Son thinks dad should not financially support when at mums house - relationship in turmoil(3 Posts)
I'm new here and am feeling so unbelievably gutted about a scenario going on in my household at the moment, i need some points of view to be able to reflect on this matter and decide how to go forward.
I have four children, three of whom are with my ex, unmarried and my youngest with my current partner. In the recent years I have heard things from my children of a grown up nature "why don't you work mum?" "why do you get all of your money from the government mum?" stuff that kind of makes your skin crawl and makes you think where are they getting this, the conclusion for me was easy they were hearing it at their dads.
The contact for my children from the moment we split was 8 days with me 6 days with dad, but was split over two weeks rather than 8 days here then 6 days there, its just worked out like this over a two week period. In January of this year after my eldest (who has special needs)spoke to someone at school about dad hitting him, school contacted me and i immediately stopped the contact with him and his dad and spoke to my younger two (13 years of age) about their feelings about maybe spending less time with their dad (they had been talking increasingly about his levels of control of them and i could palpably feel their anxiety on the way over their) they agreed and felt they would like to be at home more, and as i was speaking to him about my other son i felt this was prime time to speak to him about my other sons.
dad wasn't happy but the situation had gone further than something that we could deal with in a day, school had said they would consider contacting social services should there be a repeat. This was over my head now. So my eldest spent around 2 moths with no contact with dad, i had said dad could take him for tea etc but i think he saw him twice on that level for 8 weeks, then we gradually started adding over night and at present a whole 9 months later he goes two weeks per fortnight, my other two sons started going every other weekend in january (went from 6 nights to 2 nights).
He sought legal advice (i received a letter around March basically saying how crap i was for making changes, i contacted the solicitor and extensively told them about the issues that had lead to the removal/reduction of contact and i never heard another thing!). Although recently advised me he had a retainer so he would like to get parental responsibility (all boys born before dec 2003).
In July dad contacted me to put the "old" contact back in place for my sons, but wanted to keep contact with my son with special needs at two nights every two weeks. I agreed but based on some new family activities i shifted their longer stay a day forward (they do 2 nights one week 4 nights the next). He agreed to this but did not mention it again until school hold were done (i think because he would have to arrange childcare during this time - an inconvenience to him).
So last week i got a call to say "are the boys coming over tonight?" i was surprised as had heard nothing since july, i was out at the time of the call and said i didn't realise he was expecting them and he was welcome to collect them otherwise i could not drop them off until around 7.30pm, he said "there's no point" he'll just get them tomorrow.
This bring us up to yesterday, on the way to drop my boys off with their dad (and in hindsight i should not have had this conversation with them) I said that i was worried that they may grow to think the relationship between their dad and me was not normal, they asked what i meant. I said that a father should financially support their child and that the relationship should not be based around the fathers needs but rather the child's needs, one of my sons became very angry that i was hypothetically talkionmg about asking their dad for money, saying things like why should he p[ay you? he couldn't afford his house if he paid you, we spend half time there why should he give you money? Now for me it stunk of a child that had been primed to answer in this way or a seed had been planted by dad, almost manipulative.
For the nine months that they were going two nights a week i received zero financial support - i said this to my son and he said "it was your choice". I was shocked by his response but its not the first time he's stood up for his dad so vehemently, i think the shock is that they stand up for him with no regard for me. Throughout their lives i have made sure that any negative emotions towards their dad have been hidden as i've always felt that that would be damaging to them, i just get the feeling their dad has acted the opposite and this has lead to me having a child who viciously protects his dad and one who has similar feelings but does not shout and argue with me. I feel so stupid for trying to have this conversation with them, i genuinely am so worried that they'll end up going down that path and thinking its ok to not support your kids and spit your dummy out and kick and scream when things don't go your way.
I've never had a penny of child support from him since we split in 2004, he says he's on the breadline but takes kids on holidays (i cannot afford holidays, our money goes towards keeping a roof over our head and children fed). He will ask me for money though towards things for kids. I have on occasion applied to csa and we are entitled to payment but the hell i get for doing so is unbearable in the past he's had family members contact me to say i'm in the wrong, he's hounded me so has his girlfriend, i think he thinks because i get benefits that he should not have to pay.
The issue i have now is that my kids have been manipulated to think that anything he gives me will be at the detriment of his life. Both he and his partner work full time with i would imagine fair wages.
I need advice on:
How to speak to the kids about the responsibility of their dad in an age appropriate way, when they've been almost brain washed by him.
How i gain financial support and "get through it" without being hounded or whether i should just go without and just forget it.
I just feel like at their age i could be doing with some help to cloth and feed them and for a bit of pocket money as they constantly ask for money, currently (and historically) their dad provides for them but they do not bring their belongings to my house which means that they are provided for very well at their dads but we don't see so much as a pair of sock and if something does come over he hounds me to get it back.
I feel like something i am entitled to is obviously a hot topic of discussion at dad's and has been for a long time, i am so worried that it will further affect my relationship with my sons, their behaviour is awful and quite often they will argue about how little we have (this is true, we are a family who lives on benefits, due to circumstances beyond our control, this means we have little money and once ourr bills are paid even less. bills come first clothing etc after, i think my general and overriding feeling is that if the shoe was on the other foot and the boys lived with their dad, i could not let this happen, how can he, with so much conviction.
Help! please x
Have you put in a claim with the CMS? If not why not? Do it, now.
No i haven't made a claim, well actually i have been through the initial stages of the claim process a number of times and a few months go i got as far as the first call and they gave me the info to complete the claim and pay the fee but ive never done it for the reasons explained above.
yesterday i was speaking to my sons dad and he said that if i want for him to become a weekend dad then i should go ahead with the claim but "why would i do that as nor he or the boys would want this" i can't help but feel manipulated by this. It's infuriating to know that if i go ahead he'll let the boys know why and they'll hate me for being the one that's made it so their dad can only afford to have them every other weekend. I don't actually care in my complete honesty that this will be the result im worried that this will further affect the relationship with my kids, he's already in their heads regarding how crap a mother i am, this is going to make things worse, but we need the support.
I dont care how much he kicks and screams he disgusts me, how do i explain to the boys that this is something we're entitled to and not something im doing out of spite, we've always been entitled but the s**t i have to bare has been quite honestly unbarable. I havent told them about all of this, it's not their business but now i kinda feel like i should've maybe told them so that they didn't have this view of child support, from their dad point of view.
I had a lengthy conversation with him yesterday and he was annoyed saying i have no idea what he spends on them - he's completely right i don't because we see none of it at our house - he's completely deluded.
I am going to apply today but i need to let the boys know in a way that makes them understand and not question or feel like they have the right to tell me im practically putting their father out on the streets!
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