Montice P.

Family Formation Alum

When 29-year-old father Montice P. enrolled at FFSC, he wanted to understand his rights as a father, learn about child support and begin seeing his son regularly. Although active in his 10-year-old son’s life, Montice and the mother were not on the same page when it came to co-parenting.

Communication breakdowns, hurt feelings and ongoing resentments between the two caused problems and impacted visitation. He professed, “I was willing to do whatever it takes to see my son Mason regularly,” adding that he worked multiple jobs to afford child support. After enrolling in FFSC’s six-week Family Formation program, Montice felt a powerful fellowship with other fathers around him and credited the program for providing a space to share the common struggles of fatherhood: “Being around other dads and hearing their stories really brought perspective to my challenges.”

Communication skills and listening tools learned in class helped Montice make a new beginning with the mother and repair the relationship. Class facilitators helped him understand that it’s okay for parents to have different parenting styles. “Eventually, communication between the mother and I went from hostile to more open,” he explained. “I learned how to diffuse conflict between us.” FFSC’s parenting classes taught Montice the critical role fathers play in the emotional development of their children. He learned new skills to help support Mason’s emotional well-being as he matures: “I show my son through action that I love and care for him. I try to help him see what a positive role model looks like.”

FFSC’s legal team explained how child support payments are determined and Montice’s rights as a father to Mason. “I had no issue when it came to paying child support, however, I never understood the process until FFSC explained it. They helped me understand my rights as a father in Missouri.”

Today, with a more amicable co-parenting strategy in place, Montice and Mason enjoy plenty of time together playing basketball, videos and swimming at the YMCA. To better support his son long-term, Montice is actively pursuing new career paths by attaining his commercial driver’s license (CDL) from St. Louis Community College while working at Busch Stadium to support his family. “I’ve got the motivation now to continue moving forward being the best parent and provider I can be for Mason.”