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Newest Member: 30yearsofheartache

Off Topic :
Custody Question

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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 12:32 AM on Thursday, February 9th, 2023

My son will be going to the county jail due to a second DUI. For 45 days. Or 2 months. I’m not sure.

He has told me that he has repeatedly asked the mother to see his daughter and she has said no. I told him that was totally not right, and that she couldn’t really do that. That he had a right to see his daughter. He said she had blamed it on me, because I am sick. It’s true, I’ve been sick since a day or two after Christmas with sinus infections etc. Just yesterday I found out I have the flu. And so I have called the babies mother and ask them not to come over because I don’t want either one of them to be sick. But I explain to my son that he doesn’t have to see his daughter at my home where he lives. He can take her to a movie, or take her to a playground.

I explained to him that if that persists, he should get an attorney and go to court to set up specific legal parameters. He told me that she has a high dollar lawyer, and he told her that if my son retains a lawyer, he will loose all parental rights. Because of his record.

There may be things on his record that I do not know about, but I do know that these 45-60 days he spends in jail will be the longest he has ever been in jail. Other times he has been arrested for DUI, or driving without a license he has been in jail for two or three nights maybe.

I can’t believe that what he is telling me is actually true.

So either:

… She is being a butt and trying to scare him, or…

… he is being dramatic because he’s so mad at her.

Anyway I tried to let him know that no one with two DUIs is going to have his custody removed. He kept interrupting me and telling me that I always took her side. Then he told me that "this conversation is over.". When I said "OK" he continued the conversation so I just left the room. As I was leaving the room he was of course hollering about how I always took her side, etc.

I love her a lot, but I know that she is not always upfront. But I also know that my son exaggerates situations. Throughout this past summer and fall, he has been unemployed. And the baby and her mother have come over many times, sometimes three and four times a week, and stayed a good bit of the day. And because he stays up all night watching TV, he’s asleep in his room while she’s here. He doesn’t come out of his room to spend time with her…we’ll, not very often. So I’m thinking that a good part of this is him wanting to manipulate her to be with him. I just don’t know.

I didn’t know that he loves the baby a great deal. He’s really troubled now. This past late summer is when he and my other son got into a fistfight. Most of the time he is very docile and agreeable. He helps me around the house, etc. Talks all the time about how great he and his brother are getting along now. Helped me set up his room the other day and told me that he was going to introduce him to non-alcoholic "beer" so that maybe he would cut down on his drinking.

But also, he just is so down. And I am concerned about him going to jail for a couple of months in that frame of mind. When he is having mood issues, he is very quick tempered. And I know that that is just not an option in jail if he is wantng to stay out of trouble. I can’t stand the thought of him getting hurt.

I guess I’m mostly wanting to know if any of you know under what circumstances he could have his rights to see his daughter taken away from him.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 12:35 AM, Thursday, February 9th]

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 12:45 PM on Thursday, February 9th, 2023

Total removal of parental rights is not something a judge would take lightly. Most of the time when this happens, there is not only no contact with the child, but there is someone (a step-parent, most likely) who is available and willing to step into the parental role.

I infer from what you have written that there is no set parenting schedule. Were they married? If so, the divorce decree should detail the issues of child support and parenting time. If they were not married, then he will need to go to court to set parenting parameters (and there will be a child support determination at that time as well--is he prepared for that?).

As a parent, I would be very hesitant to allow my child to be with someone who has multiple offenses. DUI is a very serious offense with potential implications to other, innocent parties.

While it is unlikely he will have his parental rights removed, he is in a bad situation with regards to petitioning to see his child. He needs legal representation to iron this out and to get custody, child support and parenting time in writing. She's making empty threats with regards to his parental rights, but she very definitely has the upper hand and seems like she will exercise it.

You mentioned he was unemployed and still made no effort to see his child. That is not going to work in his favor at all.

He has to take action, but I would recommend he use his time in jail to get into a good AA program, work on employable skills and work towards being able to prove he is a reliable, consistent figure for his child. Right now, she could request severely curtailed supervised visitation and likely get it.


FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 2:39 PM on Thursday, February 9th, 2023

I worked in the foster care system many years ago. It was very difficult to terminate somebody's parental rights. Maybe that varies by state, I can't remember. Two DUIs would not get somebody's rights terminated from what I remember. Also, the mother can't decide this on her own. She has to do it legally. Is your son on the birth certificate?

It would be reasonable for her to request that he not drive the child anywhere until he completes a program or something like that.

If his only crimes are DUIs, I can't see that keeping him from visitation.

It's possible my experience is outdated or doesn't apply to your state.

I hope you're feeling better!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 9:47 PM on Thursday, February 9th, 2023

I will try to clarify. They were never married.

When they broke up, it was never a "I’m done" kind of thing. They went to court, and my son won 50-50 custody. There was never a parenting plan that I am aware of. She got into govt assistance housing.

As time has passed by, she is still "part of the family". She and the baby come over to the house quite often. Several days a week for hours at a time. I go and pick her up from the daycare where her mama works so she can come home and take a nap. They spend Christmas morning "Santa Claus"and Thanksgiving dinner with us trick-or-treating. She has the code to the house.

