Help! Dad Wants Custody of My 2YR Old

Updated on April 26, 2017
B.D. asks from Stockton, CA
61 answers

Hi everyone,
My son is 2years old. His father lives in Texas. We broke up after I had the baby. Things just didn't work out. He just recently married someone else. He's only seen our son 1 time since he's been born. The only reason he saw him then, was because I made the effort to travel to Texas so my son could meet that side of the family. Since then, He has not had any contact or tried to come visit our son. He told me that he was doing what he had to do. He's paying child support. My son does not know his father. Every since our son was born, I tried to make arrangements with his father so that they could see each other and have some type of relationship. He wanted me to let him have our newborn son for weeks at a time. I didn't think a child at that age should be away from his mother that long. Now that his father is married he has decided to sue for visitation. He wants 6 months out of the year. I cannot let my child go away to another state with a man and step-mom that he doesn't even know. He'll make himself sick and not eat. I know that my son needs to know his father and other family. I do want them to have a relationship. I just can't let my son go to Texas with them until he can talk and let me know if he's being mistreated.I prefer that his dad comes here to visit our son. Possibly for 1 weekend per month or so, so our son can get to know his father. We have to meet with the mediator next month. I have to come up with a counter plan that I'm willing to work out with him. Please help. What do you suggest? And has anyone gone through this out of state custody thing with a child less than 5yrs old? What's the worst case scenario? What should I suggest at the hearing? I do have issue with the step mom, if you know what I mean. Please help!!!!
P.J.

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S.Z.

answers from San Francisco on

I am a mom on this site and I am also a California based Family Law attorney. I am happy to talk to you about this... mom to mom.. no charges... ###-###-####

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R.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Retain the services of a really good lawyer, now. There must be mom's out there who can give you a recommendation.

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T.W.

answers from San Francisco on

I completely agree with the advice to get legal help - I went through a very similar situation, only my son was a bit older - he was 4 at the time, and I was had married another man and was expecting a second child. His father also had nothing to do with him until that point, and suddenly him AND his parents were suing me for custody from NY (I live in CA now, but used to live in NY).

Although we shelled out over $10,000 in legal fees (I actually researched the best family lawyer in the area because their family is considered "pillars of the community" there, and the proceedings originated there), it was well worth it because I now have full legal and physical custody of my son. He (and his parents) were granted visitation, but that is to happen here, so I am not required to travel or send him on his own across the country. The funniest part in all of it is that he still hasn't seen my son in over 2 years and his parents in almost 4.

Good luck to you!

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B.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,
I wanted to share some information that you may not already have. You as a mother have the option to ask your son's father to give up all parental rights to your son, which means he no longer has rights to visitation, but he also no longer has financial responsiblities. By agreeing not to receive child support, you maybe able to take sole custody of your son. I realize that you are a single parent, and may really count on child support to help you and your son survive. But, I also understand that your son is your world and that you maybe willing to survive with out childsupport if it means not having to be away from your child for 6 months at a time. I have filed the paper work myself to receive sole custody of my daughter 12 years ago, and I have never regretted it. The paperwork is pretty straight forward and is available at the family court house. Like you I was going out of my way the first two years of my daughters life, to have her know her father and his family because I thought it was important. I soon realized that my daughter was blessed to be surrounded by my family and friends and I was wasting engery and time to try and involve people who really didn't care. It is a hard decision to make, but I made it for her, I didn't want to chance that at some point later in her life, he would decide he wanted to see her, or try to take custody, and turn her world upsided down,then she would be with strangers who know nothing about her. Please don't get me wrong, knowing where you come from is important, and having a dad is also important. After taking sole custody, I was lucky enough to meet a great guy, who has been helping me raise my daughter since before her third birthday. We got married when she was 5 and have since expanded our family twice! My daughter knows that my husband is not her biological father, but he is her daddy and when she is old enough, which she probably is, or getting close to [she will be 15 in October!] and she wants to know about her biological dad, I will tell her, and if she wants to meet him I will try to arrange that too. From one mom to another, only you know what will work for you and your little guy, that is part of being mom. I wish you both the best of luck! :o)

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M.L.

answers from Sacramento on

First let me say that I am so sorry you are going through this sort of experience, more importantly that your son may be subject to early seperation from the only home he has known. This is the price that children pay for adult breakups...no judgement, but it is unfair to children that this happens. We have a similar story, yet it is not compounded by having an out of state father.

Also the research does show that children with active fathers do better in school, socially and are less likely to become troubled in their teens. We remind ourselves of these facts when we are biting our tongue dealing with our grandson's father.

Our youngest daughter came home pregnant with a guy she knew too short of a time, and thought she would marry due to the pregnancy. After pre-marital counsel which we insisted on and paid for,she changed her mind, Thank God. This young boy-man was absent through months of the pregnancy and yet has been manipulating and demanding from the moment the child was born. Insisting that he have more and more visitation.

We went to court first without an attorney. Then a year later were surprised she was served to get more custody. The attorney was not all that helpful, but did give her strength in the court room an unerving position when you are thinking about your child. The young man then went and got his own attorney. But, the courts come back to the mediators decisions. They rely on their opinions. They are to be nuetural and fair, yet their bias can enter in.

In our case the request to have the child one night a week over night at the age of 15months was granted. This caused a normally, well sleeping child to have night terrors for close to 5 months. He was sleep distrubed and sometimes as many as 3 nights a week would wake up scream/crying. The first time was the most frightening since he looked awake but was not and nothing we did for him seemed to help, until out of desperation and nothing working we put him down on the floor. When we did that he 'woke up.' His eyes were open all that time, but it wasn't until then that he realized he was home. VERY hard times.

He has improved from there. At 2 1/2 the dad asked for two consecutive nights every weekend. That was not acceptable at this age...he pushes and pushes, even though from the beginning he has taken the baby from the home for hours at a time from the age of 6 weeks. Every week he has the child after his work hours two nights a week for 4-5 hours. Then on the weekends over night every other friday or sat.

What is presently working is new and has caused some anxiety in the nearly 3 year old, to be away from home two nights. The child has said, "I was gone from home a long time." Even thought he loves being with his dad and has a good relationship, he has the routine and structure at his own house, something that kids REALLY need. ROUTINE for their development is important.

In our case, the routine is really only maintained by us and her new marriage to a wonderful man. The father does things his way, irregardless of our suggestions.

