Contact arrangements

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  • #22106 Report


    Hi I’m looking for some advice on sorting out contact between my ex husband and children.  We’ve been separated for the past 4 years and divorce finalised.

    Up until a few months ago we were very close and had flexibility round contact for the children.  We split weekends, flexed them if either required, he saw the children 4/5 times a week after school we had them if either of us were away on holiday.

    Since he has been with a new partner the contact has dropped to every other weekend, he’s changed arrangements for things that had already been put in place meaning letting the children down and having to change my plans.  Which I don’t mind but is becoming frustrating because of the children.  He says he wants his time and it’s his alone he doesn’t have to see them unless it’s on his terms.

    I’ve  offered to go to mediation which he doesn’t want and stupidity I believed we could work through on our own as soon as I cancelled it all went back to arguing.  We don’t talk or see each other anymore which is hard on the children as they have always seen him regularly and seen us have a positive relationship.

    Im trying to work out the best contact arrangements for the children but now have no idea where to start.  I’ve agreed to change Christmas and birthdays so we will now alternate, every other weekend from Friday to Monday and an evening every week but not overnight.

    Can anyone give me an idea on what’s reasonable and unreasonable to work towards.


    #22119 Report


    I think EOW is pretty standard and one or two evenings in the week, with or without overnight. Overnights mean a lower maintenance payment.

    My ex does one day a weekend and a long weekend or whole week during school holidays because it suits us all better. I do Xmas Eve & Xmas day then ex has Boxing Day to lunchtime on NYE. But It can depend on location, long travel is no fun, or for teenagers, often they want to be near friends or sports teams at the weekend.

    Other things have an impact too. My ex refuses to encourage homework, he can’t be bothered, so there has to be enough time at mine to get projects finished first.

    Access being regular is essential or it becomes a planning nightmare. Can you share a google calendar?


    #22136 Report


    I am happy him not having them over night mid week due to work commitments & I have no interest in the money side of things affecting any arrangements.  he lives about 15 mins away so no picking up from school or dropping them off.  Christmas I’ve said I’m happy to have them xmas eve into Christmas Day & he will pick them up mid afternoon and we can alternate between Christmas & new year depending how his contact weekends fall too.

    Its just so sad that it’s got messy like this for the children as their needs are paramount to me they really miss seeing him.

    #25441 Report


    You are already doing a brilliant job as their mum. I’m sorry to hear that consistent contact with their dad, which benefited your children has now changed.

    I am going through a similar situation. When I found out my x husband was having a new relationship I predicted the distraction would split his loyalties, his commitment and finances. I told him so and sadly I have been proven right. Yesterday, our son celebrated his 18th birthday. When his dad visited twice last week; no card, no present, no text, no call by way of explanation was left. In the 22 years we have known each other this has never happened. Yes, I agree its very sad. However in recent weeks I have had to confront some difficult truths. i) had it not been for my efforts, birthdays, special occasions, children’s interests, development etc., would have been neglected ii) my x was a reluctant , self interested father iii) that I on one level or another always knew that & to protect the children I tried to compensate.  Our eldest daughter has come to realise the selfishness of her father. No matter how much I want to step in & protect my 18yr old son from feeling hurt by his dads behaviour I have held back from doing do so.

    Like most parents, his dad loves his children.But as you know being a good parent is not just about love, its about demonstrating that love through your actions.

    I’ve repeatedly seen the pattern of reasonable fathers allowing the distraction and the demands of a new relationship to pull them away from their children.

    Its my view that its better to love and nurture your children as much as is possible but allow them to form their own relationship and view of their dad. My x has always used this phrase, I now use it in relation to his relationship with his children: He will have the relationship with them he “deserves “.

    Build on what you have and can give them, you have their best interests at heart and as they grow older they will come to realise that.You are the more committed, the stronger parent. This can be a lonely place. If you have family or friends that also care for your children then draw support from them. Good luck.


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