How do I tell my boys that they are not going to be able to see their dad?

Natalie Ann - posted on 01/16/2013 ( 239 moms have responded )

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He does nothing to help me, and I've been dealing with this for years. I have had it, and came to my wits end. If he is going to do nothing, you do not get the opportunity to see them. Period. What really pisses me off is that he has waaayyyyy more than enough money to help me with them, but still plays broke. Lies. If I needed $1 for a bag of chips for them, he wouldn't do it. He is keeping their clothing, shoes, and toys hostage just because he bought them. My son literally has one school uniform because the last time I allowed them over, I told him to go buy some more uniforms (he did), but sent them back with nothing. Says that if he doesn't get any tax money, he doesn't help me. So, my mind is made up. He does this same mess every year, around this time, then comes back into their lives around the summer. I refuse to keep letting him in and out of their lives. I can tell that hurts them way more than them just flat out not seeing him for long periods of time. How do I explain this to them... or do I????

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Jodi - posted on 01/16/2013

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Your children are not a commodity and they should not be available for rent. You don't have the right to withhold visitation just because he won't "do anything". Your children have a RIGHT to a relationship with both parents. You can't just decide that because he doesn't pay you anything, he is no longer your children's father.

Do you have a child support and visitation orders set up?

Shawnn - posted on 01/17/2013

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Agreeing with Dove, Jodi and Layce (as usual).

As far as what S. J. said, I'm not sure where that could happen, but every circumstance I've ever seen is that the visitation schedule is set up with times that the NCP CAN see the children. Nothing has ever been said about them not taking that time, and being punished for it. I've not seen a judge yet that will rescind parental rights just because he doesn't see the kids all 3 times a week (or whatever) that are his scheduled days.

That being said, I recommend that you stop withholding the kids from their father. Support and visitation are separate issues, and have separate orders. It is very rare, in this day and age, for a judge to order visitation withheld based on lack of support.

You are actively discouraging a relationship between your children and their father. The courts frown upon that, and tend to take total custody away from the parent who does that, and give it to the parent who's been estranged by the action of denying visitation.

The other side of the coin is that...Ok, you deny him any visits with his kids. You cut him entirely out of their lives. They grow up, search for and find their father, he tells them what a bitch you were when they were little, and BANG...your kids are so pissed at you that they can't see straight and decide that, if you decided they didn't need to know their father, now they don't want anything to do with you. You ready to live with that in another few years? It will happen. It did with my mom. She withheld visitation from my dad, claiming it was "all his fault that we didn't see him"...years later, when we got back together with him, HIS side of the story came out, and lo & behold, momma didn't look like such a "protector" then, when we found out that she'd lie to him about what we had planned in order to discourage him visiting.

Go to court. Get a court order for support. And let your kids know their dad. It's the only decent, adult thing to do.

Dove - posted on 01/17/2013

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I agree with Jodi (quite often).

Child support and custody/visitation are completely different things. You don't tell your kids that they won't be able to see their dad anymore because keeping them from him over money is just as bad (actually, worse) as what he is doing to you.

I'm assuming none of this has gone to court? Because if it had, you would not legally be able to keep the kids away from their father over it... You would actually risk losing custody of them by withholding visitations....

Astarre - posted on 01/18/2013

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I would not tell them, children have no concept of money and should not deal with adult issues. Can you get court ordered child support? Sometimes what we think and how we feel gets conflicted with the law. Also, speaking from experience, you should never talk negatively speak of a child's parent in their presence. It is never acceptable. Children will not agree with you and they will turn more to the crucified parent. Not to mention that eventually they will figure it out all by themselves. In the meantime walking around mad about his attitude always ruins your day and gets you no where. You need to adopt an 'I got this" attitude. Do whatever you can, the best you can, and forget that he even exists when it comes to finances. The battle over money, unless fought in a court of law, is all futile. Once you stop asking for stuff and he she's the kids have everything they need without him he will be the one mad.

Lacye - posted on 01/17/2013

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To add on to something Dove said, if you don't have a custody order or visitation order with the father, and you still keep the children from him, you could still lose custody of the kids because you are being uncooperative.

You need to keep in mind that these children are not just yours, they are his kids too. Yeah it's pretty shitty of him to not help, but it's shitty of you to act like you own these kids by keeping them from their dad.

