Dad needing advice

(57 Posts)
Bouncybear Mon 17-Mar-14 09:12:17

Hi,

I'm a Dad (non-resident parent). Some of my contact with my son is by Skype. Yesterday I found out that the ex has been recording my Skype, presumably waiting for me to trip up and use that against me.

I am not happy that the ex is recording Skype because it is an unreasonable invasion of my private conversation with my son. I feel harassed by her doing this. She said that unless I allow her to record the sessions, then I am not allowed to see my son on Skype.

Am I being unreasonable to tell you I don't want Skype recorded?

WilsonFrickett Mon 17-Mar-14 10:33:02

Yeah, but it's not about you, is it? It's about what's in the best interests of your son. If having a full and continuing relationship with you is in his best interests, then you fight for that.

I have no patience for the 'can't fight a battle I'll lose' shit. Doesn't your son deserve your best efforts? Or is it more about poor you... Because it feels like you are looking for an excuse to duck out of this 'fight' to be honest.

Parenting is hard. The sooner you realise that and stop making it about your poor hurt feelings, the better you will do at it. And, I suspect, the better you'll get on with your X.

HauntedNoddyCar Mon 17-Mar-14 10:33:33

I don't think she can use recordings she has made without your consent in court. She could actually get into trouble for it and it wouldn't be admissible.

Why should you give your consent? I'd be very upset if someone recorded everything I say to my dc to pick holes in.

TillyTellTale Mon 17-Mar-14 10:35:15

Are you an MNer on a wind-up, doing a parody of a self-centred 'father'?

I want to be there for my son. But the ex is pushing me away by insisting that she invades my private time with my son

Seriously? What kind of parent would let being recorded "push" them away from having contact with their child? Be honest. If you're not there for your son now, it's because you're looking for excuses to back out and claim it's your ex's fault.

HowManyUsernamesAreThere Mon 17-Mar-14 10:36:11

As BlackeyedSusan said, you could argue on the context of the "daddy loves you more than mummy" business - ie, read literally, you love him more than you love his mother.

But that would be a bit silly.

Yes, in my opinion she's recording it to potentially use it against you some day. Why else would she, rather than perhaps just listening in sitting nearby?

But as others, such as Pootrouble (lovely name) say, have a word with your solicitor. Keep calm and hope she'll get bored.

MeepMeepVrooom Mon 17-Mar-14 10:39:51

Kind of more about your feelings than those of your son...

Is it not better for you and your son to know you did your very best to remain in his life than to pull the plug because you might lose? You might not, unless there is something major you're neglecting to mention it's unlikely you'll have zero contact. Any contact would be better than none surely?

I'm sorry to be harsh but don't allow your self pitty and pride to take over. Do you have direct contact? If not why not?

basgetti Mon 17-Mar-14 10:40:06

What was the context of this comment? It seems unlikely that a nasty remark like that would just be randomly slipped in to an otherwise positive and loving conversation.

jacks365 Mon 17-Mar-14 10:40:46

Legally she can't produce the recording in court but she can produce a transcript then on that the judge could request the recording.

Is this your only contact with your son?

crazykat Mon 17-Mar-14 10:41:10

If you're worried about her using that one thing and not the rest then you should record the Skype conversations. Then even if she could use it, you have evidence that it was a one off comment that you realise you shouldn't have made.

The point in fighting for your son is to prove to him that you care. Even if you do lose now, in future your son will be able to see that you did what you could. I very much doubt you would end up losing contact over one comment no matter how wrong it was. There are parents who deliberately turn their children against the NRP yet still get court ordered contact.

MsMischief Mon 17-Mar-14 10:41:45

I would be incandescent if someone was recording my conversations with my own child.

However if someone was pulling the 'Daddy loves you more than Mummy' shit I wouldn't want them damaging my child further. If I was in your child's mothers position then I would record you and use it against you. If you didn't say twaty things I imagine she wouldn't record you.

<pulls splinters out of arse>

As for not fighting in case you lose - get over yourself!

DoJo Mon 17-Mar-14 10:42:43

I am fighting for my son, but I also don't want to fight a battle I'm going to lose.

Why not? Isn't it worth it?

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 17-Mar-14 10:45:22

No, no, no. Your ex isn't 'pushing you away from your son' you are making an active choice to back off. If you are making a choice to not have any part in your son's life, own that decision and don't bullshit about anyone else 'forcing you' to do anything. You are way too focused on what you imagine your ex might be saying, to defend your inappropriate comments, in order to justify your 'mistake'. Then trying to pin your choice to not do what is necessary to be a positive, active, part of your son's life on someone else.

You are coming across as a spineless, immature person, thinking that it's fine to do what you are choosing to do i.e. not bother with your son, just because you can't face up to criticism of your parenting? Why choose that option instead of seeking out a parenting course that would help you understand how to put your son 1st? Show your ex and any court that you understand the severity of your 'mistake(s)' and will make every effort going forward to ensure that your son's interests are at the heart of your parenting.

If there is one thing I deplore it's spineless parents who think it's fine to just walk away from their child rather than do whatever it takes to actually be a parent.

HowManyUsernamesAreThere Mon 17-Mar-14 10:45:58

Alright then. I don't think you're being unreasonable to ask for Skype to not be recorded. To me, it totally does say "I'm waiting for you to slip up with an off-remark and when you do I'll have evidence and I'll bury you in court". I can't think of any other reason why she'd be recording it.

However, your communication with your son must come first. Don't do anything to risk it. Have a word with your solicitor and, if he can get the Skype recording to stop, by all means.

