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How do I deal with the "dead beat mom"????

My fiance's daughter (2 1/2) lives with us, full time. THANK GOODNESS!!! Her mother only gets her for a few hours, once every week or two. I know its only a short time and I know she needs time with her mom... but I always worry so much when she's gone. She has fun, but she comes back smelling like smoke, with no nap, having eaten nothing but a french fry or two, and sometimes her bottom's not even wiped clean! Last time, she had spilled hot coffee on herself! She's such a smart, active little girl. I worry that she's not being watched closely enough. (don't even get me started on the fact that her mom and her mom's boyfriend admittedly get high, and there's probably drugs hanging about their apartment.... ugh) We are not in a financial situation to get a lawyer and change the custody agreement right now but, trust me, that's the first thing on our "to do" list. Until then, w hat do I say? How do I stress less about it?

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Asked by mama_moonsong at 10:08 AM on Mar. 25, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 7 (199 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • I don't know what to say to help, but I am glad that little girl has an advocate like you and her father in her life. If her mom won't take care of her like she deserves, she is lucky to have another female figure to fill the void.

    Answer by Danielle720 at 10:15 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • I would find the money to get the attorney. Ask friends or family to help out. Document EVERYTHING when SD gets home, take pictures. Whatever you need to do. Keep track of dates, phone calls, etc. It may not be admissable in court but it does show a pattern. Not sure what you can do to stress less, I really don't think there is, other than getting visitation changed so it is supervised.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:17 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • Until you are married its really up to the girls father to deal with what is going on. That dosent mean you arent going to worry about her of course. If it were me and I thought the home or parents were unfit I would simply withhold the visitation. They cant do anything about it but get an attorney and go back to say they arent getting visitation. Then your husband can show his reasons for finding it unsafe. More than likley they would be able to get an attorney. Or your fiancee could put the mom on warning saying she better not come back smelling like smoke. Hopefully you can get the money soon! You probably wont be able to take away all her visitation I worked for the courts as a visitation worker where I had to monitor people when visiting with their children and even after awhile those people get unsupervised with their kids. Unless they basically walk away.

    Answer by okmommy08 at 10:21 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • she sounds like a mom who needs some serious parenting classes. Sad fact is unless she is actually caught with illegal drugs or messes up with the law the court wont order her to get help. Its just your word against hers. Document everything. Take her to the pediatricain have him write a note for the mom stating she isnt to be near cigarette smoke. I know my ped would write something like that. The whole supervised visitation is great but it does cost money to have. So the court orders so many and sees if progress is made its not something that will go on forever.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:30 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • call CPS, they will check it out, and let the child live w/ u and your fiance. maybe?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • aw, ladies, you're so sweet. i feel a little better just getting it off my chest. we will have the money soon. the only reason we dont now is, my fiance got laid off, soon after i got pregnant (due april 24th). we're still living comfortably, but want to make sure we can continue to do so until he finds a job. i know it would be unwise to go into a custody battle with him being unemployed, even though we do have money and a nice, stable home. we definetly won't have a problem changing the agreement. she lives in an icky apartment with a guy who (though very nice) is pure trouble, and she doesn't even pay the child support. 'til then, yes, i am recording everything in a journal. (good idea to the mom who suggested the pediatrician's note! the poor kid's lymph nodes get all swollen and her eyes get red and puffy, everytime she's exposed to smoke.)

    Answer by mama_moonsong at 10:39 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • Does he need a lawyer in your state to change custody? In my state, you don't need a lawyer. You just need to be able to prove that the change is best for the child. I'd check and see if he even actually needs a lawyer, and if not, then once he gets a new job, go ahead and file the paperwork. If you are or become seriously worried for his daughter's safety while with her mom, I'd do as someone else suggested and call CPS. It really sucks how some moms and dads just don't care at all about what they are doing to their kids, or rather, not doing.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 10:51 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • i'm not sure that we'd NEED a lawyer, but the mom might freak out and get her sister to hire her one. (lame lame lame) it's just not something that i feel we should go into until he has a job. (thankfully, he's taking an entry test for one right now) we just want to be able to prove, without a doubt, that we are able to give her everything she needs. coming into our home, it would be obvious, but you know things often look different on paper.
    also, i have a moral dilemma here.... is it right to take her away from her mom completely? i mean, it's not like they have a special bond or anything. hell, they barely know eachother. but her mom does love her... she's just a bad parent... i'm so confused. perhaps it will all be clearer to me when i have my baby and am rid of these horrendous pregnancy hormones.

    Answer by mama_moonsong at 10:58 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • why can't you have cps intervene and have them get their lawyers to give you full custody?

    Answer by admckenzie at 11:02 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • well, i'd love to. but here in georgia the organization is called DFACS and they are... well.... nazis. lol. they are very thorough, which is good. but does she deserve to have her entire life ruined? who am i to decide that? i'm not arguing with you at all. i know that's what i would say to someone, too. im just so confused and conflicted.

    Answer by mama_moonsong at 11:07 AM on Mar. 25, 2009

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