To limit contact between ex and DD(23 Posts)
I haven't done anything yet, but I need advice on what to do next and figured if it was too big a step than a bunch of strangers would be more than happy to let me know.
Ex DH and I split when DD was 2, ten bloody years ago and although we struggled with co-parenting at first by the time DD was 5, we've had a brilliant system in place, we live a 10 min car ride and about a 20 min bus ride away from each, so DD has always spent a week with each of us and then we swapped holidays on a yearly basis, so If I got her for February half term then he would have her for that particular break the following year.
We have a joint account specifically for DD, that we each put an equal amount in every month that's used to pay for anything DD needs, toys, bedding, clothes etc if one of us can't afford to do so, we let each other know, which has happened to both of us in the past and then we only start contributing when we can afford to do so.
DD is 12 now and has always been very close to Ex, she's very much a tomboy and they spend hours talking about things I will never have an interest in. For the past two years they've been fixing up a car together, their little project and DD has been so invested in it, no one else is allowed to touch the stupid thing.
Over the summer ex began a relationship and his new DP has two boys, a teenager around 14 and a little seven year old. Ex DH has always been a great Dad until October.
He was suppose to take DD out to some Halloween party and cancelled on the day, at the time I though it was a one off, so didn't kick up a fuss and took DD myself.
DD has keys to both houses, so after school she takes a bus to whichever house she's staying in for that week, Mid November three days into her stay with her Dad, she arrived back at my house, when I asked why, she said ex doesn't show up till around eleven and is gone by the time she wakes up, so didn't see the point in staying there. I texted ex and he showed up that evening, they had a chat and they went back to his place.
At this point I realised he hadn't contributed anything to the joint account for November, but I figured he was strapped for money, so didn't bring it up. No incident after that, until Christmas. Ex had DD for a week, and then she arrived at my house after boxing day, complaining of everything, they didn't do anything, go anywhere or even work on the car etc I ignored it as it's honestly not my problem if she's having fun or not.
A day later DD was in a right strop, it took all day to find out why. Ex had gone on holiday with his DP and her kids the day after DD had left and the pictures were all over his Facebook. I was pretty damn annoyed but didn't get involved. Asked DD later in the week, if it was all sorted, she said yes, as he'd explained that he couldn't afford to pay for three kids and the DP's kids have never gone on holiday. I was fuming, DP's kids aren't his priority and if he should be paying for anyone, then it's his own child but kept my mouth shut, as DD seemed okay with the reasoning.
Ex spent the past few weeks being very unreliable, cancelling last minute, not showing up at appropriate hours when DD is at his house, that I felt no choice but to deal with him, this was about two weeks ago, I told him DD was his priority, to stop bloody cancelling, to show up at a decent time when she's at his house and to either start paying into the joint account or at least let me know if he couldn't. I was very frank and blunt and he seemed to have got the message, he was sorry and just busy with new DP and her kids and would start contributing in March, as money has been tight lately. I thought good, we'll see an improvement.
No improvement what so ever! He's actually gotten worse, he's never around when DD is at his house and this has now extended to the weekends!
He was suppose to have DD for this half term but called and asked if he could cancel as he was sick, I believed him and said fine, then this afternoon DD became very upset, she was on Facebook and for some reason she's online friends with ex's DP's oldest DS who posted pictures of a very healthy looking ex and him working on DD's car !!!!! I don't give a crap about that car but it means the world to DD and I could just see the heartbreak all over her face. I'm absolutely fuming, I'm sick of him doing this to her, the car isn't even the biggest issue, it's his lack of utter care for DD, she's only 12, she can't spent entire weekends alone!
I'm seriously considering limiting contact, maybe even cutting it off completely for now, but I'm not sure if thats just the anger talking.
I don't know about stopping contact but clearly the 50/50 thing isn't working for now. Your poor DD seeing pics of him working on the car... she must be really upset.
I'm not really in favour of kids calling the shots on whether they attend contact or not, but clearly the current arrangement isn't working for her. Do you think that maybe he would set aside time for just the two of them if she was with him less often? do you think you could ask him outright if the current arrangement is working for him (probably best to do that out of DD's earshot since it wouldn't be very nice for her to hear that he wants to see her less) and whether he can propose an arrangement where he'll actually be around to see her?
Oh God, I feel so sad for your daughter. I don't know what would be best but it isn't fair for him to treat her like this.
Where is he when he's been out all day and not seen her much on his week? In work, or out with his gf/her kids/mates?
I don't think you will have to limit contact, I think ex is engineering that all by himself.
you both need to work out new contact arrangements so that dd isn't sidelined
@LilacAndLovely He's with his DP and her kids, they always seem to need something and he's apparently the only human being around that can do it, he always swears he thought it would be a quick trip but its always hours long and his DP's car broke down around December, so he now drives her youngest DS to school every morning, which is why he's gone when DD wakes up. Why are other people's children more important than his own?!!!
My goodness, this isent on, I woukd have another big chat to him, pull him up on his appealling behaviour towards dd. Dd is now old enough to decide on her contact, so ask her what she would like to do. She is finding out what an arse her dad is!
First the holiday without her, now her car, she really is being a shut isent he!
So when she was there after school she was alone until 11pm, then went to bed and when she got up for school he was already gone? I'd not send her to be on her own. Is he definitely coming home at night? Is she alone all evening and night? There really is no point in her going. He seems to have made his choice. How hurtful for her. He's effectively abandoning her for another family. And she knows it.
