Contact arrangements for our two year old little girl

(36 Posts)
Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:18:30

Me and my husband separated last February (he left for another women) our baby girl was 16 months. We have been to mediation re arrangements but he wasnt happy with arrangements so He is taking me to court now I won't get legal aid. I have offered and has been happening for 12 months Tuesday over night stay and once a weekend either every Friday or Saturday and also let him see her Thursdays for a couple of hours. So obviously he is getting plenty of access. He is taking me to court re: I say as she is so young he can take her away for long weekend but not full week until she is 5 years old and can understand she is going on holiday and returning to mommy. He also wants her every other birthday and every other Xmas and four weeks holiday a year. I have an elder daughter aged 13 which doesn't want nothing to do with him as he left so suddenly and she had her surname changed into his two weeks before he walked out on us and is angry he did this and then left! Can this control freak get what he wants. I will have to represent myself in court. Help????

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:21:17

And understandably I don't want my children separated Christmas and have agreed contact both Xmas day and Boxing Day and her birthday. But this isn't good enough for him

bluebell8782 Wed 10-Apr-13 13:56:55

Hello,
I'm sorry this has happened to you Carlar - your 13rd seems to have taken it very hard.

Have to tell you though that what he is asking for is actually very normal. Every other birthday/christmas and holiday is quite reasonable for a parent to see their child. I also think that waiting till 5yrs for a week away is unnecessary. Do you have any reason to think your ex can't be trusted to look after his child for that amount of time? He does see her a lot so it's not like she'll be with a stranger. I do think you might be projecting your own feelings into this situation rather then understanding that she'll more than likely be fine and happy.

I'm sorry you are going through this but I think you might be wasting your time and a lot of money by opposing this.

kinkyfuckery Wed 10-Apr-13 14:01:07

I think his proposition actually sounds very fair, and unless you have a reason for not thinking he is capable of caring for his own daughter, you'll be hard pushed - even through court - to convince him there's a reason for less.

keelyboo Wed 10-Apr-13 14:02:52

i think he will get those contact arrangements sounds quite common and standard tbh .

I miss mine like crazy and am greatful most of the time that he cant be arsed in having them more than 3 nights, so i understand why you feel the way you do.

If he took them for a week they would be fine, hes crap says things he should but his gf is on the ball and hes always trying to make a good impression in front of her my desire for them to not go comes purely from the fact i miss them like hell, sometimes for our childrens sake we have to do things we dont like, unless there are reasons she wouldnt be ok? x

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 14:28:45

Not projecting my own feelings into this! Our two year old to be away from her mom for a Week at such a young age, she doesn't understand. And Xmas I gave 12-4 Xmas eve. 10-1 or 3-7 Xmas day and overnight boxing night. So my kids aren't split! But understand she needs to see him and vise versa. And feel it is very important to have a good bond with her father. Hence so much contact. Holidays of course when she's old enough to understand what a holiday is! As obviously will benefit her!

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 14:35:55

Also in may he is taking her on a long weekend away to see how she gets on! I really do have both my daughters best interest at heart

titchy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:56:25

Thing is although they are siblings and siblings obviously do normally spend birthdays and Christmas together, they DO have different fathers and you need to take account of that.

She must be 2.5 by now? Really I'd have thought that was plenty old enough to know what a holiday is!

And she should be able to have an overnight at Christmas - it's not fair that your ex never get to see her wake up and open her pressies Christmas morning.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 10-Apr-13 15:13:30

Carlar as the others have said unless there is a specific concern what he is asking is not unreasonable and he is likely to get in court.
So what we are trying to say in the nicest possible way is that you are likely to spend money and effort going to court for him to get what he is asking for.
It maybe better to save your money and effort for another day.

You do not need legal representation at court, you can speak for yourself. Contact hearings need not be full of arguments and cross-examination.

My DSD has contact every other weekend (noon Sat til 4pm Sun due to travel arrangements) and 50% of school hols, including first three weeks of summer hols where she does not see mum at all. This was granted when she was three years old.

I was in court regarding my own DDs only a few weeks ago and CAFCASS did a brilliant job and my DDs got the outcome they wanted (they are teens).

kinkyfuckery Wed 10-Apr-13 15:27:54

So you won't be taking her on holidays until she's at least 5 either then?

PatriciaHolm Wed 10-Apr-13 15:32:06

As the others have said, I really wouldn't spend money fighting this. He'l almost certainly get all that contact in court, no problem, it's all very normal. Every other birthday/Christmas/4 weeks holiday/every other weekend/a day in the week contact is standard.

balia Wed 10-Apr-13 17:37:57

You repeat that he is getting "plenty of access" and "so much contact" but I just wonder where you get the idea from, as the access you describe is minimal. Is it from previous personal experience (I know someone who felt seeing Dad once a month for a couple of hours was enough because that was how much she'd seen her Dad when little). I know you feel strongly about not separating the siblings - but they're not twins, and they are already separated by a decade! IME split days over Christmas are horrible.

