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Topic : Co-Parenting

Number of Replies: 596
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:44:44 pm
Author : dataimport
Are you sharing a child with someone who doesn't live with you? Share your story and your strategies for effective parenting.

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July 12, 2008, 10:55 pm CDT

moving away from other parent

I'm an active duty service member who is stationed near my 3 year old daughter's father. I have physical custody and he has visitation. we've tried hard to stay near for her sake but I am considering leaving the military next year and going home. neither of us are originally from this area and it's very expensive. He insists he's going to live the rest iof his life here. I have noone here but him, my friends come and go as they are active military members as well. I want to move home where the cost of living is much cheaper and my family lives. I know our little girl would love the country life there. and I just feel she'd be so much safer. My only option is that or stay out here in the military and hope I can continue somehow getting stationed here. which is no gurantee. and that when I deploy he will not be deployed. But I am just heartbroken at the thought of moving her so far away from him. She is a wonderful amazing sweet little girl and she loves us both very much. I've had my share of trouble with him even some quite questionable circumstances that are hard to believe like him vandalizing my car or trying to get me fired at work! other than a few angry moments I cant really understand he's been pretty responsible and consistant with our daughter and I know he loves her very much. I also know I can give her a great life at home. and he has harrassed me quite a bit. It's been 4 years and neither of us has ever had a serious relationship or introduced her to signifigant others. It's worked out but Ive been in limbo. I want to finish school but can barely afford living here. much less do it and spend quality time with her and stay active duty. I don't know how I can make a good decision because it absolutely breaks my heart taking her away from him. although of couse we would have a good visitation schedule I think. and we are both flexible. It's just not the same. how in the world can I make the right decision? I've put it off as long as I can. I'm up for orders and I have to decide. I have planned and know it can work. and now the new G.I. bill. it just seems like I can finally advance too.
 
July 14, 2008, 5:03 am CDT

I dont know what to do anymore

My daughter is 13. She was given alcohol by her drunken stepmother because my daughter was depressed. I called the police, the stepmother admitted to it, and they did nothing. I called children services, they said its not illegal in the state of ohio to give a child alcohol as long as its in your own home and that youre a legal guardian. So i guess in the state of ohio, you can make your child or stepchild a drunk, no matter how old they are. My daughter said she felt loopy, happy, and got a headache from it. I told her that alcohol is not the answer to depression. I told her dont ever listen to her stepmother again about drinking. I think she will listen to me, but why is the state of ohio allowing this.
 
July 15, 2008, 7:27 pm CDT

Co-Parenting

Ive been having  a terrible time with my fiances ex whom he has 4 kids with, she has taken to calling our house up to 15 times a day, emailing etc. she takes him to court every 3 mths. for support, visitation etc. she has sent so many horrible emails about myself as well as his family. we have tried to get custody and more visitation but it seems that the legal system is outlined for mothers. I feel he is a wonderful father and would be a better parent for the children to live with. she lies all the time about the kids being in counseling, expenses for the kids, possible abuse by his family. It is as if she is trying to push him and his family out of the kids lives and just wants the child support money. We have so many emails showing what kind of a person she is and have caught her lies on many different occasions  she has even moved the kids to a diff country for a few months but no one seems to care. what do we do?
 
August 20, 2008, 2:39 pm CDT

Psycho Ex but son loves him to death

Hi everyone,

 

My ex husband is an alcoholic and has a bad temper.  We just got divorced and I have full custody and supervised visitation in order.  For the last year he was being supervised by his parents and it was working out fine.  My son coudl go there and have fun and I felt he was safe.  However, about 2 weeks ago my ex came over unexpectedly and started and argument.  I got my son in the house but then he kept yelling through a window which I coudlnt' get closed because of him.  He left but then came back again and tried to yell some more, this time the window was shut because I shut it as soon as he left.  I picked up the phone and started dialing the RCMP's number and then he punched the window that my 2 year old was standing in front of.  I talked to the police, pressed charges and got restraining orders against him.  However, he came back a week later and wa son my property and broke a beer bottle on my deck. 

 

I called the cops again but there was nothign they could do because I didnt' see him do it and had no proof that it was him. 

 

I have since decided to move to get away from him and have a normal life as he is trying to make mine hell by staying where I am. 

