When step families split up .

(19 Posts)
ALittleBitOfMagic Wed 03-Jul-13 19:06:00

Don't really want to give too much info because this is not my family and don't want to out the people involved . But I've made a few observations and heard a few things being said and I find it a bit odd odd and just wondered if MN thought the same .

Anyway, my friend has recently split from his partner . They have a dc who is a toddler and she has a dc school age from previous relationhip . When they first split the xp completely cut him from their lives wouldn't answer phonecalls texts emails blocked from Facebook etc . He begged and begged for contact and eventually she said he could have then but only when dc1 wasnt at school or her dads, as that would be favouring dc2 over dc1 . Is this weird ? He's basically only allowed to see his dc if he takes his sdc too and if step dc can't go then bio dc can't go .

LookingForwardToMarch Wed 03-Jul-13 19:13:14

Yeah thats kind of weird?

He is only the father of, and responsible for one if those kids.

If ds1 gets quality time alone witg his owb dad why can't ds2?

She's kind of discriminating against the younger one herself.

NatashaBee Wed 03-Jul-13 19:20:01

You'd think he'd want to keep in contact with the step child, at least to some extent. The mother is being unfair though, presumably the older child sees their own dad and has quality time with them alone? Or does she insist that DC2 go along to that contact for the sake of 'fairness'?

ALittleBitOfMagic Wed 03-Jul-13 20:10:20

No it's only dc1 that goes with dad . He does want to take both but he also wants to be able to take his dc during the day when he's off but he's not allowed because dc1 is at school apparently that's unfair . She also gets maintenance from dc1 dad but wants my friend to pay maintenance for both DCs . So she is getting twice for dc1 . My friend is doing this and tbh I think he's a being a mug .

Mintberry Wed 03-Jul-13 20:49:43

It's nice the ex stepdaughter/father are keeping in touch but it seems unfair to limit his contact to his daughter based on that. To me it seems the obvious solution would for the mother to try (if possible, and I realise it might not be!) to organise for both the daughters to spend time with their respective fathers at the same time and then neither feels left out? And then any extra contact your friend has with his daughter his exSD can come along too.

Mintberry Wed 03-Jul-13 20:51:19

Sorry, I should have said DC, I don't know why I assumed they were girls!

needaholidaynow Wed 03-Jul-13 21:55:00

I think it's awful of his ex to do that to be honest. I am actually speechless.

I mean really, really speechless... Erm... I'll try and explain how I feel about this....

He should be able to maintain a strong relationship with his child without his (ex)stepchild there. I may have a completely distorted view on how step families work, but when that family splits, the stepparent in my opinion should not be obliged to include their ex's children in everything they do as technically they are no longer family. But their children will always be their children and this relationship must always be maintained and that is absolutely the main priority. Your friend's ex is being selfish, controlling and VERY unreasonable. Blackmail is evil.

As for maintenance. You get two parents. The dad pays maintenance for DC1. The dad of DC2 pays maintenance. Why should one child have two fathers paying for him/her?

If this was my partner (or my ex if we split) telling me that I could only see my two boys if I saw his daughter as well. And if I didn't see his daughter he'd stop contact, I would have him laughed out of court because that is no argument to prevent contact.

Beamur Wed 03-Jul-13 21:59:42

Pretty much what needaholiday says - this is all wrong. It's good that he wants to maintain a relationship with his SC but the terms his ex are trying to dictate are bizarre. As for paying for maintenance for his stepchild - surely that can't be enforced?

needaholidaynow Wed 03-Jul-13 22:03:35

It can't be enforced Beamur She will be fighting a losing battle for that one!

stepmooster Thu 04-Jul-13 03:56:15

My DH was in same situation as your friend. He had lived with his 2DSCs for over 10 yrs and also had his own DS. He was their 'daddy' despite having a dad who fully paid maintenance and saw DSCs EOW. The DSC's even had their names changed to DH surname.

He saw the DSCS for about a year and half at same time as DSS, but he got a letter one day from ex solicitor saying he was allowed no more contact of any kind. DH had no legal right to contact, he never had PR, so he only ever saw his son thereafter. The DSC's name were changed back to their dads name. No real explanation was given but DH most likely thinks its beacuse the school rang him up once to complain about DSC's attendance and he had tried to raise it with the ex. Maybe it was their real dad who decided his kids having 3 dads was too much and drew a line?

