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Contact Arrangements

(16 Posts)
octobersunshine Fri 24-Feb-17 12:01:31

My partner left me and my now 9 month old son just after Christmas. Over his short life, my ex has bothered very little with my DS yet since he left, he's playing the injured father act, I don't let him see his son, etc etc. Which is not the case, I just want arrangements to suit DS schedule. Last week he messaged to say he couldn't pick him up as arranged because he was going on a night out the evening before and wouldn't be able to drive in the morning as he'd be over the limit. I said he could pick him up towards lunch time and he said this still wouldn't be suitable. I suggested he act like every other responsible parent and go to bed at a time which would allow him to look after his son as arranged. This was no good either, because I didn't understand that it was a big night out and once he's there he wont leave etc. Now I get a message to say that he can't have DS next week either because he's on a lads night the night before, so his parents will take him. I feel so bloody angry. He has him one afternoon a week and he can't be arsed prioritising his child over nights out. I would be less angry if he wasn't telling everyone he comes across just how much I'm restricting access. AIBU?

ChristmasEvePJs Fri 24-Feb-17 12:29:07

Unless you genuinely need the childcare I would only stick to the arrangements and if cancelled your ds stays with you and not grandparents etc. Keep a clear log of all correspondence with evidence incase you find yourself needing it.

rumblingDMexploitingbstds Fri 24-Feb-17 12:43:13

Of course YANBU. He's creating his cover story for what he knows to be the truth. 'I'm missing my beloved child terribly but am shut out of his life by my evil ex' gets him sympathy. 'Actually i cant be buggered and am a bad father' isn't something he wants anyone else knowing about.

No, it isn't ok to expect you to just hand over ds unscheduled whenever he feels in the mood and hasn't anything more interesting to do - which is basically what he's asking. Ds is a person, not a toy. You can keep evidence by replying to him in text and email, along the lines of thanks for letting me know you're cancelling today's planned contact. And if he moans at you, you can then show him the list of times you've arranged for ds to be available to him that he turned down. The why is irrelevant to you.

In court, a contact order would specify times that you make ds available for contact. No court would state that you must facilitate contact on the whims of dad day to day.

The 'I'm boozing, my mum and dad'll have him' with a nine month old is something that would bother me, contact is supposed to be about maintaining his relationship and bond with ds and nine months is so young. It would depend on the relationship ds has with GPs and you and whether actually, regular contact with GPs may work better as a settled, stable routine and relationship so ex can drift in and out as he feels like. Or whether you say at this stage no, he's too young to muck about, its contact time with dad or cancelled.

octobersunshine Fri 24-Feb-17 12:51:56

Thanks all. I have work between 10 and 12 every other Saturday, so ex usually takes him between 9 and 1pm.

He doesn't know his paternal grandparents very well, and I don't just want to hand him to them because ex cant be arsed. I don't want to come across as dictatorial but I think it's fair to say that his parents aren't a substitute, particularly given how ostentatious he is about his precious relationship with DS. I would be far more forgiving of this if he had him day to day and needed emergency childcare.

I wish he'd call a spade a spade and just say he can't be bothered, and then I can cater properly for DS. Instead, he makes a big song and dance about contact, which I suspect is to do with control more than actually wanting access, and it makes life far more difficult for DS and I.

OptimisticSix Fri 24-Feb-17 13:00:31

I have been where you are OP and seven years later still am to a lesser degree. I have learnt that it's not fair but that I have to suck it up for the kids. I try and do my best for my children who love their dad and so I put up with his nonsense and don't even argue with him anymore about it. I adopt an "it's your loss" attitude and it is really - although it's aggravating as all he'll that I know every time he cancels he tells his friends and family I'm the one who stopped him seeing his DC. There's nothing I can do about what a complete arse hole he is I can only be the best parent I can be and hope karma takes care of him :/

jay55 Fri 24-Feb-17 14:26:36

If his parents are interested (and decent people) surely it is worth getting to know them, for both you and your child's sake.

octobersunshine Fri 24-Feb-17 14:37:56

His parents certainly are, and they will look after DS a day a week starting next month, but they are also apologists for their son's behaviour. I don't want to allow ex partner to pick up and put down DS as according to when it suits his social life. I feel like I need to set clear boundaries from the outset otherwise he will forever set the terms on which he sees DS

octobersunshine Mon 27-Feb-17 16:15:14

Told ex if he doesn't want DS, I will leave him with my parents whilst I'm at work for two hours.

Now Getting abuse from him and parents, who he had unilaterally arranged to have DS so he could get pissed.

My mum lives down the road, has my DS every day and it is less hassle for her to take him. His parents live an hour away, and I'd have to pack a bag, get him ready, and he'd be gone for longer given how far away they live.

I'm struggling to get this across to ex. He thinks I'm being nasty. It is reasonable isn't it? There has been no mention of him choosing boozing of his baby. Sigh

AgnesNitt1976 Mon 27-Feb-17 16:22:29

If he wants to have his son or leave him with your parents then he needs to arrange transport. Many will say that he has the right to go out and arrange for his parents to have him, in my mind a child comes first rather than a piss up.

Good luck

SomethingBorrowed Mon 27-Feb-17 17:03:50

Him canceling arrangements - Not acceptable
Him using his parents for childcare - Not really your business (as long as you believe DS is safe and well taken care of). My point is, how would you react if you wanted to use your parents for childcare and your ex felt he had a right to oppose.

donners312 Mon 27-Feb-17 17:10:07

I have the same thing - totally infuriating.

Ignore them all - do what suits you and your son and let him take you t court if he wants to have set times to see his son.

you are not stopping contact you just want to stop your son being messed about.

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 27-Feb-17 17:17:30

I think that your wrong to cut his Parents off.

If your Mum has him daily, then what's the issue with his Parents having contact, except that they won't condemn their Son?

Don't punish them, or stop your DS from having a valuable relationship with his Grandparents.

If your Mum has him, he still won't see his Dad, so why not Paternal GPs?

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 27-Feb-17 17:19:21

""Ignore them all - do what suits you and your son ""

Ignore family members that haven't don't the OP any harm?

How does that suit the OPs child?

Willyoujustbequiet Mon 27-Feb-17 17:48:33

Yanbu.

As a pp said the child comes before a piss up. If he cant be arsed to get his priorities right then make arrangements that suit you not him.

octobersunshine Mon 27-Feb-17 19:19:19

It's not that I dont want them to have a relationship with them, and I frequently drive DS over to see them on my days off. They will have my DS a day a week as of next week. My problem is that my ex has him an afternoon a week, and ditches him time and time again when DS gets in the way of a social event. His parents aren't a trade off for building a relationship with him. I spoke to his parents this evening and said they are welcome to have him but he needs picking up and dropping off at X times, and they suggested that I drop him off at theirs. I have very little time to get ready in the morning, let along get a baby ready and out the house, and then take a detour on my way to work. Im suddenly stopping contact but his parents don't question their son giving up DS for a night out.

ToadsforJustice Mon 27-Feb-17 19:23:41

If your ex or his parents want contact with your DS, let them come and pick him up. Not your job to arrange transport.

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