 

I am so upset becauyse I just moved here one year ago and have bought a house for my son and I and am near family and friends and am lovign the small city life.  I'm upset because my son and I are always the ones that have to adjust and he keeps living his merry little life. 

 

My biggest question to everyone is how do I deal with my son constantly asking for his daddy.  His  dad is a good dad when he is sober, and not angry, he has always paid child support and has spent a lot of time with his son in the past..

 

I have contemplated letting him see him supervised by a Social Services Worker but I just dont' know what to do.  I feel so confused.  If it wasn't for my son asking for him everyday and telling me how much he loves his daddy everyday I just would move and forget about him but he asks to go see him everyday and i keep having to tell him he is at work because I dont' knwo what else to tell him.  He is so little and innocent and doesn't know what is happening.  I am scared he is going to feel abandoned by his father if I don't let him see him.  I just do not know what to do.  I am so torn both ways.  I would never let him see him alone ever but part of me feels like he just doesn't deserve to see this little boy that loves and admires him when he can act the way he did in front of him.  I just need some advice from others who have been in this situation.

 

I wish I coudl be a cold hearted witch but I can't.  It is killing me that my son is hurting and missing his dad.  what do I do?

 
September 4, 2008, 12:31 pm CDT

What happens when parents dont agree what is too much to say to a 3 year old

What does the noncustodial parent do when he doesnt agree with what the mother is exposing the child too. A recent death in the family has brought up many adult issues that the 3 year old should not have to be exposed to but the mother does not agree. She is asking the child questions regarding what she saw and heard involving the situation. The father knows that she was not exposed to anything regarding the death but now believes that the child has been asked so many questions involving the situation that she has made things up just to give an answer to her mom.

Please help because this is a situation that can only get worse if nothing is done.

 

 
September 9, 2008, 9:10 pm CDT

I've been there...

Quote From: momof2tn

Myproblem that I am looking for advice is, I have 2 children one is 15 the other 12. About 8 years ago there father (my husband) walked out of are lives to live elsewhere. When we told the kids, he told them he didn't love there mother anymore and he would be happier living somewhere else. It was a really tough time for my children, they were 7 and 4, but though the years we have made life wonderful for us. He does have ever two week visitation, but not the best type of parent. Really not there for the children at all. My problem is, the real reason he left was he had a girl friend, which I didnt no til after he was gone, but 100 & 10% sure they were seeing each other while we were married. He did live with her for a while then split. Always say it was the biggest mistake he has ever made. To get to the problem, I live in a small town where he grew up, he lives about 1 hour away. When he left 8 years ago everyone in the town new he left for the girl friend. I am now concerned as my children get older what would happen if they find out. I am and don't want to protect my ex from his actions but I will always want to protect my children. I just wonder if at some time in there lives someone will tell them, will they hate me for not telling that to start with? I felt they were way too young, but I think once they find out the truth they will feel alot of hated feeling toward there father. Can anyone give me some advice as to what is the best for the children. Also, who should tell them, if there father is still denining it, should I tell them.. They did meet and know the girl friend, but they were too little to really understand what was going on thank you
I am 27 years old now, but my father was a chronic cheater to my mother basically the entirety of a 10 year marriage and was an every other weekend Dad. My mom was pretty much a tell ya straight kind of Mom and at the time they divorced ( I was 6) we had the same type of conversation about him leaving. I found out my Dad had cheated on her when she was in a moment of anger with him...now I understand her being hurt and him doing wrong...but at the time I just saw the fact that my dad hurt my mom and I spent A LOT of time being angry with him about it, especially since there was no one I idolized more than my Daddy. a very short 2 years later my dad was diagnosed with HIV and an even shorter 3 years later he was gone. ( This is not a sob story for me)...I wasted years that I could've spent just enjoying the time I had left but I was too angry, for many reasons. He let me down, but he apologized and explained that just because he was a really bad husband doesn't mean that my Mom did anything wrong. He never ever would put my Mom down infront of me or my sister. My point is....don't ever feel like not telling your kids something like that is wrong you're only extending a very short childhood, by not making them have to deal with a "grown-up" situation. You're town doesn't matter...yeah it sucks to be done wrong like that and have people know about it, but most people aren't brave enough to talk about stuff like that to someone's face most of them will talk behind your back first. All you can do is be honest with your kids in a tender way about it...don't let them see your anger let them see what you've gained from being dragged down like that and rising above it. Do not deny them the possibility of a good relationship with their Dad over past greivances and a child's natural instinct to protect Mommy ( the one they look to for ALL the support)....because you know you're better than that. use this as an opportunity to emphasize what kind of person they want to be looking for, or what you hope they can find in a person so that maybe they can have a happier ending like you would've wanted. After all we all want better for our kids than what we had it right? 
 
