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#771817 - 05/23/16 05:03 AM How do I help my kids
mom23tots Offline

recently joined

Registered: 05/23/16
Posts: 1
Loc: Ohio
I separated from my STBX almost two years ago, via a civil protection order for domestic violence. I was finally financially able to file for divorce recently and it will be final in July. After the CPO was put in place, my STBX moved out of state and there has been no contact. Even though he was given supervised visitation, he has chosen not to exercise visitation (because he has to pay for the court supervisor and he refuses to pay to see his kids). My children are 8 (not his biological child), 4, and almost 2 (she was born a month after we separated, he has never met her).

My 4 year old has a lot of behavioral issues that we are working through with counseling. He witnessed most of the abuse and was the target of some of it as well, and it's done a number on him. He never brings up his father, never asks about him, only makes comments about him when someone else directly asks him about daddy.

My 8 year old is autistic. He never met his biological father, has only known the STBX as his dad (we started dating when my son was a year old). He has had a really rough time with the separation. Since he also witnessed the abuse and was the target of some of it, he understands that Daddy hurt us and that was why he had to leave. He knows that Daddy has not come back because Daddy doesn't think what he did was wrong. But as he gets older, he desperately wants a dad, even one who was abusive. He gets really emotional at times and cries about his dad. My mother, trying to help, has tried to explain to him that some day he would have a new daddy. He has no understanding of time and wants that time to be now. He doesn't understand the concept of marriage/weddings (he's asked me several times recently what those things are), so I don't know how to explain divorce to him.

The boys don't know anything about the divorce yet because I am just not sure how to tell them what is going on. I am so out of my element here, I just don't know where to go. I would love to get into some kind of support group for myself and the kids, but there just isn't one that is meeting in our area right now, so I'm stuck. Any advice or suggestions? I am all ears.

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#771818 - 05/24/16 10:45 PM Re: How do I help my kids [Re: mom23tots]
Annie7676 Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 933
Loc: NY
From what you posted the STBX moved away and has not seen the children for awhile. If that is so, is there a chance he wants to see them now? If not, I would set that aside.

If he has been gone from the family for awhile I would work on getting the family unit on track by seeing a counselor or mental health professional. If you can't afford it there may be resources in your local community that can provide some assistance.

At their ages, I don't understand why they need to be told what is going on. If your X abused the boys with violence, then that speaks for itself. Fathers do not and should not do that and when they do there are consequences, like being removed from their lives because of safety issues. There should be zero tolerance for that and your boys may need professional help to work through that. I am not criticizing but having someone tell a small child that someday they will have a new Daddy is probably not a good idea.

It sounds that a professional counselor or someone trained in this will help you. Life goes on without Daddy, Mommys' can make a good home/life for children.

Good luck.

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