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  1. #1
    lovingmomof4 is offline Junior Member
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    can father get joint?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Oklahoma

    I would like to thank anyone in advance who helps me out with the questions I have. I will try to keep it short but give all the necessary information.

    I have a 12 y/o daughter who I have had full custody over all her life. Her father met her when she was about 8 months old (his choice not to meet her before that) He was in her life for approximately 3 months before he disappeared. It took (at the time I was in North Carolina) almost 9 years for NC to track him down for paternity testing (we were never married)

    NC established paternity and she started receiving Social Security through him. I agreed on letting that be considered her child support. After the paternity had been established he still never tried to contact her. When she was 10 she asked me if I could help her find her father, that she wanted to know who he was. Did not take long for me to track him down on Myspace. I sent him a message and he replied and they talked on the phone for the first time.

    A couple of months later he flew out to where I was living at the time to visit and meet her.. He brought his girlfriend with him (which I did not have a problem with this at the time). Him and his girlfriend were out there for about 5 days to visit with my daughter. The last 2 days she spent with mainly his girlfriend (I found this out later after they left) because he was "sick" and couldnt get out of bed.

    Fast forward almost 2 years.. He has not seen her since that trip. He calls very seldom and when he does call he likes to talk about himself mainly (not an issue with me but she hates that he doesnt ask her about how she is doing) Anyhow, He texted me the other day asking if we could set up a predetermined custody schedule that he wanted me and his lawyer to sign. I do not feel comfortable with this. She does not want to be around his girlfriend because his girlfriend has called our daughter a "money hungry *bleep*" when she asked her dad for $30 one month. The girlfriend has also sent nasty emails to my daughter telling her that I am "brainwashing her".

    Now he is threatening to take me to court to try to get joint custody. I am not one to just roll over at threats so I told him I would see him in court then. My question is this. How good are his chances? Would she have to be around the girlfriend if he got unsupervised visitations with her for a summer or holiday? He is on pain medications 24/7 and most of the time when he calls you can barely make sense out of what he is saying. He also admits that he sleeps a lot and states that while she is there his girlfriend will spend time with her and do things with her. would a judge allow that? I had a free consultation over the phone with a custody lawyer and he said something about Oklahoma has a "no cohabitating" law. that the girlfriend would have to leave the house while my daughter is there visiting if he was to get some kind of visitation. I can find nothing on this. does anyone know if this is true or if the attorney is just saying whatever to get hired?

    sorry for this being so long.. thank you in advance. I will answer any questions that you may have. I have read through some of the threads and see how this works. Thanks.
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingmomof4 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Oklahoma

    I would like to thank anyone in advance who helps me out with the questions I have. I will try to keep it short but give all the necessary information.

    I have a 12 y/o daughter who I have had full custody over all her life. Her father met her when she was about 8 months old (his choice not to meet her before that) He was in her life for approximately 3 months before he disappeared. It took (at the time I was in North Carolina) almost 9 years for NC to track him down for paternity testing (we were never married)

    NC established paternity and she started receiving Social Security through him. I agreed on letting that be considered her child support. After the paternity had been established he still never tried to contact her. When she was 10 she asked me if I could help her find her father, that she wanted to know who he was. Did not take long for me to track him down on Myspace. I sent him a message and he replied and they talked on the phone for the first time.

    A couple of months later he flew out to where I was living at the time to visit and meet her.. He brought his girlfriend with him (which I did not have a problem with this at the time). Him and his girlfriend were out there for about 5 days to visit with my daughter. The last 2 days she spent with mainly his girlfriend (I found this out later after they left) because he was "sick" and couldnt get out of bed.

    Fast forward almost 2 years.. He has not seen her since that trip. He calls very seldom and when he does call he likes to talk about himself mainly (not an issue with me but she hates that he doesnt ask her about how she is doing) Anyhow, He texted me the other day asking if we could set up a predetermined custody schedule that he wanted me and his lawyer to sign. I do not feel comfortable with this. She does not want to be around his girlfriend because his girlfriend has called our daughter a "money hungry *bleep*" when she asked her dad for $30 one month. The girlfriend has also sent nasty emails to my daughter telling her that I am "brainwashing her".

    Now he is threatening to take me to court to try to get joint custody. I am not one to just roll over at threats so I told him I would see him in court then. My question is this. How good are his chances? Would she have to be around the girlfriend if he got unsupervised visitations with her for a summer or holiday? He is on pain medications 24/7 and most of the time when he calls you can barely make sense out of what he is saying. He also admits that he sleeps a lot and states that while she is there his girlfriend will spend time with her and do things with her. would a judge allow that? I had a free consultation over the phone with a custody lawyer and he said something about Oklahoma has a "no cohabitating" law. that the girlfriend would have to leave the house while my daughter is there visiting if he was to get some kind of visitation. I can find nothing on this. does anyone know if this is true or if the attorney is just saying whatever to get hired?

    sorry for this being so long.. thank you in advance. I will answer any questions that you may have. I have read through some of the threads and see how this works. Thanks.
    Well, if he filed for visitation he would certainly get some form of visitation. That is a given.

