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

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Mention the fatherless epidemic in the United States, and the arguments are polarizing:

Why fathers walk away after divorce

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.

Why do fathers give up?

This post challenges a cultural assumption that men willingly walk out on their children and are irresponsible, apathetic parents. Instead, we all suffer under a sexist culture and legal system that marginalizes fathers, and makes it hard if not impossible for them to be meaningfully involved with their children, for reasons including:

  • Sexist culture
  • Family and divorce courts that favor mothers
  • Many dads don't believe the child is theirs.You can buy a home DNA paternity test online that proves whether you are the father.
  • Parental alienation, in which one parent turns the kids against the other parent
  • One dad's compelling story about why he doesn't see his kids.
  • 637 reader comments and counting

Related: This is the real reason your ex doesn’t see the kids

How can a father walk out on his child?

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 of these points of view.

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 reader:

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.

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.

What to do when the non-custodial parent doesn't show up or cancels last minute

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 judgment, 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.

Related: Parental alienation: A call to change parenting culture — and law

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:


“I hate my child's father.”

Negative feelings for your kid's dad are totally normal and understandable, but unless he is actively hurting your child, you have to work through that and put your kid first. Mothers standing in the way of fathers' relationships with their kids is central to the reason fathers don't see their kids. Focus on being part of the healing — not the problem.

Co-parenting counseling can help, as can personal therapy for you. Work through feelings of grief over the loss of the relationship, and mourn your original vision for your family. Educate yourself on the importance of fathers' presence in their children's lives and how that benefits moms, too.

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

Learn more about parental alienation, and solutions for reuniting estranged parents and children in the documentary Erasing Family:

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.

50/50 custody — who pays child support?

Why coparenting is important

To prevent this kind of trauma, here are some tips to how to make co-parenting work:

  • Accept that mothers and fathers are equal. This is a gender equality issue
  • Accept that just because the other person doesn't parent like you do, that is not abuse.
  • Let him fail, succeed and find his own parenting style. Many dads become better fathers after divorce because they have to.
  • When communicating with him, use ‘your house' and ‘my house' … not ‘Home.' Same when you address the kids – “daddy's house” and “my house.” Both places are their homes..
  • Keep him posted on matters large and small. Even if he doesn't show up for the teacher meetings, or make the doctors appointments, keep him abreast of what is happening with the kids.
  • Buy him holiday and birthday presents on behalf of the kids.  

But the bigger challenge is to change our culture, from one in which it is presumed that fathers are incompetent, and mothers are the default primary parent. Terry Brennan of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, and an equality activist. Listen to our podcast conversation:

For more on co-parenting communication, and reasons for better shared parenting, read: Co-parenting rules–even with a difficult ex

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

Why fathers walk away after divorce?

It is either: Men are irresponsible douchebags who abandon their children to mothers, who are left to raise the children with few resources, or women are conniving, malicious, entitled nut-jobs who alienate fathers from their children while taking all said fathers' money.

How can a father walk out on his child?

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 of these points of view. 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.

Why do fathers give up?

Instead, we all suffer under a sexist culture and legal system that marginalizes fathers, and makes it hard if not impossible for them to be meaningfully involved with their children, for reasons including: sexist culture, parental alienation, courts that favor mothers, and more.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

739 Comments

I met my son for the VERY FIRST time this week, three days before he turned one year and ten months. As we speak my son’s maternal grand mother, is fighting her own daughter, for wanting to ensure that her grandson has a sound and healthy relationship with his father.

Unfortunately I think the maternal grandmother will eventually win… they usually win against fathers.
The children often pay the price for the severed relationship.
And the displaced fathers are usually blamed by society, and called absent.

I have 50/50 with my ex, we never fought or anything in fact I couldn’t have picked a better father for my son who is now 13, although the first 5 years of his life he was mainly with me. We actually never went to court or anything he gave me plenty of money by choice monthly and now that we are splitting time he doesn’t but he pays for most needed things like school clothes and such. He still sometimes will throw me a hundred or two just because. He makes way better money than me which doesn’t mean he should he just does because he is a really good thoughtful man. I have friends who go through hell with their ex’s. One friend has to have a mediator because her and her ex are not allowed to talk. I feel really bad I lucked out. It works so well when you share the parenting and not make things about you, your feelings toward your ex shouldn’t be carried on your child’s shoulders. If there are any issues in school or health wise, it’s necessary to talk about what each household is doing to better the situation and sometimes you have to compromise. It is paying off, my son is the most big hearted young man I know. He never argues about not wanting to see me or his dad he loves us both and likes that we share him.

I am a father who is held hostage by a bitter ex wife who weaponizes time with my son and only extends the opportunity for me to be with them more than minimally required at her convenience. I spent 16,000 dollars on attorneys when I should have just saved it for a fund to travel. I live out of state and travel to her dtate every 6 weeks to spend two weekends with my son, even though I have family there who will support me with having my son the entire trip. I will never give up. I will never walk away from my son.

Please help

I will never support or read this blog again. This article is an insult to the FACTS that statistics and history have shown for centuries. Women, in almost every society and culture, have rarely had any power over property, children, or themselves for that matter. Child support and child custody weren’t heard of until maybe the 50s..?? Most women lost EVERYTHING if they left their husbands. And most husbands were abusive in every way. Again, this is statistics and history, not my opinion. Domestic violence and sexual abuse is committed by men against women almost exclusively. Women who dared to leave an abusive marriage faced,and still do,loss of income, home,reputation, and their children. Courts favor women because the overwhelming proof that husbands are most likely to be philandering, abusive, and not fit to parent. In a society that still pays women less than men, that still sees women raped beaten and marginalized in overwhelming numbers compared to men, this article is an insult and mockery. Shame on you for posting this trash!

