Bubbling rules - ex husband reporting me to police

(143 Posts)
MenopausalMrs Fri 13-Nov-20 08:50:09

DP and I have been in a long distance (100 miles) relationship for almost 2 years. He is single parent to 1 DC (6), I am single parent to 2 DC (14, 10).

In previous lockdown we didn’t see each other for 4 months - DP was shielding because he has underlying health issues. When bubbles were introduced I bubbled with my Mum who lives nearby.

In lockdown 2.0 my mum has bubbled with my sister because she provides childcare for her so I have bubbled with my DP.

We only see each other every 3 weeks anyway due to childcare arrangements. Both live in areas in Tier 1 before lockdown 2.0.

My Ex husband has today found out my DP is here this weekend and has gone mental. He is a police officer and has told me he has to report me for breaking the rules, but I don’t think we have.

My interpretation is that I can bubble with whoever I like but once in the bubble I can’t change who I bubble with. Both DP and I can bubble with someone other than the other parent of our children. The government recommends bubbling with someone who lives nearby but there is no law to say you can’t travel to see who you bubble with.

Ex says I have to bubble with my mum, that bubbles are to provide childcare support and that they are not for socialising. He believes that because my partner has bubbled with me that he can’t see his DC - he said “I don’t believe that any parent would choose his girlfriend and her kids over seeing his own child for four weeks.”

He has told me I’m putting my children in danger and that he is going to apply for full custody of the children because I have put them at significant risk by breaking the rules. Both DP and I work from home and only go out to get our click and collect shopping/take kids to school.

His final text to me last night was - “So as to give you advance notice, I am making plans for the children to stay with me as primary carer. I am not convinced your interpretation of the rules are correct. You do not limit contact with them and others as required by statute. You give me no confidence that our children are your primary concern. This means the children will reluctantly return to you on Sunday but not for much longer.”

He says he has no choice other than to report me to the police because he is a police officer and I have put him in a bad place professionally.

Have I got it wrong? I honestly believe I am following the rules.

OP’s posts: |
Autumnblooms Fri 13-Nov-20 08:53:13

He sounds like a dick, you can bubble with another household if that person lives by themselves- no matter who it is or how far away they live.

Let him do it, his gonna look like such a idiot grin

Partey Fri 13-Nov-20 08:56:52

With that last text I’m afraid I would seek legal advice. It’s a threat not to return the children. Is there a court order in place?

I’m not a legal expert but did have a prohibited steps order granted against my ex for similar threats(albeit a while ago).

A very quick google brought me to gov advice which states “ A support bubble is where a single adult living alone, or a single parent with children under 18, can form an exclusive network with one other household where social distancing does not have to be observed.

The 2 households that form a support bubble count as one household for the purposes of this guidance.”

Zero about childcare in that. He’s a fucking controlling bully is my conclusion

Onedropbeat Fri 13-Nov-20 08:57:30

Wow
He seems a bit unhinged

You are acting witching the rules as to how I interpret them

TreaterAnita Fri 13-Nov-20 08:57:33

You’ve probably already seen this OP, but this is the government guidance.

www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household#who-can-make-a-support-bubble

The only issue you may have is if you were in a bubble with your mum after 14 Sep and then swapped as that’s not allowed, but that’s such a minor breach of the regulations that it’s highly unlikely anyone would give a shit let alone take your children away. Your ex is a dick.

TreaterAnita Fri 13-Nov-20 08:59:21

I also agree with Partey that you should be saving his messages and seeking legal advice if you can in case this is not just bluster from him.

Fenellapitstop Fri 13-Nov-20 09:02:34

He's wrong, your interpretation is correct. I would report his threats to his work and get in touch with rightsofwomen.org.uk for advice on setting up a child arrangements and prohibited steps order. Good luck

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SufferingFromLongLockdown Fri 13-Nov-20 09:03:12

Yes I agree. Though it's worrying enough he's a copper who has chosen to misunderstand the law, this is stepping into emotional abuse territory and threats to withhold your children.
Please seek legal advice. flowers

MenopausalMrs Fri 13-Nov-20 09:03:24

TreaterAnita

You’ve probably already seen this OP, but this is the government guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household#who-can-make-a-support-bubble

The only issue you may have is if you were in a bubble with your mum after 14 Sep and then swapped as that’s not allowed, but that’s such a minor breach of the regulations that it’s highly unlikely anyone would give a shit let alone take your children away. Your ex is a dick.


We are in Tier 1 and prior to lockdown I did see my mum once a week when she would come for Sunday dinner. But I don't think that was a bubble because meeting in groups of 6 was allowed.

OP’s posts: |
NothingIsWrong Fri 13-Nov-20 09:05:24

At 14 and 10 your children would also very much have a say in where they lived. Do you think they would want to live with their Dad?

