Single Mom Ready to Strangle Irresponsible "Daddy."

Updated on January 31, 2007
J.F. asks from Grand Forks, ND
14 answers

Hello, this is my first post with a bare with me, please. I was with my child's father for 6 years before we had our son, about 5 months after he was born I discovered "several reasons" for me to leave the relationship ASAP. I sat down and put together an "agreement" of sorts of everything I could think of...we agreed to everything and had it notarized before I moved out. Everything from visitation expectations, holidays & child support agreements were made. He hasn’t made due on any of them. In the past 3 months he has picked him up one time out of 7. He agreed to see our son no less than 6 times PER month- he’s seen him 7 times in 3 months. He agreed to child support monthly- I’ve received $200 out of the $1200 promised.

We moved the 1st week in October & got 1/2 an installment of child support at that time. Two weeks after my son & I moved out, his dad “lost” his "dream" job due to his irresponsibility to show up to work so I haven't received a dime since. I filed for child support the end of November & have yet to hear anything from them. Is this normal?

I've also just recently told him that until he gets a car seat to pick him up in, a job to pay child support & cleans up his pigsty so our son can safely be on the floor at his place...he will not be seeing him. Of course, now he's laying on the threats about taking this to court. I'm not so much intimidated by them because I know he wouldn't have a leg to stand on in court- but it's consuming me because I'm one of those "what if" thinkers.

Any suggestions on how to deal with an irresponsible 31-year old whose acting like a 3 year old? I'm out of ideas. I've tried being civil, I've tried ignoring him, I've tried angry- nothing gets thru. It’s all about what a horrible person I am…and how he can do no wrong. And his mother…ohhhhh, that’s a whole ‘nother ballpark!

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much to all of you who wrote in with support...

It's been 3+ weeks since I've heard from everything is great! :) There's been no lawyers or court documents thrown at me, so I'm fairly certain he was just blowing smoke. I've contacted Child Protective Services to see what rights I have and it seems that since I have custody of my child, the ball is in my court. I'm not obligated by law to borrow him the carseat...I'm not obligated by law to bring my son to him...we have NO legal visitation agreement (I was told the notarized agreement means nothing) so all in all- I'm not forced to do anything. I called on the Child Support claim and they said they did issue a claim, so the ball is rolling there.

My son is happy and healthy- that's really all that matters to me. I will make sure he has everything he needs, regardless if dad is around. My son is my I will do what I have to. I can do this on my own. I know that now.

Again, I really appreciate those of who were kind enough to share your stories and support. I am happy to have signed up to Mamasource...there are some wonderful people here! Thanks again!

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answers from Billings on

I understand yes not hearing anything from child support is normal they will ask for his information every so often and if you push it they will help you get a cort order for child support intill you have that agrement or not they can not do much after that they will garnish his wages after a while of no payment but that takes awhile. On the Issue of dad being a child unfortanly you just have to take it as it comes document everything his not showing up for a viset everytime the best thing is to get a parenting plan approved thru the corts that way he can not take you to cort for not alowing him acces to his son intell that point whoever has custode is the partent and can not be forced to give him to the other. if you have any questions ask I will answer the best I can I went thru a lot of it with my ex it is never easy no matter what just keep positive and rember child or not he is daddy and will have as much or as little to do as she wants it is his reasionship that will suffer you can do nothing but allow it that thrive or fail he acts.

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answers from Missoula on


Unfortunately a lot of men falter without the power behind the throne. First of all I am very sorry for your situation and getting through it will not be easy, but you sound like a very level headed intelligent woman and I am sure you will do the right thing(s).

Have you gotten a legal separation yet? I would establish that order of business as soon as possible if not, because a notarized agreement isn't going to hold up in court as well. That will establish everything in the arrangement by order of the court until the divorce can be finalized and then keep a journal of all the incidents of no child support and failures to comply with the separation agreement. This will get you everywhere in court.

You are doing the right thing and as long as you are doing what you feel is right and searching for outside input to help keep things in perspective. Also make sure you have a supportive person in your life that will let you vent, you need someone who will realize that just being able to rant and rave about something even if you can't change it can be a healthy release.

As far as worrying about your child that can be a bit more complicated depending on your beliefs. I have a tendency to be a bit of an anxiety prone individual myself, and I had to learn a way to cope with my inevitable thoughts of doom about virtually every situation known to man involving the care of my children even with very responsible and capable people such as my husband and my mother. My husband and I have a very strong belief system and now that I am more secure after much practice in my beliefs, I am able to get through those difficult moments. We believe that everything happens for a reason, and as far as tragedies are concerned, when it is your time it is your time and it is all predetermined. A person can give themselves a whole list of medical problems along with anxiety when it comes to considering the endless "what ifs". I believe that if I am living my life the way that god instructs (with obvious recognition of the fact that we are all sinners and quite imperfect or we wouldn't need God's help or blessings) and I ask for his forgiveness daily and protection and guidance then I have done all that I can do and it is absolutely out of my hands. This doesn't always instantly comfort a person, however if you truly believe it, it can help a great deal.

