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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy Unmarried Mother and Abusive Father

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Alabama/Florida

    okay, this is going to sound very long winded. I was in an abusive relationship in the state of Florida. I have a recording of the man threatening to kill me. I didn't call the cops, but they were called. I left him immediately. There were witnesses to the abuse I was suffering by him. Neighbors heard and watched him harass me. Also, someone stopped to help and they got into a physical altercation. He called the cops. This man is very crazy. He sat at my house for hours with me begging him to leave. He left his children in the car for hours with no food or drink. I live in Alabama now. I didn't put the father on the birth certificate. I honestly don't want him near my child. He tried to kill me. I know it looks bad that I didn't report this. I just wanted to get outta there. When I told the cops about it later they said if I didn't feel like I was in danger to just not worry about it. They assured me that DNA testing and everything else he was going to have to go through would be too much and he would give up. I guess what I am wanting to know is what is he going to have to go through. He still lives in Florida and I live in Alabama. He keeps threatening me. I have told him I relocated to another state and that the baby isn't his and that with everything I got on him he will never see it. I am not really sure if that is true. I am just terrified for my child. He commited several acts of violence against me in front of his children. I don't want my child to grow up with that. I need to know what I can do to keep him far away from my child. So please let me know how hard I can make it for him to be around my child

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Unmarried Mother and Abusive Father

    You should get a restraining order. Here's how:

    "Speak with Your Lawyer –

    If you have a lawyer, he or she needs to be the first person you go to. They can fill out the papers and take them to the judge in order to receive the restraining order. If you do not have a lawyer, you can still receive the restraining order. You can get the papers yourself from the clerk of superior court, domestic violence programs and you can even download forms online.

    Sign the Papers –

    You will sign the papers before the clerk of court and you will go in front of the judge. If you are in immediate danger, the judge may sign an ex parte, which goes into effect as soon as he signs it and protects you from many different things. Your spouse will have to stay a certain distance away from you, he or she will be prevented from calling you or having any contact with you and you may even get temporary custody of your children. The papers will be served to your spouse in person by an officer of the law.

    Costs –

    There is no cost to get a restraining order and there is no cost to have the restraining order served to your spouse. If your lawyer draws the papers up, you may have to pay him or her for that service.

    More Information –

    You should really, really think about things if you are considering getting a restraining order. If your spouse is truly scary, violent and extremely dangerous – you will be protecting yourself with a piece of paper. Sure, it works in most cases when the spouse is just being a difficult jerk but if he or she is truly dangerous, you may want to take other steps for protection. Install an alarm system, carry pepper spray, carry your cellular phone with you at all times, alert your child s school to the problems and let them know that you are the only one who can pick up your child and more. You may even want to stay with family until the problem is resolved."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,772

    Default Re: Unmarried Mother and Abusive Father

    PhoneyPope,

    Please do NOT lead anyone to believe that they will definately get a protective order simply by filing for one.

    No where in your post do you mention that the OP will need proof when going to court. The OP will need to have some strong proof before an order can be issued.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Unmarried Mother and Abusive Father

    Unfortunately, just leaving doesn't stop abuse in relationships, and in many cases can actually cause things to heat up. Even abusive parents have rights concerning their children, and the courts are there to protect those rights. There ARE ways to curtail or even remove those rights, but it's not a "self-help" type of thing where you can just run and hope everything will be ok - because he's actually got the law on HIS side here (another of MANY reasons why long term safety planning including these legal issues is of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE for anyone trying to escape an abusive relationship!!!!).

    If there's a chance that he's the father of these children, the courts will do everything in their power to first find out if he's the father or not (the court can order you to submit the children to DNA testing and can jail you for contempt if you refuse to comply); AND will also ensure that a parent-child relationship is developed between them if at all feasible. Even if you HAD reported the violence to police when it happened, he would STILL probably have access to the children under a supervised visitation program unless the children were actually involved in the violent acts.

    I'm sorry the police that responded to you told you what they did, but the fact of the matter is that police have absolutely NO way to know what extremes (legal or otherwise) this person is willing to go through to reach either you OR his children (assuming they are his, which is what HE is probably assuming and acting upon). It might have been convenient for police to tell you not to worry about it, but several hundred murder victims in similar circumstances each year would strongly suggest otherwise. The fact of the matter is that some fathers are more than happy to walk away from their children and pretend that they (and their expenses) never existed. But the drive to be a parent and to experience and witness the upbringing of offspring is a drive of the first and highest order, being SO important (to both fathers AND mothers) that ANYTHING trying to stand in the way should be considered to be in grave danger. This drive is exactly why such a HUGE proportion of domestic violence homicides occur AFTER the parties have separated, and even MORE often when children are in the middle of the mix.

    DO file for a restraining order - if you need help to do so, get in touch with your local domestic violence program. You can find them listed for each state at http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/states/menu.shtml. Based on experience, considering that much was never documented (particularly the death threat), it's reasonable and realistic to expect that the court will order SOME level of visitation with the children, albeit that the visitation may have to occur under strict conditions, and may include being contingent on him completing some form of counseling. The reality is that once you've had children with someone, you should anticipate that unless that person is incarcerated or has committed and been convicted of some violent felony or a crime against a child, that person in all liklihood WILL be granted access in some fashion to their children until the children are 18 or a court removes their parental rights (which doesn't happen often, and usually in extreme cases involving serious injury or long term incarceration).

    Again, I reiterate how VITAL the concept of SAFETY PLANNING is in situations like yours. Once you've gotten help getting the restraining order filed, ask your local domestic violence program to assist you in this area.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

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