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Disney-contact is better then no contact

(8 Posts)
AliceinWonderhell Sat 09-Nov-13 10:39:14

DH is in the middle of a high conflict dispute with his ex over contact with DSS (10) - who has said that he's scared of DH. in response, DSS mum has applied to dismiss the existing contact order and is threatening to have DH PR removed while at the same time saying that if DSS changes his mind about being scared, she's quite happy for contact to take place.

DH has seen DSS twice in the last two months for no more than a few minutes (at school) and he's been happy, chatty, relaxed both times (on one occasion, he initiated the contact).

DSS has made it clear that what he wants is a Disney Dad - he's said he wants DH to pick him up and take him out somewhere fun, eat out and then drop him home again. He says he's scared of DH talking to him because he says that DH encourages him to make decisions that make his mums life difficult. Examples he has given include DH encouraging him to ask his mum for a flannel so he can wash himself the nights he doesn't have a bath, asking Mum if she can install parental controls on his iPad like they've talked about at school.

DH is waiting for a first-hearing date in court but in the meantime, has decided to go along with what DSS wants and be a "weekend dad" - they've gone off to a steam-engine fun day today. I'm in two minds about it. DH has been advised that courts place a great deal of emphasis on 'the status quo', so if this becomes a pattern, then it's likely to be what the court agrees. But if the alternative is no contact because DSS is scared, then it's possible that the court will dismiss the order all together in favour of a recital which will allow DSS to choose when he sees DH - so really, it doesn't seem to make any difference.

I'm trying hard not to resent the fact that a 10 year old is dictating the way we live our lives, because I know there's a lot more to it, and part of me thinks it would be a lot easier for me if DH just becomes a weekend Dad, and that we don't have to accommodate DSS as a part of the family; but I know that's awful of me sad

UC Sat 09-Nov-13 11:49:41

Poor DSS. It sounds as though he's actually scared of his mum, not his dad..... and his mum's reactions and feelings. He should not be made to feel responsible for these.

Your life would be easier if you were able to accommodate DSS as part of the family, one who comes and goes, but is treated the same as everyone else when he's there. DSS may want a disney dad, but ultimately that isn't what he needs.

I think your DH needs to log everything and keep a record. Of all the things he suggests, of the reasons DSS gives for being scared. He'll need this if it goes to court I imagine.

It sounds very sad sad

AliceinWonderhell Sat 09-Nov-13 19:19:19

We've been here before with DSD unfortunately - CAFCASS wrote in the wishes and feelings report 3 years ago that she felt a high degree of responsibility for her Mums emotions/feelings - but the court still issued a recital subject to her wishes, and she 'opted out' of contact for over two years.

She and I got close over the summer this year; she told me a lot about how she'd been feeling then including how she wished that there had been a court order so she had to see her Dad rather than choose.

TensionSquealsGhoulsHeels Sat 09-Nov-13 21:07:57

Alice how viable is it for your DH's ex to get his PR removed in this situation? DSS saying he's scared of his dad, with apparently nothing that would warrant those feelings in terms of your DH ill-treating him, seems to me to be a groundless threat. The fact DSS is happy for Disney parenting doesn't fit the 'profile' of someone scared of his dad. Is this situation somehow linked to your DSD's improved relationship with your DH/deteriorating relationship with her DM?

AliceinWonderhell Sat 09-Nov-13 22:52:27

She can't have DH PR removed - it's not legally possible according to all the advice he's been given.
But, it's quite likely that she could have the current contact order discharged - and replaced with a recital that requires contact only subject to DSS specific wishes.

DSS mum has confirmed a link between issues with DSD and DSS 'fear'. There was a big blowup a few weeks ago over something DsD had 'kept secret' from her Mum and that she wanted DH and I to deal with. Her Mum eventually found out - there was a huge scene between DSD and her Mum, and since then, DSD has been minimal contact with us again and DSS has refused contact. His mum says he's been very upset/anguished about DH role in that, hence his fear.

As far as we know DSS reads every email between his mum and dad and he certainly listens in on every phone conversation; when I spoke to his Mum on the phone (very early on to confirm what he had said about being scared so I could seek advice about my own DDs safety) his mum insisted that he was involved in the conversation.

TensionSquealsGhoulsHeels Sun 10-Nov-13 09:01:06

Did your DH witness the blow out, try to intervene, or was he not actually there? It seems from what you've said that it's their DM the DSC are scared of, not actually their dad. If discharging the court order is done on the grounds DSS is 'scared', is it not possible to put forward the argument that yes he's scared but that fear had roots in his relationship with his mother etc. ? Seems such a hopeless situation if the order can be discharged like this, on the basis of flawed logic (scared of your DH yet happy for Disney parenting) and having a fear of your DH on the basis of a reaction by his DM to whatever situation she was angry about.

Sorry, I've no useful advice but I can't imagine how awful this whole situation is for you and your DH.

AliceinWonderhell Sun 10-Nov-13 10:33:44

No - he wasn't there. From what we can gather, DsD Mum blamed DH for the situation, DSD tried to defend him and explain from her perspective, and her Mum disregarded her explanation, telling her she was her Dads latest 'victim'.

DH has received several emails in which his ex accuses him of bullying & emotional manipulation of the DSC - attributing DSS fear of DH to this behaviour.

She even expressed sympathy towards me for being 'taken in' by DH. She was calm, rational, believable - if my relationship with DH wasn't so strong, I wouldn't doubt her - so it's very unlikely that a CAFCASS officer, magistrate or judge are going to see through it.

TensionSquealsGhoulsHeels Sun 10-Nov-13 11:13:50

It's bizarre reading all that Alice as it appears the DM is the bully/emotional manipulator in this situation. Accusing your DH of the very behaviour she is engaging in. She really sounds incredibly difficult to deal with. I've no doubt she actually believes what she says too - I've dealt with similar in my own family. The only thing I can suggest is your DH maintaining his position, arguing his stance and hoping that the courts don't allow the bullying/manipulation of the DSC mum to achieve what she appears to be aiming for - removing your DH from the DSC life altogether. I hope you get a better outcome than you anticipate.

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