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Please help - I don't know how to help my husband through this...
#1
For the first time ever, the mother of my husbands child is refusing access this weekend - all because she doesn't want to split the journeys to drop him off/pick him up. We recently moved just 10 miles out of where we used to live, since then we have struggled to get her to travel to the house. We solved this problem by collecting his son from school and taking him back on a Monday morning - unfortunately my husband has to work from home now since his office closed and it's no longer feasible to do that.

She requested that we pick the child up on Saturday - I rearranged shifts with my second job to accommodate her - and in return my husband asked if she could collect the child from our house on Sunday which she is refusing to do. She has now said for that reason my husband will not being seeing his child this weekend.

Please note this comes a week after she turned up at our house unannounced and was verbally abusive to my husband. Around an hour later she called him crying because she felt "the child was longer my husbands priority, but why did the child love my husband more than he loves her". So as you can imagine, this refusal of access now appears like a desperate attempt to muddy my husbands reputation in the eyes of their son (who is 7 by the way) by telling him "daddy doesn't want you this weekend".

She recently told the child "daddy won't take you to parties because he's too tight". The real reason he won't take him to parties, is because my husband adores his some, and sees so little of him, that he wants to make the most of our weekends, and not spend them apart from his son Sad

For the first 18 months to 2 years of our relationship - I had a good, friendly relationship with the child's mother - we would all do activities together, her, my husband, me and the child (I even babysat at her house for my husbands child, and her second child from the man she cheated on my husband with, so she could go to an evening class). As soon as she found out we were engaged she became difficult, and I stopped contact with her (myself, obviously my husband remained in full contact). Since we got married at Christmas it has been getting slowly worse week by week.

I know this sounds like an episode of Eastenders, but we are good people, we both have full time, high pressure jobs, I work a second cleaning job so we can save to buy a house, we adore the child and would like for him to live with us full time with the mother having access at the weekend (as she only works 16 hours a week) - but she has refused - meanwhile she accuses my husband of not wanting to see his son which is completely illogical since he has asked for MORE access.

Please help, I don't know what to say or do to help my husband, I know we need to start speaking to a solicitor but we just don't have the funding behind us to make that possible.
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#2
Sorry to hear you're going through this.

What were current arrangements with your H's son (before the latest problems)? Also, how far is it from your house to the childs mum's?
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#3
(03-23-2018, 02:43 PM)marwood Wrote: Sorry to hear you're going through this.

What were current arrangements with your H's son (before the latest problems)?  Also, how far is it from your house to the childs mum's?
It's a little complicated as there have been a number of changes over the last 12 months.

OK so - When I first met my husband he was unemployed, he would do school pick up on a Tuesday lunchtime, have him the rest of the day, then take him home to Mum in the evening. Bear in mind during this time, he did not own a car and enlisted the help of his grandmother to ensure he could pick up his child.

Then on a Saturday the child's mother would drop him off at 12pm (or get her Dad to do it) and pick him up after work on Sunday around 5pm - her place her work was about 5 minutes from our house, and her home was about 15 minutes. So each parent did 2 equal journeys a week.

2 and a half years ago my husband got a 9-5.30 office job, and had to stop seeing his son on a Tuesday. As by then he had use of my car, we again split the weekend journeys, with my husband picking up from her house on Saturday, and her collecting him on Sunday evening.

In August we moved around 10 miles away from her home - as my husband and I were both working in Cardiff anyway, we agreed it would be simpler to pick him up from school on Friday afternoon, and take him back to school on Monday morning. 

This lasted until January when the child began to complain he was struggling at school on Mondays (he doesn't start until 9am and we had to get him up between 6.30am and 7am as we only have one car and I had to be in work at 8am).

So from January, my husband would pick him up after school on Friday, then on Sunday he would take him back to meet the child's Mum at her place of work for when she finished (there were occasions where she failed to be there).

Around the 22nd February, my husband found out his office was closing at the end of the month, and his company asked if he could work from home (he's a software developer so this was fine) however he explained to his ex that he could no longer pick his son up from school and could she drop him off on a Friday evening. Her first reaction was "when am I going to go out drinking", followed by palming him off on her father - my husband was then expected to meet her father half way to collect the child.

Last week she turned up with his son at 10.30am on Saturday - we would ideally like him on a Friday night but as we're relying on her to do the journey (as previously mentioned I have a job on Friday evenings as well), she is not willing to do this. So early Saturday morning works for us.

