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For those that remember the whole drama with my ex earlier this year (threatening to take me to court to get week(s) long visits with ds, won't sign the passport until *I* take *him* to court even though he stated (in email) that he has absolutely no problem with ds getting a passport or with ds traveling out of the country with me).<br><br>
Anyway, so it was all talk (obviously, as we all knew it would be). That was months ago. Since that time ds had surgery (which ex knew he would) and a 3 day stay in the children's hospital due to complications. Ex never called/texted/emailed to see how ds was doing. In fact, since that threatening email I haven't heard from ex since. Not a word.<br><br>
The next scheduled visit is in July. But dp and I are thinking of going up there for Memorial Weekend. If we do I would be obligated to let ex know and at least offer him a couple hours. I have no problem with this and will do it as soon as we know for sure that we are going.<br><br>
DP is almost 100% positive he's going to Argentina at the end of June for work. DS and I would really like to go with him (and it's one of his rare trips where we can go and it doesn't interfere with my work/school or ds's school!). But ds doesn't have a passport. So my options are....<br><br>
a) try and get ex to sign the paper he needs to on the saturday that we are there (may 29). If I ask him to and he agrees but then backs out when we get there (which is what happened last time) then I'm pretty much screwed.<br><br>
b) call my lawyer and see if we can get a quick visit in front of the judge to get him to sign it. Risks with this is that ex can counter sue for more visitation (which I have little doubt he wouldn't get), it will be more expensive and I would have to travel to Michigan again for a court date. We would NEED a court date within the first week or two of June in order to get an quick passport, but we are going to be in Florida on vacation for the beginning of June.<br><br>
c) let it all go and forget about traveling out of the country with ds <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Amazing that someone who has no interest in this child, never sees or calls him, has no idea what's going on in the child's life, etc can have so much control over him <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Ick...he's just trying to jerk you around and use what little influence he has left in your life. Still, it's VERY annoying to say the least.<br><br>
This is JMO, but I would forgo the Florida trip if a court date becomes available in June. A passport is good for what, four years? If you take the bull by the horns, bypass your wishywashy control-freak ex and find a way to get a judge to approve the passport, then you've got travel freedom for 4 years!<br><br>
Also, there's a chance that a court date won't be available so you'll have to rely on option a) anyhow.
 

