The Weekly Gripe

Absent father makes no effort for his children

I am 28 years old and the single mother of two adorable, well-mannered and well brought up children.  I do the very best I can for them, emotionally and spiritually but financially it can be a bit of a pain.  I have just started my own business and attend university too, but believe I am a good mother with all our best interests at heart.  I do not want them to ever think its OK not to work while you are physically able so I hope to prove a good role model to them.

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Their father and I split up over 6 years ago, and to this day hasn't paid one penny in support.  He is now in another relationship and has a son to his current partner who is claiming every benefit she can lay her hands on.  I have tried claiming maintenance through the CSA, and although he has a very well paid job (close to £700 per week), his boss is very understanding whenever they get close to catching him, and lays him off for a week or two so he can claim dole and not have to pay.

he expects me to take the children to his home 50 miles away

On top of this he expects me to take the children to his home 50 miles away whenever he feels like seeing them.  And I, thinking I was doing right by my children went along with this, at least up until 6 months ago when I found I couldn't quite afford the train fare if I wanted to get the weekly shop at the same time.

A family picture He refuses to come and get them from our home, claiming he won't spend any time with them if he is travelling and won't budge on the subject.  He didn't even send the children a card or present at Christmas as it was too time consuming for him.  I have contacted solicitors to try and come to some arrangement over contact, but he has ignored every letter, though he and his partner have given me abusive texts and phone calls whenever he gets one.

my children have not seen their father for 6 months

One letter sparked off a whole new argument, and it emerged that he wasn't supposed to be living with his partner as she was on so many benefits, and they were committing benefit fraud.  I was accused of "grassing them up" and that they would make me pay for it.  I worked it out that those two are living on about £1000 EVERY WEEK while me and the children survive on almost £200 if takings are good.  Perhaps if he paid the maintenance that he can definitely afford, I might be able to afford the train fare.  Then again, I don't see why I should make the effort to take them to him.  They are his children so he should take the initiative and come and get them.

As it stands, my children have not seen their father for 6 months, I'm skint, and he's coining it in.  Am I doing the right thing?  I don't want to give in, but I don't want my children missing out either.  Rant rant rant rant...

By: Kit

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...shes hapoy as she is and wants to change her surname by deedpole so shes ggot the same name as our other 2 kids and her step dad. she knows shes got 'another dad who made her' but shes not interested. In her heart her step dad is her dad and the only dad shes ever really known.
4th Apr 13 04:04




Hi Kit-
my eldest childs father never wanted to know from before birth to present day. he wanted me to have a termination but when i said no he dumped me. He had 3 children ti 3 different women and does not have anything to do with any of them He was in and out of our lives until our child was almist 3, he would be consistent for 3 weeks and see her every weekend for a couple of hours on a saturday but then he would dissappear and we wouldnt see him for months at a time. No phone calls, nothing. I still kept giving him chances though but he let her down time after time after time. When she was 2 and a half i met another man who i am still with now. he knew the situation and he didnt get involved. Things were going ok but then her fathet started demanding money for petrol for picking her up and dropping her back off as i didnt drive. He did not however give me a peeny maintainance for her-all i wanted was for them to have a relationship. But i found his demands totally out of order. The week after he fetched her home early and said she was a little b***ard and he f***ing hated her. He never came for her again. Ses 12 now. She cant even remember the 'biological one' and calls my partner Dad, she has called him Dad since she was about 4 years old and they are thick as thieves. She never called her biological father Dad when he used to see her anyway as he was always in and out of her life. We gaave him chance after chance but he blew it everytime. I dont ever want her to see him, not even when shes older as he will only hurt her but because she will be older it will hurt more than it did when she was 3. Sh
4th Apr 13 04:04



Inglorious Bastard

It's his responsibility to get and return his children to and from you. I drive and hour to get my daughter and an hour to get back home every time I pick her up. Ive never missed a visit. You might be able to prove abandonment if its more than 6 months and he is not paying child support either. There is a penalty for that , which includes jail time to snap him to realization! Your responsibilities are to love and care for your children day in and day out and promote a healthy relationship with the other party. NOT bend over backwards for him! Good for you for turning them in for fraud - The system is completely messed up by people who use it like that. There are really woman out there with babies who have been full on abandoned by the biological fathers who need that assistance.
13th Dec 12 10:12



mark Andersen

This was even faster than I could dream of, dr.rivers( Thank you for taking time to listen to me and answering all my emails. I feel emotional strong again. My confidence is back and I see my future clearly. I am forever grateful for your help for re-uniting me with my old lover.

mark Andersen, Seattle, new york
25th Jul 12 10:07




Why do some men neglect to help raise their children? For 18yrs (birth to young adult) I raised our child, without their father. Our child received no maintenance or indeed any financial or emotional support from him. He neglected our child. Now he has finally made contact and I am pleased for our child. The only explanation he offered for his absence hoad been that he had been an idiot? Surely our child deserves a better explanation than that? Why do some fathers wait until all the hard work is done before getting in contact?
25th Feb 12 11:02




