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    jacksmom1105's Avatar
    jacksmom1105 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Sep 8, 2006, 09:31 PM
    My son's father, visitation, etc
    I have so many questions and concerns right now, I don't even know what to do anymore!

    First off, my ex-boyfriend and I have a child together. I recently moved out of his house, and back in with my parents. We were never married, so I know that means that I have sole custody of our son. I'm trying to be nice and let him see his son. But since my ex has sleep apnea, it scares me to let him take him on overnight stays, but, I don't know if even going to court will stop that or not, but that's one of the questions. I mean he can be sitting down and fall asleep within like 5 minutes. I'm scared that one day he'll fall asleep and our son will be awake, and the basement door left open, and our son crawls over to the stairs and falls down the stairs, and he would never know that his scull was cracked open on the concrete floor of the basement until he woke up. He went to the doc. Once, and that's when he was diagnosed with it, they gave him a cpap machine (breathing machine that forces oxygen into your nose so you don't stop breathing in your sleep. He used it for about a week, and then stopped. Now he says he did the best he can and that there's nothing else that he, or the docs. Can do about it, which I know is false. Would a judge, in Wisconsin, say that because he has sleep apnea that he can't see his son, or that he must have supervised visits?

    Secondly, I'm tired of how everything in the whole situation is going in the first place. Right after my son was born, I think it may have been the second day we were in the hospital, I asked everyone to leave the room so that I could use the restroom. I was just uncomfortable getting up in front of everyone in hospital clothes that hardly cover you. Anyway, his mother did a paternity test behind my back. I didn't even find out until two months later. I knew it was his kid, and he made it seem to me that he also knew it, but I told him that if his mom really wanted one done, that we could have one done, but she did one behind my back and didn't tell me about it. He knew from day one when I found out that I was pregnant, that it was his child, and then, he didn't sign the BC, and even after the pat. Test was done, he still has yet to sign the voluntary pat. Agreement forms. It's been 9 months since my son was born.
    I don't know if I should see an attorney, or pursue any legal action just because he says he wants to work it out.

    He makes almost double what I make at work, and yet, I'm the one who supports our son 85% of the time, 10% is my ex's family, and 5% is my ex. I'm the one to takes him to his doc. Appts. I'm the one who takes care of him when he's sick, I'm the one who takes care of him most of the time, even though we were living together, that's what happened. And I'm scared that if I pursue it, and I take it to court, that nobody is going to see the actual truth, but they'll see the "truth" and the excuses that his mother tells his lawyer or his side.

    I just don't know what to do anymore. I want to do what's best for my son, and I know that isn't taking him away from his dad. I don't want to do that, but I only want him to be safe and happy and healthy. What should I do. Any advice would help. Thanks!
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #2

    Sep 8, 2006, 11:05 PM
    As for the his mom and the paternity test, I say good for her. You want to make sure your child is doing the right thing, and while he was sure, she wanted to be. Not the worse thing that could happen. After all, you 2 weren't married and all. If she had asked, you might have said no, I guess she figured it would be way easier to do it behind your back. I wouldn't fault her on that.

    As for the rest. Why speak to an attorney? Why not just wait. As you said, you have sole custody. Let Dad visit during the day, but do not allow over night visits. If Dad wants over night visits, he will have to take you to court. Then you get an attorney and talk about his sleeping problem.

    Just my 2 cents.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #3

    Sep 9, 2006, 05:50 AM
    I agree with Capt on the paternity test issue. How is your relationship with grandma otherwise? Unless she treats you badly, I would put that behind you.

    On the issue of sitting tight, the problem here is support. Married or not, he's the father and you are entitled to child support. Unless you can get an amicable settlement for a specified amount, then you may need to go to court. You don't say how the child is, I gather it's a toddler. So the medical disorder issue is clearly one to affect the visitation. Why not try to compromise? Maybe grandma will take the child for overnights, where the dad (her son) can stay there too. This way the child is supervised.
    jacksmom1105's Avatar
    jacksmom1105 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Sep 9, 2006, 11:43 AM
    The only reason I had a problem with the pat. Test was because it was done behind my back. I knew how it would come out, and I was irritated that they didn't think it was his child in the first place, that's why I told them that we could do the test. Throughout the whole pregnancy, until about the 7th or 8th month, his mother didn't talk to me... at all. She told him continuously that he shouldn't be with me and she didn't want him to talk to me anymore. We had to keep the fact that we were still together pretty much a secret from everyone. And then once the time came that she decided to talk to me, I was fine with it, even though I knew about the stuff that she said about me behind my back. I didn't want to be all upset while I was pregnant, so to be the bigger person, I didn't say anything about it to her, and I acted like it didn't bother me that she said what she said, or didn't talk to me. And ever since then, she's acted like we were supposed to be so close and talk all the time. I hardly knew her before I got pregnant, and then she didn't want to have anything to do with me because I was "framing her son."
    And the only fear I have with letting him stay overnight with her is that because of her doing the pat. Test behind my back, who knows what else she might do behind my back. They are a very secretive family that doesn't like to let anyone know anything that they don't think that other people should know or "have a right to know." Well, when it's my child, I feel I have every right know know every single thing that's going on. Is that wrong to feel that way?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #5

