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Does this sound reasonable?

(28 Posts)
GEM33 Sat 01-Mar-14 21:50:17

He left me two months ago for someone else dd is two. We are still talking but he s started being awkward with child care. Says he won't babysit when I'm on night shifts and late shifts because he doesn't want his life "ruled by my job/shifts" I'm having to move in with mum so my mum can be my child carer to set him free so he can see dd when it suits him (nob head).
We jointly bought the house 6 years ago. All I want is him off the mortgage. I want him to completely walk away from the house and not pay me any maintenance. I'd be happy for this to be in writing so I can't go back on this.
He already pays 200 a month to the mother of his 13 year old (he left he for someone else when ds was two also).
I seriously don't want his money I just want the house.
Any comments/ advice?

purpleroses Sat 01-Mar-14 22:35:19

I think you probably need proper legal advice. I don't think it's possible any more to commit yourself to a"clean break" deal when you promise not to claim CSA ever in the future, and it may not be in your own interests to do so. You can't force your ex to look after DD at your house while you work but you can tell him he needs to commit to regular days if he wants to have her.

GEM33 Sat 01-Mar-14 23:12:07

I don't want him to look after her. What I mean is I will never stop him seeing her but I'm not fussed about him looking after her regularly. He can see her when it suits him. I really just want rid of him. I'm fine on my own and don't need his money or his time.

FrogbyAnotherName Sat 01-Mar-14 23:35:50

It sounds like you're in agreement with him then?

Co parenting around a shift pattern can work, but only if both parents respect the time the other has with the DCs.

I've seen a former colleague mess her DCs (and their Dad) about by swopping shifts and cancelling contact at the last minute, insisting on the DCs coming home to her for an hour each evening on a run of nights and then carting school bags etc to Dads even though he was happy to pick them up and once, she threw a sicky an hour into her night shift and said she was going to collect the kids on the way home "because I dont need him to have them now".

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he applied for a regular contact order, and last I heard she was spending all her free time driving her mum to and from her house to look after the DCs while she worked and was in all sorts of shit with her supervisor and crew mates for being unreliable because she was regularly calling in with childcare emergencies. And she was bitching that a lot of her days off were spent on her own cos the DCs were court ordered to be with their dad.

GEM33 Sat 01-Mar-14 23:43:44

Well after he has now told me he doesn't want to help me with child are around when I work I have to accept that I can not rely on him if I want to keep my job I have to use my mum as main carer. I would be happy if he just fizzled put of our lives coz he isn't a good dad. He's uninterested in his kids to date. He's done what he has to. I'd never want my daughter to say why didn't daddy see me mummy oh coz I stopped him. No I wouldn't do that. I will always welcome him into dd life but I believe he will fade out of our lives without pressure from me and I would be happy.
I just wondered if it sounds reasonable to other people that he just walks away from 6 years worth of mortgage payments instead of paying maintenance so I can have as clean a break from him as possible.

FrogbyAnotherName Sat 01-Mar-14 23:49:57

I just wondered if it sounds reasonable to other people that he just walks away from 6 years worth of mortgage payments instead of paying maintenance so I can have as clean a break from him as possible

Unfortunately, the maintenance he is liable to pay your DC is not yours to negotiate with - you may want him out of your life, but s/he is entitled to his financial support.
If he chooses not to pay, then you don't have to pursue him - but wouldn't it be better to have a nestegg for your DD once she's grown?

Star8369 Sun 02-Mar-14 11:45:47

any man who uses the term "babysitting" when they are referring to their own children doesn't deserve the title of dad

Divinity Sun 02-Mar-14 12:12:41

You're doing yourself a disservice. On the maintenance, if he pays £200 per month for 16 years that's £38,500 helps supporting his own DD. That's a large chunk of money. Also remember pensions are assests, and is there any trusts of inheritance? It's definitely worth taking your free 1/2 hour slot with a solicitor before making any decisions.

Babysitting my arse. What about arranging the nights he can have DD and fixing those nights (make sure if not just the 'fun' weekend night, one school night too so he can do the school run stuff too). That way you know that you have cover certain nights and he can't complain that he's 'ruled by your shifts'. Otherwise it sounds like he will mess you around completely. This is about making your and DDs life easier. Knowing some shifts are covered will help you and help your mum as she will know there are some nights when she can have a break too.

