Joined: 02 Jun 2017
State or Province: Georgia
|Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:15 am Post subject: absent dad of my 2yr old seeking joint custody-please help!!
|Hey Ladies, I am seeking advice from moms that have been in similar situations as I or bad a** moms who are attorney’s or of the like. I will try to keep it brief with short detail otherwise I could be still writing this blog when my two year old is graduating college.
PLEASE STICK THROUGH UNTIL THE END-I NEED ALL THE HELP/ADVICE/COMFORT I CAN GET RIGHT NOW.
First things first, I have obtained an attorney and have listened to her legal advice but with as concerned as I am it would help to hear from you ladies as well.
I was dating the father of my child for two months and one week after our mutual breakup I found out I was pregnant. Previously, I was told it would be difficult to get pregnant due to past medical issues so finding this out was a grab bag of emotions. We decided to get back together and my LO’s daughter was very involved and we even started searching for a house but when I was 5 months pregnant-he bolted. I was obviously heartbroken but sought out therapy and got to the point right before my daughter was born that this indeed happened for a reason and she was a blessing. I have multiple screenshots from her father stating she was a mistake, and that his new GF would be in the picture right away if I ever wanted him in our daughters life, etc. I must add, that after he bolted he never was involved in OBGYN appts or preparing for the baby. When I was in labor I asked him multiple times to come to the hospital for her birth and he gave every excuse in the book, but best of all “I have a lot of work to catch up on, do you know how much longer you have”. After she was born I invited him to the hospital but he would not come unless his GF was invited into the room. Fast forward, I obtained an attorney for child support because he became unreachable- he ignored every motion, petition and document my attorney sent and we finally wound up in court where he was ordered child support and to pay 70% of my attorney fees. Months later he was engaged to the girlfriend.
Fast forward a year with no word from him or meeting my daughter (except at the DNA clinic for the paternity test) I receive a text that he wants to meet up. We meet up for coffee and he apologizes, tells me he ended his engagement because he knew our daughter was more important than his fiancé, apologized to me, and asked to be part of his daughters life. I forgave him and we sat there for two more hours going through pictures of our daughter, telling stories of the past year, and planning when they would meet. Over the following 2 months, he saw her almost every weekend except two weekends. Him and I forged a close bond and decided to start dating. After a month, he went to court for his 2 DUI’s he received in college 2 years prior and lost his license. Because he lives 50 mins away from me he started to catch a ride to work with another female coworker—two weeks later he left Kelsey and I for his coworker. This obviously brought back past emotions, he started to resentment me again for child support and him having to pay my attorney fees (these were his excuses) and he did not see Kelsey for 6 more months.
In late January of this year, he asked if we could go to lunch and set up a plan for him to see Kelsey more. We met and he apologized again and we decided to work together to be great co-parents. He wanted to start taking Kelsey on his own but I explained to him how emotionally disturbing that would be to her with her being so young and with his time with her has been nothing but consistently-inconsistent. AND let’s not forget he still does not have a license. We created a plan that every weekend I would drive to his house that is 50 mins away, his live in GF would leave for the day, and I would sit back and let him learn who Kelsey was and how to be a father and give guidance when needed. Every weekend we all had a great time together and we were becoming great friends. (At this time I pushed him to legitimate her and I scheduled an appointment at our bank for the papers to be notarized. We completed this ---he never filed them within the following four months.) In this time, I also took Kelsey to his parents house 2 hours away from me and spent the night there with my daughter so she could have time with her grandparents. I would offer to swing Kelsey by his office when she had doctors appts by it so he could see her, etc. There were three of these visits with her dad over a 6 week period, and on the morning of our 4th visit I woke up with the stomach flu and text him at 9am saying I could not drive but that he could uber or find a ride to my house or if we could plan for the next day. He was IRATE-saying he made his plans for this weekend around kelseys visit and I should have told him on Friday (how was I to know I was going to be sick??) and that him and his GF had plans for the next day. I told him that I was sorry but I just couldn’t make the drive and that if Kelsey was his priority he needs to cancel his plans for the following day so he could see Kelsey.
That was four months ago and he has not seen Kelsey since or asked to see Kelsey up until 2 weeks ago when he text a couple days before her birthday to see if he could pick her up and take her to his parents house that weekend to celebrate her birthday (keep in mind he has no license)-I told him we already had plans with my family at the lake and wouldn’t be home this weekend. I didn’t go into detail about all the other reasons why that was not going to happen. He never suggested another date but I did receive a NASTY email from him Mom stating I was keeping Kelsey away from her dad and that Kelsey was going to resent me and that they were going to make sure she knew who the real Me was. I laid out a two year period with all the times I had offered him to see Kelsey and the times he forgone the opportunity. I never received a response.
A few days ago I received an email from an Attorney he obtained filing for Joint custody-every other weekend, Mondays, and all the holidays including summer break on all the even years of her age. Without me going into detail of all the reasons why this is not okay, I will just say that he is treating this as if our two year old who he is a stranger to is like a vacation home and he wants half the time to vacation at the beach house. It is clear he does not have any regard to how Kelsey would feel and is only thinking selfishly about what would be easy for him. I spoke with my attorney and she calmed my fears and basically said he doesn’t have a leg to stand on---especially because he does not have a license until January 2018. I advised her that I DID want Kelsey in her life and will continue to support their relationship but it needed to be at a thoughtful pace with regards to her age and the situation. She let me know that most judges rule for a step up parenting plan—this is exactly what I offered him when we started the visits at his house and that we would gradually increase the time without me there as long as they formed a relationship and he was consistent.
My questions are, (if you have dedicated an hour of your time to reading this J )
1. If your situation was similar what was the outcome with mediation/judge ruling-do you think he will get joint custody or just visitation—how much?
2. Do you think I have a chance to get all or some of my attorney fees covered because I can clearly show I have done everything possible to forge a relationship between the two
3. What are some requests you would add when I create my parenting plan, or added stipulations to their visits
4. Anything else you can think of that I need to keep in mind: advice, legal formalities, etc.
THANK YOU SO MUCH—having the support and guidance from you ladies really will keep my mind at ease during this time. I hope you have a great day J