Dad leaving teen for long weekends, lying about it

Sorry, two typos there (well more, but these are worth correcting).

My son was using alcohol while visiting with father’s FAMILY, not with dad, that I know of.

And no, he’s not “blowing” my four-year-old! GAWD, that would be worse. He is blowing her off. Apparently, his new lover is way more important than spending time with his children.

I get it. You know? He’s in love or lust, whatever. But wow, what does this mean or how can this affect custody? I want SOLE custody of the youngest, since he has shown so little interest in her since she was born, and I want to prevent the corruption he has caused with the older two of my children.

ANY suggestions are welcome. I’m really blown away by this.

I was blown away just reading!! I’m so sorry you’re having to cope with this. I would be furious if it were me and my children were staying with their Dad under those arrangements. Sure the son is loving the freedom of no limitations! What AMAZES me is that the Dad thinks this is OK parental behaviour. In MY OPINION, this is negligent and very selfish parenting. I have left my 13 year old alone at home during the day (like for teacher workday), but NEVER overnight.

I have no advice other than to keep records of everything and try to get some type of custody agreement set up. You’ll probably have to go to court as I’m sure he won’t sign anything. In this case, I would strongly fight to have primary custody and be firm in having your son stay with you. I hate to think what could happen to your son if he continues to live with his Dad in this manner. It sounds like there are already problems arising that need to be nipped before they escalate (drugs…). Children at that age NEED rules and boundaries—even if they ■■■■■ and scream and moan and groan and ‘hate us’.

I wish you the very best, and keep us posted.

Oh gosh, THANK YOU for your reply. So I am not nuts, as he insisting?

I do want to clarify something. My son IS a good kid. Mr. Straight A Honor Roll, Sportsmanship Award twice in his baseball league, the darling of every teacher he’s ever had, to the extent that a couple of teachers have contacted me to tell me just that–not complaints, but, “Wow, your son is so great! What a leader” etc.

But yes, you’re right, the drugs thing. I was a good kid too. A lot like my son, but my parents went through a horrifying divorce (but this is way, way worse in comparison) and I was so messed up as a young adult as a result.

You mentioned getting a court order, etc. My goal? I’m so sad as I write this, but my goal is to have SOLE custody of both of these children. Not out of vengeance. No good comes of that; I’ve found that out myself. And it’s not out of selfishness; heck, I’d love to have down time, safe in the knowledge that Dad has both children and the weekend is all mine, to do whatever I want, even if it’s just changing all the sheets and listening to music and reading. But this?

Oh, someone, please, help me. Hear my scream for the welfare of my babies. I know I sound so dramatic, but this man corrupted my older daughter (from a former marriage, that husband deceased), and although I loved him, and I fought so hard to make it work and wanted it to work, I know it can’t, and I cannot ignore this outrageous incident. As we speak, my son is once again alone for a few days.

I"m going to copy Mr. Father’s most recent email to me, just because I want to, I don’t know, show how arrogant and irresponsible this is. It has eaten me alive since last week. THANK YOU FOR YOUR MORAL SUPPORT. I"m really lost and scared. My children are, like yours, precious, in the literal sense of the word. I’d never leave precious METALS open like this; I cannot get inside the head of someone who would leave a precious child open to all that can happen in such a situation as this.

And yes, I agree with you, about A DAY or an EVENING alone. But extended weekends? No communication? And then this? Here’s the latest email message, and believe me, I kept it very short, very civil in my communication to him, something like this: }I don’t condone this, no. Yes, I believe you have a right to enjoy your life and I am glad that you are, but this must never happen again."

Here’s the email chain:

My first email to him, doing the best I could to veil anger I felt:

<<I’m not going to get into this with you right now. I just want it cyrstal clear: I do NOT condone this. And I let you know that before. And you outright lied to me, telling me he was staying with friends. I’m not angry, but I’m really, really concerned.

Yes, we both know he is a good kid. We both agree on that. Totally self-sufficient? I don’t think so. No one thinks a fourteen-year-old is self-suffienct . . . to the extent that you are doing this.

That’s all I’m going to say. I don’t approve of this and I let you know ahead of time. You have a duty to be upfront with me when it comes the welfare of these children. We both do.

