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Do I have rights as the sole carer?

7 replies

mentaldental22 · 25/08/2014 12:21

STBXH has limited regular contact with our 2 teenage DDs, one evening per week for 3 hours or so & usually a Sunday afternoon for a few hours, occasionally overnight on a Saturday every 2-3 weeks.
My question is am I entitled to a certain amount of respite from being full time parent to our DDs? I work term time so I cover all holidays but should there be a certain amount of time that I should have to myself?
I know it sounds very self centred but frankly 2 teenage girls full time is bloody hard work!

OP posts:
Coughle · 25/08/2014 12:32

Don't they look after themselves mostly and go out alone? Or are they always with you?

mentaldental22 · 25/08/2014 12:48

Yes, they're fairly sensible & good girls, they can be left for a few hours of an evening. I suppose I'm talking overnights & weekends.

OP posts:
Coughle · 25/08/2014 13:02

Oh I see. My hunch is you can't force him to have them more, otherwise everyone would do it... And I've never heard of such a situation... But perhaps someone who knows more will be along in a minute.

mentaldental22 · 25/08/2014 13:46

I guess I'm envious of his ability to come and go as he pleases. I'm accountable 24/7 whereas he breezes in, takes them for a few hours and then goes back to his responsibility free life. For me to have a weekend off from the DDs, I have to give loads of notice and wait for his response whilst he can do as he likes. I feel so confined sometimes that's all.

OP posts:
everynameisbloodytaken · 27/08/2014 21:00

I know exactly how you feel Mentaldental22, but unfortunately there's not much you can do about it. My ex has ours on a week night for 3 and a half hours (in fact he has just started bring them back half an hour earlier and the kids don't know why) and also every other Saturday night when he's not busy or on holiday. He's also never taken them on holiday in the 7 years we've been separated.
I love my kids but something I feel I'm drowning in the responsibility of it all... the decisions... the lifts day and night, the endless arguments about who does what around the house... the endless can I have some... the worry if they're late home... not being able to have a drink in case I need to go and get them at some ungodly hour
I'm also envious of my ex's life... but then again I know that he is the looser and he is the one missing out...

mentaldental22 · 28/08/2014 00:32

Absolutely, that's exactly how I feel. He only sees a tiny snapshot of our lives. I've asked for my DDs to stay with him on Saturday - he's told them he's not agreed to anything yet. Not only frustrating for me but horrible that he thinks so little of them to make a statement like that.
My solicitor gave me a few words of wisdom today - she said no matter what I do I'll never make him into a decent parent. And she's so right. I'm with you though, he's the one who will miss out as my DDs are getting increasingly resentful & not wanting to see him anyway.

OP posts:
Butterflyface · 27/09/2014 03:46

I would get this sorted out properly now - when I split from XP he wanted 50/50, I gave it to him despite him being a functioning alcoholic, dope smoker, and self harmer, as at the time I didn't want his relationship with the children to be a contributing cause to his poor mental health. Now the kids are older, he's manipulated them into going to live with them, and there's nothing I can do.
Now of course, your XP/XH sounds very different, to the point where he's not seeing the kids enough, but that's his call. It's bloody hard not getting a break, but as your solicitor said, you can never make these arseholes decent parents (I know it sounds like my XP is a 'loving dad' - he's not - he's a controlling narcissist using the children for revenge.)
I would be inclined to talk to the children about what they want - anything above 7 is deemed as mature enough to make a decision (which is psychologically barmy, as kids are easily manipulated, coerced, bribed and made to feel guilty, frankly.) But trying to talk to them as neutrally as possible, either with you and XP/XH there, or neither of you being present (for the kids' sake), and then they can decide how much they want to see him. If it doesn't tally with what he wants, or can manage, then give it to him, but make sure you get it down in writing, and whether it's flexible to change or not. Paying for mediation now will save on solicitor's fees later.

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