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How much pratting about do I have to put up with from ex regarding him messing about with contact arrangements?

(17 Posts)
WhoWhoWhoWho Sun 22-May-11 15:55:54

Because I am really starting to reach the end of my tether with him constantly chopping and changing DS's overnight as he pleases. angry

Our arrangement is that he has DS wednesday tea time (this used to be an overnight but was stopped by ex), and saturday two p.m (ish) to Sunday noon (so an overnight). DS is autistic and doesn't like change, refers to his calendar and his daily picture tiemtable at various points during day and basically likes to know where he stands, what's going on, the plan, etc.

He is constantly changing these around to suit him usually at last minute although sometimes he will give me about 4 or 5 saturdays as a list in advance that he can't do. hmm

Today he dropped DS off, waited until he had got home and then text - "you haven't forgotten I can't have DS saturday or even friday next week so I am having him sunday night instead have you?" I usually just remain agreeable and fix another night for DS, usually the friday when he says he can't make the saturday.

He did not mention next week to me. He is claiming he gave it to me in a list months ago with other dates. I know he didn't as I wrote them all on calendar and also one of his nights out next weekend was only arranged a few weeeks ago so he can't have done (he doesnt know I know when this particualr night out was planned).

He basically argued with me and me with him, things got a bit strained, he begrudgingly apologised (follwed by a but...) and he has his own way yet again.

Incidentally I had a very very rare night out planned next saturday which I am now unable to go on. Friend will be pissed off with me.

How much of this chopping and changing do I have to put up with???? I had been keeping a log of these incidents but have been lax with it for the last month.

elastamum Sun 22-May-11 20:59:43

My ex is the same. Him and his new wife seem to think I'm a flexxible childcare resource.

Get a calender - we have an electronic one and agree all date changes must be requested on e mail. that way there is a record of who wants what and when. You dont have to put up with anything

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 22-May-11 21:41:12

Get to court and have it sorted once and for all. It's having a detrimental effect on your life, not to mention that of your DS whose autism needs are not being taken into account by your ex.

WhoWhoWhoWho Mon 23-May-11 08:20:37

An electronic calendar is a good idea in theory but he is very sly and would fiddle with it. That's why I was so annoyed at him saying he had already told me. He was very emotionally abusive while we were together (so much so women's aid offered me and DS an immediate place in refuge). I moved out one day when he was at work and had a very long running thread on here in the months up to leaving him in Nov 09. I feel like this chopping and changing is an attempt to continue to control and upset me and I've had enough of it!

The irony is he has told his fiancee (and she has gone on to tell her friends), that I stopped him having contact with DS! What a lie! I bend over backwards to ensure they get to see each other every week, even though half the time DS isn't fussed. He did the same with his two older dcs and it was me that encouraged regular set contact.

I'm concerned if I go to court and in the future DS is adamant he doesn't want to go that this will be enforced because of the court order despite what DS wants. confused I feel torn whether to persue through the court or not.

Smum99 Mon 23-May-11 11:23:59

How old is DS? Does your ex change the schedule for social times or is it work related? A court order can be really effective - you can apply, and don't need a solicitor to represent you and the end result is a schedule which both parties sign up too. If at a later date your DS didn't want to visit then you could go back to court and it would be assessed, the focus is on what the child needs and if your ds was over 12 his views would be taken into account.
That said courts do prefer that couples try to work out arrangements themselves first, could you suggest mediation?

WhoWhoWhoWho Mon 23-May-11 16:53:31

The changes are always to suit his busy social life.

DS is only 6 at the moment, and with his autism I would worry that even at 12 ex would argue they should judge him as younger despite him very much knowing his own mind.

WhoWhoWhoWho Mon 23-May-11 16:55:16

I think it also irks me that he pays a small amount of maintenance but can afford to go out all the time, go to cinema (and point out his cinema trip to DS), and be wearing new boots and coats and so on every time I see him whilst simultaeneously crying poor. hmm

uklouisab Mon 23-May-11 21:28:19

I could be reading about myself there-and the issues I have with my ex simply believing that contact is about suiting himself. Ive had to put up with cancelled overnights and day contacts for various "social" reasons (also where I had a night out planned and therefore had to give up on) and huge issues over not being able to agree on handover times - my ex just wants everything his way no matter how inconvenient it is to me. there is no compromise.

Ive bent over backwards to agree and facilitate as much contact as possible (dd is 5, ex and I have been split for 3 yrs) but I have been pushed too far.

I had a solicitor for a while last year (then mediation, but not now), who advised that even getting a contact order wouldnt solve issues. A non-resident parent who doesnt adhere to the agreed times, by just not turning up (which is what I suspect he could do if he wanted to not have contact on a given day/night) is rarely pursued. The more frequent issue before the courts is resident parents not making the child available as per the terms of the contact order. The only thing it would do is give you grounds to reduce contact on the basis of him not adhering to it and irregular contact being adverse to your childs wellbeing - if you ever were faced with wanting to do that.

The only way Ive found im having to deal with it is to be firm and clear - put my foot down and say that once contact is agreed it is stuck to. he either plans differently for his social life or he arranges an appropriate babysitter. Unfortunately while you/we continue to just accept an work around adhoc and irregular demands (often at the expense of our own plans) they will continue to do it/make them. That is, however, easier said than done when you are faced with the possibility of your child being cared for by an unsuitable babysitter arranged by the ex.

Hope you are able to get something sorted

gillybean2 Mon 23-May-11 23:17:29

Are you willing to put your foot down and say no this is the arrangement and you stick to it or you don't see ds till next week?

