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    • mutley74
    • By mutley74 13th Jul 17, 8:50 AM
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    Son to visit other parent advice pls
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 17, 8:50 AM
    Son to visit other parent advice pls 13th Jul 17 at 8:50 AM
    Son has live with me for 11 years, he is now aged 15.

    His mum lives a far away and does not keep much relationship with him. He has said he wants to see her during school holidays, and she messaged to say she is ready to see him again.

    Thing is I was going to send him on the coach or train, but she wont give me any address where he will be staying. As I am PWC (full residency rights) do I have a right to ask for this? I feel if anything goes wrong I have the right to know where he is. (I have an idea of the city but not an address where she lives. Too far for me to drive down). She also wont pay for 1/2 of his travel costs!

    Last time he went a few years back, he did not get on with her family, something happened and he was very upset. She did not support him at all then.

    Any help appreciated as ex is being un cooperative (as usual) and need to get this sorted out over next few days.
    Last edited by mutley74; 13-07-2017 at 8:54 AM.
Page 3
    • bagpussbear
    • By bagpussbear 13th Jul 17, 7:09 PM
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    In your shoes OP, I would try and get her address via something like

    You have an awful dilemma, you will be seen the bad guy if you say no, but equally you have to do what you feel is right for your son. I have a feeling that you know this is going to end in tears again.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 13th Jul 17, 7:09 PM
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    If I were in OP's position, I'd tell the mother she must show willing to start up a good relationship with her son - the social workers insist on that.
    Therefore because of her reluctance to disclose her address, she can travel to Dad and Son's town. If Dad's finances permit, once Mum's arrival date is known Dad will book her a room at the closest suitable hotel and undertake to deliver and collect Son from that location so they can spend time together.

    See what her reaction is - don't keep any of it secret from the boy.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 14th Jul 17, 12:06 AM
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    Isn't it pretty pointless not letting a 15yo know the address of where they'll be. On the first day won't they wander out of the door, down the street and see a road sign/house number and be able to tell?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Jul 17, 6:09 AM
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    If you suddenly can't get in touch with him, there will be ways to find the address quickly anyway.
    It's amazing how quickly the police can find an address if there is concern about a child missing!

    OP, you do realise that if you push her, she could give you any address and you won't be any wiser? You'll let your son go with a false sense of security, but your son won't be any safer.

    Contact with your son at all time is your security. Let him go after stating rules about him answering his phone/contacting you regularly.
    • chesky
    • By chesky 14th Jul 17, 6:38 AM
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    OP are you deep-down worried that your son might want to stay with your ex and you'll have problems getting him back?
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 14th Jul 17, 7:05 AM
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    It's amazing how quickly the police can find an address if there is concern about a child missing!

    OP, you do realise that if you push her, she could give you any address and you won't be any wiser? You'll let your son go with a false sense of security, but your son won't be any safer.

    Contact with your son at all time is your security. Let him go after stating rules about him answering his phone/contacting you regularly.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    I was thinking that, if she tells you she lives at 17 cherry tree Lane or 10 Rillington Place, how are you actually going to know if this is correct when your child is travellng there by public transport? A teen with an electronic gadget/phone is going to discover where they are pretty quickly even if they haven't spotted any clues outside.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 14th Jul 17, 7:22 AM
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    Thinking about the son, he's got a reasonable head on his shoulders - we're out of exam time, got space & time & heart to try mum again. I don't think he gets that the Social Services will give dad a very hard time if anything happens.

    I understand not really wanting to change trains but my experience of platform staff is that they usually are kindness & patience itself with the mildly bewildered. If there a strong dose of stress/anxiety/just want to get Home, I'd hope they'd see him sat in a waiting area & check he's on the right platform at the right time.

    The social services appear to have been very clear they do not consider him an autonomous agent (which will definitely bruise the young male ego) but give dad grounds to ask for regular texts. If mum is not OK with this, that says rather too much about mum - has he stayed over with schoolfriends? Do they allow reasonable mobile usage? If other lads mums are OK with it, then maybe his mum lacks practice with "young folk these days".

    We do not want to trip the missing child alert - it's very heavy on manpower, gruesome on the adrenaline and rarely ends up just back where we stared but with a whole book of further restrictions & limitations. If you can coax the Social into revealing that, lad may be more willing to settle for a shorter visit to maintain such freedoms as he currently enjoys.

