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Author Topic: I need advice...  (Read 4720 times)

WHN

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I need advice...
« on: Dec 30, 2006, 01:10:30 PM »
Okay I have a 1.5 yr old daughter.  I found out I was pregnant AFTER I filed for divorce from her father, and he and I agreed, due to the circumstances of our divorce, the stress of having him too involved in the pregnancy was probably not going to be good for anyone involved.  I did call him regularly just to keep him informed as to how the baby was and doc appointments and such.  When she was born I called and gave him all the information.  He lived 3 hrs away at that time and didn't make it up to see her.  I get into a relationship and ended up moving for it, that put me closer to my childs father.  He met her when she was 3 months old for about 20 minutes in a parking lot.  After that the man I was (and am now married to) with and I got a house together and up until we moved into that house my daughters dad didn't call or visit at all, I left it alone because I didn't want to force anyone into anything.  Once we moved w/in a 15 minute drive of his apartment he came to our house a lot to visit and he was welcome anytime he felt the urge to visit, there were no restrictions.  He asked to take her to his family when she was 6 months old over Christmas, I agreed to let him have her for the weekend (the first time he had her alone at all) and we agreed that on Christmas day I would come so that she would have both her mother and father there for Christmas.  It was uneventful (which is always a good thing) and she had a good time.  I went home the following morning and then he took her again over night for new years eve upon my request.  After that he moved and was a little farther away and didn't come by quite as often but still visited sometimes.  He and his sister invited us again for Easter and when I went home I let our daughter stay, as she had fallen asleep.  He moved again and now lives about 5 minutes from our house.  He was coming over rather regularly though I stopped allowing him to take our daughter when I sent her to his house (he didn't ask, I offered, he didn't even know what day it was...) for Father's day and when I called a couple hours after her normal bed time to see if he was going to bring her home or not he said he was but that it would be a while...When he got her home he smelled of alcohol and said that he was sorry it was so late but he "needed to sober up a little first..."  If he'd have said that on the phone I'd have told him to let her stay or I'd have found a means to pick her up...When I told him I didn't want her at his house anymore with all the parying, he agreed and has never again asked to take her home with him.  He still visited fairly often, some months more than others, but he came around quite a bit.  Once he moved his girlfriend in with him he visited a lot less, but again, still came around from time to time during the course of a month.  I invited him to go meet up with an old mutual friend of ours, I was taking our daughter and thought he would enjoy the trip up with her as well as visiting with an old friend, he did go along and it was fine, no problems at all.  That was late sept.  on a wednesday...He came for a half hour or so that following weekend and has not called or seen our daughter since.  Nothing about Thanksgiving, nothing about Christmas...Not his family not him...no one.  
He is not on her birth certificate because he'd originally stated he wanted a paternity test, I obliged but he refused to take the test.  I didn't push the issue because I didn't see a reason to.  He doesn't pay child support and I've never once asked him to.  He has bought some diapers and formula when she was younger, but that's it.  His family bought her xmas gifts last xmas, not this year, as well they got her birthday gifts, he didn't but I assumed he was tight on money while he was in school.  In any case, I am looking at a 1.5 year old calling her step father Daddy (which she ONLY does because he has full custody of his own children and she hears them talk to him, she calls me by name sometimes for the same reason-I do not call him anything but his name to her and I don't allow anyone else to call him anything but his name to her, though I don't correct her when she says 'daddy' to him...) She really has no bond with her own dad and I worry that it will have a negative effect if he just comes and goes as he pleases like this.  I've not talked to him because in the past I was the one initiating everything.  I'm not sure I should do that so much, anymore.  There is no declaration of paternity, he's never supported her and she's never lived with him...My question is this:
I intend to move out of state, it has always been the plan and now that we're getting the money together to do so, I don't know what my ex's, if any, rights are in that respect.  I do NOT want to keep her from him.  He has my email address, my mother and fathers phone numbers, my in-laws phone numbers and my husbands cell phone number as well as our home number and address.  He can contact any time he likes, he's even been invited to my inlaws house for celebrations, holiday and birthday and such-he's come once but did miss our daughters birthday.  I just want to do the right thing by our daughter and by him, my problem is that I have no idea what the right thing IS...
Any advice or help would be GREATLY appreciated and feel free to email as I check that more often than I probably will this message board because I have never used one before...
Thanks in advance for any help...


