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#61 of 236 Old 09-01-2013, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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FWIW, my niece's father wasn't around for the first year of her life (his choice), it hasn't affected their relationship at all.

 

Just continue on the legal path you have set out on.  Don't attempt to do anything like have people spy on her or facebook stalk her.  If any of that comes to light, it can unfortunately go against you.  As much as it may hurt to see another man being referred to as daddy to a baby that could possibly be yours, if and when paternity is established, you're still dad.  Even if mom has a significant other who is a father figure from birth, you're still the baby's dad and you will have the opportunity to be in her life and have that role.

 

Once paternity is established, child support and visitation can and will be set up by the courts, it is not an overly expensive proposition.  What generally costs a lot of money is when a parent is trying to get out of paying, or another parent has to spend the money for an attorney to go after a parent who doesn't want to pay.  As a parent who is willing to pay, and wants simple visitation, it shouldn't be too complicated.  There are also many father's rights groups out there who can help you.  Visitation is pretty straight forward in most cases, she will not be able to block you from basic visitation without cause, and a lot of legal maneuvering on her part-which costs money.

 

I understand you're upset, but there's not any laws she could be prepared to hide behind, and family court is very straightforward for these kinds of things-knowing or not knowing a judge is not going to give her sway. There are other people involved in a case like this that would make that impossible. Like a Guardian et Litem, which is an individual assigned by the court to essentially represent the child, and what's in her best interest.

 

Good luck.  I know it's not an easy proposition, and I hope you get the outcome you desire.

 

Thanks for that post, it's one of the more positive spins on this situation that still seems pretty realistic. All I can do is continue to play the waiting game and just pray that I can get into court and get this all settled as soon as humanly possible.

 

She's changed her main picture on her Instagram to her boyfriend holding the baby, so she's definitely pretty latched onto the idea of him being the father figure. I wonder if that's going to play into how this all shakes out. Maybe the court will see her as having a stable two parent system going and my inclusion as more of a burden than anything else, so they'll allow me to pay child support but not see the baby as much as they would allow if she was single. Maybe that's just me being paranoid again.

 

No matter what, I can't see this ending well. I can't possibly think of a scenario where we work this out amicably. I mean, I'm bending over and being Mr. polite nice guy in my attempts to talk to her and she still blocked me online and won't respond to me. Imagine when she gets that court summons. Having her hate me is not going to be good for me, even with the court system in place. She will still hold a ton of leverage.

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#62 of 236 Old 09-01-2013, 11:49 PM
 
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I wonder if that's going to play into how this all shakes out. Maybe the court will see her as having a stable two parent system going and my inclusion as more of a burden than anything else, so they'll allow me to pay child support but not see the baby as much as they would allow if she was single. Maybe that's just me being paranoid again.

 

I have no background in US-law but I highly doubt that. If you are the biological father, you have rights. This is not an opinion-court, it's law. And the law says, the father has custody right unless he's proven unfit or a danger to the child's well-being.

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#63 of 236 Old 09-02-2013, 01:21 AM
 
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It doesn't have to be amicable. I have a BFF with a Baby Daddy who she would rather was not around AND he was determined by the courts to have a drinking problem. He STILL gets to see his child 3x a week, on a regular schedule. You don't actually just get to deny men their parental rights w/o cause even tho you may want to. Just follow through the legal process. The DNA is the DNA & it confers rights.
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#64 of 236 Old 09-02-2013, 04:11 AM
 
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I just discovered this thread, and wanted to add my support for you, OP.  I can sort of understand how from your baby-mama's perspective, it would be easier with you out of the picture.  But even though that might be easier for her, I think it would end up hurting your daughter.  She has (assuming paternity test proves this) a biological dad who wants to be in her life, and she deserves a relationship with you!  I have met guys who gave up on their kids because their exes were being "difficult." I think it's awesome that you're not giving up!  You sound like a kind and caring person, and your daughter deserves to have you in her life.  It's not just about what's convenient for the parents.  I truly think it's in your daughter's best interest for you to pursue a relationship with her.

 

Although the situation was very different, for a while when I was younger, my dad became very depressed and convinced himself that he was a bad father and his kids were better off without him.  To us, it really hurt.  Years later, when I was old enough to figure out what was going on, I was able to tell him to cut the crap and be my dad!  Flawed or not, I wanted him in my life.  Of course, it's a different scenario when something abusive/dangerous is going on, but that was not the case in my situation.  I also have a wonderful stepfather, but I want *both* of them in my life.  As great as my stepdad is, it would really hurt if my dad took himself out of the picture.

