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Ex wants parental responsibility of my son (his step-son), and I don't trust him. AIBU to block it?

(132 Posts)
mojoawol Mon 11-Jan-16 14:48:55

Me and DH split up in October last year, I had a DS (now 11) from a previous relationship, whose father died when he was v small. Ex-dh, as a step dad, has therefore become his father figure, and now we've separated, ex has shared care of him (which he wanted as ex has DD from a previous also, and they are pretty close).
Ex is a divorce lawyer, and pretty controlling and bullying, not physically (at least not with the kids) so, although I have very mixed feelings about the kids being with him, there's very little I can do apart from be there for them when I am.
Ex has said he wants Parental Responsibility for my son. I've spoken to a lawyer who said that as he has shared care, and is playing the role of a parent, he will more than likely get it. Lawyer also told me that it doesn't really give him any rights to make decisions or anything without involving me, just to know information about him - ie his schooling etc.
However, I just don't trust him. He is an absolute narcissist who wants everyone to think he's doing the right thing for his own benefit and image. He's even said he'll be able to get it even if I don't agree (which in itself is pretty bullying)
Does anyone know anything about PR? Can it give him any rights to anything? I'm concerned why he's so desperate to get it. Could it be a stepping stone to trying to adopt him?

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 11-Jan-16 14:53:03

What do you mean by shared care?

mojoawol Mon 11-Jan-16 14:56:29

DS spends half his time with me, and half with him. Ex, being a narc divorce lawyer, made sure he got 50/50 shared care of his DD when he split from his ex, so my DS wants to not see any less of both of them.

Micah Mon 11-Jan-16 14:58:27

What does your son say? He's 11. I think if it were me I'd make an appt to see a family friendly lawyer who can explain the ramifications to you both so you can make an informed decision.

I think it does give him rights- medical care, taking the child out of the country (fairly sure you'd need his permission), just like any other parent with PR. Not to question your lawyer (as I'm not one), but what they said goes against everything I've read and experienced as a step parent.

FWIW, DH's ex wanted her new husband to have PR of DH's kids. DH refused, and it was dropped as apparently they needed his (Dh's) consent. That was for someone who lived with the kids, whether it was an issue of costs and needing to go to court to pursue it further, I don't know.

Is he bullying and controlling with the kids? I'd start to keep a diary of incidents, and DS's mood and behaviour after visits.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 11-Jan-16 15:00:14

He just wants to keep his control over you.
I have no idea what you do about it though.
I'd be moving far away if I could.

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 11-Jan-16 15:00:56

Right well I would be putting a stop to that.
If he is a narc, then your ds needs to be no where near him even if he doesn't understand that it's for his own good.

I really don't think he can get pr but I'm no expert.

Micah Mon 11-Jan-16 15:01:43

Ex, being a narc divorce lawyer, made sure he got 50/50 shared care of his DD when he split from his ex, so my DS wants to not see any less of both of them

Sure it was because he's a narc divorce lawyer, and not because 50:50 is the default. Its only usually less than 50:50 due to practical reasons, like not being able to afford two family homes after a break up. If your DS is fine with shared care too, are you sure your personal feelings aren't clouding the fact he wants to, and does see his children, including one he's not obliged to provide for.

walkinginmercury Mon 11-Jan-16 15:02:39

God no I wouldn't even consider it.

TheSecondViola Mon 11-Jan-16 15:04:42

It's not the default when its not your child. Do you have any children together OP?

hedgehogsdontbite Mon 11-Jan-16 15:06:20

I wouldn't consider it either and I'm shocked your lawyer says he'll probably get it. On the bright side, you could then persue him for maintenance.

AyeAmarok Mon 11-Jan-16 15:08:09

I would do all I can to not let him have it. Je wants it for a reason, and given his bullying and threats, that's not going to be a reason that benefits you.