You must be a woman…. and probably a woman like the example above. This blog is woman based and I’m glad she posted this as it shows what really goes on. It’s unfortunate more states aren’t at 50/50 and we aren’t living in the 1950s, we are living in today and woman are more than capable of earning the same as men. This story hits home for me as this is what the other half does to me, except we have 50/50 and I would always fight to see my daughter and document everything for the court. The child is the one who is suffering and unfortunately there are too many situations like the one described above and the courts are too slow to act and see past the narcissistic party who is causing the issues.

I met my son for the VERY FIRST time this week, three days before he turned one year and ten months. As we speak my son’s maternal grand mother, is fighting her own daughter, for wanting to ensure that her son has a sound a healthy relationship with his father.

I think the maternal grandmother will eventually win… they usually win against fathers.
Unfortuntely it is always the children who pay the price.
And the fathers who are blamed by society.

“Courts favor women because”….

That’s a really disgusting justification, but I feel there is truth there — and therein lies the problem.

How would you like separations and divorces involving children to be handled? Is there an issue with a rebuttable presumption of equal shared parenting?

This IS a mockery of any parent and child who has been abandoned (or who had a full time parent who decided they wanted their life back and acts as though it’s OK to be a part time parent).

I am mortified by the attitude of society and the law. No wonder so many parents throw in the towel.
They do it because the law and society supports them to do it, so long as there is one parent still willing to pick up the pieces and work their damndist to provide what the other parent has taken away.

So the idea is that the partner who has been abandoned should in the eyes of the law, of society and in this articles opinion, stand by and watch that Immature, self centred partner leave the marriage and children (because they can’t take the work and responsibility). On top of this the law and society says that the parent who commits to taking responsibility on his /her own, should support and encourage a parent who cannot be bothered with their child!?!?! What an insult to the abandoned parent. And on top of this….. whoopie doo, we get child maintainance…… All of a minimum payment that only covers BASIC food, shelter and clothing. No accounting for items that are so obvious….. school trips, stationary, off the counters medicines, birthday parties etc. I wonder why these aren’t included, maybe because of course the abandoning parent wants a life, after all that’s what they left for! Never mind that you’re supposed to put your children first and give them the clothes off your own back!
It’s all screwed up. We need to fight harder for the parent and children who are left behind, not the one who departed!!!!!
Ashame for grandparents who are having to help making up for these useless parent also!
On a slightly different note…. What is the deal about discounts for family of four when booking entertainment and holidays, is this to deter people from being single (must have a partner or youve obviously been a rubbish partner yourself and you’ll pay for that)!
As a single mom abandoned by my husband of 11 years, I take my children to lots of outings with their friends. When there are three children and myself, I get no discounts for family! Isn’t that unfair… I do my best to make my childrens and their friends day good and keep them fit and active, whilst their father expects them to sit in a front of a TV all day and not do anything (just act like adults). But on top of this, the families who have a two adults get discounts, whilst it’s single parents get nothingt!

This exactly. All I heard was an overpriviliged man whining about his feelings over and over. Abandoning your kids bc you’re too weak to keep reopening a wound. Give me a duckin break. Get some therapy and man up, woman have been manning up since the dawn of time.

Courts don’t listen to young minor children, and unfortunately coaching and brainwashing are a thing… if only it was that easy, we wouldn’t need courts, lawyers and endless empty pocketbooks.

I am a father that has two girls 19 and 12. Me and their mom have bee divorced for 10 years. Their mom left me for her old middle school fling who was in jail. Their mom took them down to the prison and started forcing them to call him daddy and told them he was away at school. My oldest at first idolized her mom but since then they aren’t as close as the girls god mother told her things about her mom during the divorce. They were the best of friends but the ex stopped wanting to be her friend after the girls god mother told her she was making the wrong decision. Since the divorce I have had my phone blocked on several occasions someone other than my daughter’s replying to me found out they are forced to call me by my legal name when they are with their mom. Have heard their mom talk bad about me to other people and them. I recently took her to court to have child support reduced since my oldest is now 19 when I did that she forced my oldest to go to school something she didn’t want to do and when we got to court she just lied. Said my daughter didn’t go to school because of covid my daughter signed up and the classes were virtual. My daughter asked me to fill out her financial aid papers cause her mom was too worried it would come out her pocket which my daughter told me. Also found out earlier this year my daughter had friends spend the night out at her mom’s and told her she didn’t have any money to get anything to eat her mom said that’s not her problem. My daughter ended up leaving the state and told her mom she didn’t want to go to school and has since dropped out after a week because her mom finally filed the financial aid papers a week after class started. My daughter said she left the state cause she was tired of her mother not taking care of them like she should. Her and the jail husband have 2 kids and my daughter’s basically are taking care of them. She said they feel unwanted by their mother because she plays difference in the kids she has with me and the current father. Said anytime she ask for help she tells them ask Raymond that would be me. It’s sad because I don’t have a good relationship with my father and wanted my kids to have a good relationship with both. I’m lucky to have someone my oldest knew that was so close to the ex telling her that I didn’t deserve what their mother has done and still is doing. It’s sad that parents can’t see the damage they do to kids by trying to make them like one parent more than the other. I told my daughter you don’t have to move away but she didn’t want me to give up my room and sleep on a couch for her because I live with my brother and mother as she is I’ll and us living together we can help each other out with our kids and financial situation while helping our mother too. My brother is also going through the same with his ex that I am. Seems it doesn’t matter if it’s the mom or dad. The good parent gets screwed and has to watch the bad parent get away with this. I have thought about suicide on many occasions because I feel like I’m the reason for this because there were red flags I ignored and now my kids suffer. Something needs to be done to parents alienating kids from another parent and basically looking at the kids as a extra source of income. There’s more but I get depressed talking about it because my kids are hurting and there’s nothing I can do I have used 3 different lawyers and told them how she is and they look at me as a dad that doesn’t want to help take care of his kids. I have paid daycare health insurance and helped her since the oldest was born. She said she won’t put her on her insurance because it cost her too much. My daughter told me the other day that I’m all she can depend on because her mom only cares about keeping the jailbird happy and spoiling her brothers. Not my words. Those are the words of a 19 year old.