See how the long weekend goes - Cafcass are very supportive of the importance of holidays with both parents. And maybe some counselling for your older DD to help her with her feelings?

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:21:11

How am I giving minimal access!! there are only 7 days in a week isnt there! He has her Friday or Saturday depending when suits him, Tuesday overnight bringing back Wednesday, sees her Thursday. Huh?

JumpingJackSprat Wed 10-Apr-13 21:28:47

How would you feel having the level of access youre allowing him? Youre both her parents and its not fair for you to dictate that he cant take her on holiday or have her for xmas and birthdays.

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:32:53

What about my eldest daughters feelings in all this when she wants to wake up with her little sister Xmas morning. My ex husband caused all this with his dirty affair he had and wasn't meant to be caught out. until my youngest is at an age to make decision herself I feel she should spend it with me and her sister. And as like last year I let him sleep on sofa and be there when she woke up. But no he wants to play happy families with his new girlfriend. And also went on 3 holidays last year but wouldn't even give me his passport number to take the girls away for a break After all what he put us through last year! Even turned up at the house with his new girlfriend after one of his holidays demanding our child as he hadn't seen her. How can people be so selfish to introduce another person into equation after weeks of leaving family home. Sick!

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:34:48

Jumpingjack what level of access do you think is appropriate.

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 21:38:00

I'm not stopping access on any day if the year! I worked on our daughters birthday last year he had her for the day was supposed to bring he'd back at 4. Didn't bring her back til half six she missed her own party. We are not talking about a man to feel sorry for here.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 10-Apr-13 22:29:12

I know what he has done and how quickly he has moved on is very painful, I have my own personal hell version of this. Yes they are very selfish. He was wrong to keep her for longer than agreed on her birthday and no I don't feel sorry for him. Sadly your older daughters feelings carry very little weight. However, hard it is being the better person can work to your advantage.
However, he is asking for something that a court is very likely to give him. So rather than fighting tooth and nail in a battle that you are probably not going to win it is maybe trying to work with his proposal. Also there is a risk of going to court that he might get more contact than he is asking for now, 50:50 shared are being agreed more and more.
Do you think he would accept a compromise on Christmas for example one year you have her Christmas Eve to say 2pm Christmas Day and the next year 2pm Christmas Day on into Boxing Day then next year the reverse - remember you can make Christmas Day on which ever day you like last Christmas DD and I had on 1st Jan. So you both get some of the day every year. You will accept the holiday, but in return you would like his passport number so you can travel with her.

Carlar1978 Wed 10-Apr-13 23:01:32

His job wouldn't allow 50/50. He also has moved 20 miles away from martial home don't think any court would grant 50/50.

Xalla Thu 11-Apr-13 05:12:40

My DH and his ex went their separate ways shortly after my DSD was born. By the time she was 2.5 years old she spent every Wednesday night with my DH and every other weekend from Friday - Monday morning during term time. The school holidays were split 50/50 and she alternated Easter and Christmas so she was with her Mum one year, her Dad the next year etc. Her birthday is split so that one year she wakes up with her Dad and stays with him until after lunch then goes to her Mum for the night. Vice versa the next year. Every Father's Day weekend is spent with her Dad and every Mother's Day weekend is spent with her Mum.

When she was 5 she started saying she wanted to spend the 'same time with Mummy and Daddy' and she does 50/50 contact all year round now; she spends each Monday and Tuesday with her Mum, each Wed and Thurs with her Dad and alternates the weekends. The holiday contact is still split down the middle like it always has been. So in the summer holidays for instance, she spends 3 consecutive weeks with her Mum and then 3 with her Dad.

I'm not saying it's ideal and of course she misses her other parent (and her siblings) when she's away from them for such a long time but it is does mean she knows she has two equal parents who both love her and are able to care for her and she's secure in that knowledge. It also means she gets to join both parents for big family holidays. She's 7 now and wouldn't want anything other than the 50/50 split.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 11-Apr-13 07:38:01

Hmmm my job wouldn't appear to suit 50:50 with me working nights and weekends, but it can be made to work.
I don't think you want to compromise so I suggest you go to court, but prepare to be disappointed and do be surprised if he gets one night in the week every other weekend Friday to Monday, 4 weeks holiday per year and every other Christmas and birthday - so more than he is currently asking for.

HeySoulSister Thu 11-Apr-13 08:21:43

Joint residency is becoming more common , it doesn't have to mean 50/50 quite so literally

cestlavielife Thu 11-Apr-13 10:37:30

having another relationship is not a child welfare issue per se. he is a twat yes maybe but you have to take that out of the equation.

why did you need his passport number? you can get things like that ironed out at court or mediation for sure.

