Please any advice would help...Ex has children and doesn't want to bring them back

Larissa Elaine - posted on 06/18/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am the custodial parent and my ex husband has visitation rights. He has been in and out of my children lives for years but now that they are 16 and 17 he has really started to interfere. We divorced in 2003 and in 10 years he has only been visible 3 years on and off. At this present time he is 51,000 in the arrears and is mad at me. I never denied him the children and I have met him more than half the way. I just recently enforced the child support through the state because I have been more than fair with waiting for him to "supposedly get his life right" He insist that we follow the divorce decree to the point which means he gets the kids for the summer but now he doesn't want to bring my daughter back. I am trying not to panic but its hard. He is telling me to go bang my head so that everyone can be happy. He has slandered me. I am a wreck right now but I know my hands are tied because he has rights too. Please what can I do???????

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Jodi - posted on 06/19/2013

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Ok, first up, I am going to ask you to take the issue of money OUT of the equation. I get that he owes you, and that sucks, and it is totally wrong. But money shouldn't interfere with a relationship with the kids. It isn't their fault he owes money. So as pissed as you are about him owing the child support, you MUST ignore that when considering the visitation issues.

Now, your children are 16 and 17. I'm going to be honest with you.....here in Australia, they won't even LISTEN to a case about children this age unless there is clear abuse and/or negligence. That doesn't sound like the case here. I know you probably aren't in Australia, but I wanted to share this, because it shows that courts consider the child's opinion to be suitably valid and generally will go along with it.

Based on the information you have given, your kids are old enough to make up their own minds. Sure, you can fight it if you want, but nothing you have said has necessarily made it necessary to remove the children from him legally. If your son wants to come home, he should have that right. if your daughter doesn't, she should have that option too.

When it comes down to it, YOU know you raised them. Absent parents LOVE to take credit (I have one that does that - even posts achievements on his FB page but it will be weeks before he actually gets to see him), I absolutely empathise.

Larissa Elaine - posted on 06/19/2013

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My son wants to come home but my daughter wants to stay because right now he is showering her with gifts and plenty of freedom. He did not want to be bothered with them when they were younger because he could not go as he pleased but now that they are teenagers he's game. On top of that he is behind $51,000 in arrears with child support. He says once they turn 18 it goes away so he is fine with that. I know this man and I am not comfortable with the children being raised by him. He has an older son that is having problems now due to lack of parenting on his part. He allowed his son to not just drink but with him as well as smoke. He would put the child out and everything else. The only reason I let him get them for the summer is the conditions of our divorce decree other than that he would not be allowed to even see them because of his past. I am trying my best to be fair but I will not let him harm my children.

Jodi - posted on 06/19/2013

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How do your children feel about this? Do they want to come home or stay with him?

Gemma - posted on 06/18/2013

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I've been in a situation before where my partner told me he wasn't giving my son back. You need to keep evidence of his contact with you and write down dates and times of what he does if he says more horrible things and about not giving your daughter back. Go to a solicitor or womens aid and ask them for advice! they will help you with what needs to be sorted because you never know he may be serious with his threat or he may just be trying to hurt you... either one isn't ok and you don't deserve it. x

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