The way we see it the journeys should be split equally. Mum does one day. Dad does the other. But she believes that because we chose to move to Barry that it's our responsibility to do all the journeys. Is this right? We only moved out of Cardiff because rent there is much more expensive than on the outskirts and we were struggling to afford to live there.

I might point out that the father of her second child who she is no longer with, cannot drive and so she drops off and picks up the child at the weekend unless the father can get his Mother to help him.

(P.S. I'm not being rude by referring to him as "the child" I'm just trying to avoid naming him.)
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#4
Ultimately your only way to resolve this for sure will be to take it to court get get a child arrangements order, however you'd need to attempt mediation first.

If you do take it to court, there is usually a bias in favour of the status quo, so I'd be inclined to somehow make the Friday pickup work so you can get it into an order, and try to negotiate shared pickups in court.

From what others have said on this site, transport is generally the responsibility of the non-resident parent, however the costs of it can be deducted from CMS if it's excessive - others know more than I do about that though.
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#5
I think you aren't going to have much luck with this one. Ex partner has another child and pick ups were fine before even though there was arguments and disagreements. As you have moved 10 miles away I can only imagine a court would probably ask you to pick his child up and drop off . Also ex partner will complain you were picking his son up from school Friday afternoon and dropping off Monday morning which was working as an arrangement. I would more than happy travel 10 miles if it meant seeing children from Friday evening until Monday morning . And seeing this is the 1st time she stopped it maybe you should ( your choice ) just agree to it. If it went to court things would be even worse and more hostile and could result in your partner not seeing his son for a long period of time.
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#6
(03-23-2018, 11:19 AM)Latkinson Wrote: For the first time ever, the mother of my husbands child is refusing access this weekend - all because she doesn't want to split the journeys to drop him off/pick him up. We recently moved just 10 miles out of where we used to live, since then we have struggled to get her to travel to the house. We solved this problem by collecting his son from school and taking him back on a Monday morning - unfortunately my husband has to work from home now since his office closed and it's no longer feasible to do that.

She requested that we pick the child up on Saturday - I rearranged shifts with my second job to accommodate her - and in return my husband asked if she could collect the child from our house on Sunday which she is refusing to do. She has now said for that reason my husband will not being seeing his child this weekend.

Please note this comes a week after she turned up at our house unannounced and was verbally abusive to my husband. Around an hour later she called him crying because she felt "the child was longer my husbands priority, but why did the child love my husband more than he loves her". So as you can imagine, this refusal of access now appears like a desperate attempt to muddy my husbands reputation in the eyes of their son (who is 7 by the way) by telling him "daddy doesn't want you this weekend".

She recently told the child "daddy won't take you to parties because he's too tight". The real reason he won't take him to parties, is because my husband adores his some, and sees so little of him, that he wants to make the most of our weekends, and not spend them apart from his son Sad

For the first 18 months to 2 years of our relationship - I had a good, friendly relationship with the child's mother - we would all do activities together, her, my husband, me and the child (I even babysat at her house for my husbands child, and her second child from the man she cheated on my husband with, so she could go to an evening class). As soon as she found out we were engaged she became difficult, and I stopped contact with her (myself, obviously my husband remained in full contact). Since we got married at Christmas it has been getting slowly worse week by week.

I know this sounds like an episode of Eastenders, but we are good people, we both have full time, high pressure jobs, I work a second cleaning job so we can save to buy a house, we adore the child and would like for him to live with us full time with the mother having access at the weekend (as she only works 16 hours a week) - but she has refused - meanwhile she accuses my husband of not wanting to see his son which is completely illogical since he has asked for MORE access.

Please help, I don't know what to say or do to help my husband, I know we need to start speaking to a solicitor but we just don't have the funding behind us to make that possible.

The bad news for you, is under the law it is upto  your husband to arrange transport to and from his contact. There is provision for this in a CMS Child Support case, where you can get a deduction if your costs exceed £10, but that is based on public transport costs or 9p per mile, each way, both trips.

You do not need a solicitor at this stage, but you have to put forward a solution for the transport.

Medication is needed before you can apply to court and I need to bring to your attention that if the number of staying contact nights drops below 52 per case year, that child support will also go up.

In a Court situation, he would get every other weekend, and up to half of the school holidays. If he works, you might want to ask for a week at Easter and Christmas, with a 2 week block for a summer holiday, and another weekend (what must fit in with any holiday his ex has).

The fact that she has allowed contact means in law, she has considered everything up to that point, so he would just go to court and say that a timetable worked before, and there is no reason to change it. She would have to show why, and could only raise events since contact last took place.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#7
In some ways, I'm massively shocked by what you guys have told me. In other ways I'm not - because everything is geared towards favoring the mother, regardless of whether she's fit to raise a child.

