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question(s) for divorced/separated dads

(5 Posts)
bendis Mon 04-Feb-13 14:37:00

Hi all, I'm here because I'd like to find out the 'male'/dad perspective on things.. (I'm a woman). I'll try to just state facts and leave emotions and drama out of it...

Long term relationship, not married. 5-yr old child. The relationship was never fantastic but we grew fond of each other and at some point down the road we decided to have a child together. We were both married before so didn't rush into marriage again. I'm late 30s he's early 40s. About two years ago the relationship started to deteriorate and I proposed that we split. He agreed so we sold our house, split the money and decided to move out separately. We were living in a different country, now we're in the UK.

At that time, I had an opportunity to move to the UK with my work. I talked to him, he agreed to it - he was also going to move here in a couple of months to be closer to his child. So I relocated to the UK with him being in complete support, no issues there. He sent us some money and visited a couple of times. After several months we decided to give the relationship one more try. He joined us in the UK, got a job etc. Things between us didn't work out so again I proposed we split, this time for good. He agreed again. None of us was seeing someone else (well, as far as I know) - this is only relevant to say that we split amiably or so I thought. He moved out three months ago and rented a flat 10-min walking from where I live with the child.

Now this is where things started to get downhill...just before moving out he told me me he was resentful of me for 'making him leave' the relationship and the country we were living in (long story here, he was happy to have an 'okay' relationship 'for the sake of our child', even proposed we live together but have separate lives; I wasn't...). So he told me he will make my life difficult. And he did.. starting with moving out, not giving back keys, etc. - this being the least of the issues.

Now with re to the child, I had initially offered a 50-50 time split (dreadful word but you get the idea, shared parenting). He made it very clear he wasn't interested in that, too much responsibility for him, he said. So I proposed every second weekend overnight and also 2 evenings pick up from school bring back before bedtime. He initially agreed to it - verbally - but then suddenly decided he needed a break from 'all of it'. Three months later, he has seen the child two times (one evening and one weekend lunch time). He ignores all my emails - I only sent him emails regarding the child and regarding stuff he forgot to move. I tried to tell him to ignore the issues he has with me and focus on helping our child to go thorough this but to no success..

He also decided unilaterally to pay a child maintenance amount that is much lower than 15% of his basic net income (about two thirds of that). He's a high tax earner, has a large car allowance, has huge savings, big pension pot and no other children - I'm just trying to say here he's in a very good place financially, no money issues.

Now, I never considered contacting CSA or going to courts and I'm still hoping that I can avoid both...

However, my salary is not very high at the moment. I live in London and work fulltime, don't really get any govt support other than child benefit £20/week and I pay a large amount in childminders' fees. I'm debt-free but no savings and our monthly disposable income is really low at this point. Of course, I could try and get another job but I can't possibly go through that now, it's too much grief at home.

And, I can't travel with the child abroad without his consent (I can't even renew her passport in fact). The problem is, he continues to ignore any communication and there is no sign of improvement. He's not even calling the child at all. The two times he's seen the child in the past three months I agreed to his last minute requests - literally one hour before pick up - simply because I wanted them to see each other (DC is going through a very rough time, not understanding why dad is not accessible at all - I did mention he was busy but I can't continue to lie like this.. but that's another story altogether).

For now, I assumed that I can't rely on him for spending time with the child and I'm 100% on mum duty. On the money issue, we can survive but at the edge. I'm trying to keep us debt-free so staying local, no holidaying abroad, no eating out, no new clothes for me, no gym membership, no mag subscriptions, no paid entertainment, but I can't go on like that for ever...

So my questions now.. what would you do in my case? How can I appeal to him to make him understand that the child needs him and this break he decided to take is hurtful and it could be much easier for the child to at least talk on the phone?

And for how long would you wait before trying to get things in order from a paperwork perspective?

Also, I'm not even sure if I can ever get a residence order if there is no dispute (absent parent)...

And on child maintenance, would you do anything about it? Do you think it's fair or advisable to try and get him pay via CSA the minimum amount his child is entitled to? Or should I just leave things as is and be happy that he is contributing some money?

Thanks in advance for any advice or thoughts you can provide. I just wanted perhaps to understand things from a different perspective and hopefully hear some good suggestions.

Sorry for the long message. blush

Daddelion Mon 04-Feb-13 16:47:23

I can't relate to him as I'd never behave like that.

Get on with your life, let him sort himself out and go to the CSA.

Get legal advice on the travelling, I'm sure you can go abroad but you may need a court order.

Is he on the birth certificate? As that makes a difference with parental responsibility. The courts won't make him more reliable with contact.

Unfortunately you had a child with, what appears from your post, a knob.

A lot of separated fathers would love 50-50.

bendis Mon 04-Feb-13 17:12:54

Thanks. Yes, he is on the birth certificate.

Piemother Tue 05-Feb-13 22:54:59

What a twit he is being hmm
Go straight to the CSA this is money your dc is entitled to so don't feel bad.
If be tempted to write a very clear letter setting out your grievances with a period in which you expect a reply/action before you approach legal advice/CSA
It's such a shame he's behaving like this when you have been so amicable in the past I hope he sees sense in the future

SilkySilky Mon 27-May-13 22:40:12

How did this pan out Bendis?

Emaail him with 1 week to reply. Then go straight to the CSA to get your dc what is entitled to

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