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Divorce/separation

Discussing arrangements for children- what's normal?

8 replies

diskdrive · 16/09/2018 20:12

Long story short - ex left out of the blue for OW 5 weeks ago. Has been staying with his parents but will be moving into rental with OW and her children this week. Horrible horrible situation.

We have two children 12 and 14. We will be meeting tomorrow with solicitors for first collaborative discussion. The children are top of the agenda.

He has already expressed that he would like to have the children every other weekend plus a night in the week, although he works away quite frequently so this will need to be flexible.

Things I am wondering about-

  1. If he doesn't get home from work until 6/7 ish and the children go to bed 9.30 on school nights are the midweek nights worth the upheaval? It will mean having to be really organised with school stuff. They will be living 5 miles from school so will need dropping off in the morning. Part of me wants to suggest they go for tea but then come home at bedtime but I guess at some point I may feel glad of the opportunity to go out one evening a week (book club etc)


2. Is it better for the kids if they go when the OW's kids are there or when they are with their father? Her oldest is the same age as my youngest (same school). What normally happens? Part of me thinks may be nicer and more fun for my children if they are all there together but part of me thinks they will get more quality time with their dad if they are the only children there. Also a horrible part of me would enjoy them never having a child free weekend so I am finding it hard to be objective and decide what would be best for the kids (although I doubt I will get much say but it would be good to at least express what I think is best for them)

3. Clothes - should he provide clothes for when they are there! Or will I need to send them every time they go?

Any experiences you can share would be really helpful.
OP posts:
Choice4567 · 16/09/2018 20:22

I think clothes definitely he should have enough at his for them, you shouldn't have to send stuff back and forth.

I think if the children get on it's probably best for your children to spend time with them, although I can see why you wouldn't want to!

Choice4567 · 16/09/2018 20:23

Oh and I knew I aaa going to say something else- if he wants one night in the week would Friday dinner be better? Slightly less rush as no school in the morning

Originallymeonly · 16/09/2018 22:20

My ex only has our children in the week (weekends would apparently be unfair on his work colleagues) and I allow the children to take their school shoes and blazer/fleece to his but all other clothing he provided, once he'd had a big paddy that i wasn't sending a full suitcase of clothing shoes bedlinen etc and taking it back with them to wash/iron and send again as if they were going to my parents having them as a favour /treat.

MrsBertBibby · 17/09/2018 07:52

At 12 and 14 your kids can surely say what they want, especially about midweek overnights. And about seeing her kids? It's really just a question of listening to their preferences and trying to deliver as much of that as you can. Do they get on with her kids?

We don't keep clothes here for the steps, because they want their stuff where they are, so clothes travel with them. My son used to have clothes at his dad's but tbh it just infuriated me when lovely items vanished into the abyss of his tip of a house because he had bought revolting football shirts. whatever suits the kids best is probably best.

I think a mix of the other kids being there or not there is best. Our kids get along very well, but it is noticeable after long spells together the fault lines start to show. If we have had a long period all together, we try to ensure some apart time just to limit that.

But at those ages, surely they have stuff on at the weekends that takes them out of the family group anyway? Some of our weekends we barely see each other what with homework and activities.

Lonecatwithkitten · 17/09/2018 07:52

@diskdrive at 12 and 14 your children are old enough to have their voices heard. Is their someone impartial who could ask them what they would like?

diskdrive · 17/09/2018 08:27

They are definitely going to be heard and have a choice over what happens. I think at the moment though they aren't very clear on what they want and need - it's all been a huge shock to them. I feel this meeting is too soon really to discuss anything but have been advised that sooner is better. I think today I will just make it clear that they need to be involved with the decision making and that whatever happens in the near future we will need to review it as and when needed.

Great idea to find someon impartial to discuss with them. I am not sure who though as all my family and friends are ao angry with my ex at the moment. I may talk to pastoral support at their school.

I think I am probably getting hung up ob the details and need to pull it back a little. I have this overwhelming need to try and resilve issues before they even occur to make things as easy and conflict free as possible for the kids but this is inpossible I know. One day at a time.

OP posts:
MrsBertBibby · 17/09/2018 08:36

If they are still processing the separation, I would hope their dad will understand that railroading them into the new family will cause immense resentment. But men can be incredibly dense about the fact that their kids don't share their excitement about the new love interest.

Good luck.

Flower64 · 18/09/2018 05:36

After just five weeks I think I would be asking him to have visits with them away from his new partners house at least initially. When I separated from my first husband my daughters were 5 and 12 and it took quite some time for my eldest to adjust to my ex's new partner and she's never adjusted to her children as she feels she was immediately "forced" into a new family that she just wasn't ready for.

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