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Author Topic: SAD DAD  (Read 2268 times)

bblindell

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SAD DAD
« on: May 03, 2007, 09:20:07 PM »
I need a good attorney in South GA (Camden County).  My ex has kept my kids from me for 2 years because I was behind in child support.  I am caught up and NEED to see my kids.  My ex just got remarried and is threatening me that the children have a "new daddy".  Somebody please help me!!! I am a good dad to my step children and want to be with my own children.  My ex lets my parents see and talk to the children.


mistoffolees

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2007, 05:48:01 AM »
Talk to people in your area. When you start asking around, you will find that a large percentage of people have dealt with divorce and can tell you whether their lawyer (or the opposing lawyer) was any good.

You'll probably have better success that way than posting here.

notnew

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2007, 08:07:12 AM »
I don't know why you've gone two years without bringing court action against her.

You need to call lawyers and ask what their family law experience is, how many fathers do they represent, and if they can provide any references. What is their success ratio?

You need to get an attorney and get your time with your kids started asap. You may have to go on a graduated visit schedule until they are comfortable with you again.

You don't mention their ages or what kind of custody was awarded in your divorce.

If your ex drops your kids off at your parents, then you need to go there to see them immediately.

What schedule are you supposed to have with your kids?

CS and parenting time are separate issues. It doesn't matter if you are behind in CS, you still get to see your kids.

Zephyr

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2007, 08:45:15 AM »
have you been trying to use your court ordered parenting time? as in actually showing up at the assigned time and place and trying to retrieve the children?

bblindell

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2007, 12:48:31 PM »
I was threatened with jail time because I was behind in cs.  My ex told the children 13 (girl) 9 (boy) that only bad people went to jail and I didn't want to go to jail and make my kids think i was "bad".  I have tried soooo hard to talk to them, I called my daughter's cell phone last week when I knew her mom was gone (on her honeymoon with new hubby)  My daughter told me that she loved me and missed me but that mom wouldn't let her talk to me. I have even driven to the pick up point just to have her not show up.
 My ex and the kids live about 4 hours from me and my parents. They go to see the children when they can and are allowed to talk to the kids, not without fussing with my ex first.
My ex was awarded sole custody and at the time, i was into some pretty bad stuff.  I am supposed to see them every other weekend and two weeks in the summer plus christmas break.  Until i met a new woman and started seriously dating and decided to get married, i was allowed to see and talk to the kids.  I have recently paid over 10,000 to catch up cs.  my ex is saying that the children are going to be adopted by their new daddy.  I have found an attorney that is going to help me, but I am still nervous.  I don't want my kids to think that I am trying to take them away from their mom.


mistoffolees

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2007, 01:19:08 PM »
>I was threatened with jail time because I was behind in cs.
>My ex told the children 13 (girl) 9 (boy) that only bad people
>went to jail and I didn't want to go to jail and make my kids
>think i was "bad".  I have tried soooo hard to talk to them, I
>called my daughter's cell phone last week when I knew her mom
>was gone (on her honeymoon with new hubby)  My daughter told
>me that she loved me and missed me but that mom wouldn't let
>her talk to me. I have even driven to the pick up point just
>to have her not show up.
> My ex and the kids live about 4 hours from me and my parents.
>They go to see the children when they can and are allowed to
>talk to the kids, not without fussing with my ex first.
>My ex was awarded sole custody and at the time, i was into
>some pretty bad stuff.  I am supposed to see them every other
>weekend and two weeks in the summer plus christmas break.
>Until i met a new woman and started seriously dating and
>decided to get married, i was allowed to see and talk to the
>kids.  I have recently paid over 10,000 to catch up cs.  my ex
>is saying that the children are going to be adopted by their
>new daddy.  I have found an attorney that is going to help me,
>but I am still nervous.  I don't want my kids to think that I
>am trying to take them away from their mom.


Several items:
1. The new stepdad can't adopt them without your permission, so you don't need to worry about that.
2. You're entitled to all the parenting time in your divorce decree and custody order and need to insist on it. Your attorney knows more about the sitiation than I do, so follow his guidance, but if it were me, I'd send her a certified letter than I will be at the appointed location next weekend to pick them up and if she does not have them available that you will be fliing for contempt of court.
3. Don't worry about 'taking them away from their mom". You're both their parents and are both entitled to see them. Your spending time with them is not taking anything away from the mother. It's just giving the kids what they're enttitled to.
4. It's best not to get into heated discussions with the ex, but in all contacts that you have, remember that it's all about the kids. When you exercise your court-ordered visitation, it's for the kids benefit, not yours (although you also benefit, that's not why the court orders visitation). When the mother refuses to let the kids see you, she's hurting the kids.
5. All the talk about a 'new daddy' and refusing to let the kids talk to you and blocking visitation is evidence of parental alienation. Courts frown on that. It is likely that your attorney's letter will explain to her that none of those things are appropriate and if she continues she risks a custody challenge. In my state, every divorce decree includes an judicial order of conduct that reminds the parents that none of that stuff is appropriate and if either side does it, they could lose custody and/or visitation.
6. As you've already been told, being behind on CS is not a legal reason for denying visitation. While I don't know if it has happened, it would be perfectly plausible for a situation to occur where the NCP loses his job and can't pay CS and the CP refuses visitation on that basis - and then the CP goes to jail (not likely, but possible).

