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Ex Husband had let us down again, WWYD now?

(10 Posts)
mummytowillow Tue 04-Jan-11 15:48:32

I've posted about this before, but I've had enough now? sad

I moved my daughter 300 miles away from her dad when he left me, I needed to be near to my family for support etc. He wasn't that happy (naturally) but then again didn't put up that much of a fight for us!

He has been seeing her every month, sometimes twice a month, but he has started letting her down, its now 4 times in total. I have had to go back to work full time, and took this job on the understanding he would help out at weekends as I have to work 1 day every three weeks.

I know I have moved his daughter away, but he left us 4 times, had an affair and didn't support me when I had PND, I couldn't afford childcare whilst working and rent down South so that's why I moved back up North.

So today he sent me a text, simpy saying he can't afford it so can't come. I'm due to work this Saturday, 9-5, my parents are in their late 60's, not in the best of health and they already look after their three grandaughters on a Monday and Friday all day! Which is great of them I think, they find it hard but are adamant they can cope?

I asked him what he expected me to do about Saturday, his answer get your M&D to look after her. This is so unfair, I have done everything I can to maintain contact between the two of them, he has stayed at my house, I've drove her to him myself, I even offered to stay at my friends so he can stay at mine so it doesn't cost him anything?

His argument he can't afford it, doesn't wash with me. He earns a good salary, £30k more than I do! He only has himself to look after and surely if you know how much its going to cost to see your daughter you would set that aside, instead of deciding four days before your due to see her you can't afford it?

Nothing I do seems good enough, he appreciates nothing! We don't have any regulary contact arrangements, if he wants to see her I let him.

So, if I told him to get a contact order, how would it work if he then started letting her down again?

mumsanutter Tue 04-Jan-11 16:49:08

I am sorry that your ex keeps letting you down, and yet more sorry that I do not know what to suggest about contact.

About working on saturday, can you find a friend that would have your daughter and then you have her child etc or look for a childminder that doesn't mind working the odd saturday - as a childminder I am willing to do this and am also willing to do the child swap thing as well (sometimes this is the only way I get an hours peace smile)

compo Tue 04-Jan-11 16:52:30

Could the parents of the three other grandchildren have dd?
I'd formalise arrangements so if he doesn't show he has to wait til the next appointed time

GypsyMoth Tue 04-Jan-11 17:08:01

no contact order can force him to see her .....no parent can be forced into this kind of arrabgement. he will just have to wait til next time to see her

you really need to make childcare plans which leave you independent of him

Niceguy2 Tue 04-Jan-11 18:12:49

I can see both sides here.

On the one hand he's wrong to let his daughter down. But on the other hand its also unrealistic to expect him to travel 600 miles on a fortnightly basis.

No court in the land will force an unwilling parent to see their child so realistically you can do nothing except suck it up. The joys of being a resident parent I'm afraid.

Justanamee Tue 04-Jan-11 18:41:40

I'm sure you had your reasons but moving 300 miles away virtually wipes him out as hands on reliable parent and It must be £100s in petrol.

I think you have to sort your childcare out and be prepared that the father isn't going to be a big part of his daughters life.

I can't imagine having to drive 600 miles to see my children twice a month it must be a nightmare for everyone.

thumbwitch Tue 04-Jan-11 18:46:09

Agree with others - you need to formalise child care, not rely on your ex helping you out. You don't say whether or not he has a new woman yet, but even if he doesn't, whenever he does get one he will likely become even less reliable at the weekends.

I have no experience of contact orders - but it sounds like it would be a good idea to get one in place, then if he misses his "slot", he knows he can't just rock up when he feels like it, he has to wait until the next "slot" to see his DD.

Would your mum and dad be able to cope with your DD for this one Saturday, on the understanding that you will look into better arrangements for next time?

Niceguy2 Tue 04-Jan-11 22:55:30

I completely and utter disagree with the statement that it would be a "good idea" to get a contact order.

These should be the last resort. The reason is that once legal proceedings start, you open a huge can of worms. Despite best intentions, the whole thing morphs into a big fat mess where the needs of the child is often secondary to winning the fight and for the parent to "win their point".

Add on top of the the cost of legals, the months of stress and the intrusion of a CAFCASS visit, personally I'd think you were mad to think its a "good idea".

In OP's case, she has nothing to gain and everything to lose. He cannot be forced to stick to the contact order yet OP as the resident parent can have an order imposed she doesn't want. Why would you willingly risk that!?!?!?

cestlavielife Wed 05-Jan-11 08:54:18

unles there are welfare issues -which there dont seem to be -there is little point taking this to court.

for childcare - op needs to sort something else out. how old is DD? maybe local college student would be happy to take on the saturdays.

houseproject Fri 07-Jan-11 22:14:58

Seeing both sides here it is very tricky - courts (& I not advocating court however) would look at both parents current committments and make an assessment on what is fair and reasonable over the long term. Contact will always be an issue with parents who, since separation, live long distances apart.Where does the ex stay? Does he have to find accommodation? Often one parent will agree to contact arrangements at the start but after a period of time it becomes apparant that the plans aren't realistic and therefore they break down. Best approach is accept this has happened and look to get new substainable contact arrangements that both parties are happy with. You can always agree to trial it and assess if it's working. For you DCs sake this is the best approach. You could use mediation to help if you feel an outside person would help. The risk of court is that they would recommend an arrangement that is best for the child, but it may not suit you. An example: a judge may ask for you to drive some of way to meet your ex (subject to committments). Some countries impose limits about how far the parents can relocate as the impact on contact for the child is recognised.
Hope you work it out - long term it really does pay for a child to have a good relaxed relationship with each parent.

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