Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Could really do with some opinions on this please

(52 Posts)
fedthefup Wed 23-Jan-13 22:40:17

I've been with DP for 18 months and we've had some major ups and downs but recently things have been great relationship wise.

He has been staying with me since Christmas as the flat he was staying in rent free for a friend is being renovated. My house has sold, awaiting exchange in the next couple of weeks so I am looking at renting. I earn a below average wage and will be eligible for some housing benefit and tax credits for myself and my son.

Anyway.. natural progression would be to rent a house together and there is nothing I would want more right now, but he has children with his ex wife, they split 2 years ago and she will not allow him to see the children by himself and certainly not with another partner (she is very protective over them). He went to court for a contact order but missed a court date and it was thrown out, we have the papers here again filled out but he says he is not in the right frame of mind to go through court at the moment and I should wait until he is ready.

He has had his Decree Nisi but now has to fill out Form E for the financial settlement. Since they split he has given her the whole amount of his drawings (quite substantial) from his family business (which is failing) and relied on his savings and extra work to live on, the money he has is not enough to live on and when looking at Form E and CSA calculations I told him he is presently paying 4 times what is reasonable and no judge would expect him to pay that much.

I asked what he would do if he was ordered to pay less and he said he wouldn't, he would find the money somewhere! It honestly is a ridiculous amount and he is not well off at all, the business is haemoraging money and is close to bankruptcy. He also maintains the 'disney dad' role and runs out and gets the children whatever they ask for.

Sorry for the long post, I guess the point of it is that I cant really see a future if he is not prepared to be sensible about what he can afford to pay, I would be happy to share a frugal life together so that he can support his children (which I fully commend) but I can't support him whilst he gives them everything - his ex has said she will not claim the benefits she is entitled to and if he doesn't give her this amount she will stop him seeing the children.

I want a future with this man but although he says he loves me I just can't see a way past this sad

dequoisagitil Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:46

Something doesn't really add up if he's allegedly so desperate to see the dc yet misses a court date.

Are you sure his money is going where he says it is?

Hatpin Wed 23-Jan-13 22:53:48

Why won't his ex let him see the children on his own? Of all the many people I know who are separated / divorced I don't know of any situations where the father is not allowed to see the children. That would be an alarm bell to me.

What were the ups + downs you mentioned?

SorryMyLollipop Wed 23-Jan-13 22:55:58

There could be more to this. His ex may have good reason to stop him seeing the children and he could be worried about it all coming out in court, hence the missed court date and not wanting to go through court again.

Do you have children? Do you plan to have children together? I can understand your frustrations about the finances here.

fedthefup Wed 23-Jan-13 22:56:39

Yes, he's very disorganised and I have done the transfers myself from his bank account to hers on occasion even if it leaves him unable to pay his utility bills. He just doesn't seem to see that he cannot afford it and it's causing him (and me) a lot of stress - unneccesarily imo as I would just say I cannot afford it, here are my accounts, claim the benefits you are entitled to (which are a lot for the amount of children - we looked on turn2us) and i will pay as much as i can whilst being able to afford to live myself.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 22:56:49

I also don't like him.

His ex won't let him see his kids and he didn't turn up for a court appearance.

He lives rent free with another friend.

He's a looser OP, get shot.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 23-Jan-13 22:59:32

what the hell would you want to saddle yourself with him for?

what a noose around your neck huh.

Dump him and be well shot.

do you work? do you have kids?

dequoisagitil Wed 23-Jan-13 23:03:25

You're onto a loser with this guy.

He is unable to get himself to a court date for something as important as his access to his dc. Yet he throws money he doesn't have, at the problem. But not time or thought or energy.

fedthefup Wed 23-Jan-13 23:13:16

She won't let him have them because the flat he was looking after wasn't suitable for the children, hence it being renovated and him staying with me. He has also always worked whilst she stayed at home so she feels he can't cope with having them all, he is a good dad though and loves them to bits.

He did rent a nice family home for 12 months but she would never allow them to stay so when his friend bought a buy to let in need of renovation he just moved in there as a favour for him and to save money, but it's cold and damp at the moment.

