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Court with my fiances ex :((107 Posts)
I found this site whilst googling and hope someone can help
My fiancé and his ex are currently going through court about access arrangements for his 2 daughters. He has put in an application for shared care (full 50/50). We currently only have them 1 night a week. He sees them on a Monday for tea (takes them to his mums) then on a Thursday and Friday he works 6am-2pm so he picks them up from school those days. On a Thursday he drops them home at 8.30/9pm and then they sleep over on a Friday, returning home at 3pm Saturday. He now wants them with us Monday, Thursday and Friday over night every week, with a Saturday overnight added every second week. I want to support him but in reality its not practical at all!
We live a 30minute drive from them and their school, its longer with traffic. I don’t drive and I have my own daughter (12yrs) to get to school in the morning before I go to work.
Im completely torn and cant help feeling he is doing this for all the wrong reasons!
His daughters are 11yrs and 9yrs old. He and his ex split up almost 4 years ago now, she left him and he thinks she was cheating (she had a new man and was pregnant within 3 months). They had been separated for 8 months when I met him. He was left paying a lot of debt when she left. A personal loan for £15,000 that they got to renovate their house, and a car loan of around the same. He lost his house after she left him as he couldn’t keep up with the mortgage so he got no money from that and he stupidly put both the loans in his own name when they were together so he had no come back on those. She took the car with her when she left, then denied having it when he tried to transfer that loan to her. He couldn’t prove the car was hers and the kids told him she didn’t have it any more but he never found out where it went. He is still paying these loans now.
Because he was paying the loans, he wasn’t paying her any maintenance. She seems to think he has access to an endless pot of money. She wasn’t happy not getting maintenance and went to the CMS. They awarded her 16% of his gross wages a month. He changed jobs at the end of last year. The CMS recently did a review and his ex has been awarded an extra £130 per month. He is absolutely furious about this and this is what has spurred him to go to court for 50/50
We are not rolling in money by any means. He pays out a small fortune each month on those loans, due to defaults when he was signed of work ill, they now come to over £600. and when you add in the maintenance, our rent and other bills and just day to day living expenses, there isn’t a lot left at all at the end of the month. We cant afford to pay her any more money. We simply don’t have it. CMS don’t care about outgoings, they just take what they want from the top amount
The relationship between my fiancé and his ex has always been extremely fragile, it completely broke down when he reported her to social services (before I met him) for neglect. They found no concerns (I don’t believe there ever would be, the girls have the life of riley there) and his complaint was marked as malicious. He has admitted to me that he was trying get the girls removed from her care to hurt her. The girls were told what he had done and refused to see him for months. When I met him he was trying to re-establish contact and they were battling access out through their lawyers. They reached the current agreement and that has been in place since (no court order).
The girls live with their mum, her boyfriend that she left my partner for and their son. They also have an Auntie that is very (overly so, I feel) involved in their lives. Auntie has a daughter the same age as mine (12yrs) who also spends a very minimal amount of time with her own father. The girls spend a huge amount of time at their Aunties (their
houses are walking distance apart). They refer to their cousin as their sister and will correct you if you if you say shes their cousin. Auntie is loaded. She seems to have endless amounts of cash to spare. She is very glamorous, gorgeous, has a fast car and is just oh so cool. She is all about big hair, make up, designer sunnies and ripped jeans. Both of the girls worship the ground she walks on. They sleep over there several times a week, even on school nights. She takes them on holidays and constant weekends away, usually meaning my fiancé misses his Friday contact. When my fiancé put his foot down one weekend and said they couldn’t go and had to come to ours, they were a nightmare the full weekend, then we didn’t see them for nearly 3 weeks because they were mad with him!
There are also a lot of things we don’t agree with regarding how they are being brought up, but whenever we try to put our parenting views across, or enforce our rules, they just stop coming. They are “ill” or have “a birthday party” or are at Aunties house instead. The youngest especially blows off a lot of time with dad in favour of Auntie and regularly starts sentences “When im bigger and live with (Auntie)…….”
That was the reason my fiancé actually started court proceeding in the first place. He was initially just trying to get a court order put in place for his current (already agreed for almost 3 years) contact so that he has some clout over his time with his children and could try and make them come when they are supposed to. He is seen as so unimportant and they pick and choose when to come and spend time here.
They say that its boring here and we never take them anywhere. This is true, but its because we have no money left after paying their mums debts and the maintenance. We cant afford days out and trips to the cinema and I feel like when we do give them things or take them places, they don’t appreciate it because its not as good or exciting as what they get from mum and Auntie
He had already applied for that and it was in the process of going though when the maintenance review happened and their mum got awarded the extra money. He then changed his application to complete 50/50 care, meaning there should be no maintenance paid at all. I completely see where he is coming from. We simply cannot afford to pay out more money every month (his mum is paying his lawyer as we are so broke ) but if he gets the 50/50, then the practical logistics of getting his girls to school from here in the morning are not possible. Especially on the Friday morning when my fiancé starts work at 6am. He is talking about having his mum come over and pick them up (she lives close to the girls mum, so she would be driving here to pick them up and drop them at school on a Tuesday and a Friday morning) but she doesn’t keep well at all and is currently under investigation for some sort of heart problem, they were talking about a bypass, so I really don’t think its fair to put that on her. She doesn’t like driving at the best of times, never mind an hours round trip in morning rush hour.
