What is reasonable re child contact?

(15 Posts)
Homely1 Sat 02-Apr-16 20:57:07

In mediation at the moment. DC having a rough time with seeing dad.... Separated when DC young and no recollection of living with dad (who has been extremely hands off). Ex now wants contact and we are building up in mediation. What sort of build up is reasonable? My concern is how DC will be if too quick vs annoying ex who will then seek court. Alt weeks arrangement. Thank you ever so much.

starry0ne Sat 02-Apr-16 22:00:48

Dependends on age of DC... If still young little and often..why is DC having a hard time? how often is he seeing Dad now..What is the gap?

Homely1 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:23:36

Thank you, alternate weeks. DC has only started having alone time with ex. There is no recollection of living with him and decided to be away. Lots of behavioural issues related to contact which take a while to subside.

starry0ne Sat 02-Apr-16 22:43:51

He might find a couple of hours once a week easier initially ... My Ds used to see his dad 2 hours a fortnight ..But contact often missed.. I used to have an afternoon of him been generally vile when he returned.. However contact stopped at 3 and he never has seen him again..

However no matter what if DC is not coping I would not be looking to increase it at the moment.

Homely1 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:48:06

Thank you. Ex is not listening and I really do not know how to address this issue. We are in mediation and I am worried that he will
just take me to court

starry0ne Sat 02-Apr-16 22:57:03

Then I suggest you start getting evidence from other places...Talk to HV, nursery,school dependant upon age... To look at what he is struggling to be aware of behaviour changes after contact..

I would be making sure everything you say is from DC point of view... I am happy for your contact to increase but want it to be positive for DC too..

What issues is he having? Do you have any concerns about what is going on at contact...Is there anything you can suggest ( if dad would listen) to improve it.

Homely1 Sun 03-Apr-16 08:44:15

I have said that happy for contact and nursery has also reported behaviour. Ex does not wish to believe it. Issues are with toilet habits, not sleeping etc. I really do not know what to do.

Mumteedum Sun 03-Apr-16 08:49:32

Do you mean you have DS for a week then ex has DS for a week? How old is your child?

Everything you're saying sounds reasonable. If ex is unwilling to give your child time to adjust and support him then let him go to court. It costs a fortune, takes ages and I can't see that anything you're doing or saying would be unreasonable.

Fourormore Sun 03-Apr-16 09:59:37

The concerns you raise are normal for this stage of development, more so when the child is trapped between parents in conflict.

Weekly contact is better than alternate weeks if it's only for a few hours at a time. I would suggest something like 2 weeks of 2 hours, 2 weeks of 4 hours, 2 weeks of 6 hours, 2 weeks of full day then moving to alternate weeks overnights, 1 day with 1 overnight to start (9am Sat til 9am Sun) and then building up to 2 days and then 2 overnights (Fri eve til Sunday eve).

It doesn't need to be dragged out. Children are adaptable. Children struggle to adapt when their carers struggle to adapt and based on your posts (this thread and others) I wouldn't be at all surprised if your son is picking up on your anxiety.

It wouldn't take a long time for your ex to get what I've suggested above through court. I know he was absent for a while but he has been having contact for a while now hasn't he? Trying to argue toilet problems and sleep problems in a preschooler as a reason to restrict contact will get you absolutely nowhere in court.

Homely1 Sun 03-Apr-16 13:13:17

Thank you so much.. This is really helpful. He has been out of DC life and uninterested now has demands. He is having unsupervised contact now. I'm trying so hard to be cheery and not transmit anxiety.

starry0ne Sun 03-Apr-16 22:20:08

Can I also add it must be tough on you...You have had to do it on your own and now someone comes in and gets to demand contact...

How does your DS feel about his dad..

My DS hasn't seen his Dad since he was 3... He is now 8 ...His opinion last time we talked about it was that he wants an hour for his dad to answer his questions and that is all ( He at 8 doesn't know he will never get the answers he is looking for)

I think up till about 7 though he just really wanted his dad to want him..I think had contact happened he would of been concerned about been abandoned and doing something wrong..

It is really emotional for them and your DS is probably too young to articulate or even understand what he is feeling.

Homely1 Sun 03-Apr-16 22:35:18

DC does not want to go and then there is all of this behavioural stuff which I feel is important yet overlooked. I do not want to come across as stalling. How is it ok to go and come back and cause so much confusion for DC and force them to adapt?

starry0ne Sun 03-Apr-16 23:28:49

How long is contact? My DS's contact used to be at soft play ..After we moved on from contact centre.. At least it was somewhere my ds wanted to go there..

Just remember it is mediation..This man doesn't know your DS.. It isn't fair on child for a parent to walk out and then pop back in.. The children I always feel sorry for most are the ones who one parent comes and goes in their life..

Mediation does not mean you have to accept what he says.. You do know your child...You proabably have a good idea of what would make contact go smoothly..I would suggest you don't get pushed into contact you think DS can't cope with as it is harder to reduce contact than increase when it is working..

Maybe tell his Dad you want it to progress but at a pace that works for your DS.. So he knows it isn't about stalling.. How is he when he is with dad? Although as I said best behaviour may be how he feels safe?

Homely1 Mon 04-Apr-16 20:29:13

Thank you, it's currently 3 hours.

Fourormore Tue 05-Apr-16 07:40:42

How long has he been back since being absent?

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