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DH wants to relinquish parental rights!

Jordan3312's picture

This isn't the first time the subject of relinquishing his parental rights has been brought up. Last year when DH got home from a 9 month deployment, we briefly had a discussion about "what if." But yesterday DH said he's actually going to file a petition. It's not that he doesn't love SS5, but that he wants absolutely nothing to do with BM anymore and he said the court system is failing to do their job. He's tired and exhausted and just wants it to stop. 

DH feels only 2 visits a year has absolutely no impact on SS5 and he can't even parent how he wants bc/ BM is very controlling, so it's just not worth it. BM is always making comments about how DH has no right to comment on her parenting (or lack of) because he wasn't around for the first 2 years. However, BM is the one who told DH that SS was someone else's until he got his with a court ordered paternity test. My husband also pays so much in child support each month yet SS never seems to have clothes that fit. During the summer visit, BM only packed size 2T...SS is 4T. So we had to buy him more clothes. DH is under the impression that she did that on purpose. During this current visit, BM asked us to buy SS a winter jacket. DH is frustrated because he pays over half a thousand dollars a month, she gets almost $500 in food stamps even though she works, and she's 39 and just moved back in with her parent's and she doesn't pay rent. Why can't she buy him a jacket?? My MIL is always reaching out to me asking us to buy and mail her clothes because SS has nothing that fits. So DH is concerned that BM has been spending that money to fuel her alcohol and drug problem instead of SS.

 BM also makes it nearly impossible for DH to see SS outside of my husband's 2 block leaves a year. He says the court system is failing because apparently they'd rather have SS living with an alcoholic and drug user than with him and because of DH job, he can't keep going out of state to go to court to fight for custody rights. He's tried. He went on emergency leave to file for temporary custody when he found out BM had been doing cocaine, but that request was denied. The court instead suggested that DH file for joint custody, so he did. He has yet to hear back from them.

He also wants to give our almost 2 month old daughter the best life possible and feels that with how much he's paying in child support (especially when it's not even going towards the child), it's taking away from her. We've been struggling to even afford formula. My in-laws have been financially helping us out with DD and DH is ashamed that he can't fully provide for her.  

I told DH that if he goes through with this, it's not reversible and he can have no say in how SS is raised and no contact with him until he's 18. I asked if he'd be okay with that and he said yes because that's basically what's already happening. I'm not sure if he's serious about doing this or if he just feels defeated at the moment. I'm not sure if I should support his decision to do this, or not, bc I know SS really needs his Father. But at the same time, I do want my daughter to have what she needs and deserves and it's been so difficult for us and having to deal with BM just puts salt in the wound. I want DH to not have to struggle emotionally or financially and for him to be happy. I've never seen him like this before but for some reason, this visit with SS has taken a toll on him. He even asked SS today if he could chose, would he want to live with Daddy or stay with Mommy. SS said with Mommy. So that made DH feel less guilty about considering filing. Maybe I shouldn't think too much about it bc/in order to relinquish his rights BM has to agree and I doubt she will. She sees a dollar sign when she looks at DH and I don't think she'd be willing to give up free money.

Comments

Winterglow's picture

I hope he's not serious because his son will hold this against him for the rest of his life. He's going to see it as his father not wanting him. Secondly, it's my understanding that he can't sign his rights away unless there is another parent waiting in the wings to take them - i. e. the courts will not take away his rights if there is not a subsitute second parent waiting to adopt the child. Thirdly, even if he does manage to give up his rights, he might still have to pay child support ...

I'd suggest he have his child support reevaluated because he might be paying too much. Then I'd contact the court to find out what is happening about is request to file for joint custody. 

Is it possible that BM is committing welfare fraud...?

Jordan3312's picture

According to the state in which my husband would potentially file, he can voluntarily give up his rights as long as the custodial parent agrees, even if there is no one to replace the non custodial parent. And he has called the court several times, and left several messages and no one has given him any information. DH mom and I have both told him that he should go back to court and get his child support payments reevaluated, but he said that he's been promoted twice since he initially had to start paying and his income is larger so he's afraid it woukd actually go up. But he was single back when he started paying and is now married with another child so he just because he's making more doesn't mean he can afford the payments.

Winterglow's picture
  1. Check out the child support calculator online for your state.
  2. If he can give up his rights as easily as that, I'd be worried that you are, indeed, in a state where he would still have to pay child support.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Being married with another child won't have much impact on his CS payments. Having a second child MIGHT reduce his payments, but not substantially. $500 for one child is pretty standard.

ndc's picture

Which state are you referring to? This doesn't sound right. And I can't imagine BM would agree to give up CS even if it was.  Whether he can get a CS reduction is state dependent. In my state, they look at gross income and a set percentage based on number of children the CS is being paid for. Unless there is shared custody (more than EOWE), the CP's income doesn't matter, nor do subsequent children of the NCP.

tog redux's picture

Why would BM agree to give up $500 a month, free clothes and all that fun jerking DH's chain?

There is zero chance that BM will agree to this - and I've never heard of any state allowing someone to walk away from supporting a kid that he created.

Also, at least my state doesn't really take into account whether or not the man has a new family, it's strictly based on income.

Sorry, I don't think this is going to be the solution. He needs to treat the CS as a payment he has to make, stop trying to spend more time with SS, be the best father he can in those two weeks a year, and hope for the best as SS grows up.

Jordan3312's picture

Thank you for your advice. And I agree. DH is paying more than $500 so maybe he can get it lowered to that, but I'm not expexting her to be cooperative. I think you're right, it's just sad that were struggling to feed our own daughter. I think DH was feeling defeated, but I know him. I don't think he could ever abandon his son when it actually comes down to it.

tog redux's picture

If $500 a month leaves you struggling to feed your other child, perhaps you or he need to get a second job?

