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Demanding intermediaries for DC handovers

(32 Posts)
KDS0401 Thu 02-Jul-15 14:57:58

This should really be Is She being unreasonable as I am merely a spectator

There's a big back story obviously but the short version is: estranged married couple (she's pursuing divorce, but on grounds which have been disproved/not upheld). She's refusing him ALL contact with his two children (8 & 5 year olds). Children are vocal about missing Dad, especially the eldest. Father is about to start Contact Order proceedings. Wife is insisting (via Social Services) that when he does get contact (thus already understanding that she will have to concede at some point) she does not want to see him even for a brief handover of the DCs and she wants respective family members on each side to do this. All this is 9 months down the line from the initial split. No evidence at all of DV/DA/EA from him, he adores his children and still hopes she may drop the divorce proceedings at some point. He still voluntarily gives her 50% of his income for mortgage on marital home and child support.


Georgethesecond Thu 02-Jul-15 14:59:43

Opinions? Keep your nose out - if you are 'merely a spectator' there is no way you know the full story here.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 02-Jul-15 15:00:52

Without knowing the whole story, it's hard to comment.
Sounds like she is BU, but she might have reasons? Not all abuse has to be visible.

basgetti Thu 02-Jul-15 15:01:10

How could anyone on here possibly know if she is being unreasonable? We have no idea who she is or what their marriage was like.

WorraLiberty Thu 02-Jul-15 15:04:12

I can't see how randoms on the internet would be able to form an opinion on this really.

And as we all know, no evidence of DV/DA/EA doesn't automatically mean there wasn't any.

ADishBestEatenCold Thu 02-Jul-15 15:11:44

So this couple only separated 9 months ago, yet the grounds upon which she is seeking divorce have already been disproved/not upheld? By a court?

My instinct is a reflection of George's post. "if you are 'merely a spectator' there is no way you know the full story here".

I would add that the aftermath of an acrimonious break-up is not and should not be a 'spectator sport', so ... yes ... you should just keep out of it.

CassieBearRawr Thu 02-Jul-15 15:12:40

George got it in one. Butt out OP.

KDS0401 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:50:35

Charming. Not. Mumsnet living down to its widespread reputation (which I had previously considered might be unfair).

In the short time I've been looking at MN I've seen many posts not dissimilar to mine which didn't attract this amount of disapprobation.

Would it have made a difference if I'd said I am a sibling of one of the aforementioned parties and did not approve of this course of action and was not happy to be asked to be an intermediary?

And yes, I do know the full story first-hand from both sides.

WorraLiberty what is MN if not a collection of "randoms on the internet" who have opinions, often loudly voiced, on all and sundry topics?

Don't bother answering, I know of other, more friendly places on the internet to talk.

NerrSnerr Thu 02-Jul-15 15:55:17

Honestly? It sounds like she is really angry. Why did the marriage end?

There is no way of knowing who is being unreasonable unless you give more facts.

mynewpassion Thu 02-Jul-15 15:55:58

Handovers be done from school. EOW Friday from school to drop off Monday at school. Only need intermediaries during holiday time.

Best scenario. Husband can designate someone to oick up the children if he's still at work.

Georgethesecond Thu 02-Jul-15 16:00:36


Sometimesjustonesecond Thu 02-Jul-15 16:01:55

On the face of it sibu. Children are not property and one parent has no right to stop the other parent from seeing them (unless other parent is a crap parent or abusive).

Wrt handovers, she can arrange for spmeone other than herself to hand over the dc to him and request he returns them to her intermediary (so long as it is not inconveniencing him by extending his journey for example) but she has no right to insist he does not pick up or drop off. The upside to divorce is that an ex doesnt get to impose their rules on the other persons life, so long as the dc ate safe and well cared for.

mynewpassion Thu 02-Jul-15 16:03:21

Other than violence or abuse, it doesn't matter why the marriage ended when it comes to the children having contact with their other parent. If the other parent poses no threat to the children, physically or emotionally, then contact should occur and the resident parent should not be using the children as pawns.

I think if the resident parent (male or female) continually engage in alienation of the other parent, courts should give residency to the NRP instead. He or she is emotionally abusing the children.

ADishBestEatenCold Thu 02-Jul-15 16:28:32

"If the other parent poses no threat to the children, physically or emotionally, then contact should occur"

I didn't get the impression from the OP that the resident parent was refusing contact, mynewpassion.

Indeed, did Op not say that the resident parent had already acknowledged ("conceded") that contact would go ahead?

The impression I got was that the resident parent did not want to do the handover when contact went ahead, instead wanting handover to be via a third party ("respective family members on each side to do this").

