I'd like your thoughts on this...please...it's long


#1

As most of you know I am still in the midst of this divorce…thank God I have already been granted a decree of nullity…God is so good!!!

My husband, who before the annulment was being pretty nice and decent, is now being a jerk about the settlement and custody:mad:. I never really put two and two together till the other day when I was thinking about the whole situation. He started acting this way AFTER the marriage was annulled and I think that he’s mad over the fact that I am FREE from him.

He knew how seriously I took my vow of marriage and he knew that if I never was given that decree of nullity that I would never date or marry again, which is one reason I believe he married me. Now, he’s giving me a hard time with this divorce and it’s all about the money…he really doesn’t care that much about ds, he believes that as long as he’s providing financially he’s taking care of ds. I’m sure he has his hands full with all the babies that have come after ds with other women, anyway, that’s besides the point I guess.

Well, here’s my dilemma, I would like to ask him to support us for one more year. In that year I will build my business and do whatever I need to do to live without his financial contribution, in terms of spousal support and child support. In exchange I want him to give up his parental rights. As I’ve prayed about this day after day and night after night I think it would be the best thing to do for ds and I. I started thinking of what would happen to ds if something was to happen to me and I couldn’t be here to raise him. The thought of my husband taking him scared the heck out of me:eek:!!!

I know that ds would have a terrible, unstable, immoral upbringing. Not to mention the addictions that he would witness and stepmother after stepmother. The sheer thought makes me tremble. I know that if he didn’t have paternal rights anymore and if something were to happen to me I could have my family raise him. I know they would raise ds the way I would to raise him, they have my same values and morals and they are very stable people.

Another thing is that when we were together he talked about getting 50% custody of one of his kids, since she was much older now (13yo) and she could take care of herself, this so that he wouldn’t have to pay any more child support for her. He didn’t care that she lives in CA and he’s in IL or that she’s never lived with him, she didn’t even have regular visits with him. I told him this was an age that she needed to be with her mother, he said he didn’t care, that he was tired of paying child support for her:eek:. I am positive that he would do that with ds also, so I’d rather just take care of that problem right now.

What do you all think about this? Do you think he would go for it? Am I being selfish (I will tell ds about his dad and if/when he wants to see him I will allow that and encourage it as long as his dad doesn’t cause ds any harm…physical or emotional)? Your words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated:thumbsup:!!!


#2

Lexee, I’m not a parent and I dunno whether he’ll go for it or not, I guess it depends how vindictive he is and how far he’ll inconvenience himself financially to prolong ties that give him opportunities to get at you. (Got a divorced friend whose ex-wife has done that for over ten years and he won’t be free of contact with her till the second child is 18.)

But if it’s any encouragement …

I have a friend - Catholic through and through, dedicated SAHM when she had the choice - who went to enormous lengths to keep her daughter’s father out, out, OUT of their lives no matter what the financial cost. Long story … he would give prime grounds for an annulment due to deception, and my friend in the process of trying to stop his access (after a kidnapping - baby wasn’t returned after a custody visit and eventually recovered in a dirty, unfed state - and a few violent episodes, stalking, and a few other things besides that, even) found evidence he’d sexually abused his daughters from his previous annulled marriage.

It never entered anyone’s head to think she was selfish for “depriving” her child of a father - what she went through to protect the child even landed her involuntarily in a mental hospital for a time, and she’s a pretty strong woman. This man, once his true colours shone out, seemed the textbook abuser with an extra shot of mental illness, and she needed the law behind her to make sure that he could not ever, ever come back into their lives.

It sounds as though you have good reasons for wanting a legal basis to keep your ex out of your son’s life indefinitely. The ideal is two parents, yes, but a parent a child has to be protected from … ?

From what you’ve written and from thinking about my friend’s experience (DH and I were involved in helping her at the time) I don’t think you sound selfish.

:twocents: :console:


#3

No, Lexee, you do not sound selfish. You sound smart.