Jordan3312's picture

He's already applying for a second job but because he's in the infantry, he has to be careful with the job he chooses because it can't involve heavy lifting or anything that could potentially strain him and make him not "deployment ready." And the only jobs that seem to be available that work with his schedule are those late night stocking jobs. We've discussed me working. I love working. I've worked 3 jobs at the same time since I was 16 until I became pregnant. But if I worked, I would not want someone else raising my child so I'd only work part time. And what I would make would go directly to childcare costs. Even if we put her in daycare on post, it's crazy expensive....so that would be redundant. Plus Id rather actually be present in my daughter's life full time. 

Jordan3312's picture

So i should work just to pay for child care? How would that help? My daughter is 2 months old. Even if we put her in daycare on post, that's almost $800 a month for full time care. This seems ridiculous. Work and everything I make would pay for that and what? Maybe have $50 to spare if I'm lucky. That's crap. I don't have a college degree so it's not like I can get the best paying jobs. And on top of that, my kid will be getting ringworm and pinkeye every week from daycare. My husband's soldiers children are sick like every other day from the daycare on post. I guess we'll figure something else out. Maybe I'll donate plasma or sell an egg. But I'm not leaving my child.

tog redux's picture

Well, it's not just DH's job to provide for the child. So perhaps you can get a job in the evenings when he's home.  Or do daycare in your home.

You are complaining about BM, but not willing to help support your own child.

SteppedOut's picture

Or consider starting to take some college classes so you are able to obtain a better job and more secure financial position... 

You most likely would qualify for a lot of aid to assist paying for it. Actually, it may end up not costing you anything...

Gimlet's picture

Would your in laws be able to help with caring for the child while you work?  Would working off hours from your husband be possible?  

When my daughter was young my then-husband and I worked opposite shifts.  We could not afford daycare either so that worked out for us.  The worst part was pumping during work when she was still nursing and being tired a lot.  

It's not ideal, but it can help to solve the money issue and gives you some work experience in the meantime.  Many companies also have tuition reimbursement, so you could maybe take one class at a time to get some education under your belt.  It's a long haul to raising a child and if you invest your effort in your work skills now it will make life easier as your daughter gets older and her needs become more expensive. 

If you look at the situation as always being ready to be a single parent (physically, monetarily, or both) it will prepare you to handle whatever comes and know you can provide for your child.  Again, not ideal, but sometimes reality.  

You might also want to check into WIC for help with feeding the baby, I believe they cover formula. https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic 

Good luck, OP.

sickofstephell's picture

Working to pay for child care is stupid. If you can be a SAHM, be one. Make sacrifices and live within your means. Child care is expensive. Sometimes it's truly worth it to stay home.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

A lot of military spouses make decent money doing some kind of side job... I know one that does ITWorks (cliche I know) and is doing decent while at home so she can still raise her little girl.  Another does online personal trianing. Films the videos, etc.  I don't know what would interest you, but you may be able to find something similar.  Or my little sister has a call center type job that she does from home right now.  Just something to look into Smile

Disneyfan's picture

Wait, so CS isn't the reason you two are struggling to support your child.  Your refusal to work full time is the problem. Being a SAHM is a  luxury.  Your husband has 2 children to help support.  He needs to figure out how to do that.

 

If the cost of child care is the issue, then apply for subsidized child care.  The fees in those programs are based on income.

$500 a month for CS is pretty damn cheap.

Jordan3312's picture

How dare you. You all suck. I have discussed working on weekends while my husband is home. I am so sorry for not telling you guys every single detail. But I just had a baby less than 2 months ago. Forgive me if I'm having trouble leaving her right away. I know what hard work is. I'm 27 years old and like I've said before, since I was 16 I've worked multiple jobs at the same time. Before I became pregnant, I rarely had days off. How dare you say I'm refusing to provide for my daughter. Me wanting to stay home and raise my daughter is me being a bad parent? That's rich. This is a place to come and vent. You guys are really showing why people are more depressed now than ever. Because there's people like you in the world who suck the life our of others.

Petronella's picture

OP, there are a few regulars on steptalk who only come here to take shots at every OP and tell her she’s wrong. They’re not here to give advice and they often don’t even read the whole post. If someone insults you, just delete their comment so the rest of us who are on your side can get back to the discussion.

MsNiceguy's picture

It's hard to vent your feelings and get responses that don't make sense, but that is usually because we don't know all the backstories and sometimes jump to conclusions because we're just here venting too.  Don't worry about it, you can clarify your story or just move on but I have learned that if the comments do not apply to you move on to the next.  Sometimes someone just "gets you" but most people don't know you.  I think that's the way you should be reading these comments.    Be true to yourself.  If the shoe fits, wear it.  If not, get rid of it.  Don't take comments personally.

NotURMomma's picture

Could you try breastfeeding to offset the formula costs? I understand the need to stay home with a helpless baby. I didn't trust anyone except me, my DH and my mother with my babies. Too many stories of abuse and neglect in daycares.

Can you access WIC for baby needs? Is there any help for wives of men in military service?

Foodbank?

sickofstephell's picture

Just ignore the judgment.  I'm sure many of the women never got to experience being SAHM. Child care or family members probably raised their children, or maybe they never had a child of their own. MONEY will always be there to earn. TIME WITH YOUR CHILD DURING CHILDHOOD won't be here very long. You can always make money in the future, but you can't always enjoy the time you have now with your child. You can't get wasted years back. You can't go back and be there for the firsts that you could miss while you're working (just to pay for a babysitter). I don't blame you for wanting to stay home.

