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Dear Chump Lady, Abandoned while pregnant, should he pay support?

Dear Chump Lady,

It’s been 9 months since I came home from work and my fiancé of 4 years said, “I’m not happy and this just isn’t working out. I’m leaving you.” Mind you, we had been college sweethearts, together exclusively for 8 years, moved cross-country over 2,000 miles together TWICE, were engaged for 4 years, and the kicker- I was 16 weeks pregnant when he said he was leaving me!

We found out at 5 weeks and told our family and friends at 6 weeks pregnant. When we found out we were pregnant, we were also 3 weeks away from putting the down payment on our wedding venue, and had already lived together for 7 years. We were a “team” and inseparable from the first day we met so although baby was a “surprise,” we definitely had been planning, talking about, and were excited to have a family, or at least he was great at faking it.

At first, I just thought he was having a quarter-life crisis. I mean, the year we got pregnant, he graduated police academy and his schedule changed to evenings. I have a successful sales career, so I worked 7-4:30pm M-F, and then he would work 2-10pm on rotating days so we weren’t seeing each other as much. Then all of the stress from his job was making him an angry and distant. On top of it, when he would describe things from work, he would constantly be condescending like “you don’t understand how dangerous it is”, “every person is suspicious — you can’t trust anyone”, and “why are you whining about your day? Did you have to deal with three dead bodies today?”

And yet, he LOVED his job. So much power and authority (at 6’5″ 300 lbs, he was a blue chip football player in high school and got a full ride at college but never made it to the NFL which disappointed his dad. Then his dad HATED that he wanted to be a police officer and I swear he chose the career partly to spite his dad). So when he said he wasn’t happy and wanted to leave, I was smoking the hopium. We were a family and were having a baby so I wanted to fight for us. I just thought the stress and change was too overwhelming.

However, a week after he said he was “unhappy,” I found the sext messages between him and a police coworker. Really special things like “I can’t wait for you to be inside of me” and “I want to lick you from your chest to your c*ck”. I confronted the douchebag and he denied everything over and over. But I was mighty and said, “Well, you’re a liar and now have 3 days to move F*ck out”. I was devastated but I had another human being to worry about.

Then for about a week he tried to tell me I should get an abortion or put the baby up for adoption. His reasoning? “It would be hard enough to take care of a baby together, let alone apart” and “you won’t be able to make it as a single mom. It will be too much for you.” Who was this horrible person?!? Certainly not the man I loved and cared about for 8 years. Needless to say, I told him to f*ck off, we’d be just fine. At that point, I lost any and all feelings and respect for him. Cheating on his pregnant fiancée and trying to get me to kill our sweet baby?!? I literally was so sick about his behavior, words, and actions, I was vomiting for days.

So all within 2 weeks of D-Day, I was making the game plans to finish my pregnancy while working and also finding a new job back home (4 states away) where my family was. I wanted to just move home immediately, but my insurance was incredible and I knew I didn’t want a gap in my résumé. I was pregnant and alone with nothing but one semi-close friend nearby and phone calls to my whole support system back home. I lost 30 lbs while pregnant and was being monitored heavily due to the distress he put my body through.

The coward didn’t call, or text, or anything after he moved out. I tried a couple of times to let him know about doctor appointments but he wouldn’t respond, so I just went no contact by about 4 weeks after D-Day. I did call him couple days after she was born out of pure obligatory reasons and he pretended he cared about me on the phone. He tried to feed me bullshit like “I’m so glad you called because it was killing me not knowing how you were doing” and “sorry I was such a pussy and didn’t reach out.” I got a good chuckle out of those blatant lies. He didn’t even ask what his daughter’s name was or for a picture and been off the grid again since the end of February when she was born.

My daughter is an amazing baby and more of a blessing than I could have ever imagined. In the last 9 months, I have lost my fiancé but gained a beautiful baby, moved home with my fantastic family and friends, started a new job that pays 25% more than my last position, with a title promotion, and I know I AM MIGHTY! [#winning lol]…However, my mom made a comment last weekend that “he got off easy” because I just stopped all communication. That I let him just ride off into the sunset with the OW without any consequences.

Her comment is really bugging me because although my heart wanted to make him hurt as much as I did, I knew he never would. He is a selfish bastard and I didn’t see the point in trying to “make him see the error of his ways.” I did file for child support but I’m even considering rescinding it and just letting him sign over all rights so he can never go after custody. Everyone I know thinks he has a financial obligation to her. However, I’m torn because I although I need the financial help right now, in the long run, is it worth having to possibly send her with the douchebag in the future? I make good money but his help would make things better and allow us more independence from needing occasional family help. Thoughts?!? Did I let him off the hook too easy? Is the financial help worth the potential of him trying to get physical time with her down the road?

— Overcomer Mommy

Dear Overcomer Mommy,

First off, let me congratulate you for being MIGHTY. The fact that you left that asshole while pregnant AND moved four states away, and found a better paying job while on the verge of first-time motherhood speaks to your incredible grit. Fuck him for saying you couldn’t handle single motherhood. That’s projection. He can’t even handle a single phone call informing him he’s a father. You’ve navigated a nightmare with all the fortitude and resiliency of a field marshall. You’re going to be awesome at this parenthood gig.

Now to the support question — that’s a very personal decision. I think you could go either way and be okay. But if you want my honest opinion as someone who has spent many years with custody of a child and no support from a wing nut father that wasn’t pried by the state out of his cold, withholding hands — I say have him sign over his parental rights. God’s truth — I would rather have lost in the income, than had to share my child with that creep for the last 13 years.

That isn’t popular advice. I know people are going to say “Oh, but every child benefits from a relationship with both parents, even a fucked up parent.” To them I say — okay, you send your kid to a hoarder who doesn’t have a functional kitchen and doesn’t feed your kid. (And you don’t learn about this for years, because the kid has to keep his secrets.) You watch the hurt in your child eyes as dad cancels visits, and doesn’t show for major life events, or then does show like the proverbial turd in a punchbowl for events you weren’t expecting him at and harasses people.

Would I sign that away? HELL YES. Would my child be missing out? Well, today they have no relationship. His father hasn’t seen him in ages and occasionally texts. My son doesn’t want to see him.

Now some would argue, well, it’s good my son had that relationship with his father so he could decide for himself that dad is an asshole he shouldn’t have a relationship with. Otherwise he would miss the father he never had, and idolize him. I suppose that is a possibility. I’d still take it over what my child was put through and what I went through.

Now I’m projecting my experience on to you. I don’t know what degree of wing nut your ex is. He’s clearly a shitty person to do what he did. I have zero idea if deep in his callous-never calls-cheating-cop soul lurks the heart of a good father. You have to weigh the best interests of your child, your best interests, and his interest in being a father.

If he wanted visitation and to have a role in your daughter’s life, then HELL YEAH he should pay child support, court enforced. But from what you write, he doesn’t seem to want a relationship — so that puts me more firmly in the sign away his rights camp. Your daughter when older could always seek him out, but you wouldn’t be obliged to grant more visitation than you’re comfortable with. A relationship isn’t the same thing as shared custody. So, it’s not a zero sum solution.

One other observation — with disordered people (and I don’t know if your ex is disordered, mine was) a child is a fulcrum for manipulation. They will use your kid just to fuck with you and hurt you. Mine fought me in court for custody just to legally harass me. When he had his son? He dumped him off at friends FOR YEARS. He couldn’t have a relationship with me, but he could hurt me by proxy through our child. He could play his “you’re not the boss of me” game by not living up to his obligations of support and visitation. And the person he hurt the most was his child, not me. Again, to not put you in that position, I say get him to sign those rights away.

Look, you’ve already proven you’re mighty. You can live without child support. Yes, it will be hard. But co-parenting with a fucktard is harder.