READ child development materials for your childs age level, find out what the research says and use that language in commuincating your childs interest to the mediator. Show yourself to be willing to work with the father on California soil, and not sending your child out of the routine and environment of his structured home life with your mother/you.

I might even do a background check on the dad and step-M..
If you find DUI's etc. in his history that poses a risk to the child. You would want an attorney to argue in court for you, yes they can cost a bundle, but may make the difference. He will then need to lawyer up and that price tag he may not want to pay. Don't tell him that you got an attorney when you do.

Pray for a mother mediator, not a man. I can't really imagine that the court would allow a child to leave the state at your son's age and be gone from the only home he has known for 5-6 months at a time. But, then we counted on a mediator knowing that a child as young as 15 months shouldn't leave overnight.
Suggest a more liberal visitation structure if the guy moves to your area, to show you are willing to expose your son to his father. But, stand firm on visitation only in California for the next 12-18 months while he is younger and needs to get to know his father. OR Be willing to travel with the son, as a compromise, on holidays to the area he lives in or some how make concessions, but that YOU are present in the area, and availabe after a day to be with your son.

Holiday's like Thanksgiving and Christmas are important to negotiate depending on individual family routines. Compromise where you can, firmly stand on protecting your sons routine environment and be a broken record on what you learn about child development and understanding the needs of young children. INSIST on the father taking and proving to the court he has taken a child development course, hospitals many times offer these for a low fee. You could take one first and ask if the father has, this proves you are not passive toward understanding how children best learn and grow. Re-inforce your own knowledge of the value of a father. this will be good for your own peace of mind.

Good luck!

PRAY for your son's spirit and mind to be protected from all of this.

Grandma D

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J.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi B.~

First, let me say that I can understand, to some extent, what you are going through, just on the opposite side of things. My husband's ex wife bailed on their family a couple months before their daughter turned 2. She left her daughter in the full care of my husband, financially, physically, and emotionally. However, she finally got her act together, and the judge awarded them 50/50 custody, despite my husband's efforts to gain full custody. The court systems definitely favor the mother. The 50/50 worked ok until my husband and I got laid off, and we had to move 3 hours away for employment. We are both teachers, and you have to go where there are growing school districts that are actually able to hire teachers. This broke our hearts because we went from seeing my stepdaughter every day (I would pick her up from school everyday because I was at home with our son), to only seeing her every other weekend. After a year of doing the every other weekend/summer & holiday vacation thing, my stepdaughter told us that she really wanted to be with us. We decided to go to court, but even with my stepdaughter pleading with the judge to let her come live with us, the judge said she was to young (she's 8) and decided to stick with the current situation until she is older. My advice to you is to get a lawyer. You are the mother, so you have the courts in your favor. I wouldn't stress about it too much. Also understand, though, that your child needs to have his father in his life. There needs to be a fair compromise that will work for all parties involved, and keep the child's best interest at the core of it.

On a more personal note, being the "new wife", please don't take your frustrations out on her and don't see her as the enemy. Understand that she is trying to navigate a whole new life and it is hard for her as well. Try to trust that she may just be a good person and might be a good influence in your child's life. I have dealt with 4 1/2 years of my husband's ex being horrible to me, when I have done nothing but love my stepdaughter more than I can say. As for the other people that posted comments about the "new wife" pushing this and it being her fault, I think it is terrible for people to make snap judgements like that. There are a lot of stepmoms out there who are truly interestsed in what is best for their stepkids. We are not all horrible, petty , selfish people. Please keep that in mind. Much luck to you. Really, the only innocent victims are the kids in these situations.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

No kid should live 6 months in one home and 6 months in another. And that wouldn't work once he begins school anyway. You should have full custody with the father having some visitation. I think the courts will support you, as you are the mother and have had sole custody, but you will probably need to get legal help. Do it right away!

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K.B.

answers from Salinas on

Hello, B. D
I am in court every week listening to some of the same issues that you are expressing. Judges usually support the parent that the child has the strongest bond with. Even his age will be considered when discussing visitation/custody. There will probably be some regular visits before overnights will be considered, let alone the child leaving the state.
Moving towards mediation, make a list of your concerns. I have every faith that the best interest of your child's emotional well being will be considered before anything else.
Good Luck and God Bless You and your family.

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A.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I know what you're going through. I highly recommend getting legal help as attorneys know best how to deal with sticky emotional family court battles (I've been through it too many times myself.)
First, the courts will not grant his request given the circumstances. It's unreasonable. Mediators are great about helping parents understand what is best for their child around custody and visitation. Most of the work will happen there, so make it good! Do your best to stay rational and open. You will also need to get clear with yourself what you're willing to do to compromise and where you're not willing to compromise (ei: 6 months is out of the question, but maybe a few of weeks at a time after he's gotten to know him a little better).
As far as waiting until he is old enough to tell you whether or not he's being mistreated to let him go to Texas, there's a good chance you won't have that option. It can be very gutwrenching to let your child go to a man you don't trust, but the courts don't quite see it that way. I know, I've been there. They will probably give your ex some hoops to jump through to get to know his son well enough to take him home to Texas, but I doubt they'll make him hold off until he's 4.
Stay strong and get the legal help so you don't have to fret over legal paperwork and trying to represent yourself in court alone. I've come across some attorneys that are downright SHARKS and I was grateful to have legal representation on my side to hold my hand and help me wade through the legalese mire. (Although, I've gotten so good at this stuff, I had to tell my own attorney to let me handle it because he was too easy to cave! I also fired that attorney and realized why he was so cheap!) If you're in the East Bay, I can recommend an amazing attorney.
Lastly, I have found that most of my fears were never realized when everything was said and done and my girls are 10 and 11 now (although I'm not sure what will happen once they're teens. Stay tuned to this station...) He never got all that he wanted and the agreements made were good and ones I could live with. My girls have had some challenges with visiting what seems like a foreign country with all our differences, but there's a lot of love and nothing abusive, just vastly different parenting.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!!

