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Advice about access needed.(9 Posts)
I hope you could give me some (gentle) advice about access, especially if you have been through the courts.
I have a 13 yr old and 10 yr old. Ex and I split up 3 years ago when I discovered his affair. He lives 30 mins away with OW.
As time has gone on, he has pushed and pushed for more access to the point that it has affected my health and the children's happiness. I will say, to be fair, I have no concerns about his parenting.
It has got to the point where he has them one overnight stay in the week, sat morning to Monday morning EOW, takes them to school one morning and has them for tea until late one night. He also has them EO Friday if he hasn't got them on the weekend. He wanted fri from school to Monday morning which I refused but he pushed and pushed until I agreed EO Friday.
They are tired from having to get up early on the mornings they are at school and with him (one of them takes sleep meds so it is a struggle for him). They have to hang around for activities down here because it is too far to take them home and bring them back. The 13 yr old has asked me on several occasions if he can chill out at home and complained about having to get up early for school. He has asked me to ask his dad but it creates more trouble if I do. The youngest come into my bed when he has been away from me and struggles if they are away on holiday (crying on the phone etc).
I feel like I need to regain some control of the situation but I am not sure where to start. I cannot talk to him about it as he won't budge.
This sounds difficult.
I have not been through the courts, but I would venture to say that a 10 and 13 yo are generally ok to make their own decisions about contact, or at least to have their opinions strongly heard. Certainly the 13 yo - perhaps a slight question mark over the 10 yo depending upon maturity and other factors.
If it were me I'd have a quick solicitor chat, and probably go with literally informing ex as to when the DC have asked to see him. And if ex has a problem with that, I'm very much afraid I'd politely advise him to arrange mediation, or chat to a solicitor.
But I could have no idea what I'm talking about. Hopefully others with more pertinent experience will be along shortly. In the meantime, handhold.
How early is early and how much hanging around do they have to do? I'm trying to figure out if they're really finding it difficult or just being lazy pain in the arses.
Thanks for your replies both.
I think it would be 6:30am rather than 7:15am here. Eldest on sleep meds so he can be groggy. They have to share a room up there which is an issue for both - ex has spent a lot on house, just chose to do this because of the garden etc.
Hanging round - from 10am until midday for eldest and from 10:30am until 1pm for the youngest (sat) because of overlapping activities.
It's not so much laziness for the eldest, it's being in the comfort of his own home and being able to chill out on his own. They don't know anyone up there and eldest is unlikely to meet anyone as he can't go out independently in unfamiliar areas (additional needs).
Access would only need tweaking IMO but he won't budge on anything. So I would say drop EO Friday night and bring them back Sunday night so they start their week from here.
I understand he misses them obviously, but I am feeling that now he has got everything sorted, he sees me as the hired help and them as the 'real family'.
Sorry for long reply, I am trying to be fair in my replies.
It's great that your ExH wants to maintain a good relationship with your children.
But he really wants it all doesn't he!
Don't suppose he thought about them and their welfare much while he was shagging this other woman!
And now, his selfish desires to see as much as he can of the kids he was happy to leave is impinging on THEIR lives and THEIR happiness.
I have no legal knowledge but I would most certainly go and see a solicitor who specialises in family law or failing that , make an appontmemt sharpish at the CAB.
I would think your children's desires would have to be taken into consideration and I'm sure they want to see him and maintain a good relationship with him.
Why not ask them how much THEY would like to see him. ExH will have to realise that as they get older he will likely see less and less of them as they wont want to go to his house for the weekend- and that is the price he will have to pay for wanting a new wife/ new life. I don't think men think things through properly before they dive in, cock first.
I would most certainly be cutting down on the ammount they see him. It's making them insecure and unhappy. Maybe ask at school if the teachers have noticed anything?
Do you have a legal access agreement with him? Or is he just dictating the rules? You are the parent with residency/ custody I assume so it's down to you to decide when he sees them. Stand up to him for your kids. They need you to be strong and tell him that the current arrangement isn't working FOR THEM. and ulitimatly, dont their happiness, security and wants rate higher and have more imprtance than HIS.
He made his decision, he has to live with it, your kids should not have to struggle so he can satisfy his ultimately selfish wants.
Good luck, be strong and don't be bullied by him. Your kids need to see that you are on their side.
What YorkshireYummymummy said!
The kids aren't things; they are autonomous beings with feelings and needs. Would they be happy with EOW and not at all in the week?
Btw my DS is 13 and doesn't want to go to his dad's at the moment, for his own reasons. I ask him, but don't force him. His dad had tried emotional blackmail on me, not sure if on him. It goes over my head.
Let your kids lead on this.
And again; totally agree with what YYM said! Good luck!
Would it help to make the weekends Friday to Sunday and ditch the other Friday?
Is the other Friday overnight?
You need to try mediation. Maybe one who can involve the children in solving the problem?
Thank you for all your messages, I really do appreciate it. Yes the Friday he has them is another overnight stay so one week, he has them wed until 7.30pm, thurs overnight and Friday overnight. The other week it is wed teatime, thurs, sat and Sunday overnight.
I will contact a solicitor in the New Year and speak with them.
The boys want to see him but I don't think they want to see him as much as they are doing at the moment. The eldest especially in wants to chill out in his bedroom.
And yes I am trying hard not to be bitter!! We moved down here to be near him family because of their ill health. They have cut me dead and my own family are 4 hours away. He has also pushed for split half terms, leaving me little time to go and visit my family.
I sound like a push over but I'm actually assertive in most other areas of my life lol.
I think, work out what would suit you and the dc better and inform him of what that will be. Maybe think about where you can give - ie he has them the whole of one half-term, and you have them the whole of the next, alternating - something like that, something to sweeten the pill a bit? But ultimately the dc aren't happy so it's up to you re-work the agreement so it's better for them, however he feels about it. The dc's views should be taken into account if it were to get to that.
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