Now to the question you didn’t ask me — work on your picker. This guy TOLD YOU WHO HE WAS. A long engagement that didn’t culminate in a wedding, that was hastened by a pregnancy, and then he abandons you. Shitty? Absolutely abhorrent. But when he said “I’m not happy and this isn’t working out” — BELIEVE HIM. Let that asshole GO.

I think you learned that lesson painfully, because you totally got your shit together quick and dumped him when you discovered the cheating. But sweetheart, I wish it never got to that point. His condescension, his foot dragging on your dreams, those were signs that this jerk needed to be dumped sooner. Learn from that — and you’re going to be even mightier still. All the best to you.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • OvercomerMom – Yes, you are mighty. Your story is very similar to mine – my ex was a cop, working the night shift, and constantly flirting with co-workers. I also moved states away, back to be with family, while pregnant.

    I agree with CL – get sole custody and move on with your lives. You’re not preventing him from having a relationship with his daughter. You can still let him see her. But it will be at your discretion, not the court’s. You don’t need the money, really it would be more bother than it’s worth. And there’s no guarantee you would actually get any money.

    • Agree with LiningUp 100%. I’m sorry you are going through it, but impressed with what you have done with such a horrid situation.

  • You need to talk to a lawyer – some states never do sole custody. And even if you did get it, he could come back later and fight it. I honestly would recommend to “let sleeping dogs lie” until your daughter is old enough to talk – what if you ask him for sole custody and he says no and gets visitation now? I was in a similar situation, and had it set up where my son’s dad could only visit him at my house while he was a baby (breastfeeding helped!). Now he has overnights but my son is old enough to talk and thanks to that I got some things changed in our agreement, and my son is safer.

    It’s very scary dealing with a narcissist and the family court system. You NEVER KNOW what will happen when you go to court.

  • Get him to sign off on his rights and screw going after him for child support. At this point, I would let him know he has two choices: he can terminate his parental rights OR you’re coming after him for child support. I know it sounds harsh. I know you feel bad keeping your daughter from her bio father… BUT YOU aren’t the one keeping your daughter away; he ran like hell, cheated, and abandoned the BOTH of you! He doesn’t seem to give a shit that he hasn’t been there for your daughter so let him know you’ll hit him where it hurts him (in the wallet) if he doesn’t give up his rights.

    Just so you know where I’m coming from on this: I broke up with my fiancé and moved out with my 4 month old daughter after he wouldn’t stop drinking and couldn’t (wouldn’t) keep a job. He was a cheating prick too but I digress… I told him to grow the fuck up and get his life together and then he could have a relationship with my daughter. He hasn’t seen her since; no child support, no contact, no nothing. His choice and his loss. I heard he left the state which is fine by me because me and the kiddo are great! I met a great guy when she was 18 months old and we got married. My husband adopted my daughter so we could all have the same last name. Since the POS never paid child support it was considered parental abandonment. She’s 5 now and my husband is her Daddy in every way.

    My fear for you is that he’ll want to do the pop into and out of your daughter’s life on his whims. Kids don’t need that; they need stability and sanity and it sounds like you’ve got that covered!

  • Overcomer mommy, you are AWESOME. I can’t believe you got through that mess and I’m so proud of you for surviving that horrible situation! In my opinion, your ex is the lowest of the low to walk away from you while you’re pregnant and care so little about his child. You are lucky to be away from a lifetime of pain from this man.

    My kids were grown when my ex left, but my sister had a scenario similar to yours. Her ex didn’t show up for visitations, constantly tried to claim his daughter on his taxes even though he never saw her, quit jobs to avoid paying child support, and generally was an ass. Eventually he died after getting really mixed up in drugs and my sister said the best he ever did for his daughter was die, because then her daughter got some of his social security. Anyway, after watching what my sister went through I’d say you’re better off to have the child without interference from your ex, than to try and get money from him. It’s not fair for him to walk away, your mother is right about that, but you get your daughter without a lot of interference and pain from a person who didn’t even care enough to stick around to see his daughter come into the world. Both of you will be better off without him.

    My sister eventually met a man who treats her daughter as his own, and she loves him like her dad. My hopes are for you to find someone better for you and your daughter some day. A true father contributes a lot more to a child’s life than sperm.

  • I say forget about trying to get child support and just let the fucktard be in his own world. Don’t even let him in your world. You are doing fine without him and you will continue to do fine. If he gets back into your life he can cause all kinds of turmoil and distress–just because he can.
    It is not always better for children to have both parents in their lives. Sometimes it’s better for them to have one parent.
    CL said some of her friends say that a child can at least see how a negligent, uncaring parent affects them and they can then move on and not idolize or miss that parent. That’s bullshit. When children experience life with a parent like that, they endure much unnecessary emotional pain and they deeply feel the loss of a responsible, loving, caring parent. Their pain is even more amplified by the fact that they can see how other families are intact, how those kids have security and support. They are aware of the security and stability these others kids have. The yearning for a parent that provides love, care, and emotional support doesn’t fade just because one parent severely hurts and disappoints them; it makes it worse.

    • Well said, SC. For the record, it’s not any friends of mine saying kids learn from a negligent parent — it’s some “experts.”

      And look, in many cases, you simply do not have a choice. I didn’t get the choice Overcoming Mommy is getting, and I’m not sure I would’ve taken it if I did, because I was such a chump back then. For most people, the courts recognize the rights of both parents — and you have to be severely fucked up to have your parental rights terminated by the courts. My ex had his decision making rescinded, was found mentally ill, but he still had visitation rights — and he fought for more. He lost in court each time he challenged me (and lost more visitation and was ordered to pay more support).

      My point is — you often don’t get a choice in co-parenting with a fucktard. As my lawyer used to say “Hey, you bred with him!” And the punishment of that goes on and on until your child turns 18. If you’re lucky, the neglectful parent drops off the radar before then.

      • In 1995 here in New York I did get sole custody of my 3 kids, even though I was still in law school and employed only part time. My cheater first husband challenged the divorce all the way thru a full trial in which he, a non-lawyer, “represented” himself which only made things worse for him because the judge saw what a wacko fool he was. Sadly this cost me over $10,000 in legal fees to pay my lawyer!

        Ex was ordered to pay CS, worked under the table for years to avoid wage garnishments, remarried, moved to Florida…. and guess what?? My three lovely children are fine now, at 24, 27 and 30, educated and self-supporting. And happy. Early on I decided that even though they had a legal right to financial support from him, that I would HAPPILY JUST SUPPORT THEM MYSELF.

        I knew he was a slouch and wouldn’t and this decision freed me from what could have been years of bitterness and court battles. Oh yes, twice over the years he took ME (and the kids) back to court, first to try to get custody so that he could collect support from me after I started earning a decent income; then when the youngest turned 21 he tried to get the arrears ($10,000 at that point) cancelled. Lost both times. What he really lost: the chance to be a real parent.

  • Overcoming a HUMONGOUS pile of shit SUPER mommy,

    Before entertaining options, I would consult a lawyer to find out what you are legally entitled to in terms of options in your state.

    I’m seeing, through other people’s stories, that it is very important to accept what you are legally entitled to before considering what you believe you are morally entitled to. It saves you a lot of pain.

  • Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus: Overcomer Mommy, you are amazing!! Your daughter is lucky to have an amazing mom like you. You two will be a powerful team 🙂

  • Many years ago, one of my best friends got pregnant by her idiot boyfriend. He ditched her and disappeared. For years, I used to tell her to go after him and get some financial help because she really struggled at times and I felt like he had a responsibility to help her out. She never wanted to go after him. Now, over 20 years later, I can see she was right. Her son has never had contact with the sperm donor, and she never had to deal with his crazy. She said the same thing the others here are saying, that it just wasn’t worth it to have to deal with him in their lives.

