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Need to show evidence it is in daughter's best interest to have more timesharing

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by DesperateDad78, May 28, 2019.

  1. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My current problem has been ongoing for over three years now. Three years ago, my ex-wife modified our parenting plan for our daughter and severely restricted my ability to see her. I now only see my daughter face-to-face once a month for two hours through a supervised visitation center, and one weekly video chat that typically lasts 15-30minutes. I have exausted all resources and am desperate for help here. My children are my world, and while I tried to stay positive as it being temporary, three years later and no hope in sight, I have spiraled into a depression that is borderline crippling. I need to do something, but everything I have tried so far has failed.

    The reason my ex-wife restricted the visitation was because of allegations relating to domestic violence with an ex-paramour. I was never convicted, as there was never any evidence of any injuries (I never did anything, it was just allegations from a bitter ex). Regardless, my ex-wife hired an attorney and railroaded me. The judge let her severely restrict my visitation. The judge assured me at the time that it was just "temporary," yet three years later, and nothing has changed. I tried filing multiple hearings to adjust the parenting plan, but the judge consistently fails to allow any adjustments. Every time, he has stated he will "think about it and reply in a week or two" and consistently makes no changes to the parenting plan.

    What didn't help is that DCF took my sons I have with the ex-paramour. However, I see my sons more often than I see my daughter, so my priority currently is my daughter. It is an extremely long story, and I am trying to keep this as brief as possible while covering what is necessary.

    I am in the process of buying a home currently, which I do know should help me. However, between buying a home, child support for three children, and various other expenses, I am not able to save up for an attorney for my daughter. It seems like every time I have ever gotten to a point where I could try to start saving towards an attorney, some other big expense comes up and pushes me back.

    So, I can't wait any longer to try to hope one year, I will be able to start saving towards an attorney. I tried Go Fund Me to no avail. I am an older adult and have no family that can help me. I tried going to a legal clinic, but it was not helpful. I tried everything that attorney suggested, yet the judge again ignored it. I can't go back there again because I can't miss work. I need every penny I can get to ensure I can close on my home.

    I have exhausted all resources suggested to me. I need to know what to do at this point? I tried showing the judge psychological evaluations showing I have nothing beyond moderate depression (for obvious reasons). However, the judge refused to accept any documentation without a witness to cross examine. So now, the judge is expecting psychologists to take the time to show up to the court in my defense, which they are obviously not willing to do with their own busy schedules. While the restriction with my daughter was based purely on hearsay with no actual evidence, the judge is refusing everything I am trying to throw at him now.

    The primary issue right now is that I need to prove that it is in my daughter's best interest to have more time with me. I have tried to use supporting documentation from various studies showing the minimum time necessary to maintain emotional bonds, but the judge refused all of it without witnesses to verify its authenticity. I can't help but feel the judge is intentionally creating a situation where he knows I can't reasonably provide "evidence," although it should be clear that I pose no threat at all to my daughter. It's easy to show there is no reason to NOT allow more time, but without supporting evidence showing a need to do so, this judge just doesn't care.

    So, my biggest setback right now is showing evidence that it is in my daughter's best interest to have more time with me than she currently has. I was informed at the clinic that there was a supreme court case back in 2018 that established that in cases like this, the judge is required to outline specific criteria that must be met to regain overnight visitation. However, the attorney did not know the specific case, I have not found it myself, and have been unable to reach that attorney since then. If I could find that case, I think that could be a great step in a better direction, although I am afraid the judge would probably just make up unreasonable criteria for me to meet to ensure I never fulfill it.

    I am desperate for suggestions. I know everyone's answer is initially going to be "hire an attorney." I have heard that for the last three years. Again, I am trying to buy a home, something that is obviously vital for my case, and also have to pay child support for three children on top of that. I already struggle financially, and so it could take years before I could save enough money to get an attorney. It has already been three, and my health is now deteriorating because of the emotional turmoil this is causing me. My health problems have even caused me missed days of work, so now the problem is compounding itself. My children are my world, and with barely being able to see my daughter, I am literally falling apart health-wise.

