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17-06-2007, 20:35   #1
karen1573
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Did do a forum search but couldn't find anything about this!

How to cut a long story short, hmm, here goes:
I split up with my husband last year. When I moved in with him 7 years ago, he had sole custody of his son, whose birth mum walked out when he was 3. Over the years he came to be my son and thought of me as his mum.

After leaving last year due to my ex's erratic and aggressive behaviour he initially didn't allow me any contact, but eventually I managed to persuade him into weekly visits at my home. However my ex has now hooked up a with a new woman half his age (literally) and has taken my son to live with them in Wales.

My son is very unhappy there as he is arguing with his dad more and more and his dad is stopping me from seeing him next weekend as arranged, and I have no doubt will pull a similar stunt in August when he is due to come to me for some of the summer hols. (The excuse this time was that my son hadn't done his homework ) My son wants to live with me and has been saying that since the day I walked out, but as as step-parent I assumed I had no rights or chance to get custody.

I have now seen a solicitor who feels I have a good chance of getting a residence order, but my problem is that I work full time and am paying off substantial debts (most of which my ex rang up, but there we go) so leaving work or going part time isn't an option.

I would be happy with him getting himself to school and back every day, and I can work 8am-4pm so that I could minimise the time he's alone, but the big issue would be school holidays.

At the age of nearly 12, childcare options seem to be very limited. Does anyone know of any reasonably-priced (because not sure if I'd get childcare vouchers) holiday schemes that accept teenagers?

I moved to this area (from Kent) when I met my ex so I don't have any family in the area that I could call on for help.

Well here's hoping that someone has some info or help for me. At the moment I feel my son would be better even in care than with his dad, due to the way his dad is treating him
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17-06-2007, 20:37   #2
karen1573
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Forgot to add: his dad hasn't worked in 20 years and the new girlfriend doesn't work either so the chances of getting a contribution to costs from them would be non-existent :-\
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17-06-2007, 20:38   #3
fox20thc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen1573 View Post
Forgot to add: his dad hasn't worked in 20 years and the new girlfriend doesn't work either so the chances of getting a contribution to costs from them would be non-existent :-\
Cant his dad look after him?
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17-06-2007, 20:41   #4
cosywolf
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Sounds like the dad has moved to Wales, Fox. So a bit of a journey every day...even if it is Wales just down the road, lol.
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17-06-2007, 20:42   #5
fox20thc
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OOOps sorry missed that bit
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17-06-2007, 21:05   #6
watersprite
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I think your son would be at the age where his wishes would be taken into account. So it does look likely that you would get the residence order. I assume your ex-husband looked after him in the school holidays prior to your separation, so maybe *if* he can be persuaded to be sensible he may agree to your son staying with him in Wales for some of the school holidays, allowing him some contact time with his dad (which would be difficult due to the distance) and would also take some of the pressure off you for the holiday period.

I have noted that childcare for children over primary school age seems to be virtually non-existant - sometimes homework clubs and things do run in the holidays but there are always notices up saying that they can leave at any time because the people running them are not responsible for your child. I'm sorry I can't help with that, but maybe a parent with teenagers would know more about what is available.

Hope that helps, and good luck with the residence order.
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17-06-2007, 22:04   #7
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If your son has any interest in the arts I might be able to help you there.
HYP is a performing arts summer school in Sheffield and we are running for 3 of the six weeks hols.
Our costs are 50 per week but with a 5 reduction per week for each extra one you sign up for - so all 3 weeks would cost 135.
We offer extra childcare from 9am until be start at 10am and we finish each day at 3.45 (though staff would be on site and we could come to some arrangement I imagine).
If that's any use to you, please use the Livewire link in my signature and follow it to the downloadable HYP application form.
If he has no interest in the arts there are playschemes which normally have a legal cut off point of 13 years old. The one I used to work for took kids aged 13 until they turned 14. That one cost 125 per week though and will undoubtedly increase again soon.
Good luck.
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26-06-2007, 12:39   #8
karen1573
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Thanks for comments and ideas, all.

Yes, his dad is in Cardiff, Wales (not Wales down the road!) so if he was to spend time with his dad then it would have to be for weeks at a time.

My ex is being very aggressive and uncooperative to both me and the littl'un so I have a feeling that if I am granted residence then he will say "Well you bloody keep him then, I don't want to see him, F you both"

The performing arts club might be a possibility. I will see if I can get any sense out of his dad between now and the holidays...
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27-06-2007, 12:20   #9
katas
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Just to add, if you were to become a one parent family you should be entitled to family credit, which means you can claim money for child minders, you can look around and find a child minder that is good with the older kids and does plenty of activities for them, which are age related. Hope all goes well for you as you seem a very caring mum, its a shame there aren't more parents like you willing to take someone elses child on when your not even with their parent. Well done you.
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27-06-2007, 14:29   #10
wwcrazy
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There used to be activities at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre when mine were that age. All different sporting activities. Daily and weekly. Very popular so you had to book early.

Might be something you could look into.
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