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Young Dads Community
Hello and introduction. 
May 10th , 2008 09:33 pm
It seems like most communities/websites for dads are always dead, so it's nice that someone's trying to get this one going. I've seen a couple lj communities for dads come and go.

Anyway, I'm Luc and I'm 27, 28 in August. I have three kids, all girls. Morgan is 9, in 3rd grade. Samantha (Sammy) and Emma (Emmy) are twins, 7, in 1st grade. I work mornings (4-6 hrs a day, depending on work load) as an electrician. I used to work full time and lots of overtime but then I got the kids and I've cut back. I've been lucky that my employer is a good family friend and lets me take the jobs that fit into the girls' school hours.

My ex lives on the east coast. We had the girls really young (obviously) and stupidly got married when it was obvious we shouldn't have. We broke up when she was pregnant with the twins. She moved to live with her mother/family. That was my last face-to-face contact with her. I didn't see the girls until February 2007 which is when the process of getting custody of them started. My ex had gotten married and had two kids with the guy. They broke up in a bad way and she ended up flat broke and had all the kids taken because she couldn't take care of them. I got a call notifying me of that. My ex voluntarily gave up custody to me because she wasn't going to get back on her feet otherwise and she would have possibly lost all the kids if she didn't get rid of some. Apparently now she's married again. She hasn't been in touch and there's no order for visitations right now. I'm kind of hoping she stays away. It was hard on the girls to be uprooted once and even aside from selfish reasons I don't want that to happen again.

I'd like to be able to say that not having had the girls for all that time was a sad, sad thing, but the truth is I didn't think about them very much... well, I'd only known  Morgan for like 8 months and I'd never even seen the twins. Then was the fact that my ex moved so far away and there wasn't any way I could have seen them even if I had wanted to. I'd also like to be able to say that if she hadn't moved I would have been an involved/visiting dad, but at that age I can't really vouch for that, either. I guess I'll just say that I think I'm a good dad now, and I plan to keep the girls even if my ex ever comes calling. It'll take a major court battle to have me to agree to less than 50/50 custody.
May 11th , 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
That must have been tough to suddenly get custody. What was the legal process like?

Must have been a hell of an adjustment for the girls.

I can understand not missing them if you hadn't even ever laid eyes on two of them. I'm sure parenting at 18-20 would have been different than parenting at 26-27. You had time to get your life in order, right? Maybe for the best, then.
May 11th , 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
It wasn't too bad, I guess. I had always paid child support and there was an order for visitations, so they didn't have any proof I hadn't been in the kids' lives. It took about a month and a half to get everything settled but much less before they gave the girls to me. I had to rent a place in the county where the process was being carried out, and was barred from leaving. There was about six or seven visits by SS and I had to sign crap saying I'd go to parenting classes and such, which I never had to do because I promptly moved back to AZ as soon as the legal shit was over.

It was a big adjustment. They were pretty confused. So was I, actually, since I had to adjust to having three kids to take care of.

I did have time to get my life in order. I guess it would have been hard to get an education (I went to college and got a BA in computer crap) with three kids and either a wife or an ex.
May 11th , 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
That sounds similar to what happened with one of my friends. His ex was killed in a car accident. He had to go to her home state and it took about two months to get the custody thing squared so he could take his daughter back home.

I wonder how long it would take a WOMAN to get the kids in the same situation?
May 12th , 2008 05:15 am (UTC)
About a day, I would say. Or they might just put the kids on the next bus to her state and not even have her need to come get them.
May 11th , 2008 05:57 am (UTC)
Also, I hear you on the dads comm. thing. It's terrible. I don't get it, really. Most dads I talk to say they want forums and communities to be available, but the ones that are available aren't used.

I'm not exactly optimistic about this one, either. I don't have that much time or that much know-how about running communities in general.
Jun 18th , 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Getting custody after a long time of no contact is no picnic. Or at least it wasn't for me.

I got married young and had two kids. When we divorced I got the youngest and she got the oldest and we went our separate ways. For six years.

Fixing that mess is an ongoing process. Of course in my case my child was emotionally and educationally stunted by her mother's parenting, but I think it would have been a huge challenge even without that added in.
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