that left to their own devices that is what will become of my son as well.

MYSONSDAD

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #8 on: Oct 08, 2005, 02:17:56 PM »
That explains alot. Hope I was not coming off too harsh. My bro, to this day, has not had a paternity test, but we know by looking at her, she is his. He can alsways do one privately in his own home, but he knows he is her father.

In your case, I can understand your not trusting BM with the truth. I just posted something from ABC and paternity testing.

Any chance you could move closer to your son? This is something the judge should take into consideration. Keep up with your paper trail. Some of the best money I ever spent, was on a PI. I would investigate the family too. Do much of the leg work yourself, cover anything that would refect a negative issue in regard to your son.

Keep up the fight, stay as involved as you can. The day will come when you have enough to make it count. Always take the high road and keep your nose clean. Never miss a visit with him.

I know what you mean about being raised with a family like this. We have much incommon....  TOO MUCH!

After your writing the reasons why you feel, you are the better parent. I see a "True Dad". Never give up.

Do you have any Father Support groups in your area? They would have a wealth of valuable information.

zutalurs

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #9 on: Oct 09, 2005, 01:26:39 PM »
Moving any closer really isn't an option.
There are way more job ops for both me and my wife in this area, and very few in my son's hometown.
Secondly, the town my son is growing up in is quickly deteriorating.  WV has always been a depressed state, plagued with troubles in employment, education, etc etc.  Huntington itself has become a mecca for gangs and drug trafficing and the violence and crime rates have steadily risen over the years.
Personally, I would like my son to not have to grow up in that area, but if I can't control that, I can at least live in a place where he can see an alternative as he is growing up, and hopefully that will influence his own decissions later in life.
I haven't looked into local support groups yet.  I'm usually very busy, and so having time even for once a week meetings is pretty tough.  I will always make time for my son of course, but that's about as much flexibility as I can work into my schedule.  That's why on-line based groups are way more appealing to me.  I can come talk on my own schedule and not worry if I miss a meeting.

MYSONSDAD

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #10 on: Oct 09, 2005, 02:17:59 PM »
In some States, the environmental factor can be an issue. High crime rate, poverty level, school report cards, this is where you can go to find how well the school district rates in your state, sex offenders in the area he is living. I think you get the picture. Would not hurt to check all avenues and put it in a file accordingly. Your attorney might have some ideas on that.

What conditions is he living in? Best thing I can suggest, is go thru your state statues, find the factors that matter and work from there. I have an area in my home called 'Custody Central'. Keep individual files on different issues. I also use color coding to help keep me organized, red is hot issues, endangerment, yellow is cautious stuff that matters, green is anything financial, blue is medical stuff, purple for emotional stuff that my son has endured, orange for environment, might be suggestions you can use  in your case. Once you get a good organizational system in place, all you have to do is update regularly.

You might want to post on the State board. Others who know just what your state statues consist of.

"Children learn what they live"

zutalurs

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #11 on: Oct 20, 2005, 03:03:51 PM »
An update on what's been going on.
My attorney wants to "put this cookie in the cookie jar" and let them pile up so we have a stronger case when the jar is overflowing.
Meanwhile, cookies keep piling up.
I've had no contact with the BM since the assault.  Our attorneys agreed on a neutral location for pick ups and drop offs, and I sent her a letter letting her know that this weekend's visit would go as normally scheduled.  I also told her that if she calls me and I don't answer, to be sure and leave a detailed message, and anything short of that would not get a returned call.
Well, last night of course she decides to test me.  One call with the message "This is ____. Call me back."  So I did not call her back.
Today I get an email from my attorney telling me that the BM's attorney called him, that she has been trying to get in touch with me, and that my son is sick and has meds that need refridgerating.
Long story short, he is "sick" everytime it is my weekend coming up, and miracle of miracles never shows any signs of being sick when he's with me.  mind you, he's 20 months old, so I know he's not faking it to her to avoid coming.
Well, my attorney is calling for a court date and we are hopefully gonna finally put an end to this nonsense and harassment.

zutalurs

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #12 on: Oct 20, 2005, 03:03:51 PM »
An update on what's been going on.
My attorney wants to "put this cookie in the cookie jar" and let them pile up so we have a stronger case when the jar is overflowing.
Meanwhile, cookies keep piling up.
I've had no contact with the BM since the assault.  Our attorneys agreed on a neutral location for pick ups and drop offs, and I sent her a letter letting her know that this weekend's visit would go as normally scheduled.  I also told her that if she calls me and I don't answer, to be sure and leave a detailed message, and anything short of that would not get a returned call.
Well, last night of course she decides to test me.  One call with the message "This is ____. Call me back."  So I did not call her back.
Today I get an email from my attorney telling me that the BM's attorney called him, that she has been trying to get in touch with me, and that my son is sick and has meds that need refridgerating.
Long story short, he is "sick" everytime it is my weekend coming up, and miracle of miracles never shows any signs of being sick when he's with me.  mind you, he's 20 months old, so I know he's not faking it to her to avoid coming.
Well, my attorney is calling for a court date and we are hopefully gonna finally put an end to this nonsense and harassment.

MYSONSDAD

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RE: I don't know what to do.
« Reply #13 on: Oct 20, 2005, 05:24:56 PM »
I would tape the message she left, just to help show your attorney how much she is cooperating. Make sure your location is very public. If she is considerably late, make a purchase and hang on to the receipt. Do the same, when she finally arrives.

My son was always sick too. But showed nothing wrong with him on my time.

Hang on to all correspondence concerning his medications. Take pictures of the medications. I scanned the labels and they came out pretty good, then printed what I scanned.

I would also videotape the child while he is with you. Have witnesses there to back up nothing was wrong with him. I took our son for a second opinion by another child doctor and got hit with an RO.

I am surprised she hasn't pulled the breastfeeding bit....

"Children learn what they live"

 

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