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2 things: Child Custody Battle & Adoption Florida

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  • 2 things: Child Custody Battle & Adoption Florida

    Let me lay the story out for you. My fiancee has a 17month old boy and just recently the child's biological father is suing her for custody of the child. She received a summons to appear in court. The biological father is a deadbeat, he cheated on her while she was pregnant and then when they came to a verbal agreement over the custody of the child he didn't abide by it. She didn't go to the court and get legal documentation for custody of the child b/c of her status here in the states. So after one night when the father was asked to care for the child he replies to her, "its not my problem find someone." She decided to not let the father she her son. And he threatened her that he'd follow through w/ some legal action. She changed her cell number and house number so that he would stop bothering her. He pretty much harassed her while they had shared custody of the child, he wouldn't buy diapers or when she was with me he'd call her a "*****" and things of that nature. Not to mention he lives w/ random individuals, was inconsistent with the payments of child support, and doesn't have a very "healthy home". Oh and he's not a US citizen. We are about to get married this weekend, how does this affect the case in our favor? and how do i go about adopting the child? I've been raising him as my own since we started dating months ago.

    thanks in advance.

    edit: the father only wants visitation. but we dont want that.
    where can i get a good lawyer in jacksonville for this situation? or what should i look for? she has to respond in 20 days.
    Last edited by the problem; 10-18-2006, 07:48 PM.

  • #2
    First, if he files for visitation and/or custody, he will probably get it. The custody question and the child support question are different.

    He will have to pay. Your fiancee will have to start letting him see the child. The fact that she has gone out of her way to hide the child from him will not help her case.

    You may have the opportunity to adopt the child. In most jurisdictions, you have to have been married at least a year before the judge will consider it. By that time, dad will have had enough of CS and will probably sign over custody anyway.

    In the meantime, he is going to be a part of your family for a while.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      how is child support determined?
      Last edited by the problem; 10-18-2006, 10:14 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        As the mom who had to deal with a deadbeat dad, I completely understand your frustration. It is your girlfriend's natural instinct to protect her baby from bad things, and, as in my case, bio-dad reeks of BAD THINGS.

        The problem is, you both have to deal with the reality that she had a child with this man. He has rights. You can't take a child from a biological parent because he is a big bad meanie. Those problems are between the parents, but don't effect the relationship between father and child. Sucky, but true.

        In my case, bio-dad filed for visitation, but has since disappeared, I'm guessing because the reality of CS was too much for him to handle. There's a chance this will happen for you, but in the meantime, hire an attorney. And remember to document whatever you can AS IT PERTAINS TO THE CHILD. For example, document each and every time he is late for a visitation. But don't include in your documentation that he called your girlfriend a b****, unless he engages in that type of behavior IN FRONT OF THE CHILD. Being a jerk to his ex doesn't make him a bad dad in the court's eyes.

        Also, spend as much time as possible with the child. Even if the dad gets visitation and doesn't shy away from CS, he will not be able to break the bond between you and the child, no matter how hard he tries. Once you are married, your role is step-parent. Embrace it. Even if you can never adopt, there are plenty of kids who see their step-parents as their real parents.

        Comment


        • #5
          Your marriage will have no effect of the custody/visitation case. Like it or not, he is the father and he WILL be awarded the right to have a relationship with his child. Unless or until a court terminates the father's parental rights, you will not be able to adopt the child. TPR is very difficult to do and in this situation will most likely be not be an option. As long as he is showing an interest in the child and maintains some form of contact (even if that is simply paying child support), his rights will not be terminated.
          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 can deal that. my wife can't. does his legal status have any affect in this case? he has overstayed his visa i believe. also how can this be settled out of court? i'm just wondering how this should be presented to a lawyer.

            Comment


            • #7
              His legal status will probably not have any impact on his parental rights.

              It can be settled out of court when your fiancee and the father come to an agreement. Present the entire story to an atty. There is nothing that you can really hold over his head to force him to go away. Except... possibly... if he decides he does not want to pay child support, he may agree to TPR. Even so, that will have to wait until you and she are married for at least one year.
              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
                Originally posted by the problem View Post
                Let me lay the story out for you. My fiancee has a 17month old boy and just recently the child's biological father is suing her for custody of the child. She received a summons to appear in court. The biological father is a deadbeat, he cheated on her while she was pregnant and then when they came to a verbal agreement over the custody of the child he didn't abide by it. She didn't go to the court and get legal documentation for custody of the child b/c of her status here in the states. So after one night when the father was asked to care for the child he replies to her, "its not my problem find someone." She decided to not let the father she her son. And he threatened her that he'd follow through w/ some legal action. She changed her cell number and house number so that he would stop bothering her. He pretty much harassed her while they had shared custody of the child, he wouldn't buy diapers or when she was with me he'd call her a "*****" and things of that nature. Not to mention he lives w/ random individuals, was inconsistent with the payments of child support, and doesn't have a very "healthy home". Oh and he's not a US citizen. We are about to get married this weekend, how does this affect the case in our favor? and how do i go about adopting the child? I've been raising him as my own since we started dating months ago.

                thanks in advance.

                edit: the father only wants visitation. but we dont want that.
                where can i get a good lawyer in jacksonville for this situation? or what should i look for? she has to respond in 20 days.
                Here is the number to the Florida Bar Referrall Service: 1-800-342-8011

                as everyone else has said, you cannot adopt unless dad agrees to terminate rights AND you've been married for one year or more.

                The father WILL get some form of vistation- your wife needs to get used to that. If she has enough PROOF that the father is a danger to the child, she can ask for supervised vistation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  gotcha... thanks guys

                  Comment

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