Finally time

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-25-2013
Finally time
3
Mon, 11-25-2013 - 6:52am

I was married in January 2006 when I had just turned 18 in October of 2005. We had a daughter in Febuary of 2006 and everything seemed to be getting better. Then in the summer my ex got fired and we got evicted. I was scared and didn't know what to do so I called a friend of mine. She let the 3 of us come live with her family of 4 in a 3 bedroom home. In August of 2006 he wanted to go to a friends birthday party, the friend was one that he used to smoke weed with all the time, I told he go but if he smoked while there we were over. When he came back he was high as a kite, he didn't even try to hide it. I took our daughter and went to my friend and asked her to watch her. I took him outside and told him we were over and to get his stuff and leave, he told me it wasn't my house and I couldn't tell him to leave so I went in and told this to my friend who in turn went out and told hime to leave. After that he left and would contact me maybe once a month to check on our daughter. In July of 2007 I met a wonderful man that loves her as his own, by September she had said dada and then daddy for the first time to this new man. My ex was not around from about Febuary of 2007 till June of 2007, then he disapeared till about November of 2007. I worked odd hours and on December 15th of 2007 I had to work till 11:00 PM then be back in at 7:00 AM on December 16th. He had been asking to have her over night so I figured that would be the best time since I could take her late and pick her up early. Where we live in mid December when you have an 22 month old outside they should have a coat, pants, socks/tights, shoes, and sometimes a hat on; all of which she had in her diaper bag. All she had on was a dress and a soaking wet diaper that was also dirty and she was covered in dirt as well. She was outside with his sister that is not all there mentally and at that time was the mental age of a 9 or 10 year old. I went in the house to get her things. When I got in the house it smelled of weed and he looked to be high. I told him since it looked like he could not care for his child without getting high for 26 hours that the only way he was going to see her was in a public location. I got her things and left so I could get her warm as her little fingers and toes were purple. When I got her home it took a 30 minute soak to get all of the dirt off of her and then she ended up sick to boot. After this he would never contact me but I always heard from people that knew him that he wanted to see her. Finally in 2012 I found him on Facebook and sent him messages 4 different times in a 2 month period only to never get a response. I finally saw that he had a girlfriend so I decided to message her, about a week later I got a message back saying he had wanted to contact me but couldn't find me. He messaged me about a week later from her page and wanted to know what she needed so he could send her something for Christmas. I told him she needed clothes for school so either clothes, a Wal-Mart gift card, or cash would be great. When I got the package it was Barbies and a play makeup set. When I called him to say I got it he asked to speak to her, but I told him that she doesn't know who he is and I didn't feel it would be emotionally healthly for a 6 year old to be confused by that since she hadn't seen him since before she was 2. I haven't heard anything from him since then, though his girlfriend messages to ask how she is. Have I done the right thing by her? I haven't had the money for a divorce and legal aid in my state won't help on the ground of abandoment so I've had to wait. The man I've been with since 2007 has been the best daddy that she could ever ask for.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 11-25-2013 - 10:40am

I think that you should really try to get divorced even if you have to represent yourself.  then you would only need the money for the filing fee.  You need to get a court order to have him pay child support.  Our courts have a "lawyer of the day" program where lawyers volunteer to help people fill out the forms properly--maybe there is something like that or some lawyers who will do a reduced fee.  I think what you haven't done that maybe you should have is to insist that he help support his child.  But I agree that a "father" who is irresponsible and not visiting on a regular basis is not a good influence, esp. when you have a good father figure--but you do need to get this all straightened out legally.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 11-26-2013 - 1:24am

Call your local Bar Association and ask about a Pro Bono lawyer.   Many lawyers donate their services free to people in need.  Aside from getting a divorce, you need to go to court over child support.  Unfortunately, he sounds like a guy who doesn't hold a steady job.........so that might be difficult.  There has to be a paycheck for them to deduct support.  But you just can't sit there and say there's nothing you can do.  This wonderful man you're with now, can't he help you financially?  Isn't your daughter in school?  Get a part time job to save the money for what you need.  You can do anything you set your mind to.....if you really want to.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2012
Thu, 11-28-2013 - 10:12am
You have done excellent by your daughter. Kids need someone to protect them and keep their best interest in mind at all times. If you don't do it, who is going to? You didn't keep her from him, you tried to maintain contact. He is a loser and isn't responsible enough to care for his child. She has someone who is her daddy and loves her not matter what. That is what makes a Dad, not the sperm. Your daughter will eventually know the whole story, when she is old enough to know. Right now, she is loved and cared for. That's what she needs, is entitled to, and deserves. Never question the choices you made to protect her.