Disneyfan's picture

Being a SAHM when your husband can afford to support the family is great.  Making that CHOICE when you are struggling so bad that you to go to family for financial help is ridiculous.

NotURMomma's picture

I agree! Also, staying home means OP can sleep while the baby sleeps, do 2am baby duty but go back to sleep with the baby etc. I breastfed my two; I was woken up a few times a night for quite awhile. No way would I would have made it mentally or physically working PT or FT. I was already 50% zombie.

NotURMomma's picture

I'm so sorry for your family's troubles. Biohag sucks eggs.

I believe in father's rights etc and that includes the right not to be a father but AFAIK he can't just say "F%ck it!" unfortunately. The state won't allow it because then taxpayers have to pay for Biohag's little bundle of joy, or some sh!t like that. 
 

It is time to play hardball. Do not pay for anything not court-ordered. Do not buy coats, clothes, give any extra $ to Biohag. When MiL whines to you or DH tell her her baby grandchild needs help, too. If she pulls the "poor widdle child of divorce" card then go low contact or no contact with MiL.

 

Daisymazy2's picture

In my state, you can sign your rights away but you will still pay child support unless the child is being adopted.

I think your DH is paying all the extras because he is scared if he doesn't then BM takes him to court for more child support.  He needs to stop all the extra buying and pay just the $500.00 a month especially if that is court ordered by him.  It may still be cheaper for him to have BM take him to court and get more child support than to pay all the extras.  She can take him to court but it isn't written in stone that she will get any extra money.  

When MIL calls, your DH needs to tell her that he pays his child support every month and let it go. 

 

 

Jordan3312's picture

Yes. He would be able to relinquish his rights, but would still have to pay CS. He's paying more than $500, so maybe he could get it lowered to just that. But I'm still doing research on this because this is something DH just brought up yesterday so it's not like I'm an expert. And DH does say that, but then SS shows up for a few weeks with clothes 2 sizes too small and we can't just let him walk around like that. His underwear was leaving red marks around his waist because they were too tight.

tog redux's picture

You can buy underwear super cheap at Walmart and get clothes at Goodwill for a few dollars. And he doesn't have to send extra clothes when MIL asks for them.

This seems wrong to me - yes, the court system is flawed, but how is NOT seeing your kid and paying all that money better than seeing him and paying money? He really just has to accept that yes, he has limited influence at this point, but he's still important.

If BM is a drug user, there's a fair chance the kid will end up needing to live with you guys someday anyway.

 

Daisymazy2's picture

They will not send the child in the best clothes.  They do this because they want the BD to buy clothes.  When he shows up buy a few things from good will and let him wear those clothes while he is with you.  Do not send those clothes to good will.   You can let him take the underwear back to BM's but only one pair and send him back in the clothes that he wore.  Do not continue to buy him outfits to send back to her.  BM expects it and she will NEVER step up to the plate to help.  I am almost willing to bet that SS has nicer clothes and clothes that fit.  

This is a game to BM and it isn't about the child.  It is all about her control and how she can make your DH feel guilty so he will buy more clothes.

NotURMomma's picture

Hambeast pulled that stunt. Also, the clothes that fit from my house would disappear into the piles of mouldly laundry at the Sh!thole.

We had to force Stepdemon to wear the clothes he came in back to Hambeast's. 

Jordan3312's picture

We doubt it. She's gotten 2 aggravated DUIs, had 4 warrants out for her arrest, CPS has been called on her multiple times but those cases have since been closed. My husband has tried to get custody because of her drug use and the fact that she put SS in danger while driving drunk. The court doesn't seem to care. DH wasnt even successfully able to get visitation rights. So at this point we are no longer getting our hopes up. Like I said in another response, I think DH was just feeling defeated yesterday. When it comes down to it, I don't think DH would actually go through with it. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

simple way of getting out of child support, most dead beats would simply sign away their rights. If having had yet another child was considered mitigation, many if not most deadbeats could offer  that as justification as well.

If your husband is so concerned about the neglect and negative influence of the addict/alcoholic with whom he CHOSE to have sex, why is he not seeking custody of his child? That is the course of action that an honorable man would take.

If your husband cannot afford to support the 2 children that he has created,  the decent thing to do is not to give up a child as though it were a bad decision but instead to find a second job.Better to lose some free time  than  to throw away a child for your financial convenience.

It is amazing how many women become labeled as narcissistic, alcoholic, drug addictive, and cheaters as they are being described by their ex as he is pursuing his new ex to be.

Remember the feelings and actions that this man displays in this situation, is the same mindset that he will bring to your situation when it becomes inconvenient for him.

You can delude yourself by saying that you are different than the ex; however, he is the same man with whom the dealt and is dealing.

However  this situation plays out,  there will be only 2 losers his son and your daughter.

Calling the court is not an alternative to getting  a lawyer. If he wants to know if severing his rights will also sever his financial obligations, he needs to see a lawyer not make phone calls to the court house.

Hopefully, the courts will act in the best interest of the  child involved in this very sad situation.

If this man were to leave you tomorrow, do you think that he should then be freed of his financial obligation to your child? 

tog redux's picture

Um- maybe she really IS an alcoholic and drug user? Sounds like he did try to get custody and had trouble even getting visitation.

NotURMomma's picture

Biohag has multiple DUIs, arrest warrant, CPS investigations etc. Biohag is obviously in a Biohag centric state where they leave kids with abusive, neglectful "mother's" rather than give the kids to the stable, sober Dad.

TwelveLongYrs79's picture

As much as I do not like SD or Skankula and I wish that woman would fall off the edge of the earth...

