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representingself 08-21-2009 01:07 PM

He's been gone for years...
A little background...

We dated, got pregnant, and seperated, all within 5 months. I was 18, he was 25. I have custody and he exercised access on alternate weekends for 4 years, and then stopped. It's been 8 years since his last access.
He pays support ($125 month) based on his income level from 12 years ago. We live in the same community.

As our daughter has grown, so has her curiosity. I never berate or say negative things about her father. When she asks why.. I tell her the truth... I don't know!
She doesn't remember him.
She is very intelligent and very mature, unfortunately, on some level, she thinks there is something wrong with her, and that's why he wants nothing to do with her.... I don't any have answers for her.

Truth be told (but never to her), I think he has never wanted anything to do with her. Visitation was a nightmare back then, she hated it, he hated it... He and I CANNOT communicate. So when he disappeared from her life 8 years ago, I just let it go.

When he got behind on his CS (3 years behind), he begged to sign off parental rights. I didn't think that it was legally an option at the time, (I wasn't married yet).

My husband and I have been together for 8 years and for ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES HE IS HER FATHER. But she still knows that somewhere out there is a family she "belongs" with, but doesn't want her.. we tried to re-connect with her grandparents, which also failed.

I wish I could, but I can't protect her from this. It doesn't matter what I say or do, or how much her "Daddy" loves her... she has a biological father out there, and she deserves a chance to know who he is and make her own opinions of him, good or bad. As it stands right now, she is confused and hurt and angry.

When an adoption became possible, I approached her "father", and he refused to sign the papers, without an explanation. I tried a little coersion, but like I said, we are oil and water.

So as I see it, he refuses to give her closure and let her "Daddy" adopt her, so isn't it fair that he face up to his responsibility to financially support her??

I am seeking a Motion to Change. I want to update the CS and put it into a savings account for her, she deserves at least that much, doesn't she?

My original order was very basic so I have asked for:

- CS based on guideline (he makes a lot more money ow than he did 12 years ago)
- pro-rated share of extra expenses
- support to continue as long as she is living at home and a full time student
- yearly financial disclosure
- to be informed of his contact information and employment status changes (because he refuses to tell me where he lives, his phone # etc.)
- future visitation be based on mutual consent/request from him and our daughter, rather than a schedule. (Not that I think he wants to see her, but if they did meet, I think it should be a mutual thing and not court imposed)

I know this man well enough to know he has a wicked temper and he is going to be very angry. He will want to retaliate against what I am sure he sees as an "attack".
I am waiting for him to serve me his "response".

I will be representing myself, because of past poor experiences with Lawyers. I don't think I am asking for anything that is unreasonable.....My questions are:

- Am I missing any important clauses/agreements that should be in my court order?

- If she doesn't want to see him yet, can he ask the courts to force visitation after all these years?

- Can he stop us from moving, after all these years? (Not that I am planning on it).

I would like to encourage a healthy relationship with her father, without the fighting.

Any advise at all would be greatly appreciated.

standing on the sidelines 08-21-2009 02:22 PM

kind of sounds like a losing battle. You cannot force someone to be a father. I can understand your childs wanting to meet him etc but is it in her best interest? It seems like he doesn't really care if he sees her or not. I would be worried about how he would treat her considering his track record.

representingself 08-21-2009 03:35 PM

The last time she saw her "father" was at a birthday party (she was visiting her grandmother) and he screamed at her, and she spent the afternon hiding under the diningroom table.
Thats one of the very few memories she has of him..

No I cannot force him to be a parent, and although some might think of me as being vindictive, I still feel he should be obligated to financially support her in some way.
I don't need his money, but isn't our daughter entitled?

I believe he will want to fight my Motion to increase the CS, and the only thing he can do, I think, is try to FORCE access...

Although she is curious, I have asked her many, many times if she would like to contact him, and she says she's not ready and it would make her feel uncomfortable.

He really made the first 4 years of her life painful and difficult, and I don't want him to be able to FORCE her to do anything..

Do you think a Judge might impose access after all this time?

Should I contact the OCL for her?

representingself 08-23-2009 01:22 PM

Is there anyone out there who know whether the courts would impose structured access for the father, when he hasn't seen the child in 8 years??
Any advice, case law, suggestions, personal experience... anything at all would be appreciated!!!

billiechic 08-24-2009 09:10 AM

I think what you are asking for, especially consent from your daughter if access is granted, is very reasonable. $125 is not much at all and if she's planning on going to college or university the increase could really help her.

I hope things go your way. Your daughter deserves more, and I'm glad she has a Dad in your husband.

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