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Please advise me... contact time, 18mo, 50 50 split wanted.

(31 Posts)
Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 11:17:34

I'm desperate for advice and seem to hit a wall wherever I turn.

DC are 18 mo and 6 yo. I left in Jan following dv incident which I reported to the police. Got legal aid advice at time, mainly told to go to mediation. Ex has consistently refused to give me any dates for mediation. Total stonewalling. Will not respond to pretty much anything from me.

I work part time, him full time, he pays no financial support. He has DC every other weekend and a night in the week. I agreed but worry about my 18mo spending so much time away, and of course nursery 3 days a week while I work.

He will not accept calls from me while he is with them, even if they are ill. Will not take them to docs and does not own a thermometer, antiseptic or nappy cream. Has no working home phone.

My questions are these. In others experience is my 18mo too young for this much time away from me? I have been the primary carer throughout and need to work to pay for us. Should I fight this? I feel that she needs a good relationship with her father but is now the time for this much separation from me? Ex says she is fine. I'm not sure whether to believe him.

Should he be paying me? How can I get him to pay? He says he won't contribute, and that he wants them 50 50.

Should I escalate concerns about safety or am I overreacting? He is in general a safe person but seems wilfully resistant to usual medical procedures, such as taking temperatures and calling nhs direct for advice.

Should I go to court to sort this out if he is effectively refusing mediation?

Just want the best for my kids. Help.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 11-Jun-16 11:29:40

He doesn't want them 50/50! How would he be able to work full-time with two kids in tow? He's just using this as a stick to beat you with, to keep you off-kilter.

Did your children witness the DV? Were there any other forms of abuse: emotional, financial?

"He says he won't contribute"

In which case you need to go through the proper channels (CSA or whatever they're called now) to force him to support his children properly. 25% of his take-home pay minus a percentage for the times he currently has them in his sole charge.

As for an 18 month old being away from you for one night mid-week and every other week-end being too much? Under normal circs I would say "no". But are these truly normal circs?

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 11:35:54

Thanks bitter. I know that really but it scares me to think a court could award him it if we went that far.

No, kids never witnessed dv. Always after bed, om other side of the house etc. Yes, emotional abuse, yes financial abuse, yes verbal abuse and then yes physical abuse.

If I do csa before any formal agreements are drawn up will that make more trouble for me?

18 mo and absence... no not normal circs but I am confident she is well attached to both of us and settled and happy at nursery. I worry that my bond with her is being affected by so long away. Not sire if that is factual or me being overly emotional.

Thank you for your reply flowers

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 11:36:53

Also, if I push csa, I'm worried he will push 50 50 so he doesn't pay me anything.

happypoobum Sat 11-Jun-16 11:41:13

I think you have two separate problems here.

1. Is the current access arrangement working well?

2. How do I make ex pay child support?

Re 1. I don't think the amount of time he spends with them is at all excessive. I would be concerned if you really feel he would ignore illness - do you have proof of this? I agree with bitter that he is very unlikely to go for 50/50. He is just saying this as he knows he wouldn't have to pay you.

2. Are you married? If yes, see a solicitor and get things in motion for divorce, it's the best way to bring things to a conclusion. If not married, CSA or whatever they are called now.

You don't have to be bullied by him any more. Good luck.

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 11:41:14

Contact and maintenance are completely different things and totally unrelated. You going to CSA won't have any bearing in court. If he couldn't be bothered with maintenance,do you think he'll be bothered with court,especially since you are not denying contact. Who will look after the kids while he is at work?

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 11:54:12

Happy poo I do have evidence of him not giving them appropriate medical attention- I can't go into it as it will out me - but it got to the point of x rays for a suspected fracture and he still maintained I was over reacting and that a hospital visit was not required. If I had not been there, our child would not have been checked at all by a medical professional.

2. We are married but own no joint assets so nothing to divide. La solicitor said I could take the easy route and just apply for divorce post 2 years separation. Does this still sound like a good idea?

Rebel, he is not earning enough (through choice) to pay his bills and contribute to us.

