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Why are NR Parents allowed to refuse contact?

(113 Posts)
AmICrazyorWhat2 Wed 26-Feb-20 23:49:34

Bear with me as I have no personal experience of this, but I heard something this week that's been niggling at me and I want to understand the reasoning behind it (if there is any).

A friend told me this week that her ex husband has informed her that he's going abroad for a month (holiday) and obviously won't be able to have his children during this period. Their agreement gives him access EOW. She's annoyed because she'd made plans for those two weekends and will now have to cancel them. She suggested that he arrange a babysitter for at least a few hours, but he's refused.
He also pays no maintenance (no idea how he wriggled out of that).

Anyway, my question is, what's the "legal logic" behind giving the NR parent regular access, but then allowing them to simply not take it and also fail to make alternative arrangements for their children?

I can't understand why one parent is expected to do perhaps 95% of the actual parenting while the other does just a few days every year. How does this make sense? Add in the financial component and it makes even less sense to me!

JuanSheetIsPlenty Wed 26-Feb-20 23:54:39

It comes back to the idea that people who don’t want to be around their children really aren’t good for the children to be around. I realise in your friend’s case this isn’t a parent who doesn’t want to see them, he’s just seeing them when it’s convenient for him, however if you legislate to force him to have them during his court ordered contact then that would also apply to people who really didn’t want to see their DC. Can you think of anything worse for a child than being forced to spend a couple of hours every week/fortnight with someone who has zero interest in them and may even openly tell them this?

JuanSheetIsPlenty Wed 26-Feb-20 23:55:26

Financially your friend needs to apply to the CMS and open a claim for child support.

PumpkinP Thu 27-Feb-20 00:03:15

Well you can’t force someone to have contact that’s why. My ex has been absent for 3 years. He also doesn’t pay any maintenance because he doesn’t work or claim benefits. People need to understand that cms won’t do anything in these circumstances so perhaps she has gone to them but can’t get anything.

WorraLiberty Thu 27-Feb-20 00:04:28

The financial 'component' needs sorting seperately.

Sadly, you can't force a NR to have their children when they'd rather be elsewhere as that's not good for the DC.

JuanSheetIsPlenty Thu 27-Feb-20 00:05:41

Well you can’t force someone to have contact that’s why.

You can’t force parents to have contact. They do force children though.

YesThatsATurdOnTheRug Thu 27-Feb-20 00:07:34

You can't force the resident parent either, in fact.. they could abandon their kids for example. Sounds stupid but the court orders are simply to say when the child is to be made available to the NRP it's not a childcare schedule.

PumpkinP Thu 27-Feb-20 00:08:09

That’s not the question though.

P1nkHeartLovesCake Thu 27-Feb-20 00:09:12

Why would anyone want to force the other parent to see the children?

Children need to spend time with someone that actually wants them, Nothing is going to fuck up a child more than seeing x parent because x parent was forced to see them

Child Maintence however isn’t an opt out.

JuanSheetIsPlenty Thu 27-Feb-20 00:09:24

I know. Just saying they do force the little people to have contact.

OldHarrysGameboy Thu 27-Feb-20 00:09:40

Well you might not be able to force a parent to have contact but in failing to do so you essentially force the other parent to have care of the children. Apparently it doesn't work both ways. 😶

audweb Thu 27-Feb-20 00:11:02

You can’t make people parent. My ex barely sees my daughter and pays no money towards her. What can I do? Even if I took him to court he probably wouldn’t bother having her, and I’m waiting till he finishes uni and earns money properly to claim for maintenance. No ones forcing me either I guess, but unlike him I understand parental responsibility and i love her too much to not look after her properly. I can only assume he doesn’t.

OldHarrysGameboy Thu 27-Feb-20 00:11:30

And it isn't "seeing the children". It's parenting. You know, that thing you do when you're a parent. Except when you don't want to. If you're a man.

PyongyangKipperbang Thu 27-Feb-20 00:14:59

I have this issue with ex "I cant have X on Friday, I have a funeral in London so I will pick her up on Saturday", this actually happened a month or so ago. No discussion, no consideration that I might have agreed to do extra shifts or just have work to the rota. Nothing. Just the assumption that he can dip in and out as suits him and I will bear the brunt. And I fucking did because even though I argued the point, I couldnt force him and he knew that.

Womans work indeed.

Heymacarana Thu 27-Feb-20 00:19:24

Are you 100 percent sure you have all the facts here?

