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Any advice re contact,please

(18 Posts)
eeyoreandpoohbear Wed 05-Aug-15 08:29:06

I have posted before, the same thing and advice has always been helpfulsmile I left exh over two years ago, three dcs and when mediation was attended to arrange contact he refused to commit to anything due to his work(self employed, can pick and choose his work) and the best he would do was to advise me each week whether he would like dcs the following sat/sun or not at all, holidays he expects the same to be able to just pick and choose what suits him from week to week. I have never and would never stop him seeing them(despite how I may feel) but this 'arrangement' is starting to cause possible problems, I never know what his wishes are until the middle of each week, dcs have now got activities on a Saturday morning and one dcs is hoping to play football on Sunday's,something he has been desperate to do but obviously commitment is required and I need to get him to matches etc he can get a lift some weeks. I don't think it's fair to stop dcs doing their chosen activities just in case he wants them. To my mind, he should be prepared to have them every other weekend (or even one weekend a month) that way he can sort their activities and see them for the weekend - would this be reasonable? I can't see him agreeing, he just refuses to commit to anything, however, the alternative is dcs doing nothing or problems because he wants to see them but arrangements have been made because other people involved with giving eldest dc lifts to football etc. I am finding this hard now and I am unsure how to go about sorting the issue out, I am still afraid to confront him, he makes me feel very silly and as if I am the one being unreasonable. Any advice appreciated, thank you

Cocalite Wed 05-Aug-15 08:37:39

It's very hard. I think you just need to have a full and frank discussion - it won't be easy but I don't see another way

theendoftheendoftheend Wed 05-Aug-15 08:40:44

Watching with interest, I'm in a very similar position and its driving me mad!

eeyoreandpoohbear Wed 05-Aug-15 08:42:03

Nice to know it's not just me!smile

RealityCheque Wed 05-Aug-15 08:55:15

The current situation is batshit crazy. (For the reasons you have stated and more). Insist on regular arrangements. Or at least ones with at least two weeks notice?

Failing that, if he can pick and choose at the last minute, so can you. If he says he wants them with little notice, say "sorry, he has arranged to do X now".

If he doesn't like it he can go to court. Who will insist on a regular arrangement. Wanker.

butterflygirl15 Wed 05-Aug-15 08:57:50

EOW is the norm and then one weekday night during the week. This not knowing and then waiting for him to want to see them, or not, is unsustainable and unfair on the dc too. Why are you afraid to confront him?

Floundering Wed 05-Aug-15 09:01:27

Agree with PP your kids arrangements come first. You arrange your weekends, the kids hobbies etc & let him know what they are on advance (playing the better person) when they are available.
EOW and one night mid week is the norm, he will have to accept that.

Sounds like he is at best disorganised or more likely deliberately mucking you around as you allow him!

Make a stand & TELL him what the kids are doing. Contact is for the benefit of the children not the NRP.

eeyoreandpoohbear Wed 05-Aug-15 09:03:23

I have started with the 'sorry they are busy' he is expecting to see them in the week using the same amount of notice he gives for weekendshmm with three dcs I plan the holidays so they have plenty to do.
I am afraid of him, I know it's silly but he wasn't very nice during the marriage(hence the divorce) and makes me feel like I am the one in the wrong - I am realising on this I am not

eeyoreandpoohbear Wed 05-Aug-15 09:05:55

Cross post - foundering, I have the children's interests in the main, their needs one first, I think he should arrange his plans around them not fit them in around himself - yes, I may have to steel myself for a discussion with himshock

pocketsaviour Wed 05-Aug-15 09:12:54

Agree with Reality - you need to start making definite plans here, and he will just have to fit around them. At the moment he's having his cake and eating it and expecting both you and his DCs to dance to his tune. (Mixed metaphors, but ykwim!)

A regular schedule would be of much more emotional benefit to the DCs, which is why courts always insist on it.

eeyoreandpoohbear Wed 05-Aug-15 09:16:18

Thank you - am going to have to start anyway due to activities, like you say, he will have to sort something out if he wants to see them.

NumanoidNancy Wed 05-Aug-15 15:45:49

Um absolutely no way should this arrangement have lasted so long. He is a parent not a babysitter ffs. He is expecting you to be there 100% of the time for his children but not prepared to commit himself to them at all?? That is actually appalling. What would happen to the kids if you took a similar approach to him! Poor things. Are you actually divorced and if so how on earth was this arrangement not sorted into something more equitable by mediators or solicitors? The children need consistency and you need and ARE ALLOWED a life too. He needs to grow up and be a father.

eeyoreandpoohbear Wed 05-Aug-15 16:03:12

unfortunately the mediator was completely on his side - poor him, he has to work and cant possibly comit to his children in case he misses some work, cause he really needs the money hmm whatever i said about every other, the same day etc he wouldnt have and she agreed angry now divorced, i refused to sign anything based on the pants arrangement. NumanoidNancy - when you put it like that it sounds awful, but its quite correct sad

Floundering Wed 05-Aug-15 18:31:01

Possibly consider NOT having a discussion eeyore as sounds like you have tried that before. Given that he has been so unpleasant to you in the past, I quite understand your willingness to try not to rock the boat but all that does is wear you to a frazzle & confuse the kids.

I found in the past that if I avoided anything that suggested it was to do with me but made it about the kids it made it more difficult for Ex to argue (tosser still tried but it helped)

" Little Johnny is finding it confusing not seeing you regularly it would be helpful to fix dates for access visits so we can put them on the calendar & then you can take him to football some Sats as he is doing so well & would love you to see him play!! " <trying not to vomit>

If he won't commit to certain weekends then just fix them up to suit you and let him know dates when the kids are free & when he tries to negotiate or object, say it would be too confusing for the children. Plan several months in advance, give him the dates & if he says he can't or cancels, say you can;t rearrange so see you on <next fixed date>

If you really find he is getting arsey then its worth getting a half hour with a solicitor and getting them to write a letter outlining your proposals.

eeyoreandpoohbear Wed 05-Aug-15 19:19:12

Thank you floundering it is all about the dcs for me - after all, they aren't children for long and should be able to enjoy doing what they want to dosmile I might just try the longer term plans and just email him the dates for next few months he can choose from - then that way I am in some sort of control I suppose, dcs won't miss out either. Thank you - solicitor is the next step down the line, I hadn't realised I could go back on this subject

goddessofsmallthings Wed 05-Aug-15 20:28:51

Email him an advance schedule of the dcs' activities, preferably every 3 months, and invite him to choose what days he wishes to see them from the dates/times they have available.

If, for example, he picks them up from their activities on a Saturday and they stay overnight with him, he will be responsible for ensuring they attend any activities which take place on Sunday.

With regard to holidays, I would suggest you email him a list of those days/weeks on which the dc are not otherwise occupied.

If he doesn't like it, he can lump it pay to consult lawyers and you can get advice on the Legal board with regard to replying to any letters you may receive from solicitors acting on his behaf.

millymollymoomoo Wed 05-Aug-15 22:13:39

Why can't he take them to their activities? They should not stop him from contact? You do need a fixed routine (flexible if either need to swap for a real reason) but I don't see why he can't take them like a 'normal' dad.
If he can't or won't agree and stick to a routine, fine, but then it's not down to you to rearrange your plans. If you're busy you're busy and he'll just have to get used to that. No way should you have this constant not knowing

slkk Wed 05-Aug-15 22:20:02

Surely if he is self employed he can pick and choose his hours? Can't he just block a regular slot for his dc? This is what I would push for. If not, I like goddess' s idea of emailing their schedule. Definitely don't let them miss activities on the off chance he might want to see them.

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