Sole Custody & Supervised Visitation
by Peggy Sue from Sarasota, Florida, Sarasota County
Trying to get sole custody of my son, and no visitation from his father.
My son is 4 years old, I left his father when he was 3 months old (only because I couldn't leave him sooner).
I decided to leave after I got pregnant and moved to Indiana to be closer to his family.
I saw first hand how he treated his other son at the age of 9 and I was terrified that I would be raising a child with a man like he was.
He has only seen him one time since I left, and that was because he was driving his older son from Indiana to Alabama (where I was living with my mother at the time).
I only allowed the visit because my son's half brother wanted to be a part of my son's life. At that visit, he was still emotionally and physically abusive towards me, and I decided to not let him see him any more, although I had not gone to court to do this.
On this said trip, he traveled by car from Indiana to Alabama with his son and a gallon sized bag of marijuana, which is terrifying to see as a parent.
I currently reside in Sarasota, Florida, where I live with my fiancee and my son. I have lived here for 3 years. Recently, I asked for child support from my son's father, but was immediately threatened that he would get visitation and that I'd have to fly my son from Florida to Indiana for entire summers.
I know that the only reason he asked for visitation was because he wanted me to back down on asking for child support. My son does not know him at all, has never seen pictures of him, he has known my fiancee since he was 18 months old, and only knows him as a father. What can I do to ensure that his father will not get any visitation rights?
Answer to Florida Custody & Visitation Question
Dear Peggy Sue,
Unfortunately the scenario you describe is very common.
My suggestion is that you file a Supervised-Safety-Focused Parenting Plan and request that you be granted sole custody of your son.
That form and other family law forms are available on the Florida Supreme Court's website, www.flcourts.org
Within that parenting plan you can request that your ex have no contact with the child; or only supervised contact.
As the form's name implies it is designed to keep the child safe. Since you are aware of drug abuse and dangerous behaviors, I suspect that you might be able to persuade a judge to grant only supervised visitation.
It is doubtful to me, that you would be required to fly your young son across country to visit a father he does not know. A much more likely outcome is that your ex will be granted supervised visitation and he eventually fails to exercise that right at all.Notice:
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