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contact and asd ds- ex wants flexible arrangements to suit him

(11 Posts)
redhappy Wed 17-Aug-11 16:25:51

Separated in April, and the dcs have been staying with their dad every other weekend. Ds got his dx for asd just over a month ago, but we've known about it for a few years.

Exp has handed in his notice at work, will be working freelance from September. This will mean working away a lot, often a few weekends in a row. When he told me, I said he could do what he liked with his life, but it was not to affect the kids, and that he would need to work around what Ds needed. Ie. routine. We argued. Then he texted me a few hours later to say he agreed that's best for Ds and he would stick to having them alteenate weekends, and work around that.

Today he said he's found somewhere new to live (currently at his mums), he loved me, wants to move here and live with us blah blah. I said no, so I've since had an answerphone message saying he's 'putting his foot down' and I will have to be flexible about when he sees the kids, its tough.

I'm so annoyed. I work so hard with ds, and i really the break when he goes to his dad's. And without the stability of knowing whether he's coming or going he's going to be unsettled, and even harder work. The timing is so bad too, ds about to start school. I've spent the last 15months doing everything I can to prepare him for school.Is there anything I can do? How does it work if you can't agree on contact arrangements- who decides?

Please excuse spelling mistakes, on my phone.

Newbabynewmum Wed 17-Aug-11 18:58:22

You decide. If he doesn't like it he gets a solicitor and threatens you with legal action. Write him a firm letter (and keep a copy) - stating what access arrangements will happen (not what you want, simply what will happen). You're being reasonable IMO. My ex works away a lot and lots of evenings but I expect his DD to come first (she doesn't! But that's another thread entirely)

gillybean2 Wed 17-Aug-11 19:21:42

Seems like he wanted to move back in so he could skip off away on the weekends he is planning to work and it wouldn't matter as you'd be there to do the childcare for him.

Are you on speaking terms with your exMIL? If the dc are used to going to her place then surely she could have the dc for ex when he has to be away and the dc will still get to see their gran a lot and you'll get your break. Will teh routine of knowing they will be going to dad or gran every other weekend work for your ds do you think? And is MIL likely to agree?

redhappy Wed 17-Aug-11 19:32:05

Unfortunately mil is seriously toxic. Even exp worries about the effect on the dcs whilst he's been staying there.

Just going to put them to bed and I'll come back and reread your replies, can't quite think straight whilst they're still up!

WhoWhoWhoWho Wed 17-Aug-11 19:51:45

redhappy I have no advice but lots of sympathy as I have a selfish ex and a ds on the spectrum too!

wine or brew take your pick smile

redhappy Wed 17-Aug-11 20:54:29

Oh definitely a wine please after the day I've had!

NBNM I know what you're saying, but how does that practice? I say alternate weekends, but if he's not in the country I can't force him to come and collect them. What can I do apart from say he can't see them then? And then they suffer. And of course this is what hes counting on.

Gillybean I'm more cynical than that. He's bored of taking care of himself, having only himself to blame. He was emotionallt abusive to me for years, and now hes trying every trick in the book. Todays events mean I'm due some angry accusations in the next few weeks. Then a few weeks later he will declare his love hmm

niceguy2 Wed 17-Aug-11 21:42:31

Best thing to do is to stick to the alternate weekends the best you can. So no to swaps but he can continue to have them any of the weekends he otherwise would have.

Don't engage, don't rise to the bait.

When push comes to shove you can't make him have the kids. That's one of the blatantly unfairness when you are a resident parent. But it doesn't mean you have to roll over and let him have his way.

If the kids are missing out then it's his fault, not yours.

redhappy Wed 17-Aug-11 22:15:53

Yes that's so sensible.

It's funny, not so long ago I wished he just disappear. He was constantly telling me he doesn't see them enough (and in the same breath telling me he can't afford the petrol). I'm just a bit shocked, and ofcourse disappointed, how quickly he's becoming less significant in their lives.

redhappy Wed 17-Aug-11 22:17:27

I meant that sounds sensible!
I sound a bit sarcastic in that last post sorry niceguy!

QueenofWhatever Thu 18-Aug-11 12:46:45

Game player like my ex, the only approach that works is zero tolerance IMO. Agree with the others, stick to regular weekends and if he doesn't show, he doesn't show I'm afraid. Being messed about by him and him playing games with you will hurt your kids more in the long wrong.

My ex is also freelance and works weekends and tried some of this. Because I never offered the least flexibility, he's missed few weekends and DD sees him every other week. I thought he would drop put of DD's life but hasn't but heis still trying to control me in all sorts of ways (a whole other thread).

I wouldn't go near MIL, there's usually just a whole load of family dynamics in this and she will(or he will use her) to just have a go at you as well.

Yup, I know it's not fair on you or your kids, but what I've learned after two years is that people with this sort of history rarely become good NRP. Also my advice if he is going freelance is to go straight to the CSA for maintenance. I found them really good and you want to make sure they know about his employment status from the get go.

redhappy Thu 18-Aug-11 19:53:02

Spookily spot on there queen! Or perhaps not, there is a predictable pattern.

I'm going. To stick to the set weekends, if he doesn't come then he is choosing not to see kids.

Any suggestions for wording in the letter? I have no idea where to start. He's definitely going to be very angry! So I need it to be spot on. He is collecting them this weekend, should I hand it to him when he collects them, brings them back, or just send it in the post?

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