I have offered my STBX contact regarding our daughter aged 21 months. 9 - 5 every Sunday. Tuesday, his mum looks after her from 7.30am til he picks her up after work at about 5.45pm He gets to spend an hour with her before bringing her home at 7pm. He wants additional contact on Thursdays as well but she's normally in bed for 7pm. Will a judge agree that what I have offered is adequate, at least until she's old enough to go to bed later/stay overnight? He says if I put her in nursery instead of letting his mum have her, then his mum will take me to court also.
Common sense and putting children's welfare at the centre of decision making usually indicates the best way forward. The reason it's important for very young children's development not to be away from the main carer for extended periods because of the need to form a secure attachment. Equally it's important that young children develop secure attachments with other carers and it's not usually possible to do this within a nursery setting so unless there are exceptional reasons I would think the child is better off with extended family. See;-
I think it would be good to allow the Thursday contact if possible as otherwise it's a long time in between for such a young child. I wonder whether your ex could arrange to leave work early on a Thursday (making up the time on another day) so that he can see your daughter earlier and then get her back to you for, say, 6.30 so she can have a reasonable bedtime ritual and not be in bed much later than seven?
I would keep the stability of your daughter being cared for by your husband's mum, at least until she is a bit older. I'm not sure how far she'd get going to court,though, if you had a good reason to use a nursery instead.
Hi, I'm not able to answer your question directly as I have no experience of seeking court involvement for access to my children (and sincerely hope I don't end up in court) but I was interested in getting a female perspective on access as I am experiencing difficulty with my X wife. I am in a similar position to your X, i.e. I am a dad with a young son (16 months) as well as a daughter about to turn 5. I am allowed to see them both 9-6 every Saturday and I take my daughter to school every Thursday and briefly see my son that morning(other contact during the week is difficult as I work such long hours). I am desperate to have overnight access to my children but my X refuses to even discuss it. There are no issues with regards to my relationship with my children (we have a great time together) and my 5 year old is keen to stay over (she always talks about it) so I hope to get overnight access with her sorted out soon. With regards to my son who is so young, I'd appreciate your view on when you think your daughter is old enough to stay overnight with her father. I can of course appreciate the huge bond a mother has with someone so young, but my boy sleeps comfortably at my place during the day and I have no doubt he'd be comfortable with me overnight as well. In addition, my X is exhausted with looking after them both all week so I thought she'd appreciate their loving Dad taking them off her hands for a night. What is your view on overnight access for babies/toddlers?
I would be quite happy to let my daughter stay overnight when she is old enough to understand the concept of it. At the moment she is still in a cot and has a good routine. I think my eldest (now 12) started staying over at her Nan's when she was about three and could ask to do that. It'll probably be the same with my youngest regarding her dad and staying over.