Should I allow unsupervised visitation?

Teresa - posted on 04/29/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My ex and I have a 14 month old son together. Before I got pregnant I was aware of a drug habit that he had, and did everything in my power to help him overcome it. When we found out I was pregnant it was like he automatically turned over a new leaf and life was great or so I thought! When my son was 4 weeks old I found out that he had been cheating on me since before I had the baby. I gave him an ultimatum either stay and we try to work through this or you have to leave. He chose to leave, and throughout the past year I tried everything in my power to make him want his family. I scheduled vistation for him, called him and asked if he wanted to see our son, I would drive to wherever to make sure he saw his son. Throughout this time I was unaware of if he was staying clean or not, but had always had the thought that he might be using again. At that point I finally realized that he was never going to change. I stopped trying to get him back and realized that I deserved better, and so did my son. He was recently re-arrested for possession in February a week before my sons first birthday and on Easter when I took him to see him he had a marijuana pipe out on the floor in plain sight that my son could've picked up at any time! Since then I have told him that all visitation would be supervised by me, (oh and in the past 13 months he has NEVER spent one full day with him, no overnight visits, just during the day and for a few hours). I stopped scheduling visits for him on March 7 and he has seen him 3 times in that time and he NEVER calls to ask about him. The only time I hear from him is when he is threatening to take me court for joint custody and alternating weekend visitation. I was served with papers and have to go to mediation and court in June. I don't understand why he wants to see someone he never asks about. I told him not to contact me anymore unless it was to set up a visit or ask how the baby was and his response to that was "fine you won't hear from me till court". Am I in the wrong to want supervised visitation not knowing if he is clean or sober and the fact that his mom is an alcoholic and he lives with her?

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Kelly - posted on 04/30/2009

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It's never wrong to protect your child. If you have no legal agreement with him and proof that you've tried on multiple occasion to make visitation work before this point, you'll be fine when you get to court. Make sure you get a lawyer. Drug addict or not, you don't want to take any chances. I'm sure the courts will grant you supervised visitation. And there's no reason for him to contact you about anything that doesn't involve the baby, if he continues to do it, file for harassment charges. There's no reason that you or your child should have to live that way.

Savannah - posted on 04/29/2009

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Story of my 10yr old son's life.

The simplest things you can do that will make a world of difference are:

1)Do not schedual visits or take your child to your ex. If he really wants to be a parent he will make the effort to have proper visitation set in place and arrive to pick up his child when he says he will. It is NOT your responsibility to cater to him at his convenience or make up lies to cover for him when he doesn't show up and your son is asking why. By sticking to this, it will document how much effort he puts into his relationship with your son and proves if he really does want time with your son or is just using a custody fight as a "threat".

If you do not intend on hiring a lawyer, seek legal aid or guidance before proceeding with your mediation. Ask if they would even suggest schedualed visits or even none at all, until he can pass a drug-test and home safety inspection. Even request some parenting classes for him. At least this way, you know that your son is somewhat safer than before. You can also request that he not take your son out of your jurisdiction without your consent. Especially if you are concerned he would use your son to hurt you emotionally.
Based on your ex's arrest history it shouldn't be too hard for you to get sole custody and guardianship. I wouldn't recommend giving in on schedualed visits until he meets the requirements I suggested above. He should have to prove that he is a responsible adult, capable of caring for and parenting another human being. If he isn't, then say so at your mediation, and give facts and recount times that support why you believe so.
Don't ever worry about your son growing up without a dad. You can't make someone something they aren't. It hurts knowing he doesn't want to spend time with your child, but in the end you are protecting him from the worst type of rejection.

Katie - posted on 04/29/2009

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This man should definitely have supervised visitation. Please, find a competent lawyer and fight for sole custody of your son. It is the only right thing to do for your son. This man is only fighting for custody to hurt you.

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Anita - posted on 05/03/2009

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if he wants to see his son, he should be setting up visitation, not you. i didn't let my ex see or speak with our girls until he got a court ordered visitation schedule set up. i already had full custody but there was never any visitation schedule made, so my ex thought he could come and go as he pleased in my girls lives. it took him almost 2 years but he finally did. we started out with supervised visitation because the girls did not know their father because he was out of their life for so long. we have been doing that since feb and he is doing great (or so i hear LOL) and we just went to mediation last week and he is now approved for unsupervised visits for about 2 hours, one day a week.



if you have a mediation hearing set up, that is good. i would seek a lawyer and if you have no money for one, there are some that do pro bono work, meaning you don't have to pay them.

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