In Pennsylvania and other states, many men look forward to the day when they will be fathers. Therefore, when a U.S. soldier was told, just days before shipping out to Afghanistan, that he was going to be a father, it was joyful news. He and the mother of the child had dated only a few months, but he anticipated sharing custody with her. What he did not expect was that, between his deployments, he would be fighting for fathers’ rights.
The child was born while the man was in the desert, but as soon as he was able, the soldier went online to see pictures of his new daughter. He claims that while he was overseas, he exchanged letters with his former girlfriend and anticipated sharing custody of their child when he returned to the states. Instead, she served him with a restraining order because she believed his time at war had changed him. According to her testimony, the man was a violent drug user.
After fighting to get the restraining order lifted, the man was able to see his child and claims he did his best to visit and provide for her. The woman disputes his claims, saying he made little effort to support the child. As the man prepared for a second tour of duty, the woman filed papers to remove his parental rights. Her new husband planned to adopt the child. Shortly after his return from Afghanistan, the judge granted the woman’s request.
The case is under appeal, and the court has agreed to reconsider the man’s claims that he attempted to support the child. Like anyone in Pennsylvania or across the country, this man understands that fighting for fathers’ rights is a complex battle. Having an experienced family law attorney to guide him is helping him maintain hope throughout this trying ordeal.
Source: mynorthwest.com, “Military custody battle and the dad fighting to see his daughter“, Kim Shepard, Aug. 24, 2016