DH's dd, 16, won't see him, but keeps asking for money

(75 Posts)
dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 11:13:35

back story: when DH split with XW, his exW made it very difficult for him to see DSD who was 10 at the time. every time he tried to get in touch, he was told DSD did not want to see him, and to get out of their lives etc, that it would just upset DSD him being in touch. so DH backed off a bit but still sent occasional emails, plus birthday / xmas presents but never heard anything back, other than the very occasional message telling him to fuck off etc. and of course he has been paying XW a decent amount of maintenance the whole time as well.
we have been married 3 years, have a DD together who is four, and we are expecting another DC in april. DSD has never met DD
also, i will be straight with you all here, i know i risk a flaming as OWs are hated on here. but i was the OW. if it makes any difference, it was only for about a month and then DH left his XW. i regret every day how we got together, its not an excuse but i was young and immature and if i was in the same position i would never go near a married man. but at the same time it was not just a fling, we actually fell in love, and we are still really happy together and still very much in love.

after all this time, DSD finally got in touch with DH about a year ago, a short email just asking for some money, he was really happy that she had got in touch and replied straight away saying yes of course, asking how she was etc. he got no reply back. so he put the money in her account anyway.

this is happening every couple of weeks now, the emails are short and abrupt, and not very polite, no please / thank you etc. we cant really afford it. but we dont want to NOT give her the money in case she stops being in contact, and in case it gives her more fuel to hate dh. the last few months, each time she has emailed, dh has asked to meet her, to take her shopping or for lunch so he can give her the money, and she has just ignored the question. she works btw.

we feel like she is just using us for money, DH really wants to try to rebuild the relationship with her, and i would love to have her in our lives, no matter what. i am also worried as at some point he will need to tell her that we are having another baby, and that will go down like a lead balloon i am sure sad

theredhen Tue 24-Sep-13 11:57:21

Whilst it might be understandable she's upset and angry, I do think just giving her the money is not helping one bit.

You are teaching her that dad is just there to be used.

If you stop giving her the money, what will your dh really lose? He has no relationship with this girl not because he hasn't tried but because she doesn't want to.

He should carry on trying to contact her but he shouldn't be blackmailed.

Kaluki Tue 24-Sep-13 12:56:12

I agree. It will never end if he continues to give her the money every time she asks for it.
He should tell her that he loves her, that she has a little sister and a new sibling on the way who would love to meet her but no more money.
At 16 she should be able to understand that.

dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 13:03:18

thing is we don't mind giving her money. if it was a normal situation and she spent time with dh/us as a family we would treat her and buy her things like we do the other dcs

its the mercenary way she goes about it that makes me sad

i wish she would see him, he is a brilliant dad and he loves her, and i am sure she knows it deep down. i have seen it with my own eyes. but anyone would think he was some kind of monster the way he has been treated over the years

i also feel awful for my own DD and unborn baby that they might not ever know their sister and it will be mine and dh's fault.

lunar1 Tue 24-Sep-13 13:46:36

I'm going to sound like a real cow here but I have been in a similar situation as a child and will tell you my Perspective at the time.

My mum made things difficult for my
Dad to see us, dad gave up without too much of a fight. While your dh has made a little more effort than my dad, he still doesn't sound like he fought for her.

She was 10, if her mum didn't pass things in she won't have got them. He could have gone to court to see her.

By 16 I'd given up on my dad as a complete waste of space, if I could have used him for a bit of extra money I probably would have.

Maybe if he wants to rebuild things he could arrange to take her for lunch, and he two of them can work on it from there. You will soon see then if she wants to reconnect with him or not. I have to say though I feel sorry for her, both her parents have let her down.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 24-Sep-13 13:50:53

You say he's a brilliant dad. He certainly wasn't to her. He went off with you when she was at the oldest 12. That's not a brilliant dad. She is very young I can see why she's like she is. He treated her and hero they shockingly. Maybe she's still hurting and doing the same back. Poor kid.

SavoyCabbage Tue 24-Sep-13 13:58:13

I agree. Why didn't he go to court to get access to her? My dd is 10 and I can't imagine her losing her dad, who she was living with at the time, and just not seeing him again.

She probably thinks he is a loser and if she can get some money out of him then she might as well.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 24-Sep-13 14:13:34

Hero they = her mother.

dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 14:20:36

sigh

i thought this would happen, although thought step parents might be a bit of a better support than other places on this site

he didnt go to court because he was told by his ex that DD did not want to see him and that his trying to get in touch was just upsetting her more. so he backed off because he was TOLD to. he was respecting his daughters wishes as he thought it was the best way at the time. but yeah, personally i agree he should have gone through the courts.

and yes he "went off with me" it was a shit what he and i did. if a man wants to leave he should leave before meeting someone else. and i regret it, i can't tell you how much i regret it. but its done now and dh and i are just trying to make amends

anyway, why is it always double standards on here, if a woman is unhappy in a relationship, she is advised to leave, but if a man is unhappy (which dh was), he has to stay no matter what hmm

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 24-Sep-13 14:28:12

He didn't have to stay, not at all. Put having an affair shows him for what he is. And yes, poor you and him, reaping what you sowed. The victim in this is the poor kid who's rubbish dad ran off with another woman.

dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 14:38:05

i didnt come on here for judging, i came here for some advice

i know we did wrong, i have said it. i wanted to be honest about the whole story so i admitted to being the OW. i would imagine many women on here have been in my shoes but most darent admit it

so please stop making me feel even more shit

i really am not a horrible person, what i did was horrible but as i said, its done now.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 24-Sep-13 14:44:00

Ok, but don't you see this poor kids actions are a direct result of his and your actions? Thats the main issue here. I think also calling him a wonderful dad was guaranteed to get backs up.

basgetti Tue 24-Sep-13 14:50:20

She probably feels that your DH owes her. From her perspective he went off with another woman, didn't bother seeing her anymore and then replaced her with a new child.

Whatever his ex wife did to frustrate contact at the time, it was his responsibility to step up. He could have gone to court, requested mediation, a whole number of things. I suspect it was easier for him to tell himself it was in the interests of a ten year old child to lose contact with her father, that doesn't make him a brilliant Dad.

dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 14:52:41

yes onesleep of course i realise that, which was why i gave the full story at the beginning

clearly she is still angry and upset. and its completely understandable. but we want to make amends. which is why we keep giving her money when she asks as that seems to be the only thing she will let him do for her at the moment

i still think its double standards though, a man leaves and he is the worst bastard on the face of the planet. yet a woman leaves a shit relationship and she is brave and strong etc. its because when a man leaves he is seen to "leave his family" ie children, but the fact is in most cases the woman gets the lions share of the custody so she is not seen in that way.

brdgrl Tue 24-Sep-13 14:54:55

This 'poor kids actions' are most likely the result of a great many things.

