Help. Child arrangement stress

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    To try to get to the point as quick and straightforward as possible! I have two children aged 3 and 5 with my ex partner. Since the split he has been seeing them every Wednesday and Sunday due to work commitments. In the last 3 months he has left his job but had only just told me. He asked to have the children over night which I agreed to and made a plan that they were to trial it. They stayed over and there wasn’t any problems from that night. Since that point he asked to have them every weekend overnight which I declined.

    I will just highlight that he hasn’t had them every week (Wednesday and sundays) as we set out. Never have I not taken them to his but he has changed his plans. Asked for less time as he felt he wasn’t seeing enough of his new girlfriend. Changed the times of the meetings. There hasn’t been much consistency. I have never said no to a request for him to see them more either unless he hasn’t given me enough notice (the day or morning of the change).

    I have since written him a letter to suggest that he has then every other weekend over night Friday untill Sunday (I resorted to this as the communication was turning nasty and I didn’t want that) And he has come back asking for a day in the week overnight aswell. (This has been done through a solicitor he has instructed. I do not have one).

    I have agreed to this. And suggest that we build on it by having 10 weeks at one night then 10 weeks at the whole weekend and then move on to him having them for school the one day in the week. He has declined the build up period.

    My reasoning for this is due to the children having a lot of change in the last 18months. They have had to deal with lost as I lost my mum to which they were very close. Separating house holds and new partners being introduced. I have also had to go to into school due to a blip with my daughter and her education. It was my 5 year old that suggested she wanted to stay at home and not go to her dad in the week. He agreed to reduce this for 2 weeks and then build back up again. My son after spending the night over at his dads then went to school the next day and wet himself. Now this isn’t me linking it to him. Rather just a concern I have tried to raise to explain my feelings around the build up.

    I have also given his Christmas Eve and day with the children. And agreed to split the 6weeks holiday 50/50. I haven’t made a plan for the shorter holiday but was going to suggest so many days at each house. Unless one parent was taking them away (which won’t be happening due to covid and my daughter being high risk).

    I have received some very mean letters from the solicitor about my ability to parent and it’s causing me a lot of stress. I am only trying to do what’s best for the children.

    To top it off I am 25 weeks pregnant and struggling on blood pressure tablet. Which isn’t helped by all the stress I’m being put under.

    Today I have recieved a letter for mediation. And while I want to try this I’m scared to death. And keep thinking that I am being a bad mum like the solicitor said so I am in the wrong. That I don’t have the strength to fight and that my emotions will get the better of me. I dont like dealing with him
    And have always found it difficult to talk to him but have tried to push through this for the children. I’m just finding it very difficult.

    Can someone just tell me if I’m being unreasonable? I’m not trying to be but I just cant see a good way out of this and really don’t want to deal with courts getting involved.

    Thank you

    #46305 Report

    Hi Deeness I’m really sorry to hear that you’re going through this.  Our Single Parent  Helpline may be able to help.  Please do call on 0808 802 0925 to speak to an adviser.  Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.  The Helpline is open Monday 10-6, Tuesday 10-4, Wednesday 10-1 and 5-7 and Thursday and Friday 10-4.


    I hope that helps. Carmen

    #46307 Report


    What you have wrote sounds very reasonable to me. You could rather than your ex having 1 night every other weekend for 10 weeks possibly agree to 1 overnight every weekend  for the 10 weeks instead. your children then wouldnt go more than 4 nights not seeing their dad. After the 10 weeks you could then have it as every other weekend. If you dont get along you could even have your ex pick up from school friday and drop off at school on a monday morning but this maybe something to start from next school term  after 2021 summer holidays perhaps

    Dont feel intimidated by your ex partners solicitor. If she is send nasty email stell her to refrain from doing so and remind her you are offering very generous contact despite your clients behaviors and are being child focused when making arrangements

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