I’m a single mom of 2 my ex husband was abusive to me and toxic to our children he just didn’t care. Years have passed and he has not attempted to be apart of their lives up until recently he has contacted me and wants to spend time with them alone without my presence. I told him no because our kids have to learn who he is all over again as do i and until we do I will be supervising the visits. The day of the first visit it rained and he did not show because of the rain. I’m wondering is it bad that he did not show just because of the weather or am I overreacting. I’m still not used to him and it’s overwhelming because I don’t want our kids to be disappointed just in case he does something wrong. I’m willing to let him see the kids alone when they know him better but I need answers how long should the visits be in hours how many days when can he spend time with them alone when are sleep overs possible please help thank you

That sounds like a difficult situation, people can change but your right for being cautious. I would just make sure to find out as much as you can about him and what he has been doing all these years and if your gut doesn’t feel right then it’s probably not. Talk to your kids and make sure they feel comfortable when that time comes if it gets to that point. No specific time frame just all depends on how long it takes him to make you and your kids feel comfortable. Take note if possible the company he keeps.

I have 2 children with my ex. Didny know she was married when we had my son Jaylon. She started promising divorce as time went by it never happened. My daughter Amberley came along. 4 years ago had serious car accident which mangled my leg losing my right and breaking my left hip mist my ribs vertebre. Colostomy just should have killed me. So for 3 years im a stay at home dad changing diapers from a wheel chair to find out my ex is cheating and dating a lot behind my back. 6 years after being together. We rough it out 2 more years. Then she finally takes my kids. I don’t have rights because she’s married still she filled a protection order after she gets out of jail for getting my elderly mom up. Im not allowed to speak to my kids or see them. Legal aid denied me for help. Right now im on ssi. I love my kids with call my being. No matter how many surgeries I went through after I came home it was b ack to being a full time daddy. So it was blood sweat and tears for these kids. Not to mention the 2 she had already I raised for 8 years as well. Im at a lose of words I was b always hoping we b would make it work the better I got. But its 2021 im still in a wheelchair with 1 surgury to go. My ex is very complicated woman. Shes never home kids always with her parent or her daughter. I’ve called dhs 8 times. Nothing. Picked my kids up blocks away made reports nothing. I’d always take them home. Till this last time I just got shut out there lives. This has been more painful and heart breaking than suffering limb loss and loss of a welding career I had just started. Every time I did get to see them it was heart breaking cause I’d never get to have my kids with me at home. A quick visit at Walmart or McDonald’s, the fair, and fishing trip are y b e 4 times I seen my kids all year. Its August.

I am a second wife. My husband was divorced for 2 years before we met, we have now been married for 37 years. I did not break up the family; just wanted to put that out there first. My husband tried desperately to be involved in his children’s lives and his ex was only after what money she might get from him. I talked him down from suicide many times. He kept paying, she kept saying to his face, “If I had my way, you would never see your children.” It was horrible. I read the comments from other women here and while I agree some men do create a toxic environment, not all do. Just like not all women create a situation of parental alienation. However, it is pretty common for the mother to get primary custody, so there are many instances of the mother creating the barrier. Whenever my husband’s ex wanted more Child Support, she withheld visitation as a punishment, at one point she worked for her attorney and had unlimited access to bring motion after motion against him. I kept telling my husband to not speak badly of his ex, that eventually the children would grow up and they would see with their own eyes what was happening. I was naive. If we had it to do all over again, I would advise him to move far away, so that he could start his life over and not have the turmoil. It was unhealthy for the children and for us.

I couldn’t read the whole thing because it just screams, “women are evil and irrational while men know how to handle their emotions” as if parental alienation only happens to men. This is what keeps the movement from further recognition, it comes off as women hate speech.

A little unfair. Bother genders have issues. What is clear, of which women fail to recognise is that, imagine as a woman going to court, to school, nursery, having child services or the police involved and at every level knowing that because of your gender you will never start off as an equal parent. If I could walk into a court room knowing it starts at 50% or be on a level playing field, that’s all I believe men ask for. It’s crystal clear that is the main issue. Women can moan negatively against men all day long, there’s good and bad on both genders, however men are not treated fairly at all.

No it actually tells the truth about his situation. This blog is for women, and refers all the time to what to do when “he” does this or does that. What he wrote is real and it is happening all the time. If you feel facts and actual events need to not be posted, then maybe you are purposely ignoring the truth for some reason or you don’t want t believe this is happening.
The issue in his story is he wasn’t in a state with 50/50. If he was, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I know many fathers who are much better parents than their girlfriends, wives, exes etc. Yet, they live in states where the courts have not moved to a 50/50 shared parenting.

What should simply be noted is that this occurs and it should stop as it only hurts the child. This can by a woman or a man. I just don’t understand the anger for someone teliing their story.. It makes the people who are angy seem to be defensive and possibly guilty for their own actions, or at least that is how it comes across.

Mothers get alienated by fathers too. The fathers tend to do this when kids are teenagers. There is little the mother can do when the father is validating the rebelliousness and telling the kids that the mother is mean and doesn’t love them. I am in several parental alienation support groups and there are so many women there. There is a bigger stigma on us when our kids turn on us. My kids were alienated while we were still in the marriage. I knew he was undermining me but I didn’t understand the bad mouthing and how bad it had gotten. Read the book Divorce Poison to learn about all the different forms of parental alienation. It is different from estrangement. It is child abuse because the kids get damaged when one parent is trying to hurt the other one.

