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Author Topic: Visitation for 4 month old  (Read 7104 times)

Simplydad

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Re: Visitation for 4 month old
« Reply #10 on: Apr 01, 2011, 12:01:02 PM »

As for attorneys- I have met with 3- spent almost $1000 in initial consultations, and have yet to find one that is anything less than very liberal- the least I have been quoted for representation is $5000. As a student, I cannot afford the cost of an attorney, so I am trying to represent myself. While I understand that I should have brought up everything the first time we went to court, in my defense, I was trying very hard to maintain a somewhat reasonably "friendly" relationship for the sake of my child. Unfortunately, I have tried for months to be friendly, and it has gotten me nowhere- he walks all over me, and capitalizes on any opportunity to dominate me. I agree that both parents should be in a child's life, ideally, however, I do think time with my ex should be limited considering all the circumstances. A child should not grow up learning that men can treat women in the way that the father treats me... he may not be abusive to the child, but that does not excuse his behavior towards me, and it certainly does not mean that the child will not be hurt/affected by it. In addition, because my ex drinks very excessively, he is hungover (sometimes still drunk) when he has visitation- and yes, he drives in this condition! So while he may not be abusing the child, there is definitely a heightened risk of harm.


While I empathize with the situation your personal relationship with the father has no impact with the parent/child relationship.  The both of you can hate each other's guts and express the feelings in court and in person frequently to each other and it will have no bearing.  The only way your relationship with the father comes into play here is if he physically assaults you.  In that case we are dealing with a domestic violence issue and courts are very harsh on that.

You can ask that language is inserted that the father does not get to disparage you in front of the child...this will also apply to you as well.   Many decree's have statements like that anyway where it says each party will not communicate to the other a vulger or offensive manner.  Neither parent is allowed to disturb the peace either.  There are many standard statements that go into a custody/divorce that states how parents are to behave in front of the child.  Many of them are difficult to enforce which is why you should document and record all interactions.  If he is indeed abusive to you in that manner you can file contempt charges and he will be admonished for that.  If he repeatedly violates them at some point he could lose some if not all of his visitation but I don't think that is likely.  Not saying it will happen but if there is a pattern here then you will have document everything.

You mention a lot about your ex dominating you.  From the outside looking in the only way a person will dominate you is if you allow them to do it.  You are no longer in a relationship with this person so why is there even contact with him long enough for you to feel dominated. The only communication should be concerning your child.  Just stop talking to him.


With regards to the move: again, ideally, moms and dads shouldn't live in different towns, states, etc. But realistically, if there are no decent jobs in a place that is not my home, that has relatively high crime rates and a crappy education system, is it unacceptable to think that a better life can (and should) be pursued elsewhere? That because I conceived/gave birth in this state, I now should not be allowed to leave? As a reminder, he is free to go wherever he may choose- he has a job with the flexibility to literally go anywhere, and he has been in this area less than a year (and has only worked this job a few months).


In a perfect world parents will live in the same town and live in perfect harmony for the well being of the child. We don't live in that world and there is going to be conflicts.  So we have to find a way to coexist for the sake of the child and in many cases one of the parents do not want to do that way. So one of the parents has to be bigger than the other and learn not to engage in any nonsense. It is not easy to do but it can be done.

No one here is saying that you will not be allowed to move but in order to do so you will have to prove it is in the best interest of the child. No court is going to strip a parent (mother or father) of their rights to the child without a just cause. It probably will not be a difficult a thing to do (allowing you to move) if the father is as you say he is.  There many people that live in areas that are high crime and crappy educations and they are great parents and many manage to come out of those areas to do well for themselves. I am not saying you are doomed to that type of situation but All you have to do is go in there and state your case.   


By the way, the information that many loosely refer to, that "both parents should be in a child's life" is somewhat misleading. It has been shown that children raised by one parent can (and do) thrive when other factors, such as income level and level of conflict within the home are controlled for. I am not advocating for divorce or single parent households, but I think it is important to consider other facets to custody issues than the blanket statement that 2 parents are always better...


It is not misleading.  Children do better with both parents in their lives.  That is a simple fact that can't disputes. Sure it has been shown that children raised by one parent can do well.  That has absolutely no relevence and the courts are not going to care about statistics concerning single parenting. If the father wants to be in the childs life he will be and there is nothing anyone can do about it.


scaredandconfused

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Re: Visitation for 4 month old
« Reply #11 on: Apr 01, 2011, 01:07:56 PM »
Thank you for your insights- I really appreciate them.

And I agree (to an extent) that he can only dominate me if I allow it. However, calls to my cell phone at midnight, finding ways to touch me during pickups and drop offs, and the various thinly veiled threats are attempts to exert some form of control over me that are difficult to prevent. There are many other ways he tries to intimidate me- most of which I have learned to ignore, however it is still wrong. Eventually my child will pick up on the behaviors. They may sound stupid or petty to an outsider, but they are very real and frustrating (and sometimes scary) to the person experiencing them. My ex knows how to walk the line though- he has kept from doing anything overt for a few months.

