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Old 09-12-2007, 09:03 PM
396 posts, read 1,022,953 times
Reputation: 284


I have a situation, and I really need your help.
I am a single Mom of a almost, two year old son.
His father is a part of his life and comes to visit quite often.
I am staying at home right now because I had the funds to do it, funds I was saving for a rainy day, and I figure that his first years with me are as good as any rainy day there is. I make a little extra here and there, and that helps too.
His father has been difficult from the beginning, and although he loves his son, and is good hands on, he is really not responsible, at all.
His father lives in a third floor attic apartment, that is illegal, and he is a pack rat. In short his living accomodation is not safe for my son. His car is also not fit for a child to be in. Please believe me without my having to go into detail and explain myself, it is just not safe.
So, in order for them to spend time together, it has to happen in my home.
We have a court order for visitation, and it's pretty much every day, as I wanted them to be together as much as possible.
Here's my gripe list:
I basically want things to change. I don't want him in my home anymore, as he tends to take over, and I really don't like being around him.
The problem is that he has not made his life one that can take care of a child responsibly. I would love if he could pick him up, take him to dinner, and have him at his house, but it really is un-safe.
I know I can take him back to court, cut the cord, and stop enabling him, but then my son suffers because the guy just can't get it together.
He is really more of a playmate than a Dad, and my son loves him. He's like Robin William's character in "Mrs. Doubtfire."
I get a whopping $164.00 a month from him, and I want more so that I can get child care for my Real Estate business.
I don't know, I just can't seem to get off the pot, but you must know, that I have tried to talk to him, and he just rants, so the only way to get throught to him is by way of the courts, and I just don't feel like going there again.
I just feel stuck. I just don't want him around my home. It's my home.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:30 PM
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 23,798,093 times
Reputation: 5179
That is a tough situation. I respect your efforts to include this man in your son's life. Is there any way you can arrange it so when he comes to your home to visit, that he doesn't get in your hair so much? Can he be restricted to say, just the living room, and you can leave the room so you don't have to deal with him? You should make it clear to your ex, he is to only stay in a certain area, not touch your personal belongings, etc. If he is doing something that bothers you, you have every right to ask him to stop.

The only other option I can think of would be to arrange for a neutral site for him to see your son at; say your ex's friend or relative's home. Being that your ex's car is unsafe, you would have to drop off and pick up your son. It would be an inconvenience to you, which is why it might be easier to just find ways to create stronger boundaries with your ex, and allow him to continue seeing your son at your home.

If you feel you are entitled to more child support, than by all means, look into it! Yes, you would have to go through the courts, he'll never just agree to give you money. It's a shame but it's true.

Is there any chance your ex could watch your son at your house (for free, of course) while you work?
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:22 AM
Location: Las Vegas
14,230 posts, read 29,518,975 times
Reputation: 27663
Sounds like someone needs to grow up. $164 PER MONTH? What does that pay for????? Maybe diapers? Sounds like you are sacrificing too much of your own life for the visitation thing. Social services can check out his living arrangements and determine if it's an OK environment for the child. If it's not, he will have to use someone else's home.

