Hi, advice needed on weekend access times…

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    Hi there,

    I was wondering if people could give me their perspectives on a difficulty my ex and I are having. We have two children aged 9 and 5 and have been separated for six months. He said he wanted to see them midweek and to have them both every other weekend. It’s hard isn’t it having to pack off your children every other weekend. You do it because it is the right thing to do, but God I hate it, I hate it so much. But then I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for him to not live with your children and to have to bring them home after spending the weekend with them. I have tried, genuinely, to be as accommodating as possible but we are arguing about the collection and drop off times. I proposed 10 a.m. on the Saturday morning to 4 p.m. on Sunday. He has rarely, if ever, kept to these times. He often turns up much earlier, while we are all still in pjs and having breakfast and he returns them at random times with 6 p.m. being the latest. Sometimes they have had dinner and sometimes they haven’t. Our daughter goes to bed at 7 p.m. I normally start her bedtime routine at 6 with bath, story and singing. I don’t mind if I have to skip some of her routine on his Sundays, she can shower on Monday morning for example. But both kids do seem to need a transition hour or two. I’m not sure how to articulate it but they are still adjusting to this new life and their behaviour is really odd for a couple of hours when they return home. They act a bit weird, over the top with actions, kind of challenging behaviour, extra sassy, not really sure how to describe it, it’s just not them. I put it down to the unusualness of it all, the difficulty that they must feel in leaving one parent but coming home to another. They seem to need a good couple of hours to readjust. It’s like they are on drugs and need to come down. This is the main reason that I suggested 4 o’clock but it allows that time. Emma can then go to bed as normal and William can do his homework.

    However, their Dad does not like these times. He is not happy with them. He hasn’t suggested any other times despite being asked directly. I think what he objects to is the time setting itself. He doesn’t like being told what to do and I think he just wants to collect and drop off when he wants.

    So my questions are is 10 am and 4pm unreasonable times? If so, what is the norm/average, what times do you all do? How would you handle this dispute?

    He has had a quote for mediation but its £450 for the minimum 4 sessions. I don’t have a spare £45o and even if I did I can think of much better ways of spending it.

    FYI, Easter weekend fell on my weekend but because of the Bank Holidays we shared it. He had Fri/Sat. I worked all day on Saturday, lost track of time and had to nip to the supermarket as had family coming over on the Sunday for lunch. He hadn’t said what time he was coming home but when he got here and I was at the supermarket he went bat**** mental. Absolutely lunatic. So I have to make sure that I am here or else the kids witness his nonsense. The play it be ear is only allowed to work one way.

    Any advice would be massively appreciated





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