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Contact centres...

(8 Posts)
Resilience16 Tue 02-Feb-16 13:27:06

Has anyone any experience of using child contact centres as a way of allowing an ex partner to continue to see their child?
I split from my daughter's dad 5 years ago and even now he tries to make every pick up and drop off as awkward (on a good day) or unpleasant (on a bad day) as he possibly can.
I think contact centres are possibly the way forward, and would like to hear of other peoples experience of them.
Thanks

bibliomania Tue 02-Feb-16 14:10:34

I used them for a short while and it was good. Things to be aware of:

1) There is a cost. Who do you expect to pay this?
2) If your ex is willing to go along with a contact centre (and there is availability), it's fine. If he challenges it, you could end up in court trying to justify it.
3) If you have to justify it in court, I'm not sure awkward handovers would be enough. There are other ways to tackle that, eg. handovers in a public place and/or with a third party present. A good way is if one parent can drop off at school and the other person collect the child, so the handovers are indirect.
Courts would see a contact centre as more appropriate for when there are welfare concerns involving the child.
4) Contact centres are often seen as a short-term arrangement and not necessarily something suitable for the long term.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Tue 02-Feb-16 14:16:21

I am currently using a contact centre for ex to see DS and know that the one I use also has a facility for drop off and pick ups. If there is no concern about your ex during contact ( but he's being rude/unpleasant towards you when collecting ) then it might be worth checking out of your local CC offers this service.

Resilience16 Tue 02-Feb-16 14:50:47

Hi both, many thanks for your responses.
Ex still trying to control me 5 years after we split so he uses contact with DD as a way of making life difficult. So I get abusive texts and calls through the week, demands and change of demands as to where I drop her off, pick her up, late pick ups and cancelled pick ups (tho not so many if these as there used to be).
I have to work Saturdays, had a childminder who had DD on Saturdays up until last summer,but am now reliant on Ex to pick child up Saturdays in order for me to get to work.
I am hoping that if we can use contact centres it would make things easier. I am prepared to pay if necessary. I am trying to avoid the courts if possible, but am getting to the stage now where if I have to go down that path I will. But will try this first.

bibliomania Tue 02-Feb-16 16:15:43

Before you do anything else, have a google for your local contact centre and check their opening hours and availability of places. The times tend to be limited and mightn't suit your work commitments.

Honestly, your best option is to put in place (a) other childcare and (b) firmer boundaries. Change of venue? Nope. Late pick up? Child is no longer available for contact. Cancelled pick up? No problem, you have alternative childcare. I'm sure your ex will kick off horribly, but tbh, he probably will anyway if you insist on a contact centre.

summerainbow Tue 02-Feb-16 16:36:45

Have you thought about using a child minder aa a drop off and pick up point

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Tue 02-Feb-16 16:54:04

I totally get where you're coming from re control, my ex was/is the same. We now use a "communication book" to talk about DS, so not only do I not have to speak to him but if he tries to be controlling/abusive there is a written record of it. Maybe you can do something like this until you get a CC or alternative pick up in place?

Resilience16 Tue 02-Feb-16 17:22:36

Thanks. Am looking for alternative childcare but v hard to find registered minders who work Saturday, it took me a year to get my original one, then she retired.
I live 200 miles from any family so when ex lets me down I then have to try and cobble together friends to help out last minute so I can get into work.
The communication book is an interesting idea, how does it work, do you send it out with child?

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