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Bedrooms at mums

(110 Posts)
Stepmooster Thu 27-Dec-12 11:55:18

DH and his EX are not on speaking terms all communication via sols. Contact issue just about resolved but now DH feels he has one battle to fight on behalf of his son and that is the bedroom situation. DSS11 lives with his mum and half siblings, and has to share a bedroom with his sister (my DH ex DSD) who is 15. Their brother who is 18 (my DH ex DSS) has his own room. 18 year old has quit college not making much effort to find a job and is still at home coming home at whatever AM after drinking with his mates.

DH does not want his DS to share a room with either of them. DH would like the 18 year old to move in with his dad (not my DH) or elsewhere, or for my DSS to live with us as he thinks sharing a room with a 15 year old girl is unhealthy and not much better with a layabout brother.

EX treats her eldest like he walks on water, so this is not going to go down well. DSS has says all the time he likes his bedroom, and came to stay for a week when he was ill so he could rest quietly. We live 50 miles away from DSS main home so we are talking moving schools etc if he does come here.

Is DH being unreasonable?

PoppyPrincess Sat 29-Dec-12 12:07:38

A solicitor told us that if DP's ex was to move another man in to the FMH then legally she has to buy him out within 6 months. I'd seek legal advice about that. In fact it surprises me that he's managed to get divorced without sorting the finances first.

In the short term if you really want to move then you could rent out your home and rent one closer to your DSS, more and more people are doing this now as it can be difficult to get a mortgage at the mo.

Stepmooster Fri 28-Dec-12 20:47:37

My DH initial thought was to try and start a dialogue with his ex regarding the bedroom issue and suggest that either the eldest stayed with his dad, or if that wasn't an option offer to have DSS FT here. He wasn't going to speak with DSS directly as kids do say things to please and we've already experienced that once.

But since there is a huge difference of opinion on the matter and DH are reading these posts and can't see how to go about it the 'right' way DH is going to sort out the charge first. See how the land lies and then decide what to do.

Regarding whether the ex is a bad mother or not, she has used reducing contact with DH as a way of punishment. Used to like to dictate to DH what weekends and when, holidays he could see his son (usually so she could go away on her own with now new husband). In my eyes that's not good parenting. But on the other hand I have never once thought I ought to be his mum instead or even act like that, only said nice things about her in front of DSS. Becuase your mum is your mum no matter what flaws they have.

DH doesnt want to ask DSS directly who he wants to live with, thinks its going to come across as, "who do you love most..." and that's not going to help anyone and probably upset DSS.

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Fri 28-Dec-12 17:52:56

I have met some parents through work like you say izzy, but I`m going on reading the op and her subsequent posts. There is nothing to suggest in my eyes from whats been said that her Dhs ex is a bad mother, bad ex maybe but thats very different.

izzyhasanewchangeling Fri 28-Dec-12 17:38:05

I agree with the last post under normal circumstances - but having dealt with an absolutely impossible ex who categorically refuses to put her children first it's not always That simple or straight forward.

DreamsTurnToGoldDust Fri 28-Dec-12 17:27:50

You should never, never ask an 11 year old who they want to live with, could you imagine the stress and worry that would place on a child? I have absolutely no problem if a child lives with either parent, 50/50 can work well for some children, but this situation seems to be taken on the say of an 11 year old child which is complete madness. You know, sometimes children can say what they think you want to hear, my own Dss has done this in the past, Dh and his ex were very aware of this, and even though they werent the best of friends they spoke decently with regard to their son.

Absolutely, your Dh should not be paying totally for the MH and steps should be taken to resolve this immediately.

You seem to have a very strong negative opinion on this mother and her other children (which is totally natural) however from what you have said you have never even met them, of course your DH is going to be bitterly negative about her as a wife if she had continued affairs, but, that does not mean that she is a bad mother.

What would be best for this child is if your Dh and his ex wife grow up and put their bitterness to one side and do what is best for the child, by the sound of it, you all think the other side is failing this child, and each could do better. How nice for this boy to be piggy in the middle of warring parents.

pinguthepenguin Fri 28-Dec-12 14:33:38

I'm pretty staggered at your husbands belief that he can comment on the behaviour of his sons brother, all of which, as another poster says is based on the sayings of an 11year old. To say he should move out at 18 years old is really harsh, and absolutely and completely not your husbands place to even suggest it. I also agree with other posters that the burden of deciding where he lives should not be placed on an 11year old without even bringing it up with his mum first. I would be furious at this behaviour. The adults need to talk about this before it's mentioned to the child. Given the distance between you, what you are proposing is a whole new life for him, which in itself could be a great thing, but needs careful management and none done through getting to the child first.

