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What can I do if he lies about what he does with the kids?

(11 Posts)
3monkeysdocmum Sat 28-Jul-18 16:15:20

Hi all,

Dh announced he wanted to end our marriage earlier this year. He already had a base for work 4 hours away so there wasn't a big exit and he was coming back to see the kids (9,8 and 5) albeit infrequently and for dwindling periods of time. We had a verbal agreement that we would tell the kids when the time was right but he didn't honour this and told them himself then didn't even let me know so I could pick up the pieces (my son told me when dh had returned to his base). We had also agreed that we would let each other know if there were new partners and discuss it before introducing them to the kids. 2 weeks ago he insisted on taking the kids to his base, despite me protesting that it was too far for a weekend in termtime. They then spent the weekend with his new partner and her son without my knowledge or consent. The first I knew of her existence was when he brought the kids back. He had assured me he would be looking after them on his own that weekend and when I challenged him on this he said "you wouldn't have let them come if you'd known". To be honest, I suspect she's the reason he walked out in the first place. I have been dealing with the fallout since - they have been upset and quite confused. He is due to have them for several periods over the summer and says its none of my business what he does with them when he has them. I just want to know so I can prepare them for what they can expect - they have never been away from me for more then a couple of days at a time and they are facing 3x 5 day periods away from me in quick succession. I have emailed him with what I expect eg that if they are distressed he will let them come home, that he won't forcibly remove them if they don't want to go and that he will let me know where they will be staying and who they will be seeing. My questions are:
1) Can I insist that he tells me what his plans are and can I prevent him seeing them if he won't tell me? I have been very flexible so far and allowed him to see them whenever he wants at our house. I don't want to prevent him from seeing them but he is being very insensitive to their feelings and I need to protect them from this.
2) Can I insist that he doesn't take them away to his base during termtime? I feel it is too far for them to travel for just a weekend and interrupts their life / activities in our new home / school (we moved there less than a year ago but before the split so they've already had a lot of disruption). I feel he should visit them at home during termtime.
3) Is there an expected amount of contact according to how far away he lives? Every other weekend and a day a week isn't going to be feasible at this distance but it would be a good idea to know what is reasonable.

Thanks all.

OP’s posts: |
Readyfortheschoolhols Sat 28-Jul-18 16:19:14

Unfortunately if he got 50/50 what /where /who would be none of your business.
It's tough, but in the same token you don't have to explain your life to him either.

trinity0097 Sat 28-Jul-18 16:20:45

You don’t have a right to know what he is doing with them or who they see when they are in his care. Hard as it might be, he is their parent and can do what he likes, as long as it is not against the law.

You can’t insist about the term time travel, but you could negotiate? Four hours isn’t that far if you are sat on a train with a device to keep you occupied for example! Say once in between the start of term and half-term.

Contact is you for guys to sort out and if you can’t then get legal people who can!

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Sat 28-Jul-18 16:50:44

Im sorry, why do you keep calling it his base? It is now his home.

I appricate this is all new, and that he probably walked out over another woman and your hurt. And i appricate that you want to protect your children.

And he was totally and utterly wrong to introduce a new partner without your KNOWLEDGE, i dont think he necessarily needed your concent but yes it would have been polite to say you have the kids more than me so are likely to be picking up the pieces so is it ok with you, also that would have been the time to express the concerns and work around them together, although your tone seems to indicate youd havr said no.

No you cant demand to know what jes doing and although i can have a little bit of understsnding in terms of yes it might help so that you can "sell" the breaks to them as in "ohh i hear daddys going to take you to this .... wont that be exciting" but you cant demand you know and you definately can not refuse to let them go if he doesnt tell you.and again your tone indicates you wouldnt be giving them pisotive reinforcement anout the trip any way. You cant expect him to bring them home, maybe you can ask him to let them call you if their missing you.

Sorry term time you are being unreasonable, youve let him see the kids in the house, the place thats no longer his home. I dont know maybe gour hours is a long way, my dads used to be an hour, but honestly hes their father, its his home, im of the oppinion that children of seperated children should see both parents homes as theirs. I certianly did and my godchildren do. Which is why im being fussy about you calling it his base because it indermines that its his home.

I agree with Pp contact is yours to sort out, its going to mean compromses on both sides. If you cant the courts will, and tnh you think the children are unsettled now dont put them through the court process.

I guess your so ridgid in your views and demands because he isnt compromising either, it feels like hes issuing you with how its going to be but fightimg that with this sort of angry reactiveness isnt good

NorthernSpirit Sat 28-Jul-18 17:40:39

No, you can’t make these demands, they are overtly controlling.

Why would you stop the children seeing their own dad ‘if he doesn’t tell you’? Disgusting, cruel behaviour.

What dad does on his time is his business and you can’t control and vice versa.

