I don't know how to deal with my DP's ex(26 Posts)
I just don't like her but the kids (he has 3) like seeing everyone getting along.
There is so much that she does that I just hate. Stuff that I think is wrong like not having food in. My partner gets told he has to bring food to be able to pick the kids up at short notice and often when they are picked up on a weekend they haven't had anything to eat even if it is 2 / 3 in the afternoon. She says she can't afford it but there is always enough money for non essentials.
She says she doesn't want me alone with the kids even though I have lived with my partner for 4 months now but when he is at work and she wants to go out she allows it as though it is a huge favour to me rather than the other way around. I met the kids after we had been dating 4 months which she had a fit over as it was too fast but she has literally moved a man into the house with her kids after 2 days. Since I have been with my partner 4 men have moved into and out of her house and yet she still somehow has the upperhand.
I just don't know how to deal with it all. It doesn't help that we are pretty much opposites and I don't like the shouting and swearing and drama. It is like she presents one view of things to her friends and family where my partner doesn't pull his weight but in reality we have them for at least 3 overnights a week plus for tea after school most nights plus every weekend he isn't working. In the past 2 weeks we have had them for 11 nights and yet her mum stopped him in the supermarket to say her daughter was exhausted and he should man up.
It is just insane that she will need some huge favour usually money and then doesn't appreciate it and kicks off again.
She's had 4 different men move in that is an absolute disgrace if I ever saw one!
What does your pf say about her behaviour? I would be going for custody if I was him
He works shifts so the school run would be impossible as they are all happy in their schools. He does the school run 70% of the time anyway but I don't know how we would manage the other 30% if they were here.
The kids adore her. She swears and shouts and rants at them and says really horrid stuff but they just take it. Just yesterday she told the oldest he was an accident in front of people and regularly tells them they won't pass their exams or do well.
One man she met on the Friday night and he was moved in by the time we dropped the kids back on Sunday evening. It worries me that these men come into their lives and she immediately tells the kids they have to treat him like a parent from doing as he says to hugs before bed. Then they are gone with no warning or go and come back a few times. But my partner has no right to criticise how she lives his life and yet she will kick off and stop contact over stupid things like him not taking a day off work so she could have a lie in.
If the children are not been cared for properly then your DP their FATHER has a responsibility to them. No food in the house not eating all day is neglect.
Your DP needs to step up and sort this situation out. He needs to speak to SS regarding the neglect of his children and the emotionally unstable living conditions.
Sorry OP but this is not about you and your feelings/hating the ex. The children are being NEGLECTED FFS.
What happened when you reported all this to Social Services OP?
It sounds absolutely horrendous.......for the children.
What is your DP, their father, going to do about it?
Sorry but I can't address your issues and you're affected by this because they're irrelevant compared to the fact that these children are being neglected.
If you have them for 11 out of 14 nights you are effectively the primary carers. Can this be formalised?
Why didn't your OH say this to ex's mum in supermarket?
SS have been involved but somehow when it was all investigated the house was spotless and the cupboards full. There had been an issue with the dogs and their mess in the house but even the dogs and all evidence of them was gone. The kids were questioned and denied having dogs at all.
The ex is so good at presenting herself as someone how is a good mum but dealing with a bad dad to her kids. Those people don't see her when she needs the kids picking up in the middle of the night or needs money to keep the house warm for the kids.
The ex's mum is similar to the ex in that she would cause a huge scene. DP had tried the formal route before but it got nasty before it even got anywhere.
I wonder if there is actually something wrong with her as she is very up and down and so quick to start shouting and just rages and rants.
DP has tried the formal route before
Then he needs to try harder, not just give up because it's difficult.
Nope sorry OP. If I thought for 1 second my children were going without food then I would be back on to SS. Does your DP have any texts/messages where she is asking for food that he can show SS?
I maybe wrong but SS don't generally announce a visit if neglect is reported especially food issues as it would defeat the object.
You DP needs to fight harder for his children. It may have got "nasty" for him however his poor neglected kids are having a nastier time of it.
He doesn't have messages to back it up. Generally she will ring or when he gets to the house to pick the kids up she will send him to the shops then. It is crafty as she will ask in front of the kids.
I don't know much about the SS but she knew about 3/4 days in advance that she was getting a visit? It was a visit about dog mess and lack of food. My DP hadn't mentioned the dog mess (he picks the kids up from the doorstep generally) but his ex said that she thought a neighbour had reported her.
Nasty is her threatening him with all sorts. She apparently has friends that could cause a lot of trouble. The kids defend her and won't say anything against her. When he tried the formal route she told the kids that he didn't love them and was trying to take them away from her and that she couldn't live without them.
Then she is emotionally abusing them also. SS need to be informed again and again. Your DP needs to do more I am afraid and personally I would not enter in to a relationship with a man who would not fight tooth and nail for the safety of his children.