Since their "break up" they have been in separate places. At one point in time she would want more from the relationship than he would. And then he wants more and she doesn’t. I think right now he is wanting more. He is trying to set up times for them to do family things together and she balks.

He told me last night that he called to ask if he could see the baby before he goes away for 60 days. He said that she said no. It’s hard for me to know which of them is telling the straight truth. I told him she couldn’t refuse without good reason.

Anyway, it may be that he is just a very frustrated and is exaggerating her lack of cooperation. But, honestly, she can also be quite manipulative.

I want to be able to advise him in an educated manner regarding his ability to see his daughter.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 9:48 PM, Thursday, February 9th]

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7870   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8776858

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:05 PM on Thursday, February 9th, 2023

When he is having mood issues, he is very quick tempered.

When he's mad at her, how does he treat her? Has he ever been physically, or verbally abusive?

posts: 5506   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 10:51 PM on Thursday, February 9th, 2023

Whatsright, I have been covered up with work but meant to respond to you earlier.

As it's been said here, the termination of parental rights is a very serious and complicated thing which involves court hearings. She would have a lot to prove against him such as non-support and child endangerment issues. The courts usually appoint a GAL attorney to look out for the child's interests.

Now, having said that, I would be concerned about the DUI issues as that could limit your son to supervised visitation as the GAL or the judge could fear he'd drive intoxicated with the child in the car.

It sounds as if you have a good relationship with the mother AND the child so I'd suggest you talk to the mother and explain you have been ill and didn't want to pass anything on to the child -- but you are willing to supervise the visitation your son has with his child. And make the mother welcome to be there.

Good luck - and good luck to your son and hopefully the incarceration will give him time to think and to appreciate all you do for him and to make him understand he needs to live a cleaner life for his child.

Good luck.

"Because I deserve better"

posts: 3486   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2005
id 8776872

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 2:28 AM on Friday, February 10th, 2023

Never physically abusive. I have heard him cursing and raising his voice.

He has issues, and I feel is depressed.

He really needs to work some things out, as you all have said.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7870   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8776901

Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 4:20 AM on Friday, February 10th, 2023

It would be good if he'd get some counseling for sure. Also, Al-Anon would help YOU tremendously.

As for termination of parental rights, it really does take a lot to terminate as the courts and Dept. of Human services have the main goal of reunification of parents - so that both parents are involved with the child. If your son wants to be a part of his child's life, he can be by working on himself.

I know someone right now who is in a court case to terminate parental rights of a child. They have raised this child since birth and have guardianship. The mother and father have never supported the child and see the child only about 2-3 times a year (when it's convenient for them!) So the guardians want to adopt the child. The first step is termination of parental rights. Even though neither parent has ever supported the child or been involved with the child, the court process is still lengthy. The mother has voluntarily given up her rights but the father hasn't - thus the court case. Both parents are into drugs and the guardians have spent thousands of dollars to keep this child safe.

If the child comes for a visit, her dad should always interact with her and not stay in his bedroom. From what you wrote, it almost sounds as if both mother and father sometimes use the child as a pawn - to get back at each other. I hope that's not the case.

As always, good luck to YOU as it's you who does the worrying. I understand that.

"Because I deserve better"

posts: 3486   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2005
id 8776915

WorldTraveler23 ( member #36528) posted at 6:51 PM on Monday, February 20th, 2023

My cousin was murdered by a drunk driver but I’ll try to be reasonable. He’s a drunk driver at least two times. He sleeps all day instead of caring for his child and is emotionally abusive to his child’s mom. I don’t read anything about a job. I think with a decent attorney she can probably get supervised-only visitation or full custody and I’m not sure that’s a bad idea. Your son needs to either take the reins of his life or let go. You don’t need to be involved at this point, and your involvement is probably letting him off the hook of getting himself involved because he knows you’ll handle it. Time to move on Mama.

posts: 142   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2012
id 8778626

Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 7:44 PM on Monday, February 20th, 2023

WorldTraveler, you make some good points BUT Whatsright is a loving, caring Grandmother to her grandchildren, which only serves to ENRICH the lives of the children. Sometimes grandparents are the only people who can help or save a child. I'm sure she will always stay involved with her grandchildren. I don't see her cutting her son any slack, she knows his short-comings.

[This message edited by Jeaniegirl at 9:31 PM, Monday, February 20th]

"Because I deserve better"

posts: 3486   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2005
id 8778633

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 4:24 AM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

Sorry not to have responded to this until now. I’ve been pretty sick.

Thanks for the input, but no, I will not in any way be backing off from spending time with either my grand child, or her mother.

I’m so sorry for you to have lost a family member to a drunk driver.

My grand child doesn’t ride in the car with my son, and my son is the one who makes that decision.

My son’s first DUI was when he was much younger… Still a teenager. His blood alcohol level was exactly at the limit. Which of course is not acceptable.

The second time was when he was driving home from shooting pool at a bar somewhere. He has talked to me about it and said that in the future if he wants to drink, he will go to someone’s house and spend the night and have something to drink. Of course, if he sticks to that or not remains to be seen.

I, too hope that the 45 to 60 days in jail for this second DUI will give him time to consider the damage he could possibly do.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7870   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8780184
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