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Disappearing mother

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T

Taney

Guest
What is the name of your state? Colorado

My son cohabitated with a woman for about 10 years. They have a son who is almost four. In January he caught her cheating and they broke up. They don't have any court orders as far as custody goes, but just tried to work out a joint parenting arrangement themselves. On August 6th she moved to Denver with her boyfriend and my grandson. My son tried in vain to reach her so he could make sure that his son was okay but she didn't return the voicemail messages that she left and members of her family sent my son on one wild goose chase after another by giving him various wrong phone numbers and lies about where she was. She finally called my son on Wednesday and said that he could have his son for the weekend. She used a calling card to call, perhaps from a payphone, and refused to give my son the phone number saying that her boyfriend doesn't want her to.

My son is, needless to say, very frustrated and angry at not being able to call his son. He asked me to accompany him to the meeting so I could help him remain calm. He and the mother ended up having an hour long conversation about child support and my son's concerns about having his son kept from him. She did finally give him a phone number and address, but I'm reasonably sure that they're not really the address and phone number of where they live. The boy is here right now but his maternal grandmother has plans to take him back to his mother next weekend. I've suggested to my son that when the time comes for her to take my grandson back to his mother we call the other grandmother and tell her that we've decided to make the trip ourselves (two hours away). I feel like this will insure that we do indeed have the right address and she'll also have no choice but to give us the correct phone number.

The thing is, my son is very worried about the guy this woman is living with. He's never met him (because the guy chooses to hide, apparently) and he has no idea if he's a "good" person. Does my son have any kind of legal right to demand meeting this man?

I want to advise my son to do the right thing. I'm afraid that my own anger is clouding my rationale in this situation. I really want to encourage him to go to court and become the custodial parent, but I'm also very worried about the long-term consequences of this action. I don't want my grandson to be in a constant tug-of-war between his parents but I just don't have confidence that his mother is going to be fair with visitation. I welcome all advice on what to do and what to advise my son to do. Is it legal, or morally right, to investigate this guy my grandson's mother is living with? We don't even know his last name at this point.
 


I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
My response:

Then, since his son is being "hidden", your son should keep his child in his custody until the court makes it's orders for custody, visitation and child support. That means, your son shall inform every interested person; i.e., the mother, that his son is going nowhere until this matter is resolved through the courts. That means your son shall file an action in the Family Law court immediately.

Neither parent has the automatic right to custody unless there is a court order in place. That means that whomever has the child at the moment may keep the child until all issues are resolved and a court order is in effect.

The mother has a lot of nerve.

IAAL
 
T

Taney

Guest
Actual physical custody

Thank you so much for your reply.

My son lives about an hour away from us and works graveyard from Monday through Friday. This means that for him to take custody he'd actually have to be leaving the boy with my husband and me during his work week, which is absolutely no problem at all for us. If my son agrees that this is the route to take (I do!) should we allow the boy's mother to visit him in our home? Would the fact that he would be here most of the time instead of with his father have any bearing on future custody decisions?

I really want this to be done right, with the boy's best interest as our primary concern. I don't want to be about 10 or 12 years down the road and have this little guy angry and bitter about the way things are done. My son has no intention of keeping his son away from his ex-girlfriend but the thought of not being able to see him at all is absolutely unbearable to all of us. Also none of us could ever forgive ourselves if we passively allowed him to be in a dangerous situation, which could be the case for all we know.
 

Grace_Adler

Senior Member
I'm not an attorney but IAAL is and I'm sure he'll correct me on anything I may be wrong about regarding what I'm going to say.

I don't think it would be a good idea to let her visit when your son isn't there. I would definitely let her visit because it's the right thing to do, but only when he's there. The reason why is because I thought I read somewhere that if a child is with anyone other than the parent and there's no custody arrangement that the mother could come and even bring the police and pick up the child. I could be totally wrong about that. I may not remember correctly.

If you take IAAL's advice you'll be doing the right thing. IMO.

I don't know the things that have bearing on custody though. I would, however, bring up the fact that she was "hiding" the child. I may be wrong but I do think that may have some bearing on the case. If he doesn't get sole I at least think he has a good shot at joint. JMO.
 
M

Moma Nina

Guest
She can Take the child if he is not in the father's hands no matter where the child is. I am going through this same situation and with no court order niether of them have custody so she can come with the police and take him from you while he is at work and there is nothing you can do.the only person she cannot take the child from is the father if he has established his paternity.if not no one can keep the child from her.
also it is his right to know where the child is and who the child is with. if she refuses this than he can call C.P.S. and open a case on her.
 