 

So my point is, keep up the good fight!  I know it's really hard right now.  If it all works out, I bet the first time you get to hold your baby girl, it will be worth all the pain and struggle.  And she deserves YOU.


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#65 of 236 Old 09-02-2013, 07:00 AM
 
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I'm wondering if this thread should now be moved to Single Parenting. I think the posters there have a lot more experience with this court custody stuff, and might be able to offer more insight. 

 

A cautionary tale comes to mind for me: A friend of a friend had some real issues with his baby mama. He had child support figured based on his income from the military, but then he got hurt and left the military and wasn't able to make nearly that much out in the world, so his child support was all out of whack. He owed basically everything in child support and still wasn't able to pay it all. (He was living with my friends rent-free at the time I found out about this.) Also, their custody agreement was made when they were getting along pretty well and it just basically said they could work out visitation between them. Well, then she decided to not be so forthcoming, and so he got to see his son maybe once a month. He probably could have taken her back to court, but he didn't have a car or gas money to make it to the court which was a couple of counties away. I think the take-home message here is to definitely get the custody stuff nailed down. Then if the agreement says you are allowed to visit x number of days a week or month or whatever, and she starts cancelling or holding out on you, you can prove that she's breaking the agreement. 

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#66 of 236 Old 09-03-2013, 11:29 AM
 
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Oh wow, this story is heartbreaking. I am so moved by your sincere desire to be a father to this child. And your willingness to go through this torture chamber of a process to make sure this child knows who her father is. 

 

I have some possible insight. I have a friend who got pregnant by accident when she was 22. She told the biological father not to worry, that she would take care of the baby and he wouldn't have to pay child support. She is Catholic, so she immediately found another boyfriend and married him while pregnant, and told the family that the baby was this boyfriend's biological child. The mother of my friend knew the truth, and she supported the lie because she had younger children who she didn't want to know the truth, because that would mean a child was being born in their family out of wedlock. So the lie lives on, and it has worked out well in their situation because the biological father fell off the planet at will. 

 

I am in no way justifying what this family is doing to you, but I'm trying to provide a possible explanation. Their reasons may not even be religious; maybe they just want it to all work out like a fairytale at the expense of others. It is alarmingly selfish and human and unethical in light of your wish to be a part of this child's life. And I am so deeply sad for you. I like what a previous poster said though: that what is right, is right, no matter the consequences or how long it takes for things to pan out. Just keep doing what you're doing and also take care of you and your life. Much support to you.

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#67 of 236 Old 09-04-2013, 01:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lightgarden View Post

I have some possible insight. I have a friend who got pregnant by accident when she was 22. She told the biological father not to worry, that she would take care of the baby and he wouldn't have to pay child support. She is Catholic, so she immediately found another boyfriend and married him while pregnant, and told the family that the baby was this boyfriend's biological child. The mother of my friend knew the truth, and she supported the lie because she had younger children who she didn't want to know the truth, because that would mean a child was being born in their family out of wedlock. So the lie lives on, and it has worked out well in their situation because the biological father fell off the planet at will. 

 

This is my guess of what she probably is aiming for and the reason behind her ignoring you and trying to cut you out. The thing is it might look all well on the outside but they are lying to their child. And this is a HUGE lie. This is the sort of lie if the child finds out about when older, it might completely ruin their relationship with their mother/step-dad. Imagine being raised for years being told one thing and then you find out it was not the truth. It's shake them to the core and lead to a lot of mistrust. You are not creating a burden, you are giving your (potential) child what is theirs, the right to know the truth (and not some fairytale cooked up by their mother to make everything look perfect).


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#68 of 236 Old 09-04-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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I agree: I know a mama who did this (denied bio father all visitation/parental rights through shenanigans) & now as a teen the child knows the truth & resents the stepdad.
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#69 of 236 Old 09-06-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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I really commend you for not giving up! I agree that you should continue to use the legal system to confirm paternity and establish custody of this child if she is indeed your daughter. As far as what her mother (and her family) is doing, it will come back karmically to bite them big time so just rest in knowing that. You are doing the right thing because you are coming from a place of honesty and love. Stay strong and continue to fight for the truth! 


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#70 of 236 Old 09-06-2013, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I have a pretty significant update for you guys! I'll try not to make this long winded but it always seems to churn out that way regardless.

