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Ex husband refusing to swap contact weekends

(222 Posts)
Flossynoodle123 Wed 11-May-16 12:41:17

Advice needed. I'm at my wits end. My DS is nearly 7. His father left when he was a newborn. By Court Order he has DS every other weekend. Unfortunately, DS has 3 important events in June and July falling on the Father's weekends. He refuses to take him and he refuses to swap weekends. There is no reason for the refusal other than it would mean he would have 2 consecutive reasons with no contact - he can't see him on an offered "extra" weekend because he's away! He has been a complete nightmare about things like this since day 1. DS is understandably very upset and tells me to just refuse to give him to Daddy. I'm considering telling him he has to swap and i'm not going to argue about it. The continuing stress of dealing with the man is making me ill. Has anyone had a similar experience. What should I do?

Hamiltoes Wed 11-May-16 12:45:33

I'm sorry, I know its really frustrating especially as your son clearly wants to go.. But I really don't think there is anything you can do. Your ex will have made plans knowing the weekends he should have him, so you can't really expect him to change them.

That said, if it was me I'd rather the child was happy. It won't be that much longer before DS will do the talking with his feet.

Offred Wed 11-May-16 12:54:08

What types of commitments does DS have and why won't ex h take him?

Flossynoodle123 Wed 11-May-16 12:58:09

It's school fair, school disco and Beavers swimming gala. He won't get the badge if he doesn't go. His father just refuses to take him to anything (he's never showed up at a parents evening, refuses to buy school raffle tickets etc etc). H
e used to live 40 minutes away but recently took the random decision to move 90 minutes away so things are even worse.

Offred Wed 11-May-16 13:04:12

I think the Beavers thing is the most important out of those so maybe could you offer to pick him up/take him to that if ex really won't?

coffeeisnectar Wed 11-May-16 13:04:20

I'd look at getting the Court Order changed.

Contact should be in the best interests of the child. This is clearly not in the best interests of your child as he's not getting to do the activities he wants to do.

As a parent whose children live with me full time I am perfectly resigned to the fact that sometimes I can't do things I want to do as my dc have to be somewhere or go on a trip or attend something or other. It's just life as a parent.

My ex was exactly the same btw, kicked off at me 'organising things on his weekend'. It didn't seem to occur to him that I didn't organise these events, they just happened to fall on his weekend. So he would swap because he refused to take them and that meant that my dc could go but also that I had to cancel my own plans for my 'free' weekend. You just suck it up.

He wants to be a parent. Well being a parent is having to compromise and put your own wishes on the back burner at times.

Offred Wed 11-May-16 13:05:39

Or to keep him just for the time you need to and then take him to ex?

You shouldn't have to and I would maybe consult a solicitor about whether you would be able to apply to have the court order discharged on the basis of stuff like this.

abbsismyhero Wed 11-May-16 13:08:19

school fair? meh school disco? meh swimming gala? worth fighting him over

Offred Wed 11-May-16 13:10:35

And 'meh' to him wanting to be a parent. Wanting to be a parent is not the only reason parents apply for a court order for contact. Sometimes it is about control over the child and the mother and not about being a parent at all.

If the order was made before he moved away and not possible to have it discharged maybe you could have it varied to include taking into account DS' activities.

Flossynoodle123 Wed 11-May-16 13:21:32

He won't let me have him just for the swimming gala. Indeed, being a parent means you don't get to do what you want a lot of the time. I'd rather pull my eyelashes out that spend 3 hours at a swimming gala but I'll ruddy well do it with bells on because it's important to DS. Swapping weekends would mean I miss a close friend's party but I just suck it up as coffeeisnectar does.

DuckAndPancakes Wed 11-May-16 13:26:43

He is being unreasonable and I suggest that you seek legal advice with regards to contact.
Your son's happiness should be important above all and if your ex is not seeing that but just his own wants and needs, he's not exactly demonstrating himself to being a great Dad. I think it's important for your child to be involved in all of the activities he wants to be, especially when it comes to his peers. Why should he be the one that misses the school disco, for example, out of all his friends?
Good luck, OP

Offred Wed 11-May-16 13:37:11

'He won't let me' and 'he refuses to take him'

Pssshhh.... I think you need to see a solicitor as this is going to get ugly again in all likelihood.