    It's tough, no messing. Wishing you & he best of luck!
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 14th Jul 17, 7:49 AM
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    My suggestion is that you use Social Services to the max... In particular, while the mother may feel that she has a valid reason not to let you know her address, she could not even imagine any reason to keep it from Social Services. So make sure that they know where she is...
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 14th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
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    Son needs to understand that you need to know where he is.

    He can easily send a one-off location PIN from WhatsApp or FaceBook with out switching on any tracking app.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Jul 17, 11:36 AM
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    It it completely reasonable for you to know the address he will be staying at.

    One option would be to talk to him about this and arrange for him to text the address to you once he arrives. It would be entirely up to him whether he tells him mum he is doing that or not.

    It would also be reasonable to split the travel costs, but very difficult to enforce - if she won't, would it be possible for him to use mega bus or national express as these may be cheaper than using the train?

    I think a lot of it is down to your relationship with him. If you tell him you are not able to cover all the travel expenses, is he going to see that as you stopping him seeing his mum, or as her refusing to make any effort to see him? I think how you deal with it depends on that.

    Given the previous history I would make sure that he has a flexible ticket so he can come home early if he wants.

    It would also be totally reasonable, if she has not seen him recently, to suggest contact nearer home to start with. That could be her coming and staying in a B&B / travelodge near you or, possibly, offering to pay for his train ticket to meet her for a day out somewhere mid-point.

    However, i think the key is to talk to him about what he wants and bout some of financial and other arrangements that need to be made, so he feels he is being heard.

    For the record, I think the advice that you were given by social services last time was wrong - unless there is a Care or Supervision order in place, or specific orders requiring you to monitor addresses, which would be unusual.
    • supermezzo
    • By supermezzo 14th Jul 17, 12:20 PM
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    Did you research the trains and if he will need to change? I just wonder if his reluctance to change is his way of trying to back out of the arrangement without upsetting anyone/saving face?

    Why not make a travel plan with him and gauge his reaction to it? He may change his mind and then the issue is solved for now.
    It aint over til I've done singing....
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 15th Jul 17, 1:43 PM
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    Just on a side note............I evaluate a person on all I know about them. So here we go.

    She lied about where he was last time.
    She does not think she should pay to see her son. Why oh why I dont know.
    She pays nothing in maintenance and forgets most xmas/birthdays.
    She has had little want to seeing him for years. (I could have this wrong).
    She will not let you know where he is and sees no issue with that.

    A 15 years old is mature enough to have the whole situation explained to him. Its important to support a child who wants to see their parent. However not at any cost and any conditions. I expect that if she gets away with her demands and the child wants to see her again. You will have the same all again and probably with more to boot.

    Of course get expert advise. However ultimately its your child.
    Last edited by scd3scd4; 15-07-2017 at 1:53 PM.
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 15th Jul 17, 1:48 PM
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    I suspect the mum knows all about apps and FB location. I would assume she will tell the boy not to let the dad know. The boy will then be in a difficult situation.
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 15th Jul 17, 5:27 PM
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    Have not read all of this, but I have gone through two similar situations, with my son's children and my daughter's son. Therefore I know exactly why you are worrying about this. Stating to you that 'your son has a right to see his mum if he wants that' is fine, but the real issue is your obvious concern about your son's welfare. Bearing in mind that you know your ex and her moods, and we don't, it is unfair of anyone here to comment about that. Your son is young enough to have a picture of his mum that does not match the truth, but old enough to feel that he has a maturity that he does not possess yet.

    Contact Social Services/Child Services and talk to them. Dig out all the documentation you have: Court Orders, etc, and ask for a meeting to explain your concerns. Your son may be upset if you want to know where he will be, but the fact is that his mother has not bothered to contact him for a long time, so why now? Does she have an ulterior motive? Your son's safety is paramount here and I suspect that is the root of your concerns.
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
    • SunnyCyprus
    • By SunnyCyprus 15th Jul 17, 10:28 PM
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    Personally, if I could, I would travel with my son and stay with him for 3 days at a b&b near the other parents home. In those 3 days he could meet the mother in a neutral place, local town to walk a round, have lunch etc. Then on 2nd night if the son is happy to, stay with the mother. If all goes well, I would then return home leaving my son with an open return train ticket to come home when he's ready.
    Forget trying to get the mum to pay half the travel, she's obviously reluctant to do it, and if she's anything like my ex then there will be the excuse of "you made me pay half the travel, I can't afford to take the kids out now"

    Compromise, ok, she might not give you her address so in that case travel with him to her home town. If she's not happy with that, then the trip doesn't go ahead.
    If you want to do something, you will find a way.
    If you don't, then you will find an excuse...
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 16th Jul 17, 2:16 AM
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    How can you even start to plan the travel if you don't know where she is?
    Still knitting!
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    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 16th Jul 17, 6:05 AM
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    I haven't read the whole thread, so if I have missed something I apologise.

