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Legally binding agreement between separated parents with child(24 Posts)
Help please - I am trying to find out what my options are regarding getting a legally binding agreement between myself and my daughters dad surrounding contact and maintenance?
After 7 years of what feels like constant fighting I am done and just want an arrangement that neither of us can dispute.
My dd currently sees her dad for 6hours every other weekend no overnights - please let me make it clear that is all he wants. He pays a little over £200 pounds per month - I've never questioned the amount as it leads to name calling and fighting and tbh it's just not worth the grief.
That is it in terms of responsibilities - he does nothing else.
My issue lies with trying to change/ cancel weekend because they don't suit and today not receiving maintenance because it's a Sunday when our private agreement states the 5th of month. I know it sounds super petty but I just hate the constant fighting and it's wearing me down.
What I envisage is a simple agreement detailing each others responsibilities and confirmed dates etc. So everyone knows where we stand. We cannot communicate without fighting and I am sure we are both over it!
My daughter and her dad have a lovely relationship and I do what I can to ensure they maintain contact. I have set up an email address for her, she has a mobile and can text call email whenever and vice versa. I think I have been as flexible and amenable as possible.
I don't know why I am saying all the above- I just want the fighting to stop.
So.... what are my options?
Also we have previously attended mediation (maybe 3 years ago) would we need to attend again??
Do you really think an agreement is going to be possible? It sounds like at the moment everything is being done for his maximum convenience and he's still fighting you at every turn. Why would he step away from a position of minimal responsibility in return for something which would make your life easier? (The obvious argument that it makes things easier on his dd has had no effect in the past, I assume).
Who is trying to change weekends when they don't suit, is that you or him? I initially thought it was you but now I wonder if it's him. In terms of the child support, if he has it on a direct debit, won't it arrive tomorrow?
It sounds as if another period of mediation might be helpful - to you, but what's in it for him?
Ahhh I know Tribpot.
Changing weekends - him
I think the child maintenance is the straw that broke the camels back - I had budgeted for today because my DD had to go to a brownies trip and is back to school tomorrow so was going to shop for breakfast and lunch stuff. It wasn't the end of the world but just frustrating IYKWIM.
I feel it's my good nature that is for ever being manipulated and with an agreement he cannot ask for me to change weekends or some of the other bullshit stunts he pulls.
We absolutely cannot communicate over my DD anymore.
I suspected that going back to mediation is the next step and see where we go from there.
I guess what would be nice is a cast iron agreement neither can detract from.....
Or do I just stop being "nice"?? I don't know.
I just want the arguments to stop.
It's not really good nature, though is it? It's fear of reprisals and resignation from having been beaten down by him emotionally for god knows how many years. I was wondering how much worse it might actually be if you did start standing up for yourself, i.e. go through the CMS, tell him you can't change weekends as you have plans. He's already dreadful, how much worse would he get? What else do you need to communicate about, he barely seems to be part of your dd's life?
A cast iron agreement would suit you but not him. How would you get him to go back to mediation? What happened in the last round?
This can't be the first time the 5th of the month has fallen at a weekend, I think you need to plan for the money to be there on the 5th or the next business day. I would guess this is what would be written into an agreement anyway.
How nice have you been?
Did you tell him that, even if it is Sunday, his daughter's usual life needs go on and that by not paying on time he is showing her how little he really cares?
Have you told him he is a fuckwit and his game playing is showing his daughter that he lives playing silly power games more than he loves her?
Would you find another bout of mediation helpful in getting that age old message across to him: she is your daughter, love her more than you hate me!
If not then you only have the other route to try: convince yourself not to give a shite. His actions can only bother you if you invest them with any importance. If you expect him to be a fuckwit abut every little thing then the only way he will be able to surprise you will be in good ways, being on time, keeping to arrangements etc.
You only have to keep yourself sane and your daughter safe. Appeasing him is none of your business... if his fuckwittery alienates their relationship that is his issue not yours
Apologies... a good friend has just resumed mortal combat with her fuckwit ex - 9 years on and he still tries to play his silly games. Well, not this weekend, buster. Blanche was on the case and ex-wifey did not fold, meekly go on her way, she told you, in front of your new girlfriend, to grow up and make sure his kids didn't have good reason to avoid him. He was a tad angry and the new girlfriend looked shocked, embarrassed
You are right - it's just the first time I needed it to land on the Sunday (too long a story!) I start a new job next week so I should be back in the position I was before to just leaving him to it.
Mediation last time was very different as he had not seen dd consistently for the first 4 years of her life - lots of excuses and a complicated history! I was the one rejecting mediation but went along because I was scared of him taking me to court and taking dd away (in hindsight I now know this would have never happened but I was very depressed)
Good lord if I went to CMS ??!!?? It really isn't worth contemplating.
I know the agreement would suit me - we would have to argue, but I can't make him go??
I am probably knee jeering- but this constant back and forth just cannot continue.
He is bloody rubbish, and the only good things is that he mostly does his Sunday (so maybe 20 days a year) and he pays his maintenance. Sour when he starts to mess around with the only good things he has going for him......
