20 answers

Visitation Rights for Father Living with New Girlfriend

The father of my 1 1/2 year old daughter and I have never been married. We never went to court for custody, he pays 45.00 a week in child support. We worked things out stating that he can come see her anyday anytime he wants being that i'am a stay at home mom and live with my parents. A couple days ago he moved into his new girlfriends apartment and is claiming that he now has his own home and should be able to take my daughter over there. He does not drive, have a car or license so his new girlfriend who ive never met would have to come pick up my daughter and take my daughter to her apartment which i have never been to either. He claims they have been dating for four months but yet he never mentioned her to me. She is 20 with 3 kids of her own and he is 21. Im not comfortable with him taking our daughter over to this girls house or having her drive my daughter anywhere. I dont work and stopped going to college to be home with my daughter and im very overprotective of her. He is now threatening me stating that if i dont let them take her for a couple days/hours a week that he will take me to court for visitation to get alot more than a couple hours. My daughter is only one and 1/2 he has never changed her diaper, he comes by once a week or less and never pays attention to her just sits on his cell phone and leaves right away. She still isn't comfortable around him and i do not trust him, or this girl taking my daughter. What would he be able to get if we go to court? What can I do to keep the new girlfriend away from my daughter? I don't want to let them take her but im also scared that if i don't let them they will go to court and get more rights. Please help me

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I would be pro-active and take steps to file the order yourself. The care of your daughter, both physically and fiscally, is the most important thing here. Nobody in this situation sounds particularly mature or able to make objective decisions in the best interest of the child...loathe as I am to say it, better to have a third party oversee things.

You can, in Texas anyway, require that he complete parenting class(es) before he gets any overnight visitation as part of the order--you may be required to do so as well. Since he is paying support, he could righfully claim that the child DOES have a car seat--the one you use--and that he contributed to buying it.

You can also include clauses about the consumption of alcohol when he has custody of the child.

Unless the orders state otherwise, he can appoint an agent to act in his stead (i.e. girlfriend picking him up). He does have to inform you...and likely in writing....if he is to have someone else act for him so you are sure to hand over the child to the correct person. You could probably request that something is written into the orders, but remember that it will affect you too. What is good for the gander is good for the goose.

In many states, there are exceptions that can be made against overnight visits for children under three, but it isn't written in stone.

There are plenty of families where dads don't know the first thing about changing a diaper or bathing a child...and they live in the same house! Cut the guy some slack, give him a chance to know his daughter, and enjoy the little break it could give you to take some online classes or something.

Odds are that he'll lose interest...four kids can be a lot to handle. Playing house is only fun for a while. Reality eventually sets in. You'll come out better if you play nice.

P.S. Depending on his income and how your states calculates support, $45 may be exactly what you would get with an order. However, you'd also be entitled to help with other expenses (i.e. medical).

2 moms found this helpful

I urge you to get to know the girl friend and her children. Perhaps first invite the girl friend and your ex over for coffee. That way you can see how they are together and how they react to your baby. Talk with them, in a calm way about your concerns and ask them to help work this situation out so that everyone is comfortable.

It is best to resolve this without court involvement if at all possible. When custody and visitation issues go to court they tend to be adversarial creating bad feelings and more anger. I understand your concerns and I suggest that they are based on your fear of the unknown. Once you know the other mother and her living arrangement you may feel differently.

If you do end up in court you want to be able to say that you tried without going to court. If you haven't tried to get to know her, the court will tell you to do so and most likely give you and your baby's father a definite visiting schedule.

If you're not comfortable getting to know the other mom and her situation on your own, enlist the help of a friend, your mother, or an older person who can remain neutral and help you feel more assured in taking the steps to get to know her. You can also go thru a mediator. Some attorneys offer mediation. The court does and you may be able to utilize their mediator to avoid going to court. Call the courthouse family law division and ask about mediation.

It's legitimate to ask to see information about her car insurance and to get a copy of her DMV driving record.

I agree with you to not just let her pick up your daughter and take her to her home. It's common sense to get to know her first. She should understand your concerns and be willing to get to know you first, also.

This is a big change for everyone. Change is scary and managing our fears during change can be difficult. You will get thru this. Keep a positive attitude focusing on what is best for your baby in the long run. Visiting in her home could be a very good thing. Her father doesn't pay much attention to her now. This could open the way for a better relationship between them.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't let him scare or intimidate you. You hold the cards. You are the main caregiver and have physical custody. You've been the nice one here. Let him know exactly what you told us. Now, if he wants to compromise he'll do it your way of you'll cut things off and what judge is going to allow a strange woman to drive a baby around. He doesn't even have a license? He's living with HER? That's not HIS home. The judge will see this. SHE has to drive him around? The judge will see this. SHE has 3 other children that distracts from his attention from his own baby, and they're not HIS children. It's not about letting THEM see the baby. It's about HIM. She is not in the equation. What if the situation were reversed? Would he be ok with you moving in with some guy he didn't know and having him tend to HIS daughter?