He has no plans to cut down his working hours or share school holidays either. I build up flexi, annual leave and unpaid leave to cover it.

I'm a mug, aren't I.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 11:55:41

But overall most worried about 18 mo and her feelings of security and attachment.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 12:08:33

Any and all advice or experience so welcome, I'm very lost with this flowers

ConkerTriumphant Sat 11-Jun-16 12:17:18

I shared 50/50 with my ex for our DCs from when the youngest was 10 months old. We literally split the week in half. So I was without them for 3/4 nights a week.

It was hard for both me and ex BUT the DCs thrived. They are now all well adjusted young adults who dearly love me, their dad and our new partners.

However I never had any concerns about their care when they were with him.

ConkerTriumphant Sat 11-Jun-16 12:18:50

I suppose I'm saying a 50/50 split is fine for young children (hard for you but you do learn to enjoy the break) and it won't damage your bond.

But if you have any concerns you should definitely go to court.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 12:48:12

Conker, thank you for your perspective. I would like to believe his behavior has always been directed at me. I am not convinced he attends to them as swiftly / conscientious ly as I would. But I'm trying to balance what are my emotions about it and what is rational.

Could you give me a breakdown of how you split the week/ working hours and finances? And was there any abuse involved in your split, out of interest?

Cabrinha Sat 11-Jun-16 12:56:05

I'm only going to offer comment on the nights away / bond, but offer sympathy for the rest.

I didn't divorce until my child was nearly 5, but I worked away a lot from 13 months. At 18 months I was away for 3 or 4 nights, every other week. It never caused an issue.

Zumbarunswim Sat 11-Jun-16 12:58:12

Is he practically able to look after them 50% of the time? If this is, as pp suggested, just to get at you then you may be pleasantly surprised if you leave him to get on with it and he can't do it. If you were to say ok to 50 50 and not pick up any of his slack, do you not think this would become a non-question ? flowers for you, it's so tough knowing what is the correct thing to do when there has been domestic abuse.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 14:03:04

Thank you cabrinha, it's reassuring to hear. I am pleased for you.

Zumba, if I let it start then he will be too proud to say actually I can't cope. Meaning that when he descends into a periodic bout of depression, which he will and in my experience cannot leave his bedroom for days , it is the kids that will suffer. Or maybe he did that and refused medical help because I was there to do everything. Perhaps if he had to, he would sort it out. I don't know.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 14:04:35

And yes, domestic abuse seems to be at the root of all the current problems and I just don't know how to challenge it sad

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 11-Jun-16 14:17:26

Ask him for his proposal for 50:50.

It will need to include the basics of which days, drop off and pick up times and arrangements, clothes and laundry arrangements, who makes and does dentist appointments, who makes and takes to haircuts, holiday arrangements, exceptional arrangements if one of you is sick on your days or has a special event/work thing, booking and paying for nursery and other childcare etc.

Drop him an email saying "OK, am willing to go 50:50 as you suggest, send me your proposal so we can work out the details. Off the top of my head here are the things we'll need to agree on <cut and paste list above>. Feel free to add any more you can think of. Regards theladyloriana"

He gives a good proposal and negotiates details well, then it shows your DS will be fine with him. If he gives a shit proposal then just keep kicking it back to him to give a response on x,y,z or give an alternative where his option is not OK for you, e.g. you handle all sickness. From what you've said, I seriously doubt he will want 50:50 when he has worked

And get on to CMS. If 50:50 turns out to work well you can adjust at that point. If not, you've got what you are due plus the back payments.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 14:33:10

OK run. That sounds really sensible. I could so that. If I copy in his sister he won't be able to stonewall it either. When I left I said I wouldn't ask for money until his financial situation improved (he has taken a deliberate pay cut which left us on the breadline and him worse off now I have left) but realistically I cannot keep paying everything for the kids (childcare is split but I am responsible for all other costs except perhaps a few things like if he chooses to buy a top or something for them) so even a haircut for ds is becoming worrying for me. I just can't do it on a pt salary and main carer.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 14:35:17

But it would either force him out of the ridiculously expensive house he has chosen to live in, or out of his enjoyable but low paid job (he is a programmer and could certainly get much better paid work very easily.)

