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Can't agree on access

(26 Posts)
Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 12:53:00

I have broken up with my children's father, we weren't married, we have 2 dc, dd is 5yo and ds 7months. He is living back at his mum's, I have said he can have the children 3 days a week on his days off. A Tuesday from 15.30 - 20.30 and a Friday over night from 18.00 until 18.00 on the Saturday. This isn't good enough for him and wants to see them every day. I don't want him in my house every day, and with him not getting home from work until after 18.30, and things like homework, dinner, baths etc, it isn't practical to take dcs to his mums every day. I told him if he didn't like the level of contact he can speak to a lawyer which he said he would do. Is it likely he would be given more access or is 3 days a week reasonable access?

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MustardScreams Tue 12-Nov-19 12:55:30

Every day? He is bonkers. The absolute maximum he will get is 50/50 and by the sounds of things he’s not actually putting the children’s needs first, so is unlikely to get that.

I’d go for every other weekend and one evening (not overnight) in the week. That way you both get a full weekend with the children. It’s not fair on them to never get to do fun things with you and just all the dull stuff during the week.

If he doesn’t like it tell him to take you to court.

Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 13:00:48

I had considered every other weekend but I thought he could do something with them on a Saturday and I could do something with them on a Sunday. That way they weren't going too long without seeing him.

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IsItBetter Tue 12-Nov-19 13:05:30

You arent really offering him 3 days a week though (in fact you arent offering the children 1 full day with their dad). 3 days a week would be something like:

week 1:
monday, tuesday: dad
weds, thurs: mum
friday thru sun: dad

week 2:
mon: dad, tues thru sun: mum

rinse and repeat, these days are actually full days not part days.

LochJessMonster Tue 12-Nov-19 13:11:05

A Tuesday from 15.30 - 20.30 and a Friday over night from 18.00 until 18.00 on the Saturday. That's one day and one evening. Nowhere near 3 full days.

MustardScreams Tue 12-Nov-19 13:11:14

A 7 month old shouldn’t be away from their primary career (op) for 5 days every other week. No judge would see that as appropriate until they were older.

Thehagonthehill Tue 12-Nov-19 13:13:41

It's unlikely that the 7 month old would go to dad for more overnights.

Starlight456 Tue 12-Nov-19 13:15:39

The 7 month old us very different to the 5 year old .

He can’t see them every day . It won’t work long term.

Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 13:22:30

I know its not 3 full days. Dd is at school so can't go before 15.30 during the week, they both have swimming lessons on a Friday at 4 so wouldn't get to their dad's until 18.00. He won't agree to every other weekend to give them a full day with him. He wants to see them every day and isn't willing to compromise.

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Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 13:33:08

It also isn't practical for them to go on on evenings when he has been at work that day. He gets home around 18.30/18.45, dc are in bed at 20.45. Hardly worth the hassle of going for 2 hours, I am the one who drops them off and picks them up.

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katmarie Tue 12-Nov-19 13:41:37

I think you need to go on what is best for the kids at this point, not what he or you want. For example, getting home at 8.30pm seems very late for a 5 year old, who I assume has to get up for school the next morning? Is he able to have them overnight during the week and take them to school the next morning? If not, then they need to be home at a sensible time on weeknights and that, along with his work hours will unfortunately limit further his time with them, he will have to accept that if he is going to put the kids first.

I agree that he shouldn't be coming to your house to see them, that sends them a confusing message about the future of your relationship. Can he move closer to you? Change his work hours? That might allow him more frequent access during the week. However to an extent this is his problem to solve, if he wants more access than is practical at the moment.

If he isn't willing to compromise (and I do understand his perspective to an extent, I would be heartbroken if I couldn't see my kids every day and I can't say that I would be massively reasonable about that) then you might need to resort to mediation or court to set arrangements in place, and hopefully that process will put the children's needs front and centre.

scrumptiousbears Tue 12-Nov-19 14:03:16

Maybe he needs to change his hours now he is a lone parent. A worklife balance request so he finishes early on some days maybe he could see them more during the week.