    And of course, now that the son is an adult, idiot sperm donor wants to make contact. Her son wants nothing to do with him. Isn’t that how it always goes?

  • Count me in as another vote for signing off on the ex’s rights, if at all possible.

    The headache and heartache of dealing with an ex who doesn’t really want to be a father is not worth any amount of money. Period.

    You and your child are better off on your own.

  • Agreed with everyone here that trying to get child support is sometimes more trouble than its worth. My daughter’s sperm donor did everything he could to be as underemployed as he could possibly be, and I would have to fight him on everything. In the end, the meager support he coughed up wasn’t worth the trouble.

  • Overcomer-yes, you are indeed mighty. You have a lot of strength and high self efficacy to make the decisions you made, they weren’t easy. I was a single mom for 3 years, bio dad was out of the country (still is) as he wasn’t a U.S. citizen and didn’t live in the U.S. Couldn’t enforce anything b/c it was international. Find out what your state laws are with child support. I live in MN. Here, you need an ROP signed (voluntarily by both mother and father) to put the dad’s name on the birth certificate. You can’t file for child support unless the dad’s name is on it and they changed the welfare program so that mothers cannot get any kind of state support (food stamps, health insurance etc) if they know who the dad is but don’t pursue an ROP, and in turn, child support. I can see why they made that change (ie: baby daddy should pay, not the state) but it also puts a lot of mothers SOL. Putting bio name on the birth certificate is over-rated.

    My child’s bio father is on the birth certificate and it’s screwed me over. I couldn’t enforce anything b/c it was international. I recently got married and my husband can’t adopt my daughter b/c bio dad’s name is on there and he won’t voluntarily sign his rights away. He did at least agree to legal guardianship but we have to meet with a lawyer to find out what our options are going forward. My husband is her dad, no one else.

    Having bio dad on the birth certificate also affects guardianship in case of your death. Regardless of what I put in my will, in the event of an early death, bio dad gets first dibs at guardianship of my daughter simply b/c his name is on the birth certificate. He’d have to pursue it in MN court but it pisses me off that he would trump my husband, the one who’s actually raising her and providing for her, who she calls ‘daddy’. If you haven’t put bio dad’s name on the birth certificate, I’d hold off. It can cause a lot more headache than it’s worth. Child support isn’t worth the pain and headache either. Lump me in in-favor of taking away his parental rights.

  • I have a good friend who has a small son. Dad is a real waste of space ( as far as people go ).
    Because this friend grew up without a Dad she made the decision to include this deadbeat in her son’s life.
    She regrets it every day. And he has come back from his Father’s house with bruises and she had had to take him to court. She has no control over the kind of people that her son is exposed to whe he is with his Father on weekends.
    You cannot put a price on the safety and welfare of your daughter.
    I would just leave it alone. You might be thankful in the future!

    • “She has no control over the kind of people that her son is exposed to whe he is with his Father on weekends.”

      Above is always a worry when you’re don’t know who and what you’re dealing with.

  • Editor Note: Homonym Alert. “But from what you right , he doesn’t seem…”

    Don’t ya hate it when that happens? Somewhere between voice in head while typing and fingers, the wrong word is selected 🙂

    • Fixed. Thanks. I am my own worst editor. Someone should proof this all before I have coffee. 🙂

      I didn’t do my five rounds of typo mortification checking today. I fire these things off, THEN read them properly. And I still miss things. So it goes, post, proof, OMG, fix, proof again, OMG…

      Missed a few steps today!

  • “Look, you’ve already proven you’re mighty. You can live without child support. Yes, it will be hard. But co-parenting with a fucktard is harder.”

    This part of Chump Lady’s reply is key I think. It is such a heartache co-parenting with someone who does not have your child’s best interest at heart. It leads to such frustration and grief when you are dealing with a someone who won’t communicate like a half normal person.

    OM you sound like a strong and amazing woman and it is so sad to imagine how a father can’t be bothered to know his own child, it really baffles me that he would abandon you the way he did. It should be him tripping over himself to see your beautiful daughter and he sounds like lamer that lame fucktard.

    I hope you find someone wonderful who will love and cherish you and your daughter.

  • I was married before. I am now married to H2. My first husband was wealthy. He fled the country to avoid jail. Rich folks can do that, you know. Anyway, I never saw a dime in child support. Thankfully, I never heard from him again either. You will make it without the money and you will find it is easier not having to deal with him. I say, check with a good attorney and if you can, get him to sign away custody. Aside from the freedom it will give you now, you will also have a clear answer for your daughter. She will wonder if her dad really wants her. She might think you tried to keep her away from him. Heck! He might find her someday and tell her all kinds of lies. So let him sign his name to a document that makes his position clear. But don’t be surprised if he refuses. He doesn’t seem like a man who commits either way.
    Enjoy your new life with your baby girl. Children are amazing!

    • I couldn’t agree more with Linda’s reply. The money won’t buy what you need–a decent co-parent or the answers your daughter will someday want. I recently worked with a 17-year-old who told me her father was her hero; I asked why because I knew from previous interactions she was raised entirely by her mother. She explained that her “dad had the courage to be a free-spirit and live his dreams, even if that meant leaving her mom behind when she was a baby.” I kept my mouth shut, even though I think he is probably better described as an selfish fucktard, because I knew she was playing with the fantasies every kid who is left or adopted sometimes struggles with–i.e. there must be a good and noble reason Mom/Dad didn’t keep me.

      I think a signed relinquishment of custodial rights will help you create a narrative that is healthy and honest for your daughter as she grows. She’ll still dream her Dad is a “good guy” sometimes–because psychologically she will need to, but she doesn’t need to believe any lies he might later tell her about you stealing her away or keeping him from her.

      • Eilonwy, that reminds me of something my now grown up daughter said a couple of years ago to me that really hurt me. Ex never supported her and my sons financially except when his wages were garnished. He never gave them any help with college tuition and I am still saddled with debt from that, 20 years after the divorce.

        She said, “You supported us with money and Dad supported us in more creative and artistic ways.” This hurt because I too am artistic and creative – WTF? and I sacrificed so much to support them – was she really saying the ONLY thing she got from me was money??? Looking back on that comment, I see that she just feels sorry for her Dad. She knows he has accomplished nothing much in his life, he fails at every job, can’t fit into normal adult society, and in general is a big flake.

        Yet I know that my sacrifice was worth it and that along the way, the kids and I had tons and tons of artistic, creative, “free spirited” fun and even more important — still DO and still WILL… because they don’t spend very much time with him. By ditching them and moving hundreds of miles away, never having money to visit, never having an internet connection, etc. he basically checked out a long long time ago. So her comment wasn’t meant to criticize or hurt me but just to prop up her own image of her father.

  • Have him sign away his RIGHTS, and you avoid the nightmare of him asserting himself arbitrarily and with malice.
    He can still see her and act like a dad if he chooses, out of the kindness and love in his heart. But we all know he’s not going to do that, so why give him the option of making demands on you, and, worse, on your daughter?
    I don’t believe the blanket cliche that all kids benefit from relationships with both parents. That’s bullshit. Your daughter has a loving family in your state.

    Your ex is a spineless coward who was coddled for being a football star–that’s his identity. He has no idea how to love, how to be a man who honors his family. It’s sad, but true. He is a self-centered prick.

  • Congratulations on your decisions that have made you Mighty! In fact, I think you already have the wisdom to answer your own question . . .

    Your mother commented “That I let him just ride off into the sunset with the OW without any consequences.”. Her comment might be triggering the desire in you for justice. But in the next sentence, you state “although my heart wanted to make him hurt as much as I did, I knew he never would.”

