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Writing a letter to step daughter's mother IF she ever reqests visitation

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  • Writing a letter to step daughter's mother IF she ever reqests visitation

    REVISED ON 8/25/06

    I have written this to try to set some boundaries with my step daughter's mentally ill mother. She has not asked for visitations or contacted us in reference to my step daughter in over a year. However, I just attended (per subpeona) a hearing in which she HAD to sign over her rights to a different child. I say "had" because it was a matter of adjudicated termination of rights or voluntary termination of rights (one way or another she was going to lose her rights). I'm afraid she will go into "see, I'm a good mother" overdrive before my petition to adopt is completed.

    I only plan on sending this through our attorney if she ever asks for a visitation.

    Condensed back story: Father of child (my exH) was given custody after childrens services removed the child from her mother's care. Child lives with me as agreed by both the father and Children's Services. I am her legal guardian.

    Here Goes:

    Ms. *****

    Since you have recently contacted me (CP) and requested visitation, this document has been forwarded to you per my attorney in order establish some guidelines.

    As you may recall, the decision made during the Pretrial / Motion hearing held on January nth, 200* in (deleted) County Court, Case #JN****-**** is as follows:
    • As a matter of law, mother has abandoned Little Bit.
    • Therefore, the child shall be placed in the legal custody of exH who shall be vested with the rights and responsibilities of residential parent and legal custodian of the above named child.
    • Motherís visitation and/or parenting time with Little Bit shall be supervised as and directed by, Little Bitís father until further order of this court or other court of competent jurisdiction.


    There is no scheduled, weekly, bi-weekly, or minimum visitation set forth in this order for you and there is no provision for any of your family members. If you have questions in regards to this, please consult your attorney or your own court documents.

    In order for any visitation to proceed with a minimum amount of confusion or stress, we have included these guidelines below:
    • Visitation requests will be made at least one week in advance.
    • (CP) requires at least 2 working days to approve any visitation. This means that when you request a visitation, he has at least 48 hours to approve or deny the request.
    • If you were a no show to a prior visitation, you must wait 30 days to request another visitation.
    • Visitations will only take place in a public setting.
    • Visitations will never take place at either your current or future places of residence.
    • You will never to come to (CP's) residence under any circumstances. Any emergency in-person contact must made by your aunt, (deleted).
    • In regards to place and time, those will be of (CP's) choosing. You may make suggestions and those suggestions will be considered.
    • You may bring one person with you to visitation. This person must have an established relationship with Little Bit. This person may not be Mr.*****
    • You may bring a gift item that has been preapproved by (CP).
    • You may not bring any food or drink items to the visitation for Little Bit.
    • Visitations will be no longer than 2 hours.
    • If you wish to take photographs, they will, without exception, be taken by the person supervising the visit using a camera provided by you.


    Reasons for which any visitation will be ended immediately:
    • If you bring more than one person to the visitation, or there is anyone "extra" in close proximity to the visitation site that are involved with you in any way. This means friends or family members.
    • If you, or your guest, appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • If you or your guest threaten, harass, or act aggressively towards any member of our family or each other during a visitation.
    • If you or your guest make any attempt to remove Little Bit from the visitation site, or out of the direct line of sight of the person supervising the visitation.
    • If you arrive for visitation later than 30 minutes past the agreed upon time.
    • If you or your guest begin to say negative things about Little Bit's current household members or the custody status.
    • If you or your guest make promises to Little Bit that cannot or may not be kept.
    • If you or your guest attempt to discipline Little Bit without expressed consent of the person supervising the visitation.


    Reasons for which visitation may be denied:
    • If you have had any form of involvement or contact with law enforcement within 45 days prior to the requested visitation.
    • If you give the (CP) a non-working number, do not answer, or do not respond within 24 hours to any message he may leave in reference to a requested visitation on the voice mail, you may assume the visitation has been and will be denied.
    • Prior plans made by the (CP) that a visitation would interrupt or prevent.
    • Any illness that prevents either Little Bit or the person planned to supervise the visit from attending.


    Effort will be made to reschedule any visitation cancelled due to illness.


    Little Bit has been through enough. My focus is solely on what is in her best interests. These conditions are non-negotiable.




    So, what do you all think?
    Last edited by Ohio "Step" Mom; 08-25-2006, 09:15 AM. Reason: Edited to include changes recommended by responding members
    Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.

