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to wonder why men are almost always the non-resident parent

(508 Posts)

Yes, I know I could win an award for most clueless person, but please humour me.

Why is it that when parents separate, it's almost always the mother that the children live with and who has to do the bulk of the mundane parts of the childcare? While daddy gets to pay a cash sum each week, pursue his own interests most of the time and then be Disney the rest of the time.

Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

YouLoveItDoreen Sun 15-Dec-13 20:01:43

I had this very discussion with my partner yesterday, I know of couples that have separated and the children have gone to live with their fathers, but it is usually when MH issues are present in the mother. Is it because it is what we expect? Or because usually the man has another woman already?

It's not a good deal for anyone. But the pattern before the break-up is generally continued after the break-up. Men who want 50% custody need to do 50% before the split.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 15-Dec-13 20:03:37

Because whether we like it or not, courts still favour the woman over the man in residency orders.

HermioneWeasley Sun 15-Dec-13 20:03:53

I guess in many families the father works FT and the mother PT so for practical reasons the kids would have to stay with their mum?

leobear Sun 15-Dec-13 20:04:30

It sounds like a bad deal both ways! I can't think of anything worse than being parted from my children. I'm a woman, so does that mean men don't feel the same way, but rather "get to be Disney"??

Men who want 50% custody need to do 50% before the split.

Really? What if the women is fine with 50% custody, or actually, what if the woman is fine to be non-resident parent?

pricklyPea Sun 15-Dec-13 20:05:29

What doesn't sound like a good deal? If you mean being the resident parent then yabu.

I know men who would kill to be the resident parent instead of playing 'Disney dad'.

I think it's probably because as women we are expected to be the nurturing sex and in most cases it's the woman who's done the majority of the child rearing prior to separation.

WelshMaenad Sun 15-Dec-13 20:05:48

If DH and I ever separated he would fight me like a dog to get at least 50/50 if not residency of our kids.

Have all couples been to court though? I bet there's a lot more couples where is an agreed arrangement rather than a court ordered one so nothing to do with court bias there.

I think it's because in the majority before the split the woman does most of the childcare stuff so it naturally continues afterwards. A man who doesn't care before the split isn't going to afterwards either.

lilyaldrin Sun 15-Dec-13 20:06:16

Because mostly mothers do the greater share of childcare before a split, so the status quo is maintained.

And also, many men wouldn't want to be the resident parent.

WooWooOwl Sun 15-Dec-13 20:06:21

The answer to that is simple biology. The men don't carry and deliver the babies, and unlike women, they don't get to choose whether an embryo they helped create gets to turn into a baby and be born.

Unfortunately they are also often the higher earners, so they generally don't start being the primary carer as soon as the partner who gave birth is recovered from it.

I guess in many families the father works FT and the mother PT so for practical reasons the kids would have to stay with their mum?

Totally. But what if the woman actually wants a career?

If I split with DH, I'm not sure I'd want to be the resident parent.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 15-Dec-13 20:07:47

Men who want 50% custody need to do 50% before the split. and the woman will have earnt 50% of the household income before the split?

rainbowfeet Sun 15-Dec-13 20:07:49

& some of them think they are so hard done by because they are paying financially or have to drive a distance to collect the children etc... Well with the cost of food & clothes, school shoes every few weeks, mobile phone top ups or constant iTunes downloads the maintainance of CSA goes nowhere!!!
Money aside the responibility that the non res parent is so intense & at times overwhelming!!
I know other people will disagree but for me the non res parent in my life has it easy ! hmm

nulgirl Sun 15-Dec-13 20:08:14

My db is the resident parent even though he works full time and my dn's mother hasn't done a days work in her life. This is because the mother decided that having a child cramped her style. I would agree that it is probably quite unusual.

WooWooOwl I don't see how biology and finances mean that the woman has to be the resident parent - what about her desires for career, lifestyle, etc?

Showy Sun 15-Dec-13 20:11:35

It's often a continuation of what happened previously. In a country where historically a woman got maternity leave/benefits/rights and a father had 2 weeks off, you had the mother putting her career on hold to be the primary caregiver. And with the way earning potential once favoured the male, you had the female partner staying at home. Perhaps breastfeeding too.

I know if DH and I split up (God forbid), you'd have to take into consideration the fact that I have been a SAHM for 6.5 years, DH works very long hours and I do the vast majority of child related things. Keeping things 'normal' for the children would involve them staying in our family home with their primary caregiver. I am sure this would be the best thing for them as a starting point. Certainly, DH couldn't manage 50/50 care with the job he has.

I know plenty of families who do 50/50 care following a split and I wonder if the shared parental leave thing will make a difference too.

My brother has as much access to his DC as he can manage, obviously pays maintenance (far more than CSA would demand) and him and his ex wife are amicable about the whole thing. He is in no way a Disney Dad. He works very, very long hours and misses his dc every second of every day. Their marriage failed and because of his job, he can't do 50/50 care. This doesn't tell you anything about his commitment to those dc.

No one makes the woman be the resident parent, do they? She could also leave instead of the man and hope he picks up the pieces.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:21

Most men are too selfish to raise their children properly. My ex partner certainly is and I don't even receive child support.

and before anybody objects to this, how many times on MN do you read posts by women going through hell because their lazy partners don't even put the vacuum round or take the kids to the park?

Men tend to put themselves first.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MamaBear17 Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:34

I can only speak from personal experience, but I think my dh would fight me for at least 50/50. I couldn't imagine living apart from my dd for half the week. It would be hell. I think my husband would feel the same. I feel sorry for any parent who is non-resident without their choosing.

Imsosorryalan Sun 15-Dec-13 20:14:43

Friends of ours do 50/50 so their two kids go to one sun - wed then to the other wed- sun then alternate the week after. Initially I thought the kids were being passed from pillar to post but it works for them and now I think it sounds like a good idea. My dh would almost def want this.
I wonder why most courts don't favour this?

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:15:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

and before anybody objects to this, how many times on MN do you read posts by women going through hell because their lazy partners don't even put the vacuum round or take the kids to the park?

Or it means women are more likely to come on MN and post about it than men are?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sun 15-Dec-13 20:16:38

I have only my own experience to go on.

When we separated, as in, the day we agreed to split, there was no discussion about what would happen with the dcs, exp said "how much do you want for the boys?" And suggested a figure which i accepted and then he walked upstairs and packed a bag.

Since then i have asked for 50/50 care which he refused, asked for more midweek care which he refused And i struggle to get him to arrive or sometimes at all for dcs on the every other weekend he is due to have them. Of those weekends he is now having his girlfriend mind them one day and his mum for one whole night and day at her house.

What does that tell you?

annieorangutan Sun 15-Dec-13 20:16:52

Lots of men would like to have more custody of their children

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:18:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youretoastmildred Sun 15-Dec-13 20:18:31

In this country, in theory at least, the principle according to which things like this are legally decided is the welfare of the child(ren). So not actually about what the parents would like, or how much either would miss their children.

I read on a step-parenting thread on here recently that parents with custody should not expect the NRP ever to take them, that, having decided to have children with the wrong partner, (s)he needs to be a parent 24/7 for ever. It might inconvenience the NRP's new partner, you see.

autumnsmum Sun 15-Dec-13 20:18:35

I know one case where the dad is the resident parent but the mum has a substance abuse problem

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:18:47

I've been on mixed male and female forums and men don't complain about this problem anywhere near as much as females hmm

A lot of fathers also worked out that if you have 50/50 you don't have to pay CSA too wink

fluffyraggies Sun 15-Dec-13 20:19:21

If DH and I ever separated he would fight me like a dog to get at least 50/50 if not residency of our kids.

You know what welsh, 7 years ago i would have sworn the same would be true of my XH. We were together 14 years, 3DDs. When we split he insisted i stayed close by with the DDs so he could do 50/50.

How long did that last? Erm ... about no days! He made excuse after excuse about being busy at work and within 6 weeks had moved in with a GF an hours drive away. Didn't worry me as i was dreading being parted from the girls (although i would have done the 50/50 if he'd stuck to it, for their sake)

My non bitter and twisted answer to the OP would be that i would guess in most cases it's down to the fact that the male half of the partnership was earning more money and was in full time work, so it makes sense to carry on. In our case we asked the kids what they would like to do and they were firm about wanting to come with me. (no courts involved) Once they are a certain age the? kids get a say, legally, don't they?

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:19:44

Mine used to send ds back if he was ill, the football was on or he had to go out for some reason hmm

All that means is they don't post about it. It doesn't mean it's not happening.

annieorangutan Sun 15-Dec-13 20:20:59

Fluffy but was he really hands on whilst in the relationship?

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:21:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:22:37

I'm sure they'd post about it if it was happening because they like to moan and slag their ex partners off.

Some men may make better fathers and should have main residence, but most don't and are lazy good time dads.

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 20:23:42

Courts are extremely biased towards women, as are police.

My ex BIL took the kids and left his ex after a row, and was told by the police to bring them straight back. They turned up at his Mother's house and point blank refused to leave until he agreed.

Yet his kids mother would up and leave with them at the drop of a hat, and as long as they were safe the police didn't give a shit.

Then there's the stupid amount of money he had to pay for 18 months of court cases that were dragged out.

Oh, mine was one of those "best dads ever", adamant he wanted full custody and failing that 50/50. He was going to make sure dd lived with him not me. Theeeeen... nothing. We haven't heard from him for nearly six months now.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:24:05

Mine stopped having ds1 for weekends when he found out I was seeing dh (before we married) hmm

CMOTDibbler Sun 15-Dec-13 20:24:20

I know one person where the children live entirely with their father, no overnights with their mum - older teens when they split, boys chose.

But a friend who recently split with his emotionally and financially abusive wife when she presented him with divorce docs one day, found out a couple of weeks later she'd been seeing a drug user for over a year was told he had no chance at all of being the resident parent because basically it would be on him to show she was unfit to be so.

yellowGiraffe8 Sun 15-Dec-13 20:24:30

Yabu. I would fight with every last penny I had to keep residency of my kids. I am very grateful that I have residency, I have a part time career to support them and ex has never challenged residency.

In my circle of friends all the mums were either given residency or fought for it. Who are you to say it's a bad deal? No one made us take residency, we wanted it. If you don't want it there's nothing stopping you giving it to the father. If he doesn't want to care for your kids either you can put them up for adoption. No one makesyyou have kids or look after them. A lot of parents fight to keep residence, your poor children if you consider looking after them 'mundane'.

mistermakersgloopyglue Sun 15-Dec-13 20:25:42

I know its wrong, but I will admit that when I come across a family where it is the mother that is the non resident parent, I always sit up and take much more notice, and wonder about the situation far more than if it is the father. Particularly if the children rarely see their mother.

I know a family where the divorced mother and father split the care totally 50/50 and their son spends equal time at both houses (although his school his significantly closer to mum's house). He is a lovely and well adjusted little boy, but I think both of the parents were very anxious about how their divorce would affect him.

Because in my own experience ex left because he couldn't handle responsibility and family life. He certainly has no interest in 50% custody. In fact we are now on week 2 of zero contact whatsoever.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:27:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:27:54

I know a family where the father is the main carer and the mother doesn't bother.

His mother (paternal grandmother) is doing all the hard work of raising them and doing the day to day stuff whilst he swans round with his gf, so even when they do have residence they palm their kids off.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Sun 15-Dec-13 20:28:10

In my exes case, he chose me to be the resident parent, and he'd make an appearance every 6 weeks, his choice also.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:29:20

I'm sorry, but men are like cats.........they come first and everyone else just has to fit in and they will do stuff if and when they choose.

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 20:29:29

I do at least 75% of the basics and all of the nighttime care.

No brainer really.

fluffyraggies Sun 15-Dec-13 20:30:49

annie - in a nut shell he was present in their/our lives physically, but not mentally. He was either at work or at home, but wasn't interested in 'family life'. I walked in the end. And very sadly he is now even more of a distant presence in his daughters lives. Sees them once every 6 weeks or so. For a few hours. His choice. His loss.

(shuts self up! grin)

Also I am a business owner, work longer hours and earn more than ex. I would fight with every last penny to keep my child. He definitely wouldn't.

I know a couple who have shared access, one week with one parent and one week with the next. The child has told me that it is a real pain in the arse as he is never able to just settle and makes school harder.

apachepony Sun 15-Dec-13 20:31:43

I really don't think being the resident parent is a bad deal. Maybe if ex fecks off completely and pays no maintenance, but otherwise if maintenance is being paid (especially in my country where it's higher than CSA) and nc is taking every other weekend and one midweek, so you get a break, then I would much much much rather be the parent with residency.

octopusinasantasack Sun 15-Dec-13 20:31:50

Well according to a friend and colleague of mine, she is the RP because her ex told her that the best way to be a parent was to be a part time so he could have his cake and eat it. I would have been shock but I already knew he was a complete tosser.

ZombiePenguin Sun 15-Dec-13 20:32:05

I don't know. My ex (father of DD1 and DS) wanted 50/50. He got it. I am lucky in that althoigh he was a shit husband, he was and is a great father and makes sure the DC are put first. We aren't friend,y t we are amicable because we are both putting them first. I know, for my friends' relationships/splits, that I am lucky in that respect.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 20:33:50

Imsosorryalan:

"Friends of ours do 50/50 so their two kids go to one sun - wed then to the other wed- sun then alternate the week after. Initially I thought the kids were being passed from pillar to post but it works for them and now I think it sounds like a good idea. My dh would almost def want this.
I wonder why most courts don't favour this?"

a. as a poster has said earlier, often it doesn't go to court; parents decide informally, and the set-up you find so odd (female parent having residency of children) is what both parents have decided.

b. the courts decide in favour of what is deemed to be the children's best interests.

So the question then becomes: "Why do most parents opt for this set-up?" and "Why is it so often deemed in the children's best interest for teh mother to be the resident parent?"

The answer almost certainly has a lot to do with the continuation of gendered domestic set-ups.

I will admit that I think your OP is amazingly naive not to have thought this through. Do you not know any single parents? Have you no imagination? And what I mean by that is this: you say "Oh my darling husband would be heartbroken by losing contact with the children" but presumably you are not considering separating from him? Try and imagine the sort of behaviour that might cause you to feel alienation from him? For example, acting in a way that is massively disrespectful, hurtful, or just plain harmful for the children? It may surprise you to know that some NRP do this. And that is how they end up as NRP. Extrapolating from you husband to the NRPs who don't have full-time care of the children is utterly pointless.

As an example, I know one NRP who made child pornography with his children. That's how he ended up as an NRP. He was also an abusive bastard to his wife. So. There you go. One answer. As you can probably see, extrapolating from your husband to Mr Chappie here is <shrug> thick, frankly.

An awful lot of other NRPs just sodded off.

Yes, yes, there are some chaps out there who are utterly devastated and heartbroken by not being the resident parent, and are prevented from seeing their offspring by evil, wicked women. But I do think they are a very small number.

I look around the people I know and, to be honest, the flakey dads were just flaky - when they were married/in relationships, and when they weren't; the dads who wanted to be parents carried on being parents even after a split; the shit, irrepsonsible ones, who fucked off/were binned for being crap, carried on being irresponsible/shit; the ones who were downright dangerous carried on being that.

WhereIsMyHat Sun 15-Dec-13 20:34:43

Coming at this from a child of divorced parents, I am extremely thankful that my father disn't manage to get 50% residencey as I would have been devastated as a 7 year old but I would ave had to go along with it.

When residency is decided, are the opinions of children involve taken into account?

17leftfeet Sun 15-Dec-13 20:36:51

My ex was a stay at home dad before he left and now has the dcs 2 nights a fortnight and often palms them off with his parents

His loss -apparently he's done his bit

PorkPieandPickle Sun 15-Dec-13 20:37:53

"A lot of fathers also worked out that if you have 50/50 you don't have to pay CSA too"

I beg to differ hiddenhome, you certainly do. My DH had a 50/50 agreement, he was a lower wage earner than DSS mother, and he still had to pay CS. Because he is not in receipt of the child benefit, so he is not the PWC.

He would give his right arm to be the resident parent for DSS; we would both love him here full time. Dads are not all lazy.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:41:50

Child Support is greatly reduced in the case of 50/50 if it's paid at all.

I believe that the Fathers Rights Movement has come about since they figured out that the more you have the child, the less CSA you have to pay. This is what's driving these men. Sure, some mothers may be vindictive and deny access, but there are far more fathers trying to dodge the CSA.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:42:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PirateJelly Sun 15-Dec-13 20:42:50

I hate to say it but I think that a women who chooses to leave her dc when a separation occurs will find she is judged very harshly by people who know her. Not the same when a man ups a leaves. Obviously there are exceptions to this but I know of one mother who only see's her dc at weekends and she gets slagged off quite a lot for it, even by people who are supposed to be her friends.

I don't know if it's biology but I know there's no way I could be away from my child all week every week I just couldn't. I would walk miles if I had to to see him. Where as my dp is abit meh about seeing his daughter and my ex also seems happy to go quite some time with no contact with his child.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 20:43:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 20:33:50
I totally agree with you.
It is upsetting when people tell me how important it is for me to maintain a relationship between ds and his father. Quite frankly they have no fucking idea!

yetanotheranyfucker Sun 15-Dec-13 20:47:09

My ex and I have 50/50 residency and shared care of our child - and it was agreed that, in the event of a split, that is what happened before we got married. In fact, having a child was conditional (on his part) on my agreeing that. Some people may think that it is morbid to discuss that before deciding to get married, but hey no-one wants to make a will either, and it wasn't just that we fully discussed but all aspects of our values and beliefs about raising a child and what we'd aim to do from childbirth options, breastfeeding, discipline etc.

It's tough not having my child 50% of the time, it really is, but I made a commitment to my ex and, even if I hadn't, I could never take that time away from my child. My ex was, and is, an outstanding and extremely committed father from the first minute who completely pulled his weight though.

Pregnancy is not always planned and it's not always possible to control or predict life circumstances, but I think it's very important, if you are in a position to TTC and make a conscious choice about planning that as far as possible, all these issues are raised and discussed beforehand.

perfectstorm Sun 15-Dec-13 20:47:47

90% of contact/residence decisions are made between the couples themselves, and never reach a court (though in turn 30% of that figure is made up of situations where one parent has no contact at all, and for various reasons never challenges it legally). So blaming the courts for the fact mothers are usually primary carers seems a bit disingenous - it's something couples decide, most of the time, though you can't rule out how much it costs to take legal action as a disincentive, either. Interestingly, though there absolutely are mothers who contact block for all they're worth without reason, more mothers want increased contact than want less, according to a recent study.

The courts favour the status quo, so the parent who took primary responsibility and/or did most of the care prior is likely to carry on doing so after a split. It's not about what adults want or need if it gets that far; it's about what is seen as least disruptive for the kids. Interestingly a recent (2008, Hunt) study on parental satisfaction after the court process found that more fathers than mothers, by a narrow margin, were happy with it. I'd be really interested in seeing the breakdown of how many fathers who apply for residence actually get it, tbh, though without knowing what proportion were main carers before the figure is harder to give weight to, anyway. But the stats do show that 46% of those applying for residence through the courts are fathers, and 44% mothers. That's a higher proportion of women than I expected - be really interesting to know what underlies that figure in terms of circumstances. Fathers tend to apply a lot more for contact than residence.

I do sometimes see threads on MN where a man is at home with the kids and the woman unhappy and she's advised to LTB, by telling him to go. And it always faintly puzzles me that nobody seems aware that he's the one who would probably succeed in forcing her out, if it came to legal action. But there is a large amount of data which demonstrates that couples revert to traditional gender roles after kids arrive; Dad "helps" and "looks after the kids for" Mum. Not always, but really often. I imagine maternity leave sets that pattern up to an extent and it then rolls that way, but it also happens in countries without great maternity provision. It seems cultural expectations are really powerful because it seems to happen even in households that were very equal in domestic labour division before kids arrived.

It's true a lot of men would be horrified by primary care. But it's also true that a lot are devastated by losing that day to day intimacy with their kids. It's a real dilemma, because 50/50 care, as they have automatically in a Nordic country which presently escapes me, obviously has massive advantages... but it can leave the kids feeling desperately unsettled and as though they don't really belong in either home, and that's apparently worse if there are younger siblings of the new relationships who are there all the time. Sadly there's no perfect answer (and often no financial way to create two homes big enough to be suitable for the kids as more than a weekend break, either).

It's a real problem, I think. One without easy answers.

perfectstorm Sun 15-Dec-13 20:50:40

yetanother that's such a nice post to read. I think it's easy to forget how many parents do their absolute best for their kids after a split, because so often you hear/see the horror stories - the functional are unobtrusively getting on with life.

I love dd with all my heart, but there are MANY occasions where I'm sat on my own on the Sofa while she's asleep thinking about ExH out drinking with his buddies without worrying about having to get up for night wakings or the fact that dd thinks 5:45am in getting up time!!!

This is what scares me about splitting up. You summed it up perfectly. wine

ItsNotATest Sun 15-Dec-13 20:53:46

My DP is the resident parent. His ex-W dips in and out when it suits her, but they have never had overnights or full days with her.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 20:55:00

Men, on the whole, complain about having to pay CSA and women, on the whole, complain about their exes not caring for their children properly - sometimes neglect (in my case), sometimes abuse sad

Spot the difference.

Cluesue Sun 15-Dec-13 20:56:33

My exb lied to me to convince me to try for dd2(dd1previous relationship),relationship very rocky since conception(more lies),he was going to be such a brilliant dad,sees dd(18 mths)all of 5hrs a week,even though I've been very bad with PND for months.given the choice,I would not be resident parent,but I've never been offered one

justtoomessy Sun 15-Dec-13 20:57:01

Most men I know are selfish and wouldn't not give up their time to solely look after their children. Men change when they split from my experience. Mine was very hands on but now no longer wants to see DS because he gets in the way of his cosy, child free life with woman he left me for.

CranberrySaucyJack Sun 15-Dec-13 20:57:09

Because society makes it far easier and more socially acceptable for fathers to abandon their kids without a backward glance.

The majority of NRF don't pay any maintenance. At all. Not one penny.

I agree hidden. Big difference!

I've known both situations, bad mothers and bad fathers, those who worked out the arrangements dependent on who was the SAHP in the first place and those who just went along with the "norm". Sadly, I think it is seen as the "norm" for the mother to become the residential parent, partly because in most cases she will be the one who has stayed at home with the children, sometimes because that's the way HE wants it (finds it easier to dip in and out) and sometimes because that is the way SHE wants it (for whatever reason). Also, the older the children, the more common it seems for Dad to get residential custody, with many children in my experience moving into Dad's when they are old enough to choose for themselves.

yetanotheranyfucker Sun 15-Dec-13 20:58:41

I beg to differ hiddenhome, you certainly do. My DH had a 50/50 agreement, he was a lower wage earner than DSS mother, and he still had to pay CS. Because he is not in receipt of the child benefit, so he is not the PWC.
PorkPieandPickle This is changing though under the new CSA rules (2012). For truly 50/50 shared care there is no maintenance payable, although it is true that getting CB can be used to get some.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:00:54

My ex partner doesn't even send ds pocket money, phone top ups, comics or a lousy bar of chocolate hmm

This is the 'man' who was adamant he wanted residence and used to brow beat me about how I'd struggle to raise ds. Surprise, surprise, guess who solely provides for and has raised ds successfully without any help or input from the other parent? Guess which parent used to put him at risk of anaphylactic shock every time he visited by neglecting his allergy diet?