ocean

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30, 2006, 02:56:18 PM »
Hi,
You can move with the your daughter and it is really up to him to take you to court for the paternity test. You need to make decision if you want to "force" her father into being a father. Do you plan on going to court for child support ever from him? The state has a program CSE that will collect child support right from his employer. If you start a case, then he will probably be advised to seek set visitation schedule. You would need real proof of his drinking to get superivsed visits...(very hard thing to get in court if it went that far). Document every time he sees her, or when something happens....If he ever shows up drunk with her, call the police to get a report/ticketed.
You could call him and have a discussion of your plans and see what he wants? If he is going to see her then he needs to support his daughter too. Maybe he will allow your husband to adopt her?
Good Luck!

WHN

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #2 on: Dec 30, 2006, 04:57:48 PM »
That was really my biggest concern.  

He isn't a horrible person, he makes some decisions that I personally view as stupid, but he's his own person, we're divorced and the only thing I concern myself with when it comes to him is his influence on our child.
I'm careful because the people he associates with, past and present are just not the kind of people a mother wants to see around her kids...It's one thing to have nutty friends, it's another to let them be near your child.  When he parties it's about partying...
Basically, my opinion is this:  Given the circumstances, he's never really been more than a part time parent and that's entirely been his choice, I should have the right to leave.  I don't think that it's fair to me to be bound to someone that occasionally wants to come by and say hi to his daughter.  On the same token, however, I have my daughter, who I love by far more than I dislike him.  She deserves her dad and even if I do move I'd never keep her from him in any way, if he asks for pictures, he's got them, if he asks to visit, he's welcome.  That goes without saying in my book.  He's very well aware of that.  I don't care much about child support, itd be nice and it sure would help but it's not by any means my over all goal.  I don't want to force him to be a daddy if he doesn't want to be, not because I don't think he should but because my daughter only deserves people in her life that want to be in her life.  I guess my only really true concern is doing something illegal without realizing it.  I have no idea if he's got a leg to stand on if he decides he doesn't want me moving, I don't even know if it will be an issue, as I don't know if he's going to bother with her again or not.  From everything I've read, I don't need to worry because he's not on her birth certificate, he's not taken a paternity test, nor signed anything stating he's her father, at least nothing legal.  He's never taken any kind of responsibility for her so in the end I think I'm safe but I thought I'd pose the question here because I really have no clue if other people know something I don't on the matter.
My problem with calling and talking with him too much in advance is he can be very cruel and manipulative when he wants.  If I give him too much advanced warning I wouldn't be terribly shocked to have him drag me to court over it-which I just can't afford and still maintain a household for these kids.  Adoption I don't think would ever happen, my husband wants to badly but I am not sure I'm okay with it either, just because it seems tricky to me.  I'd rather let her get older and decide if that's what she wants.  As well, my ex would probably never allow it-he's the type that if he can't have it no one can, no matter what "it" is...If he thought my husband wanted to adopt our daughter he'd more than likley do the paternity test just so that there was no way my husband could.
In any case, from what I'm reading you appear to be right, that I can leave w/out issue and it's his job to file for paternity...I just am trying so hard not to play dirty in any way shape or form...Ugh...
Thanks so much for the advice

ocean

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #3 on: Dec 30, 2006, 05:19:25 PM »
Yes, you can leave since he is not even proven to be the father yet. If you tell him before, he can file a motion to make child stay behind so if he is manipulative be careful. Once you move, his only choice will be to file for paternity and visitation...you would then counter with child support. Tricky situation since he has not grown up enough yet to take care of her the way she deserves. Anytime you can get solid info, keep it in a just in case folder. (DWI ticket, police report, sober house, etc..)
Good luck!

Hawkeye

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #4 on: Dec 30, 2006, 08:34:35 PM »
Ocean, are you suggesting the mom just up and leave with the child?