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M.C.

answers from San Francisco on

B.:

I'm the stepmom. My husband and me dated when he was in California for a brief time and then he returned home to Missouri. He briefly reconciled with his ex-girlfriend which made him realize how special our relationship was. We were 3 months into living together when his ex disclosed that she was pregnant. After the birth of his daughter, my husband returned to Missouri but soon realized it wasn't where he was supposed to be but was torn as he didn't want to leave his daughter. It ate him up and he didn't have contact because of the guilt. He became depressed any time he called or saw her. So he started neglecting the communication because he wasn't with her. At the time, he only got 2 weeks vacation a year which wasn't a lot of time to spend with his daughter when it takes a day to get there and another day to get back. An infant needs the mother much more than the father in the beginning. Not to say that the paternal bond isn't important but that first couple of years belongs to mommy. When our daughter (and yes, I consider her my daughter too) was 2, my husband was not getting any visitation in California so he petitioned the court. A mediator got involved and an arrangement was made for our daughter to live 3 months with us and then three months with her mom. This wasn't easy - not because our daughter was effected - but because the mother was so upset and caused a lot of unnecessary issues that had to do with her own insecurity. Our daughter was happy. Was it an adjustment? Sure. But in the end, our daughter was raised until she was of kindergarten age in two homes while having loving support in both places. We made the transition special every time she came and I think everyone overcompensated by planning more time together as you knew your time with her was treasured and precious. Something you don't understand when you know you are going to see your kid each day. Our daughter is now 12 and has a wonderful relationship with all of us. She tries to occasionally play each side against the other but because we have worked in a spirit of cooperation since day one - it doesn't work. Best of all, her mom is the best mom in the whole world but I am the best mother in California - according to our daughter - and I proudly wear the label as I consider her to be the greatest gift my husband ever gave me.

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A.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I suggest contacting an experienced lawyer. I will email you my sister's info, she's an experienced divorce atty and lawyer in Sacramento and practices throughout northern california. Maybe she can help you form a plan during the initial consultation? No matter what, you need help. You are not alone! This happens to a lot of people!

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

He should get up and come visit if he wants to see his kid. It's the new wife making him do this for sure. Some people are very selfish.

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K.K.

answers from Bakersfield on

Keep a Journal. Write down EVERYTHING! Emails, letters, phone calls, visitations, child support payments, etc. Write down the date, time, reason for contact, his mood, your mood, your sons mood & reaction, etc. Go back as far as your memory will let you and write everything down. Just because he is fighting for custody now, which I don't think he will get, doesn't mean he'll stop the fight. The only reason I think he wants custody is because he doesn't want to pay child support and/or he and his wife want an instant family with YOUR child. In California, courts side with the mom probably 9 times out 10 unless there is evidence that you have put your son in danger. Put together a future plan such as what pre-school/ elementary school will you son be attending, how will he get there, who will pick him up. Does he currently have play dates, attend church or other educational programs? You need to show that you are providing him with learning activities other than grandma & yourself. Show that he is growing & thrieving with you and that it would not be wise to relocate him. Dad made the choice to leave AFTER his son was born. He needs to live with the fact that he may not see him as much as he would like. If he wants to be a part of his sons life then he needs to move closer to him. Dad sounds selfish. GOOD LUCK! Keep your nose clean because you are now under a microscope if you know what I mean.

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S.D.

answers from San Francisco on

So you know, the more visitation that the parent has the less support they have to pay. I would get in contact with a really good family law lawyer in california (Sheila Marko in Redwood City is amazing) and see if they can help you with your case or if they can recommend a great family law lawyer in Texas. If he has not filed the case in Texas yet then you should file in California ASAP, because whoever files first is where the case will be worked out, but check with a family law lawyer to make sure that is the case when I child is involved. I have twin boys that are 14 & there Dad did the same thing with the boys when they were about 3 or 4 and nothing of came of it in my case, but I think it is important that you make sure that whatever Dad wants to do you do not make an easier ex-if he wants to visit with him he has to make arrangements and take care of the arrangements. Good Luck and I pray that if really wants to see his son to build a relationship with his son then things will work out in the best interest of your son.

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M.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Definitely speak to a lawyer before agreeing to anything. Since your ex left the state I am confident he cannot take your son without your permission. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old and my mother tried to move us back to Missouri where her family lived and the judge told her she could go but could not take us (my brother and I) with her. I know when I split up with my daughter's dad he let us leave the state without a fight but according to my lawyer at the time, had he wanted to he could have prevented me from taking her. If I were you I would insist on visits at your home, since your son is so young and unfamiliar with his "father" it will be extremely difficult for him to be thrust into such a difficult situation with a stranger. If you cannot afford a lawyer contact legal aid in your area or go down to the courthouse and talk to the family law facilitator about it. Good luck! *hugs*

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N.A.

answers from San Diego on

Sounds like your sons father plans to use his new wife as his personal babysitter and nanny if he has only taken the time 1 time in 2 years to since your sons birth. Getting married is not a significant change in circumstances. You are the custodial parent and if nothing has changed on your side it is not grounds to change custody. If a parent can't take care of their children alone and hasn't made an effort to do so and even see the child, then shouldn't be the custodial parent. The father has only made the effort 1 time in 2 years, you should seriously question his motivations. If a mother did this how would it look? However, you cannot tell another parent how to and where to excersise their parenting time. Suggest a schedule where the father can travel and see his son. Father needs to make the effort. Fathers often use this strategy of getting married to gain custody to decrease Childsupport. You will be surprised to see that it's all about money not what's best for a 2 year old. It is detrimental for young children to be torn away from their mother to be dumped off on a 3rd party, which will happen in this case "StepNanny to the rescue!"

As a mother, stand your ground. Recommend that your sons can see his father with a visitation plan and give him the opportunity to see your son and visit when ever he would like. This way you can establish a track record to see if Dad even shows up. If he only has seen your son 1 time he has no idea what it actually takes to care for him, you do.

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R.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I don't know. If I were in your situation though I would either call or email Len Tillem. He's a lawyer that gives free advice. He does this on the radio as well, and he's AWESOME.

http://www.lentillem.com/

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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi B.,

Check custody laws with the DA's office in the county in which you reside. Then check the Texas laws. Since you were not married to your child's father and he has not been visiting or supporting on a regular basis, you have been the full time custodial parent. You have made attempts to have the father see his child, so you have also established the fact that you didn't run off to another state and not let the father know your address, phone number etc.

As soon as possible, get a custody order in place with limited visitation in your state and if you are planning to be in Texas, you can perhaps arrange for your son to spend time with his father and the perternal family. You and your lawyer can work this out. If you can't afford an attorney, perhaps legal aid can assist you or some of the Mama's can make a recommendation.

As for your issues with the wife....unless she's abusive to your child (forget about those issues...move on). If you want your child's father to be involved in his life, she will be involved too. Take the high road and if you can't be nice at least be civil. (It really will make things better for you and your boy in the long run).

