phones, schools and changing residency

(82 Posts)
stepmooster Mon 10-Feb-14 06:25:10

DH pays for DSS fancy phone. It was his xmas present, well deserved for being v helpful with our 2 babies. He is tbh pretty rubbish at keeping it on whilst with us. Mostly DH keeps nagging him to keep it charged up and on, but as we are all v busy and doing something his phone is usually in his bag and doesn't come out until Sunday lunch when things get quieter and he gets ready to go.

They have an agreement that as DH pays the bill DSS should reply to DH's texts, his nan's texts and be ready to answer phone twice mid week on set days.

It works well, we had some teething probs a few years ago but DSS sticks by the rules. Except a week in Jan when DH couldn't reach him, so he texted his ex and she said she'd confiscated it. DH started to feel inner rage at not being asked or discussed with first. He does after all pay the bill. He bites his tongue, and replies could she discuss with him first next time.

Then on fri, after a v long day travelling, dSS asks to borrow DH phone so he can text his mum. He does, she replies prob not realising its DH phone at 1130pm she expects him to ring her on sat, with a real shitty sarcy comment and about 20 exclamation marks, and a if you don't you will lose your phone.

DH shows DSS in morning, inner rage boiling again. Its in DH name ffs how can she decide that? Its how DH and family stay in touch! But he does not reply to his ex.

DSS tries 3 times to call his mum and she doesn't answer. He spends all day worrying. She answers eventually in the evening.

If anyone remembers my other threads he lives miles and miles from his school. His phone is how he keeps in touch with his friends and us lot.

Anyway a week ago, The ex asked DH in a really shitty text to pay half of DSS passport so she and her DH could take him on hols. She told DH his half was £60 more expensive than it should be.

After much discussion I told DH not to reply (she likes to get him to engage in weird text battles by sending shitty goady texts like this). So instead DH sent her a cheque for half of the real cost and disengaged.

Now DH and I who have joint finances are thinking if she wants to take away DSS phone as punishment she should pay half the bill. She makes such a song and dance out of billing DH for half of everything. DH says if she does confiscate it again he will deduct half the bill from his CM.

Also it looks like DSS has won a significant part in his school play as has his sister. As he has to wait around for his mum to finish work every night he's obviously doing drama club to fill his time. he got himself a bit worked up about a sunday rehearsal, his mum doesn't know about it. We can take him, but she'd need to get him. DH said after taking DSS to his train that DSS seemed scared of his mum and he wants DH to ask her. He obviously has no idea how unlikely she is to agree to anything DH suggests.

I feel sorry for DSS, DH wanted him to go to a local secondary near his mums but she thought driving him on 2 hour journeys to school and back day in day out was better for him than being a latch key kid. Now he is liking his school and has lots of friends but no social life. His mum asked him after xmas if he wanted to move schools and he said no.

DSS told DH at NY he wanted us to move close to his school so he could live with us and see mum eow. We are going to do this, even if he changes his mind. He is such a good kid, very mature and helpful. He doesn't know about our plans because we don't want the ex to know. She would I fear pull him out of his school and move him near to them. If he stays where he is, he has a good school report and he gets to be near his friends and his elder siblings one who lives FT with his dad and the other 50/50. They always lived FT with mum until she moved. If we moved all his siblings (ours too) would be local to him. The only person he wouldn't be near is mum. BTW she chose to sell fmh instead of her dh home so she could move in with him and not other way around forcing this big move away.

Does anyone have any advice regarding phones and our moving house? Once we move and presuming DSS still wants to live with us how the hell do we achieve that for DSS?

Frogbyanothername Fri 14-Feb-14 07:12:32

I wouldn't knock regular telephone contact, even if its scheduled

Threatening a sanction if a DC doesn't maintain contact is not scheduled, it's coerced.

stepmooster Fri 14-Feb-14 08:13:16

Well that's your opinion, clearly both dss parents feel differently on the matter and he is their child, and they know him better than anyone im going to respect their parenting decision.

The issue is not that the ex can take the phone away its whether she should contribute to its cost. Seeing as she expects dss to call her on it as well.

stepmooster Fri 14-Feb-14 08:16:23

And the twice weekly phone calls are part of the contact arrangement. Except instead of dh calling dss at 8pm on the button, dss and dh decided it would be better now dss is older if dss called dh on those evenings at a time convenient to him. So they are scheduled and always have been but take into account dss might have something else he'd rather do at 8pm.

purpleroses Fri 14-Feb-14 08:30:27

Can't DSS phone his dad on his mum's landline if he's had his phone confiscated? Or does she actively prevent him?

Dumpylump Fri 14-Feb-14 08:31:00

I have read the whole thread, although its a wee bit confusing in places....one thing I would say is this though - if your dh bought the iPhone for his son as a Christmas present (whether that was because he bowed to pressure from his son or not) he cannot retrospectively ask his ex to pay towards it now. If he thought they should go 50/50 on it, because you consider that fairer, then it should have been discussed and agreed before the phone was ever given to his son.

stepmooster Fri 14-Feb-14 09:22:52

Purpleroses I am not sure. We shall have to ask DSS when he is next here.

Dumpylump You know I think you are right, as much as it is very annoying. I think that when the contract is due to expire DH needs to discuss with the ex whether she is happy to go 50/50 or let DSS have pay as you go which he can put his own money towards.

purpleroses Fri 14-Feb-14 10:03:49

When his contract expires you should shop around a bit - I've managed to get myself a sim only deal with unlimited data, and quite a lot of calls and texts (more than I'd use) for £5 a month, which is a lot less money. I bought a cheap smartphone for £104 which is brilliant.

I'd pay for a cheap contract and then expect DSS to put the money up for a fancy phone - or use birthday money, etc. Then there's less room for resentment over who's phone it is.

And yes definitely worth checking whether it really is the confiscated phone that prevents DSS contacting his dad, or whether that might just be a convenient excuse for forgetting.

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