Contact Arrangements

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  SOLOMUMMY 2 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #21163 Report


    Hi All,

    Im after some ideas of how contact is arranged around school holidays. No court orders in place, we start mediation next week.

    One child who is 4. Was seeing other parent thurs-Fri one week then Thurs-Sat the next. Holidays so far have been other parent saying they will have 2 days in the week (does not then have the usual contact on top of this!) Contact has been ad hoc so far with me fitting in around other parent but long story short it was a controlling relationship and I have finally started taking control.

    I am requesting contact changes to Fri pick up from school and drop off at school mon (alternate weekends) to limit my contact with other parent as lots of emotional abuse at every handover. But I’m not sure what to do about school holidays as so far they have not wanted any extra?!!!

    Do I suggest just the alternate weekends??  Do I offer more contact only in summer holidays? Do I offer extra days before/after weekend depending on when the weekend contact falls at every school holiday?? I want to be reasonable but at the same time i have to arrange childcare as I work and can’t have every school holiday off,  and the other parent has changed or cancelled contact in school holidays with little warning and left me trying to find emergency childcare!

    What do other people do?!


    Appreciate the help



    #21164 Report


    The eow offer makes more sense moving forward and maintains his level of contact over fourteen days. However I can understand that he may disagree as means only fortnightly contact rather than weekly which many parents would dislike.

    Secondly, the holidays are a hot potato as he doesn’t have to have to any if he doesn’t want them and even if says he does isn’t obligated to keep to the arrangement. So you could find yourself forever more covering his “days”.

    Guveb this it’s almost better to make him feel like he does still have the power and ask what holiday contact would you like and go from there. He’s unlikely to agree with your opening offers on principle. Especially if you’ve already peed him off with the eow arrangement.

    Logically if having holiday time,  tagging on two extra overnights to his weekend for half terms would make sense. So if his eow fell at start of half term he’d get mon and tues, if at end thurs and fri. But given this would vary per holiday you’d need a shared online electronic calendar that he has read only access to so couldn’t argue he didn’t know.

    The summer break is more difficult as if he doesn’t want to use more annual leave he won’t! But many have a week at start and end of the holidays. However as I said before if he opts to cancel you’re left carrying the childcare at last minute.

    Havecyou abreast had one Christmas so have that sorted? Bare in mind if you want most of Christmas but expect him to step up more during the year this will likely increase his expectations of having more contact at Christmas. Plus Christmas is often easier to have more contact as firms close down etc.

    Easter I’d use same approach as half term. Then it’s only really a case of New Years, spring and summer bank holidays.

    Realistically though he can agree to anything and not fulfill it leaving you in the lurch. And you planning to cover all childcare maybe easier sanity wise if he’s not bothered or raised the issue yet. But I’d definitely let him think it’s his ideas of an arrangement being used!

    #21169 Report


    Thanks for the response.

    The eow I think will be agreed to as just before Christmas other parent (OP) announced they could no longer pick child up on a Thurs so I basically said if that was the case we would move to eow. Lots of arguments but eventually agreed but with the proviso that child was brought back to me Sun night! Then communication broke down.  That’s the bit that will be the sticking point! I have stopped OP coming to the house and they are blocked on everything possible (phone,social media) we are going to use a public venue for handover in school holidays due to the distress and emotional abuse that happens at handover!

    As for the school holidays I wasn’t sure about putting the ball in their court due to their manipulative control and wanting to get at me, nothing to do with wanting to see our child! However, like you say

    How do you get a shared online calendar? That’s a good idea?

    Christmas is sorted (although probably contested)! I have Christmas Eve – Christmas Day. OP has 3pm Christmas Day-Boxing Day.

    Bank holidays I was tempted to just say whoever it lands on has the bank holiday! ie if OP has Fri- Mon and it’s a bank holiday Monday then they would have the full day on the Monday!

    It’s just such a minefield and complicated thing to sort! 😒

    #21201 Report


    I think that bank holidays are often overlooked but actually are quite important as give you as parents opportunity to choose to do something or go away even or just veg at home. All of which are really important!

    Your other option to the holidays, is to say absolutely nothing! And wait until he brings it up. That way you just work around them childcare wise rather than thinking he’ll be involved.

    #21283 Report


    Well we had our first mediation session which was awful and OP immediately rang CSA to say contact has restarted!! No it hasn’t, I actually proposed the EOW and OP have excuse after excuse as to why they couldn’t drop son off at school Mon so 2hrs later and we still have nothing sorted other than OP will ask work!!

    Im really worried that OP will now be asking for more contact (particularly school hols rather than term time) as I have gone through CSA and they are actually telling OP to pay twice as much as  they have been!!!


    Does anyone have any reccommendations from experience about what a 4yr old “needs” if eow is accepted! I.E a night in the non contact week or just tea, or just a phone call!?

    #21295 Report


    In many ways that simplified things as he gets less overnights if he cannot do the school drop offs as you won’t offer to have the dropped to you to impact on your work or childcare. So he loses that day which is 26 days a year!

    Most eow offer a midweek tea where they’re responsible for collecting from school or paying for childcare.

    But I would stand your ground. Eow is on the table and offer nothing else beyond removing the Sunday night offer.

    He can request school holidays but at absolute worst you’d be looking at half each and how do you think he’ll facilitate six weeks worth of holidays a year in an average holiday allowance?!

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