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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118613
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My ex surprised me that he wanted a divorce last summer. Filed

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My ex surprised me that he wanted a divorce last summer. Filed in MO and left the state within days. Left me and our infant behind. Said he was coming to visit 3x finally did the last time but was days late, saw his child 1 1/2 days. Said he would be back in June and only came in July for a few hours. Then said he was coming in Sept for 2 1/2 days and ended up staying 1 1/2. Always an excuse why he arrives late and leaves early. The divorce was granted without a parental plan since he refused to submit any required documents after the divorce paperwork, including his pay, and didn't show up for court. If fact he was dragging his feet and making excuses that a lawyer was hired for me to see what could be done to get the divorce finalized. Now the ex lives the next state over and wants to take our child for a week. He feels I needs to meet him half way, and he does not need to disclose his plans. The court documents gives my address as the pick up and drop off place. He lives with a roommate and only has a room for his self. (I know lack of child support payments doesn't factor in on visitations but this jerk refused to pay a penny, cut us off before he left town--draining the bank account on his way. He just recently started paying on child support, doesn't pay on time nor any other court order payments.) Not only all this but I have documentation stating he has personality disorders, has announced on Facebook he has depression, AND has told me that it is a good thing that I have custody, not him because he wouldn't be able to focus on our child during his times he gets depressed. SCARY! Can this guy demand (bully is really the word for it) I drive half way for all pick up and drop offs? And do I have to let him take our child out of state without any information? Our child is barely two, has seen dad 3 days in past year. The dad doesn't like talking on the phone or Skyping, but expects to take this toddler away for a week and thinks this toddler will get comfortable with him. What are mine and my child's rights here? Do I have to go to court, can't afford a lawyer, to tighten up the custody?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

While I know you do not want to hear this, but until you get a proper parenting plan and visitation order in place, you need consider not letting the child leave the state with him, because if you do and he refuses to allow the child to return to the state of MO, you would be forced to fight in the other state to get the child back.

You are right that failure to pay support would not be a major factor, but it is one factor the court will consider. The court will also consider his living situation only renting a room and not having a proper place for the child to stay when the child visits. All of these things need to be put in place before you consider allowing this.

I would think it would be in your best interests, even with the cost, to get an attorney involved again and go back to court for a visitation order and parenting plan and to provide for only local visitations until he has a proper place for the child to stay and the child gets more comfortable based on his lack of making visits during this whole process and the way he has been acting according to your description.

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