Contact arrangements - CANNOT agree(8 Posts)
hi all! First time posting, but always reading
I will try to keep this brief so I don't bore everyone ;) though it may be a little complicated.
My ex and I have a contact arrangement set by the court. It was set after he tried to gain custody. From my side he was emotionally abusive and dominant towards me, and I also have concerns about the way he treats my son while they are together (though I don't have enough evidence, apart from my son being quite erratic when he comes back home and a few things he has said/I have seen)
Over time we have re-arranged the agreement between ourselves, to suit work commitments and other needs. We settled with All day every Wednesday for a daytime contact, and on alternate weekends my son goes to stay at his for 2 nights.
He is usually late (sometimes up to 1 hour) and has little consideration for my son's routine and needs (in my opinion).
Now my son is in full time school, obviously the arrangements are going to need to change.
My opinion is that it should be that my son goes to his dad every other weekend to stay for two nights (as already happens) and the Wednesday contacts should be cut altogether. This is partly because of his routine - (his dad thinks it would be appropriate to keep him until 6.30, whereas the latest I'd like him back is 5 - to be in bed by 7). I feel this is reasonable in the sense that as he is quite erratic when he comes back from his dad's care, and in any case he needs wind down time - plus at least an hour for bedtime routine. On top of this the lack of punctuality concerns me.
The other reason being that he does not WANT to go to his dad anyway ,and I feel it would be emotionally beneficial for him to have less contact, though I would have a hard time to PROOVE this plus I do not want things to get messy again (which they inevitably will if I start bringing this stuff up in an official forum)
In terms of his routine, is it reasonable my feeling of not wanting him to go every Wednesday after school? The idea will be his dad picking him up from the school directly and taking him for something to eat then dropping him home. Is this too much? for a 4 year old just starting school? What about in the winter?
or Should I give some leeway?
Just any opinions or advice is much appreciated at this point. I am going to get legal help to see where I stand but just looking for the views of other moms, either going though this or speaking objectively
Doesn't sound like too much to me. EOW and a night in the week is a fairly standard arrangement. I think asking for him to be home 2 hours before bed is also a bit over the top.
I don't think asking him to drop Wednesday's altogether is going to help much.
I used to pick dd up from school and we'd head to a cafe / restaurant and kill an hour or so, but it's not great in the winter.
Something that was good was when dd started gymnastics, as an after school thing it meant we spent time together / I could be involved in one of her hobbies, and we didn't have to wander the streets.
And of course it had a definite finish time at 6pm so XP would know when we'd be back.
You say you'd rather your ds spent less time with your XP though, not really sure about that sentiment without more detail. I'd be pretty firm with XP if she suggested that to me.
I also think asking for ds to be back by 5 is extreme.. Could you find a compromise...
Could you suggest 5.30 while he adjust to school and increase till 6 after half term?
Could he not have him overnight on the wednesday and take him to school the following morning? Assuming you live near each other I don't think going two weeks between seeing him is fair for either of them.
It might depend on whether he will be at work. You don't mention if that would be realistically possible, but IME many people would be out of a job if they left in time for school pick-up even once a week, which wouldn't help anyone.
Your DS will be tired when he first starts school but one slightly later night a week shouldn't hurt. In at 6.30, supper, bath, story, bed by 7.30 should be possible.
Don't forget to negotiate school holidays. Instead of the Wednesday, would an extra few days at Half Term work better?
I agree that it doesn't sound like that much at the moment, and 6.30pm doesn't sound an unreasonable time to be home once a week.
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