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Author Topic: Interstate Custody  (Read 3252 times)

phimuspirit

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Interstate Custody
« on: Apr 28, 2014, 12:29:06 PM »
I live in one state, my daughter's father lives in another. We were never married and haven't spoken since May of last year. She was born in December (in our current state, not where she was conceived). I want sole parental rights & responsibilities. He's never put forth the effort to contact me or her. How can I ensure I get custody? I have no problem if he wants to come here to visit her, but he has not earned the right for any say regarding medical care or education. Papers have already been filed. It's a waiting game at this point... Any advice?


ocean

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Re: Interstate Custody
« Reply #1 on: Apr 28, 2014, 03:18:11 PM »
How many hours apart are you? (What I wrote below about visits is for long distance plans...more than 3-5 hour drive.

You already have custody as you were not married to father and child is with you. However, now that you put in for a court hearing, custody can (and in most places) given joint custody. Joint legal custody is for schooling and education and medical issues. Since child is with you most of the time, you would be bringing child to dr and dealing with the schools. Joint means you would talk about it with father and make a decision based on the school/doctors recommendations (especially if it requires him to pay for half medical, half educational costs). If you want him to pay, he has a right to know and have a say too.

In court, at the same time, a visitation schedule will be put into place. He will be given times he can see the baby away from your house. As the baby gets older, he will be allowed to bring child to his state/house for longer visits and vacations. Obviously if he lives in another state, he will not be making the trip every week. You can offer "father can have child from 9am-8pm on each day he is in mother's state with 72 hours notice".

Remember if you work, you send child to daycare/babysitters so the baby's father should be able to see child.

If he has a lawyer (to know his rights), you could be forced to meet him half way (if reasonable) or he may get a small break on child support to help with paying for visits to you.

As child gets older, you can change the schedule. Since dad has not contacted you , do you know what he even wants in court?

phimuspirit

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Re: Interstate Custody
« Reply #2 on: Apr 29, 2014, 07:49:35 AM »
I am 16 hours away from her father. I am requesting sole legal and physical custody. I don't care about the child support money... that only came into play because we are receiving the child care subsidy, so the state follows through. As far as I am concerned, he can call, e-mail or visit us here in her home state whenever he wants. I haven't heard from him in almost a year (since before she was born). He may not want anything in court - that has yet to be seen.  I got the ball rolling on this [custody] process to avoid any complications in the future.

I do work, and she is in a step 4, nationally accredited early learning center (he wouldn't even know what that means). We have daily routines and significant connections with people here already established. It infuriates me to no end that he could get a say in anything or make me meet him 1/2 way as he literally has done NOTHING!!!!

tigger

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Re: Interstate Custody
« Reply #3 on: Apr 29, 2014, 10:39:52 AM »
So you left the area/stopped speaking to him since you were two months pregnant.  Did he even know you were pregnant when you left?  How sure is he that he's the father?  Does he know that you were going to have the baby or did he think you were getting an abortion?

He may have believed the rhetoric that mother's have all the rights, fathers have none and he has to respect your privacy and be invited into the baby's life rather than establishing a relationship with his child.
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phimuspirit

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Re: Interstate Custody
« Reply #4 on: Apr 29, 2014, 11:43:41 AM »
He stopped speaking to me, and I was respecting his decision. He did know that I was pregnant and keeping the baby. He's not convinced that he is the father, but I am. All of that would be irrelevant pertinent to a custody case. No one bothers with he said, she said.

I don't care about the [child support] money - I just want it on paper that I have legal and physical custody. He is welcomed to visit/contact us as often as he wants. I will happily comply with a paternity test if he sees fit.


tigger

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Re: Interstate Custody
« Reply #5 on: Apr 29, 2014, 12:22:12 PM »
It's relevant in deducing his reasoning for a lack of communication.  A young man I recently counseled was told that he was the father of a baby still in gestation.  Her timing of her due date didn't match the timing of his activity to cause conception.  I strongly suggested he back off (he was paying all of her bills, attending dr appts, providing groceries, etc) until paternity could be proven.  He paid $2k for a paternity test while she was pregnant (6 months).  Turns out he wasn't the father.  He was relieved because he realized she was using him but heartbroken because he had opted to love the baby for the previous 5 months or so.  My point is that you don't know what kind of advice he's been given in terms of how to handle the situation especially given his questioning of the paternity.  Don't hold his silence against him.  New fathers can be paralyzed with fear or denial.  However, many will step up to the plate in time if given the chance.
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phimuspirit

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Re: Interstate Custody
« Reply #6 on: Apr 29, 2014, 12:51:45 PM »
My initial post was regarding tips on how to prove I deserve sole legal and physical custody on paper - since I am already doing that, and have been doing so alone. How we got to where we are is irrelevant. If he wants to be involved in her life in our home state (not his) - that's wonderful, but I will be the one to make her medical and educational decisions. That is my only concern at this point. Reasons for his silence are of no consequence to me.

ocean

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Re: Interstate Custody
« Reply #7 on: Apr 29, 2014, 05:19:34 PM »
LOL Oh boy. You have a lot to learn about family court.

1. You already HAD sole custody but not marrying the father so whoever told you fill out court paperwork was wrong. YOU opened this can of worms. Withdraw the paperwork and make him file. You already have sole, making decisions about school and care. Unless he goes to court, he has no legal standing right now.

2. Courts really do not care about the past, it is what is in the best interest of the baby. Right now, visits in your state are reasonable. Vacations and longer visits in his state could be court ordered and very likely as the child gets older.

3. If you moved, then you pay/split costs.

4. If you want to keep court date, then talk to the father. Offer a visit if he comes to your area for court (public place you can stay -park? library?  Give him space and time with child. Child can be without you at daycare, can have time with dad for a few hours. If he stays in area and had family with him, after court, offer time with child again. The child has TWO parents. You may not like how he parents but as long as he feeds, clothes, and gives shelter-family court will give him his rights.

Was he served with a court date? Does he have your new telephone or address? Send him a certified letter with picture of child and tell him you are willing to ask the courts for paternity test and allow visits while he is there for court. Make is business fact letter. No emotions or name calling. You sound very mad but you picked him to be your baby's father. You have the next 18 plus years to deal with birthdays, special occasions, school events and whatever else he can be involved in. Being that far away, he really can not be the father you want him to be. You can make it easier with skype (let baby see father on computer) for visits and keep him involved. As child gets bigger most men get more involved. Long distance is very hard and it takes both parents to make it work. Offer time and ways and see if he responds. You can not make him parent but you can try as your child needs both parents in their life. (other step parents may come into play but kids ask about their bio parents). Good luck!

 

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