Mothers get alienated by fathers too. The fathers tend to do this when kids are teenagers. There is little the mother can do when the father is validating the rebelliousness and telling the kids that the mother is mean and doesn’t love them. I am in several parental alien Asian support groups and there are so many women there. There is a bigger stigma on us when our kids turn on us. My kids were alienated while we were still in the marriage. I knew he was undermining me but I didn’t understand the bad mouthing and how bad it had gotten. Read the book Divorce Poison to learn about all the different forms of parental alienation. It is different from estrangement. It is child abuse because the kids get damaged when one parent is trying to hurt the other one.

Well my ex left me since I got pregnant and he stole money from me and he’s tried to threaten me about taking me to court but it’s not convenient for him since he had been threatening me anyway point is men do it to themselves sometimes.

This IS a mockery of any parent and child who has been abandoned (or who had a full time parent who decided they wanted their life back and acts as though it’s OK to be a part time parent).

I am mortified by the attitude of society and the law. No wonder so many parents throw in the towel.
They do it because the law and society supports them to do it, so long as there is one parent still willing to pick up the pieces and work their damndist to provide what the other parent has taken away.

So the idea is that the partner who has been abandoned should in the eyes of the law, of society and in this articles opinion, stand by and watch that Immature, self centred partner leave the marriage and children (because they can’t take the work and responsibility). On top of this the law and society says that the parent who commits to taking responsibility on his /her own, should support and encourage a parent who cannot be bothered with their child!?!?! What an insult to the abandoned parent. And on top of this….. whoopie doo, we get child maintainance…… All of a minimum payment that only covers BASIC food, shelter and clothing. No accounting for items that are so obvious….. school trips, stationary, off the counters medicines, birthday parties etc. I wonder why these aren’t included, maybe because of course the abandoning parent wants a life, after all that’s what they left for! Never mind that you’re supposed to put your children first and give them the clothes off your own back!
It’s all screwed up. We need to fight harder for the parent and children who are left behind, not the one who departed!!!!!
Ashame for grandparents who are having to help making up for these useless parent also!
On a slightly different note…. What is the deal about discounts for family of four when booking entertainment and holidays, is this to deter people from being single (must have a partner or youve obviously been a rubbish partner yourself and you’ll pay for that)!
As a single mom abandoned by my husband of 11 years, I take my children to lots of outings with their friends. When there are three children and myself, I get no discounts for family! Isn’t that unfair… I do my best to make my childrens and their friends day good and keep them fit and active, whilst their father expects them to sit in a front of a TV all day and not do anything (just act like adults). But on top of this, the families who have a two adults get discounts, whilst it’s single parents get nothing!
The icing on the cake…… Us responsible abandoned PARENTS, have to be OK if the other parent suddenly shows on the scene wanting to see their children after not bothering for yrs!

It is the mothers who are now abandoning their family and blame the dad for demanding so much in order to see the children. A mother who has abandoned her family, in my opinion, should be able to show she has income, a place of her own, ability to get the children to school on time and have a car. She should be willing to sign agreements of promise to return the children or she can take her chances in court. This would mean she has a job and thus would have little time to spend with them. How fruitless is that?

This feel like my own story.

I have not seen my son for almost 3 years now, Zero contact!!
Spending thousand of dollars in attorney fees, psych evaluation and other court fees, now for what?
The damage has been done. My son has completely been brainwashed by his mother, very sad indeed.

To top it all off , I’m battling now with 2 types of cancers. Fighting for my life now for me and my boy….

Sorry to hear…. it’s sad that any parent would put their child through this. The parent is putting themselves first and their child last.
Please keep fighting and document everything and get it in writing if you can. Using a court ordered parenting app makes it 100% useful in court and will show how the other party is.
This occurs way too much and the courts are too slow to move, if they move at all.

I Am going through this and as I sit in my car crying my eyes out I can’t help but feel rage and anger. All my life I provided and killed myself through my job to make sure all my family had EVERYTHING they needed and never went without, and so that my ex (significant other at the time) could sit around not having to work and bleeding me for every drop of cash she could get from me. All the while she had me on child support because she wanted insurance for the kids. We break up and it turned into 3 years battles in court, tens of thousands of dollars I had to beg borrow and work 100 hrs a week to keep from starving. I saw the kids for an hour in that three year span for an hour and when I watched them leave all I thought about was killing myself because the depression got that bad, and watching my daughter say “I love you, are you ok?” When she saw me crying about did me in. The courts won’t help there are no lawyers who do reduced rate work but she gets free lawyers because she doesn’t work and child support doesn’t have to be shown as income. I keep our picture from the hour I saw them because it keeps me going that maybe one day things will turn in my favor, or when they get old enough my family can tell them what a monster their mother was and they’ll hear the truth instead of the disgusting lies by her and her parents (who abuse all the govt aid they all can get) tell them. I truly believe in karma and it will nail her as hard as life seems to nail me, but in the mean time I suck it up keep paying my cs and keep fighting the horrid depression. It is just sad how the system supports vengeful mothers but crucifies fathers who want the right thing.

Keep up the fight, document everything, force use of a court ordered parenting app and file contempt charges each time she fails to follow it. It’s a long battle, but it’s your kids and they need you. When they get older they will understand you tried everything to see them and be a part of their life and they will know their mother alienated them from you, because she cares about nothing but herself.

So sad that parents have to go through this situation.
Here I am just trying to find ways to not let the separation between my spouse affect my children.
And mind you my spouse left the house and that still does not stop the fact that all of us deserve to be happy.
Yes I am hurt, but the moment I had my kids was the moment I decided to put them first in my life.
There’s no point in being bitter and trying to keep the children away. We are all human we all make mistakes, we all have a change in heart, we all fall out of love. Yes sometimes our ex partners do things that are hurtful but at the end of the day it is only the children that end up even more affected and continue this with their generations. I pray parents have a change of heart in the things they do. What matters here are those beautiful kids. And unless you’re keeping them away because a parent is doing drugs, or abusive then shame on you, I hope you are able to seek god and allow him to allow you to forgive and remove any bitterness from your heart. Be better, do better, the lord loves you and loves your children. Don’t let your relationship with your ex later on affect the one with your children for trying to keep them away from their other parent!

