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Acsess to my son and what to do

(58 Posts)
NRDAD Fri 01-Jan-16 21:18:37

Hi i know its prob unusal for a man to post hre but i would like a womans opinion. Me and my ex split nearly a year ago. Awhile ago we had a reasonable arrangement where our boy was with me tue night wed night then for tea on a thur then alternated 24 hours over night at weekends altho tues was not what she feels she agreed to but was easy for her with work so was getting maintance like i only had 2 overnights which i didnt really care about because i got to have him. After a rather brutal argument on both sides (i wont claim to be inocent in that) she said i had been a dick and took tue from me as punishment.

I pay over what csa say i should and still buy clothes toy ect. She is now demanding i pay half nursery fee for the 2 days a week he goes ( although she recives a wage child maintance from me and all other benifits totalling nearly 2000 while im forced to live off under 1000) and has told me if i dont pay it i will go down to 1 night at the weekend and that is it untill courts tell her other wise.

I dont want to go to court as feel it is a stress emotianally and money wise for everyone involved me her and our child but its looking as if thats how it will have to be done. I am a good father who loves his son to bit and he loves me most times when he has to go back he asks if he can just stay with me which breaks my heart but i know they both love each other too and no matter how much i personally dont get on with the ex i could never come between them having a good full relationship. All i want is the same chance

Bit of a novel there but my questions are

Am i being unreasonable ?
What are my chances of getting split custody through the courts ?
How should i handle my ex on this point ?

OP’s posts: |
AIN Fri 01-Jan-16 21:23:40

I think the standard is every other weekend and one weeknight. You could push for 50:50 especially as you've had a lot of week nights previously.

NRDAD Fri 01-Jan-16 22:01:19

Thats a disgrace so standard is 4 nights out of 14 how can me and my son have a good relationship if thats all i get? Basiclly she has me over a barrell i can either destroy my life money wise to have a good relationship with him (which i would be willing to do for time with him but means id prob end up homeless as im struglling as it is) or risk bearly getting to see him. It basically kidnapping ( not having a go at you just the messed up system)

OP’s posts: |
Sunbeam1112 Sat 02-Jan-16 11:56:46

My ex has tuesday over night and one over night at the weekend. Standard access really never see 50/50 access in the uk.Ex gets a full week holiday in the summer and i try to give him extra in the holidays but half the time i don't know when he books time off work so can only do my best. My DS have a good relationship with his dad but as a mother i feel its important he has a stable constant home evirnoment not split living between two homes. I think the courts see this aswell. I would suggest maybe you apologise for the arugement. What you had was pretty good access to be honest.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 02-Jan-16 12:13:16

50/50 is becoming more common and courts look at status quo to make decisions.
Firstly keep records of everything when you had him the messages over why contact has stopped etc. Money and contact are not linked and courts take a really dim view of a parent punishing the child ( as effectively this is what they do by stopping contact) due to money issues.
Regarding nursery is he in nursery on days that you have him? The standard would be that you pay for childcare on your days, you can choose different/cheaper childcare if it suits you better. This would be an opening to discussing it.
Courts now require that you attempt mediation prior to going to court so if your ex persists down this route I would contact a mediation service to see if this can help.
Getting some legal advice would help you to feel confident that you are not being unreasonable. Make your son's right to a relationship with both parents the focus of everything you write or say,

Sunbeam1112 Sat 02-Jan-16 12:24:52

Lonecat where have you seen courts awards 50\50 ? I've never seen a court grant it nor should they. A child should have a stable home not two split homes. A good relationship can be maintained with the non resident parent. I only seen 50/50 agreement made outside of court. I have been to court and they have been in agreement that a child should live in one home but maintence regular contact with non resident parent.