 

Yesterday I got my court date in the mail... it's in two weeks! And just a few short hours later I got an angry text from "baby mama" herself. I guess my fear that I didn't have the right address or whatever was unfounded. The court system found her and delivered the summons to her on the same day. Her text read, "Thanks a lot. I'll be bringing all of my receipts and copies of my expenses. And I want a paternity test."

 

I felt my heart start beating out of my chest and was overcome with a rush of emotions. On one hand, I finally got her to communicate with me! It has been three months since I heard from her. But she was obviously angry that I threw a curveball at her and the ideal situation that she had created. She went on to say that she was going to file the paperwork herself but she couldn't because she had a C section, and that she blocked me on facebook and didn't respond to me because "I didn't want drama but now thanks to you we have it." Clearly, she didn't have much of a right to be angry at me but it's kind of what I expected out of her. As tempting as it was to get into a war of words and unleash this mountain of anger and agony I have been burdened with, I remained polite and told her that as always, I was here if she needed anything.

 

Then things took another strange turn. After her angry barrage towards me, we didn't speak for a few hours and then I got another text. Suddenly, she was singing a completely different tune. She nicely asked me if there was any way we could postpone the court date until we "established paternity." I told her that the whole reason we were going to court was to establish paternity, but she was turned off by the fact that we need to bring paystubs and tax returns and items of that nature. She said she wanted to go to a clinic and get a paternity test before the court date in order to find out if I'm the father.

 

Now, I know what everyone must be thinking, and I was thinking the same thing. She has some serious doubts that I'm the biological daddy. I told her she could be honest with me about it and I wouldn't get angry, but she really wouldn't admit that anything changed. She said there is a "very slight chance" that it isn't my baby and went on to say it's "been bothering her since the start."

 

This, of course is after she told me for the first 4 months of her pregnancy that it was definitely my baby. Despite all of that, it still wasn't a time for anger because even if she has her doubts, she can't know for a fact that it ISN'T mine either. The dates really do match up (we were together November 28th... baby was born August 22nd).

 

She used this to justify her behavior towards me though. Suddenly, she was extremely remorseful and apologetic. She told me she only kept me shut out because she wouldn't have wanted me to see the baby and then find out she isn't even mine. She then sent me a picture and told me the baby's name, weight and inches at the time of birth. And of course I had no choice but to tell her that I understood where she was coming from. After all, she was finally talking to me. I couldn't risk that moment of good grace by arguing.

 

For whatever reason, she was adamantly against going to court. She threw all kinds of excuses at me: she shouldn't be driving, it's a long distance, she'll need to find a babysitter, etc. It was obvious she was just trying to delay the process. But also kept saying we needed to get this test done ASAP. It was all so bizarre. Was she planning on trying to cook up a faulty test in order to trick me into thinking I'm not the dad? Or did she really think it wasn't me and she wanted me gone once and for all? Or maybe she was just desperate for a miracle that it wasn't mine, and this was her last ditch attempt to shake me.

 

In any event, I told her I absolutely did not want to delay the court date. But I would be open to taking a paternity test beforehand. She said she was going with her mother to family court the next day to figure out how to best get the test done at a clinic somewhere.

 

Then, today she texted me and said she found out that it's best that we just wait until the court date. And so she'll see me in two weeks. And that was that.

 

What the heck is going on here? Does it seem like she has some trick up her sleeve? (call in sick on the court date to delay the process?) Did she go and get legal advice and work out a new plan? Should I be believing anything she said?

 

Despite this whirlwind of events, part of me feels slightly content. Finally, I seem to have somewhat of a say in all of this. I'm no longer completely invisible and it seems like she understands I have some rights. What do all of you make out of this?

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#71 of 236 Old 09-06-2013, 10:42 PM
 
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My read is that you ARE the dad & she had some hare brained shennanigan cooked up. She created this situation where you are now in court & that is where y'all are @: at this point, I would not let anything deter you from your court date. She can call in sick all she wants, they will still order a paternity test. There is no shenanigan the courts haven't seen 10x before.
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#72 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 05:50 AM
 
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The crazy, it is strong with this one. But it sounds like you're persevering, so good for you. 

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#73 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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How sad that this is all happening to all of you...the fact that she had to shut you out out of shame and/or manipulation to replace you with her current BF. Whatever the case may be you and this little girl deserve to know the truth and I wouldn't stop at anything to find it! I say keep the court date and keep everything in the legal system. As far as blaming you for all the drama, that is BS.... because it took both of you to consent to the one-night stand and both of you must face the consequences of an unexpected pregnancy. You only took the legal route after they shut you out. They thought you would just "go away". Good for you for not! It sounds to me like you are doing your part out of love and concern for your potential daughter. Don't give up and don't fall for her drama either! 


