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Variations to contact order

(30 Posts)
justchecking1 Wed 03-Jul-19 10:21:37

DP is going to court for a child arrangement order. Ideally doesn't want to ever have to go back to court ideally so is trying to think of possible pitfalls to include from the start. So far he has a list that specifies alternate Christmas/Boxing Day, and alternate New Years; child's passport to be made available; and opportunity to have a 2 week block of contact eg for holidays. All of these would affect the usual EOW and evening contacts.

Can you think of anything he should ask for as part of the order? Is there anything you have as specific issues that we should include? Just trying to anticipate things that may become a problem in future and sort them out now


TheChain Wed 03-Jul-19 11:27:15

Birthdays, father’s days etc... you might to have it specified that child’s birthday should be alternated between parents and father’s day no matter who’s weekend it is for context should be spent with dad.
I think they’re fair and reasonable requests

Whathappenedtooursummer Wed 03-Jul-19 11:29:04

What about sickness of dc? Who will have to take work off? Ds was sometimes bed bound with migraine but exh demanded he be put in the car as usual....

TheChain Wed 03-Jul-19 11:30:04

Also an issue I see a lot is specifying that when there are school events when only 2 people can attend that your DP is one of those people... it’ll prevent the child’s DM maybe taking a partner and excluding dad.
Although I’m not sure you can specify this is court but you can certainly contact the school and ensure your DP gets a copy of all correspondence and can attend.

Bedforaweek Wed 03-Jul-19 11:31:00

Video calls invetween contact visits?

TheChain Wed 03-Jul-19 11:32:10

What about sickness of dc? Who will have to take work off?
This should be alternated too, that’s fair on both parents so RP doesn’t have to use annual leave all the time.
However, I’m a firm believer kids should still go to the NRP on contact days even if they’re ill, NRP are perfectly capable of looking after their child when they’re sick.

Whathappenedtooursummer Wed 03-Jul-19 11:34:19

I agree TheChain in theory. Ds has ME which exh tried to deny in court. Poor ds was stuck in the car for an hour holding a sick bag.
Not in his best interests imo.

TheChain Wed 03-Jul-19 11:43:36

@Whathappenedtooursummer oh no! That’s a totally different situation, your poor DS!

Your circumstances are different... I meant I have seen parents refuse to look after a sick child on their contact days. My friend for example had her ExH refuse to look after their child when he had a D&V bug, in my opinion you don’t get to opt out of the shit side of parenting because it’s unpleasant.

My ExH got handed DS a few weeks back with chicken pox, it was his weekend to look after him which unfortunately included caring for him whilst he was poorly. That’s how it should be 🤷🏼‍♀️

justchecking1 Wed 03-Jul-19 12:43:59

All great ideas, thank you

CanILeavenowplease Wed 03-Jul-19 17:39:48

Video calls invetween contact visits?

I accept with modern technology, teens with phones and rooms of their own can do what they want but I would have fought you tooth and nail on that one when they were young. The expectation that children are made available at a certain time for a certain length of time is very restrictive (and if asked for more than once and week, starts to become controlling), and can be impossible to manage. When one of mine was aged 2-3 he would flat out refuse to talk to his dad on the phone and somehow this was always my fault and used as a stick to beat me with (the other two always spoke and it was never an issue). I also take exception to the intrusiveness of video calls - it’s my home and my ex has no right to be in it!

Please think carefully how this may be experienced by the other side. And remember they would have the right to request the same when the. Hildren are with you.

SandyY2K Thu 04-Jul-19 22:03:48

This should be alternated too, that’s fair on both parents so RP doesn’t have to use annual leave all the time.

I think the needs of the child come first, rather than fairness to the parents.

A sick child would usually prefer to stay home in their own bed when sick.

That's usually where they have their own home comforts.

Parents are often focussed on their own needs and forget the child.

I've has adult children if divorce say how they hated being forced out of their house when they were I'll...because in the words of the mum "it's your dads time with you, so you have to go"...

TheChain Thu 04-Jul-19 22:26:37

I think the needs of the child come first, rather than fairness to the parents
I can not afford to take unpaid leave or risk losing my job by taking all the time off with my DCs every time they are ill. If my ex didn’t do 50/50 then I would be financially screwed. All my annual leave is used up trying to cover as much of the school holidays as I can.
I think my DCs need a mother with a stable income and a roof over their head more than they need to be in their bed at my house when they’re poorly and I have no more annual leave left.

TheChain Thu 04-Jul-19 22:28:55

Also I 100% agree with what @CanILeavenowplease is saying regarding video calls.
I have an amicable relationship with my ex so I don’t mind, but I can see how intrusive it could feel if relations weren’t so good

Willyoujustbequiet Fri 05-Jul-19 00:45:51

How old are the children?

Surely they should be asked what they want. All I see is what the parents want.

surlecoup Fri 05-Jul-19 06:54:00

If you really want to make it water tight you need to consider hand overs and how holiday time is determined. My DP’s custody order is precise on every detail - so no discussion is needed on how half the school hols are split and the time and location of every handover. It’s restricting of course.
I imagine when she hit teens/just before DSD’s life will take over a bit but for now it’s oh so relaxing to have removed this source of conflict.
I agree on video calls. They are a lovely idea in principle but very intrusive for everyone around.

