I have just sent off forms to Petition for divorce. I have just received form to specify what arrangements we have for our 4yr old son.
I have requested 1 week night stay (he agrees) and then Fri eve until drop off at school on a Monday morning. (he disagrees).
My reasoning is that when we have tried him dropping off on a Sunday at 5pm my son comes back very upset, frustrated etc. I understand that he has has a nice weekend with his dad and half brothers and doesnt want to come back to boring old mummy (who needs to shove tea straight in front of him as not too long until his 7pm bed time). His behaviour is usually unacceptable, and whilst i feel sorry for him as understand why he can not be reasoned with and i will not put up with it. I therefor end up punishing his bad behaviour (in exactly the same way i always would at any other time). This means that the 2 hours we have together are not good ones and more stress for the both of us than if he stayed at his dads. He also goes to be throughly wound up and takes longer to get to sleep (affecting him next day, which will be a bigger problem in Sept when he goes to full time school). I believe if my son was kept until school on Mon, he wont have this time where he was trying to settle back in and would have a whole day to adjust in a neutral place between being with Daddy then coming back to me.
My husbands reason for not having him is that this is when he takes his other children back, that after having 3 children all weekend he is too tired to have him on a Sunday night too and that as he has a very high level important job he needs to prepare for this (despite on many Sundays after drop off going to pub with his mates to get drunk)! Of course i know its just that he cant be bothered as would rather keep the night free to go out!
The other thing we disagree on is 50% school holidays, again he doesnt want it. Says because of his job. I work full time too and explained that he could spend some of his annual leave with our son and arrange childcare for rest of time, just like i was going to have to.
Am i being unreasonable in my requests and what would be a likely response if it goes to court?
I have to say, it does sound rather like your child''s father is not interested in taking parental responsibility, but will do whatever he finds easiest for HIM. He wants YOU to have the stress of organising childcare while you work, to suit his agenda. Bit like being married?
Also, in my experience, my ex was putting our son under a lot of stress by involving him in conversations about the court, his problems with me etc. and not really taking care of him properly. Your son''s father should help his son to make the transition back to you, and do whatever it takes to make life easier for his lad. My son always came home distressed and argumentative, hungry, tired and thirsty. My neighbours reported him being out playing on the street in the dark (he was nearly 5 at the time). The upshot of it all was that I stopped him seeing his father at all until he could agree on some basic rules for my son''s benefit such as: I wanted to meet his new gf who was, after all, living in the FMH whilst I was in poor quality rented accommodation, and her kids, that no mention was to be made of the court, that no discussion was to be had with our son in earshot about his issues with me, and no badmouthing me or my family in front of him.
None of this happened as my ex was only demanding to have our son to stay to reduce his maintenance. When I made it difficult for him, with some reasonable rules, he suddenly lost interest, despite dragging me though the courts over it.
Can your son explain to you why he feels so bad coming ''home''? Can your ex or his family shed some light on it? You can''t put up with the same procedure every week. You are right, it''s not good for either of you. You have assumed that your son has a better time with his dad. This may not be true.
I hope you find a solution. It''s a nightmare. Good Luck.