Advice!

Stephanie - posted on 03/22/2012 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My daughter is going on 2 this year, me and her father are no longer together, his never really there for her.. Comes and goes. And so does child support, I don't wanna cause a fight but should I take some form of action, can I do anything about it? She has my husband, which has been in her life since she was born and she sees him as her father.. He claims it's because of school. I have asked many times for help and get no, or maybes that later results in no.. I just want some advice, first time mom, not counting my 11 year old step son that I love like my own. Help?!

-Thanks

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Deidre - posted on 03/22/2012

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It's not causing a fight, first of all. You are just standing up for your daughter's rights. The only thing and BEST thing to do is file for Child Support with your local Department Of Child Support. Give them as much information that you have on him. The whole thing is this: You still may not see a penny, but at least it will add up over time on record. When the child is 18 she is authorized by law to Sue the father for the whole amount. Also, you may want to file for a Parenting Plan as well. It may be the last thing you want in YOUR life, but in the long run it feels better to know in you heart, body and soul that you did EVERYTHING in your power to do right by your daughter. She won't be

able to BLAME you for anything later on and you'll have all your bases covered, including your i's dotted and your t's crossed.

Depending on what State you live in there are some very strict guidelines for dead beat fathers. In some states once they have accrued a certain amount of Back Child Support they get their Driver's License Revoked and some of them get actual Jail Time... Also with a Parenting Plan in Place if he does not comply with it, those also may be grounds for imprisonment. To me it's worth it, just so he knows you are not the one to be MESSED with!!! Good luck.

I am a single mom of 3 wonderful boys. I've filed for them all with 2 different dads. Only one pays and the other one refuses to work. In our State he is breaking the law and it is just a matter of time before he is caught and put away. Here's to keeping my fingers crossed :)

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Child support is important. It really is. Even if you don't want it, it's money that could be put away for college, for proms, for a wedding. It is important.

Karen - posted on 03/24/2012

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Sometimes with looser dads ur better off to not have them in there lives that's what I found out.

Crystal - posted on 03/23/2012

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I'm a grown woman now. When I was small my parents split and both remarried. My donor (he was never a real father) never paid child support so my mom just let it go and I stopped seeing him. That was fine with me then because I hated being there. His new wife treated me bad. No one knew but before my father remarried, he had molested me. I didn't realize til I was a teenager what he had done was wrong. I am just glad now that I wasn't with him much more. God knows what he could have done to me. I am so glad he was not in my life. I tried to forgive and have him in my life but I feared for my future children. They do not know him. I'm glad my Mom never pushed for money, that would have meant that he would have had more access to me. He was a upstanding (supposedly) SHERRIFF'S DEPUTY. You just never know. ( Keep in mind this was in the mid seventies. ) Yes your child is entitled to child support. Some cases are better left alone. Just wanted to share another side. Good Luck!

Tabitha - posted on 03/23/2012

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Deidre, you're angry at your mom because she didn't FORCE your dad to take care of you? I hear this point of view a lot and it always gets to me. As a mom, I cannot fathom not taking care of my children. I've gone without so that they didn't have to. Why should your father have to be forced? Why should any parent have to be MADE to take care of their children? Shouldn't they just WANT to take care of them? Since you were younger, your memory of how things went down may be different than what was really going on. There may have been underlying reasons why your mom didn't fight for child support. But again, your dad should have just wanted to take care of you and that's who you should be angry at. I hope your misplaced anger hasn't ruined your relationship with your mom.



When my son grows up, I don't think he'll be mad that I stopped trying for child support. Life isn't about money. My son knows the sacrifices I made to make sure he was taken care of. His father made the decision to not be around and to not financially support him. I had nothing to do with that, I only stopped worrying about it since I knew I would not get a dime. My son figured out his dad's game a few years ago, he hits the ignore button anytime his dad calls now.



Also, don't force your child's father to get visitation. How do you think he'll treat your child if he's being forced to take care of him?