He sounds like a right idiot though

QuentinWinters Fri 13-Nov-20 09:05:42

I'd suggest you get in contact with the professional standards at his work and discuss with them how they feel about him using his position as a police officer to bully and intimidate his ex wife.
What a dick.
You are doing nothing wrong, he doesn't get to choose your bubble.

Hayeahnobut Fri 13-Nov-20 09:06:12

Treater is correct, you can have a support bubble but it has to be the same one you had in September. Which is ridiculous as people's circumstances change.

If the police do contact you I'd be completely honest. I'd also be putting in a complaint about his abuse of power. He's not reporting out of concern, he's doing it to show that he can use his position to control you.

MenopausalMrs Fri 13-Nov-20 09:08:24

NothingIsWrong

At 14 and 10 your children would also very much have a say in where they lived. Do you think they would want to live with their Dad?

He sounds like a right idiot though



They hate going for the weekend and definitely would not want to live with him full time.

OP’s posts: |
TreaterAnita Fri 13-Nov-20 09:08:31

Sorry, overlooked that you were Tier 1. In that case I think you’re absolutely fine. You can enter into a new bubble after 14 Sep, just not change an existing one.

DonLewis Fri 13-Nov-20 09:09:35

Well, consider g he works with rules and regulations all day, he's shut at interpreting them, isn't he?

And he's a bully to boot. Ignore. Continue as you are. The kids are old enough to choose who they live with.

Out of interest are his shifts so flexible that the 10yo won't need any additional childcare?

islockdownoveryet Fri 13-Nov-20 09:09:43

It concerns me most that's he's in the police and he is not correct of the law and rules .
Also yeah he's a dick I don't think you've done anything wrong .

DonLewis Fri 13-Nov-20 09:10:12

For. Fucks. Sake. Angry typing = Terrible typing.

FrancesFlute Fri 13-Nov-20 09:11:00

Wow. He sounds unhinged. He is trying to intimidate you. Is he jealous?
Please seek advice and keep the messages.
I don't think you've done anything wrong.

Quartz2208 Fri 13-Nov-20 09:11:36

Your children at 10 and 14 and hate going to their dads - maybe see this as a chance actually to shake up how often they go and let them decide

MenopausalMrs Fri 13-Nov-20 09:12:20

TreaterAnita

Sorry, overlooked that you were Tier 1. In that case I think you’re absolutely fine. You can enter into a new bubble after 14 Sep, just not change an existing one.



This was my understanding... both DP and I are conformists and we have taken COVID restrictions seriously because of his health issues. We studied the rules and felt we were doing nothing wrong.

Good to hear that people agree with us!!

Ex husband has form for being controlling... he has made the last few years hell and despite having a new girlfriend doesn't seem to want to stop anytime soon sad

OP’s posts: |
Topseyt Fri 13-Nov-20 09:13:02

He is being an arse. There is nothing in the legislation about bubbles being solely for childcare purposes. They are simply for "support" of whatever type that may be. He should know that if he is a policeman tasked with upholding this rather silly law.

Tell him that you are taking legal advice and will not be bullied by him and his fictitious version of the rules. Send him a link to the legislation and guidance, telling him that you are sending it in case he has never seen it before.

A policeman refusing to return his children to their designated carer because of a rule that he himself has misinterpreted or even made up completely would not be a good look at work. I'd be tempted to tell him that too.

Queenoftheashes Fri 13-Nov-20 09:13:04

What a prick

CandyLeBonBon Fri 13-Nov-20 09:14:34

I'd just laugh, say 'good luck with tjat' and remind him not to slam the door on his way out.
Sounds like he's using his 'power' as a police officer to punish and bully you.

Keep hold of all his messages and hold fast.

Prick.

Christmaspud20 Fri 13-Nov-20 09:15:47

Just tell him your mum is your informal childcare which is allowed and dp is your bubble.

Get legal advice.

Sounds like he's unhinged.

Frouby Fri 13-Nov-20 09:21:11

Definitely take legal advice on this, he's q controlling arse and I think I remember reading something q few years ago about domestic abuse being common in familiea where one person is in the police.

I would personally contact your local domestic abuse unit of your nearest police station and discuss with them how you deal with abusive behaviour when the person who is abusive and threatening to keep your children is a police officer. I would also make sure I was down as primary carer with court, and also maybe this weekend maybe one of you has covid symptoms and needs to get a test? Just so you can make sure you are down as primary carer before he starts with his fun and games.

If you know who is his boss at work, I'd also be tempted to contact them and say you are concerned he is a bit unhinged and obviously with his role he needs to be completely rational and not exerting coersive control using his postion to bully his ex wife.

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