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To reproduce my other thread here

(28 Posts)
isupposeitsverynice Sun 08-Jan-17 21:25:43

Because I realised it is, at heart, an AIBU query? wink Here it is:

It's relevant to this tale to know that I used to live in the same town as ex and have now moved about five miles away. Also that a couple of years ago DS really, really wanted to go on a school trip that I just couldn't afford, and after the event ex told me I should have booked DS on and he (ex) would have paid half. Finally, as ex can't drive I drop DS off and pick him up every time he goes there - between 26 and 30 weekends of the year, at a rough guess.

So this year the residental trip letters come home and I duly sign DS up and fork out a rather eye-watering amount of money to pay for it, and let ex know the amounts. This was in autumn, probably October/November. I chased ex (politely) for at least some of the money by text on Friday.

Then when I dropped DS round there, ex's girlfriend sent DS to his room and ex (imo, rather pompously) informed me that he didn't want to fall out or anything, but while he was happy to contribute this time, I should realise that he pays his maintenance and so there really is no obligation for him to pay for this sort of thing, and so I shouldn't expect him to do so in future. (Don't know why his girlfriend needed to be there for this cosy little chat)

I am RAGING. I've done all the running around for access/visitation/whatever it's called now for the last three years - I've bent over backwards ever since ex left us to ensure that he maintained a strong relationship with DS. I am rather inclined to tell ex that he's right, we don't want to fall out over things we're not obligated to do, so he can sort his own fucking access out from now on as I won't be doing any more driving on his behalf. Clearly, if I do this, we are going to fall out. But I am really tired of just sucking up his shitty behaviour and keeping on, taking the moral high ground. It just gets me more bullying and shitty behaviour. Am I being hideously unreasonable? My mum says I need to put my foot down once and for all - she had similar with my own dad. My husband agrees. I do, and I want to do it, I'm just concerned about the fall out. If you've managed to slog your way through my tedious whinge then any opinions are gratefully received (unless they disagree, then they can naff off wink)

ChasedByBees Sun 08-Jan-17 21:29:46

Has he paid what he owes yet? If so, then yes I'd tell him and deal with the fall out. You must be spending a significant amount in fuel costs, let alone your time.

lougle Sun 08-Jan-17 21:41:26

5 miles is what, 8 minutes? I wouldn't factor that in. If you don't want to drop him off, don't.

I also think that a conversation 2 years ago can't be relied upon now, tbh. It would have been more sensible to tell your ex about the trip before booking it and check with him that he was willing to pay half.

isupposeitsverynice Sun 08-Jan-17 21:42:47

He had begrudgingly given me a third of it. Yes I worked out (because I'm cool) that it's probably a fiver in fuel and an hour of my time per week that he visits. I'm almost willing to take the hit on the trip cost to make my stand, I don't know

Tissunnyupnorth Sun 08-Jan-17 21:46:34

Why doesn't your ex pick up your DS?

isupposeitsverynice Sun 08-Jan-17 21:47:44

It's not far but takes a long time because it's in town and the traffic is a nightmare. It should be about twelve minutes door to door but isn't. Ex has explicitly said more than once that he wants ds to go on these trips because he didn't get the opportunity himself, I do see your point, but is it really unreasonable to expect ex to cough up for stuff like this?

isupposeitsverynice Sun 08-Jan-17 21:48:19

Because he doesn't drive and I live rurally with no real public transport links.

ClaireLumia Sun 08-Jan-17 22:03:07

I'd tell him you'll drive DS a third of the way there and he can sort out the rest! But I'm pretty and like to made a point.

lougle Sun 08-Jan-17 22:06:49

Well only you know how reasonable you'd be to refuse to take him. But you did move to a location with limited public transport, knowing your ExH doesn't drive. I would feel that it was my duty to my child to facilitate that contact in those circumstances.

In terms of expecting your ExH to 'cough up', sadly, I am pretty sure that the Child Maintenance system is such that all contributions towards the child's needs are deemed to be met from the dim provided. Non-resident parents can contribute over and above the minimum set, but it isn't obligatory and there isn't provision for extra demands. So...YABU, strictly speaking, although it doesn't hurt to ask.

It's not fair. Don't think that I'm of the view that it is, but that is the way it works.

gamerchick Sun 08-Jan-17 22:08:16

This has probably come from his girlfriends mouth originally. I would point out the past conversation you've had with him about it. Did you not point that out to him at the time in front of the girlfriend?

You only have to make the bairn available for contact at the minimum. But I fear that if you take this stance it's only the bairn that suffers as war starts.

WorraLiberty Sun 08-Jan-17 22:10:07

You should have spoken to your ex before booking your DS on a trip that costs an eye watering amount of money.

As for the driving, well that's a separate matter to this.

EZA15 Sun 08-Jan-17 22:14:46

This has probably come from his girlfriends mouth originally. I would point out the past conversation you've had with him about it. Did you not point that out to him at the time in front of the girlfriend?

