I was having 50/50 contact with my 12 year old son who has recently announced he only wants to visit every other weekend. His reasons are that his friends are near his mums and the travelling to school is to much for him (40 mins). I understand all his concerns but I also believe his mother has influenced his decision. Unfortunately my relationship with her is not good but I never argue with her in front of him. I feel at 12 he is too young to make such decisions. Is he able to independently decide on contact or should I push for contact to stay the same or similar?
I think the underlying problem is that I have rules (not strict but internet access and bedtimes must be adhered to) where as his mother had no rules at all.
I have the same issue with my son who is roughly the same age. He has a friendship group based around the school and my home.
During the winter when socialising was more on-line, playing computer games with friends, he was happy to spend weekends at either house, but this summer his friends are swimming & cycling & going to the cinema, and he doesn’t want to go to his dad’s and miss out on the fun.
I absolutely have not influenced him, he’s just growing up. I want him to maintain his contact with his dad, so I’ve agreed my ex can come to mine for a morning or an afternoon each weekend. I go out & leave them to it. I’ve also suggested my ex take a group of them camping or to a theme park one weekend.
I think the courts take children’s views into account from 12 or 13 so it’s a difficult one.