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Problems with DSS's mum

(121 Posts)
Airylights Mon 30-Nov-15 20:34:50

Sorry this is long.

I've been on and off with my partner for 2 years. I'm due our first child soon and he has a 3 year old son with a previous partner. They split up when she was in early pregnancy and she went on to have many sexual relations with other men and eventually got into a long term relationship with a man who was at DSS's birth and DSS was taught that was his dad. They have recently split and she is seeing someone else, having yet another father figure around her young son which must be confusing for him.

She has constantly messed OH around with contact arrangements and him paying money. He now is lucky enough to see him twice a week, for 8 hours in total (including the hour and a half MIL has to drive to pick him up and drop him off again). She gives him the times the same morning and if he isn't there for that time then she fucks off out with DSS and her new boyfriend. She demands £100 a month off of him (he doesn't earn much and they don't go down the CSA route) and then she asks MIL for money for other things, so gets around £250 in total. She lives with her parents so doesn't have to pay bills and everything is provided for her son by them so I imagine she just spends the money on booze and fags anyway. MIL has her on Facebook and from her photos and statuses she goes out drinking a fair bit so DSS is left with his grandparents a lot, when he could be with OH.

He is moving in with me shortly to save money and she has said DSS won't be able to visit at our house, he has to visit at his grandmas (MIL's) and that this will never change. So that means when baby is born we won't be able to have them together unless I go to his mums with him which is a lot of effort as it's an hour away from my house. I understand that she may feel threatened by OH having another child but she will be depriving DSS of a relationship with his half sistersad. Anyone else experienced something like this? I'll be a first time parent and step parent so finding it hard to cope

Littlefish Mon 30-Nov-15 20:37:52

You need to consult a solicitor and try and get the contact arrangements agreed formally.

Airylights Mon 30-Nov-15 20:39:27

We would but we don't have the money to at the moment as baby will be here soon. It's a really sad situation, I want my daughter to be able to have a relationship with her brothersad

Cuppachaplz Mon 30-Nov-15 20:46:09

Can you just pay the court fees and represent yourselves? They have yo gave s pretty valid reason not to allow a sibling relationship.
My eh and I did this with his older children's partner (although this was many years ago...)

Asteria36 Mon 30-Nov-15 20:52:20

Unfortunately a formal contact arrangement is your only way to get this sorted. The courts insist on mediation as a first option, but if you cannot afford it (usually about £80-£100) then you can explain that and skip it. Court is a couple of hundred pounds, but your DP will be able to self-represent relatively easily. Gingerbread are good for legal advice, but you can also get a free consultation with most solicitors.

He may also want to consider specific concerns that you want to raise in court, like the living arrangements that your dss is currently experiencing. Keep everything on a purely factual level and don't fall into a tit for tat. For example you could raise a concern about the stability of the mother's lifestyle, but it must be factual rather than speculation.

Asteria36 Mon 30-Nov-15 20:56:10

Get the maintenance sorted out too. The csa calculator will help give an idea of how much needs to go across to your dss. Unfortunately you cannot stipulate what it is spent on. It may be an idea to get your MIL to stop handing money over as it will just undermine the situation. Would it be possible for her to lend some money for court?

redteddy Mon 30-Nov-15 21:33:38

Get a formal parenting schedule through the courts. It's the only way.

Also, you should have Right of First Refusal - if one parent cannot look after the child, the other parent is allowed the option of having the child first before another carer (relative/nanny/etc).

NoSmileToday Tue 01-Dec-15 07:59:01

Firstly you need to remove the vitriol about the ex, it will not help and it shifts the focus from the real issue which is contact. What she does in her private life with her money is no concern of yours.
She demands £100 a month from him........no she doesn't she is asking him to pay for the child he helped create. £100 per month is not even close to what it costs to support a child. Do you think he should pay less?

You are not really in a position to criticise her choice in men given you yourself are in an on off relationship and are pregnant hmm

As others have said court is the only way forward and your BF will need to start saving up if he wants better contact arrangements.
Frankly he sounds like a loser and I really hope you don't end up in the position of being his ex as I think then you will realise what he is really like and may even see it from is current exes point of view.

Airylights Tue 01-Dec-15 10:22:53

From what he earns he should be paying £7 child support a week and his mum shouldn't be giving her money when she asks. We have been on and off because of distance and he might not move in because he can only have DSS at MIL's, so living with me would be tough because of travelling. I'm talking about her partners because she is having them around a young child and pretending that they are his fatherhmm

VimFuego101 Tue 01-Dec-15 10:24:47

How much does he earn that he only needs to pay 7 pounds a week?

