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What a situation. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t here. My question is why only afternoons and can that be changed? My advice is is not to get ss in the middle of it. I would just say we would love you to come and we are going to work on you being able to stay over night. It puts it back on the mum with out directly blaming her and if you are seen to be making an effort it hopefully won’t effect SS’s relationship with his dad.
No I don't think it would be wrong to tell him the truth. You're not really protecting his feelings or wellbeing by covering for his mums bullshit. Just say "sorry mate, we did ask your mum if you could come, but she said no". You're not being malicious by being honest, and it will help him understand
Apply to court for shared parental responsibility and get some over nights in the orders. A judge will never say no especially if she is doing this for her own gain and child support
I don't think it is wrong to tell him the truth.
If the bio mum thinks it is in his best interests for him to not go on the trip, she should be able to explain this to her son.
Yes, it may cause a little tension between the two of you. But honesty is best for your step son. Better he be a bit cranky with his bio mum, then feel like you don't want him around.
Why no overnights (child support assessments???)