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Natalie Ann - posted on 01/23/2013

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I see a lot of you like the word PAWN. Well, I refuse to keep listening to this crap about me being a "bad parent" and such. Here I am thinking that this site is suppose to be an encouraging and positive site for moms, and all you guys do is bash. I'm getting outta here. O yea, by the way, I have had a change of heart about the whole situation at hand and have decided to ignore his ignorance and let my kids find out for themselves. By them being ages 4 and 7, right now, in their eyes he can do no wrong, and thats understandable. I will continue to allow him to see my boys, but I have taken the necessary legal action to ensure that he WILL do so, or he will have consequences. So, THANK YOU to all the moms that have been a POSITIVE light on this post. I didn't know that so many people had so many bad things to say about a mother that was confused; all I wanted was some opinions and suggestions on what I should do, and instead I get bashed???? I'm highly upset, but like this post, I will get over it. Good day.

Abiti Ndalama - posted on 01/23/2013

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cant agree more even me i wld mind my businees and support my kids and not force anyone to help me

Star - posted on 01/23/2013

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if hes doing that talk to the police or a judge about getting full custody with no visitation due to no money coming in to pay child support. If I were you I would talk to them when their old enough like 13 or so

Jodi - posted on 01/23/2013

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Honestly, Toni, do you really think that HELPS? There are women here, like myself, who knew their husbands for 10 years before having children and then split after that. People change. Get over yourself. Your comments are not helpful, they are insulting. I sure hope you never wobble off your pedestal because your partner turns out to be less than perfect. You just never know.....

Toni - posted on 01/23/2013

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Trust me, I know what I am talking about. You admit that you had not one, but two children with someone that you never really knew. Did you prepare yourself, before marriage and parenthood, for supporting yourself and whatever kids you might choose to have, by obtaining education and job training? Did you give yourself enough time to grow up yourself before marriage? He was everything you "dreamed of." That's not a marriage partner; that's a figment of the imagination. You aren't alone; there are lots and lots of folks like you out there, who make bad decisions -- yes, they PICK the wrong people -- and then want others to feel sorry for them. I'm sorry if this is the kind of tough love you're not used to. But it's a lesson many, many people should learn.

Rustic - posted on 01/23/2013

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I have 2 sons who grew up without their father. Quite honestly, I would think they are better with their father, in any way they can see him (if he's not abusive to them of course otherwise). I agree with Jodi, and the others. He may be a pain in the butt, but he's their father and they need him more so emotionally than for any other reason you think is 'unfair'. I don't think you have the right to deny them that. I didn't get a penny of child support either, but I wish my sons knew their dad, even just a little bit, and I know they to this day feel it. You have to 'suck it up' as they say, be thankful for whatever he does. Be thankful you have them too..their well-being is dependent on your Love, not a bag of chips. Keep it comforting and happy for them in the meantime. In other words, you have to put them first above anything else you think is 'unfair'. Your 'anger' is what affects them too. Don't do that to them.

Tee - posted on 01/23/2013

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I have been there. I was able to simply move away. I had to for a job. But it is not always that easy and I didn't have that option when my older children were younger. Go to court try to have the order enforced. But child support and custody are separate issues. Never discourage your children from loving their dad. Take the time that they are with him for you. Learn to love yourself more and you will be less angry with him. He is a deadbeat and you are better than that. I look at it like this on judgement day I have to answer to God on how I parented my children. So I have to do the best I can. As long as the kids are safe with him don't hender the relationship. Go to the show, go shopping take a walk or a long bubble bath you owe yourself that time. And when you see him just smile and ask the kids if they had a good time. And say to him I know I did. Some dad's are deadbeats and do drop ins guess what kids figure it out and soon they will be busy with their own lives and he will live in regret. You don't want any regret live your best life be the best parent you can.

Crystal - posted on 01/23/2013

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Patricia, you're so right!

Children have a way of always finding fault in themselves! So it's never beneficial to bad mouth a parent to them.

Patricia - posted on 01/23/2013

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Your children will figure this out on their own. If you keep them from their father, YOU'RE the problem in their eyes I have been in your shoes and it was a nightmare. It will probably get worse before it gets better, but I promise, if you will be the better person and do everything you can, when they are grown, they will realize the truth. Until then, expect nothing and you won't be disappointed. Also, if at all possible, document everything (date, time, place, problem, his response). If you have any chance to go to court over child support payments, this will one day be invaluable to you.

