Just broke up with DP - he wants DS EVERY weekend. How do I stand?

(103 Posts)
sadtallmummy Wed 19-Mar-14 17:21:49

My DP and I have a 14 month old son. DP has dumped me as he says he doesn't want to marry me etc etc.
He lives in London
I live in the country
He used to spend part of the week with me/us.

He announced that he wants DS all weekend, every single weekend. He says that its only fair because I "get him all week". However I do actually work during the week (albeit mostly from home) but it's not really the same as being free at weekends!

1) I think he is too little to spend a night without me every single week (plus I'm still breastfeeding)

2) I want to enjoy him at weekends too! I want to take him to do fun things, see my friends, etc

I said to DP that of course I want him to see DS as much as possible, and have suggested he have him one full day every weekend, and once he's old enough, both days every other weekend.
He can come and see him whenever he wants during the week.

DP doesn't accept this and is insisting on having him both days, every weekend, now.

I am very upset and worried that I might lose access to my son at weekends.

Surely if DP was so keen to see his son he could move out of London to be nearer him and see him in the week? There are jobs for him around here.

Please help - thank you.

wellthatsdoneit Thu 20-Mar-14 22:48:04

Stand your ground, what you have suggested sounds more than reasonable. You're entitled to quality time with your son too and the courts acknowledge this. If your ex is serious about spending more time with his son he'll move closer to share the parenting during the week as well.

Russianfudge Fri 21-Mar-14 07:09:17

I'm sorry I haven't read the whole thread so I'm sorry if someone has said this already. Sounds to me like at the moment he's thinking that he can work all week (with you as free childcare), then have his son on the weekends - nice grin. However, I guarantee when he starts dating he will realise this is not such a good idea and change his mind.

That sounds like a really down-on-men message which I am not. And I'm a huge advocate of children having good (ideally equal dependant on the child) relations with both parents. It's just that to me, it sounds a naive plan.

I don't agree with simply "leaving it to the courts" - avoid courts if you can. Get some mediation sessions and keep communication open as much as you can if there is no violence or EA etc.

Good luck

Russianfudge Fri 21-Mar-14 07:13:51

Just to add that at 14 months I believe courts will look at a good amount of contact with dad as more important than continued breast feeding.

I don't know why language skills would be needed to spend time with dad over night, that one has flumaxed me grin

Locketjuice Fri 21-Mar-14 07:18:42

My brothers going through this at the moment.she has the children 5/7 he should be allowed his 2/7.. If he can't have him both days on the weekend could offer a weekday and weekend?

daisy0chain Fri 21-Mar-14 08:11:00

Locket There is no law that says it has to be 2/7 for NRP it could be more or less but if the RP is also in agreement or there is some form of contact order then yes there is no reason why he couldn't offer one day at the weekend and one during the week providing that it was in the childs best interest. However I'm not sure from your OP if you mean it would always be 1 week day and one weekend day or just when he can't take him. Which one were you asking for?

It is unlikely the every weekend contact would be ordered unless there were circumstances that meant it was the easiest option for both parents and both were in agreement.

wellthatsdoneit Fri 21-Mar-14 11:16:54

Locekt, the reality is that that the courts don't give too much of a rats ass about the parents. Children are not possessions to be shared out 'fairly'. The courts look at the what is in the best interests of the child, and that includes stability and even, shock horror, having some quality time with the resident parent too.

By the way, I'm not suggesting that the OP proceeds directly to court, just that she stand her ground. If her ex wants to pursue it through the legal system then that's up to him; I don't think he'd win though and I'm not sure he can even be heard at court unless mediation has been attended first (or am I thinking of financial settlements?). If he's truly committed to the child he will move closer to him to be on hand during the week as well.

sanityseeker75 Fri 21-Mar-14 12:03:33

Whist I do think that your suggestion sounds pretty fair at the moment, I would be careful about taking your chances in court.

DH's ex insisted we went to court after they had a disagreement and court ordered contact was appointed for EW. It was originally from Fri to Sun evening which meant mom only had them on school nights. DH certainly wasn't worried about our social life as he was more inclined to want to see his children so he didn't get bored. After about 3 years and it was clear to us that this was maybe not in the best interests on kids and now we have them 3 weekends out of 4 but only sat to sun and we speak to them in week. We have them half Easter and 6 week holiday and all of Christmas holidays except Christmas day. This has been in place now for 4 years.

