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How long should a 3 year old be away from him mummy?

(98 Posts)
Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 07:52:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coyoacan Tue 23-Apr-19 08:11:12

Three days a week with a loving father won't do him any harm.

noworklifebalance Tue 23-Apr-19 08:12:44

I was away from my parents for 18months at that age. I was fine as I was with people who loved me.

LagunaBubbles Tue 23-Apr-19 08:12:46

What is best for your son is to send time with both parents.

CurbsideProphet Tue 23-Apr-19 08:14:43

Was the first reply supposed to be ironic?

How interesting that he is able to give up a day of work now that you aren't together. It all sounds a bit like he's trying to get at you, not spend time with his son.

Bunnybigears Tue 23-Apr-19 08:15:27

At 3 (presumably not still breastfeeding) it doesn't matter who the loving parent is they are with. I would be thankful he has another parent who wants to spend time with them and is willing to give up work to do so.

MrsBertBibby Tue 23-Apr-19 08:16:27

Divorce makes a lot of men step up to the parenting plate. Sad, but true.

Sirzy Tue 23-Apr-19 08:18:02

Some children don’t even have a mother.

What is important is he is being cared for by someone who loves and cares for him and can meet his needs. A regular 3 days with one parent and 4 with another shouldn’t be an issue for the child at all - infact it could be very beneficial.

Don’t get your wants mixed up wigan what is best for him

UCOinanOCG Tue 23-Apr-19 08:19:54

It is possible he wants more as he realises what an arse he has been and really want the time with his DS. It is also possible he wants more to make sure you get less time with him. Whatever the reasons, if he looks after your DS well and DS enjoys the time with him then this is what will be right for your child. I think it seems like a reasonable amount of time for a 3yo to have with his DF.

user1480880826 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:21:38

Why didn’t he give up a day of work to spend time with his son while you were together? Why is he now so desperate to do the things he refused to do before? This sounds like a control thing. I would push back if I were you.

@noworklifebalance 18 months away from your parents at the age of 3? I can’t remember how I felt about anything at the age of three so I suspect you don’t really remember the bits where you missed your parents. I would think it would be pretty odd for a 3 year old to be totally ok to be taken from their parents at such a young age, regardless of how much the people you were with loved you.

Nanny0gg Tue 23-Apr-19 08:23:23

A fairly usual way is one night in the week and eow.

HotSpotSpot Tue 23-Apr-19 08:27:10

I think three nights with his Dad and four nights with his Mum sounds good. The best thing for your son is if you and your ex can try and get on with coparenting your child. Three nights without your child might be hard for you though.
Do you work? Might the three days work well for you for childcare costs?

noworklifebalance Tue 23-Apr-19 08:28:27

user - I really was ok. My parents & I lived with my grandfather & aunt and so when I had to be left with them I was fine. I absolutely doted on them & vice versa. It was a war situation, so it was more complicated. It was, without doubt, hard for my parents.

NabooThatsWho Tue 23-Apr-19 08:29:16

Is he just wanting to pay you less maintenance?

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 23-Apr-19 08:29:18

Do you worry he won’t give your son the attention he needs when with him or just that he’s taking one or your days?

noworklifebalance Tue 23-Apr-19 08:29:27

Meant to add that it left no immediate or long term psychological effects on me but my parents were not to know that at the time.

SnuggyBuggy Tue 23-Apr-19 08:30:58

Morally it should depend on the child's relationship to the other party but obviously current thinking is contact with dad is always positive regardless of the dad's character or child's feelings.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:31:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CostanzaG Tue 23-Apr-19 08:31:47

I would have thought as close to a 50/50 split would be best - providing both parents and loving/caring etc.

noworklifebalance Tue 23-Apr-19 08:35:43

Anyway, I don't want to derail the thread. My point was, as long as he is good, loving father and the child enjoys the time then an extra day with him away from the mother won't harm him.

mushroomsandtoadstools Tue 23-Apr-19 08:35:55

Equally, how long should a 3 year old be away from his Daddy?