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Personally, I would go with option A. And forgoe the trip if he backs out/refuses.<br><br>
I would not go to court over a passport in your situation for at least for a few more years. The longer the current situation and his minimal disinterest, the less chance there will be he can change the custody order. And, even if he does someday get longer visitations that would be unsupervised, it is better that happens when your DS is older.<br><br>
I know missing the vacation opportunity sucks. But I personally would not be willing to rock the boat for a few years more yet.<br><br>
I also wouldn't give him a heads up. I'd print out the form and fill out all of it that you can minus the signature, find a list of all the notaries in the area, have him meet you for his visit as close as possible to a notary, and spring it on him there in front of everyone.<br><br>
"I was wondering if you'd thought anymore about DS getting a passport? Would you be willing to sign the form to allow me to get his passport?"<br>
If he says yes (planning on looking good in front of everyone then jerking you around again), put him on the spot: "Great! I've got the form right here, let's just step next door and have it notarized right now."
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ione</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15418636"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would not go to court over a passport in your situation for at least for a few more years. The longer the current situation and his minimal disinterest, the less chance there will be he can change the custody order. And, even if he does someday get longer visitations that would be unsupervised, it is better that happens when your DS is older.</div>
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Just out of curiosity- how many years would you wait before "rocking the boat"? I know what the magic number is in my head (lol) which is why I'm hesitant to go to court right now, but I'm curious what your number is <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
And for those that don't know the whole backstory.... I left ex when ds was less than 2 months old. Between 2 months old and 8 months old ex wasn't interested in seeing ds (even though I was bringing him to ex's parents house at least once a week- ex would just sleep through those visits). At 8 months old ex took me to court for visitation rights. Judge basically laughed him out of the court room (because he was asking for every other weekend Fri afternoon to Sun afternoon and every wednesday overnight when he has NEVER been alone with ds, ds was breastfed, etc). I proposed to the judge a visitation schedule that started small at 1 hour visits and would allow ex to built to overnights and weekends (he should have had overnights by the time ds was about 18 months if he had stuck with this schedule). Judge ordered joint legal with me having sole physical custody with visitation at my discretion. Ex started at 1 hour visits, went to 2 hour visits, went to 3 hour visits and then refused to go to 4 hour visits. He mostly didn't show for visits but would take him maybe once a week for a 3 hour visit (he was supposed to be doing 3 visits each week). When ds was 2 years 1 month ex just stopped showing up, stopped calling, wouldn't answer the phone. Since then he rarely sees ds and has gone over a year without any contact at all from him at one point. DS is now 6 years 7 months so in 4 1/2 years ex has never had ds unsupervised. He's never called ds, ever. He's never called to ask how ds is doing. 3 years ago when I asked him if ds and I could move from michigan to kentucky he had no problem with it, told me to get my lawyer to draw up the papers and he'd sign them. Got my lawyer to do the papers and called ex to see where I could meet him. He refused to answer his phone or call me back, forcing me to take him to court. Went to court and he didn't even show up. Judge obviously ordered that I could take ds out of the state (because ex didn't even object! He was just being an a$$ and wanted me to spend more $ than necessary). This summer marks 3 years since we've been here in Kentucky. Since then I've brought ds back to Michigan about 6-8 times per year. Most of the time ex doesn't see ds during those visits. Sometimes he sees him for an hour or two (all supervised by me). He never calls between visits. He's never made any effort to keep in touch with ds between visits. He's never made any effort to visit ds here.<br><br>
All that to say.... it's been 4 1/2 years since ex has had any unsupervised visits.... which was his choice to stop them.<br><br>
But re-reading my original post I think I just have to say I really just felt like whining. LOL! Hey, we all have those days <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I know if it comes down to it ds and I will stay home, again, while dp goes. I would never risk ds just so we can go out of the country.<br><br>
As for the Florida trip... I can't skip that either. DS is soooo looking forward to it (we're going to disneyworld) and would be heartbroken if we didn't go. He would much rather go to disneyworld than to Argentina (and, personally, I would too because the Florida trip will be an actual family vacation whereas the Argentina trip will be dp working while ds and I do.... something... LOL!).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>StephandOwen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15418722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Just out of curiosity- how many years would you wait before "rocking the boat"? I know what the magic number is in my head (lol) which is why I'm hesitant to go to court right now, but I'm curious what your number is <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"></div>
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I don't know. In your case, based on what I remember of your posting history on this subject, maybe 10 years of status quo and continued clear lack of interest?<br><br>
Really, though, it's more a matter of my child's age if I were to end up with a judge really gung-ho on father's rights, extensive long-distance visitation, and children traveling alone.<br><br>
In my case (which is totally different in many ways), I won't be rocking the boat about anything until my DD is old enough that she'd be able to handle a "standard long-distance visitation plan" and old enough in my eyes to travel internationally by plane alone. Not sure when that'll be exactly, but probably not before she's 10 or 12. (Which would give us 6-8 years of status quo, since she's 7 now and was 3.5 when we divorced.)<br><br>
Thinking more long-term, in your shoes, I would probably follow option A with a formal written request (with no threats, just a pleasant request) if he doesn't sign to document that you made the request and his refusal or lack of response. But not so much in the hope that I'd actually be able to get a passport. More as fodder for my documentation of the lack of cooperation and interest. In case something ever comes up and I want/need to request full, sole legal custody.
 

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I'm not quite sure you would get a passport in time if you couldn't apply this week or so. Passports have been taking a very long time to get now...especially for minors. And it's taking quite a while. I think I'd try to call him up today, ask to overnight the form to him with signature & pay for an overnight return (yeah $$$, but still...), and if you don't get it back by the end of the week call your lawyer and ask for a rush date since you have to have time to get the passport.<br><br>
It's worth a shot. He may sign it, he may not, but it's worth a shot... And if he doesn't sign it, maybe the courts can get you in close to the time you'd be visiting anyhow?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AllyRae</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15418814"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not quite sure you would get a passport in time if you couldn't apply this week or so.</div>
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With expedited right now it's 2-3 weeks. Assuming 3 weeks we would need to send in our applications by the first week of June. If he signed it over Memorial Weekend then we would be able to get it to the post office on June 1st and we would have it in time for the trip.<br><br>
Calling him and asking him nicely to sign it (it needs to be notarized too) and send it back to him at my cost isn't going to happen. He would have me send it out overnight ($$$) along with sending him money for someone to notarize it ($) and return overnight shipping ($$$). I'll never see the paper and he'll never return the money. The only chance I have of him signing it is in person. Even then I think my chance is slim.<br><br>
Even if the stars aligned and we could get in court around the time we'd be visiting, I can't do that anyway. Owen's already on thin ice with the school because of missed school/tardies (all excused but we won't go into this nightmare). Since we would only be up there Sat/Sun/Mon (Memorial day) the court isn't open and it wouldn't do any good. If they could get us in either the friday or tuesday Owen would have to miss a day of school. But I doubt we'd get that lucky anyway. The last time I needed a court date (for permission to move) it took quite awhile to get one.<br><br>
In any case, it's so frustrating having to deal with this crap <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> If he had any real concern about ds getting a passport I would be totally okay with that. But he has NO concerns about it. He straight up said he doesn't care if ds gets a passport or if I take ds out of the country. He doesn't care! He just wants to cause me more stress and money (little does he know that's what his child support goes to <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ).<br><br>
To add onto all this, this summer I will have the chance to have child support re-evaluated (in michigan it's every 3 years we get the chance). If nothing else, it should be raised for cost of living. 3 years ago it was raised over $100/month. I've thought of holding this over ex's head (if he signs the passport I won't request a re-evaluation of child support). I don't know how well that would go over though.
 

