Long story,.. Seperated 7 years with no formal contact arrangement with my 10 year old daughter. In the past year I have seen her on 64% of days, not overnight on all occasions but basically whenever I possibly can. I am lucky. I live locally and work at home. The contact is not in a strict pattern and is controlled by the ex. She decides what happens and when, to suit her. She is difficult to communicate with, everything is fine as long as we are doing it her way. I feel I am taking a huge risk but i want to formalise things to stop the manipulation, constant communication and stress. Going to mediation soon to request strict 50/50. I feel that I have kicked a wasps nest and all hell has broken loose. I'm seeing less of her now. I don't have any expectation of a positive outcome. I am full of doubt, stress, anxiety. Any advise?
Unfortunately, anything you do to disrupt her control is going to get a bad reaction - there is nothing you can do really (other than backing down, which will put you in a much worse position) but hopefully mediation may be as far as you need to go, and it can be sorted there.
from my experience as soon as you start to take control away from your ex, she will only get worse and make your life more difficult. you are better off going all the way to court. you should have your child overnight. its both of your rights. main reason why i went to court in first place because all overnights were denied.
Hi, I agree with the other comments made. I put up with years of being told when, where and how much - ultimately playing subservient / accommodating only collapsed my self esteem while feeding her ego and contempt. Eventually, I had no choice but to start proceedings as her behavior and attitude had gone off the charts, and things did become even more difficult and stressful in the short term. The main regret I have is I waited so long to go to court. The Judge brushed all her arguments aside (and believe me, she threw in everything including the kitchen sink) and defined the times our son spends with each of us. I know exactly when my son is with me, so I can plan ahead for the whole year including school holidays and possible trips abroad with him, which I couldn't before the Court Order.
One thing to bear in mind is your daughter is of an age for a court to also consider her wishes. My son was only 4 when our court case came up, so that wasn't a factor, but if it happened now, I would have some anxiety about his mum manipulating him, though as he has a sense of sharing and fair play, I believe I would be able to keep him on this page.
what are your arrangements like? i have 6 year old and 3 year old. i am about to apply to vary my order. would like fri-mon with school drop off on monday morning. its 30 min commute from home to their school. do you think i could get this? also thinking about asking for a mon-tue overnight the following week.
my 6 year old keeps complaining that her time with me is too short. even asks me to ring her mum to ask for more time.
The arrangements I and my son have is that he's with me every other weekend Friday (from school) through to Monday morning, every Wednesday overnight term time, and half of each and every school holiday. The added beauty of this set-up is I only have to have direct contact with his mother during the school holidays, which has done wonders for my mental health.
I'd advise getting exact timings of pick ups and drop offs during the holidays as well as clarity that holidays begin from the moment school closes, not the following morning or the following Monday (a lot of schools break up on a Friday but often list the first day of the holiday as the following Monday) as you'll be surprised how inventive some mothers can be on this point in order to ensure they get the bigger 'half'. Also, don't forget to factor in the inset (teacher training) days.
I had a good Judge - he listened to what I was asking for, said it all sounded perfectly reasonable, and then said it was up to the mother to convince him why this was not the case (she couldn't, though she tried very hard).
Ask for something slightly more than you'd expect to get so you can use and give up that bit when it comes to showing you're willing to compromise.
Son's mother thought this arrangement 'too complicated and difficult to follow', but the court didn't. It's a very clear and simple routine. My son knows he's with me every other weekend and every Wednesday, overnight. I no longer have to go cap in hand for 'permission' to see him more than one day a week - which sometimes shifted around depending on her whims, and we can all make plans around the defined shared time accordingly.