Fairy1303 Sun 15-Dec-13 21:01:16

I don't think it is that the mother usually 'has' to be the resident parent.

How sad if it were a case of fighting over who <doesn't> get to care for their children FT.

I can't think of anything worse than being separated fromDS for even a short period - not being his primary carer would kill me.

Incidentally - my DH has full residency of my step daughter and has since she was 1 (they were never together) her mother does fuck all, provides no stability and no emotional, financial or practical support over and above her obligatory once a week contact.

Fairy1303 Sun 15-Dec-13 21:01:35

Shit. Italic fail!

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:02:31

Justforlaughs, I bet teens want to move to their dads because they get away with far more and feel they'd be more likely to have a good time with less discipline.

When I split with my exh he took umbrage with paying csa. So I suggested he have the kids and I pay csa..... Guess what was the end result...

After 6 months of picking the kids up when he felt like it he just stopped turning up. DD1 was " meh" but DD2 has autism and it affected her badly. Not seen him now for 8 years. No birthday cards Xmas cards nowt. And both DDs have gone through big birthdays (18 and 21)

HowardTJMoon Sun 15-Dec-13 21:04:36

Child Support is greatly reduced in the case of 50/50 if it's paid at all. I believe that the Fathers Rights Movement has come about since they figured out that the more you have the child, the less CSA you have to pay. This is what's driving these men.

Of course. Because it cannot possibly be that there are significant numbers of men out there who simply want to see their kids more often. No, it can only be because of money.

What a jaded view of men you hold. How sad.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:06:38

'How sad'.....nay, how realistic after spending years listening to other people's stories.

On the mixed boards I was on, the blokes used to moan about CSA and the women used to moan about their exes neglecting their children hmm

I've heard a lot of stories.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:06:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yes, yes, there are some chaps out there who are utterly devastated and heartbroken by not being the resident parent, and are prevented from seeing their offspring by evil, wicked women. But I do think they are a very small number.

I hope Fathers 4 Justice are reading this.

Jaded view= experience Howard!

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 21:08:09

They will be, Wombles, they will be.

I think they have a red light/klaxon somewhere that goes off when this sort of stuff is mentioned on mn.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:08:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:09:01

F4J are a bunch of mysogynistic control freaks who would rather have their heads sawn off with rusty knives than pay child support grin

Same with mine. I know that he was telling people I kidnapped our daughter, that I banned him from seeing her, that he sends her gifts and I return them etc. when the reality is a lot different. It paints a better picture of them as the hard done to dad who just wants to love his child.

yetanotheranyfucker Sun 15-Dec-13 21:10:25

I think it's easy to forget how many parents do their absolute best for their kids after a split, because so often you hear/see the horror stories - the functional are unobtrusively getting on with life.
perfectstorm Indeed. Only 1 out of 10 residency/contact cases go to court in the first place, but they are the ones that people hear about and will, by nature of the fact they have had to go to court, be the acrimonious ones.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:10:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 21:11:13

hiddennhome - you do realise that that last remark of yours was effectively a dog-whistle?

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:12:48

I've just reported my ex partner to the Inland Revenue for fiddling his tax returns in order to avoid paying child support.

I won't end up with any more money for ds because, no doubt, he'll blag his way out of it, but I have to feel as though I'm doing something because the sense of injustice is so hard to live with......(just shelled out 80 quid for a school trip to France next year and he's grown out of his trousers again).....Residence? Don't make me laugh. These fathers are amateurs whos contribution to parenthood is just about managing to have a shag and send a few swimmers up hmm

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 21:13:06

It's interesting that an area of society where women are 'favoured' (or more likely to be in charge of "less worthwhile" things such as childcare) is met with shrieks of 'OH, but the poor MENZ'.

Whereas in most areas, women are still not considered equal.

It's almost as thogh we're living in a patriarchy or something grin

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:13:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I can see this from both sides.

I was a child who's parents got divorced when I was 12, and it was assumed that my dad would leave, my mum and us would stay in the house and we'd see my dad as and when.
Trouble was, meand my brother had other ideas, and wanted to live with my dad, and so we fought it (as did my dad) and won.
My mum moved out, me and my brothers stayed living with my dad in our home, and we saw my mum at weekends.
My mum never paid any child support.

Fast forward to now, and I seperated from my children's dad 8 years ago. He does the bare minimum for them, pays no money for them and only sees them if he really has no choice.

I think in most circumstances, the children should have their opinions heard a lot more.

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 21:13:27

*though

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:13:29

ha, ha, thecat

I'm at work tomorrow, so will pop off to bed as soon as the scum sucking bottom feeders show up wink grin

stickysausages Sun 15-Dec-13 21:14:43

DH would fight me for custody, he wouldn't accept being a weekend dad. Hopefully itching ever come to that though!!

It's ridiculous isn't it, king. The last time I spoke to my ex the idiots he surrounds himself had been telling him he pays too much maintenance so he should stop because I don't deserve his money. Never mind the fact he pays the least he can get away with and it's not for me anyway. Stupid people.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:16:08

I would gladly do 50/50 with dh as he's a 'good dad', but I think most men are lazy fools tbh.

As I have said exh hasn't acknowledged his daughters on any of their birthdays but managed to call the CSA on their birthdays to enquire if he still had to pay. As DD2 has sen she stayed in college a bit longer and he still had to pay up.... I would rather he have DD2 over to stay every so often as I get no respite but even when he did have her he refused it have her overnight as that would mean I could go out or away.....his words. Also he requested I had no one to stay in the house unless they paid him rent!!! Just over night!

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:19:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:19:47

Money is a man's greatest love after his penis grin Children come after the woman and woman comes after the dog shock

king shock they really do!

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:23:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 21:23:26

Howard there are forums on the net detailing/swapping tips about how to pay less via CSA, upping overnights is a popular suggestion.

Sure, some mothers may be vindictive and deny access, but there are far more fathers trying to dodge the CSA

Absolutely.

Anecdata; lots of men cite not wanting to allow the exw to benefit from their money as a reason for dodging child support.

Given the huge majority of 'splits' never go anywhere near a court and arrangements are decided between splitting parents, IMO the majority of men just don't want residency.

I know a few men who say how unfair it is that they don't get residency, but I know that they are barely consistent in seeing their children, so I am a tad cynical about the sob stories TBH.

I know someone who has 50/50 if not 70/30[him being the 70] but then he was very hands on before the split being a SAHD.

BruthasTortoise Sun 15-Dec-13 21:23:34

My DH has been the RP since his DSs (my DSSs) were tinies. Their DM wanted a life that didn't involve children. DH is a brilliant father - has held down a full time job while their DM has worked various PT jobs and has never paid a penny voluntarily. I kinda resent some of the generalisatiosn on this thread about men. Many men are wonderful fathers even if they are separated for the child's mother.

hiddenhome In the cases that I know of, the children have, without exception, chosen to be with their Dads because mum was always out with other men, bringing men home, not caring for the kids etc. Dad, meanwhile has been a fantastic Dad, working long into the night, but making sure that he is around after school and whenever the kids need him. That is in 3 different families. The other one, the dad got custody after mum was found guilty of neglect. Yes, I know several families, where the children are with Mum, Dad is an idiot and never around/ useless when he is but as I say, there are bad mums and bad dads, and sometimes it;s just a case of what works for that individual family. It;s a shame that sometimes it takes so much effort on behalf of the Dad to get the residency that he and the kids deserves, rather than the default of "mum must be best"

Pennyacrossthehall Sun 15-Dec-13 21:31:51

KingRollo OP most women would walk over hot coals and suffer any deprivation to be with their children. Lots of men won't.

That's possibly the most sweeping misandrist statement I've ever seen on this forum.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 21:35:44

Anyone who fights for 50/50 contact to reduce maintenance is an idiot. The cost of keeping a child for half of the month would cost a lot more than the reduction in maintenance you currently pay (unless they were paying a lot of maintenance to begin with). Maintenance halves with 50/50 contact. You don't stop paying altogether at the moment. That means you have to fund the costs of the child for 50% of the week, clothes, food, a roof over their head, associated costs and get no financial support towards it and continue paying some maintenance ... whereas the other parent (will lose some maintenance) but will also lose some costs however receive maintenance and any associated benefits for the child, ie. child benefit and/or tax credits if they qualify.

An NRP paying maintenance will be financially worse off having 50/50 contact. It always suprises me when people assume the argument for 50/50 is fueled by a desire to pay less maintenance.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:35:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 21:35:50

*Brutha'sTortoise: The thread is discussing why, statistically the majority of parenting , post-separation, is done by women. I think most "generalisations" are mullings as to the whys and wherefores of that statistical truth.

I don't think anyone has doubted the possibility that there are some great fathers out there.

I have a son. Frankly, I cannot afford not to believe that there are some great fathers out there.

It is genuinely good to hear from posters who have positive stories of fathering to tell.

I think there is clearly some way to go before critical mass is achieved, when the cultural balance tips in such a way that it will be inconceivable to be a "good" man-who-has-produced-offspring without also being equally responsible for the welfare of those children (at every level: psychological; emotional; day-to-day care; financial). But hey ho: Roll on that day.

Likewise, there should be less pressure on women to take so much of the pressure of caring for offspring.

Both before and after separation.

We are a long way from that. But the positive stories are good.

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 21:35:58

To be fair, King didn't say all men

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:36:21

I agree Justforlaughs. Some mothers are wasters and some dads are great. I just think, in the majority of cases, it's the fathers who feel quite comfortable walking away and having their children when it suits them.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:36:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rivierliedje Sun 15-Dec-13 21:36:53

Here the default is a 50-50 split. I have a friend whose parents did this, she once described how it worked: in each of her parents houses she had a bedroom and clothes and toiletries etc. And for the rest there was a big plastic box which she took from one house to the other every week. On top of that her parents noted down everything they spent on her and made sure it worked out evenly. Now that is commitment to making sure everything is 50-50

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 21:37:26

Bruthas there is lots of generalisation on this thread yes, but it does reflect the experience of the majority sad as that is.

Most single parents are women, most NRPS ie the majority, don't pay child support, those that do often pay the minimum, some only pay £5 per week because they are unemployed, or because they claim to be earning less than they really are.

I just don't get why it is so socially acceptable for a man [or a woman, but majority are men] to turn his back on his children, they should be ostracised, other women should steer clear of them not start new families with them! When a woman walks away from her children she gets scorn, it is seen as something awful, yet men seem to get away with it.

Actually I do get why, as someone else said-Patriarchy!

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:38:35

Brandy you're missing the point regarding this issue. Yes, it costs more to have the child 50% of the time, but men are desperate to avoid having to pay money to the mother because they like to imagine that she's spending it on gin and having her nails done hmm

It really, really galls them to have to send that cheque.

TheFabulousIdiot Sun 15-Dec-13 21:38:55

In answer to the OP isn't it because in most families, even when both parents are working out of the home, it is the mother who does the bulk of the mundane parts of the childcare?

maleview70 Sun 15-Dec-13 21:39:51

Lot of generalisations on this thread.

"men tend to put themselves first"

Your man might have done and If so more fool you for choosing him!

I was a 50/50 parent whilst married and then my wife decided to have an affair and announce that she wanted out (no doubt some on here would ask if I did enough hoovering and was the affair my fault)

Anyway I then paid more than the CSA would have asked me to (£60,000) over 12 years as well as sharing custody and ringing him every day I didn't have him.

Some men put their children first......

Pan Sun 15-Dec-13 21:40:24

OP, if that is your take on male NRP then you're seeing it from your own miserable POV. The quality of NRP and their impacts are varied yes, so how about being a bit more delicate about it, what with a few male NRPs on the site?

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:40:36

Oh, God, 'ere we go hmm

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 21:40:58

Anyone who fights for 50/50 contact to reduce maintenance is an idiot. The cost of keeping a child for half of the month would cost a lot more than the reduction in maintenance you currently pay

Yes, of course, but the motive is to not give a penny to the exw.

They think she will be spending it on hair dos and nail varnish to attract a new man you see.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:42:19

That's not bad timing actually. I wonder if they have computer programmes to assist them confused

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:42:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 21:42:25

"men tend to put themselves first"

Your man might have done and If so more fool you for choosing him!

Wow! So someone is selfish and it is the partner who is foolish? Bit blamey...

KingRollo

I remember your story! Are you still in Germany?

Golddigger Sun 15-Dec-13 21:43:05

Are you thinking of splitting, and are considering not being the resident parent op?

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:43:21

Women spend the child support on:

Gin
Hairdos
Nails
Handbags
Nights Out
Clothes
Brazilian waxes

grin

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 21:43:56

Maleview you beat me to it.

There are so many sexist statements on this thread that it's hard to know where to begin.

I do wish some posters would prefix their statements with some men...unless of course they happen to have met every single man in the world?

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 21:44:16

Don't forget drugs, hidden

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 21:44:24

Your man might have done and If so more fool you for choosing him

Thing is, you don't necessarily know what sort of a parent someone will be until they are one.

Of course there are good fathers, pre and post split. But on a thread like this you are going to hear about the bad ones. why that offends you as one of the good ones I don't know.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:45:27

I didn't choose him.......he was a conman, so the person I chose didn't actually exist wink He dropped his act once I was successfully impregnated leaving me to pick up all the pieces which I have done with great success ta very muchly <deserves parenting award>

Pan Sun 15-Dec-13 21:45:39

"Women spend the child support on:

Gin
Hairdos
Nails
Handbags
Nights Out
Clothes
Brazilian waxes

S'true it seems. Nice to see MN as a confessional.smile

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:45:58

Oh, gosh, yes........Drugs grin

Posh birds spend it on lunches out too grin

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:46:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pan Sun 15-Dec-13 21:46:51

It seems the OP is getting the bollocks she was looking for. As it were...

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 21:47:55

Pan - could you elaborate please?

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:48:13

grin KingRollo

maleview70 Sun 15-Dec-13 21:49:29

Touched a nerve have I?

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:50:06

I think it's called having a sense of humour Pan, which we all certainly need here, what with the dodgy exes, lack of vacuuming and child neglect that we have to deal with wink

Coldlightofday Sun 15-Dec-13 21:50:26

maleview - not sure what you mean?

Weegiemum Sun 15-Dec-13 21:50:31

My mum left when I was 12 and I'm 43 tomorrow. My Dad did everything he could to get "custody" as it was in those days, and when he offered my mum a high enough amount of money she agreed.

At first we had eow but after a while it fizzled out (partly as they - she left with my Dads best friend - moved abroad). Even when she was practically passing my door on her infrequent visits home, she didn't always call in.

My dad did a brilliant job and remarried my lovely stepmum, who has been a real mum to me.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:50:44

No we're just 'avin' a larf maleview70

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sun 15-Dec-13 21:51:08

My DH was married before and had two sons. He couldn't practically be the RP as he worked FT and his wife at the time was SAHP. But he was the most involved father imaginable and the boys chose to live with him when they got older.

Now he is the SAHP to our DD so I imagine that if he ever kicked me out he would be in a stronger position to be the RP.

I hate generalisations about men's parenting ability. My DH exists for his children, he patiently nursed his older son through years of leukaemia when his exW couldn't cope.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 21:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sun 15-Dec-13 21:52:28

"Around 8 per cent of single parents (186,000) are fathers" Gingerbread

My exh said we could only get together if I agreed children were a possibility as he was desperate to be a father. Turns out he was a fantasist and lied about lots of things (my fault obviously!).

When we were separated he begged me to get back together, after a bit he said actually he wanted to split up totally (10y younger woman in the background). About ds he said "I've got used to seeing him only a couple of times a week" so he was fine being nrp. He had "to get on with his life."

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 21:52:47

Let's hope he falls over and twists his ankle and she has to carry him home King grin

KingRollo Did his restaurant go tits up?

<<<<hopes so>>>>

PepeLePew Sun 15-Dec-13 21:59:58

In our case, my ex chose to walk out and break up the family. He made it clear prior to that that he found the minutiae of child rearing dull and of no interest to him. So there was absolutely no question, ever, that I wouldn't be the parent with residency. I did once, while we were arguing over maintenance, suggest 50/50 with shared responsibility for everything to see what happened, and he changed his tune pretty quickly.

I know he misses them. I don't think he thought he would - I think he really thought every other weekend and one night a week would be enough. But even when they spend more time with him (we are relatively flexible during the holidays and if I am travelling with work) their centre of gravity (for want of a better phrase) is here. I am the one who knows about their troubles at school, buys them shoes, books their eye appointments, knows what cereal they like, etc etc.

It was always that way, because he couldn't be bothered before and it's now too late. His brain isn't wired that way. He's not actually a bad father and is a lot better now than he ever used to be, but I can guarantee if I am away for a week with work I will get at least two calls from school because a vital piece of kit has been left behind, or they haven't been picked up at the right time from the right place.

So, in our case, there was never any question - anything else would be massively detrimental to the dcs' well being

Pan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:02:38

Cold - I mean the OP invites every unpleasant generalisation about men and male NRPs in particular. I am a male NRP, and dd nor her mum would recognise any of these notions. On this site there are quite a few male NRPs and the indelicate wording of the OP presents as quite insulting, but provides a platform for the invectiveness we see on this thread.

KingRollo Sun 15-Dec-13 22:03:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Stupid twat hasn't changed his bank passwords grin

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Sun 15-Dec-13 22:06:49

I think most people, including parents and/or courts realise children need more stability than 50/50 residency usually allows. Mum has usually been primary carer and usually she and children (and often ex partner) want to continue with this.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 22:09:44

It's okay Pan, it's AIBU, not Dadsnet wink

Pan why are you a NRP?

In our case it was simply that I could provide more (in every way). It was a mutual agreement that the children should live with me although a few months down the line he did suggest that it would be 'easier' for me if they lived with him.

As it turns out it has ended up being more like 50/50 rather than mostly with me and our relationship is better all round which is great for all involved. Obviously it's not always rosy but we make it work.

When I was in my early teens my parents separated and while my siblings lived with my mother I lived with my father.

I don't believe that anyone has a right to the children, unless their are special circumstances eg, alcoholic parent, but I do believe that what ever the decision it should be in the child's best interests.

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 22:18:42

It shouldn't have to be Dadsnet though should it?

Sweeping generalisations, sexism and stereotyping are wrong on any website.

The fact that this is Mumsnet makes no difference and those with different experiences (like Maleview) should receive the same level of courtesy as anyone else. Instead of "Oh, God, 'ere we go" and "I wonder if they have computer programmes to assist them".

No wonder this type of discussion is so often one sided, with only one side of the coin being discussed...because who wants to be treated like that for daring to post their different experience or POV?

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:18:47

wombles - that's a bit personal! I'm guessing it would be because it was deemed to be in the children's best interest(s).

Don't mean that in a horrible way, just pointing out that it's a question that a poster might not want to answer.

And I don't mean to infantilise anyone by answering for anyone, either ...

<digs hole even deeper>

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 15-Dec-13 22:19:13

<<Massive generalisations ahead warning>>

Generally, you (meaning women, female dominated site, fair to assume) end up splitting up with someone who you've loved enough and thought special enough and good enough to have children with because either:

1. He was making life more difficult by being a crappy father/selfish git in the first place and not pulling his weight.
2. There was some kind of abuse ranging from being overly critical and/or a bit controlling to full on physical beatings.
3. He had an affair.
4. He has some kind of addiction e.g. alcohol, gambling, drugs, which are putting a lot of strain on the family.

In 1, if he didn't pull his weight before he's not likely to suddenly start when the relationship is over. So unlikely to take residency of children. In 2, you probably don't want the guy to raise the children anyway because abusive blokes generally aren't good fathers.
3. is probably irrelevant but I suppose you could argue that he has already shown that he can quite happily compartmentalise the family so it's probable that he would prefer to compartmentalise the relationship with his DC and see them at weekends. 4 is fairly self evident that they would not be best placed to look after the DC (at least at the time of the split assuming that the nature/severity of the addiction is what caused the split)

The four can of course be reversed (although I think the selfish git/not pulling weight is heavily weighted towards men just because of society in general) and relationships can split up because of mutual agreement that both parties have grown apart, or that you weren't really suited anyway. But I think that the majority of women who split up from the father of their children would have done so for one of the four reasons above.

THEN consider that most couples do tend to set up in the SAHM/working dad thing, either literally as that, or with the woman working part time, or her job being more "disposable" than the man's, with her taking days off when the children are ill or to see Christmas plays or with her hours working around drop off and pick up times whereas the man's hours don't take that into account. The general assumption is that this will be the case, as well, so it takes a particular conscious thought/planning/discussion to go the opposite way or have a set up close to 50/50. Shared maternity/paternity leave has recently been introduced, but I doubt that many men have taken it up yet, because the expectation is still that a woman will go on maternity leave, not her partner.

SO, you have couples splitting up because of one of the four reasons I mentioned at the top. They're going to have residency awarded to the woman, mostly. Then you have couples splitting up because of mutual reasons, the woman's "fault" or some kind of combination. But these couples are still likely to have had skewed childcare responsibilities in the woman's direction, just because it's expected in our society. I bet it's a very tiny, perhaps even statistically insignificant number of couples who, before the maternity leave legal changes, sat down and discussed whether the man should give up his job after the woman's maternity leave ended and become a stay-at-home dad. Most people discuss when and whether the woman in a couple will go back to work - nobody asks about the dad, it's just assumed of course he will stay at work. So there's still a massive skew there, and it DOES make sense for the parent who's been doing most of the day to day care to keep residency.

I think the proportion of couples who decided, consciously or unconsciously, to have childcare be more equal or skewed in the man's direction AND happened to split up are probably pretty low. And that's why it looks as though women "always" get residency of the children.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 15-Dec-13 22:20:49

Wow, I posted that with my warning at a crappy time grin

I am NOT meaning to make generalisations about "every" man or "every" NRP, not at all. My generalisations and assumptions are more about the relationship, reasons for break ups, distribution of childcare within, etc.

hiddenhome Sun 15-Dec-13 22:21:52

It's AIBU WorraLiberty everyone cops in here. It's part of the charm so I'm told.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:22:18

Worra - Calm down. We're dicussing a statistical fact : that women tend to be the RP, and men the NRP.

So those "generalisation" may well have some structural foundation. And they may not. but unless they are permitted discussion, I guess no-one will ever find out.

And are women not allowed to swap their stories ... on mumsnet ... for fear of generalisations offending men, and some women?

I thank goodness that my sensibilities are not so easily offended that I can listen to stories beyond my immediate comfort zone. What a circumscribed life such delicate souls must experience.

yellowGiraffe8 Sun 15-Dec-13 22:23:40

I still don't get why the OP seems to suggest day to day care of your dcs is a bad deal. If you didn't want day to day care why have children? I say that as a single parent who has residency, a job, no tax credits etc and minimal help from ex. I love my children and would go to the ends of the earth to keep residency. I fully support that dads should be involved, pay child support etc but it seems very sad that having residency could ever be seen as a negative thing.