WHN

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #5 on: Dec 30, 2006, 09:15:43 PM »
I don't know what ocean meant but as far as how I took it, I didn't read it as an implication to up and run with our daughter.

Either way, my question was kind of direct in that respect, his rights are what I was asking about and his rights were the basis of response.  


Just so that we're clear on my motive, though...I do not want to, and will never force him out of our childs life.  That little girl deserves her parents, both of them.  What she doesn't deserve is to ride with a drunk driver, which I can't say he was falling down drunk but I will say that if he got pulled over he would NOT pass any tests.  I said nothing, I didn't call the police, I called him ten minutes after he left to make sure he got home safe and that was that.  
I assure you, no matter what anyone implies (and I really don't think that was oceans implication, at all) my daughter will always have an open door between her parents, assuming her father stays in her life.  I won't force the man.  
I just wanted to make that very very clear.  I know how important a father/daughter relationship is...I was raised by my dad when my parents split up as a kid.  I was old enough to choose and was at an age where no one could compare to my dad...I would NEVER take that relationship from my daughter.  She's too precious to be robbed of the good stuff.


williaer

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31, 2006, 09:44:39 AM »
I think it varies by state- but in Ohio- I think if you were married during any part of your pregnancy- he is presumed to be the father- unless it is proven otherwise. In Ohio- the ony thing that gives him the right to do is pay child support for his child. If he wants parenting time- he will need to file for it.
I would make your plans and give him about 10 days notice. That way you will feel like you did the right thing. He will have to file for parenting time and then get an order to have you barred from taking the child out of the area..he will not accomplish that in 10 days without a very good ($$$) attorney and you have said you think money is tight. Like a previous poster said- once he opens the can of worms about formal parenting time- he will also open the can of worms about formal child support....so you may want to take the time to discuss all of that with him.
I would present him with a parenting plan that is as generous with the child's time as is reasonalbe and offer to meet him halfway- then you have covered all of your bases.

WHN

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #7 on: Dec 31, 2006, 10:25:41 AM »
When we went through getting her on state medical they wanted to go after him for child support, however, unless there is a paternity test and I push for support they don't bother and he skated through w/out being forced to prove paternity, yet.  I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that we were legally seperated with a divorce in progress before we ever learned I was pregnant.  I was in the military and "had the flu" for so long that my command actually made me see a doctor...Even the doc thought I had the flu.  Then my ex bought a test and sure enough it said I was pregnant..Then I went and got blood tests and they confirmed.  By then our divorce was so close to final that maybe that's the states issue with it.  
Either way I don't mind...Money's not the problem.
I don't want to force anything on him either way.  I did decide to email him pictures and just give him an update on her progress as far as speech and abilities and such.  You know, how well she does her ABC's and whatnot.  I sent him her pictures from Christmas and left it at that, I didn't say anything to him about visiting her or what have you.  So far no response but I only sent it last night, I just figured that'd be the right thing to do-he missed Christmas so he should at lease see pictures of her going bonkers with wrapping paper.  I also wanted to re-open the door, in that sense, because as I said, I'm not aware of anything happening to make him uncomfortable or angry enough to stop seeing his daughter.  
When I move, I never had the intention of making him suffer because of my extreme distaste for california...I had talked to him about moving in the past, he had even mentioned following to stay near our daughter, I never had an issue with that.  I know that his girlfriend took serious issue with him not taking the paternity test and still comng to visit his daughter and such.  She got really angry and they split up for a whlie over it...Now she has moved in with him and literally all that happens in their apartment is a lot of things not proper for a child to be around.  My daughters dad agreed that was the case and has not been arguementative at all about me asking that he not take her to his home anymore.  
In any case, as I said before, I've always had an open door policy when it comes to my daughters dad.  If he wanted to visit all he had to do was show up...or call...or whatever.  Neither my husband nor I had an issue with him coming around, in fact he even kept a car he was rebuilding in our garage for several months...We asked him to remove only because we needed to be able to pull our cars in at night for a while thanks to the lack of trust we had during my husbands custody battle with his kids mother.  Her very violent (and drug dealing) boyfriend had made some pretty serious threats to us or to other people about us...So there just wasn't a lot of tension when it came to my daughters dad and us.  There were some things that did get me upset a couple of times, and when all was said and done we talked them over and hashed out our differences and it never hindered his and her visits.  That wouldn't change with a move, a good portion of my family lives in california as does all of his.  We would be here a lot, if not all of us at least the kids and I as their mother lives here too and none of our kids are old enough to travel alone nor will they be for a few years...
In any case, thanks for the advice, if he does finally start seeing her again I think that I'll do that, just to avoid any potential drama.   I'll keep him updated whether he sees her or not, in any case.  

