To ask what would be reasonable contact for ex mil in these circumstances?(34 Posts)
Will try to keep brief
Ex husband left 2 years ago and messed about with son for contact trying to fit around a hobby and then said he wouldn't see son so has no contact as he would go 4/5 weeks with no contact and son was only young at the time so I said it wasn't on.mil agreed he should see son more
Son previously went every other weekend to mil from sat 130 till sun till 4 but have found out ex mil has been running to her son telling him what I have spent in my home and so he is funny about paying maintenance and pays the bare minimum.
She has been in my house agreeing with me about the disgusting treatment of both myself and my son but it seems she just been 2 faced as we had a massive argument about her telling false information to my son about his dad had been there for him and he was never a bad dad, for the record I have never said he is a bad dad this is my sons feelings after being let down and weeks of no contact.
She also forced my son to see his dad but she denies this.
She then back tracked anything she had ever said about her son and told me to stay away from her family as I told her my sons surname would be changed as ex agreed to me changing . This is despite her changing her sons surname twice after divorce!
She said a lot of things which were nasty like I'm rolling in it on benefits and maintenance money
Anyway due to all this aggro I reduced contact to every 3 weeks he goes sat till Sunday and we don't speak I just open the door as I didn't want her in my house looking around.
But this arrangement isn't working as I can't plan ahead as if something happening at school or a friend puts me on the spot asking about play dates /partiesI have to work out as parties are always at weekend but son is missing out as parties somehow happen to land on her weekend.
I thought it would be easier if it was a set first weekend of the month he goes so that is easier for everyone involved to remember and plan and he going for approx 27 hours so that's a long time.
She kicked off saying it's too long in between visits so I reminded her the crux of why we fell out as I said it was unacceptable for ex to go so long like 4/5 weeks with no contact and she said it was acceptable and he was a good dad despite for 2 years saying it was wrong.
So it's ok for a dad to not see his son used to seeing him every day to go to every 4 weeks but it's not acceptable for a grandma.
When I said which is it then acceptable or not she said it's not about my ex it's her.
It is true I do want to reduce contact not cut her out but she has done several things overstepping boundaries like getting my son to do fathers days cards when my son was angry at his dad.
I also don't want her filling my sons head with an idea of the fantasy dad she thinks he is.
What contact would be reasonable considering we do not speak ? IS. once a month for a full day too little?
Do you think it is your son's interest to see her (genuine question)? If so, once a month would seem fine seeing as you have a difficult relationship.
Why is your DS spending time with your ex-MIL?
He's spending time with his grandmother pickandmix. Which could potentially be a good thing if they are close.
It doesn't sound like a good thing. The OP refers to ex-MIL not grandmother.
I usually try to encourage DCs seeing grandparents but I think in this situation an afternoon here and there is fine. Over nights? No.
I think they have no legal rights to contact do they? Or is my memory failing me here?
If she's upsetting him and causing things to be even worse with your ex, it's just not helpful at all.
What does your DS think is a reasonable amount of time?
Stop focusing on granny. What does your son want/think? And what, as his parent will you/can you support?
Your DS may be happy with once every few weeks, planned ad hoc, or else he may want every weekend. Figure out what he wants and go from there.
Encourage a strong relationship with granny but stop letting granny dictate what happens here. It's not like your son's dad is the one he's visiting!
How old is your son? How does he feel about his visits to his grans?
She kicked off saying it's too long in between visits
What she wants isn't really a priority here. She sounds fairly toxic, having spotted some of the stuff she's engineered wrt your son's relationship with her dad.
Does she think she has a legal right to "kick off" if you don't meet her demands? Is she used to controlling others?
I repeat again, your DS is the one whose opinion matters most here. NOT hers.
Son complained going every other weekend and with everything going on was another reason to reduce to every 3 weeks he goes and he only complains if it clashes with something.
Mil is type to say it's her time so he can't go to parties and hers later and she is also the type to take me to courts as she has told me she has rights and she also expects time at xmas which I offered Boxing Day 10-2 which I thought was fair seeing as she had stabbed me and my son in the back running to my ex all this time.
Can anyone think of an alternative times?
I would stop contact if DS isn't happy with it. If he is, then one afternoon every couple of weeks (not a set time, so you can plan for parties etc) will be fine.
Tbh yes she has rights but I think she would struggle to get them. She would need to show that she is currently an important role in your sons life.
OP, re: "Can anyone think of an alternative times?"
