My ex and I have been separated for 12 years. We have two kids together. Two years ago he moved to Hawaii (best thing that ever happened to us!), the kids and I are in Georgia. Ex didn't move to Hawaii for work or school, he was just tried of the mainland. There is a court order which requires him to pay $560/month in child support, 28% of uncovered medical expenses, and several thousand dollars into the kids college funds. He is over $3500 in arrears, has paid zero of the medical expenses and put nothing into the college accounts. I do not have his address (he refuses to give it to me which is also a violation of our court order) so it is quite difficult to file a contempt. Him being out of state doesn't make a difference with visitation because he never came to see them when he lived only 20 minutes away.
BUT all that isn't what's pissing me off!
My DD turned 16 recently and her dad asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She told him that she wanted a pair of running shoes. So he called me and told me that I had to use the child support money to buy her the running shoes as birthday present from him! He wasn't going to spend any money on her unless he got child support credit for it. He did the same thing to DS, DS wanted a cell phone. When I told EX that child support was for the kids daily living expenses and not to cover gifts from him, he blew up and started calling me a greedy bitch. Of course DD is going to get the shoes, she runs varsity cross country, but they are not going to be a gift from him unless he buys them and gives them to her. When I quit answering his calls and texts he starts harassing the kids. He drags them into everything. They just end up fighting with him (they don't like all the disparaging comments he makes about me) and DS frequently says "something is really wrong with my dad".
Additionally, he is trying to convince DD and DS that they should move to Hawaii to live with him. The kids said they think he is just trying to get out of paying child support and they don't trust for one second that he would actually take care of them because he never has. Last time he was in town and visited with the kids the visit sent DS into a full blown anxiety attack and DS said that he never wanted to see his dad again. Months later he maintains this position. He has even asked me and DH what we have to do to terminate his dad's parental rights and let DH adopt him.
We just found out that EX is coming on town in a few months for his sister's wedding. Just hearing that got DS all worked up.
Thanks for letting me vent. I would be happy to hear comments, suggestions, even just similar stories!
~Patti~ Momma to three girls and three boys , First mother to one girl
Certified, card carrying member of the IEP Binder Club
Do you have a court order of any sort? I certainly would not make them see him under those conditions.
I myself have a difficult ex...not as difficult as yours but difficult enough. He basically just pretends our son doesn't exist. But it's only been going on for about..6 months. But I can see it going on for years. He has always been kind of a lazy dad..he started off okay but then became worse and worse. He even missed birthday calls and a birthday party that his MOM (not him) threw for our son. I have been emailing him reminding him he still has a son just to show the courts that I am the one trying.
I've got sort of a similar situation. My ex moved away a short time after we split, for no apparent reason. He wasn't seeing the kids at that point because there was a no-contact order in place (he assaulted our son) but he could have at any time gone to court and gotten supervised visitation.He chose to run away instead. Things were pretty good for about 5 years, aside from showing up of 3 counseling sessions (too expensive to continue, according to him) with the kids 2 years after the split, he was absent.
They had basically gone through all the stages of grief you'd expect with a death, they were 'over' him and wanted to be adopted by their step dad, too. I went to court to get sole guardianship (which I got) but he showed up with his girlfriend and the judge literally said "We've got to get you seeing your kids. " the second she walked out into the court room. That was in the spring about a year and a half ago... since then he's been in and out of their lives, playing emotional mind games with them, showing extreme favouritism to our daughter at times and ignoring them both at others. I will only speak to him via email because he will lie and twist what's been said (he still tries but he can't get away with it when I can copy & paste)
At first the kids thought he was wonderful, now my son goes back and forth between saying he doesn't want to see his birth dad and getting excited about the visits. He gets very anxious because of XH's temper, rightfully so. I fully expect them to come home from a visit with marks on them some day. My daughter is usually positive about the visits but she sees them as an opportunity to milk him for all he's worth, it's like a game for her to get him to spend as much money on her as she can. She talks very little about her birth dad. They usually come home somewhat disappointed in the visit.
My prediction now is he'll do his Christmas visit and then drop off the radar again for several months. He has missed every one of my son's birthdays so far (January) and made a big deal for my daughters (June) They are just starting to let their guard down, so it's about time for him to dump them again.
~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.