I am the original griper here. I am now married to a wonderful man who loves my children and so does his wider family. They still have not seen their father, and they do not want to either, because of his abusive attitude towards them, the hurtful games he has played, and the emotional blackmail he has tried to instill in them. He still thinks that they are 7 and 8 years old. They are now 12 and 13 and have their own minds made up. They know what he has done, they have heard it, seen it, and read it. I didn't ever want them to fall out with their father, but he unfortunately did all that himself when he threw his dummy out the pram. I love my children and would do anything for them... shame their father can't be bothered.
12th Mar 11 12:03




Hi, . I am from south africa. My ex also dont come to see my 2 children. The last time they saw him was 4yrs ago. Doest pay maintainance. And he also dissapeard. There is a standing court order, but I can tell you....NOTHING HAPPENS. I THINK THEY SUPPORT THE FATHERS.
4th Feb 11 12:02




I am in exactly the same situation where my Ex operates entirely under the radar and I have no idea how he gets away with this. He has 2 cars lives in a riverside penthouse uses credit cards for which he must have a bank account has not paid tax since 2004 yet manages to ply the children with expensive toys and gifts whilst not paying anything to the CSA where the arrears are now in excess of 15k. I have just found that I can take this to an Ombudsman to investigate but as there is 'no confident address' for him although he can easily be located through directory enquiries this is not acceptable as he is not on the electoral register. He tends to use other people's addresses for correspondence so when he maxes his credit cards and defaults on them he can just move on to the next one. I do not penalise my children or him and have never refused access however, his behaviour is damaging to the children and the example he sets is despicable. They are frequently told to keep secrets about his whereabouts.
1st Nov 10 12:11




the csa fail both the parent with care and the non-resident parent. I myself am a nrp and have been absolutely shafted by the csa, to the point where I had to give up my flat because I could no longer afford to meet the rent and bills, infact they are taking so much of my pay I was close to living in the back of the works van, literally, I am not joking or making this up for effect, it was only through pure luck that I met a girl about a month before I moved out that I avoided the gypsy life style! I believe absent parents should support their children but equally it should be reasonable and allow both parents to live without losing everything. I can fully understand why your ex has avoided paying maintenance because he will be nailed to the wall by the csa. I dont condone in any way shape or form not supporting your children as I stated earlier but there has to be a much fairer system than the present one and if that was the case more fathers would happily pay up every month.
6th Oct 10 02:10




My ex is just like this and I feel I have let myself be manipulated by him, because I so want the boys to have a relationship with him. He has a court order saying they must spend half the school holidays with him, but he doesn't really want the responsibility. When they are there, they send me one text after another saying they are unhappy. But then when they don't see him, they miss him, so I can't tell what to do for best. We are back in court at present, so he is not answering texts, emails or anything else. He has remarried and wants this new lady to be a replacement Mum! He has even bought an "I love my Mummy" mug for her, which she uses when they visit, although neither of them wants kids. They just want to take mine away from me. Which causes tension, because it just won't happen. I pay for everything and he won't even talk about things from the school or their health. He always hated the word "together" and now has an excuse to parent alone. He is a good father-by-telephone, and God alone knows what he says to the boys when he rings them. Won't visit them, though.
15th Sep 10 06:09




Hi again, I'm Kit, the originator of this gripe, and like to check in now and again. I'd just like to say a great big thank you for all your supportive messages. It really means a lot.

We still have no joy with the CSA, he isn't registered anywhere, doesn't pay tax, NI, and doesn't claim benefits, so is invisible now, and the arrears he has amassed has now exceeded £10,000. I won't ever see that money, but am quite proud that I have done all I have without any help from him or anyone.

We still have no contact with their father and to be honest, we have never been happier! My son came to me today with butterflies in his tummy saying "Mam! Its only 26 days til the wedding and we'll be a proper family!" (He is the ringbearer and has such a lot of responsibility, the excitement is bursting out of him!)

Jofaz, they probably will want to make contact with him in their own time, but you must remember, you grew up in a fatherless household and look at you. Were you asking about your dad? Did you demand to see him, or take his side? I really think not, and that is what we have to look forward to... Respect from our children for giving everything we have for them, and loving every second of it! I wish you and your girls all the best, I hope you all find the happiness you deserve. x
5th Jul 10 11:07




Kit, I am so pleased the way things have turned round for you, you most certainly deserve it. I read your story with huge empathy as its such a difficult situation. My ex walked out on me and our twin (aged 2) girls one year ago and he hasn't made any effort to come and see them nor offer any maintenance. He lives abroad and therefore has no legal obligation to pay. I am trying divorce him but without knowing his whereabouts I fear I will be married for a very long time...I find it positively disgusting how anyone can abandon their kids. I worry about them not having a male influence in their life but I don't worry too much, ironically I had no father in my life and I turned out great!! I don't need him for anything and we are so happy. Im sure in time they will wonder where or who he is and let them decide if they want to see him. I have also kept a diary of all the contact he has made and the things he's done for them to read when they are older. He is a waste of oxygen in my eyes and he has/is missing out on the most adorable beautiful little girls lives, I love not sharing them, they're all mine lol x I hope one day I will meet someone like you but Im in no rush. Wishing every luck.
5th Jul 10 10:07



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