My ex and i divorced last year and have a 3 yeear old daughter who is the light of my life. Over the last month, without warning my ex has changed access from friday 6pm - sunday 6pm every other weekend to 12pm Sat - 6pm Sunday every other weekend without any consultation. She has completely withdrawn access this coming weekend with no justification.
I have consulted a solicitor but cannot afford to use them right through the process so I am doing the ealry work myself. I sent my ex a letter (emotionless to a point) stating the current position, the changes and the agreement i wanted in place. I said if this wasnt acceptable we should try mediation. I recieved her response today and wanted advice if possible on the points below please?
1. She states that as my letter came direct from me and not from a solicitor it requires no action on her part but "i am willing to entertain you this once".
2. She states that my daughter will be joining numerous clubs and does not want her to miss out because they fall on "my time"?
3. She is teaching my daughter that her surname is my ex''s Maiden Name and not her official surname (mine). She claims that it is common for children to have both a legal name and a ''known as'' name? This seems crazy as it will have a negative impact on my daughters identity.
4. She is planning to get married and has told me that her new husband will have the same parental responsibility over my daughter as I will. I dont believe this.
5. She now wants me to have my daughter every weekend from lunch time on a saturday through to 6pm on a sunday. This means i am unable to take my daughter away for camping weekends and also to spend time with my family etc which she loves.
6. She feels that both herself and her new partner should attend mediation with me. I believe it should be just my daughters parents. I dont believe my new partner should attend as this is an access issue between two parents.
Any advice on these points would be really appreciated as i just want to ensure i secure quality time with my daughter.
Thanks Fiona, really appreciate the quick response and your comments support my thoughts.
Just on the regular access for my daughter I have proposed that I have her every other weekend from 6pm fridaynto 6pm on Sunday and the on the Monday night in between the weekends so I have contact with her every week.
I would contact a mediator and get them to ring her and try to arrange an appointment.
Thats how I did it.
This has zilch to do with her partner or yours and I''d be very surprised if a mediator would allow them to attend.
Its important to attempt mediation in case you go to court.If you havent even attempted it your case may be adjourned for mediation
so this way you can avoid that.
If you can''t afford a solicitor you can go to court yourself.
Personally though having had two hearings and been exposed to the utter disrespect the court has for a father in this country I would urge you to try and avoid court.
For example the contact you are proposing could take you months to get through the courts.Try mediation and try to get your ex to agree to your proposal.If she does then try to get her to agree to turn any agreement reached into a legal Consent Order through the court.
This can be done without actually attending court as far as I know.