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Lockdown and separated parents

(27 Posts)
teabutter Sun 22-Mar-20 08:35:24

So the ex is saying if we have lockdown we will have to live together because he won't be away from his kids for months on end. How does this work with parents that don't live with their children?
He was emotionally abusive and still is so I couldn't live with him, not an option. How will others cope?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 22-Mar-20 08:40:39

Ignore your ex's comments re a potential lockdown; he does not have to live with you and he is really using his children here as a further stick to "punish" you and otherwise beat you up with. He remains emotionally abusive towards you in particular and in turn also your children. He has not changed and he will remain as obstructive and difficult as possible towards you until perhaps he finds another woman to charm. His actions and comments here are all about power and control; he wants absolute over you here.

Were contact arrangements re these children at all formalised here legally?. How old are they roughly?. I would try and contact both Womens Aid and the Rights of Women here for further advice or at the very least a local based domestic violence support organisation.

teabutter Sun 22-Mar-20 08:42:41

Thank you, you are completely on point.

They are all between the ages of 1 and 12, we have 5.

I am the main parent. he has them weekends but no formal arrangement it's just between us.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 22-Mar-20 08:46:47

I would try and get all contact arrangements going forward formalised through the courts. Informal arrangements tend not to go well or be upheld properly if the ex is abusive.

Do these children want to actually see their dad on the weekends, do they look forward to seeing him?. How is he with them, does he actually take an interest in them or does he dump them on relatives and or otherwise bad mouth you in their presence?.

category12 Sun 22-Mar-20 09:00:01

Long-term I'd be looking to change arrangements - it's not fair if you never have weekends with your dc.

RLEOM Sun 22-Mar-20 14:22:16

I hate my ex but I'd let him live with us for 3 months during this time as I'd hate for him to miss spending time with our daughter. However, I haven't put it forward to him but if he asks, I'll say yes and just keep my distance.

teabutter Sun 22-Mar-20 16:03:19

@RLEOM my ex was abusive to me, there's no way I'd have him live with me again. Not a chance. Under different circumstances maybe.

TossaCointoYerWitcher Sun 22-Mar-20 19:12:50

Divorced dad here - I have kids two days a week and every other weekend. We’ve agreed to treat both our places as a single “household” so if DS gets a fever/cough at either mum’s house or my flat we both quarantine for two weeks. If well enough, we can they keep the same schedule and shuttle boys back and forth (we both live within twenty minutes drive of each other and figure being in the car still counts as quarantined).

probablysue Sun 22-Mar-20 22:58:36

There’s no need for him to live with you. Everyone will still be able to do essential journeys. Nurses will still travel to work for example. So you’ll just ferry between the houses as per normal. He’s being ridiculous

ChewChewIsMySpiritAnimal Sun 22-Mar-20 23:02:23

My step child lives a distance from us and is very high risk/vulnerable. We have to accept we aren't going to see him for quite some time as the safest thing for him is to stay isolated with his mum. There are plenty of other ways to stay in contact without being face to face or having him to stay as we usually do. It's going to be really, really hard. But it's what's best in the long run. Your ex needs to think creatively about ways he can spend time with them ie video calling/gaming.

FathersAreHumanBeingsToo Mon 23-Mar-20 22:23:57

@AttilaTheMeerkat. May I just add, that your advice here has been extrapolated from very limited information. Going to court should always be a last resort, for everyone's sake. This has real world consequences, beyond the obvious and most people's imagination. Be careful about hammering into your keyboard, your ideas to people who are clearly uncertain and hence why they are reaching out.

Furthermore, planting suggestions about what that Father may or may not be doing - I think that is particularly unfair and based on the information, it's unproven. Why don't you just add in other unfounded accusations while you're at it to really throw petrol on the fire?

There are children involved here and their relationship with their Father doesn't need to be trashed by some keyboard warrior who has not an iota of who or what you are getting involved with.