Lauren do you live in an alternate reality? Alienating your children from their father is the issue, and many women do it, and men do as well.
And actually more and more states are realizing it’s best to have 50/50 custody and not every other weekend. The courts are slow to move, but they do move.

So many of these comments are very descriptive of what I went through 20 years ago. It never ends, either. I thought I made a breakthrough when I reconnected with my 2 children on FB but their mom immediately tried to sabotage any contact. This was approximately 7 years ago. We got together several times but something seemed amiss and they both unfriended me and disconnected their telephone numbers, no explanation. My daughter contacted me 2 years ago (“I’m reaching out…”) and we talked and texted several times then…..nothing since. It’s been a long time and I feel that I don’t know them at all. When people ask me if I have kids, I lie and say I don’t because if you’re honest I think people must think you really must have been some ugly sob . My best advice to anyone who HAS TO go through a divorce when kids are involved, get the best atty that you can and don’t give an inch (if you do, they will take a mile) in your visitation rights. BTW I did pay over 250k on support. Thank goodness the state garnished my wages because they did the accounting and saved me from many more headaches.

The only time I was permitted to see my child was if I was sleeping with my ex. So I didn’t see her much for a couple of years until she was four years old. Over the years I would try to see her but usually only could get her mother to cooperate about 3 times a year. Every birthday and every Christmas I would leave presents on the porch because they wouldn’t be there, or my daughter would be looking out the window at me leaving them. I managed to get her a laptop and Microsoft Family kept me sane, at least I knew my daughter had some things from me and they would send a weekly report of what games she was playing and was safe online. Then her mother broke it, said she would fix it but never did. A year or so went buy and I bought her another. Her mother threw a fit and said it was cheap so I exchanged it. Mission accomplished, even though I could never see my child I got the reports. But the hole in my heart was ever there. When she was 8 I was behind on child support, that summer I called and got thru, and her mother snatched the phone from her and screamed obscenities. The irony of it was I had just started back paying child support. Her mother would be nice when I wasn’t paying it, but when I did it was this? Let me be clear, I now know her mother has mental problems, but I didn’t know then. I think it’s called malicious parent syndrome or something, but I don’t know.
That Christmas I dropped the presents off but I got to see my child this time. She was 7 years old. It was a wonderful moment and she was ecstatic. At this point I was resolute. I told her I would get her an iphone for her birthday which was in a month and I did. She adored it and used it mostly for games but sometimes she would text me. Her grandfather saw how much she loved her phone, but I know it was because it came from me. He finally reached out and said it wasn’t right his daughter was keeping me from our child. Now I could go see her about once a month and sit on the porch and talk to her grandad while she played in the yard. Her mom saw a couple of times but didn’t make a big deal of it. Before her next birthday, I asked him to accompany my daughter and I to Skyzone for her birthday. He said he would see. When he called me, that was the saddest person I ever heard on the phone in my life. His daughter had said no. If he sounded so sad, I knew my daughter was upset.
I started going to legal workshops but I was terrified of going to court. Judges don’t know you and are desensitized to the drama between exes. Women are very, very favored in custody outcomes. You basically have to become a master of the law and if you’re not an attorney you can miss one small thing and you’re out. For example, wearing the wrong time. Stupid things that an attorney would know. When I filed my lawsuit I asked for my daughter to get my last name and drop moms,(she has both) but the suit was throwed out on a technicality. When I refiled I forgot to include it, and to make matters work her mom took her iphone and stopped letting me see her in retaliation. The worst(or maybe the best) part was the court did not see me for a year. I never got a temporary hearing. But this was a blessing in disguise, because I finally got a lawyer who would help me for practically nothing.
I know I worried them for months about the case and I will always appreciate them for putting up with me. My daughter’s mother got an attorney immediately and eventually I started getting supervised visits. I put on my best face and that’s not easy to do when you have to deal with someone who wants to destroy your relationship with your child. She would show up pen and pad in hand, but I ignored it and just ate some McDonalds with my child(she wants me to be a mcdonalds dad), played a board game, talked to grandad, and watched her on the playground. There were times my car would break down and I would walk 45 minutes to the bus stop and take the 2 hour trip to make sure she could never say I wasn’t there. I missed one trip when I found out my stepfather was hospitalized with heart failure.
When court came in there my daughter’s mother and her attorney were seriously late. They asked that I see my child one weekend a month. I said hell no. Also, they had ignored any attempt to come up with a parenting plan the whole time.
I know see my child two weekends a month and the court order says my kid’s mother is to make sure she calls every day she isn’t with me. Her mom made sure to tell the judge she didn’t want our daughter to have the phone I provided, so the judge ordered her to provide her phone. She also asked to make sure all exchanges happened at McDonalds. I was just happy to finally be able to build a parenting relationship with our child, so I didn’t negotiate much. i wish I could say it was a happy ending but it’s not.
Her mom has been blocking our communication now for over a year. Ironically my daughter doesn’t remember her younger years with my involvement, the presents, none of that. I have no idea if her mother told her they were from me, but I tell her now. When I bring up the phone call situation with my daughter, she gets upset and has panic attacks. It was really confusing to me whether it was mom or my daughter doing the blocking, because my daughter would always say anything to protect her mother and take the blame. But when I found out me asking about it gave her panic attacks I just let it go.
After our first summer visitation my daughter asked to spend every weekend with me. I asked her mom for more time and she ignored my texts. I told her if she didn’t respond we would go to court, so one day mom wasn’t there for the exchange, she took our child to the ER for nothing on my parenting time. She had our daughter tell the social worker she didn’t feel in safe in my home when I was drinking. I was shocked because she never saw me drinking. I’ll never forget how to social worker pointed her finger and said, she told me she didn’t feel safe with you when you’re drinking. I said huh, shocked. She pointed her finger at me accusingly and repeated herself. I was so confused and asked our daughter if she wanted to come for the weekend, she said yes. I asked her why she said that and she said she didn’t know. DFCS came to my house immediately and saw there was no alcohol around. I told them my instincts that her mother manipulated our 10 year old to say those things. They interviewed our daughter but when she was with mom and more lies were told. I felt betrayed by my own daughter, but I knew where it was coming from. I was pretty angry and stopped cooperating with DFCS, I told them to take me to court.
I have another son with a different woman and boy was I surprised when a different county child protective services showed up saying I was DUI with him. He is 15 years old and had been living with me for the last three years, but asked to go live with mom(who is a great coparent!) so he wasn’t even there when the allegations were made. I told the social worker immediately what had transpired with my daughter and she was exasperated. She couldn’t reveal who made the report but it was pretty clear. At this point I made my own report about this because it is damaging to our child. I still refused to cooperate with the initial people because I was upset, but the other social worker I cooperated fully.
Finally a psychologist who does alcohol examinations called me asking me to take some tests for alcohol. I refused to do so. Then, out of the blue mom called me and said the social workers had put her in therapy. I was shocked that they actually cared about my side of the story, so after that I no longer felt the state was against me and took the test. I was vindicated and mom and I did coparenting counseling with the state. Everything was better when the counseling was going on, because she was held accountable. Yet during a counseling session it was then I discovered I had my first anxiety attack. I had rescheduled to attend a PTA meeting for our daughter but her mother raised hell about it. On our rescheduled meeting I had an anxiety attack. The counselor didn’t even connect the dots, but neither did I at the time. I thought it was because I had too much salt or hadn’t exercised in a minute. Then suddenly the state closed the case and refused to refer us to other coparenting counselors. Predictably, mom refused to do private coparenting counseling.
You see the phone calls had been corrected, but now again mom is blocking me and when my daughter can’t reach me she will have panic attacks. For example I was busy one week she would call and I’d call right back but couldn’t reach her(straight to voicemail). When we finally did talk she told me wished I was dead and I told her there would be consequences for speaking to me like that. Then when we got together she cried and said all the problems started with visitation. When I ask her why did she behave like that on the phone thru tears she said she thinks I don’t like her anymore because she doesn’t answer the phone, and she thinks I don’t love her anymore. I told her don’t worry about it all if you don’t answer the phone. And now I have my phone attached to my hip like a millenial, even when I’m sleeping it’s by my face(no offense millenials!). I’m terrified of missing my 11 year olds call because I know she will think she has done something wrong even when she hasn’t.
My daughter’s mother has basically manipulated our child to the point where she doesn’t have to follow the court order. These dads who walk away from their children, I can’t understand but what I do understand is when I don’t see my daughter and I’m on my way to pick her up during exchanges I have extreme anxiety to the point I have to pull myself together. I’ll be throwing up, heart rate 140, high blood pressure, and just feel sick if tthere’s ever any issue with mom.
Dads who walk away, when I drop her off the next day I will have this feeling of impending doom. So yes it does affect your mental health. And these tensions affect your childs as well.
My first marriage I walked away because I didn’t want her exposed to conflict between her mother and I, and now my daughter from that marriage hates me. Her mother walked away from our son because he is disabled, but he doesn’t hate her I raised him to love and to forgive. She only has mom’s point of view so in my mind’s eye I failed her. We reconnected when she was 16 and I was there for her every time she let me. Now that she is 20 she has completely cut me out of her life and she has every right to do so. I can’t imagine the pain she felt when her mother wouldn’t let me see her and I didn’t fight for her. I lost her twice, I’d be crazy to do with that with my youngest daughter. If I screw her up I will just have to be there to deal with the consequences, like I always tell her choices have consequences. I think I am making the right choice.

