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What is considered parental disinterest and how to prove it in court?

I'll try to keep this short, but give as much detail as possible. I have been divorced from my ex since early 2010, and he'd been out of the house since July 2009. We have 4 children together, ages 5,6,8, and 9. It was a bad marriage, he was/is an alcoholic and abusive. He never was a good father, and the kids saw and heard things no child ever should. My youngest, fortunately, does not remember most of it. My oldest remembers everything and wants nothing to do with him. My SO and I have been together for just over a year. In the kids eyes, he is daddy. He is a wonderful dad to them, and as far as we are concerned, they are "our" kids. When my ex left, due to incidents that occurred, the children and I had a restraining order (it's expired now) and he had only 1 hour of supervised visitation a week. He also had a case against him with child services, and he did not complete the requirements of it. He cancelled most of those visits, and the ones he didn't, my 2 oldest cried because they didn't want to go. After the supervised visists ended in January 2010, he would call the kids a couple times a month. I was granted sole custody with him having limited visitation at my discretion. We moved a year ago. Right before we moved, he asked to see them, and had a 1 hour visit with them. I was there, and it was in a public place. I was not going to leave them alone with him. After that, he calls were sporadic. He would mostly call and harrass me, threaten to take me back to court, said I was a bad mother, etc. He asked a few months later to see the kids, then immediately started attacking me verbally again because I told him it had to be just him. He wanted to bring his mother's boyfriend with him, who is also a drunk and I didn't want him around the kids. They were not being put on parade for every one to see, it was suppose to be him trying to be a dad. The visit never happened. He called again on Christmas Eve, telling the kids he had presents for them but they weren't getting them. Seriously. I had given him a PO Box, for our safety, and he wasn't happy not knowing exactly where we lived, and often threatened that he would find out where I lived. At this point, none of the kids wouldn't to talk to him. After what he told them, they saw him for him, and that he hadn't changed. He called me and set up a visit at the end of January. He cancelled at the very last minute with some lame excuse. He never asked to talk to them, and never called them again. He left a vm on my phone in March saying he'd been "incapacitated" and was back now. He does get wages garnished for child support (a very low $128 a month for all 4 kids together) but other than that, no involvement at all. The kids have a very stable and loving home with me and my SO. It has now been almost 6 months since he has talked to them, and over a year since he has seen them. He doesn't have a very stable life, and lives in a house that at best, needs to be condemned. They don't ask about him, and are doing wonderful and are very happy. I would like to push to terminate his rights, but can't use abandonment due to child support being paid. Parental disinterest is one of the grounds. Any idea how to prove that to a judge? He is very, let's say, he can put on a good show for a judge and look innocent. I know he won't willingly sign over his rights. Sorry for being so long. I am trying to get things in order and just looking for some advice or opinions.

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tracylashelle

Asked by tracylashelle at 1:41 PM on Jun. 16, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • Just saw a few typos. Sorry!
    tracylashelle

    Comment by tracylashelle (original poster) at 1:46 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • What state are you in?
    You can easily google it and find out some information on it. (if your lawyer didn't tell you).
    I saw info on parental disinterest and extreme parental disinterest both but it depends on what state you're in.
    KellyGirl_TX

    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 1:49 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • I'm in WV. I've googled it, but only get links to the statute saying that parental disinterest one of the grounds. Haven't been able to find anything really explaining what the courts consider it to be
    tracylashelle

    Comment by tracylashelle (original poster) at 2:04 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

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