My DH was about to do the same when SD was about 7. Skankula only “allowed” him to see her about three years of her life at that point. Every time he didn’t bend to her will or something happened, he wasn’t allowed to pick up his own kid. Skankula screamed at him to sign over his rights, bc her new husband was going to adopt her, he did more for her than he did, yada yada...and he seriously considered it. I convinced him NOT to...bc SD may need him later in life. 

5 years rolls by with no contact. SDgets sick, Skankula calls and he’s right there. Contact/visits is reestablished. We find out that that “wonderful” BMDH has been physically abusing Skankula and SD. SD is almost failing out of school at 12.

DH goes for EC and gets it and we’ve had it ever since. SD Graduated HS, is working... and doing ok. 

you don’t know what the future brings. I certainly didn’t expect this situation, but that skid may really need his dad in the future. 

Livingoutloud's picture

If your DH struggles to help one child with measly 500 a month, why is he creating more kids? I can never understand procreating while destitute. Why? 

ndc's picture

I do get not wanting to work if almost your entire paycheck is going to child care.  Maybe OP should look into providing childcare, or working at a childcare that will take her child at a huge discount.

tog redux's picture

I don't blame her for that either - but she's unwilling to look at any options other than her being a full-time SAHM mother.

Jordan3312's picture

Not true. I've discussed working on weekends while husband is home. But he will be deploying soon so that will be a challenge in itself when I won't have anyone to be able to watch her. I have no family close by. Military life is a hard one.

tog redux's picture

Military life does seem very hard, I've never experienced it. Are you able to cut down expenses or qualify for other aid if you don't work? 

Petronella's picture

Two months after giving birth is very early to go out and work! However since you don’t seem to be breastfeeding and you guys are having so much trouble making ends meet, I do think you should try to find something on the weekends. If and when your husband gets deployed, you can give notice at the job if you need to. 

I also hope you are looking into any government or military program you and your baby may be entitled to, such as SNAP, subsidied day care for when baby is older, and tuition assistance for yourself.

Good luck.

tog redux's picture

Unfortunately, most women in the US go back to work from 6 weeks to 3 months after birth, depending on their work benefits.  It's not too soon for her to start figuring out how she can bring in some money if they truly can't feed the baby.

Petronella's picture

I’m aware of that. And apparently the OPs former work was as a nanny. So I take it she was never eligible for paid maternity leave or FMLA. It’s tough. I’m thinking a weekend job, even if it’s only for a few months until the husband is deployed again, is the way to go. If the op can bring in a few hundred bucks a month that would get them some breathing space. I don’t know how long the OP thinks she’s entitled to be a non working SAHM  but I really hope she has a plan to better herself and upgrade her skills.

Disneyfan's picture

She said child care would be  $800 a month.  There's no way someone that is damn near 30 years old isn't bringing in much more than that each month.

 

ESMOD's picture

I doubt this will be successful..... but by all means... support him so when he moves on to his next baby mama... he can ditch your child too.

I'm sorry... but he needs to meet his obligations to his child. You should seek employment and I am fairly certain your job would outplay daycare... or what a out you take on a kid or two to watch... since that would bring in more money too.... and you should be furthering your education... many college courses taught online.. so you can get a better job.

 

tog redux's picture

There are lots of men who walk away from a child they had with a difficult ex, and go on to raise their other children to adulthood with a more reasonable partner. None of this means he would abandon this child.

Curious Georgetta's picture

The question is how much of a gamble is the OP willing to take with her child 's future?

If indeed, the past is the best predictor of the future,  this guy is demonstrating a propensity for poor and self serving decision making.

Let us hope that the OP 's child does not reap the havoc and irresponsibility that her father with the support of her mother is willing to sow.

tog redux's picture

Once again, you refuse to factor in the crazy ex, who is the reason he is considering walking away.  Lucky for you, you've never had to experience that kind of pain and stress, and make the hard decisions that go along with it.

Curious Georgetta's picture

lived long enough have been faced with having to make hard decisions   The process is always difficult and often painful regardless of the nature of the problem.

The fact that situation is  both stressful and painful does not mean  that good judgement and proper decision making processes  can and should be put  aside.

I doubt that you know any adult who has not been faced with making a hard decision in their  adult life because of one reason or another.

Only the most arrogant amongst us believe that their situation is so unique or their pain so different from the pain of others that it is understandable to only a select few.

 

tog redux's picture

No - only the arrogant among us think they have the right answers for every situation, even those they've never dealt with. And that they alone know the meaning of "good judgment" and "proper decision-making processes".

Curious Georgetta's picture

have an OPINION on every subject to which I respond. I present every response as my opinion. I in no way suggest that my opinion is anything more than my opinion.

My opinion carries no more weight or value than anyone else's opinion.

The irony is that people are free to ignore any input with which they disagree and yet they would rather be combative than to just ignore that with they disagree.

 

tog redux's picture

I prefer to challenge people who insist on being hostile to new posters.

ETA:  I also notice you don't ignore me. Go ahead now. You can have the last word, which you always strive to get.  

advice.only2's picture

Has your DH spoken with his commander and tried to see if he can get legal support from his command?  I don't see the military being all that happy with him if he just signs over his rights, it could have the potential to affect his advancements in the future.  Also if he signs away his rights, he will lose that bit of money he is getting for his son as a dependant and he will still have to pay CS but now he's brining in less money.

Has your DH considered when he gets his son for visitation, going and filing for emergency custody in his state and then not returning son to BM.   If she's using drugs and has been arrested he can show cause.  

