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Old 06-26-2007, 10:47 AM   #1
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Question When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

When is it time to say enough is enough to my daughters father, who for the last 5 years has seen her less then 15 times and thinks it is okay to come in and out of her life? We have a very normal life without him, and when he comes in and out of her life it is really disruptive to her. For years I have asked him to give his rights up (this includes not paying me child support anymore) but he refuses to do so, I am uncertain why because he has little to no interest in seeing her. Now things seem that they can get even more complicated because he now has another baby, which my daughter knows nothing of (due to my fear of him introducing that child to my daughter and then not seeing her again for another 10 months like he has again this time). Any suggestions? I know that I can fight to have his rights terminated per the laws in my state because I have researched it. I am really concerned about the effects all of this will have on my daughter. Any suggestions would be great.
Thanks.

 
Old 06-26-2007, 11:26 AM   #2
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

First off how old is your daughter? Second I personally think that it should be a decision that you discuss with her if she is old enough to understand any of it because if not then when she gets older she will blame you for taking her father away from her.

As for the new baby, with my ex it actually made him start seeing my girls more after he had another child. Maybe the same thing will happen for you.

Good luck

 
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

My daughter is 5. I doubt she will ever think I am the one who has taken her father from her. She still remembers the last time he was suposed to pick her up from school a year ago and never showed - my boyfriend picked her up instead since her dad decided to make other plans and backout on her. She is smart. The thing that has always bothered me is that he decides to show up at his convenience just enough to figure out who she is again and then decide to stop seeing her for a year at a time. He typically tries to come back into her life when he wants to use her as a ploy to impress a new girlfriend he has (he tells everyone he sees that he takes her on the weekends when he hasn't seen her in a year) It bothers me that he uses her in his little games to impress people and play wonderful dad until he finally decides that being a father is too much for him or he decides that he doesnt have time again and he just vanishes. I have never, nor would I ever put anything in front of my daughter. I hate seeing her heart broken and she deserves the best which is certainly not what he wants for her when he doesn't see her for months on end. He doesn't even call her on her birthdays or holidays! I don't know about your ex, was he that unavailable for your kids or was he always in their lives?

 
Old 06-27-2007, 06:12 AM   #4
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

My father did the same thing when I was a kid and my mom finally cut all contact and I can honestly say it was the best decision. I can remember vividly sitting in the window waiting for him to pick me up for "library night" and him not showing. Or him showing up on the wrong night... or showing up and my mom not letting me go because he was drunk. I have a million scenarios of him not showing and then months later showing up randomly one day to take my sisters and I to lunch. Over the last few years I've formed a sort of relationship with him, but wish that I hadn't even bothered because I think he is still a loser.

Last edited by luvmy2kids; 06-27-2007 at 06:12 AM.

 
Old 06-27-2007, 06:38 AM   #5
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

I feel the same way about him, and I feel bad for my daughter because she deserves the world!

 
Old 06-28-2007, 12:11 PM   #6
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

Hi Hereinwi,

I have a 5 year old daughter as well. My ex-husband played the same kind of game with her. He would call her and talk to her and promise to pick her up the next day. The next day would come and he wouldn't show up or call or anything. I would call him and his phone would be off (go right to voicemail). He would "play house" with her when his girlfriend was around, but he would always bring her home early because they had other plans. It was pathetic really. This was all nearly 2 years ago now, when she was 3 years old.

It will be two years since he has seen her on July 17th (I remember the date because it was my parent's anniversary and he purposely brought her home early when he knew I was suppose to be out getting things ready). He gave her 3 empty promises to see her after that until he did some bad things and I had to get a protective order. He has never fought me on that order or the day I took him to court to take away his "legal custody" (not to be confused with parental rights which we are working on now). The judge told him that he could file to get his visitation back but he hasn't bothered and I'm glad. My husband is in the process of adopting my daughter and she thinks of him as her father.

I'm telling you this because he is doing more harm than good. It would be one thing if you were trying to restrict him from visiting her when he is always there, but that isn't the case. She is a toy to him and whether she can voice it now or not she feels it. She knows when something isn't right. She knows that feeling of being let down when he doesn't show. I suggest you fight to get his rights terminated and get her into some therapy to help deal with her emotions. When she gets older she can decide for herself whether or not to pursue a relationship with him. You are her mother and her one constant person to lean on. You need to protect her from these scars he is giving her. She has a full and wonderful life without these disruptions to upset her.

Have you talked to your daughter about this? Does she ever ask you why daddy doesn't show up?

 
Old 06-28-2007, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

Thanks for the reply Happy.
I have asked her if she feels sad that she doesn't see her father, and she has said she does. But really she has no idea who he is since he has seen her so few times, up to this point she asks about him very rarely and typically does not bring his name up. He makes such few attempts to see her that the occasions she has been let down by him are at a minimum, but when she was younger they were more frequent. I have also gotten to the point that when he tells me he wants to see her (which the last time was a year ago) I do not tell her he is going to come unless I know he is on the way. I hate to think of her staring out a window waiting for someone who has basically failed to show up for the last 5 years of her life. At this point I am focused on making sure that he causes her as little distress as possible. She also calls him by his first name instead of dad or daddy. We are also very blessed to have a wonderful man in her life that at some point may also adopt her. Atleast if things keep going the way they have been with her biological father.

 
Old 06-28-2007, 04:00 PM   #8
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

Oh my...how very sad I was reading your post. Sad for your daughter and sad for you. My heart would break having to watch that.

