My sons father has been absent for 13 weeks.. What to do?

Tanya - posted on 05/13/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Need a little advice.

My sons (16 months old) father, has been absent, volentarely, for the last 13 weeks. This has happened once before for 11 weeks, but his then girlfriend forced him to come see his son.

We have an agreement of days/times for visitation and that our contact is to be only via email (so I can have everything logged down, just incase)

Now, the last 13 weeks he has either given silly excuses (like Hospital/Doctors appointments on a Sunday) or given me no notice at all.

Now the problem I'm having, is what to do with this? As childish as it will sound, simply emailing him and asking is out of the question, the only time we email is to confirm visit are going ahead as arranged through my solicitor (no court order, they just gave advice and sent him the letter confirming visit dates)

So, what to do? I've no idea of the 'Absent Father' laws in the UK, and I know 13 weeks isn't a great deal of time compaired to other absent fathers.

Also, I still receive maintenance through CSA and he is on the birth certificate.

Any advice welcome! xx

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[deleted account]

I live in the UK and my ex has no contact with my girls (although like you he is on the birth certificate of all three of mine, and I'm letting CSA try to get maintenance off him).

The best thing I can suggest is talk to CAB and see what advice they can give you and also a solicitor if needs be.

I'm not sure what the absent parent rules are in the UK either. Certainly what my solicitor said in my case, was that probably my ex would lose interest in seeing/maintaining contact with the girls and let it run it's natural course. I have and he barely acknowledges the girls now - last time he did was for a few months in early 2010 as his second marriage had failed.

You're better off than me in some respects as I don't get any maintenance from my ex - his excuse, sorry 'reason' is that he doesn't see my girls, he doesn't see why he should pay.

Work on the assumption that you are grateful for what maintenance you do get from him, and let the contact take it's natural course. Don't go chasing him for contact with your son, let him contact you. It sounds, from what you've put that he's putting up barriers/reasons why he doesn't want to see your son. Certainly I don't know of any hospital/doctors who make appointments on Sundays, as they tend to be week days only.

Remember to keep your emails between both you and your ex, so that you've got evidence that you've tried to keep to your arrangement and who's decided to cancel/change the arrangements as well. Talk to CAB and/or a solicitor for more advice.

As for your son, don't let on whether his Dad is going to visit or not, that way you're not getting his hopes up. Remember not to bad-mouth his Dad in front of your son, regardless of your opinions of his Dad. Make sure that you have a good routine that can be adjusted should your ex decide he's available for some contact.

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Lisa De - posted on 11/27/2013

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I'm in this situation,my baby girl is currently 16 months and her father hasn't seen her for 6 weeks,not long i know but he's never gone more than 3 weeks. Also i didn't receive maintenance from him this month which doesn't bother me that kind gives an indication that he could be walking away,which would be the best thing for my daughter,she doesn't know him,we had a contact order for him to see her at my home every saturday but he managed once a fortnight sometimes didn't see her for 3 weeks at a time,always some pathetic excuse. it was established in court that he had seen her 4 out of 9 saturdays last time in court,although

Gillian - posted on 05/18/2012

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The only way you can have him taken off the birth certificate is if you have sufficient grounds to do so, as Beth Whitney says, just not turning up and being a dad to your son Max is not sufficient grounds and if you go to a solicitor with it they wont even take it to court, as they will say the judge will throw it out even before you get there.

Believe me I have tried this, my situation is a bit different, were my ex was under investigation for child abuse to his younger brother of 22 years ago, and I couldn't get him off. He is on both of my son's birth certificates, but as my solicitor said, he may have parental rights but it is jack.

If my ex turns up he will have to start by having hour sessions with the boys in a controlled environment until I am confident that the boys will be OK with him.

It is not fair that our children have to go through this but we can't control everything and even though Max's dad is not on the scene, it doesn't mean he will miss out. Enjoy your time together and take each day at a time.

Good luck for tomorrow.
Gill

[deleted account]

I have to admit, even though I rarely get any maintenance from my ex, CSA does has it's benefits as it means that there is a paper trail to prove what my ex has (or hasn't) paid. Yes it is erratic at the best of times, but it means that there is no dispute on how much my ex owes as it's worked out independently of both myself and my ex. Also means that I don't have to talk to my ex either.

Certainly wait it out for your ex to decide when he's ready to make an effort to be part of your son's life. If and when that arrives, it can be taken from there.

As for removing his name off the birth certificate - there would have to be sufficient grounds for that, but would have to have very strong reasons for that. To play the Devil's advocate - keeping his name on the birth certificate means that your son in the future has a name to go on should he wish to attempt to trace his Dad in the future.

Talk to a solicitor to see what your options are - removing his name from the birth certificate is probably a none runner. Also unlikely to be able to remove his parental rights unless you have very good reason(s) to do so, and it's not an easy thing to do.

Certainly if and when your ex does show any interest in being in your son's life, then make sure that you are in control and it's on your and Max's terms, not you're ex's terms.

