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  • absent father Tennessee

    My sons father was at the birth of my son and signed the BC over two years ago. The day my son and I left the hospital was the last time the father saw my son. No phone calls for several months. When he did call he said as long as i never took him to court for child support he would let my son and i live our lives. I really dont want him in my sons life. He has been arrested several times in various states for theft,robbery,fraud,forgery etc. I was dumb enough to think my sons birth would change him bit from what some mutual friends have told me he is worse. He is a full time junkie and was under investigation for a meth lab but that was later dropped. I have been on my own and cannot get help with health insurance, food stamps etc, because i did not want the state to get him for child support. I fear for when my child is older and goes to school and things and is out from the watchful eyes of my family and I. The father has made it very plain that he does not want to be a part of my sons life,but he is also a vengeful person. I am afraid if I try to take his rights away or anything the reprocussions would be terrible. I guess my question here is, what are my rights? Could I get him for abandonment? I mean legally what can i do here to keep him from just waltzing into my sons life one day? I would rather explain to my son one day why his father was never in his life then to have to explain to him that this horrible stranger is here to take him for a visit.

  • #2
    If the Father has signed all the required birth documents he is childs legal Father and has all the rights of any Father would have this inlcudes visitation or custody. He can choose to see his child (less any court order) anytime he chooses and you have no legal means to restrict it. Far as taking his rights away unless you are married and your current husband wishes to adopt that isnt going to happen. Your best option is tak ehim to court for custody and visitation. Due to his lack of involvment in child's life and his unsavory lifestyle request he get supervised visits only.
    http://www.parentnook.com/forum/

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    • #3
      This is this man you chose to be the father of your child. You need to make the best of of until your child becomes an adult. Panther is right, no judge is going to take away a father's rights without you being married and your husband being ready, able and willing to adopt.
      I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by panther10758 View Post
        If the Father has signed all the required birth documents he is childs legal Father and has all the rights of any Father would have this inlcudes visitation or custody. He can choose to see his child (less any court order) anytime he chooses and you have no legal means to restrict it. Far as taking his rights away unless you are married and your current husband wishes to adopt that isnt going to happen. Your best option is tak ehim to court for custody and visitation. Due to his lack of involvment in child's life and his unsavory lifestyle request he get supervised visits only.


        To clarify - the Father does NOT have the right to see his child anytime he chooses. The Father has the right to see the child per the Father's visitation order.


        If there is none in place, Mom doesn't have to allow ANY contact, period.

        Also, supervised visitation is unlikely to be anything more than short term.

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        • #5
          If Mom refuses contact Dad can return with Police and they will tell Mom she has no legal right to keep child from his/her Father. However you need to avoid any situation where you deny visitation or get Police involve. When this goes to court that will work against you. Forget your current plan you need a court order of custody, support and, visitation it will make things much easier
          http://www.parentnook.com/forum/

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          • #6
            Panther, seriously - Dad has no "rights" to visitation without a court order.

            This is an unwed situation and the police won't get involved (it's a civil matter). Mom is, in her state, the only legal custodial parent at the moment even if paternity is established. Dad is NOT equal to Mom at this point. She will not get into trouble for not allowing contact - specially when it involves an absentee father.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dogmatique View Post
              Panther, seriously - Dad has no "rights" to visitation without a court order.

              This is an unwed situation and the police won't get involved (it's a civil matter). Mom is, in her state, the only legal custodial parent at the moment even if paternity is established. Dad is NOT equal to Mom at this point. She will not get into trouble for not allowing contact - specially when it involves an absentee father.
              This is also what a dhs worker has told me. He cant simply pull in my drive and take him at this point. This is not the situation i wanted for my child. i did not know about his criminal history until we had been together for a while and its my fault i chose to stay. I had been on birth control for nine years so i thought i was protected. I love my child more than my own life. My life changed the day i knew i was gonna be a mother unfortunately his fathers did not. i refer to him as father for clarity in this post but to me he is not a father. i am mother and father to my son. Myself and my family is all my son knows. His fathers side of the family has never laid eyes on him. Im simply trying to figure if this is something that should be left alone, or if i should take any (and what type) of legal action to keep him from someday disrupting my sons life. Im not trying to be mean. this man does not want my son. he asked me repeatedly to have an abortion and split right after his birth. And i now know its probably better given his behavior. im just trying to figure out the best course of action here. And also as stated in my first post to make it plain, as i dont feel like this man needs to be in sons life, THIS MAN HAS MADE NO CONTACT WITH ME SINCE MY SON WAS THREE MONTHS OLD, ONLY TO TELL PRETTY MUCH TELL ME HE DIDNT WANT HIM NOR DID HE WANT TO PAY SUPPORT.
              Last edited by nightingale87; 02-02-2012, 04:34 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dogmatique View Post
                Panther, seriously - Dad has no "rights" to visitation without a court order.