Anyhow, I wasn't saying that one parent is preferable in raising a child. I was only making the point that there are times that it IS better to have just one parent as the main presence in a child's life, especially if the absent (or limited visit) parent is abusive (whether it be emotionally, verbally, physically). I am not necessarily saying it is appropriate in my case- I am still trying to do what I can to make things work in my child's best interest. But it is an oversimplification to say that it is always better to have both parents.

Simplydad

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Re: Visitation for 4 month old
« Reply #12 on: Apr 01, 2011, 01:33:49 PM »

Thank you for your insights- I really appreciate them.

And I agree (to an extent) that he can only dominate me if I allow it. However, calls to my cell phone at midnight, finding ways to touch me during pickups and drop offs, and the various thinly veiled threats are attempts to exert some form of control over me that are difficult to prevent. There are many other ways he tries to intimidate me- most of which I have learned to ignore, however it is still wrong. Eventually my child will pick up on the behaviors. They may sound stupid or petty to an outsider, but they are very real and frustrating (and sometimes scary) to the person experiencing them. My ex knows how to walk the line though- he has kept from doing anything overt for a few months.


Your feelings are never petty and you are correct some people may find them that way but I am of a mindset that a person is entitled to the way they feel.  This additional is very helpful in giving some insight and opinions. These are personal opinions and I don't even pretend to have all the answers but hopefully some of this will help.

1. Get in the orders that he is not allowed to call you at an unreasonable time unless it is an emergency dealing with your child.  Most orders should have this in there so him calling at midnight is considered harrassment and all you would have to do is continue todocument.

2. On the drop off keep your distance.  Do not even take the child out of the car seat.  Unlock the doors and allow him to go inside the car and remove your child. This way you can avoid complete contact. When he drops the child off have him put the baby back in the seat.   

3. Insist that the drop offs take place in a public place. Always pick a place that you know will always have people such as a grocery store parking lot or even McDonalds.

Always keep in mind that his veiled threats are just that......threats.   When you are near him if you have a smart phone turn it on to record and say to him as soon as you see him that your phone is on record. That should pretty much shut him up.  If he does threaten you then you have it recorded and he was informed that you are recording him.  The recording is for your safety and hopefully it will keep interaction to a minimum.

My thing is that regardless of what kind of person he is I still feel that he should be in the chiilds life.  Unless of course he is abusive and his abuse harms the child. If he is willing to participate then let him but he does not have to participate with you.   


Anyhow, I wasn't saying that one parent is preferable in raising a child. I was only making the point that there are times that it IS better to have just one parent as the main presence in a child's life, especially if the absent (or limited visit) parent is abusive (whether it be emotionally, verbally, physically). I am not necessarily saying it is appropriate in my case- I am still trying to do what I can to make things work in my child's best interest. But it is an oversimplification to say that it is always better to have both parents.


I agree that a child should not be brought up around abuse and if your ex is a habitual abuse and is malicious in his verbal abuse then record and document it.  Your custody agreement will forbid that type of behavior and while it may be a tedious process after a couple contempt citations he may get the hint.   

I agree that there are possibilities that a child should be raised by one parent but that I think we need to be careful about what those reasons are.  An abusive person should be limited around children. That is my personal opinion. If a person is maliciously abusive verbally and does so in front of the child they I feel they hurt the child as well as the person they are trying to control and dominate.

scaredandconfused

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Re: Visitation for 4 month old
« Reply #13 on: Apr 01, 2011, 01:40:16 PM »
Thank you again- I will definitely heed your advice regarding pick-ups and drop-offs.

... and you are right- the one parent vs two is definitely a sticky debate, with so many complexities and unknown variables that it is impossible to really evaluate...

Thanks so much- your insights will help me keep my head on straight : )

gemini3

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Re: Visitation for 4 month old
« Reply #14 on: Apr 02, 2011, 10:21:52 AM »
No matter what you think of your child's father, your child is going to want to have a relationship with him.  It's a biological need.  Think of how many adopted children seek out their birth parents.  Children have a need to know who their parents are.  Not only that, but children don't understand the complexities of adult relationships.  Children don't understand why adults can't get along.  No matter what you say to your child about why their other parent isn't around, they will internalize it to mean that they're not "good enough".  They'll think that their other parent should try harder to be part of their lives, and that the reason they're not is because they're so flawed that their own parent doesn't care enough about them.  That is a HUGE blow to a child's self esteem.  Why any parent would intentionally do that to their child is beyond my understanding.
 
There are steps you can take to make visitation exchanges more managable.  Simplydad gave you some good suggestions.  There are things you can do to make sure your child is safe during visitation.  You should ask for these measures to be added to your custody agreement.  But cutting the father of your child out of his life entirely will only hurt your child in a way that is very hard to mend.  I urge you to consider all other options.
 
In your posts I hear a lot of "he's not good enough".  You might feel that way now, but at some point you saw good things in your ex.  Co-parenting with someone who you don't like is very difficult.  But you chose this father for your child.  Therefore it is your responsibility to make the best of the situation for your child.  There are a lot of great resources out there, and I urge you to take advantage of them.  I recommend that you work through the information on http://www.proudtoparent.org/, and invite your ex to do the same.  You might also consider reading the book "Joint Custody with a Jerk".
 
The mantra around here is "Love your kids more than you hate your ex."  It's one you should think about.  Is getting back at your ex really worth the damage you'll do to your innocent child?


 

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