11-10-2021 04:19 PM - edited 11-10-2021 06:24 PM
Hi there, i'm looking for advice or maybe a better understand on why this is happening. My partner's ex rarely allows him to see his son for longer than what's in the parenting plan. He's a good dad who has a wonderful caring relationship with is son. He pays child support (approx $700 a month) and he pays half of everything else that is school, hospital, etc son related bills. He lives approximately 4 hours away from his Ex (she is in a town, where as we live in the city). He sees his son from friday evening to sunday afternoon fortnightly (approximately 48 hours). Has no issues meeting his ex halfway to do the drop off and in lots of cases does the full 4 hour drive back and forth just to spend some extra time. He recently got a new job that allows him to be in the town where his Ex lives for a couple of nights a fortnight. When he asks if he can take his son out to dinner or spend time with him (looking at 2 hours max) she is alway defensive and says no - the son needs time to be by himself and be a kid. She does give in at times - after my partner tells her that it's important that they both fosther a healthy relationship with their son. But it's so heart breaking to watch him fight to spend an extra 2 hours a fortnight with his son when he's so accomodate to all her things. I don't know what else he can do, except take her to court or try to have the additional hours put into the parenting plan which she will refuse to sign off. I understand that children need consistency and structure and perhaps this is where she is coming off. Does two hours in the afternoon really make much of difference? She says it ruins her family time. I don't know if she's trying to control the matter or if she has a point. We understand if they have plans that afternoon but she nevers says that its a simple "No".... just looking for advice on how to handle this. Thank you.
11-10-2021 06:41 PM
Hey @CaringPartner07 ,
I appreciate you taking the time to write this out, especially because you as their partner can see the challenges that they are experiencing, and you yourself are feeling concerned for how it's impacting your partner and watching them struggle to see their son more frequently would be pretty hard.
It sounds like your partner really makes the effort, time and commitment to spend the most amount of time with their son that they can. You're right, it can feel so heartbreaking with how much resources they dedicate to spending more time, that they're still meeting so much resistance.
From what you've mentioned around what else your partner can do, changing the hours of the parenting plan is the way to go about it, and if you know they'll refuse to sign off, then court is an option. Naturally, court is a time-consuming and expensive process, so it can be hard to decide where to "draw the line" regarding maintaining a peaceful co-existence, or trying to challenge the parenting plan.
Regarding how their ex-partner is responding, what their intentions are, we'd be guessing. Is it controlling? No idea. What it sounds like though is that they value their time with their son and seems to have established their recreation time with certain timeframes in mind. I do want to validate that from what you've written, your partner seems to respond amicably and professionally in conduct with their ex, and I'm glad at times their ex is willing to give in at times and let your partner see their son more.
I hope what I've written is helpful. Unfortunately there's no 'secret backdoor law' to make things happen. What's important is - like you said - that the child's environment fosters healthy relationships between both parents. I wish you and your partner all the best.