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Visitation Question now...

CaveCanem's picture

I figure since I'm on a roll, I'd ask a few more questions of you folks.

So in all this madness, my DH was advised by his last lawyer to let all this crap die down (which it only seems to highten and get worse) and wait 'til the kid is about 1-2 years old before he seeks visitation (I believe the lawyer called it "tender years" or something like that?). While my DH more and more wants nothing to do with everyone, I convinced him that it would be a good idea to visit at least 1X a month to start. At least open the door for the future, ya know?

With the way BM is, anything more than visitation for an hour at a public place is not an option right now. I don't trust that she wouldn't scream hostility or injury just to try and get us in trouble/file something bogus.

Which brings me to my questions. We KNOW she is going to make demands in regards to visitation as she has made demands in regards to everything else.

1. Can she dictate that he only goes alone, if the meeting would be in a public place? He honestly doesn't want to for fear that she would lie and say he was hostile (which she has already tried to do...mind you he has barely talked to her and everytime has been in court). No one else in our circle of friends knows of this situation and frankly we are in no rush to announce this to the world, so bringing a friend is out. We considered a visitation center, but the closest one is a hour away. He would have to pay for someone from CPS to come. The mall is MUCH closer. And it's free. So he wants me to go with him. Plus I am technically a mandated reporter, I'm CORI checked every year for my summer job, and have never threatened the BM or child ever. I would just sit and observe, I would have no other real interaction. My DH most likely wouldn't even handle the child in the beginning. And our children would definitely NOT be there.

2. Can she demand he bring pay stubs? I ask because she has already tried to do that.

3. Can she demand that he goes to her house only for visits (alone)? LOL over my dead body on that one...

4. Can she make other requests? Examples?

There is no specific court order for visitation/parenting plan, as his lawyer didn't input anything at the time (which was a BAD decision as the lawyer was supposed to put in for joint a nutshell the last lawyer screwed him over so bad). He has visitation rights--they would be supervised and both of us are ok with that as we really fear bringing this child into our home. My DH would rather try the visitation without the court's enforcement as frankly he is sick and tired of going to court over and over again. But he would consider it if she makes demands/requests.

Thank you again for your input. I am unfamiliar with how all this works and just want to be prepared and help him out.

12yrstepmonster's picture

It's been my understanding that anyone can demand anything.

I tried to find other posts before I responded but didn't find any (relatively new here and maybe don't know where to look). I was trying to figure out the situation....but here is my opinion.

I would start searching for a better lawyer and be prepared next time you go to court.

Do a search for parenting time guidelines for your state- hopefully they have something. Most of the time, an infant does not do "long" visitation times with the ncp- what I have seen has been just a few hours. It builds over time, to every other weekend, holiday rotation, spring breaks and summer weeks.

Also do a search for a child support calculator in your state. Know what they can use and how they calculate child support. Know it inside and out. THat will be your best friend. But you will need a good lawyer- most of the time child support takes into consideration previous children and their support orders and each child gets a lower amount than the one before (typically). You have a unique situation. When DH was taken back to court for an education order (college), I knew more than our lawyer. I knew that the numbers that they had down, didn't equal what they said the total should be, I knew that we could stipulate a GPA, That we could demand the grades be provided, that we could use the actual number of nights ss was here to get a "discount" in the support.

She can demand all kinds of things. THe decision that you and your spouse will need to determine what you will give in to and what you won't. I would only turn his wages over to your lawyer. Yourr lawyer would then give it to hers. That would be the only way that she would see my pay stub- and turn about is fare play, she would have to show hers to get his. Your support guidelines will tell you when and how a modification of support would be done. In our state, it would have to be proven that there would be a 20% change in the current order.

I would document every contact, every time she sneezed, looked at me or DH funny. Log times, dates and keep to the facts only. Let no "emotions" show through. If you buy something extra, keep the receipt, and what day it was given.

If she is about money, and you want to see the child.....I would buy clothing, diapers, etc - things for the kid, and only present them during a visit. You are basically buying time. But the more you do the more you get to see him (or one would think). Again document your visitation- that way when you go back to court you have proof of contact, and proof of what you have done financially to take on your responsibility.

Keep all emails in tact, even if that means you blind CC your response to her. Print them or back them up on an external hard drive.

From here on out it is all about documentation and understanding your rights as a ncp......try to put the kid first, and see if you can change her ways with respect. It could be a long 18 years for you both.

I wish you a lot of luck, you are remarkable and must have extreme strength.

CaveCanem's picture

Thank you. Sometimes I feel like it's more craziness vs. any type of strength. I think I have strength to avoid me going bananas!!!

