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Mizbhayvin's avatar

Should a dead beat Dad be allowed to talk to his kids?

Asked by Mizbhayvin (72points) October 2nd, 2010

I was married for 6.5 years. We had two kids, who are now 6 and 7. He cheated on me with another woman, and after many times of trying I finally got a back bone and told him where to go.

Now fast forward two years. He’s barely had contact with his two kids. He’s also a master controller, manipulator, and an abuser. Emotionally, physically and mentally.

My sister tells me that he should be able to talk to his kids. That I will look like the “bad guy” if I don’t let him have contact.

I am afraid that it will hurt my kids more in the long run if they talk to him. He only tried calling when it suited him. Making promises that he can’t keep, like telling my 7 year old daughter that she can come live with Daddy when she’s older. When I try and tell him he simply can’t make any promises, he literally tells me off.

Am I doing the right thing by not letting him talk to them? After all I am the one that picks up the pieces when Daddy is done with his whim. Am I wrong in wishing he would just disappear off the face of the earth and leave us alone? It would suit me just fine…but am I doing the right thing by my kids?

He’s barely had contact in the last two years with them. 2 years is a heck of a long time in a 7 and 6 year olds life.

What’s the right thing to do? BTW, he lives on the east coast in the US…and we live on the west coast in Canada.

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18 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Is it possible for you to find some type of supervised contact? There may be local authorities who arrange such supervised visitations.

Mizbhayvin's avatar

@hawaii_jake – I have full sole custody of the kids. He doesn’t have the money nor the will to come the 3000 miles to see them. I was thinking of trying out webcam chats between them.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Mizbhayvin : If you have sole custody, then it’s totally up to you. You’re not a bad person, if you decide to allow no contact between them. However, if you think about it, you could supervise the chats. You could talk to your ex before the chat and agree on what subjects would be acceptable. If he strays from that, you could step in and end the chat.

I do not envy your position. It’s a hard decision. Best of luck to you.

YARNLADY's avatar

Child support and visitation are not and should not be connected in any way. The love of the father and child has absolutely nothing to do with the ability or willingness to pay support.

Berserker's avatar

If he’s abusive to them in any way, sever that tie now. Family or relation are just words, and mean fuckall without love or at least, respect.

Mizbhayvin's avatar

@YARNLADY I never said anything about child support…or visitation. I’m asking about not in person contact…

YARNLADY's avatar

@Mizbhayvin I thought deadbeat dad was another name for a dad who doesn’t pay child support. If this is not so, then I have misunderstood. The relationship between a child and their father should not be severed for any issues between the parents. If there is abuse, then yes.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Should a dead beat dad be allowed to talk to his kids? no. but kids should be allowed to talk to their dead beat dad.

Personally, i would tell him to leave a contact number, and tell him not to call anymore. that you will call him if and when the kids ask to be able to talk to or see their dad.

However, im no there, its not me, this is your call.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Parents should always be allowed to talk to their children as long as they are not abusive, neglectful, or addicted to a substance. In those circumstances they should be permitted supervised visitation. Child support and visitation are not and should not ever be connected. Since money is not the issue here, phone calls are usually included when visitation is granted, so yes I think your children should be allowed to talk to their father and vice versa.

I’m not saying this is necessarily true in your case, but “dead beat dad” is thrown around way too easily. Fathers get screwed royally by the family courts on a daily basis. It’s bullshit.

JLeslie's avatar

If I understand correctly he rarely gets in contact with them anyway. Yes, I think your children should be allowed to talk to him. I especially think if your kids want to call him they should be allowed. If he is an irresponsible jerk, as your kids get older they will figure it out on their own, but if you are just the one that prevented your children from seeing or talking to their dad, I think you will be the bad guy in your childs mind.

Do your children want to talk to and spend time with their dad? Or, could they care less?

