Absentee father any advice

Jay - posted on 11/05/2015 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My sons is 6 months old his father and I are not together. His father wanted me to have an abortion and did not want him. We were together on and off while I was pregnant. He would say things about wanting joint custody and paying child support. Saying he would take me to court if nessasary. I did not want him there for the birth as he was a huge stressor during my pregnancy. I called him after and he was coming to visit our son. Then he just didn't show up one day for his visit and now it's been over a month since he has seen my son.

He has not given any child support and has not even brought over a diaper for my son absolutely nothing. But I have never ever said anything about this. I told him anytime he wanted to visit it was great. I never fought or argued about anything. He has two other children from a previous relationship and takes care of them.

What am I supposed to do if he decides to show up one day?

I just need some advice

Thank you

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Raye - posted on 11/05/2015

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Jay, you have no control over what the father is going to do, or not do. And it's not your job to chase him down and try to force him to see his child. All YOU can do is put protections in place by having court orders that say when he is allowed to see the child, then it's up to him to follow through. Even with court orders, that doesn't guarantee that he will come to see the child, just when he is allowed to. The father could still show up after a month, after a year, five years, just whenever, but he would only legally be able to see the child on the days/time specified by the court papers.

If one or both of you decide he should have more time, then you would go back to court to decide on the new arrangements.

Dove - posted on 11/05/2015

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You need to go to court and get custody, visitation, and child support set up through them. If he just shows up and you don't have a court order... he has a right to see his child and is not legally obligated to return him to you. If you have a court order... he still has a right to see his child, but it's legally set up for when he can see his child and when the child needs to be w/ you... so there are no surprises for any of you.

Dove - posted on 11/05/2015

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By the way... due to our distance from each other my ex has court orders for visitations near my home one weekend a month and near his home (plane tickets are over $200 round trip per person) 2-3 times/year. Ever since he's been allowed to take our son (starting when son was 2.75 years) to his home... he hasn't taken a weekend visitation... only the visitations near his home and, like, I said... the shortest time between those visitations is 6 months... he has also gone 18 months w/out seeing the kids and also 2 years....

Dove - posted on 11/05/2015

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The longest my ex has gone w/out seeing the kids is 2 years... the SHORTEST amount of time my ex has gone w/out seeing the kids was one month... but the last time he saw them 2 months in a row was the end of 2010 (I think that's the right year). Since then the shortest amount of time between visits has been 6 months... and that's been our lives for the past FIVE years. Trust me when I say a month w/ a 6 month old is nothing. My son saw his father for about 20 minutes when he was 7 months old... and that was the first time he saw him since about 5 minutes at 2 months old... and the next time he saw him was at a year and a half. Believe me when I say I've been there.

The BEST thing you can do for your child is to go to court and get custody, visitation, and child support set up through them... and then it is up to your ex whether or not he exercises his visitation rights.

I know it's hard and I know it hurts... I fought it a lot more than I 'should' have for the first 3 years of my son's life and the ONLY thing I accomplished by fighting was to prolong my pain and suffering. The sooner you let go and realize that you do not have the right to dictate your ex's relationship w/ his son... the better for everyone.

Ev - posted on 11/05/2015

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Yes, you could put that back and then use it for his education later on in life or for unseen needs that come up as things do happen suddenly. We are just trying to help you.....

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Jay - posted on 11/05/2015

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Thank you everyone. I do want what is best for my son. Which does mean going to court. I am going to contact a lawyer for advice. Thank you all for taking the time to give me your advice. I do really appreciate it.

Sarah - posted on 11/05/2015

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Which is exactly why you need to follow the advice of going to court and getting the proper orders from a judge. If he pursues joint custody or visitation, at least you will have the initial order giving you sole physical custody of the child. You acknowledge he is the father, so if he comes with the police to request time with his son, you'd either have to allow him to see the child or lie to the police about not knowing he is the father. Is this likely to happen? Probably not, but you'd be better to be prepared. And I agree about child support, even if you don't NEED the money, you can save it and give it to your son when he is older.