Sad that you could think like this Mary.

At the end of the day, the only way we know about this story is because he’s telling us. So it is possible that there are things that are left out? Yeah. But now because he let us know he’s an educated professional and spent six figures on a lawyer, he’s narcissistic? It can’t just be him trying to show us that no matter how much you spend on a lawyer, as a man in the family system, you’re at an inherent disadvantage? We need to be careful that we aren’t reading things into the story that aren’t actually there. If this was the story of a woman talking about the abuse that she endured from her husband with all the same circumstantial details, would also meet it with the same level of skepticism? Would you assume there are things she did or things that she doesn’t want coming to light? Of course not. And it’s that same kind of biased thinking that has lead to the creation of this system that affects men in a way women can never dream of understanding because they’re not men.

As a person who’s going through everything this man has gone through, I can attest to the reality that he could very well be telling the truth. I know I may be hard to hear and even harder to process but these type of women do actually exist. Male depression of situations like this is a real thing. He has every right to be insulted by being pushed into a Disneyland dad role. He has every right to be insulted when he’s being emotionally abused by a partner and financially abused by a system.

Sure, we’ll never know whether or not he’s telling the truth about his situation. But since it’s all we have to go off of and it isn’t inherently unbelievable or contradictory, then I’ll believe him. And you should too.

The best article I’ve ever read, I feel exactly the same. Walked away from my son recently and I know it’s the right decision. The reasons in the article sum up exactly the conundrum I was left with, kill myself, spend 100k more getting nowhere remaining unhappy for years knowing I’ll never beat a woman at this game against a rigged system, or politely walk away paying my monthly membership and have a much happier and healthy life.

