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Author Topic: Never Been Married - Parental Rights  (Read 7276 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.

joni

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you gotta lay down...
« Reply #10 on: Feb 18, 2004, 12:51:06 PM »

...to be a doormat.  

I understand your apprehension because of your childhood and parents' divorce.  You can take the higher road and base your motion on the facts...and most importantly....that you deserve to have an active role in your daughter's life.  

It would be so wrong otherwise if you don't do this through the courts.  You're already the victim of robbery here...you've been robbed of her love, you've been robbed of a relationship and you've been robbed of memories....four years of memories you're never going to get back.

aughe

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #11 on: Feb 18, 2004, 01:06:16 PM »
Well, I don't want to lay down and just let her walk over me any more.  We have a meeting scheduled on Monday where we are going to discuss what is going on and if she refuses to let me see our daughter then I am going to let her know that I am going to take her to court so that I can get visitation.  I would love to be able to see her every weekend and every moment possible, but most of all I just want to be able to see her.  I can't imagine getting to see her once a month is good for establishing a relationship with my daughter.  I want to be active and involved.  Next year she is going to be going to kindergarden and I want to be there for all of those activities.
Thanks for all of your help!

nosonew

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #12 on: Feb 18, 2004, 06:48:56 PM »
Hey, meet with her, try to work it out, get it in writing, notarized, etc., if you do agree to something, and have it sent thru the court to make it legal.  AND DO NOT TELL HER YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE HER TO COURT IF....she will find that as blackmail or  a threat, although in reality it is just the facts.  

Secondly, I would like to add, my husband was never married to his son's mother, they didn't even have a relationship, and after much fighting, (the list would go on for 3 pages if I told you everything), he now has full custody and she was NOT a druggie, slut, welfare sit on her butt at home type.  So it can be done, although that is not what you want at this time, it is imperative you get a court order.

Also, back cs is usually added to your set cs amount, generally 50 bucks extra each month until the balance is paid in full.  

AND, given that she is living with her parents, doesn't work, doesn't have the normal bills of someone living on their own, hopefully your state's cs guidelines take this situation into account when they figure your cs.  

Good luck! And read all the stuff in the archives to help, some of it will make the hair on your back stand up!  But it is...reality.

NoNicky

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #13 on: Feb 19, 2004, 03:42:49 PM »
Without realizing it you have done many things to protect yourself.  Now is the time to do more.  I won't rehash the advice given to you by others already.  It's been exactly what I would have said.  I will repeat one thing.  DO NOT let her know you are planning on filing a court action.  At this point you might even be better off talking with her about things and then instead of actually having a written agreement with her take what you talked about to an attorney and make that the basis for what you want for visitation.  Make sure you DO document what you and she talk about.  Go ahead and let her see you writing the stuff down.  Tell her in the beginning it's for both of you to use later in the conversation so you don't foget what you said or agreed to.  Document everything.  Document every time you call and she doesn't return the call.  Document every time she says she will bring your child over and doesn't.  Did anyone mention to you that it was important to document things?  Make sure you do.

Good luck!

NoNicky
For God has not given a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  1 Peter 1:6

aughe

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #14 on: Feb 25, 2004, 04:44:51 PM »
Thank you!  You have given me a little bit of hope that I have not been completely stupid in this whole thing.

I have a question - my daughter is 4 years old and will be attending a pre-school starting in August - which I am very excited for.  We have it arranged so that we will both be paying for half of the expense of the pre-school.  But my ex and I disagree on what kind of school she should be put in after pre-school.  She wants for our daughter to go to private schools, and I would prefer our daughter go to a public school.  I am not saying this because I want to be cheap.  I went to private school until I was a freshman in high school and I went through a complete culture shock as well as felt isolated for not growing up with the people in my class.  I just want what is best for our daughter... but if my ex really pushes for private school - would I still have to pay half even though I don't particularly agree with the decision?  

Thanks again for all of your help and support.  Just with talking with people makes me feel as if I am making progress and helping me get prepared!

aughe

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #15 on: Feb 25, 2004, 04:48:55 PM »
I have not planned on letting her know my thoughts about going to court.  As far as she is concerned I have always been against court.  I have never wanted to drag this into court - but I almost feel as if I don't have a choice now.

I have heard that courts in Indiana really tend to favor the mother, giving her what she wants with no regard for the father... so I really do hope that it is taken into thought that she doesn't have any of the normal bills of someone who is trying to make it out on her own with a child.

I would definately love to spend more time with my daughter than just every other weekend and once a week, but compared to what I am getting now - that would be heaven.  I am out of town a lot, so the mid-week visit would be a little harder with my sparatic schedule, but I would love to be able to see my daughter as much as possible!

Thank you for all your help and support!

kiddosmom

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #16 on: Feb 25, 2004, 05:11:42 PM »
Does it say in your CO that you will have to pay for half of private school?

Private school is not a normal 'need' for the child, it is a parents choice.

aughe

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #17 on: Feb 25, 2004, 05:21:56 PM »
Thats just it - we don't have a court order. I have been paying child support just on a verbal agreement.  Just like we had a verbal agreement that I was to see my daughter every other weekend.  Even though I have kept up with my part of the agreement (child support) I hardly ever get to see my daughter.  I have agreed to pay for half of her pre-school... but I know that next year she will be in kindergarten.  My ex wants to send her to a private school and I would rather not go that route.  I have never signed any papers saying that I would pay for school.  The only legal document that I have signed is the paternity affidavit.