How do you cope with the frustration? My husband's relationship broke down because she was sleeping with another man - he told her he wanted to keep the family together if she could end it and she lasted a week then started seeing the other man again. All the way along my husband has been punished for something beyond his control and all he wants is his son. 

It feels like every avenue we go down we get another door closed in our face. When we had his son 3 nights a week, every Sunday he would cry his eyes out becuase he didn't want to go home and he "wanted to live with us".

Is anyone able to advise at what age his son can choose who he would prefer to reside with?

We do have concerns about the child's health and education - but not enough for them to be taken seriously. He is always poorly. And has been complaining of tooth ache for months but his Mum won't take him to the dentist. His speech, reading and writing is massively far behind where he should be. He is in a pure Welsh school and his Mum does no additional English reading or writing with him, just plonks him on a tablet or the X-Box were she allows him to play Wrestling games (he's 6 by the way).

Would any of this be taken into consideration if it went to court? Or is the fact that he's fed and clothed enough?
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#8
CAFCASS will do a Wishes And Desires on a child at around the age of 11
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
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#9
(03-27-2018, 07:19 AM)Latkinson Wrote: In some ways, I'm massively shocked by what you guys have told me. In other ways I'm not - because everything is geared towards favoring the mother, regardless of whether she's fit to raise a child.

How do you cope with the frustration? My husband's relationship broke down because she was sleeping with another man - he told her he wanted to keep the family together if she could end it and she lasted a week then started seeing the other man again. All the way along my husband has been punished for something beyond his control and all he wants is his son. 

It feels like every avenue we go down we get another door closed in our face. When we had his son 3 nights a week, every Sunday he would cry his eyes out becuase he didn't want to go home and he "wanted to live with us".

Is anyone able to advise at what age his son can choose who he would prefer to reside with?

We do have concerns about the child's health and education - but not enough for them to be taken seriously. He is always poorly. And has been complaining of tooth ache for months but his Mum won't take him to the dentist. His speech, reading and writing is massively far behind where he should be. He is in a pure Welsh school and his Mum does no additional English reading or writing with him, just plonks him on a tablet or the X-Box were she allows him to play Wrestling games (he's 6 by the way).

Would any of this be taken into consideration if it went to court? Or is the fact that he's fed and clothed enough?

You could rasie this and use it as a reason for him wanting to increase contact time, to be more like shared care.

What you have to bear in mind is that anyone with PR can give consent for medical treatment, and in my own case SS tried to turn this into me having concens and not doing anything about them, not taking into account my children was only with me from 6pm Fridays up to tea time Sunday, what Doctors was closed. Where the child lives does not alter the fact that as a person with PR, his views on education and medical matters should be considered.

My suggestion is that you seek an order saying the child lives with his ex, but spends time with dad 2 midweek nights  every week, perhaps Tuesday and Wednesday or Wednesday and Thursday, and every other weekend.

In that situation, the normal rota would stop at school holidays, and he should ask for

1 week half terms, either normal weekend, or 2.5 days taged onto a normal weekend so contact would start or end on the Wednesday Lunchtime.

Easter and Christmas, 1 week block. Note significant dates shared, or the court will say turns each.

Summer, 2 week block, and either another week or weekend, but you have to be fair and let his ex have a 2 week block also, in case she wants a holiday.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#10
Yeah we've had some issues with medical treatment last year - she gave consent for an operation we didn't feel was necessary - he ended up with a nasty infection on our wedding day Sad

The agreement you've suggested sounds actually kind of ideal. The biggest hurdle from our point of view is to figure out how to get him to and from school with only one car - if we can save enough pennies to buy another one it would be problem solved.

Having weekdays would make it far easier for us to be able to deal with the health concerns and educational concerns as we can do more reading with him etc. 

We actually wrote to the child's GP asking to see his records as the Mother was withholding information - they never contacted my husband but rang his ex. His ex got straight on the phone to my husband screaming down the phone at him - my husband could hear his son sobbing in the background. We never did get a response from the GP. We even offered to pay an admin fee for their time.

I have another question I wonder if you can help with - the child has told us that his mother is taking him away in August - this is fine with us - however she hasn't actually told us that yet. As there's no formal agreement in place only verbal, does she actually need to ask permission to take him away during "our time". We are going on our honeymoon in a few weeks and she has refused to have him the weekend we are away - said it's our time, our problem?
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