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DP's ex wants DD to live with her & DD says she wants to leave - DP distraught

(103 Posts)
mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 09:18:20

DP has custody of DD (11)
exW left the country 3 yrs ago and left DD with her dad.
exW came back pretty quickly but since then has not wanted DD

since Ive known him (2yrs) his ex has had 7 boyfriends, 3 houses (renting) and only has DD every other weekend.

now since splitting from latest BF, she has suddenly decided she wants DD to live with her. She lets DD stay up late at weekends, buys her anything she wants & they stay in watching DVDs. She has never paid a penny towards her upkeep which DP is fine with.

He rang me last night & is distraught. He is concerned that his DD will be home alone after school til his exW gets in and DD will have to move schools AGAIN. He doesnt want to say no for fear of alienating his DD & exW.

Any ideas or should he just accept she wants to move & be there if it doesnt work out?
Seems so unfair cos he is a brilliant dad and we were thinking of moving in together in next 6 mths with his DD obviously moving in too. She even has her own room at my house.

umberella Mon 07-Jul-08 09:22:29

poor dd and dp. if he stops her he may well alienate her. don't really know what he should do.

sorry, not much help!

Doodle2U Mon 07-Jul-08 09:24:15

What about a compromise which gives DD and the ExWife try be before you buy period?

Two or three weeks over the summer hols - exW discovers she's not cut out for it full time and DD finds out that what seems fun every two weeks is actually crap on a full time basis?

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 09:26:59

doodle2U - thats a brilliant idea
to be honest, knowing his exW, I wonder whether she really wants DD or is just saying she does, hoping DP will say no & then she can be the victim

I will suggest this to DP although to be honest, I am having DSD for 1 week in the summer as Im off with my DCs and said she could stay with me. I think part of the problem is that after school & in holidays at mo she has to go to DP's mum & it isnt much fun.

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 09:26:59

doodle2U - thats a brilliant idea
to be honest, knowing his exW, I wonder whether she really wants DD or is just saying she does, hoping DP will say no & then she can be the victim

I will suggest this to DP although to be honest, I am having DSD for 1 week in the summer as Im off with my DCs and said she could stay with me. I think part of the problem is that after school & in holidays at mo she has to go to DP's mum & it isnt much fun.

tissy Mon 07-Jul-08 09:27:34

hmm, does he have legal custody, i.e. arranged through the courts? If so it's not as easy as dd just moving in, I wouldn't have thought.

Could there be a compromise? Week on/ week off, maybe? If she's sensible, I wouldn't be overly concerned re the home alone after school business, I would have been absolutely fine alone at that age, but dpends on the child, I suppose.

Freckle Mon 07-Jul-08 09:28:07

Well a child is always going to want to live with the parent which gives them what they want - albeit that that might not be what they need. Of course, his dd might find that, although staying up late etc. is fine every other weekend, but living with her mum is not what she imagined it to be. It does sound as though her mum is too selfish to want the responsibility of a pre-teen.

Why doesn't dp suggest that his dd stay with her mum for the whole of the summer holidays and then review the situation after that? Dd might have cracked on that mum is not the best parent in the world by then and want to come back to dad. And dp will not have risked alienating his dd.

He should not, at this stage, agree to a long-term arrangement though. At the end of the day, he is her dad and has to do what is in her best interests, which may well not be what she wants.

jammi Mon 07-Jul-08 09:30:29

Message withdrawn

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 09:32:20

sharing wont be possible as at moment DP & ex live in different towns so school share wont be possible. Will be just as bad when he moves over here.

Freckle - I have said this to DP but he is scared - he says fathers have no rights and any court will say DD can be with mum.

he doesnt have legal custody - just the fact exW left the country & DD...and when she returned, she didnt ask to have DD live with her.

I really thought DSD wanted to move & live with mesad but I am quite firm with her with bedtime & homework & behaviour. She has really come on since we've been together as we have been slow introducing the DCs and showing we are committed to being a family of 5.

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 09:35:35

we live in a 3-school system so she is in middle school for another 2 yrs.
either way she will have to move - if they move in with me we're in another town. However I work part time so will always be home for her & my 2 DCs plus she will be able to ahve friends round which she cant do at the moment.

jammi Mon 07-Jul-08 09:37:17

Message withdrawn

QuintessentialShadows Mon 07-Jul-08 09:41:45

Isnt this age related to?

At 11 does she really have a say?

I think you dp should do as he thinks the court would do.

By explaining to her calmly why living with her mother is not such a good idea, he wont alienate her, he might get closer to her, when he shows her trust enough to discuss this with her. He must avoid the trap of letting this turn into a bitchfest about his ex, though.

I agree that spending summer holidays is a good way.

My niece needs her one month summer holiday with her dad to be reminded why exactly she wants to live with her mum.

