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How do I see my daughter??

Started by bigfenner34, Dec 24, 2003, 11:49:42 AM

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I need some advice. My wife left me about five months ago and took my 2 year old daughter with her. Shortly after I filed for visitation through a lawyer and was awarded every other weekend. My wife contested stating I have not lived in the area (ohio) long enough to file (I just moved back into the area because I was in the military). I missed the court hearing because my lawyer failed to notify me of the court date (thats another story) and I lost all my visitation rights after only seeing my daughter once (my wife gave her to me once and she failed to let me see her any time after that). My wife then went to Indiana where she lives and filed for a protective order over an incident that happened between us over about a year and a half ago. I represented myself and she was awarded the protective order, but the judge said it wont affect visitation with my daughter if I have visitation rights through the courts. My wife then filed for child support, but I did not find out about this court date until it was too late and I was in Oklahoma at the time, so I missed the court hearing and now am paying child support for a daughter I do not get to see. I have tried to file an action to get visitation rights through the courts in Indiana I am making child support payments through, but the clerk tells me I have to get a lawyer, which I cannot afford (I spent it al on the first lawyer who got me nothing). So let me ask, what can I do?? I miss my daughter so much and it is very gut wrenching at times, and the thought that I am stuck and can't seem to get anything done about it makes it even worse, especially because of the holidays. I am open to anything.



You initially had parenting time.  I don't understand why it would matter where you lived.  It should only matter where the child lived, and your statement that she contested stating that you have not lived in the area long enough to file is confusing.  It may be that you did not understand which state had jurisdiction.  

How long has she lived in Indiana?  Over six months?   Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana?  Where has the child resided for the last six months.  If it is Ohio, then she fled to Indiana and filed a protection order to justify her illegal move out of state to Indiana.  Since there was no mention in the prior court orders, why is it a big deal now about what happened a year and a half ago, when she didn't mention it in prior court documents?  It appears that she used the protective order to strengthen her position in the new state.  

Missing court dates is NOT good.  It shows a lack of interest.  Don't miss any more.  Since the ball is now in your court...you have to file for visitation.  I just don't know where to suggest that you file quite yet.  

Can you give more information on the amount of time that each of you have lived in the involved states.  She may be playing games...or she could be ok.  I can't tell yet.


Hey, thanks for your response. I will give you a time line to make it easy, but believe me it is a confusing situation none the less.

We got married in June 2001 in Indiana, where she lived and I was attending College. I got recalled into the Navy during that same time and moved my family to Virginia in september 2001. A year later in September 2002, there was an incident of abuse and I was arrested. (I know it was stupid, that's why I got anger management help). I got treatment and things seemed fine for a while. In December 2002, we got into and argument and there was yelling, so the neighbor called the police. My wife stated I hit her in the Jaw (which was a lie), but the police saw no evidence of any such thing, so she claimed I was also abusive towards the children, but again the police saw no such evidence so I was not arrested. However, CPS did get involved because of the allegations (they have to do an investigation for any allegations like that). I returned from Iraq in April 2003 to process out of the navy because my obligated time was up, and in July 2003, we moved in with my parents who live in Ohio. Our possessions went into Military storage and my family stayed there until August 2003. My wife got into an argument with my mom, and for some reason my wife was mad at me for that, so we got into an argument about that and she told me she was leaving. I decided to file in Ohio because I thought I would have jorusdiction since I origionally entered the service in Ohio way back in 1995. The lawyer I got agreed.

Shortly after my wife, she pressed the charges in Virginia that happened in september 2002, I went to court, plead guilty, and was given a deferred finding (If I go to some classes they will drop the charge off of my record-I am currently attending these classes in Ohio).

In September 2003, I filed in Ohio for visitation to see my daughter. Of course, she brought up the incident that happened last year, and the CPS issue (which I recieved a letter that the CPS case was dropped). The Ohio court didn't seem to care about her allegations and awarded me visitation rights; every other weekend supervised by my parents, and every wed for four hours. I got her for one weekend and on Wed she decided not to let me have her. That same wed (still sept 2003), we had a court date in Indiana. She filed for a Permanent Protective order for her, her parents, and my daughter (Mind you, I have called her maybe three times since she left to try and see my daugher before the Ohio Court date).