Have you talked to your daughter about how what daddy does or doesn't do has nothing to do with her? This can be a tricky situation because I feel this has to be done without badmouthing him (even though you may want to and IMP have every right to) But he still is her dad so you can't really cross that line. I might say something like, "sometimes people don't do the things we want them to do and it can make us feel sad (or bad, unhappy, mad, etc.). I don't know why daddy didn't come to pick you up when he said he would. Is there anything I can do to help you? Would you like to talk about it?" Also tell her you know he loves her and that you love her very much (which I'm sure you already do that). If you do these things I feel it will give her the self-confidence and courage to face the challenges this situation will undoubtedy throw her way.

 
Old 06-29-2007, 06:46 AM   #9
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

Tiger,
Thank you for your reply. I will take that to heart and explain to her that even though she does not see him, that he still loves her. It seems so simple, yet I have not done this... Again, thank you.

 
Old 07-15-2007, 04:20 PM   #10
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

I am in the same spot with my 11y/o and 9y/o. Father in and out of their lives, unreliable, drunk most of the time. I finally cut contact about 9 months ago. I gave him chance after chance and he blew it. It is disruptive to the kids, and empty promises hurt them. I say go ahead and cut contact. I just stopped answering the phone when he called, and he gave up soon enough. He lives about 5 minutes away, and he has never bothered to come over to see if we are still alive or anything. The point I'm trying to make is, with these types of people, if you make the contact a little harder to come by, they will give up fairly quickly. Problem solved.

 
Old 07-16-2007, 06:00 AM   #11
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Angry Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

Karen,

Thanks for the response. I have been receiving text messages from him now for the last 2 weeks. Only one has mentioned my daughter, but it was just asking when she is going to meet her new sister. He is trying to show his new baby off to anyone who will look, even family members on his dads side that haven't seen him in over 2 years. I have not replied to any of the messages in fear of exploding or saying something I regret. I do not want to look like the bad guy here and knowing him he is wanting me to. I thought he would give up but he has yet to stop trying to get ahold of me.

At first I was somewhat confused why he was so persistant when he hasn't seen her for almost a year, then I thought he just wanted to show off his baby, but then he had the nerve to text message me asking for his social security card (which I haven't seen for 5 years). He never comes around unless he wants something and this time that's what he wanted. It made me sick to think that he may have actually wanted to see his daughter, but realize that again in his normal way, he only wanted something and that is why he was trying to contact me.

BTW he never once has asked in his messages how she is doing.

I can't believe he has the nerve to show off his new child to the daughter he forgot and then will probably leave again for another year so that not only is she missing her father but also her sister. For this reason I have not told her she even has a sister.

I am not sure if he realizes he plays these twisted games with my daughter or if he just doesn't know how immature he is towards her. Some people say he has changed and in the past I have always given him the benefit of the doubt. If he wants to see her he can go and set it up with the courts (which I told him a year ago when he again didn't show to see her when he was supposed to ~ accdg to him he didn't have money for gas, but guess what? I have NEVER been able to say I can't get my child due to not having any gas money nor would I be so immature to get myself in that spot in the first place) so that when he stops showing up again it will be documented.

If he is honestly willing to make an effort to see her then he will be willing to go through the courts. That will also make me believe that he has not plan to run out on her again like he has for the last 5 years.

 
Old 07-16-2007, 05:30 PM   #12
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

Man, were we married to the same guy? He sounds just like my ex. NEVER does he ask how they are, what they are doing, calls on their B-days, nothing. He doesn't know how old they are, what grade they are in or anything. He just doens't care. It is all about him. He will call when he needs medical advice (I'm a RN), when he needs money, or if he just wants to complain about his other ex-wife to me. Crazy people.

Last edited by karen28; 07-16-2007 at 05:30 PM.

 
Old 07-17-2007, 06:00 AM   #13
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Angry Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

Karen, he sounds like my daughters father.

And then last year when he actually called her for the first time on her birthday, and then didn't show up the following week to see her like he said, again ~ he had the nerve to tell me that it was rude of ME to not have her call HIM on his birthday! That she missed his birthday and she should have called him to tell him happy birthday. I told him he missed her first day of kindergarten, her first everything (he left when she was 9 months old) and I couldn't believe how he was rude enough to tell me that it was rude for her to miss his birthday. She is a child who's birthday he has missed 4 out of the last 5 years, and he is mad because we didn't call him?? And no it was not a birthday like his 40th or 30th.

Then he said it was rude of me not to invite him to her birthday party, I told him if he wants to have a party for her to go ahead, but he will NEVER be invited to a party I throw for her because we are NOT together anymore. That he will not come in her life for her birthday to PLAY a fake part as a perfect father and then leave again for a year again.

Please tell me what it is. Do they just not get it?

 
Old 07-20-2007, 10:29 AM   #14
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Re: When is it time to say enough is enough to a non custodial parent?

You asked your daughter if she didn't want to see her father any more?

Well best of luck no matter what you do but it has been my experience (divorced, x in and out of the scene, inconsistent, sees kids very little, 4 kids oldest is 17) that kids will always seek a relationship with a parent even if it is a dysfunctional one. They also will tell you what you want to hear in regards to their other parents. She will most likely blame you (if not now, later) if you have (or try to have) her father removed from the scene… She's 5, she knows him…

This will always be an issue for your daughter, no matter what you do. Try to listen to how she really feels about it. Perhaps get her someone she trusts but is not emotionally involved with to talk it over with. It is really hard to grieve a parent who is not dead.

 
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