The old lawyer was the one who told my DH to just "let" the BM have the kid visit free for the first year, esp since with the kid being an infant. Let her "simmer down" since she's pissed he didn't leave me for her. Of course we have consulted with a new lawyer who says differently. In dealing with all the money/insurance bullsh*t has put any thought of visitation on the sidelines for now.

The CS has already been determined--trust me they tossed the book at his head, esp with the BM not working (she hasn't been for 2+ years). She gets well over $1K a month (plus the arrears she gets for the time period we were waiting for paternity) and goes on and on about how she cant meet the child's "basic survival needs". WTF?!? So before this insurance nonsense we just dealt with she had filed a motion for reconsideration to get more money. Yea because my DH paying out MORE money will solve the a JOB would solve her problems to be honest, but that's another convo! She just wants to hyperanalyze the paystub, that's all. Trust me he's not making more now than he was a few months ago...

So sounds like chances are the visitation will have to go thru the courts then because he won't go alone and he won't go to her house. I honestly cannot blame him after everything she has tried to say and do. Not to mention she knew about me (she knew he was married although now she claims she doesn't--we have the texts to show that she did know) so she has to understand that the decisions that we make, we make them together regardless of the fact he is the bio father. We have 2 kids together and I cannot risk him meeting her somewhere alone, get mad that he isn't doing what she wants, and then makes false claims (which she has already done) to get him in trouble or make things more miserable for my family. I have the bigger stake in this.

calimom's picture

In our experience, my DH tried to have an "off the record" (no legal visitation, just arranged with BM and BGM) for ten years and when they decided they didn't feel like letting him see SD, he just didn't get to. He also followed the "simmer down" strategy that both his family and BM's family recommended and now they use all of that against him and declare that "he was never there", etc. even though he paid child support, for the most part, whenever he was working and always tried to be with his daughter as much as BM would allow, based on her mood at the time.

I recommended that he immediately get a visitation order when we first started dating because of things I had seen with others. DH didn't listen for five years until the SD was 11. By then it was too late -- BM saw this as a major threat. If he had done it when SD was a year old, everything in our lives would be very different. I recommend you get things nailed down; the younger the better. Should anything come up with BM being unstable, it will be hard for your husband to go to court and petition for custody if it is in the best interest of the child because he has no legally established relationship in the courts. At least, that's what we were told.

Unless there is a threat or any evidence that husband is unfit, it is unlikely that he must have supervised visits. The courts in IL are more astute about parental alienation and false threats in custody matters, in our experience. They have come to expect this and unless there is evidence of instability, he should be free to have quality time with the child where he wants, including in your home, if you want that.

Good luck.

CaveCanem's picture

Thank you. I have told my DH something similar, the younger the better. At least if he changed his mind on things, etc. The door has been opened. But yes, he will go thru the courts.

simifan's picture

Girl - I have to say you have some class. I couldn't be in your shoes for a second. That you'd even consider visitation - Wow! I commend you.

I'll be honest, I would have kicked DH to the curb & I doubt I would even be able to handle seeing the proof during pick up & drop offs.

That being said, waiting for visitation? That's crazy & only gives BM more of a sense of entitlement.

I agree you are going to need to document everything. I can only imagine the hell she is going to put you through for the next 18 years.

Absolute Best of Luck to you & yours.

CaveCanem's picture

The hell she has put us thru in regards to the child support and now the insurance (plus with the system very obviously against him too), my husband wants to have zero contact with both of them. I'm really the one who is pushing for him to have at least bare minimal visitation. A part of me doesn't blame him to be honest though. It's like the system is set up to keep him out and away, just as long as he pays $$$$$. For a system that "wants" what is "in the best interest of the child", which I would think would be 2 parents involved, it sure sets everything up to leave him discluded and left to feel like nothing more than a walking checking account. Had things been different, he may feel different.

I just don't want to hear folks call him a "deadbeat dad". These circumstances are much different IMO and can't be compared the same. My DH is an awesome father to our children despite his pitfalls as a husband. For as much money as he is paying out I refuse to hear him called that. As harsh as it may sound, this kid was doomed from conception by a mother who manipulated the situation and a biological father who made it very clear that this was nothing more than a "booty call". Trust me, as someone who works with children it HURTS me to say that. I will feel for the child always because he IS an innocent party, but since I have no legal recourse there is nothing I can do, and only so much I can say.

Trust me it's a daily struggle for me to get past this 2 years later. But I'm determined to preserve my family.

Thank you for your responses. Every little bit of info/possibilities/experiences really does help, and I'm thankful for it all.