My wife left me last april with our 4 month old daughter, basically debts were getting higher and she didn''t want to hang around. That side of things is more or less sorted now with me loosing my house and every other thing i have ever owned but hey its only money!
At first i was working 6.5 days a week to pay the bills so contact with our daughter was very limited due to the odd time i had off coincided with my ex "having plans". I have been allowed to pick our daughter up at 1000hrs from my ex''s parents and have her back for 1930hrs(often verbally abused by ex''s parents). I now have 2 or 3 days off each week due to working shifts and ask to see our daughter each week on my days off but the only time my ex aggrees is if i am off on a friday and times are now 1000hrs to 1800hrs. I only have 2 fridays off out of 5 due to the shift pattern i work so contact is still limited. The only contact with my ex is via txt messages, i have asked several times if i can have our daughter overnight but the reply i get back is,"not ready for that" I am now in a finacial position to try mediation before i go for a contact order. My questios is am i dreaming of having our daughter over night or is 16 hours every 5 weeks going to be deemed suitable by the courts?
There has been no history of aggression or previous court orders etc.
skint1, always makes me smile, sarcastically of course when I see the comment, ''we are not ready''
Means ''I still have control and dont expect anything anytime soon''.
You should not have to put up with verbal abuse from your in laws.
You could try saying to them, that you have never been disrespectfull to them so you dont expect it from them.
Always remember this phrase you will always hear from wiki''s
Anyone can watch over a kid for a few hours, it takes a parent to put them to bed and wake them up.
Start putting all these in a book for when you may have to apply for your contact order.
Looks like you are going to have to be very specific.
Also you need to think about where you want to pick your daughter up from over the next 12 years or so, needs writing up in an order too. Dont be messed about.
Finally, no, your not dreaming, its your d''s right to have overnights with you.
One last thing, if you do apply, always put something extra in you probably cant do, if the case is in your favour, the judge always likes to have something to sacrifice, to show unbias.
Skint, you are most definitely not dreaming. As Bobbin said, its your daughters right to have substantial regular contact with you, and that includes overnight and extended time during school holidays (the usual is half of all holidays).
You said you''re going to mediation, and once thats done, if contact doesn''t increase substantially, then don''t waste any time going to court. It''s very easy to self-represent for contact, at a cost of £200,, which is a fraction of the cost through a solicitor.
Skint this is def what I would do.Am currently going through the mediation/court process myself.
First thing tomorrow ring a mediator and arrange an appointment.They usually will write to your ex or phone her asking if she wishes to attend.She will probably say no.
Leave it a few days then I would then text your ex and say you will be making another
appointment which if she declines to attend you will then begin court proceedings for contact.
If she agrees to attend,and you reach a contact agreement,you will both sign a Memoriam of Understanding.The mediator can then send this to the court and ask for it to be turned into a Consent Order.This is the same as a contact order and means legally she must not break it.
If she refuses to attend mediation,you then need to fill in a C100 form and hand it in to the courts.You will get a hearing 5/8 weeks later.
During the meantime it is likely she will cancel all contact so you need to be prepared for that.
If you go to your first hearing without having attempted mediation,the case will be adjourned for mediation and you will have another delay to get to a second hearing.That is why its so important for you to arrive at court showing you made two efforts to arrange appointments which your ex turned down.
You won''t get all the contact you ask for at first attempt so will need to go back maybe 2/3 times who knows.
However unless you choose to use a solicitor or a McKensie friend it should only cost around £250 which is the fee for the C100.
We are taking about a baby here under two, dad has had little contact due to work so far.
Skint you have to be realistic, court are not going to order overnight stays probably for along while yet, court can actually make a bad situation worse, it takes a far while and even then be prepared for supervised contact to start with.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, remember court focus of the needs of the baby, what mam and dad want is secondary to this.
Sorry Skint, I didn''t note how young your baby is. Dukey is right in that overnights could be a little way off. That said, because of her age, she should be having contact much more regularly to establish bonds, and certainly every 5 weeks is nowhere near regular enough. She needs to be with you, I would say, at least 2-3 times a week for a few hours at a time.
Your main reasoning point should be, at this stage, that its in her best interests to have regular contact to build bonds and establish relationships with you and any extended family on your side. Your ex would be hard pressed to argue against this.