As for you not working, you just had a baby two months ago for christ sakes, you need time to stay home and bond.  But going forward have you looked into the military spouse programs that can help with job placement?  In home child care is an option for people who want to stay home with their own kids.  You can set how many children you will watch and it can give you a bit of extra income until you can get back to work full time.  

Petronella's picture

A lot of people are suggesting the OP start doing in home daycare. Anytime a struggling young SAHM posts, that’s always the go-to advice. I remember getting that advice myself when my daughter was little and we were broke. It can work for some families but not all. Sometimes the home isn’t set up for multiple children, sometimes there’s an adult living there who needs to sleep during the day, etc. 

I agree that the OP and her husband need to find a way to bring in more money, and/or need to be wiser with the money they have. Not sending any more extras to BM would be a good start. 

Jordan3312's picture

I just want to say that none of you live my life. You don't live DHs life either. I do have a newborn so I can't sit here all day and respond to every little thing. But I will say this: 

I don't think my husband is a bad man for wanting to sign his rights away from a child he barely knows who BM is just awful. And after BM made very unsettling comments about our daughter, he wants absolutely nothing to do with her. He'd still be paying child support but it would cut out any reason for him to have to have contact with her. And the money he'd save on "extras" and all the plane tickets he buys to fly and file for visitation/custody/court hearings would more than enough allow us to not live paycheck to paycheck.

And I apologize for not posting every detail of mine and my husbands life and conversations, but I'm not unwilling to work. I've talked with DH about working weekends when he's off. But DH will be deploying soon so that is something I need to factor I when job searching. I dont live near family so it's not like I have help a few miles away. And I nannied for years before I got married. Having that job made me realize, no matter what, I want to stay home with my kid. To those saying that makes me a bad mom, you have no right.

And lastly. Just be better. Theres a lot of comments giving critism in a constructive and empathic way. The rest of you really need to get off your high horses and and realize that just because your situation is different and maybe you and your significant other haven't had these thoughts or conversations, does not mean you're better than me or my husband. 

I hope everybody has a great day. I will not be responding to any more comments because i dont have time to defend myself over every little thing and I don't have to. You dont know my situation fully. And I don't put every single detail out there so many of your comments mean nothing because your assumptions are wrong. My husband has been worn thin by a woman who uses her child as a way to get what she wants and in return he barely sees that child. He just wants her gone. And he feels SS life wouldn't be effected. At the end of the day, it's his decision to file to relinquish his rights. Not yours. 

Petronella's picture

MNo need to get defensive. Obviously none of us knows every detail of your life. We’re responding to the information you’ve posted, what else are we supposed to do? Instead of getting mad and flouncing from the post that you made, why not ignore or delete the mean comments, and try to engage maturely with the people who are being empathetic? 

ndc's picture

OP, if what he's trying to do is cut ties with BM and save on flights back and forth and the extras he provides, couldn't he do that without officially relinquishing his parental rights?  A NCP does not have to take visitation.  There's no reason he couldn't decline to take his visitation, decline to pay extras and choose not to speak to BM.  If they're not coordinating visitation, he doesn't have much reason to speak to BM.  Do they have joint legal custody, and if so, does BM consult him on major decisions?  If not, there's really no reason to talk to BM.  She would have no reason, other than CS, to take him back to court, and she can do that with CS regardless if he's still obligated to pay it.  I could understand taking the permanent step of relinquishing rights if there was a stepparent in the picture who wanted to adopt the child, but without that, it just doesn't seem necessary.

I think it would be better for him to continue to take what little visitation he has, but choosing not to take it seems better to me than the permanent relinquishment of rights.  Things change, after all, and it would be terrible for him to make a permanent decision he might regret as time goes on and circumstances change.

twoviewpoints's picture

I imagine your MIL is fit to be tied with both her son and you.

In one sentence you say MIL cotacts you nagging to send clothing that fits for her first grandson. In another sentence you write that MIL is having to help you financially with formula for her granddaughter, her son's second child.

Jordan3312's picture

I never said nag. And what im referring to for the most part is Christmas and birthdays when I ask MIL what I should get for SS, her response is always clothes. Instead of toys. There are other times when she's tight on money that she calls DH and let's him know that SS needs bigger underwear, more socks, etc. And she does buy him clothes as well. SS is constantly at MIL house so she has clothes for him there, but she never sends those clothes home with BM. So when BM packed for his visit out to us, none of the clothes that MIL bought were there. 

Petronella's picture

So stop asking MIL for gift ideas. Pick out your own bday and Christmas gifts for SS. Five year olds are easy to buy for, there’s a million cool toys out there. You can easily choose something in you price range.? Order it off Amazon and have it delivered straight to MILs or BMs house. No postage costs!

Petronella's picture

MIL is a prime source of the OPs stress. She comes over with the SS, to help with the visits and it just leads to fighting.

Jordan3312's picture

Yes, she is a source of stress. But she doesn't show favoritism with her grandkids. I wanted to make that very clear. 

twoviewpoints's picture

Well, there's a solution to that if MIL causes OP so much stress. 

She can stop asking for MIL's physical help and stop holding her hand out to her financially.

Petronella's picture

Agree. OP and her husband need to find a way to take SS for his visits without MIL coming too. And a way to stop taking financial help from MIL.

Disneyfan's picture

Instead  of viewing  MIL as as source of stress, the OP should view her as a blessing sincenshw is the one helping them when money is tight. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

OP, here is why people are upset:

You're 27, not 17. Your DH has been paying CS and extras for a few years now. You know how babies are created and you had 9 months to sort your finances before quitting your job and losing income.

