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Insisting parent moves into accomdation with a bedroom for daughter - is this reasonable?

I'm about to go into mediation for the first time and I'm very upset that my ex partner has our 3 year old sleeping in his bed (as he only has a one bedroom apartment). It was alright in the beginning but now it's just getting silly.

Do you think I have the right to seek an agreement for him to move? Is there any thing in the law books about this?

Cheers
I do not know of anything under the law, but I do know that DOCS saw nothing wrong with two kids having to sharing a lounge to sleep on, even though they were a boy and girl, and the boy had hit puberty.

Sometimes I really wonder where common sense has gone…

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
Bill Cosby
 :thumbs:
I'm in mediation as well.

My ex was also having his 3 year daughter sleep with him in his bed and sometimes his 11 year old brother and her shared a bed. My solicitor advised that kids often shared beds and was not "unusual".

How often is your child staying over with Dad? I was advised that I did not have the right so to speak to ask him to move to a bigger apartment as there was a roof over their heads, a warm bed and they were fed. It can however be a "powerful suggestion"but I dont think theres anything from a legal stand point (may stand corrected here).

Unless there's allegations of sexual abuse etc. I would certainly request it, as I guess it is considered morally wrong.

I requested it, but luckily dad up and moved anyway of his own doing and no longer has the kids.

Certainly seek some advice from FRC mediators and perhaps your local DOCS as to what they think and use this information in mediation.
HI Guys

Thank you both for your input here. I don't have any child protection concerns at all. I just need him to agree to a basic benchmark of care. He's not the most motivated of people!. Of course….if it's not a standard that's set any where, that a father must have a bedroom or atleast a bed for his daughter (who will be aged 4 very soon) then I'm not sure I have a right to insist….
Mumof3yearold said
I'm about to go into mediation for the first time and I'm very upset that my ex partner has our 3 year old sleeping in his bed (as he only has a one bedroom apartment). It was alright in the beginning but now it's just getting silly.

Do you think I have the right to seek an agreement for him to move? Is there any thing in the law books about this?
Please remember I can only respond to what I see written so if I have misunderstood you Mumof3yearold in anyway,or there is more to this that meets the eye, I sincerely apologise for that!

Here are a few things to consider…

How often does your ex have your child? If it's only limited time then is it really such a problem at this time?

What is the reason he is living/renting a one bedroom apartment? Is it finances/affordability?  Can the one bedroom accommodate an additional bed?

What is the age of the child? You have said 3 years old so still very young

What is your real fear with this? Do you have any real reason for concern? I'll put it another way… it is not uncommon formyeldest who is 6 (and the other children) towake in the morning, make their way to my room and hop into bed with me for a snuggle before having to get up for the daily events. Do you view this as the same?If not why?

How do you know your ex is sharing a bed with the3 year old? If this is what he has told you thendoes he have anything to hide?

There is a lot of stigma associated with being male in regards to children i.e.there have been complaints made in previous times by anonymous passers by who have distorted actual eventswhen they have seen for example a dad innocently showingaffection to their child in public (this ridiculousness has been inthe media before) not to mention other things suchas male primary school teachers who are now wary to even enter into the profession because of the unfounded perceptions of the public etc etc

So at the risk of seeming complacent about your concerns(which is most definitely not the case) I would suggest thatyourprimary focus during mediation istrying to reach agreements about your child's current (and possibly future needs) butto steer clear (of what could possibly be categorised as you dictating the terms) of where your ex lives.

Here's an idea… Do you have a portacot? Small enough to maybe fit into a 1 bedroom, easy to set up, still big enough (usually) for a 3 year old.Maybe you can lend this to your ex as a short term solution? :)

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
You ask about what the law books say and they say nothing about it particularly for a 3 year old. If you were to ask him to move you may find this a great way to start an argument. I am assuming that he has moved out of the family home and lives in a 1 bedroom apartment by necessity rather than choice. I am sure he would love to live in a 4 bedroom house with all the furniture needed for the child. Would you be prepared to contribute to the payment of a larger house and bedding. He may be grateful for this assistance.

Are you really relating this to is his ability to care for the child. A court would be inclined to take a symapthetic view if he was determine by his financial ability rather than his willingness to provide the best of care. If this is the best he can afford then the court couldn't really ask him to do better. You would be better off steering clear of such details if you are happy about the safety and welfare of the child. So again you would not be supported by the law on insisting he move to a bigger house.