You could equally reply with 'I won't let DS miss the gala, as you have refused to take him and won't allow me to take him and I doubt you will even if you say you will now, DS is staying with me that weekend'

Need to get legal advice ASAP. Did he move after the court order? What does it actually say e.g. Does it mention responsibility for activities etc?

fuzzywuzzy Wed 11-May-16 13:43:07

Twatface was like this, he took me to court as I never asked his permission, but informed him DC had a party on 'his' weekend and is make them available for the next two consecutive weekends instead the following weekend being my weekend.

Judge was not pleased, I'd not been unreasonable & children were entitled to a social life.

Twatface actually told the judge I should tell the parent to rearrange the party!

BillMasen Wed 11-May-16 13:43:32

Sorry but I don't think he's totally unreasonable. I know how much I miss my kids and having their mum suddenly decide to change things round meaning I'd miss out on a weekend with them or go too long without seeing them would be an issue. He's not unreasonable to have plans on what he believed was a child free weekend either. Would you take kindly to him asking you to change your plans or miss out.

I can't defend him not taking them to things. In his position I'd just take them rather than swap around.

It's a court ordered eow so him sticking to that isn't out of order in my view.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 11-May-16 13:46:57

See Bill you're reasonable, and if you were op's ex it wouldn't even be a question as you'd take the child to his activities.

This father won't.

Flossynoodle123 Wed 11-May-16 14:02:08

Unfortunately this particular father never has plans. DS never sees anyone other than the girlfriend when he's there. Heatwave last weekend - lives 5 miles from the beach - didn't go out!

BlueFolly Wed 11-May-16 14:17:33

I don't think those events sound important enough to swap contact arrangements/go back to court etc etc for.

Andbabymakesthree Wed 11-May-16 14:25:25

I'd point out that your son wants to do these activities. They are important to him. He either needs to facilate it and swap or let you take him?

wannabestressfree Wed 11-May-16 14:29:38

I would be saying he isn't going and let him take you back to court as this will only get worse when he is older and doesn't want to go....they start to have their own lives.

Flossynoodle123 Wed 11-May-16 14:36:43

BillMasen - I'm sorry you miss your kids. As fuzzywuzzy pointed out, if my ex adopted your approach there would be no post. Swapping weekends is inconvenient for me - I would much rather he honoured the verbal commitment he made to the Judge to honour DS's weekend commitments.
He has him until 5pm on a Sunday. I booked swimming lessons for 4.30pm on Sundays so he wouldn't miss every other week. This would enable the father to watch his DS learn to swim and return him 30 minutes later than the court order states. He refused to take him because it was "his contact."
There has been no "suddenly" about me asking to swap weekends. This was all raised over 8 weeks in advance and i'd rather he just took him anyway so my plans could stay in place. However, I am entirely happy to forego my child free plans so DS doesn't miss out. I certainly won't get anything like 8 weeks notice when my ex states his dates for 2 weeks with DS in Summer! My request for potential dates has, as usual, been ignored.
Would I take kindly to him asking me to change my plans or miss out? The sole question would be what was in DS's best interests. After all, I had to change my plans somewhat when my husband buggered off with another woman when DS was 11 weeks old!

nicenewdusters Wed 11-May-16 14:40:42

I'd tell him (as I've had to do) that it's about the child, not him. Personally I would take your son to the events that he wants to go to. His father can then collect him afterwards. In my experience it's about control on the part of the parent who won't be flexible, and an inability to put their own child's needs first.

Your son will grow up to see he's a selfish arse. In the meantime why should he miss out just because his father is too lazy to spend part of "his" weekend doing things that please his son. So no, f**k him, do what suits your son. You've offered an alternative, take it or leave it.

ShootingStar75 Wed 11-May-16 14:40:47

I'd let him take me back to court, your child doesn't want to go to his father so why should he be forced to do that and miss out on what he actually wants to do. Send a text or email stating child wants to go to x, y and z, and as he knows dad doesn't allow it on his weekend he wants to swap so will be available for contact on a, b and c weekend to make up for the missed ones. Your son is entitled to a voice, his dad is a selfish arse who needs to realise that having a child does not a dictator make.

wannabestressfree Wed 11-May-16 14:41:28

I am just going through the summer negotiations which I have been asking for religiously.....
Only just agreed to half term dates. It drives me mad as I can't book or organise things. Grrrr

nicenewdusters Wed 11-May-16 14:44:03

Just read your last post OP, so I echo what I already said - but with bells on !!!

Flossynoodle123 Wed 11-May-16 14:48:49

Absolutely nicenewdusters - It's all about control with DS being used as a pawn.

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