to object to ex taking 2 year old dd 3 hours away to stay at his girlfriend's house?

(80 Posts)

Background: split with ex 6 months ago- cheating bastard. In the time since split he has seen dd every 2-3 weeks although has gone 4 weeks without seeing her at times. He has chosen to move 200+ miles away (initially to be with OW but then they split up). Arrangements have been that he comes for the weekend, I was actually letting him stay at my house for a while, before he became unbearable.

So, now that he is settled in a "serious relationship" with another woman(!) who he has been seeing three months he wants to:

a) introduce her to dd (I'm fairly certain this has already happened last week behind my back but he won't admit to it)

b) take her to stay at new woman's house for weekends - he will come and pick her up, bring her back etc. (he has no proper home of his own, lives in digs)

AIBU to not want to allow this??

Firstly, the travelling is an issue for poor dd in the car for 3 hours each way. Also, I can't stress enough that he is nowhere near a hands-on dad. He won't even change nappies and as soon as dd starts saying "no" to him, he can't handle it. So I am concerned that his relationship with dd is not close enough yet that she will be fine with just daddy and a strange woman. I just can't cope with the thought of him letting this woman do everything for my baby, which I know is going to happen. And the thought of my lovely girl being sad or wondering where mummy is.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 20-Nov-12 12:18:50

Just to put another spin on this my ex was shite at contact etc. until a lovely woman came into his life and I can't thank her enough.

LtEveDallas Tue 20-Nov-12 11:50:39

This is also something that I know the new gf has actually suggested as a strategy for him getting what he wants- refuse money

How do you know that OP?

The next time he does this, remind him that children aren't "Pay Per View" - He's mixing up his responsibilities to his child and his Sky contract.

You definately need to go to the CSA as well as a solicitor in that case.

missymoomoomee Tue 20-Nov-12 11:26:48

As far as money is concerned if that is his attitude go to the CSA and get it taken off his wages. The only person he is punishing by not paying is his DD.

Thanks for all your responses. It does make me feel better to see so many people agreeing with my idea. And so many of you who have been through a similar mess and survived.

I still need to get over the whole break up. It happened a few weeks before we were due to get married so I was left both humiliated and heartbroken. I am thinking about seeking counselling.

I am going to speak to a solicitor. It probably would make me feel better to have firm arrangements in place so he can't keep moving the goalposts. He has been terrible at paying me money for dd, if I say something he doesn't like, he just doesn't pay to as "punishment". This is also something that I know the new gf has actually suggested as a strategy for him getting what he wants- refuse money. This sort of thing makes me worry about what she is really like.

Thanks for pointing out the positives smile

katiecubs Tue 20-Nov-12 09:57:59

If it was me then I would definatey want to meet the new girlfriend first - especially if she was the one doing a lot of the care.

Surely any sort of reasonable man would agree to that.

I would'nt worry too much about the nappies thing - he may have been crap in the past but between them they won't leave a 2 yr old sitting in a dirty nappy. And of course if there was any evidence that they did you could stop the contact on account of neglect.

Good luck OP I get this is a horrible situation and I hope it works out x

LtEveDallas Tue 20-Nov-12 09:12:04

OP - Honey, you wouldn't be human if you didn't feel like that. Your world was turned upsaide down by his actions. It's bloody unfair and you are left picking up the pieces. How many women do expect to become single parents?

Would it help to look at the positives more? You have a wonderful DD that you adore. You have found out early that your partner is an unfaithful twunt - it's still not great but it's better than you finding out 5 years/2 more kids down the line. If he is as useless as you say, then you were a single parent before he left. You have one less child to look after!

Seeing a solicitor is the most important thing for you right now. I think it would help to get it straight in your head. I know the knee jerk reaction is not to let him take your DD away, but learn what the law says, and negotiate from there. The more reasonable you are, the less he can 'demand'.

Seeing the new partner is a good idea too. Maybe not yet, but when it is feeling less raw. Don't build her up to be the bogeyman - your issue is with your ex, not with whoever he chooses to be with now. She didn't cause the break-up of your family, he did that. If you can start and then remain on good terms with her it can only be good for your DD in the future.

Oh, and being 'reasonable, calm and collected' in front of her will help to negate any stories he may try to impress upon her. You don't need to be her friend, but if she is a decent person, if she intends to stay with your ex, it will save a lot of heartache.

Good luck.