He was at court today and the judge has ordered that the girls have to be asked what they want, so there is someone from the court being sent out to talk to them at their mums, about their wishes. The girls have already said they don’t want anymore over nights, and the judge basically said today that what my fiancé was proposing was too much and would be quite disruptive to the girls, so I really don’t think it will go to full 50/50 shared care but that doesn’t help our financial situation. They are back in court in early October
On one hand, 50/50 care would help our finances (ie get rid of the maintenance payment, or at least greatly reduce it) and free up some cash, but practically it would be a nightmare. Its also not what the girls want
But on the other hand, if access stays as it is just now, we are completely screwed from a financial point of view. His mum is already paying his lawyer and my mum has already helped us out. This was the first month with the higher maintenance payment. We don’t get paid till the 27th July and we have £85 left in the bank. My fiancé needs diesel and we need to do a food shop. That £85 should be £215 and we would normally get by, but I don’t know what we are going to do this month
I also don’t see why we should be paying all that money to their mum when the girls seem to spend the majority of the time with their Auntie
I just really don’t know what to do
You really only have your partner's word for it that the loans were for the car, or the reason they split up was due to her relationship since.
And your OP is known for his honesty and upstanding behaviour
He will drag you down with him if you're not careful.
Does he pay 50:50 towards everything with you? Or are you subsidising him?
How long did he go not paying maintenance before CMS money started being taken from his wages? Did he pay off the loans faster? Pay for his children's school uniform?
He let the house get repossessed so she would get no equity out. Then defaulted on loans. Then paid no maintenance. Then moved away from his daughters to live with another similar aged girl. He could have lived close on his own. I guess he wouldn't have a housekeeper then though. Then he applied for 50:50 care to save £380 per month. He obviously thought his daughters would cost no money to have 50:50 then. He got his mum pay legal fees on a no hope case to piss off his ex and his children. It seems he also expected his mum to pay for petrol and use her time to ferry the children around so he could have some money for luxuries.
The mum has got a lovely support network going. The girls are happy. Yet this seems to piss you off.
A prince among men.
You have a lying cocklodger.
Like all divorced men he’s sounds like a little boy who has been bullied.
What a ridiculous sweeping statement.
There are plenty of divorced men who are decent parents and co-parent well with their ex-partners.
I'm a big advocate of 50/50 care. It's usually a really good way of maintaining a strong relationship for kids with both their parents, and there's a wealth of evidence that speaks to the importance of that.
However, those arrangements do have to be in the kids' best interests - and in this case, it is crystal clear that they are not.
I'll be blunt - what your ex did in reporting his ex was totally abhorrent. He subjected them to a social services investigation that was unwarranted. He put them in a terrible position - those investigations are an horrific experience not just for the adults involved in them, but also for the kids! He is NOT a good dad. No good parent would ever contemplate subjecting their kids to that, just to get one over on their ex. The thought should never have crossed his mind. It really doesn't matter that he regrets it now - this man is not trustworthy, and is not capable of putting his kids ahead of his own narrow self-interest.
And he hasn't changed. He's now using his kids to try and solve his financial problems.
If he (and you) have financial problems, sort them! Stop blaming it all on the ex. Loads of us got fucked over in our divorce settlements. We accept it for what it is, maybe vow never to marry again(!), and then crack on with fixing it. I can't believe this needs saying, but.....his kids are not weapons. They are not pawns. They are not tools to be manipulated to help him solve his financial problems. If he doesn't have enough money....he needs to get a better job. Work more hours. Get a side income. Live more frugally. Be an adult, and fix the problem. Don't start manipulating his own bloody children in the hope that they'll be the solution!
After what he did with SS, he should be grateful that they are willing to see him at all. He should be pouring his efforts into rebuilding their trust, and improving his relationship with them. Not trying to force them to spend more time with him, when they don't want to, just to help solve his cashflow issues! I know you say he wants to improve his relationship with them....but do either of you genuinely believe that forcing them into an arrangement they don't want is the way to do that?! That is - to put it crudely - mental. Not exactly likely to get them trusting him again, is it?
The specific 50/50 pattern he was proposing was just as mental. Way too much moving around - and a clear demonstration that he constructed it to suit him, without a moment's thought as to whether it would make sense for the kids. Then there's his inability to actually make that pattern work - is this guy capable of thinking about anyone else for even a second?
Look, if he really wants to deal with these issues, he needs to take ownership of his financial problems, amd crack on with tne hard graft of sorting them. Through bis OWN sweat. Stop focussing on the ex. Stop looking for ways to get other people to solve them. Stop wallowing in self pity. Be a man, and bloody well work to fix it.
As for his kids, he needs to be putting work into that relationship, understanding where the kids are coming from. When he increases his income, maybe designate a portion of that increase for debt clearance, and a portion for activities with the kids. Really talk to the kids. He's starting from a low base, so he needs to adapt his approach completely - you don't get to dictate that your kids should spend more time with you after subjecting them to what he did. Time for him to find some humility.
As for you, I'll behonest and say that I have no idea what you see in a man like this. Your daughter is having her living standards comprkmised because thisnguy is incapable of gettjng his shit together. No way I'd stand for that in a partner. Amd she'll remember that. But you'd hardly be the first woman to put a man ahead of their kids. If you're going to stay in this relationship (and I suspect you are), I think you need to look at boundaries. How do you get him to take more responsibility for his issues, so that it impacts your daughter less?
"Like all divorced men he’s sounds like a little boy who has been bullied"
Ah, prejudice & bigotry! Dontcha love it? 😂
It would only be bigotry if it had not been a personal experience of divorce and the way the divorced ‘man’ had been!
On the other hand, maybe I do like your form of bigotry and prejudice
He's a deadbeat. Spiteful and vindictive. Thinking of himself rather than the children and you're enabling him.
Think of your daughter and get rid. Stop making excuses for him.
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