It SHOULD NOT be your DH's son who loses out in this situation, and that's exactly what will happen if DH tries to relinquish his rights. He will have a child floating out in the world who will fair poorly due simply to the fact that your DH doesn't want to put up with his ex. It's sickening to allow a child to suffer and offer no escape should it be needed/allowed just so DH's life with his "new" family can be easier.

My DH was a teen dad. Former military. Former XW who didn't work and has been one hell of a horrible human being. As much as my DH would have LOVED to scrap dealing with her, he can't. He made the choice to procreate with her, and now he (and I, by extension) has to deal with the financial and emotional consequences of that action.

Your DH doesn't get to just throw his son away to make life easier. You both are too old to play these kinds of games. I'm sorry that you have a newborn, but you've had nearly a decade post-HS to further your education and get a decent job. You didn't, and now YOU and DH have to figure out to provide for your own child without hurting DH's son - which is EXACTLY what will happen if he signs over his rights. And to what, save a few thousand dollars a year? A few thousand dollars that could easily be made up by a side babysitting gig or working opposite shifts?

If you aren't capable of bringing in more than $800/mo then you weren't financially secure enough to have kids. Now that you have one, you're going to have to do everything in your power to feed her WHILE NOT TAKING FOOD OR A RELATIONSHIP AWAY from your DH's son.

This whole mess sounds wholly irresponsible, and many of us on here deal with irresponsible BMs daily. You being a SM doesn't mean we will be supportive of you. This isn't just you having a newborn; this is a vast series of events that have led you to being put in this predicament and it has caused TWO CHILDREN to be raised in poverty. That's an abhorrent situation that many of us won't support.

Even if working full time only brings in $50 net gain per month, that buys 2 cannisters of formula, or two packs of diapers. That still helps your child who you can't feed.

tog redux's picture

OP, I get your husband's feelings. Mine felt the same, not about the money, but about the endless misery of dealing with BM and watching his son be alienated from him. In the end he stuck around, and I knew he would.  There's a lot of judginess going on in this thread. As if none of them ever considered something controversial. 
 

I do think you have no choice but to work though. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Tog, you know there is a big difference between letting it go and not fighting a losing fight AND actively working to cut ties from responsibility because it's hard.

That's my problem. SS is a problem NOW because OP had a baby and can't afford to feed her. OP isn't suggesting that she give her own child up for adoption. But she is supporting her DH giving up his rights to his son, not even so he can have a better life, but so that it's easier on HIM and OP.

I understand BMs who aren worthless as parents, and I understand court systems that care more about a BM's crocodile tears than a child's best interests. But the answer to that is "pay CS, try to get visitation, file contempt when it doesn't happen, and don't offer more money for the kid and enable BM to be a lackluster parent". Not "sign away rights".

tog redux's picture

I don't see that as what he's doing. I see him as fed up with BM and the courts and feeling like he has no relationship with his kid anyway so what's the difference. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

So I go back to, why does that mean he gets to shirk his responsibility? Why does he ACTIVELY have to go and get, in writing, that he no longer has rights to his kid?

I just can't get behind this when the kid is 5. 5 years old. Barely out of toddlerhood. And his dad is saying "welp, this is a sucky situation, so I'm going to nope out of it but leave my son there with no recourse for the next 13 years".

tog redux's picture

For the millionth time, I'm NOT SAYING IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.  I'm merely saying I understand where Dad is coming from.

Have you never ever had the urge to give up when something seemed hopeless and hard?

And yes, I do have empathy for the kid. Newflash - you can have empathy for both parties.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Dad's feelings don't mean squat now that the kid is here. Just like GUBMs don't get to choose a new daddy because they don't like the BD, dad doesn't get to throw it all away 5 years later just because it's "hard" and he can't afford both his children.

The oldest NEEDS dad to be, at the very least, available. He can't be available if he doesn't have rights.

tog redux's picture

Again, try to have some empathy. I'm not suggesting it's the right thing to do, just that I understand the feelings.  The world is not black and white. Dismissing it all as a lack of character is wrong, IMO. 

And yes, his feelings do matter. 

Gimlet's picture

I don't see lieutenant as not having empathy, I see it as making a case for dad to not do something he can't undo, that might have serious impact for the kid later in life.   It sucks that he had a child with an addicted mother, but the fact remains that he is his child and while the barriers to a relationship are high, there are other paths to take that don't involve irrevocably giving up his rights.   He can cut back on any extras, etc, and see if that helps to improve the situation before taking such a big step.

I feel for OP as well.  I know she doesn't want to leave her child, but there are hard choices to be made when you can't afford to feed your baby.  Your number one obligation as a parent is food on the table, roof over the head, and safety.  I just don't think the solution is giving up on a 5 year old completely, no matter how crazy his mother is. 

Goodluck had a good suggestion of serving a couple of nights a week while her husband is home.  Servers can make very good money.

Goodluck's picture

Gimlet...YES servers do make very good money.

Now, those GoldSticker Single moms use that to their advantage..."I only make povertly level, see my pay stub---2.15 or so an hour"....cant pay the light bill garbage I would hear ever single day when I was one...as they struggle to hold the huge wald of cash at the end of the shift."...plus on paper they show very low income thus NCP pays a hell of a cs amount.

 

lieutenant_dad's picture

I can understand the feelings, but what about empathy for the kid who loses his dad who will still be a father to his sister?

Tog, your DH has shown how someone can love their kid from afar and how to successfully "drop the rope/leave the game". It's a crap decision to have to make, and the feelings around it suck (my DH has been there, and would be in the same boat as your DH if BM didn't so stupendously eff up PAS by being so chaotic).

