A dad explains: “Why I don’t see my child.”

why father doesn't see kids

Bring up the fatherless epidemic in the United States, and the arguments are as diametric and unrelenting as bipartisan politics.

It is either:

  1. Men are irresponsible douchebags who abandon their children to mothers, who are left to raise the children with few resources, or …
  2. Women are conniving, malicious, entitled nut-jobs who alienate fathers from their children while taking all said fathers' money — all of which is supported by the family court system.

After studying this issue for the four years I've had this blog, I understand that the issue is complicated and nuanced, and there is plenty of legitimate room for both points of view, outlined above.

Ready to take action? Join MomsForSharedParenting.org — an activist org devoted to changing policy, law, culture and attitudes around parenthood. Time for 50/50 default parenting! 

A father's experience with parental alienation

What I haven't reported much is the point of view from the checked-out dads, many of whom have shared with me articulate, thoughtful, and often heart-breaking accounts of why they are not part of their children's lives.

These stories resonate with me, as they have challenged my earlier, blind admonishments that every parent has a moral obligation to fight for their children, no matter what.

I still believe this, but I also believe in empathy, and for recognizing each other's humanity.

Here is one story from a commenter on the above posts:

Related: Resource guide about parental alienation

Point of view from a dad who doesn't see his child

From John G:

From my own experiences, I believe it's widespread for women to use children as a weapon to exact revenge against the ex during, and after, divorce proceedings.

During my lengthy divorce, my ex-wife claimed I was abusive, that she was ‘afraid for her safety,’ and tried to get ‘supervised visitation.’

None of it worked, because it wasn’t true, and because, as an educated professional I had enough money to spend six figures on an attorney.

However, it was still a waste of time and money. Even after the divorce, the games continued.

My son was being tutored on what to say to me (did you ever hear a 7-year-old respond ‘I’m not comfortable talking about that’ when asked a question?) and being instructed to call me by my first name and not ‘dad.’ I grew tired of making phone calls that weren’t answered, or of being put on hold and the child not coming to the phone, and of canceled visits.

It was heartbreaking seeing the child slip away from me, little by little.

I went to court on several occasions. There is the assumption that the man will just sit there and take the abuse because he does not want to lose the child.

She stuck by the letter of the law, and was able to severely limit my contact with my son by way of orders of protection and maintaining to the courts that he was a ‘danger.’

Orders of protection as divorce strategy

Of the divorced, professional men that I know, all of them had orders of protection against them by their wives.

This is even a problem that is recognized by the courts. Some attorneys go so far as to admit that the ‘afraid for my safety’ issue is part of the ‘gamesmanship of divorce.’ I went from the mindset of being a father to the child, to being reduced to the status of a ‘visiting uncle’ or a ‘Disneyland dad’ allied with thinking all the time like an attorney.

I was often worried what would happen if she started to make untrue claims that I had (for example) abused the child. When he fell over and scraped his arm when he was with me, I was advised by my attorney to go to all the trouble of going to the doctor, having the scrape bandaged and so on, just to legally cover myself in case she would claim that it had in fact been intentionally caused.

While on the lookout for anything that could be used against me, all the while constantly being told I was a bad person, a bad father, and all my involvement with my son was systematically stripped away. The whole process became a painful sham.

Father refuses to see his child? Not quite …

I eventually reached a crossroads with four paths. Some men commit suicide because they can’t handle the anguish. Others resort to violence and anger against the ex-wife. Others take the difficult road, and sacrifice years of their happiness, battling on a hopeless battle with the ex, just to maintain some sort of contact with the kids. The fourth way, is to simply give up, and decide that the cost to the child through seeing the conflict, and to oneself, is too high.

Consider online therapy to help you through painful challenges>>

I considered all the above paths for a long time and was tempted by more than a few of them. In the end, I walked away from all contact with my child more than two years ago.

Mother keeping child away from father

After I had calmed down, I tried again and contacted the ex. I had hoped she would have calmed down and would be willing to work with me.

But no, she is still the same bitter and vengeful baggage that she always was. Rather than attempting to discuss things and put things on the right track, she is willing to communicate in writing only.

She refuses point blank to let me contact the child. Everything has to go through her.

Some people will say it would be the noblest thing to carry on fighting regardless. ‘I would do anything for my kids!’ they spout.

Frankly, I feel that’s very naive and is almost always a view propagated by women.

Any father here who has been generously granted a weekend every two weeks knows the feeling when you say goodbye.

You’re just getting used to having them around, and they are gone. It’s like having a wound that never heals. Like a band-aid being ripped off over and over. The pain never really went away.

During those days, I used to recall these lines from Shakespeare's King John:

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;

Logically, I have to balance the damage to myself, my life and mental health, the possibility of the conflict damaging the child, against the damage done by my absence.

People who don’t know the situation raise their hands in horror, or pass judgement, assume that this is a choice that is taken lightly and easily. It is not.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. Sometimes I see children in shops that look like my child and find it hard not to break down.

Sometimes I can’t take my eyes away. Even the shoes are the same. I don’t like to watch movies with children of that age in them.

I had to remove all the photographs that I had of my child and every other item and put them in a box. And that’s where all those emotions are now.

In a box, held tightly under control, so that I can try and enjoy some semblance of a normal life. It usually works.

I spoke to my ex recently. She claims that the child is just fine. She doesn’t seem to think that I’m needed and believes that my seeing the child is a bad thing.