Please remember, if you trash their father, you are trashing 50% of who your children are. If they ask where he is, be as honest as you can without lynching him, "I'm not really sure Honey. Are you missing him? Would you like to call him and leave a message?" If you tell them negative things ("he never helps," "he only shows up during the summer," etc), they will read into it that they're father doesn't love them. Children need to grow up believing EVERYONE loves them, that they deserve to be love, that they are worthy of love.

Take the high road because you are their mother and mothers sacrifice EVERYTHING for their kids. Hang in there, it will all be worth it in the end. My horror story ended happily ever after, yours will too.

Loretta - posted on 01/23/2013

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Amen Crystal MacDougall calling her the B word was not nice didn't read her comment but I agree with you. I pray that she finds a solution before it gets out of hand like someone said these kids are not stupid they see what going on and knows what their dad is doing to her trust me they will get older and they will either act out to get back at you for not letting them see their dad. I know I maybe wayyyyyyy off base on this but don't make your kids choose between you and their dad it not good for you or them. My daughter and her dad which I was not married to did the samething he was doing I never told her she could not see him or told him he could not see him. My daughter got older and found out what her dad was really like and she made the choice not to visit him and he took me to court and the judge ask him and me could he talk to my daughter and I said yes the first thing he ask her was did you want to visit with your dad and why. These were her words she I watch my mom struggle and try to do the things both parents should do and my first vist with him was talking about how my mom was not a good mother the second thing she says was I would not have the things I have now if my mom had not work her but off for me to get them she say as a dad you should have wanted more for me when I needed things for school you told my mom and me that this is what your mom is for. at that time my daughter was 12 yrs old the judge made him pay child support and told him this young lady do not have to visit you if she don't want to. my daugther is now 39 yrs old and they still don't have a realationship. Tje choice is your and what ever you decide you will have to live with it. I will keep you and your Sons in prayer God Bless

Bev - posted on 01/23/2013

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The thing is, your kids have rights and that is the right to see both parents as long as they are not in danger (even then but with supervision). If you have court orders you do not have the legal right to do this as visitation as nothing to do with financial support. You do also not want to be the one blamed when your boys are older for not allowing them to have a relationship - you are not responsible for his behavior but you are for your own....funny I read this to my 20 year old son - his father was violent and had his rights terminated and died in 2006 - but my son repeated his knowledge that I would have let him see if had he changed as he and his sister have rights....they never knew him and my son knows that was his father's choices never mine....get rid of your anger and remember you chose this man to father these boys, so remember you once loved him and make it the best you can for your boys....not easy but well worth it...

Crystal - posted on 01/23/2013

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Holly calling her a bitch is crossing the line. You should check yourself or risk coming off as a bitch yourself. She's obviously frustrated and looking at this the wrong way, we're here to help and perhaps enlighten her, give her some other points of view, not BERATE her.

Natalie, I agree with most of what the PP's have had to say. You need to follow through legally if you want something to change with the child support situation. But you cannot just keep the boys from seeing their father.

In the end of days a healthy and happy relationship with their father will far outweigh anything you can buy with money. It would likely damage them both to keep them from him, and using children as a means to money (whether deserving or not) is not taking the higher road. Children have no place in adult matters. They were not brought into this world with jobs, they should not be treated like pawns.

If he's a deadbeat, so be it, but he may still be an awesome father regardless of how little he offers financially.

E- keep in mind, kids aren't stupid. And as they get older they'll see (if it continues) how little their father has done to help them. And he'll be in their judgement then. They may shrug it off, or they may have less or little to no respect for him. So it's his choice and at the end of the day, his kids will decide what they think of who their father is.

Tracy - posted on 01/23/2013

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Remember that your kids are going to grow up and be young men sooner than you think. Let him keep doing what he's doing while you be the grown up. Not sure how old your boys are but explain as much as they will understand about their Dad without being mean. They will resent you if you say bad things about their Dad. If you "play nice" then when they are grown they will be smart enough to see their Dad for what he really is. I went through this with my son, who is now 25. It got to the point with my ex that I started making him get on the phone himself to tell my son he wasn't coming. My son will now say he loves his Dad, because he's his Dad, but he has no respect for him and hasn't seen him for years. I would also take your husband for an increase in Child Support. I would think if uniforms are required for school you could include their costs in the money he has to pay. And even if he doesn't pay now, the support doesn't go away until it is paid in full. I still receive support because the arrears were so large. Paid my son's college loans off with it!!! Hang in there - but please don't deny your son's from seeing their Dad. They will think of you as the bad guy. Give him enough rope and he'll hang himself, you won't have to do a thing!!!