    If anyone has any suggestions on what to file and how to address getting more time with her, it would be greatly appreciated. If anyone knows of that supreme court case as well, that would be great. Despite those allegations three years ago, I never once had any other paramour ever accuse me of anything like that, and I am in my 40s. I am a loving father with tons of community service and charity work under my belt, but the judge doesn't seem to care about that either. I need to have more time with my children, and my children want it too. It breaks my heart when I know my children miss me, they flat out say they miss me and want to see me, yet I have been powerless to do anything about it for years now. Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Again, the biggest obstacle currently is that I need to show proof that it is in my daughter's best interest to have more time with me (which is currently 2 hours once per month). Only witnesses will be accepted as evidence by this judge, and I don't know who I could even use as a witness that would have the time to go to the courthouse as an "authority" on the matter. Maybe there is some other way to fix this, but if so, I am unaware of it. Whatever you could suggest I would be so grateful for.
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Active Member

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    It sounds like you would rather have a house than an attorney.

    I'm sure you can get your witnesses there if you offer to compensate them, as is appropriate for an expert witness.



    You NEED an attorney - an internet forum can't help you.
     
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  3. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Actually, the attorney at the clinic advised me to get the home asap, as having a home rather than renting shows better stability. My kids come first, but getting the home was something multiple resources advised me to prioritize before an attorney. Additionally, owning is far cheaper than renting in this area, so in the long run, it would make far more sense.

    I suppose I can ask the psychologists to show up. No idea how I am going to coordinate a date with both the court and the psychologist that will work for both of them though. Even if I do, I really don't know if the judge will listen to the psychologist. I feel like finding that supreme court case would be more useful, as if he ignores that, I could at least appeal it
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Do you mean your former spouse went to court and convinced a judge to do the things noted above?


    If your children mean the world to you, it is up to you to do what is necessary to change things that inhibit your ability to be involved in their lives.

    How do you do that?

    You obtain the funds to hire an attorney to change the conditions of your visitation.

    What was changed required PROOF.

    To change things now, you'll need to PROVE why the restrictions are no longer necessary.

    The help you require will only be found when you obtain the services of a licensed attorney to represent your interests.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Active Member

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    I don't necessarily believe that's true.

    THAT is why you need an attorney.

    There is no way on God's green Earth that you would be able to mount a successful appeal without an attorney.
     
  6. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the information. And yes, the former spouse went to court with an attorney and had the parenting plan modified.

    And I have done literally everything possible to try to save for an attorney. Like I said, every time I have come to the point where I could start saving, some new expense came up. I work two full-time jobs, but then the courts just take a larger amount for child support when I make more as well. That is a huge part of what holds me back. My ex gouges me currently with $700 per month just for my daughter, let alone my sons with my other ex.
     
  7. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Currently, I am sharing a rental, so yes, not sharing a home with someone would undoubtedly help me show additional stability. I also know that would come up as an issue in the courthouse. I had a home that was a beautiful 4 bed and 3 bath, but after a breakup with an ex and my name not being on the home, I got sent back to square one on that this past February.

    But anyway, the attorney at the clinic advised me to do that, and my prior attorney for my sons advised I get the home asap as well. I am trying to do what attorneys suggest, but being able to talk to them is near impossible.

    I would MUCH rather have my children than the home, but the home is only going to cost me about $3,500 down, then every month thereafter, I will be saving money compared to what I pay now. Renting in this area is truly insane.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There are several father's rights advocates who assist fathers in your predicament.

    Many do so at NO or LOW costs.

    Here are a few examples.
    I vouch for none of them, other than saying they claim to exist to help fathers retain or obtain parenting rights (or more time with their kids).

    Do YOUR due diligence before proceeding or paying:

    Father's Rights

    8 Fathers' and Men's Rights Organizations in the United States

    Dadvocacy™ Law Firm

    Father's Rights Attorney Florida | Men's Legal Paternal Rights | Jacksonville, FL

    Family Court Direct | Get Evaluation

    Child Support, Child Visitation, Child Custody

    Orlando Fathers Rights Attorneys | Custody Rights of Fathers

    Fathers Visitation Rights in Florida - Dads Rights to Visitation in FL

    The Florida Fathers' Rights Movement
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Active Member

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    I think the fact that you pled guilty to the allegations in 2016 plays a large part in your current situation.
     
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  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If your efforts don't bear the fruit you seek today, tomorrow, or next week; stay the course.

    If the court allows you one hour a week, make sure you use every second of that hour.

    Don't use any second of the time alloted with your child to whine, moan, gripe, or kvetch.

    DO use the time to encourage the child, support the child, love the child, nurture the child, and most importantly TEACH the child.

    If the child asks anything that would turn the conversation from comforting to complaining, switch it back to the positive by ignoring the negative.