^^ this

OohhItsNotHoxton Sun 08-Jan-17 22:18:27

flowers I have no words sorry OP

Isadora2007 Sun 08-Jan-17 22:33:37

YANBU however two things spring to mind- it really would have been more fair for you to message or speak to ex when the form first came out to check that he was still happy as per previous discussion to contribute and taken it from there.

With regards to the recent scenario I would echo his words back to him and say that whilst you are happy that he pays his maintenance, there really is no obligation for you to drive your son to his house. That he shouldn't expect you to do so in future.

Then perhaps agree that parenting is give and take and requires both of you to sometimes go the extra mile for your child and for being parents. In your view you do this when you put yourself out financially and timewise each and every journey to facilitate him seeing your son. And that you are disappointed that he doesn't see helping out financially to cover these trips is similar. Ask indeed if he would prefer to pay your for your journeys and you could put aside that money for future costs for your sons extra curricular activities.

Ilovecaindingle Sun 08-Jan-17 22:37:11

You have handed part time parenting to him on a plate by supplying 'Mums taxi'! May I suggest no more Miss Nice Girl?
He can pick him up in a taxi and pay up.

MyNewUserNameIsSecret Sun 08-Jan-17 22:50:29

I think you should have asked him what he thought about the trip before signing your son up to it.

I'm not sure about the lifts as you moved out of the town to an area with poor public transport when you knew your Ex doesn't drive. I know it's not your responsibility but I think I'd carry on giving lifts. The access isn't for your ex's benefit it's for your child.

In future I think you should speak to your ex about the trips first.

Having said all that I would still be pissed off with him because of the pompous way he told you he didn't want to pay 😂

Ohyesiam Sun 08-Jan-17 22:52:11

He's being difficult, but , unless you want your son to suffer, you are better to point out how much time and money you spend on transport, rather than game playing and stopping transport, as some posters are suggesting.

SadTrombone Sun 08-Jan-17 23:00:16

He's being a pain in the arse, and it sounds like you do all the running generally, but in this instance I thinknow you were being a bit unreasonable not to call before you booked it to confirm price etc.

SadTrombone Sun 08-Jan-17 23:00:38

*think not thinknow

isupposeitsverynice Sun 08-Jan-17 23:09:19

Haha the girlfriend is a bugger I don't doubt she's voiced an opinion. She is younger and frankly out of her depth on the parenting front, but what can you do. She's pleasant to DS. It'll have to do.

We were priced out of town really, didn't have a huge amount of choice, but yeah ultimately we made that decision which is why I've uncomplaining just done the driving up till now, alongside the sense of duty, of course.

But I spend all my days fulfilling my duty as parent to DS, putting a roof over his head, taking him to school, packing his lunches, washing his clothes, whining at him to tidy his room and all those other wonderful parenting tasks. Is this really in my remit as well, or should it come under exs? It's been three years since we moved, shouldn't he be making some effort by now?

I have thought about suggesting to ex that he contribute to petrol money, but that doesn't account for my time spent, and it probably goes without saying we have to do maintenance through csa as ex proved himself not up to the challenges of a private arrangement, so even if he agreed to stump up some cash it'd only be a few weeks before it dried up again I'm sure.

Ultimately what's stopped me ringing him and screeching at him to sort his own shit out is the concern that if I do, he won't bother, and it is DS who suffers. But is it fair for me to have to shoulder that burden if ex won't? Surely not?

Isadora2007 Sun 08-Jan-17 23:12:29

What about offering to provide petrol money for you so that you can put aside trip money for DS if he doesn't want to share these extra costs? His maintenance money should really cover trips etc but NOT travel costs for you to provide the contact... if ex can see you are doing that bit extra then he maybe won't be such an arse... it just needs pointing out to him.

Confusednotcom Sun 08-Jan-17 23:33:13

Ohyesiam said
He's being difficult, but , unless you want your son to suffer, you are better to point out how much time and money you spend on transport, rather than game playing and stopping transport, as some posters are suggesting.
^ ^
This is the crux of it. You don't want your son to suffer so whatever you do keep it civil and away from DS. Have a chat with him without GF, it sounds like you could work something out even if it's just a petrol contribution. Might he learn to drive?

isupposeitsverynice Mon 09-Jan-17 07:22:07

I asked him a while ago if he was planning on learning to drive. He said he was waiting for self driving cars. I don't want DS to go without seeing his dad but I'm sick and tired of just accepting everything ex throws at me. This morning he's woken me up at six with a text about some frankly non-urgent paperwork hmm

user1472419718 Mon 09-Jan-17 07:34:04

Sorry, but I think YAB a little U.

You should have discussed with him before agreeing to pay out a large sum of money whilst expecting him to pay half, rather than just let him know the amounts.

I understand you didn't choose to move out of town, but he isn't responsible for the factors that led to that decision either. Maybe you could work out some arrangement e.g. you drop DS off and ex gets a taxi back with him?

TaggieRR Mon 09-Jan-17 07:44:11

Is maintenance not just for a child's living costs, clothes etc rather than extras like trips? Presumably your ex-h should be expected to contribute to these as well as maintenance.

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