  • #2
    The court order expressly states that she may have supervised visitation at the father's (at this point via you, right?) discretion? If that is the case, then I think the letter (only to be sent in reply to any request she may make) is clear and to the point without any nastiness. You have listed very sound reasons as to why visitation may be ended or denied.
    HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
    (unique up on him)
    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
    (same way)

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree, the letter is very good. When you give it to your lawyer, make sure to keep a copy for yourself.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mommyof4
        The court order expressly states that she may have supervised visitation at the father's (at this point via you, right?) discretion? If that is the case, then I think the letter (only to be sent in reply to any request she may make) is clear and to the point without any nastiness. You have listed very sound reasons as to why visitation may be ended or denied.
        Yes, I quoted the order directly. Is there anything else that you would suggest be included? Should I ever have to have this letter sent, I do not want to be in a situation of "Oh crap, I wish I had said that too!"

        One thing I can pick out right now is that I need to specify the length of the visitation and add a clause for ending the visit if she or her guest say anything negative about us or makes promises to Little Bit that cannot be kept.
        Last edited by Ohio "Step" Mom; 08-23-2006, 06:03 PM.
        Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ohio "Step" Mom
          Yes, I quoted the order directly. Is there anything else that you would suggest be included? Should I ever have to have this letter sent, I do not want to be in a situation of "Oh crap, I wish I had said that too!"

          One thing I can pick out right now is that I need to specify the length of the visitation and add a clause for ending the visit if she or her guest say anything negative about us or makes promises to Little Bit that cannot be kept.
          Let me reread it and give it some thought overnight.
          HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
          How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
          (unique up on him)
          How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
          (same way)

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not quite sure how you would phrase it :
            Gifts, food items for the child,and correspondence must be pre-screened/ prior approved.... (Some people have freaky ideas and if she is mentally ill ...)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by stuckinamuck
              I'm not quite sure how you would phrase it :
              Gifts, food items for the child,and correspondence must be pre-screened/ prior approved.... (Some people have freaky ideas and if she is mentally ill ...)
              Or trying to bribe Little Bit. (I dealt with that issue.)
              HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
              How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
              (unique up on him)
              How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
              (same way)

              Comment


              • #8
                The one thing I would change- and by the way the letter itself is great- is taking out the plural pronoun- "we" will decide, etc. The letter should be as if it is coming from dad and that's it. You know you are involved in all those decisions, no reason to make mom feel like you are jamming it down her throat, and definitely eliminate the possibility of the court thinking any possible over-involvement by you is related at all to mom's lack of participation with child- not in any way saying you ARE doing anything wrong- but perception is everything
                http://www.gestaltmediation.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  But stepmom is adopting the child..right? So she would be making the decisions too...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think the letter is great & will actually keep in mind for future reference for myself! And I loved the very bottom "Hope is all you can have when you're a browns fan" Ain't that the truth!!! Been a Brown"s fan for years... Please God, give us somebody good! Even the Dolphin's got Culpepper! LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      These are some great ideas! So far we have:


                      • Visitation will last no longer than 2 hours.

                      • (Visitation will end) if you or your guest say anything that could be considered negative about the current custody arrangement or about Little Bit's current household members.

                      • Preapproved gift items may be brought for Little Bit but no food or non sealed / boxed drink items may be given to her.


                      And no "we" statements.

                      I put in the food / non sealed drink items because it would not be out of her realm of thinking to taint the food (with drugs) then call children's services to allege we are giving her drugs.

                      She doesn't know I am the legal guardian (so maybe I shouldn't specify custodial parent / legal guardian in the letter either) or that there is going to be an adoption. She may fall into the category of one who needs not consent due to her history, abandonment, conviction for child endangerment, and her mental illness. I didn't see a point in telling her as she really doesn't need to know yet. She also doesn't know about (that I know of) exH not living here. Too many cans of worms. The caseworkers know everything but we agreed she didn't need to know.
                      Last edited by Ohio "Step" Mom; 08-24-2006, 08:48 AM.
                      Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by browns_fan27
                        I think the letter is great & will actually keep in mind for future reference for myself! And I loved the very bottom "Hope is all you can have when you're a browns fan" Ain't that the truth!!! Been a Brown"s fan for years... Please God, give us somebody good! Even the Dolphin's got Culpepper! LOL
                        Ain't that the truth!!!! Just someone good!
                        Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't know if you will want to do this but you might want to put in something about recording/photographing the child or persons accompanying the child. Or limiting the amount of photographs. (My mother-in-law took a whole roll of film of me putting my son in time out and him crying.... I was very uncomfortable with flashes going off as I'm trying to tell a 3 year old to stop playing with a rusty metal open-faced BBQ in the park that was full of ashes. )

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think you are probably right. Maybe something like if there are to be pictures taken, the person supervising the visitation will take pictures with a camera supplied by mom (*or no pictures are to be taken).
                            Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't know about photographs... that seems a little draconian.

                              But you did bring up a thought... that the mother is not allowed to discipline the child during visitation without oversight of the custodial parent.

                              You don't want her disciplining the child in a way inconsistant with your rules and regulations.
                              Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                              I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                              Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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