    Your head’s got it straight. When you drop the pursuit of blood from a remorseless turnip, you start to move toward ‘meh’. I think your heart will thank your head later for taking over right now.

  • Although I am a guy, and therefore don’t have worries of being left alone and pregnant, this is my exact story and I’m sorry you are going through it. I supported my XW for 10 years. Then she goes into police academy and came out an asshole. I didnt even recognize her anymore. I suspect the affairs began as soon as she began riding around with other cops, I suspect there was an affair at police academy which doubles as a playground away from spouses , and I know of 3 affairs after academy with other cops, the first of which was 2 months after her grad. The training police endure makes many of them into assholes and many cant handle the power trip of toting a gun and busting heads on the street, frig they look forward to it. Heck there is even a book on this written by a former FBI agent and PhD that is a mandatory handout to family members to understand the changes in their spouses. Being trained to suspect everyone is a criminal and assume everyone is potentially a lethal threat is a life-saving skill for on the job. That’s nice and all, but it gives no comfort to the family members who are immediately treated like shit and fkd over when they cant come off their power trip at home. I was nauseated by all the cop stories told to me each day, and of course in the most condescending tone. Even if just a minor parking infraction story the driver must be a complete scumbag for double parking right?.

    As a result of my heartbreak of being cheated on, and my awareness it was all among like minded other cops, I have a huge disdain for police officers and I tend to paint them all with the same brush that they are all fucking around with each other. I realize that is a global comment but I cant help it with all the evidence I have supporting it and the police I had the regret of meeting in this circle. My heart goes out to you and your family for this loathesome betrayal he has shown you in your greatest time of need. If you have any hopium left in your stash, don’t bother…you cannot possibly make this work when he has no love for you anymore, no respect, and in his mind is god’s gift to the universe. He will not change. Now that I have been removed from the policing world for a few months of my separation, I can tell you I am so fkg relieved to not be part of that crowd anymore. They are selfish, egomaniacs, abusive, power tripping, and honestly they are dangerous as a group capaple of fkg a person over without consequence. Ok maybe there are a few decent people on the job, I simply havent met any yet.

    Get outta there. Life will be better in time when your grief passes, you find your new normal, and find a future like-minded spirit who cares for you and your children with love. Please take care of yourself dear, this is a sad day for me to read what you are being put through.

    • CIC,I so agree with you. Ex was a douchebag cop too. I am so happy to be away from it. I do have worries about it now though. My ex was also on the swat team and the detective bureau. I am not paranoid but I feel that my phones are tapped and I am monitored. He would not move out of the house until after the divorce so it makes me suspect as he had time alone in the house to set stuff up. Plus he would bring home some of the video robots or whatever they are called that they use to put in a building when they need extra eyes just to show the kids. Recently some of his friends have been getting in touch with me to see how my love life is going.. I told them awesome, that I love life and left it at that. Silence is golden.

      Overcomer Mommy, you are awesome!

    • There is a danger to police work and it is not merely the risk of physical harm. It is also the danger of viewing all fellow human beings as criminals, as the “bad guys”. The ends then justify the means and a vicious circle begins. If everyone is the bad guy, no one is the good guy.

  • OM, you are so strong and brave, and have so much to be proud of. God bless you. As for the fucktard sperm donor of a “fiancé”, I say you have no obligation whatsoever to treat him as even a biological father. He is merely a sperm donor — and one who wanted you to KILL the child, at that. Should he ever have the nerve to show his face to YOU and YOUR DAUGHTER to claim any kind of parental rights, I’d tell him sperm donors don’t have parental rights and call the cops on him for attempted murder — to finish the job he wanted to do before YOUR CHILD was born. What a piece of shit, OM, he makes me so mad for you that I’m using all caps. Whatever you have to do legally to extricate yourself and your daughter from ever having to endure one moment of that fuckers presence, you do it, girl. You owe that scum bag nothing but your contempt.

  • Wow, I am in awe of your mightiness.

    I can tell you from experience that involving a disordered dad in a child’s life is a terrible thing. In my life, I have had to do so with two separate men. (I don’t know if my picker has ever really evolved, which is why, if my marriage were to end, I doubt I’d ever even date again, but that’s a different story for a different day.) Anyway, especially in the case of my second born/first son, it was a nightmare when he was little. His dad pulled this rabbit in the hat act, coming and going at will from my son’s life. We last saw him in 2000, when my son graduated (with every honor the school gave) from eighth grade. Son has grown to be this amazingly happy, successful, thoughtful man, but he had to do some therapy to deal with the devastation his dad left behind.

    You have your shit together better than 99.99999% of people in your case could ever dram of, and in my opinion, you and your daughter are better off without daddy drama. That said, you know best and you’ll make the proper decision for your daughter. Best wishes and continued happiness to you.

  • Get him out of your lives for good. I have been there, but I was the child in the scenario.

    My father walked out on my mom and I when I was ten days old. The marriage was falling apart, but he stayed around that long so he looked good. My mom was granted custody and he was given child support and visitation. As a child, I always got the sense he would see me just to get his money’s worth. When I was ten, he just never came back. Ever.

    He only marginally “reappeared” when I was graduating from high school so he could terminate support.

    Someone suggested earlier to let sleeping dogs lie and that taking action may backfire (to paraphrase). I disagree. Strike while the iron is hot. Get a lawyer and get him to sign off his rights. I wanted my stepfather to adopt me, but they declined because they did not want my father to reappear and they sincerely believed it would disrupt my life again. I basically felt like I had this person in my life who walked out on me but I could not get them out of my hair.

    I said when my husband walked out me, I was waiting for this moment all of my life. It is no coincidence I ended up there.

    I was a daughter with a missing father who became a wife with a missing husband. Because of my father, I knew exactly what to do when I my husband disappeared. I don’t think he realized whom he was fucking with. I may have been devastated, but I learned a stiff upper lip as a little girl.

    Anyway, as a child who went through this, just cut the shit and send him on his fucktastic little way. Who cares if he got off easy. People who take the easy way out get cheap results. You aren’t a warden; you’re a mother who knows what is best for your daughter. She is the sole matter here, so do what is best for her.

    • Sorry you got such a shit for a dad. Sounds like a whole like of heartbreak that I can definitely relate to with my idiot father.

  • Let me make it unanimous, thus far. This jackass has already showed you what he is: A liar, a cheater, a user, a totally self-centered indifferent prick. When I first saw the title of this post, I thought, “Of course she should get child support! Duh!” But in some ways, that’s the kind of knee-jerk reactive thinking that keeps chumps in relationships: “everyone” says fathers should support their children, therefore I will reconnect with the cruel, self-centered indifferent prick baby/daddy (as opposed to “father of my child” or “baby Daddy”) in order to get support. Until I became a citizen of Chump Nation, I wondered why my daughter-in-law was so “meh” about getting support from the baby/boy/man who fathered her first child. Now I get it. She certainly struggled financially at times, but now she is married to my stepson, who adopted the boy, and he’s acquired a bunch of doting grandparents/stepgrandparents and two little sisters. There is no one outside of that family unit who can reach in and cause havoc. So if he’s walking on the abandonment trail, let him keep on going. See an attorney to find out the particulars in your case, though, so some do-gooder OW doesn’t get her hooks in him and make him try to appear to be a “good father” or a “good man.” Explain your thinking to your family. If he “rides off into the sunset with OW,” he won’t be jerking your daughter back and forth across state lines without you. Your parents are righteously angry and want to see him pay (literally) in some way. But the real price? He lost you. And let me tell you for sure, and I’ve never met you, that he will never find a better, stronger, more loving woman that you are. And he will never know his daughter. So tell your mom that you are making him is pay a price far bigger than money. If you need occasional family help, and they can do that, don’t feel bad about it. That’s what families are for, and my guess is that you will need less and less of that as time goes on.

