One of the hardest decisions that a couple have to make when they split up is the time that they each spend with their children. Now everything is agreed, you feel that you want your ex to spend more time with the children. We often hear about dads who are not given the time with their children that they would like. You may remember the campaigns and protests by Fathers 4 Justice. They are a group set up to get equal rights for both parents. They highlighted their cause with newsworthy protests.
How can I get my ex to have more contact
However, it is often the case that mums would like their ex to be more involved in their child’s life. You may want your ex to have more regular contact, or even regular contact at all. Additionally, you may like your ex to take the children away for short breaks or holidays. Your ex may give reasons as to why they don’t want to, or they may just decline your offers. It is easy to feel frustrated by these actions, but it is important to keep encouraging your ex. You could try to ask whether they would like more time with the children during school holidays, for example.
Why might my ex not want more contact
Little consideration is given to the reasons behind fathers not wishing to spend time with their children. Research suggests that the parent who spends less time with the children feels that they are being marginalised and so they check out of the relationship. This can happen with either parent. However, in the US, for 80% of cases that go to court, the child arrangement order specifies the children to live with the mother and I imagine that the UK statistics will be similar. Therefore, this situation is likely to be the father feeling marginalised.
Why do mums want their ex’s to have more contact?
As a single mother, you might wonder why you would want your ex to spend more time with the children. One of the reasons might be that you acknowledge that your children need both parents in their life. Children benefit hugely from situations where both parents are involved in their upbringing and in the big decisions in their life. Also, children soon grow up and become adults, where they make their own decisions about who they see. It is important to let children understand how important they are to you as a parent, which must make it easier to maintain the relationship during adulthood. Another may be a more selfish reason; the mother may want to rebuild their personal and social life. They will find that more difficult if they only have one night a week, or a month or less.
How to handle your ex
Whatever the reasons to want your ex to spent more time with the children, it is important not to get angry and frustrated but to try to understand your ex’s position. Try to negotiate small increases in time they have together. Stay calm during this time as there may be underlying reasons that you are not aware of. It can be frustrating but children are not children forever but while they are, appreciate the time you have with them.
If you found this article useful, you might also like https://smartdivorce.co.uk/getting-divorcedwhat-about-the-children/.
Tamsin Caine is a Chartered Financial Planner at Smart Divorce. She specialises in working with separating or divorcing clients to help them to understand how to divide their finances to move forward with their lives. If you would like to speak to Tamsin or find out more about how she can help, email her at Tamsin@smartdivorce.co.ukany time or telephone 07975 922766 during office hours.