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Ex being awkward over contact

(8 Posts)
kissitbetter2 Tue 08-Dec-15 16:03:44

My ex won't help with our DDs (6 and 4).We split 2 years ago and because he couldn't afford a flat where the DDs could stay, they are with me 100% of the time. Up until now he has been told he can come round to see the DDs whenever he wants by mutual agreement but when he does it is always in my home - he never offers to take the DDs out even to the park or library and never has them overnight.

I work full time and often have to travel with work; rarely overnight but late enough home to cause a problem re childcare. My Dad and sister and ex-MIL help me with this. He says his work won't let him be more flexible - he works 8-5 and can't make it to our house until just before 7 - barely making it in time for the kids' bedtime. For this reason he says he can't commit to regular evenings when he can see the DDs and he won't commit to weekends either. He never phones to chat to them and has had a couple of periods when he didn't have any contact with them at all for 2 to 3 months despite my efforts.

How can I achieve more of an equal share of responsibility with him?

startrek90 Tue 08-Dec-15 17:57:53

Short answer: You can't. Unfortunately courts and contact orders only force YOU to make your children available but there is no compulsion for him to actually see them. If you really want to have a plan. Email him a contact schedule and tell him its that or nothing. Make it clear he needs to step up. If he refuses then tell him to take you to court. Does he pay maintenance?

bjrce Tue 08-Dec-15 18:20:13

Your problem is op. You made it far too easy for him in the beginning.
Where does he live now. At the moment he just breezes in when ever he feels like it and you just have to suck it up. Ffs.
Are you living in rented accommodation or has he signed the house over to you, I bet not!
Is he in a new relationship, I'd say you know fairly little his live? He's a selfish bastard he wants it all his own way. Agree with pp, set out a schedule and inform h of the new arrangement. Chances are it will get you no where but you do sound like you are a single parent anyway. It's his loss.

Cloppysow Tue 08-Dec-15 18:29:47

You can't. Don't try, it just ends up being a comstant battle and you'll feel really resentful. Back off, make no attempt to facilitate contact and don't make it easy for him to just drop in. Tell him he has to give you notice and don't budge. He'll either step up or he won't, but at least he won't be fucking you around.

I am speaking from bitter experience.

Dungandbother Tue 08-Dec-15 20:38:40

Agree with others.
You cannot change him. Stop thinking he will come to his senses. He never will.

When my ex left for OW, I told him straight
Every other weekend between 5pm Fri - 6pm Sun.

If you don't pick them up then you won't see them.

He has had lots of moments where he's calling me at 2 on Saturday saying I need to collect them as they are all upset.
I refuse. I know it's hideous for my children but they know how much I love them and I'm sure of that. Plus I know they are safe, just he's finding life hard work. Tough shit. So I ignore him.

He is more settled now. He now has them every Wed overnight and comes
to school to collect them.

I made the boundaries. I told him when he could see them. And I made absolutely sure my children were content with or without him.

I realise I sound like a martyr. But you can do this. You really can. Assertiveness on behalf of the children that's all.

kissitbetter2 Mon 14-Dec-15 16:02:45

Thank you everyone. He pays maintenance albeit patchily and the bare minimum for what he earns.

I realise that I can't do anything to change him, but I just want my DDs to have a relationship with their Dad.

alicemalice Mon 14-Dec-15 19:56:31

Go through the Child Maintenance Service to get at least regular payments and the correct amount. It's the legal minimum he needs to do.

You can offer him a slot for contact. If he doesn't turn up, you don't rearrange for him, you say he can see them at the next slot. And no manoeuvring or shifting from that.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 14-Dec-15 23:16:11

You want your DDs to have a good relationship with their Dad. Unfortunately it isn't important to him so there never will be a good relationship. You can't make him love his children.

By creating a situation where it looks to the DC as if he cares more than he actually does, you are doing them harm. They will work out eventually that their Dad isn't actually much interested in them and can't be arsed to see them if it involves him having to do any work whatsoever.

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