She told me that the gifts I had been sending postally were in a box and he never got them. What is the point of trying? Who am I to argue?

She lives with the kid and does the real parenting. All that I could do, once a month or less (she lives a long way from me) would be to visit for a shallow shared visit, a museum trip perhaps – that’s not parenting – that’s just being a Disneyland dad.

I am in despair that many people and the courts expect the impossible. They expect the man to be totally interested, committed, involved with his child’s life – and yet – they make it impossible for that involvement to happen.

How can you remain interested and involved when you are given no information about the child’s everyday life, when even the most basic contact is made difficult or impossible, when you are limited to four days a month contact time if you are lucky?

In far too many cases, the father is merely viewed as a source of income.

The mother is viewed as the ‘real parent’ who almost always gets physical custody of the child. And once she has the child, she is then almost entirely free of the threat of any consequences.

Consider online therapy to help you through painful challenges. Very affordable, convenient and anonymous (no one will see your car parked in front of the counselor's office!), get the help you and your family need via video, phone or text therapy. Find a counselor now >>

How fatherlessness affects children

This is a great shame for the children involved who will probably be involved in divorces of their own or be afraid of marriage because they have seen the consequences when they fail.

I shouldn’t be surprised if more and more men eschew marriage and traditional family values over the next century.

Personally, I refuse to be blackmailed by my better instincts. I refuse to be reduced to the level of a Disneyland dad by some judge, attorney, social worker or indeed his mother.

I refuse to beg for access, or beg for photographs, or ask permission when I can please take him on vacation.

No. They will have no more of me.

One day, I will be able to get in touch without going through her once the child is old enough. Until then, I intend to get on with my life.

Please listen to Terry Brennan, co-founder of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, explain why default every-other-weekend visitation leads to absentee fathers.

Note that in cases where ‘standard’ visitation is awarded — every-other-weekend — fathers become depressed and non-involved, and within 3 years, one study found, 40 percent of children in an unequal visitation arrangement had lost complete touch with their non-custodial parents, which are nearly always the father.

Have a listen:


Other ways to listen: iTunes  ♦  Stitcher   ♦  TuneIn   ♦  SoundCloudGoogle Play


Read more about Emma Johnson's stance in favor of shared parenting, empathy for absentee fathers, and other related topics here:

The real reason your ex doesn’t see the kids

How to get dads involved in divorced and separated families

Related books:

Kickass Single Mom, Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children, By: Emma Johnson

Blend, The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, By: Mashonda Tifrere

Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You, By: by Amy J. L. Baker, PhD and Paul R Fine, LCSW

Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing, By: Dr. Richard A. Warshak

What do you think? Are you a dad who no longer sees his kids? Why? Please share in the comments …

Or, are you the mother of a child with an absentee father? What is your response?

Here is my advice to moms and dads whose other parent is not involved.

If you are tempted to turn your child against the other parent, or not sure what is the best kind of parenting time arrangement, keep it simple, and equal. In fact, there are now more than 60 studies that prove that equally shared parenting is best for children (and, moms and dads!).

While we're at it, have a read about why a simple, fair 50-50 shared parenting time with no child support is the best, fairest, and most feminist arrangement.

To prevent this kind of trauma, here are some tips to healthy co-parenting.

Are you a child of a father who is not, or was not, around? What do you say to this dad?

About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, noted blogger, and bestselling author. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.  Find out Emma's top Single Mom Resources here.

437 Comments

  1. Anonymous on November 10, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Well that is exactly what happened to me and I’m the mother…mine was when my child was 11…completely brainwashed and taken advantage of because he has emotional and learning delays…so I let everyone be because it became to draining to be I court every other month for what?! Lawyers to get paid and leave loop holes and it just became a vicious circle… I feel for everyone and especially the children! The system fails in a lot of ways!

    • Alienated Mother on November 12, 2019 at 3:48 am

      I’m a mother to my 4 yr old son, he lives with his dad full time while I get 1 weekend per month. Everything in this article I can relate to just switch it from father to mother. My ex has done the exact same thing to me and has tried to brainwash my son into thinking I’m not his mom. My ex has tried to replace me with his new wife. I fight everyday. Still going to court fighting. Holding onto my 1 weekend by a thread. It’s emotionally draining, mentally exhausting, heartbreaking. I just want to be with my son. And to think all this because I left my ex who was controlling and emotionally and psychologically abusive to me.

  2. Alienated Dad on November 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    I was told that if I wanted any equity from our home or jointly owned business, I would never see my kids again. That was almost 10 years ago, and the narcissistic cheating “person” I married and loved for over 20 years has made that come true. Call me a “checked out” dad if you want, but you will never know the pain of parental alienation and brainwashing of children if you haven’t had it happen to your own kids. I would love nothing more than to be “checked in” to my kids lives, but the path to get there would be extremely painful because of my exes and her father’s complicit brainwashing and lies. By the way, by “checking out” God introduced me to a wonderful gal whose three fantastic kids needed a man of integrity in their lives, andi live every day to be that man. I’ve been very happily married for 6 years, and my kids who have been alienated suffer for not knowing their stepmom and stepbrothers and stepsister and wonderful stepgrandparents.