I have empathy for dad being put into a situation where he is losing contact with his son. I don't have empathy for three adults who have put two kids into poverty. That lack of empathy far outweighs my empathetic side. And dad's feelings don't outweigh his responsibility.

But I think you and I will agree to disagree.

tog redux's picture

I totally agree he shouldn't give up his rights. But making it out that he's a piece of shit for even considering it is not helpful.

My DH was planning to move away and never see his son again. He had begun interviewing in the city he wanted to move to. And honestly, he stayed here only because I said I wouldn't go with him. And I don't blame him. There is only so much abuse a person can and should take from another human being, even their own child.

I think this father should just take his 2 visits a year, pay his support and quit fighting for more. But I don't fault him for his feelings of desperation and hopelessness, not one bit.

At this point, with this mother - that child is lost. He won't be a real son to DH with the pressure he's going to get from BM.

tog redux's picture

I have empathy for both sides in this equation. I understand where the father is coming and I do get the kid's need for his father.

twoviewpoints's picture

OP stated in her last blog that the little boy had been to visit Dad for two and a half months this summer and now again for ten days on kid's fall school break. 

OP also stated in her very initial blog here that BM was agreeing to even additional school break visits.

Seems like Dad is indeed being offered a good chunk of visitation being he lives long distance. It's not like the kid is not around his father nor that his father only gets a few days a couple times a year. Seems like he has parenting time. Sure, due to deployments there will be sometimes he can't take the child.... but over the next fifteen years Dad seems to be willing to give up a whole lot of parenting where Dad could perhaps have some influence on the child.

Nope, I'm not judging. He's a big boy now who can make his own decisions.... I just personaly think he'd be making a mistake. If BM is a drug addict and such a rotten parent, why leave the kid to her sole influence? The kid is five, he still has a chance and room for hope. 

tog redux's picture

Well, that does change things! (I really should read past blogs, lol).

I'd suggest he just take his visits and stop challenging BM in court (if that's what he's doing).  That's a pretty good chunk of time to have.  Why did she say he only sees him 2 times a year?

STaround's picture

Once for a long summer visit, once for a holiday visit. 

 

ETA -- long distance visitation is never easy, IMHO, and I appreciate OP's DH service.   IMHO, military service is the ONLY excuse for  moving away from kid.   As the kid gets older, he may be able to connect with dad more

NotThatTypical's picture

It’s a hard decision to make. While I could never see my partner doing it I have a close friend who did. He was young when he had his first two. He had a lot going against him and the mother was not stable. She fully used the children against him and the court wasn’t going to help him. It was hard to watch him play her game and finally all he could do was walk away.

He is now an amazingly devoted stepfather and has a few more of his own. He will never forget his first two but not only did it hurt him what the mother was doing but it also hurt the girls. He has left it open that should they ever wish to find him they will be able to and he understands he will have a lot to make up for.

In the end it’s only your partner who can make the choice. If he’s open to it he needs to read the book Divorce Poison. It was written for exactly this sort of situation and offers advice on what to do up to the point he’s at and gives advice on how to handle it should he go through it with.

tog redux's picture

Agreed. It's a personal choice and until you've been in his shoes, don't judge. 

Goodluck's picture

OP---Daycare on post IS VERY expensive. Even though they price it on pay grade----it's nuts and not affordable.

I am guessing you qualify for at least WIC...right? IF you have not applied---go apply. I read your nursing BUT you will have vouchers for a lot of food items that will help lower  your grocery bill.

About your dh's decision to request tpr.....Unless a lot has changed, the states (all states)  only concern is who is going to support the child. I know of zero states that allow a parent to give up their rights without an adoption in the wings OR guardianship placement/kinship care. IF dh doesnt pay his support the state may have to step in an support the child. IE, welfare For that reason---giving up rights is not simple.

What he can do is tell mom he not accept his visitation 2x a year. He can Keep the child on Tricare and let mom play her games with someone else. I say this because it sounds like mom is not bridging a relationshp what so ever between son and dad. Its a story heard over and over again on here and various other sites.

IF you have a very high conflict bm----you should expect her to say YOU cant do that, YOU have to see your child...YOU cant give up visitation...YOU cant you cant YOU C A N T.

Yes you can. Zero overnights wont UP his support much since you wrote he sees his boy only 2x a year....you can look at the cs calculator on line. CS is based on overnights and HIS income.

It is known as dropping the rope. Since bm's have already kept the child from dad either by court order min visitation or interferences WITH what little visits he does have...NO amount of money or court dates pleading your love for the child will change what she will continue to do...that is until the child is 18 and no money is coming in to Gold Sticker Mom bank account

... Then it changes,  magically the now emancipated kid re-appears...OR with Pathogenic Parenting it is unlikely the now adult kid will return.

The decision, what ever it is IS never an easy one.  Normal range people (mentally normal range) DO NOT keep kids from their x.  They just do not---and they are NOT high conflict.

Stop asking MIL for gift ideas....your 27. MIL should be talking her adult son, your husband. NOT you by the way.

Last---you can work as a server at a local cookie cutter joint...Applebees, TGI Fridays...and make a killing over the weekend. Pick UP a Thursday, Friday, Saturday---Average shift is 4 to 5 hours...if you get 4 tables IF your a decent server you should get at min 5bucks per table tip. Thats 20bucks an hour in your pocket. VERY low end.  I knew people who worked at AB...they were walking out with 5 to 6 hundered for the weekend.

I served years ago 100bucks a night was the norm. Tell who ever is hiring you that you cant work Sundays for religious reasons...Sundays never pay because the church crowd wont tip. Then you at least have Sundays with your dh and baby.  ANd you wont be stuck on the schedule for Mothers Day or Easter, Palm Sunday---again sundays are awful to work.

