September 22, 2008,
L.B. asks from McKinney, TX on September 20, 2008
Need Advice on How to Get Supervised Visits for Child
I have a disabled best friend whose ex boyfriend left her when only 2 months pregnant with their second child for the sole reason, believe it or not, to have sexual relations with other women. He began paying voluntary child support of their 3 year old but discontinued after she took her truck back from him. He is a heavy drinker and smoker and resides with her ex best friend of 15 years that the 3 year old has come to know as "auntie". Now when daddy has her overnight, she sleeps in the same bed as daddy and "auntie" in their very filthy domicile. My friend is very concerned with her daughter being in the care of these particular 2 individuals and the fact that they are always drinking and smoking while she is in their "care". I advised her to seek legal counsel which she finally did and was told by that one lawyer that there was nothing she could do about the husbands living arrangement and lifestyle. However, i cant help but feel that his mindset could be psychologically damaging since he believes that there is nothing wrong if he and his new girlfriend, her ex best friend, should be allowed to live with my friend and her children in my best friends house. He actually proposed that she be ok with him having sexual relations with other women while still living with her and the children before he moved out. he was witnessed by several mutual friends and relatives being so intoxicated to the point of imcompasitation at a biker bar with his new love interst even though he was supposed to have visitation with his daughter that night. He has even been stalking her and harrasing her and trespassing on her property late at night and invading her privacy. I really believe the man is mentally unstable. They are not legally married nor are they considered common law as that was verified by a lawyer. And even though he accrued $8,000 in debt in her name for his business that she helped him start and since he left her has crumbled, she has been very accomodating in allowing him to spend time with their first daughter on top of the fact that he hasnt been paying any child support in the last couple of months. Does anyone know how a mother can go about finding someone who would specialize in protecting a child's best interest when it comes to visitation?(like supervised?) Her lawyer seemed discouraging in regards to this. She just brought her 2nd child into the world 9/17/08 and will be returning home with her premie in a couple of days. Another creepy fact about the father, he tried insisting to my friend when their first daughter was just a premie, that she not clear her nose with the bulb syring so she could "fight" to breathe to make her "stronger" even after she started turning blue. Of course she quickly intervened much to his dismay, but I myself would fear leaving my kids alone with someone like that. what concerns me is that she is afraid of him. the Last time he came uninvited, he called her on the telephone and said "your pool looks nice from here" letting her know that he was in her back yard that very moment. It was late and she was upstairs bathing with her daughter. This is particulary frightening since she is disabled and would not be able to walk to a telephone quickly. To those that do not know him, this could possibly be considered all circumstantial, but she knows him and thats what worries her.
L.H. answers from Dallas on September 22, 2008
I am sorry to hear of your friends situation. I am going thru a simular situation. I don't know how i can help but i will tell you woman do Not have alot of support out there. It is still a Man world. she will have to have evidence that they are drinking and with her child being so young ,she can't get it from the child. My teenagers told the judge thier dad drank all the time and while driving. he order thier dad not to drink while he had the kids and order my children to go to thier dads...he said give him a second chance. he is still drinking around them and now my teens will not even go to his house and he does not ask them too, but he picks my youngest up every other weekend and is now trying to get custody of him. tell her to write every thing down that he does call the police when he is in the back yard stalking her and maybe she should hire a PI. if I can help plese call me ###-###-#### L.
N.C. answers from Dallas on September 21, 2008
If the child's safety is at risk - which it sounds like it may be at times, your friend could always call CPS - Child Protective Services. I believe calls/reports can be made annonymously, to help protect your friend from her ex. I also agree with the suggestion of getting a restraining order if he is stalking her/tresspassing on her property. Good luck!
J.M. answers from Dallas on September 21, 2008
Hi there, well when my daughter was born I hired an attorney to get suprivised visits for my daughter because her father was unstable as well drinking and drugs Since I had poccession of my daughter from birth on and he never saw her on a regular basis I was granted suprivised visits for my daughter. My attorney was amazing and seems to be very cheap. We did not have to make a case or do drug testing or anything. My attorney went in and requested it and it was very easy. His name is Gerad Rosso located in Coppell,TX. When you google him you will find his information. Let me know if you have any other questions. These visitations are called stairstep visitations and he must complete each step before proceeding to the next. Hope this helps!
T.T. answers from Dallas on September 20, 2008
She should be able to keep the baby "away" from him, because she is soo tiny and small. That's usually not a problem. But unfortunately, unless the older daughter is being abused or neglected they will not stop visitation. You could call several different lawyers (usually the first consult is free) and see if you could find one to take the case...I will pray for her and the daughters! One piece of advice...have her keep a journal of everything. Any missed visitation, coming over at night, anything negative...you never know when you'll need it.
good luck and she'll be prayed for!!
S.D. answers from Dallas on September 22, 2008
I used to work with crime victims as an advocate, so your friend's situation is one that I've heard of over and over from many women. As others recommended, your friend needs to document everything that is occurring with the child's father, AND she needs to call the police anytime she has an encounter (by phone or in person) with this guy that makes her feel afraid, i.e. harassment, stalking, trespassing. If there are police reports on file of this man's harassment, that can eventually help her get supervised visits or even help her end visitation altogether.
A couple of people mentioned that she needs to get a restraining order, but restraining orders don't protect people, they only protect property. What she needs is a protective order, which are usually issued through the district attorney's office. Typically the DA's office will provide them to women who have been seeking assistance from the police department for harassment and/or threats of some sort. She can also have the police issue a criminal trespass which would prevent him from coming near her property, and if he did, he would be arrested.
You are a wonderful friend to seek out help and information for her. A woman in her situation needs tons of support, especially locally, so I would also recommend that she seek assistance/support from the victim advocate in San Antonio. She may not see herself as a victim based on the current circumstances, but based on the information you've shared, she and her children are very much at risk for being hurt by this man. Here's a phone number that she or you could call to help her get connected to more support:
San Antonio Police Department
Victim Advocacy Section
Victim Advocates work closely with the police department and can help women through the hurdles in the legal system.
Best wishes to your friend. I hope she can get the help she needs to protect herself and her family.
S.R. answers from Dallas on September 22, 2008
Hi L....the FIRST thing to do is GET ANOTHER LAWYER! At least get a second opinion on the situation. All that second hand smoke in the children's lungs is worse than if they'd smoked the cigarettes themselves...that alone would make me keep my babies away from him.
This man sounds very dangerous...this is not a good situation...see another lawyer for better legal advice...quickly! She may want to think about calling the police and asking for their advice, or asking for a child advocate.
Something else to think about...as a precaution, keep track of all of this...write it down! Documentation is very important if all this winds up in court or at a law office...get a journal, or even a spiral notebook and keep notes, times & dates, stalking like appearances, things that were said, telephone conversations, visitations, etc.
I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but your friend needs to take steps to protect herself and her children...better to be safe than sorry!
M.M. answers from Dallas on September 21, 2008
Have her think about finding the "children" a lawyer. their only working for the kids not for the mom and dad.
she also might try getting a restraining order against him especially if he is stalking her.
best wishes and good luck to her. she will be in my thoughts