  3. The Mehanic on November 10, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    I am a father to a daughter who never got to experience what it’s like to have a father, I hear daughters are closer to their fathers like sons bond with their mother’s. So it must be more difficult because when I last seen my baby daughter at 3 months old I promised my princess that this would be the first and last time I would be apart from her little did I know I would never see her again. How can you put an argument if only one side of the story is being told. All I know I miss my princess had to move on two boys later and a very happy wife “I hope” and 10 years on who will testify to my character a descant dad who’s only mission in life is to make every effort to make his wife and two kids happy and that gives me purpose. It’s sad i was the same person with my ex, women have more rights then men when it comes to kids and divorce.

  4. Michael on November 10, 2019 at 11:46 am

    I am a alienated father of 18 yrs now…..we got a divorce when my oldest was about 2 and my youngest 8 months old….between the courts and my ex….i was forced to sign my rights over in 2006…..2 years ago..when my youngest turned 18…we…being me and my family reached out to them….we were very quickly and firmly told….never to contact them again…….I will never see…of know my children as long as I am on this earth

  5. Jeff on November 10, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Yup – had this. Everything I did or had ever done, I was bad at. Other than my income I was useless. Bad person, bad parent, bad husband.
    Multiple IVO’s, she invaded my home, stole money, and I haven’t seen the kids for nearly 10 years. The last IVO was enough, I wrote to my children’s school and asked for copies of their school reports to be sent to me and I got a restraining order for that.
    So – I gave up being their father, they were 12/14 and hated me and all my family and everything about me, they’d changed their names and trying to rebuild any relationship with them was pointless because my poison was ex would just twist it out of context.

    I paid nearly $3000 per month child support and never missed a beat, but there’ll never be any recognition for that, and any chance for a relationship with my kids is gone because they’re strangers now and they don’t need anything from me. Good luck to them.

    I’ve since remarried and had another child and we’re very happy, but it should have been a bugger, happier experience all around.

    Silly really – there’s no winners.

  6. Rene Limered on November 9, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Hey Tab, don’t pass quick judgement on other fathers who may have gone through a Hell you cannot even imagine in their fight to stay in their children’s lives. The whole system is so rigged against men I’m surprised that we aren’t seeing mass uprisings with public hangings of judges and divorce attorneys. So you got one little kid. How would you feel if you had three, and a vindictive ex with almost unlimited funds to keep you in and out of court, making all kinds of accusations, and otherwise doing every possible thing to keep you from having any contact with your kids, including moving them out of state without notifying you. Oh, it’s so easy to expect others to be superman, to buck up and somehow find the means to keep fighting for years, but at some point, Nature has programmed us for pure survival and so, we must let go and try and salvage the rest of our lives.

  7. Anonymous on November 9, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    I hope that anyone reading this never truly understands what attachment to a child is. There is only one way one comes to comprehend it. It is severed or taken away.
    Father is a verb, it’s not who you are but rather what you do..
    I’m just a 50 year old “dad” of a special needs son age 14, so what do I know..
    All I do know is I miss my wingman each and every day….

  8. Nikki McKenzie on November 9, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    My husband, who is a wonderful father, no longer sees his 12 year old son after years of having to repeatedly call police to enforce visitation once or twice a year and constant treatment as a second class parent. Last year my husband’s ex made false allegations of abuse and the mother and my stepson both lied in court to try to get an order where my stepson could get to choose when to see his father, regardless of how many people had tried to explain how emotionally unhealthy that is. It didn’t work but a small town Texas judge with a self proclaimed grudge against her own ex husband did rule that my husband can no longer call the police when his ex refuses to show up to drop their son off. After spending every cent of our savings and almost losing my husband, I have quit trying all together. My husband still reaches out through text and gives his son the option to talk. Usually he gets no response, some times two or three empty words. Breaks my heart for my husband and stepson. They both deserve more but this broken court system allows and even encourages this destructive dynamic in blended families. It is too late for us, but praying for change for the kids that statistically are very likely to be ripped from his life down the road. We want to help be part of this change and help people to understand what is really going on in this fatherless epidemic but don’t even know where to start

  9. Daniel on November 9, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    My wife taught our kids for 15 years (before I found out) that even though I was living with my family, they were to understand ‘things’ about me — and I never knew why they always favored their grandparents over me. The excuses were always that ‘this is what the kids chose to do’ and I’d never been in the room when that conversation supposedly happened. After the separation, they were in their mid-teens and again, my wife stressed that the kids didn’t feel comfortable around me … not until she and I had a few counseling sessions did I find out why. They are young adults now … I’m very proud of who they are and what they’ve accomplished … but I’m not their daddy any more or less now than I was when I was systematically demonized under the same roof we all shared. I’m a stranger, who gets to spend every night and weekend sobbing that I made the mistake of not grasping more about the woman I love, chose to marry, and continue to be faithful to even long after a divorce that releases her from her ‘burden’ but does noting to fill all the holes dug in all our hearts. If I had been any of the things that they were taught about me, they would be in dire need of much more counseling than they nurses along to perpetuate the story — but as things are, they had so much of their childhood stolen simply because their mother had been damaged early in life and her drive to exert control over everyone would not allow for a partner, a lover, a friend — certainly not one who would be truthful and faithful with her for the rest of her life. Teaching kids that this is normal is a horrifying injustice.