The compromise is that you need to get to know this woman. This is not his wife. That would be a different story. But a girlfriend with 3 kids? He can't even get his OWN apartment? He can't get a driver's license? He can't get a car? If being independent and caring for his daughter on his own is important then he would have done these things on his own. You need time to meet this "girlfriend" and the daughter as well needs to get to know this woman. You need to trust that this woman meets your child's needs. And the other 3 children as well. What do you know about these children? How old are they? Dad will be the one to change diapers and feed her and bathe her and put her to bed, not pawning her off on the girlfriend and then she later gets resentful. What if the relationship doesn't work out? How will your daughter handle this if she gets an attatchment to this woman?

You need to meet and get to know this woman, along with your daughter and her children. And remind him that he may go to court and maybe he may get more time with the baby, but no judge is going to let him get away with paying a tiny amount of $45 week in child support! Remind him of that! Is his name on the birth certificate, or are you just being nice? You are being nice and letting him get away with a lot and he needs to be reminded that he's got it lucky and don't push your buttons or things will get hard on HIM. Tell him to play nice and on your terms to compromise or PLEASE have him to take you to court. He won't like the results.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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2 moms found this helpful

I have been the girlfriend. When I met my now hubby he only saw his daughter when her mother allowed it. So it was once a week for a few hours. And it got worse when she found out I was in the picture.

I encourged my hubby to become a better dad and see his daughter more. It was an up hill battle with her mother. They ended up in court and he got everyother weekend and had to pay more support (that was worth it) Then a few year later she with held visitation and they went to court again.

This time he became the primary parent, she now got everyother weekend and one night a week. The judge was so mad with her.

I agree with some of the other people as much as you dont like it you have to get comfortable with it. Meet this other woman, she may be a good person, and give him a chance to be a better dad. You never know he may surprise you.

Plus it sound like when he is over your watching his every move I would guess you make him uncomfortable. Let your guard down a bit, give him a longer rope. Start with meeting them at a park and you got a for a walk while they play. Your daughter (from the sounds of it) has never been alone with her dad.

1 mom found this helpful

I would speak with an attorney and see what they have to say.

1 mom found this helpful

well first off...how many bedrooms do thye have in their apartment? And as for him not having a license etc.. i dont think he would be allowed to take her. But i do not know what the laws are in NJ. As for overnight visits, you can fight them simply because she is soo young and he has never had her overnight or even by himself (without you there). So you would have to state that you want very slow and gradual steps towards him having more time. (its called reunification) However you would have to state that she needs an appropriate crib, car seat and safety measures inside the home when that time comes. You can not say to the courts that you dont want her with the new girlfriend cause they will say well if he has an appropriate place to live it doesnt matter what you want. So you can tell him he can take you to court for custody but if he does that you will then take him for more child support (and depending on what kind of job he has, you could get more) and that you will also fight him on it. If the GF has 3 kids but only lives in a 2bdrm, then it would be inappropriate for your daughter to stay overnights. If he has no car/license how is he going to transport your daughter (ecspecially if she has 3 kids and where is the car seat going to go or does she have a big enough car for 4 children?) Well you have to just sit down and write all this down and then go from there. good luck, i am going through the same thing and it will not end!!! at least for me it hasnt.

1 mom found this helpful

In my state, Maryland, there is a website (I think that it is md.state.gov) where you can go and look at anyones record, if they have one. Things such as parking and speeding tickets aren't listed, but other things are, such as divorce, DUI's, etc. Maybe you could find a similar site for your state (every state has one), and look up your ex and the girlfriend. Make sure that neither of them have a criminal background. Then go from there. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

If you go to court, he will have to prove that he has a car seat, a crib, and other items necessary for a toddler. My guess is, he doesn't. My guess is, his girlfriend (with 3 kids at 20? They're all in car seats & cribs!) doesn't have room in her car for a 4th toddler.

He DOES have rights but he has to prove responsibility. You can tell the judge that he has not changed her diaper, doesn't play with her, etc. Get a lawyer or get some low cost help from legal aid.

Meantime, I would have him start by taking her out around the block in a stroller instead of sitting in your living room with a cell phone. If she's in the stroller, she won't see that it's him pushing her. You can follow at a safe distance if you want. My guess is, he won't take her. He probably wants his girlfriend to watch her. Maybe he's trying to impress her with his good parenting? Put his own child into the mix of 3 other kids who aren't his? I'm not sure.

Your child has rights and needs to be in a safe environment. I would tell him you (or the court) will want to see the apartment and space your daughter will be occupying. Let him show you her crib (make sure there are 4!) and her changing table and where her diapers are.

Don't let him muscle you. Learn your rights. Your issue is NOT the girlfriend - if your child's father can prove he is a good parent, attentive, etc., then he has rights. Focus on him and what's lacking there, not whether you've met this woman or whether or not you like her. The courts care about the parents and the child only.

GOod luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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