To take it to court..(25 Posts)
Hi, would really appreciate some advice on this - sorry its a bit long! Split with father of child (FOC) a year and a half ago. I suggested 50/50 shared residency - thought it would be fair for him and DS to see eachother equally. Arrangement has continued consistantly. At the time we made the agreement FOC had lost job and worked weekends so it was agreed i would have DS every other wed/thurs/fri/sat then sunday would go to FOC. We were meant to revisit the arrangement.
Fifteen months on and I have been trying to change arrangement days for a while. It doesn't work for me. I work f/t and also go to uni p/t - two evenings a week on the days i dont have DS. I'm finding it so difficult to get my univeristy work done - attempting to do it after son is sleep and housework done is incredibly difficult. I am trying to propose alternative weekends to FOC - i feel this would give me the time i need to study and maybe even a part time job to earn extra money.
FOC refuses to change arrangement. He says that although he now has a normal day job, he still has to do weekend work to make more. He always brings up a car we got out on finance together but was in his name so he kept and has to pay for - i did offer to take the car but he refused.
FOC lives with his mother and I got her to mediate before which is where we made the agreement. I attempted to get her to mediate again and initially she was happy to do so but then our conversation turned into an arguement where she basically said she needed him to works weekends too so she didnt have to subsidise FOC and also cover costs for DS on the days he stays with FOC. She also said im being ungrateful as there are lots of fathers that dont see their children at all. I'm not getting her involved anymore.
So, I'm basically screwed! I wouldn't keep DS from FOC. I can't force him to change the days he has DS. DS is almost 3 so will be starting school in the near future so will have to be a bit more settled.
I could really do with weekends to get on with university work my dissertation and potentially earn money but its not just that that that i think needs revisiting - every other wendesday, I have to drive half way across london to get DS then drop him to nursery, drop car off then get to work. I feel like everything revolves around him and I am basically being forced to put up with it.
I have mentioned mediation but FOC says he wont go if he has to pay for it which he probably will have to.
I've done some research on the process for a child arrangement order and am planning to seek legal advice tomorrow.
AIBU to start the court process? Should I suck it up and continue with the arrangement we have? Am I being selfish and should let him earn the extra money?
Has anyone been had a child arrangement order and does it assist with these kinds of circumstances?
My cousin has full 50:50 but they split it over full weeks so it's less disruptive for the child and they both get equal time so Monday afternoon she goes to X house and stays there until Monday morning of the week after. They both live near the school. Could that kind of thing work?
I think if you need to renegotiate mediation/court is probably the way to go. You are entitled to go and get a weekend job as he is. You are both just trying to do your best for your child.
Hang on - are you meaning you want your child's father to have him more than half the time? If so be aware that
A you would then possibly be liable for child maintenance
B you would no longer be a primary or shared carer so if your ex then decided you could only see your son one night a week, weekends or whatever you'd be in a weak position legally to challenge that, likewise you'd be in a poor position to change the arrangements in the future.
'it doesn't work for me' is it working for your child?
'I feel like everything revolves around him ' do you mean your ex or your sin here?
Re driving halfway across London every other weds is your ex doing the same on the Wednesdays in between?
I've been a student lone parent are you managing your time efficiently? Could the housework be allowed to slide a little until you've completed your dissertation? Can't your side of family/friends help temporarily?
Guess court maybe your only option. I can See it from both sides.
You're trying to get a job and finish your course, however it's unfair to change it as foc is also working and by sounds of it has regular wkend and wkday work.
Your son will also be very used to this routine. It sounds hard for everybody.
I'm confused. I've read it several times.
You work full time.
You study part time.
Currently you have 50/50 but want to go alternate weekends so you can study or get a part time job?
What the arrangement for the week you don't have lo Wednesday to Saturday?
When you have a child you have to look after them.
And if you had your son with you all the time? As you probably intended?...
Can you clarify what your current arrangement is? It's not at all clear from your post.
The court would be interested in what is best for your DS not just you.
There is no mention of what is better for them in your post at all.
Thanks for the responces!
