Is it better for my son to be with a parent or at day care till 5pm?
I get out of work at 3:30 pm every day and my ex gets out of work at 6 pm (or even later then that sometimes). I want to pick up my son at 3:45pm every day instead of having him at this daycare (it's a learning center, another classroom environment. He only gets about 20 mins of play time and the rest of the time he is doing class work.) My son has ADHD so it's even harder for him to pay attention and he has all of this built up energy. Is there anything that I can do or say in court for the judge to see that this really isn't helping him? Is there such thing as over working a child?
I'm afraid I don't have any experience based advice for you about whether or not a judge can help you with this situation.
But as a mom, I agree with you that it seems like giving your son a shorter day at day care when possible is a good thing. If your ex is resisting this because he thinks that much day care is GOOD for your son, I'm sure you could find lots of articles that talk about the importance of spending quality time with parents. If he's resisting the idea because he doesn't want you to have more time with your son, that's going to be a tougher battle. Maybe you could offer to give your ex more time with your son (a long weekend for example) "in exchange" for the afternoons you'll spend with him? You may also have to give more than your fair share in the arrangement by dropping your son off at your ex's home in the evening.
One thing to think about is the extra "mom to dad" transition that this arrangement would cause for your son. If he has a hard time leaving you and going to your ex, it may be more stressful for him to have to do it more frequently.
Mostly I just wanted to say good luck in this tough situation.
If it's help in a custody dispute you're seeking, then the best thing to do is to find a professional local to your area who can evaluate your son and the specifics of the situation and make a recommendation to the court. Obviously, though, you're concerned about getting what's best for him. Every child is different in many ways but a lot of kids, especially very young boys, have this excess energy issue that ought to have an outlet. I just read "Why Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax (I put the Amazon link below) and he reports on this as well. Does your son have a sports activity? Organized sports can be a challenge for some ADHD kids (my son always tried to change the rules and convince everyone that his rules were better....didn't work) but the physical activity is always a good thing.