    However, in a situation like this one, where he has known about the child and made so little effort to be part of the child's life, I am not sure that he would automatically get any form of custody.

    Even if there are no cohabitating laws in OK, that's no guarantee that a judge would enforce that. Particularly since he has apparently been living with the girlfriend for quite some time.

    I would have some concern that he has a pain pill addiction, but you would have to prove that.
    Last edited by LdiJ; 01-25-2011 at 10:19 AM.
  3. #3
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingmomof4 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Oklahoma

    I would like to thank anyone in advance who helps me out with the questions I have. I will try to keep it short but give all the necessary information.

    I have a 12 y/o daughter who I have had full custody over all her life. Her father met her when she was about 8 months old (his choice not to meet her before that) He was in her life for approximately 3 months before he disappeared. It took (at the time I was in North Carolina) almost 9 years for NC to track him down for paternity testing (we were never married)

    NC established paternity and she started receiving Social Security through him. I agreed on letting that be considered her child support. After the paternity had been established he still never tried to contact her. When she was 10 she asked me if I could help her find her father, that she wanted to know who he was. Did not take long for me to track him down on Myspace. I sent him a message and he replied and they talked on the phone for the first time.

    A couple of months later he flew out to where I was living at the time to visit and meet her.. He brought his girlfriend with him (which I did not have a problem with this at the time). Him and his girlfriend were out there for about 5 days to visit with my daughter. The last 2 days she spent with mainly his girlfriend (I found this out later after they left) because he was "sick" and couldnt get out of bed.

    Fast forward almost 2 years.. He has not seen her since that trip. He calls very seldom and when he does call he likes to talk about himself mainly (not an issue with me but she hates that he doesnt ask her about how she is doing) Anyhow, He texted me the other day asking if we could set up a predetermined custody schedule that he wanted me and his lawyer to sign. I do not feel comfortable with this. She does not want to be around his girlfriend because his girlfriend has called our daughter a "money hungry *bleep*" when she asked her dad for $30 one month. The girlfriend has also sent nasty emails to my daughter telling her that I am "brainwashing her".

    Now he is threatening to take me to court to try to get joint custody. I am not one to just roll over at threats so I told him I would see him in court then. My question is this. How good are his chances? Would she have to be around the girlfriend if he got unsupervised visitations with her for a summer or holiday? He is on pain medications 24/7 and most of the time when he calls you can barely make sense out of what he is saying. He also admits that he sleeps a lot and states that while she is there his girlfriend will spend time with her and do things with her. would a judge allow that? I had a free consultation over the phone with a custody lawyer and he said something about Oklahoma has a "no cohabitating" law. that the girlfriend would have to leave the house while my daughter is there visiting if he was to get some kind of visitation. I can find nothing on this. does anyone know if this is true or if the attorney is just saying whatever to get hired?

    sorry for this being so long.. thank you in advance. I will answer any questions that you may have. I have read through some of the threads and see how this works. Thanks.

    It is his right as a father to see his child, so I would venture to say that court-ordered visitation is best. Custody is another issue here. The fact is you've had sole custody for over 12 years and the liklihood of that changing is very slim.

    Whatever you do, DO NOT sign anything he or his lawyer give you without you having your own representation looking at it. In fact if he files any court papers outside of the jurisdiction of where the child lives, you make sure to fight that.

    At the moment I would not worry about her being around the girlfriend ~ it will do you no good to worry. If he files for custody then it is something that needs to be handled logically and objectively.
  4. #4
    lovingmomof4 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you both so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I would never sign anything that him or his attorney would send. I even told him to make sure he files in Oklahoma because that is where her jurisdiction would be. Seeing as to the fact that our daughter has never lived in Arizona or ever even been there.

    I guess I will wait and see what happens. Can death threats that he made against one of his other childrens mother be used against him in court? His other ex is willing to send me the police reports and emails of threats he has made towards her, if she does can my attorney (when I hire one) get those put into court to show the kind of person he can be?
  5. #5
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with the advice you've been given. Do not sign anything without having an attorney review it. And before doing anything, ask whether it would make sense to have jurisdiction transferred from NC to OK.

    I believe you misunderstood what the attorney told you. OK does not have a 'no cohabitation law' (and I'm not sure it would be Constitutional, anyway - although they're not real keen on following the Constitution here). It is very common for divorce decrees to have wording that says that no members of the opposite sex can spend the night with the child in the home. Some agreements actually say 'no one other than family members' can spend the night (to eliminate gay partners spending the night as well as heterosexual ones). Some also define what 'spending the night' means. Mine says something like I can't have non-family members in the home from the time period beginning 2 hours before the child's normal bed time to 1 hour after their normal waking time - or something like that.