Jay - posted on 11/05/2015

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Dove the thing is is that he has dissapeared I want my son to have a father I don't want him to grow up not knowing his dad but it seems like his dad doesn't want to be involved because he won't call me back and it's been over a month. I've called his mother even but she won't call me back.

My question is really what are his rights if he comes back in a couple months? I just don't want him to take my son.

When he is healthy and sober than things could change.

I want my son to be surrounded by all the people who love him. It doesn't matter how I feel about them as long as I know my son is safe.

Ev - posted on 11/05/2015

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Jay,
I know you are hurting. I know you want the absolute best for your child. But he does have a father and a right to know him however it can happen. These ladies are really trying to help you and I would give the same advice at they do. Dove had a hard time with her ex when it came to the custody, visitation and child support issues as she said in her post: the kids got the bum end of the deal. I also had a man whom I thought loved me to no end. He did a 180 degree turn on me in a few short months and by the end of the next summer in 2002 we were divorced and had set up custody etc. He was not the same man I once knew. He took advantage of everything he could during our time with the courts. He wanted thhe kids to live with him and so on. I had to make that choice or the kids would have been nothing more than pawns. I had not problems with drugs or alcohol or anything else....I just did not have finances like he had to fight in court and the kids needed stability somehow some way. It was up and down for 13 years. ANd it still is sometimes. Its not about you or how you feel, hon. Its about the best for this child. He needs to know both his parents. And if dad is going to be a bum about things, your child will learn it as he grows up. He will see dad for what dad is in his own time. My kids did. They do not have a good relationship with their dad because of how he was all those years. I just want you to understand that we all have been there and done it at some point and time and can understand what its like. I did it as the non-custodial in a joint custody. I managed. I did not like it. But it was what it was. Just take what these ladies have told you and think on it and do what you feel you must. But just know that they have the truth of it.

Dove - posted on 11/05/2015

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We are being supportive... this is life when you have a child w/ a less than desirable person. I was MARRIED to my ex for 7.5 years before he left us. I NEVER thought he'd be capable of some of the crap he has pulled, but it happens and, unfortunately, it is the children that suffer for it. My kids (twins are almost 14, son is 7.5.. ex has been out of our home since son was born) get the short end of the stick from their dad ALL the time, but they all still love him and CHOOSE to see him when he will see them... even when it's been 2 years.

If you have evidence of his drinking problem and suicide talk... present it in court and push for supervised visitations. Even w/ problems it doesn't change the fact that your son and his father have a right to know each other... you've got a long road ahead of you here, so take whatever legal steps you can to protect all of you.

Raye - posted on 11/05/2015

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You're not being greedy to file for support and get money you're legally entitled to.

Raye - posted on 11/05/2015

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Jay, whether or not you think you need the money now, you may need it later on, or to help pay your child's college or something. Your child deserves every advantage he can get in life, and the father is legally responsible for contributing financially. Stop thinking about you. Begin to see what might be best for your child.

Jay - posted on 11/05/2015

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I haven't filed for support I haven't asked the father for anything. I actually lent him money and he never paid me back. I don't need his money I am not using my son as a possession. I've done nothing but cater to this man and he just stopped showing up.

Raye - posted on 11/05/2015

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Jay, we're trying to be honest with you so you're prepared. We're not trying to put you down. You've maybe made some bad decisions, and we want you to start making good ones.

Jay - posted on 11/05/2015

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Father is an alcoholic he was sober when I met him but is off the wagon now. He has called me drunk telling me he is going to kill himself. I've been suffering from ppd and ppa this has been the most difficult thing I have gone through in my life. I love my son I want him to have a father in his life. But not one that is unreliable and makes me nervous about him having my son.

