Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
DP wants to get married instead of seeing his DC(44 Posts)
DPs ex has form for regularly stopping contact. This time it's been a year since he saw them. They have two siblings here who very much love and miss them, as I do. DP doesn't talk about them. We have savings of just over £1000 which was supposed to be for our wedding but I think it should be used to take his ex back to court to have contact with his children. He thinks it's pointless because his ex is resistant to contact so the money will be spent and he'll still have it stopped. I feel like I can't marry a man who would give up on his children so easily but if I don't then effectively I could be sealing the same fate for my DC.
Is it pushy of me to say the money is better spent on court than a wedding?
My husband doesnt see his children. Taking their mum to court would be empty money.
Hes blocked all the hurt and pain out from not seeing them.
I would spend the money on the wedding. Sometimes you just have to look forward
If there's no real reason why the ex is withholding contact (that's assuming she is) then he'd pretty much be guaranteed to get it if he went to court.
In my opinion it's either :
A) she isn't withholding contact at all he just can't be arsed, and blames her because it's easier, and he gets a "poor me" story out of it
B) Ex IS withholding contact for spurious reason, but he can't be arsed anyway.
C) Ex is withholding contact for good reason, which he knows and has kept from you so doesn't want you to know about it, or to "waste" money on fighting what he knows he won't win against.
Not knowing him, I don't know which of these options is most likely, but I'd bet my last pennies on it being one of them. I agree with you, surely seeing his children should come before pretty much anything?!
You sound like a good mum and stepmum. I would be thinking the exact same thing as you. Can you have a talk to your dp and explain that you would love to be married but when it comes down to it, its just a formality. Explain that trying to have regular contact with his dc isnt just for his benefit, its for theirs also. He will not be wasting the money, it will be showing to his dc how important they are to him. If you really cant get through to him and he cares more about losing money than fighting for his dc i would be having second thoughts. I hope you can help him to understand.
Just a thought, but could you bring an action on behalf of your DC's to have contact with their siblings? Maybe you could post on the legal board here to find out if that's possible and what it entails and maybe visit with a couple of solicitors offering free initial consultations.
Court stresses him majorly. I think he thinks his dc will forgive and forget but I don't.
His ex accused him of being heavy handed with the children; one wasn't keen on coming and apparently told her mum DP physically restrained her. DSD has a huge history of being dishonest which DP uses to excuse not seeking contact - he convinces himself he's saving himself and others in the family from false accusations. His ex must know it isn't true (she's also been in the receiving end of DSDs accusations) but prefers the DC to not see their dad.
I think if I contacted his ex asking for the children to all have contact, she might agree. But DP would be against that.
You say "back" to court which suggests that he has a court order giving him contact. If the ex is in breach of this previous court order he can use hmcs form c79 to apply for enforcement and will not need to spend your wedding money.
I have to say that it sounds like he isnt that bothered.
False accusations are hard to deal with, but they probably come from the fact that she is hurting because the adults that she should be able to rely on, are not doing their best for, and that includes her mum and her dad.
I wouldnt be able to marry a man who walked away from his children so readily.
It's £95 to submit a claim for enforcement of a court order.
With regard to Wing's post, how old are your dc and how often did they get to meet with their half-siblings before this last hiatus of a year or so?
You can marry in a Register Office for less than the £215 court fee required to submit an application for a childcare arrangements order www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce/overview but your dp should first attempt to reach agreement with his ex through mediation, the cost of which is on a sliding scale according to income and he may be eligible for legal aid: www.nfm.org.uk/index.php/family-mediation/about-family-mediation
Yes he's been to court before so it'd just be enforcement. He wants a wedding rather than just to be married. I also can't believe he'd get married without his dc there knowing one day they'll know our dc were fully involved in the day and they weren't even invited
I couldn't marry him. Ima stepmum and o one of the reasons i married my dh is because hes a good father who would move heaven and earth to see his children. Your partner does not sound like a good long term prospect.
If he won't pay £95 for an enforcement order, I'd have serious doubts.
I understand parental alienation, I know that it's real. But I also know that you can't give up until you've pursued EVERY legal route possible.
I'm sorry OP but it really doesn't sound like he's interested in them. You say she'd probably allow contact if you said it's so the children can see each other and he doesn't want you to do this, what on earth!
I think it's actually £215.
I couldn't marry him. I couldn't marry a man who put a party before his children. My DH & I had a tiny marriage ceremony and went out for lunch - we were supposed to do the wedding at a later date but 2 years on he's still not out of court.
My DH needed a bit of emotional support to start the court process. His ex had been emotionally abusive and he'd been left feeling like he had no right to see his children, that he was a crap dad because he'd had to end the marriage etc. Perhaps your DH needs a bit more emotional support? I don't blame him not wanting to go back - court is hideous, but I still couldn't marry someone who just gave up.
Its a hard one to judge without knowing the ins and outs.
If it is as clear cut as ex not allowing contact for no reason, then I can see his point. A court order is just a bit of paper that couldn't physically force her to bring the dc/be home for pick up.
However, I would feel that the paper work and the effort would go a long way to show his dc he did care and did try.
I also understand the bury your head outlook - it hurts and its hard, so pretend its better than causing more drama. His dc wont accept that when they grow up as the only fact they will be sure of is mum was there and dad wasnt.
id be super cynical though as my ex spun the story how his ex made seeing his ds so awkward and how he tried so hard, but she was crazy and unreasonable......fast forward a year when we split and he walked away from our dd and I'm pretty sure some other poor girl is being spun the same story on the now plural crazy exs!
I wouldn't even have a relationship with a man who didn't see his children, let alone marry him.
There are 3 possible explanations, none of which make him a good father:
1. There is a good reason why the children's mother and/or the courts have decided he shouldn't see them eg he has been abusive or there is another serious issue.
2. There is no good reason why he shouldn't see them but he doesn't want to.
3. There is no good reason why he shouldn't see them and he does want to but it's "too difficult"... In other words he can't be bothered to do the right thing.
In a choice between a bad father v a disinterested father v a lazy/cowardly father... I pick none.
In all honesty it's very difficult to enforce when someone stops contact for a spurious reason. It doesn't matter how many times a judge says the other party has to allow it, no-one actually enforces it. And so it continues.
They are an hour from us and countless times he'd travel there for them not to be there or say they weren't coming. The judge didn't really criticise this and left DP feeling powerless and his ex feeling untouchable. His ex has reported him to the police for taking a photo of them in the bath when they were toddlers. She isn't an easy woman to reason with.
Sorry OP I totally agree with kitten I really think all women should run a mile from men like your DP and society in general should treat them like outcasts. Not parenting your child is one of the lowest things you can do and at the end of the day that is what is happening. We need a massive cultural shift so men realise they cannot get away with this.
You've said she isn't an easy woman to reason with, yet you said she would probably agree to contact if you yourself rang her and said it was for the kids. She doesn't sound that hard to reason with to me OP!
New applications are £215. Applications for enforcement of existing orders are £95.
I'm not trying to minimise the difficulty of this by just quoting the amounts of money, by the way. I know how draining it must be to have to keep fighting and how outrageous that you should have to pay any money at all but I'm just trying to show that it isn't an either/or choice of pursuing contact versus wedding. You can pay £95 pounds to pursue the contact and still have £900 left to pay for your wedding. Does your partner know this?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.