Father's right to see his children

Help a Father See His Children Again!  

Please help my son, David, 37, see his five children again. His ex-wife is refusing him access to his children. David doesn’t have any money to pay an attorney to make this happen. (Their fees were $350.00 per hour.) David’s ex-wife is also refusing to let us, as grandparents, see the children. This is why I am writing to you. If David isn’t able to pay an attorney to represent him, he’ll never see his children again. And sadly, the children will suffer the rest of their lives wondering why their father abandoned them. 

David and Jane (not her real name), 35, were married and had 5 children whom are now ages 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13. The marriage was chaotic due to Jane’s emotional instability.  At times, she was paranoid, and/or delusional, and had outbursts of anger and rage. She was often abusive towards David verbally, psychologically and physically. 

Sadly, David was the one accused by Jane, of being the abuser in the marriage.  In truth, however, he was the stable one, and this made a huge difference in the children’s lives.  They were happy, mature, obedient, fun to be with, and they adored their father very much. 

Above: Fishing with dad!

David and Jane were living out of state when the unthinkable happened!  While David worked the overnight shift at the hospital, he noticed that someone had taken the family’s only vehicle from the parking lot.  David was able to get a ride home that morning from a coworker only to find Jane and the children gone and the house completely empty of all their belongings.  David was in complete shock!  Jane had abducted his children and he had no idea where they were!! She also emptied their bank accounts and took his computer.

After many months, David learned that Jane had moved the children to her home state near her parents. So, David quit his job, packed up his personal items and moved there as well.

Jane refused to talk to David much less let him see the children. Jane, always in hysterics, claimed that David was abusive. The fact was, Jane’s father abused her as a child and she acted out her anger on David.

Jane soon filed for divorce. She had good attorneys and didn’t seem to have any problem paying for them. Unfortunately, David was never properly represented in court because he didn’t have any money.  His father, Mike, and me and my husband, did our best financially, but we couldn’t afford what he needed. David had 3 attorneys. One was intimidated by the judge, another poorly prepared for court, and one was way too expensive and wasted our money. To make things worse, David didn’t have any representation for some of the proceedings.  He had to represent himself which he learned was not a good idea.

In court, Jane cried and claimed that David was abusive to her. As a result, the judge granted her two 2-year orders of protection, without cause, which is very unusual. That was 4 years without communication and not being able to see the children!

Above:  David walking with one of his children.

Jane created fear in the children. In one situation, Jane said the children were hiding in closets scared that their father might come and harm them. So much damage has been done to the children by their mother. 

During the court process, nothing was addressed about the children other than child support. The plan was to return to court later and negotiate the rest of the terms, i.e. visitation, This never happened. During the divorce proceedings, David could feel a lot of anger coming from the judge, toward him. The judge must have believed Jane’s theatrics. She cried while making claims against him. As a result, the judge awarded Jane the maximum in child support each month. In addition, he ordered David to pay an additional $35,000.00 to the state, for the cost of the welfare/aid Jane was using ( no way could she have used that amount of money!). That alone amounts to a payment of $800.00/month plus interest. 

David works full-time in healthcare but doesn’t make enough money to pay his expenses. By the grace of God, because David cannot afford rent, he is able to live rent free in a room at the house of a pastor and his wife. Eight other people live there, as well. I don’t think David has enough to pay for food at times, but he doesn’t complain.

David is able to reach Jane by phone, but he has never known where they live. We know she remarried quickly and lives in a beautiful home with a pool in an area near her parents. (I found her on Facebook but not for long.) Jane and her husband, Clyde, are now building a larger home in the area with a pool.

 I terribly miss being their grandma and so does grandpa!  So many tears have been shed for the children we love so dearly. We had a wonderful relationship with them and saw them on a regular basis.

Through the courts, David, at one time, was allowed phone contact with the children at 6 p.m. every M, W, and F.  This started out okay with his three older children who were able to have meaningful conversation with David for a time, but the others were too young.  Eventually, however, the children began to get on the phone and state that they did not want to talk to their father anymore, and the phone calls became unfruitful.  As the children grew more and more alienated from David, they even began to say hurtful things and to talk disrespectfully to him, which was something they never did before.  They even began accusing him of things that never happened, just like their mother was doing.

Sadly, I remember a phone call where David tried to talk to the children. Each child got on the phone, one by one, and said, “I hate you, dad!!!!”, “I hate you, dad!!”, “I hate you, dad!!!!” and so on until all 5 children had spoken. David could hear Jane and her boyfriend/fiance’ in the background. Neither one stopped or corrected the children. I could see tears in David’s eyes. He told me that this had happened before.

I believe that, with proper legal representation, there is hope for David and the children to restore their loving, secure relationship with regular visitation and maybe custody, is needed.

Above: David with one of his girls.

In Summary:  David needs your financial help to pay for attorneys to represent him in court. David wants desperately to be a father to his children again, and to have the truth of his side heard in court.  He is also willing to do therapy with the children or whatever else it would take to be involved in their lives. 

As I said earlier, David works fulltime yet lives at poverty level. Despite that, he pays his child support and arrears faithfully.  I’m not sure how he actually gets by day to day on the money that he’s allowed to keep from his paycheck.  

To help me get the word out, please share this on your own Facebook timeline!   

Thank you for your financial help and for your prayers!  May God Bless You!!

Grandma Jeanne
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Jeanne Bacon Johnsen 
Eden Prairie, MN
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