  10. Beth on November 2, 2019 at 12:06 am

    My husband left our marriage due to infidelity. Our kids were 20 and 22 when he left. They tried out of obligation to see him but they never felt comfortable after he left. It was truly heartbreaking. We were a close family. It’s been 20 years and my daughter has seen him 3 times since he left; 2 funerals and a wedding. No phone contact, no birthday cards, no holidays. It breaks my heart to think after 20 years they don’t want anything to do with him. I just can’t imagine how that would feel and it scares me to death to think about if it were me. I have asked my daughter why and her response (at 24) Mom, mind your own business! That is between me and him. He wasn’t the best if dads. He wasn’t always there for them and he was physically abusive to me when the children were young. He then became verbally and emotionally abusive. I believe he has narcissistic personality disorder. The signs are there. It’s just such a shame. I truly hope he is happy in his new family because he paid a sever price.

  11. Nikita on October 22, 2019 at 7:29 am

    I am in awww of all the fathers wanting to be in their children’s lives. I am a single mom to a 7 year old boy. His father has shown no interest in his life and has not contributed financially in his life. When he did it was to impress the new love in his life. Every month he had a new women. Even though he did not support my son financially I let the father see my son because my son wanted to see his father and I knew through my own experiences what depriving my son of seeing his father could do to him( I hardly saw my father growing up). My son later told me he did not want to see his father because ” My dad only wants to see me when he has a new women” that was when I stopped visitation completely. The father was later locked up as he had stolen money from these women and their businesses. He used my son to get closer to these women, leading them to believe he was a “loving father” and I probably helped him to do that as I let him spend time with my son despite him not helping with raising him. There are always two sides. I wish he was the father who actually wanted to spend time with his son. I can see my child needs his father but I can’t force him to be something he doesn’t want to be. I am disgusted that he used his own child to steal money from women. All my son wanted was his fathers love. Even though we separated, we could have had a parental plan to ensure our son had both a mom and a dad. Instead I have a very confused child who is going through a terrible phase because I have to be mom and dad. His dad used to tell me he doesn’t have to contribute financially and that he can just say he isn’t working to the courts and that was what he did and it worked. You get some horrible mothers and fathers out there and it’s sad that the children are in the centre of it all.

  12. Tab on October 22, 2019 at 1:02 am

    Men should not be allowed to “step out” of their kids lives. There should be mandatory visitation – if you don’t show up for your kids, you should go to jail. I read this blog because I wanted to see the reasoning behind fathers abandoning their kids; and oh my god, guess what? “It’s the mothers fault I gave up on my kids”.

    I’m not buying it. You gave up on your kids because of you. Court is time consuming, and I’m sure the legalities are mind numbing and you have your career, your social life, your hobbies, and other family to tend to, so hell yea it’s easier to just forget the kid and move on, save some money, free up your mind. And maybe when they are 18 you can tell them how it was all their mothers fault that you said fuckit. Maybe they will buy it? Doubt it. Put on your big boy panties, pull them motherfuckers up and FIGHT FOR YOUR KIDS, BE THERE FOR YOUR KIDS, and put them FIRST IN YOUR LIFE.

    I have an 16 month old son, he doesn’t even know what a dad is. Why? “Because of the way I talk to his dad”. I cuss him like a chained up negro every chance I get now. He deserves no mercy. Does he have mercy on me or his child? Nope. Refuses to even pay child support, never showed up to meet his baby, none of his family helps or has seen my son, and not to mention the financial/mental/emotional burden he has left me and my children with. Yet… he deserves empathy? Fuckthat. LIFE IS HARD, on all of us. You are supposed to be a man. So man-up. I have to man-up every day, trust me, the struggle is REAL, but one thing I haven’t done, (and I’m just a dumb, poor, Kentucky hick) is abandon my kids. You’d have to hold a gun to my head and pull the trigger to get me to give up on my boys. Some of y’all aint as manly as you think.

    • Sean on October 29, 2019 at 1:18 am

      Tab you are the reason the system is broken a bitter evil person, you will never know the pain you can’t understand. There’s a reason you are alone it’s called “YOU”

    • Kim Graff on November 9, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. My husband struggled every day not to be alienated out of his kids lives. We’ve gotten very close to just leaving and living our lives without all the court involvement and drama.

    • Daniel on November 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      Tab I’m not feeling bad about calling you a horrible person for what you wrote. My wife indoctrinated our children to believe that I was violent (never a reason to get away with that but whenever I raised my voice, in their little heads I was reinforcing her truth). By the time she realized she wasn’t going to get me to leave her by just being horrible to me for years, she escalated to encouraging the kids to seek counseling for abuse through their school. Now, in addition to being afraid of their father for the first half of their lives, they are now young adults with the burden of having lied to lots of adults over the years because they found out how they’d been used but could t unring the bell. I have been raked over the coals by law enforcement and investigators, worked two full-time jobs simultaneously while living in my car, and getting no feedback from my kids unless they needed help with money or their vehicle. I am a stranger to them — and it will never be a matter of working my way ‘back’ into their lives… I was unwelcome from their earliest memory, and no fictional court that somehow actually cares about families is anywhere to be found. So thank you, for reminding us all that in addition to working ourselves to death to pay bills we didn’t pile up, and never getting to know the love of another person for the rest of our lives, just how repugnant we all are for not being as clued in as you are.

