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Ex's partner wants PR

(86 Posts)
MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 12:04:30

My DP has had very little contact with his DD over the last two years. All was fine prior to his ex moving in with her new partner (an hour away from us but used to live round the corner) but contact dwindled to nothing with endless excuses about DD being busy with other things and never being in when he called the house. She is now 14.

His ex died earlier this year. Prior to the funeral dp spoke to the partner of his ex and said they needed to get together to discuss DD's future. Dp tried to call twice but both times the partner put the phone down on him. Dp then got a letter inviting him to mediation with the partner.

Partner had one meeting with mediator and DP has had one meeting. This was not a joint mediation session. The mediator has asked if dp would give the partner PR for DD. Dp has said no. He has made it clear that he is not wholly against DD remaining where she is as she is in important school years but he is still her dad and still wants to be part of her life. He just wants regular contact, either in person or by phone with his DD and wants the partner to communicate with him about DD and what is going on in her life.

If the partner went to court to get PR would he likely get it? DP is just fuming because the partner won't talk to him about DD at all. He is an unrelated male living with a 14 year old girl and seems to think he can just shut her dad out completely. Dp was very open to letting DD stay where she is but now he feels like he can't trust the partner to actually stay in touch and keep to any agreements made.

A joint mediation session was meant to happen this week. The partner can't make either date offered (and cancelled at the last minute). Dp is going in for surgery this week and won't be able to drive for four weeks and must rest for the first two so everything is just dragging on.

Words of wisdom or just words of comfort needed.

WildRosesGrow Wed 11-Oct-17 12:23:06

What does your stepdaughter want to happen? You say that your partner is happy for her to stay living with her step-Dad. The most practical way for this to work is for him to have PR. Without it, he would not be able to consent to medical procedures or deal with lots of necessary school paperwork, consent forms for trips with Guides, etc.

If you and your partner don't know what your step-daughter wants, then TBH that in itself shows that you may not be the best people to currently parent her. It would be very unusual for a 12-14 year old not to have their own mobile phone and email. You and your husband could have kept in regular contact with her by these means, as well as by writing or making more effort to visit. I know you feel his efforts were rebuffed but that's what teenagers are like - hard work and often prefer to spend time with their friends. Without an ongoing relationship, and given that she only has a couple of years before being able to live wherever she chooses, it seems unfair to uproot her.

I'd ask why the question of her closest 'parent' having PR is a problem for you or your partner? It doesn't mean that her Dad has to give up PR but it does facilitate her carrying on with as much of her current life she can, given that she has lost her Mum so recently.

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 12:28:27

dp texts his dd weekly. Never gets a reply. He phones the house and the partner just hangs up on him after saying 'we don't want to talk to you'.

We presume she wants to stay there but as he literally can't get near her to talk to her, we don't know. The whole family has closed ranks. It's like hitting a brick wall.

He has been down to parents evening and the partner refused to go with dp (this was when ex was still alive) so DD had to go round twice to see all the teachers. Dp is an easy going guy who is really laid back, not aggressive at all, doesn't shout, doesn't get angry or want to argue, he will just listen and discuss. But this guy is just refusing to communicate.

Dp is not welcome at the house either. Contact with DD and communication with the ex was fine until they moved. Then it all just fell apart. Ex got ill and dp was torn because although he wanted to push the issue of contact with his DD (then aged 11) he also knew ex was having lots of cancer treatment and was very sick. So he found himself stuck between letting things lie or forcing a very sick person to go through a legal wrangle over contact.

2014newme Wed 11-Oct-17 12:31:47

Your dp didn't bother with his own daughter for 2 years. What so you expect? Someone else has been bringing her up.
Has he been paying for her all these years he didn't see her?
Sorry but he sounds like a deadbeat dad

stitchglitched Wed 11-Oct-17 12:33:02

Can your DP make an application to court for a child arrangement order? At least that would force the issue and some communication. Then the relevant authorities can speak to the DD about her wishes and everyone will know where they stand. Your DP being really laid back hasn't really helped matters so far.

stitchglitched Wed 11-Oct-17 12:34:52

And really if he is happy for another man to be the one raising and presumably financially supporting his child refusing PR seems churlish. If he was trying to get his daughter back to him then I would understand his point but he doesn't really seem to have done anything.

Iris65 Wed 11-Oct-17 12:36:10

Can your DP make an application to court for a child arrangement order? At least that would force the issue and some communication. Then the relevant authorities can speak to the DD about her wishes and everyone will know where they stand.

Good advice. I really feel for the DD. Just lost her Mum and now this upset.

Bambamrubblesmum Wed 11-Oct-17 12:42:01

There is so much more your partner could have done over the years if he was seriously concerned. It's a bit disingenuous to claim he is now concerned about her living with an unrelated male. He could have gone down the legal route prior to ex's death to set up visitation schedule and kept on pursuing it through court. He could have self represented if money was tight.

This man has support the child through a massive loss. Where was her dad when her mum was dying. Tbh I can see why they are refusing contact they are probably very angry.

