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Unfair contact?

(156 Posts)
bubblybottom Mon 14-Oct-13 23:19:17

I am very unhappy with the arrangements for contact with my boys(7&8) with their dad.
He works away from home(London, home is northwest)
He picks them up every Friday night and drops off on Sunday evening.
Why am I unhappy?? Because I hear about all the fantastic things they have done, been on a steam train, buried each other in sand on the beach, camped out in the garden etc etc. I never get to do any of that with them.
I cook, clean, sort out uniform, take to school, do homework, drop off and pick up from rugby, BB and karate and put to bed. And I love doing all that. It's my job.
I don't think its unreasonable tho to ask my ex for every other weekend. Or is it?
The boys I have to say are more than happy with the arrangement, however, it's been all that they have been used to for the last 2 yrs..
It's not my fault he works in london(he manages to get time off to to his house up as and when it suits)
I am nervous to ask him
A. He has the money for solicitors, I don't
B. He has no communication skills with me
What do I do?

dozily Mon 04-Nov-13 07:11:56

Put it in a savings account - you might not need it now but children get more expensive as they get older. If they go to uni there will be tuition fees, rent etc.

Jux Fri 01-Nov-13 10:18:42

You may not need the extra money but you may as well get it while you're putting things on a stronger footing. As said before, put it in an account for the children. You never know what the future holds.

pookamoo Fri 01-Nov-13 00:40:58

Having read the whole thread, I think you need to get some legal advice.
Yes, it may mean you have to pay for it, although you might get a free initial consultation, but you need a properly qualified person to represent you.

Speak to Women's Aid, and to the CSA.

Good luck.

bubblybottom Fri 01-Nov-13 00:12:22

I seriously don't want or need what he should be paying. This about contact only.

clam Thu 31-Oct-13 23:57:48

Fine, go to court. EOW is standard practice. And while you're at it, you can him to start paying what he should be paying for his children.
Do NOT be bullied by this miserly twat.

Jux Thu 31-Oct-13 23:37:06

As I understand it, 'contact' can mean a phone call or overnights, and anything in between. What was 'agreed'? Anything in particular, or just that there would be contact each weekend?

bubblybottom Thu 31-Oct-13 22:41:10

Ok. so I waited till tonight!!!
The boys came home from their dads not last sunday night, but the sunday before. DS2 said 'dad says we aren't seeing him next weekend. we are going to see you one weekend, him the next, you the next, him the next'
message sent thru a 7 and 8 yr old!!!!
So he didn't come for them last Friday night so I presumed that the boys were correct and that the above had been accepted
We are going to a wedding reception tomorrow night and as such I needed to know re pick up times.
I texted to ask arrangements. no reply
DS1 rang him(noticed his car outside his house so therefore not in London)
Have just had major row. basically he has said that there is no way he is going to agree to EOW. he kept repeating 'go to court, get a court order'
the exact wording of our 'separation agreement' is
'the children shall live with mum, and dad shall have contact each weekend as agreed'
where do I now stand??????

bubblybottom Sun 20-Oct-13 11:01:25

Was going to wait and see what he comes back with first, but I will do if I have to.

YoureBeingADick Sun 20-Oct-13 10:50:12

I agree with lewji. Good advice. Also agree you should get legal advice.

Lweji Sun 20-Oct-13 10:42:31

He knows there is an agreement in place and that you are likely to back off if he doesn't reply as usual. As he does with any other requests from you.

If the wording on your agreement is as you said, just "contact every weekend", then next weekend tell him when the children will be available for contact. Say, overnight on Saturday for example.

This type of agreement is awful in that it is wide open to interpretation and for dispute.

If it stipulates that he spends the two nights with the children, then give a deadline for him to answer or go to court.
Have you had legal advice over this yet?

bubblybottom Sun 20-Oct-13 10:12:47

Well, he still hasn't contacted me, by phone, in person or by email.
I rang to say goodnight to the boys last night, but he got them to answer(which he usually does)
He will be dropping them off at 5 pm tonight and probably won't say a word. Usually just sends them up the drive.
Don't really know what to do!!

ScaryFucker Sun 20-Oct-13 08:05:47

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

bubblybottom Sun 20-Oct-13 02:10:29

Am sorry about that. I just wanted help. I got that. I think on here that there are so many people, often women who have been shit on badly.
I feel that I got the help I needed although am still a bit wobbly just hope that most people feel ok. Mumsnet is a very powerful source.

Wheatus Sat 19-Oct-13 23:10:03

I felt a bit bullied on this thread.

Unless you agree, your views are pointless.

perfectstorm Fri 18-Oct-13 22:24:13

Women's Aid.

