Deadbeat dad comes back after 11 years, has no parental rights..and my boys want a relationship with him..what to do?

Ally - posted on 08/10/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Two teenage boys I have raised by myself now decide they want a relationship with their father. His rights were terminated over 11 years ago and has not paid over $150.00 in child support. The father contacted my oldest son on facebook, now wants to see and live with him. I know I cannot force the boys to stay away from him as much as I would like to. The father has a history of violence and a criminal record to show for it. I am just at a loss as to what to do in this situation. My boys blame me for terminating their fathers rights and "keeping" him from them. I have pleaded my case as to why the rights were terminated and that it has always been in their best interest to protect them and myself. Now that they are older, they are capable of making their own decision on this. Advise??

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Kristi - posted on 08/12/2012

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Out of pure concern for their well being, both physically and mentally, I would start out with supervised visits only. I'm talking about legit supervision with a social worker or someone like that. I don't know where you live or what resources you have but the Salvation Army is where we used. They also charge you based on your income. You want someone who will have a legal standing in court, if it ever came to him trying to get his rights back. (if a person can even do that) The moderator will keep him in line, as to preventing him from bad mouthing you and any attempts to manipulate the boys. This way you are compromising with your sons but keeping them safe as well.

From my experience, having a friend or relative supervise a visit is a recipe for disaster. If you attempt to supervise, then the boys will be resentful thinking you are the one manipulating them and trying to control them and their father "just because you hate him and don't want him in their lives." A neutral third party is definitely your best bet.

I wish you the best. I know how hard this must hurt you. It must feel like a betrayal. Give them time, they will see what a douche bag he really is all on their own. Meanwhile, don't lose sight of the fact that you have raised them and despite the way they are acting now, they love you and they will come back. Time and patience are what you need now. In their hearts they know who they can count on and who they can trust in the long run. You might want to look into individual and family counseling to help you through this. A good therapist is a great resource for support and for suggestions on how to proceed with the boys. Hang in there, you can do this.

Chaya - posted on 08/10/2012

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If you deny your ex contact with your children, you aren't just denying that, you're also denying your children a relationship with their dad.
My advice: Tell your boys why the separation/divorce happened, be prepared to show police reports, judicial actions, restraining orders. Let them decide. Perhaps your sons would be willing to spend a week or two at a time with dad, and decide from there if any further contact or a relationship is in order. Be supportive of them, tell them they are always welcome at home.

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