• Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: More access with little one

More access with little one 2 years 10 months ago #76990

So here’s my story. My son is 9 months old and resides with his mother (and grandmother). When he was born I moved down into her house where his grandmother lives also (not my choice obviously as I have my own house but my fiancé at the time didn’t want to leave her mother). We fell out a week after he was born – basically her hormones were all over the place but with her mother in her ear all the time (she can be a horrible woman and hates everybody) there never stood a chance of reconciliation. All I did was go to get my haircut and visit an ill family member (all agreed before I left the house) and apparently I abandoned her and the little one.

After that I saw him for 2-3 hours every day in my house for the first couple weeks until I returned to work. I then saw him after work at her house for an hour every day until I got a car of my own (so I could bring him up to my house). The 1 hour per day continued until he was 4 months old and it was changed to 2 hours a day every 2 days – this was her decision, I tried to negotiate more time but like everything involving our son she was in total control, I felt helpless.

He stopped breast feeding after 6 months and I hoped to get longer with him i.e. for a full afternoon on the weekends. When my ex was in hospital (nothing serious) he stayed in her house with his grandmother but I began to do more things like bathing him and getting him ready for bed and looked after him for longer. I would have loved to have him overnight and it was probably legally my right but I still held hopes of reconciliation at the time and didn’t want to ‘upset the applecart’. My ex and I had been getting on so well at the time also. When she returned home though after a week or so things just went back to the way they were much to my dismay. I’d made it clear that I would like to take more an active role in his upbringing instead of just ‘babysitting’.

When he turned 8 months I sent her a message asking to discuss more access, me feeding him and possible overnight stays etc. (his nursery room has been ready for months now). She didn’t reply and since then doesn’t reply to any messages or even answer the phone. Now her mother is usually there when I go to collect the little one and drop him off again and on the odd occasion my ex is there she’s always ‘too busy’ to talk. I would say in the past 4-5 weeks I’ve sent 4 text messages regarding this and tried to mention to her face-to-face twice. We only communicate about our son by the way as since I brought this up there’s been no more small talk or niceties.

I must stress I am a very calm and empathetic person who is willing to compromise on things. Maybe that’s been part of my problem, that I’ve let her control everything and compromised way too much up to this point.

My question is where do I go from here? I know mediation is the option before court but what should I expect if I go down that road? I have spoken to a solicitor a few times and as recently as 3 months ago. He advises that I get good access at the minute and hopefully she will see sense and we can work towards more access as time goes on. He advised me to keep a log also which I have been doing since.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More access with little one 2 years 10 months ago #77003

  • actd
  • actd's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 10591
  • Thank you received: 1585
It might be worth trying to make it known that you want to try mediation as a way forward, if you can come to an agreement without mediation, then that is always going to be a better option if the agreement holds, but otherwise you need to go for mediation as a next step.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More access with little one 2 years 10 months ago #77026

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8394
  • Thank you received: 1723
Hi there

I agree with actd....try and build on what you have, perhaps mediation might be useful and it doesn't have to lead to court proceedings.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with the solicitor that you get a good amount of contact, it sounds to me that they're saying don't rock the boat...sometimes that's not possible.

At 9 months he is growing in independence and if you are only having him for 2hrs every other day that only equates to approx 7 hours a week....I think you are right to want this schedule to progress. If you decide to try mediation go with a proposed schedule for increasing the contact. You might also like to think about using the CAFCASS parenting plan as it covers all aspects of cooperative parenting. Here's a link to the thread about this

www.dad.info/forum/legal-eagle/38959-cafcass-parenting-plan

All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Last Edit: by Mojo.

More access with little one 2 years 10 months ago #77046

Thanks guys for the advice, really appreciated! Mediation does seem to be the way forward and could actually benefit all parties involved especially the most important one, our son. Will update this thread when progress (or lack of) is made

Thanks!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by Sam Crow.

More access with little one 2 years 10 months ago #77065

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8394
  • Thank you received: 1723
If it gets as far as court, by trying to get agreement with the CAFCASS parenting plan, you are demonstrating that you have exploered all avenues open to you....in fact it ask if you have worked on a parenting plan on the court application for .

I hope you can get this moving forward, court should always be a last resort, but an unavoidable one for some....good luck.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

More access with little one 1 year 8 months ago #87559

*Update*

A couple of months after my OP we got sitting down together to work out a better arrangement. It was agreed one mid-week night for 3 hours and one weekend morning/afternoon for 3 hours. Every fortnight on the weekend the little guy would then stay over and I'd drop him off at his Mum's again lunchtime the following day. The plan was put together by his Mum but I tried to negotiate more time to no avail.