October 9, 2008, 7:36 pm CDT

Ex recovering alcoholic wants 16yo DD to move in

 History.  2 Kids, 18 DS, 16 DD and 2 1/2 DD w/new husband.  My ex has been in and out of jail for the past 2 years due to DUIs, 2 rehabs in the past 2 years.  The latest he just got out 4 weeks ago after a 6 week stint.  The kids have lived w/me full time for at least the past 3 years.  Now, my DD16 has had a change of heart and wants to go live w/the ex every other week.  All of a sudden he's forgive, I"m being treated like the devil incarnate and there you have it.  Today he calls to invite her to go to Mexico over our fall break next week w/some woman he's been dating for the past 2 weeks.  I wasn't even asked about the living arrangement, just told by him that DD wants to live w/him.  He doesn't ask me about the Mexico thing just asks her.  I'm the custodial parent and he's steam rolling me so that he doesn't have to pay child support. It's all about the money. 
I've agreed to let her try living w/him every other week, told her that I'm not for it but given the nature of his absence the past several years I understand that she wants to try it.  I'm definitely not for the Mexico trip.  He'll so have a slip, it's what happened when he went w/his old girlfriend this past spring and she told em it scarred her to be in a foreign country and have him drinking.
Thanks for reading, please post something.  Friends are telling me to tell my daughter no way on living w/the dad, one even went to say that if she wants to not to come back to me, but that's unreasonalbe in my opinion.  Ugh...
 
October 22, 2008, 11:31 am CDT

Abandonment, Or in the Best Interest of the Child?

My husband shares a son named Zack with his ex-girlfriend. Zack is now a year old, and has no idea who we are. Here's the story. When my husband's ex found out she was pregnant, she left left him for unknown reasons. A couple of months later, my husband and I met and eventually got engaged. When the baby was born, my husband and his ex did not go to court to establish custody; they were just going to work things out on their own. Since they never went to court, she was automatically awarded full custody, and my husband has no legal rights to visitations, even though he's been paying child support since the baby was a few months old. Thus we are now dependent on the cooperation of the mother if we want to see him. Since day one, she has refused to allow my husband and I to spend time with Zack unless she supervises the visitation. I was always uncomfortable with this situation. I just think it's unnecessary and inappropriate for my husband's ex to participate in the visitations. She is his ex, and my husband is now a married man. The visitations are supposed to be about the relationship between my husband and his son...she has no business being there! But for a whole year I've dealt with it because my husband would not stand up to her and demand time alone with his child. During this time, I have been given even more reason to not be comfortable with these arrangements, and I have every reason to believe that she is trying to break up our marriage to get back together with my husband. Even my in-laws are warning me not to listen to anything she has to say because even they believe that breaking up our marriage are her intentions. And to be honest, my husband and I have been having a lot of problems in our marriage recently, and a part of it has to do with his ex. We have actually come very close to getting a divorce because of problems she has caused between us. About a month ago, she finally agreed to drop Zack off at my husband's grandmother's house so that we could have time alone with him there. But since then she has come up with excuse after excuse, and we have yet to experience an unsupervised visitation with Zack. She is now AGAIN refusing to allow us time with Zack without her supervision. And she even claims that she has talked to a lawyer that told her she was not obligated to give us time alone with the child. We have considered getting an attorney to take her to court, but I have no idea how we could afford to get one. Even going through Legal Aid, we would have to come up with $300.00 up front ($700.00 if we want to get a paternity test which has never been done). And if we lose the case, we have to pay an additional $1000.00! We don't make a lot of money, and we simply can't afford to go to court. And I'm certainly not going to tolerate her orders and demands of when, where, and how we can see this child. And I'm certainly not going to allow her to be around my husband during the visitations, knowing that her intentions are to tear apart our marriage so she can move in on him. So what do we do? My husband's family is worried about our marriage and our happiness, and they've told us that they think we need to sign away our rights to the child. They believe that it would be best for everyone involved: Zack, me, my husband, and the ex. They have told us that things are always going to be chaotic like this because his ex is full of lies and drama, and will continue to cause problems between us. They believe it would also be best for Zack because it would be better for him to grow up without a father than to live in the middle of a battlefield his whole life. We barely have any kind of relationship with the child. Yes, we love him dearly and want what's best for him. But we've been given no chance at all to really bond with him. I can probably count on one hand how many times we've seen him in the past year. And he has absolutely no clue who we are, and he screams and cries when we try to hold him or have anything to do with him. My husband's aunt told us that she went through that with her daughter Crista who is now 15 years old. When Christa was little, her father hardly ever visited her (simply because he didn't care). And she would scream and cry during the few times he showed up because she didn't want to go with him. She was scared of him and did not know him. And little Crista herself told us that we shouldn't put Zack through that because she remembers from experience how horrible it was for her and how miserable she was. This came from a fifteen-year-old!