YABU. What’s best for your son is to spend as equal a time as possible with both parents; three days is perfectly reasonable.

As long as your sons father is not abusive to him, it is irrelevant whether you trust him or think he’s lazy or even how much you used to parent when you were together.

Jimjamjong Tue 23-Apr-19 08:38:42

If he has never shown any interest, I would think it strange too. As someone said, is it to pay less/no maintenance? If he drops a day from work and has his son one more day then it's likely he will have to pay less. He doesn't seem like a doting father.

Jimjamjong Tue 23-Apr-19 08:39:49

The anger issues alone would worry me, you need patience to deal with a 3 years old. You should get legal advice.

SandyY2K Tue 23-Apr-19 08:39:53

The drug taking would concern me, but what is he like now?

Does he acknowledge he had issues and treated you badly?

HBStowe Tue 23-Apr-19 08:43:53

Normally I would say that three days with their father would be fine for a child, but I absolutely understand your concern here. I don’t think it has anything to do with how long a three yo should be away from their mother - there’s no hard rule, some kids don’t have mothers at all, etc - but it’s very important that your ex was mentally abusive to you and has anger issues. For that reason I would push back against his request for more days until he has exhibited a prolonged stretch of improved behaviour in which he controls his temper. In future he can perhaps have more days once he has proved himself.

cakecakecheese Tue 23-Apr-19 08:45:56

How has he been getting on when he's had your son so far? I know it's hard to tell as you're not there but does he come back happy, clean etc? I can see why you'd have reservations based on his previous behaviour but if he does seem to have stepped up maybe you could allow it, but say it's on a trial basis depending on how your son adapts to the new set up.

Bittern11 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:48:13

Have any of the posters blithely saying 'Oh, it's fine for him to spend 3 days a week with a loving father' actually RTFT??

This man sounds very far from a loving father.

OP, I understand your concern.

Has he really changed?? All the anger issues would worry me, as well as the drug taking. Plus he sounds like a useless, lazy, unengaged parent before.

Does he really want to see his dc or does he want to control/hurt you?

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:49:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dippypippy1980 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:50:36

I did 50-50 custody for years. Worked okay then failed spectacularly!!

So, from my perspective only, children need a single home - my 7 year old now refers to our house as home becasue she spends the majority of her time here. Before it was mummy’s house and daddy’s house. Now it’s my house.

She is much more settled, even he school has commented.

She knows she will see her dad every weekend, and occassionally during the week, but the knows she will wake up in her own bed every school morning.

I regret doing the 50-50 access. While I really beleive her dad should be a big part of her life, I think it wouldn’t have been better for her to have one solid base.

Might not be the same for others. For info I went from 50-50 to her staying at her dads one night a week.

UCOinanOCG Tue 23-Apr-19 08:51:22

One fair OP didn't drop the stoned and verbally abusive bit in until a later post. Were we supposed to guess what was going on? I am many things but a mind reader I am not.

UCOinanOCG Tue 23-Apr-19 08:52:06

Should check my messages before sending. That should say.. To be fair the..

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:54:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:55:09

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Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 08:55:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bittern11 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:00:11

Well, op said she was divorcing her H for unreasonable behaviour. She also said: when we were together my H hasn’t really been that fussed doing anything with DS, I used to have to beg him to read a bedtime story. His usual response was I’ve been at work and I’m tried you’ve done nothing all day so you do it. I’ve done every bedtime, bathtime etc whilst he has sat on the couch.

Didn't sound like Dad of the Year right from the OP.

What do you mean, won't pay maintenance, OP? Contact CMS.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:00:14

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Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:02:07

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Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:06:04

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Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:10:33

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Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:11:36

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TheSandgroper Tue 23-Apr-19 09:18:51

A good friend went through much of this during her divorce from Useless Fuckwit. She had the court order (in Aus) that he had to provide a clear hair sample before he could have the DC.. OP, he shaved his head. It took more than six months before he could have his children on his own without supervision.

