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What is a bad father? *vent*

Posted by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM
  • 31 Replies

I suppose it could go either way, mother or father, but in a situation where the parent's are no longer together, what makes one parent "bad"? My DH's ex has gone on a rampage of badmouthing DH saying he's a bad father and how SF has stepped up to the plate because DH is shirking his duties as a father. She has denied visitation for the last 4 years. We showed up for visitation (they live in Iowa) to find out they are here in MI (where we live) no more than 20 minutes from our home. This has happened the last two years. DH is to pick up at beginning and BM is to pick up at end. They were coming to MI this summer so we asked if she would drop SD off and we would bring her home and she said yes. DH was SO excited. Then she stopped responding to emails right before they were to leave. Then sent me an email while here in MI that she's not going to drop SD off because DH is behind in child support. (In December of last year, he lost his job due to health issues and was off work per doctor orders. Prior to that he was on time and paid in advance in support and support is now currently being paid and has for 3 months on time.) DH called SD and BM was yelling in the background "tell him he's a piece of shit father and you never want to see him again." SD complied. DH asked SD if she wanted to hang up and talk later and she said yes. Since this time in June, the calls he makes go unanswered. The BM and SF are telling SD that DH doesn't want to see her and that he's a bad father. DH is in the process of filling out paperwork to file contempt of court and to hopefully start seeing his daughter again. I just fail to see how DH is a bad father and would love some input on how he's a bad father. Should support be paid on time? Yes but since SF is stepping up and being "dad" what does it matter? *insert sarcasm* I do think support should have been paid but with neither of us working and the doctor saying he couldn't work, there was little we could do. Should DH filed court papers sooner? Absolutely and he's dropped the ball when it came to that. But do those things really make him a bad father? I don't see how he can be a bad father when he's not ALLOWED to be a father. Am I wrong? Is he a shitty parent because he was late on support and didn't file papers sooner?

I know I should just not listen to what they say but it's being said to SD and she's being led to believe her father no longer wants her and that is SO far from the truth. My DH shares in helping me and my ex with my two children from my previous marriage. DH, my ex and I get along and we work together. DH has been to every single one of my children's conferences over the past 10 years, takes them to sport practices and goes to games, takes them to movies and their father is active in their lives. We have two children together who he spends everyday with; playing with them, reading with them, etc. To my two children and our two children, he's been a great father. It's because I LET him be an active part. Am I just blind because he's my DH and so I just think he's a good person and good father? I'm sad and frustrated that my children have  no idea who their half sister is and the toll it's taken on my husband.

by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
jupiter5
by Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:41 PM
No but she is a bad mother.
KnowItAll
by Silver Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:45 PM
1 mom liked this
Child support is important.
kristinbugg
by on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM
1 mom liked this
So, your DH did not pay CS for at least six months?
jules2boys
by Gold Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM
2 moms liked this

If your DH needs someone to 'let' him be a father, then he's likely a bad father.  NO ONE 'lets' me be a good mother to my boys.  NO ONE could stop me from being a good mother to my boys.  NO ONE could keep me from court to go after someone who refused to let me see them either.  I'd be living on the courthouse steps and have my butt inside that building every day if that's what it took.  But, your DH, through health reasons I suppose (if he wasn't in a coma or in full body traction then the excuses begin to fall apart IMO - but, that's just my opinion, I'm not speaking for others), choose NOT to contact the courts to suspend his CS temporarily (thus notifying BM), and chose NOT to contact the courts to go after BM for not allowing the visits, not notifying him of their change of address, etc. and denying the phone calls and visits... that's on HIM solely.  It's not up to BM to make the visits happen.  BM is wrong to get in the way of visits but her getting in the way is no excuse to NOT fight to see his child IMO. 

Would your DH be a good father if you didn't let him?  Think about that one some.  If you did to him what BM is (told your kids that he's a bad father, wouldn't make your children available to see their father/SF, etc.), would he fight to see them or would he roll over and say 'well, she won't let me so I can't'???

bottomline
by Silver Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:00 PM
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 Your Dh may not be a bad person but he is not a stellar father at this point. DH chose to do nothing when bm was refusing visitation. Why is that? If they have a CO and his visitation is set, bm was in contempt. DH needed to file contempt charges.

Years have gone by without seeing his DD. You can't just expect a phone call to fix that relationship.  DH needs to put forth way more effort than he is so see his child. His child needs to know he is trying and needs to SEE he is trying.  To her, she is just worth a phone call and years of no personal contact. How do you think she is feeling about that?

Get an attorney and explore DH's options for resolving this situation asap.  DH can show his DD he cares and wants to be involved. She deserves that of him.

Leigh84
by Gold Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM
This


Quoting bottomline:

 Your Dh may not be a bad person but he is not a stellar father at this point. DH chose to do nothing when bm was refusing visitation. Why is that? If they have a CO and his visitation is set, bm was in contempt. DH needed to file contempt charges.