 

It's a very hard decision, and we are putting a lot of thought into what would be the best thing to do. I don't want to put my step-son what little Crista went through. And I don't want my husband's ex to eventually cause us to get divorced...which I fear is a big possibility because I don't want to live my life having outsiders constantly trying to break up my marriage. That would not be a good way to live. And even if we were able to take matters to court, she would still be in our lives because there is a child involved. Does anyone please please please have any advice to offer us because this is a terrible decision to have to make. His family is encouraging us to sign away our rights...that this is in the best interest of the child and in the best interest of us. Would we be horrible people to do this? SHOULD we do it? Any advice at all would be helpful.

 
October 22, 2008, 3:16 pm CDT

Suggestions

Quote From: sadieh12

My husband shares a son named Zack with his ex-girlfriend. Zack is now a year old, and has no idea who we are. Here's the story. When my husband's ex found out she was pregnant, she left left him for unknown reasons. A couple of months later, my husband and I met and eventually got engaged. When the baby was born, my husband and his ex did not go to court to establish custody; they were just going to work things out on their own. Since they never went to court, she was automatically awarded full custody, and my husband has no legal rights to visitations, even though he's been paying child support since the baby was a few months old. Thus we are now dependent on the cooperation of the mother if we want to see him. Since day one, she has refused to allow my husband and I to spend time with Zack unless she supervises the visitation. I was always uncomfortable with this situation. I just think it's unnecessary and inappropriate for my husband's ex to participate in the visitations. She is his ex, and my husband is now a married man. The visitations are supposed to be about the relationship between my husband and his son...she has no business being there! But for a whole year I've dealt with it because my husband would not stand up to her and demand time alone with his child. During this time, I have been given even more reason to not be comfortable with these arrangements, and I have every reason to believe that she is trying to break up our marriage to get back together with my husband. Even my in-laws are warning me not to listen to anything she has to say because even they believe that breaking up our marriage are her intentions. And to be honest, my husband and I have been having a lot of problems in our marriage recently, and a part of it has to do with his ex. We have actually come very close to getting a divorce because of problems she has caused between us. About a month ago, she finally agreed to drop Zack off at my husband's grandmother's house so that we could have time alone with him there. But since then she has come up with excuse after excuse, and we have yet to experience an unsupervised visitation with Zack. She is now AGAIN refusing to allow us time with Zack without her supervision. And she even claims that she has talked to a lawyer that told her she was not obligated to give us time alone with the child. We have considered getting an attorney to take her to court, but I have no idea how we could afford to get one. Even going through Legal Aid, we would have to come up with $300.00 up front ($700.00 if we want to get a paternity test which has never been done). And if we lose the case, we have to pay an additional $1000.00! We don't make a lot of money, and we simply can't afford to go to court. And I'm certainly not going to tolerate her orders and demands of when, where, and how we can see this child. And I'm certainly not going to allow her to be around my husband during the visitations, knowing that her intentions are to tear apart our marriage so she can move in on him. So what do we do? My husband's family is worried about our marriage and our happiness, and they've told us that they think we need to sign away our rights to the child. They believe that it would be best for everyone involved: Zack, me, my husband, and the ex. They have told us that things are always going to be chaotic like this because his ex is full of lies and drama, and will continue to cause problems between us. They believe it would also be best for Zack because it would be better for him to grow up without a father than to live in the middle of a battlefield his whole life. We barely have any kind of relationship with the child. Yes, we love him dearly and want what's best for him. But we've been given no chance at all to really bond with him. I can probably count on one hand how many times we've seen him in the past year. And he has absolutely no clue who we are, and he screams and cries when we try to hold him or have anything to do with him. My husband's aunt told us that she went through that with her daughter Crista who is now 15 years old. When Christa was little, her father hardly ever visited her (simply because he didn't care). And she would scream and cry during the few times he showed up because she didn't want to go with him. She was scared of him and did not know him. And little Crista herself told us that we shouldn't put Zack through that because she remembers from experience how horrible it was for her and how miserable she was. This came from a fifteen-year-old!

