Those of you who have read my previous posts will know, but here''s a quick idea of my case.
My ex left the family home almost 2 years ago now on an agreement to paying for 50% of the debts, and doing 50% of the childcare.
She since then dropped me in all the mess; 100% of the debts and about 80% of the childcare (I was seeing the kids 80% of the time).
When this didn''t suit her (nearly a year and a half later), she asked for half the tax credits, a joint residence order and half the child benefit. She asked for a joint residence order based on her 20% care of the kids, where she''d neglected at least 80% of the responsibilities.
I had a first hearing and despite the children''s adamant wishes for things to "remain the same" (80% with me), we were both sent to a Parenting Information Program, and the children asked to attend their mother''s home from Sunday morning to Wednesday morning. A full CAFCASS report was also requested.
Since then, the kids have been unhappy about going every week, and are forced to.
I was, (in the middle of trying to claim legal aid) then awarded both of the children''s tax credits claims, which means I probably can''t get legal aid.
My ex is now trying to "prove" her financial responsibility by paying for silly things like "half their swimming lessons" (about £20). Despite the fact I''ve been paying for everything since Aug 2010 and taking them to every appointment/ school trip etc needed.
The children are coming home with long fingernails, dirty hair and filthy ears, not having done any homework or reading during term time and their mother spending most of her time seemingly asleep and the boys in front of the computer instead of spending "quality time with their mum".
My children are only 7 and 5. The 7 year old will be 8 in September.
I''m sorely worried I will be ignored and told to "go back to mediation" despite her hugely abusive and terrible attitude.
I''m going to ask a solicitor for advice, but can anyone advise me here??
I think you need to stop and take a deep breath and try to keep this as real as possible.
Kids will play parents and they may tell you that they dont want to go because they think that''s what you want to hear?
As for long fingernails, dirty hair and dirty ears..well, I don''t think I''ve ever heard of a kid dying of any of these.
Why is it so often that parents have to make out the other is such a bad lot? You were with this woman and had 2 (not 1) children with her. If her parenting was so bad why stay on and have another?
I know I may sound harsh but I''d bet my last pound that she says the same about you!
All you have is the kids words for her going to sleep etc.
When my son was young I''d often doze while he played with his car collection or watched TV. It isn''t a crime.
I guess you need to see that Cafcass has assessed her and she is "fit for purpose" so there''s nothing you can do about it.
I sorry that you seem to be having a hard time. I divorced when my children were 5 and 6. They used to go to Dads and not bath on Saturday evenings because they could get away with it. So, I worked hard on instilling pride in them rather than waste my time speaking to the ex. It works. They''d never not wash now.
Also, with their homework,I didn''t nag or criticise, I just sent them into school and asked their teachers to tell them they still need to do their homework when they''re at dads. They do it religiously since.
Put your effort into your children and reward them for good behaviour. All children of divorced children play one parent off the other. Listen patiently but don''t react. Unless there''s a serious threat of course.
hiya, i get what your saying. I can also see the points that the others are making.
My ex husband dosnt really see the boys and when he does its for 4 hours a week max, when they are with him its all fun and games, then they come back to me i have to clean them nag them about home work ect, its seems unfair.
He also seems to be doing every thing in his power to NOT see them,but revving me up so i stop contact so he can walk away but blame me. It took me a while to realize that i was doing wrong by the children by trying to protect them, there not a soft as we think, i know natural instinct is to protect but you need to let them learn for them selves, only intervene if HAVE to, its all part of the "game" to your ex,and the children shouldn''t be put through that.
As hard as it is,step back,let it happen, keep a diary of all incidents and correspondents, she will get bored when she dosnt get a rise out of you.
Hattiedaw, shi tong has been posting on here for a long time and has been given the real runaround by his ex. Children don''t die of being dirty but if mum wants them 50% of time, she needs to step up to the mark and show how responsible she is. Sure, occasionally my kids go 2 nights without a bath but I''m not the one trying to prove to a judge how great I am, am I? On this forum, we generally accept what people are telling us as the truth unless there are glaring holes in their statements. I would also add that younger children tend not to lie, that generally comes as they realise the potential fallout of what they say.
Shi, I would echo what has been said about keeping a diary for your next court date. Youve done most of the single parenting by yourself so far, keep up the good work
you need some perspective. who''s responsibiity are the children anyway? you are saying your ex ''only'' takes on 20% of responsibility for the children......most PWC would argue the same, both whilst still married/living together and whilst separated/divorced. That''s how it tends to be. It might not be right. It particularly might not be right when after separation when the 20% parent wants 50% of everything but life isn''t fair...is it?!
Take your long nails, dirty ears, dirty hair example. I see those as my responsibility, as PWC. My ex should bath them when they''re with him, I agree. He should be attentive enough to look at their nails now and again and do something about long nails and dirty ears...but he''s not. That''s my job. And frankly, if after a few days with the ex they''re ''long'' fingernails (implying they really need cutting) then they were at the point of needing cutting when they went to my ex, weren''t they? so who''s at fault? me for not cutting them at the point they could have done with it or my ex for not noticing it and doing nothing about it? More to the point, does it matter?!
Your children will know,as they grow, who cared for them, kept them clean, bought them essential items....and who didn''t. It''s unlikely they''ll love either of you more/less because of it. When they have their own children it will all probably become clearer and they will be more grateful at that point - if you''re lucky! What they will be grateful for, however, is being allowed a relationship with both parents, being allowed to love both their parents, not having to deal with constantly warring parents (over trivial issues such as the length of their nails? what happens if there''s really a problem?), knowing they were loved and cared for totally in your household (even if ignored a bit in mum''s), knowing you were there for them.
I think you have to learn to pick your battles and recognise that some battles you will never win so just skirt around them and do what you have to do. You''re stressed out and you don''t need that - you have children to care for. Learn to deal with what needs to be dealt with and ignore the rest of it - you can deal with long fingernails, dirty hair and dirty ears in a very short time, at no financial or emotional cost to yourself and certainly at no emotional cost to your children. They don''t matter in the short, medium or long term, do they?