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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010-02-19

3yr old and relationships

My little girl will be 4 years old this year. Her dad and I broke up not long after her 1st birthday. He was emotionally and physically abusive as well as a serial cheater. The last time he cheated he told me pack my bags and leave his house which I did. Since then I have dedicated my life to my child, she lives a good life. I may not have everything material in life but I have enough and most of all I have my life and I have my child. Her father and his family are not part of her life as he told me that he wont be liable for a child that he didnt want from day 1. I have accepted that and rebuilt my life. I am alone in this province, all my family is in another city. Last year I moved into a new block of flats and although I know people its not enough for me to leave my child with them. Fortunately my boss understands that financially I cannot afford a nanny so when I have to make trips to where he is, I am exempted. My friends are married and live there own lives. I do not have a car and cannot expect them to fetch us everytime. Its been a long time since I dated, and decided to give it a go. Unfortunately I have no where to leave my child as I have a full time job and so does the guy who is interested in me and we only get to see each other at night, and she is present. My friends tell me that I am doing the wrong thing by allowing my child to meet this man if I am not sure of how long he is going to be around for. I understand this and I dont want her to grow up thinking that its okay to date lots of men, but the only option I have is to bring the guy home or give up my life completely and concentrate on my child. I love my daughter but how long do I have to give up my life. I have looked at all options but there is nothing else I can do. Am I a bad parent as my friends are saying I am?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Whether he wants or wanted the child it totally irrelevant from the legal point of view, as I'm sure the folks at the Maintenance COurt will tell you. A Court would still consider the best interests of the child, and would be very likely to require him to pay maintenance for the child. And once the court has ordered that, it is difficult for him to evade payment.
And maintenance is not tied to the issue of visitation etc - he must pay towards the costs of his child, whether or not he wants to or is allowed to, visit her.
Maintenance could help, as it should include an allowance towards the child's transport and the costs of someone to help look after her.
I don't see any necesary problem in letting your child meet a man friend of yours, so long as you don't encourage her to have unrealistic expectations of where the relationship might go, until it is very clear where if anywhere it is going.
You are NOT a bad parent, and if anyone says you are, they are hardly either accurate, well-informed, or a true friend.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: D | 2010-02-19

I Agree totally with CS, get him to pay maintenance and then you can afford to either send her to creche or get a domestic/nanny.

Reply to D
Posted by: D | 2010-02-19

I Agree totally with CS, get him to pay maintenance and then you can afford to either send her to creche or get a domestic/nanny.

Reply to D
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-02-19

Whether he wants or wanted the child it totally irrelevant from the legal point of view, as I'm sure the folks at the Maintenance COurt will tell you. A Court would still consider the best interests of the child, and would be very likely to require him to pay maintenance for the child. And once the court has ordered that, it is difficult for him to evade payment.
And maintenance is not tied to the issue of visitation etc - he must pay towards the costs of his child, whether or not he wants to or is allowed to, visit her.
Maintenance could help, as it should include an allowance towards the child's transport and the costs of someone to help look after her.
I don't see any necesary problem in letting your child meet a man friend of yours, so long as you don't encourage her to have unrealistic expectations of where the relationship might go, until it is very clear where if anywhere it is going.
You are NOT a bad parent, and if anyone says you are, they are hardly either accurate, well-informed, or a true friend.

Reply to cybershrink

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