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Does the alcoholic father have any rights? Ohio Ohio

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  • Does the alcoholic father have any rights? Ohio Ohio

    I have 2 older children that I was married and then divorced from their father. I have a younger child that I was never married to her father. His name is on the birth certificate but we were never married. We split up almost 2 years ago. I have let him see his daughter and his "step" children (we were never married but you know what I mean, he still had a relationship with my older children) up until July 20, 2007. He is an alcoholic. The deal with seeing the kids was that there was to be no drinking and especially no driving. He got his second DUI on February 28th, 2007 and his license was suspended for a year so he shouldn't be driving anyway. Well, on July 20th he took my 12 year old son out to another friend's house and back to his house without my permission, driving on a suspended license, and drunk. Since then, I have not let any of my children see him. I told him to go to court if he wants visitation with his daughter and that I would request supervised visitation from the court. I was under the assumption that if the parents were never legally married that the residential parent was assumed to be the custodial parent. Is that correct? Or does he have the right to come over and take my daughter? He keeps sending me threatening e-mails. He told me that until I show him a piece of paper that says he can't see his daughter, that he can come and get her. I told him that until he shows me a piece of paper that he's allowed to take her, that he can't. Does anyone know the law in Ohio for unwed parents for custodial rights of their children? Please let me know as soon as possible. I'm scared that he's going to come over and start something. He has a history of domestic violence too and has been arrested once for that as well. I've been doing great now for almost 2 years but I just can't get him to either stay out of my life or straighten his act up so he can see his daughter. I want him to straighten his act up so he can see his daughter but I won't put her or any of my children in danger for him. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Until he is the LEGAL father and has a court order granting him custody/visitation, he's SOL. You should file in court for a custody/visitation order. If nothing else, it will stop the back and forth on this issue.
    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
    (unique up on him)
    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
    (same way)


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply! That makes me feel a little better. As far as going to court myself, I can't really afford it. I am a single mom of 3 without any child support whatsoever. My older two children's father is missing in action. I know what city he's in but we can't find a physical address for him. He's self employed so I can't track him down through an employer. And the youngest child's father can't keep a job long enough for me to even bother trying to get child support. Also, it costs $75 to file a motion. $75 will pay a bill or buy us groceries. I just don't have any extra money for court or an attorney. If he goes to court, he would have to file the motion and pay the fee and then I just have to show up.

      I have one other question for you. You said until he is the LEGAL father, he has no rights, what does that entail? Does that mean that he would have to take a paternity test even though he's on the birth certificate? Or does that just mean that the court would have to say that he's the legal father and is awarded visitation? I can't see any judge in their right minds giving unsupervised visitation to this man. He has no job, he's an alcoholic, he's got a suspended license for a DUI this year, he's physically and verbally and emotionally abusive. I'm just worried that he's going to try to take things into his own hands and come over to my home starting trouble.

      Thanks again for your reply.


      • #4
        if he signed the bc and ack. of paternity, he is the legal father. If he comes to your house, do not open the door and call the cops. You will have to have PROOF of his abuse, police reports, etc. They will probably order him not to drive with the child, but I doubt they will do supervised yet. do you qualify for legal aid?


        • #5
          He did sign the birth certificate. I don't know if he signed anything called an acknowledgment of paternity though. I've only called the police on him twice and he was only arrested once for domestic violence. I do have the police report from when he was arrested. He has several other arrests though, 2 for DUI, and then others from before we were together for minor things. Will the police make a report even if they don't see him? What I'm trying to say is that I called the police the night that I found out that he had my 12 year old son with him in the car when he had a suspended license and he had been drinking. The police sent out a car to try to find him but he made it home before they found him so they couldn't do anything. Will there be a police report on that? Also, what about statements from friends and family and my children that have witnessed the abuse? Are those any good in court? Are you basically telling me that I can't stop him from seeing her unless he does something worse than he already has?? It just doesn't seem fair. And I want him to see her. It's not that I'm trying to keep him from her. I just want it to be supervised. So an alcoholic that has had 2 DUI's and has been reported to be driving drunk with a suspended license is okay to come and pick up his daughter for the weekend? What kind of justice system do we have? I actually have to wait for something else bad to happen before I can get supervised visitation. It's just unbelievable. As far as legal aid, I do not know if I would qualify. I will have to check into that. Thanks for your response.


          • #6
            anything that happened prior won't matter. obviously if he has no license he can't pick the child up alone- he can't drive. however, someone else could pick the child up or be the driver. unless the police caught him driving with the child, it is hersay and unadmissable. other people saying what they saw can be called as witnesses, but again, if they are your friends, etc, they are biased. Nothing you have said shows he should have supervised visits. The court could order him not to drive with the child and not to drink around the child, but at this point, he hasn't shown he's a harm to the child. when was the domestic violence and what was it for and who was it against? it may come into play- it may not. 1 time if it has been a long time and wasn't against the child may not be enough.
            my sd had to come home in a coma from a lack of medical care before a judge would order supervised.


            • #7
              I guess that I should have called the police more often because there was plenty of domestic violence during the 6 years we were together. I only called the police on him twice. There were plenty of other times that I should have called them. It's really sad that the law will let someone see your child unsupervised until they actually really cause harm before they will supervise the visitation. I really want him to be able to see his daughter but like I've said, I've given him numerous chances with just 2 conditions. Please do not drink or drive with her. He's drank when she's been there plenty of times. And although I don't know if he's driven with her but he has driven with my son, his step-son, while he was drunk. Isn't that child endangerment? I just don't get it. I want him to see her. I just want it to be supervised. I don't want a call finding out that their both dead because he's chosen to drive drunk with her. He's driven drunk with her and I in the past when we were together and I swore that he wouldn't do it again. I've refused to get in the car with him and I've walked over 10 miles home once as well. I know, I'm an idiot. But I finally wised up and I've been on my own for almost 2 years now. I just want my children to be safe. Thank you for your responses.