If you are heading into mediation you will have enough challenges. Really try to stay focussed on the immediate and important issues. Time spent, changeovers, responsibilities. I can assure you this will be hard enough. A reason for failure at mediation is when people focuss on the minutiae and allow emotion to become too heavily involved. Write down what you would like the outcome to be, for the important things. Have some alternate proposals or changes that you would be happy with. Stick to those issues.

Good luck

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"
Mumof3yearold said
Thank you both for your input here. I don't have any child protection concerns at all. I just need him to agree to a basic benchmark of care. He's not the most motivated of people!. Of course….if it's not a standard that's set any where, that a father must have a bedroom or atleast a bed for his daughter (who will be aged 4 very soon) then I'm not sure I have a right to insist…
I didn't see this response when I posted my last one (you must of posted it while I was still typing) so I just thought I'd add a couple of things.

You say here that you don't have any concerns with child protection which effectively means that aside from your concerns about where your 3 year old is sleeping thatyour ex isa good dad and is attending to the 3 year olds wellbeing. What more could you ask for!

Although I understand that your reason for raising the issue of bedding is that you"needhim to agree to a basic benchmark of care", but thequestion here that must be raised is Whose benchmarkof care are you basing this on?Now I don't know how long you and your ex have been separated for but depending on how well your ex and you can communicate there are going to bemany times over the next 14/15 years thatwhat you view asa "basic benchmark" may not always conform to what your ex views as the same.

One of the difficulties in the early stages ofseparation sometimes(especially if you have been the primary care giver prior to the separation) is theadjustment in attitudes that both parents are entitled to make their own decisions regarding the children while in their care. Provided the standard housing requirements are being met i.e. a bed to sleep in, roof over their head, food, hygienic requirements, safe environmentetc then the rest is really just up to the individual parent. In reality thesize of the accommodation itself usually has no relevance to these requirements being met.

Your child is 3 years old now so still very young. When she gets older there would be no problem with even a pull out couch or camp bed set up in the living room.

Like Dominik said there are enough challenges with mediationso try to stay focused on the important issues.

Good Luck :)

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
Mumof3yearold, playing the devils advocate, assuming you took this matter to the courts, which I guess you have a right to do, what would you say if you were asked to explain how you find it silly? And/or if you were asked to explain what had changed?

What if the you were asked, if the matter is simply the lack of a separate bed/room, which one would assume that you have, if for contact purposes that rather than the child moving to another residence and for the best interest of the child, to have that separate bed/room, why can't the residence of the parents change. Silly, (I recall you asking about this CrazyWorld) but I've been party to something along those lines. Originally the other parent would sleep here and when I went to the where she moved, I would sleep where she was living. Admittedly this stopped after quite a short while, primarily due to other partners coming onto the scene. However in a fashion it was re-kindled pretty recently and on one weekend, my wife and I even left the house for a weekend and the other parent and husband stayed here. I believe that making such concessions has actually improved the lot for our son.

Oh and my son up until about 11 would often want to and therefore did sleep in the same bed as myself. I think such wishes are the child seeking some sort of reassurance that they are still wanted after separation and it's very hard for a parent with little contact to not grant such wishes for fear of that reassurance not being given. Actually even hard for the partner as I, perhaps cowardly, would say it's OK if the partner agrees and she would agree. Another factor that may have played a part was that at one time the other parent forbade our son from being close to my partner, so perhaps the side of him that is/was rebellious to the separation came into play as well.

I think what mainly changed the sleeping in the bed, was that the situation changed and I became the "Lives with parent" and perhaps that the re-assurance was not such an inner issue.

I believe the dynamics of a child's separated family are far more complicated than the dynamics for that of a child of an intact Family and thus one often has to try to see things in a much different light or lights.
Gosh… such thoughtful and full bodied answers. Thank you all.

Reading through your perspectives on this issue has brought about some fresh perspective of my own….

I've certainly come a fair distance since the mediation. I was hoping for an agreement to relocate to Brisbane (with fortnightly visitation at my expense) just for a period of nine months. My fiance lives there and I had an opportunity to drop work and care full time for my daughter thus making up some of that precious time lost when I had to work 7 days a week when she was a baby. (I'm not bitter about that?! No!!) My ex partner and I talk regularly and are on good terms - despite my disapointments. Prior to mediation he informed me that he was not going to agree to my proposal. I was so distraught. I'm exhausted from work and striving for that elusive work/life/mother balance… that I thought to myself…" FFS mate - at least you could get a better apartment".

He has a one bedroom as that's all he can afford.

He's a terrific father.

I'm worried that he will not ebb and flow with our daughter's changing needs - but as you say, that's not my business really.