I have 2 children and do not want any more, I just want to get on with a life together, his children included when the time is right but I don't want to just have him come for tea and a 'shag' then go back to his own place because he is too scared to build a permanant life for himself. It feels like I am taking a back seat to her demands when I am here, quite happy to allow his children into my life (as much as they want to be - i am not looking for more children, i have my own but am a damn good step mum - i have two adult step children from my previous marriage and i love them to bits and also get along great with their mother without overstepping boundaries!)

fedthefup Wed 23-Jan-13 23:28:35

Oh, and I work for his company from home so it complicates things a bit. I just want to plan ahead and we do lie in bed chatting and getting excited about the future but it just can't happen if he doesn't sort the other things out. Thanks for your responses btw, I have shown him my post although he knows how i feel anyway x

Bogeyface Wed 23-Jan-13 23:43:48

He isnt a great dad. A great dad would make sure he got to court, he would fill in the forms if he had to go back, he would do everything above board and by the book.

A judge would not agree to him not being given unsupervised access unless there was a bloody good reason. I wouldnt move in with him unless you want to be supporting him for the rest of your life, he has made it quite clear to you that his financial priority will be the maintenance and not the bills. Whilst I agree that he should pay child support (and get very pissed off with men who could afford more but refuse to pay a penny over the CSA calculations, so good that he is paying more) but not to the detriment of his living costs, and by extension yours.

You will soon be out of a job by the sound if it, if the business is failing, so I dont see that you have any reason to go further with him.

coppertop Wed 23-Jan-13 23:52:17

"I asked what he would do if he was ordered to pay less and he said he wouldn't, he would find the money somewhere!"

Presumably from you, either directly or indirectly.

This man is all about show and performance.

What you're hearing is, "I tried to get a contact order, and now I'm working on the financial settlement, and I'm such a great dad that I'm going to pay so much that I won't have enough for the bills."

What the rest of us are seeing is a ma who couldn't be bothered to turn up for a court date, who is now deliberately delaying getting on with the settlement, and who is living with a partner but not paying his fair share of the bills.

Being part of a step family is REALLY hard at times and you face challenges that test even the strongest of relationships sometimes even breaking them. Some of the feelings that get dredged up during the darkest times make you feel really crap and during those times you need to know your OH is mentally strong enough, organised, sensible and is 100% committed to you in order to get through those times.

If I were you I would carry on my own way setting up a new place for me and my kids thereby giving your OH the time and space he needs to sort himself and his life out. You don't need to end the relationship but sorting yourself out without tying yourself into his life too much will allow you to watch him a bit more from the sidelines to see how he actually progresses and resolves these issues he has with his EXW and children. That in itself will give you an idea of how he will help handle problems that will arise in your relationship together.

When you feel ready to take the next step and feel completely satisfied that he is the kind of grown up that you want a relationship with who has all his shit together and sorted then take that step. Until then you have not thrown all your eggs into once basket and have kept your own independent life moving forward.

Good luck with whatever you decide. smile

Bogeyface Thu 24-Jan-13 00:00:27

Sparkle makes some very good points.

DeckSwabber Thu 24-Jan-13 00:10:05

OK - lots of stuff here. Lots of unresolved stuff. Let him sort it out on his own before you get too involved.

Charbon Thu 24-Jan-13 00:32:34

I think when you have children, you should pay at least half of their actual living costs - not what the CSA recommends. And you certainly shouldn't expect the taxpayer to foot the bill via benefits, so I don't agree with your own thinking on this at all. If his children are too young for his ex-wife to earn money herself without facing an enormous childcare bill, then it's absolutely his responsibility to earn enough to pay for his children. This might mean ditching the failing business and getting a salaried job if necessary.

This story about being banned from unsupervised access is very suspicious, as is his failure to appeal in court. The accounts you are being given about his living accommodation not being suitable just don't ring true. That shouldn't have prevented him from seeing his children by taking them out for the day or to a neutral space. I'd assume there is a lot more you don't know about this and that some significant lies are being told.

ladyWordy Thu 24-Jan-13 00:40:55

This doesn't add up. sad

I'm rather suspicious of Disney dads. Good dads are just normal: they guide and love their children, rather than indulge their every whim. Also, an ex who won't allow him to see the children? And he goes for a court order and misses it. This doesn't happen in relationships which simply end, as you know from previous experience. I don't think you have been given all the facts.