My ex refuses me anywhere near the contact I want with my children (I would have them live here 50/50, and they both want that)

It suits her agenda to only allow me to see them twice a week, and she regularly cancels that if she feels like it.

The impression to the outside world is probably that I am
A deadbeat who doesn’t want to see them.

I went on holiday recently for a week and for my own sanity due to the stress of it. I would have loved to have taken them but wasn’t allowed.

I missed two contact times. I begged for that time to be made up on different days and she refused.

I would avoid passing comment unless you absolutely know you know all the details.

She also refuses the £500 a month I offered to pay for the children’s clothing etc and prefers to have them wear old clothes and accept donations from other mums at the school while telling them all I don’t contribute.

If I buy the kids new things they aren’t allowed to wear them.

All is not always as it seems.

Ps - don’t tell me to go to court. It’s so biased it’s insane and I can’t afford to do it anymore. It’s left me penniless

OldHarrysGameboy Thu 27-Feb-20 00:20:59

Exactly. Can you imagine what the world would look like if women failed to parent whenever it was inconvenient for them to do so?

For most of us, it would be every day we worked, every time we got an invite out, every weekend we got invited away etc.

Would people say then "ah well, it doesn't fit with her plans, it's better for the kids if she doesn't have them"? And give the kids to who, exactly?

My arse is this all about what's best for the children.

JudyCoolibar Thu 27-Feb-20 00:21:57

I get it that you can't physically force anything, and shouldn't want to for someone who isn't interested in looking after their children anyway.

But I wonder whether there's at least some sort of sanction available for the NRPs who are totally unreliable or constantly chop and change, in the shape of a realistic threat that they could have access reduced to the bare minimum? I know that wouldn't be great for the children, but then it isn't great for them always to be wondering whether Daddy's going to let them down yet again, and why he seems to prefer to do virtually anything rather than be with them.

Blackandgreenteas Thu 27-Feb-20 00:27:22

Heymacarana that’s just your situation though, it doesn’t mean everyone or even a significant number of people are the same. Not lacking sympathy for you, just saying it doesn’t mean the OP has her facts wrong.

I agree with the first answer though. Unfair as it seems, you can’t force people to be with their kids.

OldHarrysGameboy Thu 27-Feb-20 00:28:22

@JudyCoolibar actually while I know you can't force anything after years in this game I am fucking tired of the default position being that parenting is an optional extra for men.

I mean, I am absolutely fucking bored of it. Mothers who have sole care of children work their entire lives around those children and that's just seen as standard, but men can dip in and out. When they dip in, they're fucking heroes and why would you want them to do any more anyway, poor darlings. And when they dip out, well, there's no obligation so anything they do is an extra so go them.

OldHarrysGameboy Thu 27-Feb-20 00:30:58

@Blackandgreenteas absolutely you can't to people but maybe we could work on raising the societal contribution expectation bar for fathers a little higher than "ejaculation".

ludothedog Thu 27-Feb-20 00:31:41

Poor kids, it must be awful to have your parents fight about not wanting you. They must feel so unwanted.

OldHarrysGameboy Thu 27-Feb-20 00:32:01

Can't force people, that should read

Fizzlestix Thu 27-Feb-20 00:32:53

For me the issue isn’t that you can’t force people to parent it’s that you can’t force people to pay for their children

Child maintenance is ridiculously low
If NRP is unemployed they ‘can’t afford’ to give any money or more than £5-10
But you can bet it’s going to cost more than that to feed, clothe and keep a roof over that child’s head, never mind heating, school books and trips or anything actually fun.
RP does not have the luxury of deciding they can’t afford to pay this week.

I never fail to be amazed at (some) NRPs lack of sufficient financial contributions and then also feeling put out when EOW clashes with some other plans.
It can sometimes feel like the mandated amount to pay becomes the maximum they’re willing to pay, like it’s a tax to their ex, rather than food and clothes for their child.

(I am not in this situation if I sound bitter! Just see so many friends who are)

You’re right though Judy there’s absolutely no consequences to what they do. Even though being flakey and in and out of your child’s life so much has to do more damage than good, the courts see it as a right to see your child, and as something that’s in the best interest of the child.

OldHarrysGameboy Thu 27-Feb-20 00:33:15

Maybe you could share coping strategies @ludothedog.

Purpleartichoke Thu 27-Feb-20 00:34:17

If the residential parent went abroad without making child care arrangements, that parent would face criminal charges for child neglect.

I don’t believe it should be any different for the non-residential parent. The law is flawed.

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