Dealing with a Deadbeat & Custody/Visitation

Chelsea - posted on 03/11/2018 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I had my son with my ex in 2012. We were never married, never lived together. He showed no interest in my pregnancy so I moved home 2 hours away. Today, I still live two hours away. No custody has been established. He pays child support (per his request) BUT his case was defaulted because he ignored all paper work. He is not on the birth certificate (Ive been told that doesn't even matter anyway). & I am not completely sure how paternity was established (might have been by default when I filed for CS - no DNA test was taken).

Since 2012, he has seen my son 23 times. 23 times in 6 years. He only contacts me to see my son on major holidays. He doesn’t even call to check up or anything. When he visits, he always comes with his mother. So I am 99% sure he only visits because she nags him about it, otherwise why would he never keep in contact? (But I probably shouldn’t assume..) anyway, he only saw my son once in 2017 after a year of disappearance. Since 2018 has started, he has come once and has flaked twice. Every time he was a “no show”, he didnt even bother to tell me. I would have to call him.. only to be told he’s not coming (yeah, thanks for the heads up). He has zero consideration for our lives and what we have going on. He just expects us to drop everything when he decides to visit, then proceeds to make me feel wrong anytime I can't accommodate him. When he's here with my son, they're good together. He claims to want to be in my sons life but really? "if its important to you, you'll find a way. If its not, you'll find an excuse"... okay.. where has he been in 6 years..

He currently lives in a 1 bedroom apartment with his mom (nothing wrong with that), he doesn’t have a car, he works part time but does photography on the side (successfully but doesn’t report his earnings). So he pays pretty minimum in CS. I don't really care for the CS as it was his request to pay it. It really doesn't even put a dent in my overall expenses for my son. He was arrested last year from stealing from him job. He's currently on probation and paying back restitution. (Not sure that matters either).

In 6 years, I’ve graduated university, work a great job, we (my son and i) have our own place & we’re doing amazing. Living in California as a single parent isn't easy. But that's how far I've come. Why is it in 6 years, his father has nothing? Still in the same position he was in before, doing who knows what.. 6 years later and I have absolutely had it. i don’t want to accommodate him anymore. My son and I have established our lives, our daily routines. My son is very active in school on the weekdays and sports on the weekends.

Honestly, I would like to cut off visitation until HE decides to take me to court and fight for his rights. I don't mind him having visitation AT ALL. But I need it to be consistent without excuses. I need to know when to expect him and when I need to clear my sons schedule. I can't deal with these random popups and no shows. Am I a bad mother for that? Is withholding visitation like that even allowed? I see the hurt in my sons eyes and I just don’t feel it is fair for his father to treat him this way.

Considering my ex’s absence and disinterest as a father as well as living two hours away from us, what do you think the court would grant him if we end up going into a custody battle? (California) I would like sole custody but I know California always gives the father the benefit of the doubt.



ps - thank you in advance for your responses. Its crazy I just logged into my account after 5 years. My questions and concerns back then are still the same as they are today! Crazy how some things don't change.

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