Advice needed, dad moved away
23 August 2018 at 11:15 am #14899
Not posted before but have been in the background reading posts and occasionally commenting if I feel I can help.
Decided to end things once and for all last year and this year in April I moved myself and my son into another place. Things were going OK, sons dad was going to have him every other weekend but as we were only round the corner he was going to have him for tea during the week and also come to ours for tea too. However then exes family got involved and he suddenly dropped it on me in front of our son that he was going to be moving to live with his parents over 2hrs away. His parents and him are manipulative and things have turned nasty and it looks like he is going to take me to court for contact. I have never said he can’t see our son but I have expressed that his wanting to take him from school on a Friday and then drop him back Sunday night is too much (son is only 5). I am concerned that it will impact his education and behaviour as he is going to be absolutely knackered for school on the Monday. I suggested he could stay at mine with our son and I would stay with a friend or at my parents place so he gets quality time but in his own surroundings during term time or if he doesn’t want to stay at mine then he could at least spend every other Saturday with him locally. Then during holidays splitting the days and him taking him to his. But he won’t do this, says I’m only thinking of myself, but that’s not the case. I am genuinely concerned about my sons schooling and behaviour. But this has now been used against me and saying I’m doing it because of my anxiety and that I’m being unreasonable….
I never chose to move away, he had a few options for him to stay local but he chose not too and now he’s trying to force me into doing what he wants me too. He’s threatening me with court and alsorts.
I let my son go this past weekend and they left about 12:30pm, I knew the journey would take between 2.5 to 3hrs (I checked the traffic reports too), our mediator said he had to get our son to call me when they got there to let me know they’d got there OK. However still nothing by 6pm yet he had seen a message that I had sent him around 3pm thanking him for something and to have a safe trip. Anyway I’d thought that if I didn’t hear anything by 6:30pm I would call him but he called at 6:20pm saying they’d just got back due to traffic. I said he could have messaged or got our son to call and tell me that but he didn’t. So because I was out of my mind with worry this is also being used against me… But it’s normal for a mother to worry, especially if its been so long… Isn’t it???
I unfortunately don’t trust my ex or his family and so it’s tough letting him go out but I know I need to for his sake. He needs to have his dad in his life. My ex was hardly ever home, if he was he would threaten and shout at our son the minute he walked in the door but yet he is painting himself to be this amazing dad and me to be a bad mum. I hate all this. If anyone has a temper problem it’s him, there are things that have happened to our son in the past which is what makes me worry for him.
Can anyone else say if they’ve been in a situation similar to mine, where the dad has moved away but refuses to accept or consider the impact of travelling so far straight from school and then pretty much straight back to school the Monday. I’m in no way saying he can never have contact or never take him there but it needs to be done right for our son not what he or I think is right for ourselves….
Sorry if this is all jumbled, I’ve literally rambled and once I started typing I couldn’t stop. So if you’ve read this far then thank you 🙂23 August 2018 at 12:07 pm #14901
If your son gets back in time for dinner and bed at the normal time for a school night I don’t see why he would be knackered – he’ll probably have a nap in the car anyway. However, I think every weekend (if that is what you’re saying?) is a bit excessive. It means he won’t be able to spend time with his school friends or do other things like birthday parties etc at weekends. If it went to court the most he’d get is every other weekend, which sounds reasonable to me.
I wouldn’t go too far down the line with saying he and his family are manipulative or whatever – trust me, they’re saying the same things about you and your family. That’s break-ups for you. Except, you’ve got to be united for the kids, and they mustn’t be exposed to all the adult rubbish which has nothing to do with them.
He’d have to go to mediation before court and all this can be thrashed out amicably then. If he’s not satisfied, he can take you to court at his expense and it needn’t cost you a penny. I tell you now, he’ll come out with less than he has right now. So let him if he wants to. But try and negotiate first, for your child’s sake.
All the best.23 August 2018 at 12:52 pm #14902
I shall try and respond but not in any specific order:
- Though I feel your anxiety of wanting confirmation he had arrived, there does have to be some acceptance that when your son is with his other parent that you being informed of their whereabouts isn’t top of his father’s priorities. And to some extent it is unreasonable to expect this of him, maybe the first occasion but that really should be it. In the same way that you don’t update your ex on where you are, when you have arrived etc at destinations. This isn’t “nice” but is the reality of parenting as separate parents, and though it’s very hard something you need to get your head around for your own sanity.
- A lot of parenting apart requires a parent having to keep their anxieties in check so to speak. And though they’re not unusual anxieties, if they become too extreme, are unfounded in basis and begin to infringe upon your son being able to have time with his dad in his home then he has a good reason for raising this as your issue that needs addressing so as not to negatively impact on your son and his father.
- Moving closer to his support network – his family isn’t an unreasonable consequence to the relationship being ended on him. As much as many would wish to stay in the local area, you chose to end the relationship and remaining locally doesn’t suit all. Even though he has relocated, he’s still wishing to maintain close ties with his son. And this should be supported.
- Assuming he has requested every other weekend contact – that is not unreasonable as it gives both parents quality weekend time with your son.
- The distance isn’t ideal. But a 5 year old being collected on the Friday night straight from school would arrive back in time for dinner, probably napping in the car. So that’s not a huge issue EOW IMO. It maybe that initially you request that he only has one night away or that he returns after lunch on the Sunday if you’re concerned about him being shattered (I agree that travel can be tiring, though children don’t seem to be so negatively impacted by this on the whole).
- The staying at yours is a nice offer, but I would feel uncomfortable if my ex did that, as you would eventually and doesn’t get away from the basic fact that this is not his home and your son needs to make a home at his dad’s too.
I hope that this doesn’t come across as negative as I can hear how torn apart you are feeling.