Louise - posted on 01/23/2013

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I have the same problem wiv my eldest he will be six on sunday en he doesn't see his biological dad but I hav tried to get him to see him my son is six but I told him I sat him down told him he was special en tht his step dad has always been there and will always be there but I couldn't tell him y his proper dad doesn't see him we live in the same village but it doesn't seem to bother him it does hurt it me wen I watched him tryin to make a relationship then his bilogical dad would just walk out en it would be weeks months even years b 4 he would see him again my son has stopped askin iv told him wen he's ready ill take him to see him I just hope tht wen he is ready I hope he's not expectin answers x

Melissa - posted on 01/23/2013

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My mom left me and my siblings as a kid I was the oldest at 7 and my brother was only 2. I chose not to see her any more cuz of the hurt she caused me from coming in and out of my life but my siblings continue to see her and to this day I am now 23 I still dont have contact with her and dont plan on it.

She never gave my dad support and he contiued to tell us we should see our mother and never talked bad about her and I think for him thats the best thing he could have done cuz he didnt want us getting mad at him for bad talking or stopping us from seeing her although I chose not to see her or have anything to do with her.

He never forced us to go or no to go visit her he let that be our choice.

Karen - posted on 01/23/2013

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The first few posters are missing the point. She is mad at the lack of financial support but wants to withhold visitation because this Dad consistently drops out of their lives for long periods. Natalie as hurtful as it is for them and you to watch it is sadly what it is, real life. Not all relationships are perfect, or people. My dad and mom were divorced when I was 3. From then on he took me somewhere fun every Sunday until one day he told me he had a new girlfriend and wouldn't have time to see me anymore, I was 6. He didn't come back, dumped by the girlfriend for almost a year. My poor mom watched her 6 yr old get up every Sunday morning and wait in the window with all her stuff not believing he wasn't coming, every Sunday for 11 months. When he came back my mom wanted to tell him to go to hell. But she didn't, I still think what he did was horrific, but he's still my dad. And that happening, him being my dad and not some other guy was just my path to walk. Kids love their parents, even the crappy ones and as much as it hurts you have to let them deal with him and don't interfere. You don't want to end up the bad guy! If he's that bad they will cut him out as they get older themselves. I feel for you, we would do anything to protect our kids from hurt but we can't always.

Sue - posted on 01/23/2013

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Unfortunately you may not be able to keep them from him. I was told visitation has nothing to do with their support or lack of it. Even though there is established visitation set up, they can get away without seeing them unless their "in the mood". Only a lawyer can advise you but having now grown up children, I think they know who really cares. An older sister told me years ago to never say anything about my children's father. When they asked me questions such as" where is he" "Dies he know it's my birthday". I answered honestly but didn't make any excuses for him or no complaints. Later on life, they didn't need him. His loss. I would check legal before saying what will happen. My opinion.

Reina - posted on 01/23/2013

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Natalie you can't keep your son from his father. Period. The sad truth about raising a child in a broken home is that conflict that used to involve your relationship has transferred to issues concerning the child between you and your ex. The both of you have stuff you didn't resolve in the relationship and it's affecting how you deal with your ex. Those issues may never get resolved. He may continue to use your kids as a weapon in this fight. But that doesn't mean you have to stoop down to his level. Someone has to put the boy first. His needs and his feelings are what is most important. Your son has a right to know his father and see him on a regular basis, so long as he is not a threat to them. If he's a cheap jerk, he will pick up on it someday. If you keep him away, you will become a jerk as well and your son will pick up on that right away.

I grew up in a home with this kind of conflict. It's ugly and it does long term damage to the kids. I can honestly tell you I'm not close to either of my parents and I have no desire to get closer to them. My sister is an emotional wreck and I worry about how she will get through life with all the anger and resentment she carries from these back and forth conflicts of her youth. I grew up feeling like a loser because my parents had little redeeming qualities in my eyes, because they were always fighting each other and using me as a pawn.

I beg you to reconsider your decision for the sake of your son. Get some therapy and try to resolve you parenting issues with you ex through mediation. Be the grown up and don't fight back, just resolve this conflict.

