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to no longer want to provide free childcare for my exp

(77 Posts)
ratburger56 Wed 30-Mar-16 22:47:54

Aibu to resent being expected to continue to be a free childcare service to my ex even though it greatly reduces the time that i can work?

We have been seperated for 2yrs, and are currently divorcing.

We have 50/50 shared care for our two young children who adore both of us and have been in the same routine for the last two years.

My ex wants to now swap the routine around as his job is changing and his days off will now be in the half of the week that i currently have the children. He has a decent enough salary and can afford either not to work the hours he is choosing or to pay for childcare in his time with the children.

I am a lone parent with no available help from family currently looking for low paid part time work to fit around the time that the children are with him. I have been a sahp to our children for the last 7yrs and already finding it tough to find a job to fit in with the available time that i have.My problem with the proposed swap is that it will further limit the time i can work from three days down to two as it will mean i will have the children for three week days instead of the two that i currently have them. We have split the child benefit so i would only get help with childcare costs for one of the children if i were to swap and would be struggling to make ends meet if i needed to cover the childcare costs as well due to me having the children for an extra day during the week.

He has said to me that i should swap or he will be seeking to have more than 50% of the time with the children to make up for the time that he is working and having to pay for childcare.

RudeElf Wed 30-Mar-16 22:53:51

I say this as a lone parent to two who does all of the care. Dad sees them once night a fortnight, if he feels like it. If you want to work you will make it happen independently of what he is doing. Work does not have to mean day time out of the house requiring childcare. I work two jobs, one in retail and one as a cleaner. Initially as a cleaner solely it was very good for fitting in with preschool and now school.

How old are your children?

Griphook Wed 30-Mar-16 22:55:10

I'm sorry I don't really understand. But if he's changed his job that's up to him and he needs to sort childcare to suit his needs not to get you to pick up the slack.
You need to have a routine in place so you can get a pattern for work or work set days. So you have them sat-wed he had then Thursday to Sunday, then within that your child care arrangements are done to each of you.

Osolea Wed 30-Mar-16 22:55:33

If you aren't currently working, I'd say YABU. But how amicable are you with each other? Is there any chance you could look for work and then talk about how you both pay for childcare when it happens, maybe by splitting the costs 50/50? It sounds like he's a good Dad and jobs do change sometimes, he's not really doing anything wrong.

Why can you only work for two days if you split the week 50/50? There is low paid work available at weekends as well as weekdays.

I think you both need to try and be flexible with each other, your children's needs will change over time as they get older, and you might find yourself in a position where you need him to swap a day too in the future.

ratburger56 Wed 30-Mar-16 23:00:06

8 and 5, i would happily work full time if i could recieve help with the cost of childcare for both of them as i would at least be better off than i currently am, which is why i am trying to find work to fit around the schedule we currently have, but he is unwilling to help me out at all financially.

imeatingthechocolate Wed 30-Mar-16 23:01:29

tell him to take you to court? seriously no one is going to tell you that you have to pander to his wishes just because he has a cock and balls

state quite clearly you are no longer in a relationship you don't have to change what is working for you and your children

why do you split the child benefit if he works more and earns more?

RudeElf Wed 30-Mar-16 23:07:14

At 8 and 5 they are in full time school so you can work part time either with wrap around care or no childcare costs. if they are with him 2/3 weekdays that gives you quite an enviable position to be in WRT work opportunities IMO.

As he is the one who currently has a job then i would adjust the contact arrangement now and agree that it is now fixed and base your job search on you being available on the days he has them (and maybe during school hours on the days he doesnt)

Osolea Wed 30-Mar-16 23:08:52

Does he already use childcare for the time that he's at work when he has the dc?

MadamDeathstare Wed 30-Mar-16 23:12:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TendonQueen Wed 30-Mar-16 23:15:43

It would help if we knew what the days were for each of you. But is he saying he wants to move to you having them 3 weekdays when you currently have them 2 weekdays? If so, I'd say 'sure, but I'm looking for work across 3 days so I can have them for two, but you'll need to pay for childcare for the third day'.

sleeponeday Wed 30-Mar-16 23:28:31

He has said to me that i should swap or he will be seeking to have more than 50% of the time with the children to make up for the time that he is working and having to pay for childcare.

Oh bless his heart. Did he discuss naming the pigs fluttering their pretty pink wings past his window, too?

cdtaylornats Wed 30-Mar-16 23:35:59

So rather than adjust the days you might find work on, you think he should stick to the current agreement and the children get to see the child minder rather than their father.

That sounds ideal for the children.

MadamDeathStare where did you find the information that the OP had a career? Presumably if the two were still together the job change would make no difference.

The majority here seem to be of the opinion that turning a reasonably amicable divorce from the sound of it into an acrimonious one would be helpful.

Perhaps the OP should simply get more of the child benefit if she is having an extra day with the kids. And OP there are jobs at the weekend too.

RudeElf Wed 30-Mar-16 23:37:24

Yeah its nothing to do with making up for the time he is working or else he'd have wanted them more before now surely? This is to scare you into behaving so he doesnt have to pay out more than necessary in childcare. Ignore any threats.

