I hope someone out there can give me a bit of advice. I am going thru the collaborative law route (though it doesn''t feel v collaborative). At our first meeting it was confirmed I would have our two children aged 5 and 9 for seven nights out of the month + 2 afternoons and 1 wk at xmas, easter and 2 weeks in the summer. I am a shift worker with late starts and early finishes hence 7 nights and not the more common 8 nights request.
When I received the notes of the meeting however it was said that the access schedule would be reviewed by my stbx. I asked her was there a problem and she refused to discuss it with me saying we would discuss at the next meeting with her lawyer. Now we had previously agreed that we would make the childcare arrangements between ourselves and she has always said that access would never be a problem. Everyone I have spoken to thinks it is an issue of maintenance - but i am not concerned about that but i am desperate to maintain my relationship with my kids.
When my own parents split up my dad never talked to me for 16 years (as I decided to live with my mum) so I know I am a little screwed up about this as does my stbx. But this is what makes me so determined to try and get things right by ny own kids.
Sorry for that outpouring but for me it is all linked.
My question (at last) is this if I ask for joint custody/residency for half of the time then does this stop my ex from messing me about when it comes to seeing and having my kids to stay?
What are the implications of this? RE childcare, school, maintenacne, assets split etc.
I have talked to my boss and she (thank god a woman who understands) has said that she will change my work pattern to accommodate any new childcare arrangements.
I never initially asked for this becuase I believed we could work these problems out between ourselves but we haven''t even reached an agreement and the goal post have been moved. Any thoughts or comments welcome.
If you can change your work pattern and you both leave near enough to schools etc. then you could work alternate weeks. One ex-couple I know have been doing that for about 12 years and it seems to work fine. He has a long communte but arranged to finish early on his weeks so that he could get home in time to pick up from school teatime club at 5.30 and made up the time by working much later during the other weeks. I assume he also started later on his weeks and earlier on the other weeks.
Generally unless children are very young it does seem better to have a settled pattern of longer periods such as complete weeks or alternate Thursday after school to Tuesday school rather than chop and change during the week.