He will hate me, and I guess I am afraid of him.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 11-Jun-16 14:55:40

*"Yes, emotional abuse, yes financial abuse, yes verbal abuse and then yes physical abuse.

If I do csa before any formal agreements are drawn up will that make more trouble for me?"*

Well, it could make him dig his heels in and be much less cooperative but then he's an abusive arsehole, so really, what's new?

"Also, if I push csa, I'm worried he will push 50 50 so he doesn't pay me anything."

But he doesn't pay you anything now, so you don't really have that much to lose.

Use his abuse of you and his apparent neglect of the children to justify why the contact the children have with him is quite enough, thanks. In your shoes I wouldn't let him have sole charge of them, ever. He's an abusive cunt, and it's possible that once he's not in a position to abuse you any longer he'll turn his attention to your children. Men like this do not focus solely on their wives or partners to the exclusion of everyone else. The whole world is fair game.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 15:29:06

Thanks bitter. Wise words. I know. What is there left to lose? I can't carry on as I am now or I will bankrupt myself. He will carry on being as awkward as possible, whatever I do. I suppose I feel bad for thinking I could support us without his help, promising I wouldn't ask for money and then reneging now I see how crippled by it I am, especially after tax credit reductions. I also promised during my bid to get out safely I guess that we would do 50 50 when dd was older. And I don't mean that either as I agree, I think he is already emotionally abusive towards ds aged 6, but felt better than him becoming a witness to significant dv which is where it was going.

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 15:30:19

I'm not sure how I wouldn't 'let' him though? As he has equal parental responsibility?

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 15:40:34

You said whatever you could to get out safely,and who could blame you? Regardless of what he earns he will still have to pay something(even people on benefits pay maintenance). As for 50/50 custody,given you have proof of neglect(and yes refusing medical care is neglect) i'd say you are very generous right now,and there's no reason not to take your chances in court,that is if he actually bothers since he refused to attend mediation. As far as i know,he needs to sort out mediation first before going to court anyways.
I know you worry about your daughter,and her being away so much,but no one can tell how this will affect her. Have you noticed any changes in her behaviour,does she cry when she goes to him etc? If she's still happy and settled(and this has been going on for a while so it's part of routine) then i wouldn't worry too much x

It sounds to me like he got off scott free with abusing you,kept the house,pays nothing for the kids and has reasonable access. He has got quite a good deal,so whatever he moans about is just another way to bully you x

Theladyloriana Sat 11-Jun-16 16:04:34

Thanks rebel for your wise words. DD seems settled...sleeping feeding playing fine. she does seem confused when she sees her dad when it's not time for her to stay with him (he does pick up for ds for school) and then she cries as he goes without her. Similarly, she cries when it's time for me to leave her. It's heart wrenching sad

Put like that in your last paragraph I think you are absolutely right - he has got it pretty good. He sends me regular texts saying I have 'ruined his life'and call me abusive, a nasty bully, a domineering bully, an abusive bully. I find it terribly hard to bear reading this kind of thing. He doesn't swear or directly threaten. How can I get him to stop personally insulting me? I guess injunctions are for more serious harassment?

RebelRogue Sat 11-Jun-16 16:15:24

You could get some advice from the police or women's aid,even if you left already. But it sounds like he's being a jerk rather than harassing you? One thing you can do is swap communication to email and keep it child focused. It will make it easier for you to ignore the rants and insults,and it also leaves a nice trail of evidence of his behaviour and attitude towards you if needed. Never rise to it or argue back. For example if the email is "can i pick up ds tomorrow at 6 are such an awful woman you ruined my life bla bla bla" just reply with "yes you can pick him up tomorrow at 6 pm" . If he does it face to face just cut it short and say you need to leave or change the subject. If it's really upsetting you though is there anyone in your family or his that would be willing to act as a go between? For example u drop kids at his mum and he picks them up from there. There are many situations and possible solutions but i'd be writing a novel lol. All i can say i that he's definitely a dickbutt

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