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Aibu not to let four year old go to America with ex

(45 Posts)
ZombieLauraIngalls Wed 02-Nov-16 08:35:46

Not me, but my sister .

Dsis has recently split with her partner. They have a little girl aged 4. They have never actually lived together, as Dsis was very young when she got pregnant and was focused (rightly so, in my opinion) on finishing university and raising DN.

I'm going to come right out and say I think her ex is a bastard. He would go weeks at a time without seeing DN or sis. He hasn't paid a penny. He was also EA - sis hasn't said much, but I spotted quite a few red flags at times

Anyway, ex has a new girlfriend who is obsessed with Disney. They have been together about five months and she paid for him to come on a prebooked holiday to Disney Orlando at the end of summer. She goes every year. She seems nice enough, but as it's early days, he's obviously trying to impress her as Dad of the Year.

Dsis is always chasing him to spend time with DN, but all of a sudden he's sending her texts at 3am saying things like "you can't keep me from DN any longer, I want full custody" etc etc.

Dsis and DN are staying with me for a few days, and this is the corker she got yesterday. This from a man who has never,in four years, had his daughter overnight, or for more than six hours in a row, by his own choice

"just to let you know, I will be taking DN to Disney for 11 days in March. could you make sure her passport is up to date for then."

Well bloody hell. Sis text back

"sorry ex, but this is something we really need to discuss first, I'll speak to you about it when you next pick up DN"

Ex wrote back a whole rigmarole

"you don't get to decide where DN goes or who she spends time with. You don't get the veto over her. You're denying her a fantastic chance because you are jealous of gf"

At this point Dsis was in tears, I took the phone off her and I'm keeping it until the end of today with her agreement, as we have a nice day planned and he will just text her constantly and she'll be miserable

He would rather cut his hand off than spend 11 days with DN,I'm pretty sure he is bullshitting, but my sister is getting herself worked up, thinking she's going to have to let DN go- she's never spent a whole night away from her before!

So is Dsis BU to not let DN go?

reallyanotherone Wed 02-Nov-16 08:39:46

"You want to take her away, you update her passport".

If that doesn't work, ask him if he knows he needs written permission from those with pr, which she will only give if instructed to by a court.

If he's going in march that doesn't give him much time to get the paperwork done, especially if he needs to book and pay now...

petitfromage Wed 02-Nov-16 08:40:00

Absolutely not. YAB completely reasonable. Poor DN. It's not like he's asking to have her overnight or for a day out - US is a very long way and with no support around her DN could feel completely homesick and distressed. No way should she let her go.

Get good legal advice, get custody sorted and a court order in place.

NapQueen Wed 02-Nov-16 08:43:07

If he had 50:50 care or near enough then it would be appropriate for him to take her on holiday and to pretty much wherever he wants.

He has never even had her overnight??

Rainbowqueeen Wed 02-Nov-16 08:47:58

In the circumstances YANBU.

Tell him it's not in the best interests of your DN to spend 11 nights with someone she has never spent a night with, especially in another country.

Sounds like he has done his best to convince new gf he is dad of the year. Imagine the rude awakening she would experience if DN did go and it was obvious he had no idea how to care for her ( not suggesting you find out but fun to imagine!)

EdmundCleverClogs Wed 02-Nov-16 08:54:36

What a bastard! Though an out and out 'no' just plays into his hands - 'she never lets me have our daughter ' is how he will twist it.

I would say 'I will not allow her to spend 11 days away when she's never stayed over with you before. So, you will now have her every Saturday night/every other weekend (whatever suits your sister), to settle her with you. You will also sort and pay for her passport (if it's not up to date). Oh and I'll be in touch with csa for regular payments. Glad to actually get a proper routine with our daughter sorted'. He will probably run for the hills.

NauticalDisaster Wed 02-Nov-16 08:59:44

In these circumstances it is not unreasonable to say no. If he insists then he will need to go through the courts. He also needs to be responsible for sorting out the passport.

I suggest that your sister write him a letter, sent registered post, stating she does not give permission for their daughter to travel to the USA in March for 11 days.

Sciurus83 Wed 02-Nov-16 09:03:24

What Edmund said

Natsku Wed 02-Nov-16 09:04:42

I like Edmund's idea, I bet he'll back off quickly if offered that.

RabbitSaysWoof Wed 02-Nov-16 09:05:59

What Edmund said. Outline everything being a Father is, and say "great, at last"

BubbleGumBubble Wed 02-Nov-16 09:08:42

Why cant she go?

brasty Wed 02-Nov-16 09:16:19

I would let her go as long as he started seeing DD a lot more including having her over night, so they knew one another better.
So I would text, okay that is fine. But she has never spent any longer than 6 hours with you, so she needs to get used to being with you before March. What about you have her 1 night and day a week every weekend, and once a month for the whole weekend? Also you do need to be paying maintenance.

DisgruntledGoat Wed 02-Nov-16 09:22:11

I definitely wouldn't let her go. If he's never had her overnight then he doesn't know her routine and 11 days is a long time with people she doesn't know and who don't know her. He sounds like he's just trying to impress his new gf. She'll probably be gone soon enough when she sees through his fake ness then exbf will be back to little to no contact again with your DN most likely! He sounds like a huge nob end!

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 02-Nov-16 09:26:17

Unless both parents give permission for a child to go abroad, the parent can't take them out of the country. This is to stop kidnapping and that's the law. So your dsis is not being unreasonable. What a pig! If he wishes to challenge this, he can see her in court. If her dd was 14 and wanted to go, as an elder child, she would be able to make the decision herself and it would be unreasonable to stop her. But she's not 14, she's 4.

