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contact - what should I ask for?

(16 Posts)
norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 16:48:48

Am seeing solicitor on Fri with view to filing for divorce.
I know she will want to know quite a lot from me and I am keen to have a fair idea as to what is "normal " when setting out contact agreements although I am aware they differ in individual cases.

I am the parent who will have residency in the FMH( this much we have agreed)

I am thinking of one midweek evening seeing Dc away from FMH. (Do not want to leave him in the home with DC to rifle through my things, and couldn't bear to be here atm and he would not agree to someone else supervising) I know this would not be easy due to DC ages and him not finishing work until 5.30 and DC going to bed at 7.30 but he is not willing to have them over for a mid week stay.

Also a couple of phonecalls a week

Every other weekend(Which would fit in with his alternate sat morning working) from fri eve til sun eve.
He has already said this may be a problem as he wants to do more overtime

Christmas alternate xmas day and boxing day( though it would break my heart)

Half of all school holidays( which I know his holiday from work would not cover but I want to be fair and offer it)

I believe it is important for both parents to maintain a relationship with their DC and so am trying to offer as much as I can whilst also allowing some time for me to spend with DC away from the daily grind of school runs etc.

Am I being fair?
Any thoughts?
Sorry this is long.

As an aside though not really relevant he has left us due to an affair

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 11-Nov-09 16:56:49

Norks how old are the dcs?
How far away will DH be living?

norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 16:58:28

He lives 5 mins from ours by car, DC are 3 & 4.

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 11-Nov-09 17:05:12

I think your suggestions are fine. If it went to court I think the usual arrangment is every other weekend, plus an overnight in the week if close to your school, and half the hols. And telephone or Skype regularly.

Why won't he have them in the week, if he WILL have them at the weekend?

BTW I am sorry you are going through this, I have just come out the other side and it does get better. The first time ds stayed at his father's I was so upset all the time, even now I try to keep out of the house when he is not here as I hate to see his toys all tidy and no-one in his bed.

norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 17:09:56

We have been separated for 9 months but working hard to get back together so I thought - he has been seeing the OW the whole time and lying through his teeth to me about it.

Anyway - He has until now seen them 2x a week at FMH but not a problem as I thought we were going to reconcile, however I now know we are not and he has already been through my paperwork in the last week in order to remove dd's passport and I don't want him here so he is using emotional blackmail, saying well if I don't let him see them at the FMH he cannot see them, he knows this would upset DC and thinks I will give in

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 11-Nov-09 17:20:43

Oh dear, I am sorry about that.
Well he is using them to get to you, isn't he. That isn't really fair on them or you. But although it is extremely hard, you have to step back from him and just focus on the contact they will have with him. You don't have to be anything to him other than the facilitator of that.

Could he take them to a cafe, or a soft play? or do you have a friend or relative who could allow them to meet at their house?

Is he planning on living with the OW?

Have you seen a solicitor. It might help even if you just have a free 30-minute consultation. Other people on here often recommend finding one who is a member of Resolution (not just ones who do conveynacing or wills).

norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 17:35:08

I realise I am important in hi maintaining contact which is why I want to be as generous as possible. I have already suggested the cafe fish and chip restraunt etc are only 5 mins walk from the house and suggested that in winter he could take them there and in summer I could feed them early so they could go to the park, 2 mins walk away.

I am trying..

Saw a solicitor in feb for an inital consultation when he first left, and have an appointment on Friday. She specialises in family law so hopefully should be good

tvaerialmagpiebin Wed 11-Nov-09 17:41:30

Well done. You are doing all the right things. Keep a note of the silly things he is doing, the passport thing etc. If it ever came to court this would be useful info to show that you have been entirely reasonable and he has been a twunt.

I think you are doing really well and offering more than a court would tend to award if it came to it.

Hope the solicitor is useful too.

norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 21:08:20

Don't worry I am, has also saved text messages from before we broke up and e took dc for a "sleepover"at her hose while I was away for the weekend with Dsis after she had DC3

ChasingSquirrels Wed 11-Nov-09 21:15:41

why won't he have them overnight in the week?
fwiw, mine go tue night (he picks them up around 5.15pm, takes them home - about 10 mins drive - and gives them tea, they stay there and he takes them to school - cm picks youngest up from him at school - the next morning.
They then go for a day at the weekend, alternate Fri 5.15pm - Sat 4.30pm and Sat 4.30pm - Sun 6.30pm.
They are 7 and 3.9 and have been doing this for 20mo.

norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 21:24:18

Because he starts work at 8 and leaves the house at 7.30.
Money and work( not hat he is a big earner) are his priority, he is very materialistic

ChasingSquirrels Wed 11-Nov-09 21:41:26

so can he not arrange to get up a bit earlier and get them wherever they need to be?

Much as I hated it when we split up and mine started going I really do think the twice weekly contact is a massive thing in their relationship with him.

In some ways I would prefer every other weekend as it would be easier logistically, but I do see that it is beenficial.
I am thinking of suggesting we do 1 full weekend with him, 1 with me and the other 2 split as 1 days each for next year.

Also holidays, we just tend to arrange between us rather than having anything set out.

Once you formally go down the divorce route do you have to get all these arrangements set out legally? Or if you are both happy that you can arrange them between yourselves is that enough?
I should see a solicitor again, I had an initial appt at the beginning, but we have sorted everything out between ourselves and I was just waiting the 2 years until I did anything re divorce.

norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 21:47:15

No he won't.

I would be more flexible, but because if his affair I want the divorce over and done with now, and The courts will not grant it unless everything is sorted as far as the DC go.

I am still very hurt and coping with swinging emotions but I need this chapter closed.

I agree that contact is very important - not so sure he does

cbmum Wed 11-Nov-09 21:59:16

The court only need basic information about your circumstances - enough so that the Statement of Arrangements for Children can be completed. The information you will be asked to provide for the Judge is very basic and the court will only intervene in your divorce proceedings if it is evident that there are problems. I have been working as a family solicitor for many years and only known a few cases where this happens. I doubt your case is one of those.

If exH is having every other weekend contact plus visiting contact in the week and half of school holidays this is a pretty normal arrangement.

BTW, the idea that there is a 'normal' arrangement for kids is a myth. If the arrangements work for your family that's all that matters. I've dealt with some very odd childcare arrangements but they work for the families involved.

norksinmywaistband Wed 11-Nov-09 22:03:14

Thanks for your input, So as long as I am making an effort and he more or less agrees to it that is fine?

cbmum Thu 12-Nov-09 19:28:37

yep, I'd say you're assessment is spot on. there will always be 'teething' issues with new arrangements. The trick is to try and not get things blown out of proportion. just keep asking yourself whether your kids are happy when seeing their Dad.

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