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Old 09-10-2006, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default How to deal with child visitation issue....

Ok guys n' gals...I need some guidance on this issue, especially since this is going to involve a lawyer or two and the more I know, the less I spend. First some background:

My ex and I first met overseas, got married and had a son while overseas...then came order time. We both got orders to San Diego, however she was to get there first, while I was to be in Pensacola for 6 months, then off to *.D. She took all our household goods while I took the son (since she had family in Pensacola, they would watch him while I had base stuff to do). 2 months later (and 6 years to the day), I find that the aunt that was watching him flew both herself and my son to *.D., while my wife says to me over the phone that she wants a divorce. Things go topsie-turvy over the nexth few month for me and I found myself out of the Navy (medical reasons), homeless, and worst of all, familyless. By default, she wins everything...full custody, all household stuff, and a new baby girl...yup, she gave birth to someone else'* kid while she was still in the service, and still leagally married to me (naturally, she tells the command it is "our" baby to save her a$$, but to this day she does not hold me responsible for her). So for almost 6 years I was nothing to this child but a voice over the telephone, because for most of that time, she had the upper hand since I was careerless and didn't have much money.

Fast forward to June this year. For the first time in his memory, my son comes to visit me (long story on how I made that happen), and it was like we were never apart. But like all good things, it came to an end a month ago, and he had to go back. Since that time I have not heard from him, her only numbers have been disconnected, and I know she has moved AGAIN (She has been in Iowa for over a year now, but recently got married for the 3rd time in 7 years and moved to Moville IA while the son was here). I have emailed her to no avail, and I was going to call the local authorities...but since the town is so small, they have no real police station I pay my support via his school supplies (which I still don't know what he needs...going to call his school tomorrow to find out if he needs anything), and insurance. For a while, i did send him many clothes and toys, but found out his older cousin was living with him as well, and would often take those things as his own, so I stopped that.

ANYWAYS, here are my major concerns. Everything that took place, happened in California, but she is now, and has been for over a year, in Iowa. I am now in a position to petition for full custody as I can *almost* prove neglect on her part. I have NEVER set foot in either state (Floridian), and this WAS her homestate prior to her going into the service. Also, I believe the judge, once he starting seeing what she and her attourney were up to, made it to where even though the support amount was set, she could not do much to have it enforced unless solid visitation agreements were made (which they were not), and I could petition the court if no agreement could be made. But since neither of them are Cali residents anymore, I fear there is not much I can do.

So, does ANYONE have any suggestions on how to handle this? Other than the response "Lawyer Up"? (As this is something I already know).
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Old 09-10-2006, 05:23 PM   #2
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Get a court order to have a paternity(sp) done on the girl. This will prove that she is not yours and this will prove (due to mother nature) that she has had an affair while you were married to her. Thats all I can offer.
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:54 AM   #3
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Do a paternity test.
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to deal with child visitation issue....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrock
Ok guys n' gals...I need some guidance on this issue, especially since this is going to involve a lawyer or two and the more I know, the less I spend. First some background:
Tough deal. Obviously you need to discuss this with an attorney that is representing your interests and listen to what they can realisticly do.

Probably too late to press the paternity issue, since your divorce and it'* terms are already final, though as harrassing the enemy, it'* an interesting angle. Beyond purgering herself to her superiors to avoid a court martial, it hasn't effected you financially. (Yes, it had a negative effect on you in the California court, but that would have happened regardless of who the childs father was. Point being, she hasn't tried to make you responsible for the girl since.)

For a simple start, you need to contact the police in Iowa and express your concerns that your son is suffering abuse. Then the state of Iowa can take action and possibly take custody away from your ex-wife. Down side is that the case will be handled in Iowa...so get your frequent flyer miles out. Irony, I've got a ex girlfriend in Nebraska who is in the same boat, only in reverse..she is trying to keep the kids she cannot support. (I've been helping keep her afloat for months, till she gets back on track. She'll probably screw up again, but at least I know I tried.)

Don't know how old your son is, but if he'* in his teens, he might be able to be declared an adult in the eyes of the courts and can choose to come live with you on his own hook.

Plan B - hire a P.I. in Iowa to document what is going on, then make your ex wife an offer she can't refuse....something along the lines of "I know you aren't making it, I can prove you aren't making it, so do yourself and the world a favor and send son to live with me so you don't screw up his future....or else."
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:48 PM   #5
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Getting a paternity test is useless, in most states infidelity is not grounds for a divorce and certainly not for custody. Fl has long since abolished its abandonment laws too (she left you and took the kid). Unfortunately you have a legal custody battle in your future and in that, alot depends on the age of the child and how young of an age a judge will take the childs preference into consideration. I've heard 12-14 depending on how mature the child seems and how well they do in school; but let me add that my stepson, also dlearning disabled and adhd, was awarded to his mother at 13.

