Post # 1
Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Long story short, I have one of the worst “deadbeat dads” you can imagine. Parents divorced very young, and he spent most of my childhood in and out of jail. Once I was old enough to see how toxic he is, I cut off all contact. I haven’t seen him in five years, and we haven’t spoken on the phone in two.
But since I’m his only daughter, he really wants to see me. He calls all the time, but I screen his calls and just don’t answer – he’s done enough wrong to where he should know that I don’t want to talk to him. He also lives several states away, and doesn’t know where I live anymore.
But now he’s calling my parents house, asking why I w on’t talk to him. He also said that he’s been put in jail three times recently, because he owes me over $90,000 in child support and the state wants him to pay.
Let me be clear: I do not want his money. I have a good job, and what I really want is nothing to do with him. Is there any way I can tell the courts, “forget about the money, I don’t want it” (because I know he will never pay, and I don’t want him to feel entitled to a relationship with me). I feel like then he would have no reason to contact me – how can I make this happen?
Any advice is welcomed!
Post # 3
What state do you live in? That will make a difference as family law is different from state to state.
First off, I doubt the child support is owed to you. It is owed to your mother/parent. So, you cannot untether him from the child support obligations, nor should you. Your family had to deal with raising you without his support, and while it is unfortunate that he has been jailed for failure to pay, it is still his obligation.
Second, his paying or not paying has no impact on your visitation with him. If you choose to see him, fine. If not, he cannot make you. Only a judge can. If you are legally an adult, it is unlikely even a judge could make you.
Again, depending on the state you live in, it will change how to go about ensuring he does not contact you. In IL, there are several different types of civil orders that you could start to get him to leave you alone. If he is not threatening you, however, your options may be limited. Most ‘protective orders’ require something more than an annoying relative. You should start by telling him to stop contacting you. Then, if he continues, he could be guilty of telephone harassment.
As far as him contacting your childhood home, please have your family tell him to stop calling. They can then pursue the same course as above if he continues.
Maybe he needs to hear you tell him you don’t want a relationship with him. IDK, but good luck!
Post # 4
@Steinberg: Thanks for your response, Steinberg. I do understand that my mother and step-father had to pay for raising me and that it is money owed to them. However, they don’t want the money either – although they did raise me, they make significantly more than him now and I don’t think they would accept the money. We all just want him to leave us alone.
As for visitation, I don’t believe that’s an issue. I’m 23 and haven’t seen him since I was 18. I don’t intend on ever seeing him again, frankly – as he’s a terrible person for more reasons than just child support.
I will look into the telephone harassment. Because he’s not actually threatening me, it will be a difficult case to make unless I actually tell him to stop calling. *sigh* I know that’s something I need to do, but we have a very complex and turbulent relationship, so just picking up the phone will be a challenge. Perhaps I could write a letter?
Thanks for your advice – I didn’t know if there was anything I could do. I do feel bad, but he made his bed and now he has to lie in it.
Post # 5
I am not a licensed attorney, but it is very likely that your dad and mom can jointly petition the court to reduce or completely waive his past due child support payments, which would mean he wouldn’t owe anything. If you’re interested, you should either talk to a local attorney for more specifics in your state or ask the court’s clerk’s office if they have any standard petition forms your mom could fill out. Your mom would probably have to show up in court to tell the judge in person that she does not want or need the money.
Can you and your mom just change phone numbers? Courts take a long time and even if you were able to get some kind of court order against him it’d be pretty hard to enforce. Unfortunately, the police usually don’t have the time to personally track someone down to make sure they stop harrassing people.