28 Comments

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Elizabeth - posted on 03/25/2012

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Yes, you can do something. Enough is enough. Go through the court' s and start the process for child support. Your husband will support your decision and he WILL know that you are not giving your Ex a free pass anymore. This is your daughter's money, and she deserves better.

Becca - posted on 03/25/2012

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Document every call every conversation, keep records of each month he pays child support and when

he doesnt, document when he wants your daughter, when he picks her up, brings her home or you do

the dropping off and picking up and document when he says he wants her and doesnt show up. Document that he was supposed to pick her up and that his parents did because he was out of town with friends.



Your daughter may not understand whats going on know but she will as she gets older and will form her own opinions about her biological father.



I would ask her father to give up all rights to her so your husband can adopt her if this is what you and your husband want. You have to do what is in your daughters best intrest no matter what any one else thinks. People can suggest things but its your choice to make.



Good luck with what ever you decide to do and God bless.

Stephanie - posted on 03/24/2012

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Thank you guys once again, me and he father were never married, she has my husband as a father and with him came a great step son from a previous relationship.. Me and my husband have no kids together.. A lot of people do ask but no I have no feeling for him anymore, he was my high school sweetheart. And beat friend. I never knew this side of him and we dated almost 5 years. I have to get help, I guys are right.. I have and will do everything possible for my two wonderful children. He was suppose to get her today matter a fact and instead his parents came. He was out of town again with friend.. I Thank god for his parents they do everything they can kneeing his choices aren't always great. I will try that three day thing. Thank you guys very much, I don't have friends like that because they don't have children and don't understand.. It's nice to be able to talk to people who have been there, and are there.

Pamela - posted on 03/24/2012

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You didn't say if the stepson is the son of your child, or if you were married and are now divorced. If there was no marriage you can still claim help through the court system for child support. Connect your local ADFC office which should be listed in your phone book under The Department of Human Services. Those social services can aid you in filing for child support.



You didn't mention if you still love this man or what you really want from the situation. Here is a good way to balance your mind and take the problem from being just in the emotional realm.



Sit down with a piece of notebook or other paper that you fold in half. On the left side write all that you Like/Love about the situation. On the right side write all that you Dislike/Hate about the situation. This will help you to find a balance. If you need more than one piece of paper use it. When you have finished your list look it over. Make any changes you choose.



You might want to do this over a period of 3 days. Once you make the list, put it away, come back and re-read and make any changes the 2nd day. Put it away and come back to do the same on the 3rd day.



If you like more than you hate, then the situation is worth working to save. If there is more that you dislike, then perhaps you need to accept that the situation needs great adjustment or that it is time to move on.



This exercise has helped when when I am stumped for answers. Most of all it helps you to sort through the feelings in your own mind and heart. BE BRUTALLY HONEST with yourself or it won't work as well.



RELATIONSHIPS are the most difficult experience this planet hands us. Just remember that this planet is a school and we are all here as students! Even those whom we may consider are in higher positions than us. THEY ARE STUDENTS TOO!! We all are. We are all here to learn and grow into the highest love possible for all that is around us!



The highest and best to you and yours!

Lana - posted on 03/24/2012

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I would like to add that I too have had to deal with a father of my children (2) that dictates as to when he will take his children. No schedule, no consistency, no communication...even plans that he sets he breaks. The thing that I always maintain is that I have to take care of myself in order to functionally take care of my kids, especially if there are stressful situations. The "poop that he flings at me only makes me stronger as a parent" Regardless of the way that he behaves I still have to be a Mama to my children. It's disappointing and heartbreaking and frustrating dealing with their father's alcoholism, dysfunction, unpredictability but I can only control myself in these situations. Always allow your children to love their father and as time goes by they will know that you are the one that was always there for them. I was a child of an absent father, a horrible step father and an alcoholic mother and I turned out good. My focus is my babies and those experiences taught me what not to be. To add as well I am 40, my ex is 38 and his new wife is 21 with a 9 month old baby, now the new wife is starting to cause problems. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Good luck Mama's!!! You're doing a great job!!!!