Loretta - posted on 01/23/2013

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What you are doing is no better the what he is doing to you. Have you ever thought this is what he wants you to do is keep him from seeing his kids and you go to court and he ends up getting full custody and you will not be able to see your kids. God has given you two the chance to be parents act like it. Money should not be a factor here unless this is all you think about is money these are your kids. What ever his reason is trust me God will handle him you go on and continue to let your kids see their father because when they get older they will see the real him and you best to belive that theywill tell him. Don't used your kids as a pond about what he is not doing for you keep your head up and leave him to God. Pray on it and leave it to him God has already work this out and you don't even see it because you want to keep him from seeing his kids. Sit down Be Still and listen God is trying to tell you something don't let angry thoughts cloud your judgement. I will keep you in prayer and remember God Has His Hands On You don't shake His Hands off. Get on your knees an pray for help. As long as you have God on your side he can't touch you. Continue to do what you have been doing for your kids and let them know how much you love them no matter what their father does or say about you to them let them know you love them. it is a lot more to being a Father he has to make a lot of sacrifices a child can call anyone dad but it takes a hell of man to be a father and the same for a mother. Put God first and do what is best for your children don't let money be the real reason you are doing this. I can see if he was abusing the kids for to stop him from seeing them if you feel this what you need to do get a court order and tell the judge why you don't the kids to see their father but not because of MONEY IT DON'T BUY LOVE AND DON'T MAKE YOU HAPPY. I am going to pray for you and your kids and I going to pray for him to. Both you needs prayer.

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2013

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Natalie, If it were me,... I'd take him back to court!!! There is a responsibility here for him to pay half the support for HIS children !!! I do not presume to place blame anywhere but, being rational it would be only fair to have him pay half of the expences for his offspring!? And if you are seeing a change in your children when he doesn't get them when he says, than by all means keep them from the pain of this" YOYO DAD" Syndrome( only when it's good for him)! Good Luck in your findings!!

Aylin - posted on 01/23/2013

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If your not going to let him see the kids because of money then its the wrong reason. If he is abusive, physically, emotionally or otherwise to you or the children, if he abuses drugs or alchohol in front of the children, or engages in any dangerous behavior then those are valid reasons to protect your children and keep him away. Every state has child support guidlines. Every state! Go to family court, petition for support and have the judge hash it out. If he if is evading tax, and you have evidence or confession (on tape) then you have leverage. But he can't hide his income so if he has it the courts will pass judgement and if he still doesn't pay every state has enforcement laws, garnishing his wages directly and if that is not enough, warrant for his arrest. they only way he can avoid either is by fleeing the country and if he ever steps foot back into the country, he gets arrested. don't use money as a reason to be petty. I've had to face similar issues but my decision to cut him off was because of all of the abuse and drugs. Now he is back and all visits are supervised.

Loree - posted on 01/23/2013

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I agree with Jodi get support orders he will be able to use that for taxes. But if u keep ur boys from their dad u become the bad parent. They will see their for who he is in their own eyes trust me from personal experience.

Maggie - posted on 01/23/2013

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Get rid of the anger and stop taking it out on your kids. They did not ask for this divorce and YOU are only hurting them. They know what their dad is doing. Make the best of it. My ex did the same with me. My kids knew and now they respect me for making the best of what we had

Jenny - posted on 01/23/2013

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You do no such thing. You do that and you're just using those boys as pawns in a revenge game. Ask him to surrender his rights if he doesn't want to help you. Or go to court. You keep those boys away from their father and it could back and hurt you as they get older. These boys don't need to "see" or make their own opinions" about any of this. Their kids. Ya'll are the adults this is your problem to figure out. Those boys didn't choose him as their father, you did and suck as he may he's still their father. And yes i know exactly what I'm talking about. I was once in your kids situation.

Amanda - posted on 01/23/2013

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For the kids sake, I would not do that. Im in a pretty similar situation as you except its their biological mother. It will hurt the kids in the long run by with holding them from seeing him.(I dont know how old your children are) But in a childs eyes..mother and father do no wrong and they love you both no matter what situations they have been put through. The kids shouldnt even know anything about child support or any of those other adult issues. When they grow up and can make their own decisions about it, than they can decide if they want him in their life or not. Another thing..some court systems can set it up to where if he doesnt pay, he doesnt get visitation rights. Im not sure where you live but you can always look into that. Goodluck! I know how hard it is to see your children get let down so much but in the end everything will be okay.

