Visitation with Dad

Amy - posted on 01/09/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 8 year old son doesn't want to go to his Dad's. His father and I have been divorced for 6 years. I am his custodial parent and his dad is non-custodial. When I asked my son why he doesn't want to go, he said that all he does is sit there and listen to his dad and stepmother fight. He has also caught his father in the act of smoking illegal drugs. His father doesn't show interest in my son's schooling or extra-curricular activities. My ex was going to sign away his legal parental rights to my son when he was just 1. I am the only reason his dad is allowed to see him at all because at that time I wanted my son to have a relationship with his father....I regret that decision now. My so has no respect for his father, I believe, it's because his father doesn't respect him. The number of times that he has lied to him and all of the broken promises. I don't know what to do anymore. It's breaking my heart to see my boy go there because he "has to". We live in the state of Florida and NEED HELP!!!!

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Amy - posted on 01/09/2014

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Thanks Jodi. You make a lot of sense and I appreciate your reply. I have tried to talk to his dad about the arguing. The major problem, however, is lack of communication with him. He doesn't have a cellphone, he has never wanted one because as he told me long ago, "I don't want anyone to know where I am all the time or what I'm doing". So......his new wife has been the one I have to go through 99.9% of the time regarding anything having to do with our son. There are important topics I must discuss including school, visitation, our son's wellbeing, etc. It's very frustrating for me because she is quite domineering and often rude. There is a court order for visitation. However, there are some clauses such as: when the child (1at the time, 8 now) turns school age, visitation can be modified. Also, the order still states that visitation with the father is to be in the grandmothers home, and if the father moves, the mother (me) has the right to inspect. My ex is now remarried and has been out of his mother's house for years. Up until a month ago, he and his then girlfriend, lived only 2 blocks from me and I had been in the house. They have had a baby since and just moved over an hour away. I have not "inspected" the new house because I'm sure its suitable, my son just doesn't want to be so far away. I feel stuck. Sorry for rambling. Just don't know where to turn , legally speaking and morally.

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2014

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Can you discuss this with his father, and maybe let dad know that his son is being affected negatively by the fighting in his house. Let him know that you don't see it as any of your business - it's their marriage - however, that your son is upset by it. Unfortunately your son is too young to make this choice himself, and if it is court ordered visitation, he has to go. Also, don't regret allowing his dad in his life - if you had chosen the other route, you would possibly have a son who ended up upset at you for not allowing him to be the one to make the decision about his dad. At least this way, he has had the opportunity to know his dad and can't blame you for not allowing that - believe me, it happens.

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