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Old 12-10-2008, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation after 9 years

me and my ex have 2 boys and he hasn't seen them in 9 years, he got word that my husband had planned on adopting the boys so he finally came to see them 3weeks ago. My youngest son had just turned two and doesn't even remember him but he was never a secret we talked about him and I was always respectful about him to them. I told my boys if he ever came over I wouldn't keep him from them. That that was there relationship not mine. But now he doesn't like the arrangement we have set up that he can see the boys 2 days a week and everyother weekend at our home. He want's to leave with them but they don't know him yet. I can't afford to take him to court and he's never payed childsupport for them. I'm afraid if we go to court he will get to take them and I think it's still to soon for that. What can I do?
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makingitwork View Post
me and my ex have 2 boys and he hasn't seen them in 9 years, he got word that my husband had planned on adopting the boys so he finally came to see them 3weeks ago. My youngest son had just turned two and doesn't even remember him but he was never a secret we talked about him and I was always respectful about him to them. I told my boys if he ever came over I wouldn't keep him from them. That that was there relationship not mine. But now he doesn't like the arrangement we have set up that he can see the boys 2 days a week and everyother weekend at our home. He want's to leave with them but they don't know him yet. I can't afford to take him to court and he's never payed childsupport for them. I'm afraid if we go to court he will get to take them and I think it's still to soon for that. What can I do?
Several things.

First of all, your husband cannot adopt the children without the biological fathers rights being terminated either by 1. his consent or 2. by court order. So, either way, he would have been notified of the proceeding against him.

Secondly, is there no child support order in place at this time? Is there a reason you never went to court? If you were married and legally divorced, the custody should have been addressed. Was it?

Bottom line: While I agree that it is too soon for a disinterested party to appear in their life and want custody of them, the sad part is, legally they ARE his children and, if I understand your posting, no action was taken otherwise to 1. give you control of the situation by awarding you full custody or 2. His rights were never terminated in the past.

Establishing paternity, awarding custody, having a child support order in place would have kept this situation from happening. Many women see it as the path of least difficulty, "Oh, I don't need/want his money. He can disappear, I'll get by without the money and I won't have to worry about visitation, etc". This may make sense, but the problem is---exactly what you are describing happens all too often. The result can be kids that are terrified of a man who should have been required to at least pay child support, which would have resulted in at least some cursory contact.

Regarding going to court----I believe it is long overdue. Going to court years ago to obtain a child support order could have kept thing from happening. Please understand that he has equal right to the children---doesn't seem fair, I know. But legally, he does. This is why YOU need to petition the court and ask for FULL custody, and--this is important--in order for him to "get" the kids, he is going to have to explain to a judge exactly HOW his sudden reappearance in these children's lives is "positive" or "best" for the children. Obviously, it is not. He is also going to have to explain where he has been for the last decade. Not easy questions. Perhaps faced with that possibility, he will allow you a little more discretion and authority in the decision making if you are determined not to go to court at this time.

Good luck.
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Last edited by GentleGrace; 12-11-2008 at 05:35 AM.
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