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Is unreliable contact better than no contact with DS dad?

(16 Posts)
WhatToDoMama Wed 13-Jun-18 18:56:47

My DS's father moved a 3 hour drive away from us 8 months ago. Initially he said he would come and see my DS every third weekend and during the holidays. I wasn't happy about this but begrudgingly accepted as there wasn't much of anything I could do.

However, since he has moved he has not stuck to every third weekend. He does see DS during the holidays (he makes his own dad drive down the collect him), but there have been 6 week stretches between visits. This weekend he was meant to be having DS but said he didn't want to come as he has a friend's birthday party.

He is still going to come and get him on Father's Day (Sunday), but when I said he would have to collect him at 8am as I have my own Father's Day plans he kicked off and spewed a load of vitriol at me. This is a man who is frequently rude and abusive towards me.

I have really tried to have a successful co-parenting relationship with him. I send him photo updates, messages etc. Most of the time he ignores the messages I send or doesn't pick up on Skype and never calls back. Recently I asked if he wanted to buy DS nursery school photo, he replied yes and when I asked for the payment from him I never heard back.

Another example is that he has never visited DS nursery, when I asked him if he wanted to his response was 'I trust your judgment'. He has no input or real interest in our DS whatsoever.

My son is only 3 at the moment so really has no concept of what is going on. I am very fearful of what impact this may have on him in the future. The unreliable contact is awful, not seeming to really want or care about having an involvement in his life and my ex's open hatred towards me concerns me with regards to my son too.

sue51 Wed 13-Jun-18 18:58:46

Do you have court ordered Contact?

WhatToDoMama Wed 13-Jun-18 19:00:47

No we do not have court ordered contact. I also don't collect payment through the CMS, but so far he has been keeping his payments on time. He will not be transparent about his earnings though, whenever I ask he just says 'I will tell you if my earnings change.' hmm

I have been advised to go to CMS and the courts for contact, but I am very limited in terms of finances.

beargryllshasabigrope Wed 13-Jun-18 19:10:49

Watching with interest as my situation is a bit like yours, though my DS is a few years older. I don't have any advice to offer, but I absolutely understand how hard the conundrum is between limited and irregular contact v no contact at all. In my case, DS's dad is a complete piece of shit, which doesn't help.

Orlandobound Wed 13-Jun-18 19:12:34

I would definitely go to the cms he could be earning a lot than he is letting on now he is away.

Contact... The court can't order him to turn up for contact, you just have to make him available so it would more about you doing what you've agreed to his dad wouldn't be forced to change a thing.

Metoodear Wed 13-Jun-18 19:12:56

Nope none at all for me

The last straw when was when my 4 year sat for 4 hours waiting for his dad yet again fell a sleep with his wellies on bless him very damaging

I told ex to fix up or fuck off

I refused to lie and say he was ill or any other horse shit fast forward 18 years he doesn’t see my son texts now and again but pretty much as shit as before he had a brief moment when ds was 14 he thought he would take me to court for custody after having been in jail and anot seen ds for about 6 years at that point he got fucking laughed out of the mediators office I had carefully collated a list of all the days and times when he said he was coming and never showed or came late

Usually these guys don’t pay any money either

The fucking about effected my son hugely

C0untDucku1a Wed 13-Jun-18 19:17:36

The court cant force him to see his son. Just you to have your son available on those days.

Ensure you have all contact agreements and cancellations in writing and keep records.

Do you really have to leave your house at 8am on Sunday? If so, if he doesnt show up at 8am on fathers day leave at ten past.

Never lie for him. But dont be cruel.

WhatToDoMama Wed 13-Jun-18 19:19:22

We do have to leave at 8am on Father's Day as my own dad does the London to Brighton bike ride every year. If we don't leave very early then we are at risk of not seeing him over the finish line, getting a parking spot etc. My DS father is aware that we do this.

I have already told him that if he isn't there at 8am we will be leaving and DS will be coming to Brighton with me.

lardymclardy Wed 13-Jun-18 19:25:02

I would say yes after my own experience as a child (could have gone 2 years without seeing Dad, that was to be sadly expected, but at least DB and I knew who our Dad was).

