Please help - I don't think my ex is caring responsibly for DS (12) while on holiday overseas

(15 Posts)
Tardisunderthesofa Sun 14-Aug-16 03:05:01

My ex has taken DS (12) to Spain for two weeks.

I had a bad feeling about it - ex-DP's moods can be a bit all over the place and I sensed he was mildly manic before they went away.

We generally have a good co-parenting relationship though, and DS wanted to go (although for a week, not a fortnight), and I couldn't see how I could stand in the way of that; I wanted DS to have a great time with his dad.

My partner and I got woken tonight at nearly 2am by DS ringing and texting.

It turned out my ex had gone out for a walk/shopping at 2am Spain time (who goes shopping at 2am?!) and left DS alone in their apartment, in the middle of a big city, to go to sleep by himself. DS was feeling scared and his dad had been out longer than he expected and so he rang me.

DS said his dad has gone out every night since they've been away (five so far), and most mornings while DS sleeps in. Mostly DS has been alone, but sometimes family members of the apartment owner have been there too. They don't speak English and ex and DS don't know them.

I'm livid. WTF is ex doing?! He's tuned out from DS's needs; DS has been going to sleep around 2/3am every night FFS, after waiting up for his dad to come back in. sad

From experience, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are women involved in ex's nightly outings.

I'm so cross with him, but also myself for letting DS go, even though we have joint parental responsibility so actually, how could I have stopped him "on a hunch" without seeming utterly unreasonable?

But it is what it is. I've texted ex to say DS rang and how he's feeling and can he have a chat with him and please stop leaving him home alone. He's said DS has seemed fine, but OK.

I don't trust him not to make more stupid decisions though, if he's in a phase of lacking insight and being a bit reckless. They're heading somewhere else 2.5 hours away tomorrow to do a water sports activity for a week. DS wants to go but is also homesick. DS feels he can't really talk to his dad because he doesn't want to disappoint him, and doesn't find he listens terribly well (he doesn't).

I just want to hop on a plane, scoop DS up and bring him home. Assuming that's not an option, what else can I do from over here? Is ex breaking the law? I just want DS to be feeling safe and secure, which he clearly hasn't been.

Enjoyingthepeace Sun 14-Aug-16 05:16:05

Is is really not an option?

Because quite honestly, I would say that it's your only option. I would do it in a heartbeat

MyLlamasGoneBananas Sun 14-Aug-16 05:30:30

I think I would go and get him too. Not sure of the long term legal implications but your poor son having to deal with that alone.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Sun 14-Aug-16 05:48:55

Why on earth haven't you booked a flight. He is a child. What if there was a fire or he took ill? Go and get him. Deal with your ex afterwards.

BathshebaDarkstone Sun 14-Aug-16 05:56:34

Yes definitely go and get him. Although that wouldn't be an option for me as I don't have the plane fare.

BastardGoDarkly Sun 14-Aug-16 06:00:15

I'd have to go and get him too. Poor love, he must be so stressed out.

Your ex is a dick of the highest order.

trafalgargal Sun 14-Aug-16 06:19:28

The activity half of the holiday will probably go much better as there's more to do . Another week in the same scenario wouldn't be good but as they are moving on and there's likely to be more company for DS it'll probably be better.

Your son is old enough to decide if he wants to holiday with his Dad or not in future although at 12 unless he has specifically said he wants out talk of flying out to rescue him is over reaction (and at 12 could fly home solo anyway)

trafalgargal Sun 14-Aug-16 06:23:00

Just contacting your ex plus the change of location might be enough . Your DS may feel differently with more to do especially if there are more kids in the activity part of the holiday.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 14-Aug-16 06:39:42

citizensadvice.org.es No minimum age to be left. Could it be argued he's not getting "moral and material assistance"?

I would be surprised if Airlines will take a 12 yr old without a parent there. He's underage in Spain.

I wouldn't be happy with this. You know your child if it's the right thing to rescue him. And you know if your ex can be responsible enough in a foreign setting to look after your ds when manic. I would actually be concerned with your ex being out late at night and doing something crazy or to getting drunk and fighting/being arrested. But I don't know him or his mania so I could be way off the mark.

I'm wondering with the lack of response if you've booked your flight already.

MyLlamasGoneBananas Sun 14-Aug-16 12:05:34

He may he able to fly under the unaccompanied minors system if the airline offers it. Lots of overseas boarding school children fly unaccompanied like this.
If you think this may be an option I would call the airline to discuss first.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Aug-16 12:24:03

But how would a 12 year old get to the airport if his dad wasn't willing to take him there?

I would ask your son whether he wants you to come and get him, OP. If he does, then do it.

Thelaundrylady Sun 14-Aug-16 12:40:09

Book a flight and go get him

OlennasWimple Sun 14-Aug-16 12:45:06

Unaccompanied minors need to be checked in by a responsible adult, so he can't just put himself on a plane without his dad's permission and assistance. If he said he wanted to come home, would his dad let him?

Tippytoes13 Mon 15-Aug-16 17:37:16

Do you know what he is doing when he's going out at 2am? Sounds bizarre. Your son needs to talk to his dad about how he feels, even if he's not great at listening, ask your son what he wants you to do and go from there, but I'm well aware flight prices are sky high during summer holidays, so that may not be an option for you. I hope you manage to sort it out either way and your ex sounds like he's being selfish putting his son in a difficult situation.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 15-Aug-16 17:45:50

I don't trust him not to make more stupid decisions though, if he's in a phase of lacking insight and being a bit reckless.

If by "a bit manic", you mean that ex has bipolar, then it's not a matter of trusting him. He will not be capable of looking after himself, at the moment, let alone someone else. It's a hallmark of the condition and you seem to be aware of that, if you've spotted it in him before he left, and you know he'll be lacking insight at the moment?

Do you know how his bipolar is usually treated? Has he stopped meds?

You quite possibly need to go and get your son.

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