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  1. #1
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    Mar 2020
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    Default Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Ohio, Hamilton County

    I made a mistake with a man 12 years ago, and became involved while working out of town on a project. The short story is that I became pregnant, and found out at 7 months that he was married. He abruptly cut off communication with the discovery. Since that time, he was ordered to pay child support and did so for several years. We had an argument over money via text in September, and he followed through on a threat by motioning for "petition for Companionship"ORC2151.23(A)(2). He did not show up to the hearing, lawyer stating he was too ill to travel (he lives 4 hours away). During that hearing, I was not allowed in the room because he wasn't present, only our lawyers. The paperwork with the rescheduled date showed that the petition was now for visitation. I questioned the change at the time and my lawyer said "they probably didn't have a code to enter Companionship in the computer because it is such an obscure law." Here we are in March, lawyers had a hearing to "report." Magistrate has NEVER LAID EYES ON OR TALKED TO EITHER PARENT, and ordered that I put my daughter in "reunification" counseling with the Father.

    Isn't REUNIFICATION when you bring people back together? My daughter does not know this person. Frankly, I feel I don't know him.

    This will completely rock my childs world - Honor Roll Student, athlete, great family.

    To me, this is at the very least abandonment on his part. And it baffles me that the court would think that working towards visitation with a stranger is in her best interest. Looking for advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,206

    Default Re: Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    Quote Quoting jcb4309
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    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Ohio, Hamilton County

    I made a mistake with a man 12 years ago, and became involved while working out of town on a project. The short story is that I became pregnant, and found out at 7 months that he was married. He abruptly cut off communication with the discovery. Since that time, he was ordered to pay child support and did so for several years. We had an argument over money via text in September, and he followed through on a threat by motioning for "petition for Companionship"ORC2151.23(A)(2). He did not show up to the hearing, lawyer stating he was too ill to travel (he lives 4 hours away). During that hearing, I was not allowed in the room because he wasn't present, only our lawyers. The paperwork with the rescheduled date showed that the petition was now for visitation. I questioned the change at the time and my lawyer said "they probably didn't have a code to enter Companionship in the computer because it is such an obscure law." Here we are in March, lawyers had a hearing to "report." Magistrate has NEVER LAID EYES ON OR TALKED TO EITHER PARENT, and ordered that I put my daughter in "reunification" counseling with the Father.

    Isn't REUNIFICATION when you bring people back together? My daughter does not know this person. Frankly, I feel I don't know him.

    This will completely rock my childs world - Honor Roll Student, athlete, great family.

    To me, this is at the very least abandonment on his part. And it baffles me that the court would think that working towards visitation with a stranger is in her best interest. Looking for advice.
    The magistrate should not have made that order without holding an evidentiary hearing. I am surprised that your attorney didn't protest the order since your daughter has never even met him.

    However, I can tell you that I cannot see how reunification therapy could possibly work since dad lives 4 hours away unless dad is dedicated enough to make that trip at least once a week or so.

    Can you appeal the magistrate's order to the sitting judge?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,365

    Default Re: Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    You seem to be nit picking over the use of the word "reunification," which seems rather pointless.


    Quote Quoting jcb4309
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    Looking for advice.
    Advice about what? For starters, you told us that you have a lawyer, and that's the only person from whom you should be seeking legal advice. Beyond that, the only responsible advice you can get from anonymous strangers on the internet is that failure to follow the court's order could lead to a world of negative consequences.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    24,393

    Default Re: Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    I am at a loss to understand why, when a previously absent parent sees the error of their ways and wants to establish a relationship with the child, this is seen as a bad thing. Isn't it GOOD for a child to have a relationship with both parents?

    Certainly I understand why one would want to take it slowly. But why is it not a positive thing that he wants to know his child? Even if he hasn't previously?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
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    2

    Default Re: Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    You seem to be nit picking over the use of the word "reunification," which seems rather pointless.

    If “nit picking” over a word was pointless, we wouldn’t have definitions written into law.



    Advice about what? For starters, you told us that you have a lawyer, and that's the only person from whom you should be seeking legal advice. Beyond that, the only responsible advice you can get from anonymous strangers on the internet is that failure to follow the court's order could lead to a world of negative consequences.
    Sorry - I thought this was a place where folks could ask for questions or help. The title lawyer doesn’t mean they make perfect decisions.

