my ex wants our kids to live with him for a week and me for a week

(35 Posts)
stephj84 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:37:32

ok so yesterday my ex dropped the kids home and dropped it on me that he had talked to the kids and they all want to live with him for a week and then with me for a week and so on, ive never stopped them seeing their dad and i would never he is a good dad im just a bit worried about this i dont want to disrupt my kids its such a change in routine for them but its what they want and id feel awful saying no because they need their dad as much as they need me. maybe im being selfish and dont want to share them i dont know but my first worry is how will it affect my kids does anyone else share their kids like this, am i making a mistake by letting them try it out?

LizLemon007 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:39:23

i don't think that'd be good for the kids tbh. you'd be better off getting a central location for the kids and taking it in turns to be with them, so that their home is constant, and yours and his changes from week to week. what he is proposing could be very unsettling.

i am a single parent and i wouldn't allow this. i would live out of a hold all myself if i had to but i don't want my kids to have to live like this.

cestlavielife Mon 24-Sep-12 14:39:50

how old are the kids, are both homes close to school etcetc. practically is it feasible? if so then it could work . doa a trial for six months and have them visit teh other parent mid week

where does your ex live in relation to you? can the kids still walk to school, are there any issues with getting clothes back from their dad's house - school uniform etc.

So long as it's practical, I don't see why it shouldn't work. However, do you use any formal childcare, childminders etc? would the hours still work for your ex's weeks, as you'd still have to pay for time even if the kids are at their dad's house at that time.

stephj84 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:44:53

yeah we are both close to school and family and everything they love being there and i guess so many dads dont see their kids or are not aloud to see their kids i have no reason to stop him seeing them and i dont see why they should suffer because our marriage didnt work out, they are 8 6 and 3, we will talk every day, i have said we could try it untill christmas and see how the kids feel about it and if at any point they dont want to do it anymore then it will stop and we will sort something else out i just want happy kids

stephj84 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:49:07

they have everything they need at their dads i dont have any issues if i did i wouldnt even consider it if i did, i dont have any child care or anything like that and he can have them every other week he misses his kids too, i guess i should just be gratefull that he is making an effort and wants to see them more

ninja Mon 24-Sep-12 14:49:41

I know how you feel - when my ex left last year he said he wanted the kids for half of the time which made me feel awful - I still do. I didn't think I could say 'No'.

What have you been doing up until now?

We were splitting the week and it is too much change for them. I've proposed alternate weekends but the same days in the week which is half the time but not quite as severe as a week at each place. It also means that for after school activities etc each week has a pattern.

It looks like this:

Week 1 M M D D M M M
Week 2 M M D D D D D

Just another thought

I'm a mum and step mum and we do this with dsd. The arrAngement has been in place since she started school and has worked really well for 4 years. She seems happy and balanced and enjoys equal time in both her homes and families.

stephj84 Mon 24-Sep-12 14:55:21

we have been doing every other weekend as he couldnt do more due to work but now he can and still work and we split all the school holidays 50/50,
i dont want to say no like i said im happy he wants to see them more but i also dont want to disrupt my kids either, i know how it feels to not be aloud to see your dad its awful and id never do this to my kids i want them to grow up happy and happy kids grow in to happy adults

peppapigpants Mon 24-Sep-12 17:02:08

You might not be aware, but under new CSA rules 50/50 care means no child support is payable by either party to the other.

Not saying that this is your ex's motivation, but it was what prompted my ex to ask (both DC are teens and said no).

Why not do a trial of 2 months and review after that? I can completely understand not wanting to disrupt the dc but if your ex is a good dad and is close enough for it to be practical then it seems there isn't a good reason to say no.

Is that true peppa? Sorry but that is amazing news for us. DSD's mum is still asking for maintenance despite 50/50, splitting the cost of everything, dsd having everything she needs here and her receiving the cb. Finally we can tell her to try applying through the CSA and see how far she gets.

peppapigpants Mon 24-Sep-12 18:04:41

marbles, that is apparently the case for claims raised from some time in October onwards, although over time all existing cases will be transferred to the new system. It is hard to find details online about the changes to CSA rules, but you can ring them, I find them very helpful and friendly in all my dealings (and so does DP, who is dealing with them from a different angle re his ex, if you know what I mean!)

Whoop thanks peppa smile will tell dh smile

peppapigpants Mon 24-Sep-12 18:14:44

Don't know whether this will help.