Of course if mum doesn't want day to day care of the dcand dad does then dad should have it, but it's very sad if neither parent wants residency and residency of your children is seen as a bad thing?!

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 22:24:59

Bertie grin

At least you started with 'generally'...rather than typing it like a statement of fact.

I recognise many men I know from the posts on this thread...but equally I know men for whom the shitty behaviour described is totally alien to them.

That's all I'm trying to get across here...just some fairness rather than so much projection.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:25:42

Make all the generalisations you like, Bertie. It is, frankly, how much of human communication is undertaken - and I would suggest it to be a necessary part of it.

Totally ludicrous that some people want to ban it in this particular instance.

I'm half of a mind to make it my hobby for the next 6 months to follow the "No Generalisations" posters on this thread across the boards, and post long reams, of post, after post, after post, of "No Generalising" every time they generalise on any other subject.

But that would be a level of tedium, madness, and vindictiveness I'm not capable of.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:27:12

"Many mn-ers have children ..."

What a fucking generalisation!!!

How fucking dare you!!!!

There are lots of posters on mn who DO NOT have children.

angry

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:29:44

"Many people in prison are criminals ..."

Outrageous. How can you possibly tar everyone with the same brush?!? angry

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 22:29:45

thecatfromjapan I'm perfectly calm and chilling with my wine thank you grin

But I will always point out that when people say "All men are like this" or "All women are like that"...it's wrong and stereotyping.

"All Mumsnetters are man haters" would equally be wrong even though it's been said on other forums in the past. It would be wrong not to pick someone up for posting that...even if that is their POV/opinion. Because "All Mumsnet" contains individual people.

needaholidaynow Sun 15-Dec-13 22:30:17

I don't refer to my DP as "NRP". I call him a parent. One of his children just happens to have two homes. He hates that label "NRP" just because he's not in a relationship with his ex anymore.

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 22:31:19

Oh...X posted.

I can see it's you who needs to chill with a wine thecat grin wine

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:35:18

Fair enough, Worra.

But I haven't seen any posts like that.

I thought PerfectStorm's post perfectly expressed what I think.

I worry about the generalisation thing, though. All too often it is used to censor women saying things that make men uncomfortable. And even women-who-love-men uncomfortable.

You know that phrase: "The plural of anecdote is not data?" Well, I think that is funny and true, but I think it is also true that there is a path from anecdote, to data: Not least in the acts of giving words and naming, and from there, the identification of areas that are ripe and meet for research - from which research, of course, data will come.

If the chatter which produces anecdote is silenced, with this castigation of generalisation, it effectively acts as deligitimisation of actual experience, before it can be transformed from "generalisation" to "data".

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 15-Dec-13 22:35:25

It's just a legal term though, doesn't mean you have to go around wearing it like a badge of shame! He's their Dad, that's what's important and the only label that he really needs.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 15-Dec-13 22:37:31

Definitely thecatfromjapan.

In sociological research especially, qualitative data is considered very important because of the richness and the sheer number of connections you can make from it, especially if you collect enough.

Takes fucking AGES though and computers still can't really do it well enough so you get an element of human bias, but I loved studying it.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:37:31

Yes. I do need to chill about the "generalisation" thing.

It does upset me, though.

Sorry for being so tetchy (and rude).

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 15-Dec-13 22:38:04

Huh, that's weird. I've never xposted and had my post appear above the other person's before!

needaholidaynow Sun 15-Dec-13 22:38:28

I know it's a legal term, but in society it is also seen as a badge of shame because of the stigma that is attached to it.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 15-Dec-13 22:39:36

I suppose. I don't think I've ever heard anybody use the term "NRP" in real life though, only in discussions on here and in things like newspaper articles. But I can see what you mean.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:41:11

Thank you, Bertie. I feel less of a over-reacting grump now. smile

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 22:41:53

I've seen a few Cat and didn't really want to single any out but I'll give you this one...

Yes, it costs more to have the child 50% of the time, but men are desperate to avoid having to pay money to the mother because they like to imagine that she's spending it on gin and having her nails done

It really, really galls them to have to send that cheque.

That description certainly fits some of the men I know but definitely not all of them.

Anyway, I've made my point so I'll leave it alone.

Not that I imagine it'll calm down the generalisations down but there you go.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 22:42:09

NRP is not seen as a badge of shame. It is a descriptive term, what stigma?

If his children start calling him NRP then yes I'd worry, but he is just Dad surely?

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 22:43:14

X posted again blush

Oh don't apologise, you weren't techy or rude at all...just putting your point across.

fgrin wine

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 22:43:47

But Worra, that is referring to the shit Dads who try to avoid paying child support, not every Dad.

How can good Dads or the women who love them get offended at that?

needaholidaynow Sun 15-Dec-13 22:45:53

No I've never heard it in real life. But DP could be telling someone about his children and if he mentions the fact that he isn't with the mother of his daughter anymore, the wrong person might be very judgemental and assume he never sees her/ pays for her/ makes any effort with her at all.

I do think dads get a rough ride when they split with their ex partners.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:46:02

wine @ Worra.

WorraLiberty Sun 15-Dec-13 22:48:00

Amberleaf I know it's referring to them but it doesn't say so does it?

"Men are desperate to...(etc)" Is actually talking about 'men' and not 'some' (or even many) men.

OK I know it sounds pedantic but maybe there wouldn't be such stigma attached to being a NRP, if the stereotyping stopped?

Call a shit Dad a shit Dad by all means, but not all men are.

I feel the same when I hear "Women nag" and all that steeotyping shit. Yes, my Aunt could nag the bollocks off an Ox but not all women are like her.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 22:48:48

Ok Amber, what about this one?

Money is a man's greatest love after his penis grin Children come after the woman and woman comes after the dog

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 22:52:52

My Ex and I care for my DD 50:50.

I know that if I'd been a bitch about it, I could have relegated him to being a weekend Disney Dad. The system still heavily favours mothers as the RP - even my own solicitor questioned my choice to allow my ex an equal role!

It is very slowly changing; but there will be a lot more DCs robbed of their fathers before society deems it unacceptable for a man to turn his back on his family or a woman to exclude the father of her DCs from their lives. Both is equally damaging and each self-perpetuated the other as this thread proves.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sun 15-Dec-13 22:53:24

But needaholiday if they were to think that if your dh it would e because thats as their perception and nothing to do with the term NRP as surely he wouldnt use it to describe himself? confused

My exp is a NRP but outside of MN i have never referred to him as that. He is always "the boys' dad".

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 22:54:21

Yes I agree Worra, it didn't say some men. But it was part of a fluid conversation that was talking about the shit CSA avoiders, so a little unfair to single out one post in isolation. The context of the conversation makes it read differently.

Think Ive heard that one or similar before Brandy!

I expect it is true of some men and someone who knew a man/men like that came up with that little ditty!

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:55:30

Come on, Brandy. That was someone making a joke to lighten a grim situation. You are seriously in danger of coming across as the Speech Police.

Before you come out with the thing about: "You would call a similar joke about a woman sexist" I am going to put my cards on the table and say that I think sexism is a structural issue, involving power inequalities. that means that I believe that what is offensive in jokes where women are the butt of the humour is the wider network of sex and gender inequality.

That means that a group of women, or even a man, might tell a similar joke, with a woman at the centre, and it not be sexist, but a woman or man might, and it would. Context and intent is crucial.

In this instance, the joke is embedded in a discussion of financial inequality. I think I heard the laughter of the oppressed (in that situation) rather than the laughter of the oppressor, or the reproduction of the system of repression.

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 22:57:00

"oppression" not "repression".

That really killed that joke.

PeriodFeatures Sun 15-Dec-13 22:57:09

I met a really decent bloke the other day who had a very valid rant about public perception of non resident fathers. He and his partner had separated and had 50/50 custody. He told me that 40% of CSA claims are against mothers. I was really surprised. I have yet to check out whether this is fact.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:00:45

6No I've never heard it in real life. But DP could be telling someone about his children and if he mentions the fact that he isn't with the mother of his daughter anymore, the wrong person might be very judgemental and assume he never sees her/ pays for her/ makes any effort with her at all^

He'd soon put them straight though wouldn't he?

I do think dads get a rough ride when they split with their ex partners

Some do, some get an easy ride. Lots of Mums get a rough ride too.

NRPs can get a lot of airplay for their woes though, RPs often just have to get on with it.

My exp is a NRP but outside of MN i have never referred to him as that. He is always "the boys' dad

Reading that has made me realise my ex is a NRP! like you he is 'the boys Dad' to me!

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Dec-13 23:01:01

I have to chill. I'm sounding way more cross and short-tempered than I should.

I suppose I am over-worried at the moment that mn is less available as a space where women can chat with some sense of freedom, without constantly having to qualify what we say.

I'm not an idiot. I have a son. I know men are human grin . I don't see why I, and other women, should have to post that as some kind of ticker whenever we discuss anything that (eventually) touches on current inequalities. sad

I don't know. Am I being over-worried about that?

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:04:01

He told me that 40% of CSA claims are against mothers. I was really surprised. I have yet to check out whether this is fact

Hmm was he wearing a batman suit?

Only 8% of single parents are fathers so I find that hard to believe.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:06:53

I don't think you are thecatfromjapan. I know what you mean.

I often don't like some of the double standards re men/women on here, but this issue can't be discussed if we have to pretend that it isn't true that most NRPs are men and that lots are shit.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Sun 15-Dec-13 23:09:36

It doesn't follow that 50:50is awarded when a man has done 50% prior to the split. I worked part time from time kids were born. Ex worked full time. Long hours. Away. Not home for bedtime or if he was it was just in time to kiss good night

Court awarded shared residence(60:40 in my "favour"). Because it was in best interests of the children. Even though he couldn't be there so had to employ a nanny to cover the days they were with him. Still in their best interests. They were 2and 4 at the time

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:14:21

He'd soon put them straight though wouldn't he?

You might be surprised how many men are embarrassed/ashamed that contact with their DCs has been withheld - it's really sad.

My DH is being really open about his current situation (his ex is withholding contact, has applied to court to prevent it and is considering applying to remove PR) - and several friends/colleagues/acquaintances have disclosed that they also have DCs with whom they have been prevented from having a relationship with by their Mum.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:15:52

I didn't see it as a joke thecat. Some people are very angry and bitter at their exes and do find it difficult not to project their own situation onto everyone elses. When a bunch of people are going on and on about how crap their ex is, how crap most men are and making jokes about "men" in general, that is where stereotypes come from and there is a stereotype that NRPs are feckless fathers.

There are lots of people who call NRPs "absent parents" as a generalisation. Because NRPs are stereotyped as absent fathers who wont pay and wont take responsibility for their children.

Yes, we hear about lots of crap fathers on support forums, could it be because those who are plodding along happily with their set ups don't bother to come onto support forums to ask for advice or have a rant about their ex.

It always surprises me on these types of threads, the number of posters who pop up saying "I have a 50/50 set up with my ex". It is actually a lot more common than it appears if you only read the Lone Parents forum.

The OP asked, why are men almost always the non resident parent? There isn't a one size fits all answer is there? There are lots of different reasons;

*because the father left the relationship and didn't want to be the resident parent because he's rubbish and selfish,
*because the father was working full time and the mother a SAHM or working part time and it made sense,
*because if applying to a court, the judges are generally biased that children should be with their Mums full times and children are perfectly fine with just seeing their Dads every other weekend,
*because society as a whole thinks the norm is that a child stays with it's mother following a split and Dad will get contact.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:22:58

Brandy wasn't it changed to NRP from absent parent? because absent parent lumped dads who see their children EOW/weeknights in with the ones who never bother?

Some people are very angry and bitter at their exes and do find it difficult not to project their own situation onto everyone elses. When a bunch of people are going on and on about how crap their ex is, how crap most men are and making jokes about "men" in general, that is where stereotypes come from and there is a stereotype that NRPs are feckless fathers

Hmm, I could say the same about some of the things posted on step parenting about those evil bitter ex wives. Lots of projection over there too.

You might be surprised how many men are embarrassed/ashamed that contact with their DCs has been withheld - it's really sad

My DH is being really open about his current situation (his ex is withholding contact, has applied to court to prevent it and is considering applying to remove PR) - and several friends/colleagues/acquaintances have disclosed that they also have DCs with whom they have been prevented from having a relationship with by their Mum

I was talking about needaholidaynows DH/P though, who does have contact?

LivelySoul Sun 15-Dec-13 23:25:48

Ok, so I absolutely did not read through every post but I am surprised to find so many people thinking that the RP has a bad deal?? I have my daughter full time, never had much contact with father and when she did I was present and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I adore my daughter and I certainly do not feel hard done by doing all the work by myself. She is my beautiful little girl and I do not and will never grudge her a second of my time.

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sun 15-Dec-13 23:26:11

Here's another one for ya:

Only two-fifths (38 per cent) of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent - Gingerbread

Pretty amazing...

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:26:26

Amber - Hmm, I could say the same about some of the things posted on step parenting about those evil bitter ex wives. Lots of projection over there too.

I don't disagree. It's not right either or helpful. It just creates more bitterness between people.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Sun 15-Dec-13 23:26:31

But that isn't the case Brandy. The courts no longer think the kids should be with the mother if the father works and the mother doesn't. They uphold the right of the child to equal contact with both parents. There doesn't have to be any benefit demonstrated from this. Shared residence is favoured because it gives children the right to equal access to both parents. In my case even when the parent is absent and his place is taken by a nanny because "the nanny is acting in the place of the parent".

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:27:41

SomePeople - Does that take into account private agreements or is just just those NRPs not paying through the CSA when a case has been opened?

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:27:49

Only two-fifths (38 per cent) of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent

How do they know?

Aren't most maintenance agreements informal arrangements that don't involve the CSA?

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sun 15-Dec-13 23:31:09

It is taken from Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 15.1. DWP, 2010. I imagine they asked parents rather than just checked with the CSA.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:31:57

NoNoNo - That is not the general view of the courts in my experience. It depends on the Judge on the day. I would say that your experience is actually very rare.

I know personally a father whose ex walked out on him and their daughter. After several months she applied to court to have the child returned to her. The courts ordered daily contact for the Mum to build up to 50/50. That is NOT the normal experience for fathers. A Father would be very unlikely to be given daily contact. The norm is every other weekend.

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:32:40

The courts no longer think the kids should be with the mother if the father works and the mother doesn't. They uphold the right of the child to equal contact with both parents

Unfortunately, that is another generalisation.

"Some courts sometimes uphold the rights of children to equal contact...." would be more accurate.
Many fathers are pursuaded not to apply for shared residency by their own legal representation - instead counselled to apply for something considered 'more reasonable'.
And, like me, many Mums are represented by solicitors who question their clients instinct to consider equal/shared parenting.

I wonder how accurate it is if its done by the DWP. Are all people going to admit to receiving maintenance if they think it could affect other income?

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:35:49

Well there must be lots of PWCs receiving private agreement maintenance on here. Were they ever asked for the purpose of this survey? Anyone remember?

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sun 15-Dec-13 23:35:57

Maintenance doesn't affect benefits, if that is what you mean.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:36:59

SomePeopleNeedHelp yes thats right, I posted upthread about that and said that a lot of those that do get child support get the min amount or £5 a week [the amount someone on JSA has to pay]

It is a fact that the majority of NRPs dont pay a penny.

It is often hotly disputed though!

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:37:36

Maintenance doesn't affect benefits, if that is what you mean.

Oh yes, it does.

It doesn't currently. It used to. Who knows if it will again? Will people really want to risk having it on record if they could struggle in the future as a result?

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:38:26

Buffy maintenance is discounted when assessing benefit entitlement.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:39:32

Oh yes, it does

Oh no it doesnt!

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:40:01

Well, it does mine. It is considered part of our household income.

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sun 15-Dec-13 23:40:35

Yes I think it's more likely people are lying about getting maintenance than the fact that lots of nrps don't pay. hmm

I know I saw it AmberLeaf but I thought some cold hard stats might be enlightening.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:41:45

For what purposes Mumallthetime?

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sun 15-Dec-13 23:42:39

Mumallthetime What benefit? You need to check that out because it's not anymore for income support, tax credits etc. Ask CAB.

Well, that table is from 2008, yes? It only changed in October so prior to that maintenance did affect benefits. Wonder when in 2008 it was carried out.

And I know it's discounted now amber but I think we cross posted.

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:48:16

I think it's disputed because the methodology isn't transparent.
Noone knows how that statistic has been arrived at.

Even if RP were asked the question - did they realise what they were being asked? For instance, if a NRP has been court-ordered to pay the mortgage on the FMH (which is in turn considered maintenance by the CSA) - does the RP consider that they are being paid maintenance or not?

Supporting a DC financially can be achieved in ways other then handing a cheque over every month. School fees, paying for housing or household bills or providing a vehicle are all arrangements I have heard of in my local area. Few, if any of those mums would say they are receiving maintenance if they were asked.

perfectstorm Sun 15-Dec-13 23:49:08

He told me that 40% of CSA claims are against mothers. I was really surprised. I have yet to check out whether this is fact.

It's not. In 2011, for example, 95.1% of assessed cases involved a male NRP. Those stats were provided to Parliament directly from the CSA.

I agree that assuming 38% of single parents getting maintenance via CSA means that 62% get absolutely nothing is suspect; firstly because as has been mentioned it excludes private arrangements, when not going via CSA doesn't mean nothing is being paid, yet it assumes that; secondly because it excludes widows and those who have never involved the other parent at all; and thirdly because some NRP are themselves on such low incomes they aren't liable to pay - doesn't mean they don't care.

Again from that 2011 report: In 862,100 cases (75% of the live total) there was a liability to pay child maintenance. Maintenance was being paid in 669,400 cases. In 143,300 cases the parent with payment liability was ‘nil compliant’ (i.e. not making the expected payments during the preceding quarter).

But the fact is, a hefty number of NRP pay sod all for their kids, even if the proportion paying is probably a lot higher than 38%. It's not an inherently unfair claim to make.

A really interesting report came out earlier this year. It found having more kids with a new partner was one of the biggest factors in whether fathers saw their kids by a previous relationship; more than any other, including attitude of the first family's mother. It seems having a new family they live with fulltime can cause some fathers to lose interest in the old. That is, sadly, certainly something I recognise from my own anecdotal observations, so having research explore it was interesting to read.

AmberLeaf Sun 15-Dec-13 23:49:12

Yes we did!

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:50:01

I wasn't disputing there are lots of fathers who do not pay child maintenance, to clarify. I was genuinely interested in where the figures came from.

This figure is from the CSA's quarterly report for Sep 2013.

"717,400 cases were paying maintenance out of 881,100 cases with a child
maintenance liability. This represents a maintenance outcome rate of 81.4% and
remains the same as June 2013"

Did the figure quoted earlier take into account that not all NRPs are seen to have a liability to pay maintenance? For example if they are students or not earning?

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:50:32

I was told only last week that not entitled to Legal Aid for mediation because of the maintenance I receive - is that incorrect?

MummySantaHoHoHo Sun 15-Dec-13 23:51:38

because men get treated like shit on divorce, because women breast feed and so end up as main carers, because some men are decent and wont turf their (ex) wives out post affair so end up out of the family home through no fault of their own, because some men are tossers who dont care about their children, because 50/50 is seen by many as unsettling for children

all sorts of reasons

perfectstorm Sun 15-Dec-13 23:52:19

Mumallthetime the law on benefits and maintenance changed in 2010, it isn't meant to be included in any assessment anymore. Though I can't see the Coalition leaving it like that for long, tbh. If your tax credits etc are still being assessed that way then the assessment is mistaken - appeal, and try to have the claim backdated? You're entitled to keep every penny of the child support now, on top of the tax credit etc entitlements, I believe.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:53:12

That's true Mumallthetime - maintenance is taken into account for legal aid. But not other benefits.

MummySantaHoHoHo Sun 15-Dec-13 23:53:12

dhs exw as an NRP paid zero, zilch, nada, nothing, she also complained when I didnt thank her sufficiently for washing her own sons school uniform, some NRPs are just crap, no matter what sex they are

Mumallthetime Sun 15-Dec-13 23:55:03

Did the figure quoted earlier take into account that not all NRPs are seen to have a liability to pay maintenance? For example if they are students or not earning?

Not being liable to pay maintenance is not generally considered a reason not to pay though, is it?

My experience is that 'Dad' is expected to continue to financially support his DCs at a level that maintains their standard of living regardless of his income.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 15-Dec-13 23:56:25

It depends on the couple. These are all generalisations. But most women do more childcare than men, so it stands to reason they would get more custody.

If DH and I split, even though we both work ft, I spend more time with DD than him, and I'm sure he would be happy for me to have DD more than 50% as long as we had a reasonable agreement.

MummySantaHoHoHo Sun 15-Dec-13 23:56:39

and FWIW I had the situation described in the OP with my ex, except I always thought he had the raw end of the deal, I got to wake up with our beautiful son every day, I got the pleasure of raising him.

I would have died a million small deaths if I had had to live away from him when he was tiny, I dont see being the RP as a bad thing at all.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Sun 15-Dec-13 23:58:38

Mumallthetime - it is hoped that yes, a father would give what he could to support his children, but there are certain circumstances that the CSA will award a nil assessment, like I said when a NRP is a student or not earning or claiming anything.

If a child was living in a household with Dad earning £50,000 a year, parents split and Dad lost his job, how could he ensure he maintains the standard of living on his Job Seekers allowance. He cannot give what he doesn't have.

Maybe not morally mumallthetime but legally I think. If ex goes back to university, he won't have to pay anything towards dd.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 00:00:26

my experience is that if dad earns little or nothing. that is what you get.

perfectstorm Mon 16-Dec-13 00:01:28

Legal Aid isn't strictly speaking a benefit, is it? No clue on that, though I think you need to be on an incredibly low income to benefit these days, even for the mediation element. You should definitely ask, though - did you complete an online calculation? Check out the Ministry of Justice website, there's likely to be one on there.

It's horrible, actually. So many children will be let down by their parents being unable to access courts at all.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 00:04:55

there are certain circumstances that the CSA will award a nil assessment, like I said when a NRP is a student or not earning or claiming anything

I agree - but currently, the general opinion amongst RP (certainly the majority of those who express one) is that CSA is the minimum, any NRP who only pays that is failing his DCs and that a NRP does not have the luxury of being a student or unemployed - they should take whatever work is available.

I have seen significant support for a proposal that all NRP, regardless of income, should be assessed as receiving an income of at least a full time national minimum wage salary. I believe that if it were to happen, it will only increase the number of Dads who are relegated to the role described in the OP.

perfectstorm Mon 16-Dec-13 00:05:11

That's true Mumallthetime - maintenance is taken into account for legal aid. But not other benefits.