At the Indiana hearing, she claimed all kinds of allegations, from stating my parents were abusive (not true), to stating I was abusive towards her multiple times, even recently (also not true). All she had was one incident from over a year ago (which I realize is bad enough). The judge awarded the protective order, but left the stipulation that if there is a court ordered visitation, then I am allowed to see my daughter according to the guidlines for tat visitation, and since I had one in Ohio, I was able to see my daughter.

About two weeks later, in October 2003, we went to court in Ohio because she contested my jorusdiction in Ohio, stating I have not resided in Ohio for 6 months. I was in Oklahoma on a possible job lead, planning to be back in time for the court date. Unfortunately, the court date changed to a sooner date and my lawyer failed to call or send me any information regarding this change. I missed the court date, and apparently (according to my lawyer), since I was absent, the courts awarded in favor of my wife, and I lost the visitation I had with my daughter. My lawyer set up another court date, but he advised me not to go through with it because I would lose. Later on I would file a grievance against that lawyer through the NW Ohio bar assosiation (still pending a court date).

In October 2003, My wife and I went to court in Indiana. My wife filed for child support. My lawyer had written a letter in September to get this court date dropped since there was already a ruling in Ohio (this was before the second court date in Ohio) and so the court date was supposed to be dropped (again-according to my lawyer). Apparently my lawyer failed to complete this, or failed to tell me I still needed to go to this court date. I went back to Oklahoma and she went to the court date. She got child support (which I wanted anyways, I do want to support my daughter but I wanted it to go through the courts so it would be documented). However, I was not awarded visitation rights because I was not present to request any.

In November 2003, I went to the Indiana court my wife went through to file an action to get visitation rights. The clerk told me I can get a lawyer, or I can file the correct paperwork along with a letter, but apparently, the clerk doesn't have this paperwork, nor do they know who does except for a lawyer, so she suggested I just get a lawyer. Well, I can't get a lawyer at this time, because I am getting ready to go back to college (in Indiana) and I am broke. I spent the money I saved for a lawyer for the first lawyer who wasn't very good at his job.

I have the option of waiting until Febuary, when I can file an action to get visitation, but that seems very far away and I really miss my daughter in a big way. The one time I did see her in September the little girl held onto my finger for an hour and a half, not letting go because she missed me so much (she knows how to make her dad break down).

Just FYI, I have not contacted my wife what so ever. I did send a money order through my parents so she had money to get my daughter.

So what do you think I can do at this point to get my daughter? I am moving into a house in Indiana on Campus in a week, so my daughter has a place to stay when she visits. I am also attending these domestic violence classes so if she tries to use the abuse thing again, I will have some leg to stand on. If you can think of anything else I should do, by all means throw me a bone.

Thanks for the help.


