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can i ask about access - how much is normal?

(11 Posts)
draughtywindows Sun 22-Sep-13 20:59:17

Hi there, i'm in the process of splitting up with my DH and am trying to arm myself with as much info as poss. Hoping to avoid the court route, but wanted to find out about access. We have a 2 yr old DS and my STBXH is clearly hoping for as much access as possible. I know it depends massively on different circumstances, but assuming things are reasonably amicable, what is a reasonable amount? Is it every other weekend, or more? I'm really not sure.

To complicate things, I'm hoping to move a little further away as I can't afford to live in current (very expensive) town. So the journey could be an issue, certainly don't want DS to be in the car every weekend, but if a court would enforce weekly contact, I might have to rethink my plans.
thanks all

smokinaces Sun 22-Sep-13 22:00:31

A reasonable amount is both parents 50/50. So you need to look at that and negotiate from there. His father is fully entitled to 50/50 custody.

there is no set access arrangements. Some prefer every weekend, some every other. Some like midweeks, some choose not to whilst children are very young. You and your ex partner can come to an arrangement between you, but courts can become involved if either party is not happy.

Its not easy, but trying to keep things amicable helps

MadameLeBean Sun 22-Sep-13 22:05:52

Well a court will decide what is in the best interest of the child which is often NOT 50-50 actually. If you live close to each other and coparent well and get on , despite the split, then maybe it can work 50/50. Otherwise, not so nice for the child(ren).

MadameLeBean Sun 22-Sep-13 22:06:33

Isn't normal every other weekend plus a share of the holidays.

betterthanever Sun 22-Sep-13 22:29:41

I guess it depends totally on your circumstances - is you DH a stay at home Dad for example? - if so and you work full time then you may get every other weekend and an over night in the week to keep the routine stable for your DC. Has he talked about it much? the best thing would be for you to both see what you would like and think how that would affect DC i.e. long car journies and take it from there.
In answer to your question no there is not a norm it has to be in the best interests of the child but that is a very broad subject.

Sasquatch75 Sun 22-Sep-13 22:41:57

Everyone is different and what works for one family might not work for another. But to give you an idea, my ex has the DCs every other weekend from 9.30am sat to 7pm sun. And also sometimes after school midweek.

My friend's ex has their DC every Wednesday after school and overnight, and then every Friday 5pm to sat afternoon.

lostdad Mon 23-Sep-13 12:28:24

Please forget `normal'. Your goal is what is in the best interests of the children - not what everyone else does!

Children benefit from a meaningful relationship with both parents following separation. `Normal' contact is 14% of the time.

What was the situation before separation? How much time with both parents can you and your ex handle jobs and money allowing?

Please, please, please do everything in your power to stay amicable. Go down the court route and it'll get a lot harder and a lot nastier - and a lot more expensive.

Talk to your ex and see him as an equal. If you can, go to mediation. Google National Family Mediation.

It is very hard being a separated parent but court is harder.

MissDiscombobulated Mon 23-Sep-13 16:15:54

Reading this with interest... This seems to be a very woolly area. Is it totally up to the parents to decide and then if not in agreement and go down the court route then for them to decide? As a mother of a young 2 yr old, would a court really rule that you get every other weekend and a day a week??

lostdad Mon 23-Sep-13 16:53:00

`Is it totally up to the parents to decide'

That's most parents do!

The court works on the `paramountcy principle' - the best interests of the child being paramount...every case on it's own merits.

You get what you argue for in court...

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 23-Sep-13 17:14:29

As others have said there is no normal. Mediation can be very useful to reach agreement if you can't resolve it just between the two of you and of course is cheaper than court. Also don't think of what you agree as being set in stone, it may need to change when your child starts school and later on.
We all would like our children with us all of the time, but the most important thing is to be child centric and think about what would be best for them.
It is horrible when you don't have your DC, but I find it is best to keep busy when you don't have them. At first I cleaned a lot and then I joined a choir.

mumtobealloveragain Mon 23-Sep-13 19:16:17

It probably is "the norm" but becoming less and less so. Dads used to be the "breadwinner" and work full time whilst mum stayed at home. Not as commonplace nowadays and dads are entitled to flexible working too.

I can't imagine only seeing my children every other weekend and one midweek tea time, so perhaps look at that option and think about how you would feel if you were him?

I have 50:50 residency of my children shared with their father. My partner also had 50:50 residency of his children. My children spend a week with me and then a week with their dad and so on, my partner's children have a different pattern with shorter blocks of 2/3/4 days at a time moving between each home after that period but which equates to 50:50 still.

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