Childcare arrangement and school holidays

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    Hi All,

    First time posting! I separated with my husband in December. Initially as he didn’t have anywhere to have our daughter overnight he would have her for an hour or 2 after nursery on a Thursday and then on a Sunday. We’d usually agree for him to collect her between 10.30-11am but he would often turn up 1-2 hours late.

    Over the past 5ish months he has been picking her up from nursery on a Thursday and having her Thursday and Friday evening. Initially he requested I collect her at 2pm on Saturdays. To stop any arguments I went along with this at first even though I wasn’t completely happy with the arrangement as it means the quality time they have together to have any days out etc. was limited to a Saturday and he was not giving them much time. He once suggested having her on a Wednesday evening every week and then every other weekend but has since retracted this offer claiming it wouldn’t work with his job (he works for his dad’s family company. He also said he needs to have her on the days he currently does because he sees his other daughter from a previous relationship on a Friday evening and they need to be together.

    Arguments have arisen recently around holidays and holiday childcare. I advised him around 4 months ago the dates our daughter would be away. Firstly was a fortnight holiday with my parents, secondly a Mon- Friday holiday with myself (he obviously missed having her on the Thursday evening as usual due to us being away) and just recently last week when we were away Monday morning- Saturday evening. I understand that on some of these occasions his usual Thursday/ Friday evenings were missed due to holidays but it is always my questioning what days he would like to see her, if he wants to change for alternative evening (i.e Saturday/ Sunday) etc. He has never once asked to have her more than required and has asked on more than a few occasions for me to have her on one of “his” evenings because he has work commitments.

    I asked him a few months ago about whether he would be taking time off over the summer holidays to have her (she doesn’t go to nursery in the holidays) and he said he probably would be but doesn’t know when. I have asked him numerous times since then, most recently being today when she only has 1 and a half weeks left of the holidays. He said he pays child maintenance (£108 a month as worked out by CMS) and has her 2 nights a week and that I need to understand when his job is busy he is unable to have her so it is basically my responsibility to cover all of the school holidays. I understand his job and if he were more organised he would have been able to book time off in advance but everything is last minute which is where the issues arise I believe as I can’t work with not knowing what is happening from 1 week to the next. He has turned around today to try and combat my argument of him not seeming to spend time with her he has offered to have her this evening. Again this was offered at 12.20pm which is no help!

    I have applied to mediation around 8 months ago which he refused to go to. Is my only option court? I know each case is individual but is there a likely outcome in terms of custody agreements? We both work full time Monday- Friday.


    Thanks in advance.

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