What can I do?  I do not want for my daughter to go through the same culture shock that I did.  I would like to protect her from things - but diverse cultures should not be shielded.  

Any recommendations or suggestions?

kiddosmom

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #18 on: Feb 25, 2004, 05:25:59 PM »
I hope you have been writing child support on each payment you make to her otherwise they will hit you for arrears and nothing you can do to stop it.

other then going to court there is no other advise, untill you get a CO she can jerk you around all she wants.

aughe

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #19 on: Feb 25, 2004, 05:32:26 PM »
Yeah - I have covered myself as far as that goes - on each child support check that I have ever written - I have always put CHILD SUPPORT - KORYN.  That way - I have a copy of the cashed check with my ex's signature and the fact that it was child suport!

I was afraid that court would be my only option.  I have been trying to read up on unmarried parental rights and what can and can't be done... but so far - it is all pretty much up to the parent keeping the child as to what can and can't be done.  That stinks!

Belle

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #20 on: Feb 26, 2004, 02:45:12 PM »
First read custody for fathers, even if you do not seek custody or plan to go to court. It has some great info and helps if you do go. Look at several parenting plans find at least two that appeal to you and enter what you want; place something in there she is seeking. (Example ours has CP paying half travel expences and we agree to increase support at promotions. ) Then give it to her see what happens. It is terrible the trama some people inflict, My brothers were abanded by their father and I have a child who father elected not to be burdened. You are doing what you can keep it up! Your daughter will thankyou later.

NoNicky

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RE: you gotta lay down...
« Reply #21 on: Feb 27, 2004, 09:19:02 AM »
Sorry I'm taking so long in getting back to you.  It's been an hectic time here lately and we had our own court session to attend, but that's another post.

As for the school thing that is another reason to get this into a court.  When there is no order you are technically under no obligation to pay for any portion of private schooling.  She could try to make you look bad with it but it probably wouldn't work well with a judge or magistrate.  

Since my own divorce several years ago my ex has chosen to keep our middle child in private school even though she and I both think public is the better option for her.  He chose to enroll the youngest in private school.  Now in court he is complaining and wanting money from me to for back payments for the extra it cost him to put them in private school.  

While it is true I did agree and voluntarily, while we were married put our oldest in the same private school it is that experience that made me decide it was not the wisest choice for our younger children.  Like you he had trouble adjusting to public school once the private school was no longer an option (no classes for the older students).  

I explained to the magistrate that I had made my change of opinion known to my ex and that he chose to put them in private school despite my objections and furthermore he was using the fact that I did not have uniforms for the children to wear to school as a reason to deny me visitation he had previously granted me.  While a final ruling has not been made in the case (there are many other issues), the magistrate has stated that it was his choice and I bear no obligation in the cost.  He admonished my ex for not taking my opinion even into consideration and told him that he would not receive any funds from me for private school for the past or future.  If it is strictly his choice then it is strictly his dime.  The only unfortunate thing is the visitation I used to have was not part of the original court order and I do not have it back but the magistrate has already let my ex know of his disapproval of taking away time I had for years.  It hasn't changed anything and won't until we can get the magistrate to a position where he can rule.  

Get an attorney and protect your rights now.  And be sure to document, document, document!  Best of luck to you.

NoNicky
For God has not given a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  1 Peter 1:6

aughe

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #22 on: Feb 27, 2004, 10:29:55 AM »
I have checked out some books from the library - Unmarried Parent's Rights and other books referencing children and parental rights.  The only major problem that I am running to is most of the books are all pertaining to marriage and divorce.  I have found a few great tid bits of info in each book that I have read.

I hope that my daughter does realize that I am trying to visit her and that I really am trying to be a part of her life, but her mother doesn't seem to want me to be any part of our daughter's life.  It seems like court is becoming the increasingly best option.  

We are going to have a sit down chat and talk about things... I hope that something positive can come out of it all!

Thank you!

NoNicky

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #23 on: Feb 27, 2004, 02:01:41 PM »
This is really important.  If you sit down to "chat" with her, DO NOT let her know you are considering a court action.  I have yet to see any good come out of letting the other person know you are considering a court action.  Usually what it does is forewarn and forearm the other person and you might find that they file something first as a preemptive strike.  You need to be the one that files first.


NoNicky
For God has not given a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  1 Peter 1:6

Belle

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RE: Never Been Married - Parental Rights
« Reply #24 on: Feb 27, 2004, 07:10:32 PM »
The book I suggested is mostly about how to handle yourself inside and outside of court written by an atty. It helps you because women can get sympathy out of judges and mediators by body lang. ect. (Also mediation info)
This is we have been dealing with for the past 10+ years (except they married as teens) It is a control issue. She probly knows how you feel about court. Most normal people feel that way. We are having difficult with visitation too and we have a court order.  There is always an excuse.  Maybe she would look at a parenting plan, offer it to her after you make it up. Don't go on verbal agreements, this way (pp) its sorta a contract in the best interest of the child. (Married or Not) Her parents might be influencing some of her actions.
Try to catch up on your cs if there is no order, you place it in an acct. for your daughter it shows good faith on your part.

 

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