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Hello,

I'm new to this forum and after looking around I figured some of my best answers can come from here. Bare with me, this will be a long thread explaining the pre-situation and the current one.

Frist off, I'm a 25 y\o male with a beautiful 7 year old daughter. I currently live alone in my own house and earn around $50,000 to $60,000 a year with my own business. I love my daughter more than anything, and recently have had to figure out if I should try and get custody of her. I live in Chicago, IL in one of the best neighborhoods. (I'm sticking out as much details as possible).

Here is the situation, my daughter was born when I was 17 and her mother was 15; yes I know, I've heard it time and time again and do not wish to hear anything regarding how wrong or stupid it was


We were together through the entire pregnancy, she recieved full support from me as best I could at that age. I did sign the birth certificate at birth and my daughter knows exactly who am I. She was on public aid at the time (health insurance) since we could not afford it. I've also paid child support on-time, every time during my childs life. She didn't seek child support, the illinois DHS or public aid initated it on their own since we weren't married and she was on public aid.

When my daughter was 8 or 9 months we had major problems, she ended up going with the neighbor next door and having a relationship with him. They were together around 5 or 6 years. During this period it was on and off when I actually saw my daughter, ofcourse we had problems and arguements and she lived far away and it was hard to get out to her, this as changed over the past year and I see her as much as possible, every week at the least.

The problem is, my daughters mother is still on public aid, and has no job. She collects SSI and really has no plans on ever working. She gets food stamps (link card) and child support from me. She has a 9 month old with her ex and it's the a different situation, no child support, no help.

My daughter is not doing well in school, and I don't like how she treats my daughter. Shes not abusive physically, but I feel she takes out the anger of her horrible life onto her daughter. She lives with her parents and goes out all night leaving her kids with her parents.

I really feel that my daughter would benefit better living with me, there are better schools and it's financially a smarter move since she can have access to everything she needs. Her mother is totally against the idea, when I ask my daughter about this at first she was all for it, but after mentioning to her mother my daughter has changed that tune. I'm sure her mother said something or did something to make that happen.

I really want whats best for my daughter, I would gladly allow her mother to see her and be with her whenever possible and not effecting school or other positive activites. I want whats best for her and I feel this is the best thing.

Here are some key notes....

1. We never went to court over custody... only child support. Never even had to go for visitation because she hardly denied me seeing my daughter back in the day when it was possible.

2. I did sign the birth certificate at birth and noted legally as her biological father.

3. I've paid child support on time and always.

4. I have no felonys or any other negative legal things against me.

5. I own my own home and make around $50,000 a year.

What are my options? Do I need to get a lawyer to fight custody? I'm afraid this will prevent me from seeing my daughter and result in a visitation order that will prevent me from seeing her as much as I do now. Are we considered both custodial parents? My paper work for child support states me as a non-custodial parent, but we never went to court over this. Is it to late for me to do anything? What are my best options?
 

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SSIllinois- Are you dating anyone?
LOL!!!
I'm all for responsible dads!!!


I have somewhat of the same story- same basis I guess, and I live by you! I was 15 when I got pregnant, ex was 17. And yes, the constant reminders of how big of a mistake it was, really just gets old... fast!

Are you in Cook County? I live in Will so it might be different. Do you get along with the mother? What type of relationship do you have with her? I know you said you don't agree with her, but is there any type of communication? How often do you see your child now? What is that visitiation like?

When was the CS order written? You can't modify it for at least 2 years in IL unless there is a significant change. If it lists you as the NCP, you are the NCP. She's got technical residential custody. I guess what i'm not getting from your story is that custody/child support are usually initially set at the same time in IL. There's nothing in there about any type of joint parenting agreement? I just know that my CS order is outlined in our actual parenting agreement.

PM me if you don't feel comfortable posting details. I certainly do understand where you're coming from but it's unfortunately my personal opinion that courts don't like removing children from their custodial parent unless there is clear documented repeated cases of abuse
I haven't personally heard of any NCP getting custody of any child without proving that the CP is unfit.
 

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Absolutely contact a lawyer. Custody law varies a LOT by state. Here in Texas, absent a written custody order, both parents are seen to have equal legal right to the child. Mothers are given much greater consideration in other states. So there's really no way to say. Gather together all the info you can about your case and go meet with a few lawyers--most around here offer the initial consultation for free. Make sure you get someone you click with personally, as well as someone who is passionate about your case. Too many people get shorted by a bad lawyer.
 

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Start documenting everything. The times that you see her, the times that she won't let you. Talk to your daughters teachers and whoever else is associated with her at school. If your daughter isn't doing that well have the school give you written documentation. I would also contact her Dr. and have a consult with him just to see how your daughter's health is.

And definitely contact an lawyer and get some advice.

WELOME TO THE BOARDS.....
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by magnificentmama View Post
When was the CS order written? You can't modify it for at least 2 years in IL unless there is a significant change. If it lists you as the NCP, you are the NCP. She's got technical residential custody. I guess what i'm not getting from your story is that custody/child support are usually initially set at the same time in IL. There's nothing in there about any type of joint parenting agreement? I just know that my CS order is outlined in our actual parenting agreement.
I don't think he went through the courts.

Single unmarried moms in Illinois automatically have sole custody. Legal and physical (residential). Also, if the dad is on the birth certificate, it means he is the one who pays CS. It's really that black & white, unfortunately.

The dad needs to file through the courts for visitation rights and to change any custody arrangement. He has no rights, basically. Sucky again. It sounds like his visitations have been voluntary, up to him and the mom to decide.

So. He needs to go to court to ask for visitation rights, and to change custody. Unfortunately, it is not that it's not likely for an unmarried man to get custody, it's just that it's very hard to change custody in the courts once it's been established with the unmarried mom. You would need to prove that the mom is either unift, or that the child would greatly greatly benefit.

So. Lawyers would be good for you!! Good luck!
 
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