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Author Topic: Single mother,advice on father visitation  (Read 8110 times)

kahumano

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Single mother,advice on father visitation
« on: Jun 15, 2007, 08:32:04 AM »
Hey all! I was hoping for a little advice. I'm a single mother of a 2 year old girl. Our relationship ended before she was born. For the past 2 years I have constantly asked her father if he wants to meet her. Finally, a few weeks ago he started showing interest. It started with a birthday card :-) He says he would like to be there for her. It would be great if he's serious about this. I do know him well enough to know it may present some problems down the road because we are BOTH very stubborn people. So I would like some advice on visitation beforehand. When he does start asking for visitation what would be considered reasonable for a 2 year old child? He has currently been seeing her at my house (twice) because I felt it was best for her to get to know him a little. I would feel horrible just dropping her off with someone she doesn't know. Any advice would really be appreciated.


Ref

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Congratulations for your daughter!
« Reply #1 on: Jun 15, 2007, 09:16:53 AM »
In my opinion, the best visitation right now might be a few hours a week. Maybe 4-6 hours for the next couple of Saturdays or Sundays. Alternating them might be a good idea. After a couple of months you could up that to an overnight every other weekend.

I recommend that you look up what the standard visitation order is in your area. Modify it so that it take into account them getting adjusted to eachother. Ultimately, you will want for him and his daughter to have at least what the standard says.

Sit down with him and maybe a neutral thrid party (mediator maybe?) and put everything in writing. Pick-up places& times, Drop-off places& times, what happens if he is late, what happens if the child is sick etc. This will make it so both of your "stubborn" tendencies will be put aside for continuity for your duaghter.

Good Luck
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mistoffolees

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RE: Congratulations for your daughter!
« Reply #2 on: Jun 15, 2007, 09:24:09 AM »
All good advice, but I would go one step further. Once you've agreed to things, submit it to the court for approval. Agreements that aren't approved by the court are worthless - and cause endless headaches later.

The other issue that hasn't been addressed is support. That needs to be addressed and approved by the court. Even if the BM doesn't want support, most courts won't allow zero support. The court will presumably order support and the BM is free to send it back if she wishes.

kahumano

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RE: Single mother,advice on father visitation
« Reply #3 on: Jun 15, 2007, 09:45:51 AM »
Thanks for the advice, I'm new at this. hahaha Thankfully, I did the child support thing as soon as she was born. Whewwww and it took 7 months to get that finalized. Even so, I pretty much support her cause the support check barely covers daycare. But I try not to even involve money in this, no matter how I feel.
Looks like I need to do ALOT of reading on Florida visitation law.
I don't have a problem with visitation per se........I just have some reservations.
1) He's never taken care of children.
2) He and his girlfriend smoke in the house
3) She currently has health problems (respiratory) and will soon have surgery.
4) Do I have a right insisting on meeting his girlfriend? Not trying to be nasty but I would like to know who is staying with my baby girl.

Ref

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Florida!! My area of expertise!
« Reply #4 on: Jun 15, 2007, 10:15:47 AM »
It seems noble for you to say that you are not looking for money. Although I understand you are trying to keep things civil, you may want to look at support in a different way. The money is your little girl's. Even if you don't need at, you can put it in a savings account for her college. It really isn't your money to give up. If you are very well off and have no problem taking care of her financially, you can always pay him back.

Florida support guidelines are fairly clear and include the cost of daycare and medical insurance in it. Google "Florida Child support calculator" and find a caluclator you like. You can easily get an estimate of what the court would order.

As far as visitation orders go, check out the link below. It is a standard visitation agreement for Escambia County. It is very similar to others in the NW Florida region.

You said you are both stubborn. This means you had better, for you to get along, word your concerns in a proper way. For now, send him information on her condition. Include him in dr's appointments. Educating him on her condition might be the perfect way for him to grasp the need to not smoke around her.  Him not taking care of children before might not be that big of a deal. All parents go into raising a child blindly. Don't let yourself get too worried about it. You could also invite him to go to a parenting workshop (even though you know how to do that stuff, asking him to join you might not bruise his ego too much).

As far as your "right" to meet his girlfriend. No. Just like he can't ask the same of you. He is not allowed to judge who you hang around with either. I understand your concern and I think it would be best if you got to know her. To handle this, invite them to join your for dinner. Invite them to have a BBQ. Honestly, you may not like her at all but that wont change anything about whether she can be around the kid. It will give you an idea of how much to worry.

I also think you should join a single parenting group. You will need some support because, if things go the way they should, you will be going days or weeks without seeing your DD. It will be hard for you but you have to be strong infront of DD so that she doesn't worry for you.  You will disagree with his parenting from time to time and you have to learn how to deal with the fact that he may parent differently but that's ok.

Anyway, you have a lot of work to do and I wish you and your baby the very best. Keep asking questions and researching how to be a good co-parent.

