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Difficult stbx(18 Posts)
H and I separated a few months ago. We were abroad and I came home with the children. To me it was escape but he doesn't seem to recognise how bad things were. He has since got together with an ex (few weeks after my departure) but has v recently come back here to be near the DC. Has implied the new woman is also coming over.
He has said he would like shared arrangements with the DC which I was initially wary of - has been really hard for me to get them settled back here in school and finally back in our house. Financially, he has contributed very little and has refused to contribute to mortgage payments as "it's not his fault I'm in this situation and I kicked out our paying tenants". He has told CMS that he wants to have the DC 50% of the time and directed me to read the guide which states that former debts can be offset from maintenance. He is saying he is going to offset his legal expenses, last 2 months rent on his property abroad (that he says I am liable for as I left "early" - 5 months ago) and school fees from when we were abroad. I wasn't working then having left my job to accompany him on his business venture and being unable to get a work visa. I'm hoping to be in work by September when DC are back at school.
For the sake of the children I tried to work out shared arrangements with him saying he can have the DC one week on, one week off, even though I kind of think it won't work out and they'll end up being with me. Also because, since he returned I seem to be seeing him every day and it's not good for my health so we need at least something to work to. However, he says now he wants to have either one or two of the DC at any one time and doesn't see why he has to pay for childcare if I'm "sitting around". Which is fair enough I suppose but the point is he wants to pay the maintenance of a shared resident parent but thinks he can drop the DC to me on his way to work, on his week, then pick and choose which ones he has for the night on his way home. So I still have to see him every day, get no time for any kind of social life and no financial help despite still being the main carer. To this he says "I'm not your babysitter, maybe you should have thought this through properly August".
I just want to tear my hair out. Is it me or does something not seem right about all of this?
Really does not seem right at all. AFAIK on his days he needs to find his own childcare, and having only one or two at a time (how many are there?) seems really unfair. I think you need legal advice before agreeing to anything he says!! He is trying to have his cake and eat it too, and blame you for any issues.... probably why you left, right?
Oh my goodness, you definitely need to see a solicitor. Since it's apparent he's going to play hardball, you'll need to also.
If it's his day, he is responsible for the childcare - not you. He could pay you the going rate for childcare if he wants, but you're not obliged to take the kids (and you're planning to work anyway).
It is hugely unlikely that a court would agree to kids being constantly split up so he doesn't have to deal with them all at once.
Get a lawyer, call his bluff. He's being an arsewipe and you are under no obligation to speak to him at all. He can arrange when to pick up all the kids together, and wait by the front gate until you bring them out to him. He then takes care of them or pays for childcare until they return to you.
Get everything in emails to have evidence.
Get legal advice, what he's proposing is preposterous.
FWIW I can see why you left him!
I agree with what PPs have said and it's important that he doesn't have more contact than you are comfortable with now as it will set a precedent that will be taken into account by the courts. They will only care about what is best for the children. And he's an idiot if he thinks he can offset legal expenses. Hope you can speak to a decent lawyer quickly. And if you don't like the first lawyer you meet, then find another. It made a big difference for me.
He is bullying you. Get yourself a lawyer and get sorted - his time his responsibility and also it is shared care so whilst kids are meant to be with him his responsibility - you cannot be free childcare. If you gave up work to go and be with him abroad that is taken into account - you were contributing by being at home. I think you need a lawyer to untangle the mess he is trying to create and do it soon before any bad habits are formed.
Why did you agree to a 50:50 split where you are still doing the lions share of looking after the children? If he wants this, like PP have said he then needs to organise his own childcare.
You do realise that he only wants this, so his maintenance payments are reduced. Go and see a SHL now, take all paperwork you can find. Tell them everything that STBXH has insisted
demanded and get clarification. Stop this charade of the 50:50, and only communicate with him via text/email (so you have a log and evidence of his demands, when it comes to court).
Thanks everyone. He leaves my heart racing with frustration. I have emailed my solicitor and am not going to confirm or deny any arrangements until I have advice. I know he will message me saying "what's the plan for the DC this week?" and when I say you can pick them up on whatever day / whatever time he will then make it difficult / not turn up, laugh at me and say to the DC "Mum's got a date". I wish I had a fucking date. Please help - what should I say to him in this instance...? I just get angry and frustrated and then told I'm mental. And I know that's abusive but if I suggest that to him he just laughs at me.
Mumndad37 I left for a multitude of reasons. It is really quite shocking what I've put up with and I am an idiot for not leaving sooner. But its one of those things you can only fully recognise when you are out looking in.
Just tell him you are acting on legal advice. You don't have to explain yourself. I know from my own experience how hard this can be but you don't need to offer justification for everything as he will object whatever you say.
As I see it you have choices as far as this week goes. You can;
Ask back "What works for you?"
Give him a specific time and if he makes it difficult just say "Sorry that doesn't work for you" then dead silence on your part
Tell him there will be no more visits until things are sorted out legally as he has made it disruptive for the children
Obvs if you've spoken to your solicitor you do exactly what they've said.
One thing to remember is that even if you get a 'right and tight' visitation order, he's probably still going to jerk you around (within the limits of the schedule). Bff's ex did this. Show up late, not show up at all, try to do last minute swaps or changes. She just had to grow a thick skin and a very large stubborn streak. You will too.
And honestly if he says "Mum's got a date" I'd either look at him and smile knowingly or say "That's right kids, Mum's off to Paris with <insert fav actor>!" followed by tinkly laugh.
He says and does what he says and does simply because he knows it upsets you. The only way to stop it is to stop reacting to it.
Thank you AcrossthePond - all very useful advice which I will keep on mantra mode.
Mmm Paris with Tom Hardy would do the trick lol
Your solicitor will advise mediation before divorce talks etc.(courts rules and cheaper if u can sort it at this stage, and it makes u seem willing to be amiable) Enlist a friend and a glass of wine and set about writing a realistic schedule that u are comfortable with. U can take this to mediation and have an advantage on him and his demands. Remember u news to do what fair for u as well as the kids. They need a happy mama above contact with their dad!
Yes we had mediation relating to our financial matters but nothing was adhered to so that has to go to court now. A whole other thread that.
Happy mama above contact with their Dad - completely agree. Will keep that in mind. Thank u
"Enlist a friend and a glass of wine and set about writing a realistic schedule that u are comfortable with."
A really good idea! Also consider things you think he's likely to do and put in 'pre-emptive strikes' such as;
(Note, these are all things BFF had to have amended into her orders)
*'Parent' need only wait for 'receiving parent' for 2 hours after scheduled pick up time. After two hours 'parent' is free to leave with child and contact is forfeit unless mutually agreed upon by both parents.
*Changes in scheduled visits must be negotiated no later than 48 hours before scheduled contact date unless mutually agreed upon by both parents.
*Each parent is responsible for arranging emergency child care when child is in their custody unless mutually agreed upon by both parents.
So you can see the difficulties she was having! Remember also that everything you ask for will be applicable for you, too.
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