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advice please

(3 Posts)
bella1968 Wed 11-May-16 13:32:47

I'm not sure if this is the right board but please advise if not. Brief history, separated June 2014, divorced December 2015, September 2015 started share care 7 days each alternate weeks, handover (although not physically) Friday 4.30. Children: boy and girl twins, 13 in July, different secondary schools. My xh and I don't talk as he is nasty/insulting/antagonistic all the time.

As the house that I live in is still jointly owned by me and exh (trying to sell) I only give my dd a key during the time that they are living with me as ds goes to homework club and gets home at the same time as me so I trust my dd to get home and do her homework at home.

On Friday, however, my exh and ds organised to go to the house after school (when I wasn't there) to get his things even though they knew they hadn't got a key, so on Friday morning my dd stole the key from my handbag whilst I was in the bathroom. I had taken it off her key ring the previous night so that I didn't forget in the morning. So my xh and dd went after school and she collected her stuff. My xh didn't go in as my dd wouldn't let him (Although if he really wanted to she couldn't physically stop him)

When I spoke to her over the weekend she said that she had hidden the key and that he wouldn't get it and she wouldn't hand it over which I have thanked her for and said that I trust her but not him as he could get the key when she was asleep or not in her room. Anyway I can't rest thinking that he's gotten his hands on the key and made a copy (which I appreciate may have happened already!) so I got the key from her school's reception where she left it for me to collect on Monday morning saying that I didn't want her stressing that he might get his hands on it.

This is a difficult one as although I trust her I think she should be punished for taking the key out of my handbag. Should I refuse to give her the key next week when she's with me? meaning that she will have to go to homework club or is there another punishment. I don't want to encourage her to make a copy of the key and fear that if I say she can't have it then when she does get it she will make a copy or at least be so angry that she will side with her dad which means she won't respect my wishes at all. Whereas at the moment she does respect my wishes by making sure she's hidden the key from him.

Any advise on punishment please?

coco1810 Sat 14-May-16 17:12:59

If you and exh still jointly own the house, doesn't he have the right to access the house? I maybe wrong. But yrs, you should punish her in someway for invading your privacy.

mommybunny Tue 17-May-16 14:07:24

I agree with you that taking a key (or anything) out of your handbag behind your back is serious, but I don't think you should punish her. This isn't a case of a child taking money from her mum's purse to buy sweets or Smiggle toys - there is something much more serious going on, and punishing her would prevent you from getting to the bottom of it.

I think it is entirely reasonable, and necessary, to sit her down and explain what she did is a breach of trust, and that if she has any idea of doing that regularly you won't be able to trust her at all, which will lead to loss of privileges, but for now you want to know why she did it. Of course the answer is that she did it because she knew if she'd asked you if she could give the keys to your XH you'd have said no, and obviously she felt under some pressure from him to produce them.

Although your XH has behaved badly in getting your DD to go behind your back to get the keys, he seems to respect some boundaries, in the fact that he didn't try to physically force your DD to let him into the house when he and she both knew you wouldn't have wanted that. But in all honesty it seems you may be just as bad - she shouldn't be in the position of having to police that in the first place, and you as much as XH put her there. If you don't want her to make a sneaky copy of the key and "side with her dad" then you need to assure her that it isn't up to her anymore to keep him out.

Why would you have said no? As a joint owner of the house, XH must have the right to enter as he wishes, whether he has a key or not? You say you don't trust him - do you feel unsafe with him having access to your house (which is a bigger problem than your DD taking the keys from your handbag, and if that's the case you should move out of there pronto), or is it just the thought of him having access is too unpleasant given how nasty/antagonistic he generally is? Can you not just accept that until the house is sold he may be able to get in when he's with the kids, and plan your life and living space accordingly so his potential presence poses the least threat to your peace of mind?

Again, if you think your DD is unsafe with XH in the house or that you are unsafe because he's been there, then you need to make that clear, take it to court immediately and get yourself and your DCs out of there, but his being nasty, insulting and antagonistic (which is all you've said about him) doesn't necessarily make him a threat.

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