Whether she feels her dad owes her cash or not, he doesn't.

I can't see that giving her money in this manner will do anything whatsoever to improve the situation. You're being used.

brdgrl Tue 24-Sep-13 14:56:26

You cannot make amends for the breakup of her parents' marriage by giving her money. Seriously. Stop. If your DH continues in this vein, he is actually letting her down quite badly, again, in a different sort of way.

basgetti Tue 24-Sep-13 14:57:25

Dirtyface if a woman posted on MN that she had an affair and didn't see her DC anymore she would be flamed. It isn't the leaving that is looked upon badly. Anyone is entitled to leave an unhappy relationship. It is the lying and cheating. And, in your DH's case the complete withdrawal from his child afterwards.

And if you truly felt bad about what you had done you wouldn't be trying to justify it by raging about double standards.

dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 14:57:43

basgetti he didnt "tell himself" it was in her best interests to back off, that is what he was TOLD by her mother.
so whilst still continuing to pay maintenance plus occasional contacts keeping things light he backed off exactly as he was asked to. all the time hoping that she would change her mind and making it clear he was there when DSD was ready.

so i dont call that "not bothering to see her" - it wasn't like that at all, he WANTED to.

as i said, i personally think he should have gone to court, but as he is her dad i thought he knew her best and what would be best for her

Dumpylump Tue 24-Sep-13 14:58:00

Not saying it would have made a difference in the end...but is it really that easy to go to court and then make a 10 (or possibly 11 year old by the time it got sorted out) child go to their dads if they don't want to?
I don't think you should just keep putting money into her account every time she asks.
But every time she asks for money her dad should suggest meeting for lunch, or a coffee, or something. With time, she will hopefully agree, and the two of them can take it from there.

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 15:04:54

its the mercenary way she goes about it that makes me sad

She is understandably angry at her dad.

i wish she would see him, he is a brilliant dad and he loves her, and i am sure she knows it deep down. i have seen it with my own eyes. but anyone would think he was some kind of monster the way he has been treated over the years

I think she quite possibly doesn't know it deep down, she [in her young mind] has been given reason by your DH to doubt that fact hasn't she?

Is it really about how badly your DH has been treated?

I am not judging/commenting the circumstances of how you and your DH got together, but it is relevant to how your DSD is feeling and acting now, more to the point, how your DH has behaved since he left his EXW re access and not pushing for it.

Throwing money at her is not the way forward.

I think your DH needs to accept that his actions have caused this and deal with repairing the damage. She will probably be resistant, but he has to try no matter how difficult facing what he has created may be.

Congratulations on your pregancy too smile

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 15:05:19

*prenaNcy

Dededum Tue 24-Sep-13 15:16:17

How about agree on an amount that you are happy with ie: monthly allowance, tell her that you will pay into her bank account every month and set up a direct debit. That way she doesn't have to humilate herself, she feels valued because you are asking for nothing in return. Then back off and let her come to him when she is ready.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 15:25:20

I always think its incredibly unfair (although possibly understandable) that a parent who has been cheated on is never held accountable for burdening their DC with the knowledge that one of their parents cheated.

My marriage didn't end as the result of an affair, and DD doesn't know why her Dad and I split up. If I decided to tell her the reasons why and expose a side of her Dad that she doesn't need to know about, I would be rightfully criticised. Yet, a parent whose spouse has cheated is justified oh, DCs aren't stupid is the oft used phrase, but a breakup is a breakup whatever the reason.

What I'm getting to is that the daughter in the OP has been failed by both her parents. When the marriage broke down, her mum behaved badly, and her Dad failed to address that.
My advice would be that the OP disengages, doesn't fund the demands made by her DPs daughter herself and accepts that her DP may never reunite with her - but that she has absolutely no influence over that.

lunar1 Tue 24-Sep-13 15:30:32

That's a really good idea about the allowance, it is a perfectly normal father/daughter dynamic.

What does she say when he tries to arrange to see her? The way he approaches this could make a huge difference. Is he asking for 1:1 time initially or asking her to join in your with your family?

I second the pocket money monthly and then no more money. My DD is 16 she never calls my ex unless she wants money, but on the other hand he never calls her either, never asks her to go out to lunch/dinner with him as he does with our older DS. I have always encouraged her to see him but as she says he doesn't make an effort so why should she. I don't get involved with their relationship now as its nothing to do with me, I never see him and he has never paid any money for them. Does her mum know she is doing this? teenagers are crafty she is probably getting money of her mum and telling her the dad wont give her any.

dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 15:48:03

I always think its incredibly unfair (although possibly understandable) that a parent who has been cheated on is never held accountable for burdening their DC with the knowledge that one of their parents cheated

yep totally agree with that.

and yes dumpylump DH asks DSD to meet up etc, every time he emails her. but she just then doesn't respond either way. and yes he asks to meet just the 2 of them, he would not expect her to meet us / our dcs until if and when she is ready.

thats a good idea re the allowance as well, i will suggest it to him

holidaysarenice Tue 24-Sep-13 15:52:01

Leaving aside being the ow I would handle it like this.

Dd now u are 16, presumably off to college etc, ur maintenance is x per month paid to ur mum. We will review that and a percentage paid to you. When u go to uni, all can be paid to you and u can sort with ur mum if there is some kind of split.

If she is working and not going to uni, maintenance will have stopped then I wud say no further money unless she is asking for a reason such as exam fees,driving, courses etc to better her prospects. If its nights out etc then no, she needs to learn to live within her means.

brdgrl Tue 24-Sep-13 16:35:26

My DSCs (and DD is about to start on same system) receive two 'bits' of pocket money. One of these is a fixed amount which just lets them buy a snack after school or go to the cinema once in a while. The other is a bit that is linked to their cooperation in doing chores around the house.

To look at this from another persepctive - I'd never give my own teen (not sure exactly how old your dsd is) any money if she was being surly and uncooperative around the house. I'd make sure she had food and bus fares and her basic needs met, and possibly I would consider funding or contributing towards an organised activity or hobby.

But I would never give a child who refused to speak civilly or participate in family life, extra financial reward. Whether she lived with me or not, or what the other circumstances were. I think your DH should be working on rebuilding the relationship, yes, but I don't think money should enter into it at this point. Seriously, it is not doing her any favours.

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 16:36:40

I always think its incredibly unfair (although possibly understandable) that a parent who has been cheated on is never held accountable for burdening their DC with the knowledge that one of their parents cheated

It isn't always a case of them being told by the cheated on parent, depending on the age of the children they may get an inkling, also they may suddenly have a sibling born 6 months after their parents marriage ends...they do put two and two together sometimes.

On the other hand, if the children aren't aware that one parent caused the break up, often they blame the one who didn't leave, so it can be difficult and isn't black and white.

I do agree this mother appears to have behaved badly, but I still think the OPs DH could have done more.

brdgrl Tue 24-Sep-13 16:53:18

See, this is one of those things I find really frustrating. (And I should say that I am not in the situation myself, so have no personal interest in it, IYSWIM!)
There are so many threads where people talk about children who don't want to see the NR parent, and generally, there seems to be an attitude of "well, if they don't want to, they shouldn't be made to" as well as an attitude by the NR parent of "well, there's not much I can do, can't force them or they will end up hating me".
But then you see the corollary of this, which is kids who are understandably bitter and upset because they haven't had enough contact with a parent. And then the attitude often is that the NR parent should have tried harder, fought more, etc.
Which I actually do agree with, although I admittedly have no idea what that would be like, and am sure it is far easier said than done! But I think BOTH parents have an obligation to make sure that the child has regular contact with a (fit) NR parent, even when that goes against the wishes of the child.
Without regular contact, there is no opportunity for a new relationship to develop. The OP's DH can fight for his daughter now, as he should have before perhaps, by not giving in to blackmail and not endorsing her decision to avoid him.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 17:30:37

The OP's DH can fight for his daughter now, as he should have before perhaps, by not giving in to blackmail and not endorsing her decision to avoid him

I agree - as some if you know, my DP and I have lived through this and I am convinced that it was DPs determination to continue to parent his DD - despite her attempts at manipulation and her mums (apparently well meaning) suggestions that DP should back off - that is responsible for the close relationship we (as a couple) have with her now.

It's all so predictable. Mum, smarting from a perceived or real wrongdoing openly or inadvertantly displays her feelings about Dad, DCs feel split loyalties and begin to reject the parent for whom they don't feel emotionally responsible, Dad seeks Mums help to re-establish relationship, Mum (feeling guilty about her previous behaviour and not wanting to upset DC further) advises Dad to give it time and not force the issue and a week becomes a month becomes a year.

NRP should never absolve themselves of responsibility for parenting their DCs, IMO, even if those DCs refuse to have contact. If you wouldn't accept the behaviour in a together family, why is it acceptable because parents are apart?

AmberLeaf Tue 24-Sep-13 17:38:00

I agree with that to an extent.

I have known of a small number of parents who have not encouraged contact after the slightest hitch because it suits their own agenda [typically wanting nothing to do with their EX]

Sadly, in those cases there were NRPs who just accepts it and didn't make the effort.

At one time and for a short while, my eldest child had a difficult relationship with his Dad, if Id gone along with it he [my son] would probably have cut contact, but I saw it as right that I encouraged contact so they could sort the issues out, which they did.

Someone I know said 'I can't make her go if she doesn't want to' well actually yes you can if it is for the best in the long run and no issues of abuse etc. Bit like a school refusing child, you have to make them go, as it is better in the long run, though it is hard at the time, it still has to be done.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 24-Sep-13 17:47:25

Someone I know said 'I can't make her go if she doesn't want to'

This always makes me hmm, because I've only ever heard it said by mums who go loopy at the slightest transgression by their DC over other things; mobile confiscated for wearing makeup to school, grounded for backchat but when the DC says they don't want to see Dad, you hear its OK darling you don't have to if you don't want to

It was even more blatant in DSD case; Mum would happily allow her to opt out of a contact visit to Dad, but then would threaten her with all sorts of penalties when DSD tried to refuse to go to Greandmas while mum was working confused
If it wasn't so tragic, it would be funny sad

louby44 Tue 24-Sep-13 18:06:18

I wouldn't give any money at all. It's guilt money. You can't buy forgiveness and you're failing her again by giving money!

charitymum Tue 24-Sep-13 21:05:26

Just wanted to say you sound like a lovely person. You made mistake in being the OW - not great - and your DH should have left rather than start an affair. And yes he probably should have used the courts but hindsight is a wonderful thing and it sounds like he is keen to do the right things now.

I never fail to be amazed that so many people are intolerant of others mistakes and actions. Sheesh half your posts acknowledge your mistakes - you seem self aware, considerate and sorry for things you shouldn't have done. Pretty crap that you are being judged IMO (and I say that having lives through DP having other woman and my DDs having a step mum).

Re the money I agree with the poster who suggested formalising a financial allowance for DSD as she is now 16. And then separately - not linked to money - taking her out and trying to build a relationship recognising that she is, reasonably, going to still be cross at him.

Good luck

Stepmooster Wed 25-Sep-13 02:58:13

Going down the courts route is such a difficult decision to make.

In our case, DH ex discusses everything with DSS and then he gets worked up and stressed out at the thought of his parents in court again, so DH backs off and we jump to the ex's tune.

If the ex has emotionally burdened her daughter with her feeliings post affair, how will the DSD have felt at age 10/11 with her parents going to court?

You hope both parents are able to keep the arguments away from their children but if one party deliberately involves the child as a pawn then they will continue to be affected.

Hindsight is wonderful but I'm sure yur DH made what he thought was right decision.

I have also sat in a solicitors office and been warned that even if DH got a court order, it is relatively easy for RP's to break them with little consequence.

Then there is the chance that the court may decide regular contact is not in best interests of the child.

So unless you have the money and emotional energy to continue fighting through the courts I can understand why some father's back off.

It could take a year or two, by which time child and NRP become like strangers and things may never be as they were.

I do think its very easy for some to trot out the 'take your ex to court' line but its not always as simple as it seems. I do doubt half the people who say it have actually taken the other parent to court and are being a bit too niaive and idealistic.

Perhaps your DH should write a heartfelt letter, stating why he backed off, leave the door open for future contact. However he may have to get used to the fact that DSD may never want contact.

Kaluki Wed 25-Sep-13 11:49:23

I do agree with the others that he should have fought to see her. DP's ex told DP to stay away when they split, she said that the kids didn't want to see him again because OM was their dad now shock but he never gave up. He took her to court and got a contact order and his dc have never once told him they don't want to see him, they adore him and I'm sure one day they will be grateful that he didn't do as their Mum wanted and walk away.
But that's in the past and you can't change it, nor can you change the fact that in her mind he had an affair with you and left her.
I think you need to detach and accept that you and your dc may not ever know this girl and leave your DP to try and forge some kind of relationship, which shouldn't involve giving in to ridiculous demands for money.

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 03:56:09

How much money has he been paying in Child support since he left and how did he do that?

Also, as of this year, all 16 year-olds have to be in Education or Training in Y12, so what do you mean she is working? She cannot be working full-time and is therefore still dependent on her parents.

In my opinion, your motives are very confusing. In your original post you said you couldn't afford to give your stepdaughter money and yet you imply that you wouldn't begrudge it if she gave your husband a relationship with her in exchange. That money if given should be offered freely without conditions attached. He is not entitled to a relationship with her whereas she is entitled to his financial support.

I also fail to follow your argument that men are criticised for leaving relationships while women are not. That is not the situation here.

Your husband left his child behind after having an affair with another woman- and then went on to have a new family with that woman which he is adding to, despite apparently not being able to afford to give his daughter money.

If a mother left her child behind after having an affair with another man, went on to have more children and complained about giving her first child money having not seen her for years, she would be roasted on a spit.

I just don't accept either that your husband thought he was doing the best thing by his child by not going to court. Yet again, if a mother advanced this as a reason for her failure to act, she would attract no sympathy.

Your thinking needs to be a great deal clearer in my view before attempting a relationship with your step-daughter.

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 04:08:02

The other thing I would add is that there appears to be an assumption that your step-daughter's apparent animosity towards her father has been entirely engineered by her mother. From 10-16 it is equally possible that she had her own views about her father's behaviour and because he didn't do all he could to forge a relationship with her in this period, she has been prevented from talking this out with him.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 26-Sep-13 06:47:32

I just don't accept either that your husband thought he was doing the best thing by his child by not going to court. Yet again, if a mother advanced this as a reason for her failure to act, she would attract no sympathy.

That depends on her reasoning. I have seen several MN threads, and know of situations in real life, in which Mum has stopped fighting for her DCs due to the impact the continuing conflict has on the DCs. I've even considered it myself - and I can assure you that I was met with sympathy and concern - which is rarely extended to fathers in the same position.

dirtyface Thu 26-Sep-13 10:23:01

hello all

thanks for all the responses, i have stayed away a couple of days to gather my thoughts

TBH all of this is making me seriously question DH

i have been defending him and in his corner for years, and believed everything he said about thinking it was best for his dd etc...but all of this is making me wonder whether he is indeed just a cunt who actually doesnt care about his daughter for not going to court etc and maybe he didnt fight hard enough

he might be a "good dad" to OUR dcs but maybe he isnt really a good dad, or a good person

i truly hate myself for the affair, and i dont think i will ever forgive myself. i feel like i deserve bad things to happen to me. i feel like i dont deserve to be happy. so i am now seriously considering ending things with DH. i really do love him but i don't love the way he has handled things with his dd. and i dont think i can be with a person who has done (or not done) the things he has

sad

Enb76 Thu 26-Sep-13 10:40:57

Seriously? Look, your DP is probably an absolutely ok bloke. I'm not condoning him having an affair but if everything had been rosy in his previous relationship you wouldn't have had a look in anyway. Shit happens, people make mistakes, he's trying to make amends, don't let a bunch of women who are not in your position, and have their judgey pants hoiked so far up themselves they struggle to breathe, make you doubt either yourself, or your husband. Lots of second marriages are far better than the original marriage.

Don't hate yourself for the affair and don't hate him either - this is not a perfect world and no-one in it is perfect either. There has been plenty of good advice on here if you sift out the voices of the embittered and or preachy.

elliebellys Thu 26-Sep-13 11:14:41

Dirtyface whats done is done it cant be changed.your dh for whatever his reasonschose to walk away. From his daughter,things with her arnt suddenly going to be all rosy,uv both got to accept that..all hecan do is carry on tryin to openup communication with her maybe in time she might open up more who knows.work at your relationship with dh,dont give up.

AmberLeaf Thu 26-Sep-13 11:31:20

Hi OP

He may not be a cunt, but maybe he just took what was the easiest route at the time? facing your mistakes is hard.

I'm not defending his actions, because I do think they were the wrong ones. But sometimes people do the wrong things out of selfishness rather than because they are evil/a cunt, although the outcome of such actions is the same regardless of the intent.

He needs to put things right, or at least try to however difficult that may be.

I would like to say that I admire your honesty on this thread.

Did you want people to berate you though? do you feel like you deserve it?

Kaluki Thu 26-Sep-13 11:35:05

It's a bit late now to be questioning your DHs abilities as a father!
You were with him when he decided to walk away so you must have played your part in that decision!
Leaving him now is a case if shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!!!

TheAwfulDaughter Thu 26-Sep-13 11:44:15

Bit late really to come the assumption that he probably isn't a nice person.

If he cared about his DD, and your financial security- he would have gone to court, got visitation and paid his 15% through the CSA. This would have continued a relationship with his daughter and assured that your family wouldn't be left worse off whilst supporting his daughters upbringing.

He probably realises now he has been a complete shit hence the money throwing. And she's probably rightfully angry that her dad fucked off and didn't fight for her and trying to recoup what she thinks is hers.

I wouldn't pin this on her mum either. At the age he left, she was probably sensible enough to add 2 and 2 together and see what happened. And I would be taking my mum's side without any bad mouthing needed.

TheAwfulDaughter Thu 26-Sep-13 11:47:19

Sorry, went off on one there.

But you doubting his abilities as his father- that can't have been that much of a revelation that a few MNs made you realise it. What is he like with your DD? Is he excited about the new baby?

sanityseeker75 Thu 26-Sep-13 13:01:43

TBH all of this is making me seriously question DH

You made a mistake and he made a mistake - it what you do now that is going to define you both and the family that you have around you, both estranged and close.

My DH had a strained relationship with my oldest DSS for years, he is nearly 18 - TBH there are times that we have argued about it and I questioned whether I wanted to stay with him over it but.....

DH and oldest DSS mom slept together as a one night stand and were stupid and didn't use anything and DSS was conceived (21 at time). They remained friends and DH was at the birth and had DSS EW from a baby.

DH (a bit of a knobhead in his younger days) met someone else when DSS was 4 and they were together for a few months and low and behold, never learned from his mistakes and she got pregnant. Now actually whilst new GF was great with DSS to start with as soon as she had DSD she started rejecting him and it caused a breakdown between her and DH's relationship as basically she started to treat DSS like a second class citizen. DH could have left her but didn't because he didn't want to be in same situation with DSD. He had placed himself in a ridiculous situation and was not mature enough to deal with the situation and was trying to (badly) juggle the needs of both children and deal with an DSS mom who (fairly) hated new GF and GF who was resentful of his past and admitted she got pregnant because was jealous of relationship with DSS and hoped that once DSD came along he wouldn't be interested. This carried on for a couple of years and GF wanted new baby and DH refused saying they were straining as is without another baby. GF got pregnant again and DH left.

Now DH and I got together when GF was pregnant (again I was young and a bit green). By the time the newest baby youngest DSS was 1 we had moved in together, had all DSC EW along with my own DS. Things ticked along with the usual fall outs and make ups between DSD and DS mom and us (not eldest DSS mom as she was always fine with me).

When DH was 12 DSS mom and him had been struggling, she went on to have 3 other children and was not coping. It resulted in us receiving a call from school advising SS and police had been called because DSS had gone to school with strangulation marks around neck. Mom was cautioned by police and DSS was placed in our care and had access to his mom. We were making plans with SS for DSS to live with us (all this was as he was just about to turn 13). One day we received a call from SS advising that DH did not have PR for DSS and mom had changed her mind and wanted him back and did not want us to see him any more. He was removed from us that day. In meantime ex GF was very bitter that DSS had moved in with us stopped access to DSD and DSS.

DH was now in situation where he was having to go to court to try and see all his kids. SS had advised that DSS refused to see them and said he wanted to live with mom and didn't want to see dad as dad said his mom was a bad mom (never did to my knowledge) sol was advising that DSS was old enough to make decision despite SS being involved and courts take his feelings in to account. He went to court for other 2 and still got EW access but didn't pursue with DSS.

He had made it clear through letters passed through family support that DSS could see him anytime and we lived 10 mins walk so he was old enough.

Again within 12 months DSS had been placed with another family member (this time nearly 14), SS did not tell us because mom and requested not and so had DSS.

At 16 DSS admitted that he loved his mom and was worried that if he saw dad or lived with dad his mom would reject him and it would make things worse at home.

He felt DH and fought for others but not for him despite him refusing help and contact several times.

Now he is nearly 18 he still gets angry sometimes although we see him now he but admits that he played a part in breakdown but mainly he only comes round he wants money( partly due to age and partly due to past).

I feel that we let him down and DH feels that he should have done more but everything was happening at once and it was handled badly by everyone.

I suppose my point is that things happen and some things we have to stand up and take responsibility for. Over years DH, ex GF and DSS mom have discussed things (at different times) and all admit blame at different points for different things. None of us can absolve our selves from the responsibility that we had or should have taken for all the kids involved in the drama that was our lives. At various time we let our kids down badly in different ways inc my DS who got caught in cross fire and went from all kids being around him to none to some again.

On the face of the story my DH should have been dumped for being spineless, not using contraception, not fighting harder and it goes on and on BUT, I love him and I know he loves me - yes he has made stupid choices and mistakes but he has also fought for them differently at different times and not enough at others but situations are never truly black and white so sometimes you have to just let go of the past and focus on the future and what you can make out of it for everyone involved.

Sorry very long but hopefully you go a bit easier on yourself and your situation as recriminations will eat away at you and not help anyone.

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 13:59:07

I also seriously doubt it's just this issue, or this thread that is making you question your husband's character and your relationship. For you to have this many doubts, I'd guess there are other things you're noticing about him as a husband and father and you're starting to join the dots.

Have you thought about starting a thread in the relationships section?

Idespair Thu 26-Sep-13 14:22:59

I will tell you from the point of view of the step child seeing as I am one and so are my siblings.

It gets to the point where you consider your father is shit and the only thing you can get from him is money/items (because he doesn't provide love/presence).

That is the harsh truth.

I have to add that your dh should have got a court order for 50/50 access as soon as they split. A ten year old is not able to make their own decisions but if she had spent 50% of her time with him for the last six years, things would be very different now. I'm sure she feels he walked out in her as well as her mother. This can't be undone unfortunately.

Not sure whether he should continue to dish out the money to her. He has absented himself from her life for 6 years. Money won't make up for it or fix it.

Just consider if you were at work and your dh left with your child to live with another woman. You don't know where he is so you phone his mobile and he tells you your daughter is having a nice time with him and his new woman so would you please not contact them ever again. Would you seriously not go to court for access? Can you imagine not fighting to see your own primary school aged child? That's what your dh did! You can't brush it off with excuses like he didn't want to upset her. 6 years passed!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 26-Sep-13 14:44:01

I have to add that your dh should have got a court order for 50/50 access as soon as they split. A ten year old is not able to make their own decisions

I agree with some of your post Idespair but I am driven to challenge this.

My DP applied for 50:50 shared residency after his ex withheld contact - up to that point he had been equal or even primary carer as his ex worked F/T shifts from when the DCs were both babies.
His DD was 11 and his DS 5. They were interviewed by CAFCASS who wrote a wishes and feelings report and the court made an order in relation to DSS for EOW and a recital for DD - which basically said that if she wanted to see her Dad her mum had to allow it. Yeah, right. Even the CAFCASS report said that DSD displayed a feeling of responsibility for her Mums emotions.

Yes, the OPs DP could have done more; but a 50:50 court order, involving a reluctant 10 year old girl would never have been possible.

fubar74 Thu 26-Sep-13 17:04:05

Dirtyface the issue here is not the fact that you were the OW it is the fact that his DD is milking his guilty feelings for everything she can get, he needs to make it about seeing her and making things up to her emotionally not financially. Unfortunately I had the same argument with my DH about his son coming back into our lives although I wasn't the OW his mother told him I was yet he was separated for 8 months before we met up, I didn't want us to be made to feel guilty and try to make up for that when it was the ex poisoning their minds. Hope you find some middle ground and answers soon.

fubar74 Thu 26-Sep-13 17:07:37

I also think that some people believe it is easier to go through the courts than it really is, sometimes financially, sometimes emotionally, if the ex has poisoned them there isn't much you can do the damage is done. My DH tried to go through court, Ex refused to go to mediation, then got her own CO to make her new partner full parental responsibility instead of DH (they weren't married) then she took them away and said to the kids he never bothered, when she made sure he couldn't contact them.

basgetti Thu 26-Sep-13 17:50:22

OP, I think how harshly you judge your DP should depend on what exactly happened with his Ex. If she told him to go away and he just said ok and disappeared from his daughter's life then that would suggest to me that he just took the easy way out and abandoned his daughter to start a new family. I would personally find that hard to forgive and would consider that he used his Ex's anger as an excuse to shirk his responsibilities.