    I didn't want to take up space telling an entire story. You should consider that within a few paragraphs I couldn’t possibly describe why this might not be a good idea for my child. I didn’t post for people to make off handed comments without caring to know the people involved. I posted hoping to find some people more educated on the inner workings of the law.

    I just received the paperwork in the mail today from my attorneys office. This occurred last Friday during a “report hearing” that I was not allowed to attend. Lawyer did not tell me there was an order that day. Previously, we had two hearings and the father did not show up for either one, so they would not allow me in the court room. Needless to say I was caught by surprise when I opened my mail today. I believe I have ten days to file something, which means by Monday. Ive called the lawyers office and emailed twice. Starting to panic and think I should go file something myself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
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    Default Re: Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    Quote Quoting jcb4309
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    Sorry - I thought this was a place where folks could ask for questions or help. The title lawyer doesn’t mean they make perfect decisions.

    I didn't want to take up space telling an entire story. You should consider that within a few paragraphs I couldn’t possibly describe why this might not be a good idea for my child. I didn’t post for people to make off handed comments without caring to know the people involved. I posted hoping to find some people more educated on the inner workings of the law.

    I just received the paperwork in the mail today from my attorneys office. This occurred last Friday during a “report hearing” that I was not allowed to attend. Lawyer did not tell me there was an order that day. Previously, we had two hearings and the father did not show up for either one, so they would not allow me in the court room. Needless to say I was caught by surprise when I opened my mail today. I believe I have ten days to file something, which means by Monday. Ive called the lawyers office and emailed twice. Starting to panic and think I should go file something myself.
    Asking for help doesn't mean you're going to get the answers that you want. Generally the courts will encourage the involvement of both parents. Also, we can only comment on what is presented to us and unless you can tell us why you believe he would hit the child (which you are not likely to be able to do since you have already stated that he's never met the child) you're unlikely to have a convincing argument.

    You pay an attorney to handle these legal matters so you should let them. Also, since they are in possession of all of the facts perhaps you should either trust them to handle the matter or you should find another attorney. As to the lack of response: you are not the attorney's only client. There are many reasons that he didn't respond to you as quickly as you would like and, if he's your attorney of record, he also received the notice.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,365

    Default Re: Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    Quote Quoting jcb4309
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    Sorry - I thought this was a place where folks could ask for questions or help. The title lawyer doesn’t mean they make perfect decisions.

    I didn't want to take up space telling an entire story. You should consider that within a few paragraphs I couldn’t possibly describe why this might not be a good idea for my child. I didn’t post for people to make off handed comments without caring to know the people involved. I posted hoping to find some people more educated on the inner workings of the law.
    And you should consider the following: garbage in = garbage out.

    If you don't care to tell us all of the relevant facts, then how are we supposed to give you anything other than "off handed comments without . . . know[ing] the people involved"? You're the one who solicited comments from anonymous stranger who obviously don't know and cannot fully know you and your situation.

    SMH...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,206

    Default Re: Child is Almost 12 and Absent Father Seeking Visitation

    Quote Quoting jcb4309
    View Post
    Sorry - I thought this was a place where folks could ask for questions or help. The title lawyer doesn’t mean they make perfect decisions.

    I didn't want to take up space telling an entire story. You should consider that within a few paragraphs I couldn’t possibly describe why this might not be a good idea for my child. I didn’t post for people to make off handed comments without caring to know the people involved. I posted hoping to find some people more educated on the inner workings of the law.

    I just received the paperwork in the mail today from my attorneys office. This occurred last Friday during a “report hearing” that I was not allowed to attend. Lawyer did not tell me there was an order that day. Previously, we had two hearings and the father did not show up for either one, so they would not allow me in the court room. Needless to say I was caught by surprise when I opened my mail today. I believe I have ten days to file something, which means by Monday. Ive called the lawyers office and emailed twice. Starting to panic and think I should go file something myself.
    If you do end up having to do the reunification therapy before the child has even met dad, then do make sure to tell the therapist that the child has never met dad at all, so that the therapist will be able to take some time to figure out how best to proceed. It might even be helpful for dad and the child to have a couple of private sessions each with therapist first, before starting joint sessions.

    I can see the potential for the whole situation to end up being pretty traumatic for the child unless its handled with care. It would be different if the child already knew dad and they just had a falling out, but this is different.

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