ocean

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #8 on: Jan 01, 2007, 09:28:37 AM »
Not really but if he has not be around and not interested in getting a paternity test then she should be able to move. He could very easily ask the courts for paternity/custody and drag this out over months and force her to stay where she is. If he was involved and admitted child was his, then that would be a different story.

Ajilon

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #9 on: Jan 01, 2007, 06:11:58 PM »
I JUST went through this last year.

No. you can't just up and move. There's a process and it's in your best interest to follow it so you have your bases covered.

It's called  the "Federal Child Relocation Act", was passed in Sept 2003 and it has some serious implications should you violate it. (ie: it could be construed as parental interference and you could lose physical custody if he pushes the issue).

Under this act, you are required to give notice in writing (certified) no less than 60 days prior to the move and provide him with the address, phone number, date of move, school district, etc etc. You are not allowed to move more than 60 miles from him without his permission or a court order. He then has to file an injunction with the court within 30 days of recieving that notice to stop you. If he fails to file such injunction, you have the right to relocate. If not, you have to obtain the court's permission for that relocation.

I know you haven't had a paternity test, but based on the fact that you were pregnant during the marriage, it can be assumed that he is the father to your child. You have been allowing him visitation and have even allowed him overnight visits. In some ways, you have established a father/child relationship with him. This can be used against you in court if he decides to push it. The best advice I can give you is to seek the advice of an attorney in your area and follow the steps as outlined by the Federal Courts.

ocean

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #10 on: Jan 01, 2007, 07:57:45 PM »
She stated that the father refused the paternity test and they let him so for now the child legally has one parent.
That law is for parents who have custody/visitation in place or going through proceedings. This "father" does not want to be named the father.
In NYS, our court orders read..."30 days and 30 miles" so it also depends on your state guidelines and current court orders (which she does not have)

WHN

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #11 on: Jan 01, 2007, 10:21:36 PM »
From what I learned from our attorney, which isn't terribly much because we have pretty much tapped our resources for my husbands kids, he has to sign a declaration of paternity.  
This I learned because my step kids mother had threatened to take his oldest daughter from school and not return her.  She had never lived with her kids outside of when she lived with him, which by then had been several years.  She hadn't ever supported them and although she did visit from time to time because she was legally the mother, and was saying that my husbands daughter wasn't his, our attorney made him sign a declaration of paternity because only the mother was proven.  The only reason my husband was allowed to do so w/out taking a paternity test (which he was scared to do for fear she wasn't lying) only because he'd been the only father, and the only finacial provider for the child from day one.  I think, that being the case, this would work in my favor...
My daughters dad not only refuses to take a paternity test but has never supported her in any fashion.  The fact that it's been near to two years doesn't seem to help him, at all.
Either way, like I said earlier, I emailed him pictures and and update on her-as of yet, still no response.  He has not called, written, come by or answered letters or calls for three months, now.  Though I've not made a huge effort because the majority of his visits were initiated by me because I want my daughter to know her dad.  
At this point I am not sure what's more right for her so I've stopped pushing...
Anyway I thank you for the advice I'll see if that law pertains to our situation.  I appreciate it.

mistoffolees

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #12 on: Jan 02, 2007, 09:09:26 AM »
It sounds like you really need to see a lawyer. I would think that there won't be any barriers to your moving, but you want to make sure. In some states, he could probably cause trouble for you if you move without first making sure that you have the right to do so.

I would also say that you shouldn't walk away from child support so easily. He still has an obligation to support his child - even if he doesn't want to see her. You will have to discuss with your attorney the pluses and minuses of doing it on your own, but even if you don't NEED the money, your daughter will undoubtedly benefit from the extra money (even if you don't do anything but put it into a 529 account for her college).