Alaine - posted on 03/23/2012

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Hey Stephanie

Now that you have acknowledged what happend to you, you now need to get some help for it. It dosn't go away untill you put it to rest get some therapy that may also help you deal with this issue of your daughters father. I also was abused growing up and I confronted my abuser and now have been able to move on. Not everyone can look there abuser in the eye but you deffinatly need to talk to someone about it, and not family a professional. Have you told your husband about this? Go on you for acknowledging now go heal yourself as much for you but for your daughter and husband too.

Sending you my thoughts and love

Alaine

Brandi - posted on 03/23/2012

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I'd say have him sign away his rights to her so your husband can adopt her and be the real, stable father that she needs. If you are not going to do that then file with the courts for child support. You can use the little money that comes or save for her for college. Either way do something because in my experience the worst thing for a child in an in and out parent. Good luck to you, I know what a difficult situation it is to be in!

Stephanie - posted on 03/23/2012

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Thank you all so much, all your comments have help me a lot, all I can do is learn up on what my rights are and what I can do to better perfect her.. It has never been about the money, that's the last thing on my mind. I was molested as a child, ( its crazy to say to be honest, I have never told anyone.. It's a very horrible, dark secret I have keeped from friend and family, and to be frank I feel really good to finally say it, I think that's why I'm always very protecting of her.. If it could happen to me it can happen to anyone.. By the way it was. Close family friend ) all I want is a happy child that never has to question the love from a parent.. What I can't understand is why he is like that, his father is really never there and she has only met twice. She sees his step dad as her grandfather.. At the end of the day I can only do what I can, and not force him or anything on him. I'm Srry to hear that crystal, people like that should be looked up for ever, it has scared me, to the point that I can't be home alone and hate the dark.

Alaine - posted on 03/23/2012

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Hi Stephanie

I was a single Mum for around 4 years with my daughter who is now 16 and her father sounds the same as your ex. I made sure she had and still has good male role models in her life and never put her father down in front of her. Also I never shut the door when it came to her father he always knew that he was welcome to arrange time to see her or take her out, but you have to be careful with that too because my daughters father would arrange something and then never turn up. So I learned that if he said he would come and get her I wouldn't tell her unless he actually came because it made me sad and angry to see my little gurl hurt by a broken promise. I never took him to court he also was very poor on the child support, I just thought if he wasn't going to do it on his own steam then the law wasn't going to change anything and as for the money, my child needed her daddy more than we needed the money. It sounds to me like your husband is her father and a good man, I also have one of those who came into mine and my daughters lives when she was 4 and he loves, protects and provides for her like he made her so she is lucky. She knows where her father is and she as a teenager has figured out for herself that her father has the issue and not her, kids are not stupid.

But if you want to go down the family court path then just do it but don't do it because of the money do it because you want him to be involved but as I said if he isn't motivated because she is his beautiful daughter I don't think the law will force him to be a good daddy.

You have lots to think about, just protect that precious girls heart because daddys can hurt them, I seen my girl cry because her dad never turned up to spend time with her. All the best and hope things turn out for you, your Husband you little gurl and your stepson.

Kasi - posted on 03/23/2012

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I thought the same thing I want "daddy" in her life. But now it's so much hurt on my daughter because he is mad at me for having her in the first place. He feels as tho he HAS to take part in her life and pay child support so he treats her like dirt. If I were you I wouldn't MAKE him do anything it might tick him off therefore hurt your child.