Yep peppa is right. DP had residence of his children, and claimed through the CSA, his XP claimed that she had the kids for four days a week, three nights, and took them to school every day.

Hmm.. this was despite having nothing at all to do with them for 8 years shock .. the CSA didn't swallow the story and pressed on with the claim, this prompted her to then start having contact with the kids, for about 2 months, then fail to return them one day.

angry

But if the story had been true she wouldn't have had to pay a penny

kinkyfuckery Mon 24-Sep-12 18:52:23

It sounds like in your circumstances, it could work out ok. I agree to do a trial run for a couple of months then review whether it's working or not (including what you will do if one thinks it's working and one doesn't!)

You also should discuss money - not just maintenance, but how Tax Credits/CB would work if you are in receipt of it.

maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavour Mon 24-Sep-12 19:14:46

I don't have any experience of doing one week with each parent, but I just wanted to post to say you sound like such a good mum, your dc are very lucky growing up with such great parents

I think trialing the idea for a while is a great idea, I hope it works out well for all of you

stephj1984 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:51:04

thanks everyone, its not about money i dont get anything from him and i never have so that wont change all i have ever wanted is for him to see them i will give it a try till christmas and see how it goes i feel a little more relaxed about it now thanks for all ur advice

STIDW Mon 24-Sep-12 22:42:39

There is nothing wrong with sharing care 50:50 but how old are the children and what is the rationale behind them wanting to change the existing arrangement? Although listening to children is important young children aren't able to understand all the implications and they shouldn't be put in the position of making the decision.

Sometimes children say what they think a parent wants to hear. It isn't uncommon for young teens to miss one parent and want to spend more time with the other, only then to miss the other parent.

Children's views need to be seen in context of the family and background. For example, loving parents would seek the views of children about moving house or to a different school but the parents would weigh up the children's opinions with job opportunities for the parents, economics and practicalities. The responsibility for the decision lies with the parents.

Tax credits go to the main carer so i believe.

All you can do is give it a try.

Does he work? And are the DC of the age that will give him a ticket out of doing so if he shares care for them?

zipzap Tue 25-Sep-12 00:10:19

You day in your op that your exp spoke to the dc and they told him they liked the idea. But you havent said if you've spoken to your dc about this and what they tell you about the idea.

I would be talking to them and finding out exactly how your ex brought up the topic, exactly what he said and how they responded before assuming that they are thrilled with the idea and want to do it as much as he says.

I bet you will find that he has presented it to them as a fantastic done deal, only pointed out the good bits, and sort of talked them into it without them realising the full implications.

Only once you've really talked it through with them and put your side of the argument in should you begin to think that you'll get a truer answer from them. And don't be scared to go back with a different counter- offer that you like better - or the kids come up with something.

Good luck!

Good luck

NotaDisneyMum Tue 25-Sep-12 08:39:24

My ex and I thought long and hard when agreeing weekly 50:50 for DD when she was 8 yrs old - most of the professionals we spoke to said that she was a bit young and that a 4:3:3:4 rota would suit her better until she was older.

She did struggle at first - and there were a few hiccups, but she settled after a few months, with some tweaking to adjust the changeover day etc.

I'm all for 50:50 - but for such young children, I think shorter periods of time at each home may suit them better.

The other risk is that the proportion becomes the most important thing to one, or both, parents - and adjustments/alterations of even a few hours become a huge deal.

SheWhoCannotBeShamed Tue 25-Sep-12 15:06:26

I've been doing this pattern since separating from my ex 6 months ago. My kids are 4 and 7. I basically had no choice as he insisted on this arrangement and I didn't have the strength to argue at the time. He is obsessed by maintaining equal proportions of time.

There are good and bad points to it. It is much less disruptive and easier to manage in terms of moving their effects between the two houses. However handovers can be distressing. We are currently arguing about when/where handover should occur.... In fact I think I need to start a new thread for some advice on that subject!

I entirely agree with zipzap though, make sure the kids are really as enthusiastic as he makes out.

smiles007 Sat 29-Sep-12 16:09:11

I did this with my oldest boy who is now 26. He was 11 at the time, and because his father and i stayed amicable throughout, we all sat and decided to do this shared access or living arrangements. However, my son was not 100% happy with things, but kept it to himself for a long time. Not sure how we got around to discussing it all again, but basically my son said, that he wanted to stay with me in one permanent home but visit his dad at the weekends. Lots of reasons, one being his dad had an older son from his 1st marriage who would come over at weekends only and they were quite close. My son also said, that he didn't like the upheaval of taking all his things with him each time. As they grow up, they have more things that i suppose they want around them. My son was too afraid to say how he was feeling to his dad, for fear that his dad would take it all the wrong way and think that he didn't love him or want to be with him. We did address it, and sadly it did go wrong, in that, his dad, got quite upset and hurt and then refused to have him at all. A few months went past, and we eventually sorted things again, but i believe to this day it has effected their long term relationship. Not saying this is going to be the case for everyone. Sharing our experience of what happened. The most important thing is to all talk and make sure, everyone knows it can change at any time.

