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69 replies

onadietcokebreak · 02/10/2009 17:48

What do you guys think is fair arrangements for children whos parents are seperated.

Dad sees them regulary BTW and plays an active roll in their life as much as the Mum will allow. Has anyone had any experience on the court deciding when parents unable to come to an agreement.

OP posts:
Monty100 · 02/10/2009 18:27

Hi OP. Yes, here we are the dreaded 'C' word.

It was about 10 years ago for me. I was adamant that dcs were not going away from their home at xmas and no agreement could be reached. The judge ordered that exh would pick them up at 3pm on Xmas day and bring them back a couple of days later. This meant at least that they would wake up with me and they could open presents, I took them to xmas service at church and had xmas dinner etc with them. My heart was wrenched when they then left with exh.

The judge also ruled that on alternate years the arrangement would be reversed, ie exh picked them up a couple of days before xmas and then bring them back at 3pm on xmas day. This went on for several years by which time exh and I had healed a bit and we agreed that nobody was getting any joy from the arrangment and these days we have a chat and come to some arrangement between ourselves. All very painful but it passes eventually.

The dcs are teenagers now and they pretty much stay here and exh comes and sees them, gives them presents etc and then goes off to spend the day with friends.

I am one of those bah humbug people that hates xmas and that is due to all of that.

onadietcokebreak · 02/10/2009 18:56

Thanks monty27. Its interesting to see what a judges ruling was.

My arrangements are amicable and my ex P has his son from 3pm ish through to bosing day evening.

However my boyfriends Ex will only offer 2 hours on christmas eve total and is being very agressive and nasty about it....telling him to let his kids alone and f*ck off out of there life. Of course when she wants overnight stays so she can spend time with new bloke then hes the best dad in the world.

I just dont understand the selfishness of it all. As you say it hurts like hell to be without them but sometimes you need to just think of the children.

OP posts:
Monty100 · 02/10/2009 23:34

Hi, yes its heartbreaking. It is the children who need to be considered foremost.

After posting I realised that you hadn't actually given away why you were asking but I didn't get a chance to get back. I see now that its kind of from the other side. Well my exh put up a fight and that is where we got to with the judge. Years after you realise the fighting is futile. Kids first always.

Am I making sense?

How old are the dcs?

Monty100 · 02/10/2009 23:36

Mine were only 2 and 4 at the time.

onadietcokebreak · 03/10/2009 07:00

My son was 11 months when we split. He is now 2 and we can spend time all together. We went out for his birthday recently. It was nice and gets easier very time.

My boyfriends DCs are 4 and 8. They are lovely children even though they have had so much to deal with over the past 12 months.

Their mother met a new man within 2 weeks (although it is likely she was seeing him before but never proven or admitted) and got pregnant immediately. The whole of the pregnancy was spent with the man moving in and out of the house. The children witnessed it all....arguements, their mothers violence and this is before she started to "prime" thier views on their "useless waste of space part time dad" ( he isnt, he see them 3 times a week,always on time, pays maintenance, has held same job for years)

Sorry Im going on now....she flared up yesterday and upset me. Calling me names, my son a brat (hes not a brat and is actually really far!) and told the dad to "fuck off and have an ugly brat with her and then he can leave them all alone"

She is refusing any kind of compromise and just throws mud.

My boyfriend has cant afford solicitors fees as he has literally no money left over after paying lodge (he cant even afford his own place) car costs/petrol (which is only being run so he can see the children) maintenance and debts incurred when they were together but in his name.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of a rant about the his wife hasnt it...maybe should have posted on stepfamilies (although we dont live together yet...and wont til all these issues are sorted)

Anyone got any recommendation on how we can resolve the whole christmas/ access issue without huge costs.

As a lone parent myself with amicable arrangements Im finding this all so difficult to deal with. I know its my boyfriends business but I want to support him as I love him, and when she starts dragging my son into it then its hard to detach yourself.

OP posts:
onadietcokebreak · 03/10/2009 07:04

sorry thats so long...............Can I also point out that I dont spend lots of time with the children yet. Its still earlyish days and they have a lot of issues of jealously regarding her new baby. I dont want them to think my son and I are "taking daddy" away from them. So whilst he has them in the week twice and once at weekend...its only about every third week that I see them.

However they often come out saying "Mummy says we are not to see "her" today.