    Sep 9, 2006, 01:12 PM
    Actually you could even have more to fear than merely overnight stays, it is possible if he as the child faithers wants any level of custody, he could sue for joint custody and other extended visiation, including several weeks in the summer, certain holdays and the such.

    But of course he could sue for that anytime he wanted as the child's father.

    So it is best to work out an agreement both of you can agree to that would include child support and visitation.
    jacksmom1105's Avatar
    jacksmom1105 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Sep 9, 2006, 03:16 PM
    He can do that, even with his sleep apnea? He can't even wake up with our son without setting his alarm for the aprox. Time that our son will wake up. I guess I don't understand!
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #7

    Sep 9, 2006, 04:09 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksmom1105
    He can do that, even with his sleep apnea? He can't even wake up with our son without setting his alarm for the aprox. time that our son will wake up. I guess I don't understand!
    You do not understand why the father of your child has rights?

    If the thought of him being the father of your child has always been so repulsive to you, then why did you have a child with him? Why did you stay with him?

    You have made your bed, now you must lye in it.

    He very much has rights. In fact, he may get overnight visits if he can prove he will have help (e.g. an overnight nanny, or his mother for the nights).

    But, if he can’t prove that, then you might be OK.

    As I said, wait and see right now, it is probably your best bet. Granted you aren’t getting child support right now, but I will bet that the current status quo is far better for you in your opinion that what will be post court.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #8

    Sep 9, 2006, 05:43 PM
    Ok, so the grandmother doesn't like you. So why would you be surprised that she would do something like that behind your back? Really, I think the pat test is a non issue.

    The issue is what you want from the father in the way of support.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #9

    Sep 9, 2006, 06:03 PM
    I truly doubt that sleep apnea would even be a issue, esp with the various methods of treatment available today, plus the status of non discrimination for disablilties.

    If he had a bad heart and could die anytime, he would still have rights,

    If he was in a wheel chair, he would still have rights.

    I am sorry you have these feelings but as stated and not wanting to sound hard, if you sleep with someone, they should be a person you would want raising your child.

    Also remember if you died in a car wreck tomorrow, he would be the one to get custody of the child. So you had better work things out with him, talk him into getting treatment, since he will be part of this child's life if he wants to be.
    jacksmom1105's Avatar
    jacksmom1105 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Sep 9, 2006, 07:11 PM
    It's not that I don't understand that he has rights, I understand that he has rights, and I don't want to take them away. What I meant when I said, "I guess I just don't understand" was since our son was born, he hasn't taken him but to one doc appt. not woke up with him unless he absolutely had to, never took care of him when he was sick because he didn't want to get sick and miss work... well what happens when I get sick?
    Either way, I don't want him, or his family, to not be able to see his son. I'm just worried about our son's safety when he's in his fathers care. All it takes is for him to fall asleep while our son is awake - which has already happened before - and him to leave the basement door open, and then our son crawls to the stairs, falls down the stairs and cracks his head open at the bottom. He would never hear it, he wouldn't know until he woke up, which who knows how long he could be passed out, or until someone came over to the house and woke him up. He doesn't even hear when people walk in the door, and you have to basically kick his front door to get it open. With that said, I still understand that he has rights, I'm just worried if I prevent him to have overnight visits, that he will take it to court. I want to keep it out of court, but when he says that he's done all he can do with trying a cpap machine for a week, and is worried more about the money of going to the doctor than it seems he is about the safety of his son, it just bothers me. I'm worried about the safety of our son while his in the care of his father, but if I prevent him from keeping him overnight, not only for my sanity, but also because I know that he'll be safe. I wouldn't care if he had overnight visits if he would just go to the doctor and find out what other options he has, but until then, I'm not sure what I'm going to do to keep the peace, keep it out of court, and know that our son will be safe. I DON'T WANT TO TAKE AWAY HIS RIGHTS, I DON'T WANT OUR SON TO NOT BE ABLE TO SEE HIS FATHER! I went through that while I grew up, not because of my mother, but because my father couldn't have cared less... I don't want our son to grow up and feel like that!

