Is there a law about opposite sex children sharing the same room?
My ex has my daughter every other weekend and his new girlfriend has two boys aged 8 and 10. He is now taking my daughter there and she is 7 in October, but they are all sleeping in the same bedroom.
(Miss S L, 24 September 2008)
There’s no law in existence which governs children of different sexes sharing rooms in privately owned homes. It’s up to the home owners/parents to sort out bedrooms and sleeping areas and make sure all children are well catered for in terms of sleeping arrangements. Many Children Share Bedrooms with their siblings and step- brothers and sisters and don’t experience any problems (bar the occasional fall-out, as is normal with children!). If there was a law in place, it could be very difficult for people who are unable to buy a bigger home due to lack of money.
However, if the house is rented and owned by a housing association, sometimes they do have rules and regulations in place concerned with how many children, and which sex of children, can sleep in any one bedroom. For example, they may state that after the age of 10, different sexes of siblings shouldn’t share a room. If this applies in this instance, then it would be best to contact the relevant housing association for information and to discuss the circumstances. Be aware, however, that overcrowding may be allowed if the room is naturally big, or if it occurs simply because children get older, and reach that ten-year-old threshold.
If you’re still really concerned about the sleeping situation when your daughter stays with your ex and his girlfriend, then perhaps it may be a good idea to speak to them about it. It’s also important to consider what your daughter feels about the sleeping arrangements and whether she gets on okay with the two boys. As a rule of thumb, if your daughter - and the boys - honestly feel there is no problem, then there probably isn't. But if you want your daughter to continue staying there on alternate weekends, you have to consider what will happen when the children get a bit older.
It’s certainly true that when children reach a certain age and enter puberty, they may feel happier having more privacy and sleeping elsewhere. This would be especially so if your daughter felt uncomfortable being in the room with two older boys, especially if she doesn’t know them that well and they’re not blood relatives. Perhaps there may be another room in the house where she could have a put-up bed or sofa bed, instead of sharing with the two boys?
However, if she’s only staying for short periods of time – e.g. one or two nights – and is comfortable with the situation, then it’s up to you and your ex’s discretion to sort out the sleeping arrangements.
The main thing is that everyone involved is happy with it, so do try to have a chat with your ex and your daughter. At age seven, there is every chance that your daughter sees the sleeping arrangement as a kind of sleepover party, and has no qualms about sharing. That, of course, could change as she - and the boys - mature.
If space is an issue, there is also the possibility that eventually you could try to divide up the room when she is there, either with a curtain or some other sort of make-shift partition. You might also want to have a heart-t-heat chat with your ex and express your concern. You are certainly within your rights to say that eventually this type of sleeping arrangement will no longer be feasible, and that it's time he starts to think about what can be done in the not too far off future.
It might be that your ex has to start thinking about moving to a bigger property, if he wants to have your daughter continue staying there overnight. Worst-case scenario: when she gets a bit older she only stays there during the day, and goes home to you to spend the night.
My 5 and 6 year old boys stop at my house a few nights a week mainly at the weekends and on occasion we have all spent the night at my new partners house, She has an 11 year old daughter and they have all shared a bed which is a double by the way, as they were all watching a dvd in bed and fell asleep. My ex partner had a massive problem with this and has even said it is illegal. I understand there may be moral objections etc but they see each other as more of brothers and sister which is great for me and my partner. it seems my ex has a massive problem with this although they have only done it less than a hand full of times and only because my partners house is a two bed. We are planning to move in somewhere together at the end of the year hopefully somewhere of a min 3 bed so her daughter and my sons can have seperate bedrooms. This isnt ideal at the moment but just wondered if anyone knew of a law regarding this.
jp - 30-Apr-13 @ 12:23 PM
@chrissy. i think.. i KNOW its completley wrong of you to let your 18yr old son to even have a gf of that age let alone sleep in the same bedroom! Its classed as statuatory rape!! Also think your son has got to be very capable of finding a girl more his age?? Wouldnt it be more fun for them to have more of the same things going on?? Think you need to sit your son down and give him a bit of advice!
beth - 13-Nov-12 @ 10:22 PM
When the kids are young – and if they’re ALL young – then it shouldn’t be a problem for kids of the opposite sex to share a room. However, if they’re over the age of, say, 10, then it’s really not workable, as the kids are more self-conscious and growing. At that point other arrangements need to be made to separate them at night, for their sake as well as yours.
Jean - 3-Oct-12 @ 1:27 PM
Wow, I came across this post rather accidentally, but it makes me very sad.Most of these issues with beds and sleeping arrangements sound like they are actually issues of disgruntled, bitter ex spouses.I am speaking as a grown woman whose parents divorced when I was 5.While my own parents strived to be amicable, I cannot say the same for my step-mom and her ex.As a result, I have step siblings with a lot of issues!I am sure some of these situations do call for intervention or discussion, but if it is a problem for YOUR KIDS, then you owe it to the, to have a rational discussion with the other parent and problem solve.You can't tell someone to buy a bigger house, but a more reasonable solution can surely be found.