    Children, especially young children are easily distracted.

    You should use some of the time to teach the child about life, education, kindness, sharing, giving, and forgiving.

    I was taught by my parents to make the best of what I have, not to worry about what I don;t have or what I am seeking.

    Last, but never least, keep trying.

    You only lose when you aren't in the fight.

    As long as you endure, there is always hope of achieving that which you seek.

    One more thing, daughters are special gifts.

    She looks to you, as will your sons, when they choose a mate.

    Stand tall and always be the best person you can be.

    Never admit your flaws, to your children you are perfect.

    As we near Father's Day, I recall two great pieces by Mr. Paul Harvey:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    paulharvey.jpg
    Paul Harvey: What are Fathers made of?

    A father is a thing that is forced to endure childbirth, without an anesthetic.

    A father is a thing that growls when it feels good–and laughs loud when it’s scared half to death.

    A father never feels entirely worthy of worship in his child’s eyes. He never is quite the hero his daughter thinks, never quite the man his son believes him to be. This worries him, sometimes, so he works too hard to try and smooth the rough places in the road for those of his own who will follow him.

    A father is a thing that gets very angry when school grades aren’t as good as he thinks they should be. He scolds his son although he knows it’s the teacher’s fault.

    Fathers grow old faster than other people.

    And while mothers can cry where it shows, fathers stand there and beam outside–and die inside. Fathers have very stout hearts, so they have to be broken sometimes or no one would know what is inside. Fathers give daughters away to other men who aren’t nearly good enough so they can have grandchildren who are smarter than anybody’s. Fathers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table, off to the arena which is sometimes called an office or a workshop…where they tackle the dragon with three heads: Weariness, Work and Monotony.

    Knights in shining armor.

    Fathers make bets with insurance companies about who will live the longest. Though they know the odds, they keep right on betting. Even as the odds get higher and higher, they keep right on betting more and more.

    And one day they lose.

    But fathers enjoy an earthly immortality and the bet is paid off to the part of him he leaves behind.

    I don’t know where fathers go when they die. But I have an idea that after a good rest, he won’t be happy unless there is work to do. He won’t just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he’s loved and the children she bore. He’ll be busy there, too…oiling the gates, smoothing the way.







     
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  11. Zigner

    Zigner Active Member

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    That is good advice. It is important to understand that the OP pled guilty to the allegations in 2016 (with adjudication withheld). It was a bit disingenuous for the OP to state that he was not convicted of the allegations without mentioning his plea.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Sad, but true.

    I've spent a great part of my adult life reminding people that "stupid acts", done in haste, can destroy a lifetime of good deeds.

    This is what my dad and mother drummed into me in my youth.

    It was reinforced by the military, and on exhibit all throughout my legal career.

    I am not a timid person, however I act with restraint about the majority of my life's decision.

    It was a lesson I passed on our children, and one my wife taught to herself by watching me.

    Sadly some people learn that lesson only after getting embroiled in a criminal matter which could have been avoided by simply NOT acting.

    Most people live their lives never having to respond as police officers, medical professionals, firefighters, or military personnel do with a split second, life threatening decision.

    The more I learn about the human race, the more I discover I don't know.
    =====================================

    The Monkeys Lament (as presented to me by my dad decades ago)

    Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
    Discussing the things that are said to be—
    Said one to another: “Now listen you two
    There’s a certain rumor, but it can’t be true,

    That man descended from our noble race—
    Why, the very idea; it’s a disgrace!
    “No monkey ever deserted his wife,
    Starved her babies and ruined her life.

    Nor did ever a mother-monkey
    Leave her babies with others to bunk,
    Or pass them on from one to another
    ‘Till they scarcely knew who was their mother.

    “And another thing you’ll never see
    A monkey building a fence around a coconut tree,
    And let the coconuts go to waste,
    Forbidding all other monkeys to have a taste.

    Why, if you build a fence around a coconut tree,
    Starvation would cause others to steal from you.
    “Here’s another thing that a monkey won’t do:
    Go out at night and get on a stew;

    Or use a gun, a club, or knife
    To take another monkey’s life.
    Yes, Man descended, the ornery cuss!
    But Brother, he didn't descend from us.”
     
  13. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    1) Highly presumptuous on your part, not to mention extremely disrespectful to make insinuations like this.

