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I need help. My ex wants me to send my child to him for the summer, but he has never met her. He does not pay me child support because he gets SSI and they can't garnish his check.
My husband has been raising her since she was 9 months old. He wants to adopt her, but my ex won't allow him to. He never sens me money. He calls maybe once a month. He will not move to the state we live in. What should I do?
By Sheila from Orange County, CA
Oh by the way, she is 10 years old, too.
I don't know how all of this works, because I'm not in a similar situation. My best friend had issues with an ex- and visitation, and she had to get an attorney. I'm thinking maybe it'd be good for you to get some proper legal advice.
Legal aspects aside, I don't think I'd send my child to go spend the summer with someone she's never met (in her 10 years of life). There are so many ways this could end poorly.
Again, my best friend had problems with her ex- not paying child support. I think they eventually took it out of his tax refund. But this was several years ago, and I don't know all the details. I think you should consult with an attorney to get the best advice.
In many states California included I believe if a parent does not pay child support their parental rights are terminated but you should discuss this with a good family law attourney. Your ex sounds like a deadbeat, and you can file on his ssi or whatever he has for past due child support and you will get it but I would see about terminating his rights first.
Children are fragile! When you were a child, how would you like to be sent somewhere by yourself to stay with somebody you did not know!? I doubt this would sound like fun to you! (& even if it does sound like fun to her, she will quickly get homesick!) Also, how do you know what type of person he is these days? If your child's bio-dad really wants to see his child, then he needs to take the time to get to know her. This means he needs to visit her (on his dime) at your house, every month for at least a year or 2 before you even think about sending her to his house! Your daughter could end up with all kinds of psychological problems, including feelings of abandonment if you send her to stay with him for even a few days, let alone a week or the whole summer! Yikes! This a a very bad idea & I can't believe you are even contemplating it!
Even a judge would never force a child to visit a father in another state when the child does not know, or has never met their father, & if he gets a court order, you could easily fight it with a legal-aid lawyer. Maybe when she is 16 or 17 you could let her visit, & then only if he gets to know her first (at your house!) but even then, I would be very wary, because if he isn't responsible enough to send you even a little money, then he's not the type of man that you can count on! You can tell he's not responsible because he only calls her once a month. A "real" father would call her at least twice a week or more!
Don't even think about sending her to him, If he wants to see her, he can come to visit you at your house where you can keep an eye on him! These days you just never know what could happen! You just can't trust him & you can't trust anyone he gets to babysit her when he goes out.
As far as adoption. If you start pressing the child support issue & back support & you'll have more leverage so your new husband can adopt her! Call a lawyer & see if you have a case, it will be well worth your money!
I have been in the same situation, & my ex-husband only lived 40 miles away from me (not in another state!) but once he got my daughter (when she was 4) he refused to drive her back & it took me 3 days to find out where he was keeping her & to drive there myself & bring her back! That was a total nightmare! Don't get yourself in that situation, you may have difficulty getting her back. But even if everything goes "okay", it would still be to hard on her, no matter how old she is! I know what I'm talking about because I raised 4 kinds of my own & they are all responsible grown adults now.
Tell him he can see her, but he has to come to your house & there's no negotiating!
Go before the judge and get supervised visitation, that way he will have to come there to see her and you will be able to watch everything that happens. I would tell the judge that you are concerned that he will not be able to take care of her properly and then have a note from a psychiatrist or psychologist if you can get one that she doesn't need this kind of stress in her life right now...I would always get a lawyer and get this taken care of...also keep records of all the times he has not been there, like birthdays etc. Also tell the judge that you feel there is a kidnapping risk and you feel he is unstable emotionally and unfit to take care of her.
See this information
Also, maybe I am wrong, but shouldn't the child be getting a benefit check too if the dad is disabled?
I would check this out with SS office.
I agree with all of you. I dont want to send her there. I just need to just take him to court. I dont even want to do the DNA that the DA is making me do because if I do that I will have to put his name on her birth certifcate. He not there . All he has done to us his threaten me and made things difficult for her. My hubby is an awesome man.
That's like sending the child to visit a stranger; something I'd never do.
If she's ten and he's never seen her, never paid a penny toward her support and is threatening you, too--this guy doesn't have a leg to stand on.
Though the courts may want a DNA test, even if that officially entitles him to be on your daughter's records, it shouldn't automatically mean visitation.
You DO need an attorney. This guy doesn't sound as if he's been father of the year for the past decade and his need to try to control you while shirking his financial responsibilities and demanding to have you send her to him just--really gives me the creeps.
It just feels like he has an ulterior motive, like holding on to her to get a bigger disability check for himself, or a lot of other not-very-nice things that could be on his list.
Go to the family division at your local courthouse; someone may be able to help you in finding a court-appointed attorney or steer you in the right direction as far as what legalities you can set into motion to keep your daughter and the rest of your family safe. If he's calling you and threatening you, you may be able to get a restraining order.
My daughter has a four year old daughter that she has custody of, but the dad has visitation rights. Dad wants to take her daughter out of state for 2 weeks and bring her back. Does my daughter have to let my granddaughter go out of state with him?