Separated : X's Access to child(11 Posts)
Hi there, I am separated from husband with 10 year old child. Since separation (soon to be divorced) I have constantly tried to maintain X's access to both of my daughters (10 & 21). Weekdays are very busy after school although Thurs and Frids are free. So the arrangement I made some time back was for X to have access every other weekend from end of school Friday to Sunday eve, and one day after school until about 8pm.
This worked fine for a while but now X is involving his partner in the relationship he claimed this weekend that "I do not wish to continue with the current arrangement of one week on, one week off", I wish to see my daughter as much as possible. Now this sounds GREAT but the reality is that "as much as possible" is only when it fits in to his busy social life. So for instance he was due to have her this weekend, and could only make sat eve to sun eve. But then wanted her all next weekend.
My point is that I do not get quality time with my daughter on weekdays. As mums you will know the reality of getting to school, after school clubs, homework, evening clubs and playdates. So our 'family' time is really Frid eve - Sun eve. I am happy to share that and do the 'every other weekend' scenario and I am offering for him to collect her from school thurs eve on the weekend he doesn't see her. But he is not prepared for it to be planned that way. He rarely makes arrangements to collect her from school. So he saw her this sat, but is not avail next thurs eve and then when it comes to his weekend is only avail again on the sat eve -sun. Now I really don't have a problem if he can't have her, I have nothing more important to do, and include her if I have plans anyway. But he is making it seem that I am being the one that is inflexible, that I should be fitting in with his arrangements each week, he tells me that both him and my daughter are suffering because of my selfishness. I really think I am being fair, but am now worried he will take me to court as he is a very controlling man - any comments/suggestions welcome.
Would going to court be a terrible outcome? Would it not mean consistency and reliability? I've not been in this situation though so, hope you get some experienced and considered responses soon.
If he is looking at taking you to court keep all communications. Then they will be able to see he is the one expecting you to accommodate his plans and that you are putting dd first
I know exactly what you mean. When I was with DH, my step daughter used to go 'ad hoc' to her mum's - sometimes all weekend, sometimes not at all, sometimes just sat night etc. We had no ability to have family time because weekdays were so hectic. I used to ask DH to set up a proper arrangement so we all knew where we were but he wouldn't, it drove me crazy.
Fast forward and we are separated, I have enforced every other weekend with DS. I think it's only fair. I offered Wednesday nights too but he can't fit that in with work. (I also work FT), so that's his look out.
I suppose my advice would be, get it set in stone. The situation with my step daughter was horrendous for everyone because there was absolutely no consistency at all.
Why don't you split the time 50/50 with one week with her dad and one week with you?
It seems unfair that your ex gets all the fun easy time at the weekend and you are the one running around on the weekdays.
I've been advised that prior to going to court you have to try mediation anyway, where you would be able to safely voice your opinions. However, even if it were to get to court, I'm thinking a judge would rule every other weekend anyway, which is what you have so there's nothing for him to gain. You are also allowed to have quality time with your daughter too. I sympathise, it's very difficult if not impossible at times to deal with a controlling ex.
I think you definitely need a consistent arrangement whereby he arranges his social life in a way which puts his commitment to his daughter first and you all know where you are. Every other weekend is perfectly reasonable; he should automatically have dd the entire weekend, but if he chooses to do something else so that he can't, he isn't entitled to demand that you make up for that. If he wants to see her more often, the obvious arrangement is alternating weeks so that he takes all the responsibility of getting her to school, dealing with homework etc but also gets extra time with her.
I second the advice to go to mediation/court and get a formal access agreement. The current schedule isn't fair to you our your daughters. Also, if one of your daughters is 21, shouldn't access arrangements be up to her?
Hi - thanks for response, I was thinking it was me. No DD's are 10 and 21 so eldest is not in question as she doesn't see him that much. Do you think I should put it in writing to him, i.e.. this is the arrangement 1 evening weekday (overnight, drop at school?) and every other weekend? I think she is too young to go a whole week and weekend with him and actually it is only since the separation that he has wanted anything to do with her. He has always worked away from home and had a few hrs contact when he came home at weekends.
Flexibility tends to work well if it suits both parties & they are both flexible to accommodate each other. Otherwise a set arrangement is often preferable as it gives certainty to both parties
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