One other thing to consider. What happens if he comes to his senses in a year and says that you've been trying to keep his daughter from him? If you've established legal paternity and a parenting plan, you're protected. If you don't have anything approved by the courts, you could end up with a mess on your hands.

WHN

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #13 on: Jan 02, 2007, 11:42:11 AM »
I would agree with you, definitely, but from everything I've read he needs to take the paternity test (since we both made it clear we wanted one originally when I got medical aid for our daughter, I wanted it because I felt like he should be certain, he wanted it because he wasn't due to the time frame that we found out that I was pregnant).  

I am desperately trying to not incur any more attorney fees.  Even if I agreed about the child support and his need to pay it, I wouldn't get anything.  If he does work he never has stayed at a job more than a couple of months since he got booted from the military, so his income would forever be changing, and to my knowledge he's not worked a job in over six months, he was doing night school and when he was working said he was too exhausted to keep up with both.  The only thing I know he does for extra money outside of his school grants is work under the table, which is no use to my daughter.  So basically it's one of those things where even if I wanted him to pay support, there would be little to nothing I could do and it'd probably cost more than it'd obtain for her.  Personally,  a relationship with her dad w/out anger between her parents is more important to me.  

The other thing I don't think I made clear before is that I've never been sure of his intentions.  When we first learned I was pregnant I had already filed for divorce.  He was still in the process of moving out at the time and when we found out his first words were "Now we will work out."  When I told him I intended to go through with the divorce he said that he didn't care what I did with the baby because he only wanted to raise one if we were together.  Well he seemed to have come around from all of that but I spent a good part of last year trying to explain that baby or none I was married now (as well as was preganant with and now have my husbands and my son) he went as far as to say that if I left my husband he'd support both babies as his...I got offended, maybe moreso than I should, but I tried very hard to keep it civil, it still came down to a rough fight but it seemed that he was over it, he finally moved the girl he was dating at that time in with him and such...Then a couple more visits and now nothing.  Still no response to the email I sent him about her so I really just have no idea what I'm supposed to do beyond get an attorney...Which my husband and I just don't have the means to do, he just fought for full physical custody (which he's always had, just not with a court order...) of all three of his kids and won and that took pretty much everything we had.  

I just want to keep the peace, allow him to come around her if that's what he wants and if not hopefully have contact with his family so she at least knows where she came from.  That's my overall concern, really...

I thank you for your insight, I agree that if he decides a year from now there could be a problem but with the documentations I do have, as well as his history which is fully documented through the military as well as the state, I think that there shouldn't be an issue...
The other problem I have is that when my son is a bit older I wanted to return to the military (I went inactive to raise my daughter-never thought I'd get remarried or have more kids...haha)  but I really do miss my career and that definitely requires my leaving the state (and country) from time to time.

Either way, all I can say currently is "ugh..."  because I'm not sure of anything until I talk to a lawyer and I just can't afford one to date.  At last not afford one and still feed our kids...

Thanks a lot for the input and I've been taking notes to remind myself of laws and other peoples thoughts and concerns, I really do just want to do the right thing by everyone involved...Makes it hard with no communication.  

mistoffolees

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #14 on: Jan 02, 2007, 12:07:12 PM »
Please don't misunderstand me - I'm not questioning what actions you are taking or want to take. I'm just suggesting ways to ensure that you're protected.

Even if you don't want to incur legal fees, you may still need to file something per se in your local court to protect yourself from problems. If you can't or don't want to see an attorney, you should probably post a question to Socrateaser on his board at this web site. He can probably tell you if you've overlooked something simple that might save you grief later.

Good luck.

WHN

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #15 on: Jan 02, 2007, 12:17:35 PM »
No no, I didn't feel like you were questioning me...I question me enough for everyone, believe me...haha.  I'm just afraid of turning into what my parents were during their custody battle and am desperately looking at all view points before I make a decision as to how to approach.  The only thing I want is for my daughter to be healthy and happy in the end of it all.  All else is just what it takes to get her there.  