DD's father was very sporadic in her early years, but has now done every weekend without fail for a year (possibly something to do with him splitting up with cow of an ex).
I just think it's a massive thing to allow contact and believe me children do grow up and CAN make their own decisions re their parents. I understand the annoyance, the heartbreak and the downright hatred towards the other parent, but DD and DS(now 21) are so much better off from having experienced the good, the bad, the unreliable and the downright shitty in my sons case.

Definitely go through the CMS, I get a yearly breakdown of DD's Dads earnings - it's a pittance, but he does HAVE to give 15% of what it is.

mustbemad17 Wed 13-Jun-18 19:25:40

For me no contact is better than as & when he can be bothered contact. It's the mantra i kept to with my DD...the upshot is her sperm donor (sorry, he doesn't deserve the title dad) hasn't seen her in nearly 5.5 years.

The emotional damage that being constantly let down is, for me, something that i wanted to avoid at all costs

SheepyFun Wed 13-Jun-18 19:30:32

A friend's DD, who is only 5, is already showing inappropriate behaviour at school (lashing out at others) because her father says he'll do something then doesn't. Repeatedly. So she'll be waiting for him, but he never turns up. It's been hugely damaging - though he hasn't tried to be in contact for a few weeks now, which has helped. If your DS knows that he should be seeing his father, then that doesn't happen, he will feel that he doesn't matter to his father. And he'll be reminded of it repeatedly. Please try to protect him if you can.

sue51 Wed 13-Jun-18 19:36:44

It costs 20 to set up cms and they have the power to get details of his earnings from HMRC, though there are many complaints about the organisations inefficiency, it might be a good way for you to go. Contact is always considered best but I am not sure if there have been any studies on the effects of continued disappointment when the nrp is a no show. I would start to keep a detailed diary of contact dates he has missed in case he should bring this to court.

nicknamenoname Wed 13-Jun-18 19:37:44

My DCs have had irregular contact with XH for the past 14 years. He's lived overseas during that time and has always prioritised his work and his own life. Never visited the DCs' schools or been particularly interested in their lives. He went off in a hissy fit for a year once when he refused to see either of them. In a separate 3 year period he refused to see one, but did see the other.

Like your ex, he's often rude towards me; so I try as much as possible to only ever communicate by email, which keeps it business-like.

We have been through some really difficult patches.

Despite all this, I would say the DCs have benefitted from having him in their lives. At least they know who he is, although they have worked out for themselves what his faults are! They are genetically 50% him and I feel it is good that they do have at least some kind of link.

The relationship is more like that of an absent uncle though (I can't imagine them ever confiding something important in him, for example.) However, when they finish their phone calls to him they always tell him (unprompted) that they love him, which is interesting.

Metoodear Wed 13-Jun-18 19:40:44

WhatToDoMama Please make sure you email this in writing to him so you have evidence and a paper trail he can say mail got lost or you didn’t tell him he can deny a opened email

ohreallyohreallyoh Wed 13-Jun-18 19:58:02

I have always been of the view that they should dig their own graves. Let the children k ow them as they really are, let them experience the disappointment and upset and ultimately they make their own minds up. If you try and shield children from the truth, you run the risk of dad turning into some kind of fictional hero that you’re standing in the way of.

I personally never put my children into shoes and coats to wait it out. I never say ‘daddy will be here today’. I just make sure they are ready and if he turns up, it’s a kiss and cuddle and coat on before we open the door. If he fails to turn up, no harm done. I always say dad loves you very much, even if he can’t see you today/this week/this month and then shift the topic of conversation.

It has worked for me. Eldest is now 14 and understands everything. He made up his own mind, no influence from me whatsoever. Ex has no one but himself to blame.

Metoodear Wed 13-Jun-18 20:04:43

ohreallyohreallyoh

He used to telll me he was at the end of my road he would say can’t you see me I am waving at you as we spoke on the phone

My ex was a cruel fucker

He sometimes would get me to come to his house with da when he wasn’t even in

I never would of dressed ds ready otherwise

Very painful for everyone

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