 Let me qualify , I too have been through the ringer period ,
 I have watched cases and been through some mens meetings , And here is what I have learned ,
    First the court clerk told you to get an atty or file the proper paper work , yes they are great at backing you into a corner , And forcing you to get an atty , You can do this with out an atty ,
    Let Me again qualify , I also fired two money sucking atty's ,
       Let Me keep it to YOUR issues ,
    1, Every state has a process
    2, you just need to know what It is for the jurisdictionyou are in
   3, there are many ways to get the paperwork
         When I went to Dads meetings I learned many things and resources from the guys that ended up broke from atty's
       The Point
         You problems are resolvable ,
  I read what she got was a default order because you did not show up
     So I know the process here In [wash state] for what you have right now
     Here it is ,
     File for a parenting plan and show up .
     If she makes the allegations then the process is HERE WASH STATE
appoint the GAL , Go through the GAL process , You will talk to this person , Show them your papers for the anger management class , And cooperate with the Anger management class , I don't need to qualify but everything I will tell you is what I have seen and been told By people that have been through this
      Convince the anger management people that You are HEALED  , Go along with them and be soooo grateful that you are a healed man , These are some new tools that Are great and you can clearly see that this will be so much better to act this way , and Back then things were just heated and now you feel that with these new tools that you can easily handle these situations , Never admit anything other then what is in the police report , You will find through this whole process they ONLY KNOW WHAT YOU TELL THEM  and what is in a report ,
    Use these people to get a good report , Take the report to the GAL and the judge . I was eyewitness at a trial I watched , The judge was satisfied that the man had completed anger management ,
    GAL,  Show the GAL the good report and how you cooperate !
    Don't talk a bunch of anger about Mom to the GAL Mostly Be a martyr ,  If You have some proof to bring the GAL do so like the Child protective services dropping the case , And if she askes for the police report give it to the GAL , And The  GOOD Anger managemnt letter, then Like what happened in My case the GAL will write a report that say's no evidence to the allegations , If the X exagerated tell the GAl , If there is no proof or witnesses don't talk about it . just deny it , I Made many mistakes going through the system And one of them was to admit to something I said around My son that NO one could prove, I just made a mistake ! But it will be used against you , Remmember this is a sloppy system , I have never seen ANYONE  really do what I call a competent job of anything [get use to it ) and remmember they will only know what  You tell them . SOOO Never forget this !!! You are way better making yourself out to be a good parent than being vendictive , Again if you have proof of something she did, bring it to the Court And or the GAL , But other than that I can verify , At trial they are not really going to be interested in what you say , There intentions is to Verify that you are a good parent and see your child , One of the things that surprised me at trial that seemed to be apparent was , My atty and hers were equally  interested In showing what I say about Mom that is good , For cripe sake say good things about her , And You just don't understand why she is doing this ,
     Now to continue on what to do
   Call the court and ask if there is a time when atty's come there to help pro se litigants file paperwork
   Call the bar association and ask the same thing ,
   Call child support and ask for there list of help programs for people that need legal assistance and don't have much cash , Believe it or not they have that here ,
   Look through this site and find the state specific papers for yourself to file for visitation .
   Type in the search bar for    PACE     And the childrens rights foundation ,
   Type in the search bar for superior court [Your state] Look for Family law packets
     Call a parrelegal
    Find out what the process is for you ,
    Call every family law atty in your aREA and ask if they help pro se litigants , to file for a parenting plan , And GAL  Or what ever they call the court appointed person to investigate and give a report to the judge, Keep your story short , The page you have written is too long , This is standard jerk procedure , Your story has been told 500 times ,
   Find out if  like ,here, in wash You go to the commissioner for temp orders ,
       And a real trial is before a Judge , then go watch that procedure at the court , If they ask what you are doing tell them ,
        This is the USA court is open .
     Usually here you would file a temporary parenting plan . And a declaration in support of .
   then do that with the appointment of a GAL ,   If I were in your shoes knowing what I now know , I say look for a way to get the GAL appointed the GAL reports back to the Commissioner , This takes a whlie . first you will get a GAL then you report and the GAL writes a report to the commissioner ,Here the commissioner wqill do nothing for you untill they see a GAL report , So if You get shot down On visitation then You have the GAL appointed , Then its just a waiting game . Its painfull but thats the process here , And you can;t avoid it ,
]    So You next post could be  tittled   ..What is the process [My state]

