Should I ask deadbeat dad to give up his parental rights?

Mindy - posted on 08/25/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My ex and I have been separated for 5 1/2 years. Based on recommendation from my attorney, I have avoided getting officially divorced, so that I will continue to get spousal support from him. My ex has addiction issues with drugs, alcohol, and gambling which came to light only after we were married (my son was born before we were married). He has been a deadbeat dad the entire time we have been separated. He has avoided working to avoid paying support, sometimes working under the table so his wages could not be garnished. The longest stretch I went without support from him was 18 months or so. I can never count on getting support from month-to-month because he quits or gets fired from jobs. He even went to jail 2 yrs ago for not paying his child support. At this point, his arrears is roughly $25,000! Not only did he not care about helping to financially take care of our child, but he really had no interest in seeing or talking to him. When we were first separated, he would come to see him, but then that eventually stopped because he would just not show up. My son bought him a little gift last Christmas and he came to pick it up, bringing my son a bunch of gifts, even though he hadn't given him a Christmas or birthday gift in yrs. My son saw him 2 more times after that, but once again, he has failed to make good on promises of seeing my son. I have not received a child support payment in 3 months. I am fed up. He is mad about the spousal support, yet he has taken no steps of his own to have a divorce finalized. All he does is spread lies and rumors about me, saying that I will not let him see our son, despite the fact that he has been told he can see him whenever he wants. I am fed up and ready to tell him I will drop all child and spousal support obligations if he signs away his parental rights. It would make things difficult financially in one aspect, but may be better in the long run to avoid the incredible stress that comes with dealing with him. But most of all, I am concerned about it negatively affecting my son if and when he finds out his dad decided to not be his dad any longer. Any advice?

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Dawn - posted on 08/25/2010

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I am uncertain of where you live, but here in Canada, Ontario... i have sole custody of my son... his father signed away his parental rights when my son was seven months old... although, it was put in place, that he can have regular visitation with our son ( although it started out that way, my son is now four, and hasnt seen his father in a year...) as long as the time is agreed on by both of us. He also is required to pay child support monthly.. ( that stopped four months ago now. lol ) The law here states that visitation or child access, and the financial child support are two completely seperate issues. You can see your child, without paying child support due to no job, or whatever the circumstances may be... but it also works the other way... even without contact, the non custodial parent is required to pay support, even without visitation rights.

not sure if this helps any... but the one thing that i hope all moms remember, is that if we all waited until we were financially set before having children, most of us never would... We are parents, who are loving, and supportive who are raising amazing kids... we may struggle financially, but our kids dont go without the necessities... and they come out on top, knowing they are loved... its the parent who walks away who goes without all the greatest things. they are the ones who are suffering, and they dont even realize it until its much too late.. ( some never do.)
Good luck xo

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Michelle - posted on 08/25/2010

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Signing away parental rights means that you no longer will be eligible for child support as he is giving up all right to the child basically saying I will no longer be this childs daddy. Most courts won't do this unless you have another permanent male influence in the childs life eg:new husband. However if he isn't paying his child support then how is getting rid of him going to hurt you financially give it a go. No child needs an on again off again parent

Julie - posted on 08/25/2010

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You have to think of your son first - not his emotions but his needs. He needs a healthy Dad, right?
When this man dries out and comes clean he can be an influnence in your son's life -as it is a 'given' that dads are ... so you want him to be a positive influence right? The world is tough enough. Give 'dad' a goal of coming clean to get his son for visits.

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