Should I make my child see his father even though my son hates him?

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

I know this is an age old problem that many single mums have had, but I struggling to know what to do- I separated from my sons father 5 years ago as he has an alcoholic and drug taker that was verbally/ emotionally abusive to me for years. I finally had the balls to leave him, and years later he want to have visitation rights to my son and I am torn.

A couple of facts first- he is clean now (apart from prescribed drugs). He wasn't abusive to my son, but my son saw him be mean (thats the nice word for it) to me on several occasions.

I have let him see his son when ever he has wanted, but his father will never look after him outside of my house and I have had enough. As I do not want to see the man in my house- for obvious reasons.

My son is now nine and his dad wants to see him more. But my son doesn't want to see him. Now his father is threatening legal action that frankly I can't afford (Im a single working mother). I have asked my son why and he has said it is because he is no fun, unreliable, never turns up and shouts and is strict with him. All of which is true.

I feel like I am piggy in the middle. On one hand a child should be able to see there dad. But on the other hand, his dad is an ass. And I can fully see why my son does not like his dad.

MY heart says I should respect my sons wishes and just stop these failed attempts at bonding between them.

Logic is telling me that I should let him see him, I am always very respectful about talking about his dad to him and have never bad mouthed him in front of my son.

I just don't know what to do or say anymore.

3 Comments

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Ledia - posted on 04/06/2015

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I know it's not what you want to hear, but you need to go to court.

Here's the thing. If you stop letting him see his son, and he takes you to court, it will look like you are being difficult and trying to keep him from seeing the boy. He could also accuse you of parental alienation. If you go to court first, the judge will listen to and consider your son's feelings about seeing his dad, and that will affect the visitation ruling. He'll still get to see him, but the judge will try to make it easiest on your son.

If, after you have a court order, you can document any instance in which he fails to comply--missed visitation, late arrival, etc.--and go back to court later and explain that his unreliability has a negative effect on your son's emotional well being. The result of that will depend on the judge--some think unreliable parents are just part of life to be dealt with and won't change anything, but many will try to make the plan better for your child.

Ev - posted on 04/05/2015

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In addition to what Dove has said, call some local lawyers and you can get a free one time consult over phone/in person to see what they have to say. Make sure its not just a lawyer of any kind but one whose expertise is in family law. Also, if you can not afford a lawyer call around and see if you can find legal aid in your area that can help you to find a lawyer.

Dove - posted on 04/05/2015

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Do you have a court order? If so... do whatever it says or go back to court. If you don't have a court order... you need to get a lawyer and get one. If he has proof that he is the father and you do NOT have a court order.... he can come and take your child anytime he wants and not give him back....

Your son is 9... and his feelings about his father are certainly legitimate, but it is not likely that he will legally be allowed to make the decision to not see his father. Your best bet on that is to get him in to counseling w/ a counselor willing to testify on his behalf in court.

I understand you can not afford legal fees and such... but if you do NOT have a court order... you really have no choice unless you want to risk losing your son.

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