It really cut DH up, he would now after nearly 5 years be happy to be part of their lives again. Even if to be able to send cards twice a year. DH now realises being a spare daddy, was completely unhealthy and that proper boundaries should remain when step parenting because he is sure it wasn't just DH's head that was messed up over the whole saga. It is also one reason why he refuses to allow his DS to change his name to stepfather's because kids really do only have one dad unless they are adopted.

Your friend should definitely seek legal advice and demand proper contact with his DC and yes he is a mug if he pays maintenance for his DSC. Its still nice if he wants to see DSC when DSC is free and wants to, but he is under no obligation to.

ALittleBitOfMagic Thu 04-Jul-13 12:05:05

Thanks for the replies smile

mint I'm thinking more advice for my friend as I think xp is going to be as difficult and quite frankly cruel as she can . I think the one of the main reasons they are no longer together is because of her controlling and volatile nature (but thats a whole other threadconfused)

It's all been very weird tbh . I'm beginning to get a clearer picture into their lives and I'm starting to think she's rather unhinged . I think shes going to make his life a misery and use the DCs as leverage with him and I'm really worried about him sad

needaholidaynow Thu 04-Jul-13 13:07:22

OP I feel so sorry for your friend. She is being very unfair to use the children as leverage. He needs to be focusing on maintaining his relationship with his child, just as his ex's children do with their dad. If anything it will only continue to confuse all of the children involved and ultimately make his own child feel resentful of the situation as they aren't allowed to spend quality time with his/her dad, which is so important right now.

needaholidaynow Thu 04-Jul-13 13:08:16

I was meant to say quality time with their dad on their own

Bonsoir Thu 04-Jul-13 13:11:09

The father in the OP needs to get a court order for contact with his own child.

ALittleBitOfMagic Thu 04-Jul-13 13:22:04

I think so too Bon . She's now saying se has plans every time he asked to see them and when she does agree on a time she texts him an hour or so before and cancels . He's a mess it's heartbreaking sad and the people she is hurting the most are those poor DCs sad

UC Thu 04-Jul-13 15:02:00

This is terrible, and the sooner your friend can sort out proper arrangements the better.

It is very odd that the mother is only allowing the father to see his toddler with her other child. If the other child goes to their dad's EOW, why doesn't she put the same in practice for the toddler. I think your friend needs legal advice as soon as possible.

I also think your friend should contact the CSA and find out how much he should be paying for his child. Totally agree that he should not be paying for the other child, whose father already pays maintenance.

How long is it since they split?

Very odd situation. As others have said, the main people who will suffer are the DCs.

stepmooster Fri 05-Jul-13 05:05:59

Your friend doesn't necessarily have to get a court order. If he goes to a solicitor and gets some advice, he can use their skills in trying to draw an arrangement up with the ex. Ok the ex doesn't have to stick to it but it will show any court your friend tried to be reasonable. If that fails the next step is mediation and cafcass and then its court as a final option. But if he tried the other options first and the ex failed to co-operate the judge will look at conduct of all parties and listen to cafcass recommendations before making a decision.

I think the government have an online csa calculator you can complete yourself so your friend doesn't have to make contact with csa.

Its probably best to use the calculator and make private arrangement to pay maintenance directly. RPs and NRPs sometimes have issues with csa which can take forever to get sorted.

Turniptwirl Sun 07-Jul-13 15:47:54

While I think it's good for him maintain a relationship with dsd I don't agree that his own dc's relationship with dad should be dependent on his relationship with dsd

Having two men paying maintainance for the same child is just ridiculous. Her dad pays maintainance, her exstepdad is welcome to treat her when he sees her but like an ice cream not living expenses!

HopHopHopSkip Sun 28-Jul-13 00:22:06

I'm most likely way off here, but is it possible the mother is worried about DC2 not being looked after well enough and not being old enough to say/worried DC2 might be scared or confused going alone if he/she don't have a good relationship with their dad or there are parenting issues from the dad, and so wants older DC to go to make sure everything is ok?

Though even if that is her reason, it may not be valid concerns!

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