This situation is reversed for me. I am a Mother that was prevented from seeing my Son. I can relate 100% with the Fathers trying to see their children. It hurts so bad. I am a Registered nurse and we had joint custody but my son wanted to live with his Father. They moved away. I was not even placed on enrollment records as his Mom. Never informed of school activities. It weighs on the other parent. I cried reading this, because I felt every single aspect of the pain. My son is 20 now and moved on with his life. I am a background Mother always desiring to just hear how his day was. I can just hope his life is positive and he is happy.

I went through tough times with my sons mother who used him as an emotion weapon. She knew how much I loved my son. I did everything for him for the first 2 years of his life and then when we got divorced, she made false accusations of abuse and an injunction order. It meant i didnt see my son for 8 months. I would break down and cry because i missed him so much, always worrying would he even recognise me again when I saw him, would i ever see him again. I put in a child arrangements application. I was very lucky I had evidence that I was due to present at my injunction hearing. After months of no contact with his mum, I received a phone call from her as she had seen my evidence. She said how could i do this to her even though it was clear audio and video evidence of her abuse towards me. It ended up with her dropping the injunction and agreeing to 50/50 access. I was very very lucky I had evidence because this woman was ready to keep my son away from me and there was nothing I could do about it. Thank God I found a way and my heart goes out to any parent in the same situation. The court process is broken. My ex is still controls and abusive but now I have a court order, I ignore her as long as I get my son. She has however kept him for extra hours and days to make me think she is keeping him away from me again. It feels like emotional blackmail but I cant do anything. I have so much love for my son. I hope my ex sees sense and changes focussing on my sons happiness only.

I lost my parental rights because I didn’t see my daughter. But the reason I didn’t was because my ex wife was violating the court orders and refusing to let me see my child or talk to my child unless I did everything her way. She was holding my daughter hostage and blackmailing me. The FOC ignored my complaints and refused to do anything. The FOC would only help the mother. The Judges (both female) refused to look at the evidence and hold my ex in contempt. My ex constantly violated the court orders and not once was she held in contempt. Instead they always changed the order to make it easier on my ex and harder on me. My ex even got the school to shut me out because she put down her husband as the father and lied that I was unfit. If I go and try and see my daughter the police will be called. All contact as been blocked. The Judge closed the case. I wanted to be a father. I tried so hard but it was made impossible. I now know it is illegal for a man to be a father.

Thank you
I think people need to hear this!
The Court system is setup to screw these poor dad’s who are often the more sane parent. My ex wife will stop at nothing to bring hardship to my life but it’s just a testament to her own misery.

My sons father said he wanted a paternity test in hopes that our son would somehow not be his and he wouldn’t have to deal with me. It’s the third time he has denied our son in writing and verbally. The first time was at the hospital AFTER he forced me to give our son his middle name.
He has endangered our child numerous times. Not getting a covid test or vaccine and not quarantining, putting baby in swing without buckling him in and having him swing fast, and leaving baby in nothing but a onesie in the house all day to the point that baby’s body was ice cold to the touch.

When I tell him what’s wrong with this he denies he is doing anything wrong. He says he just wants a blood test just in case and that he’s not denying him. He says that the swing doesn’t need to be buckled (yes it does) He says that the baby was not cold or in danger (yes he was) He says he can’t catch covid (we don’t know that)

I anticipate he will be very emotionally abusive and even potentially dangerous. I don’t care how much he thinks he cares about our son. His actions show that he doesn’t. So he can step right out of our lives. I’m not about to let him accidentally hurt my son.

My ex wife works for a lawyer. I have been dragged into court for 6 years now every year. She is allowed to file for the same things she lost on every time. At one time we went through mediation and my own lawyer and the mediator tried to get me to accept less time than I had with my children. That was completely wrong. What they were not wrong about was that the ex was going to take me to court forever until she got exactly what she wanted. It has not happened yet. I go straight to court to have the judge decide as it is the only way I have a chance.

My oldest refused to come my house for years. Years later she wanted to return a Christmas present since I got the version that cost slightly less(eventually I found out she sold it for hundreds of dollars less than I paid for it). I went into my room to calm down and when I came out she was screaming at me and tried to take her sister away from me on Christmas. It gets worse but I’ll keep the rest to myself. She has not apologized for the incident one time and it’s been 2 years now. The year after that , both kids showed up and opened their presents and fell asleep for a couple hours and then left. That is what it is like now if I get to spend any time with them. They get something from me and leave. I once forced the oldest to spend a holiday with me and all she kept saying was “I always spend holidays with my family”. (meaning I am not her family, of course she still wants things from me) About half the time now the youngest won’t come over for scheduled visits and never even tells me that she isn’t coming over. So in the end for some of us, we pay twice as much as the other parent for everything and have no real time to be a parent.

Anyone who says there is no incentive for a parent to keep children away from a parent is full of it. I had to watch my daughter balling her eyes out when she was ready to go home with me and her mom had sued me to take away my time when she was about 8 years old. Why did it happen? Her mom wanted me to pay more support and pay more for medical bills than the state requirements. I lost tons of time with my daughter just because of that and never got that time back. Eventually the schedule went back to the way it was after months and months.

I initiated my divorce, just over a month ago, due to the controlling nature of my wife, in the hope that the legal system would start to protect my interests in having total equality of parenting my four-year-old daughter. For the past year my wife had already been keeping my daughter from me, save for weekends where I had to drive four hours to see my daughter, under the guise of “COVID concerns.” So she’s already had most of a year to work toward brainwashing my child against me…and now, as I immediately made it clear that I expect equal legal and physical custody of my daughter, all of the accusations have come flying, including physical abuse. (And anyone who knows me is fully aware that physical abuse is about as far away from my nature as you can get.) Making matters worse, I am a school administrator, I just started working in the Catholic School system, and when I encountered my wife at church and attempted to have a few minutes’ communication with my daughter (who I am supposed to have full access to) my wife started shouting that I am under investigation by Children and Youth, I shouldn’t be around children, and she hopes I lose my job.

