What does shared residency actually involve?

(192 Posts)
nicknamegame Tue 01-Oct-13 22:29:56

I don't wish to start a thread about a thread as I know it's not the done thing, so if you want some background - I posted on AIBU last night.

Basically what I'd like to know is what a shared residency order actually involves in terms of decisions made regarding the child. I know that issues such as schooling etc needs to be joint, as well as medical care, but what about changing the child's appearance? My dd's hair has been cut quite short without letting me know and I wondered where this all falls under the 'shared' residency. (If it does at all)

TIA

Anyone have an order that they can shed some light on regarding these matters? (Perhaps it's a legal question I need to ask, apologies if so)

daisychain01 Tue 08-Oct-13 19:52:11

My pleasure, dear Nickname,please take care and if possible keep in touch xx

nicknamegame Tue 08-Oct-13 19:22:44

Lovely post daisy, thank you.

daisychain01 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:40:24

Perhaps the downfall in Bonsoir's debate is the fact she is taking her own single, unique and personal situation (which may work for her if the mother of her DSC did not have a problem in her "taking control" and becoming a surrogate) and generalising that beyond herself, to the circumstances in nicknames posts. And then, claiming it to be the "one and only version of the truth"?

It is clear for all to see that the SM is assuming responsibility that is not her's to take. OK, so for argument's sake, the DF could say "I am giving SM in loco parentis authorisation to do x, y, z. But morally and ethically, changing a hairstyle, especially on a little girl (Ie not a functional boy's haircut just above the collar, for example), ought to have some consultation with the mother. Otherwise it is not in the spirit of in loco parentis Where it becomes less of a reasonable, helpful action for the child's benefit and more about a power struggle and making a point, then it is not right.

nickname this is very stressful for you, undoubtedly an uphill struggle, nothing anyone can say (least of all bonsoir) can convince me otherwise that the SMs actions are beyond unreasonable, -- and "judgy" comments on this thread about neglect, add no value to you whatsoever.

Would it be best to take your situation forward to a counsellor who can give you some solid, practical and emotional advice tailored to your own needs with your DD. Taking any of this through a court, could haemorrhage cash from your budget and get you nowhere (and IME take "years off your life" ). Alternatively - and maybe check through that counselling session? -- a firm but constructive/ conciliatory letter to your xDH (maybe even via your solicitor, which I have found can be less inflammatory than a court summons, but effective to get the message home) that there are certain boundaries that need to be respected, and where collaborative consultation is absolutely critical to safeguard DDs home environment in a positive way.

Even though the general support you are getting here is helpful it is marred by differing personal opinion (she says, trying to be tactful grin is just prodding at you and doing more harm than good, when your emotions are so raw and you need to find a way forward X

mumtobealloveragain Tue 08-Oct-13 13:31:41

That's interesting. I don't think I've ever had anyone tell me that on any f my previous threads though China- I'm petty sure I'd have remembered.

I can honestly say I have never been asked if I have PR or if I am "mum" at the dentists or GP's. I can't imagine DSC's mum complaining about me taking them though- usually they come to us with her saying they need to go DR or they have XYZ that's been hurting and it's down to DP or I to sort it out anyway.

Of course he would parent then very well if I didn't exist. I don't think otherwise and not sure where I gave that impression. I could also parent my own children well without him, but it's much easier done together.

nicknamegame Tue 08-Oct-13 10:44:41

You're warning me?

Bonsoir Tue 08-Oct-13 08:02:21

nicknamegame - if you think that your DD's SM and I have things in common (and we may well do), do you understand my point that I am warning you about the future?

Bonsoir Tue 08-Oct-13 07:58:52

No they couldn't return home - we didn't have tickets and there were in any case compelling reasons to stay.

In what world does a whole family's agenda change around an ill child? You deal with the illness in the most expedient way. Hence if a stepchild has chickenpox there is no need to change contact before exposing other DC.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 08-Oct-13 00:10:20

I didn't realise that as a non biological parent I don't actually have the legal right to do so, if I've read your post correctly Chinacupdandsaucers? That's worrying!

It's been mentioned on several of your previous threads mumtobe. Most Drs/Dentists etc will carry out basic checks nowadays to ensure that PR is held by whomever is consenting.

