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(47 Posts)
crs80 Wed 28-Jun-17 22:45:02

Hello, my husband & I take our child plus step kids away 4 times a year, twice is out of school. I need advice as it's started to cause real problem with step children's mother even though my husband has been court ordered 50% residency. Every time we take them away (which has been consistent for 4 years) she refuses to let them come & makes claims to social services once a we have gone. I'm worried about chikdren as they are subjected to this nonsense, any advice please

Janeismymiddlename Wed 28-Jun-17 23:17:20

If you have 50/50, why should she let you take the children away on her contact time? Is the time given back to her?

Maybe don't take them during school time? Who deals with the school?

Finola1step Wed 28-Jun-17 23:19:52

Why are the dc being taken on holiday twice a year during term time?

Lunar1 Thu 29-Jun-17 07:36:07

How old are they. That's a lot of school missed over the years.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Jun-17 07:44:11

I would be kicking up a fuss if my XH tried to regularly take our DC out of school for holidays.

PotteringAlong Thu 29-Jun-17 07:47:34

So she says no and you take them out of school anyway?

TwoDots Thu 29-Jun-17 08:10:34

You're going to be grilled for this post I think

I think things may calm down if you didn't holiday during school. That is an awful lot.

MycatsaPirate Thu 29-Jun-17 08:43:08

Stop taking the children out of school for holidays! It's grossly unfair on the children and their mother. She may be the one who gets into trouble for their low attendance yet it's completely outwith her control.

crs80 Thu 29-Jun-17 08:59:06

We don't take them away during her contact time only ours, we take them twice during term time (we are Jewish & observe religious holidays which fall term time) the schools have given permission every time no no issues there. I'm concerned that the children are subjected to social services visits and are becoming confused as to why there is always a drama whenever they come away with us, this isn't the only time we have problems, it seems to be whenever we take the children out for the day somewhere special or for the weekend as well. I'm just worried they need counselling or expert help to deal with it.

crs80 Thu 29-Jun-17 09:03:01

To be clear my husband does not need to ask her permission to take them out of school, he has parental responsibility and 50% residency so what we do during his contact time is down to us, however she is informed that we are going away if we are

user1486334704 Thu 29-Jun-17 09:43:47

Agree with other posters re long term impact of missing so much school (even though its with permission)

However as so common on here everyone is ready to jump on the SM - if she WASNT taking the stepkids away on holidays she would be criticised on here for not including them in family life. To take 4 away so often is also very generous but on here she will be criticised.

OP - how about just holidays during your DP's time with the children and observe your religious traditions on shorter long weekend breaks which impact schooling less if possible?

Hissy Thu 29-Jun-17 09:49:34

Does observing your religious holidays mean that you need to go away somewhere, or do you just spend the time at home/not going to school/work etc?

If you are merely taking them out of school to observe those religious days, the school allows that and gives permission, then all well and good. If you are taking them at those times and for longer than necessary, you ARE impinging on their education and are not operating in their best interests.

I dont agree with the DM calling SS on you, and they will get wise to her shortly. They will stop responding. I wonder if there could be something in law that could deal with her malicious reporting? Getting advice on this may be beneficial

crs80 Thu 29-Jun-17 10:27:06

We do go away for the Jewish holidays which is extremely important for us; there are many that we can't observe because of school/work however there are 2 that we must observe. This situation has been going on for 4 years & although SS & the police are wise to it she still makes anonymous reports which are too serious to be ignored, the police have told us we need proof that is is her otherwise they can't do much except have a word with her. Last time they did that she reported me for harrassment! If all this was happening without children's knowledge then it wouldn't be so bad but it isn't & my children are subjected to it as well.

stitchglitched Thu 29-Jun-17 11:01:44

'To be clear my husband does not need to ask her permission to take them out of school'

But she is their parent too and clearly disagrees with it. Why would you continue to do something that causes so much aggravation and conflict with their other parent? Not wanting her children to be pulled out of school is a reasonable stance.

crs80 Thu 29-Jun-17 11:19:51

Legally he doesn't need to seek permission, it's our faith; that cannot be compromised, I acknowledge that unless you're of a strict faith people do not understand. The problem is not us taking them out of school it is taking them anywhere anytime & her behaviour is damaging her children. I just want advice on how to protect the children from this behaviour as much as possible

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 29-Jun-17 12:13:53

Roughly old are they? I think that dictates how you try and communicate with them about the issues a lot.

Are they distressed by their Mum getting SS involved? What happens, do they get interviewed?

Is she also trying to involve the school?

I think some people are confused, it seems like you're saying you only take them out of school during your DH's contact time, and the school authorise it, so it's not actually anything to do with his ex.

What do you want to achieve? Is it how to speak to the DSC, how to make her calm down, what to do about agencies getting involved?