Would such an arrangement help you?

snowbear66 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:19:42

I think you have to put things on a legal footing as the decisions you take now will affect the next 10-15 years.
You have ended up with nothing out of this marriage, he has the family home and pays no maintenance. Go through the CMS. Make him go to court to get more acces, see if he can really be bothered.

Yabbers Tue 23-Apr-19 09:21:35

He was a lazy father as he was stoned all the time he was home, we fought and fought over it but he wouldn’t stop. He also has anger issues and has asked now for anger management (only taken 11 years and a divorce to go) for the previous 11 years he spent using me as a mental punchbag. He shouts at strangers in the street, in the car, has lost jobs, had a fellow employee up against the wall by the throat.

That’s a rather different question to be asking than “how long with dad” If this is all the case, surely your question shouldn’t be about how long, but whether it’s appropriate for him to be with his dad unsupervised. Strange you wouldn’t lead with this drip fed information.

albayalby Tue 23-Apr-19 09:21:48

Penelope Leach wrote an article in the guardian a few years ago saying that children under the age of 5 do not benefit from any nights away from main care giver. It is worth googling it if you wanted to use that to justify your dc not spending any overnights.
I would be worried about my dc spending any overnights with the man you have described.
Would it be possible to persuade ex to spend time with his son for three days during the day only, so you still have him for overnights - you could say you are doing all the boring bits?
It sounds awful for you I am so sorry. Someone I know stayed with their dh so that they didn't have to put their dc through being alone with the dh - if you wanted to consider that, they managed it by removing themselves and dc if there was shouting, staying away from home on other pretexts to get breaks as much as possible, getting someone else involved to get the dh to stop the shouting. Her dh had no interest in the dc while the woman stayed with him, so it was fairly easy to keep their dc in a bubble away from the dh (as soon as she talked about leaving he suddenly wanted to be the doting father). It was very tough though.

Smumzo Tue 23-Apr-19 09:25:15

I wouldn't go straight in for 3 days/4 days. If he's as flaky as you say and you arrange work around DS being with DH on that weekday and suddenly he decides it's too much you'll be completely stuffed for childcare. If he's not physically taking care of DS then it's a no. EOW and tea once a week. See how it goes. Then later you can change it. But at least file with With CMS and see if anything gets coughed up.

Natsku Tue 23-Apr-19 09:26:08

Young children shouldn't be away from their primary carer too much, that bond is very very important and attachment issues can happen if there's too much separation so young (with older children 50/50 can work well though). If the dad had been very involved before the split then more time should be alright but as he wasn't then it's not in the child's best interests.

noworklifebalance Tue 23-Apr-19 09:29:03

Have any of the posters blithely saying 'Oh, it's fine for him to spend 3 days a week with a loving father' actually RTFT??

Yes, I have - it's not for us as a bunch of strangers to decide whether he is or not.
The question was how long is it ok for a 3 year old to be away from his mummy - question answered.
How long should HER 3 year old be away from her with her ex partner - well, she needs to answer that with all the info she knows about her ex partner. Maybe even 1 day with him unsupervised is too long? Maybe he has genuinely changed?
I know OP has subsequently posted but I haven't read those so may be more subsequent info.

Noonooyou Tue 23-Apr-19 09:33:19

Massive drip feed op!
That massively changes things.

A 3 year old is able to spend an equal amount of time with both mum and dad, most of the time.
Individual circumstances change this. Like a parent who smokes weed all the time. Why do posters only add in important information once the thread isn't going their way?!

Fundays12 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:34:30

I would say 3 days is fair although it maybe better if one of the days was during the week so it’s not to long for him. Have you thought about offering a compromise such as he can pick him up after nursery on a wed keep him for dinner or overnight then drop him off at nursery?

