Access decisions - struggling with Xmas, ideas please?(11 Posts)
I'm 15 months into being a single mum. My ex is living with his new partner who is expecting a baby in a few months. The divorce is nasty and going through courts - ex has dragged it there. He left/decided marriage was over and OW appeared soon after...
I've always been main carer for the children who are 10 and 12. Letters have been pinging back and forth on access - the contentious remaining issue is
Xmas. The children have always spend xmas eve/day at home and had my family over, never spent with ex's family (he didn't want to, they never invited us). Last Xmas ex had them 3 days before Xmas eve, then they were home xmas eve/day (he came over to see them on Xmas day, I went out and left him to have time with them). They were with him Boxing Day and two days after.
He lives a short walk away... The children and I would like to repeat this pattern. He is looking for alternate Xmas - he wants them xmas eve and day this year. He is threatening court unless I agree.... This is really painful. Not sure what to do and would love advice/ideas.
He has them every other weekend and one night for tea plus 5 weeks total school hols and I have bent over backwards to accomodate his working patterns etc. I feel I have been very reasonable. Do I stand my ground or have i no hope on Xmas? Am sure lots of you have been there.... Thanks for reading x
Sharing Christmas is standard, though I'm sure others will be along to tell you to stand your ground.
My ex and I split Christmas Day, so one has Xmas eve til 1 or 2pm on Xmas Day, the other has 1-2pm on Xmas Day and Boxing Day. I actually prefer to have them the second half of the day so I know they are coming to me rather than having them in the morning knowing they're going to have to leave. Christmas is hard, especially if you have set traditions (we were the same as you, always with my family). New traditions have emerged for both of us post-split though.
Thanks Bellemere I think I'd rather something like that than not being with them at all on xmas day. He set up win th their Dad has changed so quickly - new partner, house, baby - that I'm finding they are struggling to take it all in and need me/ home for the stability. I feel that changing xmas, especially this year, would be a step too far. They have both voiced strong views that they want to keep things the same as last year.... So hard. Lawyers have told me splitting xmas is standard, but I feel frustrated as though I a, being pushed down this standardised split family route. The law doesn't know my situation or my children!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I think at 10&12 your children's views should be taken into account by the court -after all it's their access, not their dad's
Have the children told their dad what they want? Might be a good place to start.
My DD is 11, the years she is not with me we have Christmas on a different day. She loves it two round of presents, two Christmas dinners. Alternating in some form whether you split the day is pretty standard.
My mum had shared custody of my cousins when i was young. On the years that their dad had them on Christmas day we would have another christmas on boxing day with my cousins. Its turned into a tradition now for all the family to get together for christmas dinner and family gifts on boxing day.
Have the kids Christmas Eve to Christmas Day 3pm while ex has Christmas Day 3pm to 27th/28th ish.
Personally once Xmas dinner is done I like to snooze until Dr Who, have a early night and be lazy and eat cold cuts the next day.
Ex preps Boxing Day dinner on the 25th morning and does his pressies on 26th so the kids get 2 Xmas days. As he doesn't get XmasEve, he still hasXmas energy on the 27th so win win for the kids.
Thanks all - some helpful advice and good ideas
We've been splitting the day too, although earlier split - Xmas eve to 11.30am Xmas day, then over to other parent. It means we can get to a grandparents for lunch if we chose! Has been OK so far. As Belle said though, I was so upset the first time I didn't have Xmas eve or wake up together Xmas morn, but actually have now realised I prefer having them for the afternoon and lunch - I'm looking forward to seeing them rather than waiting for them to go x
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