advice on dad trouble

Kendall - posted on 04/03/2014 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My son's dad and I were high school sweethearts. We were together for 5 years then I got pregnant. He was a straight a student, worked part time, and had big goals after high school. Long story short, after our son was born he wasn't as interested as he made himself seem. The day he was born he quit his job. Our son is almost 2, and he has seen him a handful of times in the past year. He contacted me recently saying he has changed and wants to be a family and help raise our child. I met with him in person to see for myself and he is now using drugs, never renewed his license so he can't drive right now, still isn't working, and sold his car ( idk why). He didn't care to see our son until I got my own place so that also raised a red flag. When I saw him he seemed different. He would randomly start screaming at me and yelling and got upset over minor things. Since my boy is getting older I know this is the time to put an end to all of this. Idk if I should go to court or kick him out. I'm concerned for my son's well being and don't want him growing up with this deadbeat around. Any mom's been through this? Please give me some insight so I can make things right :( Thank you!

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Angela - posted on 04/07/2014

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I wasn't commenting on your post specifically Jodi. I said "many moms on this site". It's a common theme, I've seen moms rally in support of paternal rights and in most cases, I tend to agree. Coming from experience, it's very difficult to share custody with someone who doesn't have your child's best interest in mind, so while i sympathize with moms not wanting to share custody, you are right in that a dead beat dad is not someone that a court would rule as an unfit parent. However as I mentioned, someone with a criminal record or someone with a proven drug history will likely require supervised visitation until they can prove that they do not lose an immediate threat to their child's well being.

Angela - posted on 04/06/2014

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If he has a criminal record or a proven history of drug abuse, the courts will absolutely not allow unsupervised visitation. He will be responsible for providing an agreed upon supervisor for his visits, and that doesn't have to be you. If he can't provide one, he can pay an outside party. I wouldn't make it easy for someone like that to remain in my child's life. I think you have every right to be a protective mom. I see many moms on this site express the importance to have children maintain relationships with their father and while in most cases I agree, in yours I would not. He soundslike a potential risk to your child's safety whether it be a physical or emotional risk. If I were you I would potition for sole custody and hope the court rules in your favor! Good luck!

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Angela - posted on 04/07/2014

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I think you are one smart mom! I would ask your lawyer how you can stay within the legal limits while allowing him the bare minimum of access to your child until he can get his act together. I know in the state of California, when there is no custody in place the courts will establish what the child's current routine and visitation schedule looks like and that becomes the status quo. They will put that very schedule in a court order until it is argued by the other party. Odds are, if he is the absentee parent he sounds like, he won't go through the trouble of hiring a lawyer to fight it. Good luck. It is a pain in the ass and not fun for anyone :( hope everything works out for you and your boy!

Kendall - posted on 04/07/2014

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And I didn't mean for it to come off as your answers being wrong. I was just trying to further explain my situation. I might go see my lawyer again to make sure I am still doing all the things I am legally obligated to.

Kendall - posted on 04/07/2014

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We were never married and we have no custody agreement (right now). He also does not pay child support. He hasn't had a job in over a year, he lost his license, and he sold his car. By law in the state of ohio he doesn't have any parental rights until we go to court. I spoke with a lawyer and she told me this. She also told me if I allow him supervised visits I'm doing my part. I've been doing this for 2 years when it's convenient for him to fit my son into his busy schedule of partying and doing lord knows what else. I don't want anyone fighting I just wanted other moms insights. I wasn't trying to single you out Jodi. I really appreciate hearing from both of you!

Jodi - posted on 04/07/2014

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And I wasn't commenting on your post either ;) I was responding to Kendall's comment.

Jodi - posted on 04/07/2014

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Actually, no-one here said you should let him see his kid because he got you pregnant. They are saying, by law, you don't get to make that decision and you will need EVIDENCE to present to the court if you don't want him in your child's life. They are unlikely to refuse him some sort of visitation (even if supervised) if he petitions for it. You don't HAVE to like the answers you got. But that doesn't make them wrong.

Kendall - posted on 04/06/2014

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Thank you Angela. I feel the same way. Getting someone pregnant doesn't mean they are responsible enough to handle a child. If I knew he was going to fall apart like this I wouldn't have wasted my time on him...but he gave me a beautiful child. Now I just have to keep a good environment for him. I feel like a lot of mom's try to keep children away for the wrong reasons (anger, revenge, etc) but I am actually concerned for his well being. That is not a good role model! And I feel like a lot of mom's tell me to let him in bc he got me pregnant. Thank you for your advice and opinion! Made me feel a lot better (:

Kendall - posted on 04/04/2014

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Thank you for your feedback, Jodi. I will talk to my lawyer again and see how I can set things up so that it is a little more consistent.

Jodi - posted on 04/04/2014

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Kendall, if he files for visitation he WILL get rights. That's my point. If you want him to have supervised visitation ordered by the courts you need evidence.

With regard to messing with your child's head, your child will be fine if YOU provide him with a stable environment in your home. My son's father, at times through his life, went months at a time without seeing him. He's grown up just fine. And he now has a great relationship with his dad, even if he does only see him once a month (sometimes two).

Kendall - posted on 04/04/2014

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I already spoke to a lawyer. We were never married so she told me he doesn't have any rights. When he asks to see him I allow it, it is always with me or a family member there though since my son doesn't know him that well. If he were to ask for visitation I would only ask the court to make it supervised (as well as drug test him). I just don't see it being okay that he comes and goes when he feels like it. I want him to be consistent. He has gone 4 months without seeing him (his choice). I just worry when my baby is older it will really mess with his head :/

Jodi - posted on 04/03/2014

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You don't get a say on kicking him out of the picture. That's what the court is for. You need to file for custody. If your ex wants visitation, he will probably file for that. If you deny visitation, it is considered parental alienation and if he fights you on custody and you are doing this, you are likely to lose (especially if you don't have any evidence that he may be a danger to your child). So my best advice is to talk to a lawyer and file for custody.

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