Should I let my 3 year old stay at my ex's?

Ashley - posted on 01/11/2013 ( 35 moms have responded )

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Ok, I really need to know if I am wrong in what I am doing or not? My son's father was extremely abusive to me- physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. I finally walked away from the relationship and moved in with my parents until I got back on my feet. His dad now gives me what he can for money. I have never denied him access to see his son and his son knows who he is. He would show up and ask to see him when it was convenient for him and keep him for an hour if that. Now my ex wants to take him overnight. Here is the problem. My ex also lives with his family. I know there is drugs and alcohol in that house. Every one of them has a criminal record and his sister is currently on probation for assault. I told my ex I have no problem with him seeing his son, but I don't want my 3 year old in that type of environment. He screams at me everyday that he is paying for a child he doesn't see. I told him I'm not denying him complete access, but I want my son in a stable environment. I am currently waiting for my lawyer to finish filing paperwork to grant me primary custody. Am I wrong in trying to protect my child?

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Dove - posted on 01/11/2013

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If you don't have a court order forcing you to allow visitation in that environment (and I'd have my lawyer fighting against any order that did allow it)... I would not. You are right to allow visitation, but there is no way I would willingly put my child in that environment. Make sure your lawyer has/gets a copy of the criminal records of every member of that household.

Kristi - posted on 01/12/2013

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That's a big hell no from me! Been there, tried that...my daughter and I have paid dearly for it. That was my answer before I saw the part about the wretched environment your son would be exposed to. Supervised visits only, imo. Just for his information...child support and visitation are two completely seperate issues as far as the courts are concerned. Document everything. Your son's safety is your number one priority. Go with your gut, if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Don't worry about how "it looks" ie: vindictive. I was all about a child needs both parents, he won't hurt her, I can't take my anger for him out her by keeping her away from her dad...I was only kidding myself.

If he was all kinds of abusive to you, it is just a matter of time before he is abusive to your son and in the meantime, be prepared for him to use your son to manipulate and control you again. I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom but my exhusband and his cohorts sound a lot like your ex and his family. My daughter was about 3 when I finally got it together enough to get out...it took us 8 more years to get away. Good luck to you and your son. I hope everything falls into place in the best interests of your son.

Autumn - posted on 01/12/2013

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He may be his biological father, but you are a true parent. You take care of him everyday and put his best interest first. If your ex is not able to offer a safe stable environment then he can't keep your son overnight. You don't owe him anything!!! But you do owe it to your son to keep him safe, and teach him that his father's behavior is not normal or acceptable. At 3 your son is old enough to know right from wrong. And if your ex lives with his family, you would be sending your son to be raised in the same environment that caused your ex to grow up to be an abusive person. The fact that you left and are raising your son alone... YOU ARE A STRONG, AMAZING, INDEPENDENT,SMART, WOMAN!!!!!!!! Trust your instincts, your a great mom!

Patricia Ann - posted on 01/12/2013

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everyone on here is sooooooooo right ,you keep protecting your son he has to pay anyway so junk that statement,he made , he can see the child when he is in your precence,until the lawyer does his thing,.....

Theresa - posted on 01/12/2013

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No way would I be letting any child go near there, son or not. You have been through enough and now you have the job of protecting your son and I'm sorry, but father/relatives or not, no child needs to be in that type of environment. They obviously all have problems and who knows what would happen to your son. He may be paying for a child he doesn't see but then he has to look at WHY he's not seeing him. If he had any clue on parenting he'd know his son shouldn't be around that and would be trying to clean up his life. I'd be wanting to know why all of a sudden he wants him overnight when he has hardly spent any time with him in day visits? It does sound a bit suspicious if you ask me. Listen to your instincts and don't let him go, you might not get him back...Just my opinion : ) Good luck!

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Diane - posted on 01/16/2013

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You will have an uphill battle here. Have you waited a certain amount of time before filing for physical custody? Because unless you can prove, with court evidence, what you are saying about his family, he will have rights given to him from the court, perhaps even joint custody. However this plays out in court, you'll have to live with. Even with primary custody, he would have visitation rights that would include weekends and holidays. With his temper and background, I would ask the court for a mediator, to work between the two of you, and come up with a more workable solution. Why did you wait so long to go to court? His wages should be garnered, and you shouldn't be worrying about what he can or cannot give you. A judge may very well look at the criminal records of those living in the house, and tell him to get his own place. Your lawyer should get copies of those records as well. Once the judge sees this, it may be much easier.

