Changing arrangements help needed
Hi everyone, first post here but looking for some help and advice.
Divorced from the ex a couple of years ago now just pre Covid lockdowns solicitor had said no court order needed regarding contact as we had a somewhat agreeable arrangement at the time (making best out of a bad situation) which was 2 days out of 3 weeks but same day each week (was a struggle getting this agreed too) recently working hours have changed as I have moved into a different job with a rolling shift pattern contacted the ex and offered 2 alternative days during the same week to take my 2 toddlers however I am being told that they are unavailable on every day apart from the original agreed day (was a sunday) and I can’t take them any other time
She states the reason for this as they are in nursery all day during the week and that it’s my problem that I can’t “stick to the original agreement” she has demanded to see my shift patterns etc which I have refused as I don’t want her seeing where I work what times etc as she has a history of being very controlling
I’m at my wits end and not sure what to do from reading online mediation seems to be the next option? However not sure that would even make a difference. I don’t feel that asking to swap a day that I spend with my 2 kids is unreasonable and given that out of 28 days I am only getting contact with them for 3 days is it wrong to ask for some kind of flexibility here?
Thanks for your replies in advance
Whilst I agree that your request isn't unreasonable, sometimes we have to put ourselves in exes shoes to ensure that they also see us as being reasonable.
I don't believe her request to see some sort of confirmation of shift changes is unreasonable either (although accept with her being controlling this is an issue for you). After all if she has the kids in nursery, it can be a pain to change the days and often can be impossible.
At mediation, you may well be asked for something confirming shift changes again and be back to square one.. It may be that you offer to show the mediator the document explaining why you do not want ex to see it, however this relies on your ex engaging with mediator and if she doesn't then you will be left with no option to go to court and the associated costs which are not insignificant...
Thanks for the reply, she appears to have given up when I informed her that I told her what my days off were during the weeks I had to change days and is now just stating that it’s not her problem I can’t take them on the day we originally agreed and that is the only day the kids are available surely at some point she needs to be slightly flexible?
These arrangements are very difficult with shift work. If you went to court and mention work commitments a lot, then they will likely give you the bare minimum, like 4 days a month with kids. I found them to be very rigid and I basically have to be flexible with work if i want more time with kids, like doing school runs. I think in your situation you would be better off doing non-shift work.