I know it sounds like he is just being demanding but don't forget he is moving out and going from seeing them every day to what you are currently suggesting. That must be tough.

Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 15:03:05

Yes she has school the next morning, luckily we stay across the road from the school. She goes straight to bed after her dad's and gets up ok the next morning. He can't drop her at school as it would make him late for work. I would have to pick them up in the morning and get up earlier than I would have to than if they stayed with me. I am pregnant and would rather no be up and out any earlier than absolutely necessary. He can't change his work hours. I understand it just be hard not seeing them every day and it's hard on the kids too that's why I'm trying to arrange access for as long as possible as often as possible.

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Starlight456 Tue 12-Nov-19 16:21:35

Can I ask if baby you are carrying is his ( not a judgement question) as if he/ she Is you might find it useful to factor in at this point how it will change with a newborn in the mix

Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 17:02:47

@Starlight456 Yes the baby I'm carrying is his. I'm only 11 weeks so haven't thought that far ahead yet.

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doubleshotespresso Tue 12-Nov-19 17:16:10

Could Dad not collect the two eldest swimming for you on a Friday and keep them overnight, maybe pick up 7 month old in the morning for a and return all three at 6pm?

Starlight456 Tue 12-Nov-19 17:22:26

Well it may well be worth just stepping back and separating what is ok for the 5 year old as newborn won’t be doing overnights.

It does sound like a minefield with the combination of the 3 ages however even with a newborn you won’t want to see your ex every day

Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 17:23:36

He refuses to take them swimming because he doesn't want to go in the water with DS and doesn't like drying DD hair.

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MustardScreams Tue 12-Nov-19 17:28:03

God he sounds useless.

I think the best thing is to get proper legal advice if you can regarding what is an appropriate contact and get a solicitor to write him a letter setting out your proposed agreement.

SuperMeerkat Tue 12-Nov-19 17:41:49

It’s not really 3 days a week though is it? It’s one very short evening and 24 hours, which just happens to span over 2 days. Overall, that’s 29 hours out of 168 of which they’ll spend a lot of it asleep. Personally, I can see why he’d be miffed. Just saying.

duckling84 Tue 12-Nov-19 17:52:03

I think it's fair tbh. A judge would usually give one evening a week and every other weekend of 48hrs. So one evening and 24hrs at the weekend is exactly the same access.
And for those saying it's not really 3 days because of the hours - well I say I have my children 7 days a week but if you want to add up the hours I am actually with them (so take out school, work, clubs etc....) well it's just ridiculous. Tuesday/friday/saturday is 3 days imo.
I dont know the reason why you split, but maybe if he wanted to see them everyday that is something he should have considered first.

justchecking1 Tue 12-Nov-19 18:16:15

If you can't sort it between the 2 of you, just go straight to mediation. It doesn't sound like you're going to be able to teach an amicable agreement on your own, and things will just end up getting hostile. Let the experts sort it

RandomMess Tue 12-Nov-19 18:21:11

Go to mediation.

He could drop them off to you before school, you don't need to be the one doing all the dropping and collecting!

I would say seeing their Dad is more important than swimming lessons tbh.

Starlight456 Tue 12-Nov-19 19:30:10

Why does he do none of the drop off or collections ?

Tinkerbell19 Tue 12-Nov-19 21:11:57

He will be seeing them on three separate days over the week. He can't possible have them 3 full days considering he works and dd is at school. I am entitled to spend time with them that doesn't just revolve round dinner, baths, homework, taking them to activities and bed time.
@duckling84 thank you, I was thinking the same as you.
I pick them up and drop them because i drive and he doesn't. There isn't a bus and it would be a half hour walk each way.
@RandomMess DD doesn't want to stop swimming or gymnastics (Thursday) she has been going for a long time and has friends there plus it is good exercise for her.

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