Airylights Tue 01-Dec-15 10:26:40

I didn't want to mention this as it's upsetting but SS were also involved because bruises were found on DSS from the boyfriend she has just split up with, apparently being rough with a 1 and a half year old baby is normal to him. She had the choice of staying with the guy or staying with her DSS so she ran off with him briefly and left DSS with her parents. Her choice in men is toxic and not good for her son

Airylights Tue 01-Dec-15 10:28:26

£400 a month (he's on zero hours and doesn't get many shifts as there has been an influx in employees recently), the £7 doesn't include fees. He has been trying to get a better job but would need to get one in our nearest city and would struggle working full time and being able to spend time with his son because of the distances between them

Airylights Tue 01-Dec-15 10:31:37

She hasn't wanted to go down the CSA route because she wouldn't get as much money from him and his family. He used to earn £1500 a month but the company has gone to shit so he's really struggling at the moment. He lives with his mum so he can provide for his son

VimFuego101 Tue 01-Dec-15 10:34:41

Honestly, the majority of children have at least one parent working full time. He needs to step up, take a full time job and support his child (and the one that you're expecting). How will you manage financially when you have your child?

Regarding contact with his son, he needs to get a legal agreement in place. It is possible to represent yourself in court if you can't afford a lawyer.

SirChenjin Tue 01-Dec-15 10:37:44

How is he going to afford a second baby if he can't afford the one he already has?

OllyBJolly Tue 01-Dec-15 10:44:31

Right of First Refusal - don't believe this exists in the UK and there's nothing wrong with grandparents babysitting.

As NoSmile says, there are more pressing problems here than a relationship with a yet unborn sibling. Are there plans for you and OH to live together? How are you going to finance this baby and your OH's son? If I was you, I'd suggest you need a contingency in case this relationship breaks down and you end up in the same boat as the ex.

Airylights Tue 01-Dec-15 11:01:56

I own my house. I am comfortable financially. Money isn't everything to me when it comes to having a baby and I won't be expecting money from OH that I don't need for the baby

SirChenjin Tue 01-Dec-15 11:04:48

Which is just as well - given his precarious financial position. As for money not being everything when it comes to having a baby - I can assure you, it is a huge thing when it comes to raising children. They are not cheap - which is what your partner's ex is finding out to her cost.

If you have your own house and are financially comfortable then I would suggest a lawyer would be an excellent investment - on many levels.

wannaBe Tue 01-Dec-15 11:12:16

tbh op your post might be better placed in legal given it's more of a legal issue rather than a step parenting one given you don't actually live with this man yet and are not as such a step parent to his child.

Fwiw your oh sounds like a waste of space who I would be very careful about moving in with. And while the mother might have issues of her own, if SS were involved then why has your oh not stepped in and attempted to have the ds move in with him? It's not good enough to say that he can't, if he cares about his child's welfare he would find a way.

He needs to seek some legal advice wrt access, but it needs to be factual without the vitriol attached. What she spends money on is absolutely none of his business, and if he thinks that £100 a month is too much then he needs to take a long hard look at himself.

Your priority needs to be you and your baby at this stage. This man has already left one pregnant woman and is making all the cliche excuses why he can't pursue more access with his existing child. While the ex herself may have her own issues, he doesn't exactly sound like a keeper.

OutToGetYou Tue 01-Dec-15 13:44:26

"I own my house. I am comfortable financially. Money isn't everything to me when it comes to having a baby and I won't be expecting money from OH that I don't need for the baby"

Fallen on his feet there, eh?

OP, take legal advice for yourself and your situation before he moves in.

NoSmileToday Tue 01-Dec-15 15:09:05

It's good that you are financially stable......you will need to be.

OP you only know what you BF is telling you so I wouldn't take it as gospel, he could be using his ex as an excuse not to move in. Maybe he doesn't want the responsibility of a baby, he left her when she was pregnant.

In regards to what his mother chooses to give the ex that is non of your business. She probably feels guilty that her no good son doesn't financially support his child so is trying to make up for that.

If he wants proper contact then he needs to do it.

You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his ex and his children.

M1nniedriver Wed 02-Dec-15 06:09:11

His ex can't stop him seeing the child or taking him to your house. Unless she deems you a risk to the child there's nothing she can do. She can't dictate who sees him when he is with his father.

Why does your DP not see him more? 8 hours twice a week isn't very much.

Adelecarberry87 Wed 02-Dec-15 14:24:43

I think your in denial about the situation. Firstly you yourself have been on and off with your mam so who gives you the moral high ground to judge this woman. If your in and out of your parents life then i can understand her not wanting you ducking in her childs life. 7pound a week is a disgrace for maintence people on the dole give 5pounds a week. What do you expect her to buy with that seriously? I agree with nosmile you can tell alot by how a man treats his ex and kids.

M1nniedriver Wed 02-Dec-15 16:25:38

adele he pays £100 per month not 7pw. As has been said many a time on here children aren't pay per view. The maintenence issue, for as shit as it may be, has nothing to do with him seeing his children.

What it boils down to OP is that the mither has no legal right to stop the father seeing his children more than 8 hours twice a week and has no right to say where they stay when they are with him. If he wants to take them to yours he can, she would need a very good reason not to allow it. Might not be fair in some people's eyes but that how it is.

NoSmileToday Wed 02-Dec-15 17:19:31

What it boils down to is the father is useless.

Legally the mother can do what she likes until a court tells her otherwise. Given the fact that in 3 years the father hasn't bothered to get any formal contact arrangement in place I would say he is probably happy being an 8 hour a week father.

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