Oly4 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:46:07

Don’t respond to these demands. Seek legal advice and do it through a solicitor. Set out your concerns about the anger and drug-taking. Don’t be scared of this man

Tinkoschminko Tue 23-Apr-19 09:46:47

This would worry me. I think you need to seek legal advice if he’s an angry, unpredictable addict.

tanpestryfirescreen Tue 23-Apr-19 09:48:20

A fairly usual way is one night in the week and eow.

Why is that fair? 50% each is fair.

woodcutbirds Tue 23-Apr-19 09:49:34

Provided his dad is genuinely keen and not doing this as some sort of power play with you, then I'd go for it. The more time he spends with his son, the stronger their bond will be. He may become a better father and appreciate the challenges of 24/7 childcare.
Long term, the best outcome for your child is to have two loving parents who want him around and get on with each other in a mature and civilised way, keeping his best interests at heart. I'd go and meet your ex for a coffee and discuss it properly, giving him a lot of respect for his desrie to increase contact. See how it goes. Long term, this could be the best outcome as it will allow you to earn a living more easily too.

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 23-Apr-19 09:51:43

From what you’ve said now I’d say supervised contact only. He isn’t caring for your ds at all. He doesn’t have the skills. The latter posts are highly relevant.

GabsAlot Tue 23-Apr-19 09:54:50

sounds like a deadbeat-and doesnt want to pay mainteneance so thinks having him half the time will solve that

tell him to go to court then he can tell the nice judge about his smoking and and anger

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 09:56:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lovemusic33 Tue 23-Apr-19 10:02:21

It’s easy for people to judge but we don’t know him or you.

I’m all for fathers seeing their children 50/50 if it’s doable. My dc’s only see their father for a few hours a week despite me asking him to see them more, he is incapable of looking after them, my youngest is disabled and he refuses to do any personal care because she’s a female (now 13), he won’t even brush her hair for her or clean her face.

I think what he is asking is reasonable and I think all you can do is give it a go, if there’s any signs of him neglecting his son, taking dope or not being a good father then you can raise concerns with him. Sometimes fathers do step up once separated, they realise how important it is to have a relationship with their child.

Springwalk Tue 23-Apr-19 10:07:59

I was all for agreeing to as much contact as possible, until I read your update. In the circumstances you have described I would be quite certain to continue with the limited contact at least until the anger management courses have finished, and he has ceased to behave irrationally.
I would struggle to leave my child with someone like this at all, and would request supervised contact. If you trust him enough not to lose his temper/take drugs with your son, then a moderate amount of time is surely safer.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 10:55:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roomba Tue 23-Apr-19 11:14:03

I'm all for fathers taking equal responsibility for their children - too many think that seeing the every other weekend makes them father of the year. That said, some children I've known haven't coped very well with 50/50 arrangements, particularly younger ones. So you have to judge by what is best for each child, imo. Not what is best for each parent, as heartbreaking as it can feel at times.

DS1 would have been fine spending 3 nights a week with his father at that age (and did so when we split, DS1 was 7 by then though). DS2 was upset by the thought of being away from me overnight (he was 18m when my ex finally moved out). So he'd visit when DS1 did, but would come home to me at night. At the time it worked for me as I missed them both dreadfully, but it also didn't work for me as DS2 was an awful sleeper so my ex completely escaped having to deal with any of that which wasn't fair to me! DS2 did one overnight a week from age 2.5 and now does 2 or 3, same as his brother, depending on the week. We also arrange it so that each has one night a week with just me and one with just their dad, as otherwise neither would get one to one time with either of us. We changed it to this way as our children suggested it, it works well for everyone but wouldn't work for other families I imagine.

