I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby kgr1989 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:42 pm

Quick background on me. I am 28 years old. My son will be 8 this August and my daughter will be 6 this April.

To make a really long story short, my "ex" (I'm still married to her) left me nearly 7 years ago with my son. Around a year and a half later I found out that she was pregnant when she left because she filed for child support through the state of Oklahoma. I live in North Carolina. I have tried for so long to figure out where she is so that I can move forward with a divorce and maybe have a chance of knowing my kids.

There is so much more to my story, but it's hard for me to go really far into detail about it without feeling like I'm typing a book. I seriously typed out the whole thing from start to finish and I didn't feel comfortable posting that much.

The worst part besides not having my kids is my ex's mom. She messages me from time to time on Facebook on fake accounts and messes with my head by sending me pictures of them and then not giving me any more information and then vanishes for 6-8 months and does it again. Well, on Sunday (1-6-18) she messaged me two pictures and a video of the kids opening Christmas presents. This is the first time I've ever heard their voices. It's the first time I've ever seen their excitement of opening a present. First time for a lot of things. Well, it was too much to handle and I ended up trying to kill myself that morning. I'm seeing a therapist now to try and work through some of this and I just joined this as a recommendation from my boss.

Does anyone have ANY advice for me? Please
kgr1989
New
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby Trevor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:06 pm

First, how was paternity established, legally? Specifically, please.

Hire a PI to find out where your children live. Then move there and establish yourself in their lives. You will need to take it slowly because they don't know you.

Stop trying to off yourself. You have kids.

You aren't the first one whose wife took off - and many times it's because the child(ren) were some other lover's kids, not yours. That's why I asked the paternity question. It's important.

You need a lawyer if you're serious about doing this right. But we have guys here who have been in your shoes and successfully integrated themselves back into their kids' lives.

Are you up to it?

We are.
"Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth."
Trevor
Moderator
 
Posts: 23857
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:55 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby kgr1989 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:33 pm

Child Support Services in Oklahoma set up paternity testing on their end and covered the costs on my end as well. I went to an office locally to me and they swabbed me. A few weeks later I was determined to be the father to both kids and they provided me with the results.

Moving there would be hard to do. I get why you're saying it, but I have an established life where I am currently. I'm together with another woman who I've been with for several years now and we have a child together now as well who is 2, and then we also have custody of her 17 year old sister since they lost their parents.

I really don't know what came over me on Sunday. I think it was just too much to take in all at once and it got to me. This is the first time I've been in a group or forum with people who have been through this, so I'm still in this mindset that it's not a common thing to have happen because I don't know anyone personally who's dealt with this.

Financially I will have to come up with a plan somehow to be able to afford all of this. The lawyers I've spoken to locally have done nothing but confused me over the years. Some say I have to do it through the state of Oklahoma, others say I can do it here. I actually had one tell me that he didn't even know where to begin with it all. The retainers and pricing they all mentioned were also well out of my realms of being able to afford while still supporting myself and my family here. Maybe someone knows of something different?

I'm just looking for a push into the right direction rather than going through this blindly like I have been and getting no where.
kgr1989
New
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby Trevor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:44 pm

Others will join in to help, I am sure. I don't have direct experience here. My kids were older and living where I lived.

But I know that if you are committed to becoming engaged in their lives, you need to live near them. If you're not willing to do that (and I understand why, though starting another family while you knew you had children elsewhere wasn't a good long game), then it's going to be hard to integrate into their lives from a distance.

How far apart are you? In miles and hours (drive time or flight time). Minimum parenting time is EOW (every other weekend) which sucks if you live close enough to see your kids more frequently.

ETA - you need to ask your GF about the feasibility of moving to where your kids live. Seriously. Don't assume she'll say no. As for the sister, starting HS somewhere else in the middle of the year will suck, but military kids do it all the time, so it's not insurmountable.

Keep getting help, though. It's alarming that you went off the rails with the kids who were removed from your life for so long, but especially that you did it with a 2YO kid and a GF and another dependent...dude. Glad you're seeing a professional about this.
"Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth."
Trevor
Moderator
 
Posts: 23857
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:55 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby kgr1989 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:04 pm

Starting a new life seemed like it wasn't a bad idea and I certainly don't regret it. Just because this happened doesn't mean I should have to be alone and entirely unhappy, and I know that's not what you were saying I just am saying why I did it.

