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We've split - he wants DC 3 nights a week?

(34 Posts)
BankHolidayBlues Mon 29-May-17 11:46:24

It was my decision to split after having suffered EA and other things I don't really wanna go into (will probably out me)

He's taken it pretty badly but the last few days has come to terms with it.
We split about 2 weeks ago. He still lives in the house with us, sleeping on the sofa, until his parents can have him at theirs (long story) but that should be in the next couple of days.

Anyway we've been discussing child arrangements but he's saying he wants DC 3 nights a week. My ex MIL is a nasty spiteful old cow who any chance she gets will criticise me or my parenting etc. I haven't spoken to her in about a year, and DC will only see her maybe once a month when my XP goes to see her.
I have told him I don't want DC around her alone as I know she'll slag me off and I want to keep my DC out of this as much as possible. He's saying she'll behave etc. I just don't believe it.

I can't not let XP see DC, but he'll be living with her.

He also works 6 days a week so he won't even be having DC during the day, he said he'd put DC in a nursery while he's at work but I can see the old bat kicking up a fuss that she'll look after him for free etc.

I really don't know what to do.
Even if we arrange the days he has DC are around his day off, he'll still not be there for 2 days.

WTF am I gonna do?

Shoxfordian Mon 29-May-17 11:52:49

Sadly I think you'll have to agree with the access. You can't control what his mother does or how she acts but you can speak to your children and make sure they know you're there and you love them. I would recommend seeing a solicitor and having a formal agreement for custody drawn up.

YoshimiPt2 Mon 29-May-17 12:26:37

OP,
I think long term there are things that you will gradually accept you cannot control such as your MILs contact.

However right now my advice would be to stall on everything while you work out what is best. Do not rush into the proposed contact arrangement. Take time to think about what is best for your DC.

You might think a transitional arrangement would be a good idea while you figure things out such as Dad visiting your current home after work for bedtime. Perhaps from there you'd build up to overnights?

Or perhaps start straight away with the overnight when he'd be at home and move to increase that as child gets older and/or stbxs living arrangements change. You can still make sure they see each other a lot.

I rushed into "sharing" the DC as I felt so guilty towards ex because I was leaving and I was worried I'd ruin DCs relationship with their dad. I should have thought through more. I think too much change all at once was a shock for them.

Do you, eg, currently do all bedtimes with DC? If so I suggest 3 overnights away would be a complete shock to them.

Are you a SAHM? My stbx has 2-3 overnights a week but I have the youngest during the day while he is at work.

flowers this bit is very difficult.

BankHolidayBlues Mon 29-May-17 13:07:38

Thanks for replies.
Actually he does all the bedtimes, it's kind of their thing, because he works so much.
I have been doing more and more bedtimes to try and adjust, as well as saying "Daddy's here to see you" rather than "Daddy's home".

I know I can't stop contact that's not really what I want. I've been very clear to my family that he is still DCs father and should be treated like a member of the family around DC, and he agreed that was best so I hope he gets the message across.

I am a SAHM so hadn't thought of me looking after the DC on his nights. Might be something he's consider.

I just don't see the point in him having 3 nights/4 days when he'll only be off on one of the days. He wouldn't be spending any more time than he already does now with DC, but his mother would hmm

Wormulonian Mon 29-May-17 13:26:21

Agree with other posters who have said stall. Think very very carefully about what you want and get advice (legal) do not rush anything. If he has the children virtually 50/50 this will impact on your financial situation as a SAHM - he may not need to pay any maintenance, you will need to work. You also sound as if you were not married - is the house in his name? Get your financials and look at the various scenarios that could occur and their impact on it. BE CAREFUL

FizzyGreenWater Mon 29-May-17 16:57:35

Err no I don't think what he's proposing her is very reasonable at all and am surprised at some of the advice from other posters.

Contact for a non-resident parent would normally start at one night in the week plus every other weekend. It would be reasonable for you to state that that is what you would like.

Shared care, which is more or less what he is proposing, is great if both parents can truly facilitate that, and the changes can be made in such a way that the child's best interests still come first - e.g. if both parents live locally to one another so shared care doesn't involve massive car journeys every couple of days, or eg one parent doesn't work long hours so that in effect, it's not shared care at all but the child being moved from a home to a childcare setting in order to please one parent's need to feel that they 'have' them a certain number of days.

This last applies to your ex. He can't do the care he's proposing. What he wants to do is take your child away from you and his home for those days, but he won't actually be spending the time with him (whereas you can, being SAHM). That isn't in your child's best interests at all.

As you are SAHM and your child is used to being with you during the days plus your ex is working anyway, I think it's very much in your child's interests for that to stay exactly as it is. It makes no sense to use a nursery and it's an uneccessary change for your child.

As you say nursery, I assume too that your DC is pretty young. Again, shared care of this kind, when it's actually going to involve the child being required to spend more time away from BOTH parents than they need to, isn't generally seen as beneficial.

He isn't thinking in your DC best interests, and that's even before you bring in MIL's likely emotional abuse of your DC (yes, her slagging you off to your child is abusive and will cause much stress - I guess you'll find out about that one as it sounds as if your DC will see more of her without you there either way - in which case don't hesitate to let your ex know if your DC starts showing signs of reluctance to be with her).

