At my wits end. No idea what the solution is.

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  • #56962 Report


    Hi, I split with my sons father in 2016 when my son was 2 years old and for a long time things were great between us and we agreed on a regular routine for my son to see both me and his father.

    But now his father has a job in a care home and works 4 12 hour shifts a week, and with my son being older and in school I want to work and I’m also struggling financially. The problem is his father’s shifts are not always the same each week during the week so it is pretty much impossible for me to fit my work around my son. If his dad would talk to work and tell them he needs to have his son on a Thursday so he can’t work Any Thursdays then I could work 3 days a week but he won’t do that, so as it stands he works some Thursdays and expects me to look after our son. My parents can’t help a lot because they are disabled and they also help out with my brothers 4 kids so he and his wife can work. My sons mother helps once a week but she can’t do more than that because she works the rest of the time. So he has me over a barrel and I don’t know what to do. He won’t even try and help me so I can work, he wants to just be able to work any shift at any time and for me to drop everything and look after our son. Whenever I try to explain to him how hard things are for me he says I am being unreasonable and need to grow up and he has his own issues to deal with. He also doesn’t pay any maintenance so basically he is wanting me to look after our son more than I already am which is a lot more than he does, especially during school holidays so that he can work and make money to spend on himself whilst I am struggling to make ends meet every month and can’t work. What do I do???

    #56986 Report

    1. Hi,

    Whether together or not, he should be chipping in to financially support child. If he refuses, you could contact child maintenance service. Not sure how you will sort out work day issues. If he pays you maintenance, then you could spend that on childcare.

    #56995 Report


    You have as much right to work as your ex partner and life isn’t free. I feel in this position, personally I would take ownership of the situation if he isn’t offering a solution that would enable you an equal opportunity to work.
    I would suggest you fix the days/nights of contact and on those days, the child(ren) become his responsibility. If he’s not able to personally care for them, then sourcing childcare becomes his responsibility. The children and additional care is your responsibility on days/nights allocated to you. If you offer access to the children on upto 50% of the week, set days, then he’s more likely to approach work if he’s forfeiting the contact he has in preference to working, especially if there are associated childcare costs. If he makes it clear that he won’t be there for the kids at all or starts picking and choosing then make arrangements to cover and seek financial assistance with childcare costs, whether that be tax credits or CmS.
    You have a choice, put up with his behaviour or stop allowing him to control your ability to improve your income. It might sound harsh but surely some consistency for the child(ren) would be good too?

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