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advice for situation - separation involving 6 month old

(17 Posts)
downday Thu 11-Oct-12 10:11:48

this is actually about my brothers situation. he was not married, but living together and have separated after about a year. he is now living with my parents and also does shift work - but i am aware that he is looking after the baby for weeks at a time.
this concerns me... i am not judging the mother at all - but for me i wouldn't have wanted to be away from my baby for a week at a time when she was 6 months - but i know everyone is different and different things work for different people

the things i am wondering are - they were not married so legally he has no rights to the baby, so can she call the shots all the time about whats happening with the baby? she has always seemed controlling and demeaning to him and i worry she is going to always give him the short end of the straw and then deny access or something.

another thing is... i am under the impression that she is asking him for money. as far as im aware he is still paying her rent, and giving money - she doesn't work. i read on here awhile back that if they are doing joint care which is what it looks like, he shouldn't have to be paying all this money.

i am just worried about him, not trying to interfere - should i advise him to keep a note of the days he has the baby, or anything like that, just incase he needs it for the future? can anyone with more knowledge give me any advice for him. thank you very much

EleanorBloodBathsket Thu 11-Oct-12 10:16:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 10:26:06

Definitely he needs to formalise this legally while they're still friendly. Access and finances are the bare minimum and, if you think things may turn sour at some point, it's important to have that set out as quickly as possible.

downday Thu 11-Oct-12 13:15:22

i thought that unless you were married the men didn't have rights to the baby. i must be misinformed... yes as far as i know he is on the birth certificate, the baby even has his surname as they were engaged.

Snorbs Thu 11-Oct-12 13:27:38

Child contact and child maintenance are two very separate issues. Child contact can be arranged either by mutual decision, via mediation or (as an absolute last resort) through court. I'd strongly recommend you point your brother in the direction of Families Need Fathers as they can help him with non-confrontational ways to resolve these issues.

He definitely should keep a record of how often his child is staying with him. If push comes to shove it will show that his ex had no concerns over his ability to look after their child and that they have built a strong bond.

Child maintenance (unless as part of a divorce petition) is either done via mutual decision or the CSA. Either party can apply to the CSA, and child maintenance is paid to the resident parent (ie, the one whom the child stays the most with). If there is a dispute over who the child stays with the most, whomever receives the Child Benefit is deemed the resident parent.

For a single child the CSA would say he should pay 15% of net salary, reduced pro-rata in sevenths for every night per week the child stays with the non-resident parent.

lowercase Thu 11-Oct-12 13:41:31

If he is on the certificate, he has parental responsibility with her.

why shouldnt he look after his baby for weeks at a time?
i should think it is benefitting the child.

gently suggest trying to formalise things if your brother is unhappy about the way things are. tread carefully with forcing people to do things..
though, she hasnt denied access at this point?
if he is having the baby for weeks why is that likely?
unless you have a plan to pull the rug out and think she might react badly...

whatever way this progresses, keep your comments, thinking etc. along the lines of what is best for the baby.

as a neutral person reading your post, i think you dont like the mothers behaviour as it doesnt fit in with your idea of what this should look like..

downday Thu 11-Oct-12 14:59:43

there is no reason why he shouldn't, and i am really really glad he is doing it, as if he wasn't i would never get to see the baby. when they were together i saw her once. now i have seen her so much more. (i know its not about me, but its nice to see your niece)

i guess its just a bit weird for me as its not something im used to, and if it was me there is no way i would have my dd away from me for a week - but like i say , everyone is different.

yes i am a little negative towards the mother... i didn't like the way she behaved towards him when they were together, and thats why im a bit worried now. plus i don't like the thought of him struggling financially and why he should be paying her rent.

yes its really best for the baby if he has her and its mixed... i just hope that the going between 2 houses is ok for her, but if she grows up with this from such a young age she wil be used to it.

