he keeps letting my son down - FamilyEducation
he keeps letting my son down
06/24/2007 at 14:21 PM

my husband and i are seperated and will be getting a divorce.we have a 5yr old son who he does nothing financially for. oh well. but he keeps calling my son and telling him he'll pick him up and take him to do something and never shows up or answers the phone. my son loves his father very much and wants to see him and spend time with him but he keeps getting his heart broke. what do i do. i can't sit by and watch my son keep getting hurt. i don't want to let them talk because he always makes empty promises but my son wants to talk to him. what do i do????????

 When you say seperated, do you mean legally seperated? If you are legally seperated then you should have some type of support order in place. If you are not legally seperated, and are just living apart then Dad has no legal obligation to provide support to his son. Moral obligation? Without a doubt.

  From the perspective of a custodial father I find his actions troubling. I understand your first instinct is to protect you child from the potential psychological trauma Dads actions may cause your son, but be smart about it. To cut off contact between Dad and Son may put you in a bad light with the court. If Dad has an email address I would start off by writing him and letting him know that his son misses him. I would then suggest to Dad that you will be at such and such place at a certain time on a certain date and ask that he show up and surprise his son. This way you dont have to tell your son what is suppose to happen, if Dad shows up, great, if not, no harm is done because your son doesnt know. This protects the child and starts a record that can be shown to the courts to show that Dad has not been exercising the visitation you have worked to try and set up. If Dad does not show then you email him and explain that you waited for however long and that he did not show up, please contact you to try and set up another date to meet. Now you have the begining of a record, and have put Dad in a position to make the next move. Keep track of all days that Dad is suppose to show, and write what happens. This will be useful when and if the court appoints a Guardian ad litem. Keep records of every interaction and every kept, and missed visit time. Make your records professional, and write them in such a way that a judge can look at them.

  The "friendly parent" is the one the courts like to place the children with. The "friendly parent" is seen as the one that will work to keep a relationship between the child and the ex. If Dad does not have a computer then write you letters and send them certified mail so he has to sign for them. This ensures that he gets the letters. I send emails along and then print them out and send certified mail. Hard to say you did not recieve them.

  Let Dad and son talk, but let Dad know that when he makes plans he is to keep them.  Good luck.


When my ex-fiancee and I sepereated she was 5 months pregnant.  She left me and it crushed me to no end.  After the birth I was in my son's life for about 10 months then I vanished. I took my anger for her out on him and left him without a trace. I didn't handle the end our relationship maturely and it affected me for years.  Much to her credit  she contacted me wanting me to be involved in his life. She sent me pictures and asked me If I wanted to be in his life and I would say I did, but didn't act on that promise.  Last February after 4 years I got help and returned to his life.    It's been the greatest time of my life.  I've learned to put him first and deliver on being there for him when I promise.  I've apoligized for not being there for him and plan on apoligizing when he's older for my past mistakes.  The biggest obstacle in a way has been getting along with mother.  In a way I like the fact we have developed a dialogue, but being around her reminds me of the past and sometimes that's just too hard to forget.