I have been asking around on this topic and would love to hear from anyone here. Just a quick background: SO has 3 kids, 14 SS, 13OSD, and 10YSD. His current visitation schedule is 2nd, 4th, 5th weekend with Wednesday night dinners. He has had 2nd and 4th weekends w/ Wednesdays for the last 9-10 years and recently got the 5th weekend. Holidays are still being worked on. He only recently got scheduled phone calls with the kids (2022) because BM would not allow for kids to pick up when SO called them, now it is unscheduled as long as the call time is reasonable. Oldest two seldom answer, but SO tries not to take it too personally. SO also used to do all the pickups and dropoffs, but the judge recently changed it to receiving parties do pick ups.
OSD13 recently skipped the midweek visit saying she wanted to do something with her mom. SO wasn't bothered by it so I tried not to dwell too much on it. She tends to do this once every so often and I figure she's tired from cheer, she wants to hang out with friends, or it's her time of the month and she just doesn't want to say it to her dad. I really try not to factor BM too much as an influence, it's just healthier for me not to go there. SS14 and YSD10 still came for dinner, but I see how groggy SS can be some times. SO has let them know that he always wants to see them, but it's okay that they have social lives and extra curriculars. SS14 just started a new high school and doesn't quite have a social life yet and is waiting until spring to do any sports. He's in his too-cool-for-school phase.
I would like to mention BM because she is usually strict on following the CO, even if it sucks for her, because she doesn't want to get caught violating it (she will definitely look for loopholes), but she will make everyone miserable in doing it. For example, YSD has told her dad that BM will complain that they can't do something fun because she has to spend time picking them up now. If BM is in a bad mood, then everyone is walking on eggshells. When she picks them up, she parks down the block. She just really makes these exchanges unpleasant and I'm afraid she is just making these visits in general unpleasant because the kids have to deal with her in the car ride home.
Does anyone here have an opinion on midweek visits?
I am wondering if eliminating it would impact the kids' relationship with their dad, is it a slippery slope? If any of the kids were to stop coming, SO wouldn't see his kids for 2 weeks at a time sometimes. Are there alternatives? We would love for the kids to come and go as they please when they are old enough, but if SO were to let up a bit and BM is still strict to sticking with the CO, the kids would probably see their dad even less. We are not trying to eliminate the midweek visit right now. I am just trying to see if anyone has had this schedule work for them, or modified to something else that works better.
As they get older, their needs change and the schedules will require modifying. How do we maintain the relationships if this visit were to stop, with a BM who hates SO and will most likely influence the kids to limit contact? Just do our best?