Years have gone by without seeing his DD. You can't just expect a phone call to fix that relationship.  DH needs to put forth way more effort than he is so see his child. His child needs to know he is trying and needs to SEE he is trying.  To her, she is just worth a phone call and years of no personal contact. How do you think she is feeling about that?


Get an attorney and explore DH's options for resolving this situation asap.  DH can show his DD he cares and wants to be involved. She deserves that of him.


AmericanDream
by Gold Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:08 PM

I don't think that your DH is the world's worst father but he hasn't been the greatest father to his to his daughter, up to this point.  I understand losing a job is tough but he still should have been supporting his child.  My DH was really bad off with work for a while and we were still responsible for feeding, providing shelter for, clothing... etc. for our children.  Inability to work is not an automatic out for a NCP, either.

And three years is a very long time to go without seeing his DD.  Especially with the distance he should have got the ball rolling the very first time BM refused visitation.

Of course, though, you guys already know that so now it is time to move forward.  It is not going to be easy but if he really cares and puts in the effort his relationship with his DD can be salvaged.

amyjo76
by Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM

To answer some questions. The original court order was in MI and was transferred to Iowa. He was never notified that it was moved to Iowa by Iowa courts. We had been filing in MI for contempt up to 4 years ago and was going to MI courts for that time when she finally moved it to Iowa. He was working at the time it was moved to IA so I tried to find out what I could through their local court not knowing how IA handles contempt issues. They kept telling me I needed to contact the original divorce attorney. They were never married, there was never an attorney in Iowa because everything was done through MI. A friend of mine recently went through a divorce and lives in Iowa and so I was finally able to find out what the process is. Money has been our biggest issue. We had no one to borrow money from and we had no money. I don't work and am trying to get disability which is a long drawn out process. BM said DH never paid support and that is because she receives state assistance and from what I was told the CS goes to the state, not to her so she doesn't know if he's paying it. (I know this to be true in MI but not sure if it's the same in IA.) Do I think he should fight harder? I do but I can't make money appear and his doctor ordered him not to work until he was medically released. He is working now and is paying his support. The child is 13 and his support has been current and one month ahead until he lost his job in December and then support wasn't paid until August. Yes, a long time and no the courts wouldn't wave his support or lower it, he tried. We were living off of food stamps and government assistance until he got his job. We sold everything of any value just to pay bills. (I don't feel all woe as me but those are the circumstances we were working with.) As for not filing sooner, we had and we did through MI and dealt with it through MI courts then she moved it to IA (like she should have done 8 years ago) and MI dragged their feet just to be told we had to file in IA. Which is fine if that's where we now need to file but between no job, no money and adding travel costs in, we were strapped. We/he were in the wrong to not get it taken care of sooner but are working on it. He has tried calling several times so that even if he can't see her, he could talk to her but they don't answer, answer and hang up or scream obscene things in the background making SD repeat them so in your honest opinion is it worth it to put SD through that? I'm asking that honestly as I've never had to deal with anyone like that in my life. My parent's were divorced when I was 8 but were civil with each other. While things were tough in the beginning, my ex and I have a pretty good relationship all things considered.

daddysgf
by and that's all on Nov. 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

This.

My SO traveled across the country multiple times to see his child when he was a baby. He drove across the province bi-weekly, six/eight hours, for every single possible visitation. Even when he couldn't afford it. Even after working long shifts. Even if BM said he wouldn't be able to see him. He did everything possible to scrounge up child support, even if it meant living extremely sparsely. Because that's what he had to do. 

Quoting jules2boys:

If your DH needs someone to 'let' him be a father, then he's likely a bad father.  NO ONE 'lets' me be a good mother to my boys.  NO ONE could stop me from being a good mother to my boys.  NO ONE could keep me from court to go after someone who refused to let me see them either.  I'd be living on the courthouse steps and have my butt inside that building every day if that's what it took.  But, your DH, through health reasons I suppose (if he wasn't in a coma or in full body traction then the excuses begin to fall apart IMO - but, that's just my opinion, I'm not speaking for others), choose NOT to contact the courts to suspend his CS temporarily (thus notifying BM), and chose NOT to contact the courts to go after BM for not allowing the visits, not notifying him of their change of address, etc. and denying the phone calls and visits... that's on HIM solely.  It's not up to BM to make the visits happen.  BM is wrong to get in the way of visits but her getting in the way is no excuse to NOT fight to see his child IMO. 

Would your DH be a good father if you didn't let him?  Think about that one some.  If you did to him what BM is (told your kids that he's a bad father, wouldn't make your children available to see their father/SF, etc.), would he fight to see them or would he roll over and say 'well, she won't let me so I can't'???


pepper504
by Platinum Member on Nov. 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Child support and visitation are not contingent upon one another and if BM withheld visitation due to that, that is a contempt charge.

I'm baffled as to how he didn't know that his child moved from one state to another. 

Does it really matter what BM thinks of her ex?  Nope. 

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