So, I moved out into a small flat near to shared flat/family home after separating from my ex so having the kids sleep at mine was not practical. Now that has unfairly disadvantaged my kids being able to see very much of me.
I am now doing mediation with my ex who is offering to let them stay with me (in a bigger rented flat, the same size as the family home) a mere three nights every fortnight that does not include a Sat/Sun/bring to school on Mon.
Any advice gratefully received w.r.t. dissuading my ex from her selfish position rather than a more equal division of parenting. Any opinions on whether this is the bare minimum a court would likely grant i.e. should I, if there is no movement in my ex's offer, suggest a court decides?
Thanks for any replies. I just want to be able to tell my kids I did my best when they inevitably ask why I didn't look after them as much as their mother.
You need to come at this from a child-focused perspective. Have you set out what you think the best arrangement would be for your children in a parenting plan? IF not, this would be a good start - don't forget to include school holidays, Bank holidays, inset days, Mothers/Fathers Day, birthdays, Christmas/Easter/Eid/Passover/other significant occasions and celebrations; and especially definitive times as to when a weekend or time with you starts/ends. Having something comprehensive written down will give you both something to work from, and hopefully identify common ground (with the help of the mediator).
If she refuses to consider your proposal in mediation, then you have two options - go to court, where neither of you will get the outcome you desire, or accept what is being suggested by her, then look to build on that by increasing time with you after a shortish period of time.
I'm interested in the point you make there about accepting the suggestion and then increasing it after a short time.
How would that be done in practise?
Would you have to specify during mediation that you are agreeing to it only as an interim measure? Would you specify a date at which you wish to revisit the arrangement? When it comes to revisiting, would you arrange another mediation session? Assuming all went well during that period, would it have strengthened/weakened the position if things went to court?