    The likelihood is that if you fix your picker and kick men to the curb who can’t and won’t really commit (before you meet one who is willing to marry and THEN cheat), you are likely to find someone wonderful who will be a great father for your child and a loving, faithful partner for you. You already know that your daughter has honed that picker some already, since you kicked the stupid self-centered indifferent prick to the curb to protect her, and you. And if you don’t meet anyone right for the two of you, that will be OK too because you are MIGHTY.

    • And if you have any mail, email or text communication about his idea to abort the child or have her adopted, save those electronically and in print, with time and date stamps. You might need them someday. What a stupid, cruel, self-centered, indifferent and totally heartless prick.

      • “See an attorney to find out the particulars in your case, though, so some do-gooder OW doesn’t get her hooks in him and make him try to appear to be a “good father” or a “good man.”
        ^^^^^^^^^^^ This happens, especially if he is telling her and/or everyone that you ran away and took his baby so he doesn’t look like an asshole.

  • I’m not an attorney, not even close. But can’t she get support and sole custody? I realize sole custody isn’t the same as giving up parental rights, but it’d be so nice if he would have to support the life he helped to bring into the world.

    But, I suppose sole custody would still mean that if he wanted visitation she’d have to cooperate. Sigh. Okay, it’s her decision, but I have to go with CL on this one — especially because she is lucky enough to make decent money.

    Still, with his track record and living far away, perhaps he’d never interfere in their lives? This is a tough one!

    Off the topic I want to also add my admiration for Overcome Mommy. What a fighter!

    • ML- Depending on the state she may already have it. Here in MN when children are born to unwed mothers, the mother gets full custody. Dad’s name can be put onto the birth certificate through a recognition of parentage but he’d have to go to court to get any legal arrangement for visitation and custody.

    • If parental rights are not legally terminated and, God forbid, something happens to Overcome Mommy before her daughter becomes an adult, there is a chance this child’s biological father would be awarded custody. For me, this is a very important reason to take the legal steps necessary to terminate parental rights in this situation.

      • In my state they never terminate parental rights unless the person is completely crazy/criminal/abusive or unless the child is adopted. So even though my ex agrees to give me sole physical and legal custody with no visitations he still could come back and petition at any time. If I get remarried and my new husband wants to adopt the child he would have to have permission from my ex. So it varies by state. In other words forgoing child support from the father cannot be exchanged for him signing away his rights. However if it psychologically helps the ex loser move on then that’s great. Just understand that it doesn’t necessarily Legally protect you to agree to no support. Either way a custody determination does need to be made. I’ve seen single mothers and sometimes fathers who didn’t file their parenting plan or equivalent with the court who had their ex show up and take their child. It’s not kidnapping if nobody ever established who’s actually supposed to have custody of the kids.

        • He can voluntarily waive his parental rights through legal proceedings in most states. If he does not agree to do so, that is a different scenario. Find a good family attorney familiar with the laws of your jurisdiction, who can guide you through the process.

          • That’s just the info my very experienced lawyer gave me. I would have been willing to give up child support for my ex having no rights but it wasn’t possible. My ex wants nothing to do with my kid anyway, so it works out for the moment. But giving up his parental rights was the first thing I asked about.

            I think it’s weird how states vary on this.

          • Actually, that’s not the norm these days in most states. The going view is that the child has the right to two parents, and the adults can’t waive the child’s right to that.

            However, since the parents aren’t married in this case, absent the father’s signing an Acknowledgment of Parentage or getting his name on the birth certificate, he probably has no legal status as father, either. So as long as you don’t bring the paternity or the child support issue to court or name him on the birth certificate, you are likely to be in the exact situation you’re seeking–you’re the only legal parent on record. (Be aware that if you ever get state aid, though, that the state may want to find out who the other parent is, because he’s more on the hook for feeding his kid than the taxpayers.)

  • This is real life advice from Chump Lady. If I listened to my heart, my 17 total years of marriage would have been condensed into 3 because that was enough time to know everything I needed to know about the marriage. Advice like this I could have used to cut the pain short… I suffered the ex intent on destroying me being the father of my children and it was a hellish time I would not wish on anyone. Avoid it if you can.

  • Congratulations Overcomer Mommy! You are impressively mighty. I really applaud your stamina in navigating this crap while you were pregnant. Your daughter is so lucky to have such a good parent!

    I have to agree with what everyone says here. If you can get him legally severed from your child’s life I think you would be better off. I understand your mom’s sentiment. She is afterall your mom and looking out for you in every way she possibly can; but when you’re dealing with someone who would cheat on you while your pregnant and then disappear I think the best course of action is to let that sleeping dog lie.

    He is relatively new to the whole law enforcement thing but I don’t think their personalities get better with time. I hate to say it because I know their job is to protect and serve but on top of their ego issues they are constantly exposed to the worst humanity has to offer. After a while that changes them and not for the better. Then he’ll be an ego maniac who is bitter and cynical and he’ll own a gun. You don’t want your daughter to be around that.

    Right now, while he’s blinded by twu wuv he might very willingly sign away his parental rights. Consider yourself blessed that he showed you who he was and consider yourself very mighty for believing him right away. Some of us (hand raised) are not that astute! I think you dodged a big bullet here and better not to poke the bear. He could show you his disoredered side and no one wants that. Consult a lawyer and stay mighty!

    • I agree that the timing may be best now. As others have mentioned, even if he remains indifferent to his daughter, other people may provoke him to pretend an interest–a new OW or his parents. Cut him off while you can.

      You will always retain the right to LET grandparents or the idiot father have a relationship with your daughter on terms that are healthy and helpful for her, but don’t let others drive that bus. Have an attorney help you decide how to best assert control.

      And if the grandparents every express remorse over their idiot son’s behavior, you can let them know that an educational trust in her name would be appreciated since you receive no child support (that way they can help her and rest assured that none of it is going to you).

      • Yes, I thought about this later after I posted my first comment. It’s easy to imagine a year or two down the line, his new girlfriend saying, “You’re not in touch with your daughter? That’s terrible.” And then she’d push him into a relationship with the child and make her and her mother’s life miserable.

  • Oops, slipped and hit submit before I finished my rant…I want to add, OM, that you certainly don’t owe the sperm donor even one minute with YOUR DAUGHTER. That is actually putting her into the hands of a “man” who wanted to kill her or give her away — which is exactly how you should think of and handle this scum bag. How to tell your daughter this when she gets old enough to understand, without causing pain? I think it will be a huge help to her to be honest with her. Tell her there are givers and takers in this world, and her biological father was a taker, not the kind of man you wanted in your life or hers; and that biology being what it is, it’s really easy to make a child, but not everyone has the integrity to be a good parent. Tell her he did not want to be a father, and that does not mean something is lacking in her or in you — there is something lacking in him. Model for her how to discern the givers from the takers, and to know that we are not responsible for the sins of our fathers, nor are we doomed to be like them. She has a great mother, and in all likelihood someday will have a great stepfather. Let her know you left the sperm donor because he wasn’t fit to be a father, and she is missing nothing from her life without him in it. Truth does set us free.

  • “Who was this horrible person?!? Certainly not the man I loved and cared about for 8 years..” – that’s what kills u the most… and guess what? that’s what gets u out of this hell hole.. u are a brave, honest, caring person and u will get through all of this what seems to be insurmountable hurt, pain and devestation.. u already know it that why u have called yourself “Overcomer Mommy”.. in your mind u have already chalked out the fact that u will overcome and that u have a very critical life experience come up.. that of being a Mommy… u just cant go wrong… big hug to u and lots of love … stay strong.. believe in yourself and this too shall pass … Love & Peace.

