My ex won't be a parent!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 05-28-2014, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you make someone be a parent? My sons father hasn't been a real parent for over two years. No child support. Very little involvement. And all of that was forced by me. He hasn't spoken to my boys in 5 weeks. Moved across the country (he claims for a job) and has yet to start paying support. My youngest already had separation anxiety because of his dad which has only gotten worse in the last month. Many people have told me not to allow him to keep going in and out of their lives. So I told him to file in court if he wants to see them. Am I wrong? Is a now and then, part time weekend babysitter better than nothing at all? Advice here? Suggestions on how to handle this. Please!!!!
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#2 of 12 Old 05-28-2014, 06:03 PM
 
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You can't force him to be involved, and even if you could, would that really be better for anyone? Just provide the consistency they need, and take care of your own interactions with your children.  He is responsible for his relationship with his children, and you are responsible for your relationship with them.  Don't try to take on his as well.

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#3 of 12 Old 05-28-2014, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I think I offer a stable, consistent environment. We have a regular schedule daily and I feel like I give all I can of myself to my kids. So just let it be I guess?!?!
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#4 of 12 Old 05-28-2014, 07:38 PM
 
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I would also file for child support with the courts. They might not be able to track him down since he's moved across the country, but they will start calculating arrears, which he will eventually owe directly to the children.

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Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
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#5 of 12 Old 05-28-2014, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I filed for child support in March of last year. They kept telling me that they needed not only his physical address but a mailing address as well. He lives or lived 5 mins away from me but across state lines so they couldn't serve him without mailing him notice first. I went in January with info that they needed to get his mailing address. It has yet to go to court!
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#6 of 12 Old 05-29-2014, 06:19 AM
 
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It will eventually work its way through.  I haven't ever gotten CS from my ex, but he's in arrears up to his eyeballs.  I stopped caring whether or not he paid about 10 years ago and life was far less stressful. 

I do know that he tweaks his taxes etc so he never has a refund because if he did it would go straight to me.

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#7 of 12 Old 05-29-2014, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mine gets angry every year because he cant claim them. And he even got food stamps in another state probably claiming the kids live with him. Quite a piece of work.
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#8 of 12 Old 05-29-2014, 07:13 PM
 
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My mom's dad died when she was 16, and the way she consoled herself afterwards was to think "At least he'd be with us if he could." She figures she was better off with a dead dad than my kids are with a deadbeat dad.

I think it's fair to not put any more effort into the dad's relationship with the kids than he is doing, but I'm not sure blocking access is good for the situation either. There's a fine line to walk. As the kids get older they are going to be able to seek out that relationship on their own... once they know how to dial a phone or do a search online, not as adults. So they are going to get hurt by him sooner or later.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#9 of 12 Old 05-31-2014, 02:06 PM
 
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Does he have court ordered visitation? If he does, do not block access. First, it will get you in trouble in court, which you don't want. Second, the kids will know that you deliberately interfered in their relationship with him (even if it was with the best of intentions, which I do believe is what you have here).

If there is no court order on visitation, I think it is fine to demand that it go through the courts. Without an order, it's possible he could take them and you'd have trouble getting them back if he decided not to give them back. So I think it's reasonable to say you want it to go through the courts, and to expect him to file it since he's the one who wants it and he's made no other real effort.

As far as "can you force someone to be a parent?" - No, you can't. If he sucks as a dad, he sucks as a dad, and there's nothing you can do about it. My ex owes about $29K in child support and hasn't seen my kids in about 9 years. My rule has always been that I will not invest more time in his relationship with my kids than he does. I don't waste my time and effort trying to make him come around. It's his choice to not be around, and my kids will see that someday. At the same time, I also have a rule that I will not ruin my relationship with my kids so he can have a relationship with them - so if he suddenly decides to come around, I won't interfere, but if my kids say they don't want to see him (which my oldest already has), I'm not going to risk my relationship with my son by telling him he has to see his father.

It's on him to build and/or maintain a relationship with his children, not you. If he's not doing it, that's his problem, not yours. Your problem is to ensure YOU have a relationship with your children, and to deal with whatever fallout there is from his failure as best you can.
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#10 of 12 Old 05-31-2014, 04:36 PM
 
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I am seeing this behavior more and more these days, A million excuses but only one answer. When the pain of being separated from the would be spouse the feeling of being inadequate, and is acting out for attention. I find that more ex spouses exhibit this behavior. Extreme counseling is definitely required. Or a weekend in Jail. either one will work the child should never be exposed to such behavior. Stay strong!
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#11 of 12 Old 06-01-2014, 10:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momo3md View Post
How do you make someone be a parent? My sons father hasn't been a real parent for over two years. No child support. Very little involvement. And all of that was forced by me. He hasn't spoken to my boys in 5 weeks. Moved across the country (he claims for a job) and has yet to start paying support. My youngest already had separation anxiety because of his dad which has only gotten worse in the last month. Many people have told me not to allow him to keep going in and out of their lives. So I told him to file in court if he wants to see them. Am I wrong? Is a now and then, part time weekend babysitter better than nothing at all? Advice here? Suggestions on how to handle this. Please!!!!
Do not block access UNLESS it is an abusive situation whether mental, physical or/and sexual. Always get court orders pertaining to any abuse. Him coming and going will only make the child see him for who he is. File for your custody and have visitation set by the court. Document every time he is late or a no show for the visits...when the courts sees he's a bonafide dead beat, his visits could be taken away. Do what is best for your baby and all will work out for the long haul..babies grow and eventually become their own person with their own voice. They will have no problem saying how they feel.
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#12 of 12 Old 07-14-2014, 08:13 AM
 
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I realize I am a little late chiming in here (and perhaps this is something you already know - but if so, then maybe it will help someone else who is lurking?). I am wondering OP if you have any sort of visitation schedule/agreement filed with the court? You mentioned filing for child support, but I'm not sure of the visitation schedule. If not, then it's really important to have something with very well defined access times to protect yourself and ensure that if he does reappear to see the kids, then you have a way of enforcing him returning them. Often the guys that do the disappearing act are extremely selfish and entitled....and equally likely to waltz back in and file for full custody or 50/50 once they figure out what the kids can do for them. So in the absence of a court order, he could reappear and then take the kids with him and you could face a very difficult situation trying to get them back.
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