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for being cross XDH took children out of school without my permission

(18 Posts)
shallichangemyname Tue 13-Sep-16 10:35:23

Found out last night from the DCs that XDH had taken them out of school at lunch on Friday. I knew that he was taking them to see family in London and that there was some sort of party over the weekend (told in the context of saying DS would miss his football match) but taking them out of school was not mentioned. I don't think half a day is the end of the world - that's not the point. The point is shouldn't he have spoken to me? It transpires that the "family party" he had spoken about was on Friday night and did not actually include the children - they stayed at his parents' house with a babysitter. So in actual fact they were not taken out of school to enjoy a family party but to suit his own social arrangements. The party was his uncle's (by marriage) 80th birthday dinner, and they have always disliked each other (not sure that's really relevant but adding it in as background).
AIBU to think that he should have asked me if I agreed to him taking the DCs out of school - and would IBU if I had said no because it was more about suiting his social arrangements than about them? Or should I just get over myself? Part of me thinks I'm overreacting, but I'm concerned it's a slippery slope and he'll start doing it every time he wants to go up to London for a weekend, to avoid the London rush hour (he takes them up there regularly).
I've raised it with him this morning and his response is "I discussed [going to London] with the DCs and they wanted to go". That's just sidestepping isn't it? The children may well have wanted to go to London, but the older DCs are rather put out they didn't get to go to the party when their cousins the same age DID (although they are uncle's grandchildren and mine are just the great nephews/nieces).

Ego147 Tue 13-Sep-16 10:37:39

Would you have told him if you were ever doing the same thing?

Parents should check with each other if they plan to take the children out of school for such events.

shallichangemyname Tue 13-Sep-16 10:50:40

Absolutely I would have told him if I wanted to do the same thing

JellyBelli Tue 13-Sep-16 10:54:59

And the school just let him do that? Nothing about this is right.

PansyGiraffe Tue 13-Sep-16 10:57:03

How do you think the school should have stopped him doing that JelliBelli? Nothing in the OP's post says they don't both have parental responsibility.

GoblinLittleOwl Tue 13-Sep-16 10:57:30

If you have joint custody I should think it is between him and the school, and if he starts trying it regularly they will refuse permission. Occasionally I don't think it is important, particularly if they are missing the ridiculous 'golden time'; if it is curriculum subjects then it is more serious.

Ego147 Tue 13-Sep-16 10:57:58

And the school just let him do that? Nothing about this is right

Schools don't have to check with the other parent if it's ok - if either parent has parental responsibility as far as I am aware.

What did he tell the school?

BitOutOfPractice Tue 13-Sep-16 11:00:31

If he has parental responsibility then he doesn't have to ask your permission. It's annoying I know but that's how it is and it works both ways

PacificOcean Tue 13-Sep-16 11:00:39

If I were you, I would speak to the head about this and make it 100% clear that you don't support it. Then I would leave it. Schools are very strict now with unauthorised absence. If he starts doing it regularly I would have thought the school would step in, which would be better than you doing it.

ClopySow Tue 13-Sep-16 11:02:20

It's a bit shit but if you have shared custody and it was on his time, it's sort of his call to make and i don't see how you could actually stop him.

Sundance01 Tue 13-Sep-16 11:08:29

It would have been polite to mention it to you - just as it would be for you to mention it to him if you were to do so.

But the children are just as much his as yours and so he has just as much right to make a decision about them you disagree with as you do to make one he would not like.

Ego147 Tue 13-Sep-16 11:09:51

Schools must be in a bit of a minefield here - as they don't really know whose 'day it is'. If a parent turns up to take a child out - for an appointment, they don't check up with the other separated parent to see if that's ok.

I know some schools I have worked at know that certain children are at risk of being taken by a separated parent - and that's clear in the office. But I am not sure if schools can do anything if a parent who has parental responsibility turns up to take DC out of school.

That said - it would have been nice of him to liaise with you. But if you had refused, I am not sure if the school could have done anything.

drspouse Tue 13-Sep-16 11:25:43

I would say you need to make it clear to the school that you are not OK with this, though, as then hopefully even if they need to complain to you (legally) they can word it as "we know you don't agree with this, we just have to write to you because of our legal obligations, we will be writing to the DC's father in more robust terms".

shallichangemyname Tue 13-Sep-16 11:42:45

He would have had to justify the absence so told them it was for a family party (which is not really true). I don't want to embarrass all of us in the school by speaking to the head (but I will if he does it again I think). There is no formal shared residence, just an informal alternate weekend and one midweek night arrangement, but of course we both share PR.
I'm genuinely surprised he didn't think to mention it to me - I would to him.
You are all right, there is a dichotomy between the legal position (he has PR) and real life (we need to co-parent and co-operate). I would always hope that as parents we would always avoid the strictly legal in favour of real life. I like to think I know what I'm talking about because I'm a family lawyer as well as a person experiencing divorce in real life (it is wrong to say that the time the DCs are with him is "his" time - actually it is the DC's time, and the law doesn't allow him to make decisions in isolation simply because they are physically in his care - PR is shared and so although one of you exercises it at one time or another when there are day to day decisions, more important things must always be joint according to the law - of course reality is often quite different and it's impossible to police it without genuine co-operation). I just really don't like this "my time, my choice" attitude. He is having to belatedly learn how this all works - he lived abroad for the first 7 years after we separated and only saw the DCs for 5 weeks of holiday a year so was very much a Disney Dad. He's just moved back to the UK and I think he's just getting a bit over excited about the new power he wields over day to day matters, having been alienated from these things for so long. It's the slippery slope that concerns me and I wondered if others would think it was unreasonable or OK what he's done. Many heads together are so much better than one.

Memoires Tue 13-Sep-16 11:49:40

Presumably he filled in the form for authorised absence and the school OKed it. He has pr, so what can they do? Taking your child out of school has been easy/difficult/impossible in the last few years and schools are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Do you want them to contact him if you ever want to take them out? It gets a bit much though, for school admin - this child's parents communicate well so we don't have to intervene, this child's mum needs to be nforme of certain of the dad's actions but not all, this one's grandma makes the decisions and both parents need to be informed separately etc.

Schools have enough to do, you either trust your ex with your children or you don't.

shallichangemyname Tue 13-Sep-16 12:02:05

I don't blame school at all and agree they have enough to do with parents acting like children.
But AIBU to be cross that he took them out without speaking to me first, and furthermore that he took them out for his own social enjoyment, not theirs (as they weren't even invited to the family party he took them out for!)?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 13-Sep-16 12:28:35

Actually, I'm usually 100% 'their time, their rules' but I can see why you would be cross about this. I've had many times when my social life would have been made easier by taking DS out of school on Friday, but I just wouldn't do it because I believe school is important. Even ridonkulous Friday golden time.

As he's been away for 7 years, could you have a conversation about how schools' attitudes to absence have changed? It won't calm your crossness, but it might stop it happening again? And geniunely, he may not be aware how much absence is frowned upon now.

shallichangemyname Tue 13-Sep-16 14:07:57

Lonny you are absolutely right. I hadn't thought about it that way. He lives in his own little bubble anyway, so he just won't know what a big issue absence is these days, nor will he be aware of the issues with taking DCs out of school for holidays and fining parents etc. I am only a tiny bit peeved now and I will send him an email explaining. I am now totally over myself and thank you flowers

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