/ Social distancing dilemma

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aln 20 Mar 2020

I'm posting to gauge opinion and flag up a situation which I think is probably fairly common, but I haven't seen any discussion on. 

I have a 10 yr old son, I've been separated from his mum for 5 years. We have an arrangement where I have him overnight on one weeknight and at the weekend. Two weeks ago I had a cold, so considering the current situation I didn't take him for a fortnight. I'm symptom free now, as is my partner. 

On Wednesday his mum refused to let me have him. Her 80yr old mum was Ill over Christmas, and currently my son and my ex live with her mother to help her recovery. She has cited this, saying they're in quarantine, as her reason to stop me seeing my son. I'm fairly certain she'll say no to me having him tomorrow. I understand her concerns, but considering the country isn't in total lockdown, and my son's adult half brother and sister are still coming and going to and from the house, is it reasonable to deny me access? If we go into lockdown obviously I'll willingly stay away. But as this could last for an indefinite period I'd like to see my son at least once more before this happens. Is it reasonable for me to push for this?

Is anyone else here in a similar situation, if so, how are you dealing with it?

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Stichtplate 20 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

That's shit as you're in a no win situation. You can't very well insist on added exposure for an 80 year old but at the same time, if your ex is locked down then nobody else should be making social visits to her home either.

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Lyndleme 20 Mar 2020

It's reasonable to want to see him before the possible lockdown. If you are certain that you'd not be compromising anything, then you should go for it. But if things are kind of a blur, better wait things out. Better safe than sorry. You can video call him every day right?

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aln 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> a no win situation. You can't very well insist on added exposure for an 80 year old, if your ex is locked down then nobody else should be making social visits to her home either.

Nail on the head there . 

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aln 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Lyndleme:

> It's reasonable to want to see him before the possible lockdown. If you are certain that you'd not be compromising anything, then you should go for it. You can video call him every day right?

I've messaged putting my case, waiting on a reply. As for video call, unlike most kids he doesn't have a phone. 

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elsewhere 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Lyndleme:

> If you are certain that you'd not be compromising anything, 

That is impossible to know. The OP* could be infected with Covid19 and totally asymptomatic or about to develop symptoms. There's lots of uncertainty how many** people are asymptomatic but they are important to the spread. 

*as could the half brother and sister

**18% on Diamond Princess cruise ship

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Jenny C 20 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

Surely you could call and speak to him via video link using his mother's phone? 

(I can understand wanting to protect his gran, but what half decent mother would refuse her child a video call to his Daddy? ) 

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aln 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

> what half decent mother would refuse her child a video call to his Daddy? ) 

My son's mother.

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freeflyer 20 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

What a total b*****d situation. The only suggestion I can think of is: could you have him full-time? A whole load of unknowns, but the rationale is that granny will without question be safer if he isn't there. Obviously your ex isn't going to be all that keen....

You have the option to get social services involved, however that's not my recommendation. I think it's all about a full and frank discussion with the ex.

Good luck with this - please keep posting about how you get on.

ff

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Blue Straggler 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

No opinion or advice but I am sorry and sad to hear of this situation 

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off-duty 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

The safest thing for her 80 year old mother would be for your son to stay with you.

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Baron Weasel 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

When my step daughter was growing up she was in the middle of a lot of push and pull (mainly from her raging alcoholic dad) and this isn't healthy for any child. Whilst I can't imagine not being able to have contact with my son at this time and feel deeply for your situation I would suggest that you try to protect your son by accepting the situation and pursuing regular phone contact and perhaps try to negotiate an extended contact when this is over. 

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aln 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

The upshot is she said no. This saddens me deeply but I'm going to accept it and avoid conflict for the sake of future access negotiations. Thanks for the replies. Stay safe people.

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Mark Edwards 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

How about suggesting a compromise? Propose the half brother/sister take him to a park/playground where you could at least see him and talk. You agree to stay at least 2mtrs from them.

It may not work but if she refuses it could go in your favour in the access negotiations by indicating that at least you were prepared to compromise.

(From someone who had to fight my ex for access and ended up with an access order that was better than what I was asking her for)

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marsbar 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

Horrible position to be in.  So sorry to hear this.  Take care.

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The New NickB 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

> I've messaged putting my case, waiting on a reply. As for video call, unlike most kids he doesn't have a phone. 

Buy him one.

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gazhbo 21 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

I’ve emailed you.

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aln 22 Mar 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> Buy him one.

As of tomorrow the virus means I don't have a job, and things have already been tight for a while. My partner's job is also in doubt. I'm afraid that's spending money I can't afford right now. Fortunately his mum has agreed to me phoning him on her phone, doing that later today.

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