    • Eric on November 9, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Tab, you are the reason families are broken. You’re so delusional you don’t see that you are doing exactly what your dogging fathers for. You claim to be a victim of your ex while having full custody of your child and arguing dads are pathetic for thinking they’ve been a victim of you. Which holds WAY more weight than you being a victim of them. Stop pretending to be a victim while destroying your child to get back at your ex. You’re evil and vindictive and highly delusional. The sad part is very few people, if anyone, will have the guts to correct you. Even if they do, you’ll think they’re the problem and not you (again, you’re highly delusional). I feel sorry for your poor child for having to live with a monster who doesn’t give a damn about them. As long as you get back at your ex (and NEVER grow up) then your child’s psychological and emotional well being is a worthy sacrifice to you. Rot in hell.

    • Craig Richmond on November 10, 2019 at 2:04 am

      To the person above! Of course because you aren’t empathetic and obviously can’t be you wouldn’t have the slightest clue on how we as men feel while the mothers decide to break us in court financially and then go to extremes to block us from it children. Maybe you had a deadbeat husband and so forth but make no mistake about it this has and continues to go on with the fathers that care. Only last week I attempted to take my life because of the hurt and pain of not seeing my daughter. This article is on point and if your to nieve or ignorant to see this then you are apparently part of the problem we face today. How many women commit suicide daily for not seeing their children? How many women have sole custody of children in America today? I believe around 86% or so last time I checked so before you spout off and try to engage in a conversation you have no idea what it is like to be us then you should show some respect and not have crude remarks. I’ve manned up for nine years straight and over $100,000 in legal fees to date and still going. Why because of a narcissistic woman that is so hard to deal with it is sickening. Much like your comments! This is the sad truth for millions of men and women around the world however statistically more men deal with it.

    • Jennifer on November 10, 2019 at 3:27 am

      Girl yes!!!

    • Dan on November 10, 2019 at 11:25 pm

      Yes, you’re the problem. If women like you understood the pain that mothers often cause their exes, maybe we could have a conversation. But you are heartless.

  13. Jeffrey Gallup on October 21, 2019 at 10:29 am

    I am a former attorney, met a woman and had a kid, she pulled him out of my life 11 years ago. I flipped out, racked up some DUI’s and some Violation of Protective Order convictions (trying to see my son!). After years in prison she suddenly wanted to reunite, (yah the next day after she was supposedly scared for six years?); don’t do it! These women of today are largely narco (i.e. narcissist) freaks. I got back with her (mostly to see my son), then broke up about 2 years ago. Haven’t seen my son since December 23, 2017, can’t even call him etc. The legal system is a scam and a fraud and an imposition upon the honest tax paying public. I do not intend to return to the fraud Bar Association ever. Just walk away or consider termination of parental rights. Give them what they want!

  14. Matt Francis on October 11, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Thanks men for sharing your stores . I have not seen my daughter in 4yrs now i have been to gail for breaching a vro ( buy calling my child) when I had so called phone contact turns out i could only email- texr but had been told buy a judge that i could video call her was not on the new vro that was never survived too me oh well it is what it is at the start of all this my ego would not allow me to accept supervised vist es i should have sucked it up and done it now im fully astranged from her and she does not wish to talk to me . Im just about to lodge some parenting papers to the family court but my brain is telling me not do it but my heart is saying do it . I miss u daugjter and im sorry that i don’t know you and if i could i would be the best man in your life i pray for you and hope that you never repet the cycle of bullshit to your own family .is there support groups for people in this situation because I need outside help to get on whith my life now.

    • MJ on October 27, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      Don’t do it please one day you two will be back together. Don’t listen to your heart it’s hurting right now. Wait it out my dear wait it out

  15. Disappointed Dad on October 10, 2019 at 10:50 am

    My ex and I were young addicts when we had kids. I ended up incarcerated for nearly 10 years, she was incarcerated for 4 and her parents took the kids. They brought them to see her every week, made sure they sent her cards and knew who their mom was. When she got out she had a connection to them. For me, I was told that bringing them to see me would only confuse them. My letters were never given to them and I never got any from them. When I was coming to the end of my sentence all of the sudden my ex pops back up wanting me to move close to them, maybe see how things go but by that point I was a different person. I didn’t want to be with her at all, I wanted to have a life that meant something and lead somewhere and I wanted to see my kids. Unfortunately she didn’t like that I didn’t want to be with her and that’s when all the stories to the kids started. I was a mess back then, no lie, we both were. I did things I shouldn’t have and so did she but since she had physical custody I was the monster. I was the deadbeat who lived 3 hours away because he wanted to start a new family, not because that’s where the job and opportunity to build a good, solid life was. The kids were fed a pipe dream, that I would be instant well-adjusted father and when I wasn’t it was because I chose not to be. I chose someone else (I did get married) instead of them. It’s been years now and my oldest hates me, doesn’t want anything to do with me because I wasn’t instant family when I was released. I didn’t know how to do anything beyond say “I love you” and that wasn’t enough then and it certainly isn’t enough now. I’ve financially supported them, of course, but I wanted to be more than just money. I wanted to get to know my kids but that’s hard when their mom told them I’m someone I’m not anymore and refuses to walk back any of her comments or admit that the person she “knows” was a 20 year old drug addict, not a grown man with a mortgage. Do I blame her? Not anymore, she has her own demons and broken dreams to deal with but the damage is done. I can’t change being gone for those years and I can’t seem to break through the narrative that I never tried to contact them while I was inside. So, at least with my oldest, I’m done being punished for not living up to his unrealistic expectations that his mother implanted in his head. Judge me for that if you will, I’ve made my peace with it for now. Maybe some day he’ll be old enough to start questioning the stories or sit still long enough to listen to my side. Maybe. Until then, bashing my head against a brick wall for another 10 years hoping that he’ll answer the phone or respond to a text isn’t healthy and helps no one.