Yes, L can come hang out with you. Of course.

And thank you very much for bringing her bike by.

Oh, while K has down time this week, and before school starts, you might want to consider that he ought to come over here and start packing up his room, if he is indeed moving in with you. If you guys are planning a move early September, NOW is the time for him to get that stuff done. You really shouldn’t put it off, esp because he’ll be in school by then. He can have all the privacy he wants. I’ve picked up some boxes for him.

One more time, I don’t condone what you are doing, and I do wish that you would think this over a bit. Try considering what your reaction would have been had I done such a thing, okay? >>>>>>>

Home, he did very well, place is clean, he had no

problems, that Nols
course really paid off he is an independent self sufficient
young man that can
definitely be trusted. Will be leaving town tomorrow two
more days, he will be
fine, he knows what to in any case, emergency etc. will be
back Thursday or
Friday. Will be working Saturday and was wondering if I
could see [little girl]
Saturday night and she can spend the night. Let me know,

In a message dated 8/17/2008 9:15:45 P.M. Eastern Daylight
Time, writes:

I’d really appreciate that. Just concerned about
him. When WILL you be back.


************ then this today, which I just ignored. ****************

K and I will be moving this week and next and by early September. He will need to get into your apartment and start to pack. The sooner I get set up the better. Lets make one thing clear, if you want to be the sole guardian of K as you were you need to make that arrangement once again. Otherwise we are managing just fine…

I will once again be out of town till Thursday, Please refrain from making scenes with police etc, I dont see where any of that is necessary, it only creates more problems. K is managing very well.

Is it me and wishful thinking that the line about “if you want to be sole custodian” sounds like he might be ambivalent, after his FIRST week of single parenting? I just don’t know what to make of that.

And this line about involving the police and making a scene? I called and asked for the ON CALL social worker; the police asked me to explain and then THEY decided to send officers to the home to check on my son. Keep in mind, if you are reading this (and I realize this may be really boring, just too much drama) that this guy has had multiple issues with the local police for domestic violence issues. Is he threatening me?

I really need help from other parents and if an atty can respond, even better. I just cannot fathom that this kind of neglect can take place and as the mother of this boy, I am powerless to do a thing about it?

That might also explain why I am up at this hour. I can’t sleep. I’m really worried.

ANY help, suggestions, anything is welcome. Please. And thank you very much to Coming Clean for the feedback. Help! I don’t want my so-far, so-good child to turn down the delinquency road, like I saw happen before. This guy is blind, but worse arrogant. He really insists that he is a great parent and that I am off my rocker for trying to insist on some rules, respect, etc.

God, I’m really hurting over this. And so, so worried.

Thanks to anyone who can offer ideas, insight, support, advice. I’m dying here.

I would have to agree with comingclean2. I myself was left alone at home during the day in the summer at 13-14 while my parents worked. There’s no way they would have left me alone overnight. Make sure that you keep records of all of this.

This is from the NC DSS web site in the FAQ:
“What is the legal age when a child may be left home alone?
There is no age specified by law that a child can be left alone in North Carolina. Parents and caretakers must look at the child’s maturity, the safety of the community, and access to emergency assistance. A child may be mature enough to stay alone, but not to care for younger siblings. If you are concerned that a child is left alone and is unsafe, call your county department of social services.”

I had a friend who left his 16 year old alone for a few days but had told all of his friends to “drop by” frequently to check on her. But that was only two days and she was 16, had a vehicle, and her license.

I’m confused about who has custody here…with shared custody you should have more say in the matter. If this were me and I knew he was going to be out of town then the arrangements should be made that the child/children stay with me until he was home. That should be in an agreement. If you don’t have an agreement to this affect then I would contact the local authorities every night that the ex is away from the home. Have them go by and check on the child and don’t be concerned for what the ex thinks is you “making a scene with the police”. Your concern is for your child. Not whether or not the ex has problems with the police. Not whether or not the child is “managing” but whether there is a responsible adult supervising. Your concern is not that your son is mad at you but whether or not he is safe and taken care of. Clarify the custody situation and please either consult an attorney and get this situation under control. Don’t let it continue…

If there is no custody arrangement in place and your son’s father is leaving him in an unsafe situation, then go pick him up. Have you considered getting your son some therapy so you can address these issues?

