I have a unique situation, I think.
My husband and I were divorced 3 years ago. We had a quick, by-mail divorce here in NC, but he lives in Massachusetts (where I also lived until 5 years ago). The divorce stated that we would settle all property disputes and custody disputes ourselves, etc, etc. I have always had unchallenged, sole custody of our 3 kids, who are now 14, 12, 10 years old. Since our separation, my X has been arrested several times for DUI (spent time in jail for it), assault, domestic battery against his girlfriend, and most recently, assault against her 16 yr old son. During all this time (3+years), he has had no contact with our children. No phone calls, no visits, and 2 1/2 years ago, he stopped sending me voluntary child support and never told me he was going to stop, nor returned my calls at that time. I ended up going after him legally and getting a court order for support, which took a year, all the while never having contact with him.
Last night, his girlfriend called me, acting like they just found my phone number (it’s possible, I guess), asking questions about the kids and could he call them, blah, blah. I played it cool and said sure, no problem. But now I’m nervous about it. I am not sure this is in the best interst of my kids at this point. The girlfriend said he hadn’t drank in months, but I know that just 1 1/2 months ago is when he was arrested for assaulting her son. I have raised my kids so very differently from the way he lives his life now. They don’t even know what kind of person their dad is because I think they are too young to process it and not be burdened by it.
My question is this: what rights does he have to them based on his past history of neglect and disinterest? And his irresponsible, sometimes violent record? I absolutely want what is best for my children - I’ve been the one sacrificing for them these past several years, not him - and I was hoping they would be a little older than they are now when they would have contact with him again!