[Solved] Problematic Ex Starting Again
First post to the forum, I need some advice please.
I have two girls with my ex wife, 14 & 12. We split up in 2004, had a very awkward year living together before she moved out in 2005. To say we had a stormy relationship is an understatement. I've paid child maintenance ever since she moved out. Luckily this was always paid directly into her bank account.
Wanting to have an active roll in the girls life I had them overnight every Saturday, plus every night before my rolling day off in the week. Being a postman I had time in the afternoon so also picked them up after nursery/school on different days. I always tried to do things with the girls on weekends, trips out around London, parks, swimming, bowling, cinema trips and meeting up with friends and family. My mum and I also took them away twice to Butlins for the week. There wasn't ever a set time I dropped them off to their mums, this was always discussed via the phone.
In 2007 I met my now fiancée, after six months together I introduced her to the girls. Bearing in mind I have no control over who enters the ex's house and meets the girls she threatened to 'punish' the girls if they were ever to meet my fiancée again. That weekend we were at a friends daughters birthday party. I told the ex I would not take them home if she carried on her threats. She rang the police. Beyond my better judgement I followed the police's advice and took them home. The ex then stopped me from having contact with the girls.
This carried on for seven weeks in which time we sort advice from the Family Justice Centre in Croydon. They had contact with the ex and a plan was agreed for me to see the girls again.
Roll on eight years, a few wobbles from the ex but the plan stays in place. A plan I have never gone back on, forgotten or gone against. Four weekends ago my youngest (the oldest had an audition so wasn't with us) went on a shopping trip. She spent her own birthday money given to her by mine and my fiancée's family. She bought a pair of trainers and a few items of clothing. Normally when we take the girls home they wear clothes from their mums as any clothes they have worn from mine home never come back. After dropping my daughter home I received a number of texts from the ex saying how 'distraught' my daughter was as she wasn't allowed to wear her newly bought clothes home. The ex now insists that I come to her house with a set of clothes from mine for them to change into before they are allowed to leave. As I live over an hour away this would make it impractical for midweek visits for fitting in dinner and baths before going to bed. Doesn't the child maintenance I pay go towards their clothes from their mums?
So I have so far refused to do what she demands. Normally the girls meet us after school and we head home to my house by car. After never letting the girls down, after going on nights out, days out, weekends away, weeks away, weeks abroad and generally always being there for them I'm again stuck in this limbo.
Any advice? Am I being petty not jumping to her demands? Do I tough it out until she comes to her senses? It's killing me not seeing them. All you do is try to do the right thing and I get treated like this.
Thank you in advance for any replies
The money you pay is for thier clothing ect, but your ex doesn't have to send them with clothes when they visit, I had the same issues, though my ex would send him in clothes to wear at least, I guess one answer would be to send them home with a set of clothes to wear to you the next time, all washed and ready, so your ex would then have no excuse not to allow them to come with you, if she chose to send them in different clothes then, just make sure they go home in the same clothes.
Thanks for the reply. The problem is them coming to me in the first place. The ex is insisting that I go to hers to pick them up first. Something I haven't done since they started school (barring the holidays). The girls always get a train to me since they both started senior school. I fear if I back down to this, what would be the next thing she demands?
It may sound petty as after reading some of the stories on here my problems seem very minor. We finally got divorced in 2010 and as we had an agreed plan for access to the girls this was never subject to a court order. I'd hate to have to go down that road but fear my options are minimal
As you have always managed to get things sorted between the 2 of you in the past, it may be worth considering mediation, if you feel that you really don't want to back down on this, the mediator will help get talks started and hopefully help you to reach an agreement, you would need to attemp mediation before you could proceed through court anyway as the judges won't look at any cases unless mediation has been attempted first.
Only you can decide whether you back down and go and collect them, it may be the easiest solution to the issue, I know what you are saying about if you back down now what will the next thing be, if if you were to back down at this point and other things came up in the future forcing you into mediation and possibly court, it would certainly go in your favour that you have been amicable and accomodating.
Great advice from GTTS. Attempting mediation is mandatory before you are allowed to apply for court so it's worth giving it a shot.
In the meantime, you can either comply with what she's demanding or risk her blocking contact. Without a court order, she can pretty much do what she likes. As it's relatively minor issues that are causing this, mediation should be a good route to resolve the problems but will only work if she is willing to attend.