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Changing childcare arrangement - Potentially going to court

(26 Posts)
Little0ne Wed 22-Jul-15 16:55:05

Hi all,

I'm hoping to obtain some advise on childcare arrangements. I have a 4yr old who currently stays overnight with the dad Mon/Tues & every other weekend. This has been in place for 3yrs and has worked for now as the nursery he is at runs from 07:30-18:00 allowing the dad to drop/collect him.
Note - this has always been a verbal agreement.

I have suggested this arrangment changes now as our child is to start school in Sept (08:50-15:15) and I have flexible hours (as well as working from home) allowing me to carry out the school runs. I have suggested the dad to have him every other weekend (Thurs-Mon) where I am able to collect him Thurs after school avoiding a long day at the school. Every other Fri will be a long day (~10hrs) however our child can have a lie in at the dads if need be on the Sat.
The dad is threatening to take me to court for 50/50 if I don't agree to having the current situation remain the same.
I have no issues with the dad coming over to see the child during the week, etc however I feel it best he stays overnight with me most of the school week.

I have no idea what my chances are in court as the 50/50 arrangement has been place for 3 yrs however the situation has changed with re schooling where our child will be mentally & physically challenged therefore no need for the long hours.
The dad argues that I'm also introducing a personal change and doesn't want less contact with his child which I can appreciate.

I look forward to any advice, feedback on similar experiences.

Thank you

RedHelenB Wed 22-Jul-15 19:43:11

Cant you keep it as it is for now? If son can't cope then look at sorting something else out.

Little0ne Wed 22-Jul-15 21:13:36

I feel it would be too much for him as Mon&Tues with the dad would consist of a pre & after school activity that would result in a ~10hr day for 2 days on a trot at the start of his school week?
The dad wants something down on paper as well so don't want to agree to anything yet as it won't be in my favour in future.

millymollymoomoo Wed 22-Jul-15 22:43:27

you mention it works now as nursery runs from 7.30 to 6pm allowing dad to drop off / collect. I read that as your DS attends extended hours in the nursery now? If so, why can't he attend pre/after school for those 2 days. (dad to pay for them)
I know all children are different but many reception age children attend before and after school clubs 5 days a week (mine included) and don't find it particularly tiring. I would tend towards saying leave contact as is now and evaluate based on what actually happens, if it becomes apparent that your DS is struggling, then maybe look at other options.

Little0ne Thu 23-Jul-15 13:42:17

Hey milly....

Thanks for your advice however DS has naps ~twice a week at nursery currently.
Also would it not be better for a child to be with his mother than sending to a pre/after school club?

millymollymoomoo Thu 23-Jul-15 14:37:27

IMO opinion a 5 year old (reception age child) wont need naps on a regular basis and I'm surprised that this is still required at nursery tbh - although appreciate all children are different. Certainly most of my friends children and my own had cut these out by then. I don't think reception is actually any more tiring than a nursery environment.

From my own experience my own DS (and DD)and his friends actually really enjoyed going to the after school club as they got to play with lots of older children too and were disappointed when I went to collect early!. But again that is my own experience.

All I'm saying is that why not give it a go? its only 2 days a week, he is growing up and will quickly get used to the routine of ASC Monday/Tuesday and may even enjoy it, while at the same time maintaining the current level of time with his dad.

If it doesn't work out you can have a rethink. As he grows up the routine will most likely need to reviewed regularly anyway as he starts to do extra curricular clubs/sports, etc

Is it possible for your ex to pick up early one of the days and make up the time at work on another day to avoid the ASC requirement if that is was you are concerned about?

Little0ne Thu 23-Jul-15 15:08:36

I hear what you're saying wrt the after school club - happy to review this at a later stage - just don't feel now is a good time with the change to school, routine, etc.
Also what would you do if you were able to collect your child instead of putting them in an afterschool club?
I doubt the ex will be able to collect him earlier as he does tend to work long hours.
What I'm worried about is that the ex will want all this in writing if i was try it out (ex having him 2 overnight stays a week) which will make it more difficult for me to then change.

Ohmymg Thu 23-Jul-15 15:13:16

Could ex not collect from home after you have picked up from school?

I don't see the need for ASC if you are able to collect but can understand ex not wanting to drop contact.

Are there any other arrangements possible? Ex dropping at school monday then one overnight midweek for example?

Little0ne Thu 23-Jul-15 15:18:19

I've already suggested Thurs-Mon every other weekend where the ex can collect from mine Thurs eve. Felt end of the week was best so not to disrupt routine early week.
Note - the ex doesn't reach home till 6ish.