However, you mentioned abusive physically, that would be a deal breaker for me in terms of them spending time with him, but I still might let them talk to him. What exactly has he done that is physically abusive?

harple's avatar

This is such a hard one for you, I can see from your words that you are really struggling with the dilemma. You want what is best for your children, and in this instance it’s so hard to know what that actually is. The balance between your children growing up with regular disappointments (at best) and learning young that you can’t always trust people’s word, or your children growing up not knowing their father and later discovering that you made that happen. (I put made in italics, because as an outsider I can totally see that it his actions that would lead you to that decision, but to your children it would appear much more black and white.) And the point when the children do discover this, they will be teenagers or adults, and will be of the opinion that you should let them experience life for its ups and downs for themselves. They may not appreciate how differently it would feel to them aged 6 and 7.

However, as a Mum, you may take that hit because ultimately you are not a mother in order to receive gratitude, you are a mother because you love and want the best thing for your children.

On a personal note, my father died when I was just 3. By all accounts, he was a very destructive force in our family, and had he lived I imagine he would have fitted into all interpretations of “dead beat dad”. However, I still can’t let go of the feeling that there is a part of myself that I don’t know, that is just out of reach for me, because I never knew the man that made me. Wierdly, I have his handwriting, and I also have a similar (though female) face to his… I really wish I knew him, in all his dead-beat-dad-ness.

Mizbhayvin's avatar

@JLeslie My kids barely talk about their Dad. In the past when I was trying to get things together for their Dad to talk to them (he never seemed to be able to get things together enough most of the time) and he did call they would refuse to talk to him. When it was a day I knew he was going to be calling, I’d ask them if they wanted to talk to Daddy, and they’d flat out with no hesitation tell me no.

rts486's avatar

Yes, he should. Saying he shouldn’t makes as much sense as saying a dad shouldn’t have to pay child support if the mother won’t let him see the child. I don’t know any dead beat dads, but I know plenty of mothers who refuse or make it very hard for the dad to see the kids. The courts will though a dad in jail in a heart beat for not paying, but won’t do anything to force the mother to let the father see the kids.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Mizbhayvin you can’t force your children to talk to their father, however if this had gone through most family courts you would be legally obligated to encourage them to stay in contact with their father. Both parents have a legal (and moral, in my opinion) obligation to encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If he’s not been abusive to the children then webcam conversations between them sound like a good idea. Promises he makes to them about the future aren’t going to harm them right now since there’s no way to tell if he’ll come through or not. What should matter right now is how your kids feel feel right now. For a kid, each day is a brand new life.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mizbhayvin With young children it is hard to tell what is going on. Many kids are shy to talk to people, do they do that with other adults, they don’t want to get on the phone? Also, they for sure know you think he is a piece of shit, no matter how much you might think you don’t talk badly about him in front of them. So, they probably worry about pleasing you, upsetting you, feel loyal to you, and maybe fear him, because they have little contact with him. I am not saying you have done anything wromg, I am only saying that is what I usually observe in situations like this.

tearsxsolitude's avatar

Do not let them talk to him! I mean it’s ur choice, but I’m 17 and my dad loves me to death but he’s clinicly paranoid and refuses to get help for it and he makes my life really hard so I cut contact when confronting him didn’t get through. It hurts a lot to know that he loves me and I love him, it would have been much easier if I didn’t know him. And if this guy is abusive and there’s even the tiniest chance that he could hurt your children, I wouldn’t let him near them. It’s your decision in the long run, but even if you risk the chance of your children getting angry at you, if you think it’s best for them, that’s what you should do.

mrsgee411611's avatar

I went through this and my children are now 19 and 17 and they both have some emotional issues. I did my best to make an effort so that they would have a relationship with their father and in the end he made them hate him. Kids are smart and after a while they figure out that broken promises hurt. In hind sight I might have done some things different but your never know what will come your way. The best thing you can do is teach your children to cope with their father’s short comings. After all you may not have a choice on weather or not he can have a relationship with them because the courts can intervene and force you to allow it. However, if there is abuse involved report him asap!

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