If however, he contacted the Ex regularly demanding contact and she told him that she was never letting him see his daughter again and would move house/fight him through the courts/make his life hell then I think his behaviour may be more understandable if he didn't want his daughter to be put in the middle of a battleground. I still think he should have taken legal advice at least but having myself been through family court for nearly 4 years and finding it an utterly traumatic experience, I would have some sympathy for his position.

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 20:59:51

But it might not have even GOT to court. That's the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut after all. A formal residence agreement as part of the divorce might have sorted this, or a strongly worded solicitor's letter, or his sincere apology to his exW for having an affair before leaving and some conciliation with the objective of seeing his daughter. Between A-Z there are many letters. Instead it sounds like he was told to stay away and he said 'okay'.

I don't think something like this gets sorted until the adults face up to the truth and apologise for their mistakes. The poster and her husband can't affect what the ex wife does about that, but they CAN affect their own behaviour. That process maybe starts by challenging some of the stories that are believed as truth, but which don't bear scrutiny and are easily disproved (such as the men get a harder time than women nonsense) or which can't be corroborated (such as the daughter's angry ONLY because she's been poisoned by her mother.)

The biggest but most helpful admission by the father might be to finally admit to himself and his daughter that yes, he took the easy option and no, it wasn't because he truly believed his daughter would have been better off without seeing him. And yes, it was because he was loved-up and in a new relationship and didn't want to spare the time away from it. If the poster can also admit (if true) that she didn't do much to encourage the relationship herself at the time because of her own jealousies or insecurities, now's the time to do it.

It doesn't do teenagers any harm to know their parents are human who fuck up sometimes. But they are more likely to forgive something like this if a parent tells the real truth, takes responsibility for it and apologises, instead of putting the blame on others or giving reasons that actually weren't true.

Maybe the girl's mother regrets her own actions now and has already apologised to her daughter for them? Her daughter at 16 might be generous enough to forgive her mother's angry, hurt response in the wake of betrayal and have the maturity to see that while regrettable, some of that was understandable. Maybe her father needs to do the same now?

In a way, the poster herself is going from A straight to Z (unless there are other problems in the relationship.) So A is supporting her husband and propping up the false beliefs and Z is ditching him. There's maybe a middle ground here too.

dirtyface Thu 26-Sep-13 22:17:51

Instead it sounds like he was told to stay away and he said okay

no, i apologise if thats how it sounds but it wasn't like that. i tried to keep my OP brief for ease of reading but maybe i should have gone into full details.

so here is the long version of what actually happened and what led to them not seeing eachother anymore. and i'm sorry if this is seen as drip feeding. when DH left exw DH was still seeing DSD for about a year and a half. the access was informal, so the divorce was finalised before dsd stopped wanting to see him. i agree that a formal residence agreement should have been sorted out; but it wasn't, as at the time things were working out OK.

but after all this time, about a year and a half, of regular access, with no problems, DH would turn up to pick up DSD at a pre arranged time, but no one would be in. then xw started canceling access at late notice etc etc, this went on for a couple of months and then it escalated with xw saying DSD did not want to see him anymore. he kept trying to ring / text EXW and DSD but getting no reply. he also wrote letters but no reply. after a few weeks he went to their house but no one answered. he did that a few times until one day someone did answer and it was new tenants. he then tried to get in touch with exw's family, to find out where they had gone and explain that he wanted to see DSD but no one on exw's side of the family would speak to DH (understandably i suppose). so he was getting nowhere. he still kept trying to ring and text but nothing.

DH then found DSD on facebook and got talking to her again, she didn't want to see him but they would chat on FB a few times a week. DSD also gave DH a mobile number and they would occasionally text, but if DH rang she wouldn't answer. but DH was happy as at least they were chatting on FB which was a start. this went on for quite a few months and then contact stopped from DSD's side. he kept messaging her on FB and texting her, trying to ring etc but no reply. then dsd FB account disappeared. Then exW got in touch with DH and told him to stay away etc, that DSD didnt want him in her life, that it was upsetting DSD him being in touch etc. so yes, DH backed off then. but he did not completely back off, he sent a text every couple of weeks just saying hello etc and saying he was here when / if she was ready. but not pressuring her or anything. but he got nothing back until as i said about a year ago when she started emailing him.

I would also add that all the time since he left xw DH has been paying maintenance plus sending birthday / christmas cards every year with money in to DSD's grandmothers address and just hoping it gets to her. so in no way has DH shirked any financial responsibilities.

The biggest but most helpful admission by the father might be to finally admit to himself and his daughter that yes, he took the easy option and no, it wasn't because he truly believed his daughter would have been better off without seeing him. And yes, it was because he was loved-up and in a new relationship and didn't want to spare the time away from it. If the poster can also admit (if true) that she didn't do much to encourage the relationship herself at the time because of her own jealousies or insecurities, now's the time to do it

Believe me, it was not the easy option for DH. And he had to be careful that what he was doing was not upsetting or harassing his EXW or DD while keeping a balance of still making it known he was "available" iyswim. i saw him break down on many occasions over this. but the whole time since when the contact stopped, he has been hoping that she will get in touch, that she will be ready to start having some kind of relationship with him.

And I did, and do, strongly encourage the relationship. I wanted DH to have a relationship with his daughter and I also wanted to meet her, to get to know her, to be her friend and maybe in time her stepmum. I have never met her but I care about her and I see her as part of our family, and I want my DD to know DSD one day - they are sisters. So please don't suggest I have done anything to discourage him.

Our relationship, apart from this, is as close to perfect as I believe any relationship could ever be. what we have is special and we are both deeply in love with eachother. we are best friends and equals and i don't believe in soulmates (cringe at word) but we just click, we are just right. we are adults and have been round the block but we still say even now we have never had anything close to this with anyone else. 6 years on and i still get excited when i hear his key in the door. sorry for cheesiness but i am trying to get across how good we are together in general and it is not something i would throw away lightly. and thats before i have even touched on how much the dc love him and vice versa what a special relationship they have.

But As I said, I think he should have gone through the courts and other channels like organisations that help fathers etc and this is what is making me just question everything. and I thought it at the time, but I felt that it wasn't my place to push him into anything, as he knew best as it was HIS dd and someone I didnt know. And he was so sure that given time she would come round he thought it would not be needed and it could be sorted out. But maybe he should have tried harder, maybe he didn't fight enough, maybe what he did was not enough. and this is what is really making me question him. and question how can i love someone so much that has not fought hard enough for his own child??

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 22:40:05

It's ever so hard to understand why he didn't do anything legally at the point he didn't even know his daughter's address, then later when his wife said 'back off'. Are you also saying that his ex wife made no claim for child support in the divorce and so he's just been sending money that he thinks is appropriate, but has no way of knowing whether he was supporting his daughter financially all these years? Did he ever check with her in his occasional contact whether her mum got the money, the cards and the presents? How did he know how much to send?

