Advice on this horrible situation!

Alison - posted on 06/25/2012 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Hello Ladies! So, to make a long story short I have a 3 year old daughter. Her 'father' chose to stop seeing her when she was around 6 months old and it now has been 2.5 years since he's seen her (his family hasnt wanted anything to do with her either). So, we had a bad past, he was very abusive in every way and is a felon, drug addict, and alcoholic. We have had a child support case set up for almost 2.5 years now and he just paid his first payment a couple months ago to avoid jail time (he has since not paid another payment...big surprise) and once he made that one payment him and his 40 year old gf (hes 24) that they wanted to see my daughter. I was upset about it, but realized that if anything it could be good for my daughter to know her father even if he is in and out because she will feel like he loves her. So before we had mediation I let him call her on her 3rd bday to wish her a happy birthday since he's missed every birthday she's had. Well he didn't call until the next day because he didn't remember what day is was on (so low). So I was irritated but we did mediation and the only thing that was agreed was that he would come meet her one time to see how it goes (we live 2 hours away from him). Well, 2 weeks went by and never heard a thing from him. He finally calls after that 2 weeks and demanded to start seeing her 8 hours at a time every weekend and to talk to her on the phone every day. I said no way in hell because she is only 3 and has no idea who this man is. He has no vehicle or license because he lost it from too many dui's and stealing cars so his gf would be bringing him the 2 hours. I asked him, 'what would you do for 8 hours with her when you have no car?' 'would you take this 3 year old girl you dont even know and bring her to the bathroom and wipe her bottom?' i dunno about you but having a strange man wipe me would be traumatizing. i asked why he didnt call for 2 weeks and then all of a sudden demand to talk to her on the phone every other night...his excuse was he didnt have money to get down to where we live. okay....so you mean to tell me none of your family members would borrow you money to come meet your daughter? and also, what does that have to do with talking to her on the phone every other day. she's 3, she doesnt like talking on the phone especially to a man she doesn't know at all!!! so i STILL extended the offer to have him come down on a certain day and told him a time. i said that when it gets closer to the date to call me and i can tell him where to meet us. his only response was 'well, i'm still gonna call her every other day.' i said 'no, you're not. you are more than welcome to once she knows who you are and once you meet her.' so what has he been doing for the past week...calling my phone EVERY DAY leaving nasty messages to have my daughter call him. please tell me i'm doing the right thing by not answering. it was HIS choice not to see her for 2.5 years..now he wants to come into her life full time, talk to her every day, think he's the best dad in the world. NO..it is not okay to do that...he is thinking of only himself and gf..not the best interest of my daughter...which would be to start slow!!! Am I doing the right thing?!?!?! (I also have a lawyer who advises me, thank fully, and we are going to court for custody soon).

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Kristin - posted on 06/25/2012

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I totally think you are doing the right thing, If he wants to have a relationship with his daughter it needs to be slow and he needs to take all the necessary steps for this to happen. He really needs to quit being selfish and to think of his daughter and not himself. He needs to understand that he is the one who chose to not see her and the result is that he is a stranger to her. Also, you need to consider the care he will give your daughter as he seems to have a history of bad behavior. You are doing the right thing by standing your ground and you are putting your daughter first and no judge in the land will criticize you for that at all. More parents need to put there kids first I praise you and wish you all the best of luck

Erica - posted on 07/09/2012

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Hang in there, also bring his rap sheet if you have access. Not to bad mouth him, but to show the court why you aren't comfortable with him having your daughter unsupervised. They may tell him he has to take weekly urine tests... Save everything, document everything, don't give up.

Lisa - posted on 07/02/2012

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Alison, tell him to take you to court if he wants to see his daughter. Record and save every voice mail that he leaves you harassing. Find friends and or family who are willing to sign affidavits saying that this man has not been in your daughter's life and he is no more her "father" than some strange man walking down the street. Good luck and dont worry too much, I think this fool will hand himself in court with his own behaviour. : )

Kristin - posted on 06/27/2012

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P.S. I was forced to spend time with my dad and his new wife when I was young and they always talked about my mom. After I went to bed, they would be drinking and partying with friends, smoking pot in the next room. Twice, we were in wrecks, probably because he was high on drugs. My mom put an end to visits and I didn't see him again until after I graduated. He admitted to being a drug addict at the time and only wanting to see me to make himself feel better about not being a loser dad. He also agreed with my mom for stopping visitation and said that he's lucky he didn't kill us both in a car wreck. He's been clean and sober ever since and we have a decent relationship now, thankfully. I'm glad my mom protected me from all that when I was young and when I was old enough, allowed me to make my own decision to see him or not. Good luck to the both of you!