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M.S.

answers from Fresno on

Hello! And I am sorry that you are in this really hard situation. I can understand you side and I know that the law will most likely allow time for his father to have with him. They will most likely review his case and see that he is putting forth the effort to see his child so they will most likely grant visitation. Being that he is so far away that decision will be difficult. I would suggest for the transition to be easier on your son ask his father and step-mother to call on the phone, write letters, send video of themselves that way your son can get to know them. Even though he has never been around, and I know you just want to protect your child, you most likely have to comply if it is court ordered or you may be held in contempt of the court. My sister has gone through this and it can be really difficult and hard. So keep in mind that your son is the most important aspect of all of this and try your best to make the transition easiest. Make sure that the phone calls, and letters, and movies and so forth are consistent that way your son will be excited to go and see Daddy and (her name). Hope this helps you.

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K.U.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Burnatte,

I'm sorry for the trouble he's causing you. I would suggest sticking to your guns. You have every reason to be ambivalent about sending your son to him so young. You've been your sons sole caregiver since day one, and suddenly his "father" wants to play the role? You are in a position of strength here. Know your strength and have faith that a mediator will see that it's in your son's best interest to be older before going on long visits with a man he doesn't even know. Insist that if he wants to visit he comes to you, you are absolutely in the right. I wish you all the best.

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C.S.

answers from Sacramento on

I actually had a very similar situation. My ex and I split up when my son was almost 2. He did not have much involvment with him even when we were married due to the fact he was on deployment in another country. I moved to a different state to be close to my family.
Fortunately my ex was reasonable and realized it would not be good to make our son travel to see him. So he would fly to where we lived and I would put him up so he could spend as much time as possible while he was here. He did this about once every three months. This continued until he was 5. Then he was old enough to fly on his own as an unaccompanied minor. He is now 9 and still just sees his dad every few months by flying to his house. It is actually harder now because my son has his life here, with all the sports he does and his friends he has a hard time giving that up to go to his dads.
I would encourage you to make sure you have legal representation. I think my situation was unique in that we were able to work this out without the courts. I would however expect that if he has to travel that the courts might make you partially responsible for his travel expences.
Good luck, remember you are your child's biggest advocate and it is okay to fight for what you think is best for him.

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J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

B.

I do not think the courts would give the father 6/mo a year. The courts try to do what is in the best interest of the child and splitting time down the middle when the parents live in different states is not. You do need to be prepared though that the dad could get summers and other holidays, breaks over the year. The fact that you live out of state is most likely in your favor. I hope that you can prove you are able to support your son on your own. You also might want to be willing to give up support from the dad. Who knows this new found interest in his son may have come from the fact that he must pay you money every moth.
I hope you have hired the best attorney money can buy. If you have any doubts about the capabilities of your attorney, get a new one-now.
I went through a long custody fight. I had moved to another state from the dad but then wound up moving back. I was told time and again that if I had stayed in another state I would have been much better off in my custody. It is so hard. I totally sympathize with you.
Good luck to you. No matter what happens you will survive and your son will too.
JM

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P.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi B.
I just went through a custody battle. My children are 15 & 16 now and I suggest doing your research on the Judge. Check out his family life does he have children etc.. If you get legal help, be carefull, I had to fire my lawyer (Susan Christiansen) because she just didn't do anything for me. It seemed good at first then it was all about the money. Here is an email address to the family law facilitator in Solano County they give free advise and should be able to help. Email them often with as many questions as you have. Dont feel like you are bugging them, its their job. [email protected]____.com Also, when you go to mediation be specific and be willing to work with the father, dont be unreasonable just because you have issues with the stepmother. Also know that what ever the mediator recommends for visitation, does not necessarily mean that the judge will agree to it and make it an order. Best of luck to you. No matter what happens love your son the best you can while you can and know that God is good no matter what!
P.

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K.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I can not imagine any court allowing a child to be taken from the state just for visitation.
You didn't move-he did!
My husband's youngest 2 were moved away by their mother without his knowledge. The judge didn't care.
Now we travel over 1-1/2 hours to pick up & drop off every other weekend.
But, when they first moved, he didn't even know where they were for over 4 nonths. Then she refused to let him see them for another 6 mo. He had to take her to court (after he found them) just to force visitation.
In mu husbands case, he was there before during and after pregnancy. He spends all extra time with them. He cant get enough of his children. Now they are 13 & 16. We have a very good relationship with them both.
Again, I dont see a judge giving him permission to have them that extended of a time or take them out of state.

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C.C.

answers from Sacramento on

There is this great family law attorney on Madison Avenue named Kristine Cummins (spelling might not be correct). I lived in Texas and needed to finish off a divorce in California and she helped me. She is reasonable and spends your $ wisely. She is also aggressive and will do a good job. I would call her and see what your options are. It is my feeling if the father has not made an effort to see his son, then he certainly does not need to be getting custody of him. Best of luck in this.

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J.Z.

answers from Sacramento on

Well here is what I have heard from my sister's attorney in CA. I don't know where you are but I am assuming close. A parent cannot take a child at 2 years old out of state for 6 months. It will not happen. The courts are usually very interested in the protection of the child's rights and the child's comfort level. I would stick to my guns in mediation, and if I had to, take it to court. I doubt you will have to. If this guy has had little to no contact, there is no way they are going to make your son go with him for any length of time out of state. My sister's dad lived a town away, and her daughter is 5 but they still said that it is mostly up to the child even at 5. She goes and visits because she wants to, but if she chooses not to, she doesnt have to go. She didnt know him for 4 years but really the way the laws are they are to protect the child a lot more now than in the past.

Good Luck, and God Bless

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S.E.

answers from Salinas on

Hi B.,
I wish my friend who went through a divorce was on this site. I do recall that her ex had to pay for her to flight with her daughter since a child can not fly alone (up to a certain age and depending on connecting flights). Anyway my point, you need to think of the reasons why his request is unreasonable (financially and emotionally). You might want to talk to a lawyer to see if he can suggest reasons you might be over looking. I truly think 6 months away from his mother is unreasonable (ridiculous) and your suggestion of the father visiting once a month is reasonable considering he moved out of state not you. Also, try to see if he is trying to get out of child support. Six months with the father means you both have your child 50/50 and this could be your ex’s only reason to take him for 6 months. You need to get to the bottom of why he wants his son 50% of the time.
-S.

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N.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Get a family law attorney NOW!

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Dear B.,
Your letter breaks my heart! I went through custody hell when I divorced my violent husband. Our son was not quite 2. Father really put me through the wringer because I wouldn't take him back. So I do know some of what you are going through.

