My estranged ex left me after I was deployed overseas in the Navy. She never contacted me except to send me divorce papers and let me know, for the first time ever, that I have a daughter.
I have never gotten to meet or see my daughter. What can I do? How can I find her?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.
You should bring the divorce decree with you to your consultation. The first issue will likely be whether that divorce was entered into validly. Were you properly served? Was default order entered when you failed to appear?
If so, there are likely remedies available to you because you were on active military duty at the time. In the event that you signed an agreement, then this remedy likely won’t be available to you, and you will have to seek a modification of the order.
The second issue to explore is how to modify the parenting arrangement if that decree is indeed valid. Courts typically modify the plan based on what is in the best interest of the child. The list of factors can be extensive, and the child’s preference may be equally as important as the other factors.
Depending on the age of your daughter, the courts may appreciate if you offer to introduce yourself to your daughter through a counselor or in some other form of controlled setting. A skilled family law attorney in your area can advise you best on how to proceed so that you can be a part of your daughter’s life.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.