To go back to the contact issue - speak to a family law solicitor, and have a google too. It's great that he wants more time with your DC than one night/every other weekend, but what he's proposing is more likely than anything to result in a more stressed, more unhappy DC who might quickly start to associate 'Daddy time' with not actually seeing Daddy at all but being with Granny, at nursery, tired and travelling and pretty unsettled.

If you're still on good enough terms you could talk to him about this and say, I don't want this kind of arrangement and I don't think it's going to work for DC but I do want you to have as much contact as possible - can we think of something better? Contact is supposed to mean CONTACT. Can he take one day off in the week every fortnight and work a weekend day instead, for example, so that DC could have every other weekend, one night in the week one week and the next week have two nights with a Daddy day in the middle? That way, no week would pass without him spending at least two nights on the trot with DC plus a full day or two in the middle?

Reasonable or not, see a lawyer anyway and I wouldn't budge on this one. His plan sounds as if it's tailored to what he thinks are his rights rather than what would be best for your DC at this time of change. I think you would find with such a young DC that you would be listened to in court, especially if you have suggestions to maximise their time together and are clear that what you object to is your child being taken out of your care but NOT being in their father's care for the majority of the 'contact' time.

RainbowsAndUnicorn Mon 29-May-17 18:16:08

50/50 can be great for the children, time with both parents and able to have a relationship with both. It will also enable you to return to work as his days costs will be down to him.

mrbob Mon 29-May-17 20:32:51

He is their father. Why is 50/50 not a good thing? Why does he have less rights to spend time with them? What he decides to do with his half of the week is sort of up to him unless he is putting them at risk

Atenco Tue 30-May-17 04:16:31

He is their father. Why is 50/50 not a good thing? Why does he have less rights to spend time with them? What he decides to do with his half of the week is sort of up to him unless he is putting them at risk

That is a very standard answer and shows you haven't read the OP.

And it's not about his rights, it's about the right of the child, which may or may not be benefitted by a 50/50 arrangement.

isitjustme2017 Tue 30-May-17 07:05:51

Its not 50/50 though is it? He won't even have them for a big chunk of his time, it will be nursery or MIL. I don't see how that benefits the children at all.

MartinaMartini Tue 30-May-17 07:24:48

^ completely agree with this. Sounds like he's trying to dodge paying maintenance.

Poor you and the children.

TheHiphopopotamus Tue 30-May-17 07:33:32

Agree with previous posters, it sounds like he's doing it to avoid maintenance, especially if he'll be at work during his days. My SIL's ex did the same thing for the same reasons.

You need to see a solicitor especially as you're a SAHM and it sounds from your post as though you aren't married?

Frouby Tue 30-May-17 07:34:15

I don't see how a court will award this level of contact OP. I would initially start at the 'standard' eow and 1 night after school. Don't set a higher arrangement than what you are happy with initially.

Explain your reasons. You are currently the primary carer. You are currently a sahm and therefore able to be there for the dcs when they are ill or home from school ill. It also sounds as though they don't have the best relationship with your MIL and I would worry that shw wont be able to cope well with the dcs.

I know things might change and your ex will probably change his living arrangements which then means another change for the dcs.

I would tell him eow. Your dcs should spend an equal amount of quality time with each parent which is classed as weekends and holidays. Use that as your reasoning. There was also a theory when I was in family court 10 years ago that dcs do better academically going to and from school from 1 home not split. I am sure 50:50 is appropriate and beneficial in some cases but not in all. And as you are currently a sahm I would use this to my advantage.

Have you started discussing financial arrangements? One way to reduce child maintenance is to have the dcs for a number of nights each week. I am not saying that this is the case here but it would be beneficial financially for your ex to have them 3 nights a week.

Start at eow and force him to take you to court if he wants more. If he ks desperate to do bedtimes 3 nights a week he could do it at your house maybe? Or at least 1 night a week if he has them after school.

Don't try and be too fair to him while forgetting about what is the best thing for your dcs. In the circumstances you describe I dont see how the dcs will benefit from 3 nights a week.

luckylucky24 Tue 30-May-17 07:49:24

I would propose he has DC the night before his day off and that day. Then one day he can do bedtime at yours. It makes no sense for him to be having your DC when he is at work unless you were both working.
At best I would offer the night of his day off as extra (so the night before and of his day off) and he drops DC at yours on his way to work.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Tue 30-May-17 07:55:33

God I know nothing about this but I hope to god we aren't living in a country that allows 50:50 contact when one of the parents is at work full time and the other isn't. The kids don't even have a close relationship with their grandma, why the heck should they have to spend half their life with her?

RedTitsMcGinty Tue 30-May-17 09:23:42

I hope to god we aren't living in a country that allows 50:50 contact when one of the parents is at work full time

Really? That's ridiculous. I'm a single parent working full time. My ex-dickhead-husband doesn't work. We share care 50:50 (until October when he's decided to move, so I'll be doing 95%).

