Is what's happening to me wrong and what are my rights?
I'd really appreciate some objective advice. I'm 28 years old and have a 5 year old son, I've been separated from his mother for two and a half years.
I'm well aware of my son's need for routine and therefore since separating relatively amicably have simply accepted that I only get to see my son every other weekend and paying £340 per month in maintenance money (not via the CSA). I believe that I've been paying this whilst she is still claiming full housing benefit and I'm not sure this is legal, my main worry being potential for me son to be evicted.
Increasingly over the past two and a half years I've witnessed my ex-partner get into more an more trouble financially primarily due to being unemployed for a year, then becoming a 'mature student' (a good thing!) and wanting to have social life that is outside of her means (a bad thing). This has meant that I'm continually asked for maintenance money early, asked for several months up front and asked for general loan, this month I was asked for £1K as utility bills are massively in arrears.
Since we separated I have where possible helped financially and have also been flexible in the times I'm 'supposed' to have him however, this behaviour is not mirrored, for example, I had weeks of abuse, followed by a week of complete ignorance when I asked if I could spend a couple of hours on a Tuesday evening after school with him, eventually I resorted to legal advice which when realised by her, I was then allowed to spend Tuesday evening with him. Now because I've had to employ such tactics in order to get a little more time with him, I'm now accused of using him as a pawn, i.e. threatening her with legal action if I don't get my own way. I get to see him for a total of 6 days and 8 hours out of every 30 days, aren't I entitled to ask for a bit of flexibility every now and again? When I'm asked to have him out of routine I embrace it with open arms just to get more time with him - I'd have him all the time if I could.
Generally her behaviour towards me combined with the apparent financial woes (I believe she's now driving around with no MOT as she cannot afford one) I'm simply at the end of my tether and do not know what to do or what I'm entitled to do. It sounds sad but I just feel used and abused. What options do I have? Is it legal or nothing at all?
The only other thing to add is that aside from the above, she definitely loves our boy, she'd never see him go without, he'll always come first - she's not a bad mother, just irresponsible and immature with money and sporadically nasty to me when it comes to the little man.
Thoughts and advice would be much appreciated.