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Too busy to be a dad?

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  • Too busy to be a dad?

    I find a lot of information on custody and children access where both parents fight to see the kids more often. In my case it's the opposite and I would like some opinions...

    I have been separated for 4 months now. Both my children (11 years old son and 7 years old daughter) have primary residence with me. They are with their dad every other weekend. When we first separated, dad said he would take the kids one evening a week. He had said it would probably the Wednesday. At first, I let him in the Mat home with the kids on Wednesday evenings to make it easier for him and the kids. He lives about 30kms from the Mat home. He was picking up the kids at daycare and taking care of them until 8:30pm. Apparently that was too much (homework, supper etc) so he now comes around 6:30 when everything is done, picks ONE child to drive her/him to an activity and brings her/him back around 8:30. He had also said he would come for our son's hockey. Nope, one evening a week is enough, he is busy the rest of the week.

    The kids had a day off school last week. Dad had a day off, but decided to leave earlier that day for a weekend out of town. The kids went to daycare.

    Most people tell me I should be happy I have the kids with me most of the time. I am, don't get me wrong. It makes me very sad for the kids though. They are old enough to figure things out. I find it frustrating too, it seems like he wants to make sure he can control my life. Not sure what to think or what to do. I guess I just needed to vent...

    Anybody else in the same situation? Any opinions?

  • #2
    I was/am -- however my kids are older now. There is little I can do now... they only care to see him for an hour or two once a month or so. He's perfectly fine with that.

    But for years I would have DEARLY loved for him to take them every other weekend and one evening a week. Wow... what a luxury to have some time to myself! Or my house to myself!!! Or help driving them to doctor/dentist appointments. Or to sit with our youngest for HOURS ON END every time he needed x-rays in emerg for some school sports-related injury.

    Unfortunately my ex very quickly adopted the attitude that his child support was/is my "salary" to take care of his kids. I am nothing more than a "nanny" so he can see kids when it is convenient for HIM.


    • #3
      My ex is too busy to return my son's phone calls. He is too busy to take him every other weekend like he should be. He is too busy to call my son at Christmas. He says he is working all hours of the day, on an on-call basis that makes it impossible to see him. Not true. And if it was true, maybe he could pay child support for the first time in almost four years. My ex drives his girlfriend's children to and from school EVERY DAY. He probably sees his girlfriend's children more than their own mom does. It is a personal choice that he makes every day to prioritize another man's children over his only child. One day I hope he realizes what he is doing to his son. I totally understand your frustration. I too was upset before when my ex used to take him ONLY every other weekend but that quickly dwindled to no access or contact at all. It is pretty sad for the kids.


      • #4
        These stories make me really upset. As someone on the other end of this scenario - I see my kids every other weekend - I can't imagine parents acting this way. I miss my kids TERRIBLY and do everything I can to squeeze in extra time with them whenever I can. I've grown more accustomed to the idea that I won't see them every day, but every now and then you get a little dagger in the heart over it. When people squander the opportunity I would give anything to have, it is both shocking and shameful.


        • #5
          Thanks for all the replies. It feels a little better to know I'm not the only one in this situation. My ex's view on this: "I pay enough child support, don't ASK me for more." I so strongly disagree with this. How can you mix money and access... it baffles me. I know one day he will regret it, but it will be too late. I just find it really hard not to be able to protect my kids from that kind of "loss". Everybody has a battle, that will be mine...


          • #6
            I have 4 children with my ex, he saw them about 8 times in 16 months, 90 minute visits. When I took the matter back to court I specifically requested that there be clear access guidelines, and all he was willing to accept through his lawyer was every 2nd Sunday. He had stated that it would occur at his parent's home, but I saw through this clause as he would use this fact in the court order as an excuse to get away with skipping visits, so I asked the judge to remove what he had his lawyer submit in their offer (and you can see where it was crossed off her paper during court). Turns out I was right, as he only took them there for the first visit based on the court order, the rest of the time he's had to actually plan things to do with them to abide by the order.
            Otherwise there are no phone calls, he is not interested in their education, did not even come to our oldest son's graduation from grade 8 even though I paid for & ensured there would be a place for him if he chose to be involved. He does not ask them about school and when Christmas rolls around, he will only spend 5 minutes dropping off some gifts a few days before, and that's it.


            • #7
              the ex really will pay for it in the end. My ex had every other weekend and summers, Christmas and holidays of his choice. For the first couple of years the kids and dad thought it was great. AND then he met a woman with a couple of kids. After that he would still take them on weekends but shove them out the door and do nothing with them. eight years have passed and both children now want nothing to do with them. They miss the dad from five years ago but want nothing to do with what he has become. He hasn't seem them for awhile and won't even call or contact them even though he doesn't know why they are coming. SAD, Sad, sad.


              • #8
                Knowing the kids are the victims is torture...

                I can't believe I just read so many of the same stories .

                My ex has wealthy parents. When he left he swore he wasn't abandoning them. What ever transpired between us he always said the kids would come first. They were 4, 10, 12.

                It has been a long bitter 4 1/2 years. Two court battles, 4 family deaths, and 2 graduations. The times the children needed their father the most he was not there for them. My daughter reminded me daily for 3 years that when she turned 14 she would move out and go live with her father, she won't speak to him now. After 3 years fighting for child support (FRO is slow but you have to stick it out) I was awarded $598 a month total for my three children. If he died they would get more from the government for death benefits.

