My Entire Family Is Devastated Over This-Update #1-Update #2-Update #3-5/1/13
I have a 28 year old brother who recently found out that he has a four year old son. He found out when he was served with child support papers,neither he nor anyone else in our family had any idea until the papers were served.
Apparently,after his college girlfriend turned down his marriage proposal and broke up with him,she found out that she was pregnant,had the baby and never told him. Now,she's struggling financially and has filed papers asking for child support and a monthly maintenance stipend.
in these same papers,she states that she's asking the judge the deny my brother any sort of legal rights or any type of visitation because she feels that my brother's job is 'a detriment and will negatively impact the minor child's physical,emotional and mental well-being,as such if the non custodial parent is allowed regular visitation and/or contact'. She's also asking that any paternal extended family (grandparents,aunts,uncles) be denied any visitation.
There was a letter from her to my brother included in the legal packet, explaining that she'd turned down his proposal and never told him about his son because she did not feel that his job was an appropriate career for someone who wanted to be married and have a family.She also said that this is the same reason that she's denying him visitation or any legal rights.She thinks his job will negatively impact their son.
And this job that she keeps saying is so awful?
My brother is a state trooper,hoping to work his way up to detective. He majored in criminal justice in college (where they met) and then attended the state police academy.He's wanted to be a cop his entire life and he worked really hard to achieve his dream.He makes a good living and he's a good man. And he's completely devastated over this.He wants to meet his son and he's pissed as hell that he's missed four years of his life.He loved this girl and wanted to marry her,instead she hid his son from him.And now she wants his money,but doesn't want him to have any contact with his son.
I know she doesn't have a legal leg to stand on,but seriously...who hides a kid for four years and then says,oh..you're a father,pay up,but wait,I don't want you to actually be a father to your own son!
Our entire family is hurt...we loved this girl and obviously,we want to meet my brother's son,but it seems like it's going to be a battle to allow my brother any kind of parental role...I feel so bad for him...and for his son...he's been denied an amazing father for four years and if his mother gets her way,he'll never get to meet him.
EDIT: Thank you all for your wonderful posts and support.Obviously,I will not be able to reply to all of them,but to answer a few questions, yes,my brother has retained a lawyer and he is now filing a counter suit and asking for a DNA test to be done.He is also asking that,if the test comes back positive,he be legally established as the boy's father and for the court to grant him visitation rights.For those saying that there must be something else to the story, if my brother was abusing her or using drugs,why wouldn't she have used that as a reason to exclude him from their son's life?That would have been a much better reason than saying 'his job is too dangerous'.My brother is an amazing man,someone who has always wanted kids and would make a terrific father. Until I have proof,I'm choosing to believe the best of him.
And someone said that to file for public assistance,she would have had to list the father's name.I've never used public assistance,so I'm not exactly sure what the requirements are.I also do not know whether or not she has filed for public assistance.
And of course,my family does not feel that we deserve visitation...however, we are a very loving family and have a lot of love and warmth to offer this little boy. Why should a child be denied the love and support of entire family because of his mother's decisions?
As to where we live,we live in Seattle,in King County.She lives in Vancouver and the the papers were filed in Portland County. I'm an assitant district attorney, but I know next to nothing about family law.As you can imagine,right now I wish I was an expert in family law,so that I could be help my brother through this.
And yes,I will keep you updated.My brother had a meeting with his lawyer today,but I have not yet talked to him.
UPDATE #1-My brother's lawyer told him that the mom had no case. He said that my brother would not be held accountable for any back child support because he hadn't known of the boy's existence.He also said that no judge would order him to pay child support to a child that he wasn't allowed to see. He said that the mom's reason for not allowing him to see the child were completely ridiculous. He said that my brother will be ordered to pay child support,but with child support comes visitation. He also said my brother will not be ordered to pay her a monthly stipend because they were never married. She is claiming that he owes her a stipend beause they lived together for four years in college and he paid all the bills and bought all the groceries and also gave her money for clothes and things like that.But the lawyer said that it won't matter. The lawyer filed a counter suit for custody/visitation and papers requesting a DNA test.A hearing is scheduled for three weeks to deal with the matter of the DNA test.The lawyer said that the judge will grant a paternity request and after the paternity comes back,they will request that the judge start granting my brother supervisted visitation.
So all of this is good news,it will just take awhile,which the hard part.My brother is doing okay.He's just upset and worried.He's afraid that his son won't be able to form a relationship with him or that he'll hate him for not being his his life earlier. He's just very anxious for this to get underway and get time with his son.
Update #2-We saw his picture! So my brother filed a counter suit and I guess when Alyssa,the mom,received it,she freaked out.She literally does not want my brother to have anything to do with this child because she firmly believes that his job will scar his son for life. So she received the countersuit and in response to this,she wrote my brother a letter,pretty much begging to not pursue his custody suit and to just pay the child support and the expenses that she asked for. In the letter,she said that she really felt that his job would have a negative affect of their son,so she sent him a picture of him and told my brother his name and she said, 'I hope and pray that having his picture and knowing his name will satisfy this sudden desire for parenthood.You and I both know that you are not cut out to be a dad. I know that if you were allowed into his life,my son would suffer for it,so I'm hoping you will take this picture and do as the court orders,pay your child support and leave us alone.'
She's an idiot.
Anyway...the boy's name is Samuel Tucker,she calls him Tucker and he has my brother's last name!!! This girl is crazy! Anyway, he looks just like my brother..blonde hair,blue eyes,the shape of his eyes, even his ears are the spitting image of my brother. He has a little cleft in his chin just like my brother and he has my brother's smile. He's adorable.
Seeing the picture was kind of bittersweet for my brother..it made Reed happy because here's this kid that's his and he looks so happy and like a great kid,but at the same time,he's sad because he's missed so much and he has no idea what the mom has told him about Reed or why he hasn't been in his life. But seeing that picture just intensified wanting to be a part of his life.
Anyway,I just thought you ladies would want to know. And their court date is in two weeks :-)
5/1/13 UPDATE-Ladies,I am so sorry that it's taken me so long to update!So they went to court and the judge granted the DNA test. Alyssa protested,she wanted to delay it...the judge told her that she had 72 hours to take Tucker to the lab or she'd be held in contempt. So she took him and got the test and the results came in two weeks later and it was positive! He's definitely my brother's son! So they met again to officially discuss the results and to set a court date to discuss matters of child support and visitaton. My brother's lawyer says that they will most likely start out with supervised visitation,either at her house with a DCFS worker and/or guardian ad litem to supervise or in a public place,also with the case worker. They're going to ask for supervised visits once a week and every Sunday and then ask for more as Tucker gets more comfortable with my brother.
As you can imagine,my family is beyond excited to welcome this new little boy into our family! Thank you all so much for your good thoughts,well wishes and prayers and I will definitely keep you updated as things progress! :-)