I'm not saying this to upset you but I suspect that any court will look at the situation and ask hard questions. Dad's have responsibilities as well as rights.

Did your partner pay child maintenance regularly?

XJerseyGirlX Wed 11-Oct-17 13:14:27

Poor girl, just lost her mum and now a man who hasn't put much effort in with her wants to force contact and make a silly claim that she is living with an "unrelated adult". DD and ex's partner might be scared of loosing each other.

I think she is also old enough to get in touch IF she wanted to, but clearly doesn't. Leave her where she is. He sounds like a responsible parent so should have PR.

Collaborate Wed 11-Oct-17 14:56:26

It is important that the adult the child lives with has PR. The only way that the ex's partner can get this is by the court making a residence order or Special Guardianship order in his favour. He should be applying for this as soon as possible.

If OP's partner is not saying the child should live with him he should be allowing PR.

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 16:19:15

He is not a deadbeat dad. He paid child maintenance for her even when we were living on benefits - we were living on charity handouts at one point while benefits were sorted but that money went to her regardless. It came out of the child benefit for my children. He had pretty much 50/50 contact until the divorce finalised and then the ex moved within weeks of the final court hearing and contact pretty much stopped.

He has tried repeatedly to get in touch but what else could he do when the phone goes unanswered? When texts and emails are ignored? When going to an activity she goes to is met with accusations of harassment?

His ex admitted to him on Christmas day (over the phone) that she had pretty much dissuaded his DD from seeing her dad because she didn't think that DP had been supportive enough of the ex over her cancer diagnosis. He has no idea what he was supposed to have done, he listened to her crying down the phone about it, he asked how she was (or asked his DD or the partner if it was those he saw) but always got 'fine'. The walls went up around their new family unit and DP was effectively locked out.

He was accused of not knowing DD well enough and getting her the wrong Xmas presents this last year - he had asked her every week for about three months what she would like and she refused to tell him. This was at the activity (he drives down every week because he knows that is the one place he knows he can see her, even if for five minutes - every other avenue to her is blocked). She has only answered the phone to him once in the last year and that was on her birthday to tell him what to buy her. I presume that the shit Xmas presents were enough to make her tell him what she wanted.

He has not been concerned until now because a) her mum was living there and b) there was some sort of communication between him and the ex albeit not exactly regular communication.

I can't believe anyone thinks dragging a woman with cancer through court would have been a good idea. He thought it was in everyone's best interests to leave things as they were and continue to try and talk to his DD and hope that his ex's promise to try and talk to her also would be enough to sort communication.

The partner is now refusing all communication. This is why he is now concerned. He would have been perfectly happy to go and discuss things with this man, who until recently we had got on ok with but the absolute point blank refusal to even talk to him is causing concern.

It seems that Dp should have dragged his terminally ill ex wife through court though (according to some) (we didn't know she was terminally ill as no one told him). Or dragged his DD back up here the day of the funeral? Or just sign PR over to the new guy and walk away?

He isn't happy that another man is raising his daughter. Far from it. If his daughter is happy at her school and with her friends would removing her and dragging her back here help? I don't think so and nor does DP. However, he wants to be kept in touch with, he wants to know what's going on with her life. From what I have gathered from talking to DD myself, she has given up all plans to go to university and now wants to either be an actress or play drums in a band. The band is her back up option in case she doesn't make it as an actress. No one seems concerned about this.

The partner has a brain injury with memory loss, meaning he often forgets where DD is and doesn't remember appointments. This is a concern but DP has spoken to social services and they aren't concerned at the moment.

There is so much more that has gone on, I can't possibly list every phone call, email, text, drive to attempt to see her but he has made so much effort and he is now seriously struggling with knowing what to do.

lunar1 Wed 11-Oct-17 16:32:31

I’m sure I remember your posts from before she died, and as sad as it it you were right not to go through court in the circumstances.

I think now though I’d want to speak to social services. Your step daughter lives with an unrelated male, and while it’s more than likely all fine, somebody should be keeping an eye out.

The absolute refusal to engage with your husband raises serious red flags. Especially when he has assured everyone he is not planning to swoop in and remove his dd.

I’d go to ss first, and see where to go from there.

prh47bridge Wed 11-Oct-17 16:46:29

Your partner needs to get a Child Arrangements Order in place to ensure he has contact and that his PR is respected - he will still have PR even if the ex's partner gets PR.

The current refusal to engage with your partner is worrying. At the very least it suggests that he does not intend to respect your partner's PR and instead wants to shut him out of his daughter's life completely. It also sounds like there may have been parental alienation by the mother which her partner is now continuing.

HeebieJeebies456 Wed 11-Oct-17 18:52:25

The last time you posted this same issue, OP, you were advised that he goes via the legal route.
Why hasn't he?
Why are we still hearing the same excuses?
What has he actually done about this since the last time you posted?

With his dd only one hour away, he could have easily turned up to see/speak to her in person.
He obviously wasn't that bothered as he just accepted what was happening.
It didn't bother him enough to get the law involved back then either.
He's still doing the same nothing but complaining how hard done by he is.