The consequence is that he won't see ds if you stick firmly to the arrangements and then will blame you, you won't get a break and ds won't see his dad. And this will continue until he grows up and realises how unreasonable he is being assuming he ever does.

None of which is your fault, but if you continue to be flexible you are only going to get more and more angry and frustrated.

So now might be the time to tell him you want a fixed arrangement, agree the days with him each week and if he can't make it he either has to arrange alternative childcare or doesn't see ds. And then stick to it and show him you mean it.

WhoWhoWhoWho Tue 24-May-11 12:52:26

That's interesting uklouiseab, yes I can see that for a court order he could just enthusiastically not show up and that would be that but if I were blocking the contact (which I would only ever do if I had serious concerns about DS's welfare whilst with his dad), I would be hauled into court! sad

Gillybean I think I do want to just say these are the days like it or lump it but I don't know if I can. [wibble] I have always encouraged DS to see his dad, we had a spell of a few months were he refused to sleep and I encouraged regular contact to still be kept on the same days without him sleeping, and eventually got him back into doing a sleepover.

DS doesn't sleep well and I really do appreciate the night of undisturbed sleep once a week. I know my mum would have him for me though.

Hmm not sure what to do for best. confused

gillybean2 Wed 25-May-11 07:15:00

You can say like it or lump it. If you feel it is better for your ds and you to say that, and can handle not having any break should he choose not to come on the contact day then see how it goes by trying it.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 25-May-11 07:23:37

I'm not at all an expert, so I hope people will jump in and tell me if this is a horrible idea - but maintenance is calculated based on the proportion/days that the non-custodial parent has the child, right?

Could you have your solicitor write a letter saying that the original maintenance agreement was predicated on your ex having DS for 20% of the time (or whatever it was) but actually in the last six months he has only had him for 10% of the time and therefore you will be seeking a new calculation? Would that scare him into acting like a real parent?

ChippingIn Wed 25-May-11 07:34:24

WhoWhoWhoWho - how much does your DS care about seeing his Dad? If he's not tooooo fussed I would tell the dickhead your Ex that his contact times are x & y, that if he can't make those then he misses out, end of - then would your Mum have DS when Ex can't so that even if DS doesn't know if it will be Dad's or Grandma's he knows he will be having a sleep over (or would that be just as bad/worse for him??). NRP's doing this to any child is shit, but to one who has SN and gets anxious when the routine is out of kilter is spectacularly shit.

I can see what tortoise is saying, my only concern with any method of 'forcing' him to have DS is what would happen to DS when he really wanted to go out or whatever? Would he find a suitable babysitter or would he just get any sitter and then stress DS out even more?

WhoWhoWhoWho Wed 25-May-11 08:06:58

He would probably ask his eldest to babysit (he's about 14 now, I have used him before and he is great with DS in general but recently has been making jokes on facebook and in RL with his friends about window lickers and 'special' people (this is his mother's favourite brand of humour and I remember discussing the issue with him when he was younger). angry So he is not someone I would be keen to have look after DS solo at the moment. Plus ex has now moved out of town and wherever he went out to would be quite a journey back home if anything where to happen.

TBH though DSS would want paying for his services and ex wouldn't want to fork out so would no doubt just not have DS and tell all and sundry I was being unreasonable and stopping him from seeing DS.

DS isn't overly fussed about ex (I realised it was time to leave when DS didn't want to go home if daddy was home). Recently he has been keen to go but only because ex bought him one of those fortnightly comics with trading cards and has promised to get him the subsequent ones. hmm Apparently on Saturday evening DS threw a wobbly at having to sleep over and anted to come home.

As for maintenance - he pays £10 a week and I'm surprised he pays that. He has had orders from CSA for money to be taken straight from his wages in the past and his two older children's mum I think is still owed maintenance arrears from years ago.

ChippingIn Wed 25-May-11 09:03:12

Do you care what 'all & sundry' think? If you know them & care - just go about telling everyone what a useless fecker he is that can't even be bothered having his own son.... if you don't know/don't care - don't worry about it. Just make sure you keep every single text/email where he tells you he can't have him.

Shame about his DSS - shame his father CBA to deal with that shitty behaviour. Can't you post on his FB?

I realised it was time to leave when DS didn't want to go home if daddy was home sad

Can you afford to buy the comics? If not tell EX that he has to buy them as he's promised to and drop them over, even if he's not having him - it's the least he can bloody well do.

It's not surprising he doesn't want to stay really is it? He can't feel wanted & loved there. I just don't get wankering stupid fuckwits like your Ex who let their kids down so badly sad

£10 pw - it's just a joke. Can you keep on at the CSA??

He doesn't deserve the title Dad - he really doesn't.

WhoWhoWhoWho Wed 08-Jun-11 20:30:44

He has repeated last weeks behaviour adding new lies and annoyances in for good measure. I put my foot down, he said he will have DS and the one night a week he has him if he wants "a social life" to go out drinking he will get a sitter. sad

I'm going to call a solicitor tomorrow and see where I stand.

An order for contact will not turn him into a good dad, he will just have him and leave him with someone unsuitable and go out. DS will continue not wanting to sleep (he out and out refused to sleep this weekend, I think he figures if it is optional for dad why can't it be optional for him) and if an order is in place me and ds will be held to it while ex does as he pleases either not having or having him and going out.

confused sad

WhoWhoWhoWho Wed 08-Jun-11 21:36:47

I did end up buying DS the comic he had been promised. (his new half sibling it turns out has one BTW) hmm

No I don't care what he tells people, I am past caring now -I am full of maternal rage now. He will never put DS's needs first, he's a joke!

Not sure about maintenance, may contact csa but again not sure where I stand as they may just say we had set up a private arrangement so they can't get involved. (?)

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