- If your parents break up wasn't on "good terms" than it's a good chance that your father was never spoken of or spoken of in a not so good light.
- When it got to a point I couldn't take it anymore I filed for visitation (yes I involved the courts).
- My daddy did love me and number two I'm never giving up.
This is my perspective of being raised by a single mother to being a grown man fighting to be in your child’s life. From the different things you see as an adult to the things you find out on the way to having a life changing epiphany.
Me, myself I unfortunately grew up like a lot of my generation raised by a single mother. Being a young boy being raised by a single mother puts a different kind of fire in your heart. All you know is that your father is not there and after a while that turns into you thinking if he cared he would be here.
All you know is you have to take care of mommy. Your father could be knee-deep in a visitation battle or literally not be able to pay the child support or be paying the child support and you being a child you know none of that and rightfully so. If your parents break up wasn’t on “good terms” than it’s a good chance that your father was never spoken of or spoken of in a not so good light.
One thing about little boys in a single parent home, they will defend their mothers. They will stick by their mothers to the end. So when the father does get an opportunity to spend time with their child in the child’s mind their behind enemy lines and everything that their mother said around them knowingly or unwittingly is the truth– it has to be.
Ironic story about me leading into my story the first and last time I faced jail time was from a juvenile and domestic court show cause. So the first time I was ever incarcerated was around twelve or thirteen years old and I was incarcerated for a show cause for refusing to go on a visit with my father. You’ll see the irony.
My story starts off with a newborn child and a not so pleasant break up. It started off with a glimmer of hope that at the very least we could be co-parents to a beautiful child. In a perfect world, but my world is not so perfect. It was agreed I would have monthly visits. Not ideal in my mind but I get it I was a jerk in the relationship so I have to build up trust. After probably three or four arguments my monthlies were getting snatched away. When it got to a point I couldn’t take it anymore I filed for visitation (yes I involved the courts).
A few conversations later I thought we were on common ground so I dropped my visitation order. As soon as I did that I get paperwork in the mail saying I’m being served with an order for full custody, a child support order, and the sheriff is at my house serving two protective orders. I go into court the first time without representation, big mistake. The other side had a paid attorney that as much as I hate to say it was on his A game.
So I ask for a continuance and go hire a lawyer. So I’m thinking at this point at the very least I would walk away with every other weekend (reasonable visitation) in the courts eyes. Nope I walked away with two 2-year protective orders granted with no evidence other than “victim testimony” and a imputed rate of child support. Oh when that protective order was up I got hit with another two year protective order for her and an additional one year for my child. Yep that’s three years out of my child’s life with no evidence of wrong doing on my behalf. Just the other parties testimony.
I even got violated on a protective order that I could have proven my innocence but at this time the prosecuting attorney was pretty much fed up with all the back and forth. See the other party came to court with Facebook posts I made saying that in my opinion that particular court was racist. The Judge actually told me he thought I was a liar and didn’t care if I thought he was a racist in open court. So if you think I’m a liar how can I get a fair trial?
I stay strong through this whole situation just to be reintroduced to him three years later, now he’s three maybe four. First words when I told him who I was were “you hit my mommy?” Oh and I had supervised visitations at his maternal grandmothers house once a month for three hours. It went on like this for maybe two years. I was paying my imputed child support amount with help from my family. A few deaths in the family and other unforeseen circumstances led to me falling behind three months.
At that time I did what I thought you were supposed to do when you could no longer afford to pay your child support payments. I hired a lawyer with the money I had left kind of like a hail Mary pass. This time my lawyer is charging big bucks and it did dawn on me that at a point the lawyer fees and child support would compete with each other depending on how long the case takes and if I can get a rate I can afford.
I filed for reconsideration due to a medical illness and the fact that I was unemployed. I also filed for more visitations because while I’m figuring out my next step in life to secure my child’s future I’ll have more time that he deserves. This was in 2017. The other party drew the case out for two years requesting I go to anger management, have hair follicle drug testing done, settlement conferences etc. The entire two years my child support went further behind, I only incurred more lawyer fees and more out-of-pocket expenses.
After this two year process I walked out of court this time with my child support the same (a rate that the department of child support told me was too high but the court supersedes them). I do finally get to bring my baby home every other weekend for visits. I was given thirty days to pay a certain amount of money towards my child support arrearage (purge bond)– about six months’ worth or report to the sheriff office to start a six month day-for-day sentence, but I could leave as soon as the money was paid. So yes I had to buy my freedom back in 2019.
Also a court order saying that I am not to attend any of my child’s extracurricular activities unless agreed upon by both parties. I can only contact the other party through email and the conversation has to be within certain guidelines. If my child is sick I can only go to the hospital at a time agreed upon by both parties.
The coup de grâce? I got ordered to pay a portion of the other party’s legal defense. Now keep in mind the other party is a heavily college educated individual. They did an excellent job, and came into court and painted me to be the worse person on earth. So I’m thinking I came out a winner though even though it cost me more money than I can talk about without throwing up. I came out a winner because I kept fighting.
I wish my father would have been alive to meet my child but I’m sure he’s smiling down on me. The life changing epiphany was when I understood everything that could make you stop fighting the fight. Everything that could make you just give up and at that point I realized two things. Number one my daddy did love me and number two I’m never giving up.
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