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Can I either prove him an unfit parent, or get supervised visitation?

Monroe, OH |

I am 33 weeks pregnant, and the father of my child is a violent alcoholic with a short temper, and I haven't allowed him near me during most of my pregnancy, because he doesn't have any rights until she is born anyway. In February he chased me around a bar screaming at me and cussing at me in threatening ways. I had to file a police report for menacing by stalking shortly afterwards, and recently he has started trying to contact me again, ignoring the police instructions to leave me alone. I filed a police report today after finding a note in my mailbox, not mailed, which means he showed up at my house without permission after the police told him to stay away. I am filing for a protection order tomorrow... what does this mean for future custody battles, and will this help prove him unfit?

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Attorney answers 2


It depends. Incidents of domestic violence do not help his case for parenting time or custody. However, you won't know what will happen until he files for his rights. In Ohio the father of a child who is not married to the mother, does not have any rights until he proves paternity (very easy to do with a DNA test which the court can force either of you and the child to take) and files for his parental rights whether it be custody, shared parenting, or parenting time. Courts evaluate custody determinations on the best interest of the child. While behavior is certainly taken into account, if I am a magistrate, I hear custodial parents every day who don't want to share custody or give up control fabricate or exaggerate issues with the other person to retain their power over the child at the expense of the other parent. If you chose to have a child with this man, you should expect that he is going to be a constant presence in your child's life if he wants to be. While his choices might (and should) have an impact on his role in the child's life, no situation is cut and dry and every incident should be documented. Your say-so will not be enough.

If you feel unsafe, I certainly encourage you to pursue the route you are on regarding the protection order. I wish you the best and I hope you don't take my advise to be harsh, but rather to encourage you to be very diligent in your documentation of events. When the time comes (if he chooses to file) please retain a lawyer and do not go this alone no matter how bad a person you think he is.

Also, do not let him bully you into not filing for child support because he threatens to file for custody, courts see through that one as well. Support and parenting time are two separate issues.

This answer is provided for general purposes only. If you need legal assistance you should consult with an attorney. If you wish to discuss the facts of your case with me, please feel free to contact my office via the information below. Please note that neither my response to your question nor your contacting of my office creates an attorney-client relationship. Christopher Tamms Tamms Law Office, LLC 6457 Reflections Drive; Dublin, Ohio 43017 Phone- 614-859-9529


Get your restraining order and don't back off-- most people like this don't want to pay support--so they'll stay away after the baby is born--but only if they think they can't get to the baby and use access to the child as a means to control YOU. Enforce the restraining orders, and file contempt actions when he violates them. But don't be wishy-washy and let him off the hook--as is typical in these cases--or you will not get rid of the father. Good Luck-- and be strong. Hopefully, he moves on to someone else soon.

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