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This may be a silly question--I mean, I really don't know.<br><br>
Do they need both signatures on the passport form?<br><br>
Can't you just get it, go to Argentina, and never mention it? It is not like he would find out...
 

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Yes, both signatures are needed to get a passport for a child. They need to see his birth certificate before they'll issue a passport. The birth certificate has his name as the father, so he needs to sign off on it. Since we aren't in the same area he doesn't HAVE to come with me when I get the passport, he can sign a specific paper from the post office (and have it notarized) saying he gives me permission to get ds a passport. The only way around it is to get a court order saying that I can get a passport without dp's signature (basically having a judge override ex's rights).<br><br>
Now as far as taking ds out of the country.... I have no doubt that I wouldn't be questioned, especially if it is dp, myself and ds who are traveling. DS looks so much more like dp than he does his bio-dad that it's not even funny. Nobody would question that ds is dp's child. (AllyRae can attest to that... she knows both of the guys)<br><br>
I'm pretty sure falsifying a passport is right up there in "felony" territory though so.... yeah.... don't want to go to Argentina that bad <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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His lack of interest with Owen in my state for <i><span style="text-decoration:underline;">only 6 months</span></i> is grounds to request Termination of Parental Rights.........<br><br>
I would go with "B" - You and most importantly Owen deserve to not be controlled or limited by someone who is not capable of consistent postive parenting. (Or really any parenting given his history.) You already know your judge. I would go down a few days early and request an ex-party hearing which means there is not some huge time lag. I would change the custody to you having sole legal and the ability to get a passport for Owen based on the "medical issues" (not the passport) and the fact that his father has proven to be unable to make educated, individualized input on Owen's behalf in that he has made zero effort to know his medical condition, has not called or spoken with any of the health care providers, does not call to check on Owen after hospital stays, continues to smoke despite the severe health risk it causes to your son, he elects so little parenting time when you do bring Owen down that he does not truly "know your son" and his temperment so HOW CAN HE MAKE ANY EDUCATED INDIVIDUALIZED DECISIONS THAT ARE IN THE BEST INTEREST TO HIS SON WHO IS A STRANGER TO HIM!<br><br>
Really I would make the passport <i><span style="text-decoration:underline;">part of</span></i> the modification, the crutch of the modification should be you getting sole legal and honestly given everything in the past I think you can do that yourself without a lawyer. Also you can "appear" via telephone if you do have an attorny there present for you......<br><br>
I would also do this ASAP because although the passport office is saying 2 weeks I would hate for you to miss the trip because the passport arrive one - three days too late. There is still a processing time, etc. Fo
 

