My Musings, My Thoughts & My Ponderings
So the time has come again, its summer vacation. With that comes, for some, amended parenting schedules, extra time with the children, vacations and general merriment. However, for some like our family comes it means potentially reduced time with the children, losing battles over extra time, and generally banging ones head against a wall repeatedly. So much so that as this is summer number 5 in our current situation we potentially may not look for anything additional as it’s not worth the hassle, regardless of what the childrens thoughts on it are.
We have 50 access, not custody, of the children, which in my backwards legal system is the standard way they grant situations of unmarried parents (with changes in access amount only). The mother has sole custody and is essentially viewed as a “single mom”, the father, can be granted acess and joint guardianship but this again is different from custody of the children. Then to add insult to the situation for the fathers, the maintenance paid has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of access/guardianship/custody you have of those children. Therefore, you can have equal access like us but because the ex has sole custody then she is entitled to have financial support but not provide any to the father even though she is in receipt of government welfare for the children and has paid employment.
We hired a legal firm to deal with the access and maintenance situation when it first occurred in November 2011 (the week of our wedding now less), but were not informed of any of the above until court day and after (through my additional research). They were a firm that deals with family law and divorce/separation etc. Obviously not in cases where children are concerned in hindsight. They were also referred to us by a friend who had just finalised his divorce with children involved. So we thought we were in good hands.
When BioMom left in 2010, she decided on the times/access for H, and he wasn’t given any sort of input, ultimately, it was what suited her. She sent a verbal letter to him shortly after I moved in and he responded with a letter and also we drew up the access formally and asked her to sign a copy, it included vacations, special events, Christmas etc, in a fair way. Well, we never got a response nor did we get signed documents back, so suffice to say that its been pretty mute from her ever since. Unless she is the one with an opinion we get no voice.
The court drew up the access as it stands, no provision for vacation, Christmas, special occasions, so we have 50% access over the 2 week period. If Christmas falls on our time, BM keeps them, last year we asked for an amended summer schedule to week on and off with them instead of the messy every second day with no daytime hours, therefore only the ability every second Saturday to bring them somewhere. We sent the letter to her solicitor, it was ignored with no response. We requested from her two weeks vacation time, gave her the dates, we were told that we could have week 1 but not 2, that of we wanted a second it would be at her discretion.
The access arrangements are all about power plays, no consideration for the children and the fact that they would like to spend additional time with their father. Its everything and anything not to be involved with him, in her eyes. This summer is slightly different, SS13 is finished school a month before SS11 & SD9, so instead of the discussion around allowing SS13 to stay in our home for a few hours till the others finish school, BioMom will pick him up at 9am (as that’s what the order says) & either bring him to work with her, or drop him to his grandmothers.
There is this consistent need to exclude H and any positive input he may bring, the desire to be this illusion of a “single mother”, who has no help and H is a dead beat dad. The reality is so far removed then what she wishes to portray. It probably eats her inside and we are fairly certain that she would perfer if H wasn’t involved at all, it would pander to the reality she wishes to create.
H has been over the melodrama with BioMom for a number of years, I let it go and every so often try to think that perhaps she is a sane person, and we reach out. We are reminded very quickly that she isn’t a woman of logical values. So perhaps in anticipation of this summer we won’t bother doing anything additional. In fact, for the last 4 years when she has gone on her vacation we have happily taken the children just to have the extra time with them. But we haven’t been facilitated in the same way at all. As wrong as it sounds & may affect the children, it may be better to not pander to her needs for the greater good, since she can’t offer anything in return. It is like consistently banging ones head off the wall, trying and trying again but getting nothing in return. There are only so many attempts you make even for the welfare of the child before you simply must stop and live your life. Becoming comsumed with the hate and the insanity is simply not a realistic way to live your life. Its not healthy or normal. Being in a position where all attempts are punished is simply not a way to live, neither is constant engagement or arguments.
So this summer I say no to looking for or requesting anything additional, planning events or trying to bring the children on vacation. If it doesn’t suit us, we won’t be picking them up and I’ll be damn well not picking them up 5 days post partum again. Its like being between a rock and a hard place during summer vacation, it’s full of disappointment for the children as they get to do nothing and go nowhere, as a SMom there is a guilt you feel but at the end of the day is there a reason you should feel annoyed when literally none of this is within your ability to control. School should go 12 months a year, I think I would take making school lunches over the hassle that summer causes without doubt.
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My Musings, My Thoughts & My Ponderings
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