His father and I were never married but we do currently have a final order. This order states that he gets standard visitation, however he went over 18 months, not taking any visits or making any attempt at communication. This past summer he popped up and I tried to work with him on getting to know our son before he resumed regular visits because he was a stranger as far as our son knew. However, after just a couple of week he disappeared again for a few months and popped up again. Once more I resumed working with him on getting to know our son before taking him for his standard visits, and once more he disappeared. He now sees our son occasionally when his family, who has always kept contact with our son, has him for the day or night. My son’s father has a history of domestic violence, even to me when I was first pregnant, drug abuse, and suspected mental instability. He claims to have been in and out of rehab and counseling. He is now threatening to take me to court to enforce the current court order or to become the custodial parent, which I know he has complete right to, and I am seeking legal representation or advice on how to proceed to protect my son’s best interest. I believe that he would be in a dangerous or compromising permission if left unattended with his father at this point. I do not wish to remove his rights at all! I want my son to have his father, but I need in done in the right way to protect my son’s well-being and developmental progress. Every time my son’s father disappeared in the past, my son struggled with developmental regression issues, and I do not wish for that to happen anymore.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
I suggest hiring a lawyer to modify the existing visitation order. This should be relatively easy given the father's past behavior and his drug issues. Find an experienced family law attorney to help you.
I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you would like to discuss this or other isues.
Family Law Attorney
You hire a lawyer to modify your existing order and put safeguards in place to protect your child. You should have your child in counseling. The father's rights may need to reduced to supervised visitation. It may be necessary for Dad to have some counseling or treatment as a condition of possession and access. Dad may need random drug testing. By not promptly filing a motion to modify, and instead by denying him visitation on his court ordered days, you are setting yourself up for being held in contempt of court for which you can be fined and jailed and ordered to pay his attorney's fees. You have to be proactive. You will get better results for your child without the risk of contempt.
This does not establish an attorney/client relationship