I would add that this is a safety issue too - being alone for that long at 12 years old is not safe.
What an insensitive selfish cunt! Plastering photos of his new squeeze's dc working on the car all over FB? My heart breaks for your poor dd. It's disgraceful behaviour on his part. What is he thinking?
As he's reneged on your informal financial agreement claim through the CSA and choose the 'collect and pay' option.
With regard to contact, your dd is old enough for her wishes to be taken into account and I can't imagine she's going to have any interest in seeing him until his regains his senses and realises that his first loyalty is to her.
I suggest you give him considerably more than a tongue-lashing and verbally shred the tosser - if you don't feel up to it, I'll be happy to volunteer my services. Twunt!!!
@ricketytickety Yep, she's pretty much alone the whole time, he does go home as without any supervision she stays up as late she likes and only goes to bed when he shows up, so they do see each other for like 5 mins as she gets ready for bed but that's it.
@Vim I have no choice but to ask him what he wants to do now, as it doesn't seem like he cares about her at all. 50/50 is off the table as far as I'm concerned but I'm not sure if he even cares enough to want to see her anymore.
@Goddess I am completely ready to rip him to shreds the first opportunity I get. He didn't post the pics although that really doesn't matter, his DP's DS did, which I think makes it worse. I don't even understand why he's being like this, he loves her to bits, he'd hate it when he was even a little bit late and now she's irrelevant to him.
DD adores him and I can just see him weaselling out of this by giving her some stupid excuse, but I'm not having it, either shape up or get lost, there's no in-between. I think regardless of what happens, I'll certainly be going down the CSA route.
I don't think that you should limit contact.
It sounds like he is already doing that and you doing the same will make it even worse for your daughter.
However, if she wants to reduce it, that is different.
I would let him know that she has seen the pictures and how hurt she is.
And yes, I totally agree that CSA is the way to go.
He is behaving appealingly. I woukd sit down and ask dd what she wants to do, as she is alone for most of the time. I woukd not send her, if she is alone, what's the point.
appallingly aero... (unfortunate typo) <awaits someone to correct my spelling>
[pot, kettle, black]
She should not be going there after school on her own if he is not there and there is no adult in the house. (Is his partner there or is she living somewhere else still.) does she have to get her own food etc?
I would make it very clear to him that he will damage the relationship with his DD beyond repair if he carries on like this. Children are not stupid and she will see through the excuses before long. It is clear that she is no longer his priority.
Your poor DD, I feel very sad for her, the holiday and the car - just terrible. At 12 she is still too young to be alone for that long and for that I would be going spare! I would be having a few choice words and giving him some ultimatums.
That might be what he wants, you to go (justifiably) ballistic, rip him a new one and cut contact.
Then he can rewrite history and paint himself the victim of a spiteful ex and a child that rejected him. While doing exactly what he wants to do, in a now guilt-free, "poor me" state.
I'm no expert, I've only ever been the daughter in the equation, haven't had to face this as a parent... but I think rather than contact him, ask her what she wants to do for now. Underlining the "for now".
And then see if there is anybody on the pastoral side at school she can talk to. They can't do much to sort it out. But I remember it being helpful to at least being able to put the pain of rejection into words with somebody who wasn't my parent. Becuase I was very aware of my capacity to hurl petrol on an already sparky fire. It just felt "safer" to speak to somebody not related to me.
I'm so so sorry. For you having to see your little girl being so hurt. For her, becuase I know that pain. And I wish there more on the table than a chat and changing her visitation schedule.
If I could reach throught the screen, shake him till his teeth rattled and beat into his head the sheer unthinking selfishness of making a little girl feel suddenly unloved and unwanted, I would.
Thanks blackeye, I always have trouble with spelling that word . Yes I would rip him one, his behaviour is unacceptable! I would also tell him, that if he does not improve his behaviour towards dd, you will not be sending her, as its also a safety issue. I would also ask dd what she wants to do about contact, and support her. I think the scales are falling from her eyes, and she is seeing her dad for what he is! She must have felt awful seeing those holiday photos of her dad and his "new" family, and her dads partners ds working on the project that her and her dad work together.
to be honest if i knew my child of twelve was left alone after school she would not be there that is more worrying than the holiday or car issue thats a safety issue .poor little soul
Yes I agree being left alone, effectively abandoned by her 'father'. Nice! She is still too young to be left alone for that length of time. Its really neglect.
How selfish and cruel of him! Were I you I would spell out to him in writing (in case you want proof later) how unacceptable it is to leave her alone for those hours. Separately, again in an email or letter, I would spell out to him how cruel his behavior has been and how it is impacting on her well being, especially the always being late/her coming second, the car and the holiday. Nice and clear and well recorded in case she decides to cut contact or it gets worse.
The other thing I would do is make her life with you as happy, relaxed and special as you can. She must be feeling so low and worthless at the moment, make her feel important. Can you take her out to a show, an overnight stay somewhere she would love? Plan a weekend away together so she has something to look forward too? Theme park? Ice skating? Or if you think she needs to be at home and nesting something at home where she is spoiled. I have been in her shoes and it really helped to have people who thought I was the best thing since sliced bread.
As regards the money would going through the CSA be an option? There may always be a more pressing demand? Am I right in thinking in a couple of months it will be half a year with no money?
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