Yika Sat 29-Sep-12 16:19:56

Just wanted to add - though i dont have any experience of it myself - that 50:50 is the default arrangement here in Belgium - I know lots of people that do it and it seems to work fine. Means that the dad can stay fully involved and the mum can have a social life!! It's so much the norm that some companies are introducing flexible working hours to accommodate it! One week longer, one week shorter hours.

lostdad Mon 01-Oct-12 12:40:05

All credit to you to consider this!

It sounds like you have a sorta reasonable relationship with your ex (which is good for your kids) so it should be possible to come up with something that is in their best interests.

If there are various sticking points organise a good neutral mediator. They will find the things you agree on, narrow down the issues and help you come up with something that works for everyone - most of all your kids.

There's a lot of research to proves that children who have a meaningful relationship with both their parents (i.e. far more than the tired old `every other weekend and midweek contact for dad' regime that some cling onto on the grounds it's `normal') do better emotionally and academically.

Nice one! wink

STIDW Mon 01-Oct-12 19:22:49

Overall the research is inconclusive and there is no real evidence that shared parenting 50:50 is any better or any worse than any other arrangement after parents separate. The majority of children from separated families have much the same outcome as those from families whose parents stay together.

madelineashtoninhiding Wed 03-Oct-12 10:12:00

What STIDW said - here: Mon 24-Sep-12 22:42:39

I think that your ex and you should sit down with the children and discuss it together. Then the two of you can sit together privately and work out what is best. Maybe even use a mediator.

A week is a long time for a three year old to be without either of you IMO. Even the six year old might struggle. The older one will probably adapt well becuase it seems that at that age they don't like to tote their belongings to and fro very much and like to know where they are. But all families are different and this may be perfect for yours. I don't like the idea that there is a default whether that be EOW, week on/ week off... or anything else.

nokidshere Thu 04-Oct-12 20:23:37

Friends of mind have had this arrangement with their now 6 and 9 year olds for the past two years.

It works perfectly as far as I can see. They do handovers on friday nights at the house they are going to. They dont swap posessions between houses - they simply live at both.

DowagersHump Thu 04-Oct-12 20:30:46

My ex did this with his ex iyswim - the kids seemed pretty okay with it once they got into the swing of things. In some ways I guess it makes it easier on them because they know that this week they're with mum, next week with dad, rather than having to remember which day of which week it is.

aokay Wed 17-Oct-12 23:40:39

been forced unwilling into this myself - very unhappy about it for my dcs-cafcass said 'they requested it' , my kids are young primary and guess what - it is what the father wanted since the separation. Crock of total ...t as far as Im concerned, appears to be the idea of the moment and will disadvantage the dcs, me, but not ex who will be able to offficially shirk all financial responsiblity while still working as has flexible employer. I will not be able to work and wont be a full time mum either so feel very weird about it...court has'nt considered the financial implications and evidently doesnt have to - But if one parent will be impoverished as a result of this shouldnt they take it into account? - given up trying to understand rationale here; I know lots of mums wish their dcs father more involved - believe me - I envy you ladies who cant get fathers to see much of kids - thank your lucky stars. Ive been very happy as a single mum and am devastated will be losing my kids when pretty sure its all about the money and not what is best for the children at all - ex had very generous access already and Ive never been obstructive. Truly loathe my solicitor now as feel she gave ex everything while Ive paid through the nose and got fifty percent less of the time with my young children. Told I could 'gamble' in court if I wished but had better agree to be seen as being reasonable 'or else' - wtf?

ladydeedy Fri 19-Oct-12 18:52:13

aokay, why wont you be able to work? And why will you be disadvantaged?

Katkin13 Fri 19-Oct-12 20:34:00

Hi steph.
It's great that your kids have a good relationship with their dad. Research shows that kids work just as well with 2 homes- Mum & Dad. I would suggest that you try and work some arrangement with him whereby the children can extend contact?

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