Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!
A Little "Too" Much" About Me
"I am the proud Dad of 4 great kids who use to keep me very busy with their own "issues," like school, wrong choices, and yes even the law at times. I am pretty sure if your a parent, you can relate. The world is not easy for them and I have noticed that this generation doesn't seem to question as much as we used to. Maybe having the answers before the questions is what I am trying to do here at this site?"
I spent Twelve years as a State of Maine Foster Parent and Twenty-one years as a Loss Prevention Supervisor. I was married at 21 and divorced at 24. I became a "week-end" Dad for two of my children until they grew up.
My third child was kept from me until I received a call from D.H.H.S. telling me that my ex-girlfriend was being investigated. They also told me that holding my child from seeing me was a form of child abuse. I hadn't heard from my child's Mom in 3 years. All the Christmas gifts and cards I had sent, were always sent back to me. But I received a call from her the very next day after the D.H.H.S. call. The investigation ended up being nothing, but not to me. The older I got, the more I learned. filing the Parental Rights & Responsibility Order gave me visitation, my child's school schedule, and all Doctor's reports.
My forth child, I actually received "physical" custody of after my second divorce. I retained "physical" custody and did many court battles to keep it. During our battles, I learned a lot about the legal aspects and laws regarding Divorce, Custody and Child Support. I had to beat two "trumped up" Protection From Abuse charges, which I did. But that also fueled my desire to learn more about about PFA's. I saw first hand how easily they could be granted and how easy they could be used to get what one wanted. On this site I cover both sides of a Protection From Abuse charge, not just one.
I will say this though, as hard as the battles were between us, I really had nothing but respect for my ex-wife during them. If she hadn't fought so hard, I would have wondered why. But when your fighting to "win" you sometimes lose sight of what it is your "winning." I finally came to the realization that we were both the parents here. Not just one! We settled on joint custody with a 50/50 visitation schedule. I did two years of school drop offs and pick-ups in another town, before she ended up living right across the street from me. That was great. Let me tell you, having both parents who keep the communication open and who realize it is all about the kids, helps. So I compromised and learned some more legal information. A win, win!
My four kids are now grown adults with children of their own. My child support balance with D.H.H.S. I am proud to say is now..zero.
My relationship with all my children's Mothers? I invite all three to summer parties and holidays.
In 1998 I had my first grand child. I didn't know it. Neither did my son. Two years later he was contacted by D.H.H.S. and a DNA test was done. ( he was the second person tested, the first one was the boyfriend, who left right after he found out he wasn't the father )
After my son signed the parental paperwork with D.H.H.S. he went back to work out on the ocean.
I probably saw my grand child three times in the three years I knew she was my grand daughter. It wasn't that we didn't try. Both my son and I had a hard time keeping track of where the Mom was. I was told she had a drug habit and that kept her on the move.
In 2003, while reading the newspaper I came across an article that said the Police had pulled over a car on the turnpike in Kennebunk. Seems the passenger got mad and decided to get out and walk down the Maine Turnpike. The Police arrested her and found a couple of bags of crack. That women was my grand-daughter's Mother.
That was the last straw. I now had the legal knowledge to do what was necessary,
After calling anyone I could that knew anything about my grand daughter, I finally found her. Her mother had gone on to have a set of twin girls and a little boy with another man. His mother was taking care of them all, including my granddaughter. This women took care of all those kids while the Mom collected the benefits from D.H.H.S. When I talked to her she admitted to me that she was afraid that the Mom would take her grand-children if she complained. She had been bringing up these four children for the past two years, while D.H.H.S. gave the cash benefits and the food stamps to the Mom.
Are you kidding me? Wasn't I already mad enough?
I told her I would help her to keep her grand children, but I wanted guardianship of my granddaughter..
My son was out on the ocean and I couldn't get ahold of him.
So I filed for Emergency Guardianship of my grand-daughter and for the grand mother as well.
We both received Temporary Guardianship and with went on to gain Full Guardianship of all the children.
My grand-daughter is now 16 years old and is an honor roll student and an all around great kid!
I knew then, she was special and I have never had a doubt, that I did the right thing.
My Final Thought...
"I'm really a pretty private person.
I have been on the internet since 1993, yet
many say they still can't find me. That's
on purpose. So, all this private information
I am giving you.. is not what I am all about.
But, if your going to read my thoughts and
words on this website. Then I feel this private
information is important for you to know.
It shows you why and where I got all my knowledge
from and why I fought so hard to gain it.
I don't have any degrees, or awards. I am
just an average guy who has a few Life Lessons
to share. Thanks...."