    I didn't plan on having a child with him, it wasn't planned, but I went with how I felt about abortion and adoption, and decided that if I felt that I was old enough to have sex, than I was old enough to have the responsibility to take care of this baby.
    While I was taking care of him, he wants to go out with his friends, sleep in until noon, have everyone over at his house at all hours of the night. It just seems to me that he wasn't ready for this responsibility, and yet when I asked him (many times), if he was or wasn't ready, he said that he was. That's why I stayed with him. I'm just at my whits end. I feel like I've been doing it all on my own since day one, and if I wanted to do it on my own, why should I stay with someone who just wants to help when he wants to and not when I need help. It just seems like when I ask him to do something with him, that he makes it out to be such a chore sometimes, even playing with him.

    And I was surprised she did the test behind my back because I told all of them that I would do that. He knows me well enough to know that I would have done one. I told him the whole time I was pregnant. From day one that his mom told him that he should get one done, that we could have one done. I didn't have a problem with it at all because I already knew how the test would come out. Both of us knew that it was his child. But when he finally told me about it, two months later, that he didn't know what she was doing when she was doing the test. You don't know what someone is doing when they take a q-tip to the side of your mouth? Your not going to ask a question about it? It's not like you have this happen to you everyday or anything.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #11

    Sep 9, 2006, 08:42 PM
    Most likely a father who don't want any contact will still not want any even if he has been given visitation at court, They don't want the trouble or bother. Most likely if you hire an attorney and don't ask for too high a child support, he will merely sign the agreement and let it go. But you have to be prepared for almost anything and that is why it is importatnt to have a good attorney
    kenemily's Avatar
    kenemily Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Mar 6, 2007, 08:16 PM
    First let me tell you that I too am in a similar situation as yourself. I am a 25 year old single mother who has a gorgeous 6 year old son named Angelo. I left my sons father when he was 10 months old due to reasons that could have endangered our son. He then decided, once I took him to court for child support, to ask the court for a paternity test. He knew that Angelo was his but he was upset that I took hom to court for child support and that he now had no choice but to help me financially take care of our son. Now 6 years later I have only received 2 payments through child support for $47.00.

    I still allow him to see his son for the simple fact that its not my sons fault that his father refuses to help take care of him financially. Im a very strong person and have basically said to myself,"This is my son. He did not ask to be here. I, as his mother, must take care of him. I know within myself that I have done all that I can for my son and there will be a day when he asks his father why he and myself had to struggle. And why I had to work so many hours, and why he didnt help......not me."

    I do agree with you about the paternity test. Its not his mothers business to fight her sons battles in life. That's one thing my son will know as an adult is that I am here for him but he must make his own choices and he must live with the consequences of his actions... good or bad.

    I don't know where you live but I live in Florida. In Florida, the father has to start displaying his stepping up as a "daddy"(cause anyone can be a father), by signing the birth certificate. If a judge in Florida saw that he has not yet signed the Birth Certificate then that man would have one strike against him already. That shows the judge that he "claims" to be the father but won't legally document it. Big Problem!

    As for your ex's medical condition, I would advise you to look up and print out all the info that you can on his condition, read it and set it aside just in case its needed for court. Your first and only obligation as a mother is to do and act in the best interest of your child. If you research your ex's condition, and it is even a slight possibility that your child could be in danger, than you must as his mother protect him! No matter what!

    My son has a serious heart condition that will eventually require open heart surgery, not to correct it, but to make it "livable". I am suing Social Security Disability because they seem to think that a child's heart that has the main valve with only 2 openings and with only one of those openings working is not disabling. Trust me Knowledge is power. Learn all you can about your ex's condition so that you can back up everything you say and anything that is asked.

    You just need to let go of the past and look to the future with you and your son. Stay strong and show your son that life is not easy but with God, Love, and Determination there is nothing that you can't get through on your own. Unfortunately, this day and age, "baby daddy's" leave much to be desired. Just think of it like this, " IM going to take care of my child emotionally,physically, and financially and if his father decides to help this week or this month then GREAT it's a bonus!!

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