About a year later it actually is working pretty well! We are flexible with eachother in terms of swapping days/nights due to work etc. which is beneficial for all involved. Around Christmas time last year she told me she still loved me - talk about a bolt out of the blue! I still had feelings for her and we started to spend some time together again. Things cooled once more earlier in the year for no particular reason (that I know of anyway lol) but I'm glad to say our parenting relationship is very good. We have spent time together as a family (the 3 of us) and have plans for another 2 family outings soon which is great.

Most importantly the little guy is healthy, happy and much loved by both parents. I think we both understand that his happiness and well-being takes priority and comes before everything else. Whether there is a future for his Mum & I together romatically again who knows - one thing I do know is I don't want to do anything to upset his happiness. It has been a struggle at times especially up until a year ago but it was worth it. Everytime I go to collect him he runs to the door arms in the air shouting 'Daddyyyyyy', it's the best feeling in the world :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: superprouddad, Daddysmissingbaby

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More access with little one 1 year 8 months ago #87570

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8394
  • Thank you received: 1723
Hi there

Thanks for the update! It sounds as if things have worked out well for you all... and without having to resort to court action.

Sometimes it's better to work with what is offered and excercise patience and good will to try and get things progressed, court can really muddy the waters and as your child was still so young, it was worth giving it your best shot, which has paid off.

I hope that everything works out for you, I think you have a great attitude and the effort you have put into making it work has been worth the struggles along the way. Well done!

All the best
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sam Crow

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

More access with little one 1 year 8 months ago #87573

Thanks Mojo. I'm so glad it didn't have to go down the court route :) I'll update the thread as and when things progress

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More access with little one 4 months 2 weeks ago #97323

Time for another update to the thread.

Currently the little man stays over one night during the week and I drop him off at creche the next morning before I go to work. I also see him a weekend day for a few hours.

The bond we have is excellent, the time we spend together is precious. The only problem the past while is he doesn't want to leave! Now of course this is great that he loves being at Daddy's house but I feel so bad when he has to go. The other day for example his Mum was on her way to pick him up and as soon as I picked up his shoes he started to sob. We had a great time running around the house playing until then and I felt awful when he said " I don't want to go, I want to stay here and play with you!"

His Mum and I still get on very well, do family things together etc and neither of us have moved on romantically (there still is a physical relationship there also). I'm almost afraid to move on incase it affects my son negatively in some way. I know the obvious thing to do is talk to her but everytime over the years I broach the subject of increased time she turns on me. Things then get sour for a while then I do end up with a bit more time. The issues surrounding the breakdown of our relationship are still there for the most part and dont see it changing anytime soon.

I guess all I'm asking is what do I say to my son when he says he doesn't want to leave? Currently I just hug him and tell him I love him and I will see him again very soon. I can see he is upset and don't want hin to think I don't want him to stay longer coz I do!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by Sam Crow.

More access with little one 4 months 2 weeks ago #97328

  • Yoda
  • Yoda's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2529
  • Thank you received: 410
It sounds like you're saying all the right things to him to give him reassurance and that he's having a wonderful time with you.

If it helps at all, it's not uncommon for a child to react like that when they are going between parents. Mine never wanted to go back to the other parent and said the same when they were coming back to me :)

In respect of increasing the time, I understand you not wanting to upset things if mum reacts badly to your suggestions.

Perhaps you could put it in an email and just ask if you can meet up without your son to chat about future plans and see where that goes? If she isn't willing, maybe you could suggest mediation? It can't stay one way forever.

If you're still having a physical relationship, that could cloud things for you both too?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sam Crow

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

More access with little one 4 months 2 weeks ago #97337

Thanks Yoda for the reply. It's good to hear that it's pretty normal for children to be like this going between parents houses. Not a whole lot more I can do, it is difficult though as I just can't stand seeing him sad at all.

The subject of increased time will come up soon and as has been in the past I'll just have to bring it up. The physical relationship between his Mum and I could be clouding things. There are feelings of love to varying degrees there too. I will always love her as my Son's Mother, after that it does get complicated but there are feelings there.

Thanks again!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More access with little one 4 months 2 weeks ago #97338

  • Yoda
  • Yoda's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2529
  • Thank you received: 410
No worries.

Sounds like you might need to chat about everything as opposed to just about contact!

All the best
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sam Crow

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.
  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Samantha Downes