Summer holiday arrangements(8 Posts)
Hi -posted this on legal matters board but wondered if anyone had any advice on this board?
I would love some advice and don't know what to do. I have a dd and my partner who I have lived with for just over a year has a ds. We went to Court this year to agree residency and he was awarded shared residence of his son for about 40% of the time. At the time of the order, it was also agreed that they have one full half-term each, share the other half-term, one evening per week and every other weekend. It is the summer holidays that are the problem.
The court order is a bit vague (I realise this now - we should have firmed it up at the time) - it simply states half of summer, to run as 7 consecutive nights no more than 14 without other parent's permission, to be agreed between the parties. The problem is, his ex is incredibly controlling and we cannot negotiate with her. I am deeply regretting not setting the holidays now and it is causing so much stress. She feels we should accommodate her working schedule and pattern and as she is the 'single parent' who works FT, we should work around her. My partner applied for 50/50 shared residence and would have his son FT if he could.
We approached her 3 weeks ago via email and proposed that as her weekend falls first when the children break up and we want to go away that first week, it would seem to make sense that she has her son the first week following her weekend, we take the next week, she takes the one after and so on. That however does not work for her - she NEEDS the weeks to run Mon-Sun, not Fri-Fri. I asked her why - for me there is no reason whatsoever. We ALL work full-time and I also have my dd's childcare to consider. I really don't feel we are being unreasonable and we just don't know what to do.
Can anyone see her point? What difference does it make how the Mon-Fri parts of the 7 consecutive nights run?!
Not much of an expert, sorry.
But, i suppose the only real reason to prefer m-f rather than s-s (or vice versa) is if there's anything else happening on those days that makes it better or easier such that you can't be in two places at one time.
E.g. If she works on a Friday, is it easier (in terms of getting home from work then driving to yours and getting home again) to do it Sunday afternoon?
Well either that's the way her work rota works out - so it makes her life much more complicated to do Fri-Fri, or she's just being difficult for the sake of it. Your DP is probably the best judge of that. Some people (eg some NHS staff) can only book holiday in whole weeks, and that may be Mon-Sun, so that could be why she wants it that way. Though it might have been helpful for her to have explained what the problem was!
But if it doesn't make any difference to you, then why not go along with the Mon-Sun? Could you use that as a starting point, and then swap a couple of weekends with each other so that you can do a Fri-Fri booking somewhere?
i would agree with purpleroses about the possibility of how her shifts work, my job runs Sunday-Saturday but a previous role was Friday-Thursday which made holidays a bloody nightmare!!
However, i do empathise enormously with you! My DP's ex has been a nightmare over the summer holidays and has actually managed to shoot herself in the foot which i find hilarious...we have agreed 50/50 split of holidays so we asked her for the first 3 weeks of the summer. she refused saying she couldn't cope with being away from the kids for 3 weeks on the trot - fair enough we agreed to 2 weeks and then a week later on. Except she then text DP asking for money for the kids to go on a Camp the 3rd week we originally asked for, so she won't be seeing them for 3 full weeks as it turns out...not sure she has realised what a prat she has made herself look.
If you went back to court to firm up the arrangements is it likely to happen in time for arrangements to be made? If so then i would recommend going back to court, but make sure that all avenues of negotiation have been exhausted, inc using a mutual friend to mediate if necessary
My DH used to do a 50:50 split of the summer holidays right down the middle from when DSD was about 6 I think. It isn't ideal; going without seeing either parent for that long but DSD didn't seem to struggle with it. DH had 50:50 contact at the time so DSD was well used to both homes.
If it makes no odds to you I wouldn't get het up about it. Perhaps she has already made some plans, perhaps she just wants some power/control.
Accommodate where you can - if you ever have to go back to court you will have written evidence of how reasonable you have been. My priority would be getting the dates fixed and agreed so you can sort our childcare.
My works rota runs from Monday to Sunday, if her rota does too then it's probably easier for her to work that way. I do agree with a pp that it would be better if she'd explained that if it is the case.
Do you know if she works weekends? If not, and I assume the fri- fri starts fri evening, I cant understand the problem as it's her weekend to have them anyway.
Otherwise, my suggestion is that she has her weekend with them as planned. You have them back on Monday and take 14 days (leaving you a full fri-fri in the at the end if that's what you want) then she takes them back on the fri, ready for her weekend with them and 14 days herself. Then at the end of the holiday you have a week, and she has a week. Although I expect the kid will be in childcare for those weeks.
That's what we do, btw.
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