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One dc now over 18: shared care(23 Posts)
One DC has turned 18 since the previous lockdown. Another dc is 15 and suffering with a lot of mental health issues for which she has support at school, secondary care etc.
DC who is 18 needs to stay in one place now but DC who is 15 will be spending week on/week off with me and their dad.
They want to stay together but their dad won’t allow them to stay at mine full time. We have been to solicitors about this in the past - he’s basically a nightmare. I don’t think that issue is resolvable.
DH has a job where if he is found flouting the rules he could be fired. We rely on his job.
What do I do?
1. Have children week on/week off and risk DH job but save DC mental health.
2. Stick the rules and keep DH job safe but risk DC mental health.
I would just carry on with the shared care arrangements. Nobody is going to be nitpicking about whether a child is 17 or 18. My partner has an 18 year old and they've just carried on as usual, even during the last lockdown.
I'm confused, what is flouting the rules?
No one is going to be policing an 18 year old going to his dad's, the police are hardly going to stop the car and ask to see their birth certificate.
Oh I see, sorry.
Yes, I don't think anyone will notice.
Agree with the above posters. Both households will be exposed to any virus anyway with the 15 year old moving back and forth.
You have a strong argument re your DCs mental health if it was challenged.
Also your DH’s job shouldn’t be at risk. He doesn’t have parental responsibility and it’s not his decision. Yes he’s aware of it but he also has a duty of care to your 15 year old who is vulnerable and needs the support of their sibling.
The 15 year old is allowed to move between houses, contact with parents doesn't count as mixing households. Nobody will be breaking the rules.
Oh I see, it's because the 18 year old will go too. I still think that's fine. Of course at 15 you could definitely apply to court to discharge the contact order if she doesn't want to go to her dad's but that is probably more trouble than it's worth
So it's not the 18 yo with the mental health problem? I'm confused as to what the issue is, the 15 yo with the mh issues is still able to move between houses.
Does your 15 year old want to carry on with shared care or would they rather be with you full time?
In the meantime the 18 year old just moved with sister.
If DD15 no longer wants shared care just stop it and let him take you to court.... is this partly at the route of her MH issues?
Travel for the purposes of both "care" and "to comply with child contact" are both permissable under the rules.
Your exemption is: the 18 year old is "travelling to provide care" to the 15 year old, who is a "vulnerable person" required to travel herself "to comply with order contact".
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. I will talk to the dc today and see what they think is best and manageable.
Their dad is a nightmare and we have talked to solicitors about managing this but basically the dc don’t want to have to give statements “against” him. So they go along with things. He has always been very angry/controlling and it’s hard for them to deal with.
No judge is going to force a 15 year old into contact. Plus in the current situation a hearing may take a long time.
Presumably the person they would talk to is a Cafcass officer.
Do you not think your DD would be better off for her MH not seeing him? She sounds very vulnerable and perhaps you need to take this decision for her.
IE to stop contact and make him take it to court - as he is abusive to you then you won't need to do mediation?
When is your DD 16?
Thanks - I’ve spent ten years trying to resolve this but he is well respected with a lot of assets for solicitors and the children are scared of him but don’t want to take formal action because they are scared of him. Ive always said I will absolutely fight for them to change contact if they want to do this but they have always changed their mind because he is very insistent/controlling about ‘nothing must change.’
I stayed married to him for twenty years because of his controlling behaviour so I totally understand how hard it is for them.
It is hard but it has to be done and this is the ideal time. 18 year old isnt allowed to go and 15 year old doesnt want to go without them. So that's that. I think you need to be more proactive on their behalves.
You are going to have to face this in the near future anyway unless you plan to leave your 18 year old tied to their younger sibling for the next 3 years.
Do discuss with them about the 18 year old should not move as they are too old for a contact agreement and this is a good reason to initiate changing things.
I do understand that it is fear but this is probably the main cause of her MH issues. Even as an adult at 18 they are expected to abide by his rota??? So they can see no end in sight... when they go to uni, if they marry???
My 15 year old twins have decided they don't want to see their dad so they don't. I sent a polite email telling him their wishes.
No court will force a 15 year old to see him.
When he takes it to court you can self rep. You will get to speak to Cafcass officer as will your youngest and hopefully the 18 year old.
I don't think they will have to list lots of nasty or coercive behaviour against them just that they no longer want to do 50:50 and want the stability of a main home with Mum as that is where they feel better about themselves.
It will likely take months to get to court as it is.
Thank you for your advice but I have already spent a lot of time looking at this and got legal advice. At the end of the day the children are not prepared to say their preferences in court because of his behaviour. And if they aren’t prepared then my own views are irrelevant. I have talked this through with the children extensively and explained how unhealthy it is. But he would see it as WAR and they are not prepared to do it.
Would they feel able to do it over video link?
It's really desperately sad that it is costing them so much
Hugs to you must be absolutely awful for you
He can “WAR” all he likes though. Your 18 year is an adult. They don’t have to go anywhere they don’t want to.
You need to to empower your offspring/ young people to see that no man can force them to do anything.
Are they in danger if they don’t? If so, then that needs reporting.
No, they aren’t in danger other than in repeating my terrible relationship decisions. I have made this message clear to them.
An 18 yo can do whatever he or she wants, just as an abused woman can. But with this sort of coercive control they probably won’t.
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