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"Father's" rights??

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a 9 year old son. His father has been in and out of jail about 14? times. At least 4 of them being after he was born (Yes! Bad mistake on my part). He was just released from jail on Christmas Eve, this time being in for stealing a car and violating his order of protection. He is a severe drug addict, angel dust and cocaine being his drug of choice. Both him and his brother are in a gang. His one brother was shot inches from his heart and his house has been shot up a few times, one time with my son's 3 month old cousin inside. He says horrible things to my son about myself and my spouse as well as threatening me in front of my son. For some odd reason, the judges still think that because he is the "father", that he should have rights. The last court date before the order of protection (thats now expired and they won't let me renew it unless he does something particularly to my son to threaten him), the judge ordered "supervised" visits at his house with his mother being present. Turns out, his mother was NOT present and when I called to pick him up, he was at a different house, a crackhouse to be precise. Long story short, I DO NOT WANT THIS MONSTER NEAR MY SON!! Currently he has been seeing his father once a week with me being present to avoid the court situation. I would love to move out of the state and get away from him and start over but im afraid that they will give him my son over the summer. Does anyone know the laws and visitation right that he would have? I am literally fearing that something is going to happen to my son and the courts do not care ONE bit. PLEASE SOMEONE, i need advise. =(

post #2 of 4

I'm sorry you are dealing with this, what a scary situation!  I have not been there, so I don't know exactly what you should do :(

 

Have you consulted a lawyer?  If you can't afford one, try contacting legal aid near you, they were great for my custody case.  I would definitely ask about getting him drug tested before visitation can occur-he would probably be violating parole as well if he tested positive? Again, I'm not sure how that would work.  Maybe CPS could help you-give them a call as well!

 

My first thought was also to call the police if/when you arrive to pick up your son and his mother is not present to supervise or if he is not where he should be with your son.  Another question to ask a lawyer, though, as I'm not sure that the police can help enforce a custody order (they can't here usually) but that might be different since it is supervised visits.


I'm pretty appalled that the court would order visitation in a home that has been "shot up" several times.  That is awful.

 

I would not go into court saying you want to take your son away from his dad-they tend to frown on that and it might back fire.  See if there is a visitation center near you and ask that he have his visits there, or some other more neutral location like a public library or playground (with professional supervision). That shows that you don't want to completely cut off contact but just want your son to be in a safe environment.  You are absolutely right that if you move away, your son may have to spend extended time periods in your ex's sole care, though again, I don't know how that works with supervised visitation.

 

And find out what you can do if he shows up for visitation and has obviously been using-can you call the police? Withhold visitation? Call his PO? 

 

Good luck mama-I hope you can get some good advice either here or from a lawyer to help you! 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you. Yeah I don't know what to do at this point. Its a horrible situation. All I know is I will do WHATEVER it takes to protect my babyboy. I am definitly going to look into getting a lawyer. Thanks again guys.
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
 

I would not go into court saying you want to take your son away from his dad-they tend to frown on that and it might back fire.  See if there is a visitation center near you and ask that he have his visits there, or some other more neutral location like a public library or playground (with professional supervision). That shows that you don't want to completely cut off contact but just want your son to be in a safe environment.  You are absolutely right that if you move away, your son may have to spend extended time periods in your ex's sole care, though again, I don't know how that works with supervised visitation.

 

Definitely go with a professional supervising.  If, God forbid, something happened while you were supervising, it would be your word against his, and I hate to sound cynical, but never believe that a child's other parent's own parent will take your side against their own child.  As for moving out of state, IF you're allowed to, you will have to pay for your transportation, in some cases the father's transportation, and for the supervision of the child- I know this from personal experience.  I'm in a similar boat as you- I fear for my son's safety in the event he eventually gets unsupervised visitation, and I'm stuck footing the bill until when and if my son's father ever does get unsupervised.  When and if my son's father gets unsupervised visitation (God willing, he never will!), I will fear for my son's safety the entire time he's with him, and, it's possible he may end up with a "standard" visitation schedule, even though we're several hours apart.  A "standard" schedule usually involves 1-2 weekends a month and extended visits during the summer and school holidays, possibly every other holiday.  Yes, I know, it sucks.  My son's father found himself a "Father's Rights" law firm and used everything he could to get my son alone, etc.  It sounds like your best bet is to find yourself a lawyer associated with a Women's Shelter.  Mine was brilliant- she saved my baby boy in a very father friendly state.

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