Claire - posted on 01/23/2013

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My dad was the same way. After many times waiting by the window for him to show up when he said he would only to be disappointed my Mom put a stop to that. My brother and I were too young so she told him to call when he was in front of the house or forget it. We did not know until we were much older. He was too buzy with his new family and building their new house. Mom never said anything bad about him to us just tryed to provide for us the best she could. we had a very happy child hood.
Once my dad got older he wanted to be in our lives. My brother and I were in our 40's when he started calling saying he was a foolish young man and was sorry. I forgave him but my brother had a really hard time with him. It is a sad thing for kids to go thru but I believe it made us stronger people. My husband and I have been happy and raised two kids of our own. I knew what to look for in a man.
Protect your boys the best you can. I would not say anything bad about their dad. They still love him even if he is a jerk. Once they are older they wil see what is going on and make their own decisions about him. best of luck!

Leslie - posted on 01/23/2013

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Don't say a word. Your children are smart and see how the x behaves.
If they ask about visits, remind them that visits are when the dad wants them and is nt up to you.
As for support, check your decree. Then get a copy of your states minimum guidelines. Document (in a hand written journal) every conversation, print out any email, save texts and talk to a lawyer.
It sucks, I know, but if you can get through each day without saying anything negative about the x to your kids, you win.
Let him be the bad guy.

Vicki - posted on 01/23/2013

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how old are your kids? are they old enough to understand the fact?
no matter what, i'm sure they do love you and can feel that you are happy or not.
how you deal with your husband is one issue, and how you deal with your kids is another one. if i were you, i will choose to be honest with them about my own feelings, that you are feeling bad that their dad is coming in and out of their lives and hurting them.
and then it's their choice to choose seeing their dad or not. they may or may not feel the same as you do... of course, it also depends if your kids are old enough to choose...
if the kids like to see their dad while thinking you are stopping them to do so, it's not healthy to them and the relationship between you and the kids...
all those financial problems are adults' problem, not theirs...
hope you find your way out real soon!!

Shaunte - posted on 01/23/2013

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I also think you should leave your children out of this. It will not make you look better or you feel better in the long run. At some point they will ask him independently why he wasn't there and HE will have to answer. You just keep being the good mother that you can be, go to court and get an order of support and don't deal with him unless you have to.

Anisha - posted on 01/23/2013

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Ive gone through this. Have your kids make him feel guilty by mentioning or asking him why they cant bring anything home or telling him its wrong. When a man hears their wrongs from their children they change.

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2013

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We don't fully understand the scope of your situation but it sounds like you need to do proper filing with the court so you can remove yourself a bit from this and let the court handle it. Child support and visitation are 2 separate and distinct issues and you can't take away one because of the other.

Rachel - posted on 01/23/2013

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Regardless of what he does or does not do to support you, he is still their dad. You can never change that. It is sad that he chooses to do this however from a legal standpoint, you cannot keep him from your children without a court order. Depending on the state you are from (check with your lawyer about these legalities) but some court systems will say that failure to pay support does NOT mean they cannot have contact. In most cases even if you cannot, or do not pay they still will not take away your right to see the child. It takes much more than that. Also, (again depending on your state) there are only two ways you can terminate another parents legal rights. 1. No contact and not financial support for 2 consecutive years so basicly if they do not pay, but still have contact, or pay but do not have contact, you cannot terminate the rights. 2. you must prove neglect, abuse, or substinace abuse. And even in some of those drug related cases, depending on the judge they may not revoke the visitation, they may just issue an order of supervised visits. This does not mean supervised by you, it means supervised by a court employee, child thereapist. You would not get to choose. My advice is take him to court every time he does not pay, his wages CAN be garnished. But he is still their dad so no matter how badly you are fed up with it, you would be much better off to try and get along. Court can get very ugly and it does nothing more than damage the child, causing hurt, anger, confusion, and regardless of how you feel, it is not about you, it is about your child.

Delores - posted on 01/23/2013

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Natalie I do understand how you feel because I have had my brothers two kids since they were one and two and are now 7 and 9. He use to be the same way right up until last year, treated me like a baby mama, so I do understand. My only question is this, are you willing to have your kids mad at you as a end result? Kids don't really care about the financial part all they want is their daddy. You can explain to them about the money but at the end of it all they only gonna care about dad. Just keep praying and the rest will work itself out. As the kids get older they will see and know that YOU were the one doing everything.

