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It has been suggested to me to try mediation as me and my partner are struggling to agree a custody arrangement with our son. I want him every other weekend and then my partner has every other weekend with 1 day in the week. He is saying this isn't enough and he wants him 2 nights a week but this is too much for me, I need to be with our son. It has been suggested to try mediation but with neither of us willing to budge re: custody, is it a waste of money or should I just let it go to court and see what a judge says. Any advice would be appreciated?
Usually mediation has to be attempted first before a judge will listen to the case anyway.
How old is your son?
You say 2nights a week is too much for you, but what about your son? Is he happy to do 2 nights a week?
Ultimately it is about the child’s needs and not your own. I understand you may be feeling upset at parting with your son, but your ex has the same feelings I suspect and that’s why he’s asking for 2 nights a week.
I would advise you to re-consider his contact offer, and try to understand why you feel so reluctant to let him stay with his father.
Other things to think about in 'negotiations':
- could you agree a different pattern during the school holidays (if son is of school age, or nearly there)?
- are you fully agreed on the definition of a weekend? Is it 3 nights (Fri/Sat/Sun) or 2 (Sat/Sun) or just 1 (Sat)?
- have you thought about birthdays, Christmas, mothers/fathers day?
You sound quite close in terms of ideas, and could perhaps consider flexibility at the edges rather than getting entrenched in 2 nights vs 1 night with a clear winner and loser. A compromise on that would be a pattern that alternates 2 nights then 1 -- and a cheeky judge could propose that awkward pattern if s/he thinks the parents are not working together! (unlikely though)
Other post is right - need mediation before judge (and mediator may have other ideas); and child's needs take priority not the parents'. So it's no use saying "I need to be with our son", but that could make sense if "my son needs to be with me" (if that's accurate, of course).
Unless he was abusive you have to try mediation.
Alternatively you could give your ex partner what he wants and then demonstrate that it isnt the most suitable arrangement for your son.
Most importantly, and this is difficult, its not about whats best for you. If you are seen to be thinking about yourself you will shoot yourself in the foot.
Why do you " need" to be with your son more than his dad does?
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