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Single Mom going into a child support battle

Posted by on Aug. 6, 2007 at 9:24 PM
  • 6 Replies
I just wanted to know if anyone has been through a custody battle and could give me a little insight on what is going to happen. I am so nervous. My daughter is going on 4 months old and her father has never even seen her. He took off after I found out I was pregnant. He also moved1529.1 miles away from us with a girlfriend he only knew for about 3 months at most. If anyone can help me out please send me something.
by on Aug. 6, 2007 at 9:24 PM
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by on Aug. 6, 2007 at 9:36 PM
Hi there.  I've been through the court battle and my first advice to you is to do as much research as possible as far as laws go in your county.  If he has any history of drinking, drugs, abuse, etc., you need to get record of it and witnesses.  If you are concerned at all regarding her safety while she's with him or the girlfriend then you need to make that known, but have things to back it up. 

Being that you are and have been her primary care provider since she was born, he has not seen her, and he moved so far away I'm not seeing any court that would take her away from you unless you neglect or abuse her or something, so try not to worry about that..  They will give him custody, however, being that she is so small I'm not real sure how they would do that with him being so far away. 

What kind of custody is he going for?  Why is he all the sudden interested in having custody after 4 months?  As I said there is no way he's going to get sole custody from you.  You are all she's known and no court is going to take a child away from their mother unless there is a VERY good reason. 

I moved my son and I from MI to SC last year and what I have to do is fly my son back and forth every other month for visitation until he starts school.  It sucks but I have to do it.  Once school starts, my son goes up for 1/2 Xmas break, spring break and 8 weeks in summer.  They will probably work out some similar arrangement for you, but again, look up as much information as you can for your county.  If you want help, I'll be glad to help you. 

On the upside of this, once a custody order is in place, that means you get child support.  If he doesn't pay it, you can go after his license(s), credit and any property he owns. 

Believe me I know how hard it is, but try not to lose too much sleep over it. 
by on Aug. 6, 2007 at 11:12 PM
im going through almost the exact same thing. honestly i am terrified, ardens father had the court date adjourned to this wednesday so that he could have a lawyer. i dont have one so i was told tey will appoint council to me that day.

i know id never lose my daughter
but the thought of being away from her
with her verbally absive father
who has no idea abou tparenting scares me.
please keep me posted an dlet me know how everything goes.
i will let u know after wed how my day goes.

oh and hes moving to texas when he marries his fiance next year.
by on Aug. 6, 2007 at 11:24 PM
I went through the same thing with my son's father. I took him to court for sole custody because he had threatened to take him from me. I received sole custody and he was awarded once a month supervised by me visitation. Which, he has never shown up for in 3 years. But...I got lucky because he didn't fight anything I said in court. Hopefully yours will be easy like mine was. Keep me posted on how everything goes. Don't worry though....the courts rarely take a child from its Mother.
by on Aug. 7, 2007 at 9:42 AM
the most important thing is to make sure you have a lawyer.  I know they can be expensive but you need to have a lawyer represent you in court.  If you have family or friends bring them to court with you.  I went into court by myself thinking there should be no problems and was immediately intimidated by the judge and his lawyer.  Fortunately a lawyer I knew just happened to step in the courtroom as his lawyer was laying it on thick to the judge and he recognized me and stepped up to my table and interrupted his lawyer to apologize to the judge for being late.  He saved my butt!! 

Even if you don't take the lawyer to court with you at least talk to a lawyer beforehand and let them explain everything to you.  Most lawyers will give you free legal advice.  Also research the custody laws for your state (and his).  Since he moved to another state and the child is so young any attempt at visitation should be done on his part.  He should have to travel to see the baby, not the other way around.  Is he only asking for custody after you asked for child support?  Is he seeking custody or just visitation? 

Make sure you document everything.....  That was the best piece of advice my lawyer gave me.  I keep a notebook and I write down everything.  If her dad calls I write down the date, time and a summary of the phone conversation.    I even wrote down stuff like just called to harrass me about money - never asked about the baby.  When we finally went to court to settle everything my lawyer handed my notebook to the judge and he actually read parts of it.  My ex was livid about my notebook.  I still use it.  I lay it on the table by the door and when he finally shows up to pick her up (always late!) I will grab the notebook in front of him and make sure he sees me writing 2 hours late AGAIN.

Just remember the better prepared you are the better off you and your baby both will be.

Allison  (kymommy23)
Mom to Daniel, 12    Mom to Kylee, 3    Mom to Kelsey,  Due Nov. 9

by on Aug. 7, 2007 at 10:25 AM
I agree with Brie. Be prepared. Some counties, have agencies that can offer support or even, just be there for you. After the fact things don't look as scary, but when you first get in there you feel pretty intimadated and things can happen rather quickly and I learned that sometimes things can be interpreted in several ways. I f you can afford a lawyer that is your best bet, since they have experience and can speak easily on your behave. Other wise you may want to try to get a court appointed lawyer, and check out what resources are available for you. At the very least try not go alone. Find a friend who can think clearly and quickly. Someone you can trust to really listen and re-interpret what happened later if you need it. (It can be very easy to miss things when your in the thick of things).
by on Aug. 7, 2007 at 11:37 AM
I am also going through a child support, visitation, and custody battle. I was  lucky to find a lawyer who is barley charging me anything. My childs father has seen her once in the 4 months shes been alive. He says if i make him pay child support then he will just become the "main parent". My lawyer said that the biological father has every right to sue for custody, but unless the mother is unfit it is highly unlikley he will win. If your child's father hasn't seen your baby, and hasn't paid any child support i wouldn't worry. The way the courts look at it is - if he is unwilling to pay child support, how is he going to finacially support the baby if it is in his custody-. He probably just wants custody so he doesn't have to pay child support. Don't worry. In most states the courts are all about he mother.
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