What is unfair is this whole financial situation you are in and I agree completely with others that you should not be subsidising others to live for free. I think this what your DH should be focusing on for now and let DS's bedroom situation be dealt with by the person's who's roof he is under at the time. Could you imagine how you'd feel if ex tried to dictate sleeping arrangements at yours? I honestly think you'll feel so much better ( and less resentful, which you understandably are) if you deal with the real issue at hand, which is the finances.

Arisbottle Fri 28-Dec-12 14:05:57

It does sound like the best idea is to go for 50% or full residency .

izzyhasanewchangeling Fri 28-Dec-12 13:46:06

I would ask him what he wants, dont suggest, just ask, 50 miles isnt that far, we live 20 miles away from my exh and managed to share care, gosh DS even did overnights and went to school from exes in morning, it just meant being organised and getting up at 7.00.

Mumsnet is populated by mums, who cant imagine living away from their children, which is fine, but there is nothing wrong with looking outside the box.

Personally I think your husbands ex is taking the proverbial.

What a great start to married life, someone else paying your mortgage while you wait for property prices to rise.

Stepmooster Fri 28-Dec-12 13:37:20

whatever happens, DH has to pursue his charge from FMH. We can't move without it, and if DSS wants to live with us it would be easier if we were nearer to his siblings. At any rate if DSS comes to live with us DH would have to seek his charge, and the ex may move to other end of the country to live with her new husband in his property. Or move somewhere else for that matter, then we would have ended up moving for no reason.

Perhaps DH should cross that bridge first and unless DSS explicitly asks to move here with us then leave the bedroom issue until that matter is resolved.

Stepmooster Fri 28-Dec-12 13:22:12

hi Izzy upthread i got a lot of flak for suggesting that, 50 miles from his mum and family etc. But if DSS wants to then great. DH was assuming he had to discuss with his ex about it first, or should he just speak with DSS and inform afterwards???

I dont buy a lot of the criticisms about how its economic times so the kids should share. There are 3 sets of parents and 2 fathers who have bedrooms for their children. As long as amicable and ample contact is faciltated what the heck is the problem with one of the dads looking after one of the boys instead of mum?

izzyhasanewchangeling Fri 28-Dec-12 12:40:53

I can't see why he doesn't ask ss if he wants to live with you.

I don't think an 11 year old boy and 15 year old girl should be sharing.

The other children are notbyour problem - your only focus helping S S.

CatchingMockingbirds Fri 28-Dec-12 12:36:33

It sounds like he took the divorce really hard, but tbh you're basing this on the moans of an 11 year old. Your dh isn't there so doesn't know about the comings and goings of his step-son, he could be job hunting and having no luck despite trying hard (like several people I know, my DP included), studying may not have suited him (it doesn't suit everyone), and he could only be going out at the weekends (as most 18yr olds do). You can't base his behaviour, to the extent of your dh pushing for him to be removed from his family home, on what his little brother is saying.

Stepmooster Fri 28-Dec-12 12:27:13

But anyway as I've said already DH isn't going to ask the ex to suggest her son move in with his dad he's going to seek to realise his charge so we can move near to DSS.

Stepmooster Fri 28-Dec-12 12:25:58

he's not callous, he's suggesting he move in with his dad for a bit of structure. As soon as my DH left the home he was drinking and smoking at age of 14. When DH tried to talk to his ex about it, as he did parent him for 11 years and was called 'dad' by the boy she told him he wasn't his concern anymore. Since then he's been expelled from a school (which I only found out last night), and now dropped out of college and using home as a doss house.

DH used to care a great deal about the other kids and still does. He was allowed contact until the divorce settlement didnt start going the ex's way and then suddenly her solicitor says you're not allowed to see them anymore. What he fears is that current bedroom arrangements is causing DSS and his sister to hate each other and for DSS to hate his brother too.

What would you do if you had 3 kids and the eldest was not studying and drinking most nights and coming home late disrupting the household. Would you ask their dad who lived nearby to look after them to give some normality to the other 2. Perhaps a father-figure is what the boy needs?!

I'm sure if this were a parenting thread about my 18 year old son is disrupting the household alot of MNers would be suggesting he goes and lives with his dad.

CatchingMockingbirds Fri 28-Dec-12 12:11:10

Your dh seems so callous towards his stepson, he was his step-father for 11 years but now that he's not together with the mother he wants him to move out and sees him as a bad influence on his real son.