My advice on the legal part comes from being that supportive person for some of my friends and family and having a 13 year old son who has an alcoholic father who is 40 and recently sober for almost a year for the first time. I have given quite a long list of requirements and conditions for involvement with my son as well with regards to his physical and mental health. Mothers are supposed to protect their children. The best advice about being able to rely on him is don't or his family. It can be really though, but learning how to manage without any help at all will help way more and then if you actually do get some help then it will be a pleasant surprise.

Good luck and I hope if nothing else this gives you some possibilities to consider for your own situation.

Take Care,




answers from Des Moines on

J....I think you know in your head what you need to do. Seek a lawyer and take the low-life to court. Granted, even a court document can't force him to pay child support, but a garnishment of wages sure can. Thinking of your baby's safety in regards to his pigsty of a home is GREAT...I wish more people with even older children would stop and look around them. A clean home is SAFE..a clean home is SANITARY. Good luck in your future.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

Sounds like you need to call CSRU ( child support recovery unit) and find out what is going on, it can take a couple of months to get child support going good, I think it took about 5 months for the process back in 2003-2004 when I had to go for it from the twins father. I hate to admit it, but the quickest way to get throught the CSRU system is to go through the system and get help from the state with supporting your son. Youd be amazed how much quicker they are to go after a recoupment of their money from the childs father.

As for him taking it to court tell him to do it. Then he can explain to the judge why he doesnt pick his son up when he is supposed and why he doesnt pay child support. You dont say anything about his mother except she is another story..So I am gathering she is a real piece of work.

I would suggest you find an attorney and have him/her inform your ex and his momma that from now on they contact you through him/her.

Good Luck.



answers from Davenport on

hi J. , i have been deviorced from my ex for about 11 yrs. now we have come along way scence then . i know how you are feeling been there . men can be realy kids sometimes . it sounds to me that if he takes you to court, and trust me been there several times to . that he wouldn't have a leg to stand on . he signd that paper and it was notarized . there for it is legal . as far as child support goes they take for ever . i have a four year old from a one night stand and he almost never sees my son i'v realy tried to get him to see zakary but he just seems to take zak when he wants to be a dad or when his mom wants to see him . he is orderd to pay child support and have insurence on zak . he pays the child support but hasn't got insurence on zak in like a year . ok so this is my edvise ie what i did . i told him that if he wanted to see zak again then take me to court because i'm sure they would love to know why you don't have insurence on him . it's been my exp. that men just love to throw out threats that they know are nothing . the courts are realy hard on men so just keep that in mind your the one taking care of the boy and he's the one not helping . just keep that in mind . i hope this helps you some . keep being strong thing will get better . your doing a good job being a single mom . hope every thing works out for you . let us now how thins go ... good luck



answers from Davenport on

Well first you need to grow up.What were you thinking having a child with this man?You had to know what he was all about before you got pregnant.So you need to finally except him for who he is and believe he will take care of your son when he has him.Or take it to the Courts and let them decide.



answers from Sioux City on

First of all Debbie N is full of it! Don't listen to critics like that! Can I hear an Amen on that???

I am going through the same thing and I know the feeling but x4. Mine walked out on us 3x in 6 weeks and I said enough is enough. We had an agreement for 50/50 care but he has not even seen them since 12/31/06 and I had to pay for his gas. I finally saw that it was doing no good trying to force the kids on him. He had agreed that if I did not file child support he will pay me $200 every 2 weeks where if It were child support I would get 51.5% of his gross income so he had a heck of a deal made. I HAVE NOT SEEN A PENNY!

I have found someone new in my life but do not want to persure it before the divorce and that is hard as hell. My 2 y/o calls this other man da-da and it hurts me inside and I do correct him all the time as well as this other guy is correcting him as well. I don't want to take their daddy from them but he just does not want to be there for them at all. I recently "last night" asked if he wants shared custody or not, cuz he is not doing his share. He says he is not sure. Shows how much he cares. All the sudden in the last week he wants me back and I am not up for his games. He is that way only because of 2 things. #1 His mother saw me with another man. #2 He is in a financial jam and is trying to talk me into doing another Surrogacy (I have been a Surrogate Mom 2x and yes it pays well), but it is all about the $ with him. HE WANTS TO HAVE ME AND THE KIDS BUT IF HE CAN'T HAVE ME, HE DON'T WANT THE KIDS.

Sorry, I had to vent!

I finally stopped trusting him and filed for child support last week. I meet with a divorce Atty. here tomorrow and it is a free consult. Next I will look into a temp order for custody and child support cuz I know Child Support takes forever and with a court order it goes MUCH faster. Heck, I think it is insane that Child Support charges $25 to file.

Oops, venting again!

All I can say is maybe a temp order for custody and child support. It may be the only way to get anything done.

