Fathers Rights, Child Custody

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Get Family Law Advice from Jeffrey Leving our Ask A Lawyer, Family Law Expert. This month’s topic is parental alienation and child custody rights for Dads. Learn more.

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Father’s Rights, Child
Custody

Hello my name is Victor and I
have just had an 11 year relationship come to an end about two months ago. I am
now taking care of my two daughters by myself with no help from their mother, I
have been more than happy letting her see them whenever she wants cause I
didn’t want to keep them from her.

When she left, my ex wanted a
joint custody schedule of one week on one week off which I did not agree to
because her relationship with our daughter’s was very broken. My ex has very poor parenting skills
and would often resort to verbal abuse and my daughter’s don’t respect her and
want nothing to do with her when she acts like this. I have tried many times to
support her, but I feel like I can’t be the mother and the father at the same
time. I feel like the week on and week off child custody schedule is making
things worse.

The main problem for me
is every time my daughters would come back from their Mothers weekly
schedule, I would have to start all over with getting them in line and acting
like well behaved children. This arrangement needless to say wasn’t an option,
so every other weekend and a couple of hours on Wednesday is what actually was
put into effect.

divorce

Well, one day, I asked if she was
going to help me financially with supporting our daughter’s; no answer just a
look. I said, "does that mean no?" she said, " take me to court",( keep in mind
when she left, she also left me with bills that weren’t paid for at least three
months that I had to pay). The following morning, I go to file the formal papers,
come to find out she was there right before I was filing which I took as now
that I ask for child support all of a sudden she wants custody!

We now have mediation coming. About
a week ago, we sat down and talked about getting some help through counseling to
see if we can reconcile, because I still love her and wanted to see if
there was still any hope of making things work. Well, at the end of the week I
thought everything was going well the kids were enjoying the thought that
things might work out; then out of nowhere, she got into her same old distant, non communicative
hurtful ways and just completely shut down and walked out on all of
us.

This time, my heart broke. It
just killed me to see the hurt on my daughter face and I cried with them all
night. I am starting to believe that this recent action that she took was used
to break me down and give up my custody rights to my daughters. It is hard
enough to keep a job, pay my bills and raise my daughter’s without this mental
torture going on. I am trying to stay strong for my family, but I just don’t
know if I am going to make it.

divorce

Answer:

I feel terrible for you and your
daughters that your eleven year relationship with your children’s mother has
ended as you described. You explained that these events have hit you hard and
your girls were abandoned yet again which most certainly may have been hurtful
to them. I believe the help of a competent licensed clinical psychologist who
specializes in child psychology and family related matters may be of great benefit
to your daughters and aid in the
custody litigation that most assuredly will ensue if your mediation proves
unsuccessful.

Most often, it is extremely
urgent for a father who is in residential placement of a child without the
protection of having a custody or residential placement court order (sometimes
referred to as "de facto custody") to
file a judicial petition for custody to preserve and secure his position as
residential custodial parent and obtain court ordered custody. Otherwise, their
mother may be provided the opportunity to snatch the children leaving the
father with no judicial determination of custody to most effectively and
efficiently secure the return of the children.

Before doing anything, I strongly
recommend you contact an experienced and highly skilled family law attorney
with expertise in custody litigation as soon as possible. Custody cases are
challenging, complex, emotionally charged, and often the future of the children
hangs in the balance where preparation is critical. Your situation requires hand crafting and strategic legal planning.

Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”