    2) You have no idea why I took that plea. I was assured by my public defender that with adjudication withheld, it wouldn't matter, wouldn't impact my employment, was not pleading guilty, etc. I had NO idea that all of that was lies, and that everyone after that would view me as guilty.

    3) The only reason I took a plea was because of my own stupidity of listening to others that were incarcerated. My ex was contacting my family freaking out about what to do and was worried. Inmates told me to simply use another person's PIN number to contact her and I could talk to her without issue. The state found out about the calls and used it as blackmail for me to take the plea or have to deal with violation of the no contact order in place at that time. Other than that, there was a complete and utter lack of evidence for the original case, and if I knew then what I know now, I would NEVER have taken that plea. The public defender flat out lied to me and took advantage of my lack of knowing the impact the plea would have.
     
  14. Zigner

    Zigner Active Member

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    I was neither insinuating or presuming anything. YOU plead GUILTY. There is no "presumption" there - you are guilty.
     
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  15. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You are simply focusing on what you can criticize and not being constructive in the least. Quit looking for something to b*tch about, and if you don't have anything constructive to say, I certainly don't need any additional criticism from you. You are making an assumption out of pure ignorance, and considering the complete lack of evidence of even a single scratch on her, any judge or anyone else for that matter can see clear as day it was lies.

    If it wasn't for the state blackmailing me, the case was completely bunk. Even my public defender told me that, and made it quite clear if I hadn't been so stupid as to make those calls, I would have been perfectly fine. The state was actually planning to drop the case until they found out about the calls.

    I have NEVER laid a hand on a woman, nor would I. My ex knew this, and made the allegations to intentionally hurt me. I grew up in an abusive household, hence my vehement opposition to abuse. I dealt with it personally as a child and experienced the impact directly.
     
  16. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    With the way my attorney at the time explained it to me, I was NOT pleading guilty, since adjudication was being withheld. I do not have a background in law and never dealt with something like that in my life. I had little choice but to listen to my public defender. It was horrible advice, but I cannot change it now.
     
  17. Zigner

    Zigner Active Member

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    As I mentioned way back at the beginning of this thread:

     
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  18. Zigner

    Zigner Active Member

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    To be clear (in case you don't expand my quoted post): You NEED an attorney. An internet forum cannot help you.
     
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  19. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Anyway, I really appreciate your feedback Army Judge. I looked into those resources you mentioned above to no avail. With pro bono services, because I do not live in the same county the case is in, I got a run-around from eight different locations, each telling me to contact the other one. One says contact one in the county I am in, then those ones tell me to contact ones where the case is located. Then they say I need a referral from my county, but then my county says I need to start with an organization in the county the case resides in. Just back and forth for hours and days with nothing accomplished but a lot of missed work and every organization telling me to contact a different one for assistance.

    One suggestion I got recently is that I am considering putting together a flyer and heading to a local law school. Thinking I will hand out a flyer to some students looking for assistance for compensation. I would be very selective based on their GPA, but since I know they will not be able to legally represent me in court at that point in their education, not sure how much that will help me. I am desperate though and willing to try anything that won't hurt the case.

    I was told to contact the Florida Bar to try to find an affordable attorney that way, but they gave me the runaround as well, referring me to three different bar phone numbers for Florida, the last leading me to a voicemail box where my voicemail was never returned.

    I am doing every single thing in my power to try to work on this. It is hard saving money when you have health issues that make you lose work here and there, and medical bills on top of that, and child support for three children on top of that. It is easy to say "if you want it, then save for it." It is another thing to be in the circumstances and actually make it happen. I work 50-60 hours a week currently, yet it is still going to take me months. And even then once I get an attorney, there is no guarantee they will fix this. That is why I am thinking my next best bet is to try handing out the flyer at a law school offering compensation for assistance and see what I can get that way. I figure at worst, it will be a waste of a few hours or so. Hoping I can find one with weekend or evening classes so I don't have to miss work.
     
  20. DesperateDad78

    DesperateDad78 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    And I do appreciate your advice. And as far as the home, like stated previously, the home was suggested by a prior attorney I had for my sons to show stability. Additionally, once I have the home, I plan to rent out a room to save faster. With the prices to rent a room in this area combined with the fact that it is cheaper to own than to rent, it is far more feasible in the long run for me to get the home first, attorney second. My priority always has been and always will be my children, but there are steps I need to take to be in an optimal situation to get them back. Owning a home again is one of those steps, renting a room in it is another (at least until I get them back, then it will be their room).
     

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