If there is any animosity or hostility between separated parents, then it really is advisable for step-parents to avoid that sort of delegated responsibility for their own peace of mind. Just remember that no matter how much of a family you are, your DP would manage to parent his DCs quite successfully if you weren't a part of his life wink

nicknamegame Tue 08-Oct-13 00:00:25

Stepmums like the OP is describing do exist; Bonsoirs posts are evidence of that and possibly the very best validation that the OP could have had on this thread of her own position. It would be easy for the OP to begin to doubt herself; Bonsoirs comments are clear evidence that some Stepmums really do behave in this way!

^^Yes China, you've put this perfectly. Bonsoir has indeed confirmed for me that women like her and my dd's sm do exist.
Wow, I've watched this thead with interest tonight. DD is at her dads for a few nights so its been entertaining. What started out as a discussion about haircuts, has been derailed by someone who in all honesty, shows signs of being somewhat 'derailed' herself. In one breath she has accused me of neglect, then in another of being unable to accept SM's involvement. I think we have seen all the signs here of someone who just didn't know what else to contribute to the discussion, so decided that thin veil of malignant 'concern' was the only way to go.
Quite how Bonsoir can carry on bleating the same old rubbish in the face of 8 pages of opposition, is beyond me. A debate is not a debate when one person simply repeats their beliefs ad infinitum, and in all honesty shows a lack of intelligence. Put simply, I don't believe Bonsoir is very bright.

To those of you who have given your insightful and helpful input, thanks so much. DD is off to a Brownie camp at the weekend, heres hoping she doesn't come home with any common childhood infections, otherwise Brown Owl will feel the full force of the Safeguarding Authority smile

mumtobealloveragain Mon 07-Oct-13 23:26:30

I have never thought twice about taking my DSC to the GP, then they are with us it would usually be me who does so as I am a SAHM and DP works full time. So I have booked appointments, taken them to the GP to be checked and have on a number of occasions consented to and collected prescribed medications for them. I have also previously taken them for their routine vaccinations, although these were obviously consented to by their dad (DP). I recently took the youngest for their MMR booster in fact.

I've never pretended to be their mother, but equally I've never been asked if I am. They don't call me mummy so I'm surprised I've not been asked considering they would be calling me by my first name instead during the appointment. I didn't realise that as a non biological parent I don't actually have the legal right to do so, if I've read your post correctly Chinacupdandsaucers? That's worrying!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 22:59:14

Selfish? We had no choice - we couldn't leave as DC were ill

Really? But you said upthread that it makes perfect sense for the OPs DD to go to her Dads with chickenpox? Is that different?

Surely, if the OPs DD can move from home to home, your DSC could have returned to their home with their infections rather than selfishly place your elderly relative at risk?

Bonsoir Mon 07-Oct-13 21:46:58

You are talking about another story...

Selfish? We had no choice - we couldn't leave as DC were ill and we were guests with nowhere else to go. Or maybe I should have put the DSSs up in a tent in the garden with no antibiotics?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 21:44:45

Oh allnew, don't spoil my evenings entertainment wink

I always enjoy a good debate with Bonsoir; her single-mindedness is fascinating.
The OP knows that Bonsoirs opinion is anything but the majority; which I'm guessing is why Bonsoir has been so adamant in her posts; she is a lone voice on this thread.

Stepmums like the OP is describing do exist; Bonsoirs posts are evidence of that and possibly the very best validation that the OP could have had on this thread of her own position. It would be easy for the OP to begin to doubt herself; Bonsoirs comments are clear evidence that some Stepmums really do behave in this way!

allnewtaketwo Mon 07-Oct-13 21:34:27

Can we please all ignore the utter sanctimonious bullsh*t from the French lady who clearly has self esteem issues to consistently feel the need to put others down in order to feel superior

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 21:24:24

Such as?

Well, where do I start?

Firstly, when my DD received treatment/medication without my knowledge it was given without a full medical history being known by the GP. My MIL dis not have my DDs (or my) medical notes with her. That is, at best, shoddy practice on the part of the GP, and something I believed needed to be brought to the attention of their superiors.
Similarly, the Dr who prescribed your DSC with antibiotics did so without parental consent - which is very bad practice and against medical practice standards (never mind the law). I'd want the Dr checked out to see what other shoddy practice he was up to.

