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I need advice on Ohio custody law

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:29 pm    Post subject: I need advice on Ohio custody law Reply with quote

I have a 19 year-old daughter who has a four month old baby boy. She is unmarried, and lives with me and my husband. I told her I would help support her and her baby until she can get on her own two feet. The man who got her pregnant is now suing her for custody of the baby. He comes from a wealthy family, and his mother seems to be pushing this court case.
They were never married. They had a rocky past. He date-raped my daughter the first week he met her. She never told anyone, though, because she thought it was her fault. He lived across the street, and was always around, constantly harassing her. She never told of this harassment, though. Finally, he wore her down to the point that she said she would go out with him. She had gotten to feeling so guilty over the rape, that she convinced herself to go out with this psycho and even sleep with him, in the hopes of erasing the guilt of the rape. She told herself that she could deal with what had happened if she was now willingly with him. Well, because of that crazy logic, she got pregnant. He then harassed her and her friends when she stopped talking to him. (He no longer lived across from my daughter, thank goodness.) He would go to the mall where she worked and just stare at her. It was creepy.
So, when the baby came, my daughter thought that if she allowed weekend visits, then things would be easier for the baby. She didn't want him in the middle of a messy court battle. So, she allowed weekend visits, two or three times a weekend, for the first month of the baby's life. She stopped the visits when the sperm donor's mother told her they were going to sue for custody.
That was at the end of October. We had a court date set for January 20th, to establish paternity. They didn't like that they would go through the holidays without the baby, so they hired a more expensive lawyer, who got an emergency court hearing in early December, at which point paternity was established. They provided a paternity test to the court, which had been taken without my daughter's knowledge. They did this in October when she had been bringing the baby over. They waited until she left them alone with the baby, and did a DNA test swabbing. They then had that test done a few days later. We didn't find out about this test until many weeks later. This 'father' then lied to the judge about my daughter, saying she had made up a story of him raping her, simply because she was upset with him. It seems the judge bought it, too, because when they left that emergency hearing, he had been granted parenting time, six hours, every other day, beginning January 29th. I have never heard of this often of visits, especially for a baby. This baby had now gone back and forth for a couple of weeks, and is already behaving different. He used to behave; now he wants to be held constantly. On the first pick-up, this father refused to take our bottles, instead insisting he would do everything on his own. Forget the fact that he didn't know what type of formula we use. He didn't even ask when the baby was due for a bottle when he came for him. When I posted a comment to that effect on my personal web page that morning, he complained to his lawyer that we had been difficult. So, now, we have to meet him at a police station for the baby pick up and drop off every other day. This was another way for him to annoy us.
This judge seems to want to allow him parenting time, when we know that he is doing this mainly for his mother, and so he can 'show off' the baby to his friends. Every time my daughter tries to compromise, it is denied. He wants everything his way. We hired a lawyer, but he doesn't seem to be doing as much as we had hoped for her. He was a judge for twelve years, and we thought that meant he would do good things for this case, but so far he hasn't seemed to be worth the money we paid him.
She is unemployed; he is a 19 year-old student in college. I told her that if she wants to go to school, I would baby-sit, but right now she wants to be there for her son through this precious time in his life that only comes once. This guy's lawyer took the info that she wasn't working and made it sound like that meant she couldn't provide as good a home for the baby as this guy can. He isn't working a full-time job himself, just part-time on weekends. The only way they can look better suited financially is because his mother is rich. That isn't right; why should his family's money make theirs a better home? Our home is comfortable, and they both have their own rooms in our house, plus their own family room and bathroom. They have a mini-apartment in my home. Would a judge still side with the family with more money?
What can be done, under Ohio law, to stop this guy, before he takes my grandson away from my daughter?
We need to know if the DNA swabbing was illegal, because if so, we could maybe press charges for that. Also, anyone with any other advice, I welcome it. Thanks!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was illegal for his family to have taken a DNA test without the consent of your daughter. It seems she is the sole custodian. The hard part would be proving it to the judge. Here's the unfortunate part of the situation. Money does factor into raising the child.
If your daughter cannot show if she even works part time then chances are that man can get custody because she is not having any income. It would be wise for your daughter to have a part time job also. Does he pay child support? If he wants to act as a parent you should get his money every month. Does the baby have his own room in his house? There is a law that the child has to have his own room. And is his name on the birth certificate?
I would also suggest that you find another lawyer because the one that you have by definition sucks. He doesn't seem to be giving you good advice.
Go to legal aid in Akron Ohio. You may pay a small fee if you are over their income guidelines but normally it is free.
I am also a 19 year old mother and I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Jan. 1st and I plan on going back to work in Feb. to help provide as much as I can for my child. I understand the bonding time but you have their whole life to do that. Good luck and I hope that I have helped.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont know much about the laws in ohio but i will tell you guys one thing find a lawyor you feel comfortable with and that you trust when i went through my divorce my ex and his family were fighting the cusody and i dont have much money and his parents have quite a bit. but yea i agree tell your daughter to find a part time job or go to school since she is only 19 i dont see why the judge would fault her for going to school but she needs to do one or the other it would make her look better. I dont know how the judges are in ohio but when i separted from my ex the judge allowed me to keep temporary custody because my son had been living with me and he saw no need to upset his life style and evently i got full custody. but i will tell you one thing make sure you document everything every visitation very drop off pick up document phone calls the guy does document how your son reacts and just be aware even if it seems small becuase you never know what you may need to take into court i have been document things since my ex started visitation and i have almost three years of documentation but i have full custody and due to my ex failing a drug test he has supervised visitation. i would go to the court and have this guy pay child support but try to get through the courts that way if he does not pay they will rule him into court my ex spent three months in jail due to failure to pay child support but just becareful what you do do not give this guy any reason to use anything against you in court i had to be as clean as a whistle to keep my custody and that means no parting no going out i even had to quite shooting on my pool league so he could not use anything against me good luck to the both of you and just pray and believe in yourself you will do fine
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your responses. She does have a job part-time lined up; we were told that the judge would frown on her working and leaving the baby, though, so she hadn't yet started the job. It's odd, some had told me if she doesn't work she looks bad because she isn't bringing in money. Others had told me that it would look bad if she worked, though, too. It is so hard to know what to do in this situation. Yes, he is paying child support, and we are documenting everything. She is the sole custodian, and that guy's name is not on the birth certificate. The judge, however, seems the type to advocate paternal rights, or she wouldn't have granted him every other day parenting time in this interim period. Thank goodness we go back to court next week, so maybe we can change those goofy visits then.
Thanks so much again!!
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not a problem i hope things go well for you if he is not on the birth certificate i am suprise the judge would take the baby from you guys i know in most states grandparents really dont have any rights to the baby so even if his parents try to get custody they may not be able to but like i said i dont know the laws in ohio but i would talk to people and ask lots of question the more you know the better off things are i have learned so much going through the process in sc your daughter is lucky to have you on her side i know i could not have gotten through my ordeal with out my mom she was great helping me with my son and helping fight my ex i hope your daughter appreicates what you are doing good luck in court let me know how it turns out
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