my wife left me and my 10 year old son some months ago to live with another man. she has been arranging to come and see him at home, and some times not keeping up the arranged visits and without informing him she will not come leaving him waiting. I have now received a letter from her solicitor saying she wants to see him 4 days a week and take him out by her self, our son does not want to do this. he is unsure if he wants to go with her as he does not want to meet her new partner as his sister and mums parents have told him things about her new partner that he does not like. He says if he does go he wants to say when and for how long but his mums says she has right to demand what she wants and we have to do what she says. Does anyone know how we stand on this.
I will leave the procedural answers to people more experienced than me, but I guess the obvious question is what does your solicitor say about her solicitors letter?
4 days sounds a bit much to the layman, but Mum's do get a lot of leeway I guess.
Some of his concerns may be out of loyalty to you (against this other man. You may need to do an activity with him and talk it out, keeping it in simple terms, to find out what he feels he is risking.
If he does go on extended visitation you might like to give him the Childline number as well as your own, 0800 1111, it's freephone and won't show up therefore on most itemised bills. You can phone them yourself to check on their confidentiality boundaries and when they would be likely to report to services.
Here's hoping this is all simply his understandable anxiety to change and it will settle down as I guess he does want to see his mum. Hope this helps you at this difficult and painful time.
I think he is not sure about going with his mumas she did not have much time for him before she left, she favoured his half sister who is now 17. Also he has been told by his sister, his mum and his grandma that his mums new partner has a drink problem, and his sister says he can be nasty when he has had a drink. My son also over heard his mum telling me that her new partner smokes spliffs and this was just days prior to him doing drug education at school. The contact would not be over night as their are living in a 1 bedroom bedsit.
I think you need to try and talk this through with your ex if at all possible. If she has been gone a while and contact with your son has been sporadic or unreliable then she would at least need to build up to spending more time with him, and show that she won't let him down by failing to turn up. I don't think she is being particularly realistic in wanting to see him so much in her current circumstances: if she and her new partner are living in a bedsit then she would probably need to take him out most times and that is quite difficult four days a week, particularly once the weather gets colder and the nights longer again.
My understanding is that if it came to court then a child of ten would have their views taken into account if they were considered to be able to understand what is going on. So if it did go that far then probably he would not have to comply.
But it is difficult. Your son may feel that seeing a lot of his mother, or wanting to see her, is a betrayal of you, and you have to try not to show that you mind him seeing her (if you do mind, that is). He may also simply be afraid of the unknown. It is bad enough from his point of view that his mother has left the family (and therefore, for him, left him) for someone else, without that someone else being portrayed as scary by those around him - so it's hardly surprising that he doesn't want to meet his mum's new partner. You might want to suggest to your ex that she doesn't introduce her new partner just yet, and, if she agrees, get her to promise your son that he doesn't have to see him until he feels more ready to (he will have to in the end, of course, if they stay together - Fiona is right that it is better for children to be part of both parents' everyday lives).
Family counselling, or some sort of mediation, would definitely be a good idea, so that you and your ex can work together to sort out something that allows your son to see her without feeling anxious, fearful or guilty. Sending solicitors' letters is all very well, but if your ex thinks about it she will realise that forced contact won't last for very long. Your son is already ten and it would already be difficult for her to make him see her as often as four days a week if he didn't want to. By the time he is thirteen or so it will be completely impossible.
she wants him 12-4 monday, wednesdays and fridays and 10-6 on a saturday. she is trying to get him to agree by offering to spend money she has not got on treats that she knows he likes, he saw through this and asked where the money would come from but she could not answer him. he also mentioned that if he went on a saturday he would miss out on his football that he enjoys doing her attitude was that the football was not important and he should be with her instead. she has shown very little interest in him untill it was mentioned about the financial settlement and him living with me may effect what she gets, then she started whanting contact.