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AIBU to expect BM to lay for a contact centre ?

62 replies

Lalameme · 13/10/2018 12:10

My step daughter 12 lives with us as her mother BM is an alxhkoic and drug abuser

Her BM pays nothing at all toward SD so my DH said she should pay £15 for a contact centre.

BM said she can’t afford £15 but she’s been seen out drinking and taking cocaine a lot she also cane into my daughters work bistro and had steak and wine !

Thing is Sad is down as her BM isn’t seeing her social services have told DH SD can’t be in BM care or she’ll get taken into child protection, so it has to be a contact centre. We can’t afford to pay for this as we have 3 children living with us and a large rent and BM does not pay anything towards SD.

AIBU thinking BM should pay £15 to see her daughter ?

OP posts:

ohreallyohreallyoh · 13/10/2018 17:19

Why would we pay when all this women has done is mad our lives an absolute misery

I haven’t had a penny off my ex in 10 years. He sees his children every week. Contact and maintenance should never be mixed. Be careful your anger at your DSDs mum doesn’t punish DSD.

Either BM finds the money or she doesn’t see SD. Clearly it’s not a priority to her anyway. SD is better if without her, even though she might not see it now

There is lots of research which demonstrates long term, children are better off knowing their parents on a warts and all basis rather than being protected from them or not knowing them at all. Contact should be facilitated as far as possible for as long as the child wants it.

Sorry everyone puts BM on step parent forums so go pick on someone who cares bye bye

No, they really don’t. BM is generally considered an unacceptable term in the context of step parenting. It is a term used in adoption and fostering. Your attitude in this sentence is appalling and sadly, I suspect your poor DSD will be caught between a rock and a hard place and will struggle as a result. Very sad.


Jakethekid · 13/10/2018 17:19

It must be a very stressful situation for you, your husband and most importantly your step daughter. You wouldn't be getting so invested and stressed if you didn't care, that's what stands out to me most.

What does your husband say about it all? I was a little bit confused about when you said she stays with you half the week. Was this prior to recently or does she stay somewhere else the rest of the time? I wonder how all this must affect her education. I'm not a step parent but I think the best thing you can do is be open with her and let her know she can always be open with you and her dad. Her mum will feel guilt, if not now, in the future when her daughter has her own children and she isn't involved. People like that never become grown up enough to see past their selfish ways unfortunately though.

Make sure you know that your step daughter IS loved, by you, her father and her half siblings atleast.

I wish you all the best


number1wang · 13/10/2018 17:25

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Duskqueen · 13/10/2018 17:36

I agree with you she should find the money to see her DD and it isn't up to you, but I would pay it as a one off and see if her BM turns up. The problem is your SD might see it as you stopping her from seeing her mum and that will out a strain on your relationship with her, at least if you pay it once for her to see her she will know you have tried and that you aren't stopping it, then you put the ball in her BM's court and if she doesn't sort it again then she knows that it is her mum and not you.


TwoGinScentedTears · 13/10/2018 17:46

Anyone else feel desperately sad for this 12 yo girl?


perfectstorm · 13/10/2018 17:51

Leaving everything else aside: it's not in the child's interests to see a mother who uses her as a cash cow and can't be arsed to see her. She gets maintenance, child benefit and tax credits for a child she does not see. Social services have said contact has to be supervised (that's very, very rare as an extended, ongoing provision). Sadly, if you paid for a session I doubt the mother would bother to go, but even if she did, how would that benefit your SD?

I'd start the ball rolling for a mediation appointment to get the residence and contact arrangements formally altered, because there's a fair whack of money intended for her benefit that her mum is pissing away while not bothering to see her. She probably won't show, but if you self-rep in a court over this one I can't see how you can lose. Worst case scenario is you pay for a contact centre (which she won't attend, in all likelihood) from the child benefit and possible tax credits. It could mean you get a residence order or whatever the name is now which names you, giving you parental responsibility alongside her mum and dad. That could be handy in medical and educational terms, in this scenario.

It's very sad that her mother is so prey to this but the focus needs to be your DSD and she is best served by you not blocking, but not facilitating, contact. Make her available if her mum can be arsed but don't create a fantasy that she is more fussed by her child than the reality, either.

It sounds a really hard and painful situation. I'm glad she has you. I'm sorry for everyone involved - addiction is a horrible condition for her mum, and it's wreaking havoc on everyone. But focusing on the child here does seem to equal that her mum has to be the one to initiate contact, and you need to ensure money meant for child welfare does in fact go on that.


Yabbers · 13/10/2018 18:45

This is nothing to do with paying for a contact centre. This is just you deciding SD shouldn’t see her mum because you don’t like her lifestyle and you are taking care of her daughter.

If the girl wants to see her mum, her dad should do everything in his power to make that happen.


ShalomJackie · 13/10/2018 19:12

Noone is bashing you or supporting the child's mother - they are merely correcting your terminology. You should not use the term BM that is all.

You are doing the right thing by your SD and clearly love her but you should perhaps be the bigger person. If your SD wants to see her mum then I would pay the £15 (or at least her father should pay) to enable this to happen in the same way you'd pay for swimming lessons, ballet etc or something else she would like to do.

IT would be galling yes but it would be doing the right thing by your SD. If her mother fails to turn up then SD will see the sense in not continuing contact and you'll need to be there to pick up the pieces for your SD again.

Try not to let the hatred you have for her mother prevent you from doing the right thing for your SD>


littlebluerose · 13/10/2018 19:31

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Purpleartichoke · 13/10/2018 19:35

If she is an addict this is a blessing for your step-daughter. When her mother gets her addiction under control enough to come up with the visitation money, it will be a sign that she is starting on the path to being an actual parent. Until then, your step-daughter is better off without her in her life.


Rainbowqueeen · 13/10/2018 20:20

I would start by applying to get child benefit transferred to you and go to cms to get maintenance.

And then yes I would pay for the contact centre as that’s what DSD wants. I suspect that contact will soon drop by the wayside given the issues this girls mother has but I think you need to play the long game here. Think about how it will affect DSD if she has no opportunity to see her mum. Is it possible for her to receive counselling through her school? She sounds like she has a rough road ahead of her and will need support.

Teenage years are tough enough but knowing that your mum places more importance on drink and drugs than seeing you will have a terrible effect on her self esteem and feelings of self worth


Threadastaire · 13/10/2018 20:50

Is there anyone available to supervise contact? £15 sounds like a room hire rate, unless it's a charitable organisation it would be a lot more than that to have someone supervise. And on another note, contact centres for 12yr olds suck. They're artifical environments with a chaperone and not a lot to do once they're passed the playing with toys stage.
Op, your SD 's mum needs to commit to contact and turn up sober. Your partner needs to either facilitate it or find a friend willing to do it. You need to stay neutral.

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