Bubblesinthesummer Thu 23-Jul-15 15:20:40

I agree with others. Why not try it and see. I can understand your ex being upset tbh..

Little0ne Thu 23-Jul-15 15:46:14

Like I said if i do try it i won't be able to revert it so easily.
My ex is cunning man!

I'm not saying the ex can't see DS - it just doesn't make sense for DS to be at school long hours to then only have around 1.5hrs with the ex in the eve where he will be fed, bathed, put to bed.

RandomMess Thu 23-Jul-15 15:50:41

Could you offer more time in the school holidays so the number overnights in year doesn't actually change?

RedHelenB Thu 23-Jul-15 15:57:39

But tbh that happens in a lot of families anyway so I think if it went to court the status quo would be granted.

millymollymoomoo Thu 23-Jul-15 16:06:23

i actually disagree with your comment that it wont be worth it to only have 1.5 hours where he will be fed, bathed and put to bed. I actually think it is very important to be able to do just that - i.e. be a 'normal' dad that gets to do these normal parenting things

I can understand you not wanting to put into ASC if you can pick up but I think its important that DS dad gets to do the seemingly trivial things too - don't under estimate the importance of that.

Do you think you can discuss and agree without it needing to be set in writing? Or is that simply not possible?

RandomMess Thu 23-Jul-15 16:15:03

TBH I'd stick with it and let his Dad sort out his childcare issues. He may soon realise that he does need to leave work promptly on Monday's every other week etc.

It's his responsibility to make it work and I agree it's good to do "normal" stuff rather than Disney Dad. Presumably the rest of the week he can have slightly earlier nights if need be.

Little0ne Thu 23-Jul-15 16:45:19

To agree it without it being in writing will be impossible and as I said if I start he will have a stronger case if I wish to revert it.

The dad will still insist on every Mon & Tues (ASC) which again I believe is not neccessary for a child if the mother is able to collect from school on time. Assuming the courts would see this?

The dad will get to carry out the normal stuff every other weekend including the Thurs that i proposed however the ex is not budging and is constantly calling/texting/etc for me to back down. Feel quite bullied actually.

Stubbed Thu 23-Jul-15 16:49:06

It sounds to me that you are being a bit difficult. Why can't you collect 'the child' from school Monday and Tuesday and his dad collect from you?

Little0ne Thu 23-Jul-15 16:56:57

Thanks Stubbed. :-)

I guess that could work if the ex is willing. Just hope it's not to unsettling for DS as he will be at school (early start - pre school club), then mine... then at the dads. 4 different environments for 2 days.

RandomMess Thu 23-Jul-15 17:05:21

TBH just let his Dad sort out afterschool care. I think it's probably more unsettling for him to come home to you and then to Dad. If it's a disaster then you can say you've done it HIS way and it's not worked.

Mine always wanted to go to after school club and loved breakfast club - they get free play with friends so enjoy it.

RandomMess Thu 23-Jul-15 17:06:57

He does sound like he's not very good at putting DS' interests first but longer term the current arrangement should be fine. They are all knackered and a bit horrid when they start school regardless!

littlegreen66 Thu 23-Jul-15 20:21:10

You have an established routine that presumably works now, so why do you need to change that? I know you've decided that it's best for your son to be with you more, but this means you are trying to reduce your son's contact time with his dad.

Either leave arrangements as they are with your ex responsible for childcare on his days, or you pick up your son on Mondays and Tuesdays and your ex picks up from you. I can't see a court sanctioning your new plan as reducing your son's contact wih his dad is not in his best interest.

littlegreen66 Thu 23-Jul-15 20:24:31

Argh - posted too soon sorry.... If you keep the arrangements as they more or less are, and you find it doesn't work for your son, you do then have a very valid reason for proposing a change.

Bubblesinthesummer Thu 23-Jul-15 20:24:49

The dad will still insist on every Mon & Tues (ASC) which again I believe is not neccessary for a child if the mother is able to collect from school on time. Assuming the courts would see this?

No not necessarily at all.

peggyundercrackers Thu 23-Jul-15 21:16:03

If you go to court they would allow child staying different places during the week - friends been there and got the tshirt for that one. They were both told it's got to be 50:50 make it work between you, your both adults.

Little0ne Fri 24-Jul-15 09:00:51

Thanks for all the advice ... perhaps I'll try mediation 1st...

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