Organising access with my children's dad is just too difficult

DEAR DEIDRE: I WANT my children to have a good relationship with their dad, my ex, but organising access is just so difficult.

I am 38 and my ex is 41. We separated three months ago and are in the process of divorcing.

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Our children are seven and five. My husband says he wants to have them for a couple of hours on a weekday evening so that he has his weekends free for himself.

While I appreciate he wants his “freedom” back, I feel as though it is slightly unfair.

I would prefer him to have them for a weekend – Friday until Sunday, alternate weeks – instead of only seeing them for a short while in the week.

He also organises the visits in my home which is uncomfortable. Am I being unreasonable in my demands?

DEIDRE SAYS: It is really important your children know they still have a dad who loves and cares about them.

Their relationship will suffer if his “freedom” is considered more important than quality time with them. 

Your children will feel most valued if he sees them for quality time on a regular basis, not just when it suits him.

Explain to him that showing so little interest in them is actively damaging, and could affect their bond. 

Find support through Families Need Fathers (, 0300 0300 363) who can advise on how best to negotiate with him.

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