That's really miserable. Though not surprising, given it's a Coalition-created policy. I fully expect them to return maintenance to a source of income again if re-elected. It was the reason the CSA was first set up under Thatcher, actually - to reduce the benefit bill.

grumpyoldbat Mon 16-Dec-13 00:31:35

IME single mums whose partners have left them are treated by society as scummy little shits. The now NRP is seen as an angelic hero for seeing their child so much as an hour a week. So I find it hard to buy the argument that men always get the shit end of the deal. Not trying to argue that some men haven't been treated badly btw.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 00:37:40

yes grumpyoldbat the medal pinning that sometimes happens when dads do what they are supposed to do is a bit tiresome.

TheBigJessie Mon 16-Dec-13 00:47:02

Not addressing the present discussion, but although I don't have personal experience of child custody discussions/fights, I think I'd be aiming for 50/50! Ever since I had children, I have been very cynical about the apparent multitude of women who just block contact for no reason. Some/lots of them may be wrong about the reason, and seeing their ex as worse than he is out of anger, but that's not really the same as malicious manipulation. It's honest misjudgement.

I love my children. They are lovely and cute. The idea of a world without their existence makes me sob. But they are lively, happy, exhausting cute things.

I also like sleep, the occasional lie-in, being able to have a break MNing without interruption, being able to study, read and to have long luxurious baths! I looked after them completely on my own for a fortnight while husband was away, and I'm still holding it over him In the event of our split, I can see no way in hell that I would stop him taking them for the weekend, after a long 5 days of single parenthood, unless I believed he was a danger to them or unfit to care for them. In fact, I would be on the phone telling him it was his turn by Friday!

Darkesteyes Mon 16-Dec-13 00:50:41

YY Amber. Single mums are looked down on and told by the Fail and their ilk that they "should have kept their legs closed" while single dads with custody are hero worshipped.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 01:15:27

Amber,

Did you know that with the £5 assessment they take the £5 and devide it by all the mothers so you may even only end up with a few pence.

It never ceases to amaze me as to how many self employed nrp's end up with either a nil or the £5 even when they have nice lifestyles no debts no additional children, and the variation system is rubbish.

I was never really fussed other than making a point but it took 5 years for the csa to do anything about the fraud my ex was committing.

On a side note I had a interesting chat with a nrp a few days ago he was doing the poor me what a hateful bitch my ex is she won't let me blah blah thing,turned out he had a conviction for chucking her out of a moving car nearly killing her when she was pregnant and the court had ordered no contact even indirect due to violence in the contact centre.

I think its much easier to blame the woman and for some reason people tend to find that easy to belive that it is to admit your actually a really shit person who should not go within 50 yards of a child.

I've lost count of the amount who blame the ex but in RL don't really want to bother but obviously won't admit that to anybody because whilst its socially ok to just not bother its not socially ok to admit out loud you cant be bothered so I will confess when I hear women in a new relationship say he wants to see his kids but she won't let him I tend to think give it a few years and you may find out why.
And any mention of enforced use of a contact centre or protection order or anything like that is enough to make me think yep shite git of a dad.

Obviously my opinion is a based on the things I see not all men or all women and te things I see are very different to the things more sheltered people may see.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 01:52:30

yeah sock, I am more familiar with the way they divvy up that £5 than I would like! it's just not worth it.

I know men who lie to the point of believing themselves about the reasons why they don't get to see their children.

slagging off their exes and moaning about not seeing their kids when I know that the reasons are because of their actions. if you say a lie enough you make it a reality I suppose.

I've seen it so that I am sceptical every time.

Grennie Mon 16-Dec-13 02:43:40

Courts tend to make the resident parent the one who already does the majority of the parenting. That tends to be women.

justabystander Mon 16-Dec-13 02:59:29

pragmatically, just go for what makes your life easy.
would you not want your child to have an easy life.
set an example.

Santaspelvicfloor Mon 16-Dec-13 05:31:52

I would like to think that the majority of men would want 50/50 and the majority of parents would see financial responsibility for bringing up DC a joint venture

Before my divorce I was confident that xH would see his DC as much as possible. He was unlikely to do 50/50 but I was sure he would pay CM

Upon divorce he agreed to all of the above amicably.

Within 4 months he stopped paying and decided to fight to be the NRP. As court action loomed to hold him to the consent order he packed in a well paid career he had held for 20yrs. The courts cannot order money if the NRP is not earning...

He persuaded one DC to live with him. (The same DD who sat on my sofa last night and told me she knows she was being manipulated). That lasted months in which time I did voluntarily give him CM despite having two DC myself and receiving none from him....

When DD came back home (horrendously traumatic time for all) xH stopped all contact with DC for 4 months. I phoned him and pleaded with him to see one because it was so distressing for her.

He pays no CM. His contact is minimal. He works a few hours a week now. I work full time with full residency

I would like to say my experience was shocking, horrific and highly unusual. Unfortunately I think it's fairly common

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 06:52:04

I've seen it so that I am sceptical every time.

It is your scepticism and labelling of all men as irresponsible, lying and a let down that leads in turn to the branding of all separated/divorced mothers as manhaters.

What's worse is that many women who feel as you do turn on other mums who have a supportive/responsible ex - as if a mum who is successfully coparenting somehow undermines the experience of those mums whose exs aren't so responsible.

Isn't it possible that everyone's experience is unique?

Santaspelvicfloor Mon 16-Dec-13 06:58:30

Of course every experience is unique. It's just some single mums seem to have a lot of shared experiences ...

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 07:00:15

* It's just some single mums seem to have a lot of shared experiences ...*

As do a lot of NR Dads - but we should take their experience with a pinch of salt?

fuzzywuzzy Mon 16-Dec-13 07:07:55

I don't think courts are biased towards the mother for residency. I actually personally only know one father who went for residency and got it.

I'm pretty sure if both parents fought for residency the courts would order fifty fifty or maintaining the status quo with an aim for contact to be such that eventually it is fifty fifty.

From my own experience I had to fight very hard for my children to not have to endure direct contact with ex, who was continuing to mentally abuse my DC during contact and was grooming my eldest. My eldest was very mentally disturbed because of it.
I know of many other mothers and children subject to contact orders to the detriment of the child and social services and CAHMS will not step in as it's with the courts.

SatinSandals Mon 16-Dec-13 07:14:52

People want the mundane parts of parenting, they are the ones that count and get you close- being the 'Disney' parent may seem appealing when you are clearing up sick at 2am but they are the sad ones who miss out. Women get at least 50% because that is what they want.

SatinSandals Mon 16-Dec-13 07:16:45

It sounds a very good deal to me- I would absolutely hate to pay cash, follow my own interests and see them once a week- that is not why I had children.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 07:17:06

fuzzy You might be pretty sure that courts would award 50:50, but there is a high profile case in the Court of Appeal right now that directly challenges your view:

Case of M

Personally, I think that any system is flawed if it allows even one DC to be deprived of one parent for no reason than the behaviour of the other.

Crowler Mon 16-Dec-13 07:18:00

My very good friend who is going through a divorce right now has made it impossible for her husband to have shared custody. Her not working for the past several years has put strain on their marriage which has led directly to it's demise, and now the fact that she hasn't been working means that she's seen as the main carer.

I love my friend, but I can't even imagine how much her ex must hate her.

Santaspelvicfloor Mon 16-Dec-13 07:32:29

Mumallthetime
As do a lot of NR Dads - but we should take their experience with a pinch of salt?

I haven't at any point said that. Minimising shared experiences is taking it with a pinch of salt. I think you have a bit of an agenda here yourself, which is fine, everyone does - but don't kid yourself you haven't and the rest of us are all wrong.

I don't condone the all men are bastards viewpoint because frankly that is a tragic thought. I know some lovely men. I also know some two horrible examples of women who actively excluded the father from the children's lives after divorce. Vile behaviour.

I do however believe that although that happens, it is far rarer than the numbers of lone parents coping alone with no maintenance.

Another opinion proffered: The 'blame for marrying that type of man'... Yes it falls squarely on my shoulders. We were married for nearly 23 yrs. 23 yrs of being a good father and a good man. It's not as black and white as people think

Santaspelvicfloor Mon 16-Dec-13 07:33:44

Crowley I am observing similar behaviour in a friend. Several mutual friends are confronting it but the red mist of divorce has settled.

MoreBeta Mon 16-Dec-13 07:38:21

I know various sets of divorced couples who have worked out their own arrangements where the man has a significant share of the parenting role.

One case where the man has formal custody of the children. His ex wife works in television and basically does not want the children living with her at all as it it would constrain her career choices. She spends a lot of time in the USA. She is literally 'Disney Mum'.

I know another man who is the non resident parent but lives and works very close to the former home and takes his daughter to school picks her up, supervises her after school every day and looks after her at last one day at the weekend. That 50:50 share allows her mother to have a career as well The daughter goes home at about 6 pm every day to sleep and sometimes eat with her mother. The father drops the daughter off on the doorstep.

Several other parents who are divorced that we know send their children to boarding school so both parents can work and then they share their children in holidays - I am not sure this is a very good idea and as the children don't know where 'home' is.

Crowler Mon 16-Dec-13 07:41:52

Santa my friend is pretty unhinged ATM. I doubt anyone will confront. her. She has a laser-like focus on how wronged she is.

Groovee Mon 16-Dec-13 07:44:03

I know quite a few single dad's who are the resident parent. Usually because they were the parent who did the most home/caring while mum continued with their career.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 07:48:15

my friend is pretty unhinged ATM. I doubt anyone will confront. her. She has a laser-like focus on how wronged she is.

Which is no different from friends turning a blind eye when a NRP avoids maintenance/refuses contact.

Society is allowing these things to happen and it will take generations to change it.

Crowler Mon 16-Dec-13 07:49:24

Yes, I agree that I'm wrong here. I'm afraid the time for me to have said something is in the past.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 07:55:40

My fiancé would love to be the RP. His marriage broke down because his ex wife made him choose between her or his parents (among other demands). His parents are lovely so it wasn't his parents that were the problem.
He didn't do 50% of the care before the split because he worked full time so she could be a SAHM. When he arrived home, she passed the children to him, weekends were his responsibility too and "holidays" were for her to sunbathe and him to look after the children.

Since the separation, she has allowed 2 hours supervised contact per week (not even allowed to take pictures of his own children). He has never been aggressive or violent towards her, no other welfare risks. CAFCASS removed their involvement right from the start of their court case. Her own solicitor told our barrister that she's "unhinged".

Now he's spent thousands of pounds trying to get more access, he's up to 5 hours unsupervised, except she doesn't have them ready and says things to the children so they don't want to go. For example, telling them that there are naughty boys at my house (my son is autistic, she's never met me or him) or encouraging them to call him by his name instead of Daddy.

He never does the Disney dad thing, not even to encourage them to come for contact. He's a fantastic dad. I haven't seen him with his own apart from on videos but he is the best step father my sons could wish for.

He pays 25% of his take home pay in CM and as for pursuing his own interests - we don't have any money left after the legal fees! He took all of the marital debt and left her all of the equity in the house, and we're talking tens of thousands on both sides.

Not all NRP are lazy or irresponsible. YABU.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 07:58:32

mumallthetime

You do know your the only one currently talking about the decent dads don't you, because we are all talking about the shit ones.

Most posters have made it perfectly clear they are talking about there own experiences,its a bit daft to go through a thread making bizarre statements like your doing in the context of this thread, why don't you start your own about man hating cunts who deprive children from wonderful fathers,it shouldn't get as clogged up by pesky pwc's talking about there own situations and how real having a shit nrp is for them and there children.

Fwiw, I've never seen or known a pwc who has a shit nrp involved be anything other than very very jealous and impressed when faced with others who have good nrp's involved.

I come across a very high amount of really bad nrp's ( not representative of the comunity as a whole) and I mean really bad ones and even I don't think they are all like that,its just the bad ones who are, the good ones are not likely to be described in a thread like this.

happygirl87 Mon 16-Dec-13 08:05:10

Regardless of good and bad parents, to go to the original qu of the thread, I presume there are more male NRPs in cases where both parents are committed etc pre-split, because men are more likely to work full time, men have not had career breaks for mat leave, men aren't bfing and so the woman usually has more direct child related responsibility pre split, and this is continued after the s

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 08:09:56

Sorry mumallthetime I've just noticed your doing the challenge generalisation thing as opposed to posting as a fluid discussion.

Whilst its good to challenge things like that it does make it quite strange to try and follow so its easy to misinterpret

happygirl87 Mon 16-Dec-13 08:13:13

Regardless of good and bad parents, to go to the original qu of the thread, I presume there are more male NRPs in cases where both parents are committed etc pre-split, because men are more likely to work full time, men have not had career breaks for mat leave, men aren't bfing and so the woman usually has more direct child related responsibility pre split, and the man is more likely to have greater work commitments and this is continued after the split. I assume this is also why there are more SAHM than SAHD (on average- obviously for some people it works the other way!)

Anecdotally- my stepmother is RP for her two boys as at time of split one was baby, bfing etc, and she had been SAHM before the split.
My Dad was NRP because when my parents divorced they asked us (we were 15 and 12) and we both wanted to live with our DM as had been closer to her growing up (even though divorce was at her instigation, she had affair, she left marital home and we went with her).
My DP(male) is NRP because he worked away from home in another city and could only see his DD and (now ex-) DP at weekends before they split, and during the week he lived in a house share with other guys- neither work schedule nor living arrangements were suitable for then 2 yr old DD, plus she currently lived with her DM 100s of miles away from her DF, in a situation with childcare set up and within 10 miles of all 4 grandparents. On a purely practical level, him becoming RP would have made no sense.

happygirl87 Mon 16-Dec-13 08:14:32

Sorry earlier I hit post too soon!

mumandboys123 Mon 16-Dec-13 08:15:39

My ex wanted full residence of our children. To try and obtain this he told a lot of lies about me to the courts and to CAFCASS officers. I had agreed a 3 day a week arrangement with him (3 days to him, 4 to me) and was more than willing to uphold that until the children came home with tales of being slapped around the face by the girlfriend and my then 4 year old asking me what a 'fucking dirty slag' was because 'that's what daddy and S call you, mummy'.

The children now live with me full-time. The ex eventually got rid of the vile girlfriend but has had countless others since. All introduced to the children within a couple of weeks of seeing them - the latest introduced only after they had decided to move in together so he had no idea whatsoever how she would be with them (she seems lovely, thank goodness). He disappeared entirely for about 18 months (went living with vile girlfriend again).

As soon as my ex got his court order, he stopped seeing the children anywhere near as much as the order suggests he is allowed, by law. I guess the reality is that children get in the way of going out and having a good time. Or he had his fun dragging me through court (not so funny when he got his legal bill, I suspect!) and now he feels the need to torment me in other ways. He is currently super dad (presumably 'cos of latest girlfriend and being seen to be super dad) so that's good for the moment.

I would happily share residence if he were prepared to sensibly share the care of the children, share the commitment it takes to bring them up, share the cost of bringing them up and be committed to having them see us work as a team, despite our differences. I have more chance of seeing flying pigs.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 08:18:17

Rubbish uninvolved parents who are like that during a relationship rarely tend to change after it.

I'm quite sure there are a fairly high amount of break ups because one party is rubbish and uninvolved

Im guessing Dads who share the load are probably less likely to be nrp's because one would think that it would reduce stress on a relationship and that would be a happier one, so may be under represented because of fewer break ups.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 08:33:09

Where do you draw the line between the role of husband and Dad though, sock?

If a man fails to support his DW to the degree she wishes in her career or life goals does that make him a bad dad because Mum isn't happy, which in turn, affects the DCs?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 08:52:36

I don't think I know many people who would jump ship on a marriage because of a lack of support on life goals but I do know lots who would if that was on top of much worse behaviours or the cause of abusive behaviour.

But if you have a parent who is actively involved in parenting and both parents are interchangeable with regard to the children and they just fell out of love it would strike me as more likely for those parents to continue parenting like that as I expect its less likely to end up in hostility.

Bonsoir Mon 16-Dec-13 08:56:05

My DP and his exW had a 50:50 split that has morphed over time into residency with DP and me. So I suppose our family bucks the trend.

In our case it is a case of the children preferring one home over the other. DSS2 said to us very recently when leaving for a day at his mother's house: "I must go to zoo now."

Bonsoir Mon 16-Dec-13 08:56:21

to the zoo

fuzzywuzzy Mon 16-Dec-13 09:08:31

Mumallthetime, that link you have put up shows the court did order contact but the mother refused to comply, I was told quite clearly if I did not adhere to contact I could end up in prison.

That's one news article, there aren't many news articles about the crap NRP's.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 09:16:29

I was told quite clearly if I did not adhere to contact I could end up in prison.

Has it ever happened, though?

Has a RP who blocks contact ever ACTUALLY been sent to prison? Or is it a threat that scares most RP into compliance, with no actually legal basis? Does anyone know of anyone? Has a case ever come to the attention of the media?

Given that the RP has the right to refuse contact if they have reasonable excuse even if an Order has been issued, I'm surprised any "non-compliance" cases are ever successful - how hard can it be for a RP to argue that they had a good reason for not allowing contact to take place?

HowardTJMoon Mon 16-Dec-13 09:20:52

I was told quite clearly if I did not adhere to contact I could end up in prison.

It's an empty threat. I've never heard of a case where a PWC has actually spent time in prison for withholding contact. Despite the legal threats PWCs can often get away with withholding or otherwise frustrating contact with no comeback on them whatsoever.

If a PWC repeatedly ignores court-ordered contact then, very rarely, the court will order that the PWC loses residency. That's the biggest realistic threat but it really is not common. Not least because it takes years and many court appearances to get to that point by which time many children will be too old for a contact order to have any meaning anyway. It's a risky strategy for the NRP too - a court is just as likely to reduce contact in such situations in an attempt to minimise the conflict.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 09:23:26

I don't know about prison but I have heard of the odd case whether the NRP has been given residency. It's very rare though because the court has to prove that the benefits of making that kind of decision outweigh the negative effects of removing a child from its home.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 09:24:20

It's a risky strategy for the NRP too - a court is just as likely to reduce contact in such situations in an attempt to minimise the conflict.

Which is exactly what happened in the ongoing case I linked to - 82 court orders and the last Court Application resulted in an order for "no contact" between the DC and her Dad - hence the appeal court hearing. This is a battle he has been fighting for 12 years. Nothing is changing.

TheBigJessie Mon 16-Dec-13 09:27:51

I will confess when I hear women in a new relationship say he wants to see his kids but she won't let him I tend to think give it a few years and you may find out why.

This. Sometimes it's true. I do know that. But one of the most valuable things you can do is to listen to what your prospective boyfriend/girlfriend says about their ex and read between the lines.

For example, the thing in my experience that differentiates people who were really a victim and those who take no responsibility for being an abusive arse is that the latter's story is short on facts, but long on invective and "poor me, s/he just wants to hurt me". It's difficult to describe in words, really <ponders> but IRL I've got it down.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 16-Dec-13 09:29:40

I adhered to the contact order regardless of the suffering it caused my children due to the threat of prison/losing residency.

Interestingly ex has never ever contested residency and he only applied for contact when the CSA caught up with him (after he initially convinced them to close the case suggesting we had a private arrangement-which we did not).

I wonder exactly how many NRP actually fight for residency.

MummySantaHoHoHo Mon 16-Dec-13 09:30:17

I'll tell you what happens to ignoring court ordered contact nothing. Nothing at all. Legalised kidnapping.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 09:35:41

jessie I agree.

It's also worth observing inconsistancies in the ex's behaviour - for instance, in the case currently in the media, the claims made by the mother of emotional/physical abuse are undermined by the fact that on several occasions, she has willingly placed her DD in her ex's care. If she genuinely feared for the safety/welfare of her DD, then she wouldn't allow her anywhere near her Dad regardless of her DD's opinion.

This is the situation my DH is currently facing - a few months ago, his DS Mum refused contact because DS was frightened/bullied by DH (to the point where she believed that removing DH's PR was the best thing for DS), yet a matter of weeks later, with no subsequent intervention or explaination, she was insisting that DS spend three consecutive o/n stays with DH.

Mim78 Mon 16-Dec-13 09:36:13

I would want to be resident parent if I split with dh. 50/50 would be ok but I'd prefer most of the care.

Most of the posts on here where mums complain is where the Dad is messing her about ans not doing his part of arrangement.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 09:43:38

I wonder exactly how many NRP actually fight for residency.

Fuzzy As I said downthread, many NRP are disuaded from applying for residency by Solicitors - in particular in my experience, Solicitors who are members of Resolution.

For example - my DH has had three different solicitors involved in his case at different times - the first advised him to "accept whatever scraps of contact his ex threw at him", the second was incredibly adversarial and proposed a strategy to discredit his ex and not only limit her contact with her DC's but also destroy her career in the process (he wasn't a member of Resolution, btw!), and the third advised him that the "best" he could hope for was a shared residency order and that is what he applied for in order to "appear reasonable" - which CAFCASS eventually advised against due to the conflict between parents.
And, DH had been an equal/primary carer of both DC's throughout their lives up to that point, so that was not a consideration.

Since being open about the situation, many Dads have told DH the same thing - that they wanted to fight for their DC's but their solicitor advised against it. And to be honest, when you read the horror stories, I can undertand why.

MummySantaHoHoHo Mon 16-Dec-13 10:10:25

DH s story is a nightmare it's to outing but he was advised by his solicitor not to apply for residency or 50/50 from the start.

KingRollo Mon 16-Dec-13 10:12:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Mon 16-Dec-13 10:16:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HowardTJMoon Mon 16-Dec-13 10:24:25

many NRP are disuaded from applying for residency by Solicitors - in particular in my experience, Solicitors who are members of Resolution.

Even Families Need Fathers suggest leaving court action as an absolute last resort. The reasoning is that once it hits the courts it all too often becomes a battle that can only be won or lost and so the focus shifts to fighting the other parent rather than concentrating on what's genuinely best for the children.

I always find it awkward when the new partner talks about why the NRP and RP broke up and the blame is always solidly on the RP and how awful she was. I mean, the post above, how dare the woman want to share childcare with the father of her children when he's been at work all day. The lazy mare! Doesn't she know that she was meant to be the child skivvy permanently because he was big man money earner? As for expecting some time to enjoy weekends and holidays, silly woman. She should have been earning her right to be a sahm tut tut!

It's just so... convenient. What man is really going to tell his new partner the truth if it paints him in a bad light? I wonder how many of our exes tell their new partners about their big bad unhinged ex partners who won't let them see the children even though they did eveeeeeerything before the split.

I'm sure there are some horrid women but most of the time, I read posts bleating about how good a dad the NRP was before they split and think, how do you know? Were you there?

