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Both moving 80 miles in opposite directions, how often should he see our son?

(10 Posts)
whozit Sat 28-May-16 09:25:49

Hi all, me and my partner of 5 years are separating, we have a three year old son together. He has decided to leave because he can't deal with my depression anymore, he told me to quite my job last summer but apparently now I'm lazy and don't contribute, I volunteer at a special needs adult daycare while my son goes to nursery 3 mornings a week but apparently if I'm well enough to do that I'm well enough to go to work, but he fails to understand that then we would have to start paying for child care as at the moment he only goes for 15 hours that's free. Our son has autism but is quite high functioning though severely speech delayed.
Anyway! We met at uni and have lived in that town since we've been together, my home town is 80 miles away and so is his. We were planning to move to my home town, so our son could get more help from my family and so could I and maybe then I could get a new job with the help of my mum, my partner had a job set up and seemed excited.
Now he's changed his mind and said he is moving with his parents.
I've spoken to a family lawyer and as we both have parental responsibility I understand we are both equal in responsibility. When he said he was leaving me I was upset so packed my bags and left to my mums with our son, the lawyer has said not to take my son back to our old house as then me taking him away again could be viewed negatively, I want to solve this amicably but we will end up being 148 miles away from each other how often is he supposed to see our son? I would rather he saw him in the week, my mother had driven up to our house together 80 miles away every weekend since my son was born to spend time with him, she adores him but works in the week, I don't feel it would be fair to take her Saturday's with him away, at least not every week?
I don't know how to arrange when he can see him, it's so stupid but instantly overnight I don't feel like I can trust him, his mother has always hated me and I feel like she has been feeding into his head that he will be able to bring our son back with him, I feel really uncomfortable with him taking him away for any amount of time, cause I might not et him back. Which is silly I know but I am worried.
I have no job currently and will be living with my mother.
Sorry this is a bit of a rant/word vomit, I'm trying to make sense of everything in my head!.

lifeisunjust Sat 28-May-16 12:20:15

50% of the time is the ideal?
But you aren't making it easy when you are both planning on moving further from each other. A 50/50 split and schooling will be impossible. You might have to do perhaps Monday-Friday and Fri-Mon and decide who does the Mon-Fri for schooling.
You CAN work. Many people with depression work. Give it a couple of years. I don't mean that in a mean way. I have personal experience, I work around 50 hours a week and for my health, I shouldn't be working. 4 kids too no family.
Child tax credits can cover much of child care costs.
If the father has 30-50% time then he'll soon realize child care has to be paid by both mother and father.

LittleNelle Sat 28-May-16 12:29:50

What does your ex want in terms of contact?

I don't think you can prioritise your son seeing his grandmother at weekends over him getting to see his dad, surely his relationship with his father is more important?

whozit Sat 28-May-16 12:52:06

It's not just that I want him to see his grandmother on the weekend I kind of don't want to be left being the one with all the responsibility and none of the fun, at the minute that's fine, we do stuff everyday but when he starts school I don't want to have to send him off every weekend to a family that have never bothered with him, when me and my family take him out all the time. But I don't really feel comfortable with my son going to a school that I have no control over, my ex has done nothing to arrange services for my son, never been to appointment or anything else, which has been really hard for me with the anxiety that comes along with my depression but I've done it all on my own. And whenever I asked for help it either didn't happen or he just said he wouldn't come cause he didn't know what to say, so my mum would book the day off work to come with us. So I suppose I will have to give in to weekends.
He hasn't mentioned it yet other than that he wanted to see him this weekend but I've told him it's not fair to drag him into at the moment cause it's still very raw.
In my opinion we aren't both moving away, we were all moving to be near my family and that was the plan we should have been moved here this week, but instead he's decided to move to half way across the country without even talking about it properly.
I want to work but the decision not to was made for me, when my ex decided that's what was best, and the turned against me when he decided to leave, I will happily work here but obviously this will take a while to set up with zero money to set up childcare with.
I really wish he wasn't moving so far away but I can see why he is, I wouldn't want to live where I don't know anyone when I could be with my family but it's just a bit of a mess sad

EquinoxBloom Sat 28-May-16 12:53:43

50% won't work because of the distance. I'd go for EOW with both of you doing half the driving.

Would he go for that?

LittleNelle Sat 28-May-16 13:18:48

Every other weekend, meeting half way for a handover? Plus ex has him half of the school holidays. Alternate Christmas.

whozit Sat 28-May-16 14:08:50

He might go for that? I'm not sure, I'm worried that too little time will result in him just giving up on our son. But the distance just makes it so hard to figure out what's best sad

EquinoxBloom Sat 28-May-16 17:55:12

If he's the type to give up in those circumstances then good riddance. It'll be easier on your own anyway.

lifeisunjust Sat 28-May-16 21:31:55

IF the father just wants to play "fun dad" well that isn't real life and certainly not a fair life for the one with responsibilities, most of the time the mum. That is NOT being a dad in my book, just "seeing" and "playing" that is no more than a passing fun relative or even non relative.

Offer 2 nights a week and you'll soon find out whether the man is a "real dad" or a "fun dad". I am a great proponent of as close to 50/50 as you can get for most children, but for some parents, they just don't want to parent do they.

You'll get back to work I am sure, with the smallest steps at a time. It has taken me 3 years and plenty of anxiety which appears almost every day and has been ever present this week (tax credits demanding 5 docs I already sent, wanting to know where all of kids go to school, proof of their address, not mine, plus council tax billing for a property I don't live in, plus someone billing me .5k for a bill I don't owe whilst chasing 3 organisations who owe me money and paying off husband's debts he kindly left for me). I sometimes look back on weeks and cannot believe how much shit I deal with and feel very bitter I don't know anyone with even a fraction of my shit. You will get through anxiety and grow a thick skin little by little, getting you ready to return to work and giving you back your belief in yourself. That is called "being a woman". Sorry had to write that, given my husband thinks he is one (how bizarre he abandoned his kids if he is a woman).

lateforeverything Sun 29-May-16 14:03:35

I'm worried that too little time will result in him just giving up on our son.

That isn't your responsibility though OP. A committed parent does their best to the most of any contact, regardless. If he were to use having too little access/contact time as an excuse to give up on his son altogether then that would be hugely telling. hmm

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