11 year old not coping well with divorce and visitation

Brandy - posted on 10/01/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hello, I am looking for any advice on how I can help my 11 year old cope better with visitation with her father during an ongoing divorce. just a little history...her father had an affair with my best friend july of 06 when i was 5 months preggo with her sister. We decided to stay together and work things out and cut all ties with the ex best friend. January of 08 I told him i was preggo with our son and a week later he told me he wanted a divorce. I found out about a week later that he was living with the ex best friend again and that they had continued the affair for the year and half. My oldest daughter was devestated the first time and unfortunantly she saw and heard a lot of what happened becasue he put her in that position. Her father and the ex best friend are still together today and we have been seperated since jan 08 and are going through divorce proceedings. She is court ordered for every other weekend visitation with her 2 year old sister and hates going. She fights me every weekend that she has to go and crys because she doesn't want to go. Her father is aware of this and hasn't done anything to try to help her through this. I have put her in counceling to try to help with the issues. It breaks my heart to have to make her go with her father although I know she needs to spend time with him as well. He doesn't think that our son belongs to him even though he was the one having the affair. That really bothers her also since he won't have anything to do with him and he turned 1 in Sept. I am just looking for any advice that anyone might have as to how I can help her cope with this. Thank you in advance for any adice offered.

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Billie - posted on 10/02/2009

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You might try getting it written into your order of custody/visiation that he is not allowed to say or do certain things around the child. Negative comments about you are not acceptable as far as the court is concerned, nor is discussing adult issues like what caused the break up. Ask your attorney about that. You can also talk to the therapist and ask the therapist to write you a letter to take to court stating the affect his behaviour has on her. He might be ordered to go to parenting classes or have supervised visits. Also get his butt in court for your little one that he denies. If he denies the baby in front of the judge they can order a DNA test done. In NY I believe the rule is if he's proven to be the father he has to pay for it. That'll get you child support for the baby too and it'll address your daughter's very valid resentment of him denying her little brother. Other than that you just remain steady with her. Stay calm when she's upset. Make sure you keep a positive attitude about her father in front of her no matter how disgusted you might be (rightfully so by the way - he sounds like a true jerk). Good luck and God bless!

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