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Old 02-02-2015, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default Father in need of some advice/help

Hello all,

I am a father of four children one daughter who is seven, twin boys who are four and another boy who is 21 months old. My daughter was born in Pensacola Florida, where I was married. My twin boys are from a different mother whom I was never married to. And currently I am with a very good woman for along time now whom I have my 21 month old boy with.

That probably seems like a lot to take in, and it is... It's a giant mess to say the least.

My daughter lives in New Jersey, and my twin Boys live in Ohio "the mother left Florida when she found out she was pregnant and ran back home, I followed but it did not work out in the end"


Now the worst part is I have children in two different states who I have no parental rights to whatsoever. I do not smoke, I do not drink, I do not use drugs of any sort, I have a job, I am a honorably discharged veteran. I am a nuclear worker and require a secret clearance to do my job. I live in a nice neighborhood in a nice home and have absolutely no criminal history whatsoever.


The ISSUE at hand.

I have a few questions and I hope that maybe some of you could help me out and I greatly appreciate it in advance.

I was hurt on the job and received workman's compensation starting in March of 2014 until now as I received a settlement. I owned a substantial amount of arrears on both cases my daughter and my twin boys, both of which will be paid in full now.

The first problem is now I am unemployed and still recovering from my injury " three tears in my rotator cuff" The child support for my daughter is $443/month and I simply cannot afford to make that payment. I will end up right back in the hole again and I don't want to do that. If I file a motion to change my support payment will it take into effect my wages from last year "workman's compensation" into account?

Secondly, At the time of our divorce support was never established so I have no rights to my daughter and I've only been able to see her a few times and it's really terrible. Married in Florida, Child born in Florida, Divorced in Florida, child support paid to Florida.

My twin boys were born in Ohio with no marriage involved, I also have no rights to them either. And I really have no idea how to go about getting them, I pay my support for them through St. Johns county Florida.

If any additional information is needed I will gladly provide it, again I appreciate any help and or advice from the forum members here.


R/ Jonathan
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

Welcome, I am not sure of the answers to all of your questions, but one thing you need to understand is that child support has nothing to do with visitation. The children cannot be withheld from you because of anything to do with support.

IF you are legally established as the bio father, then you have rights. If paternity has not been established, then that's what you need to do.
I'm not sure if you need a lawyer to do this...but you get a paternity test and then you ask the court to grant you visitation...and they absolutely will.
Father's rights are well protected these days in this regard.

The child support....I don't know. Are you going to be able to return to work?
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

Paternity was established without any question, I understand support has no bearing on my rights I was just trying to give you all the full story.

I am legally established as the father, the problem is there is nothing on paper that says what my rights are and I have two different Ex's in two different states "Ohio, and New Jersey" who basically all but refuse to let me see my children, or draft up a parental agreement and have it notarized and submitted to the court.

As far as returning to work, due to the fact I had to hire an attorney to represent me because of the insurance company's inability to do things correctly. In doing so I got a small settlement but it also denies me the right to back to work for my previous employer.

I have been looking for other jobs, I do have limitations for heavy over head movements but other than that I can work and am looking. I love the nuclear industry it's just hard getting in with a new company but I shoulden't have much problem given my resume and my evaluations.
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

Child support modifcations go on what you are making now. You have a significant change in economic circumstamces. Do it now, do not wakt.

For the child in Florida, file for a modification regarding parenting time. You should be able to do this all on your own. Barring any unfitness you should get parenting time. There are temp motions that can be filed so as to have transitional parenting time. How did you miss having custody or parenting time established. That seems really strange.

You can file a petition for custody and parenting time in Ohio. I really think you need an attorney for that one for various reasons. I will try to elaborate better when I am not responding from my iphone..
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

wow. Good luck. Listen to LSL's advise she's very wise and knowledgeable.
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

First, I respect that you've paid any child support, given so little contact with your children. That says a lot about your intentions. I know it seems overwhelming, but I would follow LSL's recommendations and pursue getting things in writing. Even if you cannot make in-person contact happen regularly because of the distance, get a Skype schedule in place or regular phone contact, etc. It will mean so much to your kids to see that you're trying to be a regular part of their lives. Best wishes to you!
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

in florida, if you were married and/or on the childs birth cert. you have standard fathers rights set by state and federal laws, its your choice to exercise your standard rights. I think in the florida forum is a post to those laws, or you can just google them.

most court houses have self-help centers and mediations fac, that can mediate for a small to no fee to help parents work out plans and arrangements, but they can not advised either one of you personally, just basic info on laws. hope that helps some
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

PS: Drafting something and notarizing is not enforceable and not acceptable to the courts.

Just because paternity is established, that does not necessarily give you any rights, other than to notice if mom tried to adopt the kids out.

You have to file a Petition for Custody and Parenting Time. I do not know what it would be called in Ohio, but that is what it is called in my state. Mom is presumed to be the custodial parent by operation of law because she had the kiddos at the time paternity is established.

By petitioning, you are establishing legal rights to be able to access education, medical, psychological information about the children, and you are establishing the right to have visitation with the children.

In my experience, since you have no parenting time with your kids in Ohio, you would need to establish a relationship through the process. You would have to make some frequent trips to Ohio to do so. Once you have a relationship, then you would likely get long distance parenting time. Generally that is half the summer; spring break; 1/2 of Christmas, and likely alternating Thanksgiving breaks.

Looks like mom moved out of Florida, but because the divorce was in Florida, Florida retains jurisdiction under the UCCJEA statutes. You need to petition for parenting time. Custody is presumed in Florida (I believe daddycakes said) is shared/joint custody with liberal parenting time. Given mom moved out of state, you stand to have to have mom pay for a good portion of the travel.

The longer you wait to establish anything, the harder it is going to be for you to proceed. And in some states, your petition can be barred after too much time passed. In my state, that is about 7-10 years.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

Thank you for all of the information, this will help me greatly. I have spoken to the self help people at my local court office, but they really were not very clear as of what to do.

I hired an attorney in New Jersey one time and shelled out three thousand dollars for her to help me get custody, in the end she just drafted up a spread sheet saying where she spent all her time, and got nothing accomplished and then told me I was basically SOL.

I do regularly speak with them on the phone, and sometimes though skype but it's a chore to even get that to happen. Not to say that every woman is vindictive but I drew the short end of the stick with these two.

Again thank you everyone for you're responses, I will be calling the clerk of court in Ohio today to find out what I need to do. I have the paperwork for my Florida case already, although it looks like gibberish and It's going to require a great deal of Google searching to fill out correctly.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Father in need of some advice/help

you could also try

http://singleparentsnetwork.com/cgi-...ump.cgi?ID=150
and look under family, its free and attorneys bid on your case. some members I have heard back say it worked for them. just another resource to try

keep us updated
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