And although this post is old, "Cori" if you want to make your husbands children secondary when they come to visit their dad.I get that it is Your children's primary home, but your husband is still his other children's primary dad!If they feel like they are being shuffled into a corner in favor of the new children, how will that affect their relationship with their dad. If they are older, why not just ask them if they would mind sharing a room when they stayed with you, rather than fret about the rights of YOUR children over the internet.
Erica - 3-Jul-12 @ 4:06 AM
My step daughter is currently living in a rented house with her biological mum & step Dad plus her 2 brothers. She is currently unhappy because shes sharing with her 19 yr old brother, she is a 14 yr old girl whos not long ago started her periods. She stays with myself & her biological Dad every other weekend & is increasingly becoming more unhappy about the sharing every time she visits us. Please can anyone give me some advice of how I can deal with the situation? I'm sure a 14 yr old girl shouldnt be sharing with a 19 yr old brother. Many thanx for any advice :-)
Newie - 26-Jun-12 @ 7:28 PM
@Chrissy, I don't know what the law is but I don't think that your son should be sharing a room with his 15 year old girlfriend. If they are sharing a room together then that suggests that they may be having sex which would be classed as statuatory rape, as she is a child.
Danny - 26-Jun-12 @ 10:04 AM
Where does the law stand on my 18 year old son sharing a room with his 15 year old girlfriend?
chrissy - 25-Jun-12 @ 6:11 PM
'Is it legal for a father to share a bed with his 4 year old daughter?' Yes it is. The world will have become a crazy place when it becomes illegal to share a bed with a four year old! My son is 8yrs old and still spends the odd night in with me (as does my 5yr old daughter) and to think of it as anything other than having a hug from your Mum (or Dad) seems a real shame. I understand that bad things do happen but it's a small minority and I love to have a snuggle in bed with my kids as I'm sure do most parents.
Mummymoo - 8-Jun-12 @ 5:23 PM
My ex gets my 2 daughters every other weekend. He lives with his new girlfriend in a single loft with NO bedrooms. My daughters r 3 and 8yrs old. The mediator agreed they cannot spend the night there unless there is another room so the kids WON'T see him sleeping in bed with her. Is there a law or something that I can tell him that he has 2 get a bigger place 4 my kids? They have the money 2 do it. So I know it's not financial reasons.
GorgeousTina - 31-May-12 @ 6:46 PM
Hello everyone.I have been with my husband now for a total of 9 years.Before we got together I was aware he had been married before with 2 children, 1 boy who is now 12 and a girl who is 10.IAt the time we started our relationship the children were quite young but we're staying with us every other weekend, so they know me well by now. However 2 years ago I gave birth to a son that I thought that I would never have and we were ecstatic to say the least.Up until this point my husbands children had quite roomy bedrooms each, but we decided that since they only stay one night a week that it would be fair to move my son of 2 into one of the bigger rooms asobviously it is "his" home and he has a lot of things.My husbands older son did move into the smaller room ,which has a small double bed and a chest of drawers (which are empty), but basically they never need to take they're things out of their weekend bags because they take down so very little hence the smaller room.BUT.... I am since expecting another little one to our delight and although it feels like a millon years away that he or she will be here, I am already in a dilemma over the sleeping arrangments.I'm going to be honest and say that I want my other little one to have their own room whether if its another boy.I feel that my husbands children are older now, don't need a whole lot of space and have had they're own rooms now for long enough.I don't want to offend anyone or hurt anyone's feelings but it is my childrens home and feel that they have first priority.Am I been unreasonable???
CORI - 24-Oct-11 @ 9:41 AM
I am really unhappy with my childrens sleeping arrangements when they go to visit their father every other weekend. His new partner has 2 children of her own, a girl aged 14 and a son aged 12. When my children stay they either have to share beds and bedroom with her children or end up sleeping on the sofa! When they come back to me they are tired and irritable. My children are 4,7 and 10. Is there anything I can do. As part of the divorve settlement my husband is getting our rental property to live in where he could give the children rooms of their own. I suspect however that he will sell it, pocket the profit and continue to live in the cramped 3 bed terraced house with his girlfriend. Its so frustrating, the children don't want to stay with him and I hate sending them. Is there anything I can do?
Fee - 14-Sep-11 @ 11:06 AM
Is it legal for a father to share a bed with his 4 year old daughter?
donna - 15-Jul-11 @ 3:27 PM
When my ten year old son visits his father in the holidays he sleeps with his dad in the main bedroom, his step mother sleeps with her daughter in the daughters bedroom and my sons half brother (1 year old) sleeps on his own in his own bedroom. The little boys bedroom used to be my sons bedroom until the youngest boy was born. I am not entirely happy with my son sleeping with his dad for 1,2 or 3 weeks at a time, this does not seem the right way to go about normal family life and as my son has special needs he cannot understand why he has to sleep with daddy when his little half brother has a room (which used to be his) all to himself. Am I being picky or does anyone else think this is strange?