Hi dads new to this so just looking for advice,i have a 20 month old son who lives with his mum, my ex, around 70 miles away,as i dont drive and work full time this makes it extremely difficult to see him altho i go by train every sunday and spend roughly around 5hrs with him,i would love him to start and come and spend weekends with me but my ex refuses to even discuss this happening, probably due to being very clingy and bitter about our break up and my new relationship,this is extremely frustrating as i feel both me and my boy are missing out on valuable bonding time,i pride myself on being a good dad under these difficult circumstances,always paying maintenance on time and getting anything my boy needs etc but i just dont know where to start regarding more access to him as my ex will simply will not discuss it, any advice would be much appreciated, cheers
Hi and welcome. I presume that for your son to stay with you, you'd have to get a train to collect him, another to bring him back to your home, and then another 2 journeys to return him and for you to come back home again. That's going to cost you 4 journeys for you, instead of 2 currently, and if you ex did the journeys, presumably you'd have to pay for hers, so it would still be 4 adult journeys. Would it be easier and no more expensive for you to book a hotel room for the night and stay up there an extra day and have him with you for that time? Might be more acceptable to your ex, and a way of her getting used to him being away for a bit longer, but still not far away.
As a separate note, I would suggest that you look into learning to drive - as your son gets older, you are going to want to do more with him, and having a car will make that much easier.
20 months old child is very young. have you ever babysit your child for the day or an overnight alone? we have to bear in mind that the younger the child, then the more protective & maternal the mother will behave. it's not always them having it in for us, for breaking up. in my case kids were aged 5 and 2 at the time. ex allowed only saturday visits. refused all overnights. claiming kids were not ready for that. spend good 7 months, only seeing kids on a saturday. something had to give. so went to court about it and got overnights.
and like you, i was getting frustrated. the thought of missing out on the summer weeks. thankfully court stuff got sorted in time, and i got to have great days out with my kids.
Thanks for your reply,im looking into learning to drive, my mum would take me to collect him so travel wouldn't be an issue, the issue is my ex is very clingy and dosent let him out of her sight which i dont feel benefits my son at all and obviously makes it harder for me to bond with him, i just want a fair crack at helping to raise my son and for him to spend time with me and my side of the family,but my ex is simply not willing to discuss this,i have tried to be reasonable and offered various propositions to her to make this easier for us all but i feel ive no option but to seek legal advice and go through courts, which is not something i particularly want to do, i just dont see how else it can be resolved
Thanks for your reply, i agree 20 months is still very young, which is why i would have preferred to gradually have my son for the day with a view to having him every other weekend,the problem i have is my ex is unwilling to agree to any arrangement i propose and i feel the longer this continues the harder it'll be for her to be apart from him, him to be apart from her and for me to bond with him,i dont particularly like my ex but i respect her as his mum and would like us to be amicable for our sons sake but i just feel its me making all the effort and getting nothing in return,
I had a similar situation years ago, when my son was a toddler and the distance between his two homes was an hour door-to-door. Several months after he turned 2, after more than half a year trying and listening to the ‘he’s not ready’ mantra’, his mother eventually agreed to 1 overnight a week, but at the same time imposing a reduction in the overall amount of time he usually spent with me over the period of a week.
70 miles is a long distance – I can imagine from my own experience with a much lesser distance (10 miles), that this may be a significant factor in the difficulty your ex may be having, not that I agree with it, as it seems to be based on the assumption that she is able to provide better care etc, when the reality of having a child-free day would be beneficial to her, to your kid, and ultimately to you, as you get a more solid chunk of time. Bedtime stories and waking up cuddles and breakfast are both great for further bonding.
Is it possible to suggest a timeline for overnights? As I said, I had to keep at it for several months, and when she did finally agree to it (I made sure I got this in writing), we settled on a start date a further 2 months away (apparently, so I could be ‘prepared’), which made it less ‘immediate’ for her. I would say keep at it a bit longer. If your ex clearly has no intention of budging even with a projected timeline, then I’d say get the mediation ball rolling, which is a trigger for getting it resolved by a Court Order if a suitable agreement can’t be reached.
I just have to add for Bill, you can’t ‘babysit’ your own kid, just as the mother isn’t babysitting either
Thanks for your reply,my worry is that no matter how patient i am my ex will never 'be ready' because she simply does not want my son staying over with me,i think this is mainly due to her clinginess to our son but also other factors like she doesn't trust me to look after him properly or doesn't want him to meet my new girlfriend,i appreciate its difficult for her but at the same time i dont think its fair on me when all i want to do is spend more time with my son and play a part in him growing up,her unwillingness to discuss any sort of arrangement makes me feel i have no choice but to force her hand, which idealy i want to avoid
Unfortunately, it may come to having to head to court. I had to within 18 months of getting the once-weekly overnights with my son when his mother finally 'came clean' and stated she was never going to allow an increase in his time with me because of 'the detrimental impact' it would have on his relationship with her! She also referred to this arrangement as being rather generous, and more than most other separated dads had. Fortunately, the presiding Judge politely begged to differ, and sealed it with a stamp.
The standard Child Arrangements is usually every other weekend, a midweek overnight and up to half the school holidays. Your son is clearly pre-school, but ultimately that standard arrangement is the direction of travel, and if your ex had any sense, or was able to reflect on the importance for your son of him developing a strong relationship with you also, then she would do well to start preparing for this, even incrementally.
My ex is very stuborn and selfish and also makes out she's doing me a favour by letting me see him at her house, yet is unwilling to let him go anywhere else with me so what can you do?? It really annoys me because not only have i done everything to see and provide for my son,since we split up i have helped her in many ways,providing money,furniture, food shopping etc but yet she conveniently seems to forget all this,i feel sad that i feel i have to take the legal route to see my son but i have tried to be as reasonable and co operative as possible and got nothing in return
you could try again, ask your ex would she consider letting your child spend 1 night with you from age 2, 2 and a half? and see if it can build up to whole weekend. if she's not budging, you can mention taking the legal route and see how she responds. if she's not bothered then atleast you informed her about it before getting court ball rolling. i mentioned legal route to my ex like 3 times before actually applying.
Like I've mentioned before,she is totally unwilling to discuss anything,I've tried to be patient and suggest she bring him over for and take him back same day to begin with as i feel a gradual approach in the beginning would benefit all of us but she has flatly refused to agree to that,i dont see why me n my son should miss out on spending time together just because of her selfish reasons,and im also worried if this clinginess continues it will make my son clingy and needy and i dont want that for him, she has to realise im equally as important a parent as her and at the minute she doesn't at all