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Agreeing on care

(16 Posts)
Chociefish Wed 31-Jul-19 22:07:45

Not sure if this is the right title for this post but can't seem to find any relevant info on this anywhere. When my ex and I separated he was keen to see his kids (he has parental responsibility) 10 months later and he now wants to reduce the amount of time he sees them to just one sleep over per week with the option to knock on this once a month too. I've never put him down to the kids and I firmly believe that they should have the chance to see and maintain the parental bond with him but can you force someones hand when they clearly want to back away? Does anyone here have experience of mediation in this scenario and does it help?

OP’s posts: |
oopsididitagain1 Wed 31-Jul-19 22:31:43

Has he given you a reason as to why he wants to do this? This seems unfair on you and the DC. How often does he have them now?

I am a SM and my DH / his ex went to mediation when they were arranging child care etc and it did help, but it was a different scenario as he wanted to see my DSD as often as possible.

Posymarie Wed 31-Jul-19 22:37:36

Hi my ExH took me to courts to get a shared care arrangement it was pretty much a 60/40 split plus holiday time though last year it all changed he had a new baby and DC only go EOW and some holiday time, I’ve tried so hard tried for them to have a good relationship with him but he has hardly any contact with me only via email and about arrangements only never goes to anything related to the children. He hardly calls or text them now I find it really sad but I must admit it’s easier then when it was almost a 50/50 split.

pikapikachu Wed 31-Jul-19 22:41:40

You're right about not being able to force someone to have contact.

I wouldn't like the "option to bow out" clause at all. Of course I would accommodate an emergency like illness or car trouble but my kids would not like knowing if Dad was going to turn up or not. If he can't commit to 4 times a month then he needs to commit to 3 but make sure it's a definite routine so you and the kids are not left wondering if it's going to happen.

Chociefish Wed 31-Jul-19 22:49:26

He has started seeing someone else which I am fine with. I wouldn't want him to be lonely. He currently has them for one sleep over and one weekend afternoon and his parents have them for one tea time. One of my dc is special needs asc and the respite of him having them is invaluable for me to be able to cope. He uses alsorts of excuses now to dodge and it's getting harder to say to my dcs that daddy is just busy. My 9 year old is very clever and can see through this I'm sure. I've pointed this out but he fails to see it as a problem. Do I have legal rights to metaphorically kick him up the backside?

OP’s posts: |
Bythebeach Wed 31-Jul-19 22:56:46

No. It is one of the massive failures of parental responsibility- particularly when applied to irresponsible dads (or mums but numerically far less). They have equal ‘parental responsibility’ which gives them the right to not see their kids and not be responsible whenever they want to.

Chociefish Wed 31-Jul-19 23:14:09

This seems so unjust. There must be hundreds if not thousands of fathers out there striving for the chance to see their dc yet when handed access on a plate its shunned as too much. I will be making an appointment with a mediator ASAP. His parents are decent people, it makes me wonder if they know anything about this

OP’s posts: |
Spanglyprincess1 Thu 01-Aug-19 06:53:33

Most fathers want to see the kids and unfortunately often the rp makes it difficult for that to be the case. I know there are bad dads and bad mom's, but most parents love and wnat to see their kids.
This however might not be the case here but if he's been involved for a long time then that's unlikley.
Is he maybe struggling now the kids are getting older or have they said its disruptive to him? We had a load of grief when our dsc got older 7,8 or 9 about not wanting to come etc when we had 50:50 but it turns out that they did but were testing boundaries which can happen.
Mediation is a really good idea as maybe you can talk about what's best for the kids and come up with a joint parenting plan so it can be what's best for the kids.

Greeve Thu 01-Aug-19 07:17:48

What you could find with the parents is that they have archaic views about childcare and actually think his behaviour is to be expected given that he's moved on.

IME as a mediator, the dad in this situation rarely commits to change. He says he will because he feels guilty in the moment but he is too fixated on fulfilling his Man roles within a new relationship to actually be available for his kids.

Tyersal Thu 01-Aug-19 10:04:59

One night a week plus an afternoon is the equivalent of every other weekend still which a lot of people have as standard

Willyoujustbequiet Fri 02-Aug-19 06:10:59

Its not fair but ime very common.

Contrary to the the common perception I really dont think most nrp fathers are that bothered and are happy with every other weekend. Unfortunately many ex inlaws dont pull them up on it either.

It takes very little to be classed as a good father and very little to be thought of as a bad mum.

Spanglyprincess1 Fri 02-Aug-19 06:26:30

I really don't think that's true. The few and I'll admit it's a few I know have their kids 40% and would love to ahve them more often but are rgeualrly blocked from doing so.
I think generally some parents are not great and some at brilliant, I think that's true of both genders

TheChain Fri 02-Aug-19 09:27:41

Most fathers want to see the kids and unfortunately often the rp makes it difficult for that to be the case

This is the total opposite of what I’ve experienced and witnessed. In my close social circle of 8 women, 6 of us have been left raising our children almost completely solo. 3 of the fathers involved have no involvement whatsoever with their children, 3 see them on an EOW basis through their own choice.
It’s far too easy for men to walk away and take minimal responsibility for their children whilst claiming they’re a great dad because they pay maintenance.
Not a single one of the mothers has prevented visitation or contact, the fathers have chosen this of their own volition because their work/ new partner/ new children are more deserving of their time it would seem.

Sorry OP, you cannot force him to be a decent father unfortunately. You can however try to protect your children from the fall out of being abandoned by him and make sure they feel loved and secure with you.

SandyY2K Fri 02-Aug-19 13:30:45

Most might say they want to see their kids, but the reality is not the case. They often want 50/50 to avoid paying CS.

Many of these dads were never hands on to begin with. They really don't know much about their own kids, but will profess they love them.
I'm sure they do, but they just aren't hands on.

pikapikachu Fri 02-Aug-19 13:59:58

My experience is that most men don't or won't alter their working patterns to see the kids more after they are born or post divorce. The mums on the other hand often go part-time post maternity leave or post split.

I do know a Dad with 50/50 who genuinely does 50% of the work but many use their new gf as free childcare rather than pay or alter their working hours like many mum's seem to do.

RedPandaBear Fri 02-Aug-19 14:41:26

When my dh and I spilt he moved nearby and saw the dc 2-3 times a week.

Then he moved for work and saw them on average twice a year!

Amazingly they still think he is the best dad in the world! God knows why...

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