Thank you again for your advice, I do appreciate it :)

Ref

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My 2cents
« Reply #16 on: Jan 02, 2007, 12:20:56 PM »
I'm sorry if I missed something. I just skimmed the thread. How far away are you moving?

Something I am very curious about is that you said that you got your daughter on state medical. Why, if you can't afford health insurance, would you have the tax payers pay for her medical instead of having the dad pay to help support her? This isn't meant as an attack, because maybe this was something different than what I think it is. If you can't afford to care for your child on your own, you owe it to yourself, the taxpayers, and mostly your child to get CS from your ex.

Also, I don't understand why you are doing your ex any favors by not insisting on his help in supporting your daughter. It is not your money. It is your child's money. Like it was stated by another poster, have him pay support and put the money in a college fund for your child, if you don't need it.

I think, to do the right thing, I would contact your ex and tell him you are planning on moving. I would ask that you get something put in place so that there is no confusion about visitation and support. Draft up a parenting plan with visitation dates and times. You probably have a standard parenting agreement for your county on the clerk of the court's webpage. Use that to start getting an idea of what the court would consider far and adjust for the distance. Also, go to your state's child support calculator. Calculate what the court would figure he would own and deduct the amount he would have to spend to see his child. This would include car rental, hotel, airline tickets. Have any remainder can go into a college fund in your child's name and neither of you can draw the money out for any other reason than college costs.

Ask him his opinion and if there is anything you can do to make it easier that you haven't thought of.

I'll tell you. DH was so distraught by his divorce that it took him 15 months to bounce back. He regrets it horribly because BM took SD 1500 miles away during that period and his head wasn't straight enough to stop her. Only a couple of months after the move, DH  realized his mistake, but it was far too late. For the past 12 plus years he has been paying $5000 a year to see his daughter and fighting so hard to keep a healthy relationship with her. His daughter has paid for not having him in her regular life by needing boys' attention, having low self esteem and other issues.

best wishes,
Ref

CGS

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #17 on: Jan 02, 2007, 01:12:29 PM »
WHN, was anything mentioned about the child in the divorce proceedings? You've mentioned you found out you were pregnant after the divorce was filed, but did you finalize the divorce before the child was born, and was the child mentioned in the final divorce papers?

I ask because I was told by my attorney when our child was born that the marriage presumption only applies IF the child was born during a legal marriage.  Even if birth occurs days after the divorce is final, that presumption doesnt apply.  

My attorney said this was because when there is a divorce pending, there is a better than average chance that a child born during that time is not born of the marriage, therefore the presumption ends with the marriage, and a father must petition for paternity after the child is born.

just my experience, and I'm not in Ohio.  If I were you I would find a few hundred $$ and pay for a consultation with a family law attorney in your area to see what the case law in your jurisdiction says.

WHN

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RE: My 2cents
« Reply #18 on: Jan 02, 2007, 01:50:08 PM »
I'm not sure as to where we are moving, just yet.  The plan is to wait until we can put a decent down on something that fits a family of 7, as well there has to be an opening in a management position with my husbands company so the when and where are definitely up in the air.  I'm trying to just get my ducks in a row and do as much research as I possibly can before that point and who knows, by the time we move, it's possible her dad will have disappeared again or we'll come to an agreement on visitation and such, but I need to know what I can and get every point of view possible before I do anything-so I figured I'd start as early as possible.  :)