Not unreasonable, in that if either parent has concerns about coping with handover, surely it is likely to be much smoother/more pleasant for the children, if a third party arrangement is made.

BullshitS70 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:33:48

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

OurDearLeader Thu 02-Jul-15 16:50:32

She's refusing contact but is talking about it going ahead when she's forced to.

OurDearLeader Thu 02-Jul-15 16:51:54

I agree with the OP. She was jumped on.

ADishBestEatenCold Thu 02-Jul-15 16:58:22

"Would it have made a difference if I'd said I am a sibling of one of the aforementioned parties and did not approve of this course of action and was not happy to be asked to be an intermediary?"

A sibling, who is involved with both parties, is very different to someone who is "merely a spectator", so why didn't you say so?
(In fact, I didn't really buy the "merely a spectator" role, but thought you might well be the father).

So is that the actual point of your OP?

That the mother "does not want to see him (the father) even for a brief handover of the DCs and she wants respective family members on each side to do this" and that you, a sibling, have been asked to be one of those respective family member, but that you do "not approve of this course of action and (are) not happy to be asked to be an intermediary"?

Is that it? If so, then you should refuse. You should not become involved with the handovers if you are not comfortable with doing so and, as part of the point of third party handovers is to make things easier/pleasanter for the children, you would not be the best person to do this if feeling uncomfortable.

With regard to you feeling responses on this thread have been unfair or unfriendly, I do think you rather set yourself up for that, by misrepresenting your involvement (if you see what I mean).
As a mere spectator, you would have deserved to be told to butt out of what is bound to be an unhappy situation for all those closely involved.
As a family member who has been asked to facilitate handovers, it's fair that you should be able to express your discomfort (or even disagreement) with the situation (although my advice remains that you should simply refuse to be involved and leave the parents to arrange third party handovers in some other way).

rumbleinthrjungle Thu 02-Jul-15 16:59:53

Gawd AIBU is a lovely, healthy, affirming place today... confused More gin and ice clearly needed stat.

OP, I'd be uncomfortable about being asked to do this too and get between partners. Very difficult situation all round. I agree with a PP that school pick up and drop offs are a good way around it. (And the relationships board can be a place to get shredded help for these kinds of questions, you might want to hide this one and try again over there.)

redfairy Thu 02-Jul-15 17:09:31

Wondering uf the grounds for divorse which have not been upheld form any basis for her decision to handover by proxy. Aldo wondering if his desire to get back wife wife is making her feel oressured.
Is there any particular reason he doesn't want to use third party? Obviously it's not ideal but usually tensions do ease over time and arrangements reviewed. Maybe this is a point he can least for the time being. She sounds like she definitely wants out but he's not accepted this yet.

CandyLane Thu 02-Jul-15 17:10:14

I think she's being unreasonable to expect other family members to be involved.
They are both adults they need to make arrangements that suit them both but unless other people offer to help, I think it's unfair to drag them in to it.
There are a lot of couples who don't want to see each other after a split but there are other ways around it such as dad picks kids up from school on a Friday and drops them off at school on a Monday morning.
Or the parent doing the picking up / dropping off just stays in the car.

redfairy Thu 02-Jul-15 17:10:16

Apalling typos. Cheers Samsung smile

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 02-Jul-15 17:15:00

Not even my sibling knows the full ins and outs of my divorce - only my solicitor knows those. I have seriously considered having someone else facilitate contact and probably many people would think IABU. My solicitor does not think IABU, even though you are a sibling you may not know everything.

BreakingDad77 Thu 02-Jul-15 17:25:08

Well I have a male colleague who after splitting with his wife, he goes to the door to collect daughter and his ex stands behind the front-door and talks to their daughter whose standing at the door frame who then talks to him.

He then has to talk to the daughter who then relays it to her mum as the mum wont engage in conversation with him.

Mother obviously believes this is fine shock

KDS0401 Thu 02-Jul-15 17:29:06

Thank you for the constructive comments.

I did not intend to misrepresent myself, merely to indicate that I was not either the Wife or the Husband. I thought 'spectator' sounded neutral rather than 'nosy'. As I said, I'm new to MN.

My main concern is for the children and the way they have been denied their right to a relationship with their father. If my involvement would benefit them I would feel honour-bound to swallow my own reservations.

The Mother is flatly refusing contact ^ even when she is told by SS they want Father to have it ^, hence the need for Contact Order.
Mother is very angry because she is choosing to believe certain anonymous allegations against the Father even when they have been dismissed by the authorities, including SS.

In truth I am really quite concerned about the Mother's mental/emotional state. Her anger, mood-swings and denial of any viewpoint which differs from her own are all very worrying. Is nine months not sufficient time to adopt a rational approach to the Father?

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