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 09:46:26

11 - no
12 - yes she can choose

have pointed DP who is at work to this topic & explained he should come on & talk to you lot. Good advice & he feels a little happier with the suggestion of trying the summer.

DSD is very headstrong & loves spending money (something we clash on) so she loves weekends with her mum who buys her everything she wants.

Freckle Mon 07-Jul-08 11:34:30

Can her mum really afford to buy her whatever she wants on a permanent basis? Once she realises how expensive it is to raise a child, she may find her ability to shell out willy-nilly is somewhat limited. I do feel that, having her dd with her for an extended period, might put an end to such ideas on both sides.

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 12:06:47

I think she will start to demand maintenance from DP (even though she hasnt paid a penny for 2 yrs) plus she will get child tax credit and child benefit.

Even so it IS expensive having a child fulltime but not sure she will have thought it through properly.

She doesnt even have a house - she rents & shares a house with the owner.

At end of day though, while there are plenty of reasons for DSD not to live with her mum, she says she wants to so cant see any way round it.

jammi Mon 07-Jul-08 12:41:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sparklesandnowinefor4months Mon 07-Jul-08 12:51:47

has your DP spoken to a solicitor about his legal rights regarding custody, if he would have to pay maintenance, could he then counter claim the 'missing' maintenance from her etc?

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 12:57:29

This only happened last night when ex dropped DSD back at DP's home after the weekend.
He hasnt spoken to a solicitor about anything but you are probably right about a counter claim. However if ex can prove she cant afford to pay him back and needs maintenance from him, surely any court will just tell him to pay up.
It really isnt about the money. More the logistics of after school care etc and holidays. At the moment DP has to cover all school holidays unless exW requests certain weeks.

exW is spoiling DSD cos she is ungrateful when we DO buy her new clothes etc and I find it hard to understand why she is so greedy.

edam Mon 07-Jul-08 13:02:52

I have an inkling that dd might secretly want her dad to fight for her. If he just gives in, she could interpret it as meaning "I don't really care about you that much". You know how children whose parents have been divorced often push you to make sure you do really love them? (And teenagers do it anyway whether their parents are together or not.)

Could be wrong, of course, but as the child of divorced parents, I think it's possible. Even if dd does want to live with her mum, she'd still want reassurance that her dad will miss her (and I bet she eventually realises her dad is the one who actually cares about her).

Freckle Mon 07-Jul-08 13:06:47

I agree totally with edam. If dp just says OK, what message is that going to send to his dd? How about, I've got a new dp and she has two dsses, so I think it's OK that you go to your mum's as I don't need you anymore??

I do think he has to stop thinking about alienating his dd. For goodness' sake, I alienate my children several times a day because I just don't give them what they want. It doesn't seem to damage our relationship and I think they know that I am there for the important stuff and that they will always have what they need from me. The fact that I don't just give them what they want is accepted, very reluctantly, but they love me to bits.

Your dp should fight for his dd.

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 13:07:20

Edam you might be right. I think DD does realise how much her dad does for her. Last weekend I told her she had hurt his feelings but he would never tell her that. Apparently, unprompted, she apologised to him on the way back to their house & he was touched.

I am actually gutted cos we have been talking about all living together in my house & she has her own room which my 2 are not allowed in if she wants peace. We have been talking about painting it & even putting up posters of her football team (which incidentally is my arch rival so amuses her grin)

DP is going to talk to her this week and it may just be more of a whim on exW part and DSD isnt that bothered. Perhaps she's confused - she obviously would like to live with both & doesnt like choosing.

I also worry that she feels sorry for her mum who may have told her she misses her & is lonely whereas dad (DP) has me and my 2 DCS.

sparklesandnowinefor4months Mon 07-Jul-08 13:09:27

do you think your DSD could be worried that if she doesn't go along with her mum and what she wants then her mum might leave her again?

The 'greed' of your DSD may just be down to her age or hitting puberty - children are selfish and greedy, its not a bad thing necessarily and i don't think they know they are but as a child the whole does revolve around you and what you want/what your mates have/when you can go out/what clothes you have/etc

i don't know i'm afraid i don't have any first hand experience of step families, so ignore me if i don't know what i'm on about!

mistressmiggins Mon 07-Jul-08 13:10:16

Freckle - I'm glad you & Edam have said about fighting for his DD - I've told him that myself. I've told him he cant be scared or bullied into letting her leave if he doesnt think it is the right thing for DSD.

DSD seems to have more respect for me because I DO tell her off or tell her I dont like her spoilt behaviour. She knows it doesnt mean I dont love her. I have told her that I dont want her to grow up spoilt as her friends will not tolerate it as she gets older. She seemed to understand.

jammi Mon 07-Jul-08 13:11:20

Message withdrawn

jammi Mon 07-Jul-08 13:15:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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