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To change contact arrangements

(14 Posts)
sailorcherries Mon 25-Mar-19 18:12:23

Just before this begins, there is no legal contact arrangement in place. Nothing is court ordered, nothing has ever gone to court.

Current arrangement as agreed in 2016 (when DS was 5) was that ex had every other weekend, more time during school holidays and could see him an evening during the week.
Since then he has asked to see him once during the week and has never asked for additional days during the holidays.

Until DS was about 6 his paternal grandmother was the main carer during contact.
During contact DS has no room or bed. He had a camp bed that fitted in his grans room. She was diagnosed with breast cancer last August, refuses to discuss is with DS properly and she is getting progressively more unwell as time goes on. He now no longer stays in his grans room but in the same bed as his dad (a queen sized bed with a 13 year old sized aged 8 DS and his dad). Dad still stays with mum.

For the past 6 months DS behaviour has become unbearable. He has never been a naughty child but more and more he is having emotional meltdowns (for lack of a better phrase). This has now climaxed in being physically violent at home (hitting myself, OH and the wall hard enough to put a hole in it). He is aggressive, lashes out, cries and can't articulate why. He has spent all weekend telling me he wants to kill himself.

Today a doctor has referred us to CAMHs for low mood, low self esteem, anxiety and issues surrounding emotional regulation.
He mentioned to the Dr and to his teacher (after we got him in to school, after he assisted myself and OH this morning) that he isn't sleeping well because of the bed sharing arrangement and he worries too much about his gran and doesn't like seeing her that way.

After the Dr appointment I messaged ex and said that, for now, contact would be day time only as the sleeping arrangements aren't working and DS is struggling. I mentioned the CAMHs referral and said that it was until things settled with him. Ex can still see DS more in the holidays and during the week (even though that has never happened).

Ex has now flipped his lid. Claiming that I'm being selfish and all sorts, that nothing is wrong with DS. I am trying to put DS first and genuinely believe that overnight visits EOW are contributing to his unsettled mental state. Aibu to change the arrangement? Or is ex?

sailorcherries Mon 25-Mar-19 18:33:44

That is actually quite long. Apologies.

IvanaPee Mon 25-Mar-19 18:37:14

People might be along to argue with you but I think you’re doing the right thing.

If he wants to change it let him go through the official channels. You will have reports from the teacher, and from CAMHS on your side.

Queenofthestress Mon 25-Mar-19 18:38:38

If contact is not court ordered then you do it anyway. Contact is in the best interest of the child and right now overnights is not in DS's best interests

sailorcherries Mon 25-Mar-19 18:40:00

I'm not intending on stopping contact, he can still see DS during the day (either both days EOW or a day every weekend). Just the overnight portion.

Chickychoccyegg Mon 25-Mar-19 18:40:58

i think you're doing whats right for your ds, what a shame, sounds like he's struggling, hopefully things get better now there's support in place.
your ex is being selfish and only thinking of himself

Leeds2 Mon 25-Mar-19 18:42:22

I think I would do exactly the same as you.

But, do you think stopping the overnights might impact upon DS more? For example, if he feels guilty for not doing something he thinks he should.

Queenofthestress Mon 25-Mar-19 18:42:53

You are so not being unreasonable. I would just respond with 'over night stays are no longer in DS's best interests therefore there will only be day time contact' and repeat over and over

missymayhemsmum Mon 25-Mar-19 18:49:14

Yanbu to change the arrangement, but are things so bad between you and your ex that you can only communicate by text?
Your son is close to his gran. Your ex is presumably close to his mother. Your ex mil is seriously ill. Your son is understandably upset about all this, and the sleeping arrangments aren't ideal.
Could you not have had a proper conversation about how you both support your ds to cope with his grandmother's illness?

sailorcherries Mon 25-Mar-19 18:51:06

Ex refuses to engage in any proper conversation, is a compulsive liar and so on. Texting means there is a trail, proof.

SkinnyPete Mon 25-Mar-19 19:00:16

Tough one this, as I'd be protective too.

However, if a court order was in place, would you have the conviction to take this back to court at serious expense?

It's pretty convenient at the moment that you can just withdraw contact without attempting to reason or support their relationships for your DS. Your reaction is to simply withdraw contact. And because of that, I'm gonna say YABU.

Personally, I think you should be trying to support both sides, because that's co-parenting. I don't mean a few messages here and there. An offer to support conversations/narratives with your DS to help him adjust to ill GM.

It sounds way less than ideal though, and I totally can empathise with where you're at.

SkinnyPete Mon 25-Mar-19 19:01:41

Ex refuses to engage in any proper conversation, is a compulsive liar and so on.

Cross Post. Well, I'd stick to your guns and if court happens, it happens. Tough situation. Good luck.

sailorcherries Mon 25-Mar-19 19:05:01

They tell me nothing about his unwell GM. DS tells me she is unwell and isn't getting better. Since August I've seen her once and she doesn't look well, even given everything, she looked at deaths door. When I've asked, asked if there's anything I can do I'm told no and it's not my place/business.

Again I'm not withdrawing contact completely. He stays Fri-Sun. I'd be taking away the 2 hours on a Friday before bedtime and the Saturday bedtime. He can still see DS 9/10-7/8 on the Saturday and Sunday if he wants, or 9/10-7/8 every Saturday or Sunday. He also has the option of seeing him after school an evening during the week but, in the 169 weeks since we've agreed that he's done it once. He has chosen not to see his son the other 168 weeks.

Ginger1982 Mon 25-Mar-19 19:32:34

Definitely doing the right thing. You're acting in your son's best interests and that is all that matters.

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