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#74 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 09:36 AM
 
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I am utterly amazed at how patient you're being with her. It's for the best, of course, it looks better to the court if you can show that all your interactions with her have been patient than if you kept screaming at her.

 

This girl seems like she's trying to be manipulative. She cut you out, likely expecting/hoping you'd just give up, and now that you're clearly unwilling to give up- suddenly it may not be yours, she gives you a small token to seem like she's on your side (picture/info about your baby) so she can try and get out of the court date. I imagine that if you hadn't stuck to your guns and agreed to sort the paternity out yourselves- suddenly "something came up" every time you went to do the paternity test. 

 

I hope that things go well. Good luck at the court date.


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#75 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 09:37 AM
 
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As far as I know, you won't be responsible for her pregnancy expenses. You will be responsible for 17% of your income if you only get visitation (which you are nearly certain to get if you are the father).

HOWEVER: there is nothing stopping you from seeking joint or even primary custody. I know you wouldn't do this just to avoid paying support. The court though, considers what is in the best interest of the child & that may well be @ least joint custody, especially if BF is not involved (courts do respect BF for one year).
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#76 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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She's proven herself to be very manipulative. Document everything. Everything.

 

I would also suggest seeking joint custody - as I wouldn't trust her to follow through on visitation if it's not ironed out in court.


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#77 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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It sounds to me like she was hoping you would just disappear, and now that you aren't, she's desperately trying to find any way to get out of this.

Keep everything in the legal system. Do not agree to postpone any court dates, or handle anything outside of court.

Now that she's speaking to you, be very careful about anything you say to her. Don't agree with or to anything, even just saying, "ok." You don't want the court holding you to anything that you said just to appease her. Be polite, ask about the baby. Don't let her provoke you if she decides to get b*tchy again. Don't feel obligated to talk to her about anything but the baby.

Remember, save everything. All communications to or from her.

I'm so glad that you're finally getting somewhere! I know it's slow and it sucks, but you are one step closer to being in your daughter's life.
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#78 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 11:19 AM
 
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Yes: very important: Visitation (if that is all you are able to get @ first) MUST be specific, dates, times, etc.

Your first court date may not deal with this, but they will likely tell you how to proceed.

If I had a nickel for every situation I am aware of where the custodial party just lets the phone go to Voicemail or only complies to the extent that they won't get in actual legal trouble. I have an aunt who viciously & unethically took custody of my cousins two oldest children & after a YEAR, she let her daughter see her boys 1x for 3 hours, after my cousin drove 14 hours @ her own expense. And that was after pressure from extended family. There were *never* any allegations of neglect/abuse brought against my cousin. Her mother is just desperate to hold on to her 'Parental Alienation' game.

So specific days & times are *essential*.
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#79 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 01:28 PM
 
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I agree with documenting everything! My husband got full custody of his son after keeping track of everything his ex did and said in regard to their child--it's a 30+ page word document and a guardian ad litem read it *all* and advocated for his son in court which ultimately had his mother's rights terminated. 


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#80 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 04:09 PM
 
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Wow, that is a significant update!! I'm so glad that stuff is happening. You are doing a great job of being patient and understanding. That is so important and will help keep drama out of your interactions. I agree with the other posters that she sounds manipulative and that you should continue to document everything. Stick to the path. I have a feeling you will be able to be in your daughters life! Wishing you good luck in the weeks to come!

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#81 of 236 Old 09-07-2013, 05:33 PM
 
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Glad you're standing your ground and also keeping it civil. The court set the date, not you. If she has a legitimate reason why she can't make the court date, she can take her case for postponement to the court. She's only trying to get you to postpone because she thinks she can manipulate you emotionally, which she can't do with the court. Document everything. Keep it classy. Do everything by the book according to the court. And I wouldn't worry too much about her having a legal ace up her sleeve, as pretty much everything she's done up to this point shows she's counting on manipulation and denial to get her fairy tale ending. It doesn't sound like she's done anything to date to give her a legal advantage; if anything, she's proven herself to be uncooperative and more interested in her own desires than her daughter's right to be cared for by two parents who love her. Stay the course and let the court do its job. Good luck and keep us posted!
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#82 of 236 Old 09-08-2013, 08:52 AM
 
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Wow that's quite the update! I'm completely not surprised at her reaction (pretend an issue is not there until it comes crashing on her head) and I have to add, I'm very impressed with your ability not to get sucked into useless arguments and discussions.  And like the others said, I highly doubt she has anything really tricky up her sleeve. From the beginning it sounded like she relied on basic manipulation to get what she needs at the moment without a lot of thought about later consequences.  Best of luck and I hope you find out the truth soon, and if that baby girl is truly your daughter, then's she's very very lucky!


