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AIBU stopping ex's access to dcs

(32 Posts)
sallowgame Thu 09-Jul-09 00:48:03

My ex has previously been having dcs at weekends.
He has now changed to being self employed and wants to decide access on a week-by-week basis depending on which days are most suitable for him.
This is unworkable for me, in that the dcs need stability and routine (after a horrible year of him being very unreliable and hardly seeing them). They also need to have their extra curricular classes arranged, which he refuses to help out out with and I think (in fact am sure) he would not take them. I would have to give him my important dates in advance (appointments etc) in the hope that he would take this into consideration and could not plan certain things in advance.
I would also have to deal with him to make the arrangements and can imagine the resulting rows when I disagreed with the offered dates.

AIBU to say that he must now go and arrange access formally? I think this ad hoc arrangement would not be approved in court?

dittany Thu 09-Jul-09 00:53:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Thu 09-Jul-09 01:02:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sallowgame Thu 09-Jul-09 01:04:27

Yes, that's right. Although I'd have to stop whilst any new arrangement was agreed and arranged and don't know how long this will take.

I just don't know what to do, this weekend will be affected and he has just sprung it upon me today.

I've given him a list of reasons as to why it is unworkable, but he says he simply can't do the same days every week any longer.
He says it's for their benefit as he'll have more money, but he doesn't contibute a penny and I give him money to make sure he has enough to feed the dcs.

dittany Thu 09-Jul-09 01:24:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sallowgame Thu 09-Jul-09 01:31:46

Well I'd have to stop access until was all formalised or accept the ad hoc arrangement until all was formalised as he won't stick to the previous arrangements. I just don't know what to do for the best really.
I don't know if he has a new girlfriend. He said it is because he is now self employed and needs to be flexible. I really couldn't say.

dittany Thu 09-Jul-09 01:35:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tennisaddict Thu 09-Jul-09 07:20:34

if he won't stick to the previous agreement whilst trying to renegotiate then he is stopping access, not you

stick to your guns

black and white, just like Dittany said

MrsMichaelSchofield Thu 09-Jul-09 07:33:31

It is very possible that he really can't see the DC's on the same days each week - do you really think you should deny him access because of that? When someone is self-employed, they are very frequently not able to stick to rigid hours

Also what ages are the DC's. If very young, I can see that routine is important, but as they get older, there really should be room for flexibility. I think someimes parents shift their anxieties about these things onto being in the childrens' interest to need routine. I'm sure it's more important for them to see him at all, albeit on different days, than to stick to a routine for the sake of it

MrsMichaelSchofield Thu 09-Jul-09 07:35:11

tennis - why does it need to be black and white? The children are human beings, and do not see things in black and white. What are they going to think when they're older - oh, we couldn't see dad because mum wouldn't work with him to be flexible, and it's either black or white hmm. Not sure how that's in the best interests of the children

Longtalljosie Thu 09-Jul-09 08:17:18

I tend to agree with MMS. Lots of people are having to go self-employed now - and work whichever shifts are available. What does he do for a living?

Your children's classes etc are important, and can be set in stone. You can work something out when you say, yes I can be flexible, but you need to understand they have after-school stuff Tuesday and Thursday (say), and that won't be cancelled. If that's your day to see them, you'll have to take them. As far as your appointments etc go, I suggest you keep him informed as far as you possibly can.

Tell him you're prepared to give this arrangement a month, but if he doesn't make the extra effort it will require, you'll start making arrangements for formal access. Remind him that this is for his convenience, so it'll have to be him making the extra effort.

2rebecca Thu 09-Jul-09 10:10:57

My ex has the children half the weekends and it isn't an alternate weekend schedule because of our jobs. Even if you're self employed you should be able to know a couple of weeks in advance what you will be working, I'd argue self employed people have more control over their working hours than someone employed on shifts who just has to take what they are given. If he has agreed to have his kids on a particular day he just declines work on that day.
We don't arrange regular activities for the kids on weekends though as we both feel spending time with parents is more important than activities. Having said that they have things they do on a weekend with me and things with their dad as we're both sporty, but I wouldn't arrange a regular thing that meant my ex couldn't take them away and do what he wanted unless the kids were really keen and he agreed to it. I sometimes take them to things he's arranged on my weekend, again if the kids are keen and he's checked with me before arranging it.
Save the kids classes for weeknights. If he wants the kids during the week then he should agree to take them. I presume you both agreed which classes the kids would go to in the first place.
I think you should have some flexibility, but if being self employed is the real reason for him wanting flexibility he should be able to discuss with you when he has the kids at least a fortnight in advance. If he can't it's not his job that's stopping him it's him.

Katelyn Thu 09-Jul-09 10:17:56

Why would you have to stop whilst new arrangements are made?