The correct answer to Teabutter is to wait until official guidance comes out from the government.

Wannabegreenfingers Tue 24-Mar-20 00:00:26

Mines moving back in. I feel sick, but hes their Dad and it's not fair on them or him.

I will spend a lot of time hiding in my room I think x

Epona1 Tue 24-Mar-20 12:00:16

There is no need for anyone’s ex to move back in. Children under 18 can still continue to move between parents for those that are separated. It was clarified by the government this morning

Sunshineandflipflops Tue 24-Mar-20 12:54:50

What @Epona1 said. Mine went to their dad's today.

anotherdisaster Tue 24-Mar-20 12:59:18

Also agree with @Epona1. Michael Gove has clarified that all children under 18 can still go between 2 homes of separated parents!

IceKitten Tue 24-Mar-20 13:00:57

@Wannabegreenfingers have you seen the updated guidance on this? There’s no need for your ex to move back in.

Wannabegreenfingers Tue 24-Mar-20 14:50:06

Yes, I have thank you. Fingers crossed for no further measures x

TooTrusting Tue 24-Mar-20 19:44:10

@TosserCoinintoYerWitcher
What a sensible idea. I am a family lawyer dealing with a DF who DM thinks is going to use the virus as an excuse to retain the children (he tried last week with fairly disastrous consequences -for him). She is happy to carry on with the normal routine but just isn't confident he won't have a trick up his sleeve. I am going to suggest your 1 household approach. It circumvents EITHER parent trying to disingenuously pull a fast one on the other.

probablysue Wed 25-Mar-20 04:01:36

Be wary everyone of letting your kids go to the other household. This has happened to a friend of mine. Her kids went to the exes house. She’s then had a message from him to say the kids have a cough and will be self isolating with him for the foreseeable future!

LittleLittleLittle Wed 25-Mar-20 04:20:06

@probablysue - the household has to isolate for 14 days not ever. Stop scaremongering.

TooTrusting Wed 25-Mar-20 13:15:50

Then parents should be doing what Tossa and his ex did. Agree this in advance. Then no issue.
It's just been suggested to me by my opposing solicitor so I have a feeling it's going to become pretty standard for households of separated parents to agree to mirror any self isolation. But obviously this assumes co-operation and the exercise of sense, which is often absent between separated parents on one side or both.

StrawberryJam200 Wed 25-Mar-20 13:27:21

New guidance now published, may be of use? No one expects you to move back in with an ex, especially an abusive one!

www.judiciary.uk/announcements/coronavirus-crisis-guidance-on-compliance-with-family-court-child-arrangement-orders/

SybilWrites Wed 25-Mar-20 13:31:24

I would have no problem with my kids going to my exes if he was taking the same measures as I was around isolation. If he wasn't doing that, I would have no hesitation in preventing him seeing them.

As it is, it's irrelevant because he doesn't want them (bastard). I'd never move him back in under any circumstances.

TooTrusting have you seen the Child Law Advice (www.childlawadvice.org.uk) on this area?

I think the number of mothers maliciously using this as a means of preventing fathers seen their kids will be miniscule.

TooTrusting Wed 25-Mar-20 15:01:43

https://www.judiciary.uk/announcements/coronavirus-crisis-guidance-on-compliance-with-family-court-child-arrangement-orders/

Would you look at that? The President of the Family Division agrees with my advice that children MAY (not MUST) move between homes.

TooTrusting Wed 25-Mar-20 15:07:45

Is that the bit you meant Sybil?

I think the treating 2 households as one unit for quarantine purposes is an excellent and pragmatic way of parents ensuring NEITHER of them can use the virus as an excuse to suspend contact. I don't expect it to find its way into formal advice though. But I do expect practitioners to start using it as a pragmatic solution to avoiding arguments and problems. I've suggested it, and had it suggested to me, since yesterday, and it was readily agreed on both occasions.

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