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Non-local father asking for weekday stay overs

(25 Posts)
msatlantis Mon 01-Jun-20 14:35:08

To summarise, I left DS father when I was pregnant with DS due to emotional abuse. Ex had little contact with DS until he was 2 (his choice). We've slowly built up contact since then.

DS turned now 4. Ex has DS every second weekend for 2 nights, and bit extra in holidays. We are hoping to put together our contact calendar for next year soon without solicitor involvement (we used solicitors last year due to ex being unreasonable in email correspondence).

Ex has suddenly sprung on me that he'd like DS to stay on a Thursday night every week. As well as increased holiday time.

Had anticipated extra holiday time which is fine. However the travel time between our homes is currently 60-90 minutes (and involves dreaded m25). I don't see that a Thursday night stay would be beneficial to DS. By the time ex got DS back to his it would be time for supper, bath and bed. They'd have to leave early the next morning to ensure he wasn't late for school. I feel the disruption to DS and the extra travel is disproportionate to the time he will have with his father (who is likely to outsource some of the taxi-ing to his parents).

Am thinking ex could take DS to a club/swimming (if things ever get back to normal) and then out for supper locally instead? Which would give them time together but reduce the travel time? Or offer more time in the holidays? I don't know. But a mid week stay over just seems ill thought through at this stage?

OP’s posts: |
2ndtimemum2 Mon 01-Jun-20 17:44:47

100% agree that is a no go for a small child starting school a 2 hour round trip for the sake of an over night...that would completely disrupt the childs routine and I would doubt that any judge would approve that.

It's about what's in the best interest of the child not what dad wants and dad needs to realise that children need structure and routine and sleep!!!

Mintjulia Mon 01-Jun-20 17:49:04

Yes, impractical for a small child who has to be at school the next morning.
What time would your ds have to get up to get to school by 8.45 reliably?

Local meal or swimming sounds much better idea.

ButteryPuffin Mon 01-Jun-20 17:49:41

That's no good for a 4 yo, no. I would say what you've said, that he's welcome to come over Thursdays every week instead and take DS out for tea or to an activity or both. Hold your line if he argues, that it's not best for your son.

Is there scope to increase his weekend time at all without it adversely impacting DS - e.g. a Friday or earlier Friday pick up?

RandomMess Mon 01-Jun-20 18:25:44

Does he want an extra overnight to reduce maintenance payments...?

I would say no it's not beneficial but to have him for an evening as you suggest and he could overnights prior to teacher training days perhaps?

msatlantis Mon 01-Jun-20 18:56:28

Mint - they'd have to be on the road by 7am to ensure he got to school on time. M25 usually awful at that time in the morning.

Buttery - when he starts school in September his dad is planning to pick him up straight from school. So they'd have Friday evening as well as all day Saturday and Sunday. During lockdown I've been allowing his dad to collect him on a Thursday evening so as to facilitate a few extra long weekends.

Am not trying to be obstructive but his suggestion isn't practical. Disruptive for DS. Maybe more appropriate for when he's at senior school.

OP’s posts: |
msatlantis Mon 01-Jun-20 18:59:35

Random - now that you mention it... I'd be really disappointed if the extra night was to reduce maintenance. He has mentioned that he wants to buy a new house (but not near DS). Perhaps he wants to reduce his outgoings in light of that. Hmmm.

OP’s posts: |
Starlightstarbright1 Mon 01-Jun-20 19:03:45

You can say no .

I agree off him to collect him for tea etc but no I wouldn’t want my child travelling that distance . Reception children are often exhausted. And especially near to holidays .

RandomMess Mon 01-Jun-20 19:20:05

Having lived on a busy stretch of the M25 I'd just say no..,

PickUpAPickUpAPenguin Mon 01-Jun-20 21:21:14

I predict that your son will fall asleep in the car on Thursday evenings and be knackered and possibly late on Friday mornings. (Can you really trust the M25 on a weekday morning?)

School INSET days tend to be Fridays or Mondays so I'd be seeing if he'd compromise with having those days as extras instead.

FatherB Tue 02-Jun-20 00:29:02

So I also have a big travel journey to see my DD and I think our early discussions on increasing time from EOW would probably be dinner or some other activity after school during the week. It seems better for everyone involved?

Does he currently pick up DS on a saturday? Perhaps he could pick up DS from school on a friday instead? and drop DS off at school on monday morning perhaps? or friday-sunday evening. That might already be the plan though.

FatherB Tue 02-Jun-20 00:32:41

Just spotted you already said he plans to pick him up from school on fridays.