Kristin - posted on 06/27/2012

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Hon, I was in the same exact place you are, a few years ago. He never had anything to do with his son. No visits, no money. He and his coke-head girlfriend threatened to take my son and make ME pay child support to THEM! Said he would never have anything to do with him unless he had FULL custody. He'd been in trouble with DWI, drugs, etc. When we went to court, (my son was 10months old) I told the judge about the threats and his unhealthy lifestyle. The judge gave him 4hours supervised visitation the 1st Sat of each month, that's it. He never called or tried to set anything up until my son was 7 (last year). He started calling and wanted to see him. They saw each other a handful of times. He even got to meet his half sister. Got my son so excited that his "Dad" was around. Well, it didn't last at all. He made a ton of promises this last Thanksgiving about presents and seeing him for Christmas. Then he just dissapeared on us. No presents, no card, no call, no text, no nothing! My son has been acting up since then, horribly bad attitude and crying a lot. A couple of months ago, I yelled at him for making a huge mess in the kitchen and he started sobbing and asked me "If I'm really bad are you gonna stop loving me like my dad did?" He's only 8 and this has broken his spirit and trust in people. I have never felt such hatred for a person in my life, as I do for this sorry excuse for a man. That was not what I thought would happen when his dad came back into his life.
Go to court with your lawyer, let them know his sketchy, illegal lifestyle and request supervised visitation. It can always be amended later if he sticks with it and proves he is serious. But if he isn't then it will protect you and your daughter in the future. It's probably his girlfriend who's pushing him to do all this, anyway. God only knows what horrible things would be said about you in front of your daughter. I would hate to see you in the same place I was, in the kitchen with a sobbing, fearful child. Do what's best for her and don't even worry about him. He hasn't been worrying about her for years and won't be there to dry those tears when he stops showing up.

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Alison - posted on 07/15/2012

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Well ladies, we had mediation last week. My lawyer wrote up a stipulation for him to sign if he wanted, giving me sole legal and physical custody, moving our case to the county that my daughter and i live in (2 hours away) and that he can have 2-hour supervised visits every other weekend for a period of 2 months to see how it goes. And to my surprise, he signed it. But he wants to make another parenting agreement himself that I have to sign, which i won't unless I agree. So as of right now, it looks like everything worked out ok :)

[deleted account]

I agree, your daughter's safety and emotional/physical well being has to be taken into account. It's a big jump from no contact/recognition to in life practically full time. To expect a child of 3 to talk on the phone every other day - unreasonable, as most children of that age don't really have much to talk about.



Talk to your lawyer, aim high and get as much as you can (full custody etc). As for contact - certainly supervised contact until he can prove that a) he can be in contact with your daughter for the long haul and not just a passing phase. b) he's alcohol/drug free (OK with alcohol - can drink responsibly or not at all).



With my girls, he decided to come back into their lives after three years of nothing. He complained that it wasn't going at his speed, even though said it had to go at girls' speed. He managed about 4.5-5 months of contact, then disappeared (mainly because he wasn't getting anywhere quickly). They haven't heard anything off him now for just over 2 years now. After that I didn't hear from him for about 8 months (March of last year). Said that if he was really interested that he would have to start from the beginning again (needless to say he wasn't happy about that). Then again nothing from him till about 2 weeks ago, when I got a phone call out of the blue, that lasted about 45 seconds when I told him that I was busy with girls so couldn't talk. (Let me see 8.45am on a school day, ummm, may be a bit busy with school run etc.).



Over the last couple of years, he's also threatened me to take me to court and/or CAFCASS a few times, told that I would not have any say in him seeing the girls etc.. Said OK then. I'm still waiting for the letters from CAFCASS and/or solicitors about contact between him and my girls. If it did ever reach that stage, all my girls could be asked if they wanted him in their lives or not. At the moment, I've got a strong feeling that the answer probably would be no from all three. He's had his last best chance of contact. His family won't have any contact with my girls until he sees the girls at least once a month. At the moment, I don't even see any contact on the horizon, as it was my ex who stopped the last lot of contact.



If he requests any contact now with my girls, the answer will be no, as he proved with the last lot of contact that he couldn't do it long term, threatened me with court a few times and wasn't willing to go at the girls' speed. Certainly don't think the girls are interested in having any contact with him.

Um - posted on 07/14/2012

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i dont know y these type of men exist in this world. their place is in hell. ok aligned to the topic u r 100% right. never let these type of so called father meet their child.