Maybe right now he is a decent hands on Dad. As your child gets older do you really want him using this person as a role model? Do you want him to grow up just like Daddy? If the answer is no, you need to get decent child support/health insurance and he needs to provide a safe environment for his visitation outside of your home. He also needs to have safe transportation/appropriate car seat etc. After all this goes into effect, Dad will have to get a real job and a place to live or disappear. Looks like either of those options would be an improvement.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:18 AM
Location: NoVa
18,433 posts, read 33,808,781 times
Reputation: 19810
Hey yellow...what I am getting for the 2 of mine, 11 and 13, is 381 a month, for the both of them...makes no sense at all...
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:11 AM
Location: Central Connecticut
683 posts, read 2,103,354 times
Reputation: 449
It sounds like you need to have a heart to heart talk with the father. If you truely explain your objections to him, maybe you can get him to voluntarily limit the number of days that he comes over to your house.
If you don't want him in your house at all, then the alternative is knowing that he can can take your child for visitation in accordance with your agreement, which you don't trust to be in the child's interest either.
Where would either of you want to allow a 2 year old to go for visitation, does the father even have a car seat?
The child's age seems to be the main problem right now. But as the child grows, daily visitation will always be an issue.
So maybe the visitation terms are a mistake that really need to be changed sooner rather than later.
How many hours does he visit for and what visitation days can be arranged that you can both agree to be an acceptable substitute/compromise in the meantime?
Talk to him to see if what kind of new arrangement will work, before this turns into pure hostility. If he agrees that he can't reasonably take the child for visitation, then he will be at your mercy to accept the terms of any visitation that you propose.
What are you willing to propose?
Like it or not, it sounds like it is time to go back to court for a new agreement.

Last edited by sun; 09-13-2007 at 04:33 AM..
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:36 AM
Location: In the sunshine on a ship with a plank
3,413 posts, read 8,733,027 times
Reputation: 2260
You can have a professional conduct a home study of the ex's apartment- if it's deemed unsafe then he cannot bring him there. And by no means are you obligated to allow your ex into your home. You could always meet at the library or a park or something.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:00 AM
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
1,065 posts, read 4,492,030 times
Reputation: 999
One visit from a guardian ad litem to his cluttered attic apartment and you wouldn't have any worries. I think a return to court is your answer.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:39 AM
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 6,390,056 times
Reputation: 2641
I think the most telling thing of your post Old Biddie was you stated that the father loves his son, is good hands on, and your son loves him. You may not like him as a person but your son does. Unless being with the father himself is a threat to his safety I would not recommend taking away a father from the child. You are only hurting your little boy who won't understand why his dad is not allowed to be around. If you and the father have a somewhat amicable relationship, try to keep it that way for the sake of your son (he may thank you for it later). In time, your son may realize on his own that you are the rock while his dad is... well, you can fill in the blanks.

Find a neutral place for the two to visit - a park, a relatives house, etc. and try not to do anything drastic. You can't make the father act the way you want him to... and if you try to take his son away, he might get his act together but things could get nasty.

Just my two cents. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:58 AM
Location: Fort Worth/Dallas
11,887 posts, read 36,450,895 times
Reputation: 5660
Originally Posted by pirate girl View Post
You can have a professional conduct a home study of the ex's apartment- if it's deemed unsafe then he cannot bring him there. And by no means are you obligated to allow your ex into your home. You could always meet at the library or a park or something.
Good advice. I respect your sacrifices, you sound like a great mother to your young child and are going way above and beyond to do what you believe is best. 164 a month? How did children become so cheap to raise all of the sudden? I would think it would take at least $300 or $400 a month for ONE child. Robyn, you need to rectify your situation with the money as well. What have the courts come to these days? I know it's based on income but geez, the guy would have to be making 800 a month or so to justify that, in my opinion. I say follow pirate girl's advice all the way. And then go back to court if at all possible and get more money to help raise your son.
I wish you all the best.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:53 PM
396 posts, read 1,022,953 times
Reputation: 284
Thanks everyone. Just to clarify, I really hope I did not give off the impression that I would be trying to take him away from his Dad, I just need to make things for me a little bit healthier.
The money thing is ridiculous. The courts really seem to enable those who lag (and have ways of hiding the dough).
I think what I got from all of your responses is that I have to meet him somewhere, and that I need to go back to court.
This guy is so funny, when he decides to be a real you-know-what, he likes to say things like, "I give you all of that money every month. Your refrigerator should be full."
I just wanted to illustrate to all of you the mentality of what I am dealing with. And no, I can't talk to him. It just does not work.
I think you can see that I have had the best of intentions, but I am really getting worn down here, and it is true that as my son grows, he really has a lousy role model.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. My friends and family are sick of this, (and I cannot blame them one bit) and it really helps to get feedback.

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