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advice - extra curricular overload
#1
Hi,

Need advice dads.

History - Divorced, negotiated through mediation that children live with me 5 nights in 14 + 3 hours of tea time mid-week, every other week:

Stretch 1: Friday-Tuesday morning 
Stretch 2: Monday + Wednesday tea time

In the 5 days they live with me:
Friday - no after school activities
Saturday - Swimming
Sunday - homework club
Every Monday - after school sports club + tuition lesson in my home

On top of this, every day when they are living with me, I sit with the eldest kid to help with reading, writing and maths.

Now the problem is the narcissist has tried to add more activities on the days they live with me. I have pushed back. 

She is now saying she is going to enroll the eldest to a saturday school club that runs from 9am to 2pm. This will eat into the little time they live with me and costs a bloody arm and a leg (I pay CMS on time, and 50% of other kid related expenses).

I need to compose something that feels amicable, yet firmly tells the narc. that when they live with me, I chose to do what is best for the kids.

Advice please! This is stressing me out!
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#2
She is NOT allowed to book any clubs or dictate anything whatsoever during your contact time.
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#3
(06-20-2019, 09:52 PM)proud_dad Wrote: Hi,

Need advice dads.

History - Divorced, negotiated through mediation that children live with me 5 nights in 14 + 3 hours of tea time mid-week, every other week:

Stretch 1: Friday-Tuesday morning 
Stretch 2: Monday + Wednesday tea time

In the 5 days they live with me:
Friday - no after school activities
Saturday - Swimming
Sunday - homework club
Every Monday - after school sports club + tuition lesson in my home

On top of this, every day when they are living with me, I sit with the eldest kid to help with reading, writing and maths.

Now the problem is the narcissist has tried to add more activities on the days they live with me. I have pushed back. 

She is now saying she is going to enroll the eldest to a saturday school club that runs from 9am to 2pm. This will eat into the little time they live with me and costs a bloody arm and a leg (I pay CMS on time, and 50% of other kid related expenses).

I need to compose something that feels amicable, yet firmly tells the narc. that when they live with me, I chose to do what is best for the kids.

Advice please! This is stressing me out!

How are your arrangements in place? Is it on a Court Order yet?
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#4
It appears mark r it was done via mediation so hasn't been to a family court yet
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#5
Ok swimming and after school sports club aren't so bad. But why homework club on a Sunday? And extra tuition straight after sports club. This extra thing makes it sound like all school and no free time, which isn't in a child's interests.

And are these just over your days or her week-ends too?

I would suggest writing her a BIFF email (brief, informative, friendly, formal).

Dear Ex

"Re Son's Activities

As you know I am very much in agreement with our son having many opportunities and extra curricular activities. However, the balance is out at the moment and he hardly gets any free time to just be a child at week-ends or enjoy his home life.

As such I have decided to drop the homework club on Sundays and the extra tuition on Monday nights (which is straight after his sports club). I will continue with his swimming on Saturdays and his after school sports club on Mondays, when he's with me.

As he is with you more overnights than with me, I propose the extra tuition take place at your home on a different night. He doesn't need homework club on Sundays as I do his homework with him when he's here.

With regard to your proposal to book him into a Saturday school club from 9am to 2pm, I am not in agreement with that. In fact I believe even children at full-time boarding school get more free time at week-ends than you are proposing.

If you wish him to attend the Saturday school club on the Saturdays he is with you, then I have no problem with that, and an alternate weekly activity would be fine. However I am not agreeing to take him on the Saturdays he is with me.

If we can't agree on this, I suggest we both attend mediation and try to draw up an agreement for how much time son has extra curricular activites and how much home time at week-ends."

Do it by email. If she responds by email then keep that response and print it out (assuming she doesn't agree with you). If she throws a hissy fit and says she's doing it anyway, then start mediation. If it comes to her not backing down, or not going to mediation, then you can apply to court and ask for your shared care agreement in a court order - with the times and dates you want and half the school holidays. For a "lives with both parents" order. Whether it is lives with or spends time with anyway, she isn't allowed to dictate what you do with your son on your time. Of course she is relying on the argument that extra curricular activities come before parenting time - but only within reason - not to the exclusion of parenting time!

Saying "no" as you are above - if she turns round and stops them coming then just go for a MIAM and get signed off and apply to court. You shoud have an interim order within 4 to 6 weeks for the same time as now. I don't think she will though.

If it goes to court then it will be explained to her that she can't dictate your time with your son. Just as you don't book events for your son when he's with her. Can you imagine if you said to her, I've booked him onto football sessions every Saturday morning from 9am to 2pm. She would say - not doing that I do xyz with son on Saturdays. So basically any extra curricular activities that affect both parents time, need to be agreed to. If not agreed then she can't do it. And if she tries to and tells your son to say he wants to do it and puts him in the middle then it migth be better to apply to court.

She's just trying to stop him enjoying a home life with you - out of fear probably, that he might actually have a happy home somewhere without her.
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#6
(06-20-2019, 09:52 PM)proud_dad Wrote: Hi,

Need advice dads.

