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negotiating childcare arrangements- help needed

(15 Posts)
typographicerrors Tue 19-Mar-13 16:09:11

my partner and I are separating; after a long period of unhappiness on both our parts I have met someone else and cannot attempt to make things work any more. Partner is deeply hurt, angry, upset - understandably. I want to be sensitive to his feeling but also want to work out how we look after our two children - we have always shared parenting evenly and fairly as we both work full time. Partner wants me out of the house immediately and to retain custody of the children; I want a proper conversation about what we think is best for them rather than him dictate the terms. I dont really know where and how to begin to sort things out; me being in the house is creating tension that the children are picking up on but I feel anxious about leaving the family home without having some agreed arrangements in place about the children. Am I being unreasonable?

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 19-Mar-13 18:58:50

I would make a list of what you think would work how much contact the children have with each parent. It is not custody now, but contact and it should be for the children's benefit and fulfilling their needs.
Try to sit down and have a rational conversation. I would also seek legal advice and they may suggest mediation if you are unable to reach an agreement.

STIDW Tue 19-Mar-13 22:50:08

Before leaving the family home please see a solicitor to find out where you stand and then you can negotiate from an informed position. It isn't unreasonable wanting arrangements for children and finances in place before leaving. HOwever under the circumstances you may find it takes your partner some time to adjust to the emotional realities of separation before any constructive progress can be made.

There are some good resources to assist separating parents negotiate arrangements for children at The Parent Connection website. You may also find it useful to have a written parenting agreement so for example you can decide in advance what sort of notice would be appropriate to change arrangements or organise holidays.

typographicerrors Wed 20-Mar-13 10:34:37

thank you for your advice - I think it is so hard to balance the emotional turmoil my OH is going through and how much he wants me out of the house with my fear that he is trying to assert moral authority over the family and the situation and make it hard for me to look after my girls in the way that I want to.

rottenscoundrel Wed 20-Mar-13 14:06:30

why do you have to leave?

NomNomDePlum Wed 20-Mar-13 14:14:58

it isn't clear to me why you have to leave, and why you would leave the children behind if you did? is it his house? do you want the children to live with him, not you? i realise that he is very (understandably) hurt, but contact with children is a separate issue from the (pretty shoddy) way you have ended your relationship with their father.

rottenscoundrel Wed 20-Mar-13 14:40:19

if it helps, I broke up with dh (though there was no-one else involved) and he left. I asked him to. He did at one stage, in anger, ask if I would leave and I said I would as long as the kids came with me. Ultimately, he wanted the kids to stay in their home and we both felt it was easier if he set up somewhere else.

We also both work full time and share the care. He found a place about a 10/15 mins walk away so he can still see the kids a lot during the week.

Are you moving in with the other man?

typographicerrors Thu 21-Mar-13 19:28:48

I am leaving because it feels the right thing to do to give him some breathing space in the house. I'm not proud of the way things have ended, and it feels as though i should give him some space. I do not want to leave the children behind at all, but I also feel that to uproot and disrupt them is not ideal - and it also comes back to the fact that we have shared parenting pretty equally over the years. The house is ours, jointly, and at some point then we will either have to sell it or rent it out. Im not moving in with anyone else- I need my own space and want to establish a second home for my girls - that is my absolute priority.

clam Thu 21-Mar-13 19:38:02

What a tricky situation. The thing is, if you are physically the one to leave the house, then forever more it is perceived by everyone, but more importantly by your dds, that you walked out on them - even if that's not strictly the case.
Not sure it's the same situation, but Princess Diana's mother was always vilified for having abandoned her children when in fact, she took them with her but her ex refused to allow her to collect them after a contact weekend. She never lived it down - and yet he was alleged to have been abusive.

typographicerrors Thu 21-Mar-13 20:35:37

I know clam, I know and it makes me sick to the stomach to think that. Im trying to be fair & reasonable to my partner and have been round the houses trying to think of ways to find a solution that is fair to him but doesn't suggest in any way that i am leaving my children - very tough. I guess this is the harsh flip side of having been fair and equal co-parents throughout our relationship.

thanks for all your message though, really helps to have objective views.

clam Thu 21-Mar-13 20:59:04

And, having just re-read your OP, if you have met someone else then it's going to seem (to them) even more that you have abandoned them for him. The fact that your and your h have been miserable together for years will get lost in the ether.
Sorry, you probably know all that, but my gut reaction is "don't be the one to move out, for God's sake,"

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 21-Mar-13 21:54:17

One tip I can give you based on my scenario is keep your new partner and your DC separate for quite a while.
My ExH and I told DD we weren't making each other happy so were going to have two happy homes rather than one unhappy one. However, he had the other OW over for a 'sleepover' three days after he left when DD stayed at his house for the very first time!!! Needless to say without me saying a word DD has worked out why we split she currently hates OW and I can only imagine the backlash ExH is going to face in the teenage years.

typographicerrors Thu 21-Mar-13 22:33:13

i have no intention of doing that for quite some while lone cat - think it is much too much too soon. hard enough for children to deal with separation...

Til80 Sun 31-Mar-13 19:41:35

I had a very very similar situation- Years and years of dead marriage, many attempts to save it including counselling refused by ex. And issues of emotional abuse too. I also fell in love with someone else, but he lived and still lives in another country. I told me ex about him. We have a 12 year old son and I was the breadwinner and my ex at home (total role reversal) I found an apartment 5 mins from the old family home and moved out end of Jan. Ex and I are in counselling to separate without lawyers. We have joint custody of our son and he stays with me 2 days a week plus every 2nd weekend. We agreed on a flexibility during times he is with my ex so he is free to visit me and I him whenever we want. It is actually working really well. We have a "family lunch" once a week and my son really does feel at home in my new place.

I have been taking things very slowly with my new partner. It does help he lives in a different country so we see each other once or twice a month. We have loved each other for years and my son knows him (as a friend of mine) We are basically waiting until nearer the end of the year (once my ex and I have been separated for a year) to let my son know.

There will always be people who judge if you leave, but with lots of work, communication and a lot of care and taking it very very slow with the new partner it can work. No-one should have to live in a dead marriage. And if people perceive you in a particular way that is their problem. I have learned who my friends are during this process. Only you and your children know the truth and children can be just as abandoned emotionally by parents living in the same house.

Also your partner sounds like my ex, a very hands on dad. Like you I did not want to up root my son from his home and it has been much easier to create a 2nd home than I ever thought. The main thing is that it is in the same neighbourhood and you have an amicable relationship with your ex.

Good luck

typographicerrors Wed 03-Apr-13 00:06:55

thanks Til80, such a horrid awkward time at the moment that knowing that there are positives from other peoples experiences really matters...

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