To refuse DC's father access?(25 Posts)
EX h and I have 3 young DC.
We've been divorced for a few years, he had an alcohol problem and was emotional abusive to eldest DD.
All was well between us at first, although he introduced DC to 4 of the 6 GF's he had in the first 6 months, one of who left weed lying around his house.
He then moved in with my mother (who took his side through the divorce) but has now bought a small flat.
I am in a serious relationship and am 8 months pregnant. EX has been in a serious relationship for a year.
I realised he had been massively underpaying me child maintenance and now owes me over 1K which I have had to write off. He has done numerous other underhand things which would be long and boring to detail. We have been having problems arranging access, he has them a few days a week but puts them in childcare most of the time
He has been completely stonewalling me for the last month, sending the DC without their coats or shoes (I collect them from school rather than his house) and refusing to answer any of my messages when I request them.
He refuses to reply to important messages about the DC ( I don't speak to him otherwise) both when they are with me and with him. He just completely blanks me.
I am now heavily pregnant and his behaviour is making me feel ill. I feel like just not sending them back to him but obviously I wouldn't actually do this because it would only upset DC...
Just want some views really..
It's not really your call though, is it? You stop access, he'll presumably go to the Courts to seek access, who will consider what is in the best interests of the children, not what's in your best interests. And I know that there is no relationship between maintenance and access - the two things are considered completely separately. Agree you need legal advice - it does sound horribly stressful.
Thanks, I wouldn't actually do it unless I felt they were in danger or he wasn't competent to care for them properly. I just bloody feel like it.
He's making life really hard and I think he's doing it on purpose.
I can't afford the £600+ for mediation at the moment (perhaps is I had the money he owed I could ).
I think I need to get an hour with a solicitor.
What contact arrangements do you have currently and have they been formally agreed in anyway???
How is he sending them to school without shoes?
You can't of course stop access as you say, though it sounds like he is being an arsehole deliberately.
I'm curious about the important messages he's ignoring though... I only have one child, and I certainly send "don't forget school disco she'll need to bring clothes to school" type messages... But honestly, it's once in a blue moon that something actually IS important to have a reply.
If it's about contact arrangements, formalise it so you don't need to message about it.
I recommend using a shared calendar (iPhones for us) as you can put in events and notes and times without actually messaging each other. Works for me!
No they haven't been formally agreed as can't afford the court costs at the moment.
They only have their school shoes, no wellies or normal shoes. DS in in a pair of old wellies and other DC on their pe daps today....
It's things like 'DS has a school play on Monday you need to get the costume, can you let me know when and if you've done it" no reply. "Please can you let me know" no reply "DS is getting upset he might not have anything to wear please just a yes or no" no reply.
Or "DC don't have coats and it's raining, can you drop them into school" no reply.
Or "DD needs secondary school uniform, it costs a couple of hundred pounds, can you contribute?" No reply.
One of them was "I have a consultants appointment at X time so will need to drop the DC off on time today, will you be there?" No reply
Needless to say coats were never dropped off and DS still doesn't know if he has a costume.
Okay if there is no formal contact arrangement at all then you could go down the route of refusing contact to force him to take you to mediation.
If you have a regular contact arrangement in place (same days/nights each week) then stick with that and just do not have any contact with him at all - even about the DC etc. assume you will not do anything regarding costumes etc.
I would advise the school that he is not sending the DC to school with appropriate clothing etc and that you suspect he may be doing it deliberately as he refuses to engage with you and the DC are suffering. The DC will, unfortunately, have to just make do with whatever shitty hand he deals them because you need disengage with your ex completely.
Do you think it is deliberate? Does he have a history of being controlling or abusive towards you in other ways?
Or, you could pick up the slack to make sure that your young children aren't going without. That's what I've done. I shouldn't have had to but why should they suffer just because they have a father who lets them down. It must be pretty shitty for a young child to have one useless parent and one that just shrugs and says "sorry, kid, it's your dad's fault".
I wouldn't be leaving my children distressed about costumes, coats or whatever else. I'd sort the costume. I'd buy a cheap pac-a-mac type coat and ask them to make sure they kept it in their school bag. The only shoes that go between houses are their school shoes so they always have casual shoes here.
The school are highly unlikely to want to get involved in stuff like this. A court wouldn't suspend contact because of it.
Accept you can't rely on him for anything. Stop asking him things. Stop expecting replies.
He sounds like a douche, but stopping contact would be unreasonable, it would be the children who suffer most in this kind of situation.
Thanks all. It's more a case that he has sneakily forced his contact nights up to three a week. I have them for four nights and all through the holidays.
He's done this so he can pay less maintenance. I don't feel he deserves to have them the extra day as he uses childcare rather than actually seeing them and clearly cannot parent properly anyway.
At the moment he is away with his gf, I imagine spending the 1k he owes for his DC, who incidentally don't get to go away this summer
Sorry if I'm ranting, heavily pregnant, stressed and hormonal.