Mediation and negotiation are really the only way to ensure that it is kept out of courts and you have to accept that what you see as fair may not be what he sees as fair. The more amicable you can be the better as things will change over years.

sadtallmummy Fri 21-Mar-14 13:38:17

I'm still thoroughly upset and depressed by the whole thing.
Surely if he wanted to be the best father he could be, he would a) work at the relationship and b) move a bit closer to his son?
It doesn't seem right to me that DS might never be able to spend a weekend with me if ex gets what he wants.

I think one evening a week (more if he wants them) and one weekend day per week, OR all weekend EOW, is not unreasonable and is fair to all.

Surely if he chooses to live 65 miles away, that's his choice?

sanityseeker75 Fri 21-Mar-14 14:57:50

It is very sad, and it is bound to be a very difficult time for you but being the best father he can be is not reliant on him staying in a relationship.

Yes he could live closer to you but I have seen messages on other threads when it has been made clear that fathers should go where the work is and it doesn't matter how far away it is as long as they are financially supporting. In all honesty distance is irrelevant really as even if he lived in the next town it is the amount of contact that you are unhappy about rather than the distance and I am assuming that he would be doing the travelling anyway to facilitate contact.

It is never easy and I truly believe that there is no right and wrong - it is what works best for your little one, you and your ex.

It sounds like the split is quite recent and therefore is going to feel more raw which is why I say be open and prepared to negotiate. I don't think that what your suggesting is that unreasonable but then I have been on both sides of the coin.

Would you consider letting him have LO from Friday evening to a Sat evening to start with or even sat evening to a Sunday so you still get a chunk of the weekend with LO also?

sadtallmummy Fri 21-Mar-14 15:00:51

Yes I would be happy for him to have an overnight at weekends....

sanityseeker75 Fri 21-Mar-14 15:12:33

Maybe that is a starting point for you. Advise that whilst yes you have LO during the week it is not quality time that LO gets from you because you also have to work but you understand that LO also should get to spend one on one time with him and therefore you suggest at this point that.......

Make sure it is in writing to him - email or text that way, if he wants to be a prat and refuses point blank and keeps on insisting that it has to be his way or court, YOU will be able to prove that you are in no way trying to block contact and that you have been happy to facilitate including over nights and he will have to come up with a good reason why it is in LO best interests for him to to have accepted or compromised.

mummyOF4darlings Wed 26-Mar-14 22:26:09

Hi, my situation was a bit different to yours wasnt breastfeeding or working but i split with my eldest daughters father whilst still pregnant like your ex he wasnt wanting to commit, from 3 months old she went to sleep at her fathers house once a week to start with then by about 1 she was going for full eekends and its always been this way shes 8 now although i should point out he was living his with his mum at the start i dont think id of been so laid back if it was just him.
Its very hard to let them go at first the change of routine change of parenting techniques etc i did struggle with it and i know people who frowned upon me for letting a small baby sleep out so young but it has been working out well for al this time only now shes saying she doesnt want to go anymore.

I then got with another guy and had a son we split up at 5 months old again i agreed to let him stay over 1 night a week and i had to go through all the same emotions again we eventually got back together and had twins but it didnt last since having the twins all 3 have slept over twice a week. And ill be honest it works out great for us all especially now im back in work.

I think you should set him some boundaries and give it ago if he gets bored then its his loss what harm can it do? As long as the child is well cared for and his routine isnt distrupted too much then give it a try, maybe not for full weekends but the odd night here and there. Will also give you a break

justasmallone Wed 26-Mar-14 22:29:45

What a wanker. No end of

NoodleOodle Wed 26-Mar-14 22:47:53

When I was growing up with divorced parents, I enjoyed seeing my dad every other weekend and once or twice for dinner in the evenings. Any less and I wouldn't have felt close to him, and more and my mum would have just been the monster who set all the rules and did all the disciplining and getting to school/tutors/homework etc and I wouldn't have felt close to her.