AndNowItsSeven Sat 02-Jan-16 12:32:16

I have no advice but your ex is very selfish, like pp says she is punishing your child as well as yourself. I would keep all communication in text or email so you can show the courts she is denying contact unless you pay up.

gamerchick Sat 02-Jan-16 12:41:31

Yes i agree, you need a paper trail so keep all communications via the written word and speak to a solicitor. Don't lose your temper, keep things clear and play the long game.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 02-Jan-16 12:42:27


You would be better off posting in legal matters, or if you have a solicitor close to you that offers it try a get a 30 minute free session.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 02-Jan-16 12:49:07

Sunbeam it does happen my solicitor quoted me around 15% of cases particularly in families which have a less traditional set up which is more and more common. But actually I know of a case that went 50/50 thirty years ago.

NRDAD Sun 03-Jan-16 12:47:00

Im sorry but i disagree with the fact some of say that being between 2 homes is not stable. If it is a set out solid agreement that does not change the child will have a stable routine he will know who he is with and when. I do not think that many of you would except if you only got to see your child 4 days out of 14 (is it because i am a man that im not as important to him ??). He is at nursery 1 of the days i have him but if im paying child support and she claims all the benifit while i have to struggle and still buy most his clothes and other things why should i also pay his biggest bill ? Is that not what benifits are for and child support? I have been to a solicitor but they are unwilling to give me an idea of what acsess i would get. We sent a letter 2 months ago which she still hasnt replyed to this is why i is going to end up in court ( theres also an issue of the house we bought together which they still live in and is un willing to sort anything about that out while ignoring an agreement we came to about that)

OP’s posts: |
NRDAD Sun 03-Jan-16 12:51:49

Truely all i want is to have a fair and equal relationship with my son so he grows up knowing both of us. I feel it is more benifical for him. When i was a child my father was in the navy and away for home alot. So i know how it feels to not have your father around alot and i do not want that for my son. I want to be a big part of his life and help raise his not be a weekend dad who he bearly knows

OP’s posts: |
kitkat2704 Sun 03-Jan-16 13:02:16

I'm in an entirely different situation to you, My children reside with me 12 out of every 14 which by all accounts is Unusual for a dad.

However mum does see the children for 2 hours most weekdays.

She pays me nothing, other than giving the kids a meal in the time she has them - And until recently she was claiming the Child Benefit too

I think you are doing the right thing, Its poor when a parent has to take time away from children because they haven't got any money - Contact and Money should be too separate things.

Some people need to realise the harm they are causing the children by not letting the other parent have access

Go and See a Solicitor - you can get 30 Minutes free Advice - You could even go ans See the CAB - they can give you a list of advice giving solicitors who may act at a reduced or basic fee to help you.

NRDAD Sun 03-Jan-16 13:17:02

This is the diffrence between me and his mother even if i had full custody i would still give her 50/50 because not only is it unfair on the parents it is VERY unfair on the child. He was used to seeing me every day before the split then it was only half the week. Now threating me with only 1 day. Everytime he sees me he says he misses me nd it breaks my heart. I have another meeting with my solicitor in a week odd but this can all take months if not years to sort out and is a big expence which i would be spending on him other wise. I do have another point to show how my ex is handling thing. At xmas a month before we had agreed that i would have x mas eve over night ahd in the morning because she wanted to have him for the meal ( very big deal in her family) which i was very happy with and agreed straight away. The weekend before x mas i was informed that i was only going to see him xmas day from 10 30 till 12 30. I still got to see him but it destroyed plans i had for us and totally devistated me

OP’s posts: |
kitkat2704 Sun 03-Jan-16 16:30:03

Best I can suggest is getting that solicitor to make an application for your rights - and get it specified in writing pre arranged dates and times then stick to it no matter what - the solicitor maybe able to get this written into a court order - yes it's going to take some time but once you have it you are in a better place in the meantime maintain as best a relationship you can with the mother and son.

Make sure you get time specified during holidays and alternate christmas days you know Christmas is important to you and your son too.

maybebabybee Sun 03-Jan-16 16:32:04

Contact arrangements should be made with the interests of the child in mind, not (either) parent. Bear in mind 50/50 can be (not always) quite disruptive.

