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maillesmith 02-04-11 12:21 PM

Single father

I'm a single father of a one year old boy. His mother and I "parted ways" in August when he was 7 months old, I moved to Ontario and she remained in Alberta. She did see him on a semi-regular basis over webcam, but since August he has been raised by me.

Just over three weeks ago, she returned to Ontario and started being part of her son's life again. But she has no home of her own, nor is she employed, and she has not contributed financially to her son. I hosted a birthday party for her and her family at my place and she has been at my home on a near daily basis since she returned. Yesterday, she told me that she would like our son to live with her once she has all her affairs in order; a time frame of six months she said.

At that time, she intends living with a boyfriend moving from Alberta who has never met my child. And I am very opposed to this idea, both because I don't wish to give my son up to another home, and because I feel it would be inappropriate to have him suddenly live with a man he's never known.

Since his mother's return, my son has begun testing boundaries again (which will happen, I know) and taken to throwing some really bad fits when he doesn't get his way - something he didn't before. He likes her, but even she has observed that he likes daddy more.

We currently have a private agreement regarding his care. But I will be obtaining a lawyer when it comes to that. I'm not looking for legal advice.

Any personal advice from someone that has gone through something similar? Am I wrong in not wanting to let him live elsewhere?

raabta01 02-04-11 01:32 PM

First off welcome to this web page. I am a married father of 3. You'll find that this website is a great resource. There are a few of us Dad's here but I'd say it's mostly mom's. I really like everyone here though, kids come first and I never feel wierd being a male minority!

That said, I believe that at least over 3/4 of the people here are from the US. Hopefully someone will prove me wrong but I don't know how good your chances are going to be finding someone here that has a knowledge of the Canadien legal system that can help you there.

What I can give you is some support. I think you're right on the money with your feelings. Obviously I don't think your ex is stable enough now, much less will be in 6 months, to have your son live with her. The fact that neither you nor her son seem to know the boyfriend is another red flag. I'd be willing to say based on your comments is that things will probably take care of themself and she won't be ready in 6mo. to take your son.

Hope this helped!

rudolphia 02-05-11 12:13 AM

First, welcome to TBC! I hope you'll come here often to chat and share what's going on with you and your little one.

I haven't been through an experience like yours, but I think you're justified in wanting to maintain custody. Your son is very little, and you've been his main source of care for much of his life. Your ex hasn't shown herself to be very stable, and both her decision to leave her child and her decision to bring the baby into a household with a stranger do not weigh in her favor.

I think it's best for your son to stay in the household he knows with a stable parent until your ex settles down (gets a job, establishes a household, etc.). At that point, perhaps you can entertain a shared custody agreement (maybe weekends with her to start). I agree with Taylor that, given her track record, she may just be giving lip service to the idea of taking over custody. Definitely have your attorney in the loop!

MrsS1stbaby 02-07-11 01:15 PM

Hi and Welcome!

I agree with Taylor and Rudi- it sounds like the best place for your son to be is with you. If your ex ever does get her affairs in order, perhaps you can work out a joint custody agreement, but I don't think uprooting him to a completly different household is ever the answer, especially just b/c someone had a change of heart or mind.

Actually typing that I realize I am a hypocrite! My BIL is currently seperated from his wife and is hoping a divorce is final soon. As of now they have their own joint-agreement worked out and in general their child lives his mother, but more often than not my BIL has him unexpectedly or for longer than he was supposed to. Granted, he doesn't mind and it is just more ammo for him when they finally get divorced and he requests primary custody. In their situtation, we all think their child would benefit much more to live with his dad. But since they do have joint custody now, I guess it would not be really an "uprooting."

Anyways, good luck with your situation! Come back for just plain ole' chit chatting about the adventures of parenthood.

Oreo 02-08-11 08:13 PM

I sure hope you hold tight and fight to keep your little boy. I'm a teacher and I really believe that a stable home makes a tremendous difference for kids in school -- beyond all the emotional development needs it provides.

Good Luck.
Let us know how it goes.

I know you said you didn't want legal advice, but I'd get a lawyer and just start documenting the situation so if your ex wants to move toward custody, you have your ducks in a row.