BJ - posted on 01/16/2013

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Tell him if he wants to have him overnight he will have to have his own place or rent a motel room for the night. There are ways he can spend time with his son if he really wants to. And no I don't think you are wrong in not letting him take his son to a place that no child should be in. If he truly wants to see him, he will find a way. Otherwise I would tell him you need a 24 hour notice to set up a day visitation for him. Good luck!

Natalie - posted on 01/16/2013

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I think the balance here is about offering alternatives...instead of telling him no tell him I worry about drinking and stuff so could we do you and our son staying at a nearby hotel or with a neutral person one nite a month and see how that goes? If its really about your son think how happy he would be as an adult to know you guys tried to work things out with is happiness and safety in mind. Me personally would pay the 50-80 dollars just to not fight and know my child was in a safe place.

Robin - posted on 01/15/2013

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That is why I do not go after child support then the bad dads get to see the kids. get a court order court supervised visitation.

Christy - posted on 01/15/2013

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No I wouldn't do it ... Can't really trust nothing to happen to him but your def right to protect him no offense to the father maybe if he changed got help lived on his own you'd feel a bit safer with ur son around him but def no overnight stays

Angie - posted on 01/15/2013

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Not at all this could affect your son in the long run. Keep him away from his dad till the paperwork is done being filed. I woul'dnt even answer his phone calls call the police if he keeps bothering u!
Get a restraining order against him he will have to stay away then.

Chynell - posted on 01/15/2013

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i believe you know exactly what to do and you are doing it and that is everything in your power to protect your child, its your duty as his mother to protect him, its his father's duty too and you should let him know that if he doesn't already know. btw he isn't paying for a child that he doesn't see, he's paying for a child that is his, it's his responsibility despite the situation. he's not paying to see the child

User - posted on 01/15/2013

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You're doing the right thing legally. As for feeling certain about your decision, picture this: your 3-year old son is at your ex's home surrounded by people who have a proven track record of physically assaulting others, screaming at others, etc. Your child, behaving normally for a 3yr old has a tantrum about something, or refuses to do as he is told or in someway misbehaves (as children of that age do) or refuses to sleep at night, or somehow needs more care than just sitting quietly in the corner the whole time - maybe wets the bed even. How do you think those "adults" will react? How will those people with very short tempers and even less self-control, who have criminal records, how will they react to that child? Personally, I think that is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Terry - posted on 01/15/2013

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No, you are doing the right thing. When you get to court make sure that you lawyer stresses the environment that the child would be in if the father was to get overnight visitation. I am hoping that you have a very good lawyer and that he is filing for limited visitation on the basis that your ex is abusive and the family history. I don't know what your state laws on custody are but if it is possible go after sole custody. I have had a lot of experience with child custody battles.

Jennifer - posted on 01/15/2013

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No visitation without court-appointed supervision. No way no how. If he wants to see the child he "pays" for, he can go to court and prove that he is providing a stable environment.

Amber - posted on 01/15/2013

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Heck No! You are not wrong, you are a mother and your job is to protect your child even if it is from his own father and his bad choices.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/14/2013

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NO !!!!!!!!!!! How could you be wrong ! You need to let your lawyer know every detail of what he is/has doing though. Sounds like a trap.He does not want to psy. He is an abuser. Period. A child is utterly defenseless against that.

Heather - posted on 01/14/2013

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No u r not wrong u r totally doing the right thing he does needs to be in a right stable environment ....so keep doing what u r doing

Tracy - posted on 01/14/2013

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Your lawyer will have to tell you what to do legally. If you feel the ex's environment is unsafe, you need to make sure the judge addresses where and when visitation is allowed.

Traci - posted on 01/14/2013

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I agree that you need to put the safety of your son first. Do NOT feel guilty about this! Not only could he be in immediate danger in that household, but it does not sound like the kind of environment you want your son being raised in either.

There are other options to help make dad happy. You could request court supervised visits in his home, which may actually help them get motivated to clean up their act anyhow, so it could be a good thing. Or, if you and dad get along ok and it works for you, maybe he could come to your place a couple of days a week to spend time with his son. This way you have 100% control over the environment and you can feel good knowing that your son gets to spend time with his dad.

Carolyn - posted on 01/14/2013

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No way no how. As the mother it is you're job to protect your child. even if it is from people that you care for. Allowing the father to have him in that environment, you would be abusing your child. if he's yelling at you stop speaking to him. Tell him that if he wants to see the child then he needs to get a lawyer. you don't have to take his abuse just because he donated genetic material for your child. it doesn't make him a father.

