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Non-Contact Mother

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Part of the problem seems to be a lack of education or want of truth by people unfortunately this includes those who believe the scare tactics of what could be best described as scare mongering idiots.

Forget what others have said and lets get down to brass knuckles.

By your post I assume you went to the mediators to reduce the amount of time your daughter spends with her biological father?

If this is true and you force the issue into the courts it will seem minimal and petty and possibly focus on your potential to manipulate this time, be it true or not 6 hrs a fortnight is minimal contact and a better option would be to mediate the style of visit to a more positive style that your child will enjoy.

You have been ill informed regarding father generally wanting less than the E.O.W. half the holidays standard that has been forced on them in the past, the mediator you saw would have been confirmation of this.

If it was as easy as popping off to court and receiving 50/50 time and care then the court system would be crammed full of fathers hocking themselves to the eyeballs to obtain this with the best interests of their children driving them with passion. But the law neither says this or forces contact with a parent who does not want to see their child as this would be decremental to the child just as much as those mothers you speak of who refuse contact for the children to their father.

You have to explore where the stress the child is feeling is coming from and how to best reduce it whilst encouraging her to have a positive relationship with her other parent, this the court does expect, sometimes simple alterations and a positive expression could change the childs thought and settle the situation.

Your partner has little to no legal responsibility for your daughter, it is his choice to support both of you. The law sees the legal responsibility of both biological parents and as it is the law it deals with legal responsibility. You both have a financial responsibility for the child and although your partner may well financially support you both the responsibility is your and the childs father. I've been a step-parent and supported children I did so not to gain notoriety but from love I realised what my part in the relationship was and accepted their fathers role, I accepted and encouraged his participation with the kids which he chose not to take up but I knew I had no legal rights. It is something that has to be accepted.

Mediation should not include other partners that would increase hostilities it is between the biological parents.

Step-parent deserve many accolades for what they do as well as what they take on but a line must be drawn.

You've had four years or so of 6hrs every second weekend, sorry but that doesn't seem too controlling it simply seems he want to stick to this arrangement as he feels this is all the time he can give, sure it's weird and sucks the big one but you can't force parents to spend time with their kids just encourage them.

I have to admit your post does no do justice to what you are trying to express what was mediation trying to achieve? more or less time for the father?

far from it

I removed my previous post as it seemed to be confusing and it seems you have put me in the basket of "Non Contact Mother". Which if you read my post correctly, i stated that i have offered contact to be every fortnight from the Friday to Sunday, and any other time suitable. My daughter has also asked her father directly to spend nights and time at his home, and again, as i stated in last post, the father didn't want the contact offered, just 5 hours a fortnight. I of course encouraged her to ask him those things as she has expressed those desires to me. How am i now classed by you as a "non contact mother"? I also was frustrated that no one seems to take into consideration the child's requests, and now she feels after being pushed away, for yes, over four years, hasn't been to his home during those years, only sees her step siblings every few months, and he doesn't call her at all, she no longer wants to go every fortnight to him. Who can blame her. But i still have to encourage her to go and see him, to talk to him and tell him what she wants, to get her coming home in tears or completely intimidated by his response to her that when is it ever going to be left up to what the child wants, given the age of the child and their maturity.

My daughter is 13.

For those who never read my last post, i was frustrated with mediation being shut down and wasn't sure of what was next and what i had been told, by yes, the mediators, that if it does go to court, the courts are in favour of "shared parenting". But not every situation is the same, its not all black and white, and not every father wants substantial time with their children. I sought mediation as the consent orders were made in 2005 and are not relevant anymore. I wanted my daughter to have more of a say in what she wanted and hopefully during mediation come to an agreement over time spent with siblings. My daughter was included in the child inclusive session. Even though my daughter does not want to go sometimes for the 5 hours a fortnight, during the child inclusive, she does want time with her step siblings and more time at his home, and also more creative time spent with him, as all they have been doing is walking around a shopping centre with him at times buying gifts for his other children, she wants the time spent to change into a more positive one. Shouldnt that be obvious to her father you would think?

I had wondered when the age of the child would be in consideration of the courts? I have stressed to him how important it is she be a part of his family and how much she wants to be around her step siblings, it makes no difference. Ive encouraged my daughter to indeed have a relationship with her father, to spend time with him and to talk to him about her worries and concerns she might have, and again, how is she able to feel comfortable enough to tell him those very close things when he doesn't take the time to get to know her, or to make the time when he has her comfortable and loving enough that she is able to open up. He doesn't seem to hear and nothing changes. Yes, obviously he is happy to keep contact the way it is, it doesn't necessarily interfere with his life now, just takes five hours a fortnight out of his schedule to get his shopping done while he has contact. My whole issue was that it is very frustrating seeing your child going though all she is and trying over the years to make it as comfortable and positive as possible for her but to have it fall on deaf ears.When is a child able to voice their views and how much and for how long does one need to encourage contact when it is constantly disappointing the child. Because they are the main priority.

