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Complete nightmare... is there any solution?

  • Shi Tong
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09 Aug 12 #348521 by Shi Tong
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I understand that while long fingernails may not be life threatening, I''d also ask you guys; would I be posting here if that was my only concern?

Let me make this clear: as far as I can tell she is utterly neglectful of the children. I''ve been wondering, when does a long fingernail become a problem because it''s not only that. Most of you probably have to "put up with" your children having contact with the other partner, meaning every other weekend. In my opinion, if it was every other weekend it wouldn''t matter 1 iota should they have a long fingernail when they get home; it''s the lack of decent food, sleeping late, mother going to bed during the day and giving YouTube accounts to 7 year olds, watching 12 rated films because "our ages add up to 12". You name it.

I understand that kids could play a parent, but my boy has no reason to lie to me, especially since I''ve never said a bad word against her.

As for having 2 kids with her, I don''t know what came over me though some people say love is blind. She spent a lot of time emotionally and mentally bullying me when we were together, saying she was depressed therefore needed to sleep til 2pm and spend thousands we didn''t have.

Would it be that her only "aim" was contact then there would be no issue but she wants as much childcare benefits as possible out of thus as well, since that seems to be her 1 track mind.

I''ll ask a solicitor and see if I have a case. IMO it''s tantamount to neglect, and I don''t want my kids neglected 3 nights a week.

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09 Aug 12 #348527 by mumtoboys
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I ''shared'' care with my ex for 18 months. It wasn''t shared - only in name. I paid for everything for the children outwith 3 meals a day when the children were with my ex. I was the one who did stuff with the children - and by stuff I mean going to the park, playing with them, going to playgroups. I did the doctors runs and the leaving work early if one had to be picked up ''cos they''d thrown up. I juggled like a mad woman to accommodate my ex''s frequent holidays. I didn''t like that the children were playing 18 rated playstation games, were left in the hands of the girlfriend''s 16 year old who couldn''t care less about them, that my ex put TVs in their bedrooms, never did anything with them other than go to Tesco, sent them home in inappropriate clothes (long sleeves in summer, shorts in winter)...it''s a long list. Was it neglect? I thought so at the time. I am not so sure now. I do believe it was (and still is) poor parenting and that our children deserve better but I can do what I do and be responsible for my side of things and accept my ex is responsible for his side of things and that''s about it.

I hope that things work out, Shi Tong. I do understand where you''re coming from but I think you need to take a step back and recognise that you can''t control everything in your children''s lives and that the line between good/poor/unacceptable parenting is incredibly fine. Fight for what you think is right - I did - but some time down the line now I think we could have done it differently and that differently would have been a more positive experience for the children.

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09 Aug 12 #348530 by Shi Tong
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Hey mumtoboys.

Thanks again.

Sounds very familiar.

I would ask you, what were the requests in your case, and what was the outcome?

It''s not like I "started" this proceeding, I never really wanted a court case or a hearing, I simply thought it best that because she was frequently not bothering to live up to any of her responsibilities, I may as well have the kids and she can have contact; also because the kids had grown very accustomed to living with me and her randomly showing up, which upset them.

She''s also constantly and frequently sending me a ton of abusive texts, including today. I''ve complained to the police who have also done nothing, so I''m left with very little faith in any system to aid me in any circumstance, even CAFCASS I feel.

What I guess I feel is right is still that she sees the children frequently and has a contact order. She wants so much of her freedom that it puts the children in awfully difficult positions. Next year homework for my eldest is also going to be so much more, and I''ll be basically required to do it all, and yet she is still banging on about how I DON''T have the children''s best interests at heart while she neglects them.

I really fail to see what else I can do except fight her, since she seems to want this fight, even more than I do!

