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Help needed re residency arrangements please

(28 Posts)
HavingAnOffDAy Wed 07-Jun-17 21:56:31

Hi

I'll be as brief as possible but include what I think is relevant to avoid drip feeding.

ExH & I separated almost three years ago, I moved out two years ago & we've since divorced.

He's in the ex marital home & bought me out - 50/50 split of assets.

When I moved out (June 2015) we also agreed 50/50 residency for our 2DC. This continued to be the arrangement until January of this year when ExH changed jobs. Due to shifts he now has DC one week night & EOW.

At the weekend he told me that his partner & one of her DC will more than likely be moving in soon & that he'd like to go back to 50/50.

Their plan is to move our youngest DC into the box room, and her DC into his room. There will still be another spare room which they'll keep for guests/her eldest DD (at uni).

I have concerns around the impact on our youngest DC as he's only 6, and I think moving him into a tiny room at a time when his home life is changing again will be really unsettling/upsetting for him, especially when he's just got used to being with me almost full time.

But also on the nights they're with ExH he won't be there either at all in the evening (2-10 shift) or in the morning (6-2 shift).

I want to tell ExH that we should stick to our current arrangement of him having DC one night & EOW but think he would challenge.

Would the court be more likely to agree with me, given that ExH won't be the primary care giver when the DC are at his house?

We agreed the 50/50 split without mediation etc so I've no idea how things like this are viewed.

TIA for any advice flowers

HavingAnOffDAy Thu 08-Jun-17 08:40:47

Bumping for daytime posters

Picklepickle123 Thu 08-Jun-17 08:46:01

If he's not going to be there, why does he want to increase his contact? If it's to reduce the amount of maintenance, then I think it's fairly straightforward to refuse.

RedastheRose Thu 08-Jun-17 08:54:26

Don't know the answer but it sounds very unfair to your son. He has to go and stay when his parent won't be there and be relegated from his own bedroom to the box room in favour of another child while another bigger room is kept for guests! Doesn't sound like any of it is in his best interests, is likely to cause him upset and resentment and yes it sounds like a way to reduce maintenance. I think you should take proper advice from a divorce solicitor to protect your son.

HavingAnOffDAy Thu 08-Jun-17 09:58:49

Thanks for your responses

He doesn't pay any maintenance currentlyangry

HavingAnOffDAy Thu 08-Jun-17 18:24:25

So now I've had a message from him saying he has 50% custody (he doesn't) and will make whatever plans he likes. If I want to change anything I'll have to take him to court.

I feel like I'm being petty by saying no to 50% again but I really don't think he's acting in our sons best interests

Babymonkeynuts Thu 08-Jun-17 18:52:24

You are now established as the primary carer and that is important. Stick to what you think is best for the time being. The most important thing for the courts is what is in the best interests of the child, most importantly they will want to see routine and stability - the court does not like any situation which would be unsettling for a child, particularly if it may be temporary. If Ex has already changed the contact arrangement and then wants to change back (why?) it seems pretty irregular and unfair on the child for no good reason.
His new partner is not Daddy, why should your child have contact with new partner when daddy is not around and you are available and wanting to have your child with you (to provide stability, familiarity and routine etc). It is far too soon too soon for the contact arrangement to change again, just to fit in with ex's dream of happy families, for when his new partner has moved in. when the arrangements for them are settled and you are more comfortable with it, your children are used to it etc - then is the right time to decide, not now. you don't need to have to fit in with the plans which your ex and his new partner wish to make, however lovely it may seem to them. Best thing is to let him know that you might consider a change to contact (if you would) once his new partner has become established in the former family home and the children have got used to it, rather than right now which could be unsettling for the children. in the meantime, make sure you do stick to the current contact routine and perhaps think about offering more contact for one off occasions (eg fathers day coming up is he isn't having contact then). if he agrees to delay his demands, do think about it, don't be against it forever, just tread carefully where the children are concerned.
Take care x

HavingAnOffDAy Fri 09-Jun-17 05:05:16

Baby thank you

My plan was to do as you suggest - tell him that things may change in time, but for now & until everything is settled, the existing arrangements stay.

Thanks again, I feel less unreasonable now! ExH was verbally abusive throughout our marriage & as a result I often question my judgement where he's concerned. His messages yesterday referred to me as behaving like a selfish, spoilt child & is I was questioning myself.

Zampa Fri 09-Jun-17 05:55:21

I'm don't think your DH is right to move your child's room but I can't see why you wouldn't allow 50/50 contact. Your child has 2 parents and a good relationship with both is equally important.

50/50 contact was in place for 18 months out of 24. I think he'd have a good argument in court for this to be reinstated.

why should your child have contact with new partner when daddy is not around and you are available and wanting to have your child with you

Because it's not up to the RP what the NRP does in his contact time and it's important to build relationships with all members of a blended family.

HavingAnOffDAy Fri 09-Jun-17 09:21:27

Zampa 50/50 contact ended when ExH changed jobs & he now works shifts (6am-2pm or 2pm - 10pm)

He asked me to have the kids full time & he would do EOW. He's since arranged to have them 1 night midweek too when he's on 6 -2 (every other week) & his GF stays over that night & takes them to school.

I'm not sure if this is actually the case though as DD (10) mentioned him working a late shift when they've been round there & she asked why they were there with his GF if he wasn't there.

