Father demanding 3 weekends a month contact
15 April 2021 at 12:18 am #52849
Hi I am currently going through the final stages of a divorce with my ex husband and whilst we tried to stay amicable for the sake of the children I am struggling to remain agreeable when he expects me to agree to all his demands.
As a brief background we had been together for 20 years and married for 12 years and have a daughter 8 and a son 4. Our marriage had become unhappy fairly soon after our sons birth but we continued as we were. During that time I was informed he had an affair but chose to believe my husband and remained in the relationship. Last year we finally separated and started the divorce process. Within a month a stranger contacted me to tell me my husband had been (and apparently still was) having an affair with his wife. My husband denied it despite the fact we were already in the process of a divorce. I moved out of the family home with the 2 children and moved to live with my mum approximately 170miles away. I had no job or financial standing of my own at the time as I had left my successful career when we had our son and we had relocated for his job so my commute would have been unfeasible and Childcare would have made it financially unviable. I therefore needed to relocate for financial reasons whilst I found myself a new career and also for support for me and my children.
I appreciate the distance makes contact more difficult but we had agreed every other weekend and half of the holidays. He has now confirmed he is in a relationship with the woman he was ‘not’ having an affair with and introduced her to the kids last Christmas (against my wishes) and she is there almost all the time they are visiting their dad. Anyway today he decided to demand certain dates he would have the children over the next couple of months which included 4 weekends in a row and then a weekend off before another 2 weekends in a row. He continued to say that he will have the kids 3 weekends a month when he’s not scheduled to work and 2 weekends a month when he is scheduled to work a weekend (nb I have been very accommodating and flexible to shift weekends when he’s working). This means I would get very few full days of quality time with the kids (when they are not at school and I’m not at work) and I don’t think that’s fair. Is there any legal standing that would mean I have to agree to that many weekends as I have them during the week (he obviously couldn’t due to the distance) or is the shared contact based on the quality time with the kids? I’d prefer to avoid court and believe if I could show him that a court would consider his demand unreasonable he may agree to our original plan again.
As another point I requested the children stay with me for one particular weekend as it is a significant birthday of their grandad and he’s having a party but he has said he wants the children that weekend regardless. Can I just refuse his demand? (it was a weekend that would be mine if we were alternating anyway as he would have them the weekend before)
I’d appreciate any advice or words of wisdom so thank you in advance.15 April 2021 at 4:54 am #52853
it would be nice if this could be sorted amicably without going to court for child arrangements. with court the standard arrangements are children are with one parent every other weekend. and can do half of school holidays. it’s unreasonable for him to demand 3-4 weekends in a row. maybe you could compromise. because of the distance, he can have extended time with the kids during school holidays?15 April 2021 at 9:08 am #52866
Thanks Steve that’s encouraging to hear. We had agreed he would have them for half of the holidays too though I’m not sure he will always be able to do that with work (it’s one of the reasons I have decided on teaching as my new career!)