And tell you story in brief , Really your story is already handled , You said the judge gave you visits , In spite of the allegations so , You just have a default order on her side of the ledger , Also read the past parenting plan , It shouild say she has to do certain things to move or modify the plan , If she violated the order she is in contempt , But I think you are starting with the basic process any way .    Keep posting and ask the right questions , right now you are telling your story but YOU need the answere as to what and how  to file next,
    This is not complicated so find an attyy that taks to you like a human , and they should tell you what to file , I think you reall story is that you lost on default , Because you have done the anger management , And here they accept that !!!    Your story is not unusuall
   My story was way worse than yours , Just relax and get the procees going , Be patient . If you get an atty they should have it filed in like two days .  Just talk to a lot of atty's , I advise . Don't get a big ass power head atty . Iys not neccessary , this is simple My psycho kept the big ass atty and her fees were like 50K Mine were 3,000$ because my atty doesn't do all the letter writing etc , And heres the real deal . A long time ago the court decided they were going to use the Court appointed GAL for this purpose ,
   Attys are not always equally matched in the court etc and they are working for the clients interst , Not the childs , The GAL is appointed on behalf of the child to eliminate the selfish efforts of the clients through tricky atty's . In reality the GAL is appointed for the childs interest , And theats pretty much what the court will go by , No matter how much you pay any atty , like in My case , She paid like 50K I paid like 3K and the judge said " I'm going to do what the GAL has said to " so she dumped 50 K and it boiled down to the GAL report to the judge , And don't forget she will be asking that You pay for it all . Just say before the court , I want it to be a split fee , Mom Is doing her part in the accusations and is equally responsible , If you don;t say any thing when they ask for fees you are more likely to get them ,  Find a pal on this site from your state , ask them what the papers are to file . But don't rely on them just because they have an atty , as you are well aware and so am I some atty's don't give a rip and aren't even doing the right thing ,


Thanks a lot, I will check this stuff out and leave an update when I get some of this stuff checked out. One quick question. Would it be advisable to pay a lawyer to draw up the paperwork without recieving representation?? I don't know how much I would get charged for the service but I assume it would be considerably cheaper. Then I could just represent myself with the attitude of a less angry man (those classes really do help a lot to be honest) and the report of GAL (or whatever they call it here).  Of course this is assuming they dont have the help I am looking for with the pro se litigations. Your advise was great, you're a positive asset to this forum.


It is of course adviseable to have an atty (draw up ] the paper work But the simplicity of it is amazing , My atty has this on his computer , Where you may ask Did he get this ? My atty is really cool and  told me its in the web page for pierce county superior court , You can down load it in ADOBE ,   The other point I should stress again is this . Just tell the basics of your case , , Like what was filed , And get an atty that just talks to you about what the next step of the process is , It is simple as explained by My atty , His prior advice is what got My last atty fired ,
  It was , >>>    When you go for temp orders before a commissioner they make a recording , you are allowed a copy , It's ten bucks , I went and got it and relistened , And fired My piece of crap atty that did not even do what the commissioner asked , I even sent the piece of crap a fax telling him what the commissioner asked for in the recording , And told him He needed to file what the commissioner wanted ,, He did not and I lost , So Its simple I would have been more likely to win pro se than to have went with the piece of crap , That is why I say you can probably do fine your self , Provided that You don't get toungue tied , I don't have that problem Because I have Been involved in public speaking ,
     But I did not realise that this is a simple process , I think I already told you , the smartest thing I ever TOLD  My crap head atty to say to the commissioner Is , I want to see My kid , I don't care about fighting with her , And the commissioner Smiled at Me . Remmember They hear this crap all day , Just go be nice and ask for an order , Yeah Her atty will try to say ," Why is this useless father coming here now after so Much time ? >>> They did it to Me !! My atty didn't even respond He just went on to get the visitation plan , I don't think the commissioners even care to hear the CRAP !!! Just tell them You are in anger management and You want to see You kid !! when they flap away about what a bad guy you are just say , I want a Guardian ad litem appointed ?And a temporary visit schedule set . Let Me tell Ya one More thing a Little trick I pulled and it took a long time to change  and I got extra visits . I told them I was taking an interactive Parenting class and My son needed to be there ,every tuesday from 6 to 9  [ It was true] but fell through and I had to take another class , But Guess what , The commissioner smiled and said Ok we'll put that in the order what Night is it , And it has been an extra visit in the temp order for like three years now . So think up a good one


That clss thing with my daughter is a good idea. I hope they would let me do that if I have to start out with supervised visits. I will look into some kind of classes like that and have that information ready whenever I go to court. Thanks a lot.