My Ex Favors One of Our Kids, What Should I Do?

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"My ex-boyfriend and I have two boys. Here is a little back story, he was abusive verbally and physically and cheated on me regularly because I wouldn't give him money since it would go to bills and the kids so he would find a woman who would give him money. Fast forward 6 years since we have been split up, I took him off child support because he never paid, and honestly, even though some might not agree I just do not have the time or patience to be going back and forth through court my problem is not about the money but he outright favors our oldest child to where my youngest son notices and it hurt him, in June my youngest son turned 7 and never got one phone call to wish him a happy birthday today is our oldest sons birthday who turned 9 and tonight I get a message on when he can take the boys to celebrate his birthday, I was pissed not only because you completely neglect one child but you also have not sent a message to see the boys since the beginning of June! I have tried the co-parenting thing, I have even given him money to take them to dinner only to find out the boys split a happy meal and "daddy" kept the rest of the money. My boys should not be used to broken promises but they are. I heard after the last 1-hour visit with dad "he says he is going to buy us a toy next time, we know it's not gonna happen mom, so what's for dinner, we are starving". I try to be a bigger person and not bash their father and even though they are young they are coming to their own conclusions especially since Ian said something to his did about the way he ignores David and that it was not fair and again dad brushed it off. How would you guys handle this? Courts do nothing. Except push me to get child support yet he still won't play and I would have to go to court every 3 weeks because of it and I do not have time being a single mom and working full time. For the record, I have full custody and he just gets visitation that is supposedly once a week from 3 to 8 however he asks to see them every 4 to 6 months for an hour."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"That’s hard… it’s not fair that one child didn’t even get a happy birthday text or call but another is getting taken out for his birthday. At the same time you also have court-ordered papers saying he gets visitation. So, if you do deny him the time then he can take you back to court. Sounds like he wouldn’t, but to be petty he might. I would tell them he can come pick them all up for this dinner, but he better include the other child as well & what he did is unacceptable. Either call and wish all your kids a happy birthday or don’t call at all. I hate when parents play favorites."

"Take him for child support and put it in a savings account for the kids. I never once had to show up to court for it. However, my ex doesn’t pay but I do occasionally get a little something here and there and it helps. Also, I’d absolutely stop enabling him. Don’t give him another penny. And don’t push him to have a relationship with the kids. He doesn’t deserve it. Protect your babies and their hearts. If he makes an effort on his scheduled days fine. But don’t enable him, and be honest with the boys. Some people have awful priorities, and they’ll regret that later."

"Stop allowing these people to be half-assed parents. Stop it. If they show they don’t want to be in their lives stop letting them come and go as they please. As mother’s it’s not our responsibility to make sure they’re being good fathers. If they can’t do it on their own, cut them off."

"It sounds to me that the older one has it under control by calling his dad out for his neglect o the other. You are raising some honorable men there mom. Great job. They see what he is doing. Talk to them about it. If they don’t want to go they will tell you. They see him and his abuse. Let them know that it is and they don’t deserve it. Let them know you are proud of them. I am. God bless y’all."

"Go to court get child support set, it ain’t for you, it’s for your kids, you don’t have to let him see them, set the child support, then get him out of your life…"

"When it comes to child support some states will garnish it from wages so they raise the support our like taxes and such then you get the support through the state, might be worth liking in to. As far as making him a better parent, you can’t do that. All you can do is be there for your boys let them say what they want leer let them know it makes you feel bad, sad, angry however you feel about his neglect then reassure them that it is his loss he is missing out on terrific kids."

"Will it sounds like before long your problem will be over. I would stop any communication with him if it did not involve his visitation. I would explain to the boys that you can not stop or correct his bad behavior towards them but you have enough love for the both of them to make up any lost. Good luck and God bless."

"For the child support once it’s set isn’t that it? If he pays it or not why would you have to go to court every 3 weeks? I’m not sure what else you can do, talk to him about it if you think he will listen. Otherwise, if his visitation is court-ordered you have to let him have it if he communicates he wants it. I would make him put in all the effort to see them for his visitation. You could try going to court for supervised visitation but it doesn’t sound like he sees them much anyway. You could just not respond to him at all and let him take you to court if he even will. But be careful in case you are going against the court order."

"Stop allowing unsupervised visitations! If he’s going to act that way and put in zero effort then he does not deserve to just do whatever he wants and how he wants it regarding your boys. Set up supervised visitations and if he wants to see them and spend time with them he will come and make the effort! If not then it’s not really a loss since he’s barely seeing them or making an effort as it is! As far as the unfairness you need to be straight up with him and tell him that he needs to treat his children equally!"

"Stop listening to anyone here bout child support, you took him off for a reason and don’t need to put him back on. Keep doing what you’re doing and just be there for your boys. The truth always comes out and it’ll be no one’s fault except Dad"

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