Wallywobbles Wed 11-Oct-17 19:35:26

I think you need to see a lawyer now.

Quartz2208 Wed 11-Oct-17 19:57:56

Yes see a lawyer - this needs to go down the legal route for his daughters sake she needs the relationships she has with both sides formalised - the other person having PR will not removed or overrule his but will help him if she needs any urgent medical help etc. At the same time strict contact should be put in place

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 20:41:02

heebie-jeebies I haven't been on here for a while. Dp has been trying to contact the partner, he has attended mediation and he has contacted SS and the NSPCC.

If mediation is ongoing would the Courts be interested? I was under the impression that was not the case and it has taken about a month so far for them to be seen once each. We now face another 3-4 week wait until they can both be seen together as the partner cancelled this week and DP won't be able to go for the next few weeks after his surgery.

If that's not the case then please do let me know but I was given the impression that mediation must be attempted before Court proceedings.

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 20:46:01

I have just looked up the forms he would need to fill in and it says that you have to have attended mediation first.

Ditsy1980 Wed 11-Oct-17 20:52:45

Are SS involved? What have they assessed/said?

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 22:11:51

Dp phoned SS but they said they would not be getting involved. They didn't seem bothered at all. I guess that they have high case loads and a 14 year old not deemed at risk of immediate harm or neglect is not going to be on their radar.

They did say that if Dp hadn't been able to see DD at her activity for more than 4 weeks he should phone back. It's been three weeks now. She is mysteriously away being busy when he turns up. Her aunt (ex's sister) runs the activity and she is also (along with her husband) being difficult and evasive with his DD's whereabouts when asked.

greendale17 Wed 11-Oct-17 22:14:39

Poor girl, just lost her mum and now a man who hasn't put much effort in with her wants to force contact and make a silly claim that she is living with an "unrelated adult". DD and ex's partner might be scared of loosing each other.

^This 100%

Your partner should do what is in the best interests of his daughter

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 22:22:06

Two years ago when contact was stopped she hadn't lost her mum. What's the excuse for that?

It has been a never ending stream of excuses for two years. She's out. She's busy. She's asleep. She's not in. She's going somewhere. We find out later she has been staying near us with other relatives. We find that she has been offered a holiday paid for by her mum on the same dates we offered to take her on holiday with us. Endless excuses.

He has tried to walk a fine line between being there, wanting to see her and trying to respect the situation of her illness. It seems that on mumsnet, dads are never in the right. In this case it seems that a man who has only been living with her for two years has more fucking rights to a relationship with the girl than her own dad.

He has bought Christmas presents, birthday presents, easter eggs, invited her on days out, on holiday, to go out with just him, for dinner or for a day, he has tried calling and texting, he has emailed and phoned. He has never given up and he has paid maintenance. But it seems all anyone wants to know is how much money he has spent on her and don't seem concerned that this girl's relationship with her dad has broken down so badly due to her mum's own behaviour and now the behaviour of the partner who is refusing to speak to him and refusing to let him speak to his DD.

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Oct-17 22:23:43

And what's in the best interests of his DD is that she stays with the partner and finishes her education. We aren't disputing that. However, there needs to be contact and co-operation from the partner. He cannot cut her dad out of her life completely. Quite frankly, he's being a complete fucking dickhead who has forgotten that his own ex wife did exactly that to him!

gingergenius Wed 11-Oct-17 22:36:37

@MycatsaPirate I am in total sympathy here. My OH is in a similar position (without the bereavement)
It’s very easy for folk to berate him as the deadbeat dad but what if he’s tried everything and nothing works. I haven’t much useful advice to offer but I wanted you to know you’re not alone

MycatsaPirate Thu 12-Oct-17 09:16:36

Thanks ginger

We are at our wits end. The whole thing has dragged on for so long and it's hard hearing people calling him a deadbeat when he is far from that. He used to have 50/50 care of his daughter, he was juggling childcare, school run and work the same as her mum.

It's funny how the first thing I get asked is 'I hope he's been paying maintenance'. Yes he has, but it seems that's the first concern for everyone - money. No matter that his daughter has been alienated from her dad, their relationship destroyed by the actions of two people and extended family assisting that alienation.

She left him. She took their child. She lied in court and she gained most of the money from the house and took the endowment policy and half of his inheritance. She moved into her boyfriends house after saying she needed the money to pay rent. She omitted to tell the Court that she had already gained a school place in the other area at the court hearing (found out later). She lied and lied and lied and despite her daughter saying she didn't want to move, she moved anyway. She promised her a puppy. It never materialised.

So at the end of it all, she is without a mum, has no relationship with her dad, has limited relationship with her half sister, doesn't see anyone on her dad's side of the family or her godparents who she used to be really close to. She is living with a man who can barely remember what day it is half the time who is doing everything possible from preventing her from having a relationship with her family.

But it's my dp that's in the wrong. Sometimes I wonder about people on this site.

If someone on here had 50/50 care and their ex died, would they happily hand over pr to the ex's partner and say yep, off you go and live with them? Or would you want to know what was happening in your own child's life?

It seems that the main concern everyone has is money. Always money.

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