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To stop weekday contact

(39 Posts)
spideymum Fri 24-Jul-15 08:04:46

I am at my wits end with my ex. Our breakup was quite messy with him just walking out of the house one day and leaving me with our son now 4. We have had conversations about us but I am trying to keep it separate from issues with access with our son.

We agreed that he would have our son for a few hours in the evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other weekend this I think is a fair agreement and means my son doesn't go too long without seeing his Dad. I have been very ill in hospital ex didn't look after son and day I was admitted I was calling frantically as needed him to pick son up luckily my Mum sorted it. He also does not contribute regularly and I have been paying for 95% of my sons costs alone as well as arrears we had in the house. Bare with me just trying to provide context.

I went back to work on Monday and we swapped Tuesday evening for Wednesday so that I could attend a meal after work I am leaving and joining a new school. I was home by 9. Now on Thursday I reminded him he had to pick our son up from Nursery he was angry with me and said that now I am on holiday I should be doing the journey which is an hour altogether and I'm not doing enough to help him out I explained that I am not fully recovered (had meningitis) and fatigued so would appreciate if he picked him up on his days from nursery.

He caused such a fuss I ended up keeping my son with me and telling him to pick him up from home when he finished work. Things were not left on a sour note. He did not bother to see our son last night to message to say he wasn't coming or even call him to apologise. This is not the first time he has let him down the weekend I became ill I was at home in agony with my son because his Dad never turned up on Saturday and came on the Sunday. I'm getting tired of his inability to be reliable sp want to limit contact to every other weekend so that weekdays aren't spent with my son wondering what is happening and becoming anxious especially when he starts school in September.

I just don't know what to do and he plays on my emotions and guilt for not being the beat partner. I have another previous thread about this.

AIBU?

pickingstrawberries Fri 24-Jul-15 08:09:39

My probably unhelpful response is that you owe him nothing and if he wants to see his son he sorts it out. Sorry to hear you're in this situation.

AlanPacino Fri 24-Jul-15 08:14:26

Is he likely to take legal action if he I only 'allowed' to see him every 2 weeks? If so the courts are likely to take a dim view of you making these changes and he may well get more contact time.

pickingstrawberries Fri 24-Jul-15 08:15:29

I would like to think the courts would take a dimmer view of him not paying for his child.

He's not 'allowed' to see his son every two weeks as far as I can see. Twice a week and every other weekend.

butterflygirl15 Fri 24-Jul-15 08:19:09

contact and maintenance are separate so will have no bearing. Children are not pay per view.

Why haven't you claimed maintenance officially? Seems to me he is walking all over you. He should have set contact times - and if he doesn't turn up then he doesn't see him. Alternatives are not needed to be offered. And he should pick up.

pickingstrawberries Fri 24-Jul-15 08:21:15

your fault, your fault, your FAULT.

It isn't ops fault her ex is a dick. And children should be pay per view. I bet if OP wasn't feeding or clothing her child she wouldn't be seeing him would she? Because he'd be taken away by SS wouldn't he?

BathtimeFunkster Fri 24-Jul-15 08:21:20

The courts are likely to take still dimmer view of the fact that he regularly doesn't show up for agreed contact.

What would be the point of ordering more contact for a useless father who makes no effort as it is?

AlanPacino Fri 24-Jul-15 08:21:23

Op said she now wants to limit it to every other weekend. Contact and maintenance are separate issues. The courts will not limit contact because of maintenance issues.

spideymum Fri 24-Jul-15 08:24:31

I don't think the courts can do anything re financing from what I have read issues re contact have to be kept separate from money.

I would love him to see our son during the week as I think this is important for our son which is why I have done my best to facilitate this. But I am not prepared to have our son let down and him to not even have the respect to call him to explain. I know things happen with work etc but I do everything all he has to do is not work late on those 2 days and if it is unavoidable call and let him know.

He was upset with me because I said he was unreliable a week ago but he does nothing to prove otherwise. This isn't about him proving it to me but to our son. Unfortunately this is exactly what his Dad was like the one person he always said he didn't want to be like.

SitsOnFence Fri 24-Jul-15 08:25:52

He sounds like a really horrid person sad

What you need to do (and far easier said than done, I know) is to stop expecting him to do anything to help you and shift the focus to helping your son maintain a secure relationship with his father. If he is letting him down and your son is upset by this, then clearly it would be better to move to an arrangement he is able to stick to.

Try and salvage what you can first though, research does (sadly) show that a strong relationship with a father is a positive factor for self esteem - even where the father is a bit crap! It might help to stop thinking of it as help with childcare or of facilitating your ex's relationship with his son, but rather as you facilitating your son's relationship with his father.