Eliza - posted on 01/23/2013

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Natalie, I was in the same situation you are. My boys are now 23 and 21. Their father and I separated when they were 3 and 5. He told me then that he will not help me support them. Instead of focusing my feelings towards his ignorance I focused on making sure I will be able to provide for by boys on my own. I worked hard to ensure that. Years later the resentment kicked in and so did my pride. I said to myself, if he's providing for them, they will not continue to carry his last name. I hired a lawyer and started the proceeding to change their last name to mine and get full custody with no visitation. Not that he's around anyway. In the process, my lawyer found out that he was not providing the kids child support. She insisted that we go after him for that. Because of pride, I replied with 'I don't need his money!' She explained to me that the support is not for me, it's for my boys. Not that I wasn't providing for them, but I am not giving them the fullest they can get if I let him off the hook. Same way that you are feeling, I want them not to see their Dad anymore. It is because he would promise to do something with them and most times never come. I didn't like seeing them disappointed. But I realized that he needs to be part of their life. Good or bad, that is their father. I decided I will not be the one to put resentment in their hearts. I don't want to be responsible for that. He continued to do what he does, gave me the minimum support for the kids, which I used for lessons. He came to see them when it's convenient for him. My kids saw all that. I did not have to say anything about it. They continue to see their Dad on their own. They both accepted the way their Dad is. Both are grew to be respectful adults. Their Dad was an example of someone they have accepted but would never want to be like when they grew up. Focus on loving your kids and providing the best you can for them. It will benefit you to accept and let go of any feelings you have for him. You will be happier if you stop comparing what you are providing your kids with what he's doing for them. I'm sure he does it to irritate you.

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2013

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I understand completely! I've been there but try try try to separate your feelings and let them see their dad. When their older they will make up their own minds about it. If you keep them from him they may later blame and resent YOU not HIM. It does terrible emotional damage when we allow our children to become involved in our hostility towards the other parent. Take him to court for child support and only say nice things about him to ur children or nothing at all. I've been the child in this situation and the parent so I have a unique ..or maybe not so unique..perspective on this. Trust me ur kids well be happier, healthier and more well rounded if u let them see u both without putting them I the middle. We can't or shouldn't use our Children as pawns to punish no matter how horrible the other parent may be to you. PleSse don't take offense at my candor as it is very well meaning and heartfelt. Trust me when I say keeping them from their father is the worst thing u could do to them. They will suffer even more than he will. Good luck!!

Hailey - posted on 01/23/2013

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You don't have the right to withhold access to the children from him regardless of whether he helps or not. The kids have the right to see their father.
Yes it hurts kids when they don't see one or both parents for a long time, it hurts them more when their parents cannot get along.
It sounds like you (the parents) need to work out a child support and shared parenting arrangement.
Children are not pawns and its wrong on so many levels to use them as such.

[deleted account]

Natalie....what a difficult situation. There is one piece of advice I'd like to give you (from experience). If you "withhold" your children's father from them they will blame you and resent you for everything bad in the end. It's natural instinct to defend your parents and if someone else (even the other parent) is bad-mouthing them or keeping them from seeing their parent, they will remain defensive of that parent, regardless of that parent's behavior. However, if you allow them to have a relationship with him regardless of his behavior (asuming he's not abusing them), or whether he "deserves" to seem the children, they will see his true colors for themselves. Kids are WAY smarter than we give them credit for. Trust me. Take the high road with this and remember that, even if he's a complete d-bag, he's still their father and that's an extremely important relationship for them if they're going to grow up to be "whole" human beings. Maybe he doesn't deserve to see them, but they deserve to see him. Peace.

Jen - posted on 01/23/2013

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I think its wrong to keep a child from their other parent, they have a right to know him and they could grow up to resent you for not allowing them to see their dad no matter what is happening. My dad didn't pay child support and stuff but my mother said it was not right of her to keep us from him. The courts are there go to them get a custody aggrement and child support..also where I am from if there is no custody aggrement and he has the kids he doesn't have to give them back..my dad took us one and refused to give us back my mom called the cops and they asked for the custody aggrement and since there wasn't one there was nothing they could do...if he has clothes at his place for them to wear then just send them in the clothes they have on..it could do your kids more harm then good by holding them from him..would you want to be kept from your dad? I am so thankful mmy mom did keep us from ours no matter how much she hated him or how little he helped..its not youur place to keep them from their dad or put their dad down infront of them, I to this day will yell at my mom when shhe puts mine down because I don't need to hear it.