I would also suggest that YOU record Skype as well. That way, if anything does go to court and the context gets muddled up, you've got your own clean recording.

Cabrinha Mon 17-Mar-14 10:50:00

Well if it's not a battle worth fighting, you're a poor excuse for a father.

I don't hold with this "mistake" stuff, either.
My ex is an arsehole, I haven't and wouldn't in a million years tell my child I love them more. In fact, when I've been told I am top of the love list (quite into lists at the moment!) I am scrupulous about saying brightly "what about daddy?!" to let my child add in "oh yes, and I love daddy number one too".

THIS IS ABOUT YOUR CHILD.

Frankly, I think I'd want to record my ex if he said that AND I felt I couldn't trust him not to pull that bullshit again.

Bouncybear Mon 17-Mar-14 10:51:44

I will fight to get contact order through courts. But I will insist that it is not recorded.

qazxc Mon 17-Mar-14 10:53:16

Ask your solicitor about it.
Meanwhile I would not let the fact she is recording conversations stop me from having contact with my son. Without you saying or doing anything out of place how can she use it against you?

TillyTellTale Mon 17-Mar-14 10:55:11

And there you go again: "insist". This is about what is best for your child, not what big male grown-up wants. You don't have a right to insist.

Your ex is completely right to record you by your own evidence. Get a grip, and be an actual parent.

Hint: that means prioritising your child.

MeepMeepVrooom Mon 17-Mar-14 10:55:51

You're not answering any of the questions so I suspect a whole lot more to this. You can insist all you like. Legally she isn't doing anything wrong providing she's told you its being recorded. Just checked with a solicitor at my work.

Monetbyhimself Mon 17-Mar-14 10:56:03

You lost the right to insist on anything when she overheard you emotionally abusing your child.
So own it, apologise for it and assure her that it will not happen again. And make sure it doesn't.

almondcake Mon 17-Mar-14 10:57:35

My view on Skype is that it is an online activity, and while my children are under my supervision, I should be able to monitor what they are doing online. I think a child would have a reasonable right to privacy on a phone call to a non resident parent, but on Skype another person could attempt to contact your son while he is on Skype to you, and a responsible person would monitor Internet use.

If a young child is in the mother's house, she is responsible for the child during that time and there is no private time/your time with the child just because they are online or on a phone. And the mother is not interrupting your calls. Your time with the child is when the child is physically with you and not her.

Quick question -

Why are you so bothered/ upset about being recorded?

Think it through. Why is this making you want to go to court? It sounds like you have an issue with the ex - but why would you let this affect your contact with your son?

Yes you might think she is playing games, but maybe she is doing it to protect your son from hurtful comments?

Also - what is she going to achieve by recording them?

If you are a good dad, who doesn't do tihngs he shouldn't, she won't have anything 'on you', nothing to use in court, and therefore won't have anything but a bunch of bloody useless recordings.

My advice - focus on your relationship with your son. Let her do whatever she wants to do unless it starts to conflict on time with your son. Then start fighting. But as long as you are having tims with your son and being able to maintain your relationship then why would you want to go to court?

WilsonFrickett Mon 17-Mar-14 11:02:29

The concept of 'private time' with a child is quite weird too. If you were together it wouldn't even exist really - DH and I do things separately with DS of course, but there's no 'private time' because we co-parent together. Your DS isn't a possession to be carved up between you... but that's an aside.

Bouncybear Mon 17-Mar-14 11:08:19

giantpurplepeopleeater I think your post sounds most reasonable.

I guess I could just go along with the recordings. Then she will just have some useless recordings.

TillyTellTale Mon 17-Mar-14 11:11:32

I was thinking that, Wilson. I naturally overhear most of what my husband or the grandparents say to the children, and vice versa. Only exceptions are when one of us is at work/out and the other is in sole charge.

The fact that I'm not interacting with them in complete isolation from any other relatives doesn't "push" me away from my children.

HowManyUsernamesAreThere Mon 17-Mar-14 11:12:34

Good God, "daddy loves you more than mummy" is amounting to emotional abuse now? Give me strength. Chances are, unless the topic creator is saying stuff like this all the time and acting really sweet and sickeningly good-natured, this will be in one ear and out the other for the child.

Yes, I think being recorded on Skype is unreasonable. I can't think of any other reason other than she wants to use whatever she hears to score points, as you said in "the ex said this was terrible and something she will show the court." She's basically said herself this is why she's doing it - to collect evidence to incriminate you. That being said, if you want to go down that route (or if nobody else will do anything), there shouldn't be anything wrong in you recording Skype as well, so nothing can be used out of context. Make sure that your ex knows.

Above everything though, don't risk your access.

Bouncy - I honestly think this is the right thing.

I have watched (with my recent ex) a couple get so caught up in fighting with each other, worried about what the other is doing, that they don't see how they bring their child into their disagreements and how much it affects him.

I'm not saying that is what you are doing.

But focus on what your son needs and what you want out of it - time and access to build/ continue a relationship with your son.

If you can get that without going to court then all the better! Court is horrible and it is difficult not to get subsumed in 'fighting' with the person you are trying to co-parent with.

The best thing you can do is to try and get along with your ex so that you can co-parent your son. If she tries stupid things to wind you up, or you feel she is 'out to get you' cover your arse by recording what happends yourself - but leave her to it. Why bring conflict?

If it helps any, I am in that exact situation. Whenever ex doesn't like something (like not being able to have DS at the drop of a hat) he gets all arsey and goes on about court blah blah blah. I just ignore it till it blows over. Which it eventually does. And it means we don't get in an endless round of fighting and he-says she says crap.

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