Convenience dad

Heather - posted on 04/21/2016 ( 15 moms have responded )

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So my ex was not around much the last year we were together. Our son was 8 months old. He would go out to parties, bars, and friends. Leaving me with our son while I worked and went to college. He finally left one morning saying he couldn't do this anymore. He works right down the road from where myself and his son lives. He would show up every day after work to check the mail and leave. He didn't even walk down the hall to see his son. I watched my son for 3 nights cry and say daddy, my daddy while laying on his side of the bed. It tore me apart. He finally came around 3 months later and spent an hour with his son while I went grocery shopping. I came home to him on his phone and our son playing by himself on the floor (the way it always was). The ex got up and said, I'm not daddy anymore. He doesn't love me. He then left and said maybe in a few months he would try again. I said no you need a schedule, you can't just come when you want. He doesn't know you anymore BC you're not around enough.
Well now we finally started receiving child support. Our son is almost 2.5 and he wants to start seeing him again, but he will only come around when he wants. What do I do?! I have a new boyfriend and he loves my son so much. My son calls my boyfriend dad and absolutely adores him. We let him warm up to my new boyfriend on his own and one day he wanted to be picked up and he called him Dada.
So how can I justify having his biological dad back in his life when he will not commit to a schedule and will probably only come around every other month? I'm so lost, but I worry for my son.
Also, his biological father is not fit to take care of him in a safe environment. He just sits on his phone or his Xbox.

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Dove - posted on 04/21/2016

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Get the court orders for a visitation schedule, but then it is still up to him when he comes or not on that schedule. You can't MAKE him show up.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2016

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Sarah,
I did not refuse child support. That's just how and why it was put in place. My son has his own savings and its put in there for him to choose how and when he would like to use it. I also do not wish to limit contact. I pushed for contact between the 2. It was him choosing not to see his son. All I want is consistency. That is the best for our son and for our son to be safe.

Sarah - posted on 04/21/2016

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Refusing court ordered child support is simply foolish on your part. The father paying support is you child's right and he is entitled to that money, if you don't use it now, you can bank it for his future. Refusing support will not make it easier for you to limit contact.
"I fully agree and am willing to give him a chance but there needs to be a set schedule"
visitation is not up to you, it is up to the judge

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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I can fully understand that. I was on the other end of the custody agreement from you. I had let him have primary just because I did not want my kids to have to suffer going back and forth and wondering the whole time which parent would have custody. It is upsetting enough to have parents split etc. I used my time wisely and every minute I could get was with them. The weather at Christmas break helped too LOL! We live in hilly country and he is way out in the middle of the country so if it snowed enough or iced on Christmas day (which we split in half every year depending on who had the first half of break the other parent had to come get the kids for their half of the day) then that parent would not be able to get back and forth. So It gave me longer timem with them. But being with dad was not that great because he remarried and had step children he seemed to want to be with more according too my kids. In the end though, we are close and that is what makes tthe most of it all.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2016

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Yes, I am putting it into a separate account for our son. Yes, that is all very true. I just hope that he adores the time the judge sets aside for him to see his son. I hope he follows through with the times as well. I knew how it had felt every time my biological father didn't show up and finally stopped coming at all. Just really wanting the best for our son.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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Most places child support and visitation are treated as separate issues. Regardless of how you feel in the matter, it is your son's right to those funds on the foundation this man is responsible for his portion of providing the child's needs not because he wants to see him or not and actually, it is not considered paying to see a child. It is the child's welfare that the money is for. If you do not need to use it then put it away against the college fund or other needed items for later on. There were laws here where I live with custody etc I did not agree with but that is how it goes. Your ex could have still decided that he did not want to see the child even after the child support came out. But do not deny the child the support that his father is obligated to provide.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2016

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I do not agree with Minnesota laws as far as this. A parent should not have to pay to get rights but doesn't have to pay to get child support removed from their checks! That's insanity! I refused child support due to his dad not being around. I thought if he really didn't want to be a dad why have him pay for him. Our son ended up needing a surgery and I needed help with medical bills so the county helped and set up a court order for child support. He was refusing to help with bills or see his son. So now that he is paying he wants to see him. Its good he wants to be in his life but sad it took him paying for him.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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And as you just pointed out so nicely, states also have different laws on custody, visitation, and other things concerned with that.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2016

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I fully agree and am willing to give him a chance but there needs to be a set schedule. He can't just come and go as he pleases. I'm feeling that this can only be done with a court order now. I plan on getting this done BC in the state of Minnesota the mom automatically gets full physical custody if not married. That means that my ex has to pay thousands of dollars to take me to court. I don't think this fair for a dad to pay that. I can go to court and get everything signed by a judge for free.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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We all do but I also see a lot of posts from moms who have come on here going on about the ex and how unfit he is to take care of a child, how immature he is to do so, or that he has other issues she deems unfit. But several of those were just nit-pick type things no judge would consider reason enough to change things up. If it were just about the phone and gaming, I think the judge would not do so much about it except tell dad to restrain himself from those things while the kid was in his care. Also, if he had the child by himself and the child needed something he would have to stop and take care of the child's needs. Also some moms have said that dad did not know how to care for a child therefore he should have some sort of supervised visits. But again just because he has not had a chance to learn does to care for a child does not mean he can not do so. You just have to be careful on what you consider is not good for the child.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2016

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Thank you very much for all of your input! I really do appreciate it! I want the best for my son and keep him safe.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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If you have evidence of the drugs and alcohol use such as police reports, arrest reports or convictions on him that could be used to show his inconsistent living. But if not and this concerns you ask the court for a drug test and do not be surprised if they have both of you do it because some on here had suggested asking for a drug test to others that have similiar worries and told they could have to be tested too. But using the phone and playing video games does not make one unfit. My son inlaw plays them a lot but he is all at home caring for my grandkids and his parents and grandmother. I know how big of a gamer he is but it does not make him unfit to parent his children. I do not think a judge would consider phones and video games as unfit. You need to have evidence of child abuse or neglect or other things that could be considered dangerous to the child.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2016

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Yes, child support is court ordered. It is not just those things that make him unfit. It is his alcoholism and drug use. He has threatened to kill himself and take our son with him when he comes off his high. I do not use drugs or alcohol. He needs help with those things but if I take that up with police he may serve time. I am going to go to court for everything to be set in stone.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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First off, is the child support court ordered? If not you need to get that done along with custody and visitation. Not having any of that done leaves it open to your ex coming and being able to take your son and not return him if he so decides to do so and police won't come and do a thing unless you have court orders. It was so important that after he had left the first time that you had done things to make this easier. Once those court orders are in place if he chose not to use his visitation then it is on him.
Second, Your son deserves a chance at a relationship with his dad as well as you. And his dad needs the chance to parent his son. You can not decide how it is to be done because it is not fair to the child. Just because you think he is not fit to take care of the child because he is on the phone or Xbox all the time is not enough to make him unfit to care for a child. Also another thing to point out, you no longer live with the man or see him on a regular basis so you really do not know what he is capable of. He needs a chance to learn what to do to take care of a child. When you had your son, you were not filled with sudden knowledge on how to take care of or parent a child as you had to learn as you went.
Third, I am glad you have a BF who is being a Father Figure to your son. It is important that kids have a father figure or mother figure in their lives. But the BF is not dad really.
You really need to take this to court.

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