Stepmooster Fri 28-Dec-12 11:59:01

VBisme, well yes we could afford to by the FMH but we would have to sell my home first. Do you not think that would be even worse for relations? That my DH gets the house his ex obviously has a huge emotional attachment to. How would DSS and siblings feel if we took it on, let DSS stay and kicked the others out? I assume that is what you mean to do, otherwise it would be very creepy living there otherwise.

I agree Arisbottle that we need to stop running to solicitors all the time, but when one party is playing games with contact and now remarrying and not realising the charge what are you supposed to do?

What lessons in life is it teaching DSS that his mother can do whatever she wants and use him as a pawn?

And having thought about it a lot more since my OP, if the family does end up splitting up because my DH wants his money and to be off the mortgage then 1) she shouldn't have agreed to the court order in the first place, one that SHE wanted when she was already co-habitting with her now new husband
2) She shouldn't have married him less than 12 months after the order was agreed if she couldn't afford to keep the home, takeover the mortgage and buy my DH out.

She is not a child, and needs to stop playing the bloody victim all the time and take responsibility for her life and actions.

Arisbottle Fri 28-Dec-12 11:04:34

I don't think I said that the OPs husband should buy them somewhere new outright however they may be able to offer more financial help to get somewhere larger. Alternatively they could offer to have the son living with them.

The first priority however needs to be sorting out frazzled relationships as this will do far more harm than sharing a bedroom - which is the reality of life for many children. My children share bedrooms. They are all part of an extended family and need to stop trying to catch each other out and sort out their issues without running to a solicitor all the time.

VBisme Fri 28-Dec-12 10:16:53

It's great that you've got to the bottom of your DHs concerns. The solicitor will be able to sort something out (but the situation may get fraught in the short term).
If her new partner has a job in the area then it's unlikely they'd uproot everyone just to be difficult. So hopefully you can settle near to your son.
(I don't suppose you could afford to buy the FMH?)

Inertia Fri 28-Dec-12 07:38:57

Seems reasonable to discuss the issue of the charge on the house with the solicitor. Of course it was right for your DH to pay the mortgage on his children's home, but now that his ex wife has remarried the situation has changed and needs to be re-evaluated to find a new solution that's reasonable for everyone.

Your DH should avoid presenting the issue as him paying for 3 adults who could all pay for themselves- better to say that he needs to release some of his share of the house to live nearer to his children and make contact arrangements more workable.

Stepmooster Fri 28-Dec-12 07:16:12

I had a chat with DH last night, and yes it does really get to him that he is paying to house 3 adults in a house that his son has half a room to himself. He hasn't yet pushed to realise the charge because he was trying to sort out the contact issue with his son, and he was sort of hoping that his ex and her new husband would 'step-up'.

We don't know the new husband's financial situation, although she started co-habiting with him during the divorce process and denied it right up until 2nd hearing. We only know he has a property the other side of the country. She always said that he was unemployed during settlement. Recently during course of negotiating contact arrangment ex advised DH's solicitor that new husband was out of work. But when DH was arranging to take DSS for a week when he was ill, she told DH via text that her husband couldn't drive him to meet us halfway at the time we wanted originally, because he was at work so him not working is a lie. DSS also told DH that his stepdad has always had a job. During settlement DH had his exs bank statements which showed a grand or 2 here or there being paid in by cash with reference 'new husbands name' he challenged his ex as to where this money came from if he was unemployed. They settled without having had it explained. DH has concerns that new husband is up to something dodgy, but is keeping his nose out.

The FMH is a nice house in an expensive area, DH thinks that his ex and new husband like it too much to want to move out without a fight. The new husbands house is in an area of the country that has seen huge house price falls so he's probably not selling it hoping it's going to pick up in value. His house was originally on the market during divorce settlement but as soon as settlement reached it was taken off the market.

DH and I want to move closer to DSS its best for DSS and his sister to be together. The only way to do that is to get the charge realised, but there is no guarantee that once the house is sold that the ex will stay in the area and then there are 3 kids and 2 dads not seeing their kids if they move to the other end of the country. DH is under pressure from his parents to do this, he was sort of hoping having the chat about bedrooms with the mother might prevent the need. If DSS is happy and not moaning to DH or grandparents, DH not feeling so shafted and also not seeing his son upset.

Thank you for everyone's input and DH is not going to raise the bedroom matter with his ex nor mention to DSS if he wants to live here. Other than telling him he can come here as much as he likes. DH is however going to speak to his solicitor about the charge. Although the charge/mortgage wasn't my original question it is evident that is what is motivating DH (and of course DSS moaning about bedrooms).

izzyhasanewchangeling Fri 28-Dec-12 01:39:06

So if there is solid legal paperwork drawn up dictating what can happen to be house - your husband's money and inheritance is protected either for him or dss.