NewLife4Me Mon 11-Jan-16 15:08:13

He is only a step dad, why did you let him share the care in the first place, surely he had no rights at that time.
I think now you have agreed to shared care and it has been happening he might be right.

did you get the bullying and emotional abuse logged with a hc professional or Police? This might go in your favour if you did.

Why do men get away with things like this? So sorry you are still being bullied thanks

Micah Mon 11-Jan-16 15:08:46

It's not the default when its not your child

No, but o/p is saying he got 50:50 of his DD with his first wife. Because he's a narc divorce lawyer, suggesting he took time from the childs mother, rather than it being his equal right as a parent.

Her son (his stepson) chooses to spend 50:50, from o/p's second post, so he can see "them both", his stepsister and his stepdad. Child's 11, so court would take that into account?

mojoawol Mon 11-Jan-16 15:10:05

It's a good point Micah, my personal feelings are definitely clouding it as I can't stand him. However, DS does see him as a father figure and is fond of him. Ex likes to be seen as the good father, and wanted DS to be with him 50/50. DS also wanted to be with him 50/50. He's too young to see the controlling bully in him (though often mentions how shouty he's been). I'm hoping he'll wise up to it in his own time and way without me having to impose it onto him.
According to ex, I won't be able to stop him getting PR as he has sole responsibility of him half of the time.

Micah Mon 11-Jan-16 15:10:21

On the bright side, you could then persue him for maintenance. b

But they have 50:50, so no maintenance. Plus I'm fairly sure PR doesn't oblige maintenance, only adoption does.

Birdsgottafly Mon 11-Jan-16 15:13:58

PR is a sliding scale, your DS is now able to voice his opinion and this then increases yearly, until at 14, he can decide what he wants.

He probably would get PR granted.

As he had shared care, it won't really change much.

Does he have access to your DSs school records etc, that's one thing that will change, as would the medical side.

He wouldn't be granted an adoption. It would be deemed unnecessary.

jay55 Mon 11-Jan-16 15:14:21

I'd be very worried he was doing it to stop you making decisions without him. Can you reduce the shared care?

Birdsgottafly Mon 11-Jan-16 15:17:11

You need to discuss PR with your DS, because it's his choice.

mojoawol Mon 11-Jan-16 15:17:31

I'm fine with him having access to school/medical information. And if that is all PR gives, then its not really a concern. It's just if it allows him to make decisions without consulting me that I'm concerned.

AnotherEmma Mon 11-Jan-16 15:17:41

"He's too young to see the controlling bully in him (though often mentions how shouty he's been)."

You need to protect your son from this man, emotional abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse, if not more so. Do you really want this man as a father figure to your son? No, I didn't think so. You are letting him bully and control you and your son even after separation. This needs to stop. Get yourself a shit hot lawyer. I suggest asking Women's Aid for recommendations of lawyers with experience of dealing with abusive relationships and protecting women and their children from abusive men.

Birdsgottafly Mon 11-Jan-16 15:18:18

Also is there going to be conflict over choice of Senior School?

It's stuff like that, that will give him a hand in it, if he gets PR.

mojoawol Mon 11-Jan-16 15:18:31

My thought would be at 11 its a little young to understand legal issues and terms like Parental Responsibility? I don't even fully understand it myself

AnotherEmma Mon 11-Jan-16 15:18:35

I just can't believe you are letting him look after your son.

Have you done the Freedom Programme or had any counselling since the split?

mojoawol Mon 11-Jan-16 15:21:56

Not exactly counselling, but I have become good friends with his other ex (the mother of his DD), and we are on exactly the same page about him. His DD is a bit older, (13) and starting to wise up to him. Also she and my DS are very close and me and her mum have agreed that we prefer that they are together when they are with him.
Me and ex also have a DS together (4) so the 3 of them are with him at the same time (youngest is with me a little more, but only until he's 5 and then ex is insisting on 50/50 with him also).

hedgehogsdontbite Mon 11-Jan-16 15:22:00

You would need his permission to go on holiday abroad with you son if he has pr.

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