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Access to DCs during separation(7 Posts)
A friend left her husband a few weeks ago. Since then she has only allowed her DH to see their DS (10 months) once a week and with her supervision. The visits are only for a couple of hours.
Their DS is not BF and the split, while acrimonious, does not involve DV.
I am concerned that, if they divorce, my friend's decision to allow him such limited access may count against her and/or she may get onto trouble over it. Her DH wants them both home and is desperate for time with their DS.
Am I worried about nothing?
Get her to call CAB and double check. A solicitor told me post split that courts are very keen on both parents having access but I don't know whether the limited access might go down badly. Suspect it might unless she has a very good reason for the "only supervised" bit especially if he is asking for more time.
Why is she restricting access so much? I get that its difficult during a relationship breakdown but the child is just as much her dh as hers. He is entitled to be extremely upset over such ludicrous access and more importantly the child is entitled to grow up with a good relationship with dad. What reason has she got for preventing this?
I don't know why she's restricted it so much. I know her DH works long hours in a high-level position so that would explain during the week but I think she's being short-sighted in not discussing contact.
It's very early days and a divorce isn't certain but thanks for the replies, I'm glad I wasn't being ridiculous in thinking it might cause problems.
Hmmm, I'm hoping to meet up with her again soon so I think I might man up and discuss it with her.
Maybe she is hurting? But I do think she is risking problems - plus from the child's point of view a good relationship with both parents is really important. I've taught for more than ten years and seen a massive difference in the children whose parents can be civil and co-operative to each other - they become so unhappy when the parents can't, so it might be worth gently mentioning that to her too? It helped me bite my tongue when my own marriage first broke up and I was furious!!
And good luck too - she will appreciate you trying to support her I'm sure.
With a 10 month old baby much is going to depend on the amount of time the husband was involved with caring for the son before parental separation and how the baby copes. If both parents were very involved in caring for children before parental separation it is more likely babies will have a strong attachment with them both and cope with longer periods away from their main carer.
Very young children may struggle if a father is less involved and then frequent short periods of contact may be deemed more appropriate to build on the bond between parent and child before spending longer periods away from the parent with the majority of care. Above all arrangements need to be practical and if the husband has a high level job and works long hours perhaps midweek contact isn't feasible
The fact that she is hurting in my view is not a reason to stop contact. Yes DH may work long hours but the baby is still his and it annoys me when phrases such as mum 'allows' contact (not just refering to this post but in general).....i guess my point is that in my view she shouldn't get to 'own' the child. However, that doesn;t mean that Dad can come and go as he likes - they need to think about appropriate regular and consistent contact - which will likely build up (if not immediate) to overnights and weekends.
I dont see why DH should have to be supervised - unless there is a specific risk to child that has not been called out - he should be quite capable of looking after his own child!
OP - i think all you can do is try to encourage your friend to put her own feelings aside (however hard that is) and to put the child first. He is young now so it might not seem like he needs his dad much but as he grows he deserves to be allowed to have a proper relationship with his dad
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