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T

Taney

Guest
Thank You All!

Thank you for the very valuable information. I was under the assumption that if my grandson was somewhere under the direction and approval of a parent that he couldn't be taken away. In fact there was an instance at the beginning of this mess when my grandson was here in our house (at the request of my son) and the ex came over with a police escort. I informed her that she was perfectly welcome to come in and visit her son but she wasn't taking him anywhere because there was no court order of custody and he was in my son's physical custody at the moment. Neither she nor the police contradicted my statement. I guess their ignorance worked to our benefit at that time but I won't chance it again.

Question: If my grandson is here in my home and the mother comes with a police escort to get him, do I need to hand him over or do they need to have a warrant or court order with them?

Thank you all for the information. As you can see, I'm totally uninformed about the laws. I appreciate your input.
 

Grace_Adler

Senior Member
IAAL, WOW thanks for the compliment! I think I'm blushing. I was so taken aback I nearly fainted. LOL! :D I think I did some pretty good research yesterday and I think you would have been proud of me. I had alot of fun at it too. I can't WAIT to be an attorney or at the very least work in one's office as a paralegal if things don't work out with law school or the bar exam. As God as my witness I'll ........ ooops started to have a flashback of Gone With the Wind. (lol)

Anyway, I wanted to add to the paternity issue. That was a good point. If he didn't sign an Affadavit of Paternity or if he hasn't taken a paternity test then that needs to be done ASAP before he can establish his rights and custody, as far as I know.

Now that was a good question about the police. I guess you could tell them the same thing again unless they threaten to put you under arrest. Need back up with this one.
 
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I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
Re: Thank You All!

Originally posted by Taney

Taney said - -

"In fact there was an instance at the beginning of this mess when my grandson was here in our house (at the request of my son) and the ex came over with a police escort. I informed her that she was perfectly welcome to come in and visit her son but she wasn't taking him anywhere because there was no court order of custody and he was in my son's physical custody at the moment."


My response:

Oh, now I get it. I'm getting a clearer picture of what's going on!

You're aiding and abetting your son in playing this cat and mouse game - - this "hide the pea under the shell" game - - with your grandson.

Well, it's no damn wonder that Momma Bear is hiding the child from your son. Your son had an initial opportunity when this first happened, to obtain court orders, but for some reason, he's acting like a child, not acting like a man, and you're helping him.

When your son does this to the mother of his child, is it any wonder she hides the child? Is it any wonder to you why she's been protective of the child?

Seriously, just who the hell do you think you are to do this repeatedly to the mother and the child? How would you have liked it if someone did that to you and your son?

Why hasn't your son, the father of this child, stepped up to the plate to go to court like he should?

Now that it's on record that he's done this in the past, and is still doing this to the mother, it's a sure bet that the only visitation he'll get is "monitored", and away from your house, and it's also a good bet that Momma Bear won't let you see the child in the future - - and guess what? I'd back her up all the way.

IAAL
 
T

Taney

Guest
But you clearly don't get it

It's difficult to tell an entire story in an internet forum. My son NEVER hid his son from his mother and ALWAYS allowed her to have access to her. My son really does want what's best for his son and that is for his son to have two active parents in his life.

What he wants, and what I want too, is for the mother to keep him fully informed of the child's whereabouts and who he is with. I think that all parents have that right. Don't you?

Perhaps you need to re-read my post. At no point did I say that my son hid their son from his mother. What happened was that she basically abandoned him so she could screw around with her secret boyfriend. When he found out what was going on he kicked her out. Because she has never worked more than a very skimpy part-time job in her life she had no way to provide a decent home for their son. Should he have been the one to have had to left the house under those circumstances? He has actually been the primary caretaker for his son since he was born. He worked a graveyard job having to get home from work about 6 a.m. and then be awakened by her at 11 a.m. to care for the child so she could allegedly go to school. She wouldn't return until 8 p.m., shortly before he had to leave for work. Still it somehow took her three years to get a two year degree. Hmmm. Could it be that she wasn't really in class all that time? My son did all of the cooking, all of the cleaning, and the majority of caring for his son. All under the pretense of her going to school so she could help out with finances. And what did she do? Cheat. It sickens me to think of all of the times I went running up there, at her request, so she could go off on some special school project, which I realize, in retrospect, was probably time away cheating on my son.