Best of luck!



answers from Missoula on

Hi J.,
I was a single mom from the time my youngest was 9 months old. Their father only seen them one time in all their life. one thing I learned through all that was you can't make them be a father to your kids. I think in your case if he is threatening court to you why not take him to court and get full custody through the courts and then they will set the child support for you, then you can get it garnished so you get it whenever he is working. If he don't come and see him it will be his loss. Your son will grow up and make his own mind up about his father. My kids have turned out wonderful and I don't think they even worry anymore about their dad. He had called them one or two times over the years but nothing much of contact. Good Luck



answers from Omaha on

You know to be terrible honest it depends entirely what state you are in as to whether or no he has a leg to stand on. In our area a friends who was far worse then your babies daddy got pretty much equal custody to the babies mom. Got his son on the weekends and i think it was every other holiday. His apt is disgusting, i mean roaches disgusting, he is never timely, if there is a party over the weekend if he does take his son he is gone the entire time and the child is really with his mom or a babysitter. THe court said as long as he paid child support. Which he has since the ordered was issued. Never a dime before that mind you. Think he might have bought his son a onsie though...LOL!! Regardless when the mom tried to bring this all up in court the judge got annoyed at her saying that if he was going to all this trouble to have visitation...blah blah blah...most fathers of this sort wouldn't bother and she should be happy that he wants to be in the sons life again blah blah blah...regardless I was shocked he was given custody on any don't count him out in any regard. If he gets a similar judge he will get partial custody i am sure as long as he isn't an axe murderer! That is just what I have seen.



answers from Boise on

Do you or a friend see his house? Can you take pictures of how dirty the place is?

As for the visitation, you could set up a place where there are witnesses to see if he comes or not and start a journal of when the visits are planned, if he shows and who was there.

The child support thing takes a long time, especially if he isn't working. My mom has a hard time getting it for my sister and its just whenever he's working.

I hope some of this helps.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

I feel for you. Your situation is oh so familiar. As far as advice on telling him he can't pick up your son until he gets a car seat and cleans up his place, THAT is a safety concern so the court will be okay with that but from my own experience and what my attorney told me is that child support or none, his visitation can't be stopped because of not paying. Unfortunately that sucks, but in Iowa, the courts don't care if they pay support or not, they still have visitation rights.
As far as him threatening court, it doesn't sound like he can afford it, but his mom might. I say get a lawyer and get custody established and get a child support order through a judge and have it garnished like someone else mentioned. Then anytime he has a job it will automatically get taken out and you will get it. Also in Iowa, when an child support order is in effect and not paid eventually they loose their driver's license. In my opionion and from going through a similar situation, I would say your best bet is to get a lawyer and get custody established, get a visitation schedule arranged (if he doesn't hold up his end of visitation - his loss) and get a child support order through the court.
It is true if you go on state help, child support tends to go faster. I think it is important to get the custody set up though no matter what. I don't want to worry you or anything, I just wanted to give you advice that my lawyer had given me.
If you want to talk feel free to email me at [email protected]
Good luck which ever way you decide to go!



answers from Cedar Rapids on


You need a good family law attorney. For references, ask around. Ask people who have gone throguh a divorce or similar situation whether they liked their attorney. Or you could call your state's bar association. It might even have a website with referral information. If you cannot afford an attorney, please know that there is probably a good volunteer service in your area. It may be connected with a law school or perhaps local attorneys volunteer their time, as in my area. Once again, your state's bar association will be a good source of information. Good luck!



answers from Omaha on

im kinda in the same boat here, my x only sees the kids MAYBE 3 or 4 times a YEAR!! what i do is i dont call him to set up the arragements for him to see the kids and thats working for me, the child support thing i would call and ask them whats up but if hes anything like mine once they do find him and start taking it out hell quit, get another job in a month or so, they will start taking it out again, then hell quit or get fired on purpose and the circle will continue in that fashion, it sucks real bad. i would go to dhs and apply for medical so you have insourance no matter what, apply for food stamps so that you have food to feed your self and your child and apply for fip so that you have some money coming in to pay rent or your bills. as for the car seat issue id be telling him the same thing, i wouldnt offer to let him borrow the seat you have for him either. it takes two in order to make a child so it takes 2 to take care of the child and if he cant then see you later.



answers from Sioux Falls on

I am so with you on what you are going through. I have put up with so much of what you talked about. I have a two year old and i have been seprated from her father for 1 year now. When i left he agreed to pay me $200 each month for child support and see her on Sundays. i wanted to keep everything civil so i wanted to work with him. He made one paymnt and got mad at me so stopped paying, so i went after him for support, which does take forever and is impossible to talk to anybody, but you will hear back someday. i still dont get $ but at least there a running total for him to pay and it shows on his credit.

I really encourge you to get a lawyer and get custody figured out, try for sole custody, and keep a written record of what he does, when he comes to see your child and when he doesnt. YOu can request that his visitation be done at a visitation center if he lives somewhere that isnt safe or sanitary for your child.

I got sole cusody of my daughter and i feel like i finally have control. he still makes empty threats but i know what my legal rights are now and that is wonderful. If you having any questions fell free to ask, sometimes it just helps to talk to someone who is going through it too.

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