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12 Aug 2008

My husband and I are currently going thru a divorce. We have been seperated the last 2 and half months. We have a little 3 year old girl. When I asked my husband for a divorce, I moved back to Cape Town to go live with my parents. My daughter has always been VERY close to me, and never really formed a good strong bond with her dad. He phones her every night, but does not really show true interest. She does not talk about him or really to him on the phone. She is a very happy little girl in Cape Town and adores her granddad to bits. This coming weekend we are flying down to Jhb for the final divorce hearing. I have decided to take her along to see her dad. Since hearing this, he have been demanding, and selfish about his needs and desires when he would like to see her, who he takes her to etc. We agreed originally not to tell anyone of the family or friends that we are coming, did not want to confuse her with a in-and-out seeing everyone in 2 days. He has just gone ahead and arranged visits with all his family members. Expects me to just let him come fetch her from the airport and take her around where ever for 2days without me seeing her.
My ex feels that i am only thinking of myself when asking him to take it slow with him, and insist on his rights. He unfortunately have not proven himself as a dad up to this point, showed very little interest if any at all. He feels i am being nasty towards him, but ALL i want is to make sure my daughter is ok emotionally. I am so stressed and worried about this visit. My ex has always placed his desires, needs and wants first before anything else, and it was a huge factor of breakdown of our marriage. He is doing excately the same now with our daughter.

PLEASE PLEASE help. What would be best for my 3 year old daughter?
Answer 311 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Shani,
The child is 3 --- at that age, even kids in very happy marriages may not fel strongly attached to their dads, and aren't usually used to speaking to Dad on the phone, so she's probably just being normal. As her dad he is entitled to spend a reasonable amount of time with her, and largely to decide how and where to spend that time --- so long as all decisions are made in the best interests of the child. He needs to recognize, too, that the flight to Joburg alone would be potentially disturbing to a child, and to then spend NO time with you for a couple of days, could upset her. He feels you are only thinking of yourself-- and jhe seems to be thinking only of himself and his family. That's natural enough, but who's standing up for the child ?
Anyhow, whatever happens, it is very highly likely that she will cope just fine --- kids are generally much more resilient than we think. And even if at some time for some reason she becomes upset, she is not likely to be lastingly disturbed or bothered by it.
Presumably at the Divorce hearing, decisions will be mae aboit yopur having custody of her, and what access he will have and what maintenanc ehe will pay. Generally best to have these set in court, avoiding more private squabbles later
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