And I always wonder how much influence the new partner has had on the NRP applying for contact. Got to look good for the new partner and abandoning children doesn't fit the image.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 10:35:11

I always find it awkward when the new partner talks about why the NRP and RP broke up and the blame is always solidly on the RP and how awful she was

Well, sometimes they ARE awful - unless you are advocating double standards when Mum has an OM, compared to Dad having an OW?

bibliomania Mon 16-Dec-13 10:35:26

It's also worth observing inconsistancies in the ex's behaviour - for instance, in the case currently in the media, the claims made by the mother of emotional/physical abuse are undermined by the fact that on several occasions, she has willingly placed her DD in her ex's care. If she genuinely feared for the safety/welfare of her DD, then she wouldn't allow her anywhere near her Dad regardless of her DD's opinion

I'm not commenting on the case, because I don't know anything about it, but I will say that I have been guilty of this inconsistency. The problem is that abuse can be cyclical, and there can be times when the relationship between father and child is going well, and times when it is much more troubled. And I agonise over whether and how much to take advantage of the positive times so that dd at least gets to have some positive memories of her father. Most people aren't one-note monsters - they have some good and some bad. Can I let my dd have some access to the good while trying to protect her against the bad? It's an agonisingly difficult line to draw.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Mon 16-Dec-13 10:36:37

Howard - court may be a last resort but when solicitors are used to negotiate contact arrangements prior to any court hearings, fathers are still told NOT to bother trying to argue for 50/50 contact. Every other weekend is the norm and that is what solicitors advise too. They actively discourage fathers from applying for more and many mothers know that every other weekend has been the norm for years and so are reluctant to agree anymore.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 10:44:04

Mumallthetime
ah, you have got it very wrong im afraid.

im not labelling all men as irresponsible etc. I was talking specifically about those that bemoan their lack of contact with their children. typically going on to say what a bitch their children's mum is and that it is all her fault.

that is what I am instantly sceptical of.

'women who think like you'...etc how do I think?

I have a reasonably good relationship with my ex. he has regular overnight contact with our children. I think he could probably do more with them, but he also has a fairly young younger child. he isn't a bad Dad.

I know plenty of good Dads, some still married, some separated. Some single Dads. my own Dad was/is brilliant even after my parents split.

The person I mentioned up thread that has majority residence of his child...that is my DP.

I am not a 'manhater' nor would anyone who knows me ever call me that.

I just happen to know lots of people whose experience is not positive. It is always the same story. irresponsible dads seem to have a script and plenty of willing wars to listen.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 10:46:39

Buffy excellent post.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 10:50:15

amber apologies - your use of the phrase ...every time.... led me to conclude that you do not consider each case on their merits.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 10:55:39

edit; that should have said 'plenty of willing ears to listen' not willing 'wars'grin

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 10:58:17

Thank you Mumallthetime.

I do consider each case on individual merit. but I have heard enough to know bullshit when I hear it.

mumtobealloveragain Mon 16-Dec-13 11:04:14

I my opinion..

Men are more likely to be the ones who get up and leave the relationship and the kids.

However, I think lots of women fight for or accept a greater share of residency than they want or can handle because of the stigma of being the mum who didn't want her kids!

Well, sometimes they ARE awful - unless you are advocating double standards when Mum has an OM, compared to Dad having an OW?

Well, I didn't comment on other anybodies and was talking about break ups in general so no double standards advocated. But if I think of the RP being to blame for the split, maybe she cheated or something and ended the marriage to get with the new man, I'd just say that gives the NRP an even bigger sob story to manipulate with the new partner if he chooses too. It then lets him completely ignore any of his failings that might affect how much contact he gets (eg didnt do any childcare before the split, rarely bothered with the children, hasn't bothered since the split until he met the new gf) because he gets to say "well, she cheated so none of its my fault. It's not my fault I don't see my children, it's hers" which is automatic sympathy from a lot of sympathy from a lot of people and an automatic excuse for why they haven't pursued contact or why contact isn't as much as they'd like.

Rather than reveal the real reason to anybody (including new partners) they can just chunter on about how she's just being a bitch, she wants to play happy families with the new man, she's trying to erase him from their lives. Meanwhile really the ex wife chased him for ages arranging contact and only reduced the offer to a set amount of a couple of hours for the children's sake but that doesn't look so desirable to new partners or anyone with a heart and brain.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 11:18:20

Buffy - being a SAHM doesn't mean you shirk all responsibility outside working hours! I used to be a SAHM too - I appreciated that my (nowex)H would also want to relax on holiday. I never said anything about her "earning her right to be SAHM". How silly. Being a SAHM is hard. So is going out to work. Outside of those times I believe parents should share the responsibility, not dump it all on one person.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 11:20:18

if I think of the RP being to blame for the split, maybe she cheated or something and ended the marriage to get with the new man, I'd just say that gives the NRP an even bigger sob story to manipulate with the new partner if he chooses too.

Yeah - cos heaven forbid he should be hurt/upset and sad that his exW broke up the family by having an affair; her infidelity just gives him the opportunity to play the victim and win the sympathy vote.

I suggest you run that past some of the (justifiably) hurt/angry Mums on the Lone Parents board who have been cheated on.

Of course there are a (small) propotion of Dads who have been cheated on and are also crap parents, have failed to make any effort to see their DC's since the split and who wear their victim t-shirt with pride but I suspect they are few and far between. I've never read of such a case on MN, despite thousands of posts from resident Mums with crap ex's.

There seem to be lots of crap Dads who have affairs, not many seem to be cheated on, though?

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 11:24:03

And yes I'm sure plenty of husbands do show the RP in a bad light. In our case, we don't need to. Like I said, her own solicitor called her unhinged. She is manipulative, outright lied about domestic violence claims in court and is obstructive with contact even when she admits she has no credible reason to do so. How do I know he's a good dad? Because I see how it tears him apart to be away from his children, I see how he is a fantastic step father to my children and how excited he gets about contact with his own. I see how he spent the first 6 months after the split doing everything he could to make her happy because he felt so guilty for leaving because he couldn't cut contact with her parents for her. He still tries to do everything as amicably as possible even when she puts every barrier possible in the way.

Be cynical if you want but sometimes the RP is the one at fault and is damaging her own children in the process.

HowardTJMoon Mon 16-Dec-13 11:24:23

Men are more likely to be the ones who get up and leave the relationship and the kids.

IME relationship break-downs are instigated by men and women in pretty much equal measure. But it is more likely that if there are children then it will be the man moving out rather than the woman.

mumtobealloveragain Mon 16-Dec-13 11:25:42

I also agree that men are being advised by resolution solicitors not to fight for residency or even 50:50 shared residency.

My DP has 50:50 residency of his two children and has been advised by two different solicitors not to put a foot wrong as his ex could easily apply to Court and get majority residency.

I didn't say it did shallol. It's just a bit rich to complain about doing some of the childcare before the split and also complain about not getting the chance to do as much as would be liked after. But anyway, my point was you don't know if the ex dumped everything on your partner or just asked for a balanced amount of shared responsibilities because you weren't there. You only have what he says to go on.

mumallthetime, did you read the rest of my post? That comment was in context of using the sob story not just for sympathy but to bat away any of his own failings that contribute to his not having contact. And we must be reading a different mumsnet. There are regularly women posting as the new partner of a man who is always described as a wonderful dad (despite not trying to see his children until he met this new partner) and they often trot out the line "and she was the one who cheated on him!" when trying to excuse his lack of trying to get contact.

HowardTJMoon Mon 16-Dec-13 11:27:51

There seem to be lots of crap Dads who have affairs, not many seem to be cheated on, though?

The last statistics I saw suggested that men and women have affairs pretty much equally. Not that you'd know this from threads on MN, of course. On the rare threads here where women do admit to having an affair it's always couched in terms of "The relationship was pretty much dead by then anyway". Exactly the same kind of excuse that men get absolutely castigated on here for saying when it's them that's having the affair. Funny old world, isn't it?

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 11:32:29

He didn't complain about doing it. When he told me I was shocked that she didn't spend any time with her children or give him chance to relax on holiday. He thought it was normal.
And frankly I disagree. So if he had have complained about not ever getting a break, that means he should be happy with 1.5hours supervised contact, being watched over by the ex wife and not even being allowed to take a photo? That's acceptable? That's fair? That's good for the children? Remember she has no basis for welfare concerns, CAFCASS said there were none and she has since pulled all concerns as she couldn't provide a shred of evidence that he was a risk to his own children.
We don't have to know things for definite to make judgements and there is no absolute "truth". On the balance of probabilities and given that my DF is the most caring, gentle (verging on doormat) man I've ever met, I'll draw my own conclusions.

KingRollo Mon 16-Dec-13 11:34:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 11:39:10

My DF felt like he didn't deserve contact. From what he's told me, it's pretty clear there was ongoing emotional abuse from her to him and when I met him he was like a shadow. He didn't know he could stand up for himself. He didn't know he had to fight for his children. He got constantly told he was "taking them out of their lives" and "normalising divorce". Does it frustrate me when he doesn't push harder for contact? Yes. But he's like this because he constantly puts others first. All I did was teach him that he matters as a person, that children need their dad and boost his self esteem enough to see what a great father he actually is.

Attitudes like this just fed into his concern - he left so he must be at fault, right? That's what he thought. He thought he was one of those dads that had ruined everything.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 11:40:30

I also agree that men are being advised by resolution solicitors not to fight for residency or even 50:50 shared residency

Maybe this is the answer to the OP's question - not that there are more crap dads who want to shirk responsibility than there are responsible Dads, but that the responsible Dads are being discouraged from taking equal responsibility by society and the system.

If Dads are told don't ask for too much, you'll appear unreasonable and Mums are told don't offer too much, you'll be seen as uncaring, then the inevitable consequence is that DC's end up in the primary care of their Mum.

HowardTJMoon Mon 16-Dec-13 11:41:05

I come on here to offload about my arse of an ex too. But I find it quite easy not to tar all women with the same brush in doing so.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 11:42:42

And if I seem forceful it's because I feel that way. He is a good man, a good father and a good partner. He pays child maintenance above the CSA rate (he was originally paying double what they suggested), he never misses a contact session. He should be praised, as RPs and indeed all parents should be praised when they are acting in the best interests of their children, not have it suggested that maybe he's lying to make himself look better!

And there we get to the full story. Which is the same as every other new partner post ever. He didn't know he had to fight. He didn't know he could. He didn't want to disrupt their lives. He only didn't do it because he was putting them first. I might be harsh and cynical but all I see are excuses to explain not bothering with contact that make him look good in the eyes of his new partner. Exactly what I was saying before. Are there ever any men who tell their new partners they didn't pursue contact because it was easier? Less hassle? No, because it isn't as attractive as the poor me, evil cow approach.

happybubblebrain Mon 16-Dec-13 11:53:11

I do 100% of the work and pay for 100% of all expenses. DD's dad does his bit - he turns up sometimes (when he feels like it) stays for an hour or two (in that time he eats our food and uses our computer) then disappears again (sometimes for months on end). That is his choice and there is little I can do about it. My experience is that men don't do much childcare, if any, because they are far too selfish and far too lazy.

There are plenty of men out there saying they wish they had more time with their children, but many of them are lying to make themselves look better to others. Don't be a mug by believing them.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 11:55:17

And there we get to the full story. Which is the same as every other new partner post ever. He didn't know he had to fight. He didn't know he could. He didn't want to disrupt their lives. He only didn't do it because he was putting them first.

Buffy I think you've been cherry picking what you read!

Have you not seen the dozens of posts from "new partners" who are the catalyst that leads to withholding/reduced contact, and even more frequent posts from Resident Mums who wish to withhold contact because their ex has a girlfriend who he has/wants to introduce to the DC's?

In those cases, contact has been successful, sometimes for years, and the "new" partner (when does one cease to be new btw?) is seen as a threat to the DC's.

In other cases, unrealted events (disputs over money, differences in parenting style etc) lead to breakdown in contact. While there are some situations in which the "new" partner could reasonably deduce that their beau was a shit Dad, in many others, it is his commitmen to parenting that they are attracted to - which makes it all the more painful when they (the new partner) is held responsible for the breakdown in contact.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 11:55:52

He went every week without fail for the only contact he was allowed. He drove 1 hour to get there, was watched over for 1.5hours and then drove an hour back. He couldn't take them out. He couldn't take photos.

Be cynical all you like. I've watched him sit and sob because he didn't know what to do - because he had spent 12 years being emotionally abused to the point of being a shell who didn't even know he had a say. While I'm sure there are fathers that use this as an excuse is not one of life's shirkers and I'm sure he is not alone. Since he's met me and had therapy to overcome his guilt and shame and grief he's fought relentless in a child focused way. Unlike her.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 11:58:42

DD's dad does his bit - he turns up sometimes (when he feels like it) stays for an hour or two (in that time he eats our food and uses our computer) then disappears again (sometimes for months on end). That is his choice and there is little I can do about it.

There are plenty of men out there saying they wish they had more time with their children, but many of them are lying to make themselves look better to others

.......and there are plenty of Resident Mums like yourself who play the victim and claim they can do nothing. Really? He forces his way in? Steals your food and forces you to allow him to use your computer and gunpoint?

Rubbish. If you want to claim that the majority of men are irresponsible, then expect to be accused of enabling it.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 11:59:25

And I might point out that it was the RP explicitly saying those things, that he was taking them out of their lives and didn't deserve contact. How do I know that? I saw the emails she sent.

marmaladeandguitars Mon 16-Dec-13 12:00:49

agree that it is incredibly easy for NRP to lie through their teeth in regards to the evil ex/contact with children.

Actions speak louder than words. Anybody can say how hard they fought to see their kids, but what did they actually do

The answer is usually a hop, skip and a jump away from 'nothing'.

Talk is cheap.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 12:09:45

marmalade just as easy as it is for the RP to say that their ex is abusive/useless/irrepsonsible - but what do they DO about it?

Even on this thread, a post from a mum who sometimes withholds contact because they believe that their DC is at risk of abuse, but at other times, allows contact to go ahead. Daily threads from Mums who "don't want" to call the CSA, because they've heard they're useless/know their ex will hide income etc.

Considering the tools available - such as applying for supervised or indirect contact or using the CSA to secure maintenance - the lack of action on the part of some resident parents suggests that their talk is just as cheap.

bibliomania Mon 16-Dec-13 12:16:21

Woah, that refers to me, I presume, Mumallthetime? Well, I've got yet another meeting with a social worker this week and am back in court in Jan and have incurred legal fees of over £15,000 trying to stop my exH getting more and more access, so no, talk hasn't been cheap for me.

marmaladeandguitars Mon 16-Dec-13 12:21:28

Fair enough- though the CSA is pretty awful, and I can't blame some people for not wanting anything to do with them, sometimes for more stress than it's worth. I have seen a friend of mine absolutely distraught, because thanks to a CSA balls up, they claimed she owed her ex £800 of maintenance due to an over payment. She didn't- it eventually got sorted after a few weeks, but at the time she was very vulnerable, struggling massively, and didn't need the added complications.

I don't know about the mothers who claim abuse but still maintain contact- I'm sure it happens, but I'm also fairly sure that it happens a lot less than cases of NRPS who don't bother with their kids

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 12:24:10

biblio - that is exactly my point.

Despite significant financial and emotional expenditure you have been unable to protect your DC to the extent you would like.

Yet, on this thread, the fact that a Dad doesn't have regular, significant contact with his DC's is being used as evidence that he isn't doing anything - after all, if abusive Dads like your ex can secure contact, then how hard can it be? It doesn't seem to matter how much effort a Dad puts in, unless he can prove what he has done to see his DC's then he should be considered to be "all words and no action" by default.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 12:26:27

though the CSA is pretty awful, and I can't blame some people for not wanting anything to do with them, sometimes for more stress than it's worth.

I can assure you that dealing with the CSA cock-ups is a walk in the park compared to most NRP experience of family court (I've done both).
If a RP cannot be blamed for wanting to avoid the stress of the CSA, why the hell should NRP be casigated for avoiding the stress of family court? Surely both ultimately fail the DC's?

MummySantaHoHoHo Mon 16-Dec-13 12:34:30

In my experience in the real world men and women are just as bad as each other for having affairs - but a mother having an affair rarely results in her leaving fmh or losing her children.

Of the NRPs I know who don't or rarely see their children, 2 are women, 2 are men.. Of these 4, 2 women pay nothing, 1 man pays and 1 doesn't.

The men - one who doesn't and has not paid since they were small children are grown up) he was banned from contact and doesn't know where they are - he freely admits he was a complete and utter tosser and wishes he had been different, The other man has been to hell and back and pays but has no contact.

The women - 1 doesn't think she did ever did anything wrong, 1 insists the father (rp) has distorted everything - children feel abandoned (I know dcs who are late teens now) but regardless has never paid maint.

On breakdown of relationship - 3 out of 4 (2 rp men 1 rp woman) kept the fmh.

marmaladeandguitars Mon 16-Dec-13 12:37:24

I don't think failing to chase up CSA for a couple of quid is in quite the same as making no effort to pursue a relationship with one's child. Unless the CSA amount is such that it would make a massive difference to the child's quality of life, but I'm sure in those circumstance the RP would push for maintenance.

Also, in my friend's case (anecdotal, I know) as the RP, after a horrible, traumatic separation, she had a lot more to deal with than her ex did, frankly. The CSA overpayment was the straw that broke the camel's back, in that instance, on top of everything else.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 12:39:47

If a RP cannot be blamed for wanting to avoid the stress of the CSA, why the hell should NRP be casigated for avoiding the stress of family court? Surely both ultimately fail the DC's?

Well, one of those results in probably not getting any financial help from your childrens other parent. That isn't you failing your child, if the other parent just paid up, you wouldn't need to CSA in the first place.

The other, results in not seeing your children.

I know which one of those I'd let slide and which one I wouldn't.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 12:47:01

Let slide? Not everyone can afford to spend upwards of £5000 to gain a piece of paper that is not even really enforceable, only to have to go back to court again and again, defend outrageous lies while your ex is at home saying "he's not called daddy, you have to call him [name]", telling horror stories about the NRPs home or family.

Would I let that slide? No. Can I see why people stop trying? And why is this all the NRPs fault for not spending thousands and hours upon hours, and not the RPs for being so self centred that they can't see the damage they do to their own child by unnecessarily withholding contact?

We had to report the ex wife for emotional abuse to the children (based on advice from CAFCASS and solicitor). Children's services says this - RPs using their children as pawns - happens all the time.

marmaladeandguitars Mon 16-Dec-13 12:47:37

Amberleaf exactly. A good NRP should automatically be willing to help out his own children financially.

Maybe I've just been spoiled- I know quite a few men who are brilliant dads, and who despite living apart from their children, put them first in every way.Their ex partners would be the first to admit it. It can be done, and it means I lose patience a bit with the lazy sods who just can't be bothered.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 12:56:14

if the other parent just paid up, you wouldn't need to CSA in the first place.

..if the RP valued the role of the NRP in the DC's life, then you wouldn't need contact enforcement orders in the first place.

A good NRP should automatically be willing to help out his own children financially.

...and a good RP should faciliate a meaningful relationship between her DC's and their Dad.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Mon 16-Dec-13 12:56:31

"I don't know about the mothers who claim abuse but still maintain contact- I'm sure it happens, but I'm also fairly sure that it happens a lot less than cases of NRPS who don't bother with their kids"

They have nothing to do with each other though do they? Why when someone says, "A PWC can and does sometimes obstruct contact" is the typical response so often "well yes, but the number of PWCs obstructing contact is much lower than NRPs who don't bother".

They are completely unrelated. Both are wrong. An NRP being obstructed contact shouldn't be considered any less worthy of support just because there are a large number of NRPs who are crap.

Keep them separate. It's not a competition on who is the hardest done by and that is what these types of threads normally cause.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 12:58:00

Let slide? Not everyone can afford to spend upwards of £5000 to gain a piece of paper that is not even really enforceable

We're not talking about NRPs saying they can't go to court because of finances though are we?

I appreciate cost is a huge factor, but this conversation was about the excuses people sometimes make as to why they didn't go to court, ones that often miraculously don't apply once they have a new partner to impress.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 13:00:14

if the RP valued the role of the NRP in the DC's life, then you wouldn't need contact enforcement orders in the first place

There is so much more to it than that.

That is the only 'version' we will ever hear from someone whos DH/DP had to go to court with his exw though.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 13:02:11

The court process does not impress new partners. It brings so much stress, puts a huge strain on the new relationship and can often lead to no increased contact if the RP refuses to comply.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 13:03:40

They are completely unrelated. Both are wrong

Thing is, when a PWC is on a thread like this telling of her experience, you will always get women [on the whole] who have DH/DPs with a contact blocking exw, coming on with their 'antidote' story.

marmaladeandguitars Mon 16-Dec-13 13:03:44

Yes, sorry Brandybuck, you are right and they should be kept seperate.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Mon 16-Dec-13 13:04:18

".That is the only 'version' we will ever hear from someone whos DH/DP had to go to court with his exw though."

Amber - are you saying that an unreasonable RP who obstructs contact because they do no like their ex and out of spite never happens? (That's how it reads to me due to : "version")

Is there always much more to it or do some RPs not just be awkward to spite their exes? Because I know for certain it happens.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 13:05:13

I'm sure it is stressful Shallol. I don't doubt that at all.

What I do doubt, is the integrity of a NRP who only gets an interest in their child when they have a new partner.

marmaladeandguitars Mon 16-Dec-13 13:06:06

if the RP valued the role of the NRP in the DC's life, then you wouldn't need contact enforcement orders in the first place

Eh? That's rubbish, really. Sometimes two people can't agree and it needs a third party input. In some scenarios,I don't think involving a court is necessarily a bad thing, and it isn't an automatic consequence of an RP not valuing the role of the NRP.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 13:06:32

The court process destroys relationships.

My DH and are are currently discussing the practicalities of living separately (and denying my DD a continued relationship with her DSDad) in order to remove one of the obstacles that have been identified as in the way of contact between them.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 13:06:44

Yes, Amber, because both exist! There are great RPs and NRPs and rubbish ones too.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 13:07:38

Marmalade, that's what mediation is for, not court.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 13:08:43

Eh? That's rubbish, really. Sometimes two people can't agree and it needs a third party input.

Contact enforcement orders, marmalade - you know, when a Court has made an order, but the RP doesn't stick to it, despite being ordered to?

I agree that an initial contact/residency order can be a good thing - but they are totally worthless if the person on wehom the order is made (usually the RP) refuses to accept the decision of the Court.

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Mon 16-Dec-13 13:09:29

"
Thing is, when a PWC is on a thread like this telling of her experience, you will always get women [on the whole] who have DH/DPs with a contact blocking exw, coming on with their 'antidote' story."

Generally in response to the "my ex is a crap NRP and all men are selfish" posts by RPs who have rubbish exes.

Those who post about their experiences of their DP/DHs don't tend to then accuse all mothers of being bitter, spiteful people who use their children as weapons though. Probably because a lot of them are Mothers themselves and can acknowledge that some people (regardless of gender) are just crap.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 13:09:35

...*and a good RP should faciliate a meaningful relationship between her DC's and their Dad*

Or how about shouldn't hinder it rather than facilitate.

A good dad wouldn't need something made easier.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 13:09:37

are you saying that an unreasonable RP who obstructs contact because they do no like their ex and out of spite never happens?

I think that lots of adults behave in very immature and selfish ways, in all manner of situations.

I do not think that the majority of families involved in the family courts are there because the exw is being spiteful. Not by a long stretch.