Just stay on top of your attorney and feel free to post specific questions here as you go through it.

notnew

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2007, 01:19:18 PM »
There are excellent letters on here that notify the other parent of your intention to exercise your court ordered visitation. Use them. And, notices of denials so you can document what is going on.

Try to call the kids even when mom is home. Keep a log of each attempted contact. Date, time, and result. Logs are legal records.

CS and parenting time are separate items and she cannot keep the kids away from you legally.

What does your attorney tell you to do?

Her new husband cannot adopt the kids without your permission. Your parental rights have to be terminated. I realize that her having sole custody effectively terminated your parental rights (except for your right to pay CS), but even with sole custody, she cannot get another man to adopt your children. That would mean you wouldn't be expected to pay CS anymore - is she thinking about what she is saying?

Also, don't talk directly to her about anything other then issues concerning the kids. If she cannot be civil, communicate through an attorney. Ask that she have to pay your attorney fees because it is her actions that have forced you to come to the court for resolution.

Go to pick up your kids when you are supposed to. Document the no show. Take pictures and such that show where you were and what time. If possible, enter a report with the local police and ask for a record of your call. There are a lot of things you can do. Others can help you with this too.

The mother telling your children that bad people go to jail is parental alienation and typical behavior in a hostile parent. She doesn't want the kids to love you. That's her problem. Have as much contact with your kids as possible until the kids themselves cut you out and that will only happen if the mom is succesful with her alienation.

Suggestion that is important: Get your order clarified to state that you are allowed access to all medical and school records and allowed to communicate with the doctors and schools involved. If your order doesn't say it, the school and doctors most likely won't communicate with you. Been there. My ex has sole too and it was a huge mistake for me to agree to this. I thought she would stop torturing our child if she felt like she won, but she didn't.

Why would the kids think you are trying to take them away from their mom unless she tells them that? Don't worry about that. Reassure your kids that you want to spend time with them and that you are ok with them living with mom. Don't bad mouth mom or say anything that could be considered a jab by them. Just tell them the issues between mom and dad are grown up stuff that is getting worked out with the courts help because mom and dad need help to agree. No big deal.

I'd be interested to see what the attorney is advising you. The sooner you start trying to exercise your parenting time the better. The longer without seeing or talking to them, the worse it looks on you.

Good luck.

mistoffolees

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2007, 03:02:16 PM »
A couple of comments on the previous post - not to disagree, but to just add on.

1. if possible, have someone with you as a witness when you go to pick up the kids. I'm not sure that a camera is very good evidence (since it's very easy to change the date and time on the camera).

2. A phone log might or might not be useful (it depends on the state and even the individual judge). I would keep the log, but would also make the calls on my cell phone so I get a monthly report from the phone company that I did call at that time.

3. It's unlikely that the court would award attorney's costs just because CP is being difficult. It would take a pretty unusual circumstance to get that. IMHO, asking for something you're not likely to get does nothing to foster a peaceful resolution and can make a nasty situation even worse.

Also, go to the Article Index on this board. It is a very vaulable, but terribly underutilized resource.

bblindell

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2007, 06:25:20 PM »
THANK YOU!!!
Thank you all for the advice you gave.  May 8th I sent registered/restricted delivery notice to my ex to the dates that I would pick up the children.  The first weekend that I listed in the letter was May 11.  I drove 2 1/2 hours to the designated meeting point...and as you probably guessed, she didn't show.  I was sad, but called the local police and filed a report.  The officer was super great and gave me even more great advice.  I called my ex and told her that I had been there to get the kids and she told me I was "crazy as hell" if I thought she was going to meet me.  She also said the kids "hated me and didn't want to see me."  My current wife has been amazing and is researching Parental Alienation Syndrome (have any of you had any success with courts recognizing PAS?).  The judge that threatened me with jail if I ever came back into his court behind in child support has passed away.  While I still miss my children terribly, I am feeling more in control and can finally say that I am confident that things are looking up.  I have hired a great attorney (at least I am paying a lot, so I hope she is great!!!) and have a court date at the end of May.  
Again, thank you dads that have taken an interest in my situation.  You don't know how much your support and advice has meant to me.  

williaer

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RE: SAD DAD
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 04:43:00 PM »
Please keep us updated- I will be very interested to see how this all comes out. I'm glad you are making the move...2 years was way too long- however it is a lesson learned on your part. Now you know never to wait around- just because of $$$$- it's not HER money- it's the kids money- and quite frankly- it is just as important that they have a relationship with you as it is that they have a paycheck.

Perhaps now would be the time to submit a new parenting time plan. 2 weekends a month at that distance might be a little much. Perhaps you should try to do 1 long weekend a month and more time during breaks (spring/winter/summer)...I'm just thinking aobut how it was for me growing up. We lived 3 hours from my dad and when he was excercising his time...it was misery for my sister and I.

 

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