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Author Topic: Father of young child. Should I file for custody?  (Read 3798 times)

Derv12

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Father of young child. Should I file for custody?
« on: Jun 19, 2013, 12:54:31 AM »
Hi, I have recently become a father (2 months ago) and am excited for what this will bring, but am currently experiencing an issue with the child's mother. The mother and I are not together, and do not live together or have a relationship. It has been this way long before the pregnancy, and will continue to be this way.
She took off work for maternity leave for the first six weeks after the birth, and her job will not resume for another couple of months, so she has been the primary caretaker of our child.

I have been able to have the kid about once-a-week but have made it clear that I want her much more often, but have yet to become combative and have not strongly contested her unwillingness to share the child. She will consistently use the reason (excuse?) that she is breast-feeding as the reason that I can't have our kid overnight or for an extended period of time. For the 8-10 hour stretches that I've had the kid, I've bottle-fed the baby milk that she pumped. We have sat and tried discussing terms of co-parenting, but she has been less than compromising, and seems to have a design for our kid and I won't have a say. I am thankful to see my child, but I don't think I should have to be a second-class parent, dependent on the mom's decisions.

I do truly believe that my child will have a better life the more I am able to be the parent. I've got better living conditions, more stable life, better support network, am better educated, and will be a very loving and attentive parent. I'm sure many parents feel that the kid would be better off with them, but I truly feel that I am not a downgrade to the life of my child and shouldn't be impeded when I want to care for my kid.

I guess this is a long-winded explanation (venting/exercise of figuring this out as I type) of my situation, but the basis of the post are these questions:  1. Would it be wise to file for custody now or wait until a certain age, to avoid the court ruling in the mother's favor due to the breast-feeding issues? I feel like I'm on a slippery slope that will lead to a pattern of her having almost all the time with the child, but I'm slightly hesitant to pull my child from a nursing mother.  2. If I file for primary custody, could this backfire and in any way preclude me from a 50/50 split?  3. Is there a way to get a ruling for custody, which could be revisited when the child is school-aged? I live inside a much better school district, and believe I will continue to.

Sorry for the lack of brevity in this post, and I hope if you've read this far you'd be willing to take another moment to give me any help, information, or advice. I'm clearly a bit confused and would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


ocean

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Re: Father of young child. Should I file for custody?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 19, 2013, 03:31:35 AM »
Getting a court order will detail the times you each get a child. Most courts give joint LEGAL custody (for medical or schooling issues) and then a parenting plan. Find a good father rights lawyer in your area and ask what judges in your area typically give. Look up your state guidelines and see if they have a parenting schedule for infants.

Usually 50/50 is not given unless the parents can co-parent and agree. You should definitely start out by asking for 50/50 PRIMARY custody. Since she already is giving you a bottle, there is no reason she can not give you two bottles or more for longer visits. BUT right now, try to have her agree to shorter but more visits each week. Maybe add two dinner time 2-4 hour visits after work. When she goes back to work, what is her schedule? Can you take child during that time? If you go to court, ask for First Right of Refusal, when each parent has to ask the other parent to babysit first when they go out. Have it written that parents come before all other family members including step-parents if bio parent will be gone more than x hours. The more detailed plan the better. Times, where you drop off/pick up, vacations, birthdays, holidays, summers.

Whatever plan you agree to will be very very very hard to change in the future so think of everything now. When child goes to school, lots of school days off, some write a graduating plan, When child is 0-3 xx plan, when child turns 3-5 xx plan then school age plan.

You can file family court custody papers in the family court near mother. Most states have forms online but you probably would want a lawyer for your first set of papers. Look on here for detailed plans. If it is not written, you do not have it. (father's day, your birthday-things the courts sometimes forget to put in a standard plan).

You could also try a mediator or therapist for the two of you to make a plan between yourselves. You can say for the next 6 months we agree to...xxx. Then if you get along, fine. If not, then you will be forced to see child when she says so or take her to court. 

ksmom512

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Re: Father of young child. Should I file for custody?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 21, 2013, 02:54:50 PM »
Umm Ocean - did you miss the part where this baby is only 8 weeks old??? 

MixedBag

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Re: Father of young child. Should I file for custody?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 21, 2013, 04:11:53 PM »
I bet Ocean didn't....

ocean

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Re: Father of young child. Should I file for custody?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 21, 2013, 04:24:15 PM »
I did... why? Court orders are very hard to change. There is NO reason why this father who wants to be involved get more than one day a week with his 2-3 month child. Most courts will give a few nights a week and then gradually add more time and overnights. If mom is pumping milk, then give dad 2 bottles and let him have child for 6-8 hours.

Babies go to daycare at 6 weeks so if daycare's can take child, so can dads  :)

MB- what did I miss? we are usually on the same page?? LOL


Kitty C.

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Re: Father of young child. Should I file for custody?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 21, 2013, 07:25:22 PM »
You didn't miss a thing, Ocean!  And MB knew you wouldn't!   ;D
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

 

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