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How to renegotiate contact arrangements

(110 Posts)
harman Tue 25-Sep-07 18:46:00

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Tinkerbel5 Tue 25-Sep-07 18:51:42

Is it a court order or something that you have arranged between you ? if there is nothing in writing then you can change it without any comebacks, if there is a court order in place you could default on it but your ex could take you back to court.

harman Tue 25-Sep-07 18:56:09

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Rosasmum Tue 25-Sep-07 22:30:26

Can you send him an email explaining what you want to change? At least then you get to say what you want to without being interupted.

harman Wed 26-Sep-07 09:30:07

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Tinkerbel5 Wed 26-Sep-07 10:24:51

harman got to the CAB they have legal advisers there, if the current contact arrangements arent working then they need to change, I dont think one glove fits all but a large amount of NRP have their children every other weekend and mabe 1 night or afternoon after school, what is it now and what do yo want to change it too ?

Surfermum Wed 26-Sep-07 10:53:12

Dsd comes to us every other weekend. It was every third weekend, but she asked to come more often. That's from Friday after school until 6pm Sunday evening. She also comes for half the school holidays. It was 2 weeks in the summer, but again she didn't think it was fair that she was with her mum for 4 weeks and us for 2 and this year it was changed to 3 weeks each. She is meant to be with us from 10 am Boxing Day for a week. This meant her mum always had her on Christmas Day, but last year she decided she wanted to alternate Christmases with her mum and us. She wants to spend Fathers Day and dh's birthday with us and Mothers Day and her mum's birthday with her. We don't have her in the week as she lives too far away.

An email is a good idea if things get heated when you try to talk. Put to him what you are proposing and the reasons why you think things aren't working, and how the changes will be in the best interests of your child. I think you need to be prepared to negotiate and maybe give a little on what you're asking for. I know dh was always mightily p'd off when his x just told him how it was going to be. He always felt that dsd has 2 parents and it isn't down to one to dictate to the other when and whether they see their child.

HTH.

harman Wed 26-Sep-07 12:04:42

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Surfermum Wed 26-Sep-07 12:51:49

It's funny, I was going to put on my previous post that even if dsd lived near us I wouldn't want her to come during the week as it would be too disruptive for her.

What your suggesting doesn't seem unreasonable to me. How old are they? Dd is 4 and 7pm is her bedtime, so that seems late to dropping them back.

It's not on to be sat around waiting for him. Dh had times set by the Court Order, but he will ring and ask if he collect dsd earlier if he finishes work early, and occasionally we drop her back late if we are doing something - but it's all done by agreement with her mum.

Does he have any contact with the school? I know dh would want to know if the school had concerns about dsd's behaviour after she'd been with us.

harman Wed 26-Sep-07 13:04:35

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Rosasmum Wed 26-Sep-07 13:12:38

I think your alterations are reasonable and he doesn't lose out much time in total, just in frequency. I agree completely with your counsellor that any collection/pick up times should be agreed and stuck to. I also think that the collecting and returning should be shared equally between the two of you. i.e. you drop off and he return. When you do collect or drop them off, you have the power to make it as short as possible. Having said that, if you would would prefer to do both the dropping off and collecting then do what works best for you.

If you are taking them to him, then when he opens the door, just tell the kids that you will see them soon and to have a nice time, give them a kiss and leave. If he is bringing them to your house, you don't have to invite him in. You can just open the door, say hello to your children, and say to him see you on ------ and bye. If you are collecting them, you say Hi to your children, ask them to say bye to their father and off you go.

After all, the contact arrangemts are for the children and should work to their needs. You know them best and you will find the strenth to get the control back. Any discussions that you need to have about the children can be done via email and never in front of the kids. If he starts to try to have a conversation with you about the children, you just say please send me an email about it. Nice and poilte and off you go. If he starts to make conversation about something else, you just say - Got to go then, bye.

I hope that you make the changes you need in your life, nobody should be ignored and you are most definitely not irrelavant.

Rosasmum Wed 26-Sep-07 13:18:18

Doesn't he understand that a child under 7 should be in bed by 7 as they need a full nights sleep, well that's my opinion anyway.

It doesn't sound as if he is putting the children's welfare first. If he works on a saturday until late then I don't think he should be having the children on that day. What quality time can they possibly have with him if he is picking them up that late.

harman Wed 26-Sep-07 13:34:23

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HonoriaGlossop Wed 26-Sep-07 13:52:25

ROFL at 'preparing himself mentally for overnight visits'....oh that is an absolute, hall of fame, classic!

FWIW I think what you're proposing sounds great, it's a good chunk of time for them to feel more settled with him; I can see that the current arrangement includes a lot of transition between the two of you and some uncertainty over times of pick-up, which I can't imagine ANY child would thrive with sad

I'd say you've made a very good suggestion, don't worry, feel strong about putting it to him, be positive and don't be apologetic!

harman Wed 26-Sep-07 14:11:08

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HonoriaGlossop Wed 26-Sep-07 14:19:34

sad sorry to hear that harman.

I think you can present it to him as purely for the children's benefit, which it is, really, isn't it? The control you'd gain from sorting it is kind of a side issue....it's clear that the kids have an unsettling routine at the moment that would benefit from being clearer and more consistent.

HonoriaGlossop Wed 26-Sep-07 14:20:10

<and now I must go and prepare myself mentally for picking ds up from school>

HonoriaGlossop Wed 26-Sep-07 14:20:48

<and prepare myself mentally for finding my keys and putting my coat on>

HonoriaGlossop Wed 26-Sep-07 14:21:20

<oh and prepare myself mentally for putting one foot in front of the other>

sorry, I'll stop now grin

Tinkerbel5 Wed 26-Sep-07 14:25:13

I would definately drop the midweek visits as 7pm is too late IMO, what about every other weekend from friday after school to sunday lunchtime, that way you children have time to unwind and get back into routing for school the next day.

harman Wed 26-Sep-07 14:28:34

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chipkid Wed 26-Sep-07 14:30:09

sounds goood to me. It is the sort of arrangement that is usually arrived at at Court as it gives him a chunk of time and cuts down the handovers.

Definitely put this in email with your reasons for the change so that if he does decide to involve lawyers again you have a record of your attempts to do this fairly.

good luck

Anna8888 Wed 26-Sep-07 14:34:27

Harman

I have two stepsons (12, 10) and we are currently in the process of renegotiating our contact agreement.

Up until now, the boys have come to us every other weekend from Friday 6.30 pm until Monday morning, when my partner drops them at school. Their nanny drops them off on Fridays and I have had to be very firm about times (it used to be all over the place) but that is settled now.

I definitely feel that, wherever possible (and I am fully aware that it is not always possible), it is preferable to avoid ex-partners going to one another's houses for pick-ups and drop-offs as they get protracted and emotional, times aren't respected etc. Far, far better IMO to make pick-ups and drop-offs at school/nursery/CM or have them done by a neutral third party (nanny/CM/au pair).

We are also trying to rearrange larger chunks of time in the week - they have up to now come on Tuesday evening at 8 pm and have to get up for school at 8 am the next day. My feeling, as stepmother, is that the boys get totally exhausted by all the coming and going. Funnily enough, their own mother doesn't care at all about that...

Your proposed arrangement sounds very reasonable and you should try to put your children's comfort and peace of mind at the centre of any renegotiation as they are hard to argue with smile.

Good luck.

harman Wed 26-Sep-07 14:46:16

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Anna8888 Wed 26-Sep-07 15:01:10

go ahead

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