Yes, you are right about my son not taking the action he should be taking. He's still thinking that they can settle things amicably, even though she's cheating him out of access to his son so he can maintain a good fatherly relationship with him.

I'm actually hoping that this last deceptive action by the ex will be the catalyst for him to finally go to court and get things made legal. I really am trying my best to keep my mouth shut about this. I know it's his fight.

Oh, I don't think I mentioned how she left for two weeks at the end of July without telling anyone how long she'd be gone and how to contact her. She went on "vacation". She had no idea who was caring for her son while she was gone. She left him with one of her family members and he was passed around the whole time, from one to another. She didn't talk to him that whole time and, of course, didn't let my son know where he'd be so he could see him. She didn't let him know ahead of time that she was taking this trip so he could make arrangements with his work to change his schedule a bit so he could be with his son. Unfortunately he had used up all of his personal and vacation time when the split initially happened.

I came here with the hope of getting some helpful advice. I don't mind criticism for any action that I've taken but I would appreciate if any respondents would not jump to conclusions before jumping down my throat. Again, thank you for helpful advice.
 

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
My response:

You just don't get it, do you?

You have all the excuses and reasons in the World, but you don't see your role in the mess you're helping to cause, do you? You have nothing to apologize for, do you? You haven't helped to cause, or to continue to cause, the present situation, have you?

The fact is, you're still helping your son. You're giving him aid and shelter to do the wrong thing in life. You still haven't told me why your son still hasn't gone to court. There's no "easy way" out, and the past should have told you these idiots aren't going to work it out without a court being involved. Yet, your grandson sits there and suffers.

I'm sorry if you feel I'm harsh with you. But after what you said, you and your son really do deserve it.

IAAL
 

haiku

Senior Member
Both parents sound like immature children.

that being said, what IS it going to take for one of them to go to the court and go for legal custody, visitation, and support. Until that happens, than yes they can play hardball with thier own child. And even worse it seems your son is sitting back and letting you do it all for him.

even once physical custody is established, while the child is in the care of that parent, they can do what they want with that child, including leaving the child with the care giver of thier choice.

I would step back if I were you, if your son wants involvement, HE needs to do it.
 
T

Taney

Guest
A lot of what you've both (IAAL and haiku) said is correct

They are both being immature about this. And the one to suffer is my grandson.

I do have to disagree about the accusation that I'm taking a role in making it a more difficult situation. Most of what I say and ask about is kept between my husband and I. I realize that this is my son's fight. We're here for him to talk to and we do give him advice. We aren't about to aid him in any way financially, even though we are well able to do it. I have a definite problem with the concept of the person having the most money winning the "battle". The truth is that in spite of everything I think that at this point in my grandson's life his mother should have primary custody, but my son should be kept informed of his whereabouts and be allowed to have an active part in his life.

The ex's mother actually has been admonishing her daughter for what she's done lately as far as keeping the boy from his father. Hopefully she'll get through to her.

I simply came here for some advice and hopefully some information about what the laws are. It's really for my own peace of mind to help insure that we don't do anything that will be harmful down the road. Contrary to what some seem to believe I'm not playing some kind of game to undermine my grandson's mother. My primary concern is my grandson. The ONLY time that he has ever been at my house without the blessing of the ex was that first time when they first broke up. Even then I'm sure she was actually relieved that he was here with me. She knows how much we love him and she also knows that if we really wanted to make any kind of trouble for her we would have done it a long time ago. I loved her like a daughter during the time that they were together. I really have no intention of ever being vindictive or unfair to her. I have to admit that I'm deeply hurt by what's happened, but even if I hated her, which I really don't, I want to have a decent relationship with her because she is, afterall, my grandson's mother.

Anyway, thanks for the advice, but I don't think this board is really what I need right now. It's really a very difficult time for all of us right now and I don't think being here is good for me right now. You all are probably right about a lot of things, but if you totally turn people off with your attacking tone then you really aren't going to be the help I need.
 

I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
My response:

Well, we're not here to give you or your son a shoulder to cry on, that's for sure. And, we're not here to necessarily tell you what you want to read. We're telling you what you need to know - - for good or bad.

However, you still haven't said the correct thing that I would have liked you to say. And that is, "yes, you're correct. I'm going to help my son, and my grandson, by helping them to get an attorney on Monday morning."

Now, that's the help they need, and that's the "magic" phrase. Why can't you see that? Is that so difficult to accomplish?

IAAL
 

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