#4

With the caveat that none of us knows all the details like you do. . . I’ve read your posts for years now and know the depths to which your former husband can sink when it comes to responsibility, commitment and parenting. Clearly, there was little reason to expect or hope for any change in him or you never would have had the marriage nullified. The same extends to your son. This man has never acted out of anything other than pure selfishness and self-interest and will probably never parent your son in any healthy or meaningful way. Severing his parental rights will likely protect you and your son from his destructive interference in the future–particularly if you are not financially dependant on him and subject to that continual manipulation in your life. Sadly, there is no way to spare your son the pain of his father’s lack of involvement, but since you can spare him the trauma of his interference, then I would do so.


#5

No, you’re not selfish. Do it. :thumbsup:


#6

Ditto.You are soooo strong, Lexee, for doing/going through all you have in the past few years. I really admire you as a strong, faithfilled, and positive woman. Your decision is very well though out and the responsible thing to do.
I’ll start praying that he will agree to it.
Jess


#7

hi lexee–
I’m sorry for your situation. I am a little confused–can you help me to understand what your question is, exactly? Are you asking if you should take full custody ogf your son–or remove your soon to be ex’s paternal rights? I didn’t see a clear cut question, so I apologize if I’m asking the obvious.:blush:


#8

Just a warning that if your ex does not give up his parental rights voluntarily, you may have a long, difficult road ahead if you try to get a court to terminate them. A friend of mine ran into problems when she tried to get her boyfriend’s rights terminated (they were never married) because the court and the social services people needed PROOF that he was a danger to the child, that he was neglectful, abusive, etc. The only way they could get that proof was to let him have the child and monitor “the situation” for a period of time (I think she said 3 months.)

Of course, if he minded his manners, there would be no reason for his rights to be terminated. Fortunately for my friend, before his visitation/custody hearing came up, he was caught DUI and with drugs in his possession. That seemed to be sufficient proof (and thank God he didn’t have the child in his car with him!)

So think about how you approach your ex with your proposal. If at all possible, try to get him to give up his rights rather than having them taken away. It’ll save a lot of headaches down the road and make things far easier on you and your son.

Prayers are with you!


#9

Okay, now from bluerose’s post, I see that you would like to remove the paternal rights of your soon-to-be ex husband.

Hmmm…Hmmm…that’s such a tough thing to decide upon. I feel for you being in this situation–and my ‘feelings’ would agree with your feelings about it. But, I thought a father–whether he desires to or not–has to support his child financially. I hesitate to go the route of cutting him out of his son’s life–because he has an obligation and responsibility to pay for your son’s future, financially. I hem and haw with this in my mind–but, although, it will be probably a lot of court battles–I think it would be worth it, because he needs to pay child support. I don’t know if we can say for sure, how he will be in the future as a father figure to your son. Now, if history repeats itself, it’s possible that he could end up being a terrible role model–and I can see you being fearful for your son–especially when other women come onto the scene. But, I don’t know if someone remarries a handful of times–if that is a reason to revoke someone’s paternal rights. (just speaking hypothetically–if he remarries again and again, let’s say)

I would discuss with him (your ex) if he plans on being a good role model for your son. See if he acts ‘like a jerk,’ or if he is willing to at least pay for child support. Before offering your option–I would go that route. I don’t know if I would want to be responsible for bringing up the idea of revoking my husband’s rights to his kids. Even if he was a jerk. I would rather have him decide that on his own, that he doesn’t want to be a part of their lives, as painful as that would be, it would be better than me making the choice for my husband and my kids. Just my thoughts on it.:o

((hugs)) to you–I will keep you in my prayers that God brings enlightenment for you, on how to move forward with all of this.


#10

Hi Lexee,

I am in a sort of similar situation with my ex, that really all that he is interested in the children for is having some type of control over me, that and he is angry that he has to pay me support and wants to make it difficult for me as revenge. He has actuall put that in writing. He really pressured the kids in their time with him to cause problems and be disrepectful to me…going on and on about how their lives are now ruined because I divorced him. He has taken my 13 yo to the point of emotional breakdown, and now my 16 yo and 13 yo will not see him anymore. They are old enough to decide. My 5 yo and 7 yo still have to go with him though, every other weekend when he shows up to get them.

I understand totally your thought process and I would like to find a way to not have to take support from my ex for the same reason.

