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Child Arrangement Orders(4 Posts)
What are people experiences of child arrangement orders and do they work?
I am having a weekly battle with my ex-husband about contact with our DS and DD. He is supposed to have them two nights a week but refuses to stick to any set arrangement whereby everyone knows what is happening and so can make plans etc. He works a set pattern, and has days off in the week, so there is no reason why we can't set this schedule for months in advance.
I am fed up of being bullied, abused and harassed about this when he doesn't get his own way and the days I say our children are free don't suit him. He is not keen on doing any weekends to be honest as these impact on his social life. There are numerous elements to the story but the top and bottom is that he only wants the children when it suits him.
Any suggestions please as I can take no more? We had one of these altercations on Thursday and I have spent most of the weekend crying. I am so much better in myself and life when I am NC with him but, this arrangement is making it impossible. Thanks x
You might get a better response in Legal Matters or Lone Parents for this one. What age are the DCs, how involved as a Dad was he and how long have you been separated?
I would start from the point of not relying on him for anything, for your own sanity (although it might not feel like that at first).
As the non-resident parent, it's up to him to use his time with the DCs to build up his relationship with them. No-one can force him to do that if he doesn't want to, not even a court order.
As the resident parent, you have to make the DCs available for contact. You don't have to make them available all the time though. You could suggest a regular day that suits them, that he could reasonably be expected to be able to do. Be reasonable, offer ccontact, then sit back and keep records of dates he has missed and his excuses.
It sounds like it might be hard to set dates months in advance with him but you can set a pattern. Why do you need the dates months in advance? Is it for childcare? Or the certainty of knowing what you're doing? Sounds like he doesn't care about what you need here. Yes, he should care about what the DCs need but it's probably best that you start managing their expectations, without being negative about him.
I'm not sure how you communicate with him now but I'd suggest text and email because it's easier to keep records. Some people have a separate phone or email address, some even get someone else to check it for them. Make it clear you will not be responding to anything that's not about contact. Use the broken record technique. "They will not be available on Tuesday or Thursday, they will be available on Wednesday at 6pm as usual." No eexplanation or apology. So think about strategies like agreeing an every 2nd Saturday pattern, then saying the kids will be available for collection at 10am on Saturday. If he's not there by 10:30, leave and get on with your day (silently fuming, probably). If a regular pattern is established and he's reliable, consider having him pick them up from a school or activity, to minimise contact with you.
Good luck - time to take your power back. Look after yourself too.
Everything Emerelda says.
Really it's up to you and the children and he will have to fit in with them.
If that doesn't suit him then too bad and if he wants set times to see them he will have to get a child arrangement order.
But if he won't agree with you set times why would he pay to go to court to do it? He can't exactly get a judge to agree a court order that says "i just want to see my kids when i want" can he. so doubt he'd bother.
Minimise contact yourself (think these parts just want to mess us about really) use a family member to arrange things with him and maybe make all picks up and drop off at school or something?
Thanks for the responses. I am happy to see that I am already doing some of the right things and I will definitely take on board some of the others. It has also made me feel much more confident that I am in the right here as the resident parent. He makes out that I am denying him access to his children - merely because I will not 'bow' exactly to what and when he wants! He wants to have access to them solely when it suits him, his social life and the OW (when she tells him he can).
What makes me laugh mind is that he is now shacked up with the OW and her 3 children - he spends more time with these children, who he has only know for a matter of months, than he does his own! To be fair I do feel sorry for these children at having to live with a stranger who is also complete control freak! But, that their mother's concern not mine - the less said about her the better! Despite this he expects me to do exactly as he says - and is confrontational and abusive if I don't!
Well no more I will continue to offer the days that suit the children and I, which are infact very reasonable and fair, if he doesn't like he can well and truly lump it. Or he can see me in court! A step I know he will never take as he needs all his money to support his 'new family', also ultimately he knows he is in the wrong!
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