First of all, the 6 months out of the year arrangement will not work for a child so young. And, it won't work as he gets older and school age either. I don't think there is any court who will find it in the child's best interest to have their academic year split between two homes, two schools, in two states. That is an unreasonable request.
Second, Father is the one who chose to move out of state, so there should be no burden on you as far as transportation....the costs and the missing of work to get the child back and forth. In mediation, I would ask specifically how Father plans on pulling off the logistics involved with his request.

Get on the phone and start calling around until you find a counselor that specializes in issues of children of divorce. They are very familiar with what is and isn't appropriate and what a child can and cannot handle. Get a professional on board, right away!

It might be that Father could travel to you to for a period of time so the child can even become familiar with him before anything goes any further. A counselor's office would be a great neutral place for that. And, the counselor can also help dad deal appropriately if the child is scared or shows tredidation. Step-mother should be willing to be involved in that as well. How will she deal with it once the child does go to Texas and all the kid wants to do, even if just initially, is go back home to Mommy? I'm not sure either of them have thought any of this through.

So, call around. Tell your story. Ask for recommendations. Ask for help! My daughter had a WONDERFUL counselor in Fair Oaks. I don't know if she is still in practice as we moved away from that area, but her name is Lisa Lewis. You can call her office and see if they know anyone good in the Stockton area.
Lewis Lisa MSW LCSW - Rollingwood Psychotherapy
9268 Madison Avenue
Orangevale, CA 95662
###-###-####

Good luck and let us know what happens.
Remember, you do not have to agree in mediation. They try to help you do that, but they really should take your concerns into consideration. If you feel that aren't, you don't have to agree and then you will have court hearings in the matter. For now, start by trying to find what is appropriate under your circumstances so you have some ammo in mediation and the next step may be getting an attorney. But get help and start TODAY!

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E.O.

answers from San Francisco on

That is really sad!! One thing that I say that a lot of people do not know is that you do not have to agree to anything you do not feel in your heart when you sit down with the mediator. most people don't know that. If it takes several meetings then that's what it will take but DO NOT AGREE to anything you don't feel 100% about. Good luck.

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E.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I can understand why you are worried. But: the law does tend to favor the mother, so you are in a good position. You have also come up with a counter-offer: that his father visits for a weekend a month to get to know him to start with. I think the fact that he hasn't had much contact to date should also be in your favor. Do you have an attorney? I would suggest that that might be a good first step: to get advice from someone who specializes in this area and has experience of what works, what doesn't etc.

Good luck,
E.

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S.K.

answers from Fresno on

Whatever it takes (even if you don't have the money find out) hire an attorney. They are the only ones who can navigate the system. If you already have any attorney you are moving in the right direction. Read up on Texas custody laws and know the laws here. It will ease stress for you once you go into mediation and court. Goodluck, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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D.Z.

answers from Yuba City on

I sympathize with you completely. I won't go into our sordid details, and you've received a lot of advice here (good and bad).
Do get an attorney. Don't think that by being the nice one it will keep peace, you may get railroaded. Don't, on the opposite be a total jerk either! You sound very reasonable and that is awesome for your son.
Regarding the ex's wife, remember, to her, you are a threat, always be kind regardless of her behavior, you can insist on dealing only with your son's father, that is reasonable. Just say, "okay, when (father's name) is free, have him call me and we'll work it out". But getting in arguments with her can backfire on your son when he is there.
Do always speak kindly about the father in front of your son, he doesn't need the drama.
Be positive if he does have to go at such a young age. You are the mom, if you are negative and apprehensive, he will be too. Ive seen mom's get hidden satisfaction in upsetting the child more and 'proving' the situation is emotionally upsetting! This is not his fault and he will always be your son, remember this and you'll do the right thing!
Take care!

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T.J.

answers from Sacramento on

Ask dad if he would be willing to leave his wife, friends, home and life for six months out of the year to be with his son. Of course he wouldn't, but that is what he is expecting your son to do. Why do people think that what is unacceptable for themselves as adults is accepatable for children who have no power?

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Get yourself a lawyer that handles interstate custody issues FAST! A mediator needs to have a proposed plan from you. A lawyer can help you make that plan and will certainly have many options you may not even think about. Don't delay and good luck.

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C.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm sorry to hear the you're going through a tough time. As a mom, I would NEVER, EVER give up that much time to someone else to raise my child. However, there have been many changes in the law regarding families and custodies. I can give you advice, but that's going to come from my heart. The best way to get through this is get legal advice! I don't care how many people you talk to and they give you advice, but unless they went to law school and practice Family Law, I wouldn't trust it! Get all the information from them about what to ask, how to get started, what to ask for as far as schedules, visits, holidays, etc, but at the end of the day, make sure that you go to a lawyer to get the final counseling! This will help you deal with future stress! It will definitely cost money, but I would never put money in front of the welfare of my child! I would rather sell all my possessions than lose custody of my child! See if you can find one that will let you pay over time so that it's not such a financial pinch to you. There are many support groups that you can go to get help and be able to vent here in San Francisco, so you should see if this is something you'd consider attending. They are a great source of support and a wealth of knowledge! Lastly, get a male attorney! Preferably someone with a family. They can think like a dad while fighting for the mom! Talk with different ones and find the one you'll be most comfortable with! Don't settle for anyone other than who you're at peace with. This is the person you will trust to fight for you and your son, remember that!!! If you want to contact me directly, feel free to do so! Take care and I wish you all the luck and support in the world!

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D.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi B.,

My ex never spent time with our kids until we divorced. The judge saw clearly that he only wanted to spend time with them to save himself some money. I'm guessing your son's dad is getting pressure from the new wife to spend time with your son so that the child support will be lowered, or for a 50/50 situation, cut out the support completely.

Hopefully you have a lawyer who can fight for you. There is no way in the world this would be a good situation for your son. If the dad wants to see him suddenly, he can get on an airplane and fly out to visit.

Stick to your convictions with the mediator. Also, beware that in California, a lot of mediators are pro-father. Mine tried to talk my ex into taking time with the kids that he didn't even want. In the end I reported her and she was fired. If your mediator tries to take sides, be sure to get another one. Don't agree to anything you don't want. If you can't come to an agreement, the judge will decide for you. Given his past involvement, I don't think you have to worry.

I got full custody based on the time my ex spent with the kids while we were married and the fact that he never tried to see them for the first three months we were seperated. At this time, we are on better terms and I realize the need for the boys to see their father, so we worked out a visitation plan out of court. It works well for us for the boys to see their dad for a few hours once a week because he lives in the same city.