Jessica - posted on 03/23/2012

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Children need consistency period. This is why I warned and sort of threatened his dad. It's upto you what what kind of role at this moment in time you want him to have in your babies life. It seems that you are clinging to the idea of his role as a dad more than he is. When you have a child nothing in life is about you anymore it's now first the child then you. The family has nothing to do with his choice and or actions those are his alone. If they want to be a consistent part in the babies life and you feel they mean the best and care for the baby then allow it. It's his resposibility to be there and he is choosing not to. You do not have to bring a lawyer into it, get free legal advice before anything, that's what I did as a matter of fact try out this website. www.lawhelp.org, I always recommend this to clients at my job. There you can find help with pretty much anything and everything but always depending on your poverty level, if you do not qualify for free services there are choices for private lawyer or organizations. Education is empowerment always have that before making any type of decision. My son got used to the idea of his dad rarely being around but I tell you this I made sure that I was, since I mattered in his life and always had his best interest in mind.

Tabitha - posted on 03/23/2012

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Don't ignore the call. Answer and let him talk to her if you don't feel like talking to him. If he stays on this path, she will make the decision when she gets older, how she feels about what he's done or not done. It will then her choice to ignore if she chooses, not yours. Also, she doesn't need to know about the child support. It's not spending money for her, it's to help maintain the household that she lives in. You make the decisions as to when and how the bills are paid and when she needs something. So whether or not he's paying is your business, not hers. Plus you don't want her worrying about it. All she needs to know is that she's taken care of.



You shouldn't have to provide the transportation both ways. There needs to be a compromise there. And when his parents call, I would let them provide the transportation.



If you're not sure how he will react or whether you should get an attorney, ask the child support enforcement office or prosecutor's office (whichever office handles child support) to send a letter to him letting him know that he's behind and asking him to contact them with his intentions. Since child support is already ordered, they should have no problem doing that. How he reacts when he gets that letter should be an indication as to how he will be if you push it with an attorney and an actual hearing.

Stephanie - posted on 03/23/2012

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That's kinda part of the problem, when he calls and wants her, or his parents I never say no, even if I have to drop and pick myself.. I do t mind it. I only ask when I have no other oppition, his always my last resort. I've tryed to talk to him, but every time that happens it always ends with him.. Him.. Him. If I jump the gun and get a lawyer, will he make life impossible then I rather not mess with it, I wouldn't want him to treat her different or start telling her thing. How do your son get over his parent not being there, to just hitting the ignore call?! How did u handle it?!

Lisa - posted on 03/23/2012

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I would suggest that if you really want him in her life, that you ask him what times will work for him, and do your best to allow him those times. Perhaps he feels like your telling him to "jump" and that is why he says no.

Jessica - posted on 03/23/2012

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I'm a latin mom and there is a saying in our culture: "Father is not who makes him but whom raises him". As long as your daughter has a loving mother which you seem to be and a supportive family she doesn't need her father. In which If I were you I would not call him that because he is choosing to not play that role. I have a 10 year old son in which I raised myself, his dad is around part time. We had a notarized agreement for about 8 years in regards to child support but when I began a new relationship he decided he wanted to stop helping and stopped seeing his son. So I made the decision for my son's financial needs to take him to child support. I felt that he gave me no other choice. I sat with him and explained to him if he was not going to play a role even part time in his son's life that I would take custody, and he has straightened up. Honestly despite the fact that he is there P/T I raised my son as if he wasnt there and my son is doing great. You need to make decisions for wha'ts best for your baby and yourself and her biological dad choosing to not be around should make it simple for you to realize that obviously she does not need a half as person in her life, she deserves better.

Melissa - posted on 03/23/2012

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There's not much you can do. Talk to a lawyer, talk to your ex maybe he would give up his rights. Good luck I have one of those absent fathers, my sons ok. He just gets used to not seeing his dad.

Melissa - posted on 03/23/2012

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There's not much you can do. Talk to a lawyer, talk to your ex maybe he would give up his rights. Good luck I have one of those absent fathers, my sons ok. He just gets used to not seeing his dad.