  16. Mark on October 9, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    I am at this crossroads literally at this moment. Short relationship with a narcissist became a lifetime of misery, bankruptcy, suicide attempt and now I am accused of being a homicidal maniac who is ready to commit homicide of either Mom or the child to not pay child support. My child is 9, I have paid over $250K in CS and have spent 5 of her 9 years being shaken down in family court by a woman who has literally not provided $250 to this child. Kid doesn’t even have a bedroom, (One room basement apartment with Mom). Family court I am treated like a deadbeat for only paying $1800 a month. When I attempted suicide, you think that would have been the time for the Judge to step in and say ENOUGH!!!! But no…. All the judge cared about was “So when you getting back to work, Sir”… Ummm, I tried to hang myself in the basement of my home and spent a week in the psych ward. Do you know how FRIED your brain is to attempt this? Especially when your subsequent child is sleeping 2 floors above you. I look back and imagine the terror my baby girl would have been in as they wheeled her fathers body out of the house. I will never do that again, my subsequent child is what keeps me going. But this latest abuse of the courts and myself have led me to finally having to walk away. I have a box full of pictures, my filing 4 times for custody because her mother was neglectful and spent all the CS on herself, my texts to talk to her, see her and her mothers latest restraining order accusing me of being homicidal. Oh, and this is in response to me filing for a GAL due to a DCF report that was “Substantiated with concern due to mother’s abuse of alcohol and child residing in an unsafe home”. Yet, it is somehow believed and encouraged to continue these patterns of abuse by Mom. I hope in my daughters early teens we can reconnect and some may not agree but I am going to show her exactly why I had to do what I did and exactly how much money I give to her mother so she can start demanding it be spent on her behalf. Stay strong everyone!

  17. Anonymous on October 8, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    I’m currently going through this with the divorce and visitation with my kids. It feels like seeing/visiting my kids is optional, depending on my ex’s mood. It really does get to the point, as a divorced father, that the only option you have is to let go. The mental games have reached such a toxic level, that the emotional price of trying to be a good Dad and a present father is no longer worth it. The harder you try the more resistance you face trying to be there, the less you try, well, your labeled as a deadbeat dad. There is no way to actually do the right thing in this situation. I guess just let go and someday God will handle it. Either way you spin the dice, it’s set up so that I will eventually not be a part of their lives, and that’s very depressing. I love my kids to death, but I deeply regret ever meeting that woman or having children with her.

    • Unknown on October 11, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      I wish my ex husband was a good father. Since we split he has been in and out of our daughters life. He got up and moved to another state and didnt say a word. Even when he was living here I told him we can work out more days besides the ones the court entitled him to and guess what he never picked her up or even tried. He puts his gf before his own kid. Still now that hes back for a while I let him see her whenever he wants and still he isnt consistent. I hear so many stories of fathers wanting to be involved in their childrens lives and the mothers making it impossible. Me on the other hand wants my daughter to have her father around but he just doesnt care. Ive realized u cannot change a person and i do my best with my daughter and I never bad mouth him to her bc in the end she will see who he truly is. I admire a man who does anything for their child. Kudos to all of u that do.

    • Scott Young on October 13, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      When the ex wife relocates taking your 4 year old daughter with her and her new man an hour away, away from you the father and other relations then you are then a alternate weekend dad with holidays thrown in. For 8.5 years I’ve driven up and down the motorway to pick her up. Or take her swimming then tea. Sometimes driven up for parents evening for just 10 min and back.
      I’ve had too work for this time off work to get those weekends off. I used to cry buckets on having to drop her back half way on the Sunday on my return home.
      It’s become harder when she turned 11 3/4. Just towards end of Primary school. Then secondary school it got harder.
      Social media, friends etc. She wants to be with her friends on weekends so there’s no flexibility ie school nights at mine. Their has never been school nights here because of the distance. So if the school and friends aren’t local then I can tell you its harder.

      Before my daughter was taken away I took her to nursery and picked her up. The last 6 months of her time in nursery were up there and believe me it was hard.
      When an ex wife meets somebody else you’re not needed so much. They moved for him as he never lived here which i couldn’t move because of work and this is where our familys live.
      It’s been 6 weeks since my daughter has been here. Shes ignoring my messages because she knows I’m asking if shes coming here. She is so focused on her friends. But there’s no compensation ie to stay here school nights. I want to help with her homework, ask about her day etc.
      Her mother said to me one year before they relocated (I was given 2 months notice) “he will be more than a father than I will” (referring to her now husband).
      I feel useless, inadequate, shown disdain by ex wife now my daughter shows it. Parents need to live in the locality of the school and friends.
      This is what has frustrated me more.
      The ex wife took away my parental role.
      It still hurts today and I feel suicidal sometimes. I sometimes can’t function sometimes as she has reduced me to a Disney dad.
      I’ve felt undermined so many times now my daughter has a phone and it distracts her when she is here staying in her room til late that our two days together is almost over. I don’t have the luxury of almost 2 weeks that the ex wife has because of the distance.