As much as I like to think I'm pretty good in the emotional intelligence department… I was (and still am to a certain extent) blinded by sadness and anger. I don't have a problem with co-sleeping, pull out couches, port-a-cots in the least.

He's on his way over this evening to talk things through. Atleast we still have the discussion door open.

Thanks for all you input.

X
You said in your most recent post that you intend asking about relocating and giving the father fortnightly visitation, and that this would only be for nine months.

My questions to you are 1. How far would the father have to travel? 2. Where will the "visitation" take place. i.e. will it be in your area or will it be where the father is? 3. Who will drive the child between parents? (because you say it will be at your expense). 4. Why for a period of nine months? (Do you intend moving back to the previous area of residence or is the nine months in relation to how long you will pay for it? 5. What was/is the current "visitation" regime?

Just a few questions so the learned people on this site can give you further assistance especially as relocation is such a contentious issue.
Hi Andykay.

The plan was to fly with my daughter into Sydney and deliver her to her dad for the weekend while I stayed with friends.

It was for nine months on the recognition that it's unfair to have my daughter travel so much and for her dad to not have the opportunity for mid week care.

It would have meant him dropping his weekly one night stay over. I was also hoping he would be open to flying up to Brisbane from time to time.

The reason why I pushed for the plan is that our daughter has special needs and this was the only financially viable way I could drop work and get her needs met in that crucial year before school. It's all moot now anyway as I've taken the request off the table!

We had a positive discussion last night and my new partner is giving up his career and relocating to Sydney.

Co Sleeping - Housing and other Matters

First - Mumof3yearold - I would observe that your self perception of being fairly good in the emotional intelligence department is probably spot on. You have acknowledged you have emotions, some of which are a powerful influence - totally normal. You have also sought and listened to, a variety of opinions, have managed to acknowledge the positives and realities of your situation. If there was an "Emotional Intelligence Quotient" is suspect you would score very highly.

On a personal note - I have been in the situaton where I had to share a 2 bedroom flat. That meant my son had to share my bed while in my care. he was around 4 at the time. Part of me loved the situation. The pratical part of me wasn't too happy though because I didn't sleep as well as I would have like. I was always conscious of my son's presence. In fact he used to chase me all over the bed. As long as he had either a hand or foot touching me he slept soundly. I was more worried about rolling on top of him. We have move on and he has his own room. He is very proud of the fact he has his own room and his own bed. That doesn't stop him climbing in beside me on occasion. He's 7 now and definitely a "Big boy".

As for the courts perception of children sleeping in the same bed as a parent, it would very much depend on the circumstances. I have heard more than one Judge/Magistrate comment that they would be concerned if a small child "DIDN'T" want to sleep in mum or dad's bed at (least occasionally). It is very much related to a child's sense of security. And of course, mum and dad separating (whatever the reason) is very much a time of insecurity for a child.

As for mediation. The idea is give and take. Perhaps, if you first proposal isn't acceptable to the child's isn't acceptable, perhaps there is another option that might work for you both, and more importantly - the child. Again on a personal note - I know our son was angry at both mum and dad when arrangements got changed to something was outside his acceptable range, he was 5 at the time. It doesn't matter why the arrangements changed, he just wasn't happy and it affected his start at school. We are still trying to catch up nearly 2 years later.

That you and the child's father can communicate is marvelous. At times we have "other" things we want to do as individuals. Finding the balance between our own needs and wants as individual adults and the needs of our child is what makes us responsible parents. That applies whether we are separated or still a couple as parents.

Good luck - I hope you can find the balance for yourself and your child. From what you have written here, I suspect you will.

Last edit: by oneadadc


For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
I am so glad that your new partner is happy to move to Sydney. Good luck.

It is such a shame when parents move unilaterally. We are in that very position and my husband now only sees his child every three months, if the mother will let him. Last time we were supposed to have him for two weeks, but she did a runner and we only had him "visit" (her words) for a week. She wouldn't even give us two complete weekends. He arrived lat Saturday night and had to leave first thing the following Saturday.

My husband used to have his son sleep in his bed with him initially, a bit like oneadadc because of the household set up. The mother tried to insist that he have a separate room for his son. That's right a separate room not just a separate bed. Funny thing was, the child was, and still is (three years later when the boyfriend is at work) sleeping in his mother's bed, or alternatively she lies with him, stroking him, until he falls asleep. Makes it difficult when he is with us.

Children of your daughter's age need to have regular contact with both parents, so please keep doing that, after all it is in the best interest of the child.

Good luck with it all
Mumof3yearold, when I read your response on the 26th all I could think to myself was that your daughter is a very very lucky little girl!! :) Best wishes to you all :) 

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
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