But hey, i guess ill always be classed as the "Non Contact Parent"

Also i had mentioned the fact that a step parent is sometimes more of a parent than the biological parent and that they should have more of a say in issues relating to the children. I understand the conflict that could arise in some situations between the parents, but again, not every situation is the same and surely there are some families that get along with eachother including the step parents as this shows the children that we are all working towards making life a happier one for the children. No we dont live in a perfect world but i can only hope.
There is no point discussing why I made the comments I did if you have removed your post as they would have been relevant to what was said directly and as it has been many sleeps and even more responses to posts on several forums I really need your original post to show any relevance.

So I will forget your first post and my response and try to assimilate with your current post.

Consent orders are binding unless they are changed by a matriarch of the system or by consent. You can apply to the courts if there are relative grounds for change. They may not be relevant but they are applicable.

The courts are in favour of " Shared Parenting Responsibility " which is not the same as shared parenting time and responsibility.

Part of what our children want we can not supply because it is out of our control, yes she may want more time with her father relating to his home and family but by everything you have said the father does not want this, yes it is obvious that his daughter wants more time better spent and more induced in the relationship but the father does not want and as unusual this is it does come down to his choice. As parents we have the task of mediating these situations and helping our children adapt to what the other parent is offering, we do not have to agree or like it but we do have to help the kids adapt with as little damage as possible.

It appears that contact for him is a responsibility of commitment and not so much the joy of being a father. I could well be wrong as some dads seem to get the idea their children are better off in the other home and don't need them so the actively try and cut themselves out of their lives but I doubt this in your case.

Once a child is of a maturity to understand right from wrong and can show their wishes have a logical path with that within them, then it is likely they will be heard.

Like it or not we can cause more harm by trying to gain more time for our children with a parent who does not want this to happen.
Reflexively in your case her dad only wants 6 hrs per fortnight and he has shown through history that this will not change and then again through mediation. Although your encouragement to your daughter to push for more time of an improved quality it can in fact increase anxiety in her and reduce her self esteem.

Best intentions sometimes cause more pain.

Concentration needs to be going towards her accepting that this is a normal situation for her and her father and if she chooses not to attend a contact period ( 6 hrs ) then she needs to be able to express her decision if questioned. We can do all the hard work and take all the abuse but our children need to be able to stay strong when they are with the other parent. Perhaps until she is at this stage consideration needs to go to committing to her visits with encouragement.

When we impress on our children that what the other parent does is not acceptable and that if they loved them the way we do this would not be a challenge to arise to the request, we do damage by this encouragement. Like it or not our children will take on many aspects of what we want because they feel they need to make us happy or more to the point defuse a situation at their expense.

" Non-contact parent " is a no issue as focus is put on improving contact that the parent has whether it is 2 hrs or seven days is irrespective to the child as it is not a choice they have but as you have said the quality is the point.

No matter how good a step-parent is the biological parent will always occupy a deep emotional place in the childrens heart, sometimes this is good emotions other times bad but the strength of bond may not be to the extent of a step parent. We may personally feel the step-parent is more of a parent than the biological parent but we can't speak for the child.     

Mediation act in a general sense and not specifics which is to say that if a " step-parent " was included in mediation there is a higher possibility of conflict or manipulation as to what biological parents want. The decision for the children lay with the biological parents and what their situation called for when the child was in their care, situations change when new partners come on the scene and directions may be changed but this does not mean the other parent want to follow this direction. As an example step-dad wants private education but prior parents had decided to publicly school, there is no right wrong or winner but rather a commitment to public schooling was made prior, which way does it go ????

The step parent should work towards what the biological parents have decided and not pressure their opinion to show they are in support of the childs situation, they should not openly objectify the other biological parent but we live in a real world where this seldom happens.

I've pretty much been through what you are expressing with step-children who's father for sometime had limited contact but prior had consistent contact, I have also found myself trying to mediate their conflicts playing peace maker. Needless to say I made many mistakes and manage to right some of them but thats a complete other story.

If you were co-parenting it is important that you are all seen to get along, if you are parallel there is no need but there is a simple requirement that if you do not want to spoil the relationship with your child you do not disrespect their other family but you don't enter into either but rather a more constrictive situation.

I do believe your best resolution would be to encourage your daughter to accept this limited contact as normal for her father and express she does have a choice and you will stand by her if some weeks she did not want to go, but don't encourage her to ask him for more time.

You can't control her father or his environment and you will do your head in if you keep trying to make her life better by changing as well as risk making hers worse.

I chased that ghost for a few years and to tell the truth things still peeve me off but I can't change them.

Best of luck D4E        
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