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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

Posted

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 chris.tamms@gmail.com

Posted

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.

The answers to questions provided in response to the request for assistance are general in nature, and reflect information which is primarily based upon general legal principals, and may additionally reflect Ohio principles of legal practice, as this is the primary location of this Attorney's practice. As with any legal advice, the advise is general in character, and should not be put into practice without specifically consulting your local counsel, who will possess far more insight into the applicable standards and laws of your specific State, your case's specific issues and the local Rules of Court and practices of the specific jurisdiction your legal action is governed by. You are specifically instructed : Do not proceed without first discussing this matter with your own local Attorney. This Office does not provide free legal advice by telephone. A 15 Minute Consultation can be obtained at no cost for certain types of legal cases, but to obtain same, an Office appointment is required. Provision of the answers to general questions does not constitute an act of representation, and the Attorney shall not be deemed to accept employment based upon the responses contained herein. The reader is advised that they utilize the general suggestions contained in the responses at their own risk, and under no circumstances should they disregard the advise of their present local legal counsel based upon any suggestions or opinions contained herein. Also, the bast method to discuss a case with an attorney is to do so directly, by scheduling a formal consultation in their office, bringing with you at the time of the meeting all of your relevant paperwork, including any contratcs, any Orders from Court, decrees, complaints, pleadings, etc., and any other relevant information for the attorney to review. General information via the internet is no substitute for an actual meeting with an attorney. The advice provided on line in response to the limited information is provided without charge. It is also provided without the benefit of face to face discussions, so before you act--consult an attorney in person.

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