                This is an unwed situation and the police won't get involved (it's a civil matter). Mom is, in her state, the only legal custodial parent at the moment even if paternity is established. Dad is NOT equal to Mom at this point. She will not get into trouble for not allowing contact - specially when it involves an absentee father.
                This is also what a dhs worker has told me. He cant simply pull in my drive and take him at this point. This is not the situation i wanted for my child. i did not know about his criminal history until we had been together for a while and its my fault i chose to stay. I had been on birth control for nine years so i thought i was protected. I love my child more than my own life. My life changed the day i knew i was gonna be a mother unfortunately his fathers did not. i refer to him as father for clarity in this post but to me he is not a father. i am mother and father to my son. Myself and my family is all my son knows. His fathers side of the family has never laid eyes on him. Im simply trying to figure if this is something that should be left alone, or if i should take any (and what type) of legal action to keep him from someday disrupting my sons life. Im not trying to be mean. this man does not want my son. he asked me repeatedly to have an abortion and split right after his birth. And i now know its probably better given his behavior. im just trying to figure out the best course of action here.

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                • #9
                  Mom, realistically, if Dad hasn't shown an interest so far? It may be best to let sleeping dogs lie.

                  Then again, if you wish to claim abandonment, you'd generally need to establish child support and visitation - that is (as a rule) when the abandonment clock starts ticking.

                  You're in a difficult position, because the first option absolutely does allow for Dad coming in at any point during the next X amount of years and wanting visitation (which he'd get, eventually). The second option does mean that abandonment can be used against him, but of course, it might poke the tiger.

                  Overall though, if Dad decides he wants to be Dad at any point - that might be the best thing for your son. One can just never tell when a previous deadbeat is going to become SuperDad (it does happen, please trust me there!).

                  So...I might hedge towards letting the sleeping dog lie. Let things go for now. Leave it up to Dad to file something.

                  IF Dad files for visitation, he's not simply going to pick up your child and take him from your home without warning - you can request supervised therapeutic visitation taking place over a graduated period of time so your son and he can get to know each other.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dogmatique View Post
                    Mom, realistically, if Dad hasn't shown an interest so far? It may be best to let sleeping dogs lie.

                    Then again, if you wish to claim abandonment, you'd generally need to establish child support and visitation - that is (as a rule) when the abandonment clock starts ticking.

                    You're in a difficult position, because the first option absolutely does allow for Dad coming in at any point during the next X amount of years and wanting visitation (which he'd get, eventually). The second option does mean that abandonment can be used against him, but of course, it might poke the tiger.

                    Overall though, if Dad decides he wants to be Dad at any point - that might be the best thing for your son. One can just never tell when a previous deadbeat is going to become SuperDad (it does happen, please trust me there!).

                    So...I might hedge towards letting the sleeping dog lie. Let things go for now. Leave it up to Dad to file something.

                    IF Dad files for visitation, he's not simply going to pick up your child and take him from your home without warning - you can request supervised therapeutic visitation taking place over a graduated period of time so your son and he can get to know each other.
                    Thanks Dogmatique. it is a rough situation. And honestly I dont see him ever changing. He has in the past few months gotten another girl pregnant but she had the abortion when he asked. She deeply regrets it now. Whats really crazy is my sons father has never met his real dad. His mom had him proven unfit due to drugs and physical abuse. So its just a cycle I guess.He has lost probably eighty pounds not to mention ALL his teeth so he has to really be using I think.

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