Call them and have a chat? They can advise you in a trained way, and without expense.

perfectstorm Fri 18-Oct-13 22:14:14

mumsforjustice has a bit of a reputation on these boards, shall we say. Hence the irritation. It's not about this thread as such.

The problem with seeking legal advice is that you don't know how good it will be. If you do want to, I strongly suggest that you contact Women's Aid and ask them for someone local to you who is experienced in dealing with abusive exes, because what you describe having experienced in your marriage is financial abuse, and not all solicitors are that good, never mind experienced in more subtly abusive relationships. And I'd wait and see what he says before approaching a solicitor, because he may be advised that it just is not worth taking it to court. If he's that mean, he will be looking at spending thousands of pounds on it, and he can't win on the CSA aspect, plus is unlikely to keep the exact status quo with regard to weekends. Is he genuinely likely to want to spend that much money, when you're not actually seeking to deny him contact, just a more reasonable share of time?

You aren't trying to thwart contact. You just want a more healthy arrangement. Don't lose sight of that.

ScaryFucker Fri 18-Oct-13 21:58:46

Good luck x

bubblybottom Fri 18-Oct-13 21:53:33

please don't be nasty!! you are all trying to help me which is fantastic. you all have different takes on this which helps me enormously. MFJ has msgd me privately and been really lovely to me. she isn't a bad person. actually has a lot of relevant knowledge.
am really really grateful to all of you.
will se what happens over the weekend and let you know, but reckon I do need legal advise
many thanks ladies xxx

ScaryFucker Fri 18-Oct-13 21:51:16

Dark warnings wrt "women, know your place" I reckon

perfectstorm Fri 18-Oct-13 21:49:21

mumsforjustice, you appear to have missed the extremely relevant facts that:

1) the ex earns a thousand pounds a day

2) the OP has meekly accepted just over half the mandated CSA minimum for years despite his exceedingly high earnings

3) the Children Act allows for very high earners to be made to pay more than the CSA minimum

4) the OP accepted a relatively tiny property settlement despite a decade of marriage and being primary carer/SAHM of two young children. She did that by agreement, never seeking/threatening court action to achieve a more equitable division.

None of those facts are remotely conducive to anyone successfully portraying her as money-grabbing. As any decent solicitor will tell her. It's a total non-starter.

The status quo is very important in child contact cases where the arrangement is seen as functional, but in this instance it can cogently be argued that the status quo is not working in their best interests - they are losing out on all weekend family time with their mother, her partner and the other children. There is a reason the convention splits weekends equally between the parents, regardless of weekday care. And the ex is not stepping up to care for their academic work and he is not caring for them in the holidays. He just wants the fun time.

As to the person saying she has fun time in the holidays - unless I am misunderstanding, he still has them for those weekends, too. He's saddling her with sole responsibility for all their out of school care, despite her working herself. Again: he's not stepping up to parent them in concert with her, he's having fun with them and then dumping them back on Mum to do all the actual child-rearing.

And what's the worst that could happen? He can't get more time, and he's already paying way less than the legally required minimum. Worst outcome is she gets them for some weekends but not the half she'd like (and in her OP, she was only asking for 1 in 4, so...), plus the CSA money which is legislatively set out and thus not subject to a court's jurisdiction. Which is better on both fronts than she has at the moment. So why the dark warnings to be careful? Careful of what? The continuation of the status quo? What exactly does she have to lose?

ScaryFucker Fri 18-Oct-13 20:17:39

yep, FFJ might be more applicable, one might say

Lweji Fri 18-Oct-13 20:07:40

MFJ,, seriously, what is your fucking problem?

Perhaps the word mums should be replaced on the nickname? hmm

Just saying...

Cantabile Fri 18-Oct-13 18:58:29

Unless it's shuttle mediation? That might be OK.

bubblybottom Fri 18-Oct-13 18:58:15

Well he just picked them up. Not a word. As usual. I was my usual chirpy self.

haverer Fri 18-Oct-13 16:25:51

I don't think you look unreasonable in the email. You have said you expect him to agree they can stay with you EOW but that you can discuss the details - that doesn't sound unilateral to me. If you have posted the exact original wording of the agreement it was woolly and doesn't state every weekend from fri-sun. He hasn't stuck to the agreement in that he hasn't taken advantage of the holidays he was meant to spend with the boys.
Understandably, you may have a tendency to give into him. You could also benefit from a paper trail. It wouldn't be a conversation to have in front of the DC. For those reasons, don't do this verbally. Do it by email so you can have a good think and get advice before you respond. If it were me I'd get legal advice.
I wouldn't advise mediation. I think there's been a history of you avoiding conflict by giving in and such a power imbalance would make mediation unfair to you.

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