I do think that [as has been discussed upthread] that lots of NRPs foist all of the 'blame' onto the RP and acknowledge nothing in their own actions that has been contributory.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 13:10:43

Sometimes I don't even think it's spite - I think they are genuinely deluded enough to think that their children will be better off without contact with their own father. The damage that DFs ex wife does to her children - she can't realise what she's doing. She must be "unhinged", as her solicitor says.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 13:11:35

Thing is, when a PWC is on a thread like this telling of her experience, you will always get women [on the whole] who have DH/DPs with a contact blocking exw, coming on with their 'antidote' story.

I can't speak for others, but my "antidote" story only gets trotted out when I see generalisations made about ALL NRP.
I accept that some are crap - but just because there are some crap Dads out there doesn't make all of them the same.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 13:12:44

No, all advice from the courts and CAFCASS and anyone else who knows how to manage parent-child relationships after separation says that each parent should facilitate and encourage contact with the other parent. Divorce is a scary and confusing time for a child, they need both parents encouragement to get through it.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 13:13:52

Generally in response to the "my ex is a crap NRP and all men are selfish" posts by RPs who have rubbish exes

Did you see Mumallthetimes post to me upthread?

I got that sort of response because she assumed I was one of those RPs.

My childrens father isn't crap, but I still hold the views I do, because I know how common disinterested fathers and those that enable them are.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 13:16:04

It's not about making it easier for the dad, contact isn't about being nice to the dad, it's about the child's right to a relationship with his/her father, and making it as easy as possible for the child to do so, without the guilt that mummy is being left alone, without telling the child that daddy has "taken all the money" or whatever other tripe gets trotted out. It's for the child.

JingleMyBells Mon 16-Dec-13 13:18:00

Along similar lines. When I was with ex husband, if we had an argument, he would think nothing pf storming off and disappearing for hours. That would never occur to me to do that due to my sense pf responsibility towards my son. Perhaps it is similar in that more men than women feel comfortable to basically palm off their responsibilities when it gets too much.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 13:18:02

Did you see Mumallthetimes post to me upthread?

I got that sort of response because she assumed I was one of those RPs.

Yes, I did - because you didn't qualify your remarks - refering to all NRP rather than specfying which "all" you meant.

Shallol Mon 16-Dec-13 13:18:55

Do they, jingle?

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Mon 16-Dec-13 13:19:07

Amber - I might be being daft, but you didn't actually answer my question

I asked "do RPs never block contact out of spite?" and the response was "the majority of families are not in court due to a vindictive RP".

Again, they are totally unrelated. One NRP being obstructed from having contact with their children unreasonably is wrong. It doesn't matter if there are 2 cases in court due to rubbish dads or 2 million, the NRP being obobstructed deserves support.

It's almost like you're trying to minimalise the damage done by spiteful RPs by saying "well more NRPs are crap than RPs". It isn't right and spreads the stereotypes of feckless fathers in general. (To clarify, the stereotypes of single mothers are disgusting and wrong too)

BrandybuckCurdlesnoot Mon 16-Dec-13 13:21:58

Amber - what mumall said. It's probably just because it's written words on a screen and we're probably rushing to type, but it also read to me like you were tarring all fathers with the same brush. You then clarified you meant all rubbish fathers.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 13:42:35

Yes, I did - because you didn't qualify your remarks - refering to all NRP rather than specfying which "all" you meant

Mumallthetime, sorry, I know we cleared that up, I was just using it as an example of the assumptions that are made in my response to Brandy.

Brandy, I was conversing on the subject of Dads that paint blame on their exes and make exuses, I didn't think I needed to clarify that in saying that I didn't mean the good dads.

Amber - I might be being daft, but you didn't actually answer my question

I asked "do RPs never block contact out of spite?" and the response was "the majority of families are not in court due to a vindictive RP

No it wasn't. My response to that was;

I think that lots of adults behave in very immature and selfish ways, in all manner of situations

...and then the rest of my post.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 13:45:07

It's almost like you're trying to minimalise the damage done by spiteful RPs by saying "well more NRPs are crap than RPs

Yes it does look like that if you miss out my previous line of the post [which was the actual response!]

Nice try though.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 14:12:55

I think that lots of adults behave in very immature and selfish ways, in all manner of situations

Can you imagine the roasting if that was the repsonse given to a poster complaining/seeking advice about their DC's irresponsible Dad?

Ah, well, lots of adults behave selfishly, not just in relation to contact with their DC's.

Amber - to put you totally on the spot - do you place embittered, spiteful resident Mums who actively prevent, or fail to support contact between her DC's and their Dad in the same catagory as deadbeat, irresponsible Dads who are unreliable with regard to financial support and contact?

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 14:31:21

Can you imagine the roasting if that was the repsonse given to a poster complaining/seeking advice about their DC's irresponsible Dad?

But I didn't give that answer in response to someone complaining about a spiteful contact blocking RP did I? It was a reply to a hypothetical question about whether such a thing happens.

Ah, well, lots of adults behave selfishly, not just in relation to contact with their DC's

That wasn't what I was saying though. My 'in all manner of situations' means situations separation/child access related. Do I really need to spell out in fine detail what we are discussing every time I post? I thought it would be understood that I'm not talking about whether or not a person drops wet towels on the floor or farts at the table. This thread is about residency/contact. Feel free to assume that that is what I am talking about.

Amber - to put you totally on the spot - do you place embittered, spiteful resident Mums who actively prevent, or fail to support contact between her DC's and their Dad in the same catagory as deadbeat, irresponsible Dads who are unreliable with regard to financial support and contact?

Of course, who wouldn't?

As I said...I think that lots of adults behave in very immature and selfish ways, in all manner of situations. Stats do prove however, that one of the above 'groups' is much more common than the other, but yes, they both exist.

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 15:00:45

Stats do prove however, that one of the above 'groups' is much more common than the other, but yes, they both exist.

Do you have statistics about the number of Dads who are prevented from having meaningful contact with their DC's?
I've been trawling the web for months and can't find anything - there are a few reports relating to specific US States, but nothing relating to the UK or Europe.
Even the "Fathers Rights" groups in various countries seem to be using guesswork. Scandalous headlines "1 million children growing up without a father" are being used to support both causes; yet I don't think there is a definitive answer to either question.

Certainly, both are far more common than should be socially acceptable - but whether one is more common than the other entirely depends on your online/RL social circles, I think!

ElenorRigby Mon 16-Dec-13 15:02:08

I dont think you can fight biology really. Women are biologically kitted out for raising children men are much less so. (Of course there are crap mothers though)

As a mother if you ask yourself in an absolute emergency who would you save your DH/P or your children, I reckon it be v rare for a mother to save the husband before the kids.

My BIL has always been great with kids and desperately wanted them to the point of being depressed when they could not conceive naturally or via IVF. They have now adopted a little boy and guess what, BIL isnt as good with children as he/we thought he would be!

My dads a great dad, grandfather, uncle etc yet to my knowledge he never once changed a nappy!

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 15:07:02

I dont think you can fight biology really. Women are biologically kitted out for raising children men are much less so.

Oops, excuse me blush

I came back to this thread and seem to have inadvertantly stumbled into the 1950's.

<leaves quickly, muttering about how fabulous DD's Dad is>

ElenorRigby Mon 16-Dec-13 15:10:27

Yeah well as others have said see what happens if you ever split up

Mumallthetime Mon 16-Dec-13 15:19:34

Yeah well as others have said see what happens if you ever split up

LOL - not bothered to read the thread, I see!

We've been split for 5 years; he and I share 50:50 care of DD, and he is arguably a better parent than I am!

OneMoreChap Mon 16-Dec-13 15:57:49

Expectation is key reason I imagine.

I would have loved to have had the kids, or even had decent access.

Oh, and I did 50% of the childcare, and paid far more than 50% out of my wage which was about the same as hers.

Still, the past is a different country and I hoped things were getting better now.

ElenorRigby Mon 16-Dec-13 16:04:35

There's 370 posts, Im not gonna read every bloomin one.

Anyway if hes sooo great why arnt you still with him!

Golddigger Mon 16-Dec-13 16:11:11

I still cant help thinking that the op has started this for the reason that she is thinking to part from her partner.
And really wants for him to be the resident parent.

MumallTheTime Mon 16-Dec-13 16:18:28

Anyway if hes sooo great why arnt you still with him!

Another 1950's flashback - no matter how unhappy a woman is in a marriage, if her DH is a great Dad, then she should stay.

I expect a great deal more from my DH than being a great Dad (although that is a non-negotiable) - some of the best Dads I know are lousy husbands!

ElenorRigby Mon 16-Dec-13 16:19:14

Does he have a new partner?

MumallTheTime Mon 16-Dec-13 16:20:59

Yes, he has remarried - my DD has a brilliant stepmum.

Why?

ElenorRigby Mon 16-Dec-13 16:25:33

LOL I'm a stepmum silly.

It's the stepmum that's a fantastic parent wink grin

MumallTheTime Mon 16-Dec-13 16:35:00

LOL I'm a stepmum silly.

It's the stepmum that's a fantastic parent

I'm sorry, I'm missing the point.

I'm also a stepmum, but I don't take credit for my DH's parenting, and neither does my DD's stepmum take credit for parenting DD.

DD's Dad has always been brilliant - he kept me sane when she was a toddler long before we split and has always been totally committed and excellent (even when he was suffering from MH problems during our divorce, he was deperate to protect her from emotional harm).

As I have explained earlier in the discussion, it would have been really easy for me to relegate him to the role of "weekend Dad"; my own legal advisors were shocked that I agreed without question to 50:50 even before he had permanant accomodation after leaving. At that point, DD's stepmum wasn't in the picture; he was a single Dad as much as I was a single Mum.

There is no "biology" at play - both parents are equally capable of raising DC's; they do it differently, but history shows that it doesn't damage DC's for life if they are raised entirely by their Father, or indeed, another male relative.
Of course, as others have said, the reason that more Mums are primary/resident parent could well be because of social expectations like yours!

SomePeopleNeedHelp Mon 16-Dec-13 16:40:24

It's not about making it easier for the dad, contact isn't about being nice to the dad, it's about the child's right to a relationship with his/her father, and making it as easy as possible for the child to do so

That is why some rp allow contact with a nrp who has been abusive. In some cases it might be better for the child to know the reality of their other parent, in short doses. Otherwise there might be a danger that as a teen they may have a fantasy about their absent parent, who their nasty rp (who makes then tidy their room and other cruel things) has kept them from and they may run to them with open arms.

It is not an easy decision when you are dealing with low level abuse.

In addition women may be scared of being seen as the kind of spitful ex who would withold contact, as discussed upthread. There is often no evidence of abuse or the abuser makes counter accusations. Women who get in these relationships are often people pleaser types who are desperate to do the right thing and keep everone happy.

Lundy Bancroft is very good on all of this.

ElenorRigby Mon 16-Dec-13 16:41:33

No biology at play, oookay then lol

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 16-Dec-13 17:48:02

Excellent post MumallTheTime. I wonder if we raise boys to value their role as fathers, in comparison to their sporting achievements or career successes.

rpitchfo Mon 16-Dec-13 17:50:41

I'm shocked at so many of the posts on this thread. Not mumsnet finest moment.

Joysmum Mon 16-Dec-13 17:54:26

I've never seen such hatred and distrust of men in real life that I have on mumsnet.

Pan Mon 16-Dec-13 18:11:41

Well, it sort of rumbles along in the background quite a bit ime, even from female posters who utterly deny this phenomenon and how they don't hate/mistrust/have a skewed personal opinion and then, when invited to,such as here, it tumbles out.

dadinthehat Mon 16-Dec-13 18:53:04

SAHD here who does the vast majority of Childcare including all night waking etc etc

Ok. Tin hat on and here we go...

I understand the emotional aspect of this thread and the personal experiences of many of those posting, however, many of the posts on this thread have been a little shocking. There is a high level of generalisation and unhelpful extrapolation of poor personal experiences to cover "men" in totality.

The majority of fathers love, cherish and care for their children. You know they do.

Happy mums don't tend to post on forums about how lovely and supportive their partner is - in the same way as few people come on AIBU and tell the world how much support they get from their MIL. I love reading the MIL threads. Mine is bloody marvellous.

Clearly I know more dads in this position than mums as I'm involved in dad's groups etc. However...

Of the divorced PARENTS I know from my DS1's class:

1x 50/50 father of 3. Stunned when his wife left for another man. Would have 100% if he could.

1x 100% - EXW left and not interested. Works full time and still does all school drop offs and activities etc.

1x 40/60 dad. Would do more if he was allowed. Also shocked when EXW left him for another woman.

In the wider community:

1x 100% father, EXW not involved due to MH issues. Half-blind DS has developmental issues.

1x 70/30 dad.

2x 100% mums with uninvolved EXP.

In my experience the fathers care.

It's refreshing to see some posts from women saying that they would want 50/50 or even NRP rather than the standard cliche of "only a woman can truly care for her children".

Don't base your judgments on the views of people posting on websites, however justified they are in their personal views.

dadinthehat Mon 16-Dec-13 18:58:39

Oh, and to the ladies talking about going on 'mixed' forums, I've been here for 7.5 years. MN IS mixed.

jellycake Mon 16-Dec-13 19:03:10

I know that this is a sweeping generalisation and that there are men out there that this won't apply to but in my experience with ExDp men are far more capable of 'out of sight, out of mind' than women. my ex hasn't seen his son in 3 months and hasn't made any attempt to contact him - he has gone through phases of this in the past. There is no way, if I were not the residential parent, that I could go even a day without speaking to him let alone three months!! Other people's exes have behaved in the same way.

Pan Mon 16-Dec-13 19:11:19

Nice posts there dad.

Small vignette from today. Walking through a busy shopping centre this morning, there was a small girl about reception class age wandering about in front of me for about 2 mins. I was about to engage her to find out what was going on. Mother, about 10yards ahead, blithely unaware of girl til that point (anything could have happened) eventually turned around and shouted " Come on. Keep up!".

That little girl needed her hand holding as she walked but she didn't get it.
IF that was a dad doing that....'what a careless insensitive bastard, no idea about a child's needs etc'

Crowler Mon 16-Dec-13 19:12:56

I have not seen levels of paternal apathy chronicled on these boards IRL.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 19:19:29

Its quite amusing that you can't have an actual conversation about this subject without it being really very obvious your not talking about all men.

And have all those doing the wahhhh you hate men thing never seen a thread on here when someone s perceived to be being differcult with the ex? They get flamed.

Pan Mon 16-Dec-13 19:25:43

Well of course Sock, but when stuff gets posted like hidenhome has, for instance it's worth challenging. And it isn;t "wahhh you hate men" - instances of misandry on MN are few and for between. Given that males on MN are a vast minority (and probably committed fathers) it's quite apt to point out the differing POV.

feelingdizzy Mon 16-Dec-13 19:30:29

I would love my ex to have the kids more , we separated 10 years ago and I worked really hard to keep a relationship going between them .It worked but now he has moved away and sees them once every six weeks or so.

He does love them, he really does but he has a distance between him and them. I am not sure if its him, biology or conditioning ? He has four older kids that he lost contact with for a number of years

I suppose he made the choice to move, however society enables it to be ok for fathers to be not very present in their children's lives ,society is a lot less tolerant of me doing this.

I really didn't want it this way for any of us, I have made the best of it ,my kids seem fine ,but it has been hard. Somebody has to be there and its me by default not design.

MumallTheTime Mon 16-Dec-13 20:11:14

My DH faced the "move-away vs provide-for" dialemma a few years ago - faced with the option of a rel

MumallTheTime Mon 16-Dec-13 20:16:34

My DH faced the "move-away vs provide-for" dialemma a few years ago - faced with the option of a relocation (on a lower salary making EOW neither practically or financially possible) or redundancy with no realistic possibility of finding another job of even close to equivalent salary but being available for contact with his DCs.

in hindsight, he thinks he made the wrong choice. Many of the tirades addressed to him by his DCs Mum refer to the reduction in CM she receives due to his reduced income. At least if she was still getting the amomoney, she might be prepared to tolerate half-termly contact between her DCs and their Dad.

mintberry Mon 16-Dec-13 21:00:20

This is only personal experience and I acknowledge that maybe I know a disproportionately large amount of irresponsible men, but thinking about it, in the case of the majority of couples I know personally with a child who split up, a large part of why the man left was because he couldn't take living full time with a baby/toddler.

Whether it's nature or nurture, I think the majority of people in today's society still assume at least somewhat traditional gender roles. My parents never split up, but I remember clearly being little and crying for my mum, not dad, if I got hurt, or had a nightmare. If my parents had split up, I would probably have been devastated if I had been sent to live away from my mum.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 23:04:46

Its quite amusing that you can't have an actual conversation about this subject without it being really very obvious your not talking about all men

Isn't it.

I wouldn't expect to have to put a disclaimer in every post.

Pan Mon 16-Dec-13 23:08:50

Not quite Amber, and that's a plaintive little postscript you have there. If any poster made the ignorant posts viewed here about women there'd be gaskets blown.

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Dec-13 23:17:17

Well I didn't make any 'ignorant' posts, yet it would seem I still needed to be very specific about what I was talking about, even though anyone reading the flow of conversation, rather than one post in isolation would see what/who were being discussed.

Plaintive? Really? hmm

Pan Mon 16-Dec-13 23:27:35

Yes, the 'flow of conversation' doesn't excuse the rubbish being posted, unless the bar is being set so incredibly low by two or three posters and the rest just follow, that's seen as okay.
Plaintive, yes.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Dec-13 23:50:29

it was fairly obvious they were talking about their experances,anybody who was more interested in reading them in context as opposed to just to targeting generalisation would have realised that.

But then it wouldn't be quite so amusingly smug,would it.

thepig Tue 17-Dec-13 00:14:59

hiddenhome

Your stereotyping of men is awful and pretty stupid really.

It's almost as if you don't realise your son will turn into a man one day. wink

Unfortunately I'm sure your toxic attitude will rub off on him.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 00:56:26

Why do some good Dads and their supporters get so offended when people talk about the bad ones?

I know plenty of good Dads, But if I read posts about bad ones, I understand that they are specific to bad Dads, not Dads in general.

Why is that so hard?

Surely if you are a good Dad, you are disgusted at the bad ones too?

I know there will be some generalisations, but they are easily distinguishable from the specific sort of post and are typically challenged from all sides.

It is a fact that the majority of NRPs don't pay child support, why is someone stating that so irritant to those NRPs that do pay?

So you pay, well done for doing what you are meant to do. When someone mentions the non payers, they aren't talking about you are they?

Repeat...they are not talking about you

happybubblebrain Tue 17-Dec-13 01:06:43

Mumallthetime

*DD's dad does his bit - he turns up sometimes (when he feels like it) stays for an hour or two (in that time he eats our food and uses our computer) then disappears again (sometimes for months on end). That is his choice and there is little I can do about it.

There are plenty of men out there saying they wish they had more time with their children, but many of them are lying to make themselves look better to others

.......and there are plenty of Resident Mums like yourself who play the victim and claim they can do nothing. Really? He forces his way in? Steals your food and forces you to allow him to use your computer and gunpoint?

Rubbish. If you want to claim that the majority of men are irresponsible, then expect to be accused of enabling it.*

Sorry, but where is this enabling crap coming from? What would you suggest I do? Stop the ex from coming to our house and seeing his daughter? That would make me a horrible mother would it not? I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. I allow him to come to our house because dd wants to see her dad and while he is here I treat him as I would any other guest. I'm not a victim, I have dd safe with me. He doesn't want to play a bigger part in dd's life, fine, his choice, he's the one losing out. I'm not going to prevent dd from seeing her dad just because I'm pissed off that he let us down and is useless. I don't believe any blame lies with me at all, I've done the best I can with the situation I have.

littleblackno Tue 17-Dec-13 01:31:26

My exh is a great dad, he pays child care (more than csa would ask) and has a great relationship with the kids. However there is no question that he would want to be the resident parent or even have them 50/50. That would interfere with his lifestyle/ social life/ career options too much.
I actually think he does far more for them now than he would have if we'd stayed together and his relationship with them is better for that.

NigellasDealer Tue 17-Dec-13 01:41:53

my ex would never have been a resident parent without palming the kids off on his sister or his wife or his mother, any convenient female really regardless of her relationship with the children.

Mumallthetime Tue 17-Dec-13 07:08:04

Why do some good Dads and their supporters get so offended when people talk about the bad ones?

Why doesn't everyone support good dads? Why is there a category of posters who are referred to as 'good dad supporters' - as if the majority of MN don't?

As for not challenging generalisations - where do you draw the line? When does generalisation become discrimination? And, possibly more significantly, if generalisations about men should go unchallenged to maintain the flow of the thread - what about all the challenges to generalisations about women?
If I were to say that single mums are manhaters who are motivated to exclude their exs from their DCs lives because they haven't come to terms with rejection would it be clear that I meant "in my experience", hence there's no need to qualify it?

summermovedon Tue 17-Dec-13 07:13:57

My ex left the home announcing that I was now responsible for the children. He has no wish to see them this xmas, or really most other times as he had his own life to live. He is a good one for announcing on facebook/to friends etc what a doting dad he is. Either way, the statistics I was told my my lawyer was that 1:2 or 1:3 (I don't remember, irrelevant difference really) of dads opt out 100% and after 2 years no longer have contact with their children post-divorce. I think that it is a combination of society allowing many fathers to walk away with no recourse, and programming in that they are emotionally able to do this. I am sure there are many good dads out there, I wish I had picked one.

JakeBullet Tue 17-Dec-13 07:23:29

My exH is a fantastic Dad too, he has loads of contact with DS and they have a great relationship. He and I are also more than capable of keeping any differences away from DS. in fact it is DS's birthday this week and exH is coming over and we are both taking DS to the cinema and out for a pizza afterwards. ExH has already said that he will pay for all of this.

We have been separated for five years but there has never been a time when he has not wanted to be a part of DS's life. Perhaps this is fortunate though, he isn't violent and there are no other issues which other single mothers sometimes have to deal with in contact with an ex-partner.

We have had to work at this arrangement but we are happy with how things are currently. I cannot see either of us moving on though despite one or two other relationships he has had. So maybe our arrangement holds us back, I don't know but at the moment it works for our DS and he is our priority.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 08:22:11

prize goes to Mumallthetime for completely purposefully? misunderstanding my post.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 17-Dec-13 09:39:24

Because mumallthetime its seriously fucked up when someone is talking about there own crappy experance to then jump in with ohhh but my ex is fantastic or not all dads are crap,as a direct response to there post.

Its insensitive and really quite unpleasant.

grumpyoldbat Tue 17-Dec-13 09:51:36

I hand my dd over to my abusive ex who makes it clear to her he doesn't want her and just keeps up contact to annoy me (his words not mine).

Yes I continue to hand her over but that is because there's a court order forcing me. I've been told by more than one solicitor that if I break the order XH will be given residency and I'll lose dd also they say I've no right of appeal.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 12:19:18

Those of us posting about bad experiences are posting our personal experiences on this thread which goes towards answering the OP.

Inspite of the posts saying fathers are discouraged to seek shared contact arrangements, my experience and the experiences of women I met at contact centres over the years was different.

I've seen lots of children subject to contact orders where the father has been abusive.

Some fathers use contact as a way of continuing abusing the mothers, they don't want equal access they want control and to call the shots.