If you want your son to spend time with his father, I would recommend that at 2 years old, he not spend more than a weekend at a time away from you. You also have to consider traveling to Texas. Would the dad be willing to fly to pick him up? Would he expect you to pay for the trips? These are things you should think about before you see the mediator.

I know it is hard, but try not to worry. The support of your mom is a plus for you. The courts will see that he is in good hands and that the dad has been absent for so long. I'll pray for your situation. I believe God already has it all worked out for you son.

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M.C.

answers from San Francisco on

My heart is with you! I've been there. I put my 4 year old girl on a plane (court orders) to visit her dad (who she barely knew) for an ENTIRE summer. After some horrendous trials, I was given full custody, but he got visitation all summer, every Christmas (alternating weeks for Christmas day) and every Easter. My daughter's father was also allowed a montly visit if he chose to come here - which he didn't but once.

Only because I rested in God did I get through it and all the years of garbage to follow. I encouraged a relationship between my daughter and her father and fought that her telephone visitation was between HIM and her (NOT his girlfriend, wife, or girlfriend's children and her). It was difficult to hold my tongue at times, but I told her she needs to get to know her father for who he is not who I know him to be. As she got older she didn't want to go anymore, but he insisted and she complied. She "hated him" one year, and adored him the next in her teens. BUT, she turned 18 on her final "court ordered" summer visitation and two days later was on a plane home. She bought the ticket herself and called me the day before she arrived. She doesn't have a desire to see him now, but I still encourage her - it is her father.

So, my advice... Try to encourage a healthy relationship. Try to stay out of the drama and out of court. The more you are in court, the more volatile it becomes. Try not to micromanage everything. Trust that God has a purpose for your son in your ex's life IF God allows visitation to occur. Pray for your son and encourage him to be strong, to trust the Lord and to be open with you. Don't engage in "dad slamming" even if your son does it when he's older.

Be still and KNOW that He is God.

The courts will not award custody to the father for 6 months at a time out of state. It is not in your son's best interest. They will likely award more visitation when he is young and school is not an issue, but as he gets older and school more challenging, visitation often tapers off.

It didn't in our case, because I left it to my daughter to pursue - if she wanted to come home early she needed to deal with her dad on it. I was not going to be in the middle as though I was creating the fight. I gave her the numbers to her Guardian Ad Litem and the attorney. She spoke at length with the attorney when she was 15, but she did not pursue anything in court because she feared retaliation from her dad. So, her court ordered visitation life remained the same from age 4 to age 18. (sigh)

Excuse the length of this message, but my heart is with you. If you have a plan, pray about it and present it. Trust God will do what is right according to His purpose.

This verse helped me a lot during the early years:
Psalm 40:2 "He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm."

Also:
Romans 8:31 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"

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J.W.

answers from Stockton on

Well I personally dont have this experience but will tell you the state of texas seems to be very reasonable when it comes to child visitation. My good friend has a son who lives in Ohio now and he lives in Texas and the most visitatin he could get when he was a young child was he had to fly to Ohio and stay in a hotel and had visitation 2 - 4 times a year. They will not make the child fly to the dad usually when they are so young. Now that Riley is 5 he now gets him a couple holidays where he still has to fly go get him and then fly him back at his expense and he usually gets him 1 week inthe summer and one holiday either christmas or thanksgiving and it seems to alternate. Might be something to suggest to the mediator. you are willing to have him come one weekend a month till your child is 4 and then you know they can speak. Then after that you can increase or revisit the visitation. and somehow work in the holidays. maybe compromise and you go there for xmas and stay in a hotel and he gets your son a day here and there....just some ideas but i dont think the courts will send him to texas because it isnt in his best interest. There is not way at that age a child will be shared in different states unless he can say and prove you are a terrible mommy and it doesnt seem that way at all.

Good luck,

J.

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R.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Burnett, first at all, forgive my english but i read about your situation. I think you should listen the other people's opinion that get a good lawyer but besides that you better get an advice of a (psicologist)? sorry, that he can tell you, how can affect emotionally to your son. I think no matter he is the father of your son but for your son he is a stranger so his wife. Why they do not think what is best for the child and he should be number one. If of him is so important to became a father, he should do the thinks differenr where he should start winning his son's love. I think your son is too little and he won't understand why my mom send me with some strangers and why my mom is not here. Think about how horrible can be for your child to suffer that situation.
I always believe mothers have a sixth sense. If you feel is not appropiate please....listen yourself.
Good luck and god bless you
R. Erdinc

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

First of all I don't think any court in this country is going to give him six months custody, the child is way too young to be away from you that long. I share custody of a teenager with his father who is in Texas also, most likely what you could come up with is monthly visits of Father coming to you to get to know your son first before he is uprooted to a strange place with strangers. Then after relationship has been established then he will probably get 2 months in the summer and every other holiday (ie. Christmas, Thanksgiving). When child reaches an appropriate age the father might try to get more, but once school is established this is about the most he can expect unless he tries to sue for full custody at that time, I don't think he will get it though and they will not consider what child wants til he is at least 14 yrs old. Look out though the court may make you share the expense of plane tickets back and forth each year. I have to pay for every other ticket to fly my son to Texas and it can get quite costly. Good luck and hope this info helps. Keep us posted on the outcome.

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S.V.

answers from San Francisco on

hi:

please calm down... no one will take your baby away... the laws always look for the child, he is tooooooo young to be gone 6 mo away and 6 mo with you....

please go to a free counseling in your city as laws vary from state to state and even county to county, but they all look for the safety and over all health of the child..... your counter plan though, has to show that you are willing to work something out like, visitation rights every weekend and also look for a tiny tot program so the court sees that you are looking not only to have him fed and clothed , but you are also looking to educate him...
please do not have any issues with the step mom, because weather you like it or not she will be in your son's life, IF his father wants to have a relationship.... at court please don't be all emotional, seem centered, and in control of what is best for your son.... when the mediator asks what do you want .... always say what is best for your son in terms of a balanced life, living 6 mon with a family and 6 mon with another family is not stable becuase(hopefully by then you will also have a program like tiny tots, all rec centers offer some kind of program for pre-K starting at age 2) as to teach him to socialize and develop relationships that expand beyond his close family, public libraries also offer programs like reading books,etc, research those and your mom could take him sometimes... show that you are looking for the health of an entire new person, that is your son, his mental, spiritual(do you belong to a certain church? where people could vouch for you?where you are part of a bigger family, neighborhood), his diet, since your mom takes careof him stress the fact that he only eats home made foods, he never goes to day cares because he is been given the chance to learn from a loving environment. show that you have the best plan fo rhis care.... that is what i mean by being centered and not all emotional... so appeal to their common sense, emotions, and most of all their logic that you are caring for all his needs...