Stephanie - posted on 03/23/2012

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Thanks guy, it's what my husband said, u can force someone to do something they don't want to.. But at the sametime, how it's not okay to come in and out of her life. No I don't have full custody of her, both share custody. When the money dies come it gets saves or used for what she needs.. I heard u have to have a solid base if your going to take him to court, like his on hard drugs or beats the child.. Is that necessary true?! I don't tell her, his coming anymore.. Every time I did, kinda felt she was getting twice the disappointment, with him not showing up and me telling her he was. Even tho she is and was really to young to understand.. She always cryed when he did pick her up, and he would get mad at me like I did something.. How do you just get over it, the sheer feeling of disappointment and hatred?! But don't get me wrong, we dated and were engaged, for 4 years. He was my best friend, we are at each other, it's better than other peoples relationship with co patents.. But when I bring up my concerns.. It's always ur over reacting and don't worry it will be fine.. How can I help someone understand when they don't seem to care.

Louise - posted on 03/23/2012

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I would take him to court and tie him down to regular payments and visitation rights. If he chooses not to visit it is his loss. Never tell your child he is coming so that when he does it is a nice surprise and she is not sat there all day waiting for him to turn up and he does not. If he continues to mess her about with visitation then after a certain time go back to court and get visitation stopped or supervised to protect your child from a yo-yo father. But he still has to pay child support and this can be taken straight from his wages!

Deidre - posted on 03/22/2012

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Wow, I guess I already assumed you had full custody. You can still have full custody and be granted visitations. Split Custody is something TOTALLY different.



Full custody just means that if and when he has her you have a legal right to call the cops if he doesn't comply with your wishes, such as deciding to take her out of state without your prior notice. He can go to PRISON for that. If there is split custody he has equal rights to do the same as you. She is his child too, so if he had her he could go wherever he wants with her.

As far as you guys not "NEEDING" the money , that is not the point. Your daughter has the right to that money. It could be used for her college fund or anything else for that matter. It belongs to her and that is my point. I'm sure I am a little bit more passionate about this subject because I have history in it. My mother had issues with all of our dads and chose not to collect any child support for us kids. She did it because she didn't WANT to deal with any drama. Well, all I know is we kids did suffer financially. We grew up poor and that's all there is to it, but see now I feel so much anger towards HER. Not even so much for the dad, because I feel like she didn't even try to fight for my rights. We ABSOLUTELY did not have to suffer like that. She did it out of spite and pride. She was thinking of herself and not about the kids. Even if the dad doesn't pay, at least the kid will be able to do something about it later when she is an adult (18)

Oh, and one more thing... Your daughter may or may not grow up wanting to meet her birth father. Let her know what information you have on him. Try to have current info. Just do your best at that. Don't feel sorry for her or feel bad that he chooses not to be involved. It is and will be his loss.

If the father gives up his rights he will still be responsible for child support. Also he will need to give up his rights if you decide you want your current husband to adopt her. Personally, I don't see what the fuss is when it comes to wanting the official paperwork on that. She has a father who is in her life daily and that speaks VOLUMES over a piece of paper :)

Stephanie - posted on 03/22/2012

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Thank you guys, very much! I'm not hurting money wise, she has everything she wants and then some... I just wish he was there, he has missed so much.. I don't want her to grow up and feel that void, if he really is too busy to be in her life.. He should just move on, right?! Is it bad to think that?! I have put my dreams of culinary aside, and I'm okay with it.. I have filed for child support and we had a plan step up... But it was never really what end up happening.. He's not a bad dad when he is around, that I know of. We ( my husband and I ) would like to get full custody of her, but unsure if that's a good thing?! What do you guys think?!

Tabitha - posted on 03/22/2012

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If you're not hurting for the money and he isn't there for her anyway, I wouldn't bother. It's only goin go anger him which will most likely cause him to start comin around acting like father of the year for a while. But that never lasts. My oldest son's father is the same way. I use to try and fight tooth and nail to get some support. He's been in and out of my son's life so much it's ridiculous. Once I stopped fightin, he left us alone for the most part and my son is better off that way. Too much heartache when his dad is around. She has a father in your husband. He's there for her, helps you support her. If it aint broke, don't fix it.

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