As opposed to you suggesting the OP s husband continues to pAy the mortgage on a house where there are 3 adults living and1 adolescent.

There is no iinfant to protect in the OPs case - plus your scenario sounds extreme and while I am glad you are content and happy wIth it and hindsight says it worked - it sounds like a recipie for disaster to me a d unworkable for most.

Arisbottle Fri 28-Dec-12 01:36:49

Sorry, the house is hers to live in for as long as she wants, it is a house that she loves so I cannot see her moving for a long time and DSS will be off to university soon . However it will eventually be passed on to DSS. If she wants to sell there is a lump sum that she can take out but the rest will go to DSS. The lump sum should be a very healthy figure which would allow her to buy a modest house outright or put a sizeable payment on a larger one.

Having discussed it the plan is for her new husband to move in with her and they will sell his own rather lovely home. As I said DSS is in his late teens so I am it sure that they will have children . However he is quite a bit younger than her and he has no children, so we cannot be sure.

VBisme Fri 28-Dec-12 01:04:07

I'm slightly confused by your posts, either your DH has gifted the house to his DeX, which is what you first mentioned, or there are strict legal documentation which will effectively mean that she has an agreement that she can live in the house but it belongs to your DH or his DS, i.e. you haven't "given" her a house.

If you have gifted her the house and her current will states that it will go to her DS, this could be changed at any time on a whim by her without any consultation, if for example she had additional children with her new husband.

If your fine with that, then great.

It sounds like you have a great relationship with her, so you're clearly doing something right.

Arisbottle Fri 28-Dec-12 00:51:37

Our stepson at the time was better off staying with his mother for lots of reasons:

I would imagine he was still being breasted
DH did not want to be a SAHP, his mother did
His mother hAs chosen a relatively low paid profession , my DH a potentially high paying one. Therefore it made sense for my DH to be the breadwinner.

He could have kept DSS with him and stayed in the house, he would have required a full time nanny. That would have been daft when he had a mother who wanted to look after him. I don't know how much a full time nanny earns but I suspect it is not far off what DH was paying his ex in maintenance. So even financially it made sense.

Arisbottle Fri 28-Dec-12 00:47:18

There is solid legal paperwork drawn up.

Yes I have to be happy with the set up and initially it was hard, however I grew to love DH because of that setup. We were friends before we were dating and I knew both him and his ex. I know that if anything were to happen between DH and I he would continue to be a fantastic father.

When the split first happened I did think they would get back together and I suspect that they hoped for the same. DH moved out of the marital home and rented a bedsit type place up the road. As I said earlier he was handing over almost very penny to his ex, and I think you are right, guilt played a part in that. His job at the time was reliant on meeting targets and bonuses and because he was heartbroken he was not bringing home as much money as he should have done. As I think I said earlier he was eating his evening meal in the marital home and then going home when DSS had gone down for the night . I think this went on for about a year. When we started dating he could never afford to pay for a meal, buy gifts, even meals at home I paid for all the ingredients . Life was financially tough until DSS started school, however we always knew that it would get better so we were not worried. DH had not created a 5 year hole in his CV and he is now reaping the reward from that. His ex did have a great hole in her pension and career progression and he feels that he needs to pay her back for that, as well as for caring wonderfully for our DSS.

Because they split when DSS was a baby it did not cause any extra upset or raise false hope by DH having contact in the former marital home. DSS who is now in his late teens, still lives between both homes and we are all in and out of each others homes. We see ourselves as one extended family. We alternate Christmases and stay with each other and do the same for birthdays and other big events. In some ways it is easier because I knew them both previously.

DH does not want to control her at all, that was one reason for paying off the mortgage so that we are not as involved in her financial affairs. When DSS went to school she was also able to gradually go back to work full time, meaning that over time our financial input could decrease. DH would never dictate to his ex how to spend maintenance or who could live in the house.

I was sad that I could not have much maternity leave with my eldest son, but that is how if often works when you have a second child. DH already had a child and he had made a financial commitment to that child and therefore it would have been wrong for me to force him to go back on that agreement just because I was so keen to start a family as soon as I could.

His ex has moved on with her life, she has had relationships and as I said we have never dictated who is or is not in the house.

Yes it was made clear to me from day one that I to accept the situation and at first that was difficult, but that is the life of a step parent - a life you freely choose.

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