    • Tony on October 16, 2019 at 11:10 am

      While in the same disgusting situation, I always try to remember -“its about my little girl”
      My Ex has the dishonest courts on her side no matter what she does.
      Is it good to keep calling my daughter, knowing that her mother will not allow her to answer her phone or call me back?
      Is it good to send gifts and presents only to get ranting texts from the mother degrading the gift as not good enough?
      MEN need to take back their family and get the courts out of the way.
      Do what you think is best for your child. Hopefully, someone will be able to tell her the truth when she gets older. Your name will be mud by the time she is 18. Its about your child.

  18. Dannykamis on October 8, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Come this Saturday it will be 3weeks since I’ve been banned from my child. For. For the reason on trying to replace me and punish me for helping my ex out over some. Basically for two years (Leonardo was 2 14th of sep) she’s been an absolute nightmare. We split last sep, she got pregnant to some absolute joke 3 weeks later. I was pushed from my sons life as the new bf was insecure of me. May just gone tho, she comes of me to state ‘my bf is violent, my bf is rubbish with my child, my bf smokes weed around him’ I personally threw his stuff out and said If I saw him I’d leave trails of him around the street. Disgrace! So nearly 8months pregnant and with my son to look after I had no choice but to help her out. Her mother had fallen out with her because she left the new babies dad. What mother/grandmother would want family around someone like that. But yeah I moved in with them for 6wks, I loved it as I was actually parenting my child. Once the baby was born she banned from seeing his child, she asked me to tell him I was the baby’s dad (he knew we had slept together just before she fell pregnant) just because she was embarrassed who he was etc. I said no, I don’t play god and that’s someone’s life! Anyway two wks after she was born she had the dad in her house with my child there. I stopped helping, that was end of July. She got back with him and clearly she’s with him for money aswel as support so his days with her as a family are numbered. So I was again restricted to a Saturday 10am while 6:30pm as she won’t allow my family to help him see me (I work 2 jobs 6/7 days a wk everywk! Just now I’ve returned from working two jobs in the day! Keeping busy works as other wise I was just sat waiting for him, which is depressing) so I was restricted to saturdays. I have texts statingbshe doesn’t like that my child has a better bond with me than her. And she finds it acceptable to snatch him in when I drop him off as he’s screaming dada no dada no, it’s heartbreaking saying goodbye to some tiny fingers screaming dada at the other side of the door. So obviously I’ve messaged regarding my concerns, she just brushes them off and says ‘he’s fine after ten mins’. Well I’m not, my saturdays evenings are spent alone as I honestly have nothing to offer anyone, he’s all I think about. The last time i dropped him off I had to take him back to her dads, I knew he wasn’t gonna settle, again he was hysterical, so we both ended crying, the last image I have of my child is of him headbutting,kicking and punching his grandad (he gets on lovley with him) screaming dada extending his arms out. As I complained to her I got banned, I actually got banned! Got told to see a solicited if I wanna see him, got told by her mum ‘show us how much you want your son’. A week after he came back police were called out as he was been abusive. Like the story’s of other dads off of here that I’ve read, it’s a control thing all the time and for two years that’s exactly how it is, but like someone else said on here ‘it’s less painful to be absent than controlled’ check my instagram out, my boy is my world. But I don’t have the pain of having to say goodbye at home time, the lonely empty Saturdays aren’t empty anymore. I’ve done with my grieving for now. But if he forgets me he doesn’t have to have insecurities from me. I don’t know what my comments menant to do but I feel a tab bit better getting bit out! Ps I’m at the solicitors tomorrow :)

  19. John on October 8, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    System stinks there’s no accountability from a money grubbing system leaving fathers In a poor financial state with expectations of them having a relationship with children even when conditions imposed of seeing children make it virtually impossible. Children eventually work things out but by then it’s too late damage has been done. Court imposed distance and made it hard to see child. Mother cried she needed family support and I was abusive and she needed help with child so child was relocated. An asshole listens to tunnel vision questions imposed by barristers and makes a decission. Report writer knows who u are in 1 he. It’s not about sympathy it’s about children isn’t is federal circuit court? So this is why I’m making decission of not seeing child.

  20. Shirlee Smith on October 6, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    I found this when I searched online to try and figure out how my ex-soninlaw can treat his children so poorly when he only has them two days a month. It ate my daughter up inside when they split and he gradually over the past two years has worked very hard to get out of any visitation. We know that one day the children will be old enough to understand that daddy really doesn’t want to be bothered, and we are dreading it.

    My daughter tried to talk to him again about picking up his children on Friday rather than Saturday and having them for dinner on Thursday, but he said one day every two weeks is enough. By the way, he wants my daughter to help him to lower his child support too. I seriously think he would give up all rights and visitation if he didn’t have to pay child support any longer. But what can you expect from a man who was whining to my daughter two days after their first child was born that he didn’t think he wanted family life, and two weeks after their little boy was born he said, “You wanted him, so you take care of him.” A few short years later he was telling my daughter to move back home with us because he needed to think. I said no initially and offered to put him up in a hotel, but he snickered at the idea because it wasn’t an expensive one. Finally, they came to my home because he told my daughter that he wanted a divorce. My daughter was devastated and heartbroken, but she couldn’t figure out why he didn’t want to spend more time with the children. You can see it was painfully obvious to everyone but her that he had told her the truth all along. He didn’t want a family. Things were fine as long as she could be there for him at a moments notice, but when she had to divide up her time, he wanted out.