Just don’t make a deal like that right now. It can leave you with no options. Take this time to work towards financial independence, and let your STBX show for everyone to see what his interest in your son is. Document how many times he fails to come and get him and what type of involvement he has with your son, good or bad. Document the situations where he is showing that he is incapable of putting your son’s best interests above his own selfish interests. That way, should you go to court, you will be dealing with facts and not just feelings.

One thing to think about with people like your ex and my ex, don’t show them your cards. Don’t let them know what it is that you really want, because then they will actively work to punish you. I think it is best to just feign indifference. Just with these types of dads, honestly the interest isn’t there, and on their own they will stop seeing the kids. How do you think your son might feel when he grows up and finds out that the reason his dad wasn’t in his life was because his mother made a deal to keep him away? I think it is better that you let your ex just fade away on his own. Don’t give him any emotional satisfaction from having any type of intereaction with you, because that is probably the only thing keeping him around, needing that kind of control.

I know that this came out somewhat jumbled…but hoping it made some sense.


#11

Much as I agree with your reasoning and the fact that your ex does not deserve to be a part of your son’s life esp in the eventuality of your death, I am obligated not to agree with you on the issue of ruling him out of his life. I am a product of a broken home and my dad kept my mom out of our lives and believed he was doing it in our best interest meanwhile I am still not happy with him for doing it. The fact remains that he is his father. Like someone adviced, let him fade off naturally instead of it being on record that you caused it. Just keep praying, God will make a way.


#12

Thanks everyone for your support and wise words, please believe that I take it all very seriously.

I had posted quite a long time ago about these same thoughts, I got some really good comments, suggestions and advice. I remember one post very well and it was IslandOak’s. She posted the downside of him giving up his rights and how financially it could negatively affect ds. Not just no child support, but no claim to any inheritance or anything having to do with his father. At that time, I believe I was still pregnant, I decided not to consider that option anymore, since I wanted ds to have the same financial stability that all his other kids would get since he makes very good money. It’s been almost two years since then and I feel that severing all ties would be the best thing for ds.

Money is just money, it comes and goes and, most of the time, it just corrupts those who have it. I know that I could provide a good living for ds on my own, sacrifices will have to be made, but doesn’t everyone have to sacrifice something? I also know that the only reason my stbx comes around right now is because I still have control of the company we have together, so it’s always because he wants money, he just uses ds as an excuse. He’ll come by for 15-20min tops, get his check, play with ds for that time and go. He has seen ds a total 3 times since Thanksgiving 2006. Whenever we schedule something he calls and cancels…not surprising because I witnessed him doing this with his other children, which are much older than ds and understand the deception from their father and experience the pain of being lied to and let down time and time again.

Like I said before, when and if ds wants to meet his dad and have a relationship with him I’ll be ok with that as long as stbx doesn’t cause any damage. Again, I am thinking worse case scenario, what if something was to happen to me…I would not be a responsible, loving parent if I didn’t make sure ds was taken care of in a nurturing home with morals, values and stability…I would consider myself an utter failure if I didn’t protect him!!!

My stbx has a gambling addiction, he’s an alcoholic, has had 3 DUI’s(that I know of) in a span of 5 years and, let’s not forget, he loves women. He may have one at home, but that doesn’t mean he’s just got that one. During our short marriage I found out that he was messing around with, at least 10, and those are just the ones I found out about:eek:!!! I know there were much more, a kid would just cramp his style…so what would happen to ds…who knows, I can’t allow that to happen.

I didn’t plan on having his rights terminated through the court, what I want is to ask him to give up his rights voluntarily in exchange for no spousal or child support…ever. You know close the book on this part of our lives, we won’t bother him and he won’t bother us. I just don’t want him to have any way of manipulating or controlling us…in the end it’s all about that and the money.

I pray that ds would understand and forgive me someday, I also pray that God in his immense mercy and goodness will give me the man that He wants me to be with and that this person is everything for ds that his biological father can never be…hopefully it’ll happen while ds is still little:o.


#13

One more thing, please don’t think that I have taken this issue lightly, or that it came to me on a whim. Like I said in my initial post, after much, much thought, reflection and prayer this is what I have come up with that would be the best thing for all involved. I won’t fight to have his rights terminated, I will ask and I pray that he accepts. That way ds will see that his father voluntarily gave up his rights and then I’ll explain the “why” of what took place.

