Posted by: I'm So MAD!!! | 2004/02/06

Visitation rights-is there anyone who can help??

Hi there,
I have been with my fiance for 4 years. My fiances ex girlfriend had a child with him 6 years ago (a beautiful boy) They broke up because she was unfaithful & she got married & moved away-taking his son with them & introducing the husband as his real father! She never told him where she was going & he lost contact with his son although he tried desperatly to look for him. She showed up on his doorstep with their child (And the child from her marriage) saying he could get to know his son again now because she was divorcing her husband. She wasn't impressed to find out that my fiance & I were engaged & for the whole month she allowed my fiance to see his son she refused to let me participate in any family outings-she kept changing the dates or showing up with the kids when I was not home & leaving when I arrived. I was there when she invited my fiance to a new years eve party & said that she would introduce him as his sons real father that nite. He turned to me & asked if I had other plans for us for new years & I said no-lets go to her place-To which she replied-"Sorry, you're not invited-my son needs a father not another mommy" Needless to say my fiance told her in no uncertain terms that if she was thinking they were going to get back together & play mommy & daddy then she was mistaken & if she is using their son as a pawn to get what she wants instead of putting their sons wellbeing first then he wants nothing to do with her & he would rather she let their son come over for weekends alone with him. She said she would get back to us on that. We tried to contact her again a week later & a man answered her phone saying she wasn't home. Later we decided to just go to her house & speak to her in person-only to discover she had skipped town. When we got back to his place & told his sister what happened she phoned her &b shouted at her, asking how could she bring my finaces son back into his life & then take him out of his life again & asked her how could she be so selfish(she also called her a few unmentionable words) My fiances ex replied that my fiance would have no further contact with their son until his siter apologises for hwat she has said. As far as I am concerned my fiances sisters opinion about her has nothing to do with the relationship between my fiance & his son. Does she have any rights to keep him away from his child because she is upset with his sister? Is this right???

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Our expert says:
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ISO, this sounds extraordinarily similar to another question i have answered recently -- Are you sure you haven't posted it before ? If not, do please check the archives of this column, and compare questions, and answers.
The biological father has rights which the mother cannot take away from him, and the law has recently improved in this respect. See a lawyer, maybe also someone at the maistrate's courts / family advocates. for specific advice on how he should be able to re-assert his rights ( which he must emphasize he NEVER gave up, though she deprived him of them ) and have them required by a court order.
The courts must decide these things in terms of what's best for the child, and not acording to the mother's wishes to be malicious. If it can be established before the court that she has indeed behaved as irresponsibly and cruelly as you describe, the court may well question HER fitness to have acess to the child, rather than the boy's father's.
And if your fiancee did not sign papers authorizing an adoption of the child, the mother could be in some trouble if she has made false statements to this effect.

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Our users say:
Posted by: 1st Time Mommy | 2004/02/06


You didn't mention if your fiance pays maintenence which doesn't really matter. She has no right to keep his son from him and I suggest he takes her to maintenance court. She got married to another man and told her son that he was his father and kept him away from his real father. Your fiance didn't sign any adoption papers so she can get into quit alot of crap.
She is being selfish and self centered. She seems very spoilt too that if she can't have things her way the father and son will suffer. She isn't thinking of her son she's thinking of herself, my heart goes out to this little boy. Your fiance should really try to get custody of their son so he can be raised in a loving home. How would she like it if he treated her like that.
I also suggest that you not tell her that you'll be taking her to court, just go and see them let them set a date and let her be surprised by it, it seems to be her amo and if she splits then you'll have more of a leg to stand on.

Hope All works out for you folks
Take Care
1st Time Mommy

Reply to 1st Time Mommy
Posted by: volcano | 2004/02/06

Some people should be sterilized at birth. In trying to coerce your fiance into a relationship and now trying to hurt him by keeping his son away, she has not once thought of the harm she is doing to their son. Your fiance should fight for his visitation rights so that his son can get to know his father and step-mother.

Reply to volcano
Posted by: Sherry | 2004/02/06

my husband and I have just gone through a custody battle for his kids and what we learnt that the biological father has as much right as the mother, the courts no longer just favour the mother but the father too, wheather they were married or not.
Your fiance must approch your local family advocates office and place a visitation claim, they will then invistigate if it is in the childs best interest to see him and they will then place a court order on the mother so she cannot refuse him access, it would be better to go through a lawyer but if you are in our boat this was not a option. The family advocate is very helpful it takes a while but it is worth it in the end.
Good Luck

Reply to Sherry

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