Both you and Max work towards the future, making a good life for you both. I'm sure that if your family is very involved in both of your lives, then Max will grow up to be a happy and thriving child. He will learn quickly that his Dad doesn't play a big part in his life (for whatever reason). With my girls they are aware that they have a Dad who is from a large family, which means they have quite a few aunts, uncles and cousins as well as their paternal grandparents. They've have grown up learning that their paternal side of the family doesn't/won't acknowledge their existence. That does not stop them enjoying life to the full and getting involved in lots of different activities. My girls aren't missing out on things because their paternal side of the family can't/won't make the effort to be in their lives, it's them that are missing out on my girls' lives as I see it.

Tanya - posted on 05/18/2012

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Thank you Ladies!

I think I'm going to wait it out. This Sunday will be the 14th week he hasn't visited, not even an excuse this week again. Then when if/he does pop back up I'll see what the situation is (How old Max is, how he is getting on in life etc) As I don't want it to have a bad effect on Max, and it's obvious Max will be completely confused as to who this man is.

And when the time comes I'll go to my solicitor. Would be nice to know either way if his Dad is planning on being a Dad, I hate not knowing and waiting for the email to say if he'll be here or not. But I'm not going to go sending him solicitor letters etc, it's not my job to force him into parenting. So yeah.. I'll wait it out. If it gets to over a year, I might get some advice from my solicitor and maybe try and get him off the birth certificate or something?!

I'm not bothered about getting CSA from him to be honest. My main priority is Max being happy and in a stable family environment. I wont lie, the money comes in handy, little amount that it is.

Thank you all for your advice and help though! You've been great. I'm always asking my family for advice but there (obviously) very much on my side and want him to disappear lol

x

Julie - posted on 05/17/2012

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Let daddy go - he is not a daddy -
YOU and that child deserve more...
TRUST ME - I've been there! ♥

Chaquata - posted on 05/14/2012

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Hey Tanya, my eldest son's father does the same thing except the time length is longer and now that I am mobile, when he calls for his son, I am running...but lately I am getting to the point where I do not care anymore, its stressful and annoying, I actually tried to get on child support with him but they closed my case because he is not employed...
I know it hurts and it should not take a anyone to tell you to get your child,if you really care so just continue to do your best for you and your child...
god bless you and keep your head up!!!!

Gillian - posted on 05/14/2012

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I stopped my ex from having access to my two son's, reasons being he would not turn up when suppose to, kept changing the days and times, saying he was ill when not and in work. It was taking its toll on my oldest especially, they now have not seen their dad for over a year, with not one mention from him.

They do not even get birthday or christmas cards, no presents either, he hasn't even found out what schools they are in (as one started sept and the other this sept). It is like he has vanised.

I do know that even though he does not see them he still has to pay maintenance but I did have to go through csa as he stoppped paying, so now through certificate of earnings and even then that is not on time!!!!!

[deleted account]

CAB - citizen's advice bureau. I have found them useful for a range of things when I've spoken to them and my solcitor has been right in predicting my ex's behaviour.

Certainly my ex stayed away when he had remarried, then only reappeared when he separated from wife number 2. He then came back, insisting that he changed, new man, blah, blah, blah. Didn't like being given some of his own medicine back - as I gave him a long list of rules about contact with my girls.

I've heard along the grape vine that my ex has got himself another girlfriend. Since we split up, he's had more time in relationships than being single!! So as there's a new gf for him, don't expect to hear from my ex anytime soon. Do know that when he was married to his second wife, that his family asked quite a bit about the girls (or so they claim), but understand that they were getting a bit fed up of him saying that he didn't know how they girls were doing. So suspect after his second marriage failed, that was also part of the driving force to get back in contact with the girls. It only lasted a few months as it wasn't happening at the speed that he wanted, so disappeared of the girls' radar again and they haven't heard from him in nearly 2 years now.

Certainly prepare yourself for your ex to keep popping his head up on occasion, then to disappear after a while when he gets 'bored' and/or finds himself with the next new gf.

Tanya - posted on 05/14/2012

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Thank you both, I will look into CAB? And maybe make an appointment with my solicitor. Luckily my son never mentions his dad ever lol, I'm not even sure if he actually remembers him due to the on/off visits... Not sure. I do worry that if his Dad wants to come back to visit, he might be a bit put off/scared of him... But that's just a bridge I'll have to cross when I come to it.

And Louise, you're right. Contact stopped once my ex had a new gf, and after her hand in pushing him back towards being a Dad, that ended. And now a new girl is on the scene, he's off again. It's not fair on children to be used as an entertainment option for when these fathers get board... But main thing is that Max is happy, whether his dad is around or not.

Looks like I'll have to learn the off-side rule and the game of rugby soon, prepared for being both mummy and daddy ;) lol xx

Louise - posted on 05/14/2012

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Beth is right! Just keep all correspondence from him so that if he does turn up in a year or so (which I feel unlikely) and does ask for custody out of the blue you can take him to court and get the judge to throw the case out.

Men that do this tend to stay away unless something catastrophic happends to them like a break up of a relationship or death in the family. Then they crawl back to make themselves feel better.

He is always going to be in the background of your sons life, but for now if he does not ask for his dad just ignore the fact that he has one.

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