OP posts:
onadietcokebreak · 03/10/2009 09:42

shamless bump for the mid morning crew

OP posts:
ChocHobNob · 03/10/2009 09:45

onadietcokebreak I would recommend your partner joins families need fathers for advice on how to deal with access and an awkward ex. They can give you lots of information about representing yourself in court if needs be and it doesn't have to be expensive.

It's a shame not everyone can be amicable and come to an agreement which is best for the kids and not borne out of their own interests.

I have always thought alternating Christmas was the norm. A couple of family members whose parents live apart have always split Christmas with their parents. Mum one year, Dad the next. It's always worked best for them. Especially as the children get older as the parents "fighting over them" and creating an atmosphere can cause problems for the child with feeling of guilt that they are abandoning one parent.

I hope you can sort something out xxx

Monty100 · 03/10/2009 15:29

Onadiet - I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing such horrid behaviour. Your dp sounds like a great dad. It's hard to think how to resolve anything when his exp sounds so unreasonable. My exh told me he wouldn't stop taking me to court until all the equity in the house was gone! He was a bully as was his newp. (He went off with someone and I was absolutely on-the-floor-devastated that's the only defence I have for being obstructive in his pursuit to have the dcs, and also I didn't want them in the pokey flat with this woman who had been a close friend of mine). So I'm trying to see it from you and your dp's angle. Your dp sounds too nice to pull the stunts that mine did, letting them down, bringing them back late etc. But as I say, with regards to court, mine was prepared to go all the way. We had expensive barristers and stuff. I'm sure you'll get ideas on here on how to cut costs. It's just a shame she is not reasonable - is there no way to bring her to her senses ie not accommodate her social life (hope I don't get flamed for that).

onadietcokebreak · 04/10/2009 10:48

Thanks guys will look at families need fathers. Hopefully it will be able to show him the options he has. the mo she doesnt want to go out as she has just had a new baby...was pregnant within 6wks of him leaving (and no its definately not his) but in future that may be an option. ie no until you get the access rights on paper detailing everything including christmases' overnight stays birthdays etc.

She really is being vile and is actually quiet scary and I know if she sees me will be violent. Im just worried about the effect it is having on the children.

OP posts:
mmrred · 04/10/2009 16:50

You don't need to use solicitors to go to family court - so it doesn't have to be massively expensive. In the short term, you'll probably have to resign yourselves to not seeing DC's at Xmas, but if it does go to court (and it sounds like the ex will force it there) a common outcome is alternate Xmas.

Do as much communication as you can through letters or e-mail as you can keep those and it's away from the DC's. There's not a lot else you can do to protect them if she is determined to damage them to make herself feel better.

floatyjosmum · 05/10/2009 20:37

i always like to be slightly complicated!
dad of dd spends xmas with ud (we get on really well).

dad of ds was told whe we split he'd never get xmas day and although has asked on previous years ive never given up! he has picked him up either tea time on xmas day or boxing day morning.
just been through the court process on contact and everyone told me he would get alternate xmas - he didnt! he has him from boxing day morning till the 2nd jan.

i think you need to decide what you want, what the children want, whats best and stick to it!

Leslaki · 17/10/2009 11:19

we went through court over everything as exh's newp is a nutter and wouldn't accept anything even if xh and I had already agreed!! He wanted us to sell up and move 300 miles away just to get his hands on cash and didn't care then about seeing the dcs. Now though they like to play happy families and he's keen to se them. But the court approved divorce papers just say 9 - 5 on a Sat OR a Sun and no mention of overnights/holidays. I do let the dcs stay at his and he had them for a week in the summer hols - he thinks I'm being unreasonable of course!! I've said no way to him getting them at Xmas - I said he can have them on Boxing Day every year!

aseriouslyblondemoment · 17/10/2009 14:05

ugggh am dreading this convo coming up tbh
i really cannot face another xmas like last years when xh hung around for almost 3 days constantly sniping at me behind everyone's back
as much as i'd like to do the right thing for the dcs exh has behaved despicably over the last year and i really cannot entertain the thought of sitting down at the same table as him
i know that some people will prob.consider me a heartless bitch but i can no longer be emotionally manipulated by this man
will have to work out some sort of compromise here
any suggestions welcome!

