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Ex's new partner pushing custody(16 Posts)
Ex and I split in April. He's known his partner since March and is now living with her. We have 21 month child who lives with me. Ex requested to have access every other weekend (but happy with no overnights - DC is breastfeeding still) plus visits one evening a week.
Just this week - prompted by my request to agree child support payments - he's said he wants shared custody. I strongly suspect his partner is the one pushing for this as she wants to play happy families with her new man. He is reasonable when he talks to me in person and agrees current arrangement suits our baby. However when we try to sort things by email it's obvious she is pulling the strings.
I'm so stressed about this. Can't eat, sleep or turn off from thinking about it. She's a mum, she must know it would rip out my heart to only see my baby half of the week. Unless she's just doing it so I back off about finances - it's worked.
I feel like this will be a fear throughout my baby's childhood. Constant worry that he'll be taken away.
Would mediation help do you think?
Mediation is usually the first step so if you are happy to try then suggest it to him.
Without sounding harsh I doubt very much the gf is pushing for this. I am yet to meet a women who actually wants to play step mum especially this soon in to a relationship and having her own children to care for.
Some fathers do want shared residency as just like mums they miss their children too. Try mediation and try and stop blaming the gf as it will do you know good and the truth is you don't actually know she is pulling the strings.
it would rip out my heart to only see my baby half of the week
And you think your ex doesn't feel exactly the same way?? Why do your feelings towards your child trump his? Why is it automatically the new girlfriend who is championing this? Do you not think maybe he wants to spend equal time with his child!
I am sorry, I know I sound like a bitch but it is attitudes like this that make me so cross.
He has two other kids that he didn't push for custody with. This time round the girlfriend wants to play babies hence the current situation. I know this from talking to him.
Please don't assume "attitudes like this" don't have a genuine back story. I do find on mumsnet the assumption is the mother is being selfish to not want shared access whereas sometimes posts can actually be taken at face value.
Hope you can overcome feeling cross.
I am sorry but you are being selfish!
I suspect there is a whole heap more to this - but your whole post is all about you. It should be about what is best for the child and that is spending equal time with both parents
Did you ever stop and think that maybe he regrets not pushing with his other kids and isn't about to make the same mistakes again?
wheres unlike you I don't need to speculate on his intentions cos I've spoken to him and know the background. He only mentions shared access if I request child support payments. It's used as a threat. I'm hopeful that mediation would remove this permanent threat hanging over me. But thanks for the feedback and calling me selfish - really helpful.
hubnut try not to worry (hard I know). Do you have a solicitor? As far as I understand whether it is reasonable to request shared care depends on a number of factors that impact on a childs care/wellbeing- parents working patterns, who has been the primary caregiver so far etc. If your ex had been doing 50% of the care so far it would seem reasonable…if not…less so. Also the child's age/circumstances…although it might not been deemed 'necessary' to breastfeed a child at 21 months the fact is that is what happens and your LO can't just go cold turkey for half the week! My ex threatened to seek custody/shared care of my children…my solicitor always tells me what a court would be likely to agree…and judge would argue for whatever is most likely to be in the best interests of the child. In my case as I had been primary caregiver/had to reduce/give up work whilst he did the whole career thing the kids would most likely be advised to stay with me in an arrangement much like your current one (but with overnights as mine are older).
BTW should still be paying maintenance until you sort out your childcare arrangements anyway!
Might be worthwhile suggesting mediation- would you/he be able to afford it?
and BTW OP I completely understand the not sleeping/worrying
I agree that if he agrees one thing in person and then changes his mind, it's likely to be financially motivated, although I can't say 100% she's behind it.
She could well be though.
Amazing how he only wanted joint custody when money came up. I'm not sure how PPs missed that very relevant info and are calling you selfish.
Look at it this way - a 21 month old is hard work. Let him have your DC and you get yourself some alone child free time. Let's see how long he keeps it up for. I would have welcomed a break from DC at that age.
You can go for mediation and whatever you agree on there is binding. However if his new GF comes along - she'll likely influence the situation.
I suspect he's doing it so you revert to the previous arrangement and don't talk about CS.
Yes sandy I've been tempted to call his bluff. His weekend access turns into 2 X 5 hour days at his choice cos he can't cope with full days.
Anyway the issue hasn't come up again - because I've shut up about money.
I think I'll just wait and see, then if it does come up arrange mediation. I'll get by without his financial support.
That Call the Mediator programme made me feel better. I know he wouldn't go through with his demands in one on one conversations.
OP you shouldn't have to get by without financial support! How is that far on your DC and you, the person doing the primary care which must already be having an impact on your ability to earn?
Go through the CMS and get the finances sorted and in place. Lots of people on here have had experience and can help. Then, when DC isn't bf anymore and you and ex feel it's possible for him to have overnights, they'll take that into account and child support will be affected proportionately.
I agree with Anne. He should be paying the required amount. As you said, he can't really do a full weekend. I bet you that would mess up their weekend plans.
I would certainly raise the money issue again based on the original custody agreement. Quite frankly you should have a formal agreement for custody if he's changing his mind like the wind.
Don't let him off the hook here, as it's what DS is entitled to.
My DCs are far older (10 &6) but I too have that feeling of anxiety when I think my STBXH may try for more access.
To combat that, instead of thinking about the negatives, I think about how I would use my freedom. My DCs aren't keen on ON stays yet (their choice) but that means in the past 7 months I've been on night and morning duty every night and day. I've had one evening out and rest has been friends to me. I can't date and new relationships would be impossible!
So turning this about, if I had a break I could have fun and sort out house then enjoy DCs more. (I work PT too so easier to get to and from work).
Can you look at the benefits to you?
You are due some 'me' time!
PS. Ignore comments about being selfish, your feelings are normal and sincere.
Honestly just get in touch with CMS and start the ball rolling.
He is so calling your bluff! At mediation it would be about working up to longer days for a start and no overnights until your DC night weans and then only when it's up to 2 nights per week would his CMS contribution fall...
Seriously doubt the GF would want your kid around more for her benefit...
She may see how hard it is for her DP to be missing his kids and may be trying to support him in being able to see them more. So perhaps this is where she is having an influence.
What is best for your DC?
At 21months I'd think frequent contact for shorter periods would be good if you could make it work between you.
Don't think about the GF.... It'll just stress you out.
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