Caroline - posted on 07/09/2012

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Sorry to sound crude, but get full custody as soon as youcan, and cut him out of your life. It sounds like it could only get worse! If he can't figure out how to see her (!!!after 2.5 years?) And calling you every day is salking you! Don't get scared, get help! Caroline

Carrie - posted on 07/09/2012

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Alison, like I mentioned before, be sure you document everything. The missed visit, his "reason" for missing the visit, the phone call he made to the court friend, & take all of it with you to mediation. I had a great mediator, but she could only do so much. Be honest, & try your best to stay ca,m, & rational during mediation (you can always call a friend later in the day, or have a small fit in the car after you've left the building. A lot of what is decided in mediation is based on their observations while you are there, so appearing unreasonable, or upset, or vengeful will not do you any justice at all. And from what you posted yesterday, I think your ex will have serious issues keeping his cool, especially if you are able to hang on to your's. We obviously do not know one another at all, but I have been through what you are going through right now. I know it is frustrating, & horrible, and seems like you are going against an unstoppable force, but you aren't. If you ever need to vent please email me, I'll be happy to listen, and offer personal insight from my experience. It helped me when I was going through it. Lastly, the mediator will most likely see the missed visit as you do, a wasted opportunity for him to see the daughter he is "despartely missing", because like you, I would go to the ends of the earth for 10 minutes with my oldest child. That's far more than a two hour drive for an equal ammount of time to spend with your daughter. Be specific in mediation, if you have been before, be sure you tell the mediator about the previous guidelines that had been laid out, & what exactly he chose not to follow.
Here is the hard part (at least what was most difficult for me), if your ex calls & manages not to be beligerant toward you in asking to speak to your daughter, let him (if you don't it will be questioned in court, & you will appear unresaonable, & with-holding her), encourage him to write her letters, & send cards on important occasions. When he misses dates to send them and things of that nature, document it. The more helpful, & encouraging you are, the more favorable things will be for you and your little girl. All you can do is your best, which when it comes to our children, we mom's can even amaze ourselves . Continued prayers for you and your little girl. But please remember, even tough you cannot see the change he is trying to exhibit (real or not) could be true change, the more accomadating you can be know with hone calls and other things will help you in the long run. Also, if he suggested payment for your daughters name cahnge, or accepted it, it will look bad for him, not you. I hope this continues to go as smoothly for you as possible, & again, feel free to message me, I will do what ever I can, especially be a sounding board, as a woman who's experienced the same thing.

Victoria - posted on 07/09/2012

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You are doing the right thing. I went through a custody battle with my daughters father, we have since worked things out and are happy. But at the time he was not seeing her very often, he had a girlfriend, and I made sure that when he spent time with our daughter she was not to be around. When we first broke up I would not allow him to be alone with our daughter. He did not know the first thing about being a dad, so I was at all visits until he got to know her. He resented me for this, but we have since worked things out.

I hope that he will understand that you are doing what is best for your daughter. She comes first. As for wiping her, my daughters father still feels uncomfortable taking our daughter to the bathroom, I am not sure how someone who doesnt even know the child would be comfortable doing that.

Best of luck!

April - posted on 07/09/2012

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I'm very surprised they didn't make him do supervised visitation. That's what happened w/ my daughters. Let the court know that you feel she isn't safe with him alone and you would be ok w/ supervised visitation to make it an easier transition for your daughter since he is in essence a stranger to her. Since she is so young and he has such a questionable past I'd be worried about he being alone with him for 8 hours also. I'd expect mediation to side with you that 8 hours alone is too much to start off with. Try to get a more concrete visitation schedule next time you go. Plan it out for at least a month, but longer is better. Like every other Sunday he can see her for 2 hours and then after 2 months you'll increase it to 4 hours. But like you said, what's he going to do w a 3 yo for that length of time. It's not like he can drive the 2 hours home then the 2 hours back. And eventually I expect them to consider overnight visits (usually they will make the person receiving the child go pick them up,but my x and I decided to just meet in the middle so it's fair for everyone). My x started out going to my daughter's counseling sessions (since he had abused her) so she would learn to feel comfortable with him again, and introduce him to my younger daughter who didn't even know him. The we did supervised visitation for an hour every sunday for 2 or 3 months, then I let him take them for Thanksgiving for 4 hours. Then we started monitored visitation at 4 or 6 hours every other sunday. Then we went to 1 overnight every other sunday for a month, then finally to 2 overnights every other weekend. The gradual increases were just as much for my comfort as it was for my kids' comfort and safety. Also the prior to their dad taking them away for the monitored visits the people at the Supervised visitation center checked his vehicle to make sure there were car seats and they were used properly and checked the driver's license of whomever was driving. The extra benefit for you is that if he doesn't show up for the visitation session they are the ones who log it. If it goes to court they will have the record of him not showing up so the pressure is off of you. Of course he's going to act like father of the year in their presence, but it will also serve as a warning to him that he is being watched. If I were you I would really press for the supervised visitation. Even if you don't feel like your daughter is unsafe it will at least give her a slow transition rather than handing her over to a stranger.