  • My state soes not allow a parent to forgo child support so I was awarded the least amount possible, $50/month with the understanding that I would never collect any of it. My ex has been unemployed for over 7 years now and it just was not worth it. I have sole custody and only have to deal with her on a very minimal basis. As a man who has his child full time (an unbelievable rarity) I was happy for the trade off.

    If you can truly get him to sign over parental rights, I would do it in a heart beat. I do however encourage you to follow the advice you’ve been given and consult a lawyer immediately. Nearly every state will do everything possible to keep both parents involved in some way or another so you need to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. Also keep in mind that she may very well wish to seek out her father at some point and you have to be ready for that if it happens.

    Good luck and stay strong.

  • Wow, this is eerie because I say to myself at least once a day “I wish I had never told him I was pregnant.” I can’t wish I was never with him because my son is so wonderful, but I wish I had never told him I was pregnant. I wish I had just quietly packed up and left. Child support is not worth having them in your life. I (will, someday, if I can ever get through the court case) get quite a lot according to everyone I’ve spoken to ($1200) per month. This is because he makes so much money. But, it will take me at least a year of payments to get back the legal fees I’ve spent. Also, I experienced the begging for an abortion too. He begged me to have an abortion for weeks and he only stopped when the Dr. said I had a high risk pregnancy and the risk of losing the baby was close to 50%. So I guess he figured why bother to beg when it would happen on it’s own. But now, he’s so obsessed with controlling both me and the baby he wants visitation and as I posted before, the last time I got little buddy back he was wearing pajamas, during the day, without a diaper so he’d peed through his clothes, and had chunks of his hair cut out. It’s a daily nightmare. I wish that I’d said I was going to an abortion clinic, walked in, hid in the bathroom, come out and said I had an abortion, and then just packed my bags and moved to Eastern Europe. Nothing is worth having these wackos in your life. Nothing. And, better to have an idolized father fantasy!! I wish my son had an idolized father fantasy, rather than his unbelievably shitty and damaging real father.

  • Overcomer,

    Ask yourself one question and you will get your answer: “Is this man fit to raise my little girl if something happened to me?”

    Judging from how you handled his total abdication of relationship and parental responsibility, I have no doubts you will be able to DO what you need to do.

    • Excellent point. In addition to getting him to relinquish parental rights, you need to make a will that gives guardianship of your daughter to your parents or someone else competent and loving. This is why you need to see that lawyer!

  • This is what I have done for years… Worked for child protective services in the foster care/adoption unit. You need the names of the attorneys who are very good at the adoption process, particularly termination of parental rights. It is imperative that you get an attorney who knows these laws since each atty is not necessarily familiar with another specialty. There are papers that are so important that each i needs to be dotted and each t needs to be crossed exactly.
    This man needs to understand that you can go after him for 18 years for child support and it adds up. In my state if it accrues past a certain amount then “child-support recovery” goes after him and jails him if he does not begin paying. Because he is a public service it would probably be very easy to get support from him. If you know for a fact that this man is always going to be this narcissistic why would you inflict him on this child?

  • We need a Hall of Fame. You are up there Overcomer Mommy! I think your mom may have triggered something unnecessary – with the best of intentions. You’re doing so well, why ruin the recipe? I agree with getting some legal advice and keeping him away.

    My SIL had a similar experience. Two kids but only small, first almost 3 and second 11months. She kicked her cheater to the kerb ( hey, don’t get too misty-eyed, she broke up his first marriage and “stole” a 10 year old boy’s daddy) and he left the country, heck, he left the hemisphere. She said it was the best thing he ever did for her kids. NC for 20 years, including not one cent of child support ( he sent a cheque once, years later, she framed it and hung it on the wall! They do now have an adult relationship with him. But at 26 and 24 their eyes are pretty well open. Luckily they all retained a great relationship with their older brother (whose mighty mother died far too young) and they are all successful human beings.

    Keep him away from your wee girl if you can, is my vote.

    Stay mighty!

  • Have him sign away parental rights. ASAP. If you and your daughter don’t have to deal with him on any level for any reason, don’t. You obviously have your shit together, you are mighty, how long until your salary exceeds anything he may contribute and then you could be in a situation where he may want custody (after the diapers and mess, when she can take care of herself “in his custody”) and who knows what kind of crazy he’s going to introduce her to, the skank he cheated on you with, worse? How much would it cost to fight him in court about custody then? I say get him out now, don’t give him any decision making power over your daughter or you. As for your mother and her comment, explain he hasn’t gotten off easy he just doesn’t know it. If he ever comes to a place of regret for what he did and looks for forgiveness from his daughter, he’ll never truly have it because what he really want is her love and she will never trust him, which love requires. And if he doesn’t, your grand-daughter doesn’t need that in her life and is better off and that is more important than him getting off easy. All my best to you and our daughter, Stay Mighty and Raise Mighty.

  • it may not be an either – or, depending on your state laws. You may be able to have parental rights taken from him by the court – with a valid claim he abandoned the child. And, still get court ordered child support. It’d be well worth it to spend a couple hundred bucks on a lawyer and figure it out.

  • I have a minor complaint: I’m 61 years old now with 2 terrific adult children and a FWW, and I must say – I’ve never been pregnant. I know it’s fashionable to say these days, “we’re pregnant”, but I have never seen a pregnant man before, only women. Couples have sex. Couples even make love. But women become pregnant.

    Why am I making an issue of this? Because Overcomer Mommy’s ex fiance is a perfect example of the kind of “man” who obviously doesn’t take relationships and the consequences of those relationships seriously. I always did – looked forward to it years before even meeting my wife – and I know there are metric tons of other men who also do/did, but this philandering jackass will never be one of them.

    It’ll be far better for Overcomer’s daughter’s future if this terrible example of a male human being signs over his rights as a father and disappears from her life forever. Lost child support is worth it in these kinds of cases.

    I have a BIL who’s a paranoid schizophrenic. He got married young and had 3 kids. The only time the family was in a real home was when his grandmother-in-law died and his in-laws let them live in her house. Within a couple years, there were fist holes in the walls, stains on the carpets, and he even nearly burned it down while welding in the attached garage. They separated after that. She moved into an apartment with their kids, and he moved into his van (where he lives to this day). He did/does small odd jobs to avoid having a visible income. The kids are all grown now. They won’t have anything to do with him, by their own choices.

    -10th Engineer Harrison

  • You are very Mighty, OM!

    The problem here is with your mother/other relatives, who do not understand what it is like to deal with the crazy. If he pays you money, he may very likely have visitation rights. As others here have said, he does not sound like good Daddy material. However, you do need to find out what kinds of legal rights he has to see his child. Just because he was all hot for you to abort doesn’t mean he might not want to see her later on in her life.

    So see the attorney and find out just what rights he has and whether you can get him to sign them away. Since he’s very narcissistic at this point, your attorney could leverage the deal by indicating that if he signs away his rights, he won’t have to pay child support.

    Then outline to your parents that yes, you could go after him for child support BUT in return, he’d have visitation rights, and given that his moral character is so poor, this would be a very bad thing!

    You’re doing better by your family to support your child. She will learn from you what it is to be mighty! 🙂

  • This guy has treated you like shit.

    Your mom is right, hope you get paternity tests and have him pay child support. You might even be able to have the tests done by force, I hope.

    I am glad you aren’t with him.

  • You so need a good, specialized lawyer! The legal aspects so depend on your jurisdiction, and you do need to get all the paperwork right. Where I live, there is ZERO legal connection between child support and custody/visitation. So this dad (or a disappearing mom) may have to pay support even if they have no custody or visitation at all, and can get custody/visitation even if they’re required to pay support and never do.