if you need more advice please call me ###-###-####.. i am late..best wishes...
sandy

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L.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I think the one good thing going for you is the lack of involvement/interest from the father of your son. You can take that to court with you. The unfortunate thing is that he will more then likely get some custody, I'm not thinking 6 months, but I'm not in the legal field either. Get your friend's and family to write letters or appear to the courts stating his lack of involvement. If you can get his family to back your story, get them to write letters or appear in court. If he is showing signs of change and interest in being a parent, the courts will more then likely give him a chance and that's really the best for your child...he should have a relationship of some kind with his father. The courts will stay involved for years, making sure his father is suitable.

My friend was married and live in TX. They married, had the baby and divorced I would say all within 3 years. He moved back here to CA. It took him awhile to get the custody dealings figured out and he was involved with his daughter prior to moving back here (he is from CA, his ex from TX). He has now been here 2 years and the courts FINALLY gave him his first visitation trip with her this past Christmas. He usually has to fly to TX to see her. This summer (she is 4 now) will be her first summer here for I think 8 weeks. This was not a quick or easy agreement to come to and again, my friend was married to her mother and involved in her life. Your ex has a lot of proving to do, not only to you and your son, but to the courts. I can't imagine this is going to happen overnight.

As for not liking the new lady in the father's life....try to trust as much as you can. This is his son, when you find a new man to be a part of your life, you are not going to want your ex to come back and haunt your life over this new man. Make sure you have a good relationship with someone else in his family to ensure your son is being well cared for (if it ever comes down to him having to go to TX).

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

The choice is YOURS. Please remember that, and do not get "guilted" into sharing custody if that is not what you think is right. As for my opinion, I think splitting custody of a young child over any sort of distance is totally wrong, disruptive and confusing, ESPECIALLY if he does not know his father well. The father can come to see his child at HOME, not force a child to make a half-a-home elsewhere. A stable home is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING to a growing mind and soul.
If you were not married to the father, he does not have much or any power over the choice. He can find a way to include himself in his child's life by making the effort to see him without damaging his child!!!!!!!!!!!!
But let me emphasize, the choice is YOURS, not anyone else's no matter what they think.

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W.M.

answers from Sacramento on

B.,
WHile I have not been in your situation I would offer to have them come to the house once a month for visitation.
YOu can't just expect to take a two year old from someone without some sort of repurcussions. Try to find out it the amount of child support paid has anything to do with the wanting more visitation. Besides, what will they do once he starts school? He would have to finish each year. My
Aunt had to two kids, and they would each take turns living with the opposite parent for every other year.
I wish you lots of luck.
W.

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S.K.

answers from Sacramento on

Since your ex has not had any kind of relationship with your son in the last 2 years the courts are not going to give him six months a year. If anything, they may let him have a holiday or two a year. Just as an FYI, I was talking with some friends and she was telling me about a friend of hers who recently divorced. His ex-wife was granted custody and proceeded to move out of state with the kids (claiming she couldn't afford to live here even though the husband proved she could). Now he doesn't get to see his kids (both are under 5 years old). And that is a man who raised them up til now.

I think your idea of having him come out to visit until your son gets to know him is a good idea. After that, a few weekends a year and some holidays should suffice until he is older and can decide how much time he wants to spend with his dad, especially once he's in school (6 months a year at that point would be stupid).

Hope that helps...good luck!

PS - I agree with what someone else said about the new wife pushing for this. I bet money that she is telling your ex that if he has your son 6 months a year he won't have to pay child support anymore or something like that.

R.M.

answers from Sacramento on

get yourself a good lawyer if you don't have one already. (where are you located? Mt S-I-L has a great lawyer in the Sac area)Hopefully the judge will see that it is not in a 2 year olds best interest to go to Texas with someone he barely knows. I think,also the courts take into consideration the involvement that your sons father has shown in the past. Luckily for you, it sounds like it has been minimal.

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A.T.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi B.!

My 3 year old future step son's mother just recently took him to Seattle for at least a year. We went from seeing him every weekend, to not even every month, due to finances and such... even though I've only known him for 7 months, I miss him dearly. We would have been happy to have had him come live with us, but his mother wouldn't allow that.

6 months is a very long time for you to be without your son, and vice versa. Perhaps shorten the length of time to, say every other month, or every 2-3 months with each parent. Once he is ready to start school, the judge will insist that he is more stationary.

My friend's ex lives in southern cali, and they trade off her son every 2 weeks, until he starts school. That means that one parent has to fly to the other every 2 weeks to exchange their son, and that racks up the frequent flyer miles... Texas is a little too far to do 2 weeks at a time.

I know that you want what's best for your son, and hopefully the father is in the same mind frame. As a step mother, I would say please give your son the opportunity to see his father and new wife. As long as she does not cause harm to him, you should trust her, because the father trusts her, and at one time you trusted him... and still trust him enough to want him in your son's life.

I know it may be expensive, but do not go into court without a lawyer at your side, or at least contact someone for advice. If you're in Sacramento, the Family Court Center has a self-help website and on-site library, with people to help for an hourly fee.

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I know a wonderful lawyer who practices family law; she's helping a friend of mine with child support issues.

The lawyer is Rachel Baer -- her office is on Church Street in Los Gatos; her email: [email protected]____.com

If you contact her, let her know that I recommended her.

C. Hawley

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I would advice that you think this through carefully before you say anything at the custody hearing. Do not come across as the righteous mom who cares for your child and bad mouth your ex and his new wife because you will lose your credibility with the judge and mediator. I sincerely doubt the courts will grant your ex 6 months of the year with a child that age (I have plenty of experience with courts so I know). Unfortunately for you the child whether you agree with it or not has to spend time with his father even if he doesn't know him. Every child has a right to be with both parents as long as there is nothing that could endanger them when they are with either of the parents.

