H responded to my L with a huge list of demands and accusations. He suggested she "tell [her] client to get her story straight". He said I was only thinking of my own selfish wants and keeping S2 all to myself. "You know that as well as I do", he told her. He was nitpicky and aggrandising and threatened to "seek other avenues" if I didn't agree with what he wanted, which is basically 50/50 shared time, and inappropriate for a child of S2's age.
After the hostility escalated to an uncomfortable point, I decided to reach out to H directly to try and come to a resolution with the parenting plan. My email was kind, accommodating, reasonable, flexible and child-focused. More than he really deserves from me at this point, but I have to be my best self. He texted me to say he hadn't had time to reply and couldn't agree to certain things, but the tone of his message was more pleasant and respectful than it has been recently.
I'm sure there will be further negotiation, but I don't feel frightened about it now.
I feel like I've reached a new stage of acceptance. S2 won't be with me full-time, and that's OK. Even if his dad and I were together, I still wouldn't be with him full-time as he grows up. My house will always be his home. He will spend time at his dad's house, and that's OK too. Is this fair on me? No, but it's good for S2. I've accepted this, but I won't compromise on my boundaries or my responsibility to protect S2's physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
I ended my email with this statement:
Lastly, your affair and abandonment of the marriage have nothing to do with parenting. I will only say this once and never mention it again. I am not your friend and have no desire to be part of your life in any way. I will be divorcing you as soon as the waiting period is up. That does not mean you are my enemy. I don't hate you because that would not be best for S2. I just don't care about you in any way other than as S2's dad, and only for S2's sake.
I am hopeful this can be settled between us with some effort and communication around the shared goal of ensuring S2 feels safe and supported at all times, and has a meaningful relationship with both parents that is appropriate for his age. If you don’t agree that this is the best way forward, I will defer to my solicitor in reaching an agreement. If you are abusive or angry in your response, I will forward it directly to my solicitor as such hostility is unnecessary and upsetting.
If he refuses to compromise, I will tell him that I know he falsified his retirement fund balance in the property settlement to the tune of $10-20k. I will instruct my L to request full and frank disclosure of this figure and deduct the additional balance from his share of the settlement. So one way or the other, he will do the right thing.
W32 X30 S2
June 2019 | Runaway husband May 2020 | Legal separation Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing