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Ok, I am going to need your help with this one....... any advice or experience would be welcomed.

310 replies

NamedAfterCbeebies · 29/06/2006 18:12

I have had to change my name incase this does go the way that I think it might well do and I dont want anything that I say on here to be dragged up at a later date.

I am hoping that you will all know who I am but please do not use my other name (which I will keep for other threads) and do not refer to anything that could give me away to anyone that could be reading this and shouldnt be iykwim.

It has been 3 weeks since H moved out, and we have tried to keep it very nice and friendly. But I think I have been very guliable and to trusting. We agreed that H would have the children on his days off (he works 4 days on and 4 days off) I thought that this arrangement was more than fair and that it was also the least painful solution.

H has been telling me over and over that he wants to work things out and that he will continue to provide for us all etc, which is why, although I went to the CAB I havent put the whells in motion with regards to CSA and IS.

Anyhow, H booked some time off work. He has had the boys since Thursday, which is coming up to a week. Obviously more than his 4 days.... But, on questioning him about it he replied "Well you said when Im not working they will be with me..." which I did, but I didnt specify about holidays etc. I thought that it was fine, he could have them for longer, they are his children too.

Anyhow, My mil has decorated a bedroom for them, I havent seen them for more than half an hour every other day for a few days now. H has stopped bringing them round, Mil keeps putting the phone down on me..... H ame round today alone to talk and has admitted that they want to keep the boys with them. His mom is mainly pushing for it. H has said that he wants whats best for the children - ie, living with me as his work shifts mean it would be impossible to care for them full time... but that his mother would be able to help with childcare.

I dont think he is able to stand up to his mother on this, and deep down I dont think he wants too. He enjoys having his children with him.

As they are in his care atm, I cant just go round and demand them back, he has as many rights as me. I keep suggesting that he brings them over here but he finds ways around it - suggests trips out etc. He wants to keep them 'staying with him' as if they were in my house then I could just say that they wernt leaving again.

I have been so stupid trying to keep things nice. He has changed the last week, stopped trying to win me back, stopped calling etc, basically backed off. I think his mother and him have decided between them that they want residency of the children.

What can I do? They are with him atm and what if he decides to keep it that way? This is not something I ever considered he would think of doing, and I know its mainly down to mil.

Any advice greatfully recieved. Thank you.

OP posts:
NamedAfterCbeebies · 30/06/2006 15:35

Lucy, we have been seperated for 3 weeks now. I thought things were going along nicely and had grand visions of everything being nice and easy and friendly.... didnt reckon on Mil though.

I had hoped that we would work things out, its what we both said we wanted. I really dont know now though, I dont know whether he is stringing me along, trying to keep me from making a fuss. I feel I dont know him anymore.

Mil is a prize bitch.

My name is a clue to my normal mn name btw.

OP posts:
Caligula · 30/06/2006 15:39

If you're really in a panic, what about getting back with him? Even if only temporarily? Then if you don't work it out and you do split up, you can start again with contact arrangements, this time with you in charge, not your evil MIL.

bluejelly · 30/06/2006 15:40

Shared custody can work though. I spent one week with mum one week with dad, though I as a fair bit older (13). I wouldn't deny him access, just keep it fair.

And ignore MIL she sound horrid.

Mascaraohara · 30/06/2006 15:41

I thought that Caligula but didn't want to suggest it on here as I think it's fairly obvious who this is and she describes her situation pretty graphically so would be obvious to anybody involved who she is also! IMHO!

fuzzywuzzy · 30/06/2006 15:41

Good luck with everything tomorrow, it may be an idea to have the locks changed today so h can't get access to the house after you take the boys back.

Have look on the internet for family law practices in your area, it's how I helped my friend get a solicitor for her annulment.

God I don't think I'd be to keep my cool as you seem to be doing. Btw I know who you are.

Caligula · 30/06/2006 15:43

Sorry I'm a bit thick - can't remember who it is!

LucyJones · 30/06/2006 15:43

When you see him for dinner could you suggest going to Relate to sort things out?

chubbleigh · 30/06/2006 16:51

Get yourself a good breif RIGHT NOW! A good solicitor will do wonders for your confidence which seems much too low in the face of a very forceful MIL and extended family. Make sure whoever you get is legal aid and specialist in family law. Sever your financial relationship with H as far as you can by sorting out, benefit claims etc. I too thought 'nice' might be possible but how wrong I was, so please take my advice and do not let reputation of MIL her status/local connections/rest of family etc. intimidate you, if they know they have got you running scared they will walk all over you.
Do not know ins an outs of whole situation you are in but as far as I know if you are SAHM you are childrens main carer that situation should not change unless you are unfit or unwilling, you also have family home in your control and it is childrens home too (not a spare room with a coat of paint). MAKE NOTES OF EVERYTHING, especially any refusal to bring children home or allow you to see them or speak to them. Once you are on income support you are intitled to legal aid and will get a certain amount for free, H and family on other hand will have to pay if they are working. If they apply for residency and you oppose you will get legal representation for almost nothing, if H and his family are working they will have to pay and it could cost them between 3 - 5K and will take months to proceed.
I know how it feels to be forced to behave in a way that is alien to your normal self, it is so stressful and upsetting but get your ducks in a row and let H and MIL know as politely and as firmly as possible that you will not be shoved around, AND MEAN IT. Behave in an exemplarary way at all times in dealing with them, do not get sucked in to any arguements, also if you can help it do not let them see you cry or get upset.
Solicitors will probably suggest mediation which could be good way of establishing how things will work out between you and H regarding children in the future without the influence or interference of third parties.
One other thing, if you cannot drive think about learning asap.
Good luck, really really hope things improve. Keep your chin up and don't let them get to you.

NamedAfterCbeebies · 30/06/2006 17:13

Ive just finally got to speak to DS1 (age 4) on the phone...

He says he loves being at nannys and is having lots of fun. I asked him if he was looking forward to coming home and he said No, that he wanted to stay at nannys. I said that I was missing him and loved him very much and he said But I dont love you mommy.

OP posts:
dinosaure · 30/06/2006 17:15

Oh no, this is awful. I bet your MIL is spoiling them and trying to turn them against you.

saadia · 30/06/2006 17:18

oh no how awful, he doesn't mean it. They have obviously been working on him but how sad that they are doing this .

Mascaraohara · 30/06/2006 17:18

Go with Caligulas plan, tell him you want him back.. get them all under one roof then boot him out again, see a solicitor in the meantime and get him to draw up a letter with very specific access outlined.

saadia · 30/06/2006 17:22

they are being very ruthless. You know H and MIL better than we do and are experienced in dealing with them but they are playing very dirty, just hoping that you get dss baack tomorrow.

Caligula · 30/06/2006 17:33

It seems very clear that they are campaigning to get custody. They're ruthless: you've got to be.

Hold your nose and shag the bastard, if that's what it takes.

And do remember that your children love and need and want you, and what these awful people are doing by telling them otherwise, is seriously detrimental to their welfare. No-one who actually cares about children, would seek to alienate them from a good and loving mother. Don't be intimidated by your MIL and her busy and important lifestyle, her behaviour is low-life, irrespective of what surface appearances are. Keep a diary, you may need it.

chubbleigh · 30/06/2006 18:02

Do not allow these emotional conversations to get the better of you. Try very very hard not to ask those kinds of questions of the kids, of course your kids love you. Him & his family are listening in the background to what your children are saying and will make milage of it. You have got to be strong and clear and direct about when your children are coming home. This is a very hard situation for you but at least you are getting a clear idea about what you are in for. You must lay down some rules NOW because if you do divorce this is setting the standard for the next sixteen years of your life.

chubbleigh · 30/06/2006 18:10

Please don't sit alone thinking terrible thoughts. Start making a list of all the proactive things you need to do. Begin with searching the web and make sure by Monday morning 9am you have got the phone numbers of 3 good local solicitors who specialise in family law on legal aid, and so on, make a list of all the things you need to tell them.

If being in the house alone is upsetting you go and see a friend who will boost your confidence and resolve, or get them over to see you.

