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Could I be held to these contact arrangements?

(24 Posts)
myownperson Sat 23-Jul-16 02:05:31

Separated just 2 weeks ago. Children are staying with Dad 3 nights. Thurs to Sun.

I am going along with this as it's the school holidays for the next month. As a stay at home parent I can spend all of the rest of the week with them.

I think this needs to change come September in order for me to have a meaningful relationship and proper time with them.

There won't be any implications of proceeding like this in the short term will there? In terms of it being viewed as an established routine for the DC.

Redisthenewblack Sat 23-Jul-16 02:21:28

I'd establish the routine right away. If he's happy to have the children Thurs to sun then suggest every other weekend. That way once school kicks in, it will still be fair.
(My parents did this when they separated, worked amazingly for us.)

myownperson Sat 23-Jul-16 02:24:32

Wouldn't it be a shame for them to see so little of each other over the summer though.

Suzietwo Sat 23-Jul-16 02:25:14


myownperson Sat 23-Jul-16 02:29:33

Yes I could be held to it or yes it would be a shame to only do every other weekend during summer?

coolaschmoola Sat 23-Jul-16 02:50:30

Not as much of a shame as you being stuck with zero quality time during term time for the next however many YEARS...

myownperson Sat 23-Jul-16 06:41:26

Thanks. Think I'll talk to him. He may get that this works as a holiday arrangement only.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 23-Jul-16 08:04:40

Can you not alternate? Thurs-Sun one week, Mon-Thurs the next?

He shouldn't have them every weekend.

myownperson Sat 23-Jul-16 08:21:19

SAHM (for now) - one child is toddler. He works. I'm fine for them to be with Dad every weekend for the next 5 weeks. They'd still be with me daytime Fri as well.

Then swap to something different once school starts. (Will try for something different to eow so they get some time each weekend, just not all weekend every week)

I was just worried that setting a routine could be justification for keeping it. Thinking ahead. But actually I've no reason to think yet he won't agree it should change once school starts.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 23-Jul-16 08:32:34

I would be wary of him claiming precedent and wanting them every single weekend.

When do you get quality time with both kids once school starts? And what about when you go back to work? You'll never see them!

Can't he have them alternate weekends and a night or two midweek?

pengymum Sat 23-Jul-16 08:46:54

My advice: Start as you mean to go on.
Why give yourself the hassle of renegotiating in 5 weeks time? It will just prolong the stress & pain. Sort out, in your own mind what will be practical for you. He works now but you will, in all likelihood be working soon too. Don't put yourself in the position of having to to all the drudgery and he have the Disney parent role.
He will have to sort out childcare for his working days or take holiday. That is not your problem unless you make it so. Then it won't be appreciated but expected. The reason he can work is because you SAH but is he is continuing to fund this?
Good luck.

Pearlman Sat 23-Jul-16 09:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

icklekid Sat 23-Jul-16 09:06:16

It depends on how reasonable he is. Maybe you could have an email so set in writing that this agreement works for the summer however every other weekend would be more appropriate during term time. I agree would be a shame for him to miss out in the holidays just because it would set a routine

Asecretfling Sat 23-Jul-16 09:08:07

Having just been through a horrendous custody battle I would highly recommend getting a routine in place asap - the courts might want this arrangement to continue and then you would be left not having them at weekends! How close does your ex live?

Ratbagcatbag Sat 23-Jul-16 09:08:58

We've never really done every other weekend, as seems a long time. We've had various arrangements over the years. DSS was 4 when we got together. He turns 18 next month. We've never ever said no to changing.
The best we found was one week we'd have Friday evening to sAturday evening and the following week Saturday evening to Sunday evening.
We paid for childcare sessions on Friday evenings when we needed them.
We also had a weds overnight with drop off at before school club (again we paid for those sessions) and DSS came round on mon evenings for tea and we dropped him back.
It really has flexed over the years though. Through secondary due to lifts DSS was round every evening apart from Thursday's.
I would make it clear you want equal weekend times however you are prepared in the holidays to be flexible whilst the children get equal time with you both.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 23-Jul-16 09:10:43

Thurs to sun then suggest every other weekend. That way once school kicks in, it will still be fair.

