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shall i apply to vary my court order?

  • estranged_father
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11 May 12 #330010 by estranged_father
Topic started by estranged_father
brief history:

4 court orders made between 2008-2010.

contact since 2010:

- alternate weekends (fri-sun)
- midweek overnight (wed-thurs)
- 3 weeks hols (per annum)

our son is now at the end of his first year of school (existing order been in place since 2010 when he was in nursery).

ex wont allow any more time (not 1 minute more than what is defined in the order).

i am seeking additional contact - i am thinking additional holidays and extending my weekends from fri-sun to fri-mon.

i wrote to my ex a month ago and received a response today saying any request must go trhough her solicitor but as resident parent she does not agree with any additional contact and she has suddenly raised concerns (no specifics though) having never raised any since the order was made 18 months ago.

having been to court so many times i know where this is going, i guess i am concerned given her approach before that she will try and remove my wednesday overnight which has been in place for 18 months on a weekly basis.

please can i have some advice on how to approach this, she refuses to speak to me and refuses mediation - i dont want to loose the contact i have, i just want to progress things now hes settled into school.

also, the previous proceedings were in the county court and i am concerned that it will be put in the magistrates (the first 3 orders were made in the magistrates and they were useless), any advice on how i can ensure it stays in thecounty.

any advice appreciated.

thanks,

EF

  • Fiona
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12 May 12 #330144 by Fiona
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There is always a risk that the outcome of an application to increase contact will be less contact. Like parents judges have different attitudes and some think it is best for children not to disrupt the school week with overnight contact.

On the other hand, sharing the quality time at weekends and during the holidays up to 50:50 isn''t usually a problem.

  • MrsMathsisfun
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12 May 12 #330163 by MrsMathsisfun
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If you concerned that your ex would try and stop midweek contact, why not suggest that you change contact from a wednesday night to a thursday night and ask that contact runs from thursday to monday alternate weekends to minimise disruption.

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13 May 12 #330220 by estranged_father
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i think that she is more likely to say that any midweek contact is disruptive and request just alternative weekends, if i get an old school judge or an ignirant magistrate who sucks up everything the mother says then that could happen - even though its been in place for 2 years nearly...all i want is to progress things slightly, nothing radical?

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13 May 12 #330236 by MrsMathsisfun
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Estranged.

Dont forget its not her you are trying to demonstrate that your child focussed too but the judge.

By acknowledging that mid week contact might be distributive and offering an alternate solution which allows your child good quality time with you (and more contact as you want) the judge (even if old school judge) is more likely to see that you have the childs interests at heart.

So if you decide to ask for a variation, think about how you could get increased contact based on her alternate weekend contact and stop her ''''but its disruptive'''' argument in its tracks.

For example alternate weekends starting on Thursday evening collecting from school - returning to school Tuesday morning

or

offering to have children every friday evening collecting from school and returning to her saturday morning one week then following week returning to school monday morning.

Personally I think contact needs to be about quality not frequency.

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