Distance is definitely an issue. I'm right outside of Charlotte, NC and they are somewhere in Oklahoma. If I map out the furthest city in Oklahoma away from me it's right at 1,500 miles. Driving would be at the very least an entire day's trip. Flight is a little tricky as well. The furthest point in Oklahoma I'd have to fly into another large city and then drive the rest of the distance, but I looked up Albuquerque, NM and the flights there range from 5-9 hours depending on layovers and such. Then the drive distance from there to Oklahoma would be another 2 hours. Price is actually something I could afford surprisingly. I was expecting to see more, but it was just $350. Again, that's just an assumption that they're all on the far west side of Oklahoma.

The tricky part is A. finding them and then B. figuring out how to be in their lives. I also am still unsure as to if what she did was legal or not. She left and vanished with the kids halfway across the country. I know that if I had done that then there would be a manhunt for me. She also has warrants out for her from when we were last living together for Criminal Domestic Violence. Three separate charges actually that she left without resolving.

Like I said before, there's a very long story behind all of this and I typed it all out and then copied it and pasted it into a word file and erased it from here to put in the shorter and much less detailed version. I figured it'd be WAY too much for anyone on here to want to read through.
kgr1989
New
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby Trevor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:36 pm

We advocate for swift and decisive action when a parent absconds with children. What did you do seven years ago when she left? Did you file anything with the courts to demand the return of the child to its historical home?
"Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth."
Trevor
Moderator
 
Posts: 23857
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:55 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby kgr1989 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:49 pm

I tried. I went up to the police station and that was a mistake. Spoke with someone there who told me that she could legally leave if she wanted even with my son because there was nothing written in custody saying she couldn't. I was young and when I heard that I gave up on that avenue and proceeded to try and find them on my own. By the time someone had told me I need to file with the court that she took off with the kids it had already been quite a few months and nothing was able to be done in the courts then. I was young still though and I really didn't push as hard as I'd push now. Not that I didn't care, but I took no as an answer without an explanation and if the same were to happen today I would obviously push through the no's.

I guess my real question would be what can I do now? Is that something I should go back and try after all these years? If I could go back and change how I reacted to this situation early on I would definitely do things differently.
kgr1989
New
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby massdad1234 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:59 pm

you cannot successfully parent a child from a distance. So you will have to make that hard choice. Unless you filed something with the courts immediately after she disappeared, your lack of action will be a huge factor. Essentially, why would the courts reduce anytime with the only parent they have known?

I'm not saying what she did was right, i'm saying that your actions, the past aka status quo is you have ZERO involvement in their lives. So, you can either pay max child support until they are emancipated, and possibly be on the hook for retroactive back pay, or you can uproot your life to have them in yours.

But I haven't seen it any other way. You simply will not compel the courts to pull the children away from their mother to be with you, across state lines.
massdad1234
1K+ Posts
 
Posts: 1793
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:34 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby kgr1989 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:18 pm

That's what I was worried about and I honestly figured I knew the answer to that already, just needed a confirmation.

The part of taking the kids away from the only life they know has also crossed my mind countless times. I have no idea how I'm going to even get anything other than a < parenting time >, and I don't even know how to get to that point to begin with.

I just didn't know if her criminal record would have any play in the matter or not. Based off of the pictures I've seen of the kids I've also noticed that their house is an absolute mess all the time. Mess would actually be an understatement, it's a wreck. I know for a fact that I have a better lifestyle to raise kids, but I don't think the courts look at things like that unless it's a danger to the child's safety, correct?

The term "max child support" I'm assuming means a certain percentage based off of my annual income, correct?
kgr1989
New
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: I've been lost for nearly 7 years

Unread postby massdad1234 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:34 pm

child support is based off a formula. (side bar - having another child out of wedlock isn't the judgement here, you simply have replicated the same risks) You simply input variables and it spits out a number. CS is linked to over nights. So unless you can get overnights somehow, you more than likely will be awarded the lowest amount of parenting time allowed, thus max child support.

There is a way in which you can slowly work back into their lives by slowly getting more time with the children and the mother isn't restrictive, but that typically happens when you are in close proximity.

I wouldn't try anything other than figuring out your obligations and if you can move closer.

I also would make your case based on your strengths, not her weaknesses. Doing that when you have been MIA for almost a decade will earn you no quarter with any judge.
massdad1234
1K+ Posts
 
Posts: 1793
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:34 pm

Next

Return to Parenting - Child Custody Forum and Child Support Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 9 guests