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To refuse to let ex take our son on holiday?

(118 Posts)
OhanaHarlow Mon 01-Apr-13 20:55:47

Little bit of background. DS is currently 6, but will be 7 in June. My ex and I were together until he was 5 when I found out he had cheated on me and he is still with the woman he left me for.

We don't get on too well, but tolerate each other for our sons sake - and are mostly polite to each other.

Tonight DH has told me (after he dropped DS back at home) that he would like to take DS to Disneyland Florida with his girlfriend and her daughter in late August - but would obviously need me to give permission by law (I think?)

I've said I would think about it, but I wasn't happy with the idea. He said that I was doing this purely to get back at him and hurting our son in the process.

It does genuinely worry me that DS would be a 9 hour flight away, and that he would be gone for 2 weeks.

When I went in to say goodnight to DS he was talking about Disneyland to me - so obviously DH has mentioned it to him already. So if I say no DS will think of me as an awful person.

... I really don't mind being told YABU because I really have no idea if I am.

FiveGoMadInDorset Mon 01-Apr-13 21:05:08


Thewhingingdefective Mon 01-Apr-13 21:05:36

YABU to refuse just because you don't like the idea, but I understand why you don't like the idea.

I assume your ex loves DS as much as you do and wants to keep him safe as much as you do too? It will be nerve-wracking letting him travel so far without you, but he will be well looked after and have a blast.

Do you think perhaps you feel a bit bitter and jealous that your ex is taking DS with the OW? I think I would.

LemonBreeland Mon 01-Apr-13 21:05:59

YABU. Unless you have specific concerns on the way he cares for your DS, then you have to let him go.

BadabingBadabong Mon 01-Apr-13 21:06:29

How about he told you he was taking his girlfriend and her daughter away without your son, you'd be complaining about that I guess?
Your ds comes first, his happiness should be your priority.
Just enjoy the break and let him go, it's about him not you.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Mon 01-Apr-13 21:07:57

2 weeks is a long time, but how long can you carry on saying no?

Theicingontop Mon 01-Apr-13 21:08:15

Yabu, but Christ what a difficult situation for you. Putting myself in your position I'd be spitting lava - wanting to play happy families, not a nice pill to swallow.

But it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for your son, one he'll not likely forget.

Numberlock Mon 01-Apr-13 21:08:45

Can someone clarify this giving permission thing? I've been divorced 11 years and both me and ex have taken our sons away individually without anything in writing. Is it just an urban myth or have we just been lucky no-one at immigration has questioned it? What about married couples who take their children away individually without the other patent?

Genuine question as it's only since joining MN I've ever heard this.

Spero Mon 01-Apr-13 21:08:50

I am always unpleasantly surprised by how unfeeling people can be in these situations. Yes, you have for got put your children first but it bloody smarts, to put it mildly, to see ex playing jolly holidays in such a situation.

You wouldn't be human if you didn't find this kind of thing difficult.

Backtobedlam Mon 01-Apr-13 21:09:31

I can totally understand how you feel, I'd be so worried if anyone other than me was taking my child abroad, and I'd probably be a bit jealous to as I'd love to be having that fun time with them. However, I can't think of any reasonable way you can say no, without it causing difficulty for all concerned. Your son will resent you (especially if told by his father it was up to you) and as others said DH will probably then not want you taking your son away either. Tricky situation, and really feel for you.

CandyCrushed Mon 01-Apr-13 21:09:45

I would let him go. I expect your son has had a unsettled couple of years and it would be something fun for him to look forward to. I know it must hurt but you must always put your DS first.
If you refuse permission, do you think your Ex and his new partner would go without him?

Arisbottle Mon 01-Apr-13 21:09:54

Understandable that you are feeling bitter. I would probably feel the same but I would be being unreasonable as are you . Sorry, I know is must be really hard. Can you go somewhere nice?

Spero Mon 01-Apr-13 21:10:14

You can take a child out of the jurisdiction for 28 days without the other parents permission IF you have a residence order - if you don't have a residence order, the other parent with parental responsibility can refuse to agree to let you leave country.

MissAnnersley Mon 01-Apr-13 21:11:13

I don't think YABU to worry and wonder about whether it's the right thing to do, but it would a great opportunity for your DS. He will most probably have a great time.

It is hard though.

