Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
H is leaving & wants unlimited access to kids. what is reasonable?(28 Posts)
new to this site but hope can pick your brains...H having affair & decided to leave so marriage over. says he wants to maintain lots of contact with DD & DS, maybe picking them up from school & playing with them, then put them to bed (me & kids'll stay in family house)a few times a wk & when he gets a flat, they can stay with him weekends. is this reasonable, to give him access to family home several times a wk. apparently, i'll beable to use that time to get a life... i have great difficulty in deciding whether that's normal or whether he's taking the piss. any advice out there?
Consider how much time you think you would want to spend with your children if they were to live with your ex and try to apply that to your situation.
In other words, although it sounds like your ex has been a twunt to you, he still loves the children and their relationship is separate to your marriage.
I do think that it is a bit much for him to want to be in what is now your home a few times a week, especially at the moment when things must be raw.
If he has a flat then he will be able to pick the children up from school and play with them at his flat before bringing them home.
Have a think about what will be practical and what will benefit the children. You don't have to agree with all of his requests, but could compromise where possible.
I'm sorry you are going through this, it's very hard. Best wishes to you. x x
He wants to maintain the control.
What was the routine like before - did he pick dc up? play with them and put them to bed? If he did and you think he can maintain it then let him. if not then i would say he needs to try and keep the routine as normal as posible for a while at least.
thanks so much for responding...
H is an excellent father, is self employed so sometimes organises it so that he can come home to play with DC an hour or so before going back to work again, before i put them to bed.
marriage was pretty much over anyway so am sort of relieved that we're separating. what makes me really angry is that he started an affair 6 months ago & has been lying & deceiving me all this time. realised he's been going off on weekends away with her & leaving me to look after DC (they are both v. challenging kids, 4.5 & 3) & he didn't feel any remorse or guilt over it. i can't believe anything he says about the future, based on all the lies he's been spinning me. thats why i'm so confused. in his mind, he wants to do/see pretty much what he did before with DC, but just not live with us. how can i begin to rebuild my life if he is sat on the sofa in my home 3 afternoons a wk?
and wont it confuse the DC that he's there sometimes & not others. they are the kind of kids who'll kick up a huge fuss at bedtime & yell for dad on a 'mum night'...
I don't think it's reasonable for him to expect to spend so much time at your house. Surely he can have his turn at putting them to bed when he has them to stay at weekends?
It's not his home anymore. He can't treat it as though it is.
Well unfortunately I think that they are going to be a bit confused and you will both just have to deal with that. It's important that you talk and sort out your boundaries but just be careful that you aren't trying to punish him in anyway through the kids. He loves them as much as you do and is probably really struggling with not seeing them every day. Sounds like you've both made choices that led up to this so - both make plans now to share the care of your children.
You need a fixed arrangement with your children seeing their father in his home, not yours, as soon as is practicably possible. You will soon go insane, and your DCs will not understand what the hell is going on, if your exH is able to swan in and out of your house at will to see his children.
He sounds immensely selfish - he has had an affair and ended your marriage and no longer wants the responsibility of living with his family but he still wants to be able to play Daddy whenever it suits him. Grrrrrrr. Do not stand for it. He is most definitely "taking the piss".
thanks for all your kind words & advice.
if i decide to let H in the house/frequent access, do i need it put in some agreement or something?
other thing is that he says(!) that he will financially support us & we will continue to live in the family home. i am not convinced that he'll beable to sustain that commitment, even if he is sincere about it now. how can i protect us?
Get a lawyer. Sorry to say this but you need to get your financial and access arrangements sorted out and dont allow him unlimited access to YOUR home. You may not always be single and a few months down the line you may want to renegotiate. dont whatever you do let him come and go from your home as he wants to as this arrnagement violates your privacy
Get a lawyer as elast says and get it all down on paper and sorted so that you stay put in family home etc.
Access - if he wants to see the dc and have a lot of contact, really fab that is excellent and I would start by agreeing on a lot of contact and that way hopefully he will be more than a part time dad.
I have friends that do various things and I do somethings different.
One friend didn't want to be a part time dad so had the children as much as he could and asked for every other Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night - meaning that he could have a good amount of time and also get contact with the school and see them on week days and weekends.
Get him to sort out a flat and sets of clothes at his house along with toys etc so that they have two homes and not one and a visiting home.
At the moment you are probably still feeling raw and need to say goodbye to your old life - things can be good again and you will build a new life and having the time to do this will be in someways strange and in others lovely.
I would not let my ex in my home alone knowing what I know now - I was naive enough to think it would be ok when we first split up, but now I am wiser.