I am tired. I am emotionally drained. I miss my daughter more than I ever thought possible. And I just want the madness to be over with.

…and it’s only been a month…

There is an informal movement on the net to advise men to avoid marriage in the West and parenting to escape the hell that legal system and ex-wives visit upon them. Of course, the same bad actors are doing their best to silence the voices warning men that Western marriage is a very risky enterprise. Basically, ex-wives are incentivized to act deplorably. Something has to give.

Before covid the kids 16 and 12 stayed with me. It was a shared 50/50 arrangement. I am a hospital worker so during covid the kids stayed with their mom. Now the kids have become comfortable at her house and she says they don’t want to come back. I must admit I am a poor house keeper but I don’t make a whole lot of money and my regular job I maintain just to keep healthcare. They have access to their own rooms. I have to do all the imput to see the kids. My daughter now has a job and school will start soon. I don’t know it will take a lot to keep the house clean. I want to be in their lives but asking them to have two houses seems tough. Their mother is not not really blocking me from having the kids. But she is not making it easy plus she wants child support.

This all makes me laugh. My ex walked out and never looked back. He had de-employed himself over the last 4 years of our marriage, taking lower paying jobs and then got fired and didn’t go back to work. I was busting my butt making up the difference to get by so when he walked, was told if I asked for child support I would get it imputed at minimum wage, but then would have to pay him alimony (I was making 50k a year) even though he was living free in his parents basement and I was completely supporting our daughter so I was told child support would be 80 dollars a month yep. 80 bucks a month. Then he said if I asked for child supoort he would file for disability (he has a hearing impairment that never prevented him from working since he was 15 years old) and the court advocate said that I would have to pay more alimony then. And that his disability check would not be garnished because the FRO doesnt garnish disability. So he is living free and would get 1200. Plus alimony. Which would put me at 35k a year. – take home pay of around 2800. Which would leave me with enough for rent and food and nothing else because we lived in toronto. Rent was 2000 a month. So…in otherwords I was f’ed by the legal system. But in the end we signed a paper for no alimony and no child supoort and he got more from the sale of the house to shut up. And I have paid everything ever since: braces, extracurrculars, school uniforms…everything and every penny. I drained down 20k in 2 years paying for stuff while his got banked and earned interest.. Fair? No. Perfectly legal. Yes. What a bunch of bs that dads always get the short end of the stick. When we sold out house he left on a 3 month dream trip abroad the next day. Meanwhile I managed to negotiate renting back the top floor of our house from the new owner for more rent than the whole stupid mortgage had been while another family moved into our basement. Listen to this kind of story it’s way more common than you think. Mothers holding down the fort doing literally everything while dads escape all responsibility. The court doesn’t screw dads. It screws whoever the responsible one was. Nobody gave a crap that my ex had taken himself out of the workforce on purpose and spent all his retirement funds, while I remained working and saved mine. NOOOO it was simply a numbers game. Had to make it equal and give him half.. How that is fair in the eyes of the law is beyond me.

I really appreciated reading these posts. It is encouraging to see that I am not the only one going through this. Being made to feel that you are a “bastard” because you left a corrosive and toxic relationship seems to be a common theme. *Spoiler Alert* The other side of the story comes out!

What you describe is deplorable, but please don’t frame this as a problem unique to divorced men. Dads alienate their kids from their moms too and it’s just as awful when it happens.

I am a woman and mother of 4 with my eldest being 19 years old who understand as well as love this blog! I can’t stand my ex husband but would be on his side to stop child support deduction because I never needed him. There should be a lot more of these, considering I am an ex wife who refuses to take child support from a man who was abusive and do not want involved with my child. My current husband was in the same predicament as John G. I am proud of him even though it may hurt. As soon as my husband signed the birth certificate of his supposed child he pays child support for, he was kicked out with changed locks for unknown reasons but that he loved his child more than his ex who was a fling and it killed her when she asked him to marry her. He took his ex for shared custody of which was said in court only and not acted upon by ex. He then haven’t had a single weekend with his supposed child until she turned the age of 2 and only wasted time and gas from one city to another for the mother’s convenience as it was also court ordered. One of his last lawyers brought to my husband’s attention (I had the right to hear it) that the way his ex sounds, as if my husband isn’t the father but because he signed the child’s birth certificate he’s bound by law to pay because there are too many fatherless children in the city she lives in ( all 3 of his ex’s kids fathers pay child support) but her last child was tested 0% to the supposed father because he has witnessed her acts of using the children for control and separate checks of whatever gross the fathers are waging. Multiple court dates down the line and nothing changed as she continued to use the child as a rag doll, yoyo, etc. My husband decided that our life and our children is way more important because no matter how hard he try, the only thing he will lose is our family time and our home. Because the time lost (2 almost 3 years) with his child is gone forever and could never get that time back, money comes and goes, he definitely learned from his mistake and I promise him as a woman who can take care of any child I give birth to alone , he’d never have to worry about me hitting him for child support. If you can’t afford children and have to depend on someone to help take care of them, please don’t have them and keep the legs closed. Remember, if the father is immature or abusive, why lay down with him? I thank the ex for handing me a great father for my children and a great husband for me. Remember men, the controlling can only go so far. Once you find yourself, de-stress yourselves, love yourself and if anything, find a strong, loving partner who doesn’t need you but want you. Just something to lighten my chest…The child support system upholds women to have multiple fathers and collect checks. I feel after a first mistake, the courts should not be able to get involved. This will push women to get into the workforce just like everyone else and get them off of social services. Take your time.

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