How has he sneakily forced his contact up?
Also, unless he's on a particularly high wage, he's likely to be paying out more in childcare and food costs than the saving he would get in child maintenance.
He told me he wanted to start spending more time with them and also start taking them to a club they'd been desperate to go to first thing on a Saturday morning.... He was nice as pie about it and I felt it was the right thing to do to agree. Neither things every materialised.
He uses my mother as free childcare. She is not allowed access to DC via me for various reasons spanning decades. she pays for transport and food.
He's emotionally abusive, but was only physically abusive once. He hit me during a row while we were separating. The police were called but as there were no witnesses he got away with it. He still maintains to everyone who'll listen that I made it up. I didn't.
You don know that maintenance is calculated over the number of nights for the whole year averaged out per week???
"He's done this so he can pay less maintenance"
The reverse way of looking at it is you want to reduce contact to increase the amount of maintenance you receive.
Obsessing over motives isn't really helpful in these situations.
'DD needs secondary school uniform, it costs a couple of hundred pounds, can you contribute'
Couple of hundred pounds? For a blazer, skirt shirt and jumper. Think I managed all that for 50 quid.
If the dc are happy you need to accept his crap ways, get the school costume yourself. Dont text him when you know he will not get back to you. It's hard and I'm not saying it's right, but you need to resign yourself a bit rather than battling with him. Make sure the dc know (how old are they?) that they must have shoes, coats etc ready to take to school when they stay with him and then come back to you.
You obviously can't rely on him, just stop giving him the power to get to you. Ignore his holiday. Your dc will grow up seeing exactly the sort of person he is. Stop stressing and concentrate on keeping well and healthy.
Thanks. The uniform is pretty specific and there is only one shop that sells the main bits, it was £34 for one poorly made polyester skirt!
C3pu - he told me this himself, that he couldn't afford the extra maintenance if he had them a day less. I would be happy for him to have them if it was for the right reasons and he was actually spending time with them.
I think you need to start keeping records.
Record each time they go to visit him, what time they are collected what time they return. Who they spend time with while they are there.
Any times he fails by not providing the correct clothes for school, homework not being done etc.
If he turns up late, especially if you have informed him of the need to be on time. Then don't be there with the children. Prepare a back up baby sitter (or take them with you) and he can collect them from there.
34 quid for a skirt?? Is it a private school and if so do you need to review that. If it isn't tell school you'll get it online from asda, how specific can a polyester skirt be.
How old are the dc? Give them a checklist to put in their school bags so they know what they need to take to school when they've stayed at his house.
I know these are just examples of probably lots of shit things, but my point is cut right down on reasons to contact him, he doesn't get back to you and that in itself is stressing you out.
I know this isn't going to be what you want to hear but you both sound as bad as each other. Clearly he does several things that are irresponsible and infuriating, but also you seem determined to see everything he does in the worst possible light and to fight with him over every little thing.
Yes it would be nice if he contributed towards costumes and uniforms and the like but he isn't going to, so stop asking him - it's only creating stress.
If you know he doesn't return shoes and coats then only send them with one cheap pair of shoes and one cheap coat - he can hardly drop them off at school barefoot
And he isn't "using childcare" he is taking them to visit a grandparent. You may not like her but unless she is abusive TO THEM no court is going to shorten his contact just to stop this.
Skirts can be that much our catholic secondary school has changed from plain navy skirts where you can get anywhere to blue tartan skirts which have be purchased from them. Annoying for parents as they push the costs up, blazers can be expensive aswell with the school logo on.
My DS is in primary school and it costs 80-100 to kit him out , my DD cost 60pounds and she's three that's about 140-160 for two kids OP has three to cloth. If you can get it for 50 for an older child where do you shop I'd love to know.
OP do you get some maintenance? I would put some aside for uniforms. I get maintenance and use it for the uniforms I wouldn't ask my ex to contribute as he buys one set for his overnight so I would imagine your ex will be buying one if he's dropping them off would need his own set anyways.
As for the coats I would just get a couple of cheaper coats there's loads in the sales at the moment that can be kept at school as another poster suggestion. For the costume I rarely ask for Ex to contribute in the such things I think for the four years he's been there he bought one costume for book day as he was taking him to school that day but I offered to pay for it and he declined. The only stuff I tend to split as extra is trips which are few and far between.
My ex is ridiculous too. I feel your pain. I now have to drop them off at his on a Saturday wearing their school shoes and school uniform, as before that I was losing a set of clothes and shoes a fortnight (he drops them to school on. Monday's)
You can't control him, so you need to do what you can to manage the situation. Just send them in school shoes etc then he has to sort out a set at his house. Just sort out costumes etc as he will enjoy not replying to stress you out. It's crap, I know. Accept he is an idiot and do what you can to manage how it works at your end.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.