My daughters mother is in the military and is being deployed to Eygpt in July of this year. She will be gone and according to the family care plan that she has drafted, she will not return until August of 2010. During this duration, she is wanting me to give my daugther to her biological mother who gave up her rights to her when she was a child and my daughters mom was then adopted by another woman, so her biological mother has no basis in the situation itself, she is just the only one who is "sane" in her family from what she tells me through text messages. She is also requesting that every Sunday I bring my daughter to her father from noon to 3 p.m. and pick her up at that time. The only reason the time is so limited is because her dad is an alcoholic and I have documented emails as well as text messages from my daughters mother saying he will be too drunk to maintain my daughters well being if she is left there for any longer period of time. What I am wondering is if as long as I do not sign the family care plan that is in place, do I have to follow it? We have no set court arrangments on custody. We split up when my daughter was 4 months old and she is now 14 months old and we have never been to court and always keep custody simple, she has her Monday night through Friday night and I have her Friday night through Monday night. Is it true that if there is no legally binding form of custody that I have to follow that I do not have to release my daughter to any other person even at her request? To me this is too much to ask while she is gone. I have agreed to allow her family to see my daughter and her only basis for why she wants me to have her spend as much time as she does with her family while she is gone is because she has a son through a previous marriage and wants them to spend time together while she is gone. I have agreed to allowing her to spend one weekend a month with her biological mother (who lives in a different state than our state of residence) but do not agree to bringing my daughter to her father each Sunday of every weekend while she is gone. This allows no full weekends for me to have with my daughter while she is gone. I need help justifying this. I have not signed any documents so far saying I agree to do any of the things she is asking and she keeps threatening me saying that if I do not conform to her requests that she will sign her custody over to her biological mother and that the time she has with her now will go to her and I have to share my custody with a woman that legally is not related to my daughter. Is all this true? Need help with this one. Like I said, no court arrangements on established custody, just an agreement between the two of us. I am on the birth certificate as the father of my child. We also live in the state of Kansas. Her biological mother lives in Missouri.
Only formal agreements between my mothers daughter and I. We have never been to court. My boss is a member of the National Guard and has been deployed 3 times to Irag over the past 8 years and has told me that when she is deployed that since we have no arrangements through the courts that I will obtain full custody of my daughter and am not entitled to follow any requests that she makes. He also told me that just because a JAG officer drafts the papers does not make it a law I have to follow because they are not the judge who passes a law that I must follow, only people who are helping request that I follow my ex's requests. Also, we have never been married.
Since there is no prior court order then you do not have to follow the request of the mother. You as the biological father has the right to petition the court for custody of the child. As a former JAG myself the drafting is NOT law and is no better than any other contract or agreement drafted by a civilian lawyer. We are not Judges and only a Judge can set custody and visitation order. If you do sign the agreement that makes the process more difficult for you cause after signing if you decide to seek custody, then the mother can seek protection under the Soldier and Sailor's act and based upon the Judge who may or may not be military sensative will look at you as a person who is trying to pull a fast one on the mother.
Lawyer for over 20 year and former JAG
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