Ref



http://www.stephentholman.com/CM/OnlineForms/SRParentingSchedule.pdf


kahumano

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RE: Florida!! My area of expertise!
« Reply #5 on: Jun 15, 2007, 10:34:18 AM »
Thanks so much for the link. I'll go read it. About the child support. I've been receiving that since she was 7 months old. Of course I still struggle because that barely covers daycare. I have asked in the past if he would help with that but he has refused. So I just dropped it.
I have started letting him know about her health and things like that. The girlfriend issue isn't a big deal. For some reason he won't let her meet "our" daughter even though they have been together almost 3 years.
I have invited them to dinner and also to go to the beach with us. But her father has backed out of those. I'm definitely not going to be the one to rush their relationship. Yes, I want whats best for her but get real, I'm still a WOMAN. And unfortunately, yeah, we're bi*ches.
But I can honestly say I haven't done anything to prevent or damage the relationship for my daughter.
My friends always thought I was mental for continuing to ask him to see her for the past 2 years.
Anyways, I'm babbling now. hahaha So thank you for all the advice!! Now, I'm going to go check the link you sent!

Jade

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RE: Congratulations for your daughter!
« Reply #6 on: Jun 19, 2007, 07:50:58 PM »
>All good advice, but I would go one step further. Once you've
>agreed to things, submit it to the court for approval.
>Agreements that aren't approved by the court are worthless -
>and cause endless headaches later.
>
>The other issue that hasn't been addressed is support. That
>needs to be addressed and approved by the court. Even if the
>BM doesn't want support, most courts won't allow zero support.
>The court will presumably order support and the BM is free to
>send it back if she wishes.

Or put it in a savings account for college when the child finishes high school.  

Jade

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RE: Single mother,advice on father visitation
« Reply #7 on: Jun 19, 2007, 07:52:12 PM »
>Thanks for the advice, I'm new at this. hahaha Thankfully, I
>did the child support thing as soon as she was born. Whewwww
>and it took 7 months to get that finalized. Even so, I pretty
>much support her cause the support check barely covers
>daycare. But I try not to even involve money in this, no
>matter how I feel.
>Looks like I need to do ALOT of reading on Florida visitation
>law.
>I don't have a problem with visitation per se........I just
>have some reservations.
>1) He's never taken care of children.
>2) He and his girlfriend smoke in the house
>3) She currently has health problems (respiratory) and will
>soon have surgery.
>4) Do I have a right insisting on meeting his girlfriend? Not
>trying to be nasty but I would like to know who is staying
>with my baby girl.
>

No, but he may be agreeable if you ask nicely.  

And you can get it stipulated that no one is to smoke around your child.  

mistoffolees

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RE: Single mother,advice on father visitation
« Reply #8 on: Jun 19, 2007, 08:39:41 PM »
>4) Do I have a right insisting on meeting his girlfriend?
>


No, you don't. My ex suffers from the same belief that she's still part of my life.

He may or may not want you to meet his GF, but you certainly don't have any right to.

backwardsbike

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RE: Single mother,advice on father visitation
« Reply #9 on: Jun 21, 2007, 07:23:18 PM »
I am a nurse.  If your child has respiratory issues it is imperative that she no be subjected to second hand smoke.  I like Ref's advice to include dad in the doctor's appointments.  Hopefully- all he'll need is a bit of education.  You are so right to be concerned about this.

I also like the idea of inviting them for a picnic and would go one step further adn have it in perhaps a public park.  The reason: that would be neutral turf.  Hopefully that would put everyoneon even ground and hopefully help both dad and the GF to feel more comfortable.  On the upside for you- you won't have to have this person in your home until you've met.  Then you can make up your mid.  I hope for the sake of your DD that all the adults will get along and even like each other.

I have been a NCM for the last seven years.  My X and I were married- unhappily- for 13 years before we split.  He began dating before I left the home and would often have me babysit for him.  I was really OK with this as, for me, the romatic part of our relationship was over.  I stupidly beleived that if he had another woman he'd have an easier time letting me go.  WRONG.  The woman he latched on to is ocntrolling and has little if any self esteem.  I would never have had the issues I have now if not for her and the judge in my case agrees. However, dad still has custody.

My advice- remain in the role of your child's other. Tolerate NO disrespect from the GF towards you.  You can easily stand up for yourself if need be without getting all hostile about it.  SOmetime I well place comment is all it takes.  Keep your cool, but maintain your place in your child's life.  It is possible to be gracious but not to allow people to take too many liberties.  Thissi wher ei mad emy mistake.  Upon seeing the issues withthe GF turned SM I stepped into the defferential mode. WRONG thing to do. some people really will take a mile if you give an inch.

I don't meant o scare you or get youthinking you don't want to meet her- I'm justhoping for the best for all of you- most of all your DD.  Best wishes and KUDOS to you for wanting to see that your DD has both parents in her life.

 

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