I need your thoughts please


I am a 33 year old man divorced almost 2 years. I am currently out of work ( though I am a published poet , making a little money that way) I want to go and finish my degree . I want to be something more.

Here is my dilemma , Divorce ruined me , Sent me to some kind of hell making me crazy traveling all over the country using pain pills , Drinking alot. I don’t know what really happened to me. I have been in and out of my little girls ( she is 5 tuesday) life for a year now. I am so poor and broke I have fallen behind on my support. My ex wants me to sign over my rights , Not because I am a bad father or abusive , I love my little girl. She wants me not to cause her pain any more. I mean my ex left me I did not leave the marriage. She wants me to be a distant memory for my child ,LEtting her decide wether she wants to know me. My daughter lives in Alabama and I in RHode Island It is 1000 miles away. I try to call her everyother day but I am not allowed to talk to her. I am dying inside , I feel guilty , I am loosing myself. THough I know I can’t give up. I have to make something of my life . I am very smart and have the know how. Though I feel if I do giver up my child She will hate me , If I am not around she will hate me. I don’t know what to do. She is my little tiny best friend , The biggest dose of love I will ever have. I have not seen her since January and I miss her so. Until I have enough money I cant visit , I need to catch up on support before I get in trouble. I have a plan for my life , But I want her in it. I don’t want my ex to take my little girl away. THough I feel she is winning and I suffer everyday…


Is there a reason why you can’t move to Alabama to be closer to your daughter? Or do you think your ex would move to get away from you?

Whether it is fair or not, you may have to put aside your personal ambitions if you want to be in your daughter’s life.


financial reasons. They are real bad. I am going through alot. My ex just not want me involved in my childs life anymore. She wants me to sign papers to change her last name etc.


The reason I want to finish my degree is so she can have more in life. I was in telecom for 5 years and it was an industry that has suffered .I have had to have meaningless jobs for 2-3 years now. I am trying to go to school to be something more for her.


I can’t really give any advice but I want to say that I’m praying for you at this time and will continue to. It must be hell what you’re going through…
I would not allow your ex to take your daughter away. I don’t think you should sign away anything. You have rights as a father and your daughter needs her father in her life. She needs you. Don’t give up hope.
You are right to work at getting a better life by studying. Could you work part-time in the evenings and at the weekends to be able to pay child support and to live?
In relation to drink issues etc could you talk to a trusted priest about your life? It sounds like you’re in a lot of pain and sometimes talking in confidence to someone can help. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Would you consider going to a healing Mass/Confession etc? I know I’ve got a lot of grace by going to Adoration and pouring out my concerns and worries to God. I always feel better after and often get little insights and wisdom for the future when I’m there.
Praying for you at this time.
God bless.


As someone coming from the opposite side of the fence from you, I guess I can give you my thoughts. First, being able to see your daughter should not be a financial transaction. Your ex-wife should not be holding your daughter ransom for back child support payments. The big concern though would be that you have active drug and alcohol problems. If you want to be a part of your daughter’s life, you need to seek treatment and turn your life around. Don’t you think it might be an indication that you don’t have your priorities straight if you have money for drugs or alcohol, but you don’t have money to contribute to the support of your daughter? You might say that this divorce was not your choice, but don’t you think that the choices that you made in your life prior to your wife leaving you are what led to the divorce? Did you have problems with drugs or drinking prior to the divorce?

In any event the best thing you can do for your daughter is to get your life together. There is no reason to give up your rights to be a part of your daughter’s life, but you do need to get some help and a track record of sobriety if you want to have any type of unsupervised contact with your daughter. In the mean time, maybe you can call or write to her. It is best for kids to have two parents in their lives, but you need to make sure that you are a positive supportive force in her life. You need to be willing to put her needs above your own.


It absolutely infuriates me when parents use a child as a pawn in a game.You have every right to see your daughter.Like a previous poster said, she is not a financial transaction. I would NOT give up parental rights NO MATTER WHAT.
Try getting your life in order and seek some legal advice. Perhaps there is a legal aid group in your area.
I can sympathize with your plight. I have been cut off from seeing/speaking to my 7 y/o grand daughter because her mother is using her.
Seek out a priest or some counselor and see what help they may offer. In the mean time…pray without ceasing!



Let me start by saying I don’t have a drug and alcohol problem , I am past that I was stating where I was after a divorce. I plan to work and go to school at the same time . That is my plan. I plan on getting into the swing of things and calling or trying to be a part of her life.

I guess what I am asking is this.

Since I can’t be a physical aspect in her life now and she is mad at me for not being around , Should I agree with my ex and keep my distance or sign her over , I mean I feel like it is one big catch 22 I am hurting her no matter what. I dont know her birthday is tuesday , I cant be there and If I try to call I bet my ex wont let me talk to her. I mailed a present anyhow. I will never give up , I wont let anything take her away Even if it is years before I see her .

I guess what I am wondering is it in the childs best interest to hurt her so much ? I cant go to bama right now ( financially) I have to stay here . I can get free college and get some job for the time being. I am wondering being in and out of her life is that the pain orif I dont get to see her for ten years would it be worse If I just gave up on her ? This question is more for the child than me.


Whatever you do, signing over your rights would be the worst possible thing. Keep doing what you are doing and keep trying to contact your daughter.


I will pray for you Frank!