Like I said to the last poster about taking child support from him, I don't disagree, I really think that it's his responsibility, but at the same time I have only so much to survive on each month.  I have my two kids, my 3 step kids (all children 6 and under) and my husband and I.  He works at least 6 days a week, sometimes 7, my step kids mom does not help out at all, each time she's been hit with child support she's taken us to court to change it, which doesn't happen but she still does it, then she quits her job and finds a new one, that takes the state several weeks to catch up with her and by then she's quitting and moving to the next.  My ex is no different in that respect.  He has moved 4 times in the past year, changed jobs more times than I can count without looking back on notes but I'd say he's had 7 or 8 jobs, easy, just last year...and the last 5 months or so he hasn't worked at all unless it's under the table which he doesn't tell me for obvious reasons.  In any case, in the end it would cost me what little money I have to support my family to try and obtain the unobtainable.  To me it's just not something I can see a means to afford to do.  The other thing is that because we both asked for a paternity test (I said earlier but I'll say to you, I wanted one so he was certain and had no reason to back out on her and he because he wasn't certain because we didn't find out until a couple weeks after I filed for divorce-I was in the military still and at that time I just thought I had the flu and since I was working 12 hr nights figured I was just exhausted and not getting better as fast as I should-even the doctors thought it was the flu until I took a home test per my ex's request and found out I was pregnant) it seems he has to take said test before they will go for child support-because I DID at first try to get child support and his moving and changing jobs left the state in the dust because of his paternity issues.  He wasn't seeing her or making any kind of contact to ask about her during that time and I decided that in the long run my daughters relationship with her father was more important than his money to her.  Just doesn't seem like it's him I'm doing favors for when I look at what we'd be going through to literally obtain nothing...I've never received help before in any way shape or form and with as many years as I was paying into taxes I think a few years of medical coverage for my child is reasonable, until my littlest is old enough for daycare so I can go back to working.  I was working through both of my pregnancies with my daughter most of it was 12 hr nights and the rest was working in a sign shop basically doing grunt work and the only time I took off was the day I had my daughter and the day after I had her...Then it was right back to work and she went with.  But, with my youngest had some complications because I was handling large animals and the strain was doing damage which basically left me the option of losing the baby halfway through or giving up my job...I chose the latter.  So please don't think I'm some lazy welfare leech because I've done everything I can think to do within my means of financial ability to accomplish what I could w/out help.  I know you weren't attacking me, don't worry, I've asked for advice and you gave it.  I thank you. :)

He and I have had very in depth conversations about us moving.  He's fully aware that I intend to and that it will be as soon as possible though that may still be some time.  His exact words were "Well...in the end it's your choice."  That is actually in an email he sent.  He says "it sucks" not having her nearby but that he knows it's not possible to afford my family where we live, right now, to sum up his email.  But as far as getting things in writing, every time I've asked him for anything of the sort he has found reason not to.  When I told him I don't want him to have her in his house because of the partying and such.  I don't know about drugs, I wouldn't be shocked but I can't say one way or the other, I know he drinks a lot and he lives w/his sibling and girlfriend who drink constantly together while he's at school (by their own admittance) I'm not sure I've ever seen them without alcohol in their hand or with a very bad hang over in the mornings...I never thought he'd do that stuff (drink a drink or two is one thing but let there be a big party where everyone is plowed, quite another) around our baby...When he brought her home late on father's day and told me it was because he'd had to "sober up a little to drive" I was freaked out...Later after calming down I told him that he couldn't have her at his house, then he told me some of the people that he'd had around her (not people I'd want around anyone, much less a child) and I told him no overnights at all (he took her to his parents once so I'd originally said that I just didn't want her at his house, nothing about his family's place...)  but if he wanted to take her places, lunch or park or whatever that that was no problem.  Anyway...My point in telling you this is that although I believe there was a very good reason to say that, he didn't even bat an eye, it was just "that's fine, no problem" and he never has asked for her again, he's never taken her anywhere other than home and to his parents since he met her unless he took me as well, that was his own choice, not my say so...
Either way no matter how often I try to engage him in conversation about what he wants he says "it's up to you" and "it's your decision" and basically doesn't argue against anything I say, ever, when it comes to her when all I want from his is his opinions and what he wants so that I can be reasonable to us both as well as our child.  So you can see where that issue is, I hope.