Divinity Sun 02-Mar-14 12:13:50

* pensions are assets.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 02-Mar-14 13:27:15

any man who uses the term "babysitting" when they are referring to their own children doesn't deserve the title of dad

I read that as the OPs term, not necessarily her ex's.

Its not unreasonable for him to want a regular contact schedule that isn't dictated by the OPs shifts - but it would be ideal if it accomodated her work commitments.

russianfudge Sun 02-Mar-14 16:38:32

Contact doesn't need to be around your shifts, make a contact plan, then stick to it. If you are working and it's no this contact time then your mum or another childcarer can have your child.

I agree that maintenance isn't yours to decide you don't want. And the house isn't yours to simply take. Six years is a long time... Around a fifth of the mortgage? I wouldn't walk away from that if I were him and it's a short term fix to your child's needs which are basically endless!

When they are older they will ask why their dad wasn't a part of their lives and why he didn't support them financially. Don't underestimate how much that will hurt them or how angry they'll be with you if your response is simply that you thought you could do better on you own.

So he's a slimy shit bag, left both his children's mothers for another woman, refers to looking after his children as "babysitting" (vomit) but you have to so things by the book I'm afraid.

russianfudge Sun 02-Mar-14 16:39:28

Yes, I assumed that he was using that term. Is he Op? Or is it your way of describing their time with their dad?

purpleroses Sun 02-Mar-14 17:32:30

Unless your mum is a super-keen granny I do think you might be best to try and get some kind or regular commitment out of your ex -eg one night a week and then do your best to fit at least some of your shifts around that. Unless you're really sure he couldn't be relied on.

Re the house you really do need proper legal advice. You may be much better off getting his name off the mortgage and paying him any share of the equity he's due. Or there are ways of delaying a sale until your DC has left home. But if you are going to move back with your mum f then just sell the house.

GEM33 Mon 03-Mar-14 07:42:58

Thanks for comments. I call it babysitting because he doesn't do stuff with our dd. he takes her to his parents when he s got her in the day and leaves her there all day. Never takes her anywhere or engages her in something. It is babysitting because it feels like babysitting rather than parenting. No he can not be relied on at all. He decides last minute when he wants to see dd. he sees her for half an hour an hour tops if I'm not working. He does only what he has to.
Re house. I worked out the house was bought for 105. There is 96 left on it. He s paid about 16k towards mortgage. I think he d be getting a very good deal to walk away from house and not pay maintenance because he already pays 200 a month to his first child's mother. I'm financially ok I just don't have a lump sum to buy himout. I would advise him to have a savings account for dd if he wanted but I don't want any more money from him. And of course I would allow him and facilitate him being involved in dd s life. I hoped this would sound like a fair deal to him. I'm not in to hurting him through his wallet.

FrogbyAnotherName Mon 03-Mar-14 07:45:32

any man who uses the term "babysitting" when they are referring to their own children doesn't deserve the title of dad

What about when a woman uses the term "babysitting" to refer to her DCs time with their Dad?

russianfudge Mon 03-Mar-14 07:55:37

So he'd pay you £200 a month as well, presumably? That's six and a half years to break even on the 16k, after which time he has no assurance that you won't go to the CSA and demand he pays benefits.

Does your dd hear you call it babysitting? shock I'm sorry but that's awful.

GEM33 Mon 03-Mar-14 08:02:26

She is two. No she doesn't hear me call it anything. It's just how I've described it here on this post. It doesn't really matter what u call it. That's not the issue.
I wouldn't have expected him to pay me as much as 200 a month because he s already paying that for the first child. And that's why I d like it in writing that this was our agreement and that neither of us would change our minds along the line. I would never go back on my word.

FrogbyAnotherName Mon 03-Mar-14 08:12:45

Sounds like you want your DDs dad to be a parent the way you want him to, when its convenient for you and to financially settle the way you want.

It can't happen. The law won't allow to to negotiate your DDs maintenance away.

GEM33 Mon 03-Mar-14 08:16:48

This is why I asked the question. I appreciate your comments. It's nice to look at things from different perspectives.

russianfudge Mon 03-Mar-14 08:40:33

Yes, sorry Gem but it doesn't work like that. In some cases if you'd been married for years and he or you were very wealthy there are settlements that can sometimes be made outside of CSA but in this case it'll be CSA because no one knows if you'll change your mind. Your dd is two now so in six years time she will start getting very expensive indeed. And as a teen... Phew! You'll need that £200 and then some!
It doesn't make him any more or less the father. Children aren't pay-per-view. The contact arrangement is made according to what the parents decide (with such a young child they won't ask her) and, hopefully, what is best for the children.

