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Separating with 3yr old dd, what contact pattern is best for her?

(9 Posts)
PortiaPony Tue 18-Mar-14 13:22:21

Just starting to separate, neither if us can afford our house and we need the equity out so it will be sold and we'll both be in new houses. Mostly amicable split, no other people involved and exH is a great dad. We can't figure out what joint residence pattern would be best for her... I know she needs stability but her dad would be bereft if he didn't see her regularly and so would she.. Is alternative weekends and 1night a week too much jumping between houses for this young? Other options are 4days/4days, although this can also be a bit chaotic. Can people with similar age kids give me ideas of what worked for them?

Smartiepants79 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:26:48

I have no experience of separation but my instinct would be that as long as the pattern is consistent and stuck to fairly religiously then it won't matter too much what the pattern is.
If you are both completely committed to making it work for your daughter you will find what works best for all three of you.

DumbleDee Tue 18-Mar-14 14:02:58

Mine were 3 and 6 when we separated. Contact was every other weekend, Friday - Sunday, back home at 7pm. He picked them up from child minder every Wednesday, and dropped them back at mine at 8pm. This worked well for us as he only moved a 5 minute drive away.

maleview70 Tue 18-Mar-14 14:16:18

I spoke to my son every day for 10 years after my split. I didn't see him every day but he always knew

maleview70 Tue 18-Mar-14 14:17:11

I was there for him. I think that worked well.

A 3 yes old will adapt to any situation. Every other weekend and one night in the week is fine.

jenniferlawrence Tue 18-Mar-14 14:24:47

When my DH split with his ex, their 2 and 4 year olds stayed with him every other weekend and one night every week. He missed them but they adjusted fine. Over the years the contact has become more equal as DH takes them to a lot of their sport activities.

MissMilliment Tue 18-Mar-14 14:36:27

I have a 3 and a 14 year old, so it's a bit different as DD is nearly always with her big brother wherever she is, but we do alternate weekends and 2 consecutive mid-week nights a fortnight at their Dad's. That sounds so complicated! Basically it's always 2 consecutive nights a week, but one week it's the weekend, the next week it's midweek. This works well for us - once you have a routine and the logistics in place it gets much easier. If you are both able to be amicable about arrangements you can always have a bit of flexibility as long as no-one starts taking advantage.

MissMilliment Tue 18-Mar-14 14:51:11

Also, personally I find it easier that DD has all the 'stuff' she needs/wants at both houses, so when she's going between the 2 places it's just her, her teddy and the clothes she's in. I think this makes it feel more like both places are home than having to pack a bag every time.

Every so often we have to have a bit of a swap session where dad-clothes/toys and mum-clothes/toys get returned to the right place, but mostly it works pretty well.

All this flies out the window with the teenager, who has a list of stuff he needs to have with him at both houses! and which I have no intention of duplicating (laptop, nice trainers, phone), plus school books etc, but you have a few years yet before worrying about that smile

TheScreamingfrog Tue 18-Mar-14 17:49:03

I have a 3.5yr old dd. We don't have a set routine due to ex's shifts. We both just make sure that she knows when she will be seeing him and that seems to work.
And this week, I have been away so she has spent the week with her dad at grandmas house and I have skyped her daily.
She is generally a happy little adaptable soul and this chaotic arrangement doesn't seem to have any negative impact on her.

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