Surely IF you can accomdate his requests during this time, then thats better for your children? Obviously, it goes without saying that if you already have plans then it's a no go but surely, if during this time he asks on a friday to see them the next day, and you've no plans - then they can see him, surely?

Otherwise, sounds a little bit like you're cutting your nose of to spite your face.

katiestar Thu 09-Jul-09 10:28:44

It has been pretty tough for many self employed people over the last few months and will be especially difficult for your DH if he is a new business.He may just have to take whatever comes along and that may include work that competitors can't do eg at short notice.
Although its easy to say children should always come first etc etc the reality is that the poor guy has to eat and pay his mortgage/rent.
the important thing here is the kids and that they have a relationaship with their dad.I really can't understand why you need a fortnights notice for him to have them ?

MadameCastafiore Thu 09-Jul-09 10:32:01

Sorry but I disagree - her XH should think of his children and how he is going to fit his new career in with their lives and the arrangements there are for having them.

Why should sallowgame be at his bloody beck and call and be rearranging her life because he has changed careers?

proverbial Thu 09-Jul-09 10:34:49

But the "poor guy" has already been unreliable and barely seen them, refuses to consider their activities etc, and is already sporadically in contact. Are you really suggesting that the OP an her children cater to every whim of his, ignoring their own needs because he has chosen to become self employed?

How do you explain that to the children? "You might see Dad this week, if he can manage it, at some point of his choosing, completely irregardless of whether anyone else has plans"?

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 09-Jul-09 10:40:59

Message withdrawn

Momdeguerre Thu 09-Jul-09 10:41:27

I think you should seek a legal arrangement. If you can't agree then it might be easiest to let a court set rules for access, however, am sure that this will mean both of you might have to compromise since both of your situations will be taken into consideration.

How long have you been split? I assume that you have not made formal arrangements till now because things were amicable?

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 09-Jul-09 10:42:39

Message withdrawn

123andaway Thu 09-Jul-09 10:49:37

I have an ex like this, although he does work a shift pattern (which I also have worked in the past) so I do have some symathy for his need for ad hoc visits.

TBH I would rather he saw the DC's ad hoc than not at all. I believe having contact with their dad is really important for them, and they would see an awful lot less of him if I didn't let him see them as and when.

That said if we have plans and he calls/turns up and it is not convinient then I tell him so and he doesn't get to see them.

I would prefer a formalised arrangement, but am fortunately in the posititon that I am able to be flexible with him.

Momdeguerre Thu 09-Jul-09 10:51:04

True and agree with your point about CSA but very hard to see which might be better for her DCs - ad hoc access if/when he can find the time or a formal agreement which he is unlikely to stick to but that at least might give her a leg to stand on should a similar situation arise around access in the future?

Either way it sounds like he has been unreliable and it must be very hard.

sallowgame Thu 09-Jul-09 10:51:29

He won't take them to their classes, it's not even up for discussion with him - he doesn't see this type of thing as important. Their ages are 10,7 and 2 and a 9 month baby (who stays with me).
I don't mind being flexible in terms of changing a day (with plenty of notice) on occasion.
However, the thought of submitting all my important dates to him in the hope he will consider them when he tells me he'll have the dcs feels abhorrent to me. It is all quite mundane, but our split was horrible and peppered with betrayals I'd like as few personal dealings with him as possible. I am perfectly civil for the dcs sake but could not manage these weekly "negotiations" (I say negotiations, but I wouldn't be given a choice.
I need notice and stability, because I have weekly plans which will need to be frequently missed, the children have classes which will frequently be missed.
The classes are currently on weekday nights. They are important to the dcs as is stability as EX didn't see them for nearly a whole year last year as he was caught up with a girlfriend and woman he had one of the affairs with (same woman).
I feel I cannot even agree to his arrangement temporarily while this is all done (could take months). I've been more than generous and accommodating with access.
I too work from home, but I do not ask ex for help or flexibility because I would not get it, quite frankly.
Thanks dittany I have drafted a letter for him.

sallowgame Thu 09-Jul-09 10:59:35

CSA - Well when I said I don't get money from him wasn't strictly true. They are involved and I get £5.00 a week from them for him.
This is because he is on job seekers allowance, his business is (very) new and he can (apparently) still get this if he works less than 16 hours hmm per week and isn't making any/ a lot of money. Sorry, I don't exactly know how that all works.

So you see, if I didn't give him money to feed and maintain the children he wouldn't be able to take them at all because he has none himself. The £5.00 pays for nothing and is given back to him along with the rest of the money I give him every week.

RumourOfAHurricane Thu 09-Jul-09 11:10:14

Message withdrawn

sallowgame Thu 09-Jul-09 11:17:34

He's having them at weekends (every) at the moment. This arrangement has been in place for approx four months, a couple of blips his end but otherwise we had got into a routine.
This is actually slightly flexible, as sometimes he will have them Friday/Saturday, Saturday/Sunday or similar.

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