3monkeysdocmum Sun 29-Jul-18 15:06:10

Ok, I say "base" because he's in a caravan at the moment so it's not permanent - though he may have moved in with the new girlfriend, who knows. My concerns are purely for the children as I don't trust him to act in their best interests, only his. He has never been very "hands on", to the extent that we employed a nanny to look after them when I was at work, even when he had days off during the week as he didn't want to do any "childcare". Consequently the bond he has with them is not as strong as it should be. He has seen them quite infrequently so far - a day or two a month so far - so this is suddenly a lot more time. I'm delighted he will be spending more time with them over the summer and hope he will actually make an effort to interact with them properly - he's never even kicked a ball around with his son. My daughter got bitten by a dog at the caravan park and she couldn't find him and cried on her own, then felt she couldn't tell him but waited until she got home to tell me so I guess I'm also a bit worried about the level of supervision they're getting.

I never had any intention to stop him seeing the kids but they have said themselves that it is too far to go for just a weekend - they find the travelling very tiring and tedious. I'm worried about how it will affect their schoolwork. He's working part time (5 days on, 5 days off) and I work 44 hour weeks which is why I think he should do the travelling to see them as well.

There's no reason for him not to tell me what he's doing with them, he's just enjoying the control. I have tried to be reasonable and keep things amicable so far but he treats me with contempt. I wouldn't have stopped them meeting his new girlfriend but I could have prepared them for it - my daughter was very worried about liking her and I could have told her beforehand that it was ok to like her instead of her feeling bad about it.

There's no settlement yet but he said early on he doesn't want custody. It's a bit annoying that he gets to dip in and out of their lives as and when he pleases but it's probably better for them that way as he only has to put an effort in for short periods.

OP’s posts: |
NaughtToThreeSadOnions Sun 29-Jul-18 15:21:49

Theres no reason for him to tell you whag hes doing its none of your business, none at all, you want control sorry the person whos seeming controlling in this situation is YOU.

do you tell him whst your doing? If as im sure it is, is no, then no you have no right to know and he doesnt have to tell you.

Now im going to be more symapathic apart from.the fact most of that was a massive drip feed. I now undestand your fears, ajd what you prehaps can ask politely and express your concern and say im not willing really to allow them to travel if this isnt answered to your satifaction (which i will come back to) is where will he and the children be staying during those weeks will it be at hos caravan or at his girlfriends, if he says his girlfriends its perfectly satifatory to say that as long as you have an address and telephone number to contact him/them

If hes doing 5 days off then it may be better for him to travel more than the kids do, BUT NOT AT YOUR HOUSE, (that is your home do ypu really want your ex in your space?
Im not sure thats healthy for you) my god children stay in hotels with their father if their seeing him away from his house, so i would suggest EOW, as term.is what 6 weeks amd someone else has suggested that your kids travel once in term time so he comes to nearer yours the first visit, the kids viist him the second and the third hes closer to yours again.

In terms of his childcare skills then yes this is something you can pull him up on, in fact your children may well.

3monkeysdocmum Sun 29-Jul-18 16:27:22

He hasn't been staying at my house, just picking the kids up from there and then dropping them off at night (his choice) before staying locally himself.

Again, this isn't about control, it's about preparing the kids so that they are not going into the unknown with all the fear that entails but are prepared and maybe even excited about the trip. When things settle down I don't expect to know everything except where they will be but the fallout over the last trip could have been prevented with proper communication. I don't want that to happen again. They are still very raw. As far as what I do with them, I answer any of his questions honestly and openly. He doesn't ask much, though. I just want him to do the same for me. I don't think that's too much to ask.

OP’s posts: |
Guavaf1sh Sun 29-Jul-18 21:25:05

Hard as it may be to accept he has no obligation to tell you his plans and you should stop asking. But the plus side is that it works both ways and you don’t have any obligation to tell him your plans neither

dizzyheightshotel Sun 29-Jul-18 22:18:09

This rings bells for me! DH’s ex used to say she needed to ‘prepare’ the DC for various things, which basically meant stressing them the fudge out about things they really didn’t need to worry about.

Unless you have safeguarding concerns you really need to trust him to parent the children, just like you take it for granted that he needs to trust you. You’re more likely to get information and a positive co-parenting relationship from him if he doesn’t feel like you’re out to undermine him.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Mon 30-Jul-18 02:16:37

You contradict yourself a few times. You say this isnt about control but the thing is all i did waa take your sentence about there being no reason for him not to tell you what his plans were he's just enjoying control, so the reason you want him to tell you is so he doesnt enjoy control but you do. There is a reason for him not to tell you, its not cos hes enjoying control its because its not your business. And the fact that you ask "if he doesnt tell me can i prevent him seeing the children if he doesnt tell me" shows you want to control access

You say you wouldnt stop him seeing the children yet your question in the first post is "I insist that he tells me what his plans are and can I prevent him seeing them if he won't tell me?" If you didnt want to prevent him you wouldnt ask about preventing him.

Again the next line following that is "have been very flexible so far and allowed him to see them whenever he wants at our house" so i say access should not be in your house and suddenly he only picks them up.

The only reason it would be in any way helpful for you to know is if you were as i said in my first post "sell" it to them give them reason to enjoyand look forward to the trip. From the tone of your posts tbh it sounds like that is not what youd do, what youd do is as dizzy says stress them out about how far dad lives and how he'll be with his girlfriend.

I also agree with dizzy that co parenting in a positive manner is better than the way you seem determind to start off.

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