    But the other aspect is the leverage a threat of requesting support can give you, to request that this jerk give up all parental rights.

    Anybody who says ‘a child needs both parents’ clearly doesn’t know half enough about personality disorders and addictions. Better one sane parent, because kids don’t have the inner resources to maintain a relationship w/someone that fucked up and not have their self-worth undermined (or worse yet, if they got the genetics for it, end up narcissistic themselves).

    • Where I live, there is ZERO legal connection between child support and custody/visitation. So this dad (or a disappearing mom) may have to pay support even if they have no custody or visitation at all, and can get custody/visitation even if they’re required to pay support and never do.

      But the other aspect is the leverage a threat of requesting support can give you, to request that this jerk give up all parental rights.


      Yeah, my pos cheating addict ex’s father was also a pos cheating addict. I don’t want my son to be influenced by that. I hope by never seeing his father he can break that cycle.

      • Not seeing his father, or having very limited time with him, will be super helpful. But it’s also important to talk to your kids about your values, show them your values at work in day-to-day life, teach them empathy (even people with a genetically fairly low capacity can improve those skills, and there’s good info out there about HOW to encourage empathy, starting when kids are small), enforce MILD consequences for bad behaviour when they get older (starting around age 12 is good, they’re getting more self control), and be very careful not to encourage entitlement – make sure kids know the rules DO apply to them (and to us, too), that they are wonderful, amazing, but NOT special or exceptional, that we need to consider the rights and feelings of others when we make decisions.

        As you can see, I’ve thought a lot about this. With my son, I worry about excessive chumpiness, or at the worst, passive-aggressive behaviour. So I encourage assertiveness and self-respect. But our daughter clearly got her dad’s genes, and could easily slide into arrogant self-centered-ness. Fortunately, SHE worries about that, so we are working together to make sure she doesn’t grow up to be an asshole, like her dad, his dad, and probably many generations before that.

        • When my son was 17 I sat him down and said, “If some girl shows up here pregnant courtesy of you, then you are married in the eyes of God, married in my eyes, and your life is OVER for the next 18 years because the State will take a good chunk of what you earn to support that child and I will back them up. I really don’t care if the girl was some sort of easy slut, so you better put a little thought into what kind of girl you date.”

          At that age he was still hypersensitive to the ex’s hypocrisy (one of those Christian adulterers) so it sunk in pretty good it seems. I’m prepared to make good on what I said, which is why I don’t think I’ll ever have to.

          • Chumpalicious – standing ovation! Tough love, but life is tough, especially if you donate your sperm to the wrong gal…or any gal you don’t want to marry. Great lesson and keep up the great work, Chump. He’s a lucky boy to have you having his back.

        • I don’t worry about the cheater gene being passed on so much as the tendency towards addiction. Heck yes my son will learn empathy from me. And delayed gratification and taking responsibility for actions. And also how to treat a woman. It does also worry me that he will be an only child though. Ex was an only child. I am learning I can’t control everything though. I can only do the best I can and it’s up to my son to decide who he’ll be as a man. He sure as hell won’t get the same lack of values on sexuality as my ex either. Right now he’s so little that mostly he just spends his time babbling at anything ladybug shaped.

          Eh, I think too much.

      • This is what I thought – I live on a different continent so obv the laws will be different but my understanding always has been that child support was entirely separate from visitation. As far as I’m concerned, *after you have spoken to a decent, experienced family law expert in your state*, the ideal would be to hit him in the wallet. It probably wouldn’t change any issues around visitation and let’s face it, maybe in years to come, they could have a ”relationship” of sorts, I know!! Pigs might fly…

        But seriously. Go for support. He’s a cop therefore he’s employed, therefore the support could be garnished directly from his salary and thus he may well have no say at all in the matter, which would be ideal. It’s not like – as a government employee – he can just duck and dive all that much, and any arrests would reflect very, very badly on him in his chosen field. I’d say you’ve got leverage, but the point is actually not revenge. It’s about forcing him to help support the daughter HE helped make. It’s not about emotions, it’s about legal obligations.

  • Wow. Just have to add my comment to this thread and say you are one kick-arse mother-bear!! Your daughter is lucky to have such a woman as a mother. Stay strong!

    My advice would be to keep him out of your and your daughters life if you possibly can. The ‘never-ending punishment of breeding with a fucktard’ is that you don’t get to move on with your life in a clean, simple way, and long after the pain of betrayal passes, you have the pain of seeing your children messed around by an irresponsible, self-centred father. Children give them an ongoing, unbreakable hook with which to stay in your life and keep you engaged in their dramas and crazy-making.

    I think you should consult a lawyer before making your decision about whether to go for child support, whether to try to get him to relinquish parental rights, or whether to just let sleeping dogs lie. Going after child support might just be like attracting the eye of Sauron!

    I would hope that the longer he shows no interest in your beautiful daughter, the more likely the courts would recognise he has no rights to her, but from what I read here, the laws in American States are all different.

    I would also add the caution that at the moment your daughter is still a baby – beautiful, but very needy and dependant. Once they get a bit older, and are toilet-trained, talking and prone to hero- worshipping their parents, they can be incredibly attractive to a parent with narcissist leanings – they are cute! They worship me! They are a chick-magnet! (From my experience, that changes as they get older, develop a bullshit radar and the surliness and skepticism that comes with puberty). He may be disinterested now but you really don’t want him popping back into your life when she gets a bit older and cuter to him.

    Whatever you do, best of luck and again, I admire you for being a lioness!

  • Put my vote in the terminate his parental rights column.

    My story: I didn’t even know he was going to walk out on me. Egged on by his then-GF, he kidnapped our daughter. I came home from work one evening to find them both gone and all their things. It took me a week to find them and get him served with a summons to appear in court. He was still in shock when he showed up. He never thought that either I’d find them or even fight back.

    Fast forward ten years, and one of his other schmoopies has become the new wife. While my daughter is up there visiting them for court-ordered visitation, the new wife helps him orchestrate another kidnapping. I decide I’ve had enough of this, and once I track her down (I’ve become *quite* the sleuth by now) I offer to make her an emancipated minor. My hunch is that they’ve taken her because they want oodles of child support out of me. I was right. Once they realize she’s going to be a cost, not a source of revenue, they abandon her within a year and move completely across the country.

    I had the chance to get his parental rights terminated around the time of the first kidnapping, but chumpy me thought it would hurt my child too much not to have access to both her parents. How wrong I was. Now she’s in her late 20s, won’t marry the guy she’s with because of trust issues and not believing in marriage… and probably won’t have children either. I know this sounds selfish and un-meh, but XH has a bunch of biological children (not that he paid support on any of them). She, however, is my only biological child. It causes me to see red to know that likely he will have several grandchildren… while I will never have any.

    • Sunny, I am so sorry to read about what you have been through. How could anyone do that to their own child? Your story really provides Overcomer Mommy with the proverbial crystal ball into the future. Thank you.

    • Your story is an extreme version of what I had in mind when I said that an OW can, for a number of reasons, influence a man who has no real interest in a child to suddenly step up and want his “rights.” The cheater in my life, the Jackass, had a child from a previous marriage and paid a bunch of child support and did the Sunday “Disney Dad” routine. He and his ex were at the time (and probably still are) locked in lots of power struggles over money and who is the boss of whom. When I started hearing these stories, it was clear to me that he was getting royally ripped off because, on top of a whopping child support bill, he forked over cash every time the ex asked (and she had a good job, too) and he never got actual bills or receipts–just spreadsheets. I raised my eyebrows at that and said, “Why are you giving her money on top of child support? And if there are legit medical bills, you should be seeing receipts and actual bills generated by providers. And who spends $80 per month for dental insurance for a teenager with perfect teeth?” . Next thing you know, he’s asking for receipts, looking at the custody agreement, asking questions about why the kid doesn’t have a pair of shoes without holes, etc. What I know now is that he is a man without a set of core values; he does what benefits him at the moment. At that moment, he wanted me to think of him as a smart man who had been beaten down by a greedy ex but now saw the light. That’s why OM can’t count on her X staying out of the picture; all it would take is one Schmoopie to say, “You mean she took your baby and went out of state? Why didn’t you file for custody?” and it’s game on.