NRDAD Sun 03-Jan-16 16:52:13

Well we were almost at split custody before she decided she wanted more money and it wasnt disrupitive to him at all actually he was very happy to get to see me that much i am a vey capable parent. Also i think you ll find i said it was unfair on both parent but VERY UNFAIR ON THE CHILD this is not all about me its about my son and what is right for him as all my messages have said not only is it about me ( a loving father who wants to see his child as much as possible) but its about my son who wants to see me too

OP’s posts: |
maybebabybee Sun 03-Jan-16 17:04:22

No need to be defensive, I daresay my father thought it wasn't disruptive for us to see him 50/50 either, but it was. When you're little you can't articulate it.

Being a loving father has very little to do with it really. My Dad was crap but would still insist on 50/50/because he thought that was what he was entitled too. I was a teenager when they split so I didn't go, but the others did. At first my Dad insisted he would actually spend time at my mum's house in the evening, which was hugely inappropriate. Then he insisted on 50/50, which again wasn't best for us.

LilacSpunkMonkey Sun 03-Jan-16 17:11:17

It's great on paper but unless, when your child starts school, you and your ex both live near the chosen school and your work fits around school hours it's going to be a logistical nightmare.

I know your child is only at nursery now but that time will fly by. How will 50/50 work once your child is at school?

NRDAD Sun 03-Jan-16 17:19:59

My son is not a teenager he is only 4 so doesnt really understand the split and has no opinion on why we split but what he does see is that his dad isnt there every night.i think it best for a child to have a full relationship with both parents. How is he supposed to have the same conection to both parents ( which is in his best interst) if he does have the same contact with both? Im not trying to take anything away from there relationship all im wanting is to be treated equally as a parent. Yes part of it is i feel i have a right to see him that much but he also has a right to see me that much but i am a good and capable father which not even his mother can deny. I will always do what is best for him and have always made sacrifices for what is best since the day he was born and will do till the day i die

OP’s posts: |
LilacSpunkMonkey Sun 03-Jan-16 17:23:04

We live four hours away from my ex. My kids see him every three weeks for the weekend. Their relationship is rock solid, just like always.

50/50 does not guarantee a great relationship.

NRDAD Sun 03-Jan-16 17:24:57

Me and the ex live about 10 min walk from each other. The school is even closer and grandperants have already offered to help once he reaches school age. Also i work for a small family run company who understand my situation and are willing to be flexible with start and finishing time to acomidate my needs. If they werent then there would be issues because the ex works out of town for a big company who are less willing to be flexible

OP’s posts: |
NRDAD Sun 03-Jan-16 17:29:21

Lilac so ur ex gets 1 weekend every 3 weeks. Flip that round and imagine if you didnt have the main custody and all you got was that would you be ok with that?

OP’s posts: |
LilacSpunkMonkey Sun 03-Jan-16 17:32:09

It's not about what I want though. Neither is it about what you want. It's about what's best for the children.

Your posts are all about what you want and how you feel. As you yourself have pointed out your child is only 4 and doesn't really understand the split anyway. And you only live 10 minutes away? Loads of scope there for seeing your child evenings, weekends, days out, etc.

RandomMess Sun 03-Jan-16 17:36:19

Why don't you take another approach.

Pay the CMS minimum and then pay for half of childcare fees... it is your choice to buy your ds stuff above and beyond that what he needs is time from you not more money which I'm sure you know. If you can't afford treats then you can't it won't harm him.

Keep the discussions between finances and contact separate. Realistically your ex is going to want you to carry on having your dc overnight etc. so she gets a break so call her bluff.

Going to court need not be expensive, you can self represent and for her to deny contact that has been going on for a few years is only going to look bad on her.

Ensure you are polite and reasonable at all times and stick to discussions via email so you have threats in black and white.

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