My point is that if he goes back to 50/50 he won't be around anyway - one week he'll be at work after school until after bed time, and the other week he won't be there in the mornings, so why would the DC be there when I would rather have them with me, especially when he's on 2-10?

They're just getting settled into their new routine of being with me most of the time, and now he wants to change things again.

Zampa Fri 09-Jun-17 10:34:27

My point is that if he goes back to 50/50 he won't be around anyway - one week he'll be at work after school until after bed time, and the other week he won't be there in the mornings, so why would the DC be there when I would rather have them with me, especially when he's on 2-10?

It's not up to you what he does/who looks after his children during his contact time. No judge will limit contact based on shift patterns.

I agree that children need certainty. Hope that you can both reach a compromise. You should go to meditation ASAP.

HavingAnOffDAy Fri 09-Jun-17 12:42:27

Thanks Zampa

It's not up to you what he does/who looks after his children during his contact time. No judge will limit contact based on shift patterns.

And this is the crux of it really. Is your advice based on heresay or fact? I don't mean that in confrontational way but am obviously looking for fact

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Fri 09-Jun-17 12:45:02

I would be wondering if his gf knows she is the new childminder. .

HavingAnOffDAy Fri 09-Jun-17 13:51:01

Oh he'll have made it a condition of her moving in!

Lemonnaise Fri 09-Jun-17 14:33:55

No way would I allow this. Why on earth would the DC be at his house and he's not even there, utterly ridiculous. Let him take you to court, I don't think he'd get very far, in fact, I think he'd be laughed out of it.

My DP has two kids and when they come to stay, they are coming to see their father. Very very few times are they here when he's working etc...only in emergencies when I've been asked to help out a few times.

RossGellersteeth Fri 09-Jun-17 14:48:20

Zampa

It's not up to you what he does/who looks after his children during his contact time.

That is such a contradiction. The clue in that sentence is "contact time".
HIS contact time. So why would the kids be there if there's no contact with him?

I would never agree to this OP, not in a million years. Do they even know his g/f?

HavingAnOffDAy Fri 09-Jun-17 16:11:07

They know his GF yes, in fact they're all on holiday together now. They like her, but my DD gets fed up of her being rammed down their throats. On last years holiday they were ordered to thank her for stopping them from burning because she put sun cream on them.

His latest rant is telling me that it's no different to them all moving to a house & our youngest DC getting a smaller bedroom. ExH can't (or chooses not to) see that of course it's different. He's being pulled out of the room he's had for 6 years & being moved to a box room. There's a bigger room that ExH won't consider using.

That's one of the reasons I don't want them being there more than they have to be, but that's by the by, it's the contact thing I'm most bothered about. Because he won't be there!!!

RossGellersteeth Fri 09-Jun-17 18:04:40

Sounds like the g/f is calling all the shots to me. I've had this and put a stop to it. Good luck, it's not easy trying to co-parent with arseholes.

HavingAnOffDAy Fri 09-Jun-17 18:29:55

I've wondered if that's the case Ross

But he was/is so controlling with me I can't work it out

stitchglitched Fri 09-Jun-17 18:39:20

'It's not up to you what he does/ who looks after his children during his contact time'

I would usually agree. But this isn't a case of him sometimes needing to leave his gf in charge when things crop up or occasional childcare. He is actively attempting to have his kids away from their mother when he himself isn't available, as a permanent contact arrangement. OP has every right to object to this.

refusetobeasheep Fri 09-Jun-17 18:53:47

As you are currently the primary carer nothing can change without your agreement. It is he who will have to apply to court, not you. I don't know but I'd be surprised if a court ordered a change backup to 50/50 when the father won't be there. Please don't be bullied into this.

Babymonkeynuts Fri 09-Jun-17 19:36:03

Hiya HAOD, going back to basics, you tried to make it work, it was ex who changed his mind and not for an insignificant amount of time, a new routine has already been established. that is one issue. Next up, how would 50:50 work anyway? Your DC is getting to the age v soon where they need absolute stability for school, they need to know their homework routine, where the PE kit is on certain days, when they can invite friends home after school, etc etc. 50:50 on /off doesn't work - and it s already been disrupted once, there is more change coming ahead with gf and her kids moving in, what is so unreasonable about allowing time for them to settle in before seeing what additional contact would make sense for everyone. You are not saying no to extra contact, you are protecting your child's best interests, it's children's rights that take priority, not those of a demanding Dad. Don't be bullied.

HavingAnOffDAy Sat 10-Jun-17 07:19:18

No, he's pushed me around & bullied me for too long, I'm not allowing it on this one

Zampa Sat 10-Jun-17 10:42:50

I don't want them being there more than they have to be

I've seen too many kids dragged into court proceedings because it's about what the parents want. I've no doubt you have issues with your ex and vice versa. However, your posts are making it obvious neither of you are working in the best interests of your children. I would imagine that your children love their Dad and they have as much right to a relationship with him, his new partner and their step-siblings as with you.

Please consider mediation before this escalates. A mediator will be independent and will hopefully help you reach a compromise.

Getoutofthatgarden Sat 10-Jun-17 16:26:46

Zampa

Are you missing the bit where OP said the father won't be there when the children will be at his house? What's mediation got to do with anything? The children should only be there when their father is. I sure as hell wouldn't hand my child over to the girlfriend when they could be at home with their mother.

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