Time with her dad... — The Bump
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Time with her dad...

My husband and I officially broke up in August, after not living together for over 9 months. While I am planning on divorcing him, I haven't contacted a lawyer yet. In the meantime, my daughter is supposed to spend Mondays and Tuesdays with her dad, as those are his regular days off. The last two weeks, his schedule has been Sunday/Tuesday off because his manager has been on vacation (we both work in retail). On his usual days off, he takes DD only about four hours each day. It feels more like he's babysitting than having "visitation". Since Sundays mean football, he didn't take her last week and probably won't this week either.

My problem is, I don't want him to be able to say I'm keeping him from his daughter. I've suggested we take her to the park together or go get coffee. Things that would allow him to spend even an hour with her. But his response has been "I don't have money for coffee" or "It's supposed to rain". He doesn't drive, either, and relies on public transit to get around. Sometimes he uses that as an excuse too. "I can't take DD on the bus", etc.

Part of me is frustrated because he spends very little time with her. On the flip side, he has a substance abuse problem and I worry when she IS with him. I just don't know how this will all effect me legally. We've discussed me having sole custody, which he's fine with as long as he can have visitation. I know I need to get to a lawyer, but don't know how to handle the situation in the meantime.   

Re: Time with her dad...

  • The best advice ive got is talk to a lawyer or get in touch with legal aid.
  • I've been going to counseling for a few weeks, and they gave me a list of different resources. There's a low-income/legal aid line I need to call. Another item for my to-do list this week. :)
  • Well other then that document, document, document
  • What should I document?
  • When he turns down visitations, why he turns them down, etc.
  • Communicate through text, save all texts.
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  • ST3WDST3WD member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    So sorry you're dealing with this. :(

    I second the PPs about the lawyers and documentation. Try to write anything you can recall about having conversations you two had involving DD, when you spoke, for how long, whether or not you suspected he was under the influence, anything to support that, etc. If you contact your phone's service provider, you should be able to get a print out of any time you two actually spoke via phone call. Definitely start using texts. 

    I know you don't want to prevent him from seeing his child. I don't think anyone actually wants to prevent visits, but if you feel unsafe leaving your daughter with him, don't. 
    Offer supervised visits or for him to seek counseling. Are there any other family members in town? Someone else may be able to stay with them to keep her safe without you seeming too overbearing or controlling. The excuses sound like he doesn't want spend time with you, which sucks but shouldn't prevent him from visiting his daughter.

    I hope everything works out for you and he will pull his act together. GL and keep us updated! :)

    Edited: words are hard

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  • Thanks everyone for your responses.

    We mostly communicate via text, and I rarely ever delete them, so I often look back on them. There have been times when I knew we discussed something, and he comes back later and says he doesn't know what I'm talking about or that we never agreed on specifics. It makes me question whether I'm remembering things accurately, or maybe I wasn't clear enough with him. Thankfully, I have my texts to go back on and reread. When these miscommunications come up, I usually figure he was either stoned when I talked to him and he doesn't remember the conversation once he's "normal", or vice versa.

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