Leslaki · 17/10/2009 14:53

I know exactly how you feel asbm - I'm standing up to my ex. He's not getting them Xmas day and that's that! No way will he ever step over my threshold either - wouldn't be good for the dcs to witness arguments etc!
Why not offer Boxing Day then you can either chill out or hit the sales? Or NYE and you can go out?

aseriouslyblondemoment · 17/10/2009 15:31

leslaki good for you am right behind you all the way here
haven't broached the subject yet will do early next month i think
and yes i totally agree our dcs have been thru enough without having to witness further arguments/tension
it's these emotionally abusive bully boy exh's with the probs.not us holding it all together mums
we've finally found it within ourselves to stand up to them,and stand up we will
we'll get thru this all of us
great idea for a thread btw!

hatesponge · 17/10/2009 15:50

have been trying not to think about Xmas tbh....last year Ex had them on the 23rd & Xmas Eve/Xmas Day morning (because tradition is that we used to go to his parents Xmas Day morning for presents etc) & then brought them to me for Xmas Day afternoon/night/Boxing Day. That worked pretty well for us I think.

Am not sure what we are going to do this year...I am moving back into my old house (where Ex currently lives) for financial reasons. Am expecting his new g/f (who hates me...feeling is mutual) will make him move out as she is v jealous of me, but if he does go and live with her there's no way the DC will go and stay there overnight as they don't like her or her children. And I won't want them spending the whole of Xmas Day there either for the same reason.

Ex is the most unreasonable person in the world and we are incapable of having an conversation without arguing so I can't see this being resolved nicely............

mamas12 · 17/10/2009 16:12

Have had 2 xmases since split so far and each time ex and his mother and once his sis has come over in the morning and lunch but This is the first xmas that I feel that I want to do it on mt own without him there now. Don't know if we can stay that civilised anymore, there's no point.
How do I bring it up because anything I say he say the opposite just because.

aseriouslyblondemoment · 18/10/2009 22:45

am working on that one myself as it's so obv that exh is being reasonable atm to pre-book himself a seat at the xmas lunch table
guess we'll have to somehow sort this but as i've said on here before it --aint- gonna happen
i'm resolute here.
will keep looking in on you all to see where you're all up to

mamas12 · 19/10/2009 09:26

aserious please let me know how/if you you did it! Will be watching how to go about it myself.
Hopefully he will have had enough too but I suspect his mother will still want to come and the guilt over that will be bleugh

CJCregg · 19/10/2009 09:41

aseriouslyblondemoment, I'm in a very similar situation. Dreading having that conversation ... This is the second Christmas apart, and last year XH came to us for the whole day, couldn't get rid of him! He did NOTHING to help, just turned up with piles of huge presents and sat getting pissed on the sofa. We don't really get on, it was all for the DCs. He's manipulative and controlling.

This year in theory it's 'his turn'. I can't bear the thought of not seeing them on Christmas morning. I might turn into one of those parents who does 'another' Christmas on Boxing Day, or is that just bonkers?!

Will also watch this thread - need to know how to play the conversation!

mamas12 · 19/10/2009 10:27

CJ we were supposed to alternate xmas but I knew he doesn't 'do' any occasion and I was fearful that the dcs wouldn't enjoy their usual xmas iyswim so I told him that the dcs wanted the xams like the one we had last year (first after split) and he went with it really becasue otherwise he would have had to @do@ all the things that he couldn't bloody be ased to do!

aseriouslyblondemoment · 19/10/2009 13:46

tbh we have never made actual arrangements re:xmas etc just like it was felt by the solicitors that we could sort out access issues(sensibly and fairly??!)between us.
i'm imagining that he's expecting an invite but it won't be forthcoming
i'm in exactly same boat as you CJ, and mamas jesus having to suffer exmil too
still preparing the speech in my head and will be waiting to see what you're all up to
if you like we could all sock it to them on the same day?!

mamas12 · 19/10/2009 22:28

Ha! right lets synchronise our watches ready...

CJCregg · 19/10/2009 23:12

Oh, I am definitely going to prepare my speech and try it out here first! Wow - the thought of actually going into a conversation like that with some back up, even virtual, is amazing.

The half-term discussion didn't go well, but he didn't really want the DCs for half term. Christmas is different.

Cheers, ladies. I'm still shit-scared but at least I know I'm not alone.

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