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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 09-21-2010, 01:28 PM
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Just need some advice on where I can go from here and what my options are..
The short version is
I have a 6 year old who hasn't seen his bio father in a year.. He only has supervised access by me (mom) or someone agreed upon by both parties.. There has been past drug addictions and mental illness.. The last time he has access would of been when dad told him that he would shoot his mother if he had the chance... I had left the room for 5 minutes... The police and CAS were called and he wouldn't respond to the Cas phone calls and the police wouldn't pursue because it wasn't a direct threat.. CAS closed the case saying he had no interest in the well being of his child.. There was never a close relationship between the 2 of them .. visits involved dad having a nap or just letting his son play on his own while he went outside to have a cigarette...My son has a great relationship with his step dad and thinks of him as his dad, he doesn't ask or talk about his real dad at all anymore.. Now real dad wants to be part of his life and has called the school asking for his report cards and proofs of school photos... he has been told by the principal that these will be mailed to him and he is not to be on school property. He now says he is going to take me to court to get access of our son... I'm really worried that this is going to hurt and confuse our son who is a well adjusted happy little boy...
As well there had been no child support for the last year.. I haven't asked for it since he was leaving us alone... Is it possible that the courts will see that this may not be in the best interest for the 6 year old or am I going to have to face the fact that he may end up being part of our lives?


Any input would be appreciated
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:38 PM
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You're probably going to have to digest the fact that the court will order some access for bio dad if he pursues it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:41 PM
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He may be able to get access to the child, but given what the issues are, he may be stuck with supervised access for some time.

He will be stuck with retro arrears for support. This will make him angry, and he may do things to retaliate against you. You need to protect yourself.

I would keep a journal to record anything that happens. This would be a great help if the matters do go to court.

Until there is an order granting you sole custody, then he is permitted to get information from the school. If the school has told him not to be on their property, then you have an ally. I wonder if he caused a problem at the school?
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:43 PM
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Why would the school say he is not allowed on the property? Was there an incident or some kind of order saying so?
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:48 PM
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I have have kept records of everything from phone calls to missed visits to messages left on the answering machine... and there haven't been any in the last year but prior to that I have everything.
The school has our agreement on file which states he has supervised access only and the principal and the school board have agreed that by him being on the property, knowing our son is there, is breaking the agreement.. They are aware of the drug issues and that he has a criminal record.. This was the stand that they decided to take.. which I was thankful for..
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:50 PM
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I'd agree that you are eventually going to have to swallow bio-dad's access to your son - as difficult as that may be. However, you should be able to get supervised access at least for a few months due to the length of separation as well as past drug addictions and mental illness. In the end, the courts will try very hard to encourage ALL parent-child relationships and as long as bio-dad behaves for a couple of months, he'll get reasonable, unsupervised access.

However, I encourage you to still fight for supervised if you feel there's any danger to your child. Keep detailed notes on past and current threats, abuse, absenteeism etc. This will all help you in court to prove best interests of the child are through supervised access. I also suspect that when child support kicks in he'll probably just run again.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:22 PM
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If you feel he is a threat to you now, or may be, you may want to change your order to include supervised access at a supervised access center. As well, if there is any violence, call the police and report each instance immediately. I would also have a third party act as witness for all access, or purchase a digital recorder.

Bottom line though, is that unless he proves to be a threat to child's health or well being, he has the right to spend time with him and act as a parent.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:24 PM
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With a year of absenteeism, you have a strong case for re-introduction parenting...which is done through a psychologist or access center, to ensure your son is safe.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:54 PM
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Wendy,
I would encourage you to foster continued contact with his biological father. Just make sure it is done safely.

It is going to be hard to hear what I have to say but you are going to have to digest two more things:
2) you chose a violent drug addict to be his father and that reflects on you;
3) your son is going to have to digest 2) later when he is older. You do not want him to question your integrity and neither of you deserve that.

I do not want to put you down. I want to encourage you to start thinking how these truths will affect your son in the future. Some males are very fixated on biology and genetics. It is fickle but it is what it is. Think of all the adopted children who spend a life-time wondering who their real parents are. Sometimes they are disappointed after their search but it gives them peace of mind.

If his father is good for nothing, your son will see it for himself. On the other hand, if his father turns around, your son will be enriched by having an extra parent who cares for him. Even if his father can not provide material support, knowing somebody loves him can do wonders to a young man's psyche.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:40 PM
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A step parent does not replace a child's need for a relationship with their bio-parent. As your son is 6, he will remember his Father and that will play a role in how he develops.

As above, you need to come to terms with the idea that if he continues to pursue this, then most likely he will have access to his son and it will not always be supervised and eventually he may even get over-night visitation.

I do however recommend that you do NOT supervise visitation alone. Use CAS or another resource as recommended above.

Good Luck.
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