Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Melancholy Christmas




Of late, I have not seen my paternal grandson since October 23, 2013....almost 2 months.  And let me tell ya...it really stinks!  We have already missed out on Halloween and Thanksgiving this year and will be missing out on Christmas as well, due to visitation denial.
 My son and the mother were never married...so I guess that the legal term for my grandson is illegitimate....born out of wedlock.  However, paternity was proven/acknowledged by signing documentation at the hospital....and on July 13, 2012 when he agreed to pay child support thru the court system.
These 2 families, both maternal and paternal...have gotten along for the past 5 years.  Very well, I might add.  We trusted each other at our word.  Agreeing to work together for the good of the child...in his best interest.
My son makes weekly child support payments to the State Disbursement Unit here in Illinois.  Due to a payment NOT being put onto her "card" by the disbursement unit "in time"...the mother has denied visitation.  We cannot control the mail during this time of year...standard post can take up to 10 days to arrive even to the closest locations....nor can we control how long it takes the state to put the money onto a "card".  And in all honesty...I have looked thru all the court documents and found NOTHING that states a specific day or time that it has to be put onto a card.  I can only find a statement to the effect that he must make a payment within 7 days of his paycheck. I am wondering if her denial is legal, even tho there was no court ordered visitation?
My son and grandson
 
I have decided to keep a record, a file on all cashed checks which will prove that payment has been made.  Yes, I am aware that the state can also show proof they were made.  But I will have documentation as to when they were written/dated by having the document. 
The court referred them, my son and mother of the child, to mediation on Dec. 3rd.  The info packet, sent by the mediator was filled out and sent back. Still have heard nothing regarding a date/time for this mediation.  I am sure it will be after the holiday.  I really dislike the waiting game.
I have even looked online to see if perhaps my son could file a motion in the court for temporary relief for visitation...but the only thing I can find is for couples who were married.  Thank goodness he never married this gal. 
My 2 grandsons
I have been helping him in creating visitation and parenting plans this past week for him to use at mediation...it has literally CONSUMED my daily activities.  I even created a calendar for the year 2014 which show a breakdown of days/weeks/months for visiting with total number of hours spent with the child per month.  Then I broke those hours down into actual days.  What a joke!!!  One month, I believe February, the actual number of full days he will spend with his child for one month is 5.3333 days!  The most actual "days" throughout one calendar month turns out to be 8.735 days.  I did this calendar for my son for visual aid for the mother.  It will hopefully show her that the time she agrees upon is very little.  But anything, at this point, is better than a 2 month VOID! 
I can promise you, that if this does not work out for my son...I will seek Grandparent visitation.  And I would be fine with one weekend per month...or even one day per week, providing it were a full day.
My 2 grandsons
 
This entire thing has been a nightmare, to say the least.  But it has made me realize that "a person's word is only as good as the person giving it"...and in this case...not so good.  It has given me a feeling of melancholy knowing there is nothing I can personally do about it.  We have talked about the entire situation and what to expect at mediation.  There are so many mistakes he could potentially make...and we don't want that to happen.  He does have rights...however limited.  I just hope those rights are reasonably and fairly addressed.  Fingers crossed!!

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