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child support/visitation, SD South Dakota

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  • child support/visitation, SD South Dakota

    My daughter left abusive fiance late in pregnancy (high risk) because of abuse and came to live with her Dad and me in another state, 1000 mi away.. (She cannot afford to live on her own and she was on medical leave for over 4 months). We are helping to support her and the baby as needed till she can get on her feet. Baby's father is not on birth certificate. Daughter has 3 yr order of protection in our state based on the abuse, threats by his brother (voice mail and recorded), and his threats to take the baby where my daughter would never see her again, and his obsessiveness -- called/e-mailed over 140 times during the course of the TPO). Two days after the permanent order of protection was granted (Aug 9), he sued her for paternity testing (most of the time during the pregnancy he denied that the baby was his) custody and visitation and wants her to pay for everything. She responded via atty on Aug. 28 that she was willing to sign paternity affadavit after he does providing there is no name change for the baby. (There were 2 previous orders of protection for abuse, threats and stalking-- video tapes at a store of threats), and when I agreed to drop mine if he consented to hers, he altered the document after I signed it so she doesn't trust him. We didn't know it wa altered till we got our copies after the judge signed it-- after we signed the document was taken out of our sight. (She was a minor at this time) She also filed a counter claim asking to retain sole legal and physical custody of the baby because of the order of protection (abuse and threats of kidnapp). She is willing to agree to supervised visitation (we have a wonderful facility here in town for that)

    After numerous letters from her atty to his, his atty responding that he didn't know what the deal was that his client was not responding, the abuser finally responded on Oct. 19, demanding a face to face meeting at his atty's office, denying the order of protection, whining about not having seen the baby and that he will sign affadavit after he sees her and will discuss custody, visitation and the "necessity to hammer out child support because the baby cannot raise herself." (Duh-- the baby is now 5 months old and he hasn't even offered thru his atty one penny toward the child support obligation that he will have)

    Daughter responded thru her atty that she is breast feeding, has a order of protection, and will agree to a teleconference, after he signs the affadavit. (Since they never married, he really has no rights till paternity is established, and she won't schedule a meeting until paternity is established)
    She will make arrangements ahead of time to do her orientation at the place for supervised visits and he can do his orientation once the affadavit is signed and see the baby and have the teleconference either that day or another day. She feels that this demand for a face to face is purely for intimidation (by the way, he is 6'4", 250# and she is 4'11", 120 lb), and since she has an order of protection, she does not have to have this meeting with her abuser, in her abuser's atty's office. She wants to be able to speak privately to her attorney during the conference, and if the baby needs feeding, she wants to do it privately. Atty also raised the question that since HE brought this suit, there is confusion as to why he has not signed affadavit and the reason for demanding visit before he legally has right to . Atty also asked prior to teleconference (to be scheduled after affadavit is signed of course) that he submit tax return and paycheck stubs and my daughter will do same so that some work can be done before the teleconference. There is another reason for this. She saw his tax return that he filed last year they were living together)and it is fradulent. He lied to the state and federal govts and she has every reason to believe that he will lie to the court here about his income. He did not claim all income and it can be proven. She would also like for him to submit his bank statements for the past two years. She will be asking that the child support awarded be automatically taken from his paycheck because he writes bad checks, has uncountable overdraft fees and late charges on his bills, also gambles online and that is in his bank statements. And also to take into account he is in another state 1000 miles away-- makes it easier for her to stay off welfare rolls if she doesn't have to depend on his to "mail the (most likely bad) check".

    She is being as cooperative as she can, and while she would like him out of her life permanently, realizes that this probably won't happen because of the kind of abuser he is. She also realizes that he will most likely be a deadbeat dad like his Dad . She doesn't want a judge to view her in a bad light, but she didn't initiate this, HE did. And HE is the one dragging his feet, not her. He also had the opportunity, through this supervised visitation place to see the baby when she was a few days old, but he refused, because my daughter was asking him to sign the affadavit first and have a preliminary meeting with an attorney to establish some sort of temporary child support agreement.. Seems he wants the rights of a father without the responsibility. He could have begun at any time since HE initiated these actions to pay something toward the child support he will owe through his attorney, but he has not. Instead through the grapevine we hear that he has a very expensive tattoo of the baby's name ( an unusual one). Strange, since he won't sign the affadavit.

    Is my daughter on the right track so far and is there anything she can do to get this over with? The stress, the snotty letters from his attorney are affecting her ability to breast feed from time to time. She worked very, very hard to get a schedule at college and work so that she can breast feed and he knew she wanted to breastfeed from the time she got pregnant (he and his mom were against it) He is insisting that she pump and freeze milk for him to feed the baby on visits , but the baby will NOT drink from a bottle. (Neither would my daughter). Our state respects breast feeding, will not force weaning or bottle feeding of breast milk. Besides, the milk is a part of her and she is creeped out that with the order of protection, he thinks she can be forced to produce a part of her on demand for him to touch and handle.

    She is listing the things she would like to have in her agreement with him before they go to court (if it ever happens). She has already provided medical insurance (she got off medicaid) since he changes jobs and newborns need a lot of medical care, feeling that he would be very unreliable to provide this for the baby, she has started a small savings account for the baby for college and makes regular small deposits, obtained a substantial amount of life insurance with the baby as beneficiary, has made a will and named a trusted relative (a young college professor) to administer the money should she perish because he would just gamble it away.

    Is she missing anything?

    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    I have a P.S. Can she request that the father bathe and shave, wear clean clothes that do not wreak of smoke, NOT wear heavy cologne and wash the nicotine off his hands before he visits? His personal hygiene had become disgusting before she left him and the baby is in a totally smoke free environment now, as well as has sneezing episodes when around a lot of cologne, aftershave or perfume. When he showed up in court for the hearing for the protection order he had driven all night with someone he worked with and both of them were pretty dirty and smelly (he was trying to get sympathy). Also, FYI he got two continuances based on lies until he could get no more and had to appear-- he was buying time till the baby was born.
    This is not an unreasonable request, she won't let her nephews (ages 10 and 15) around the baby if they are dirty or smelly. My daughter is not a phobic, she just wants the baby to stay healthy and not be exposed to germs, smoke, nicotine, or strong odors that seem to bother the baby.


    • #3
      Is there a court order for visitation yet, even a temp order?
      If there is- it needs to be followed.
      If there isn't she isn't under any legal obligation to allow visits and she can set all the rules for any visits she does allow.


      • #4
        Paternity has not even been established yet, so no there is not even a temp court order.


        • #5
          Originally posted by LaParole1 View Post
          Paternity has not even been established yet, so no there is not even a temp court order.
          Since there isn't any legal orders yet and there isn't even an actual court date yet she should probably just wait it out.

          It sounds like she "all her ducks in a row", she has the documents she needs and has a list of what she wants the court to order, so sitting back and waiting might be the best. Any letters she gets from his attorney, unless they are making a required legal request, she should just read them and file them away for the hearing.
          I know it's hard waiting, but apparently her ex knows that it's upsetting her and this is his game and a way to keep her undercontrol. The only way for her to really stop him is to not let him upset her. As you know, until there is an actual court order she isn't under any legal obligation to even have any contact with him at all.


          • #6
            Thank you. Yes, waiting is very hard at her age and it is just an extension of the mental abuse.