Ex wants to change child access agreement?!?

(12 Posts)
EmmaH83 Sat 12-Jan-13 09:49:09

Hello,

My ex and I have 2dds aged 5 and 4. We split up 8 months ago and agreed that he would have them every other weekend. Since then he has been constantly trying to change the access agreement.
I like the access agreement the way it is. D don't see the need to change but he is trying to bully me. Can I refuse to change the access or would that just land me in court?

clam Sat 12-Jan-13 10:00:11

What's he trying to change it to? If it's every weekend, then I doubt it could be changed as that would be unfair - to you, although the courts work on what is fair to the children, and to never spend weekends with you would not be deemed reasonable.

EmmaH83 Sat 12-Jan-13 11:19:43

He wants to have them every Monday overnight and sat during the day. He has a new partner and wants his weekends to be with her and the weekdays to be with the girls. He is overly critical of me as a parent and seems me to be a bad mother and now wants to be more involved with their school which makes me think he is building some evidence against me. I am reluctant to change as I work shift work and one weekend a month I'm on lates so need sleep during the day and the other is my weekend to do chores catch up with friends. He thinks that I should sort my own childcare and if I choose to work that's my problem.

tribpot Sat 12-Jan-13 11:25:27

So if you 'choose' to work, you have to provide your own childcare, but if he chooses to spend his leisure time with his girlfriend, you have to provide his childcare?

Presuming he means every Saturday, I don't see how that is a fair arrangement for you. What if you want to go away with your girls for the weekend? You will never be able to do this. Or indeed if his girls want to do a Saturday morning swimming or dancing class (or whatever) or spend time with their friends on a Saturday, they may feel they shouldn't because that's 'dad time'.

Does he present any case for how this would be a better arrangement for his children, except that the contact would be more frequent? (Or more fragmented, depending on how you look at it).

happynewmind Sat 12-Jan-13 11:32:10

You can refuse, he can apply to court for it to be changed.
He might get alternative Saturdays, not every Saturday.

He would have to prove why its not working, wanting to spend time with his gf is not that.

Collaborate Sat 12-Jan-13 12:38:56

Contact can't be forced on a reluctant parent unfortunately, but you must try and negotiate for what you believe to be the best arrangements for your child.

olgaga Sat 12-Jan-13 15:50:36

What's the best thing for the children? Their needs come first. You don't say how old they are, but every other weekend seems like a good arrangement to me. It means they get to spend quality time with both of you.

I would refuse - if he wants to change it simply to enable more quality time with his girlfriend he can tell that to the court and see what they say!

Mother2many Tue 15-Jan-13 16:37:41

I have heard of many cases where the father does get the children one overnight time during the week... I think it's a great idea as then the kids get to see him in between that 2 week period. It's usually on Wed. though?...

This also works only if he can get them to school/daycare, etc. the next morning...

I don't see how every Sat is fair at all to you though...

Negiotate...

MOSagain Wed 16-Jan-13 15:24:59

olgaga, she says in her OP they are 5 and 4. I agree that alternate weekends is best but if he refuses to have them you can't force him.

If he means every saturday, that is unfair on you in the event that you want to take them away for a weekend or do activities with them. Given their ages, I'm not sure overnight on a school night is a good idea unless he is very close to the school as it might be disruptive for them.

As others have said it is best to try to reach an agreement amicably but if not, he will need to issue a contact application.

olgaga Wed 16-Jan-13 15:37:01

Thanks - dunno how I missed that, first line too! blush

MOSagain Wed 16-Jan-13 15:53:14

LOL, we are not all perfect all of the time wink

MerrythuluDestroyerofMincePies Sat 19-Jan-13 01:32:05

My XP has always wanted it 50/50, so for the first 5 years, we alternated daily, with alternating weekends. Without going into the nitty gritty, I don't advise this. We now have a 2/2/5/5 situation, so they're here Mon/Tues, there Weds/Thurs, and we alternate the weekends from Fri after school to Mon morning. This is probably quite a good arrangement for those who can manage it. Unfortunately my XP is still a child at 40, so it's still very hard work for DH, me and the kids, but that's what you end up doing - moving mountains so that the kids can see their dad.
I would - get together a plan, in writing, of your suggestions for how contact could work, outlining the reasons. Think about how the kids' lives run, their club days, how uniform/lunches/pe kits work, and their contact with other family members if there are some.
Then when you meet, or email, as we have to, the emotional sting is taken out of the picture, you can be logical, and he cannot argue with the reasoning. Your argument will be putting the children's interests and routine first and foremost, and he would have to be pretty thick to go against it. As MOS says, you have to bear in mind things like clubs and child care. Both of you should be liable for childcare you have to arrange around your work/social lives. You can't juggle the kids for conveniences' sake, it's not fair on them.
In our situation, I'm lucky enough to have arranged my work to coincide with the days they're not here, but if I suddenly have to reschedule, then I get a family member or a babysitter.
I hope this doesn't all come across as being harsh and is at least a little helpful!

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