The PI idea isn't bad, if you think that they could actually get something incriminating.

Other than that; be the first one to file and usually the courthouse stuff will happen in your state, not thiers. And a good lawyer should let you know that your homelife situation won't be ideal in the eyes of a judge, GF not a wife and not engaged.

Lastly, if you win, be prepared to pay travel expenses for her visitation. In many places that becomes the burden of the parent taking the child out of their normal area.

Good luck and best wishes.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the response guys. I was actually able to talk to him Sunday night (by process of cold-calling and getting the number to her home), so we will see if she tries changing the number just to be a b****. This situation really sucks because I am still not sure if I have to go through California (where everything took place, and where any other state I go through will refer to), or outside of Cali. If I pushed hard enough, I bet I could have the entire thing thrown out, since she had to be a resident for 6 months before she could file for separation, and had everything filed in less than 5 months of being there (plus my name is wrong)...not sure if that is enough to get it all thrown out and have a clean slate, but if it is....that heiffer better watch out!
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:01 PM   #7
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Infidelity is not grounds for any argument in child custody in any state. It is grounds for divorce settlements in SOME States. So forget that one.

File in the State you live in. Seek free legal counsel to get started. Legal aid should be available in your area.

You don't need a Lawyer to speak to a State Child Welfare Caseworker, either.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:06 PM   #8
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If I'm reading this correctly and visitation rights are all you are after, then willwren is correct. File here in Florida and persue it. You should not have too much difficulty getting the rights for visitation. The real trick will be getting her to comply, from the sounds of things.

The best you can do is get the legal rights then use them.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:49 PM   #9
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(Actually, I believe he mentioned looking to get full custody.)

Unless your ex is willing to just give you full custody, I'm telling you there isn't much hope of you actually getting full custody unless she manages to find a way to get herself sent to jail for something.

The best solution would be for you and your ex to amicably reach an agreement on visitation that is acceptable to both of you. (Oftentimes fathers will get every other weekend and maybe the summer, orsomething like that.) You might consider just seeing if your ex will agree to that, although it sounds like the two of you are not able to communicate with each other *at all*, which pretty much reduces your options to the courts.

There are legal services and attorneys who will give you a first consultation free, which will answer most of your questions, since all of your questions are of the "what are my options, and how would I go about pursuing them" variety. Then if you choose a particular option to pursue, you can expect to pay a lot of money to your chosen attorney. LOTS and LOTS of money, and a lot of time. I don't want to discourage you, I just want you to know that'* what it usually takes. (Had several friends go through similar situations.)

While the paternity test may not give you any legal advantage, you might choose to pursue that if you think there'* a chance that the girl is yours, and you feel like having any involvement in her life, which you'd certainly have some right to do if she was your biological child. (just saying.)
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:10 PM   #10
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The chance that the daughter is mine is zero percent. She conceived and gave birth to her while we were legally separated, but she is legally my child because we were still legally married (she tried collecting support from that child'* father but failed when she was told she would have to get it from ME because of that fact). There is no chance of doing the every weekend thing because maybe 3,000 miles difference, and there is no chance of myself moving up there because there is no job market for me, and she won't move here because her family means free babysitting (I won't get into that aspect of it, but just imagine "The Brady Bunch" meets "The Waltons" and you get the picture). I KNOW I can provide a better life for him, and she knows that as well, but refuses to let that happen for him because of how she was raised (again, not getting deep into that either, but I will say it was not the best, and pretty traumatic I suppose). Full custody would be nice, but I know that is a long shot. I mainly just want her to be held accountable when she goes against the agreement...which seems to be nearly every month.

On the plus side, she did actually call me today to let me know about her new number and such. Then she tells me she isn't making the money she used to (duh..it'* Iowa...and just take a look at where she is at..Moville...Google Earth it and you will see) and her truck got repo'd (think it'* the third vehicle that has been repo'd) and she doesn't have the money for this or that or the other. Well, I have my own thoughts on that, but I do my part to make sure my son is taken cared of...I could care less about her.

I am a patient man by design. Sooner or later, my son will be old enough to voice his own opinion, and until that time comes, I put money into my account for him, and when he is ready for it (or really needs it), it'* there. I call him, talk to him whenever I can, send him all kinds of goodies whenever I can too. He knows who I am, how I live, and how much I love him...and that is all I can really do at this point in time I reckon.
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