Q: after over 4 years of zero contact, can my child’s biological father demand that he sees her?
My daughter is almost 5.
Her father has not been involved besides about two weeks after child support was originally established. He spent a couple hours with her 3 times when she was 6 months old.
We had mediation at that time and we agreed to start out with a couple hours a few evenings a week but no over nights. He did that 3 times and then decided he wasn’t about it and haven’t heard from him since.
He has a history of domestic abuse and was extremely controlling and manipulative during our relationship and my fear is that he shows up randomly and wants to play games with my daughters head. She has no clue who he is and has a father figure in her life that would love to adopt her.
I’m worried if something ever happened to me she would be ripped from everyone she loves and handed over to him.
What are my rights and how can I protect her?
Yes, the father can seek parenting time. If you are unable to come to an agreement or choose to dig your heels in a judge will ultimately make the decision. It very unlikely a judge will not grant some parenting time. The judge will weigh numerous factors to decide upon a plan. Reasonable limitations can implemented.
Playing hardball is rarely a wise decision. Going it alone is also unwise. An emotionally charged parent rarely makes a good impression on a judge or others involved.
In order to ensure the best possible outcome, you need to consult with an attorney, at least in a limited role. Far too often, an individual leaves court disappointed because they weren’t properly prepared. A small investment will provide a polished response that you can rely upon to come to an agreement or structure your presentation to the judge (if needed.)
Limited-scope representation is when you and a lawyer agree that the lawyer will handle some parts of your case and you will handle others. This is different from more traditional arrangements between lawyers and clients where a lawyer is hired to provide legal services on all aspects of a case, from start to finish. Limited-scope representation is sometimes called “unbundled legal services” or “discrete task representation.”
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