He sounds weak and willing to allow his children to be underfed, emotionally abused, neglected and open to abuse my others. Not my idea of a father. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it is the way I view it.
Did the 'formal route' include applying for a RO?
SS said that repeated reports would look bad on him if no action was taken against her and could affect his contact time. He is fighting for them but at the same time if he pushes too hard he won't see them at all and won't be able to help them. She has had him arrested twice and has reported him for drink driving. Zero alcohol in his blood when pulled over.
He went to a solicitor to try and get them living here but there is an issue with the school run when he is on shift plus the kids don't want to leave their mum. I keep hoping they will see her for what she is. The solicitor said to have a fighting chance the kids would have to want to live here full time. They are scared that she will do something to herself if they leave so they cover for her.
Then he has to keep going with his solicitor OP.
I would also tell him that he needs to request all contact be done via text or e-mail and he will collect the children from a neutral place which will reduce any contact with her so she cannot make demands on him verbally.
He maybe needs to find a new solicitor too.
One of her conditions for him seeing them is him doing all pick ups and drop offs. I have heard the phone call when he tried to change it. Mum telling the kids that dad didn't love them enough to come and get them.
Text or email would be easier at least it would cut down on midnight phonecalls. The thing is all this stuff is rational and she doesn't act rationally or even see things as they are.
If it went to court and the kids all said they wanted to stay with mum and denied everything could my DP still get them here? Also would my only living here 4 months look bad? It isn't a situation I have ever been in before but I think another solicitor might be the best idea. The one he saw basically said no chance of getting the kids here.
Then he has to be firm he can instruct his solicitor to send a letter outlining the changes to contact and asking if she would agree. Mitigation is also an option OP. <<<I think???
You are in a stable relationship so no I don't think it would look bad.
He needs a more proactive solicitor.
He thought as the kids got older they would see through her but they believe what she tells them. I don't know if it will change now as the oldest is 14.
I mentioned it to him and he also thinks it is going to have to be the legal route for everything. It might even work out better if there is a formal arrangement rather than things being changed last minute.
Is it better to do maintenance through the CSA? They have a private arrangement at the moment where he pays a set amount each week plus food / uniform / clothes / school trips etc. I have never met anyone like her. She will just take and take with no consideration for anyone else. She spent the kid's birthday money on a new dog without telling them until they wanted to spend it.
You can report too, op. Or anonymously...
It is reasonable to ask him to collect and return if she has residency, but it sounds like you need things formalised.
It is reasonable yo ask for all contact to be written, and if she won't, simple get him to put in writing everything she says.
'In response to your earlier request for food...etc
Please confirm in writing, no response will mean I assume you agree...'
Means if she denies anything he doesn't need yo comply.
Keep a diary log. For court and SS.
And yep, change solicitor...
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I would go down a formal route for everything and if DC's require extras then I would suggest he takes them and buys what they need instead of giving her the money.
OP your DPs solicitor is right in as much as unless there is unequivocal evidence of abuse/neglect, then residency won't be changed legally. The Courts use the "good enough parenting" principle.
That means that they will look for evidence from social services that your DSCs primary parent is not "good enough". Only if they decide that their home with mum is not "good enough" will they look at your own home, with their Dad, as an alternative.
Like thousands of children in the uk, it sounds like your DSC are victims of the system. The family court process acts on the underlying principle that DCs should not be removed from their primary carer unless that care is inadequate, even if the care would be of higher standard with their other parent.
All your DP can do is keep reporting and keep supporting. While no single report is likely to make a difference to the DCs circumstances, it can have an impact long term. When my DHs ex applied to stop contact, CAFCASS wrote an initial report for the court, detailing all the reports made to social services about dSS. The CAFCASS officer saw ex's reaction to that report, which included details of all the phone calls both DH and myself had made expressing concern about DSS. It was her reaction that reinforced the CAFCASS officers opinion about DHs ex's motives for wanting to stop contact.
There isn't a quick fix. But long term, making sure you report your concerns to the appropriate authorities may well result in a better outcome for the DCs.
I'm going through a battle over my DSD's living conditions and well being at her mom's house and I know the struggles and disappointment with the legal system and social services not seeing what is being done, or not done. We have been fighting for both my DSDs (I have two. They have different moms.). For the younger one we finally have custody of her only after her mother received her 3rd DWI with child endangerment. This was after fighting in court for 5 years and she's only 7 years old now. My older DSD we are still fighting for. I recommend (and we do this and did this for the younger DSD) document everything!! We document everything! Eventually someone will see what is going on. The problems with my older DSD and her mom started about 2 1/2 yrs ago. We know we still have a long fight ahead of us but she is worth it.
OP I really do feel for you. It is so bloody difficult being a step parent to abused children. Record and report everything. I took video clips that have completely obliterated the 'struggling mum' image that she likes to portray.
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