Could you have the religious holidays agreed in a court order so they're set in stone?

crs80 Thu 29-Jun-17 12:31:40

They are 10 & 12, they have been interviewed by SS & police once whilst with us. They are certainly affected as they ask some very worrying questions (such as whether we are kidnapping them) and are emotionally very confused as to whether they should taking sides; their mother tells them awful things about us which they repeat in front of us. She tried to involve the school but they weren't interested as we weren't doing anything wrong.
Yes that's exactly what I'm saying, she is always informed where we are going but we don't need to obtain her permission.
Ultimately I would like it to stop but I can't see that happening, I just have some serious concerns about how this affects them mentally, maybe a counsellor would help.
We have those weeks agreed by the order (so we have them during those specific dates) however there is no specific mention of why

SoupDragon Thu 29-Jun-17 12:38:26

it's our faith; that cannot be compromised

Out of interest, is it her faith too?

Hissy Thu 29-Jun-17 12:55:46

So there are 2 holidays/occasions you must observe. How long does this observance require you to remove them from school and do you need to take them somewhere specific or are you choosing to observe the religious obligation AND tack a holiday onto the end?

At 10 and 12, you need to know that this IS going to affect schooling and their education. that is for you to come to terms with and decide upon.

When you apply for permission on religious grounds, as you know, the school CAN'T refuse it as it's a religious right.

If the mother disagrees with the time taken and feels that you are exploiting the observance to have a term time holiday AND undermining their education because of your own choices, then you can understand her anger. She is powerless to stop her children's education being compromised.

We have those weeks agreed by the order (so we have them during those specific dates) however there is no specific mention of why

As I understand it, Jewish dates are goverened by the moon calendar so are not fixed in the traditional calendar year. If these dates are part of an order, they would have to be changed each year and she'd know that it's due to the jewish calendar.

UNLESS... she is not of the same religion and therefore the kids aren't/weren't. Judaism is through the mother as I understand it too.

crs80 Thu 29-Jun-17 13:11:18

As I said previously the issue is not taking them out of school, it's taking them anytime, the same thing happens when we take them during summer holidays. I really do not care how she feels about whether we observe them or not, of course she is Jewish she observes the same holidays. I can understand her irritation but that does not justify reporting us to SS or the police! The order specifies specific dates until the children are 16.
with respect I'd rather not get any more comments about taking the kids out of school that's our business and it's not changing until they reach 16, I'm trying to get advice on how to deal with the impact that this behaviour is having on the children.

justtiredofcoping Thu 29-Jun-17 13:50:06

May be she wants to do the religious festivals as well if she is Jewish - seems a little bit selfish to hog the main ones if religion is so important in this set up.

I think you need to butt out and leave the father to sort out with his EX what is going on.

You are assuming it is her, with no evidence, could be one of her relatives, friend etc.

Hissy Thu 29-Jun-17 14:02:37

Well, MN doesn't work like that. smile

of course you are able to go on holiday outside of term time, that's right and fair. I assume their mother ALSO takes them away on holiday?

You DO have to understand that your decision to take the kids out of their education to this extent isn't right. You are undermining their schooling.

Perhaps if you re-thought the schooling? send them to a Jewish school? or better a private school, it wouldn't impact them so much? You have to put the kids first. the situation you describe doesn't seem to suggest this.

By the sounds of it, you are tacking on "family" holidays to a religious reason, knowing that it can't be refused, and this is why their mother is (potentially rightfully) pissed off. Do you have kids of your own? are they also missing school?

perhaps their mother thinks you are playing families with her kids?

That said, if she is being malicious, there are ways she can be encouraged to stop, police, lawyers etc.

Of course she could be crazy and you may be utterly blameless, but if you are as abrasive with her as you are with us, and if the situation is new, and one over which she has zero control, it may explain why she is doing anything and everything she can to get her kids education sorted out better, it may explain why she is so pissed off.

Have you thought about asking the Rabbi for guidance to mediate and negotiate this?

Hissy Thu 29-Jun-17 14:04:39

How you deal with the impact?

You are kind and understanding and listen to the children, reassure them where you can and work as hard as you can with their dad to come to a nice and relaxed space where they feel they are valued.

If you hear bad things said about you, discuss them with the kids and show them the evidence that contradicts what they have heard, with calm and consideration.

Hissy Thu 29-Jun-17 14:06:38

ultimately though, their dad has to negotiate with the children's mother, he has to make it right and you are there to support him and be there for the kids.

You also should be looking out for their best interests and that does include schooling.

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 29-Jun-17 14:08:21

Of course it doesn't justify her behaviour wasting police time and making malicious accusations about you to SS. It's incredibly damaging and unfair to the children.

How have you tried to tackle it in the past? If school are supportive that's a big positive. If the complaints to SS are anonymous and you're saying that means the have to investigate, then I don't know what the answer is. Hopefully someone else will be along who can help you.

It would be useful to know what she's so worried about. It must be taking up an awful lot of energy on her part to keep kicking off. If she shares your faith does she have the opportunities she wants to observe with the children? Has she said anything (you don't have to answer here but worth thinking about) specific which explains what must be her anxiety that's motivating her to behave so destructively?

I think the DSC are old enough to have a chat with about how things are different between their parents and homes, my DSC are younger and don't have an issue with it, though I'm grateful we don't have any issues as serious as what you're going through. They're surely old enough to understand they're not being kidnapped and you've had this pattern for contact for a long time and it's a normal routine.

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