Daughter's father is in and out of her life at 5 months old

Nina - posted on 09/10/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 5 months old and her father has already been in and out of her life. He has been gone for a total of 3 months. During my pregnancy he blew me off every chance he got. For instance, he offered to help me move when i was 7 months pregnant and never showed up when the time came. He ignored all of my texts and calls all day. He ended up ditching me for his 19 year old girlfriend and expected me to be ok with the situation. After he had pulled this stunt many times we had a conversation about how I feared that he would do this to our child. He promised me that he would never treat our daughter that way and now he is doing exactly what he promised not to do. I don't know how to handle this situation. He girlfriend has answered the phone when I called to rectify the situation and she called me foul names because I insinuated that she might be just as disrespectful if she encouraged this behavior. After her stunt I forbid that she be around my daughter. He had tried to come see her again (this is the second time he has left her) recently but I sternly laid out some rules that he would have to follow including supervised visits, no girlfriend, he wasn't allowed to miss any visits for this was his last chance, that he had to pay me $20 in diapers to repay the $20 he essentially stole from (that's another story), and that he had to spend more than 30 minutes with her (which was a common visit for him). Needless to say he never responded to my requests. I guess what I'm asking is if I'm being to harsh and if I should give it another shot? To be honest I feel as if i need to protect my daughter from getting her heart broken by her own father one day down the line. As a first time mom am I being over protective?

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Ev - posted on 09/10/2013

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No, you are not being over protective but your ideas sound fair to a point but not all of them are good.

1) Supervised visits.
2) No girlfriend around during visits.
3) Not allowed to miss visits and spend more than 30 minutes with child.

You should have taken this to court and gotten a court order for custody, visitation, and child support. He is responsible for this child and he needs to do his part.

A court order does the following:
1) Sets up what kind of custody it is be it full or joint, who is the primary parent in the custody and who is not.
2) Sets up visitation with a suggested roster unless other arrangements are made and agrred on by the judge. This includes supervised visits (and there has to be ample evidence of unfit parent, endangerment to the child, or abuse to have these types of visits). Visitation set up is to guarentee that a child is able to have relationships with both parents and keeping a child from the other parent can get a person pulled back into court and held in contempt by the judge.
3) Child support is set up so that the non-custodial parent can send money to help take care of the child's needs. Its based on averages set up by the states on wages using a percentage system. If this is failed to be made a parent who pays it can either be held in contempt of court or if behind enough go to jail for the non-payment of support.

You can try to dictate to him all you want on all these issues and more considering your situation. But, he does not have to abide them as there is no court orders for these things. As for telling him he can not have his girlfriend around the baby, you can do this but unless this person is a threat of some sort to the baby, there is not much you can do about who he is with when he has the baby. If you start dictating to him then he will start to do so with you and then this is not about the best interest of the child anymore....its about the parents who are using a child as a pawn.

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Nina - posted on 09/10/2013

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I considered getting a lawyer, but I thought that was forcing him to see his child when he obviously didn't want to. I have however, put in the order for child support, but they are trying to find him. Maybe I'll still get a lawyer and see what happens. Thanks for your advice.

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