Arianne - posted on 01/23/2013

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He is their father whether he provides financial support or not. I have had the same issue with the father of my children and they have, over time, seen the things he has done and have formed their own opinions about him. You cutting them off, no matter the reason, is on you. All they will see is that YOU won't let them see him. And bad mouthing him around your kids is not cool either. No matter what they see him as dad and when you have negative things to say it makes them feel torn and guilty because they love him. Let them form their own opinions. Yes, it's hard but in the long run it will bring you all closer together.

Janice - posted on 01/23/2013

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Two wrongs don't make it right. If you withhold visitation in the long run the boys will be mad at you. Instead calm down and quietly take j to court. Let h prove to the court what his true financial situation is and increase the court ordered child support. The down side is maybe he doesn't have the money. You want know unless you take him to court.

Sarah - posted on 01/23/2013

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Hi Natalie. My cousin had the same problem with the father of her child. He would call and say he was coming to pick the child up and she would get all excited about seeing her Dad and he just wouldn't show up. Unfortunately, my cousin had to sit through the crying and the heartbreak over it. Her daughter eventually made her own decision and began to not be concerned about her own father! He too claimed he was broke and couldn't give my cousin what she needed for their child. She didn't degrade the father in front of her daughter. She stuck through it and her and her daughter have a great relationship! My mother went through the same exact situation as you with my Dad. I saw my Mom struggle, working two jobs, raising 5 girls and I respect her for all the years of hard work she put into making me and my sisters great women! I would do anything for my Mom (and my Dad too, he's still my Dad after all)!

Patricia - posted on 01/23/2013

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What I have found through expierience of simalar behaviours was to stand back emotionaly and alllow my son to make his own mind up.After twelve legally they can choose to see thier other parent.For hours I would get cross and this was not at all good for me all my anger went inwards now I deal with it better.Your ex is trying to control things in your life if you stand back he cant do that.
You dont say what age they are my son is now eighteen and has recently confrounted his father over his lack of consistancey.I have encouraged him to discuss things with his father and it has been at times painful for my son when he was let down yet again.Realisticly I recognised this was his relationship with his father not mine and I could not and would not interfere .This way his father could not make me feel powerless .
His father still doesn,t pay what is owed to me and I will probably never get it.I hope this helps its not easy traveling this route but eventualy you will get there we are stronger than we think.
Pat

Lynese - posted on 01/23/2013

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dont use your children as pawns or run down your ex partner in front of your children all that it will acheave in the long run is to bite you

Natalie Ann - posted on 01/23/2013

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Toni----

How is it possible to "pick better men" when you really never know a person?? When I met this man, he was everything I dreamed of. And of course, when we got married, all of realness came out. NEGATIVE!! Now, I am doing my absoulte best to raise my children to be mannerable, respectful, and distinguished young men. So please, please know what you are talking about before you comment. Next....

Cleopatra - posted on 01/23/2013

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Well the first thing you need to is. To make the kids get their support money from him and you don't event have to talk to him to do that and it come in your bank account, then if the boy are old enough tell them it up to dad to do his bit by them, but under no circumstances you should stop him seeing them the kids needs what both parent have to offer even when one is acting up or slag him of he is their dad and they will not forgive you for that later on in life and you want your boys to become good dads one day.i have done the same and I know he slag me off, but the beauty of it all the kids see him as the loser and I am mommy dearest . And all he say now is why the kids hate him that much, and all I say is pay them some more attention and maybe it would not be so bad and seem alright for now.

Natalie Ann - posted on 01/22/2013

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I am tired of ppl saying Im using my boys as pawns. I am not at all doing that. I am simply trying to protect my kids hearts and feelings. Period. Everyone is entitled to thier own opinion, but I am a damn good mom and will protect them at any and all costs.

Muyanje - posted on 01/22/2013

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I am going through the exact thing but I still let him see the children. If he doesn't want to help me raise him I don't care anymore I provide all their requirements and the reward I get from my boys is priceless, the kisses, the giggles. The more you keep the kids away from him the more he will be reluctant to help, but give him visitation and you will see him begin to help out more.

Monica - posted on 01/22/2013

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Natalie, I do not know what to tell coz I'm in the same situation. The unfortunate thing is that the Children's Act and constitutionally, he has a right to see his children. When I learnt that I was sooo pissed, because he has not been providing for anything. My arguement is, if he wants to see his children, he should at least contribute to the children's well being. Have you been to court? The danger of the disagreements between the parents is that the children are caught in between and the effects are devasting. My advice would be to see if he can contribute towards the welfare of the children. Monica

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