My stbx is one of those men who like to keep women on the line, he leaves you then calls and says he made a mistake, you’re the best thing that ever happened to him, he loves you, etc., etc. I got to experience this first hand since we’ve separated, except I don’t fall for it. All the other women have, which is why they still hang around hoping he’ll go back to them. He gives just enough so they don’t go anywhere else and they maintain that glimmer of hope. He does that with his kids, gives just enough to keep them there hoping and waiting that they’ll get more time, attention, whatever from their dad. I think this is very cruel, and it’s not how I want ds treated by his own father.

Please know that this has not been easy for me, and I don’t even know if he’ll go for it. Also, that I will not keep ds from his father, only his father will have no say about what ds and I do or how we live our lives etc., I don’t want him to be able to control any part of our lives anymore and as long as he’s “providing” financially he’ll always feel entitled to ds and I.


#14

Lexee;

There are cases though I have read about, where the father is REQUIRED BY LAW to pay child support, but have no visitation rights, for a variety of reasons, maybe abuse, etc…a danger to the family. I would hesitate to give him the option–of going out of your son’s life, in exchange for no child support. He should still have to provide, and if he feels entitled to see your son, you could take him to court (if this was the right thing to do at the given time if his behavior is immoral for example)to get his rights taken away–but he’d still have to pay the child support. (And you never know–he could change–people have been known to change their bad ways, so maybe he will?) I would discuss all options with a good lawyer, and see if they provide any insight with where you’re thinking of heading with this. I will keep you in my prayers, and may you someday meet a Godly man who will love you and your son–unconditionally. Prayers are with you!


#15

That whole process of keeping you hoping is how abusers keep their victims sticking around. They use hope as a weapon. Sadly, it is very effective.

Your ex though is more interested in you, than he is in his son. If he eventually “gets” that you are beyond his reach, he’ll give up. I don’t think that your son is going to have his dad’s full attention focused on him, where he is going to be stringing him along like this, because manipulating him does not have the same appeal as manipulating you…and he has enough to distract him with his other vices and attachments in his life.

Lexee, you are breaking free from this man, whether or not he will buy into your agreement. Whatever happens, he will no longer have the control to string you or your son along.


#16

Just a thought…

…Due to 9/11, children are not allowed to travel alone, particularly children that can’t navigate the bathroom, let alone the airport. It is becoming expected that the non-custodial parent either visits the child in the area in where the child resides, or flies out, gets the kid, flies back home, and flies the kid back accompanied.

Judges are (finally) getting stricter on parents who do not bother about their kids when given the opportunity, opt out of their lives for years, then want “back”. It often involves supervised visitation with a paid supervisor, and loads of parenting classes and therapy.

Have you considered asking for a one-time settlement, instead of a year of support?


#17

I have thought about this, I don’t think he would be able to give me a lump sum of what he’d give me in a year. So, I’m not sure what he’d say if I proposed this to him.

He came by today because he wanted…money of course. He also said he wanted to come to an agreement because he didn’t want to waste his money on a lawyer. He was trying to be very agreeable to things…but I didn’t have time to talk so we’re meeting on Thursday to try to work this out. He’s up to something…hiding something, his contract was extended for one year and he’ll get a new one at the end of 2008. I have a feeling it’s a really big contract that he doesn’t want me to find out about it, which is why he wants to settle closer to what I’m asking for.

I may bring up some of these things when we talk on Thursday or I may wait and see what happens. If he agrees to visitation only and I can move where ever I want then I my not ask for the termination of rights, still thinking about it though.

I appreciate all your thoughts and support.


#18

Lexee, I haven’t had much to add, but I have been following your story and praying for you.

Please check with your lawyer about this. It is my understanding that custody arrangements can be changed at any time. If that is the case in your state, your ex could agree to simple visitation right now and turn around in 1, 5, 10 years and take you back to court for custody.

Please consider this as well. I would hate to see him hurt both of you again with this in the future.


#19

You’re right, I had forgotten about this, I will talk to my attorney about this.


#20

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