History - Divorced, negotiated through mediation that children live with me 5 nights in 14 + 3 hours of tea time mid-week, every other week:

Stretch 1: Friday-Tuesday morning 
Stretch 2: Monday + Wednesday tea time

In the 5 days they live with me:
Friday - no after school activities
Saturday - Swimming
Sunday - homework club
Every Monday - after school sports club + tuition lesson in my home

On top of this, every day when they are living with me, I sit with the eldest kid to help with reading, writing and maths.

Now the problem is the narcissist has tried to add more activities on the days they live with me. I have pushed back. 

She is now saying she is going to enroll the eldest to a saturday school club that runs from 9am to 2pm. This will eat into the little time they live with me and costs a bloody arm and a leg (I pay CMS on time, and 50% of other kid related expenses).

I need to compose something that feels amicable, yet firmly tells the narc. that when they live with me, I chose to do what is best for the kids.

Advice please! This is stressing me out!

If you have a Mediation Agreement then you can not put this in Court, as its not being followed, to the extent that she keeps introducting things in your time.

The case you can make is that under The Children Act of 2002, xxxx has a right to spend time with you.
As you have PR you also have responablitys and that by xxxx keep inroling the child in things in your time is preventing that form happening.

SWIMMING,
There becomes a point where this turns into a hobby, not a learning things. I would say that once the child has passed the 25  meter test (or what ever distance 1 lengh is) it becomes a hobby. I would exibit the Opening Hours of all Local Swimming Pools, to show that  this is a hobby than can be done when with her. You might even find they do after school lessions.

HOMEWORK CLUB,
Homework issued week 1 before the Thursday should be done while the child is with her. Depending on the childs age, it should take 20 - 60 min per night.  While the handing in date might be a few days due to school timetable, schools have to structure this, so that there is only 1 per night to be done. You need to have provision for homework issued on the Friday and Monday to be done.
Week 2, you need to have provision for homework issued on the Monday and Tuesday to be done only.  State that weekdays are care time, and she is extending it into your Quality Time. Her provision might be to use the homework club, but only on weekends when the child is with her.

SPORTS CLUB,
As the child is with you every Monday, this is your decision.

HOME TUITTON,
This should be arranged for during the time the child is with the Resident Parent, unless its something you set up. The case you make it it does not have to happen in your contact time.

SATURDAY SCHOOL CLUB,
Its her decision if the child goes at her cost on her weeks, but your decision if the child goes on your weekend, at her cost if she arranges it.

CHILD SUPPORT,
The CMS Calculation is fully inclusive, and under the law you can not be forced to pay more.  This is not a matter for the Courts.

Write to her by Royal Mail Signed for, stating that as of the end of the 2018/19 school year, you will no longer be paying anything above the CMS amount. State that under The Welfare Benefit Reform Act of 2013, as the parent who gets Child Benefit, she is topped up to what the law of the country says, taking into account her current household size and income. Your Child Support Payment is not counted for anything, except Council Tax Reduction in some Local Authroity areas.

Your payment takes into account your income, would change if you or a new partner got Child Benefit for a child, and is reduced to take into account you have the cost of what the child needs in contact time, while she still gets the Benefits.  In law you are contributing what is considered to be fair. By paying extra, you are in effect paying for the same thing twice, or for things the state might also be paying for.

You will need to buy school uniform for 2 days, and have it on the Court Order that the child arrives in school uniform, so that you do not lose an outfit when the child is taken to school after contact.  (You should of 2/5 on the shoes, bag and blazer/coat if the ex provides it).

In school holidays, have the order say the child will be sent home in whatever they come in for contact, again so you do not lose outfits.

You would get half the school holidays if you asked the court, but often 4 weeks is best if you work. My suggestion, so the ex can not mess with dates

Half Term (3 x 1 week holidays), just contact on the normal weekend.

Easter and Christmas, 1 week, to alternate on who has the child on the signficant dates.  Who is the resident parent has no legal bearing on this.

Summer, ex to suggest a 2 week block 3 months in advance, so that you can make plans for your holiday. No later that 1 month before, another weekend bearing in mind she has a right to a holiday also, but you should not go much over 2 weeks without contact.

Note if you can have longer off work, by having Half Term as contact on normal weekend, but to start or end on the Wednesday it would take you over 156 nights, so Child Support would also go down.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#7
Hey MarkR, can I ask how you get to over 156 per year on 5 nights a fortnight plus half of holidays? My calculation adds up to under 150 depending on how many days exactly. ie: 2.5 X 39 + 48 or however many holidays exactly.
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#8
(06-21-2019, 03:23 PM)JamW Wrote: Hey MarkR, can I ask how you get to over 156 per year on 5 nights a fortnight plus half of holidays?  My calculation adds up to under 150 depending on how many days exactly.  ie: 2.5 X 39 + 48 or however many holidays exactly.

The member posting this thread has 6 nights out of 14.

Depending on case year start week, its 20 x week 1, 4 nights  and 19 x week 2, 2 nights, so 119 or 116. SCHOOL TERM IS 39 WEEKS.

2 weeks summer and 1 week (and 1 day) at Easter and Christmas is 30 more days. (Note schools close 2.5 weeks).

You also have the 3 x half terms, what in his case a normal weekend is 3 nights, what takes it over after the other summer weekend.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#9
Dads,

Thank you all for the advice and guidance.

-Charlie, I used your suggested email as a template, and sent to the ex. I've not had a response. No doubt she's plotting.

You are all stars!!!

Your kids are all lucky to have you as dads.
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