Sunday, June 9, 2013

Visitation Rights

Imagine, for a moment, if you didn't have custody of your child(ren). How often would you expect to see them? For how long? Would you expect to visit them unsupervised? Do you think you'd be allowed to know where your child(ren) lived? How about where they went to school? Or when they were in the Emergency Room?

Elmo & 1mo Samantha
Daddy with 1mo Samantha

These are all legal rights that are being denied my husband, a good father. Our state provides all of these things, including regular visitation (somewhere other than a stinkin' grocery store!). He maybe gets to take our 3½-year-old daughter to see her 5yo sister once per week, on Thursday afternoons... at a Walmart... where her mother works. They often wind up doing her grocery shopping during "visitation." Those rights are only provided and enforced once you have a court order on file.

Thursdays are visitation days
Walmart - April 2012

He's gotten text messages or calls from her for details (like his birth date, for insurance purposes) when taking their daughter to the ER, but then ignored requests to know why or which ER they were attending. We did get an invition to her Dance Recital this year, but have missed previous ones. And they left immediately after, so he wasn't able to let his daughter know he was there to support her, tell her she looked beautiful, or that she had done a wonderful job on stage.

Samantha Turns 1
Samantha's First Birthday ~ May 2009
My mother got that book for her... but didn't get to see her.

These things (and more) break my heart every week. I have contacted an attorney for him, and we had planned to use our tax return to retain her for services. Except our tax return is being held for her this year, for back child support. He has always paid child support, but the state decided it wasn't enough. Some have said he should be able to pay for an attorney himself, but he also helps supports our own family/household of 3 children (including my daughter).

Sasha & Samantha in Grocery Basket
February 2012
This is when Sasha first started going to visitation.

I've been hoping to raise attorney fees in time for Father's Day. It would be the most poignant Father's Day gift ever! We're pretty far from our goal, though. Honestly, I'd be happy if we could even reach the $500 mark because our attorney is willing to get started for that amount and take payments for the rest. There is only 1 week left until Father's Day. Please, click through to our Fundly page and "Support" us.

You can actually just click "Support" to show that you support us, whether or not you are able to donate to the cause.
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