Feel free to email me with specific questions and I can answer them the best I can. My email is [email protected]____.com luck

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S.H.

answers from San Francisco on

We just came out of mediatioon for our 14yr old. The mediator will listen to whatever you want for your son. They will listen to both of you. The mediator is there to assist you with coming up with a logical agreement. If what you say is how you feel it should be, you need to state that. I think you are being logical in that you want to wait until your son can talk to discuss longer visitation and the father should be the one to travel at this time. If he and his new wife are serious about this, they should be logical about it too.
I never received child support for my two children, but always felt it important to leave the door open for visits. A serious father takes those and the not so serious try to for a awhile and will disappear.
He pays but he has not been an everyday part of the child and HE chose to leave the state making things even harder. I think you write up the things you see as safe, logical, and best for your son. You know him best and seem to be at least open-minded to the right point.
Best of luck. It's not easy being a single-parent, but it sounds like you are doing everything right, especially loving your son and making him number 1.

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P.G.

answers from Salinas on

Hi Joselyn, KUDOs to you. I agree with Paige; you still do need to get legal advice but I am sure that they will not advise out of state visitations with a child whose father has not paid much attention to up to this point. He may have to schedule time where you are at first so that you son can get used to his 'birth father'; and since you have been taking care of him full time you should have more pull in your direction. Good luck. Take care. Aloha

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M.V.

answers from Sacramento on

You have to get legal help, you cannot do this alone, you need representation and you need to know what the law are and how they apply in your situation. For one, your child has to have supervision, he cannot fly alone or even as an unacompinoned minor so your ex will have to pay for travel and himself, 6 months is too much to be away, every county has a legal aid department, which has no or low reduced fees to help you. but you need help and he will have to come down here to go to court, even you push back hard maybe he will back off a little. I agee with another post, it's the wife, I bet once they have a child of thier own he will back off. Good Luck.

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D.M.

answers from San Francisco on

hi there, depending on where you live, you should schedule an appointment with a mediator at your city's family court services or where you receive your child support services. Get information on what your rights are as a single mom and what the protocol is to file for full/partial custody of your child. The court system always looks into what is best for the child and not so much at what the dynamics are with the parents.

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N.C.

answers from Sacramento on

All I can say is fight for your son with everything you have. You are right in what you are saying and feeling and I think you should let the mediator/judge know what is in the best interest of your son, not your x-husband. Find out what is behind your x-husbands desire to have your son now. What is the motivating factor, if he had no interest before, why now? Your x needs to realize that taking a 2 year old away from his mother and placing him in a situation that is forgein with forgein people will hurt him. My son is 2 also and was gone for a week with my parents while I settled in with my new baby girl, and my mom said she could tell he missed me. When he came home he would not let go of me. I suggest you work on a plan where your child is slowly introduced to his dad and new wife and let it progress into longer stays as he gets to know them. Travel with your son as he gets to know them and stay in that city for the duration of his getting to know you visits. Take him for the weekend, don't leave him there the first few times, but be there for the first few visits. As he gets more comfortable with them you can let go a little bit. Six months out of the year is too much, it will disrupt his schooling and confuse him. Maybe, based on their relationship, you let him have him a total of 1-2 months a year that can be broken up into weeks, 1 month, or weekends. If the mediator ruling is not what you want, make sure you can appeal it and it is not binding. Take him to court and make sure you have a childs welfare person who goes and checks on your son while away from you as part of the decision so you know if he is being mistreated. Let them know your concerns and ask how they would handle typical situations with your son. Ask about disciplining, how are they going to, role of the stepmom. Ask your x why he feels it is in his son's best interest to be away from you for 6 months and placed in a home where he does not know anyone. Ask him how he thinks your son will react and about the stress he will feel. Hammer that home. In the end it is important for you to do what is in the best interest of your son. Love him and protect him. Take care.

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S.K.

answers from Modesto on

I am sorry if I repeat what everyone else has already said. You have a lot of advise and I did not read them all. I Just finished I 21/2 year custody fight with my ex over our 2 children. When the fight started the children were 3yrs and 5 yrs old. He was never around much even when they were born until then. They did not know him or ever have a relationship with them(his choice). After we divorced, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. After about a year of living there, he met a girl and decided he wanted "MY" children to go to Nevada for the summer. A got a lawyer and spent A LOT of money, but my children are with me and I still have full physical and legal custody of them..thank God!
The judge has to send you to mediatioin,(I went twice) but I never gave in to what I though was best for my children. I believed he could come her and start a "reintroduction period" with them. The judge felt that was reasonable and granted it to me. I was advised to put my children in couseling, the judge will listen to the couselor as to what is best for your son. She/he will be your childs advocate.
I have a long story to tell, if you would like.. please email me and we can talk about it. I am willing to share to help you.
Good Luck

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V.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Check out the laws in both states and decide which one might be better. California if very very pro dad and pro this 50/50 thing - it doesn't matter that your son will be traumatized by being sent to people he doesn't know - they just order 6 weeks of re-unification therapy and off he goes... Be very careful here in Ca - - - I hope we can get our laws changed soon - this happened to me 8 years ago and a friend of mine 5 years ago - it terribly scarred my daughter - I ended up getting back together with her dad to prevent it - which was a mistake we ended up divorced 5 years later.

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P.B.

answers from Sacramento on

You need a lawyer right away. There is free law advice on the internet, and should also be something in your area. Check the net and phone book for family law in your area. I wish you well. Patti B

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M.J.

answers from Sacramento on

Please obtain a good, aggressive lawyer to protect your son and his rights. The Father is unreasonable and thinking of himself--not what is best for his son. He is entitled to visitation but what he suggests is unreasonable and selfish. For your son, please "fight" for him since he is too young to be away from his Mother at 2 years old.

Best of luck!

Nana (M. J.)

G.P.

answers from Modesto on

I agree with you, it would be difficult for both of you. Im a single mom, and the father lives out of state. My son is adhd and he wanted to visit his dad out of state, but he can't make up his mind. The father requesting visitation, you don't know if he plans on full custody. That happens with out of state visits. The father should come to you for the visits. Your son is too small to understand what is going on. Maybe someone with the experience has a better insight than I do.

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T.B.

answers from Chico on

I guess the best thing is for your son. Maybe he can move closer to you or possibly you can move to Texas. I hear that houses are cheap their. That's a tough one. I would NOT re-marry or get a boyfriend. Seems to only complicate things more. Hopefully you can get along with the new wife. They will probably produce more children. If that happens your son will probably want to spend more time with the momma that he knows & loves & has more time for him when he is a little older. Not the father that has a new wife (& possibly more children down the road) to compete with! (Don't get a new hubby or a boyfriend). Best of luck it will work out.

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