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Shared parenting - being fair

How to be fair when times are trying. I appreciate having somewhere where I can discuss these issues with people that understand. Father not seeing the boys

Hi,

I have three boys, two from my first marriage and one from my second.

I appreciate having somewhere where I can discuss these issues with people that understand.

Since the divorce I have had a parenting plan in place. The boys are with me mostly, but go to their Dad's every second weekend and some of the holidays, but not the full 'required' amount.

Financially he contributes the minimum maintenance, but that is it.

I have always figured that if I am 80 per cent happy with our arrangements, then all is OK. To date, this has pretty much been the case however recently things have changed.

My ex has not been reliable in having the children when they are meant to go to him and does not tell us until the last moment. This, as you know makes it difficult to follow through with sporting commitments and social commitment for the children. It also is upsetting the boys as they are not seeing their father as much as they would like (they are 11 and 12). I am a strong believer that children should be involved in sports and commit to a team, as these are valuable life lessons. As the access arrangements are changing from week to week we are all getting frustrated as planning our time is almost impossible.

I have approached my ex and suggested that we meet with the boys and discuss what time he is able to commit to seeing them, in order to stop the heartache that is currently being felt by them. I am willing to have the boys for every weekend whilst he sorts himself out and arrange for him to see them during the week.

My question is, is this reasonable?

Secondly, financially my new husband is happily financially supporting my children to a great expense. Although he does this because he wants to, he finds it frustrating that their father is not contributing to these costs, and hence accepting his responsibilities.  Your thoughts?

I am of course, the piggy in the middle, wanting the best for my sons, respecting the Dad's right to see them and vice versa, and feeling my own and husbands frustration.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Warm regards.

(Name withheld)
I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. Kids need routine and as little disruption in their lives as possible.

Do you have a private arrangement for child support or through the CSA?

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
I think sitting down with the ex is a very good idea. I would not involve the children though. It's a delicate matter, one of you may get emotional and that's not appropriate for children to see, even if they are 11 and 12.

Maybe you could offer to pick the children up for sporting events. Children do need routine and shouldn't miss out, so maybe you have to take up the slack? Not fair, but the kids will see this and badger dad accordingly, without prompting.

I think we need a bit more info about Dad's difficulties, before we can suggest much more. Good luck in getting an agreement that he can stick to.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Your post seems to suggest something has changed in his life by the way he has become unreliable.

I feel for the boys. It must be very confusing for them.

I wish you luck with the round table and hope things become more stable for the kids.
Agreed with both Artemis and D4E.

For how long has the father of the boys been acting in this way (Being unreliable)?

Has there been a issue between the two of you?

Could he be suffering in other areas of his life?

It would be hard to suggest a course of action without knowing the facts.

But by sitting down and having the chat with him may produce something you didn't expect and you may understand what is happening in his life that dramatically changed his behaviour.

I hope my opinion helps.

Johann

Thanks

Hi and thanks for the replies.

I am not 100 per cent sure of what changes that have been happening in my ex's life, other than he is now working overtime on the weekends - hence reason for not seeing boys.

I will let you know how it goes with a meeting, but to date he has not got back to me with a suitable time to meet! The saga continues…

Thanks again

JD
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