It would be worse for your daughter if you didn’t care at all. Never give her up. You are her father and she needs you. Go get as decent a job as you can, go to school and get legal assistance. One thought: Document every letter you send ,every phonecall you made to your ex and child and every gift sent with receipts ,so if it goes to court you got a paper trail to prove that you care for your child and ceaselessly attempted to be in touch with her.
I’ll pray for you and your child. God love you!


I agree with this. There is no reason that you should feel pressured to give up your rights to your daughter. What’s more, your ex-wife has no right to keep you from talking to her on the phone. I would talk to your ex-wife and make sure that she is not talking negatively about you. That is very harmful to your daughter if she is doing this. Let her know that she should never comment on your lack of child support payments, or your other short comings with your daughter. For one parent to tear down another parent is consider child abuse, and it causes a lot of pain, confusion, and anger for the child. I would definitely document all of your attempts to contact your daughter and find some type of legal aid to help you so that you can have regular contact with your daughter. I do think it would be best if you moved to be closer if you want to be a regular part of her life, and fortunately for you she lives in an area with a relatively low cost of living.


No. While you may have limited involvement in your daughter’s life now, giving up your parental rights would be similar to totally abandoning her. Don’t do that. You are her father–be her father.

You write that you won’t give up, but signing over parental rights would be a tragic loss in your effort to maintain any sort of relationship as you would loose your legal right to see her.

Of course it’s not in her best interest that whatever happened in your marriage tore apart your daughter’s home. Of course it’s not in the child’s best interest for her mother to try to force her father out of her life. If you had a sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church, those matrimonial graces are still available. Pray hard for your ex-wife that her heart may soften for the sake our your daughter.

While your sending presents to your daughter, you might try wooing her mom too. Maybe send her mom a “happy labor day” bouquet on the occassion of your daughter’s birth.

Giving up would be worse, but neither of these is a good choice. In ten years, your daughter will be a teenager. If you abandoned her (by giving up parental rights now) feelings of rejection may stir up again in her teens. That could lead to all kinds of trouble in her relationship with boys.

Hopefully, your present situation will not last for the next ten years. Do whatever you can do to see your daughter–don’t give up and don’t let your ex-wife force you out of your daughter’s life. And pray that God show you a way to live closer to your daughter. LIttle girls and teenage girls need their daddies.


I am not a lawyer. I am also not a psychologist. I am raising two granddaughters. So I have some experience.

Do you feel it is best to be out of her life? I[size=3]f you feel you will this is so, well by all means, step aside so some other man can father her. That will get you off the financial hook as well. Make sure this is done in a court of law, and that is is properly entered, with a lawyer, either your exwife’s, or yours. If you do not, you could face child support years down the road in monstrous proportions.There is no sin in doing what is right for the child. Children are not put on this earth to be a “dose of love” or to be used as a security blanket. [/size]

If you feel you want to be a presence in your daughter’s life, and that means for the next 13 years and beyond:

  • Tell your exwife politely that you have decided to stay a constant in her life. Do not tell your exwife anything else. There is a difference between civility and spilling your guts to somebody who might use it against you.
  • Get a lawyer yourself (legal aid- rils.org/ lawsource.com/also/usa.cgi?ri abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/main.cfm?id=RI) or call the child support office where the divorce was heard (if it was Rhode Island [abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/main.cfm?id=RI ](“http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/main.cfm?id=RI and”)if it was Alabama dhr.state.al.us/page.asp?pageid=288) and inquire as to paying off your back support while making your payments. Very often, there is a a self-help desk at the county level. Check and find out. What do you have to lose except “no” for an answer? You found CAF. You can find the rest of the information you need on the Internet as well.
  • Stop overindulging yourself in whatever the pain killer of the moment is for you. Seek AA or some other group to help you with this.
  • Utilize whatever visitation was given you in your divorce settlement to the fullest; in fact, demand it, even if that means taking yourself to Alabama to be with her and sacrificing anything else to do that. Be there ringing the bell and ready for visitation day.
  • As somebody else suggested, move to Alabama. Plan it. Do it. To my mind, right now you have nothing to lose. Sell what little you have, get on a bus, and go to Alabama. Stay in a boarding house or single-room only place. Get food stamps.
  • There are colleges in Alabama, when you are ready. In fact, you might be eligible for financial aid. You never know untiul you ask.
    -There are jobs in Alabama. As a telecom person, your skills are portable into other areas of expertise. Do some research and figure out where your skills transfer.

With either choice, as you currently have responsibility for just yourself, find the nearest Catholic church and make sure you attend daily Mass, and squeeze in some time before the Blessed Sacrament. Examine your conscience and go to confession.


I don’t believe you’re really hurting your daughter and certainly not to such an extent as your ex is making you believe. She just wants you to disappear from the life of hers and the daughter’s, simple as that. She wants to move far away, she doesn’t seem to mind it a single bit that she’s moving and the daughter is then blaming you for being far away. In short, your ex isn’t being honest.

Get a lawyer. Since you still have your rights, you can obtain an injunction to prevent your ex from moving, for all I know (I’m not an American lawyer, so this is just something I’ve picked up and I’m not sure how exactly it works there). Don’t sign the rights away. You might possibly be hurting your daughter by doing this or that, but not by having your rights or her having your name. I think the ex is overdoing the drama part here.


You need to get your act together. You need to get advise from someone you trust and respect in real life, who can find out all the details of the situation much better than strangers on the internet can. Don’t make any life decisions based on what people on a thread tell you. We don’t know you, we don’t know your wife. All we know is the short sob story you have briefly outlined here. It’s very tragic and distressing, YOU NEED HELP!!!


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