Flojobunny Mon 01-Apr-13 21:11:13

If you want to compromise then how about you tell them 2 wks is too long and he can go for 1 wk.
I know there is a lot to see in Florida but 2 wks isn't even enough, so he could take him for 1 wk each yr. I doubt DCs will want to be trawling round for that long anyway.

gordyslovesheep Mon 01-Apr-13 21:11:19

YABU I am afraid - and I understand, there is a thread here from me 2 years ago fretting about my ex and the OW taking my 3 to Turkey ...but he is your DS's dad - he wants to take him on holiday - you have to grin and bare it I am afraid

wellthatsdoneit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:11:20

I completely understand how you feel. I am in a similar situation myself. It cuts me to the core to when I have to wave off my children to spend the week with my stbxh and the woman he left me for. I would imagine that going to disneyland when your children are little is one of those once in a lifetime trips that you might have envisaged doing together as a family.

All other things being equal (his responsibility as a father, abduction risk etc), you need to remember it's going to cut both ways - you also need his permission (assuming he has parental responsibility) to take your children out of the country for a holiday. If you withhold your permission now it might come back to bite you, or your ex might apply for a court order and get the court's permission anyway (and you might be responsible for the legal costs).

You have my sympathies though.

trashcanjunkie Mon 01-Apr-13 21:12:12

oh how rotten for you! It's a really tough call, but if he's an adequate father in this country, it would figure that he'll be adequate over there. Just to be devils advocate, how would you feel if he went with new girlfriend and her dd? probably not good for different reasons....sad I'm really sorry for you flojo, good luck with this one.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Mon 01-Apr-13 21:12:25

Oh poor you, you have to let him go but it would bloody hurt me. I would miss my child and going to play happy families with the woman he left you for etc
what a kick in the teeth.

I woukd also feel a bit miffed if he was the type to do 'grand gestures' like this holiday but not there for nitty gritty patenting ie disney dad.
And if i had an ex that was spending money like this and i couldnt afford to do similar myself.

So ywbu to not let him go, you need tp but yanbu to find it hard xcxx

harpsichordcarrier Mon 01-Apr-13 21:12:27

No, you can't refuse. Sorry :-(
It is very soon after the break up and yes, you will feel jealous and that is not unreasonable and yes, you will feel resentful and grumpy and worried and these will all be quite quite reasonable. but unf you will just have to suck it up, because of the crappy situation.
You will however be able to take great comfort in the fun your DS will have on holiday :-)

MammaTJ Mon 01-Apr-13 21:12:52

I really do understand why you want to say no, but wouldn't it be horrible for your son to hear about your Ex and his GF and her DD to talk about this amazing holiday in front of your DS?

I know it will hurt you and a large part of parenting does, especially co-parenting with an ex, but it has to be done. Your DS will appreciate the sacrifice you made. It may take 20 years for him to do so, but he will.

YANBU to feel it but you would BUR to act on it.

Altinkum Mon 01-Apr-13 21:13:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Numberlock Mon 01-Apr-13 21:13:55

So you have to show a residence order? Where? At passport control? Neither of us has that, at least I don't think so, childcare was arranged between the two of us with no legal involvement. Never ever heard or seen anyone being stopped or questioned at an airport and seen lots of people travelling as just one parent.

I think it's a myth, surely?

Ps. Sorry to hijack, I should start a separate thread.

MagicHouse Mon 01-Apr-13 21:15:57

I know this is really hard, but you need to think about your reasons for saying no. By law both parents need to agree, he would need your signed agreement I think. However, if he took it to court, they would be unlikely to refuse a holiday like this.
I would feel exactly like you do, although the holiday is likely to be a safe and fun one for your ds (assuming your ex is a responsible dad). If I were you I would agree, but talk through your worries, sort out skype as someone else suggested, and book yourself something lovely for the time they are away. Don't let your ex make you feel guilty for having concerns, of course you will worry - he's still young and he will be very far from you. Your ex should accept and understand that, and ensure that you are informed of a safe arrival etc etc
I know where you're coming from, I'm sure my ex will have foreign holidays on his agenda at some point, and I know I will hate every second until they return home.

Spero Mon 01-Apr-13 21:17:16

It's not a myth. It's just that some places don't check. Some people have to travel with signed letter from other parent giving them permission. It depends on where you travel to. I have never been stopped or asked in Europe but other jurisdictions are different.

You need agreement of both parents with parental responsibility to leave England and Wales unless you have a residence order.

Cherriesarelovely Mon 01-Apr-13 21:18:07

Number have no idea but sure someone will. I don't think that can be the case though. We are gay parents and noone has ever stopped us at immigration asking where Dds dad is!

Anyway, poor you OP. I would feel similarly upset and reticent about letting Dd go so far and for so long at that young age let alone that he is going with your stbxh and his gf. However, I think everyone is right in saying that you should let him go. A really tough one for you though. Huge hugs.

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