I'm sure there are fathers who want to be involved with their children and love them dearly, I know one.

The general trend however is that mostly mothers are the ones who take time out of careers when they have children to care for their children. And a lot of the time when relationships breakdown it's the fathers that walk away, leaving behind the children and a trail of debt which the spouse left behind has to deal with.

Shallol Tue 17-Dec-13 12:25:43

It's also crap when you're spending every last penny and all of your energy fighting for access with your child - your child, the other parent has no legal right to withhold contact or spread nasty terrifying lies to your child but does anyway - to be told that perhaps you're lying and only making out you want contact to impress your new partner. Mumallthetime has been fair, hasn't generalised...

Amber - most NRPs don't pay? Where did you get that information?

MumAllTheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 12:27:16

And a lot of the time when relationships breakdown it's the fathers that walk away, leaving behind the children and a trail of debt which the spouse left behind has to deal with.

This is exactly the kind of generalisation that I was referring to. This is not personal experience ; it's a sweeping generalisation, a conclusion drawn about 'fathers'.
How do you know that a lot of the time this is what fathers do? There are no statistics to evidence your sweeping statement!

It would be equally valid for me to say "a lot of mothers deliberately withhold contact between their DCs and their fathers". How do we know whether its true or not?

MumallTheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 12:31:25

Amber - most NRPs don't pay? Where did you get that information?

There's a link a few pages back but no context - it doesn't say whether the % includes NRP who are assessed as Nil payment (in other words, are willing to pay but don't have an income).
If I were to make my own sweeping generalisation I would say that most RP expect NRP to pay CM even when they have no means of income....but that may just be my impression having spent too long on the LP board of MN wink

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 12:32:43

A lot of the time is not every time.

It's not a generalisation, its a personal view based on the many women I know.

Good for you for having a wonderful ex.

Many do not.

Try taking a look at statistics on women's aid and DVIP programmes.

Shallol Tue 17-Dec-13 12:34:12

Exactly my thoughts mumallthetime. DFs ex wife sat in the contact centre too and I have no doubt she would slag off or outright lie about why she was there. She could hardly sit there and no "Oh no my ex pays double the CSA amount, oh yes he's dying to have extra contact but I don't think he deserves it"..!

That doesn't mean I think all mothers in contact centres are liars or all RPs withhold contact or anything like that. My personal experience is that fathers stay involved, pay the right amount and would love more contact. I don't think generalisations help anyone in this situation; it's painful on all sides - yes, even for the contact blocking RP and for the NRP who doesn't know where to start their fight for more contact.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 12:34:51

As an RP I actually do expect a financial contribution from ex towards the children. Regardless of whether he thinks he earns money or not, when you have children you have a financial responsibility to them.

My expectations do not meet the reality of course as ex is very good at leaving jobs just as the CSa has caught up with him, however he is not on the breadline unless brand new BMW's are currently being handed out at the DSS.

plco1223 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:34:51

'd'h would argue that I am the non resident parent.

Its all about control. He wants it, and he has it. No matter what legal protection there might be, the reality is that I don't have the money to fight for my kids, and he does. I could write lots and lots on this but it will serve no purpose other than to out me. 'Walk in a mile in my shoes before you judge me' I don't think most people could manage ten yards.

Shallol Tue 17-Dec-13 12:35:51

Then try saying "In my experience". Those two statements are entirely different! Not sure what's women's aid and DVIP have to do with clear statistics unless now all NRPs are abusive?!

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 12:51:20

No but hopefully all abusers are NRP's.

If a father wants shared residency he can fight for it in court, my experience and at least one other poster on here has experience of having to facilitate contact regardless of the situation due to court orders.
The courts do try and ensure the father is given contact with their child and I know two (just remembered the second one met him at a contact centre) fathers who have residency, there is nothing holding back a father from going for residency of their child.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 12:58:05

Amber - most NRPs don't pay? Where did you get that information?

It is easily found if you google.

From the Gingerbread site;

Only two-fifths (38 per cent) of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent

Which indicates that the majority don't pay.

For all those with an agreement for child maintenance (both through the CSA and private arrangement) the median weekly amount received is £46 per family

Which indicates that this is data is collated from those getting CS from both CSA and private arrangements.

The average amount of child maintenance liable to be paid through the CSA is currently £33.50 per week (£22.50 if all cases with a weekly assessment of zero are included in the average

Which indicates that this data has been collated from those on 'zero assessments' too.

Among parents with care in receipt of income-related benefits, the average amount is £23 (excluding cases with a weekly assessment of zero

Which indicates there are single parents in that position who get no financial contribution from the NRP.

Of single parents receiving child maintenance through the CSA, 40 per cent receive less than £10 per week, 38 per cent receive between £10 and £50 per week and 22 per cent receive more than £50 per week

Which indicates that the majority get less than £10 per week, slightly less get somewhere between £10-50 per week. with a minority receiving £50+ per week.

There are approx 2 million single parents in the UK.

Which means that approx 760,000 single parents get no financial support from the NRP.

The sources for their data include stats from the ONS and DWP.

MumAlltheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 13:23:47

No but hopefully all abusers are NRP's.

I can assure you that is definitely not the case. My DHs DCs live with their Mum who is known to social services for physical and emotional abuse.

I can't be certain that she is the only one, but I would hazard a guess that there are others.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 17-Dec-13 13:32:48

So what is their father doing about that then?

MumAllTheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 13:47:07

amber What's interesting to me about those statistics (which are often used as evidence of the irresponsibility of NRP) is that the number/percentage of NRP who pay nothing includes those NRP who are not economically active and are therefore assessed as zero.

Assuming for a moment that it becomes socially unacceptable for Dads not to pay for their DCs, there will need to be a change in social policy in order for NR Dads to be positively discriminated against when it comes to employment.

Not all Dads, whether or not they are separated from the DCs Mum, are currently in work. So, if the expectation is that all NR Dads will have work (and pay CM) then presumably that will negatively affect the employment chances of Dads who are still living with the DCs mum?

grumpyoldbat Tue 17-Dec-13 13:51:28

shallol I didn't say NRP maintain contact for control. I specifically said my XH. So I was talking about one individual NRP. I've never lied about him either in fact I was told if I didn't keep quiet about his abuse I'd have my dd taken away because it would make me look irresponsible.

MumAllTheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 13:58:25

So what is their father doing about that then?

What do you suggest?

He's involved Children's Services, school, family Dr, and is due in court in the New Year.
Anything else?

He could of course kidnap his DCs - but as they don't want contact with him, that could be messy.

cerealqueen Tue 17-Dec-13 14:01:01

Unfortunately, because many men can't hold more than one thought in their head at any one time. Being a parent involves juggling many thoughts and actions in your head whilst actually performing other tasks at the same time.

My DP (who I think is a good dad compared to so many) never takes the DDs out on his own because he finds it so stressful (getting them ready, packing a bag). He also visibly pales when I mention him sorting some food out for them. However, if I ask him do do stuff, he will do it. But I still have to do all the thinking.

What really irritates me is that it seems to be a source of amusement if I am away, that the kids eat anything more more than crisps and chocolate, or didn't end up at A&E. Its not just my job to know that some foods can choke a two year old.

I really think that when you bring them home from hospital, many men never really think they are responsible.

Parsimonium Tue 17-Dec-13 14:06:39

No. You've had children with an idiot.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 17-Dec-13 14:23:55

No I agree, some men don't take responsibility. Call them idiots if you like but it's not particularly idiotic behaviour, in fact some people would find it quite clever, no doubt - let your wife take the responsibility all the time, and you'll never have to do anything!

No, there are many negative terms you could apply to these men, but idiotic I don't think is one of them. Of course if they were really incapable then maybe, but they're not at all.

But it's shit - it's a burden on the women and it ends up that you never get a moment's peace because even if he is there you are still "in charge". Cereal you got it spot on when you said that he might do something if you ask but you have to do all of the thinking. Don't be fooled by the "men can't multitask" thing though, I mean, how much multitasking do you really have to do to look at the clock and notice it's lunchtime and think that the children might just want feeding as well as yourself? And I expect he manages to drive a car perfectly fine (multitasking) and hold down a job, perhaps quite a demanding job.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 14:24:41

amber What's interesting to me about those statistics which are often used as evidence of the irresponsibility of NRP is that the number/percentage of NRP who pay nothing includes those NRP who are not economically active and are therefore assessed as zero

They are evidence of the irresponsibility to financially support of some [the majority] NRPs. That is why they are often used.

There are many ways to avoid paying CS, being genuinely unemployed is just one of them.

Assuming for a moment that it becomes socially unacceptable for Dads not to pay for their DCs, there will need to be a change in social policy in order for NR Dads to be positively discriminated against when it comes to employment

I think we all know that will never happen.

Not all Dads, whether or not they are separated from the DCs Mum, are currently in work. So, if the expectation is that all NR Dads will have work (and pay CM) then presumably that will negatively affect the employment chances of Dads who are still living with the DCs mum?

As I said, that will never happen.

So you do now accept that the majority of NRPs pay no child support?

There are 43 reference sources at the end of the Gingerbread article that the doubtful can check.

MumAlltheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 14:44:41

amber It's a very blunt tool to demonstrate a point, though isn't it?

It places men from opposite ends of the Spectum in the same 'irresponsible' category.
A loving, caring unemployed young man who sees his DCs every day, is on good terms with their Mum, plays an equal role in his DCs lives and was sat applauding them at their school nativity this week.
An uninvolved, self employed Dad who plays DisneyDad when it suits him, winning his DCs attention with expensive gifts before disappearing again for months, who hides his income from HMRC and doesn't even know which school his DCs attend.

I'm offended that you place these two, very different, parents in the same crude "NRP who don't pay" category. And before you ask, yes it's about my experience - I choose to be friends with more of the former than the latter.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 14:49:48

Why would dads living with their children be negatively impacted on in the job market if NR's had to pay CM?

Parents who live with their children are already shouldering the financial responsibility of their children.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 14:59:54

Mumallthetime. It really isn't a 'very blunt tool' it is just fact.

It places men from opposite ends of the Spectum in the same 'irresponsible' category
A loving, caring unemployed young man who sees his DCs every day, is on good terms with their Mum, plays an equal role in his DCs lives and was sat applauding them at their school nativity this week
An uninvolved, self employed Dad who plays DisneyDad when it suits him, winning his DCs attention with expensive gifts before disappearing again for months, who hides his income from HMRC and doesn't even know which school his DCs attend

I'm offended that you place these two, very different, parents in the same crude "NRP who don't pay" category

I didn't conduct that study. I am simply presenting facts. The facts don't distinguish any difference, so I'm not going to.

The fact is that both of your examples are non payers, yes, one is by far more worthy a parent than the other.

I think if a NRP is out of work/unable to work, but he/she is very involved in day to day parenting, then he is doing his best as a parent as far as his circumstances allow. I certainly wouldn't view him as a 'deadbeat' just because he made no financial contribution, I don't think anyone would.

Most don't come into that category though, has anyone posted the %s on how many NRPs have contact when they reach 2 yrs post split?

MumAlltheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 15:03:02

Why would dads living with their children be negatively impacted on in the job market if NR's had to pay CM?

Because, there are fewer jobs than Dads, so if NRDads were given priority for those jobs (in order for them to pay CM) there would be fewer jobs and more unemployment amongst Dads who do live with their DCs.

How do you propose NRP pay CM if they don't have an income? Rob a bank? It's a bit short term - prisoners don't have to pay CM either wink

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 15:10:02

so are you saying people who don't have children should sit around not looking for work?

or that NRP's should be given priority for a job?

Work places choose employees on the basis of best fit for the job.
Applicants apply for a job based on their desire to work/have that particular job.

NRP's should most certainly pay for their children. There should be a big social stigma for not contributing financially for the upkeep of your child.

As it is currently NRP's who do not work and claim benefits pay the princely sum of £5.00 a week for their children anyway.

MumAlltheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 15:11:27

I didn't conduct that study. I am simply presenting facts. The facts don't distinguish any difference, so I'm not going to.

But you are presenting the facts to support your argument that the majority of NRP are irresponsible because they don't pay CM when in fact the 'facts' don't distinguish between 'responsible' and 'irresponsible' - they just identify those NRP who don't pay - whether or not they have the means to do so.

Yes, the % of uninvolved fathers after two years has been mentioned up thread - but again, does not distinguish between those dads that are willingly absent, and those who are fighting tooth and nail to secure wherever scraps of contact time their DCs RP will permit. So those statistics could be used to support both your position (that some dads turn their backs) and mine (that some mums cut dads out).
The end result for the DCs is sadly, exactly the same.

FrogStarandRoses Tue 17-Dec-13 15:13:30

fuzzy So how should unemployed NRP pay for CM?

Unless they are all given jobs, at the expense of other people, where will they get the money to pay for their DCs?

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 15:28:19

Dunno Frog what would you do with your kids if you weren't in work? Make sacrifices and ensure your child had the basics?

How do these not working NRP's pay for themselves?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 17-Dec-13 15:31:00

So she's physically abusive and everybody who is so far involved has left them there?

Its bad enough to warrant you referring to her the way you do,but she still has the children?

How long has this been going on for?

MumAlltheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 15:49:47

sock As far as we are aware, several years.

No one is happy with the situation (except DHs ex, presumably) but neither DC is prepared to 'leave' their Mum voluntarily, and the abuse that the DCs have disclosed and their Mum has admitted to is not significant enough for SS to intervene long term - the SW we saw last time said that there just wasn't enough butter for all the bits of toast.

The best that DH can hope for is securing some psychological support for his DS via Court - the family GP won't refer him to CAMHS unless his primary carer (his Mum) is supportive because without her support, therapy will be less effective - there are limited resources and he refers the DCs who are most likely to benefit.

FrogStarandRoses Tue 17-Dec-13 15:54:49

fuzzy When I was unemployed, I received benefits that acknowledged the fact that I am financially responsible for a child and which provided me with enough (just) to keep a roof over their head.

When my DDs Dad was made redundant (6 m, he'd receive nothing. Not a penny. He'd live off the goodwill and charity of his family and friends. Maybe they should pay his CM for him?

FrogStarandRoses Tue 17-Dec-13 15:55:22

*6 months later

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 17:44:57

But you are presenting the facts to support your argument that the majority of NRP are irresponsible because they don't pay CM when in fact the 'facts' don't distinguish between 'responsible' and 'irresponsible' - they just identify those NRP who don't pay - whether or not they have the means to do so

Firstly, it wasn't my 'argument' it was a statement of fact that the majority of NRPs don't pay child support. That was what I said.

This is not about opinion.

Most NRP don't pay, however you choose to twist that factual information.

That some don't pay because they simply can't, does not make that true for all, or even a majority.

Why is this such an important distinction for you? Does your DH/DP not financially support his children because he can't as opposed to won't?

Yes, the % of uninvolved fathers after two years has been mentioned up thread - but again, does not distinguish between those dads that are willingly absent, and those who are fighting tooth and nail to secure wherever scraps of contact time their DCs RP will permit. So those statistics could be used to support both your position (that some dads turn their backs) and mine (that some mums cut dads out
The end result for the DCs is sadly, exactly the same

40% of children lose contact with their fathers within 2 years.

10% go to court to resolve contact issues. 5% use mediation.

I think there is something in those stats.

My position isn't that some dads turn their backs, excluding the Mums that cut dads out. Some dads do turn their backs, that isn't disputable, it isn't my 'position'. Similarly, I am not disputing that some mums cut dads out, I am able to see that their are many facets to this issue. What I am saying is that I don't believe that all of the RPs who are the EXs of the 62% of non paying NRPs, are contact blockers. I don't believe they are even anything close to the majority.

MumAllTheTime Tue 17-Dec-13 17:56:59

What I am saying is that I don't believe that all of the RPs who are the EXs of the 62% of non paying NRPs, are contact blockers

On that point, I agree 100% - in my experience, contact blockers are usually receiving significant CM payments.

yetanotheranyfucker Tue 17-Dec-13 18:24:17

amber Do you know if the figures include families where it is mutual agreed for there not to be maintenance payments? (On phone and don't have time to go through all the sources). How did they get details of private arrangements? Also, one father not paying could account for 4 single mothers not receiving any payments. Is that adjusted for or taken into account?

yetanotheranyfucker Tue 17-Dec-13 18:33:57

*Only two-fifths (38 per cent) of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent

Which indicates that the majority don't pay.*
That doesn't mean that 62% of NRPs don't pay though because there isn't a 1 to 1 relationship between number of RPs and NRPs. Also it doesn't tell is how many are choosing not to get maintenance or the reasons. Not disputing there are many non paying NRPs, but it concerns me that I could, for example be included in that figure, when I have never asked for and don't expect maintenance payments.

MummySantaHoHoHo Tue 17-Dec-13 18:35:41

My husband contacted numerous agencies about his ex wife emotional abuse of their children - no one gave a flying fuck, it was compounded by them lying to protect their mother.

Even when given emails and shown a text where one of them threatened to kill themselves if the school disclosed something to the mother - the school belittled my husband and suggested he was making it up.

I love to see them suggest to a women she was inventing domestic violence.

No one cares because these things are written off as disputes between parents.

Unless you have been the party to watching a man fightand fight for his children and witnessed how little support there is for him and his children - and how easily court orders can be diregarded then it is impossible to know how badly children are being let down by the people and systems supposed to protect them.

yetanotheranyfucker Tue 17-Dec-13 18:43:12

If you have 100 single mothers, that could be 50 fathers. If only 38 mothers are receiving maintence, it could be that 33 out of the 50 fathers are paying i.e. the majority of them. It stands to reason that fathers with 3, 4, 5, 6 children who they have fathered without a backward glance are going to be less likely to pay and will therefore account for more single mothers not receiving maintenance.

mewmeow Tue 17-Dec-13 19:36:42

I don't think it 'always' is anymore. I've thought about this, I think if we split me and partner would split residency 50/50 as neither of us would cope with any more or any less.

grumpyoldbat Tue 17-Dec-13 19:43:57

mummysanta there's no support for anyone going through family court for anything. There isn't support for mothers trying to protect their children from abusive fathers either. I'm not surprised no one has paid attention to your dh or done anything because in the family courts truth only has value when it suits them, anything inconvenient is dismissed and hushed up. I doubt it's because he's a father. More likely just because the system is crap.

jeansthatfit Tue 17-Dec-13 20:53:15

In most relationships, the mother takes on the majority of the caring/parental/main parent role from day one with maternity leave. That. pattern then persists, even when the children are older and the mother is working/working more.

Dads do not take on equal hands on parenting roles pre-separation. I wish they did.

The whole parenting set up is sexist, and most men only wake up to the idea that that disadvantages them when they separate from the mother.

Contact orders are very open to abuse, and more so when parents lives in different towns/far away from each other, and contact is in 'blocks' rather than frequent. Think about a dad who sees his children every weekend. One weekend they are too ill to come. The next there is a longstanding family birthday party at the mother's house. The week after, a school play at the school near the mother's house. Suddenly, it's one weekend a month. The more contact is broken, the less important is seems, and the easier it is broken the next time.

Bear in. mind also bedroom tax. I know single dads who lived on their own and whose children came to stay once or twice a week, and had their own rooms. The dads can't afford to live in those flats now - they will have to move to bedsits or one bed flats. The children will have to sleep in the same room as them or in the living room (or dad sleeps on the sofa while they have his bed). That's not conducive to children feeling at home with both parents.

It's a mess. if men's groups campaigned more for the right to do hands on oarenting and stopped leaving mums to negotiate the workplace as a parent while they get to carry on same as a single man, then things post-separation would be different. I wonder why they don't do that.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 22:15:51

yetanotheranyfucker I haven't delved into the info sources sorry, so I can't say either way. There are 43 sources, so Im not about to try! grin

That doesn't mean that 62% of NRPs don't pay though because there isn't a 1 to 1 relationship between number of RPs and NRPs. Also it doesn't tell is how many are choosing not to get maintenance or the reasons

Well it does mean 62% don't pay, if 38% do pay, then 62% don't.

Whatever the reasons, that is still 62% who don't pay.

What do you mean by there isn't a 1-1 relationship between a number of RPs and NRPs? Do you mean no contact between the adults whatsoever?

If that is what you mean, I don't see how it makes a difference? it's still part of the non payment category.

If you have 100 single mothers, that could be 50 fathers. If only 38 mothers are receiving maintence, it could be that 33 out of the 50 fathers are paying i.e. the majority of them. It stands to reason that fathers with 3, 4, 5, 6 children who they have fathered without a backward glance are going to be less likely to pay and will therefore account for more single mothers not receiving maintenance

It could be but I doubt it.

I know there are men that have children with more than one mother, I know that some of them 'pick' which ones they support and which they don't, so a paying NRP could also be in the non paying category. Despite being a payer on one hand, he is still a non payer.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 22:18:03

Good point grumpyoldbat.

SinisterBuggyMonth Tue 17-Dec-13 22:38:36

When my DP split from his exW the initial idea was 50/50 residency and DP paying full maintenance. This didn't work out, DSS didn't want to spend time with his mum mainly due to her being alcoholic and a tendency to physically attack the men in her life, in front of her son, including his dad. So main resident carer in our case is not a woman.

Btw she still expected maintenance even when her son was living with us full time and when I posted on here about it there were some who thought my DP should still be paying maintenance to keep an empty room in her house on the off chance that dss might one day want to spend the night there you couldn't drag him there

yetanotheranyfucker Tue 17-Dec-13 22:51:47

Well it does mean 62% don't pay, if 38% do pay, then 62% don't.
No, it doesn't because it's not saying 38% of NRPs pay. It's saying 38% of single parents receive payment and 62% of single parents don't receive payment. 62% of single parents not receiving payments could be from 40% NRPs not paying.

What do you mean by there isn't a 1-1 relationship between a number of RPs and NRPs?
I mean that in a sample group of 100 RPs, there won't be 100 NRPs. It's not 1 RP = 1 NRP. Some of the NRPs will account for a multiple RPs. So 10% of RPs not receiving payment could be as a result of 3% of NRPs not paying.

so a paying NRP could also be in the non paying category. Despite being a payer on one hand, he is still a non payer.
I wasn't suggesting that. I was suggesting that if they're not paying, they're probably not paying for any of their children. So one non-paying NRP can account for multiple RPs not being paid.

niceguy2 Tue 17-Dec-13 23:51:03

Firstly let me confess I have not read all 10 pages so if my points have already been covered then I apologise.

I've pretty much raised our kids as the resident parent for the last 11 years. I've also briefly prior to my son being born been the NRP. We've also battled in court over residency so it's a subject close to my heart.

In my opinion the biggest reason why women are typically always the resident parent is quite simple. Society expects them to. The law is very clear. There is absolutely no bias in the wording of the law. Men/women are absolutely equal. Unfortunately the law is applied by judges who are human beings. CAFCASS officers make reports & recommendations who are also human. And everyone from your own friends/family to the judges in this country are indoctrinated by society to expect the woman to be the main carer.

In other countries especially muslim/asian countries, it's typically the other way around. Men pretty much always get custody.

