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update on contact situation

  • sleepybird
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22 Sep 12 #357363 by sleepybird
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My partner went today to collect his son.

Son was ok at first, got in the car but then started to cry a little and said can he speak to mummy, my partner called her over thinking she might reasure him, she took him out of the car and back inside.

My partner then stayed for a bit and son agreed to go to the pet shop with him. He told son pet shop was closed and took him to the cafe instead thinking that he could spend a little time with him and then go to the pet shop. Ex then rang and asked why my partner is lying to son etc. She then turned up at the cafe. Son was fine until she turned up.

They then went bk to her house and by this time son was hysterical about going with my partner and ex was crying in front of son.

My partner didnt have the heart to drag a screaming child to the car and so left but made it very clear to ex and her partner that this needs to be sorted out now and ex''s partner agreed with mainly everything he said.

Ex admitted today that son needs to see a councillor but still wont accept that its anything shes done.

My partner emailed her earlier in the week with suggestion for handover today i.e a neutral place, step dad to drop off etc. she disagreed to it all and now today this happens.

He has sent her another email saying that if shes willing to work with him he will put the enforecment application on hold but wants her to bring son down next sunday for the day and that she isnt present at handovers -step dad brings him in. That son sees a councillor and that she needs to stop discussing contact with son and letting him decide if he wants to go or not.

JUst waititng for a reply now.

We are not sure whether enforcement action is for the best now and actually are at our wits ends. Just dont know what to do about this big mess.

feeling very drained from it all right now.

  • jslgb
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22 Sep 12 #357370 by jslgb
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Hi Sleepybird,

I totally sympathize with you. My stbxh went through a similar process with his first wife and their child. The mother was an ''enabler'' and pandered to the child rather than just doing the usual kiss, cuddle and walk away that most of us have had to do at some point in our childs life. It does get easier though!!

It seems like the exe''s partner is on your side to an extent which is always a positive. I found that the first wife''s partner was the reasoning behind most of her better decisions so to have an ally in the camp is always a bonus!

My opinion as a mother, legal view aside, is that the issues with the child need to be addressed before enforcement is sought. Its all very well enforcing an order but what you dont want is for it to be detrimental to the child. Whilst i dont think the boys issue is with his father at all, there is something that is causing him concern and this needs to be dealt with first. A counsellor is a good idea but have you also considered mediation? I dont know if this is something that has been attempted before now, but what concerns me is why is the mother getting upset in front of her child over contact?

Now i hold my hand up and say i have got teary in front of my daughter when soon after the split she didnt want to return to school after summer and she was so upset. I think part of is was trying to briefly explain to this new teacher, who looked about 20 and i didnt know a history of the split and then hand my child over to effectively a stranger caused this. I dont think the situation would have been the same if it was someone i knew, so it seems strange to me that the ex would openly be crying over handing her child to his father! Perhaps mediation can address this issue, either together or separately, and aid a smoother handover.

Having handovers with the partner is also a good idea for the interim. Sometimes children feel a sense of guilt leaving one parent to see the other and by removing the opportunity for this to happen it may make handovers easier.

Is there a ot of animosity between your partner and his ex? Could communication be better if her partner was more involved in arrangements? I know before now my stbxh''s first wife hated me being involved and refused to let me do pick ups, drop off or even communicate with her, but her partner had no issue with including me and it sometimes made it easier all round!!

  • sleepybird
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22 Sep 12 #357375 by sleepybird
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Thanks for your reply

They did try mediation before the court process, she would only allow my partner 4 hours contact a week, the mediator got her to agree to increase this to 6 hours in the first session but even back then she did the same and my partner would arrive and she''d get son to tell him he doesnt want to go.

The mediator wasnt happy that she had done this but she used every excuse she could find to delay contact being increased i.e son has been weeing the bed so cant increase time, sons teacher has left nursery and hes too upset so cant increase contact, she even accused my partner friend of ''touching'' son which was the turning point for my partner and he ended mediation and took her to court.

He has offered mediation again this time and she has refused to that I think partly as she has to pay for it now as she no longer gets legal aid as shes married now.

We looked into councilling today and i have to say it is a lot cheaper and seems to be the same thing as mediation.

She has let me collect son before and so my partner has suggested her husband to handover to me and my daughter and that takes mum and dad out of the equation which we think will make it easier for him. (not that im relishing the thought of the hour and half drive but if it helps then I will of course do that)

My partner is due to have him on christmas day this year so we have a feeling that this is all leading up to that also.

  • disneybunny
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22 Sep 12 #357378 by disneybunny
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Mediation is good if they both work at it. Tbh if my baby was crying and making themselves ill I would be close to tears and no way in hell are my children ever spending Christmas away from me but circumstances differ.


Children are not toys when people fight over them they break, no-one wants to grow up in a war zone all enforcement will do is make matters worse.



In the end all courts can do is punish the rp then you fall into the daddy hurt mummy trap.

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22 Sep 12 #357379 by sleepybird
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Thanks disney bunny

I agree, all my partner wants is to see his son every other week and at christmas.

She offered christmas in court beleive it or not, although my partner had proposed this anyway. I think maybe her solicitor advised her that the judge will agree to alternate christmas''s anyway.

He is in bits about what this is doing to his son and its just so unfair.

His son has always loved it here with us and says he doesnt want to go home quite often.

The issue he has with her crying in front of son is that it reenforces to son that mummy doesnt like him going with daddy. She needs to be stronger than this as its the reason were in this situation and son is feeling torn.

I spoke to him on the phone today and he said he cant come today because mummy will be a bit scared and upset.

Its not right at all.

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22 Sep 12 #357383 by disneybunny
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No I agree crying in front of them is wrong but I''m soft I cried when they started school none of them even looked back. Part of it was my babies growing up too fast.

As a single parent it is hard to find time to have time to break down on your own, though in this case she could have done it after he left. I used to get up at4am to cry by myself away from the kids. Oldest still noticed , it sucks.

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22 Sep 12 #357384 by u6c00
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Just a quick note, Relate do counselling for children.

My step son developed an eating disorder and the GP said that he would be waiting for years for counselling on NHS but Relate would see him in no time.

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