Obviously, you've got no way of knowing what he told his wife when he left, but if he left a month after starting an affair with you, it was probably quite sudden and without warning. That must have been a very painful shock for both her and his daughter who must have been only 10.
I'm sure he's probably said the marriage was dead in the water etc. but of course you've got no way of knowing that was true, or whether his wife would have had the same view, have you? Did he tell her that he'd met smeone else for example, or did he lie? Again, you might not be able to answer that because you've only got his word for it.

This might be just me noticing this, but I find what you say about him and your current relationship a bit unrealistic somehow. Almost as though you're trying to convince yourself too much that he's wonderful. Are you being really honest with yourself about him? We all have faults after all. It seems odd that someone who could be that selfish once doesn't show any trace of that ever again. False, almost.

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 22:43:07

The other thing I wondered was whether he's as upset about this as you?

Is he talking to friends or on forums asking for advice, or is he okay with the situation?

dirtyface Fri 27-Sep-13 07:58:56

It's ever so hard to understand why he didn't do anything legally at the point he didn't even know his daughter's address, then later when his wife said 'back off'

i agree

Are you also saying that his ex wife made no claim for child support in the divorce and so he's just been sending money that he thinks is appropriate, but has no way of knowing whether he was supporting his daughter financially

no his child support has been directly through the CSA

Did he ever check with her in his occasional contact whether her mum got the money, the cards and the presents?

yes he did but no answer

I'm sure he's probably said the marriage was dead in the water etc

they were both unhappy apparently but you all think that is BS, clearly, so no matter what i say you will assume he had a great marriage and i was the scheming witch who stole him

I find what you say about him and your current relationship a bit unrealistic somehow. Almost as though you're trying to convince yourself too much that he's wonderful

i am just telling it how it is, we do have a great relationship.

god all this is shit

i couldnt sleep last night

i am on the verge of tears constantly

i wish i had never started this fucking thread

i am 10 weeks pregnant

i love him so much but you lot all think he is a cunt and a liar. i feel like packng his bags today while he is at work but at the same time if i lost him i feel like i would die

whattodoo Fri 27-Sep-13 08:11:57

Don't pack his bags.

You love him, he loves you. You have a family together. That is why you shouldn't pack his bags.

Follow some of the other advice on this thread about how to handle the DSD/money situation (I think a regular allowance is a great idea).

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 09:45:08

Have only read first few posts but my initial thought is are you sure the emails are from the daughter and not the mum?

If i were him i would reply and say that he has the money in cash so he'd need to pop round to give it to her or he would love her to come to your house and meet her sibling. When's good for her?

Will go read the rest now!

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 10:00:07

Onesleeptillwembley Ok, but don't you see this poor kids actions are a direct result of his and your actions? Thats the main issue here. I think also calling him a wonderful dad was guaranteed to get backs up.

No, the kids actions are of a result of the mum bad mouthing the dad and making contact difficult. It must have been awful for her but using her daughter as a weapon is absolutely disgusting and extremely damaging for a child.

dirtyface i still think its double standards though, a man leaves and he is the worst bastard on the face of the planet. yet a woman leaves a shit relationship and she is brave and strong etc. its because when a man leaves he is seen to "leave his family" ie children, but the fact is in most cases the woman gets the lions share of the custody so she is not seen in that way.

Completely agree. This man didn't leave his child, he left his wife. Unfortunately this means that as the man the custody would most like go to the woman. If a woman has an affair and splits with her husband or splits with him for any reason she is not seen as abandoning her children because they will most likely stay with her. She is seen only as ending her marriage.

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 10:10:02

he did that a few times until one day someone did answer and it was new tenants

Oh my God! She just moved and didn't tell him? That must have been horrendous for him to not know where his daughter was!

Nothing so far that you have said make me think he is in any way to blame for the loss of contact and that the ex was being vindictive. Who knows what she told the daughter about him, it's hardly surprising that she doesn't want to see him.

This is assuming he wasn't violent/emotionally abusive etc.

So I don't really see why you have suddenly started wondering if he might be a cunt? Based on what?

As someone whose parents marriage broke down because of my Dads affair, I will contribute that I highly dobt DSD mum is blameless in the emotional damage to her daughter.

DSD would have been hurt, upset and confused by her Dad leaving yes, but with fairly regular contact for around 18 months, I find it hard to believe DSD would suddenly want to stop seeing her Dad on a whim. I would bet my last penny DSD heard some pretty nasty things about her Dad that no child should hear. I know I did and I was only six, yet knew about the affair, who it was with, and heard my Dad called all the anmes under the sun by my mum and aunts.

Yes your DH probably should have gone via the courts, but that's what makes hindsight such a wonderful thing. All he can do now is try his best, and it sounds like he has been doing just that, regardless of whether he has been successful or not, he has never completely given up.

Take some of the more sane and useful advice on here regarding the money situation and ignore all the unnecessary blaming and bitching aimed at you.

allmycats Fri 27-Sep-13 10:12:14

I am seeing this differently to many of you and IMO the girl is 'blackmailing' her father, she knows he wants contact and by asking for, and receiving this money she is keeping him on the long finger - by continuing to take these monies she is letting the father think there may be a 'way in' in the future.
What is past is past and this situation should be interpreted in the now, not the past.
I would not send any money but would say that you will meet at X place
to discuss the financial situation and progress from there. If she does not turn up then you have the answer.

Kaluki Fri 27-Sep-13 12:50:34

I'm also the child of a dad who had an affair and left my Mum.
Although my Mum was clearly devastated and for a time my Dad was public enemy number 1 in our house, he never stopped seeing us and we loved him for that. My own ex left me for an OW and I never told my dc why he went. They have probably worked it out for themselves but that is for their Dad to discuss with them, not me.
Just consider if you were at work and your dh left with your child to live with another woman. You don't know where he is so you phone his mobile and he tells you your daughter is having a nice time with him and his new woman so would you please not contact them ever again. Would you seriously not go to court for access? Can you imagine not fighting to see your own primary school aged child? That's what your dh did! You can't brush it off with excuses like he didn't want to upset her. 6 years passed!
This is such a good analogy - I can't understand why a parent would agree that it is best for the child to walk away from them, whatever the circumstances.

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 15:58:11

It feels really offensive to call a 16 year old a 'blackmailer' and there have been other offensive things said about the girl concerned elsewhere on the thread. She's just a kid, hormonal and trying to make sense of the world.