The problems your stepdaughter had is not unlike my problems as a kid.  My mother had me convinced my father wanted to kill me, she got involved with a man who was abusive with me and when I retaliated she defended him...They basically dropped me on my father's doorstep per her boyfriends demand.  My dad up and moved out of state (from alaska to california) with me and my mother fought tooth and nail to bring me back...By then I had issues wth both parents and although I get along fine with each of them, now, I lost a lot of childhood because of it.  That is EXACTLY the reason I'm trying so hard to keep it peaceful and honest and as straight forward as possible so that my daughter never feels those feelings and is never denied the love of either parent for any reason...
Even if I moved across the country with her, I have family here and am huge on the importance of family involvement, so she'd be back here often becaus of that, he'd always have chances to see her then as well as anytime he wanted to go her way he could.  I'd pay half of the transportation to get her to him if I trusted her staying with him but until he gets a bit more stable I think that'd be hard for me because I don't trust that he wouldn't put her in harm's way (not on purpose so much as just being stupid...like the drinking and driving thing...)  I don't believe he would ever intentionally do anything to harm her in any way at all, but I do believe he's dense enough from time to time to not realize how dangerous something that seems so minor to him actually is.  I just am at odds...

But thank you, I do appreciate your opinion and I've read some of your responses to other people and have respected them so I am sure that your intentions are to be helpful! :)  Thank you, again!

WHN

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #19 on: Jan 02, 2007, 02:09:23 PM »
Sorry somehow I totally looked over your post.

The divorce proceedings were done w/out either of our presence.  We agreed on everything and so it just went through.  I was divorced in another state as I was stationed there at the time and that's where it went through...It was final 4 months before she was born.  The only thing stated in the divorce papers was that we'd tend to the issue of the unborn child after the child was born between ourselves because of his uncertanties to paternity.  

We're not in Ohio either, we're in California.  I was told the same thing about the presumption of paternity when I applied for medical.  

We just went through all of this because my husband was never married to his childrens mother.  So I've been able to apply a lot that I learned from that to my case.  The only difference in my husbands case is that he's had physical custody and all financial burdon since they were born, she left when the (now four year old, and youngest) was 9 months old and didn't see them for over a year, when she did show up she was in and out.  When I came into the picture she was around a lot more for a while but has again backed out and is not showing up for her scheduled visits and such.  My ex and I don't have anything established from paternity on.  He's never provided for her in any way shape or form, he's only visited occasionally.  
So far from everything I've read up on I'm finding that he has little to no rights until he steps up for a paternity test (which I'm happy to do without state knowledge if that's what it takes but he's just flat out said no he won't) I'm quite sure that I could leave this state without a problem and never have a problem...My bigger concern is that I DO want him in his daughters life, I think that it's the most important thing out of the whole deal.  It's easy to lose sight of what is directly important to the child and to me, contact with her parents, both of them, unhindered is absolutely first and foremost in my book.  I couldn't care less if I never see, talk to or hear from him again but I want him to have the ability to do as much for her and with her as he possibly can...I said it before but I'll repeat it- if he doesn't want to be there for her, that's his issue.  If he decides to duck out I'd much rather it be now when she's got a man in her life that she looks at the way a little girl looks at her daddy, that she screams excitedly for when he gets home from work...She's got that male figure and he loves her like his own and for that I'm more than grateful, I just want for my daughter to also know where she comes from without being made to feel unwanted.  She's not even 2 yet, and I'm getting ahead of myself, maybe, but I really do stress about this constantly...Right for her vs right for the rest of us.  I don't know.
Anyway...Thanks for that, I hadn't thought about them telling me that until you brought it up, I will call child support services and see what the legalities are, there.  I appreciate your help, thank you!

mistoffolees

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RE: I need advice...
« Reply #20 on: Jan 03, 2007, 08:08:43 AM »
You're welcome. You might want to post any questions you have on Socrateaser:
http://deltabravo.net/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topics&forum=106

WHN

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I wanted to thank everyone
« Reply #21 on: Jan 05, 2007, 10:17:19 AM »
For your help.

I got in touch with him...He sounds awful, he responded to the email I sent of her pictures and such basically saying he was not handling the situation well.  He is having a hard time with being divorced with a little one (our divorce final 2 yrs ago but I guess it just hit him for some reason) and he's just not handling the stress well.  
Anyway...He doesn't sound like he's in a position where I'd feel right talking to him about anything with substance because he just seems unstable in that respect.  

I'm not sure what I'll do at this point, or how to handle anything...Just as confused as when this whole mess started...But thank you all for the insight and info, I greatly appreciate it.  

 

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