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
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My fourteen-year-old has been gone almost all summer on trips. His father has not seen him for more than a couple of days all summer, till this week. My son arrived home on Tuesday, and after some very sad and heated discussions, I agreed that he can go live with his father–hoping that eventually my son (who was adamantly refusing to live with Dad at first). So, son got home Tuesday night, is angry at me for silly adolescent stuff, and refused to even speak to me. Okay, fine. Normal nonsense.

Well, Dad has now begun a secret romantic relationship which he is stupidly attempting to hide from me. I don’t care–honestly. It’s the LYING that bothers me. So son comes home, after being gone all summer long, and Dad takes off Thursday for a SECRET trip, not telling me, but enlisting my son to lie to me, not to take phone calls from me, not to answer emails, etc. When I figured out that Dad was out of state, I called police dept, asking for social services, to no avail. The Cary PD came out, and were really nice, but said, hey, even ten-year-olds in this state can be left on their own becuase the law is so vague. They called Dad, left message, but his phone was turned off. Called my son, asked for a return call–nothing.

When i sent text message to Dad, saying HEY I FIGURED OUT YOU ARE OUT OF STATE AND OUR SON IS ALL ALONE AND IT"S NOT OKAY WITH ME!, he lied, and sent back a message: “K is staying with friend for weekend. No law was broken. You are wasting everyone’s time, good night.”

My older daughter (a legal adult) finally got Son on the phone Saturday, who confirmed: yes, he is ALONE over there and enjoying himself.

Okay, so I’m angry, yes, but what in the heck can I do about this?

Then to make matters worse, I had no idea where he was (also have a preschooler who was supposed to spend weekend with him this past weekend, no response when I emailed him about that before this whole thing began–just nothing). I mean, what if the things we all are so afraid of happened? Where is this guy? No one knows.

Then, to make it all worse, he finally responded to my emails today. I made them short, nonjudgmental (Yes, fine for you to have a social life, but this is not okay with me; I’d like some better communication, etc, blah blah). His response: The CAMPING trip my son took this summer has made him a totally self-sufficient human being who knows how to handle any emergency . . . and he’ll be leaving TOMORRROW! again for two or three days.

I’m completely outraged. We have no custody arrangements, have never been married. This is a sixteen year relationship with two children, a LOT of drama ( he’s bipolar, unmedicated by his own decision), he has a history of domestic violence and unstable behavior, etc. He also corrupted my older daughter when she was a teen, supplying marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes behind my back.

I do not think he will do that with HIS child (it was fine to that to MINE, whose father was dead), but still, this guy is really upsetting me. He is manipulative to an outrageous degree with all my kids (he’s the guy who keeps handing out cash). I was hoping that if I just let my son go live with him, perhaps he’d see the light and come back where things are more stable. And I’m not an idiot: a teenage boy raised by a man with a MAN IS KING attitude is going to rebel against his mother. However, my son and I have always enjoyed, until this past spring, a very good relationship.

So, what can I do about this? My son is a good kid, but I do know that he’s also experimenting with alcohol, or did this summer while spending time with his father. He has also told me–adamantly–that he intends to try marijuana. Sure, he’s having a blast having a virtual bachelor’s pad all to himself, feeling his oats, I guess, but this not healthy at all. And the lying and deception is just as harmful as everything else.

Any suggestions? I do not want to force my son to come home (he’s not even moved out yet) because I know what happened when I had to step in and be the “bad cop” with my older daughter. I am, however, extremely concerned about the damage being done.

I’m trying really hard to keep my cool, not show any anger, and all of my email communication with Dad has been straightforward: I do not condone this. You have a responsibility to communicate with me about the well being our children, and since this boy’s own mother and 26-year-old married sister live in the area, there is NO reason at all for this lack of supervision.

My ultimate goals are to get custody of both of these children, but I have to play this very carefully right now, since I am still financially dependent on him.

ALso, what about how he’s just blowing my four-year-old?

Anyone have any ideas how a judge will view this?

Sorry if this is too long. My head is just spinning and I’m just really upset and worried. Thanks to anyone who can answer legal questions or give advice about how to handle this with the parties involved.