                The only time the children saw their father after the settlement was when they called sobbing and begging for a visit. If he said yes, I would have to drive them the 135km each way for the weekend.

                The last visit was the end of June, my almost 17 year old wanders if his father was dead, if he would feel less guilty than he currently does, and my 9 year old is sure that his dad will some day show up and be the dream father he created in his head from watching TV.

                They deserve so much better than this. How can any father hurt his own children so deeply? I just don't get it.


                • #9
                  As is wholly evident from these responses, it does happen. My kids have seen their Mom for five hours in the last six weeks because she can't fend off her addictions.

                  Her family called me six weeks ago and advised that she was in a bad way and not to let the kids go there. Last week she landed in detox for the fourth time (that I know about) in less than two years, with yet another month long residential treatent stay now starting.


                  • #10
                    Using the kids as leverage

                    I have seen and heard of a lot of cases where fathers have not spent enough time with the kids by their own choice. I think this is a shame. But I wonder how many times the mother does something to cause the problem. My ex cheated on me and blamed me for many of her problems. I ended up catching her and she was worried I would take full custody of the children. I never wanted to keep the kids from her as I realized the marriage was over and never thought that anything but equal custody would be fair. But as soon as she recovered from her self pity, she took the kids (4 of them) away and has since used them as leverage against me. I told her that I wanted equal custody, but she refuses because her support payments would be drastically reduced. She always says things that are negative about me and has gone so far as to say I don't love my children, insulted me in front of our kids and saying I'm a bad father and that it is not healthy for them to see more of me. My point is that I am sickened that my ex uses the children for more money and expects me to live with her demands. To survive financially I have to work further away from where they live and have had to take a small apartment in order to afford to live while she lives in an upscale part of our city. In the name of money, she is driving me away from my kids and I am finding it hard to survive financially. Any other similar experiences?


                    • #11
                      Something that has worked thus far, although my ex is the one that doesn't make the time to see the kids more often, nor when it was openly offered was he willing to accept more time - in fact HE made the offer of only every 2nd Sunday when access was wide open & offered to him - but what has worked for the other portion you mention - the speaking ill of you to the kids. Since my case is still in the system right now, and he has a lawyer, I sent a letter to his lawyer concerning speaking ill of the parents. I do not do that to the kids where he is concerned, no matter what I think of him, he's their father & they can make their own minds up about how they feel about him. It's not my right or my place to speak ill to him at or around the kids, and frankly I expect that same treatment. The kids did not ask for life to be this way, and they should not be placed in the middle as though they are supposed to hate the other parent. Try sending her a letter, or if it's still in the court system, have this added to the order - about not speaking in this manner where the other parent is concerned. It's not fair to the kids and it's a disgusting behaviour from her. Best of luck!


                      • #12
                        I don't understand that one... if one parent can provide a home and care for the children, how can the other spouse simply refuse? Or, does that mean it will have to end up in court and be a court order for custody?

                        Phoenix - a coworker's son has a similar situation and he didn't deal with it. After a few years, the oldest son (now 11) was poisoned against him and forming the wrong opinion. I wish/hope you can resolve it and that your ex can see reason. Sadly, it might be a costly solution but if you can provide a good and stable home I cannot see how you would be refused.


                        • #13
                          I read all the posts and I thank god that In the custody matter my ex was extra nice.He called CAS twice on me,accused me of hiting my kids badly when ever they are sick etc etc but HE CONSENTED for SOLE CUSTODY to me in his affidavit.HE is/was great.
                          He is very regular in his access visits (every second weekends Sat noon) but unfortunately is too busy for them So he leaves them with his GF and works at his leased business.


                          • #14
                            sometimes things get twisted....

                            My partners ex moved about 4 hours away from where he lived with their 2 kids after they first separated. My partner had very little money and a beat up little truck with no heat and no back seat. He got the girls every 2nd weekend. (The ex didn't meet him 1/2 way so he'd be driving 16 hours on those weekends, and his girls 8 hours). Anyway, with combination of icy mountain roads, no gas money, and cold weather he didn't go pick up the girls a few times. However, the ex used this as an excuse that he wasn't properly visiting the girls and was allowed to move with the kids accross the country.

                            It is devastating to him. He is an awsome father and only gets to see his kids 2X/year now. We have other children and the cost of flying his girls out here directly affects our children as it is very costly (we got into credit card debt for the visits and have large payments every month that seem to keep growing!).

                            His ex complains constantly how hard it is for her to be a "single mom". But she doesn't have to be a single mom. She could have stayed here, given the father 50% custody. The real ones suffering are his girls. They have an awsome dad they never get to see. I see them getting more and more withdrawn when they visit (they are 13 and 11). My partner also says it is getting harder to talk to them on the phone. He is filled with guilt. It's too bad she took a few missed weekends and turned it into this.


                            • #15
                              It frustrates me beyond belief that these "dad's" are simply too busy for their kids, BS. My whole fight I had in court was only to see my kids. I wanted nothing to do with anything else, I could've fought to get some of the matrimonial stuff, but to me it wasn't worth it, I'd rather save my money for the fight of my kids. I'm a shift worker myself and I only get my kids every second weekend when my schedule permits. If I had it my way, I would have my kids every set of days off. But my ex wouldn't see it and wanted her full child support and keep me away from the kids. I'm almost into the second year since we seperated and my kids never want to go back to their mom's house and want to stay with me. What am I to do when you get made out to look like a bad father infront of a judge who listens to the lies and deceipt and a lawyer that doesn't defend you?


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