Good luck flowers

AlanPacino Fri 24-Jul-15 08:25:59

Look I'm just saying that however unsatisfactory the op's ex is the courts are quite arbitrary and she is likely to end up with him having more contact if it went that way because they are not emotionally on anyone's side but the child and their right to access of both parents.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 24-Jul-15 08:26:59

And children should be pay per view. I bet if OP wasn't feeding or clothing her child she wouldn't be seeing him would she? Because he'd be taken away by SS wouldn't he?

Amen.

A person who doesn't contribute towards the costs of raising their progeny is not a parent, and should be treated as such.

SitsOnFence Fri 24-Jul-15 08:27:20

X-post there!

I see you have tried to encourage the weekly access.

SitsOnFence Fri 24-Jul-15 08:29:25

A person who doesn't contribute towards the costs of raising their progeny is not a parent, and should be treated as such

They certainly don't deserve to Bathtime, but the child does deserve a relationship with both parents if a half (or even quarter) decent one can be salvaged.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 24-Jul-15 08:29:59

she is likely to end up with him having more contact

A man who won't look after his child when the child's mother has a life threatening illness, is not going to be availing of any more contact time.

pickingstrawberries Fri 24-Jul-15 08:32:16

I'm not sure I agree, but I'm too tired to put anything together coherently.

However I will point out that decent people are decent people - half decent and quarter decent don't apply here.

Children need stability. They are also famously egocentric. They will not think a father not turning up is because he's a dick - they think it's because of them, and that's hugely damaging. They also (the fathers) have a lovely habit of lavishing gifts and money on their children when they DO see them, putting the relationship with working hard to put food on the table mum in jeopardy.

He should pay for his child if he wants to see him because that's what decent people do.

But he won't.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 24-Jul-15 08:35:01

I think a child deserves not to have a parental relationship with someone who isn't prepared to be a parent.

They can see their "jolly uncle" who ultimately doesn't give a shit about them except for in a shallow sentimental way on high days and holidays.

Resident parents who neglect their children don't get to still be treated as Daddy of the fucking year.

pickingstrawberries Fri 24-Jul-15 08:35:28

Agreed.

AlanPacino Fri 24-Jul-15 08:36:18

What matters is what the law and courts is likely to decide if the ex kicks up a fuss.

I think you're understandably angry about his lack of support during your illness but be careful that you're not just doing the tit-for-tat game where the one who loses the most is the child.

pickingstrawberries Fri 24-Jul-15 08:38:09

The OP was seriously ill - she had meningitis!

If anyone should be kicking up a fuss ...

SitsOnFence Fri 24-Jul-15 08:40:59

Some interesting reading here about outcomes for children by JRF

The centre of children and families or whatever it's called at the University of East Anglia has also done some interesting work on this.

I agree that if a parent isn't turning up for contact that the contact might be better being cut, being 'stood up' by a parent is bloody awful.

AlanPacino Fri 24-Jul-15 08:42:02

I know it was serious but I'm coming at it from the courts angle.

rumbleinthrjungle Fri 24-Jul-15 08:44:25

Court giving more access - the guy has more than the standard now and isn't using what he has! Court hasn't even been mentioned.

This sounds like a power play thing op - 'I'll see my kid on my terms when I want and you can't make me follow your schedule'. Seems to be a common theme on threads and it's ridiculous, ds cannot live every week wondering whether or not his dad will show up. How about saying this by email or text so you have a written record, then maybe saying that if he plans on doing contact on his week days he needs to let you know by 5pm the day before so you can prepare ds and make arrangements? If you don't hear by that time then that's confimration he doesn't want that contact and that's fine.

If he then wants to mess with that you're in a stronger position to say ok, I've been flexible and you're screwing with us, so weekends only.

Unfortunately you probably need to write him off for emergency pick ups and child care help, he obviously doesn't feel he has any responsibilities to ds in that way. As pp said, keep all written evidence of that in texts and emails.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 24-Jul-15 08:53:02

It doesn't matter a fuck what the court decides about contact - it's only compulsory for everyone else in the family if King Dick decides he wants to play with his child dolls.

If he can't be arsed, then he won't have any more contact time. And nobody will do anything about it.

Same as if he doesn't support his children.

Parenting is an optional hobby for fathers parents like him.

The real parent's job is to minimise the damage done by having to pretend to the child that they have a father, when they clearly don't.

ollieplimsoles Fri 24-Jul-15 09:12:25

I agree 100% with Bathtime

He's not putting his son first and there's no way I would let my child's weekly routine be disrupted because daddy 'might' be coming to pick him up. Fuck that, a four year old shouldn't be disappointed by his dad like that its heart breaking.

Does your ex have the money to take you to court over access op? If not I wouldn't worry about it, do what's best for your son, he sounds like he wouldn't be bothered anyway.

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