My question involves a child custody case from the State of: KS
Here's my situation and it's a doozy (but whose isn't?):
In 1998 when I was 21 I had a son. My name is on the birth certificate. I've paid child support and had him on my medical, dental, and vision since he was born. However, I haven't seen him since he was probably less than two weeks old. It's not that I didn't want to, I didn't know how since his mother and I didn't end on the best of terms. Plus, she never really offered it to me.
Here's my background - I'm not a criminal or drug user or anything like that. After we broke up I went on to get a garden variety 9-5 job, got married, and now have a house in the suburbs. In other words, there's no reason anyone, much less a judge, would say I'm a bad influence.
Last summer my family had a baby explosion (I'm one of four boys) and now my wife and I have five nephews and one niece. Seeing them started tugging at my heart and then in late November my father passed. That pushed me over the edge and something in the last week or so has stirred me to try and get involved with his life. I decided it wasn't fair to deny him knowing his father, my nephews and niece from not knowing their cousin, and more importantly my widowed mother from not knowing her first grandchild.
I'm late to the party but him to end up resenting me. Again, aside from the neglect, which is a biggie, there isn't anything that would cause someone to call me a bad influence. White collar job, live in the burbs, go to Mass every Sunday, involved in Boy Scouts, currently working towards a bachelor degree...
Here's the meat - my ex-girlfriend has every single reason to hate me. Is there hope that we'd be able to work something out without having to get the courts involved? I'm also concerned about the neighborhood she lives in. I don't think it's trashy per se but I have reason to believe he might be better off going to school in our neighborhood (I think he's homeschooled right now, which I am NOT crazy about at all). I hate to think that I show up 12 years late and then say "I don't want him to be homeschooled. He's going to get a good education and if that means he has to live with us then I'll make it happen." I mean she's done all the work and then I just rip him out the only home he's known? Seems kind of cold hearted to me. Anyway, thoughts?