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Contact question

(16 Posts)
butterflymeadow Thu 02-May-13 22:00:04


If your ex is some distance away, 3-4 hours, what contact do they have with dc?

We both work full-time and ex has never lived with me, though he was there most weekends. I am still breastfeeding and co-sleeping so overnights not an option yet. Fortunately ex agrees on that.

At the moment, he sees dc every Saturday, but I would like an arrangement which gives me some proper weekend time with dc.

I want to suggest that he sees dc 2 Saturdays out of three, which would become - when dc can do overnights - one overnight weekend, one weekend Saturday contact as now, and one weekend with me.

I am not in a position to reduce my working hours though I can work flexibly to an extent. However dc is most settled with consisten nursery hours, which I keep to the minimum I can daily. Please can you give me some honest opinions? I want to be reasonable, but also feel I am not getting quality time with dc at the moment.

butterflymeadow Thu 02-May-13 22:02:50

The other question, sorry, was if that amount of travel is too much every three weeks? For a little one, I mean.

I have not posted here before, so apologies if I should have introduced myself.

Spero Thu 02-May-13 22:05:48

If it went to court, the 'usual' order for an older child is every other weekend with the non resident parent. I think you are too far apart from each other to make anything else work - I am assuming he wouldn't be able to travel to do a mid week contact for eg.

The court would want you both to have an opportunity to have weekend 'fun time'.

3-4 hours is a long way for a little child to travel so I don't think more frequently could work, unless he is prepared to come to you.

Spero Thu 02-May-13 22:06:45

sorry, not expressing myself very clearly - while he is little, I don't think he should be doing that amount of travelling on a frequent basis, so once every 3 weeks sounds about right.

butterflymeadow Thu 02-May-13 22:37:09

Thanks. Ex is insisting on weekly contact to the extent he is booking travel to come up even when my sol has proposed alternate weekends.

I would imagine dc would travel for the overnight contact weekend, ex would travel forthe Saturday contact and no-one would travel for the weekend with me. I think alternate weekends is too much for dc to travel, also the Saturday contact here would allow ex to do stuff in dc's home area.

Of course this means that parties, playdates etc on Saturdays will be an issue but I guess we can cross that bridge at the time. At the moment, I would like fun time at the weekend without ex planning to come regardless, so am looking for a workable compromise thanks again

Spero Thu 02-May-13 22:50:00

I think your plan sounds fairest compromise. Hope you sort it out.

butterflymeadow Thu 02-May-13 23:03:35

Thanks, fingers crossed.

PurpleThing Fri 03-May-13 03:20:48

Agree it's important for you both to have quality time. This is in dc's interest.

Have you considered holidays in this? Presuming you both get annual leave from work, you could offer to plan it so he gets additional overnights while he is on holiday (once dc is ready) as a little sweetener. As you will be at work you won't be missing out on so much time.

Can you research something he could take dc to in your area on Saturdays? Dad's group or a class? The more he gets to know other parents in your area, the more he is likely to agree to take dc to parties etc, which will be important to dc when they are older.

redskynight Fri 03-May-13 08:21:43

My ex lives that distance away and decided that "it is too onerous" for him to travel to see his children (his words). He is fit, healthy, can afford it, has our 'top of the range' family car, and has seen his children once in over 9 months and his dad organised that (seriously). Ex is in his mid 30s btw, not 18. So there is a little bit of me that would love every Saturday off. Although I totally understand why you need time with your children too.

If he would even entertain the idea. I feel that the children visiting him for more extended periods in school holiday times (once they are preschool/school age) is most appropriate - so roughly every 5-6 weeks, with him visiting them in between. As it is a lot of driving back and to for young children, for one or two nights. Also as they become more school-age they start having a social life/parties and clubs on weekends, which should take some form of priority.

lostdad Fri 03-May-13 08:56:06

`Usual' contact may not be suitable for your dc. Maybe it's more, maybe it's less.

Forget what everyone else recommends...what works best for your children? What's possible between you and your ex?

If you can come to an agreement with your ex that is the best outcome. The fact you are separated from his should be irrelevant - you work together for their best interests.

If you have sticking points, try mediation. Google National Family Mediation, give them a call and organise a meeting. They will walk you through the process.

The best outcome for the children of separated parents is a) meaningful contact with both b) their parents cooperating (and not getting involved in court and the like and c) flexibility.

kittycat68 Fri 03-May-13 09:43:43

try to compromise ith the dad OP. You are in this for the long run. and you both need to get along for the best interests of your child.

its not about you or him or whats in either of your interests.

Agree with lost dad here.

butterflymeadow Fri 03-May-13 10:15:33

Thanks everyone. I also agree we should work together, but negotiation involves two people, and I have been subject to intimidation and harassment and I am the one offering compromises. So, the question was about length of travel time/frequency those with small children and similar distance to work with would see as appropriate. I am fully aware of how things should work in an ideal world.

balia Fri 03-May-13 12:05:04

I'm assuming from what you have said that the DC's are very young - Cafcass recommend little and often at a young age, so seeing Dad every week seems appropriate for them at the moment. A fortnight is a long time for such little ones. Could you negotiate the change over a longer period? So keep things as they are until the overnights can be managed, or perhaps suggest that ocassionally he come up for a long weekend (bank holiday made me think of this) and see the DC Sat and Sun in return for a mum weekend the following week?

Thing is, reducing his (already very limited) contact with the DC's is never going to be seen as 'offering compromises'. If you argue that a single day of contact in a weekend is not 'proper weekend time' well he doesn't get any either, then. He has also chosen to support you with co-sleeping by not insisting on overnights so far, to my mind that is compromise and at least some level of working together.

I do think that wanting to change the current arrangement should be based on the needs of the DC's, rather than your own (perfectly understandable) desire for full weekends.

butterflymeadow Fri 03-May-13 12:31:51

balia, thanks, I appreciate your thoughts.

showerhead Fri 03-May-13 16:30:47

there isn't a one size fits all answer. I have a grown up step-son who always preferred to see his father on the weekend than go to a party, that was him, maybe unusual for a child but he really enjoyed the one to one time with his Dad. Obviously a child's social life can be very important for some but don't forget that some children are more introverted , not hugely into parties or even clubs and actually like being around their parents- especially if they don't spend much time with them generally.

Young children tend to fare best with frequent contact and personally I think from what you've stated that the current contact is ideal given the circumstances, reducing it isn't really best for DC. I agree with Balia- keep contact every Saturday for now until overnights are doable then move to alternate weekends with staying contact. If you want to go away for the weekend then negotiate that around him getting more time another weekend.

Theydeserve Fri 03-May-13 22:32:14

just accept in order for your children to see their father when they are young you will give more than he ever does!!

Hence why I have driven 2.5 hrs round the M25 on a friday night for his weekend, because suddenly he could not and he knew I was going away for a girlie weekend and flight booked for early tomorrow.

2.5 hrs there, 2 hrs back on his contact weekend - deep breath and count to 100.

twunt, twunt, twunt

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