      What your X did was appalling. Kidnapping is a terrible assault on both the other parent and the child. But the most important lesson for other people is that he did it TWICE. You caught him. slapped him down in court, and he still tried it again. When these guys show us what they are the first time (whether through cheating or shenanigans with custody or money) we need to believe them. If a person does this terrible thing once, letitng him or her off the hook is just an invitation for it to happen again. But this is a day for mighty chump posts; your ability to track him down and outwit him is truly mighty.

  • Pregnant chumps unite!! I found out my husband was cheating a week after I found out I was pregnant. I moved out of state to get away from him and to be closer to family. (I am so ready to run away from my family now.. =) ) I am now a single mommy to a wonderful little boy who my ex also never bothered to ask the health, gender, name or for a picture of. Everyone here has given great advice but when it comes down to it you have to do what is right for you. Chose your path of action and go for it. And also be understanding that you can’t control everything. When it comes to custody and child support even smart decisions sometimes lead to bad results. But that doesn’t mean you should operate from fear. Trust yourself. Years from now I will be the most grateful that my ex wants nothing to do with my son. I don’t understand his lack of a soul but I appreciate it.

  • – Overcomer Mommy, trust your intuition, it hasn’t steered you wrong since this shit storm started, it won’t now. Your Mom wants justice, you want a happy life, forget justice, it doesn’t work that way.

  • In my state, women (or men because this works both ways) who aren’t with their baby’s father try to get the man to pay child support on his own. If the man won’t pay, they apply for child support through social services IF THEY NEED IT. There are guidelines and a formula that takes into account both of their incomes. If necessary, his wages are garnished. Men hate this because to their employer, it makes them look like a deadbeat dad. Duh. Resentment often begins to fester. So then they start paying and they start wondering how to pay less. They decide to enforce visitation in an attempt to get their money’s worth. And when the child gets to an easier age…like school age..they think, why should I pay anything? I can get custody and then she will have to pay ME. And at this point, some of them start making false accusations of abuse. It ain’t pretty. Child Protective Services investigates. The police show up at your home or office.
    Overcomer Mommy, you know what is best in your situation. You know what he is like. Save yourself and your child after assessing the situation.

  • Oh how I wish
    That guy I called “Dish”
    Was but the donor of sperm
    So crap was the squirm
    The touch and the feel
    I could do with the speil
    Of how great was the stuff
    That would have been enough
    I would have my girls
    Given them the world
    Ignored the bullshit
    And not still dream about that “hit”
    The bash
    The smash
    Oh my gosh what he’s done!
    If only he was just for the sperm!

    My point? 18 years of my life flushed down the toilet, shat upon, and I still struggle with the fact the my kids are the most important outcome from those “wasted” years. If only i had looked upon him as the sperm donor, which is all he EVER was anyway, we might all be in a different place.

    My eldest is 18 today, no word from dad or grandma….but we understand they are….SAD!
    BFFHD! (Big fat fucking hairy deal ;))

  • Thank you all soooo very much for your amazing support and words of wisdom!! I’ve had a crazy busy weekend so this is the first time I’ve had to sit down and write a response. First of all, I hope that any of you who are still smoking the hopium can take my story and realize that even when you are at your most vulnerable moment, you too can be mighty. It’s painful but the sooner you drop your cheater, the faster you’ll move on get your life back. Mine is one of the lowest of the low. I always considered myself a bright woman. I graduated from a top tier university, felt I was a good judge of character and always treated others with kindness. But I got sucked into the sparkle (which looking back was not even that sparkly). I was a super confident girl that over time became completely codependent (partly to do with our cross country moves) with a selfish narcissist. When he left, I was a hollow shell of the woman I used to be. But I picked myself up as quickly as possible because I am too mighty to let him steal anymore of my joy. He doesn’t deserve anymore of my precious life or time. Am I still mourning the man I thought he was? Absolutely- especially on days like today (Father’s Day) when my married friends are all posting pics and spending days at the zoo with their babies and husbands. Yes, those missed moments bug me. But then I look at my sweet 4 month old’s smiley, drooly face and I’m reminded that I am beyond blessed. I also am a firm believer that no matter how awful your situation seems, there is always, and I mean always, someone who has it worse. Is my life a bit more difficult than my married friends, yes. But I am a single mom with a degree and a great career. I know there are plenty single parents out there working two jobs and trying to go to school. And to those parents, on your rough days, I encourage you to keep perspective that their are single parents in other countries with 6 kids and no money or food. Perspective is key.
    As for my royal douchebag of an ex, I am blown away to see just how many people said to have him sign over rights. I am going to lawyer up. For the record, I made sure I delivered my daughter in my home state and he is Not on the birth certificate (I asked him if he want to be, 4 days after she was born, he said yes, so I sent him all of the paperwork in March and he never sent it back, and would not answer my texts, calls, or emails about it). However, I don’t think my state will allow a parent to sign over their rights without an adoptive parent in place, so I need to speak with a lawyer. Also in my state, visitation and support go through two separate processes. As of now, I know he has zero desire to see her. And his parents are even more narcissistic and selfish than he is (major red flag that I looked past because I thought he was better than them. Wrong!) and they haven’t seen her or reached out either. In fact, his dad helped him pack his half of the apartment and Wouldn’t even acknowledge my existence. According to dbag, he was remaining neutral and didn’t want to get invovled. (Gotta love uninvolved parenting- it works so well when raising shitheads). On top of that, dbags sister in law (my daughters aunt, but not blood related) Has been talking and texting me from the fallout and we only talk about my baby and I send her pictures. I figure she should at least know someone from that side. Well his parents found out and they didn’t talk to his sister in law for 7 weeks!!! So that shows just how classy they are as well. Apples truly don’t fall far from trees and in the process of fixing my picker, I’ll be damned if I am ever with a man again who doesn’t also have amazing parents. I do not regret my daughter for even a second because I know that, at least on my end, she was made out of love. I don’t know why I was meant to have her with him, but there is a reason for everything. Regardless, she is my sun and moon and I have Faith that one day I will be able to share my full life with a real man who loves and respects us both like we deserve.
    Thank you all again so much! I will keep you posted on any new developments.
    Stay Mighty!!~ Overcomer Mommy

  • I will have to agree here… Somewhat similar situation here. Married.. planned for a baby.. Baby came.. He realized it’s hard work and I don’t have as much time for him when I’m caring for a newborn myself. He’s a cop and found another female cop to run off with. Unfortunately he’s fighting me on everything so if you can just run and have him sign off by all means do if. Your daughter doesn’t deserve somebody like that. Good luck!! Keep your head held high! You’re a strong woman

  • OM, you are kickass awesome and mighty! Although I do not have a child, your story resonates with mine in that I was with my STBX for 10 years before we got married, and we were only married for 4 years when I discovered his emotional affair and he walked out. I thought I was being the “cool girlfriend” by not pressuring him to marry. I just didn’t see the point.

    Looking back, perhaps waiting that long was a red flag, “dragging his feet” as it were. Maybe our exes were holding us both back. I hope we are able to learn from this and like CL said, “be mightier still.”

    Keep us posted please!

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