Also, it's odd that you/he ends up transferring huge sums of unaffordable and unnecessary money to the ex's a/c. This isn't sensible. It looks as if he's trying to prove what a kind and generous person he is. That he can't help being so loving. It doesn't ring true.

Sorry if this is hurtful. I am calling it how I see it, given what you've posted here.

LineRunner Thu 24-Jan-13 00:51:05

Do not let this man near your home, money or child.

Bogeyface Thu 24-Jan-13 01:00:22

I wonder what your DC;s father is like with you and them. I wonder if you accept his crappy excuses because that is how your ex treats you and your children.

Just so you know, a good dad is....

_Someone who says no when appropriate
_Someone who disciplines when appropriate
_Buys what is needed when it is needed, but doesnt indulge whims in order to buy his childs love
_Pays child support based on the needs of the child/ren involved and his income, so I wouldnt expect a man who can't find a job to pay £50 a week out of his JSA but equally, a man on 50k a year can afford more than the absolute minimum it costs to "keep" a child
_Moves heaven and earth, including putting up with "bitch" exes in order to be there for his children
_Doesnt give up when it all gets a bit tough, or his mate ring him for a pint
_Treats his ex with respect because, whatever else she may be, she is still his childs mother
_Someone who is there for his children no matter what, whenever wherever.

My ex is a very good father. He rings me about the kids regularly, he rings them regularly and puts up with endless texts from them when he's supposed to be working! he goes to parents evenings, he pays his whack and also buys them things they need, he disciplines them, he backs me up on decisions, he consults me about major decisions. He never ever makes them (or me) feel that they are too much trouble and one of them isnt even his biological child but that child is treated exactly the same as the rest. I for my part, dont take the piss regarding money, I treat him with respect, I consult him about everything and I back up his decisions. The end result of this is when my husband got made redundant a couple of months ago my ex rang me and said he would pay double maintenance to help as he knew we would struggle and he would get anything the kids needed and for me to not worry about it. He said he could afford it as he was doing lots of overtime over Xmas.

A good father does not, in short, make excuses.

fedthefup Thu 24-Jan-13 09:52:23

No, my ex is all of those things, we share custody, have never been to court, attend parents evenings together and discuss any aspect of the children amicably so I know how things could/should be.

I think with regards to the business and money he is just waiting for the day it is so bad that it cannot continue, I guess when the utilities are cut off and the bailiffs turn up so the decision is taken out of his hands and he can then show his ex the extent of his financial difficulties - of course any normal person would try to explain the situation before that happens and see if they could find a solution.

He missed the second court date because he didn't receive the letter, the first court meeting went well and the judge said he should be allowed to have the children, it's his ex that is refusing. He's made a start on filling in form E which needs to be in next month (what a nightmare that is!!) i can see that causing a major kick off as she will accuse him of hiding money, which he isn't.

I would never be able to pay his maintainance, i earn in one month what he pays a week!! (well, whilst i still have a job)

And the job's with him? OP this thread is awash with red flags. Hide your money and keep account of everything you spend - on him.

He's been staying with me since Christmas

What are his contributions towards the running of your household so far? Is he paying his way?

Do not plan a future with this man and don't get yourself tied up financially in any way whatsoever with him.

AngryTrees Thu 24-Jan-13 10:42:49

This really isn't going to work. Don't take on his burdens- and by burdens I am not referring to his children, but the way he manages his life. That is what will cause you untold misery and drain you. He is on a downward spiral financially and refuses to change things.

I think he sounds like someone who can't deal with the realities of life and closes his eyes to what he doesn't want to see, as well as procrastinating over things that need doing. These are dangerous qualities and you can already see what they are going to lead to: bankruptcy, no contact with his children and living off you.

Ionasky Thu 24-Jan-13 10:46:25

he sounds just like my sister's husband - a promiser but nothing ever quite seems to work out, but there's always a good/plausible excuse. Looking charitably, it could be he should visit his doctor about underlying mental health issues - muddied distorted thinking and poor judgment being hallmarks of something mentally not being right. Definitely second all the other posters who say to proceed with caution, you want to see the behaviours that aren't correct have changed (not just saying they'll change). Good luck - it could just be he's a good man in a tough situation but you'd need more evidence of that.

dequoisagitil Thu 24-Jan-13 10:59:09

I bet he's got a whole shed-load of debts you don't yet know about.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now