Some illogical assumptions too, as well as factual inaccuracies. The husband left in 2007 and by the poster's account, the divorce followed a few years later. In 2006 I knew a father who was succesful in his application for 50-50 residence and since then, I've known of no father who applied for it, turned down. So while it might be true that mothers still 'get the bulk of the custody' that's only because so few fathers ask for more.

No-one knows why this girl stopped wanting to see her father. Being poisoned by her mother though seems one of the most illogical suppositions in this case, I have to say. Seeing as the girl was seeing her father for 18months-2 years in the period when you'd have thought her mum was feeling most angry and shocked, isn't it a more obvious hypothesis that the girl just didn't want to be spending time with her Dad, in that way and at that age? Especially if they'd never spent time like that together regularly in all the years before and especially as 12-13 year olds are starting to want to spend their free time mooching around with their friends and not their parents?

Adults are notoriously bad sometimes at understanding what kids like to do, especially adults who haven't played a particularly strong role in a kid's life. If this father hadn't been in the habit of spending days or afternoons with his daughter on his own, I can understand how he might have got it a bit wrong when he did, or if she'd started to dread these days. Maybe it all coincided too with him having another baby? The ages seem about right for that to be a possibility.

No-one knows anything for sure- and those that do might still have quite a bit invested in a different truth that paints them in a more positive light.

I'm still a bit bewildered that the poster is thinking of jacking the whole relationship in on the strength of this old news, but I think pregnancy can sometimes cause old vulnerabilities to re-surface and I still wonder if this guy doesn't still provide glimpses of being a bit selfish as a dad. Wonder whether he does dad and daughter days now with his little girl, or spends much time on his own with her?

I don't like to think of anyone in this much distress though and that kind of feels beyond the scope of a chat site like this. Maybe a bit of counselling would help?

Stepmooster Fri 27-Sep-13 16:00:45

OP, please do not chastise your DH for not taking his ex to court. Now it may seem obvious, but like with your DH, my DH contact started of ok and has now started to get more difficult.

When DH divorced his ex there was no need to get a contact order, and I don't believe its normal to have one if contact is otherwise ok. If a mother is going to be that difficult they may not even be worth it, because if she breaches the order the courts hardly ever imprison mothers and its unusual for custody to be given to dads just like that. Its not so black and white, very grey and you need money, patience and luck.

You got to be ready for a long and hard fought battle, and sometimes even if you are the one leaving a relationship there is some emotional healing to be done, especially before another legal battle post divorce.

If DSD is still at home I don't think she will have regular contact with your DH until she is out of her mother's influence.

I wish you well with your pregnancy and hope time will heal the rift between father/daughterxx

NotsoSmugNow Fri 27-Sep-13 16:25:34

feather My 12 year old DD is more than capable of 'blackmailing' me & her Dad if she thinks it will get her what she wants; if you find it offensive that such manipulative behaviour can be ascribed to teens I suggest you stay well away from the Teen board - you might never get over it!

And as for Dads getting 50:50 if they ask for it in court; it's certainly not inaccurate to say that in 2010, my DP, who was the former primary carer, had his application for shared residency rejected on the basis of a CAFCASS wishes and feeling report that also reported that his 12 year old DD displayed significant responsibility for her Mums emotions. The DCs were coached, the judge believed them and DP has been fighting ever since to maintain an equitable relationship with his DCs.

You may know of a few Dads who have successfully applied for 50:50 - I know a lot more who haven't.

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 16:27:26

No-one knows why this girl stopped wanting to see her father. Being poisoned by her mother though seems one of the most illogical suppositions in this case, I have to say

I completely and utterly disagree with that, seeing as the contact was going fine until the mum moved house without informing the dad and then told the dad the child didn't want to see him. He didn't hear it from the child at that point, just the mum. So i think there are many reasons to think she was bad mouthing him!

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 16:50:21

Oh I'm not saying that teens aren't manipulative at times, of course they are. What I'm saying is that some of this lass's behaviour is normal for a girl of her age, in her circumstances. I just don't like her being talked about so disparagingly.

It's normal to sort out residence at the time of a divorce and especially so if there is acrimony about the break-up, which seems most likely in the case of an affair. Custody is old terminology anyhow. It's about contact and residence and it isn't unusual at all and hasn't been for years, for dads to have applications granted. Poster says divorce wasn't instant anyway- by her timescales sounds like it was about 18 months-2 years before it was finalised. I can see why a residence agreement might not be drawn up if the non-resident parent has got no intention of living with a child again and contact orders might not be deemed necessary if a couple are co-operative and it's been a mutual parting of the ways, but that doesn't seem to have been the case here.

I don't know any mums or dads who've breached contact orders, so can't comment on that aspect. It must be frustrating if the law has no teeth on that. I just know some dads who've got them and more still who share residence. It really wasn't difficult to sort out the legal agreements- although a few have had difficulties with blended families afterwards (like you'd expect.)

All these experiences (mine too) are anecdotal though aren't they? It seems illogical to me that I wouldn't sort out contact with my child just because I'd heard of someone else who'd had a problem doing that.

Wouldn't it have been more likely that the mum was bad-mouthing her ex in the first 18 months when she seems to have been ok with the contact? Why would she suddenly change and start a poison campaign so long after the break-up? That seems very illogical to me.

In any case, no-one knows. It's just supposition on everyone's part.

mumandboys123 Fri 27-Sep-13 17:32:00

tonandfeather - my ex went for shared residence on a 50/50 basis in 2008. He didn't get it. In fact, the shared residence that he had (he had 3 days a week to my 4 from within 4 weeks of him walking out to live with the ow) was reduced by the courts. It is a long story but it is by no means a done deal that either courts sign and seal existing shared care arrangements or simply agree to 50/50 as a matter of course. It is not always considered to be in a child's best interests to share care.

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 17:43:33

I accept that totally. We all have different experiences to share don't we?

But it seems a bit academic in that this wasn't even a considered option for the poster's husband. I was only posting about the men I know to counteract the inference that it's unheard of, or impossible. What's best for children is paramount and rightly so.

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 17:52:33

I guess what I'm also saying is that even if a man doesn't get shared residence, it's unlikely that he wouldn't get a contact order unless there's lots of evidence that it wouldn't be in the best interests of the child. It sounds like contact is what this father wanted- not residence.

NotsoSmugNow Fri 27-Sep-13 18:29:57

* it's unlikely that he wouldn't get a contact order unless there's lots of evidence that it wouldn't be in the best interests of the child.*

His DD was 10 years old - it's far more likely that the court would issue a Recital - which are subject to the DCs specific wishes; if the DC says they don't want to go, there's nothing to enforce.

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