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Thomas Ravenel Says Not Being Married Is the Most Challenging Part of Fatherhood
The #SouthernCharm dad opened up about the difficulties of co-parenting with Kathryn C. Dennis.
Thomas Ravenel became a dad for the second time last November when Kathryn C. Dennis gave birth to their second child, son St. Julien Rembert Ravenel. Though Thomas is enjoying fatherhood, it hasn't been easy raising St. Julien and his big sister, 2-year-old Kensington Calhoun Ravenel, with Kathryn since the two are officially no longer together.
"The biggest challenge [of fatherhood] is not being married, you know, having to co-parent, particularly in South Carolina where the laws are such that the mother is in complete control of the children, and you're basically at her whim when it comes to seeing your children," Thomas told The Daily Dish. "You know, she's not having a good day, she can just say, 'You don't get the kids this week. Or next week. Or the next month. Or the next two months.'"
Thomas said he had been seeing Kensie and St. Julien for three days every other week, which was then reduced to two days every other week, and now he said he's not seeing them at all. "That's very depressing because I love my children, and I worry not necessarily for myself but for them, particularly Kensie because I think young girls need the attention of their father. I think they draw a lot of their confidence from their father, and if I'm not there giving her the facetime and the love that she needs, she may later feel a sense of rejection from men, and I don't want that to occur. I want to be there to love her as much as I can," he explained. "And also, I want to be with my son. I want to hold him."
Earlier this month, Kathryn told The Daily Dish that Thomas had not been paying her child support. "That's simply not true. I was giving her $2,500 per month. She stopped paying her rent, so we sent her a letter and said we're going to pay your rent of $3,100 in lieu of child support. Child support is a technical term set forth through a legal document, which we don't have," he said. "Normally, we would have a custodial agreement whereby I pay her 'child support' and I would get custody. Right now, I'm getting zero custody, and she's getting $3,100."
Thomas said he would like to sign a custodial agreement with Kathryn where she would receive more money from him every month and he would have joint custody of their children. He said Kathryn has yet to respond to his offer and that he would be open to hearing a counter-proposal. "But I don't want to sit there and negotiate with myself. The ball's in her court to make a counter-proposal, and we have been waiting for that," Thomas said. "My only other recourse would be to go to court, and I loathe to do that because of the damage it could do to the children and the publicity associated with that."
Of course, we have seen Thomas and Kathryn engage in some heated conversations about their children on Southern Charm and via social media, but he prefaced talking about his relationship with Kathryn with some kind words for her. "First I just want to say, Kathryn is the mother of my children," Thomas said. "You know, I pray for her and I support her and I will always be there for her."
But overall, Thomas said his relationship with Kathryn is not in the best place these days. "My relations with Kathryn presently are a bit strained, but we have a responsibility to get along. We have two children to co-parent, and that's going to require that we are friends and that some of the bitterness that we both feel towards each other subsides for the children's sake," he said. "So I look forward to our relations improving. Right now, there's a bit of a cold war going on, and I'm hoping that will thaw soon for the benefit of our children and for our own sanity."
He's also hopeful that they will be able to put their differences aside and raise their children together in the future. "I think I will be able to successfully co-parent with her," he said. "I have a moral obligation, a sacred obligation to make it work because we have two children together. And so, it's not a matter of is it gonna work; we're gonna definitely make it work. I'll do anything within my power to make it work."
Ultimately, Thomas said he just wants what's best for their children and Kathryn. "I just want to resolve it," he said. "I want to see my children. I love my children, and I want to be supportive of Kathryn, the mother of my children."
Ever wonder where Thomas and Kathryn got their unique baby names? Find out, below.