GoodLuck

 

 

Petronella's picture

OPs husband is home on the weekends and can stay home with the baby. Op working might enable them to stop needing money from the toxic MIL.

sickofstephell's picture

Giving up his rights to a child that he helped to create is NOT the right solution.

BethAnne's picture

I am not sure I would have any respect for a man that would rather forego his responsibility than find ways to make it work.

OP I'm sorry you have a child with this man, that must make it harder to leave him which is what I would do if my husband gave up his legal responsibility towards his child. 

If your husband is just wallowing in self pitty with no intentions to follow through on this then you need to tell him you undersand that the situation is hard but that giving up is not the answer then you two need to sit down and work out a plan to cut expenses, bring more income into your household and continue down the legal route to get better access to ss. If you cannot see a way forward yourselves then ask for help. It is possible to improve this situation it just requires some planning and effort and changing the way that you two do things with a view to a better future. 

In the short term it might be hard and it may require sacrifices that you would rather not do, but if you literally cannot feed your child then you need to do something to improve your situation. If I were you I would come up with a short, medium and long term aims to improve your situation. Short term you need more money for food. That is your and your husband's priority. Once you have improved that situation then you can start to focus on medium and long term goals. Even if your husband does give up rights to his son, I doubt that process is quick or cheep. So your focus has to be on improving your imediate cash flow issues for now. 

Cooooookies's picture

Okay here are some neutral suggestions:

1. CS will have to be paid no matter if he keeps his rights or not.  Stop fighting BM, no more court, no filing for anything, just keep paying the CS.

2. HOWEVER, stop paying a dime over CS.  Your DH, unfortunately cannot control what BM actually does with that money.  He CAN control not giving her anymore.  He can control addressing the fact that he pays it and what it should be used for.  Every time BM or MIL asks for additional money, he responds "That is what I pay CS for, BM should be using to suppy Little One with xyz and abc."  Same response, every time, then stop responding.

3.  Keep the visitation.  It is what it is.  He travels, he's military, he's the NCP.  Most NCP's do not have much of an impact in the way of parenting. Especially when it's with a high conflict, difficult BM.  However, it's better than no contact at all.  She is still his daughter.  Don't let him throw that away.  Children are a gift.

4.  Get a part time job.  Sorry OP but it is possible.  We all have choices, they might suck, but they are there.  Even if it's 2 shifts on the weekend waitressing, DO IT.  Use that tip money to buy food.  Do your part.  It may seem small but it will make a difference.

5.  Watch school aged children after school during the week.  Not sure on the US, but here in the UK, there are way less rules if the kids are aged 8+.  As in you can watch as many as you like, less paperwork, less guidelines etc. than infants and toddlers.  Give them a cheap easy snack and set pick up time to be 5.30pm so they eat dinner at home.  Most families in the US have both parents woring so childcare is always needed.

6.  If his daughter needs a few bits of clothing in the few days per year she's with you, go to Goodwill.  Go to a school or church clothing resale and get a few bits before her visit.  I was born and lived in the US for 35 years.  This is how I shopped for my son until he was older.  It's super cheap and you can resell them when she goes back to BM's.  It's so little per year it wouldn't be a great burden.

7.  Disengage.  You can't control what BM does in her household anymore than she can control your household.  It's not ideal, it's upsetting and it's not right but you have to hope for the best.  If child services get involved, you may get her full-time.  All the more reason to work and get yourselves in a better financial situation.

8.  Look into government subsidies.  If your household is low income, apply for food stamps, subsidized daycare so you can work, etc.  It is better to get help than to not provide for the family.  Look at it as a short-term solution.  Come up with other ideas to improve your situation.

Take it little by little day by day.  Good luck.

AlmostGone83's picture

Here’s my advice:

1. Your DH should not give up rights to his kid. How terrible for that kid to grow up knowing Dad bailed on him when he was only 5 so that his new daughter could have “what she needs”. It is selfish IMO and what father just abandons his kid with a mother he knows is unfit because it inconveniences him? I would have no respect for a man like that and I wonder what MIL or anyone else in the family would think of you for doing that. I know everyone in our families would give us the side eye if my husband did that and I cheered him on. Also, thank GOD he will  still have to pay CS if he does decide to because the taxpayers should not be making up for him not supporting his kid.

2. Why are you having kids you can’t support? You’re almost 30. Long past time for you to grow up and be responsible. You’ve put yourself into quite a situation now by doing nothing over the past ten years to improve your earning potential and you insist on continuing to be dependent on your husband/MIL/taxpayers to fund your children. If I was in your situation, I would be DESPERATE to figure out a way to financial independence. Working and taking courses, a few at a time. Even a two year degree in the right field could be very lucrative for you and as others have said, based on your income, college could be free. Wouldn’t you feel better earning a decent wage, knowing you have the means to provide for your child on your own should you need to instead of scraping by each month and resenting a 5 year old? 

3. Your husband sees his kid enough to warrant staying in that child’s life. Ideally you’d be able to fight for more time but right now it’s better than no time. As that kid gets older I’m sure he’d rather know that although military life made things tough, his dad did the best he could to see him as often as his job/BM/the courts would let him, rather than just abandoning him to life with an unstable mother. 

4. You should be grateful your ILs are helping you financially. You say your husband feels guilty about getting help from them, well you are also getting help from them. It’s not just your husband’s job to provide for the kids. This isn’t the 1950’s. It’s yours as well to provide for your own daughter. 

5. Other posters have given you lots of great advice and many viable options available to you - many of which I myself never thought of. The choices open to you at this point may not be ideal, but well that’s just too bad.