Starlight456 Fri 05-Jul-19 07:05:17

You have to think forward . Age of child, how old is child, how are you going to manage Birthday parties, distance will matter, the blanket not on my weekend is never putting dc first esp for best friend , I don’t mean the 20+ in reception. What if a family wedding comes up , parents get married.

Tbh the pp who commented on sickness if my dc had d&v they wouldn’t move anywhere .

These also work both ways if you want a 2 week block other parent should be entitled to the same ,

What age are you going to become more flexible ?

Sports clubs , swimming lessons?

juneshowers19 Fri 05-Jul-19 07:43:54

Xmas - we found that one parent having DSC from the end of term until the 27th Dec and the other having them from 27th Dec to the beginning of term worked OK (as far as dividing up Xmas can ever work OK).
Holidays - we alternated half terms and split the Easter and Summer down the middle (although for very young children that might be too long).
Pick ups and drops offs to school where possible if the parents don't get on are usually a good idea. Especially if school are accommodating.
Father's Day and Dad's bday with Dad. Mother's Day and Mum's bday with Mum.
For the DSC's bday one parent had the night before until 3pm and then the other had 3pm overnight. Alternated each year.
Some kind of agreement about sharing information re. school, parties and hobbies.
Think DH had something about providing flight and contact info for all holidays in there too.
Can't think of anything was a long time ago!

TheChain Fri 05-Jul-19 09:02:34

Tbh the pp who commented on sickness if my dc had d&v they wouldn’t move anywhere
Ideally no, but sometimes there’s no other option 🤷🏼‍♀️

stuffedpeppers Mon 08-Jul-19 19:49:51

Then ifthe NRP does not cover sickness then they need to pay more maintenance to cover their share or lose their holiday days.

i have sick DC - never once has the NRP taken day off owrk to looka fter them - that is my job!!!

NorthernSpirit Mon 08-Jul-19 23:00:44

My OH has a pretty defined contact order but it’s taken a few court sessions & still isn’t perfect.

The order should clearly state arrangements, leave absolutely no room for own interpretation or ambiguity

• 1/2 school holidays (dates to be agreed)
• Children made available for a holiday with the NRP abs state what information the RP should be in receipt of
• Passports to be handed over 2 weeks in advance of holiday
• Children to be made available for direct or indirect contact on their birthdays
• Children to be made available on NRP birthday
• Children made available on fathers / Mother’s Day (as appropriate)
• Christmas / NYE arrangement (my OH has alternative)
• Indirect contact (in my OH’s case his EW wouldn’t ‘let’ him ring or speak to the children so it’s worked into the CO that he has indirect contact via a phone call between 6pm & 6:30pm on a Tue, Thu & Sun. The mother has to make the children available
• Who does the pick ups & drop offs

CanILeavenowplease Tue 09-Jul-19 15:07:51

So basically the extra in your case, @Northernspirit is unable to do trips out, or go and have tea with friends, or do an activity on those days because the children have to be available? I find this unacceptable. It really limited our life and activities when my ex tried to tie us into very regular phonecalls. I got to the point where I was literally shaking with fear if I wasn’t sat with the phone in my hand 10 minutes before he was due to call. Given that he would leave abusive message after abusive message until we did answer (he once called 12 times in the time it took me to finish bathing me drying a baby and put a nappy on him) and he wouldn’t allow me the opportunity to speak to them when with him, I eventually called it harassment and it was stopped through solicitors. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect contact but it needs flexibility and needs to be a two way process.

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Tue 09-Jul-19 15:15:26

Worth considering what will happen as child grows and wants to start/try different hobbies. Will it be a blanket “no” for anything that would fall on NRPs contact time? Or is there room for flexibility there? Is distance and issue that would make transporting to hobbies impossible?

NorthernSpirit Tue 09-Jul-19 15:15:28

So @CanILeavenowplease what’s the alternative if the mother won’t allow the children to speak to their dad or their dad to call? In an ideal world the dad should be able to call and speak to the kids (within reasonable limits, sadly some RP’s don’t allow this).

And of course you can go out, mobile phones exist.

How would you feel if you were only ‘allowed’ to see your own children EOW & not speak to them in between? How would you feel if you weren’t allowed to have any contact with your children for 12 days? Would that be ok?

Of course parents should be reasonable because it’s whats best for the children. Sadly some bitter EW’s can’t be so the court has to order.

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Tue 09-Jul-19 15:20:39

he has indirect contact via a phone call between 6pm & 6:30pm on a Tue, Thu & Sun. The mother has to make the children available

What happens if the kids at out at the cinema/dinner/staying over with friends etc?

Magda72 Tue 09-Jul-19 15:28:36

@JoxerGoesToStuttgart I would imagine if the dm had been reasonable so start with it wouldn't have come down to this. In fairness she's brought this rigidity on herself by denying her ex reasonable phone calls.

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