i am not forcing anyone to do anything? my brother is very unhappy, but as far as im aware he is happy with having the baby.... i am simply trying to get information to protect him as i don't really trust her and he is not in a good place to do it himself.

lowercase Thu 11-Oct-12 16:12:23

i think paying the rent is fine, if mum does the lions share of care / baby lives are not clear on if he is paying or not though?

could he start to transfer into bank account (rather than hand) and use his name, or babys as a ref. minimum effort and covers his back.

i think baby will be fine growing up between 2 houses for now, try not to project into the future / let go of the outcome.

why did they split by the way?
wondering if babys mother may feel justified to be difficult.

downday Thu 11-Oct-12 17:34:09

she just said she didn't have feelings for him any more. they are on ok terms but he is doing far more. i said the baby was with him a week - turns out now she is with him a week and a half, then with the mother a few days and then back with him as soon as he has a day off. she is on maternity leave, he is working... i just find the whole thing a bit weird. how is he supposed to be able to afford to live (he needs to find a house nearer her as my mum lives too far away) when he is paying her rent, looking after the baby it seems most if not half the time... and also paying her money on top of that towards the baby.

maybe its just me - im sorry, im going thru my own difficulties at the minute and my dh does the bare minimum. maybe this is all normal and ok, but i just worry about him.. covering his back by using the bank records like you say is a very good plan.

Snorbs Thu 11-Oct-12 17:49:52

Honestly? It sounds like he's being taken for a ride. The danger is, of course, that if he starts trying to either formalise the contact situation or re-balance the financial situation his ex will suddenly cut down on his contact with their child. I really do recommend Families Need Fathers. They're a good bunch and not the kind of nutter you tend to find in Fathers4Justice.

digerd Thu 11-Oct-12 18:58:52

Is she is wanting to go back to work after ML, and if so, who will be taking care of the baby? You say your brother is very unhappy that his ex does not love him any more, and you believe from the way she treated him, she never did. Your mother must be upset for him too. As he had the baby for a week and a half, he must have been off work , but for that long????? Do you know what reason she gave to him, as is very unusual. Men don't talk much about their feelings like women do, so expect he doesn't confide in you .?

CoccoLover Thu 11-Oct-12 19:10:03

If he is on the birth certificate then he has joint parental rights.. I would advice him to go through court and sort it out the right way.
They will cover everything from living arrangments to money and so on.

downday Thu 11-Oct-12 19:46:47

he is completely skint - only way would be for parents to fund it through the courts. i don't think he would go through with that. no he's not good at expressing feelings - but he told me today he is extremely depressed all yesterday and last night - i really felt for him. he is such a good devoted dad. apparently she said he does not show the same love anymore. before the baby came along, he was jobhunting. then he had the baby, job and her to think about so i guess it would be hard to have the same time to give... but he has made a lot of effort to get back and it seems she has just kicked him out.
yeah, he does care work so he can work long shifts for a number of days and then be off a good bit.
i don't know if she wants to go back to work ... i don't know anything about what she wants really . i know my brother though - and i know given the way this has affected him, it will be hard for him to sort any of it out on his own - he tends to just shut down. thats why im trying to find some information but i don't want to interfere either.
i sent him that link so i hope he looks it up for FNF

downday Thu 11-Oct-12 19:50:40

Yeah i think its such odd reasons too . .. i mean you would think they would have worked on things, split for awhile to get space, or went for counselling or whatever. he said he would suggest counselling but she didn't want any of it. the whole thing is sad, but none of us know what goes on behind closed doors.

downday Thu 11-Oct-12 19:54:11

oh and i forgot to say mum also minds the baby while he does shifts on her days off. sorry im drip feeding, and all over the place tonight myself!

Snorbs Thu 11-Oct-12 20:30:39

CoccoLover, courts don't deal with child maintenance these days except as part of a divorce. It's done through the CSA.

CoccoLover Fri 12-Oct-12 20:45:15

I know but they give you all the informtaion you need. It was just incase the Op did not know who to get help from smile

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