See how it goes is all I can advise. Everyone told me my ex would get bored with 'playing dad' as he did little with them when we were together. But he has surprised me tbh (I don't say that lightly as I despise him!) and our kids seem happy and well adjusted.

stucknoue Tue 23-Apr-19 11:32:17

Three nights is reasonable as long as your son is happy

cakecakecheese Tue 23-Apr-19 11:45:12

The house is a dump. Our little boy comes back to me looking like a homeless child. I have to remind H to brush his teeth. I think the 40 years of smoking week has made him lazy. These are things I’m hoping he will learn and quickly

Well in that case tell him you won't increase his stays until this stuff improves but I agree with other posters that you should get legal advice, your ex should be paying for his child and shouldn't be having him overnight if he can't look after him properly.

DaffodilsAndDandelions Tue 23-Apr-19 12:16:19

My stepson stays with us Wednesday after school until Saturday teatime. He is 5. This has been a much better arrangement than him coming Wednesday night and going back Thursday morning then coming again Friday night and going back Saturday teatime. He is much more settled just splitting the week in half rather than chopping and changing so that is something to consider rather than the number of nights is the number of changes per week.

albayalby Tue 23-Apr-19 12:32:11

@rainbow03 So basically what I can gather is, if there were no concerns then 3 days, even 50/50 would have no negative implications on our son, it would be beneficial No afaik that isn't the advice you would get from a child psychologist. Spending quality time is important, no need for overnight stays if you are not there until dc is older.

As there are concerns then I am right to be hesitant and am within my legal rights to act accordingly you don't have legal rights, the child has rights and if disputed a court decides, and the outcome may or may not be what psychologists would recommend. If you can negotiate and persuade your dh that would be good but you need to get some legal advice to understand the situation better, not rely on what is said on here.

I think you have to accept that the chances are your child may well not ever get a similar father to the one you had and come to terms with that. That there is a possibility that your dh will change and mature for the better, some time in the future, but there is a very distinct possibility that your dh could get worse.

Would your dh accept contact with you around while he is struggling to look after your dc (as he is now)?

BarbarianMum Tue 23-Apr-19 12:46:36

If you wanted "the best" dad for your child then you shouldn't have had a baby with a lazy, pot aggressive drug user. This is the father your child actually has. I suggest you give your head a wobble and concentrate your efforts on protecting your son from him. Starting with no contact except under court-ordered supervision.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 12:59:10

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Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 13:03:13

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BarbarianMum Tue 23-Apr-19 15:48:53

You are neither pathetic nor weak. Your ex hasn't been right about anything in years, why would he be right about you?

You were strong enough to leave. You love your son. You can protect him from his father if you stop worrying about being "fair" or "nice" to his dad, or trying to make him "the best dad" when he clearly isn't.

A good mum is enough.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 16:36:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rosiejaune Tue 23-Apr-19 18:04:47

He is abusive, and anger management sessions are not suitable for abusive people. He needs a perpetrator's course instead.

And you need to protect your son from him, which includes seeking advice.

YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 18:10:57

My 3 almost 4 year old has 1 overnight a fortnight with her dad, and then sees him 3 hours one night a week for tea. This is what the court ordered.

Although I do know a 3 year old who goes to her dads 4 overnights a fortnight, so it's whatevers best for the child,

YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 18:11:35

Should add my ExH was violent and abusive and still tries to manipulate me.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 18:20:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 18:23:30

How did you come to these decisions, was it through mediation.

Due to the abuse from my ExH mediation was deemed inappropriate and it went to court.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 18:39:54

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YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 18:43:27

My Solicitor told me Mediation wouldn't be suitable, but the mediators can also decide that. The initial meeting is done with just you, no ex-partner he has his own separate one.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 18:51:13

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YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 18:57:51

He can't drag it out. Tomorrow is our final hearing of 3. It's only lasted so long as our DD has SN.

I had a solicitor who did all the speaking for me all I had to do was confirm my name and confirm DDs name and DOB.

Erythronium Tue 23-Apr-19 18:59:59

Supervised contact only. You need to stand up to him and protect your son.

If he threatens you again or harasses you, call the police.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 19:03:37

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Surfskatefamily Tue 23-Apr-19 19:05:26

I actually think that its better to have a stable base home than being passed around so much. Personally. Id go for 1 day overnight in week plus EOWeekend.