In UK mums are expected to be selfless mum's and there's hushed whispers from all around if the kids don't live with her. However if a guy doesn't live with his kids, that's accepted. Single dad's are so rare we illicit a lot of curiosity. I've lost track of the amount of times people have asked me "So....how come the kids have ended up living with you then?"

Take my example. Ex had no real means of supporting the kids other than giving up work and living on benefits. Whereas I had family support, new partner and a good job with flexibility and supportive management. Add to that, I was the main carer of the kids, had been for the whole two years we'd been apart. Despite all that we went to court for residence and I nearly lost. The only reason I 'won' was because ex realised she was going to win so threw in the towel. With hindsight she never wanted to be the primary carer. She just wanted to lose so she could tell friends that she fought for the kids...but lost. A hard lesson that cost me £5k.

So in short why are mums almost always the main carer? Because everyone expects them to be. Oh and also too many women believe the bullshit that comes out of men's mouths. Too many women shack up with blokes who have kids from previous relationships. They don't see them, don't pay for them and have never fought for them. They pop out another kid with this 'man' and then later when the relationship has broken down wonder why he's not paying for their child(ren).

In my opinion dad's who don't see their kids or pay maintenance for them should be treated like we treat drunk drivers. Ie. Socially and morally unacceptable. That I believe would have far greater effect than more laws. If their friends are ditching them, women won't touch them and parents are getting on their case, it would be much more effective.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Wed 18-Dec-13 00:11:47

Niceguy I wholeheartedly agree with that. The one thing IMO that might have put a halt on my ex's descent from caring involved dad to can't be arsed most of the time dad would have been a few well placed comments in his ear on his chosen route of little effort when it started. Having family pull him up. Friends express their disgust. Colleagues maybe passing judgement. Tbf his girlfriend actually did say something to him about it, having grown up only seeing her dad once a month under supervision. But that alone wasn't enough to halt that slide into the feckless end of the spectrum. Like you say, if he'd been socially shunned because of the little effort he was making, I'm sure he'd have made different choices. Or at least not made that transition quite so easily.

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 07:08:08

In my opinion dad's who don't see their kids or pay maintenance for them should be treated like we treat drunk drivers. Ie. Socially and morally unacceptable. That I believe would have far greater effect than more laws.

Some of us are old enough to remember when Drunk Driving wasn't socially unacceptable. It took a30 years of coordination, commitment and investment from charities, government and the public sector for that to change

There have been some very good articles published that describe it; it's a fascinating example of social conditioning on a massive scale.

With regard to Dads commitment to family - that process hasn't even begun, yet.

summermovedon Wed 18-Dec-13 07:22:49

I couldn't agree more Niceguy. I think that for every nrp who has no involvement/or doesn't pay CM, there is a whole family around him with friends that enable this. It is utterly surreal. It is a societal problem, and it is the children who are affected. How do you answer your child's query a about when dad wants to see them again, when you just don't know and it has been many many months. How do you say, well actually he just doesn't want to, even when it is nearly xmas and he has other plans. It is difficult.

yetanotheranyfucker Wed 18-Dec-13 07:40:43

amberleaf Gingerbread say here that "Only two-fifths (38 per cent) of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent" and give their source as Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 15.1. DWP, 2010

So not only does that not tell us what percentage of NRPs aren't paying (because 1 NRP can have multiple RPs to whom they owe money), but if you go look at the source of that 38% figure (page 367), you'll see that it is:

Has an order or agreement for child support and has received maintenance payment 38%
Has an order or agreement for child support but has not received maintenance payment 16%
Does not have an order or agreement for child support 45%

So actually, where there is an order or agreement, almost 70% of RPs receive maintenance.

Also, taken from the same government report:

Over half (56 per cent) of families where there was a non-resident parent had an order or agreement for child support at the time of the study (see Table 15.1). Two-thirds (67 per cent) of these families had received some child maintenance payments. Where an order or agreement was in place, no payment had been received by one-third (33 per cent) of families (see Table 15.2). Over two-fifths (45 per cent) of all families with a child support agreement had a voluntary agreement only and just under two-fifths (36 per cent) of families received a Child Support Agency (CSA) assessment only. Families who received a CSA assessment only were more likely to be social tenants (54 per cent) than private tenants (39 per cent) or living in owned (or mortgaged) accommodation (23 per cent) (see Table 15.3).

Families in receipt of child maintenance via a voluntary agreement were more likely to receive the entire sum due ‘always on time’, compared with those receiving maintenance through a CSA assessment (69 per cent compared with 57 per cent, respectively) (see Tables 15.6c and 15.6d).

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 08:57:15

So actually, where there is an order or agreement, almost 70% of RPs receive maintenance.

What that also indicates is that many of the RP who are not receiving maintenance are choosing not to seek help/support via an agreement/order.

Interesting!

niceguy2 Wed 18-Dec-13 09:29:22

So actually, where there is an order or agreement, almost 70% of RPs receive maintenance.

I'd be very careful in interpreting that figure. Bear in mind that you are talking about cases where a NRP has been bothered to fight it out via solicitors/court. It may well be simply a case of more of those fathers actually give a shit so of course are also more likely to pay maintenance.

Those who are not paying maintenance are probably also more likely to not care enough to go through courts too.

MumallTheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 09:33:31

I'd be very careful in interpreting that figure. Bear in mind that you are talking about cases where a NRP has been bothered to fight it out via solicitors/court

Not sure I understand what you mean - my DDs Dad pays via an 'agreement' but we've never been near a court?

maleview70 Wed 18-Dec-13 09:43:08

Some interesting points niceguy and some I agree with. A family member of mine got with a bloke who already had 3 kids from 2 relationships, didn't see them and didn't pay for them.

What made her choose to have a child with this man? It was inevitable that history would repeat itself and low and behold it did.....she then spent years complaining about this but an outsider could see that the original decision was a huge contributory factor. Is love really that blind?

MumAllTheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 10:01:44

What made her choose to have a child with this man? It was inevitable that history would repeat itself and low and behold it did.....she then spent years complaining about this but an outsider could see that the original decision was a huge contributory factor. Is love really that blind?

I got a proper lynching when I made exactly the same point on the SParenting board a few weeks ago - funnily enough, I was accused of being a man - Presumably because other women can't possibly have that pov!

niceguy2 Wed 18-Dec-13 10:29:53

@MumallTheTime. I read that sentence to mean either a court order was ordered by a judge where no agreement was reached or issued by agreement of both parties. A court order (like mine) can be issued on the basis that both parties agree.

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 11:14:44

The courts don't get involved in child maintenance unless the NRP repeatedly refuses/avoids paying though, does it? And then it's criminal, not family court?

I thought the days of the RP having to take action against the NRP to enforce maintenance were long gone - isn't that the CSA (or equivalent) role?

Tubemole1 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:34:45

The law is out of date and equal weight should be given to both parents when deciding resident custody.

If I were to split from Dh, I would have to concede, head over heart, that residency should be given to him. It would hurt like hell, but practically would make sense.

niceguy2 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:46:33

no courts don't get involved in maintenance anymore unless it's the CSA dragging the NRP's arse there. I thought the point that was being made was that 70% of those with a court order pay maintenance vs 30% otherwise. And my point was the stat could be swayed by the fact more caring parents would go to court since those who can't be bothered, won't. And of course those who can't be bothered are also less likely to pay maintenance.

@Tubemole. I actually think the law is about right. Right now the law only considers what is in the best interests of the child(ren). Not the parents. By giving weight to the parents rights, you end up with parents slugging it out for their 'rights' and judges having to consider that.

The issue is that the law is applied by judges who more often than not think mum's know best. And it takes a LOT for a judge to grant residency to a dad. A dad will have to prove he is a fit parent whereas a mum is assumed to be so.

What we need is for courts to be bolder and start breaking the mould. Like I said earlier, I was the main carer in every sense of the word. I had a better support network and better ability to provide for the needs of our kids. I'd never withheld contact and my ex was even paying me maintenance each month! Yet when we went to court i nearly lost residency based on no other reason than CAFCASS saying "The kids need their mum". The fact that the current arrangements were because mum wanted it that way,i offered her more contact and she refused fell on deaf ears. Oh and the fact that I can't come to any agreement with the ex because she wouldn't tell me what she wanted.

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 12:03:49

I thought the point that was being made was that 70% of those with a court order pay maintenance vs 30% otherwise

It does say "an Order or Agreement for maintenance " so I don't think it's referring to Court ordered contact arrangements, it's referring to any parents who have an "order or agreement for maintenance" be that through the CSA, or in another way (no mention of court).
What that implies is that there are a significant proportion of RP who have not entered into a CM agreement with the NRP and one wonders how many of them complain that they are not receiving CM?

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Wed 18-Dec-13 14:15:23

That's a very odd way of putting that Mumallthetime. A significant number of RPs haven't entered into an agreement with the NRP? Not 'the NRP isn't paying maintenance'?

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 15:04:31

It would be an odd way of putting it if that is what I had meant, but it's not!

The statistics relating to those RP who do not have an order or agreement for CM include those RP who choose (for whatever reason) not to engage with their DCs other parent at all.
From MN posts, reasons for this include fear of DV, a mistrust of 'the system' keeping their details confidential, a desire not to rock the boat, a belief that its not worth it or just not being interested.

Like it or not, receiving CM is not a passive process. Gone are the days where an envelope of cash is shoved through the letterbox weekly. There is a requirement for the RP to engage either with the NRP directly, or with agencies (CSA) to agree and receive CM in a documented way. The reason for the red-tape lies not only with non-paying NRP but also with RP who lie about receiving CM and fleeced NRP for their own gain.

Despite the advice of MN, there are frequent posts from RP who refuse to engage with their ex, even about CM.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Wed 18-Dec-13 15:14:45

I still find your view of this process odd. Receiving CM via the CSA is a very passive process. I can't think of a more passive process for an RP when it comes to obtaining maintenance - not having to engage with an ex on any level and leave it to the the CSA to deal with. You seem to be framing the whole issue of establishing the transition of paying/receiving maintenance as one where an RP has to be persuaded to engage. That's not my experience and it wasn't me who had to be persuaded forced to engage in the concept of regular, consistent financial support for our DD. I'm also of the view that the whole process of setting up the CSA in the 1st place had little to do with persuading RPs to engage in the process of how to accept maintenance.

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 15:27:08

You seem to be framing the whole issue of establishing the transition of paying/receiving maintenance as one where an RP has to be persuaded to engage

In many cases it is - there are lots of threads on MN every day that prove just that!

RP who don't want to accept maintenance because they want their family to be left alone by their ex and fear accepting money will open the door to contact.
Others who know what their ex is like and will avoid placing themselves in a position where the NRP has negotiating power through the provision of more/less CM.
Others, like myself at one point, who would prefer to see their DC miss out than deal with the manipulation/expectations that came with maintenance payments - rebuffing the NRP requests (often via the DCs) that the CM is spent on x,y or z this month.

MammaTJ Wed 18-Dec-13 15:38:49

Based on what was said upthread about if men want 50%, they should do 50% while in a relationship, then I would be lucky to even see my kids if me and DP split.

I bugger of to uni, while he takes care of the DC. I will do crazy shifts, while he takes care of the DC.

He even got called and had to leave work yesterday, because I was in uni, over 100 miles way. He had to find someone to take care of not so poorly DS today, so he could go to work.

I will be looking after not so poorly DS tomorrow though, as I have now broken up for Christmas.

I know a few single dads, including the taxi driver who brought me home today (not from 100 miles away, from town, after me catching a train and bus) and even he said 'What happens to your kids while you are at uni?', so even those bucking the trend are enmeshed in the sexism that exists.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Wed 18-Dec-13 15:46:51

And when money is as tight as it is in lone parent households (as all the usual stats thrown out about the high % of lone parent households being more likely to be living in poverty suggest), there are relatively few in the position to actually have those reasons and be able to stick to them, to refuse maintenance IMO.

All the hand wringing, so-called 'principled stands' being taken in your examples don't actually do anything to alleviate that problem, making it more likely IMO that there are relatively few who choose to take that route when it comes to CM. I currently receive £24.00 per month from my ex. And despite working, I need every penny of that measly amount.

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 16:30:47

tension We must be reading different forums.

AmberLeaf Wed 18-Dec-13 16:46:16

That's a very odd way of putting that Mumallthetime. A significant number of RPs haven't entered into an agreement with the NRP? Not 'the NRP isn't paying maintenance'?

It is bizarre, it is implying that it is the fault of RPs that those NRPs don't pay.

Heaven forbid the suggestion that some NRPs just don't want to pay and will do whatever they can to avoid it.

OneMoreChap Wed 18-Dec-13 17:04:07

jeansthatfit

Just spotted
In most relationships, the mother takes on the majority of the caring/parental/main parent role from day one with maternity leave. That. pattern then persists, even when the children are older and the mother is working/working more.

Possibly but arguable. I note the most

Dads do not take on equal hands on parenting roles pre-separation. I wish they did.

Note the segue into "Dads". Not most. "Dads".

Everyday sexism.

If I said "Women don't go back to work after maternity leave" I'd get ripped a new one.

"Some women choose not to return to work after taking maternity leave".

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 17:19:09

amber one does not preclude the other.

There are, as we have established, a proportion of NRP who do not pay, in some cases, despite an order or arrangement being in place.
There are also a proportion of NRP who pay despite there being no order or arrangement in place. And, there are other NRP who do not pay and the RP chooses not to put an arrangement or order in place (in some of those cases, the NRP lack of payment is directly related to the RP lack of engagement).

The fact that some NRP do not pay does not eliminate the fact that some RP refuse to enter into an agreement.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 17:29:02

The figures for those that do not have an order or agreement ( and I would take that to mean either a court order or a csa order its still possible to get both,there are many circumstances that the csa is not allowed to deal with but the courts still do) will also include

Those nrp's
who they cannot trace
who refuse to engage
Who job hop
Who claim to be out of work but not claiming any benefits
Pensioners
Those being investigated for fraud prior to compleated assessment.

And those pwc's who have ended up dropping a case after waiting years

As well as those who for what ever reason do not apply.

Many years ago when I was quite involved work wise with the dwp it was very apparent from deduction amounts that more claims involved only 1 mother,I wouldn't have a clue if that's the same these days, but if a parent with care is getting the minimum £5 then Its safe to say its only one pwc for that nrp as any more pwc's would result in the £5 being divided.

And the csa are shit at enforcement one of my clients has just had to hand her ex 60k as she sold her house, he owes her 35k in unpaid csa ordered maintenance they have never even been able to get so much as a tenner out of him not once in 17 years,she was not allowed to deduct what he owed her from what she paid him as the csa are apparently dealing with it but even after being told when he was being handed the cheque they still wouldn't chase it.

If I was a nrp I wouldn't have to be asked to pay it would be the first thing I would organise and I certainly wouldn't need a gov agency to tell me I had to because it would already be happening.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 17:33:31

Mumallthetime.

A nrp can also make application to the csa to pay. It does not have to be the pwc who does.

If a nrp wants to pay and the rp is refusing to engage with them then they can apply,provide the info requested and obtain an order and even if the pwc refuses to engage with the csa if the nrp has given all the info they can still order and nrp can put a cheque through the door.

If the pwc does not engage with the csa then she would be subject to exactly the same sanctions as the nrp would.

Cabrinha Wed 18-Dec-13 17:38:44

In my case, and that of 8 of the 9 divorced couples I know, the arrangement has been decided outside the courts and the mother is RP. In the 9/10 examples I know, including me, it is simply this: the mother wanted to be with the child more. That simple.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 17:41:55

Should have added that I know they can do this because it happened with my ex, we had a private arrangement for school dinner payments to be met by him, he found out that because he receives an army pension he could get a £5 pw assessment so transferred the company I gave him to his gf then applied to the csa.

He then got his £5 pw assessment and paid that for 3 years before the csa agreed to take into account earned income ( he gave gf company then claimed he worked for her).

But bottom line is he applied I didn't, when I received the paperwork I said I was not interested in using the csa and was informed (did check with a solisiter and it is correct) that as he had applied I was legally obliged to comply with there requests.

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 17:48:22

sock

If you were a NRP who was in conflict with your DCs Mum, would you put a cheque through the door (assuming you knew where they lived) without evidence you had done so?

Yes, NRP can pay the CSA directly in that situation, but unless the CSA have some way of contacting the RP, they can't and don't pay the monies to them. How many posts have you seen saying my ex doesn't know where I live and that's the way I want it to stay ?

The CSA have been known not to act on applications from the NRP at all - waiting instead for the RP to contact them. That's what they did when my ex contacted them.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 17:53:22

Now your grasping at straws.

The pwc even if they are not the applicant could be subject to none compliance actions and the nrp could still pay csa direct.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 17:54:06

If that's the case he should have asked them to follow procedure

MumAlltheTime Wed 18-Dec-13 18:09:30

Is that the same straw that has 62% of NRP don't pay CM written on it? grin

AmberLeaf Wed 18-Dec-13 18:17:05

But 62% DON'T pay, you really can't argue with that figure [well you can, but it isn't logical]

The fact that some NRP do not pay does not eliminate the fact that some RP refuse to enter into an agreement

As sock says, the RP not engaging with the NRP doesn't stop the NRP from paying via CSA. I have a friend who was contacted out of the blue by the CSA about a long since disappeared ex/NRP, he had contacted the CSA and volunteered payment. She then received child support without having had any contact with him.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 19:15:26

And it does not matter if the nrp has no idea where the pwc is, under section 33 of the FLA they can apply for whats known as a seek and find order.

This means that anybody from family members to schools to gov agencies even DV intervention partnerships can be forced by law to disclose the address where they live.

You can even get a order to force the police to trace a mobile phone.

This is the form you use

www.thecustodyminefield.com/CourtForms/C4.pdf

And last time I applied for one the court fee was less than £100

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 19:18:43

I have just been told the fee now is £215

(I normally get named in them as opposed to applying for them)

yetanotheranyfucker Wed 18-Dec-13 19:22:09

amberleaf But 62% DON'T pay, you really can't argue with that figure [well you can, but it isn't logical]
No, you're wrong. You are not reading and taking in the maths or the logic.

Imagine you have 100 children from 60 different mothers. If you say 60% of the children are read to every night, you can't say 40% of the mothers don't read to their children. Do you not see that knowing the percentage of single parents receiving payments tells you absolutely nothing about the percentage of parents making payments because the number of NRPs will not the same as the number of RPs. My father had 3 children with 3 different women, so he would account for 3 RPs not getting paid but only be 1 NRP. You can't count him 3 times!

But anyway, going back to the actual figures.

The 38% is part of 55% who have agreements or orders, i.e. the majority of single parents with agreements and orders are receiving maintenance. The report clearly states that.

45% of single parents have no agreements and orders and the report doesn't say why that is, but it will include other parents who have died. Are you suggesting that dead people be considered non-paying NRPs? smile It will also include people like myself who don't want/need/ask for maintenance or all sorts of things.

jeansthatfit Wed 18-Dec-13 19:27:06

OneMoreChap -

Yes, when I said 'dads don't do equal hands-on parenting', I meant most dads.

Have you read Gideon Burrows book 'Men Can Do It! The real reason dads don't do childcare.'

It's an eye opener. By a dad, so you might be less sensitive about reverse sexism knowing that the author is male. I'm sure he meant 'most dads', btw, that's pretty clear in the book.

flippinada Wed 18-Dec-13 19:33:04

I've been lurking on this thread - I'm an RP with an NRP who is involved but pays minimal maintenance/. I've also been through the uniquely unpleasant experience of going through a residence 'battle' (apt name).

I can well believe the figures about non payment of maintenance. In my case, it's down to control and not want to give me any of 'his money', despite the fact the money is not for me but to help clothe, feed and care for our DC and while I appreciate that this is just my experience, there'll be others like him.

Niceguy commented above that men who behave like this need to be shamed and that this kind of behaviour is normalised because friends/famuily/colleagues collude with them. This is absolutely spot on. My ex's new partner, who was involved with him during the residence case went on to marry and have children with him - despite the court reports stating he was unfit to have full time care of his own DC with me.

AmberLeaf Wed 18-Dec-13 20:36:03

45% of single parents have no agreements and orders and the report doesn't say why that is, but it will include other parents who have died. Are you suggesting that dead people be considered non-paying NRPs?

The study that gave the child support stats stated;

Base: All families with a child who has a living liable non-resident parent

So, no, it doesn't include other parents who have died.

Greenkit Wed 18-Dec-13 20:42:32

When my husband and I split three years ago our children then DD13 and DS12 decided between them that DS would live with me and DD would live with dad. We both work full time.

As it was we patched things up and are still together.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 21:09:49

amber

Do gingerbread give any info about children per csa claim or household?

AmberLeaf Wed 18-Dec-13 21:43:39

I was trying to find that out earlier Sock, then I saw the bit about living parents, came off the document and got sidetracked by RL!

I will have a dig through when I get a chance.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 19-Dec-13 00:19:10

I can remember a DV conference I went to awhile back touched on nrp's who will pay one mother but not another due to perceived bad behaviour (usually involving support)

Wish I could remember who the speaker was

Monetbyhimself Thu 19-Dec-13 08:05:46

Flippinada I have similar experiences. OW sat in the corridor whilst my Ex received a police caution for assaulting our child. She attended meetings with socail workers and was made fully aware of the extent of his abuse towards both the children and I. She fully supports his refusal to pay maintenance and she and her family (her formerly estranged father in particular ) have gone to incredible lengths to help him to hide our joint assets. She has also had a child with him. For as long as there are women willing to cheerlead and encourage men who want to continue to control and abuse, then children will suffer.

SamU2 Thu 19-Dec-13 08:58:18

There was never any talk about who could be the resident parent when I left my ex.

He worked, I didn't. It wasn't even a discussion on who would be the resident parent. He did have them every weekend though which sometimes sucked as I got most of the hard work. It never went through the courts, we worked it out together and the kids wanted to spend the weekends with them, although sometimes they skipped the odd day if we had something special planned.

We both used to see them Xmas day and on birthdays. While I often felt like I got the bulk of the hard work I was pretty happy with the set up.

During the week he certainly lived like a 'free' man, he and his wife never had to make sure the kids had a proper bedtime because of school in the morning or iron uniform, or any of the day to day stuff that can get on top of you when you have five kids. But, I was happy with the situation for our children's sake. We were all really close and it made them happy.

He died a few days ago so now they don't get to see him at all, but their step mum will continue to see them one day a week. This is the first time I have used past tense to talk about him.

SamU2 Thu 19-Dec-13 08:59:03

sorry for the bad grammar and mix up of words. Tired/

SamU2 Thu 19-Dec-13 09:01:05

Serial posting/

I should have said that their step mum will have them sleep one day a week but she has seen them every day this week round here and she knows she can see them whenever she want forever.

flippinada Thu 19-Dec-13 09:07:05

Monet it almost defies belief doesn't it. Some people believe what they want to. So sorry you had to go through that.

AmberLeaf Thu 19-Dec-13 09:44:54

That's really sad SamU2. Sorry for your loss.

Sounds like you all had/have a good relationship.

flippinada Thu 19-Dec-13 09:54:21

Oh SamU what a sad thing to happen. It sounds like you have dealt wih the situation with grace and kindness.

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