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I think it is a sin to not take the opportunity to visit Argentina because he wants to play some stupid control game. I hope it works out. I would contact the judge and try to get him to sign it and give yourself some options.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LoveOhm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15420281"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">His lack of interest with Owen in my state for <i><span style="text-decoration:underline;">only 6 months</span></i> is grounds to request Termination of Parental Rights.........</div>
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Just from a quick look it appears that in Michigan it falls under desertion and a judge can terminate parental rights if a parent goes 91 days without contact. Anyone want to take a guess how many times this happens with ds? Let's see.... in this latest jag we're on day 68. If he goes until our next scheduled visit without contact (which is quite possible, unless I contact him first if we visit for memorial weekend) it would be 120 days without contact. Here's a brief summary of the last few years....<br><br>
April 2007 saw Owen for about 30 minutes<br><br>
July 2007 Owen and I moved to Kentucky. Ex refused to see Owen before we left.<br><br>
May 2008 saw Owen for 2 hours (2 one hour visits)<br><br><b>YES- A WHOLE YEAR WITHOUT SEEING/CONTACTING OWEN AT ALL</b><br><br>
August 2008 2 hour visit <b>(approx 90 days)</b><br><br>
December 2008 2 visits (one was 2 hours, other was 1 1/2 hours) <b>(approx 120 days)</b><br><br>
March 2009 2 visits (2 1/2 hours and 1 hour 10 minutes) <b>(approx 90 days)</b><br><br>
June 2009 1 visit (3 1/2 hours) <b>(approx 90 days)<br></b><br>
September 2009 3 visits (2 hours, 4 hours (because his wife took the car and wouldn't bring it back for hours so ex couldn't escape... pretty smart of her!), 2 1/2 hours) <b>(approx 90 days)<br></b><br>
October 2009 1 visit (3 hours) <b>(approx 30 days)<br></b><br>
March 2009 1 visit (3 hours) <b>(approx 130 days)</b><br><br>
ETA- there is no contact between these times as he never calls/texts/emails/etc. He has never called to talk to ds, ever. And those approx days are guesses because I don't have the energy to go back and count the actual days. Those numbers could change depending on which part of the month the visits were in.
 

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i think you should just bring the form to your next visit, assuming you have one, and right before you leave say "oh ex, i need you to sign this so that owen can get a passport and we can go to argentina!" and fully expect that he will sign it.<br><br>
it might not work, i know that, but in the moment maybe he wont even think about being an ass and just do it... you never know!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kristinekristine</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15420694"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i think you should just bring the form to your next visit, assuming you have one, and right before you leave say "oh ex, i need you to sign this so that owen can get a passport and we can go to argentina!" and fully expect that he will sign it.<br><br>
it might not work, i know that, but in the moment maybe he wont even think about being an ass and just do it... you never know!</div>
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It's a little harder than that. It has to be signed in front of someone who can notarize it. The bank that I use up there will do notary for free. But asking him to meet at the bank is a dead giveaway that I want him to sign it, ya know? If I ask him to meet me there he just isn't going to show up.
 

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Is there a reason you don't just terminate ex's parental rights?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ArtsyMomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15420827"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is there a reason you don't just terminate ex's parental rights?</div>
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Lots of reasons, actually.<br><br>
It's not as easy as just walking up to a judge and saying "I want his parental rights terminated".<br><br>
In Michigan a Judge will typically only terminate a fathers rights if there is a stepfather in the picture who will adopt the child. The mother and stepfather have to be married for a certain amount of time (still working on figuring out what that is). DP and I are not married yet, so obviously this poses a problem (dp is willing to adopt ds).<br><br>
I hate to say it because it's frowned upon here by some but.... I need the money. Ex pays child support for ds (and he does it consistently since it's taken directly out of his paycheck). Without this I'd be in a financial jam some months. We would be able to survive, but I wouldn't be able to give ds some of the things I want to be able to.<br><br>
And a small part of me has always hoped he would grow up and become a responsible person and take part in ds's life. It hasn't happened yet, and I doubt it ever will, but I've yet to give up that tiny bit of hope. Maybe I'm crazy for that, but it is what it is.<br><br>
I want to be able to look ds straight in the eye when he's older and tell him I did everything I could to foster a relationship with his bio-dad. I don't want him to ever doubt that.
 

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Mama, you can already look your son in the eye and say you did everything you could to try and foster a relationship between him and his bio dad. You've done WAY more than I would have!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">In Michigan a Judge will typically only terminate a fathers rights if there is a stepfather in the picture who will adopt the child. The mother and stepfather have to be married for a certain amount of time (still working on figuring out what that is). DP and I are not married yet, so obviously this poses a problem (dp is willing to adopt ds).</td>
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they have to be married 6 months. we are getting ready to go through this.
 

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Do your DP and your DS have the same last name? Do you know whether information about legal parents comes up when they scan the passport at customs/immigration.<br><br>
I've taken my child out of the country alone, and they needed to see the birth certificate and adoption decree to prove that I was the sole parent.<br><br>
I wouldn't risk being in Argentina, having someone at the airport or immigration figure out that you're breaking immigration laws and getting sent back, or worse yet, jailed.<br><br>
I also wouldn't risk being in a court room with ex and having the judge find out that you lied to the U.S. government about who was the parent to your child.
 

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There is also the issue of health insurance and the additional cost of health services for your son with the TPR so all of that should be taken into account before you decide to do at TPR.<br><br>
btw - no judgement from me for being practical and making informed balanced decisions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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