I recently was granted to be the sole custodian and sole guardian of my daughter after a 2 year DCFS case. The father didn't comply and has had ongoing criminal court issues. The judge strongly suggested I supervise any interactions they have together; I'm happy if there are no interactions.
He has expressed interest in communicating with my daughter but has dropped off the Skype universe, and I haven't called him. If she asks about him, I will usually make an effort to try and contact him for a conversation for her sake.DD doesn't ask about him much, only I tell her that he "lives far away".
Should I file for child support? I am a single parent living far below the poverty line and receiving government assistance. I could really use it. However he will want to be involved in her life; he will feel "entitled" to more interaction and even short visits (his deep wish is to have weekends with her, but that's off the table). I don't want the pressure, but the support will be so useful.
Is there a (moral) obligation to give the parent paying child support more time with the child?
yup, totally separate things.
He has a legal responsibility to provide financially for the child he created.
It is generally in a child's best interest to have a good relationship with both their parents but it's up to the custodial parent and the courts to determine how that's gonna work (visitation, etc)
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
i am of the mindset that because he has a child, he should have to assist in supporting her needs. that being said, i can totally understand your viewpoint. my ex has not had contact with my dd in a good number of years and i am content to keep it that way. for her, he is out of sight out of mind. she really cannot recall a life with him.
that being said, i also have sole custody. i firmly believe that despite the circumstance that led him to be as he is, he still is obligated to take care of the person that he assisted in creating. if the principle does not outweigh the costs (if you find that the interaction poses too great a problem as it seems spotty in your case and it affects your child's mental well being), make a determination if it is something you are willing to deal with for the principle him taking care of his child.
if that's not a big deal, then look for a means to cut him off completely,which may depending on your state still entitle you to support or it may take the obligation away. i understand totally where you are coming from.
whew... now that was a mouthful. i hope this is helpful.
In my area they are treated as 2 separate issues. Here, non-payment of child support cannot be a reason to deny access. But I don't know how it works the other way around. I would think that, in practicality, once receiving the money it would mean having to interact with him more. And if you are dealing with an ex who was abusive and entitled, then the money can definitely skew their intentions and increase entitled behaviour. There are so many wonderful citizens in this world who were raised by only 1 parent. While in general, most people assert there are benefits to a good relationship with both parents, there are always exceptions. If a judge recommends supervising interactions, my tendency would be to believe him....since I hear of so many cases where judges order unsupervised access when it should clearly not be!
I would listen to your gut on this one and think bigger picture. Is the money really worth the stress on both of you? Would he actually follow through with payment (or is it just another hassle and expense to deal with)? Does he have stable employment where you could get the $ from hi paycheque? Also, I'm thinking that If he is serious about seeing dd, then would he not just go to court and ask for weekend custody?....and I doubt he would actually do that if he doesn't want to pay child support.
And you could also ask yourself, "What is my potential in a few years to earn more income?" I've met a few single parents who really struggled in the early years....but when their kids were in school, they were able to start a career and eventually make a good living for themselves.
Hmmm, thanks everyone. This is the type of response I thought I might get.
Great point that this will increase his sense of entitlement. This is huge for him. Wow, good heads up.
I'll probably start the process soon.