That isn't fair though is it? Maybe not every weekend but the second weekend should be swapped with time during the week otherwise instead of seeing their dad for 3 days a week they would see him for 3 hours every 2 weeks.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 23-Jul-16 09:11:06

*3 days every 2 weeks.

ElsieMc Sat 23-Jul-16 09:18:42

The courts tend to go with eow and one midweek. That said, do not establish a precedent, but it can easily be explained that it assisted during the school holidays. I don't think a court would deprive you of your children every single weekend as it does not sit with current thinking and it is also not in the childrens' best interests.

Just do bear in mind that if you have to go to court - which I really hope you do not because there are no winners there - he is likely to get half of holidays. You need to think this through carefully and when you approach him, word it so the childrens needs come first and put it in writing.

I have been through a very difficult court process where the dad of one child got eow contact but only holiday time in the summer holidays (one week) and no midweek. He doesn't even turn up for the time he was awarded and took me back to court for extra holiday time, which the judge rejected for this very reason.

myownperson Sat 23-Jul-16 11:19:01

I'm hoping we can stay reasonable. He tends to have moments of fuckwittery but come back to reasonable.

So this morning he called by so I could take the kids to playground while he cleaned car. But really just because he recognised that several days is a huge adjustment for them to go without seeing me.

Likewise I'm only taking them on a two day trip this summer because a week away from him would be a long time for them while adjusting. And for him.

In short, I'd love to keep it like this but we have had some very unpleasant times so it's a bit of an act of faith. I don't want t to naively walk into a bad arrangement.

I think I'll email him just to set things out. I need to send him some dates for his calendar anywsy.

I think staggering the weekend Fri to Sat pm/ Sat to Sun pm sounds good. He will also do Thurs pm, dropping off at school Fri am.

Ratbagcatbag Sun 24-Jul-16 14:23:15

We generally stuck to staggered weekends for years. But we both worked on the basis of making it a full weekend if required. Either we were taking DSS away (obviously in agreement with DSS's mum). My dh and his ex have never been to court over contact in 14 years. They've managed it with give and take (and occasionally fuckwittery on both sides) and DSS is so much happier with everything.

OhMyWord16 Sun 24-Jul-16 14:33:59

I think you should start as you mean to go on too.

As an aside, if the children are spending almost 50% time with their dad, will this not impact on your child maintainance payments?

I may be wrong here but I was under the impression that father has to pay much reduced CM in 50:50 residency.

Everytimeref Sun 24-Jul-16 14:42:32

How about 3 weekends with dad and then 1 with you. The tendency at court is starting to be more of a 50/50 split rather than the EOW that most rp want.
I always think how I would feel in the other person position. Would be happy having just EOW contact with your child?

myownperson Sun 24-Jul-16 21:31:37

Ratbag it's good to hear it can work

Ohmyworld maintenance is complicated. He's paying a lot above the CM rate but I'm in a house neither of us could afford alone and he doesn't want to sell as it's a good investment.

Working fine for now. Trickier long term.

Everytime I'd hate eow. I'm thinking of my eldest son though. One weekend a month with me won't be enough. He gets different things from each of us. Mon to Fri he is tired around the school day. Weekends we all chill out.

I think maybe staggered but with the last weekend of each month Thurs to Sun with their Dad might work. And the flexibility of whole weekends for trips etc similar to Ratbags.

It's not easy is it.

Thanks for all the input.

bibliomania Mon 25-Jul-16 09:49:45

If you have a fairly civil relationship, sit down with your ex and work this out now, specifying what's a holiday arrangement and what is a term-time relationship. If necessary, a mediator could you help you work it through while taking the emotional heat out of it.

If it ends up in court, courts tend to preserve the existing arrangements (status quo) unless there's a very strong reason why not (and their view of a strong reason might not coincide with yours).

You could end up drifting into something you don't intend.

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