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Author Topic: Never Been Married - Parental Rights  (Read 7278 times)

aughe

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Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« on: Feb 16, 2004, 03:04:31 PM »
Hello.  I was never married to the mother of our daughter.  When my daughter was first born, we had a verbal agreement to visitation and child support payments.  Never went to court to get them legalized.  Well, my daughter is now 4 years old and the mother only lets me visit her when it is convenient to her.  I am never allowed to take my daughter outside of my ex's parent's house (she still lives at home with her parents, and her parents take care of the child, while my ex goes to school part-time.)  I call repeatedly and leave messages requesting for my ex to call me so I can visit, but they never get returned.  My ex has agreed to bring over our daughter to my apartment twice, but both times, has never shown up.  She dodges my phone calls and refuses to let me see my daughter, unless it is convenient for her schedule.  I have missed out on Father's Day, her birthday, and many other holidays, because my ex and her family are always too busy to allow me to come over.  When I do get to see our daughter it is usually for only 2 or 3 hours at a time.  Since the beginning of the year - I have seen my daughter once.  
They have also taken our daughter out of the state without letting me know ahead of time.  Is this legal?  Also, our daughter had to go to the emergency room about a year ago, and I wasn't told about it until 3 weeks later, when I was finally allowed to visit with her.  My daughter knows that I am her father and gets really excited when I come over and visit, and gets really upset when I have to leave.
I would really prefer to keep this out of courts because I grew up in a divorced household and my mother used my brother and I against my father - threatening to take him to court on the littlest things.  I have always paid child support - but I only pay when I get to see my daughter - which is usually about once a month.  What can I do?  I love my daughter and want to be a part of her life.  I do not want to take custody away from my ex or her parents - I would just like to be able to have normal every other weekend and Wednesday visitation.
What can I do?  I know that I have rights, but I don't know exactly what they are!  Please help!


proseworks

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #1 on: Feb 17, 2004, 08:02:17 AM »
Due to the fact that you have no legal documentation stating who has legal and physical custody of your daughter, your ex can do what she wants (including leaving the state with your child).  I know you don't want to go to court, but you really need to.  Without court documentation there is nothing you can do to force your ex to allow you to see your child.  It doesn't have to be ugly, you and your ex (if feasible) can sit down and come up with a visitation plan you both agree to.  I would recommend you educate yourself on legal terms though.  There is a big differnece b/w physical and legal custody and partial custody and visitation.  (from what you describe, you would want shared legal, giving the mom full physical and you would have partical custody) If you can come up with an agreement, then you can either have an attorney write it up and file it with the courts or you can file it yourself.  Once you have the court order, then you have a legal right to see your daughter and if your ex refuses, then you can take her to court for enforcement.  

This is coming from someone who thought she could "work it out" with her ex and he took off with the child and there was NOTHING I could due until I went to court and had the court get her back for me.  

Hope this helps.

janM

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #2 on: Feb 17, 2004, 11:22:49 AM »
Your heading says it all...if you are not married, you have no rights.

You will need to file in court for paternity, child support, and visitation. The last two are separate...some parents who pay religiously never see the kids, and the ones who don't pay still have the right to see the kids. Support is an obligation...parenting time is a right that you exercise or not. Paying to see the child would be like ransom or buying a child. Any support you have paid could be seen by the court as gifts and ignore it. Some dads have to pay a lot of back support.

Your experiences may have tainted you against court, but if your parents had gone to court things could have been much better for you and your dad. Having a court order means she can't violate it. Like Dr. Phil says, how is this working for you? It's not.

Check out the articles here for sample parenting plans. Do you only want every other weekend? Why not try for more?

Good luck and keep us posted.

aughe

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #3 on: Feb 17, 2004, 01:18:45 PM »
Thank you so much for your help.  I keep hoping that I am going to be able to work things out without going to court.  But if that is the only way to guarantee rights, then that is what I am going to have to do.  It stinks though because I believe that we are both very civil people and I don't understand why my ex is holding our daughter against me.
Thanks again!

aughe

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #4 on: Feb 17, 2004, 01:21:35 PM »
Thank you for your help.  I have already filled out the paternity papers.  I signed those the day that she was born.  I don't know if this makes a difference, but I have always put CHILD SUPPORT - KORYN in the memo section of the check.  I know that this sounds petty - but how can the courts expect for you to pay all of that support again, especially all at once?
I wish that I could keep this out of court and that my ex and I could be civil with each other and treat each other with that respect, but it is obvious that is not going to happen.  
Any suggestions on where in the state of Indiana I can go and find a good attorney to help me in the matter!?!?!
Thanks again for all of your help and support!


janM

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #5 on: Feb 17, 2004, 11:22:49 AM »
Your heading says it all...if you are not married, you have no rights.

You will need to file in court for paternity, child support, and visitation. The last two are separate...some parents who pay religiously never see the kids, and the ones who don't pay still have the right to see the kids. Support is an obligation...parenting time is a right that you exercise or not. Paying to see the child would be like ransom or buying a child. Any support you have paid could be seen by the court as gifts and ignore it. Some dads have to pay a lot of back support.

Your experiences may have tainted you against court, but if your parents had gone to court things could have been much better for you and your dad. Having a court order means she can't violate it. Like Dr. Phil says, how is this working for you? It's not.

Check out the articles here for sample parenting plans. Do you only want every other weekend? Why not try for more?

Good luck and keep us posted.

aughe

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #6 on: Feb 17, 2004, 01:18:45 PM »
Thank you so much for your help.  I keep hoping that I am going to be able to work things out without going to court.  But if that is the only way to guarantee rights, then that is what I am going to have to do.  It stinks though because I believe that we are both very civil people and I don't understand why my ex is holding our daughter against me.
Thanks again!

aughe

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #7 on: Feb 17, 2004, 01:21:35 PM »
Thank you for your help.  I have already filled out the paternity papers.  I signed those the day that she was born.  I don't know if this makes a difference, but I have always put CHILD SUPPORT - KORYN in the memo section of the check.  I know that this sounds petty - but how can the courts expect for you to pay all of that support again, especially all at once?
I wish that I could keep this out of court and that my ex and I could be civil with each other and treat each other with that respect, but it is obvious that is not going to happen.  
Any suggestions on where in the state of Indiana I can go and find a good attorney to help me in the matter!?!?!
Thanks again for all of your help and support!

kiddosmom

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #8 on: Feb 17, 2004, 10:42:36 PM »
---but I have always put CHILD SUPPORT - KORYN in the memo section of the check. I know that this sounds petty ----

Frankly, that is probibly what will save your behind in court! If it is stated as "child support" then it is credited.

From the sound of it your ex sees you as a money tree and nothing else.  
Untill you take this to court, she can jerk you around all she wants and there is NOTHING you can do about it.

I hope you get things straightened out.


aughe

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #9 on: Feb 18, 2004, 08:16:21 AM »
Well - at least I have done something right in this situation.  Does signing the paternity affidavit give me any rights - even though we do not have anything established in court?
The information that I get really seems to indicate that I need to get an attorney to get all of this straightened out - so I am going to begin the hunt for one.  
Thank you for all of your help and support.

 

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