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