I think you're focusing on making short term compromises but missing the bigger picture here (it's no wonder when dealing with this woman)
Your bigger battle is:
(1) Ensuring the granny/DS relationship is healthy for him
(2) Ensuring she respects boundaries, doesn't dictate your /your son's life
(3) Ensuring the granny visiting is what he wants/is happy with
(4) Ensuring the visiting is supportable (logistically, for you)
You're focusing on trying to find suitable times but the 4 above are the important things
I suggest you focus your energy into the bigger picture than her putting pressure on you, making it your problem, so you attempt to placate her and come up with suitable times....
Grandparents hVe the right to apply to court to ask permission to apply for contact.
What does your son want?
That's all that should matter.
How old is DS? Is he old enough to say whether he wants to go or not? No experience myself but my cousin did. Her DP was a bit of a bad un and got put in prison. She took her DD to see her father when ever possible despite their relationship falling apart because of his record. MIL saw DD when ever they could fit it in around once a fortnight but not overnight so Saturdays were changed to Sundays etc. DD refused to talk to her father from a very young age and despite my cousin's best efforts, DD would not talk on the phone. After his release things didn't change. DD still refused to see her father and this was purely her decision. Contact with him was stopped when he left a 4yo DD on the side of the road with a very frightened 13yo. MIL thought this was unreasonable but DD still refuses to see him. MIL collected her from school and took her over the park. She then "accidentally" bumped into her father and screamed. MIL forced her to talk to him and refused to bring her home until the arranged time. DD now will not go with MIL for fear of a repeat. DD is 7yo. I don't have this problem as my first MIL didn't want to know as my children are boys and my second MIL is dead. Best advice I can give you is the same as I gave to my cousin. Listen to your child. They will let you know if they are not happy and whether they want the contact. Personally I think you are amazing letting her have him overnight still. Any contact with father needs to be through the courts just to protect yourself
Would having him every other weekend and then for past 6 months go to 3 weekly be classed as important part of his life ? That's what I'm worried about.
I'm worried she will portray that I'm cutting contact because of her refusing to see her son is a bad dad as she has slagged him off for 2 years but backtracking now and refusing to admit she has said anything. She keeps saying it's not about her son it's about her as a grandma but the crux of all this is her being 2 faced and backtracking about whether it was acceptable for his dad to go 4/5/6 weeks with no contact
Stop contact. Let her take you to court. She is toxic and a bad influence. She is bullying you. Don't let her.
Just pointing out, ex is mils son. Do you think it's sensible getting into conversations where her son is being described poorly? Regardless of how fitting that is?
Strikes me it should be bloody obvious she will feel obligated to son so any conversation should be censored to ensure longevity of grand parent relationship.
If a civil relationship is what you all want then don't discusd your relationship before or after with ex. She will judge. We are and we don't know you!
And imo it's up to grand children. What kind of contact would they like? Start there and make it realistic.
Its because of the questions my son was bringing up was the issue of talking about ex husband and plus ex mil freely slagged him off , it really isn't me phoning her up saying you know your son he is a deadbeat , it was because of things happening and circumstances and the things mil said
Is the contact court ordered? If not, then it all comes down to what you and your DS want. She sounds very toxic. If she doesn't have court ordered contact stop letting her throw her weight around. If you need a god long break from her then take one.
Surely it's down to your Ex to facilitate your DS's contact with his mother?
Not your problem.
I think if you're really worried about what access rights she may have, you could seek specialist legal advice. It may be a one off cost but it would put your mind at rest. I think from what you've said here, contact is already regular but infrequent.
It must be in the interests of your son so if she's preventing him from attending parties and demanding to see him, that would be viewed dimly anyway, even if they did view it as essential to maintain contact (which I doubt would happen and even if it did, I strongly doubt it would increase).
She has no right to demand any time at Christmas. Don't feel that you have to placate her. You have been an excellent mother in ensuring DS has contact with the family of an absent father.
I really don't think you have anything to worry about.
I agree with Nanny Ogg, I'd just say "I've decided to let DS' father handle the contact time with his side of the family, so speak to him about it."
File this one under "not my problem" and move on.
I usually always find I agree with NannyOgg but on this occasion I don't. If I had a dc who for whatever reason was not interested in engaging with their own offspring I'd really hope I could be involved anyway without having their bad behaviour held against me.
That said, in the first instance I'd be putting a proper schedule of contact in place (once a fortnight, first weekend of the month etc as mentioned above) if I were in the OP's shoes. But if ExMil is toxic and my ds didn't want to see her I think that would be different and now he's older he can start to decide for himself if he wants you to arrange a set time regularly (fortnightly etc), less regularly (once a month), just a visit rather than overnight stay or if he genuinely feels he really doesn't want to see her at all.
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