I was a much older child, but just thought a child's perspective would be useful. When I was asked at the time who I wanted to be with, I just said my mum, totally my mum as I knew her better as my dad had worked away a lot. But, now that I'm grown up, I'm glad that I spent more time with my dad than I'd initially expressed interest in as we are now really close, he's my rock. So's my mum, I'll always be closest to her, but my relationship with my dad is hugely important to me now, and the weekday evenings where he would come and support me in extra curricular sports activities and/or take me to a cafe helped create that bond.

Therefore, I think your proposal of every other weekend and a weekday is pretty fair, for the parents and the child.

NoodleOodle Wed 26-Mar-14 22:50:29

IT might be hurtful to you to hear but no, I don't agree with this at all Surely if he wanted to be the best father he could be, he would a) work at the relationship

If your relationship has failed, what's best for the child now is building a strong foundation for a good relationship with both parents where the child is and knows they are loved and supported by both parents.

Lucyccfc Sat 29-Mar-14 07:48:10

I suppose you need to ask yourself, if it was the other way round, would you be happy seeing your child 1 day a week or 2 days a fortnight?

Russianfudge Sat 29-Mar-14 08:16:33

Noodle makes a good point about getting to know Dad well. Should anything happen to you, OP, your child would most likely live with it's dad full time. You don't want him to be a stranger

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 30-Mar-14 13:22:41

Noodle,

I took that to mean either the co parenting relationship or the relationship with the child. Not the intimate couple relationship with her

Monetbyhimself Sun 30-Mar-14 16:14:14

You won't lose access to your sons at weekends. So don't stress about that. If this gets as far as court he will NOT be awarded every weekend as contact. You don't get landed with all the hard work of schools/homeworks/dentists/disciipline so that disney daddy can swan in with a weekend of McDonalds and movies.

Repeat again. You want him to have arelationship with his son. You are happy to work towards a solution where you parent effectively as a separated couple. Give him your proposals for contact again, with 2 or 3 weekends a month as a maximum. Ask him what he thinks. If he refuses to budge from his demand for every weekend contact, tell him that the only way to move forward is with a mediator. Then arrange an appointment and give him the date.
Don't let yourself be bullied and keep focusing on the fact that a family court judge will not grant an NRP every weekend contact.

Monetbyhimself Sun 30-Mar-14 19:14:54

Russian can you point out where the OP or ANYONE without an agenda posting on this thread has said that the child should not have a good relationship with his father? Your ability to cherry pick and twist what is said on this forum is absolutely astounding.

Russianfudge Sun 30-Mar-14 19:24:56

Im not the only person who has reminded OP how important it is am I? I'm responding to the OP saying that 14 moths is too little for over night, and also that if the dad cared he'd work on the relationship and also live nearby, and also the person who said a child needs language skills before they can have an overnight with their own dad hmm

All of that isn't in keeping with the child having a good strong relationship with their dad. Like someone else down the thread said, would any of us be happy to have our child 1 or two nights every two weeks?

I have been through all of this myself when I split with my ex yet I have to justify everything I add to a thread now?

Monetbyhimself Sun 30-Mar-14 19:47:43

Where has the OP or anyone said that the child should not have a good relationship with the father ? Where does ANYONE say that ? WHERE ?

Every time you are challenged you bleat on and on about how you've been a single parent. Those words mean nothing. You have a huge anti female RP bias and I can almost guarantee that if a scared, emotional, vulnerable female NRP posted on here to say that her emotionally or physically abusive Ex wanted to sell the child into a white slave trade you'd tell her she'd be unreasonable to refuse hmm

nomoretether Sun 30-Mar-14 19:52:40

Some NRPs do in fact get contact every weekend through the courts, it's not unheard of.

Monetbyhimself Sun 30-Mar-14 19:56:28

Nomi it would be helpful if you could give details of the cases you refer to ? The background etc ? Thanks.

Russianfudge Sun 30-Mar-14 20:16:14

"Bleat on about being a single parent" why are my experiences of being a single parent any lesser than anyone else's?

I have no NRP bias. I am an RP! I have a child bias. Most of these threads are worded as though contact is something that is the right (or not) of one or both parents. Or something that should be allowed or disallowed by one parent.

I've been on this whole journey full cycle and still don't have all the answers but I'd like to offer my opinion and advice where I can, same as you, Monet.

I doubt OP needs her thread derailed by troll accusations anymore than I need to be bullied by you so please apply a little tact in future.

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