Mercury5000 Tue 20-Nov-12 08:57:17

Hi igotdaboobies. I fully see your concerns, my DS was 2 when I split up with his Dad and I would have hated the idea of him going away for weekends, to a Father who was nt hands on and a strange woman doing his intimate care. I ve just been to see a Lawyer over contact (my DS is older now) and it was very reassuring. You are right to go and see a Lawyer - many offer a free first visit. Although you both have equal parental responsibility, you are the Primary Care Giver and so do have more say in your DDs contact arrangements. The child`s right to have a relationship with her Father is important, but the childs welfare is paramount. Contact is for the Child`s benefit, first and foremost. It is all for her needs, not for his. I would talk solely about his abilities, during discussions with him and emphasize that she is his responsibility when in his care, no one else`s. Not his girlfriend`s, even if she is lovely - the point of contact is for DD to build a relationship with Dad. Setting a precedent is important too - it is harder to stop contact arrangements, once they have been set up by you both. So if it was me, I would think it would be much better for DD, for Dad to do the travelling, and just have her for periods during the day and not overnights until he is fully competent to care for her. Tell the Lawyer your whole story and full concerns. I m still going to avoid going to court just in case I got a Judge who did nt agree with my Lawyer, and not going to tell my ex I have been to see Lawyer, in case it speeds him down the road to court. However, I do feel calmer and able to speak sensibly with him about contact and placing first the mental stability and physical safety of my DS. I think a long journey away from you and a weekend with incompetent Father and strange woman would be confusing and distressing for your DD. Hope this works out for you and DD xx

AThingInYourLife Tue 20-Nov-12 07:44:44

"I think OP, that you would be best served by coolly telling that in principle of course he needs to take an equal role in looking after his DD, but that due to numerous different reasons, he is not quite ready to take over that total responsibility and that it's simply not fair on ANYONE, least of all his DD that it will fall to his new GF."

Exactly.

Or "until you are willing and able to change her nappies, or she is toilet trained, you can only have her between shites."

NorthernNobody Tue 20-Nov-12 07:36:27

I had legitimate concerns about ex (unstable acute mental health, not feeding them properly, chaotic lifestyle) but knew that he has a legal right to see the DC.

My version of what is the right way to bring up a child will differ from many on here and if I suggested you shouldn't have access to your DC you'd be incandescent.

You do have to accept that your DC will be experiencing things you don't want for her. Unless they are life threatening/dangerous/ illegal or abusive you do just have to accept.

My approach was to swallow my anger and bitterness and put DD first by suggesting alternatives to his barking mad plans. The alternatives inconvenienced me enormously. He accepted them. Sounds like access to her Dad for your DD is difficult because of distance. Get around that in a fair way for him and he might not feel the need to A&E her away?

TheWombat Tue 20-Nov-12 07:33:59

Difficult situation OP. I agree with others that refusing to be a hands- on parent is the issue here, not the GF. But maybe meeting or talking to the GF is a good idea.

I think LtEve does speak sense re accepting your ex's new partner.

HissyByName Tue 20-Nov-12 07:25:16

You are your dd's First protector, you make the decision initially, if he has a problem, let HIM seek legal advice.

There is no contact arrangement in place, no orders etc, so agreement has to be reached between yourselves.

You don't agree with his plans, with good reason. That's enough for you for now.

maddening Tue 20-Nov-12 07:15:30

I wouldn't have thought he would get 50/50 contact or even overnight if he has nowhere for her to stay? While he is resident in digs?

I appreciate his gf has her own home but could a court rule her home being that she is not yet a long term partner nor have any responsibility in the dd's life?

I think that you would be fair to ask them to come down once a month/fortnight and stay either at his parents with dd or in a hotel/apartment with unlimited access to dd.

Eventually she will have to go to stay with him but surely a bit of stability and an arrangement that allows contact with minimal disruption so everyone can get used to each other etc would be for the best?

I realise he has rights but surely his responsibility as a parent is to ensure dd is happy and settled so playing it slowly and sensibly would be ideal?

Thanks for all the responses.

I do know that I need to come to terms with my dd going off to stay with him. It's so hard though, I still can't really believe we are in this situation. I never envisaged being a single mother.

I am taking advice and seeking a solicitor tomorrow. I just wish that he would be a bit more sensitive and reasonable.

Those saying to meet the gf are quite right, I know you are. Not sure if I am ready for that though...

HissyByName Mon 19-Nov-12 22:49:33

Looking at this from a logistical point of view, removing all sentiment etc, it's just not FAIR on the GF to have a 2yo to care for out of nowhere. He's a CRAP dad and it will scream that to his GF loud and clear, I'd be surprised if she didn't dump him before New Year.

I actually agree with some of what AThing says

"The OP wants her daughter to have a relationship with her father.

His distance from his daughter is a result of his choices and preferences.

My advice is that until he is happy to change his own toddler's nappy he shouldn't have her overnight, and apparently that is crazy lunacy because obviously it is great for a 2 year old to spend a weekend with a total stranger changing her nappy."

I think OP, that you would be best served by coolly telling that in principle of course he needs to take an equal role in looking after his DD, but that due to numerous different reasons, he is not quite ready to take over that total responsibility and that it's simply not fair on ANYONE, least of all his DD that it will fall to his new GF. It's not a jealousy/bitter thing, it's a sensible parenting decision thing.