FOC has DS sunday afternoon, monday, tuesday - then i collect DS on wednesday morning one week and wednesday evening the next until sunday. I have DS slightlsunday (4 nights a week) and im happy with that - i see myself as the main parent even if FOC has his a lot during the week - DS is registed at mine on birth certificate, his doctors is his and nursery.
Headofthehive & catsize - yes i have a son but he has a dad who wants to be involved.
Grapista - no i do not want him to have DS for more than 50/50, i just want to change the pattern of days.
I think right now it is working for DS but its what he is used to and will adapt to a new routine also. I also think he would benefit from spending a full weekend with his dad which has not happened in over a year.
Everything revolves around FOC not DS.
And I can't really let house work slide - I am no clean freak but just to reduce my stress levels i need some level of cleanliness!
FOC comes to collect DS on a sunday afternoon - i have for the morning so i can have an almost full day to study but it never happens.
I was going to propose a new arrangement but am a bit stuck as to what would be best - i was suggested by a friend mon tues FOC, wed thurs me, then fri sat sun alternates between us.
In regards to what is best for DS, i think until he starts school, its important that he spends time with both of us for arpund 50/50 each week but when he starts school he will need to be more settled, so more time at mine as he will be going to school around here.
Sorry if i left imporant details out - i had just collected DS from his dads and tried to speak to him about this with no luck - then due to an accident on the motorway, i spent three hours in traffic! Wasnt in the greatest of moods.
I also dont know how to bold text when responding to individual comments
Apologies for the typos - hopefully you get what i mean !
I'm still not clear on your arrangements but I can tell you that you shouldn't bank on agreeing a 50:50 split now and then increase your contact and decrease father's contact at a later date. If the father doesn't agree to that the court certainly won't.
Does FOC have an existing job at the weekends? Do you honestly expect him to quit employment so you can do your housework? You are choosing to study, I'm afraid it needs to fit in with existing arrangements.
I have slightly more than 50-50 and want to keep it that way.
And yes FOC does have an exisiting job but its a casual cash in hand job through one of his friends - he could work on the weekends he has free if he wanted to.
Sorry OP, you made it sound inyour first post like you wanted the father to have more than 50:50 to afford you additional study time.
Catsize - not at all!! I love my son and actually wish i hadnt offered 50-50 to begin with. I managed to get the extra wednesday night further down the line as i was missing DS too much
Alice - hes chosing to work on weekends just like im chosing to do a degree - ive been studing since 2011
I appreciate all the reponces and get that some will think i am being unreasonable. I just truly think the arrangement isnt fair - in over a year his dad hasnt had him for a weekend and that was meant to be a temp arrangement
Ok, so you have Sunday afo, Monday and Tuesday without DS, and every other Wednesday until the evening?
What days do you work? I'd maybe push for an earlier pick up on Sunday with a view to that being your main study day with maybe a bit done on Monday and Tuesday. That way you both have one day of the weekend.
It's tough working full time and studying without a child thrown in the mix.
If other than this you are coparenting well, I would be reluctant to take it to court - I'm not sure you'd get anywhere, as you'd both have valid reasons for wanting the arrangement the way you currently want it - him his 'work' you your studies. I don't think it's worth creating so much animosity for something that will be a coin toss at best.
Why are you so keen to keep 50-50? Is it a maintenance thing?
I can't see how your proposed arrangement is better for the child - couple days here, couple of days there, switching every weekend - a 6 year old would be confused never mind a 3 year old! He will be asking where am I sleeping tonight all the time - so no, I don't think the court would agree it is in your son's interest to shift the days like you suggest.
Agree with others. This suits your child. That's the only consideration. You're working full time, you're a single parent and you're studying - it's supposed to be hard! The other parent has him a lot more than other dads so maybe you need to look at how you organise yourself if you want to fit everything in.
You can't really expect your ex to pick up the slack because you've decided to prioritise study and cleaning.
Agree with titchy. From more details you've given Don't see how this is better for your son.
You could do what someone suggested and ask him to pick him up earlier on a Sunday giving you longer to study or clean.
You both have reasons for wanting to keep/change the arrangement. I don't think your reasons for wanting to change it are better than his.
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