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My 10year old daughter refuses to go to her dad for two nights alternate weeks

(19 Posts)
TCDunbar Mon 15-Jun-15 11:26:29

My 10 year old does not want to go to her dads for two nights every alternate week. I had told him this and she had even wrote a letter to him but still he was trying to force her. I know the only reason he is doing this is to reduce the maintenance payments as it will take him over the 53 night limit. He contacted the school asking them to speak to her in the vain thought that I was lying but it turned out she told two different head teachers the same thing. She will go on a Saturday but not a Friday / Saturday. He is now threatening family court action. Will her thoughts be taken into account? She is a very bright and articulate girl that knows what she wants.

Patchworkpatty Mon 15-Jun-15 12:17:43

Her thoughts will be listened to, and given appropriate weight from 8 upwards, however the people who speak to her from the court (CAFCASS) are very attuned to coercion from a resident parent against a non resident parent, both directly and indirectly. For example, she has overheard you talking to others about the only reason he wants to see her is too reduce maintenance and she knows if she stays 2 days, you will be unhappy/worse off.. you may even have talked to her directly about it . Unless the child has exceptional reasons not to want to spend weekends with father, the court will order you to make her available. At ten yrs old, she should be doing as her parent tells her , not choosing herself.

pocketsaviour Mon 15-Jun-15 12:24:33

Has she said why she doesn't want to go?

sleeponeday Mon 15-Jun-15 12:25:44

Well, that's easily resolved if she goes on the Wednesday on the week she's not due for the Saturday, right? That way he couldn't argue it's about money, but she doesn't have more than one night away from her main home.

Larrytheleprechaun Mon 15-Jun-15 12:31:23

"At ten yrs old, she should be doing as her parent tells her , not choosing herself"

I have to say I disagree with this in these circumstances. Unless, as you say, there is coercion from a parent then surely the childs wishes should be listened to and taken into account. At 10 years old I am sure she has some common sense and reason. If it is making her unhappy then I am not sure forcing her to go is going to do anyone any favours.

OP what reasons does she give not to want to go? Can you consult with your solicitor or a mediator to try to work something out that will suit everyone?

Larrytheleprechaun Mon 15-Jun-15 12:32:45

Good idea from Sleeponeday, would one night a week suit her better?

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 15-Jun-15 12:33:52

I think you should find out WHY she doesnt want to go tbh.
And yes a ten year old should have some autonomy and say over their lives, patchworkpatty.

nightandthelight Mon 15-Jun-15 12:39:34

That is a very worrying attitude patty! I used to beg my dad to refuse my mum access to me but wasn't listenened to. As a consequence she was free to continue to emotionally abuse me, the impact of which I am still managing in my adult life. I think that it is great that you are listening to your daughter OP and you should definitely try to find out her reasons!

Spell99 Mon 15-Jun-15 12:50:15

Its easy to see how disruptive it is for a child to go to a different parents alternate weekends. Children demand all sorts of things and without a good reason then I'm afraid she should go. She is still too young to understand how important a relationship with her father will be to her over the course of her life and if its just because its boring...

What would be your reaction should she go there for two days and say she didn't want to go back?

Lweji Mon 15-Jun-15 14:13:53

It's not as if she doesn't want to see her dad, just not stay overnight.

I would think that if she is supposed to be going Friday evening, it's more disruptive than going Saturday morning.

I would let him take me to court if the current arrangement is one night. Is that the case? Or has it been agreed previously two nights?

kittensinmydinner Mon 15-Jun-15 15:09:27

Because it also works the other way around. DH ex filled eldest two with such vitriol and emotional blackmail, that at 10yrs old they didn't 'want' to see daddy. When in fact, they didn't want to upset mummy by wanting to see daddy. Despite a court order and CAFCASS reports. There sometimes comes a time when the 'best interests of the child' are not best decided by the child, especially at only ten years old. If there is no reason for a child to refuse to see their father then the Parent should make that decision for them. Imo any child who doesn't want to see one of their parents is behaving outside the 'norm' and those reasons should be fully explored. Not just accepted by the other parent as reasonable. In our case, my eldest sdc's swore blind they hated their df, when in fact they were just too scared of the consequences of saying otherwise. Aged fourteen they both moved in with us and it's taken nearly 8 yrs for them to forgive their DM for 'withholding' their df from them . It's not always as cut and dried as it looks.

Handywoman Mon 15-Jun-15 16:08:30

Agree with Kittens this needs to be handled very delicately and all possible reasons for the objection considered.

It's not black and white, kids don't normally 'just not want' to see their NR parent age 10 and there is nowhere near sufficient context given in the OP to be able to advise what should happen.

Lweji Mon 15-Jun-15 21:23:34

This is not really a case of the girl not wanting to see her dad.
She just doesn't want to spend two nights there instead of one.

If two nights means she leaving Friday evening and returning Sunday morning, then it's just him wanting to cut on maintenance, because that is one day and two nights, effectively.

If he picks her up from school on Friday and she returns home Sunday late afternoon, then I'd think it's fair that he gets a full weekend and it might improve their relationship by spending more time together.

mrstweefromtweesville Mon 15-Jun-15 22:18:28

Please don't make your dd stay with her df if she doesn't want to. Enforced visits will not 'improve their relationship'.

VelmaD Mon 15-Jun-15 22:24:52

Maybe instead of two nights every other weekend she goes every Friday night for instance? So just one night at a time?

But at this point, unless there is risk of abuse, you should be encouraging their relationship. Two nights a fortnight is not much for a father to see his daughter, and im not surprised he's fighting to keep this. The difference money wise is small surely? He's her father, and to just agree with a ten year old to not keep the level of contact isn't right imo. Can you look at a midweek night instead or a every weekend one night option?

wallypops Mon 15-Jun-15 22:47:35

I think this really depends on individual circumstances. My kids aged 9 & 10 have chosen no longer to see their dad, and we have gone to court over this.

It has been a massively long drawn out process getting here, and the decision came from my kids. I've always said I will support their choice on this subject but it had to come from them. The issue here is their dad is a hugely emotionally abusive (alcoholic) bastard. Is this honestly the case with your ex? I had always encourage contact even when they didn't want it. After the last major incident when he called them whores amongst other things, and after advice from their psy and the police, we went back to court.

kittensinmydinner Tue 16-Jun-15 06:42:25

Absolutely Wallypops and kittens. Two sides of the same scenario. Which just goes to show that a ten year old shouldn't be calling the shots on this without investigation. Is there any abuse ? Is there a partner she doesn't like ? Something in the house that scares her ? Or is it that she just can't be bothered to spend time with her Df and is encouraged in this by OP as she realises maintenance will decrease if she does 2 days/nights ? Because if all other avenues have been explored, the 'normal' contact should be the minimum she sees him, to enable her to build an effective relationship . This will only improve her relationship with him, one day a fortnight really isn't enough for either of them. The vast majority of child contact orders require the child be made available for contact with NRP see them 6 pm Friday -6 PM Sunday Eow and some have one night in the week.

kittensinmydinner Tue 16-Jun-15 06:45:12

That should of read : absolutely wallypops and handywoman .. Cut and paste disaster ��

christinarossetti Tue 16-Jun-15 07:14:18

What are her reasons for not wanting to go for 2 nights?

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