I sympathise with the OP but her DH is the kids' father. He may be an absolute dickhead but it's about his relationship with his children - and what he does during his time with the children isn't her business, unless it suits putting the children in harm.

RedTitsMcGinty Tue 30-May-17 09:24:05

*is putting

BankHolidayBlues Tue 30-May-17 09:24:50

Fizzy You make some really great points, thank you. The reason he hasn't moved out yet is because he's finding it really hard to leave DC.

mrbob I never once said he shouldn't be spending time with DC, I've told him on more than one occasion that we are both the parents and should both have as much contact as possible.
But I don't think it is possible as he works 12 hour days 6 days a week.
I know I can't control what XMIL says or does but I certainly don't want to freely put DC in her care 2 days per week. She's not the type to hold her tounge even to DC and she doesn't understand that children shouldn't have to deal with adult situations, I don't want DC to feel helpless.

frouby I really want to keep courts out of it. We both want wants best for DC but he is feeling a bit sorry for himself I think. He said to me "you're not the one hardly who sees DC and will see him even less now".

I really just want to do the right thing. I have already proposed that he has DC the night before his day off, and the night after and drop DC to nursery (he attends one day a week which happens to be the day after his day off) and then I could pick him up.

But then he's going 5 days without seeing him. I've also said he could come over and put DC to bed a couple of nights week or whenever he wants really.

I suggested all of this before, and he didn't really give me a reply. Then a couple of days later (after speaking to his mother) he comes out with wanting DC 3 nights a week.

FML.

RandomMess Tue 30-May-17 09:37:29

Stick to your guns. Change nursery day so he has them 2/3 nights and the full 2 days he is off. Yes to seeing them one or 2 evening per week at yours until they are old enough to stay up later.

Stay firm that you will not accept the DC being looked after by MIL whilst you are at home able to do it as that is denying you contact and you are their primary carer.

ninja Tue 30-May-17 09:48:32

One thing that strikes me on your OP is that you say he is EA. That's not going to stop.

You've probably been used to walking on eggshells and trying to please him and being 'fair' and you're still thinking about that.

At least you're questioning it which is more than I did when I let my EA ex have 50/50 (although as I worked part time I did more of the care in the day while DD2 was at nursery). I believed that Dad's have rights - and they do but just like mums they have to earn them. I was also frightened of crossing him.

6 years down the line I'm taking him to court to look at reducing contact because he is bullying DD2 and it's having an effect on both kids - both kids have MH problems.

Remember if you're not there to EA then who is there to take that out on?

Just be careful and stick up for what you think is right for the children and it really sounds like here more time with you would be. If his job changes and you can see that he's not EA to them then maybe things can change.

FizzyGreenWater Tue 30-May-17 09:56:48

nope.

If DC not in nursery now, and you are SAHM, then DC should NOT be going to nursery and coping with that change on top of everything else simply so he gets his ''rights'.

Sounds like more EA to me. If he isn't happy to drop DC back to YOU, not nursery, then it's a no.

Time to adopt a broken record technique. 'I'm not willing for DC to have more change than they need to deal with, that's not in their best interests, it's in yours. If you don't agree then we go to court as I will not budge on it. I'm willing to listen to all suggestions for YOU to spend more time with them, I will NOT budge on them spending time they don't need to away from BOTH of us.'

BluePeppers Tue 30-May-17 10:09:29

2 weeks is a very short time.

Dont rush, dont agree anything with him wo seeing a lawyer first.

Think carefully about your dcs and what they need. Im guessing that the dcs are under 5 as you are talking abut them being with your MIL all day. Is that such a great idea when they are so young?

Oh and he needs to leave th house. Wanting to stay beause o the dcs isnt a good enough reason sorry. This guy was ABUSIVE to you. Why on earth do you let him stay any longer??

YoshimiPt2 Tue 30-May-17 10:18:44

You've probably been used to walking on eggshells and trying to please him and being 'fair' and you're still thinking about that.

Absolutely this.

The feeling sorry for himself makes it tough because while he is feeling like that he isn't working with you to figure what's best for DC. (And if you are feeling sorry for him remember it's his behaviour that got you here)

But... I do think if he's working long hours and sees little of the DC besides bedtime it would be sad for the DC to start going days on end without seeing him.

I don't know if its bad advice for you, but I initially had ex at my house a lot. Eg, he called in to see the kids over breakfast on way to work. It has made it a slow process for me in terms of moving on but I really think their dad disappearing for days on end would have been sad.

But when you say he can come over "whenever he wants" to do bedtime, I would try and fix some nights for that. That way at least you are putting some boundaries in place - for all of you.

More than ever they need the continued security of you during this change. That's where i ignored my instincts. Definitely resist the MIL plan. I think it's very good advice to have your lines prepared and stick to them.

Tiredofstruggling1 Tue 30-May-17 10:27:10

Don't do it. Take your time and find a better solution.

BluePeppers Tue 30-May-17 10:38:06

Btw I'm pretty sure you will have a different outlook once he has left the house and you are starting to think wo feeling you have to walk on eggshells or that you have to be careful about keeping him happy.

First step is for him to move out of the house!

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