Arranging holiday contact(8 Posts)
It's a very long story, which I wont go into, but I have a court order which states that DS (who resides with me) has to have alternate weekends and half of all school holiday's with his father. DS is four and XP lives 2.5 hours away. XP lied brilliantly in court, I don't agree with the order and I have very sound reasons for this, but the background to that is lengthy.
I am following the order to the letter, but am trying to get things back to mediation. Over the last year XP has reported me to social services and NSPCC for child abuse (lies again and not pursued by the social services safeguarding), has told DS that he's to say mummy hits him, has told DS that mummy will get taken away by a policeman etc etc... I am powerless to take this back to court unless DS starts voluntarily discussing these incidents with the child minder or nursery.
Last year I agreed to get all contact dates for the whole year back to XP by 1st Feb (his request). He then started demanding them prior to this date because family and clients urgently needed to know them. So, I spent a long time working out the dates, splitting holidays evenly and taking into consideration DS starting school etc. I managed to get the dates over to him early (last Tuesday) despite also having to deal with illness, which saw me having to have an operation and be in and out of hospital.
I have heard nothing back from XP until today. He has text to say that he doesn't agree with plan, but will email in full over the next few days because he's got a tummy bug at the moment.
So my question is... how much agreement/flexibility should take place? XP isn't at all flexible with me and I feel I bend over backwards for him. Can I say these are the dates take them or leave them, which is what I want to say? Or should I be more flexible than that?
What would you do?
I would wait and see what he sends first before responding.. It may be as simple as one week doesn't work for him..
I would take into account how flexible are his holidays, how flexible are yours
You don't have to bend over backwards no..If you can't work it out mutually Mediation may be an option
So I've received his email, there are a few petty date changes, which I will just go with. And he's refusing to meet 2 hours earlier on one Sunday so that DS can go to his best friend's party.
But he's making some unrealistic demands regarding handover times when DS starts school. Demands that I don't think are in DS best interests. He's said if I don't agree then I can't have DS with us for my sisters wedding. It's all so exhausting and I don't think he puts DS first, I think he uses him as a method of control.
Do you know I would ignore the best friends party and have have a sickness bug that weekend so bad can't travel and then get him to the party...Unfortunately though it sounds like DS will miss lots of parties
What are the unrealistic handover times?
As someone with a very difficult Ex I think you need to take a small strap back and look at things slightly differently. You describe the date changes as petty, really if you are planning the entire year there needs to be some flexibility and you should expect some request for date changes and as you have another 14 years of this you need to work with that.
Unfortunately when you are separated parties get missed it happens, but as this is DS's best friend have you suggested that your Ex actually be the one who takes him to the party?
Regarding school and drops and pick ups that is 8 months away and do you know the actual arrangements for starting school yet, so maybe this is something to suggest that you review once the full details of school is known.
Yes I agree it is a form of control, but sometimes meeting it head on is not the best way.
Loneatwithkitten - to be honest, what you have said is how I am tackling it in reality, but using here to air my grievances and to see if there are other options, which don't leave me feeling so bullied. Please keep in mind this is a man who will stop at nothing to elicit control - even unfounded accusations to the NSPCC.
With the party, I have suggested that XP takes him so that he doesn't miss out on his time with DS, but he wont go because we meet halfway between the two houses, so if he takes DS to the party he will have to drive for 1.5 hours instead of 1 hour. So if he does that he's said on the Friday I have to drive an extra half hour to make it fair. It really is that ridiculous.
His date/time changes are petty - we are literally talking half hour later pick up on one occasion because I've said that I may not be able to meet at the usual time and may be 1/2 hour late, so he's said if I'm half hour late he wants him half hour longer so will return him later. That's fine, I choose my battles and whilst this is very petty and all about control, it's not worth disputing. I'm certainly not going to start stirring the waters about it with him because essentially that's what he wants.
Part of the fear I have with all this is that yes we do have it for the next 14 years and this is why I am putting in a request for mediation. I don't want to face a battle every time DS has a party he wants to go to or we have a wedding invite or maybe DS is unwell and wants to stay home. His stock response to things like this is DS is the child, he doesn't get any choice. An argument I agree with in part because we as adults need to be providing the direction so that DS doesn't 'play' us as he gets older, but also XP needs to appreciate that he may need to get a bit more involved in DS' life in and around his day to day home... Hence my request for mediation. I think we need to come to some compromises/common understanding together. Although at the moment this seems impossible.
My issue with the school is 8 months away and I would be willing to wait until nearer the time. But it is XP who demanded, via his solicitor, that all handover dates and times were agreed by 1st Feb. I have however gone back to XP to say that I don't agree with him and that I would like to discuss with an independent mediator present. Essentially he is saying that he wants to move the handovers on Sunday's to 6pm, we live 1 hour away from the handover meeting point and I feel that the current 4pm works and just because he's a bit older is not a good enough reason to move the handover. 4pm works and with DS having to go to school on the Monday it's important that he comes home, has something to eat and is able to go to bed at a decent time. I don't think when he's starting school is a good time to start messing around with the handover times.
Also - before I started working on the planner for the year, I asked XP to send me a list of any dates when he needed DS - weddings, parties, potential holidays etc so I could take them into consideration. I always try to make things really fair and flexible. But it's very hard to maintain this when it's all one way.
reception children are often in bed by 6 anyway. they get so tired.
use the phrase it is in ds's best interests that...
school has recommended that...
good idea to vent on here and not seem bothered in rl.
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