DixieNormas Wed 02-Nov-16 09:29:13

I think 11 days is a long time for a 4 year old even if he did have her 1 night a week. Mine would have struggled with that at that age even though they saw their dad every weekend

Farmmummy Wed 02-Nov-16 09:31:32

Dear ex, as you have never had [insert name of DN] for periods of longer than 4-6 hours at a time, therefore overnight, these aforementioned periods often only under duress or because I her full time residential parent have suggested them, I absolutely refuse consent for her to travel to the US or indeed anywhere abroad. To be clear this is because I feel it would be detrimental to her health and well being given that she has only had sporadic contact on your terms and would not be ready to spend so long in a strange place separated from her primary carer and such a distance away is impractical. I suggest rather than resorting to empty threats and bullying such as your text sent at [insert date and time] where you stated your intention of "going for full custody" you instead contact child maintenance service and begin appropriately maintaining your daughter and also making more regular contact which is kept and built up with a view to eventual overnight visits if and when she is comfortable and ready.i have sent one copy of this to you recorded delivery and one copy to my solicitor for their records should legal action become necessary,
Yours faithfully
[insert dsis name]

And do send recorded delivery and be prepared to find a solicitor if necessary somehow if he is just out to impress gf it may not be though

user1471468700 Wed 02-Nov-16 09:44:25

'You don't get to decide where DN goes blah blah'

Erm yes She does because she's her fucking MOTHER!!!

Sorry these arsehole exs really piss me off!!!

GrinchyMcGrincherson Wed 02-Nov-16 09:46:12

What farmmummy said.

Also Disney is amazing but really overwhelming for small ones. DS 6 and DD 9 were both knackered most days, struggled with the amount of walking and needed regular breaks. We never did more than two days in a row in parks either. They loved it but were super grumpy some days. Even with a Pram it's a lot of walking as lots of places you can't take the pram with you (not that I had a pram but I saw lots of buggy parks and babies in arms/slings.)

I think they would both find the reality of Disney with a child a let down. The joy is in seeing the face of a child you love when they see a princess or go on a ride and it being enough to carry you through the grumpiness! If he's totally ill equipped to deal with a tired toddler it's going to get messy.

BusyHomemaker Wed 02-Nov-16 09:50:39

Your sister needs to seek legal advice before she responds again. It is fine for get to let him know she will be in touch in a fee days and to ask for some peace until then.

She needs to speak to a solicitor experienced on family law, with experience with cases of domestic violence (which includes EA)

It's highly unlikely the courts will allow her ex to take her DD away for that length of time when he hasn't had her for a night. She also needs to contact CMS to see up maintenance payments, however, this is a separate issue to contact.

Please don't trust call his bluff or offer him any contact until your sister has gained legal advice.

Good luck and for what it's worth you both sound like strong women. Your DN is lucky to have you both.

ZombieLauraIngalls Wed 02-Nov-16 10:02:50

Ha, Edmund, your idea is fantastic! He'd run a mile!

I'm 99% sure he's doing this to upset my sister, and also so he can tell their mutual friends how shitty she is. Can't you just see it? "I wanted to take DN for the Disney trip of a lifetime and that bitch said no". My sister has had a big, close group of friends since she was 13 and he's managed to turn almost all of them against her with this nonsense

I'd love to see him squirm if sis just agrees to everything!

He's never wanted overnights with DN. He said if DN wanted to stay overnight at his then my sister had to come along too!

I could write a book,honestly..

Sonders Wed 02-Nov-16 10:05:47

I agree with PPs that with the current situation, he shouldn't be taking her away that far for that long. Do you think there's anyway they could work towards it, e.g. building up to a few nights together, him sorting passport & insurance?

It sounds like you could be in for a lifetime of ex telling DN "We tried to take you to Disney but your mum wouldn't let you go". It's definitely not the best reason to let her go though!

titchy Wed 02-Nov-16 10:09:39

Tell her to agree with him, that it's a fantastic opportunity and your sister would be really glad of the break. Then suggest that as he has never had her overnight he starts doing so to get her used to it, starting with this Friday, building up to a full week in the new year.

EdmundCleverClogs Wed 02-Nov-16 10:15:50

To be honest, my mother was in a similar situation with one of my siblings fathers (a whole other thread). She used a similar line, was very calm whilst the idiot threatened this, that and everything. I think in the end she just said 'fine, do as you please, but you will take responsibility'. He fucked off, didn't hear anything for about 16 years hmm.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Wed 02-Nov-16 10:17:22

If he wants to take her away in March he has a lot of ground to make up by then. He needs to sort it all out, his contributions for maintenance and lots of overnight and weekend stays, probably working up to at least one stay of a week before the big day. And your DSis needs to have some time discussing it with the gf too. If she's never had anything to do with small children it could come as a nasty shock. She may love Disneyland as a young adult rushing round. It's a very different experience when you're seeing the same stuff with a 4yo. Much shorter days, can't go on most of the rides. It's very limiting if you're not used to it.

Frankly from what you've said I expect he - and likely she - will fall at the first hurdle. He doesn't want to be a responsible father. He just likes the idea. I don't think your DSis has much to worry about.

Ineededtonamechange Wed 02-Nov-16 10:22:38

Is he on the birth certificate? Does he have parental rights at all?

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