Charlene - posted on 01/13/2013

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No I don't think your wrong at all! You as a Mother (Our your childs only PROTECTER) and in your situation you do whatever is necessary to ensure your child is SAFE and not exposed to any uncessary activity that may tramatize or condition your child's mind! Family or not!

Skipper - posted on 01/13/2013

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If you willingly place your child in an environment where you have reason to believe he could be harmed, you are culpable if an injury occurs. Child support is not an Admission Ticket to see a show. Get yourself and your son protected by law.

Evelyn - posted on 01/12/2013

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You are right for protecting the child as that his the best interest of the child. But you best have some record of the criminal past of those in the house as proof that this is not an environment in the best interest of the child. You also need to make sure that in the custody and visitation that it is set up so that he sees his son but under supervision of yourself or someone who is assigned by the court, or that he can take the child to a public place like a fast food place or park or something like that. You should also make it say that if he ever does desire to keep his child over night he needs to be in a place on his own and that his family is not allowed there during visits.

Maria - posted on 01/12/2013

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Trust your inner voive because it is your Angel.... Your son should know his father and spend time but his house is not at all a safe enviroment much less a stable one. I confess God guides you so you peacefully clear this issue. Check out Cegenglish.com...it is a truly spiritually uplifting site :-)

Kristi - posted on 01/12/2013

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Miaesha--

Went through the same thing! It is exhausting and they do anything and everything to wear you down.
I sat outside my daughter's school so her father and his mother couldn't get to her. If I thought he might try to come to my house to pick her up for visitation, we just left. Once he called and said he was at my house with the police and was threatening me, then he started making death threats against me, then against me and Grace and he started calling my second husband and threatening him, etc so we didn't go home that night and my husband packed my and the kids bags and we drove to NY to be with my family. No one knew we were coming. We kept our phones off (no GPS) and we stayed gone for 5 weeks. Finally the voice mails stopped and it was time to go back to school so the kids and I headed home. I wish I could say that was the end of it!

Ashley--

You are strong, just like the other mom said. It takes a lot of courage and determination to get out of an abusive situation. Hold your ground and don't be bullied or shamed into letting your son go with this guy. Lean on your family and friends and we'll always be here to support you, too.

Miaesha - posted on 01/12/2013

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I am in the midst of a custody battle with my son's father. He is attempting to drag it out as long as possible to attempt to get me to give up my end of the fight. But he also exploiting our state law that automatically assumes equal custody to both parents, but taking our son from school early whenever he feels and returning him to school the following week. As a precaution, I have gotten my son a therapist. Even his father's mother has attempted to get on the bandwagon. And I have actually told her to back off my kid, and stop trying to create issue for my son just because she carries guilt about how she raised her own kid. I am my son's champion. And I will stop at nothing to protect him to the best of my abilities.

Miaesha - posted on 01/12/2013

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You are absolutely right in protecting your child. I have been in a similar situation with my son's father. Minimal exposure to unsafe environments is in the best interest of your child. This abusive person may simply be attempting to find a way to control your child since he couldn't control you. Abusers will use whatever meansof access they believe they have and believe they are entitled to in order to feed their addiction of control. Be very dilligent about protecting your child. As I am experiencing, the laws are not always on the side of the child.

Lacye - posted on 01/11/2013

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I'll admit that usually I'm all for allowing the father to have his child with him for overnight visits, but in cases like this, I wouldn't. You don't know what could happen, you wouldn't know if they would even give the child back, and you don't know what kind of condition he would come back in. You are doing the right thing. Allow him to see your son at your place, but that's it.

Ashley - posted on 01/11/2013

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Thank you all for your advice! I definitely have my lawyer working on keeping him away from that house! I don't want him near any of that and growing up thinking that type of behavior is ok.

Michelle - posted on 01/11/2013

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No way, you owe him nothing. Him paying what he can for child support is better than nothing however, it's probably not the amount that would be court ordered. The payment of child support is not a free pass to endanger your child & let him do whatever he wants. I would only allow supervised visitation based on his past behavior. Why subject your son to his bad ways. Also there's no way he'd be going overnight to that environment! You need to do what you have to and protect your child. Don't worry about what he thinks, who cares!!!! Just make sure you get it all done legally to fully protect your child. Good Luck hope it all works out for you & your son.

Sarah - posted on 01/11/2013

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If there are drugs there then no way! If he cares enough about his son then he needs to provide a safe environment. Besides, what happens when your sin is 16 and exposed to that kind of home environment? Now is the time to nip this in the bud. Be strong for your son. Tell him daddys house isnt ready yet and thats why he doesnt visit him there.

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