    I feel for the kids. The ones that are going to grow up without their dad because mommy is a bitch, and the ones that will grow up without a dad because their dad is an absentee prick. Kids can recover from divorce and thrive if both parents get their heads out of their asses and put their children first even if having a family wasn’t something you wanted or didn’t plan to do with your life. There is no reason to take it out on innocent children.

  21. Sandy on October 1, 2019 at 5:53 am

    My ex is, what I think, a real narcissist. He emotionally abused me and the kids over the years. During the divorce he made an effort to see a psychologist to “help us all” to get through it. Of course he was “nice” at the time and I really thought he was trying his best to be a better father. I trusted him. I was fooled once again. This was all just putting up a facade. He made promises he never kept after the divorce.

    I want to know what should be done. All I read on the internet about absent fathers are where the mothers are alienating their children or keeping the children from seeing the father. My biggest wish for my kids are for them to have a father who cares.

    My kids have depression, all related back to how they were treated by their narcissistic father. The youngest is not coping too well and was admitted for his suicidal depression moods. He told the psychiatrist that he hates his father. I assume his father told lies to the psychiatrist because the psychiatrist told me and our son that his dad promised that he will never stop trying to have a good relationship with his son. It is not happening. He keeps ignoring our son and make him feel bad. The father is never home or available during his visitation weekends or his school holidays. I dont understand how a parent can throw away his kids and not bother to care about them. On the divorce settlement it states that he has the kids every second weekend and every second school holiday.

    What can I do? Because at the moment I feel like sueing him for neglecting the children or something.

    • Aimee on October 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      I’m in the same boat, my ex has been with the kids everyday for 8 yrs. Now about 9 months ago just walked out . He has not one time called not even for our sons birthday . I feel so bad for my kids! And also don’t know what to tell them.
      Good luck I know it’s a hard road.

      • Dewane on November 6, 2019 at 10:46 am

        This is sad. It’s crazy how deadbeats are desired and good father’s are punished.

  22. frank on September 23, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    all this is why I chose to stay single and childless. I saw this happen to too many men I knew growing up and later as an adult .

    • Josh O'neal on September 28, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      Have not seen my daughter in almost seven years.My ex wife always wanted to have complete control.she was granted full custody and is now remarried to a guy that has more money and probably is a better provider,funny thing and I do not mean this in a sexist way but why do women and money go hand in hand? Anyway I checked out of my children’s lives altogether a long time ago have not talked to my daughter in well over four years and have not seen her in almost seven.Iam not saying it’s fair especially for my kids,we have a son and daughter.you just go numb to it.the Courts could not give a shit because at the end of the day they make Large profits on broken families.I have turned to Alcohol,pills and other substances to medicate myself which clearly isn’t the answer.Ive thought of suicide even wrapped a belt around my neck just to see if I had the balls to hook it on something sturdy and let gravity do it’s thing. I have just accepted to be estranged,from my ex the kids,not because I do not love my kids but it’s less painful to be absent than to be controlled.I wish any men reading this to know you are not alone.it’s sick really we have celebrities advocating 9-11 victims and families to Congress which in itself is sad and I do not mean disrespect but we need laws to enrich the lives of all parents to their children and not laws to wedge families apart.I have truly and sadly given up hope.Checking out has seemed to work so far,Iam not telling people to do this just explaining my own situation.I wish all good fathers who are going through this to stay strong I know it hurts one sweet day maybe we can see our babies and let them know that we really did care. God bless all who are in pain because of distanced relations whether it be man or woman and most of all God bless our children who may unfortunately not have their real heroes involved in their lives.thank you

  23. Dave Emma on September 20, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Well said, dad John G.
    Never thought I would write a comment on a page called “wealthysinglemommy”. The suicide option is shocking, does anyone care? Divorce is lose-lose-lose-lose: man, woman, kids, next generations. Adele recently announced her divorce. That’s part of marketing and the ‘I need to be happy bubble’. From all cases I know, there are not many with a well-working Disneyland situation. It’s sort of a dream of “we all happily procreate and be loving each other in the world, as happy children of god” but nature doesn’t work like this. Anyhow, do yourself and everyone a big favor: learn to shut up. learn to listen. no alcohol, no violence, no robotic texting, no blaming, no games, just stick to cool and calm. Accept the day and let good deeds speak. Momento mori. Understand yourself and others, your sins: jealousy, etc. and kill it! It’s your only hope to vitalize yourself, to maximize your good mindset, to work on virtues and ethics that you can become better. Watch what nature is doing: watch birds couples; one day everyone flies, the parents, the little ones. We do not create life because of laws, but because of our nature. Every time you react, understand this as big learning opportunity, but still have your values and integrity as you’re your best adviser. Stay on top “women vs men” or “him vs me”: imagine every situation could be reversed. Create context: did your (ex-) partner stab you or is it just opinions that seem to kill? Eat healthy. Sleep. Do moderate sports. Know your life-style, the way how you work with people and communities, how you communicate and negotiate. You cannot change that, you can only drop unhealthy behaviors by retraining your brain. Being asap and let answers come to questions like “why I don’t see my kids” as this is the immediate talk or question, but it is more important what your core frequency is doing, ie. your heart beat. Listen to it.

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