Divorced Father with 5 yr old son (Mother moved out of state)

skinnyhoopsJanuary 5, 2010

Good evening, I'm a 28 yr old single divorced dad with a 5 yr old son, who I've had the majority of custody since June 2008. Me and my son live in Florida. My sons' mother used to live here in Florida too, but in August 2009 she moved to Ohio to live with her mom there. I don't see how a mother can do that to her 5 year old child. But with her, it's ALWAYS about her and thats all she cares about is what she wants. Her reasons for moving was to "better herself", she had nowhere else to go after a bad breakup with her boyfriend at the time, she didn't have any money, and she was tired of roommating with friends. I honestly think she could've tried harder to convince her family in Florida to help her out with a place to stay for awhile. At least she would be able to take care of her son and see him every week. As far as roommates, she has had several and moved probably 4-5 times in a 3 year span. She says her goal is to come back to Florida in a year or whenever she had enough money to support herself. I honestly don't see this happening within a year or even two years at that because she is terrible with managing her money. Since August 2009, when she left to Ohio, she has not seen our son in person. However she does call everyday and talks to him for 2-5 minutes. She had originally planned to come to Florida for a week on Christmas, but that didn't happen.

Now here's why I'm posting tonight, today she called to ask about the summer of 2010. She wants our son to stay in Ohio for the WHOLE summer, basically a couple months. I refuse to allow this for the sole reason of our son being away from his home here in Florida for about a whole 2 months. I told her 2 weeks or even a month I would consider but not the whole summer. She asked me again "why not the whole summer? I haven't seen my son". The reason she hasn't seen her son is because she friken moved to OHIO! Well anyway she got mad at me and hungup the phone. I know she has rights to see her son and I want him to see her too, but for 2 whole months out-of-state in Ohio? I don't know what to do and having mixed feelings about the whole thing. Am I being a bad parent for refusing her request for the whole summer? Sorry this is long, but I could've honestly made it longer with all the stuff I want to talk about LOL. But I have to get my son ready for bed in a few minutes so I'll kindly await your thoughts. Thank you for your time!

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asolo

From your description, I wouldn't even allow unsupervised visitation on your own property.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 4:39PM
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mimi_boo

Get an attorney!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 11:12AM
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larke

Absolutely get an attorney. You could, theoretically, even end up in a situation like David Goldman who's just, after 5 yrs, somehow gotten custody of his son back from Brazil, where his wife took him. Your wife may legally have abandoned your son and your handing him back to her for one day could have dire consequences. Get help!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 11:40AM
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skinnyhoops

Good afternoon everyone, thank you for the follow-ups.

asolo, although that might be ideal, I'm not sure if I can legally do that right now? Our settlement states that sheÂs entitled to reasonable contact on whatever terms and conditions the two of us agree.

mimi_boo and larke, I have an attorney since I've already gone through the divorce and parenting plan process. My attorney, based on information regarding a domestic violence incident in 2009 where she was put in jail overnight and ordered to take anger management class, said he didn't think it would be unreasonable for me to withhold my consent for out of state contact. That makes me feel alot better knowing I can prove that to the courts if she decides to fight for visitation in Ohio. She really can't do anything right now anyways since she doesn't have the money to hire an attorney. I will probably just wait it out and see if she backs down. She has been known to go on the path of promising but not delivering anyways. I'm just thankful that my son is with me right now, and he seems very happy and doing well in school. Thank you all again.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 1:17PM
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larke

Alright, thanks for the explanation. But I do think the whole summer, under the circumstances is way out of line. I question (as I think you might have) whether she is really capable of handling it anyway, if she is stable and responsible enough, and if her anger problems are even slightly liable to extend to your son. I really wouldn't just moop around about this, but get more of a plan drawn up around dealing with visitation, etc. going into the future altogether, not just this time, or next, and arrange some structure that is specific about it all. She left after all, whatever the reasons, and while your son should see her whenever possible, I think in your case, you need to really be careful about how and when.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 11:41PM
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