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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33825
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Ive been living with my girlfriend and her two boys

Resolved Question:

Hi Ive been living with my girlfriend and her two boys for almost 3 months.
She is just starting a divorce. The house is her's. As they sold the family home and split the money she put her half into this house we are in.
The two boys are 9 and 11 and have no respect for their mum. The father has a hold over the mum as he's 20 years older and is a dominant character he doesn't so much bully her but he is for ever texting her when he has the boys, so she has no rest, but when the boys are not with him she hears nothing from him.
My partner and her Ex run a business together so work closely - This again has issues as even though it's a 50/50 split he is always checking on her that she's at work and a few times shut the door in his office and had heated talks over family matters.

This is a quick history Now He's started texting saying " When we are back at work can we have a word about the boys and your partner (Me) and the fact that someone who doesn't always live with you - has his own family can have a say when the boys are playing up? Boys not complaining but am not comfortable with this".

My Questions are:
Where do I stand with backing up my partner with discipline at home? what can and can't I do? They are naughty - doors have been smashed into walls - so the handle has gone through the wall, fighting each other. One even took a pretend hit towards his mums face when told off. The mum feels happy to have someone on her side - but Im worried as her ex seems to be controlling and will use what he can.
He doesn't know i'm here full time as we thought with the divorce could be an issue but are we ok to come forward and say I'm living here full time, what with the divorce.

Sorry its long winded - Hope you can help with some good advice.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What does he text about when the children are with him?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

well you saw the first one

followed by
The other thing I want to ask you is as I only got in at 4:30 this morning and was half asleep when you dropped boys off was did you say, we can have the boys after the leisure centre thing? not bothered as Andrea comes (his partner) back from her jolly on Wednesday but are they required for something? and would also like to talk about your grandma funeral as would have liked to have paid my respects, but you made it obvious I was not invited.

I thing was wedesday her parents are here from france and her brother is over from the USA and hadn't seen the boys since they were baby - I guess the boys told him they were over. both her parents say he does these types of games so my partners dad said let him keep them Wednesday - so she messaged back keep boys as normal till 5pm.

He also replied - And you did not as usual when in the wrong answer my text. This was aimed at the main text about me and discipline.

I have took games away that are aged 15 (as they fight all the time) and they are only 9 and 11. also removed iPods and laptop when shouting and disrespecting their mum.

Other messages have been are boys coats in the shed as normal - which they have been doing the same thing for the past three years.

Today at 11am - just a one off message are you in the office.
He's always checking he's not her boss she doesn't ask him where he is and she tells me he's off a lot.

There are loads of other messages but its on her phone (these nots are from my diary Im starting on all this) - But most of the time is just pointless stuff or keeping a check or questions the boys already know.
She's stopped replying now to most - just work stuff.

Phew

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Are you ever on your own with the children?
If not why do you need to discipline them at all - by which I mean why does your partner not deal with matters - with your support
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have been alone sometimes like after school and a few evenings if my partner goes out. But she admits that over the past few years after the split she's let the discipline drop with the boys and now I'm here and she's had some extra support she's happy to be moving forward with things. But I keep to whats been said and I don't give in to things that have been removed like games and iPods. I believe she's a little soft as they both talk her round or just it. It's not an easy thing to type about as so much goes on from shouting, climbing on work tops, fighting each other, not listening to their mum,

This is the kind of things that happen -


So far a zero tolerance now in the house to any form of fighting - so both caught about to jump on each other when a movie was on, it was 8pm so tv off and told to go to bed with no TV for the morning - 9 yr old said it’s the 11yr olds falt (which is aways what he says).

11 yr old then up stairs getting stroppy with his mum I could hear him calling her “Your Stupid” and “I don’t care”. then I hear my partner saying Im taking your lights because he smashed the back of his bedroom door into the wall (there is a hole here already due to him doing this before) so lights taken and no TV at all for tomorrow also iPad and lap top kept as I said one week he said “Fine” ok I said two weeks.

Then 11yr old open my partners bed room door into to her while she changed, she closed it and said - don’t do that again as you nearly hit me then she shut the door and he opened it again with FORCE - so the iPad and lap top have been kept for another week.


so you can see its tough on my partner and the ex likes the fact she struggles and finds it tough on her own - now I'm here and have three kids of my own I back her up and keep to whats been put in place.


I will say the boys are good when it's just them and me - it's just the way they behave with their mum - it's hard to just sit back and watch.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Hard though it is you do have to take the supporting role in terms of disciplining the children - but provided no physical punishments are used there is nothing wrong with your backing up your partner in her dealings with the children.
You are correct - this is not a matter for work and I suggest that your partner informs her ex that in future she will not discuss such matters at work and such matters should be dealt with with the assistance of Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Clare for your reply, So we are fine to meet with him and say that I'm well within my right to back the mother up - So if a no shouting rule and this happens I can remove lap top for a day or two? or if they don't turn off play station after being asked I can take the game out and switch off the tv.

Also I asked about - He doesn't know i'm here full time as we thought with the divorce could be an issue but are we ok to come forward and say I'm living here full time, what with the divorce.

As his message said -" When we are back at work can we have a word about the boys and your partner (Me) and the fact that someone who doesn't always live with you - has his own family can have a say when the boys are playing up? Boys not complaining but am not comfortable with this".

Which mentioned about me (Doesn't always live with you)

Will this also affect the divorce - could he be difficult as the court has now pronounced the decree nisi last week

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You should not take the lead with any discipline of your partner is there - other than the most minor comments.
If things are going to be removed that is for their mother to do - unless she is away.
There is no reason for not telling him that you have moved in full time
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Clare

This may seem small but this happened - Mother is in bed having a sleep in - Im up doing breakfast. The boys need to get ready (dressed breakfast) so I say to come off the game and get yourself ready, I hear no reply - so I go in the living room and ask again in front of them - they just ignore me and start a new game -

I kept cool and just took out the game and turned TV off and said when they have got dressed they can have it back on.

Should have I woke the mum to do this?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
No that is fine - that is more minor than major!
There are no hard and fast rules (other than the physical chastisements of course) - try and use common sense as a guide!
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33825
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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