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#83 of 236 Old 09-08-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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I'm glad to hear that things are moving so swiftly for you. I'll just echo what other's have said-document every single interaction you have with her. Don't meet anywhere one on one or even with witnesses outside of the court or court appointed and approved situations. I would also minimize who I spoke to about this outside of very immediate friends and family who are unquestionably supportive of you.

 

I know you expressed fear that the court could look at the boyfriend and the situation there and think that's stable and somehow slight you...I assure you, it DOES NOT work that way. Stay the course, the law is on your side in this situation. If she does contact you again, I would simply reply, I would prefer all contact go through the courts.  

 

I know she seems somewhat malicious, but it's quite possible she's just young, stupid, and made bad choices because she was and is scared s***less and doesn't have a clue. That being said, I also wouldn't trust her one tiny bit, at all-which is why I would insist all future communications go through the courts.

 

Good luck. Again, I hope the outcome is what you want.

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#84 of 236 Old 09-10-2013, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I was foolish to think things would go this smoothly. Four days after she told me she would see me on the 19th, she texted me today with a brand new story. She said she went and filed the paternity paperwork in her county and requested I withdraw my petition so we can do it all closer to her.

 

Obviously, I just want to do whatever resolves this quickest. When I told her I didn't want to wait any longer than I had to, she told me she's going to call and reschedule our original court date if I don't comply with her. Basically she is making me think that the fastest way is to do it on her terms. Of course I won't be withdrawing anything until I get her petition summons in the mail, but this really puts me in a tight spot.

 

Also, she said that she talked to someone who specialized in family law today (sounds like a lawyer) and she was told that it will take 6-8 weeks after we take the paternity test to get results, and the results are given in court. That just seems like a long time to wait. After I felt like there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it's looking like it will continue to be a massive struggle where I'm completely at her mercy.

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#85 of 236 Old 09-10-2013, 04:56 PM
 
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Someone already suggested this- but you should really ask a mod to move the thread or make a new thread on the Single Parenting forum. You'll get a lot more people who are actively dealing with this kind of law there.


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#86 of 236 Old 09-10-2013, 05:32 PM
 
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Document this - but agree to change NOTHING.

 

She has already proven herself to be extremely manipulative. Do not trust her at all. Stay the course. Seek legal counsel if you can.


treehugger.gifQueer Not-A-Mama-Yet, here to read and lurk until it is time to have the babies...

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#87 of 236 Old 09-10-2013, 06:40 PM
 
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Can she unilaterally reschedule the court date, or do you need to agree to it? Seems like that could be easily abused. I would definitely refuse to change it if you have a say in it.

 

I flagged the thread for mod review to see if a different forum would be a better fit. 

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#88 of 236 Old 09-10-2013, 07:00 PM
 
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I know it seems long, but in the grand scheme of things, 6-8 weeks is barely a blink.  If the paternity testing was being done independently, you could probably get results faster, but if you go through the courts, it may well take that long just to schedule a follow-up court date.  So that's how long it takes.

 

Do you have a lawyer?  Your ex is trying to yank you around, and without an expert in your corner to say what the law is, and what she can and can't do, that might be unreasonably easy for her.  She shouldn't be the only one here who is talking to someone who knows a lot about family law.

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#89 of 236 Old 09-10-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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Yes: apply for a court appointed lawyer if you can, if not you need to find a great lawyer who can get you a GREAT deal. Honestly, if you want the BEST legal outcome & most access? Don't communicate privately until this is over.
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#90 of 236 Old 09-10-2013, 07:51 PM
 
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Don't let her jerk you around. I don't know enough to say whether she can request for the case to be moved, but it wouldn't be something that just automatically happens. If she can petition to move it, you can object, and the court would make the decision.

Like PP said, do you have a lawyer? If not, you really, really need one. This is one of the most important undertakings of your life, and you need a professional to guide you through it. There's some good advice in the single parenting forum on getting the most for your money with a lawyer.

Also, you might want to contact a father's rights advocacy group for help. There's a growing movement in this country of fathers who want to be in their children's lives, and are having to fight to make it happen.

Michelle, wife to DH, and momma to DD16, DS15, DS12, DS10, DD9, DD7, DS5, and baby girl born Christmas Eve 2013!
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