Carlar1978 Thu 11-Apr-13 11:56:53

He only had 25/75 contact when we was together due to work and affair commitments!!! So 50/50 is a no go. I want them to have holidays ect and Xmas suppose every other year will have to be, but she crys for me a lot when she's with him and I'm interested in her welfare only last week he brought her home as she was so distressed wanting me at 9 oclock so he drove her 20 miles across town then screaches off in his car as he's in a temper as sge wanted me not him. she should be settled in her bed. Hence my first post she is too young to be pulled from pillow to post... He is taking her away next month for a long weekend to see how Things go.. things should be done gradually.. dont people think of the poor kids.. And should be reassessed with age of child. I'm no mother trying to spite a father here like most comments back are trying to make out. There are both mothers and fathers that use kids as weapons that isn't my style. Want my kids to feel happy and content that's all.

balia Thu 11-Apr-13 13:21:17

I don't think the majority of posts are trying to make out that you are trying to spite your ex at all. People have bothered to take the time to gently and sensitively point out that your judgement about this may not be entirely objective and that from their own experience (of being in this situation, going to court etc) what your ex is asking for is not unreasonable. They are trying to help you. There are lots of practical things you can do to make this situation better for both your girls - ranting on the internet about how everything is your ex's fault and using very emotive (and TBH offensive to some of us) language like 'happy families' and 'dirty affair' doesn't help them, and certainly isn't going to make them feel happy or content.

There is a wealth of experience, intelligence and humour on here that you may find hugely helpful, but you have to be prepared to listen to people and accept some compromise.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 12-Apr-13 07:00:24

The thing is you have actually given no valid reasons why your ex should not have the level of acces he is asking for and it seems to be just because you dont want to. i dont think the court will think thats a good enough reason. your feelings do not come above your childs need for a relationship with her father.

YoniYoniYoniOiOiOi Fri 12-Apr-13 07:04:26

You need to,adjust your thinking.

It's not about what access you GIVE him.

It's about the level of contact your daughter is entitled to have with her dad.

If it goes into court I think it's unlikely, on the face of what you have written here, that your ex would be denied the contact he is requesting.

StupidFlanders Fri 12-Apr-13 07:30:03

I also agree that he sounds reasonable. My dcs were 50:50 at a younger age and never struggled with not understanding holidays or being away. They also have siblings that stay with me. We alternate Xmas and special occasions.

TheFallenNinja Fri 12-Apr-13 07:45:35

Is he a bad dad?

lostdad Fri 12-Apr-13 09:46:23

YoniYoniYoniOiOiOi is right.

It's about your daughter - not your ex (or you for that matter).

If you are `stopping your ex seeing your daughter' it's better to frame it `you're stopping your daughter seeing her dad'.

Contact is for her benefit - not his! If you stop contact to teach him a lesson - you are punishing her not him.

A question for you: As your daughter is his as much as hers...what gives you the right to unilaterally make decisions about what is in her best interests...as opposed to compromising with her other parent to act in her best interests? The fact you are not with him is irrelevant - you're still her mum, he's still her dad and the best thing for her is you both working together.

He should be your best ally - because surely you both love your daughter???

ladydeedy Fri 12-Apr-13 14:32:45

You are being unreasonable and a bad parent by acting in a way whereby you think you OWN your daughter and can "allow" your ex to see her only when you decide. As Balia has so eloquently pointed out, people are trying to help you on here. You are clearly very angry and not at all happy about the situation. That's obvious. But to use your own anger to try and "punish" your ex is wrong.
What's done is done. Blame is not relevant here, nor is the fact that your husband left you, nor the fact that he had an affair etc. You need to consider the longer term. You have your daughter with you the majority of the time. He does not. I think you are being selfish and immature, to be perfectly frank, and your children will grow up with a twisted view of what relationships and families are all about if you continue in this vein. Sorry,

Pinkshaman Fri 12-Apr-13 18:37:24

I think calling the op a bad mum is a bit harsh. I agree that it's not her place to say whether and when contact happens. But I can also understand her concern about him having the child for extended periods if he isn't able to settle her and drops her back at her mums as she has described.

Carlar1978 Fri 12-Apr-13 23:10:12

Ladydee! You haven't got a clue what your waffling on about.. Even my ex husband would put you right there! Bad parent. What an absolute idiot. I can understand constructive criticism but your Just on the wind up. I could call you a shit parent but what the hell do I know about you. Prat, who made you lady know it all!!

balia Sat 13-Apr-13 09:45:35

OK, so you've picked on the most critical of the posts and had a rude little shout about it - now, are you going to engage with any of the other posters who have offered advice/constructive criticism? Are you going to reconsider your position given that the overwhelming consensus is that you are unfair on your DD to deny the reasonable access Dad is asking for?

newbiefrugalgal Sat 13-Apr-13 10:00:37

I'm not going to get into the bickering and I don't know your situation OP.
but from what is said he what he is asking might be what the court will agree.
Are you in a financial position where you can afford to lose this money?
Can you sit and think on it for a bit? Ask ex for some time.
He has hurt you and what he has done is shit (I know how you feel!) but unfortunately you can't take that out on him through access.
Karma must be heading his way!

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