Move forward, go on the offensive. Your friend was right, plan for war.

fuzzywuzzy · 30/06/2006 18:10

He's four right??? Give my dd1 (who is 3.3) a packet of Jaffa cakes and she's yours.... Till something reminds her that no actually mummy is who she wants.
It is currently an adventure for your ds1, your his mum, we're not here to make our childrens lives permenantly euphoric, where here to bring them up the best we can by lavishing them with love. This does not include feeding them loads of crap they'd love because they would only end up ill (and in my dd's case probably toothless by the age of 4).

Fluffybubble · 30/06/2006 19:02


So sorry about your situation...

Is really daunting doing the legal / benefits stuff. Just wanted to let you know that I was entitled to legal aid without going on income supoort. Just went to local solicitor for free initial appointment and she assessed me and completed necessary forms.

Also, she outlined my options, then said it was up to me how to proceed. It is not a rollercoaster that you cannot stop - the solicitor acts on your instructions so if you and partner sort things out, all well & good. If not, though, at least you are informed...

Good luck

singledadofthree · 30/06/2006 22:30

am very sorry to hear its come to this. you know that it isnt ds speaking - is only mil putting words in his mouth. she really is the prize bitch and she will get worse.
by now youve probably had a hell of a night so i hope youre getting to sort things out. and you know why i was trying to give you a wake up call earlier, wasnt pissed with you - just with how i could see things going.
do start to think, your mil is way ahead of you and it would appear she is used to getting her own way.
if you want to chat and dont have my number, my message was the 'just caught up with things'.

Pruni · 01/07/2006 08:12

Message withdrawn

mummyhill · 01/07/2006 08:39

Get the kids back in the house and don't let them out till you have a formal access arangement in place. If he breaches it refuse his next visit, if he breaches a second time call the police and say you are worried that they have been in an accident or something because they are usually brought home on time and you haven't been notified that they would be late back.


glitterfairy · 01/07/2006 08:52

How absolutely awful. I can only echo what others have said and say get them back and get legal advice. You poor thing. Hope today goes well.

sassy · 01/07/2006 08:53

oh dear cbeebies, this is starting to sound nasty .

I think the advice you've had on here sounds right. However you do it, (sneakily, if necc) get them home, then do not let them go again until you've had legal advice. My sister is a family lawyer, she may be able to give you some basic advice via email if you want (email me - [email protected] - and I'll put you in touch).

Yes, change the locks too - do it TODAY. your H must know he/mil are being unreasonable and that they leave you no choice but to be unreasonable back.

Sorry its coming to this x

mummyhill · 01/07/2006 09:06

You are letting him walk all over you. Regardless of wether you are going to try to get back together he needs to notify when he is comming round not just let himself in, if he is no longer living with you it is an invassion of privacy. Unless it works both ways and you can just wander into MIL's and take stuff when you want to (No? thought not). Get the children home, change the locks, access by formal arangement to both the house and the children. He is obvoiusley taking the kids stuff as well as his own so is being very underhanded put a stop to it NOW.

Keep your chin up and please start fighting back before it is too late.

NamedAfterCbeebies · 01/07/2006 09:30


I had a lovely little surprise last night, was in the bath and in walked ds1, They had come to pick up clean clothes for today so I got to see them for a little while which was lovely.

Spoke to H earlier and plans are still ok for today, he will be round soon and we will be off to the carnival for the day. Then they will be bought back here where my brother will babysit and me and H will go out and hopefully have a chance to talk. He ahs agreed to letting them sleep here overnight as he thinks he will be picking them up Sunday lunch time.... I am so nervous that something will go wrong and he will realise what im planning to do, but fingers crossed. I am being very nice to him atm so he thinks im still intrested in working things out iyswim.

As for legal advice, first thing Monday morning I am going to get the ball rolling with that.

I have to face mil at the carnival today, and I feel sick at the thought of it. Mil, Fil (who is very nice and reasonable btw), bil and sil will all be there. I really dont want to go but I have too if I want things to work out today.

I dont know how to change a lock, can I just buy one from a shop? I cant afford to get a locksmith to do it so will have to work out a way of doing it myself.

I am very nervous and scared that today will blow up in my face.

Ps, Sassy, you already have my email

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