Appart from anything you need your own space and some type of seperate area without him there still in your life.
Also ask him how he would feel if you had a key to his flat and decided to come and go there 'just to pick up a few things'
He must know that you all need a few boundaries to be defined here.
Get legal advice - he may well say that he will provide for you at the moment but it nearly always get a bit nasty - especially if things dont go his way all the time.
I think you are not being unreasonable to not allow him into your home now either.
My friend is in a similar situation to you but 18 months down the line. Her dh turns up when he feels like it, he watches football on her tv, he brings food for himself and leaves dirty plates around, he still has clothes in the wardrobe that he refuses to sort out. They don't have any firm arrangements about when the dcs are going to his house so sometimes he will arrive out of the blue and take them away for the night when she had something planned at home and other times he says he will have them, she arranges to go out, and he cancels at the last minute. She says she wishes that she had sorted it out as soon as he left because he refuses to talk about it now.
Mediation can really work, without need to go through a lawyer
I also had a friend who had his children go to visit their mum:
One weekend it would be saturday morning frop off and then pick them up from school on a tuesday afternoon.
next weekend drop them off sunday morning and pick up from school wed after school.
i would feel that I never got a weekend off or a weekend with my dc - but for him and his ex it worked and it worked well - cos he said he alwys got some of the weekend to himself and always got some of the weekend with the dc
What works for you might not work for others.
But get it on paper and get it sorted that you both know where you are each weekend.
Ps I never ever ever change weekends with my ex - cos I work on the sat he has them, so I cant. If he cant have the dc thenm he has to make arrangements for them - once he said I cant have them you will have to sort soemthing out no I told him he needed to as it was his weekend and his call. Make the other parent reaslis they are responsable for the dc not just you
I'd agree to grin and bear it if you can for the dcs sake. BUT get him to agree a set timetable so everybody knows which nights are daddy nights and which are mummy nights. Then use your nights 'off' to go out to a yoga class/book group/salsa dancing so you don't have to put up with seeing him playing happy families in your house.
Children are incredibly adaptable when they feel secure. Things go wrong if they feel unsure of where they stand - will dad come round tonight? If not will I see him tomorrow or ever again?
(also your cooperation will look good if there does have to be a court case -hopefully not)
i am so grateful for all your advice. keep it coming, i've so much to think about, feel like my head might explode!
You really won't be doing your DCs any favours (ie it won't be "for their sake") if you let your exH see them at your house. You really, really don't want to let this happen! Your children will be much happier if their separated parents have an equal parenting relationship rather than one where the father calls all the shots.
Where is your dh currently living? Why can't he have the children there? When dh and I separated we found a flat nearby for him to live so that the children had their lives as little disrupted as possible (very important IMO). They stayed with me from Sun-Wed, and dh from Wed-Sat (with alternate Sat nights with each of us to keep things fairly split).
It was a little complicated keeping track of their clothes, but apart from that it worked out fine. The children boasted about their "two homes" to friends, so I think they were generally OK, and their childcare remained stable.
I think I'd be inclined to give your dh a reasonable time frame, so maybe say we will do it like that for (say) a month, by which time I expect you will have found somewhere. Definitely agree on set times, so that everyone knows where they stand (very important for the children).
My dh was similar about me "getting a life" which I found extremely irritating, but it was quite nice being free for a few nights a week (less so on the weekend).
I think there is good advice here....
one thing is correct though, you can not have him just turning up and coming in whenever he feels like it...
however I am afraid ou need to be ready for the "it is my house as well" argument, when will ineviatably happen the moment you tell him he is not allowed just to come in when he feels like it...
Dont get me wrong, allowing good access will only look good for you...
but there has to be boundaries....
you need to get this all down with a lawyer ASAP, as us men are dumb, and you have to factor in the other women, i.e is there much equity in your house, if there is you can bet if they ever have money trouble, she would be saying about the equity...
not trying to sound negative, but you have to cover these things, if he says sell, unless you can pay him out not a lot you can do. you need it written down legally
Agree with nooka that if you and your exH can live physically very close to one another, your children's lives will be much easier.
We live 5 minutes drive / a ten minute door-to-door bus journey from DP's exW and the children (now 11 and 14) can come and go on their own, and also, importantly, see their friends whichever home they are at.
I really agree with the living nearby so the school run is easy for both and the friends are close to both homes - in and ideal world this makes life far easier for the dc.
near enough for walking and far enough for privacy.
Only read OP.
He is their father and should be allowed as much access as he and they want.
This is about him being a father, not about you and he no longer being a couple.
Join the discussion
Please login first.