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DSS's mum wants to make lots of changes to contact

(9 Posts)
balia Thu 19-Sep-13 22:01:32

DH has a very defined court order due (partly) to ex's habit of denying/changing/'swapping' contact in order to undermine it. Things have calmed down a lot since, but we do generally stick fairly tightly to the schedule.

So - genuinely not sure if this is reasonable or not - ex has an older DS (not DH's) who is coming up to Uni age. Ex wants to swap weekends to work around visits to Unis, so we would have weekends with DSS when she takes the older son to the visits. She doesn't want us to have any extra time, though, so we have to give up the weekends we have already planned for, and have DSS on weekends we wouldn't normally have him and therefore have plans that aren't as child friendly.

If this was a childcare issue I'd be inclined to be flexible, but it isn't - she lives with her mum and so has childcare 'on tap' as it were. Basically she doesn't want to 'waste' her weekends with DSS travelling to Uni's (which I kind of think is a shame, he'd enjoy it, he's very bright and very into the idea of Uni at the moment having been through the preparation with DD who has just gone). Needless to say, we weren't allowed to make any swaps to fit around DD's Uni visits - in fact ex refused a swap or even to change contact by a few hours for the weekend we actually took her to move into her halls.

Also she hasn't got herself organised to let us know what weekends she wants to swap (an old tactic to try and prevent DH from planning anything at all).

Are we being too inflexible?

purpleroses Thu 19-Sep-13 22:32:33

Say that you can't commit to swapping until she tells you when they are. Then when she does I would agree to the ones that fit in ok with your own plans and decline the others.

DizzySometimes Sat 21-Sep-13 03:38:37

I agree with purpleroses. If she and your husband were still together, she'd have to potentially take her younger son with her to universities if they were all going together as a family, so I don't really understand why she's not wanting to do this? It almost sounds like she's using the two of you as babysitters rather than treating your husband like he's a parent as well. Not all family time can be fun, so I think it's fair to make some changes that suit you if you've already made plans, but not all of them if it's not convenient. Also, if she can't organised enough to give you notice, then I don't think the two of you should hang around waiting and not making any plans in the interim (speaking from bitter experience)

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sat 21-Sep-13 07:29:05

Are you me?

When DP got a court order for the same reasons yours did, we talked at length about how flexible he'd be prepared to be as we knew his ex would balk at being told what to do.

In this situation, his reply would be very simple. The DCs are always welcome, whether or not the court orders it, but he expects the court order to be followed and for contact to take place as required.

In other words, I think your DP should agree to have your DSS for extra weekends if that's what Mum wants, but not give up the court ordered time that's been put in place for DSS to have with his Dad.

If Mum is the majorative resident parent then her argument that she doesn't want to miss her weekend with her DS really doesn't hold water.

balia Sun 22-Sep-13 00:30:28

She's never seen Dh as a parent, Dizzy you're bang on there. Apart from no contact at all, her preferred approach would be to allow contact only on those days when she simply cannot think of anything else to do. Having said that, though, in as much as you can't babysit yor own child, DH would love to have DSS for extra time, but there's no way that's going to happen. If we won't swap she'll just leave DSS at home with her mother.

I think the reluctance to take DSS along to these visits may have something to do with her MH issues. She will find letting her older son go very challenging - and I know we all do, but this is a woman who shares a bedroom with her older DS, goes with him to concerts etc. He is totally controlled by her. There are already signs that her anxiety is increasing (this has a direct impact on her MH) so we're not looking forward to this coming year!

But, as you say, we'll just carry on as normal, arrange our weekends to suit our needs and agree swaps if they are reasonably convenient. She's bound to leave it until the last minute, but that isn't our fault. <wanders away, repeating this to self>

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 22-Sep-13 18:44:44

OMG balia you are me - the similarities are uncanny.

We're in the midst of the fallout now DSD has finally left home. I'll DM you, if that's OK?

Bonsoir Sun 22-Sep-13 19:40:41

Your DH's ex is being totally unreasonable - there is no way that your family life (as defined by a court order - already a tough constraint) has to work around her DS' life.

fubar74 Thu 26-Sep-13 17:40:15

far too many women out there like that, when my DH did see his DS's (at the very beginning after their split) it was always on her terms, it was always "you have to have them now" or "you can't have them" it was very erratic and all to do with whether she needed them looked after or not, very selfish!

clam Thu 26-Sep-13 17:48:08

University open days are published well in advance. She must know when they are, so you are well within your rights to ask for specific dates now, or she takes pot luck.
Don't let her rule your diaries any more than is absolutely necessary.

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