    I have a now 21 year old son who has ASD, so he is a bit vulnerable. He has a father who has been very angry for years because we split up and sometimes took this anger out on him unfortunately (verbally but was very hurtful at times). But however I felt about the man, he was our son's father and of course, he would be hurt and upset but also want to maintain contact after he'd adjusted once again (required a lot of support as you can imagine).

    Now, his father has a brain tumour, its terminal, and his character/mood is very changeable. But I still do my best to facilitate what contact my son wishes to have. It often causes upsets, and my heart bleeds for him but I do my best to pick him up (metaphorically speaking) and facilitate what he wants and feels he can cope with. I spend a lot of time explaining his father's behaviour so he doesn't blame himself. At times I want to spit, but lol, that wouldn't do my son any good. So i have to stay calm and rational and do my best to prevent my son getting hurt (emotionally). What I feel about it is kept very very private. My son doesn't need to be screwed up by my feelings as well as his own.

    He did visit very occasionally when younger but I made sure I stayed in a hotel in the same city (and I also didn't have an exact address). My son was able to phone and know I'd meet him anywhere at any time if he needed this. This meant I had to drag my other son up there with me.., but I had to make sure my older son had a way out if he needed it. I still do it now, make sure he's got money and a way back.

    When my son was 15, he wasn't an adult, so I felt it was my role to facilitate what he wanted but make sure he was safe. If that meant I spent money on the cheapest hotel I could find, and had to entertain my younger son for three days, that's just the way it was. I didn't get much in the way of support, tickets were never paid for, but i didn't let that get in the way of making sure my son was safe.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 16-07-2017 at 6:15 AM.
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 16th Jul 17, 9:56 AM
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    I think the first question to be asking yourself is, do I trust these people with the care of my son?

    Objectively, why was the previous visit not a success? what are your concerns?

    What does the partner not 'being nice' really mean? Telling your son off for putting his feet on the sofa? Insulting or abusing him?

    'Not nice' is very broad, and depending on specifics may or may not mean it is suitable for your son to be in his company.

    Can his mother be trusted to meet his basic needs and keep him safe? Will she be kind to him? Does her lifestyle raise any serious flags in terms of your son's welfare, such as neglect, substance abuse, unsuitable company?

    If you have any doubts on this, you should not permit the visit. If this makes your son annoyed with you, then so be it. That's part of the job.

    If on the other hand you're confident he will be safe, and the worst that can happen is he may not enjoy it, let him go on condition he texts you every morning and evening to check in.
    I also think an address is essential.

    If these basics can't be accommodated, then again, there should be no visit.

    If you can afford to, pay for the trip, as you would if your son was making any other visit.

    Yes, it's unfair as she's his mother, and should take responsibility. However, given the history, her status in his life seems more akin to that of a distinct acquaintance. I would therefore treat the visit as such and act accordingly both in terms of financing it, and the due diligence you apply.

    Put your hands up.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 16th Jul 17, 10:14 AM
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    I'm afraid if he were my son he wouldnt be going,as it stands, i'd be staying completely honest with him about the why's and wherefores, however unless "proof" of an address was forthcoming, then it's basically a safety issue and the buck stops with you.
    It's a tricky age, but transparency is key here, if the woman is an utter nightmare like she sounds then if he see's all the facts of her attitude it may well change his mind.But he needs the facts, just the facts minus the emotion, or any influence on your part. Kids arnt stupid.
    Good luck, stick to your guns though, safety first.
    Originally posted by AylesburyDuck
    I was just thinking the same myself, no way would he go without me knowing where he was going, it would be irresponsible in the extreme.

    I would however, explain all this to him, he is plenty old enough to understand that as you are his primary carer (and his dad, who loves him), then you would not be doing your job properly if you let him go under such circumstances.

    I agree with what another poster has suggested, let them meet on neutral territory, in a hotel for example, that you know where it is and can collect your son if needs be.

    Hope it all works out for both of you.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 16th Jul 17, 4:07 PM
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    this is the xbox addicted son?

    has he discussed gaming availability with mum?

    may be a non issue, he won't go if there's no tech.... although I'd send him in a grass is greener way...
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