Nothing you've said about the way he spends his time with your dd is particularly alarming I don't think. There is no professional in the land who would say that your dd is better off without dad in her life. Although that's not what you want to hear.

There is quite a lot written about children of around 11 wanting to know why they don't have contact with an absent parent. They blame the parent who has been there and you will need concrete evidence that you did what you could to keep her dad in her life or that there was a definite reason as to why he would have been bad for her.

I've been in the position where I've had to hand my 18month old over to her dad who had a stream of very young girlfriends through the flat around dd, frequently left her at his mums to go out on the piss, never bought her clothes (I once discovered that she was wearing a sweater with the neck cut with scissors to make it fit) or brushed her hair. He let her watch things like Dr Who which I found unacceptable. But she loved her Dad, would have NEVER thought him a babysitter, and after years of persevering, and letting him fail, then letting him try again, he has married a wonderful woman, has a close relationship with his mum who has been like a very lovely third parent to dd really (fifth if you include her two step parents!) and we parent kind of in parallel occasionally crossing over if we need to update the other on something or if we have a concern. His contact has grown from one day a week to almost 50/50 now and I enjoy time with my husband and my friends and I can focus in my career again.
It all seems desperate now but kids are resilient.
Good luck with it all x

russianfudge Mon 03-Mar-14 08:43:16

And back to the "babysitting". It does matter how you refer to it. If my ex told me he was working a night shift and could I "babysit" my own child I'd be fuming!!! Contact doesn't work around either of your working patterns, it's there to protect the child's rights to a relationship with both it's parents.

Although it can be nice if the two of you can help each other out in the regard.

purpleroses Mon 03-Mar-14 10:09:05

But it's not about how much left to pay on the mortgage there is - it's about what the house is worth. If it's fallen in value and is now worth £96k then you don't owe him anything as there's no equity to be divided, and can simply switch the mortage to your name (as long as your bank will let you based on your earnings). If it's valued at, say, £106 now, then there's £10k equity - which he'd be entitled to £5k of - so you'd need to extend the mortage by a further £5 (to £101k) so you could give him what he's due. If your salary wiill support the mortgage you have at the moment there's no reason at all you couldn't do this. And at the end of the day, you get to own the house yourself. And you can claim CSA to help you manage day to day whilst you pay the mortage - over the long term you'd be hugely better off than if you accepted the small amount of equity he probably is due and sacrified all future CSA payments.

Besides, he'd have to take you entirely on trust to let you do that - as there's no means by which he could legally prevent you claiming CSA in the future.

FrogbyAnotherName Mon 03-Mar-14 10:20:35

She is two. No she doesn't hear me call it anything. It's just how I've described it here on this post. It doesn't really matter what u call it. That's not the issue.

It matters a great deal to MNers when Dads refer to time with their DCs as 'babysitting' - but as usual, double standards apply when it's mum that refers to it like that.

GEM33 Mon 03-Mar-14 13:16:46

I take on board your comments but he didn't go through csa with his first child and they were in the exact same situTion as we are now. Why would we go through csa? If me and him agree that's what we want to do?
Also why would I think how much he paid would have any bearing on how often he saw his dd? I've said repeatedly here I will never stop him seeing her whenever he wants.
Re the term baby sitting, I see now how strongly this is viewed and tbh I hadn't put too much thought into the use of the words but I understand why now it may cause offence. It's been very interesting to see people's opinions.

purpleroses Mon 03-Mar-14 13:26:50

Bu you'd be asking him to sign over his assets to you and to trust you never to go to the CSA, no matter what happened in the next 16 years.

You can suggest it to him but I think anyone would advise your ex not to agree to it. You'd probably be agreeing not to claim a lot of money that you're legally entitled to, in return for a much smaller sum right now - and in the future you may need that money, or change your mind about not wanting it.

(Agree with you about the "babysitting" thing by the way - if my ex was looking after our DCs in my house in order to help me out we'd refer to it as babysitting and neither of us would get upset about the term - I guess it's just a term some feel sensitive about as it suggests you're seeing him as someone to help you out rather than an equal parent)

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