Going for full custody/part custody, combining 2 families(36 Posts)
A bit of a long story but I can't share too much detail.
I have 2 dc's age 12 and 10, DP has 2 dc's age 9 and 5. Dp has been living with me for 8 months and I was unaware of the situation with his dc's until a few months ago ( thought they would stay with his ex, and contact would be weekends ). Social services are now involved with his dc's and they are on the at risk register ( I can't go into details as to why ).
We are looking into getting full custody of them or at least part custody ( mon- fri ). This means combining our family together, moving house and moving his dc's to a new school.
Has anyone ever done this? And how has it ended up? I want good and bad stories. I know it's not going to be easy and I think I am hoping it won't come to us having full custody but looking at the situation at the moment we have no choice.
8 months is still very new. Would he not be better to sort himself a home for him and his children for now. Give them some stability, rather than throwing everyone into chaos.
It is very new. Social service said he can only have the kids on his own if he packs his job in and becomes a full time dad, he wouldn't be able to financially support the children.
I am very confused about the situation, obviously social services have serious concerns about the children but they have not taken them from her, she has been given a chance to prove she can look after them but from what we have heard she's not doing a great job. Social services are in contact with us several times a week and are visiting her several times a week. I get on well with his children and they get on well with my children, I know it could be very different if living in the same house . It is a tricky situation as I don't think dp could support them and stay mentally well if he gave up his job, I am a stay at home mum so with me on his side we can offer a lot more.
Social service said he can only have the kids on his own if he packs his job in and becomes a full time dad,
And what if he doesn't? Are they really going to seek a care order, and place the DCs in foster care, on the grounds that their dad isn't a "good enough" parent because he works?
If the DCs have experienced neglect or trauma, then you are not dealing with a typical "blended family" situation. I think you need to consider very, very carefully the impact on yourself and your own DCs of you taking on primary care of your DPs DCs while he continues to work. That is an enormous emotional undertaking. Your DCs would undoubtedly be impacted as your DPs DCs will need a disproportionate amount of your time and emotion, at least to start with.
Can your DP take an unpaid leave of absence from work, so he has something to go back to? In my experience, these situations are quite volatile, and he may quit his job only for his DCs to no longer require his full time presence at home within a few months.
Now, I might be a cynical old bat, but I don't believe social services would say he has to leave his job.
Have you actually heard this from them directly? I'd be suspicious that he just wants his kids full time and wants you to bankroll him.
That would pretty much be social services giving you a huge responsibility. Massive alarm bells would be ringing. Is this what you signed up for? There is absolutely no reason you have to agree to this. (I wouldn't), don't let them rail road you into this, I'd be jumping of this ship now.
He will be trying to reduce his work hours, at the moment his work is very busy but in a few months it won't be so chances are by the time they are placed with him/us he will be around a lot more to support them.
Of course he is worried about leaving his job only to find social services want to keep them with her, he doesn't want to quit his job as he has a very good job, he can support the kids financially and he is worried he won't find other work ( this is the only job he is trained to do, sadly it involves working away and long hours during the summer ). I have told him that I won't be looking after them all the time, I have told him if they'd are placed with us full time I will not be expected to be looking after 4 kids by myself during school holidays whilst he works. I have no idea how we are going to make things work or if things will work.
If you aren't prepared to parent his kids as your own why did you enter into a relationship with someone with dc.
It's very sad that you are hoping against full custody. Poor dchave been neglected by their mother and you don't really want them.
I very much doubt that SS have told him he has to give up his job, that doesn't sound right at all. I'd dig a little deeper here, OP.
Why can't you look after four dc in the summer are you unwell?
Sounds like he needs to get full custody of his DC, in his own house, and a live-in nanny.
I can't believe that he's been told to drop his job - perhaps advised to look for one without travel at the most - but not to leave his job. He wouldn't get benefits for a start! Something not right here.
and I was unaware of the situation with his dc's until a few months ago ( thought they would stay with his ex, and contact would be weekends
Can i ask what you was unaware of? Was it the DCs themselves or the social services involvement?
If he has such a good job, can he not get a place for himself and his kids? How long have you been together?
It is rather confusing how would they expect dad to look after the kids with no.income??
Living together for 8 months so still adjusting. How long have you been together? Sounds a lot for a potentially newish relationship.
Sounds a rather unlikely situation from SS perspective but I'm no expert.
Any reason you wouldn't want to look after them all? Are you working? If they are living with you surely this would happen by default?
seven if you have experience of DCs who have come from such chaotic, abusive or neglectful homes that their parent has been deemed unfit, then you'll know that it is a vocation that is not to be undertaken lightly.
