My daughter's father who has not had "parenting time" in over 3 years was arrested on a bench warrant for non-support a couple of months ago. Now that he is forced to pay some sort of support he is now wanting to compel his parenting time with my daughters.
Over three years ago we had gone to court (7-23-03) for my not allowing him parenting time due to his drinking, not feeding them, no car insurance etc. and not abiding by court orders on same and other issues. He had been lurking around our home all hours of the night; tapping on their windows and doing weird stuff. When we had gone to court I agreed to his make-up parenting time and he was awarded back to back weekends, days etc. And this arrangement would have truly emotionally done my daughters in.......
On this same day as the court date was his parenting time day. I had just enough time to get home and try to tell my daughters that they had to see him. They had not seen him maybe a handful of times since the beginning of the year. He shows up, I had to push my girls (9 & 5) out the door screaming and crying - locking the door behind them so they could not come back in. (and I lost it myself - one of the hardest things I had to do as a parent knowing that my girls were hurting and scared) They went out to his car and there they sat for 20 minutes curbside. They got out - he drove away and did not come back. He made no attempt to contact them, did not pay child support - nothing since then.
Now that he has been busted on bench warrant in MI - while working when he has told the court he was not working. And he is now being forced to pay some sort of support - which he is trying to get lowered - when he is making more money than before. (self-employed - makes collecting child support harder and proving income) Wants to compel parenting because he does have to pay.
His attorney has drawn up a temp. order stating that he gets 6 hours unsupervised parenting time at his mother's home on Sundays. I had not agreed to this. My girls do not want to see him, they do not know him and they fear his temper which was a big factor when it came to them not wanting to go. I wanted supervised visits in a public place for 1 to 2 hours. The counseling center that I had enrolled the girls into - had even said that when a parent is absent for over 6 months that suggest 1 to 2 hours supervised until the child is comfortable.
Is there a law suggesting what should be allowed and not allowed when the other parent just takes it upon their selves ans just leaves? Without any form of contact?? I had gone to court with him in '05 for the non-support because the State had ordered it. He not once asked about the kids - just made the comment that he couldn't pay the support because he was not working (and he was) and that he shouldn't have to pay for something that he doesn't get to see. The "something" being my daughters.
He comes off as this caring, loving father when in reality he hasn't been there for them in any way shape or form.
I have offered to him that IF he waives his parental rights he does not have to pay the back support of $15,000 nor pay future child support. I have not received child support for years and doesn't matter if I do. My concern is protecting my daughters from him and his temper and drinking and keeping them happy and thriving and not the mess they were 3 years ago. IF he truly cared for them - he would have straightened out and been there and he would have not just left.
It isn't about the money - it is about their well being and safety.
Is there a way to protect them?? Of does the "father's rights" over ride their rights?? I understand that he is their biological father - but that doesn't mean that he is capable of being one.
Any input would be totally appreciated.