Sorry - cross post Blanche
I have been nice in the sense I have always tried to accommodate his changes and pretty much agree to what he wants for the sake of an easy life... that being said.... I cannot say that I have come across nicely in previous exchanges.
I am not sure what the mediation would achieve but I would be willing to try - I mean seriously we just cannot talk to one another.
I really should practice not giving a shiny shit. There are very few people on this planet who's sheer existence is enough to drive me batshit
It certainly is worth contemplating CMS. Seriously, how much worse could it be? What are you actually arguing about, indeed why is any communication necessary?
Am I being delusional that a piece of paper would end this fucking cold war and everyone would go about their business as happy as fucking Larry??
The communication is usually him requesting a date change.
From me it's either a birthday party or brownies event that falls on his Sundays that my dd would like to attend.
Surely it's not very frequent that one or other of you is requesting a date change? And I think the usual protocol for invitations is to tell the parent who is in charge of the child that day and leave it to him/her to accept or decline. This does mean your dd will have to miss some things she would enjoy doing and is unnecessary but its his time and presumably she will be old enough soon to negotiate with him.
A piece of paper would not end the cold war (which doesn't in any case sound very cold) as the way things are is the way he wants them to be. He had got his own way in everything, so this can hardly be a surprise.
Hmmmm I guess I should just leave things be then
He's requested 4 changes this year - I have only requested one complete change (day swop) in the last 3 years.
I will consider CMS and just need to find new ways not to let him wind me up - I can't change the situation so should work on accepting it for what it is
I'd imagine his weren't really requests, were they? I hardly imagine he held off on confirming his plans for the days he was meant to be having DD until you confirmed it was convenient for her to stay with you instead.
It's understandable that you want to have a cordial co-parenting arrangement as (some) other people manage to have, but this guy is a tosser. I would work on not letting him get under your skin and maybe review the situation in six months' time. I suspect he will put off his stride if you stop reacting to every attempt to wind you up. As your dd gets older I imagine she is going to vote with her feet about the value of this relationship to her.
Gosh I know right - i am just so predicable!
I do need a bit more time to just evaluate how this is going to work - she is currently 8 so we are effectively at half way point!
money and contact are entirely separate as far as the law is concerned
- there are templates on line for parenting agreements - have a look at the Resolution website
- in relation to money the only fall back is either applying to the CSA for an assessment or if he is rich to apply to the courts under Schedule 1 Children Act ....
No I know 2 separate issues - I think what would be nice is not to feel almost at his mercy if you know what I mean.
If I go to CMS then there is someone else I can speak to about maintenance that's not him.
I think the contact order is going to be harder to agree because I can't make him do any more than the bare minimum that he is doing already.
This was probably better suited for relationships than legal matters
You could end up with what I had with our five - he pays nothing (I paid him) and he just about never sees them (I work full time). At least I am never let down as I get no money and just about no help with looking after them. There is no legal way to force someone into contact which they don't want and there seem to be loads of these men around who don't turn up ever or hardly at all. I suppose you could say the next time you're late or cancel then you don't see her for a month but that spoils things for your daughter. perhaps the arrangement coudl be you leave with his mother to collect from there so if he cannot do it then his mother has to do the childcare.
Ooohhhhhh yeah his family are a complete no no (very very long story, but ultimately bad for both me and DD)
I am just gonna suck it up! I will really consider CMS, but as dd gets older she will realise what a complete bellend he really is!
It's not worth my mental health getting all pissed off about it and let it ruin a gorgeous Sunday.
My dd came home from brownies with a picture frame just for me - I am happy
Maintenance - go through CSA. He can try and argue with you about it but just tell him to take it up with CSA and that it has nothing to do with you.
Contact - You can attend mediation separately and set out what you both want regarding contact. If you can not agree in mediation, then you can apply for a Child Arrangements Order with a C100 form. If he doesn't turn up to court then I think the court puts in place what you have asked for. If he does turn up then the court will probably implement what you currently already have in place (ie 6 hours contact every other Sunday)
If he cant make contact that weekend and it isnt suitable for you and DD to swap days then he misses contact. Your DD will soon start noticing how little he cares.
In terms of flexibility on your side, you probably wont get much from him if a court order is in place. But if your DD starts missing things because your ex wont be flexible then again she will start seeing how rubbish he is.
There will be no need for communication with a court order and CSA. both of those will sort out all of the arrangements. If he then becomes abusive towards you and argumentative once the proceedings start then you can take other legal action for non molestation orders etc.
I usually wouldn't suggest going down these routes and would say you should try and solve things amicably but I cant stand DFs that arent fussed about contact with their DCs when there are so many DFs spending thousands for contact etc!!!
I know I mean 6 hrs every other Sunday (cancelled 4 this year) is just pathetic!
That's good to know we don't have to do mediation face to face again! But what's the point to be honest I know the days he is having her and any future swaps I will just say no - hopefully he'll get the hint and not ask!
Will probably go ahead with CSA but need to calm down to make sure I am doing it for the best and not as an act of revenge.
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