Personally i would make him responsible for 50% of the weekdays. So 2.5 days which he has the DC and he can do what he likes on those days, work, dont work, pay childcare, whatever. But those days are his responsibility. but i would use his request to swap days to your advantage in that its leverage for you to get those 2.5 days rather than just 2 for you to work. Hope that makes sense?

Basically i am saying, respond to his request with "yes, i think we should be able to work something out that allows us both equal chance to work." It makes no odds to you currently which days he has them because you have no job yet. But it matter to him so i would give him two of the days he has asked for and insist that the third day is split. So you drop them at school and he collects or vice versa. Whoever drops them at school is responsible for them until pick up time. So if they are sick then the dropper off parent has to leave work and collect them/sort childcare for them.

angielou123 Wed 30-Mar-16 23:38:43

I think if the arrangement was working before and he wants to change things then he should be responsible for sorting it out. It's unreasonable of him to expect you to change if it's not convenient for you. I agree with above, tell him to go through the courts if he won't be reasonable.

shazzarooney99 Wed 30-Mar-16 23:39:15

An 8 and 5 year old are in school anyway, so theres nothing to stop you finding a job with school hours, are you complaining that your going to be having your children more? i think your pretty lucky actually.

BlueFolly Wed 30-Mar-16 23:39:45

So is he seriously suggesting that a judge would give him more than 50% custody to make up for seeing them less because he's working?

Tell him to go and ask his solicitor how likely that would be!

ratburger56 Wed 30-Mar-16 23:40:13

When we originally split i agreed to stay off work to look after our youngest while in nursery so he could work full time with me providing the childcare in his time while i claimed income support. He was in a low paid job at the time so we split the benefits so that he could afford to live and provide for the children in his time with them. He then quit that job and took a job working around the time he has the children. He has now decided that he wants a full time job again and thinks that i should provide the childcare for him again only this time by swapping days.

Unfortunately it is not amicable as he is an emotionally abusive bully and as i have tried to distance myself from him he has continued to try to control me.

It is not the first time he has tried to swap our days of contact with the children. first of all by asking to change the pattern that we have them each week and then With him recently asking to have them for an extra day each week as he drives them to a half an hour activity once a week, which he constantly moans about.

My concern is the effect it will have on the children if we continually swap the days we have them to suit his ever changing needs.

BlueFolly Wed 30-Mar-16 23:41:51

'i think your pretty lucky actually.'

No she's not. It's frustrating beyond belief to have someone think that your job and plans should fit around and be secondary to theirs.

RudeElf Wed 30-Mar-16 23:42:01

I agree with above, tell him to go through the courts if he won't be reasonable.

If youre going to take it to court best to get a job thats on those days he wants first. Otherwise any judge will see you have nothing stopping you adjusting the contact to suit his work schedule. And he will try the "my job is at risk if i dont change my hours" thing which the judge will see right through but depending on mood/agenda may humour him and grant him what he wants.

RudeElf Wed 30-Mar-16 23:45:42

My concern is the effect it will have on the children if we continually swap the days we have them to suit his ever changing needs.

if you think he will agree to 2.5 weekdays then i would agree to the change, on the condition that this is now permanent and contact will not be changed after this point. Have it agreed through solicitors and labour the point that you are seeking employment based on that schedule.

If you dont think he will agree to 2.5 weekdays then tell him to take a running jump and get ready for court.

ratburger56 Wed 30-Mar-16 23:47:04

Shazza no i am not complaining about having my children more at all and wish i could as i was the main carer in the first place and would love to go back to that.

I am trying to maximise my chances of being available for work which are currently three week days but if i swap will limit me to two.

RudeElf Wed 30-Mar-16 23:51:27

Ok you are self limiting with the "two days" thing. You dont ust have two days. You have the hours the DC are in school, the evenings and weekend days they are with their dad and the evenings they are with you but in bed (work from home- online, taking in ironing, book keeping- lots of possibilities)

ratburger56 Wed 30-Mar-16 23:52:15

Sorry am being vague as my posts have been found before so am trying not to out myself if i can help it.

noeuf Wed 30-Mar-16 23:57:59

Where are all these school hours term time only jobs? Isn't it more likely that you will need to arrange childcare and work in a similar pattern to most people so now is the time to take back the child benefit and look at childcare costs?

sleeponeday Thu 31-Mar-16 00:02:49

But why should OP alter her life and plans and work prospects to improve those of a man she is on really bad terms with, and who makes zero effort to accommodate her back, instead preferring threats?

Co-operating with an ex so you can co-parent constructively is the ideal. It also takes two to tango. It does not mean providing an endless resource of free, infinitely flexible childcare and generous financial arrangements so the ex never has to pay child support and always has childcare on tap when it suits him. Either he's an equal parent and has to take equal responsibility, or OP is primary carer and he sees them less and pays more so he can have a more interesting/better paid job/a better work-life balance.

How anyone can argue reasonableness of an ex threatening to remove some of the co-parent's time with the kids unless they permanently work their life around his I don't pretend to know.

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