If the OP was not in a relationship shop with her DP, but was a foster carer for these DCs, she and her own DCs would have significant assessment and ongoing support.
Your expectation that she selflessly accepts these DCs into her life is misplaced and could badly damage all involved.
Crazy, I was unaware of the evolvement with social services until a few months ago, apparently they have been involved before ( I did not know that ), again I can't go into details as to why as I don't want to out myself or her. As far as I know the kids are not at any physical risk from her ( she doesn't hit them or physically abuse them ) it's all emotional and neglect. I think she has mental health issues and social services are trying to work with her whilst she sorts this out.
She won't let dp see the children at all ( wouldn't let him have contact at the weekend ) and he has now had to block her from texting as she was being abusive. Any contact will now be made through social services and we will probably have to go to court to get any kind of contact . We can't afford solicitors and we can't get legal aid, I don't know where we stand.
Time, but these children weren't hidden from the op, she was well aware if their existence , just hoped she would have little to do with them.
seven did you read the OPs post immediately before yours ? She had no idea that there was long term SocServ involvement. Knowing that your DP has DCs does not mean you prepare yourself for the possibility of becoming their primary carer after they have forcibly been removed from their mum!
The DCs currently live with their mother far enough away from the OP to require them to change schools if they move in with their dad, so it is not unreasonable for the OP to have expected her involvement with them to be in a supporting role alongside her DP.
Very few people embark on a relationship assuming that their b/f ex may be deemed unfit to care for her DCs in the future and that part of being involved with a man with DCs is the possibility that they will be thrust into a primary carer role for damaged and abused DCs.
And although some stepmums do become primary Carers for their stepDCs, it is by no means the only, or even preferred, family model. My DHs DCs would never accept being left in my care, and after a traumatic few months in which we all tried to make it work, it was finally easier to ensure that they were never in my sole care.
Why did your dp hide his ex's history and previous social services input from you when you were deciding to live together?
OP you are very early on in your relationship. In everyone's interest I would be encouraging him to get his own place and set up a home for his dc's in order to provide them with the stability and repair that they need.
I had step siblings that used to come EOW that meant the house was squashed, we were treated as second class citizens by my DSD. Literally overnight their DM left the country and they ended up with us. They were understandably quite traumatized by this and needed a lot of attention/time/space that as an adult I can now understand, however I was 10/11 at the time and it did have massive implications on my sibling and I that seemed very unfair.
Thank you Time, that's exactly it, of course I knew he had children and knew I would be involved with them in some way ( I have been a step parent before ), I never thought the kids would be removed from her, assumed they were well looked after and that dp would have contact every weekend and when needed during the week.the kids live over an hour away so it would mean a lot of changes for them as well as huge changes for my children. I love DP very much but I don't want to become a nanny to his children, I need to be able to look after my own children who can be very challenging.
Of course the best outcome in all of this is that their mother pulls her finger out and looks after them so they don't need to be removed but realistically I don't think that will happen, she may do it for a while and then things will go back to how they were before.
I think you need to get out of this relationship and/or living arrangement.
Firstly - your DP has lied to you by omission. You should have been told about SS involvement from the start.
Secondly - those poor kids. They are being neglected and you are hoping that care isn't removed from Mum as you don't want your boat rocked
Thirdly - SS likely haven't told him to quit his job. I'd be questioning that.
Leave - a relationship based on a huge lie is destined to fail.
sadly your attitude is pretty appalling aswell and his DCS would be better off having nothng to do with you.
There are some great step mums, but your attitude of - your DPS kids are great as long as they do not live with us, I can tolerate the odd weekend but will moan about the invasion of my home ( note not their home - which if their father is also living there it is). I will whinge baout not being allowed to discipline them but not really want to look after them. If DP were to dare do an acitivity on his weekend andI might get asked to look after them - then I am unpaid, unrepsected free child care - but do not worry - DP will look after my DCS without question if I want a night out.
Like too many step parents - no real attempt to blend a family - and usually the fathers children come second fiddle to you, your DCS, his job and then they get a scrap of attention.
YOu are no use to them - you have already classified them as less important than the rest of oyur "blended" family.
So you were up for a blended family if it was a blend that involved your children around most of the time and his children EOW?
And he covered up SS involvement.
And you've only been together 8 months....
You two need to live apart and concentrate on your own children.
You are walking, eyes wide open, into a disaster.
Firstly your partner is lying and hiding things from you already.
More importantly though, from your post you are relying on a woman who you have no influence or control over to have a complete and permanent personality transplant. This is what your ideal scenario involves.
You would be mad to pursue this any further. The only think you have any power over here is your choices, and if you carry on you are choosing to make yours and your children's lives worse.
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