Raye - posted on 11/05/2015

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Remember, too, that your child is not a possession to be rented out to the father only when he gives you money. Child support is the father's financial obligation and you should file for it in court (don't just expect him to hand over money). Also, if he doesn't pay, it doesn't mean you can deny his visitation rights. If you've filed for support, you can report him for non-payment, and that could get him sent to jail, which would interfere with his visitation while he's locked up. But (unless he's proven to be a danger child) that's the only way to deny his rights to see his kid.

Jay - posted on 11/05/2015

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I realize a month isn't long. I really thought that this site might be supportive but now I just feel like I should have kept this to myself.

Thank you circle of moms.

Sarah - posted on 11/05/2015

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That is true Jay, it isn't you specifically that I am angry about. If you had any idea how many posts I read about mothers deliberately leaving the father's name of the BC in hopes that will make them the "owner" of said child....it's absurd. It bogs down family court, and labs that do DNA, and it costs money to do tests that are unnecessary. This isn't a car, and if your name it the only name on the title you own it exclusively. This is a child; created by two people and therefore deserves to be supported and raised by two people; unless one is proven to be unfit.

Dove - posted on 11/05/2015

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No one is angry at you specifically... we have just seen repeats of this same story (from SOOO many different women) that it's kind of baffling by now. So we're blunt about it. Don't take it personally... just do right by your child and get everything legal. :)

Dove - posted on 11/05/2015

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Technically he doesn't have legal rights right NOW... but if he takes YOU to court it's going to make you look very, very bad in the eyes of the law. All he has to do is petition a court for a DNA test and then he can fight for custody... and if he can prove that you've kept your son away from him... he could 'potentially' get full custody.

He's the father... he has rights. More importantly... your SON has a right to his father.

Get a lawyer... go to court and get everything legal asap.

Raye - posted on 11/05/2015

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Jay, if you didn't put him on the birth certificate, that's fraud because you did know at the time that he's the father. Yes, he still has rights. He can establish paternity by going to court and having them conduct a DNA test to prove it. To lawfully get child support, most places require proof of paternity either by both parents signing a document that they are the parents, or by DNA test. Once it's proven, he will be added to the BC anyway, so you've only made things a little more complicated by not putting him on there to begin with.

Court orders establishing custody for yourself and detailing what his rights are for visitation are your only protection from him showing up and taking his child away from you. If he does that before court orders are in place, you will have to go to court anyway, and it will be a lot more messy and you could completely lose your child.

Jay - posted on 11/05/2015

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I'm not sure why you are getting so angry at me. The father never wanted my son he had been threatening me during my pregnancy. He hasn't helped us at all and now dissapeared for over a month.

Sarah - posted on 11/05/2015

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Why on earth is not on the birth certificate! If you knew he was the father; and you deliberately left it blank or put unknown, you have committed fraud. All he needs to do is request a paternity test, and you already openly acknowledged his paternity anyway. Get the document amended. Yes he has rights, he is the baby's father! He can take you to court and prove his paternity (or you can save the court costs and just admit it)

Sarah - posted on 11/05/2015

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Be prepared and have a court order drawn up that gives you primary custody. While you are petitioning for that, file for child support. He has equal obligation as you do to provide financially for this child until age 18. Likewise, he has equal right to parent this child as well. If he were to show up at the door today and say, "I'd like to see my child" he has the right to see, parent and spend time alone with the baby. To prevent yourself getting forced by police to hand your baby over to him, you need to have a court order that outlines his rights. Ultimately, you want him in your child's life, right? So contact him and offer him a visitation agreement, or shared custody or whatever will work for the two of you. Then get it made official in court. At least then you'll know exactly when to expect him, and if he doesn't show, keep a careful log of his visits.
Custody or visitation, are completely separate from child support. If he never holds his child, he still is on the hook for support. Conversely, paying support does not guarantee him free access to the child. Co-parenting is difficult and the more the two of you can agree on terms the better it will be for the baby.

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