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Child decision to stay with one parent

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  • Child decision to stay with one parent

    Good day everyone,

    My ex and I have not been separated for a year as of yet. We have a 10 year old son and my ex has been in a relationship before I moved out of the matrimonial home. Due to this quick relationship development and the introduction to the new partner, my son is having a very difficult time and does not want to go over to my ex's house to spend time there. We have joint custody 50/50 and the 50% of the time he would be with my ex he doesnt want to be there, and there are many negative behavioural changes when he is with my ex due to this dislike. I constantly have to hear about how misserable my son is and it breaks my heart everytime. I am in strong belief that the feeling is due to the quick introduction of the new relationship. I was reading somewhere that due to the separation has not been a year yet, that this new relationship would still be considered an act of adultery, is this true? If it is, what can happen now? Anything?

    I am just trying to figure out how all of this procedure works. How quickly would the divorce be completed after the full year of separation? What can be done to change the custody agreement so that my son doesnt have to be so miserable? He has expressed on many occassions that he doesnt want to go to my ex's anymore. The only thing that prevents me from the change of custody is the threats that my ex has been exclaiming to me if I ever changed the custody agreement. It is very intimitating and makes me hesitate and therefore frustrate me to be able to make any custodial changes. What can I do about all of this?

  • #2
    I'm not sure you should be so quick to alter the time sharing of your son. There is more to consider than what a ten year old boy may express as his wants. I'm sure it is a difficult transition for him, but I don't believe a ten year old always knows whats best for himself.

    Have you tried to talk to your ex and address these negative behaviours?


    • #3
      I would like to add that it's not cheating. It doesn't matter if the divorce wasn't finalized or not. And, there's no blame in a Canadian divorce unfortunatly.

      Do you encourage your son to go?

      I had a similar experience, but it was with a 2 year old girl, so somewhat different. And, I made some rules for myself in front of my daughter. I will never bad mouth my ex or talk negatively of her in front of our daughter, and I will encourage her to go there. I mention my ex fairly often when I have custody.

      It does hurt me, and I do not like how things unfolded. And, if I didn't have our daughter, I would probably act very differently and less civil. However, my feelings don't matter as much, I have to make sure that our daughter grows up with two civil parents who love her.


      • #4
        Is your son seeing a counsellor? Maybe he needs someone who he can talk to. He is probably feeling abandoned and angry at his dad for breaking up the family.

        Try to help him get through this first. Changing custody will not do anything to help him deal, it will only show him that walking away from his dad is easier than dealing with his emotions.


        • #5
          You have received some excellent advice from the other posters!!

          Even if it were adultery, it wouldn't have any effect other than potentially speed up the divorce process, but as it has already been nearly a year, then it is a moot point. Adultery has nothing to do with child custody/access arrangements.

          You can try to change the custody/access arrangements, but it is doubtful that you would accomplish much. And I doubt that is really going to fix the underlying problems.

          Unless you are putting forth 100% effort in trying to foster a healthy, happy relationship with your child's father, you could be accused of Parental Alienation....especially if there is any expression of feelings of resentment towards your ex, caused by his new relationship.

          You could be showing animosity towards her without even realizing it....

          As much as it may hurt to do so, you have to show your son that you are 'ok' with the new girlfriend, and that it is 'ok' for him to go and spend time with his dad.

          Eventually... your son will be ok with his fathers new girlfriend, if he believes that you are ok with her too!

          Also, make sure that you tell him that YOU are ok when he is gone, so that he doesn't feel bad for leaving you.

          Separation anxiety is normal for children in divorce situations, and even though you'd rather rip your own heart out, then to see your child hurting... in the long run you are doing him a great kindness by supporting his relationship with his father.

          Put on a brave face, if you can.... you are still going through the hardest part... it will get easier!

          Good Luck


          • #6
            as a child of divorced parents myself, I can tell you the age doesn't really matter, whether the kid is 3 years old or 25 years old. seeing your own parents with someone else is not an easy fact to accept. it'll take some time for your son to get used to the reality, but in any case, preference usually changes over time, so he should definitely have the 50 / 50 opportunity to access to either parent at any give time. it takes both of you and your ex to maintain a relatively healthy amicable relationship for your son though.


            • #7
              I think you need to get your son to a counsellor who can determine if it's okay for him to be there, if anything "nasty" is going on and, if not, if all is well, I'm sure the counsellor can help both of you learn to live with the new arrangement. Maybe your ex can be involved in the counselling as well so he realizes this woman is not the boy's mother, needs to respect that, etc.

              Hopefully it'll work out in the end but, in the meantime, try to find someone your son can talk to besides the two of you (an unbiased counsellor is best) to ensure he knows what's really going on, how he SHOULD feel about it, etc., etc.

              I know it's hard.. my ex walked out of our kids' lives when he got a girlfriend and they are still hurt. It's always complicated but, no matter what's going on, the child doesn't understand at that age and the best thing you can do is give him someone to talk to who is nonjudgemental and who can help him adjust and answer his questions without prejudice.

              Good luck. I feel for you.


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