Yep it's tough but I think local activities are fine. Probably better for ex as well tbh, i'd be well gutted if i travelled all that distance and got home with DD and she ate, slept and then I had to take her back. I mean obviously there are just special moments of having your child see you in the morning and morning/night routines but im not sure if it outweights all the faff.

msatlantis Tue 02-Jun-20 08:54:49

Waiting on a call now from my solicitor to touch base on the issue.
In the mean time I've had a message from my ex saying he hopes I understand that the mid-week stay is not negotiable.
Further patronising message stating that if I feel unable to move forward with the same I should instruct my solicitor and that he has his solicitor and barrister 'ready to stand'. 🙄
Scare tactics and back to bullying...

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Tue 02-Jun-20 09:14:35

Think about it - Thursday every week and then alternating Friday- Sunday so that's 2?nights per week - yep CMS will be reduced plus extra in the holidays, hmmm....

Left due to emotional abuse and still abusing you by email.

TBH him doing Friday to Monday would be better for DS, still reduce CMS... stick firm to a midweek overnight without distance is not in DS best interests!!! Welcome to have him for the evening locally or keep him the Sunday night on his weekends.

Show you are not obstructing inverses contact.


msatlantis Tue 02-Jun-20 09:50:31

I feel like I can't escape the abuse, even when it's subtle in email - or glaring in email as it is now. It's so wearing.

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ButteryPuffin Tue 02-Jun-20 10:01:45

he hopes I understand that the mid-week stay is not negotiable

He doesn't get to say that. Sounds like the grey rock approach is needed. Send a very bland reply saying your solicitor will be in touch. Hope they have been able to help, or will soon.

RandomMess Tue 02-Jun-20 10:09:25

I think in the longer run it's worth getting a very prescriptive court order with days and times.

Think carefully about what holidays to offer in terms of how long, when does he get to choose etc. School holidays are usually published a year in advance.

What about Christmas- alternate each year? Regarding his birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day I would cuss about that he should spend it with x y z but if you are then sort that out too.

Starlightstarbright1 Tue 02-Jun-20 14:03:52

Can I just addd- don’t feel you need to respond to every message and I personally would have waited till you spoke to solicitor before sending anything

msatlantis Tue 02-Jun-20 14:49:03

Thanks everyone.
Solicitor very supportive and has confirmed that ex's idea isn't reasonable/in DS's best interest - 'no court would support it'. She also picked up on his language - the proposal being 'non negotiable' which she said was a completely inappropriate thing to say.
He isn't going to take it well. He will have his solicitor (and mine) round the houses over it before conceding.

OP’s posts: |
ButteryPuffin Tue 02-Jun-20 16:07:24

You have to let that take its course then. Your solicitor is your legal advisor but is also your shield from his abuse, at least on this point. Don't discuss it any further with him, don't rush to respond as starlight says, and any responses of yours should be bland 'the solicitor is handling it, everything goes through them' statements.

Lightuptheroom Tue 02-Jun-20 16:19:51

Leave it with the solicitors, don't respond. My ex was like this, ds contact with him was set by the court when he was nearly 3 to Friday after school - Sunday 5pm every other weekend and a total of 4 weeks in the main school holidays (1 week Christmas, 1 week Easter, 2 weeks not consecutive in the summer) and it stayed like that for 15 years despite ex wibbling to court 5 times. Ignore your ex, contact is for your child's benefit and always remember that it's to uphold the child's right to see his father, not the other way round, so your ex will have to learn that all decisions are made in your child's best interests, not based on what he wants

SimonJT Tue 02-Jun-20 16:23:05

Would it make more sense for him to have friday after school until school drop off on monday. Thursday seems a bit odd when theres a distance to travel.

msatlantis Tue 02-Jun-20 19:00:13

Simon - Ex starts work fairly early on a Monday morning so he wouldn't want to inconvenience himself by doing the drive and school drop that day. Agreed though, if there was an extra night to be had it would make more sense for it to be Sunday.

OP’s posts: |
msatlantis Tue 02-Jun-20 19:04:10

Lightuptheroom - that's interesting. Is it usual for a court to make an order lasting so long? It would be wonderful not to have ex stirring everything up every 12 months as seems to be the emerging pattern.
I am going to hand over to my solicitor now in the main. It just gets very expensive. There goes the garden renovation savings pot! Needs must I suppose.

OP’s posts: |
Lightuptheroom Wed 03-Jun-20 05:47:31

I think they are called child arrangement orders now, but yes, once done it should just run until the child is 18, there's normally something in the paperwork that things can be changed by mutual consent as its acknowledged that what suits a young child doesn't necessarily suit a teen etc. but the aim is to provide a routine in which a child's best interests sit at the heart of it all. I can't remember what it was called, but there used to be a legal thing where the other party could be directed not to keep trying to return the matter to court every 5 minutes, judges want to see the other party putting the best interests of the child first

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