    I believe that this is not standard, but has to be agreed between the parties before it can be included. Even if it's standard, I'm not sure that it's enforceable.

    In any event, your ex is likely to get visitation if he files for it. You may be able to get that phased in gradually due to his long absence. You can certainly try to get a no-cohabitation clause included. But, ultimately, if Dad has visitation, your child will spend time with the GF - no matter how nasty GF is. Unless GF's actions amount to harm to the child, you probably can't keep her away (again, unless the two of you agree to a clause saying that she won't be near the child - but there'd be no reason for Dad to do that).
  6. #6
    MichaCA is offline Senior Member
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    In addition to the advice given you, IF dad files, I would fight very hard to maintain sole legal and physical custody. Perhaps that could change later, depending on how consistent dad may become with visitation over time. But as flaky as he is now, you especially want to keep sole legal custody (major decisions about school, medical, etc) if at all possible.
  7. #7
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaCA View Post
    In addition to the advice given you, IF dad files, I would fight very hard to maintain sole legal and physical custody. Perhaps that could change later, depending on how consistent dad may become with visitation over time. But as flaky as he is now, you especially want to keep sole legal custody (major decisions about school, medical, etc) if at all possible.
    Just for a dissenting opinion--in my view, joint legal isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. If the two parents can't agree, then it goes back to court - which is NCP's right even without joint legal.

    And, if the two parents can't agree on something that's a legitimate parenting difference, the judge will often simply side with the one who has primary physical.

    If the two parents can agree, then it's a meaningless detail.

    I would certainly try to retain sole legal, but if the judge orders joint legal, it's not that big a deal (IMHO). Retaining primary physical is more important.
  8. #8
    PQN
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    I'd also recommend fighting for a graduated visitation schedule that requires him to complete each phase before moving onto the next one. ie. daytime supervised visitation in the child's community once a month with dad having to use that visitation so many months in a row before moving to unsupervised visitation, etc. with a 'reset' that if dad misses 2 visitation in a row, it goes back a phase.
  9. #9
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    If he IS on medication that has him sleeping a lot, I would make sure that the attorney knows this.
  10. #10
    lovingmomof4 is offline Junior Member
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    He tried to file for emergency custody in AZ. My attorney set up a phone conference for the emergency hearing. She explained to the Judge that my daughter has never lived in AZ. That she has resided in OK for the last 2 years and previously was in NC. Judge said that he would have to drop the emergency custody hearing and that father would have to either hire a lawyer to file in OK or travel to OK to file it himself.

    I tried to tell my ex that when he threatened to file, I suppose he didnt want to listen to me or believe me. Anyhow just wanted to give a small update. We will see if he tries to file for an emergency custody hearing here.

    Oh by the way, His claims for the emergency hearing were, I didnt buy my daughter a birthday cake in 2009 (which I did but that isnt the point lol), I must not be a good mother because my daughter loves his girlfriend like a mother (which she dont), and he tried to say that my fiance was a drug addict (which he is military so he isnt). How he managed to get an emergency hearing with that I have no clue. lol
  11. #11
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingmomof4 View Post
    He tried to file for emergency custody in AZ. My attorney set up a phone conference for the emergency hearing. She explained to the Judge that my daughter has never lived in AZ. That she has resided in OK for the last 2 years and previously was in NC. Judge said that he would have to drop the emergency custody hearing and that father would have to either hire a lawyer to file in OK or travel to OK to file it himself.

    I tried to tell my ex that when he threatened to file, I suppose he didnt want to listen to me or believe me. Anyhow just wanted to give a small update. We will see if he tries to file for an emergency custody hearing here.

    Oh by the way, His claims for the emergency hearing were, I didnt buy my daughter a birthday cake in 2009 (which I did but that isnt the point lol), I must not be a good mother because my daughter loves his girlfriend like a mother (which she dont), and he tried to say that my fiance was a drug addict (which he is military so he isnt). How he managed to get an emergency hearing with that I have no clue. lol
    A court cannot simply ignore an emergency custody petition because the court does not know where the child lives or what the situation actually is. That is how he got the hearing. I admit, his listed reasons were a bit more than pitiful, but his accusation that your fiance was a drug addict probably was why the judge felt that the hearing had to happen.

    I sincerely doubt that he will file in OK. That would mean traveling to OK or hiring an attorney in OK (as the judge said) and the odds of him doing that are slim based on his demonstrated disinterest in the child.

    The whole thing is just sad, because if he was really interested in a relationship with his child he would have gone about things totally differently.

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