Remind him of the park poo drive by nappy, not to have a go, but if he can't care for her yards from your home, what makes him think he can 300 miles away.

Tell him that you would be the first to encourage that he takes her and spends a great christmas with her, but that atm there is too much that he will struggle with. Tell him that this time next year, she will probably be pottytrained, so there won't be the issue that there is this year.

Suggest that THIS christmas is YOURS and that in the next 12m you will BOTH work towards HIM having her overnight, and ideally for christmas.

There is no rush, your DD is 2, next year she'll be 3 and it will be easier.

Say NO to the christmas visit this year, and state that he can have next year. If he feels strongly enough, he can take you to court... it won't make the court list before christmas I shouldn't think.... and if you are sensible, calm and pragmatic, no judge would ever rule in his favour when next year is offered instead.

ginnybag Mon 19-Nov-12 21:05:37

I'd second demanding to talk to the girlfriend. For a start, does sh know she'll be changing nappies all weekend?

This woman could be your greatest ally, OP. It's unlikely that she'd be willing to see a 2 yo suffer, so why not speak to her honestly and tell her your concerns? Don't whinge about your ex, just say that you're worried about your daughter, about her needs and how they'll be met. Perhaps volunteer to stay nearby in a hotel, for the first couple of visits.

You can't stop your DD's father seeking contact, including overnight, so try to make the best of it. Insist on meeting girlfriend and on your DD meeting her in a familiar environment, then a shared trip out, then them going on a day excursion first.

If your Ex (and the GF) are reasonable, they'll agree to a slow build up. If not, you'll have something solid to make note of. But it must be, honestly, what's right for you DD and that isn't necessarily, heartbreaking as it must be for you, always being with you.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 19-Nov-12 19:46:26

Baby...yes, you are right, there is a baby girl at the heart of this. There is a balance between protecting her but also allowing her to have a relationship with her father.

The only way of resolving 'the law' is to find out what 'the law' actually says.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 19-Nov-12 19:43:09

OP I think the very best thing that you can do is to see a solicitor.
I know for me this didn't solve my problems immediately, but it did give me knowledge and knowledge is power.
As I said I can sympathise with you my situation is slightly different in that my DD is nearly 9. She cries and says she feels she has to be in charge when ExH is with OW and OW'sDD. However, so far nothing concrete has actually occurred so the best I can do is listen.
However, on the advice of my solicitor I keep a diary of all these events.

babyboomersrock Mon 19-Nov-12 19:25:11

"If he screws it up, that is his problem" - but sadly, it will also be his little daughter's problem.

Poor baby. At two years old, and with no say in the matter, she's entitled to feel safe, surely? Not despatched on a long journey with a man who doesn't look after her properly, to stay at the house of someone she doesn't know.

In the OP's shoes, I'd be worrried sick. It may be "the law" - that neither makes it right, not any more tolerable.

YANBU and I am shocked at some people's posts. You and your DD have been left by this man of his own volition, and whilst of course he has a right to see his daughter and she needs to have a relationship with him, you need to do it in such a way to minimise disruption to your DD. Taking her miles away to a strangers house (she is a total stranger to your DD) away from her mother for a whole weekend would, in my opinion, be very disruptive to her. A better idea is the one you have come up with, do it gradually over a few months until you know she is happy to go with her father. She is your daughter and her well being is both of your responsibilities. He must see that for her sake. You don't sound bitter to me, just a caring mum. You didn't choose this situation and nor did your DD. He needs to understand this needs to be done softly softly for the best overall outcome. Good luck OP.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 19-Nov-12 19:16:22

Yanbu op. I wouldn't have wanted that for my child at 2yrs old.

LtEveDallas Mon 19-Nov-12 19:14:56

Oh, so you weren't serious before then, just having a joke. Oh right, I get it now. Excellent (although you'd better explain that to the OP, because I think she thought you were serious).

Good one, you really had me going for a while grin

AThingInYourLife Mon 19-Nov-12 19:10:50

Now come on Lt, what are you doing for MN's reputation amongst people who think it is full of humourless bossy bootses?

(The same ones who think we're all man haters, of course.)

LtEveDallas Mon 19-Nov-12 19:02:21

Glad you find it funny AThing. Tell you what, when you've finished making up stories and purposely twisting other peoples words, maybe people will take you seriously. You're not helping here, just spewing out the same-old-same-old.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 19-Nov-12 18:21:40

OP I know it must hurt but you know what hurts more a 5 yr old asking why his dad doesn't come over and why is he stuck in Jamaica. Count your blessings that your dd has a dad that wants to see her and is able to.

HildaOgden Mon 19-Nov-12 18:21:14

It's a horrible situation,and No,I wouldn't like it at all.

I think it might be an idea for you to meet with the GF,you might find she has more sense than him and will be more open to discussing it all with a view for whats best for your dd ....especially if you bite your tongue and show her your nicer side and undo the image of bitter shrew that he has probably painted of you

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