As a dad it is sometimes hard to do the right thing for your children. I encountered a situation recently with my ex-wife. Due to the contact order I have the children over night on a Wednesday. At the time I was based in Manchester and she lived in Hampshire so I booked a travel lodge near to both the boy’s school…..Great.
Well actually not so great, as my ex decided that the boys stopping in a hotel 5 mins from their school was not safe. After a heated discussion, she said she would not allow the contact but I was still able to pick the boys up from school at 5 and 5.30 and then drop them back at hers for 6 or 6.15.
This happened continuously over the next four weeks; she denied me the overnight stays because she felt a 4 star hotel was not a safe place. Even though we had stayed in the same sort of hotel with the children many times before.
So keeping the boys interest at heart, I travelled down to do the school run but don’t get the over nights…now here is the rub, last week I had a call from the CSA saying they were re assessing my maintenance because I had not had my boys overnight on nights I was supposed to. Regardless of the fact I had seen them and the fact it was their mother refusing the overnight contact.
It is interesting that when the CSA advisor heard the situation, said it was wrong that a mother could do that, but the rules are written to benefit the main resident parent. It‘s really frustrating that the resident parent can play the safety card, claim they are putting a child’s best interest at heart and deprive them of overnight contact with the other parent but then use the lack of overnight stay as a way to financially benefit them.
The sad thing is that you are caught between a rock and a hard place – the choice that non-resident parent’s face, we move heaven and earth to see our children and have contact, but if the ex-partner wants to be controlling, duplicitous and use contact as a way of hurting us there is very little we can do.
Just because you have been to court and ‘won’ the right to see you children regularly – that doesn’t seem to be enough. Should I contact the police every time the court order is broken? No, that isn’t right for my children. I will stand up and fight, though, for my boy’s right to contact with me and I’ll try to keep in mind that all the pettiness is designed to give her pleasure and a feeling of control. If I don’t rise to this though it gives me the confidence in the knowledge that at least one of us puts the children first.
If you fancy following me on twitter I am @marcdominic come and say hi.
Till next week.
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