Its not in the childs best interest 50/50 split. This is coming from me whos folks got divorced when i was 3.

I felt comfortable that mums place was home....and also that if i didnt want to go with dad i didnt have to. In the same breath, there were times i wanted to go round to dads for dinner more and thay was always ok.

YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 19:06:40

My Ex threatened the same, the courts can stop him making malicious applications to them.

I know it's scary, but it will get better. I remember being terrified of going to court, I honestly think it was the best solution for us now and we've got an arrangement that works for DD which neither of us can argue about or change.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 19:19:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 19:22:32

Yes they will!

I was allowed to produce evidence for the hearing tomorrow of his continued manipulation of me, it all counts!

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 19:27:15

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YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 19:31:14

1st hearing was a primarily hearing to decide what was happening.

The 2nd hearing should of been the final but because of DDs SN we had to "try out" the contact agreed first to ensure it suits her.

The 3rd (and hopefully) final hearing tomorrow is to confirm if the contact is working and if any changes need to be made.

ExH originally took me to court for full custody/residency without visitation for me, and was laughed out of court. He agreed to everything I offered, no fight whatsoever, which surprised me.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 20:10:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GabsAlot Tue 23-Apr-19 20:20:11

thats it op theyre ful of it for the partners and then cower in front of anyone else

but if he doesnt they'll laugh him out of court

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 20:40:46

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YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 21:45:27

He might be manipulating you, or trying to. But if you're worried when it goes to court you can ask for a mental health assessment.

SteelRiver Tue 23-Apr-19 21:49:35

I'm probably being cynical, but my first thought was that he might be trying to get out of paying child maintenance, or to reduce the payments as much as possible.

Rainbow03 Tue 23-Apr-19 22:04:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 22:14:35

My ex tried to do the same, I froze the bank account. He seems to think when we eventually get divorced it'll be his, but it was earned while we were together so technically it's both of ours, and I'll probably get 3/4 of it due to the debts he left me with and the fact I have our DD 13 days out of 14 (and actually see her every day as I get her up and drop her to his, then pick her up and put her to bed even on his weekend)

YouWinAgain Tue 23-Apr-19 22:15:02

*on his weekend i get her up Saturday and put her to bed Sunday

nauseous5000 Tue 23-Apr-19 22:16:18

Look, my ex sounds a lot like yours, but since DD has been 3 he's had her for 8 days at a time (22 daus over summer) He's committed to being a good (Disney) dad when she's with him. He's gone from a FFSdad, to "I won't pay but she'll be spoilt rotten and see other fam with me."

Try to chill about DS having extended time with him, but ask for FaceTime/ Skype: you and DS might not get much out of it, but you'll get comfort from seeing him alive etc. It's effing shit, but it's better than being in this position per brex

Coyoacan Wed 24-Apr-19 02:20:55

Oh dear, OP. Have you collected any evidence about his behaviour when he is angry and his drug taking?

If you haven't you need to start doing what you can to collect it. He sounds a lot like my ex-SIL, except that dd wasn't married to him and hadn't put him on the birth cert, fortunately enough. He was always a loving father, but his drug-taking and his rage when angry eventually made him too dangerous to allow near their daughter. She misses him but it is just too dangerous.

Tavannach Wed 24-Apr-19 02:35:14

Don’t respond to these demands. Seek legal advice and do it through a solicitor. Set out your concerns about the anger and drug-taking. Don’t be scared of this man

°This.
Get legal advice asap.
You need to stop him emptying the joint accounts asap, too.

albayalby Wed 24-Apr-19 11:40:45

my very existence sets him off
It isn't you, it is him. The important thing is to do you best to ensure that he doesn't behave in the same way to your ds.

@youwinagain it sounds as though you are ok with what was decided, but I find it shocking that your ex was violent and yet has your dc unsupervised at all.

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