To not want my son to spend equal time with his dad?

(57 Posts)
mrspinkspanx Mon 22-Apr-13 07:49:44

My eldest son is from my previous relationship and is now 11 years old.

His dad is now asking for him to stay every other week with him. Which I've initially responded with a no.

Currently we have a every other weekend arrangement, where he'll stay from Friday to Sunday eve, and one evening every week where he goes for a few hours.

I want my son to have a place he calls home, so not fitting with a 50/50 arrangement.

I deal with all his school, medical and emotional needs and I don't know how I can now divide this. I also feel implementing this at 11 is too late and disruptive.

Also, my ex got my back up by saying that now his daughter is at school age their home life is accommadating for him to be able to do this. So it made me feel like this is an idea based on convenience.

Should I reconsider?

What does your son want?

Crawling Mon 22-Apr-13 07:52:04

At 11 Its your ds choice imo.

Altinkum Mon 22-Apr-13 07:53:36

Absolutely not!!!

Of the children i know who lived like this, they did not settle or feel belonged in either house.

Currently have a cousin whose mum is so toxic that she ended the 50/59 residency by making her son lie to the police so she can get maintance money, she's now facing criminal charges, social services are involved and the child is now with his father. However said child is emotionally messed up.

mrspinkspanx Mon 22-Apr-13 07:53:57

He has mixed feelings on this.

McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Apr-13 07:54:15

Depends on a lot of factors, school distance would be a huge factor.

kim147 Mon 22-Apr-13 07:56:27

How far is your ex from school? Can he see him more during the week / maybe get to one day each at the weekend?

Ex and I have a very flexible arrangement at weekends so neither of us feel like we're missing out and we both feel involved.

SoupDragon Mon 22-Apr-13 07:59:53

My gut feeling is that it's too late to implement it. If a child has grown up with the arrangement, I can see it working but not at 11.

Can weekday contact be increased? eg his father picks him up from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays (random days!) and drops him back? Or even one overnight mid week.

livinginwonderland Mon 22-Apr-13 08:00:40

it depends how practical it is. i had friends whose parents divorced when the youngest was two, and they did a 50/50 arrangement and loved it, but it was also really practical. both parents had jobs that allowed them to do school drop-offs/pick-ups and the kids loved it.

however, your son is eleven, not a toddler. if he doesn't want to go to his dads every other week, he shouldn't have to. leave it up to him, but if HE wants to, you shouldn't say no. he has a right to spend equal time with his father.

mrspinkspanx Mon 22-Apr-13 08:02:25

My son's dad lives nearby, and walks past his dad's house on his walk to school.

He is also a very anxious child and only opens up to me about things. His dad has a "man up" attitude, so I have concerns with this area as well.

Plus my husband doesn't like this idea either.

Your husband's opinion is utterly irrelevant.

fluffyraggies Mon 22-Apr-13 08:05:35

How long have you been split from your ex OP?

11 seems late to be starting 50/50 care. I agree that unless carefully handled that arrangement could lead to the child feeling rather without a firm home base.

In a couple of short years your DS is going to be starting to organise his won social life - that will have an impact on where he feels he wants to spend most time. Friends nearby etc.

kim147 Mon 22-Apr-13 08:06:05

If he's close, I can't see why your son can spend mid week time / extra nights with his Dad.

It's got nothing to do with your DH TBH. It's up to your son.

I'd suggest that your son spends more time mid week and maybe more at the weekends. If you're so close, it could be really flexible as what do teenagers do at weekend apart from hanging out in town with mates.

MortifiedAdams Mon 22-Apr-13 08:06:43

Could you suggest a months trial - let your son be the driving force as to whether it becomes permanent.

McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Apr-13 08:07:05

I would just stop all arranged contact now, and let ds take the lead.

kim147 Mon 22-Apr-13 08:07:21

And if he's anxious, he'll have time to talk to you as well. You can't deny him access to his Dad just because he parents differently.

SoupDragon Mon 22-Apr-13 08:08:17

"Stop all arranged contact?"

on what grounds??

fluffyraggies Mon 22-Apr-13 08:08:24

won = own!

xposts - his social life wont be affected if you live nearby then.

It sounds as though your DS may need help in voicing his opinion. Will he feel able to say no to living with his DF 50/50?

Be careful that your son isn't telling you what you want to hear.

kim147 Mon 22-Apr-13 08:11:21

I think you've got the opportunity to be really flexible here as you're so close. I would see what your DS wants - he could easily spend a few hours in a house, then come back to the other later.

Just as long as he does his homework and has clean clothes for school. Which would need communication and organisation.

Altinkum Mon 22-Apr-13 08:11:57

Is it because he is paying maintance, is this a factor in the farmers desisions, as the 50/50 would mean he stops paying it.

Galangal Mon 22-Apr-13 08:13:19

I think it can be done. What I would question is his motivation. Why is it suddenly possible now and not before? Is it because he doesn't want to pay maintenance? I don't see what difference his other child starting school has to do with it.

mrspinkspanx Mon 22-Apr-13 08:23:12

Maintenance isn't really an issue here. In that we've always been flexible.

My husband has helped me raise my son since he was 3, and has been very supportive.

As my son has got older, we've become more flexible, and have found my son wanting to spend the odd extra night. We did go through a stage of him not wanting to go, but this has passed.

My main concern is my son's happiness, and I would never stand in his way of seeing his father more. If I left the decision to him, I'd worry that he is too young.

UC Mon 22-Apr-13 08:28:37

I think you need to talk to your son. Don't make a unilateral decision either way about an 11 year old without consulting him.

I don't agree that 50/50 care of an 11 year old can't work. It can, if it's what your son wants to do, and as your ex lives nearby there are no practical issues. My DSSs live 50/50 with us. They are 12 and 10. The 50/50 care started when they were 9 and 7, so not that different to your son. It started because DP and I moved in together, and he was then able to have his children with us during the week as I was there. I guess that may have looked like it was "at DP's convenience" - but actually it was what DP had always wanted, but it only became practically possible at that point. He always wanted to be more involved in their daily lives, and it was great that he was finally able to do that. His ex has been supportive all along, although I know she found it really hard in the beginning.

If your son doesn't want it, and wants things to stay the same, then you need to help him in explaining this to his dad - if you just say no, your ex will assume it's you saying no, not your son.

UC Mon 22-Apr-13 08:29:21

He could do a trial period to see how he feels of course. It doesn't need to be set in stone.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now