 

It's a very hard decision, and we are putting a lot of thought into what would be the best thing to do. I don't want to put my step-son what little Crista went through. And I don't want my husband's ex to eventually cause us to get divorced...which I fear is a big possibility because I don't want to live my life having outsiders constantly trying to break up my marriage. That would not be a good way to live. And even if we were able to take matters to court, she would still be in our lives because there is a child involved. Does anyone please please please have any advice to offer us because this is a terrible decision to have to make. His family is encouraging us to sign away our rights...that this is in the best interest of the child and in the best interest of us. Would we be horrible people to do this? SHOULD we do it? Any advice at all would be helpful.

I think if you sign away parental rights now you will find it very difficult to look Zack in the eye and ask him to understand there was no alternative if he chooses to look you up in 17 years time.  I'd save up as far as possible for the next year/18 months and blow the money on the legal case.  (Check whether the $1000 if you lose could be paid on an installment basis.)

 

In the meantime persevere with trying to get some sort of visitation and document her evasions.  With respect I think Christa and her mother are not the best advocates for Zack's interests.  I can only speak from my experience but all my nieces and nephews, bar two, had no trouble being cuddled as babies by myself and my husband and I doubt we saw them more than 3 times in their first 18 months.  The two who did look in askance at us were overmothered almost to the exclusion of their father in my opinion. 

 

You might also try and find some literature from respected sources about the importance of fathers in a child's life and get your husband to send it to his ex with a letter saying that he worries about Zack's future and suggesting some professional mediation.  (3/4 appointments - 1 for her alone, 1 for you and your husband alone and 1 or 2 joint meetings.  I know this isn't cheap but it would mean less saving than the law suit.)

 

I'm not a believer in duty at all costs but I think your husband's self respect would end up in better shape if his ex was seen to remove the child from him rather than he was seen to distance himself from the child.  The presence of the ex can only harm your marriage if you and your husband are confused yourselves.  He had  relationship with someone who left him rather than talk to him and work something out and who is unreliable and doesn't stick to agreements.  Why would he trust her again?  You took on someone with a lot of unfinished business with their ex and you need to give him the time to do that but in essence this should be limited to perhaps him making a weekly call to set up visitation, visitation if she agrees and perhaps half an hour moaning about her.  At the moment I suspect you deal with this daily  

 

 

 

 
November 16, 2008, 11:49 am CST

Advice wanted on Family a la Brady Bunch

Hi gang!

Just wanted an opinion from those willing to give it...

I have 2 children (son 15, daughter 13), who live with me during part of their school holidays throughout the year. My partner has a daughter (4), and both are moving from interstate and into my house. While I'm obviously very excited about all this, my question relates to parenting:

Do you advise that we sit down, either as 'parents' or as a family to discuss matters of 'house rules'? After all, when I'm not at home, and my partner is with the three kids, she's in charge, and of course the converse is true...

And another question: My daughter sometimes stays up late (like 10 or 11pm), reading or listening to music on her MP3 player; she's never disruptive, and is a great child. Does anyone else think that that's too late to stay up at night? I get to the point where I sort of need to 'enforce' a 9:30pm bedtime, purely becuse she needs to get more healthy sleep. This has some impact on the establishment of 'house rules', as my partner's daughter seeing MY daughter have a later bedtime may cause some tension... but then again, older kids in families usually get SOME privileges, don't they? I can't expect a 13 yr old to go to bed at 7:30 like a 4 yr old...

Any advice/opinions would be helpful - besides my marriage, I've never lived with an extended family, with a partner who has children! I/we want to get this right...

Cheers,
Fred
 
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