Alison - posted on 07/08/2012

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Thanks ladies. Well...he was suppose to come see her for the first time on saturday...never showed up. He said that because I wouldn't let him see her for 8 hours at a time and that driving 4 hours isn't worth seeing her for only 2 hours (i know, right?!) that he wasn't going to come. He ended up calling the friend of the court and we have to go back to mediation on wednesday. I can't believe that he missed meeting his daughter because he said driving 2 hours there and 2 hours back wasn't worth it for that short time. If i had to drive 48 hours to see my daughter for 5 minutes i'd do it!! His only response was that he can't wait until we go in front of a judge because he will say I kept her away for 2.5 years (all his choice) and he will say that i bribed him to have him agree to letting me change my daughters last name (which is half way true...i asked him if he would give me permission before he decided that he wanted to see her after 2.5 years and to make him agree more i said i'd pay him if i had to since i know he would do anything for money) so now he thinks that if we went to court in front of a judge he would say a bunch of lies and start being able to take her over night

Erica - posted on 07/08/2012

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You're doing the right thing, however I would demand supervised visitation when he visits. you might be able to find a police officer who will sit with y'all for two hours if you give him twenty bucks. if your ex really wants to see her, and has no negative intentions he should not mind especially if you pay it. I would not give him your address though

Carrie - posted on 07/06/2012

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You are doing the right thing for your daughter, right now. I had similar experiences with my son's biodad before he commited suicide almost 7 years ago. Continue to communicate with him yourself (you may need to be known as extrememly cooperative, & accomadating at some point in the future), if the court sets up more mediation, be sure to go.. Take documentation (I used to keep a legal pad with hand written notes about calls: time, date, conversation) with you to the appointments. As your daughter gets older, she will come to realize what is going on, don't deny total access (meeting in public together should be acceptable to teh mediators) because that will just make him more interesting, & her more vulnerable to his stories. And pray

Alison - posted on 06/30/2012

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thank you everyone...i'm just worried about him coming into her life (which is so happy and healthy with no disappointments, etc) and ruining her spirit by telling her "i'm your dad" and then promising her things and then decide he wants nothing to do with her for another 2.5 years...i am taking him to court for sole custody..i hope it works out. But even then, we will have to set up a parenting plan and then i'll have no choice but to let him see her. and if he was a good person, i would be all for it, but he really isn't. :(

Sandy - posted on 06/30/2012

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I would keep your daughter as far away as possible from this man until he proves himself to be a responsible drug-free, alcohol-free, danger-free person. Sure he is your daughter's father, but right now he does not seem to be in a good place in his life and getting to know his daughter when his life is a mess is not good for his daughter especially. He should do the right thing and let his daughter live the life she totally deserves, a happy carefree childhood. He should only accept what you want for your daughter, your rules only and if he doesn't then I say hit the road buddy!

Terri - posted on 06/27/2012

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you need to talk to a lawyer and arrange for him to only see your daughter in a contact centre,until such time he can prove he is taking this serious and your daughter feels she can feel safe with him, and you feel it's safe for her as well, he will have to stick to it and if he doesn't turn up thats his bad and not yours. And if he doesn't show up a few times then he will not get to see her by court order

Meg - posted on 06/27/2012

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I agree with the others here to stand strong and go with your instincts. It is also good to have an attorney who can help you. I don't know what state you live in, but I would also suggest that you might want to start tape recording the calls from your ex to use next time you go to court for custody. His behavior toward you is abusive and his erratic demands don't show any basic knowledge or common sense regarding your daughter's age, development or comfort. Demonstrating this by playing his own words back in court will go a long way. They may insist that, even if they award him visitation, there be a social worker present to ensure your daughter's safety. That would probably be best. If you are there, he's just going to try to pick fights with you and talk bad about you in front of your little girl. If it's a neutral third party he won't be able to pull that stuff for long. They will shut him down and pull the plug on visits.

Alison - posted on 06/26/2012

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Also, I am so thankful for all you ladies that answer and make me feel better...I don't have many people to talk to!

Elizabeth - posted on 06/26/2012

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You are doing the right thing. BE STRONG! Follow your maternal instincts. Your baby has no one
better than you to protect her & make sure she is never put at physical or emotional risk. Keep up the good work. you are doing an awesome job and your love for your daughter shines from this message. Good luck to you.

Charlotte - posted on 06/25/2012

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I definitely think you are doing the right thing by insisting that he get to know your daughter slowly and I'm sure a judge will too, especially considering how young she is. She'll be so confused if she's forced to spend excessive amounts of time with a man and woman she barely knows so far away from her mommy. It's great you have an attorney advising you on what to do. Hope all goes well in court!

Charlotte
momonthegrind.blogspot.com

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