My husband and I have been separated for 5 months, we have 1 daughter aged 4. I wanted to start
after the first month of separating so that things didn't get out of hand, unfortunately my husband refused. I have had 4 months of hell from him where
is concerned, he has been rude, ignorant, offensive etc etc. Solicitors letters have gone back and forth between us, he's lied all the way through about everything and eventually i stopped his contact because he wasn't treating our daughter properly when he had her. He's now advised my solicitor that his solicitor is only dealing with the divorce side of things and not finance or children's matters. Where does that leave the situation?
We have first mediation session this Friday, but as i've tried everything to get him to co-operate and he's thrown it all back in my face, including letting him see our daughter only to pass her to his relatives and go out overnight whilst she's supposedly in his care, what on earth is mediation likely to achieve? I've run out of steam with him and no mediator will get me back to allowing him overnight
, he's struggling to get 1 day a fortnight at the moment.
help, finance is another issue, he won't even reply about anything regarding money.
My feeling from reading this is that
probably won't work unless he engages with it. But from a time and cost saving viewpoint, it has many advantages for you.
I'd say give it a go. At the first meeting the mediator will assess the case and you will have a chance to speak to them privately about any worries, as will he.
A tip - stick to the facts. The issue around contact/overnight with your daughter and ex is likely to be very emotional. Try to keep your feelings out of it (however strong they are) and relate the events which lead you to feel your daughter was not cared for properly when she was with him eg. being left in the care of his relatives. Explain why you were unhappy with this - did you not know them, did you not trust them, did she complain? Then put it in a few sentences which explain your concerns that overnight
(or whatever) is not in her best interests.
If you can't make headway through
, then you may only reach agreement in court. Ask your solicitor what this would mean - time, costs, and how you might prepare yourself for this.
Sounds like your ex is being very unreasonable. In time he will hopefully accept the situation, move on a bit himself and be looking to get things settled rather than trying to punish you and make life difficult. You can only try
and carry on being the reasonable one until he comes round a bit. Avoid
as far as possible - they are often expensive and unscrupulous.
One thing though - don't be tempted to mix up access to your daughter with the legal and financial issues. Your daughter has a right to spend a decent amount of time with her father, however much you might dislike him. Don't ever be tempted to use her as a weapon as it will damage her. He should be allowed some overnight access unless the 'not treating her properly' you mention is beyond all doubt and pretty serious.
If you want to bring him round a bit you could try using the threat of a CSA claim as leverage to bring him to the table. A friend of mine actually used that as a way of persuading her ex to spend MORE time with their kids! Hesitate before making a claim, as the CSA are unfair and basically foster unpleasantness between parents, but you could point out how much you COULD claim if he will not co-operate.
I do know his relatives, I trusted both his sister and his mum - but unfortunately not any more. I don't know what lies he's told them, although I know he will have - but that's their problem now not mine. All that is important to me now is our daughter, he's had every opportunity to be a father to her but has brought her back unfed, tired, ill, distressed and has lied about what's distressed her. Our daughter tells me what's been happening whilst she's been with her dad and his family and i've told her in age appropriate language that until daddy learns to put her first and looks after her properly then she can have much more fun with us. She understands what's right and wrong and has told her daddy the same as i've told her, it's upto him whether he takes notice or not, it's his loss.
Sometimes we can only keep pointing out - best in a non blaming way - just how certain behaviours are impacting on the kids eg. \"I saw the way (child) came back to me on the Sunday night tired and ill. This also happened last week when she was also in tears becasue x and y. As a result I am seriously worried that (child) is not being cared for iunder his care.\"
and the misgivings you have, but also search for the positives. Did you daughter look forward to seeing her father? Did she come back with a gift she cherished from him?
You write: \"it's up to him whether he takes notice or not, it's his loss.\"
I agree it is up to him as you can't change him, but you can keep pointing out what damage he is doing as some people need to be told time and time again.
I disagree that \"it's his loss.\" It's all your loss at the end of the day because ideally children have two parents who love them and cherish them even if they don't look after them full-time.
But some parents aren't able to take care/responsibilty for their children and if this is your situation, you will know soon enough. But don't give up - there are different parenting styles. He is probably going through an emotional crisis which is affecting his behaviour right now. You will need to detach yourself from him, but never berate him in front of your daughter but point out that he's not in a good place right now. It sounds like he may be choosing to fight you rather than reach an amicable arrangement - that's his way of dealing with it. Good luck with hte
, again, you'll know quite soon whether it's a way forward or not.
I read your posts and have to say that you should not stop him having the kids because his relations look after them, that is not down to you, it is not good he is doing it, as believe me it would not last and the kids would eventually make up there own minds,
Parental responsibility belongs to one person, the person in charge of the kids at that time, you have no say in what he does with children as long as they are safe and vice versa, if you want to go out he cannot say you cant leave them overnight with your relations.
A lot of how he is responding is natural believe me, the best thing you can do is write down what it is you want to say and stick to that, sort finances etc out with out kids around.
If you are open and honest with him he has to respond, if he doesnt you have to deal with the situation yourself.
I ad similar but other way round if you like, my ex wife to be was acting like your extb, she would not talk about finances etc, she was making the jont account overdrawn, so i paid it off and closed it, cancelled all the direct debits, she was so annoyed and asked what was to happen to the mortgage etc, well she was living in the house not me, so i left it with her, fact was she was taking the p***s by leaving the account overdrawn when i was paying my half of stuff.
At the end of the day be clear and tell him what needs to happen regarding certain things, give him a chance to react and sort it, if not tell him what you are going to do to rectify the situation, if you give him notice he cannot say he didnt know.
I think every situation is different so i'm just doing what i think is right for our daughter, she's only 4 and has a good life and routine.
My stbx has always been a drinker but is in denial, in fact he's in denial about everything and always has been. He puts himself first before our daughter, has spilt vodka on her, shouted at her when he's had a drink and is generally irresponsible, how he keeps his job i'll never know. He is a very immature 46 year old, everything that happens in his life is a catastrophe that he blames anyone and everything for. After 13 years of being with him I know him better than anyone. He lies so much he forgets what he's said, i think that's why he claims to have such a bad memory.
His family won't accept that a divorce means that they see our daughter less, I have a new life and my own priorities, our daughter has her own social calendar that i've always worked round whilst he's just sat at home in complete indifference. Unless there's drink involved he never wanted to do anything, this left me and our daughter to do things on our own all the time, there was no 'family time'.
Whatever i've asked him to do he does the opposite, both in our marriage and with our daughter, I'm not prepared to put her at risk letting her stay with her father. He would rather go out drinking and sleep wherever than be at home with our daughter when he has her, he only wants
for his family, i don't think he's really that interested.
He wonders why I left him, won't accept that I made a choice for me based on years of unhappiness and the chance of a better life. He would rather go out at night than have the responsibility of his daughter - what kind of father is that - hence she stays with me.
Maybe he'll come round in time but I waited 12 years for that to happen and it never did that's why we're in the situation we're in.
Nothing more I'm prepared to do, he needs to sort himself out.