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10 Aug 12 #348537 by mumtoboys
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it was complicated - it is documented here on this site, one way or another - I had agreed to shared care, against my better judgement and I didn''t believe it was working. My ex applied to court to get shared residence with a view to stopping me moving away - which is another story in itself. The long and short is that CAFCASS agreed with me, recommended I be allowed to move and that if the ex moved too (which he did), he should have a ''traditional'' access arrangement of one night in the week, every other weekend, half of holidays. I think this works better whilst the children are small, although if he would pull his weight and be sensible, I would share care again.

I belive my case was won primarily because:
a) actions speak louder than words. Ex says a lot, actions don''t agree with what he says. mediation refused. Lots of documented incidents of non-cooperation on his part which included the children being kept away from my dad''s funeral and them not being allowed to visit me in hospital when I gave birth to our third child (ex left me pregnant). Lots of evidence of inflexibility on ex''s part which makes sharing care difficult.
b) he refused to co-operate financially and I made a huge meal of this in front of CAFCASS, against all advice. Simply, we lived in the south east, I was going to struggle on my own to continue to live there. Ex refused any financial support from the second he walked out, put our mortgage into arrears and took us to the point of repossession, lots of evidence he was paying his girlfriend a salary when she worked elsewhere, lots of evidence he could afford to pay mortgage, refused to pay any maintenance even with involvement of CSA. Left me with all the expense of the children - I paid childcare on his days (and I didn''t receive tax credit at that time as I didn''t work enough hours), for example. I just argued it was unfair and irresponsible and not in the children''s best interests to have me in that position. Good parents don''t take the roof from over their children''s heads, do they?!

With the benefit of hindsight, I would have preferred long term for me personally to have had the shared care in place. I wish the ex would talk and compromise and recognise that the children are half me as well as half him! He won''t so we''re stuck with things. I periodically offer mediation but he won''t consider it. The girlfriend is gone - which is a huge help as she wasn''t very nice and I believe was actually abusive to the children (she smacked them regularly) - and the new girlfriend doesn''t seem to be pulling his strings in the way the old one did. For now. Not breath holding as it''s early days but he''s doing more stuff with the children, taking them out, turning up on time for contact (was always late/early before), returning them on time, and generally not being argumentative. He still isn''t paying maintenance, however, and we''re near to the 4 year mark now. I have learnt to live with it. Am generally not half as stressed as I was and so find things easier overall. The biggest difference between us is that my children are happy to go to dad''s house which your''s clearly aren''t.....

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16 Aug 12 #349967 by Shi Tong
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Hello Mumtoboys,

Thanks for your detailed reply, it''s very thought provoking. Sorry I didn''t reply sooner, I was on holiday with my boys (yay!!!).

It''s a very similar situation to myself actually.

I think where I''m struggling is, obviously the kids like a routine, we all have to offer extra flexibility where possible, and while we were "sharing care" I bent over backwards to do anything to keep it in place, to the point, basically, where I was having the boys all the time and they decided in their own words "mummy doesn''t want to see us much, does she?", which was very hurtful.

Ironically, after she applied for residence, she got her contact extended by 1 night. After a massive load of abusive texts again, I was told by her "I went to court to get my half care of the kids", (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night). Of course, this doesn''t represent half the time, though it is quite a lot. It''s certainly a far cry from her basic threat of a residence order, which I feel is quite painful; if she wanted shared care, she should have put that on the application.

Anyway, now she''s apparently telling the kids that "daddy has taken away all my money", because my youngest told me that today.

It''s so exceptionally hard to cope with because, like I said, I pussyfooted around for nearly 2 years while the children''s world fell apart around them, with me as their only central care and my ex on the periphery. Now it''s coming to a head and all I hear is "I need money for this and money for that, a council flat etc" from her, and yet has shown a complete lack of responsibility for the children''s financial and emotional needs.

I''m also being told now, that I''m evil, deranged and bitter. Irony is, I''ve never said anything like that to her, it''s always her saying it to me.

I guess you need 2 reasonable people to result in a reasonable outcome.

Going to see the police and a solicitor and ask what kind of case I have, if I don''t have a very strong case, I might "give her" the stuff she''s asking for to stop the abuse. Seems so wrong, but possibly the only way.

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