I'd also want to ensure that boundaries weren't blurred. The women in my DDs life are not interchangeable. They each have distinct roles, and I want her to be clear about those. Regular trips to the Dr where her Grandma fulfils a parental role is confusing for her.

As an aside, I disagree with routine antibiotic treatment and consider it very selfish to expose an elderly, frail relative to infection even if it is being treated.

Bonsoir Mon 07-Oct-13 21:19:36

It would be hard for me to present as my DSSs' mother - we have different mother tongues and it is quite apparent! And I would never dream of pretending to anyone that I was their mother - just as they would never pretend they were my DC.

Just as much as I have every sympathy with mothers whose DC have to spend time with stepmothers who don't give a s* about their welfare, I think that being obstructive with stepmothers who do is not good for anyone.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 21:14:01

the doctor just thinks you are a normal person going about your life in a sensible way...

After a few high profile cases, doctors rarely think that now a days.

Have you read elsewhere on MN how Dads who take their own DCs for vaccinations have been challenged by medical staff - who have refused to treat unless both parents consent is given - even when those parents are still together?

Unless you presented as the DCs mother (which does happen) I think you'd struggle to get treatment in the way you describe at the practices local to me, anyway. Too risky for the medical staff involved.

Bonsoir Mon 07-Oct-13 21:11:53

Such as?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 21:08:06

The only reason would be to cause trouble and assert yourself. Why would you want to do that?

Really Bonsoir? How could you possibly know that?

I know I've said this to you before but it's worth saying again - other people do not all think the same way as you do.

There may be lots of other reasons for my choices that you haven't even thought of - you do realise that, don't you?

Bonsoir Mon 07-Oct-13 20:53:07

My DSSs weren't living FT with us when that particular instance occurred - though they were on holiday with me in another country to their country of residence, so I was very much in loco parentis. But, as I say, it was totally straightforward. Children are ill, you need a solution (for their own health and for other people's), you seek it and the doctor just thinks you are a normal person going about your life in a sensible way...

Bonsoir Mon 07-Oct-13 20:50:51

"If my DD's stepmum did what you did, I would pursue both you and the GP relentlessly."

The only reason would be to cause trouble and assert yourself. Why would you want to do that?

TheMumsRush Mon 07-Oct-13 19:11:15

Your dss's live with you? Op's dd lives with her. Sm had no place to do it.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 19:07:47

It is normal practice for stepparents to take care of their stepchildren's health

No, it isn't.

If my DDs stepmum did what you did, I would pursue both you and the GP relentlessly. When my exMIL sought non-urgent treatment for my DD, I did just that.

Bonsoir Your DSC mum is clearly comfortable with your role in their life. But, if she wasn't, then choices you have made could be addressed legally - as stepmum, you do not have the legal responsibility to consent to medical treatment and a Dr/school/dentist who accepts your consent in lieu of a parent could face accusations of criminal offences as well as child protection and malpractice considerations.

The fact that the law allows biological parents to prevent others (such as yourself) from authorising treatment for their DCs is evidence that your experience with your DSC mum is exceptional, not the norm.

Bonsoir Mon 07-Oct-13 18:46:50

I've taken my DSSs to my parents' GP in the UK to get antibiotics to clear up an ENT infection - the reason being that my father gets pneumonia easily, so needs to avoid being around people with ENT infections. It was totally straightforward. It is normal practice for stepparents to take care of their stepchildren's health. It caused no problems whatsoever for anyone to do this.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 18:35:56

bonsoir Clearly the rules are very different where you are - its clear from the OPs posts that her DDs stepmum treated her DSD against the advice of the patients own Dr.
Whereas a layman (or woman) may be able to argue that she didn't realise that using an over-the-counter remedy was inappropriate, a qualified Dr would know that she was breaching ethical standards. There is no grey area - if stepmum was worried about the contagion passing to her own DCs, the appropriate response would be to ensure the infectious patient was excluded from her home until the infection had cleared - something that would have been quite possible as the patient has a primary residence elsewhere.

OP - if you are considering further legal redress, this might be a route you want to consider; a shot across Stepmums bows by reporting her to the GMC for treating your DD in contradiction to her own GPs advice may well be needed to get her to back off. Of course it's ludicrous to think that wart treatment could come to that, but the whole situation is bonkers.

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