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1 Hour in contact centre?

  • ffc1991
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25 Jun 12 #339026 by ffc1991
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So I just spoke today to the contact centre where my EX has proposed contact via her solicitors. They''ve told me that it''s there policy to only offer 1 hour sessions on alternate weekends. How is this fair? i''m having to travel 400 miles in 1 day for 1 hour visit with my daughter?

I have a court date on the 14th of Aug and i hope things change after that but after my latest letter from my EX''s sol it appears she is going to fight tooth and nail to stop me at all costs. As of date she hasn''t made any accusations about child abuse, alcohol, drugs etc just that she don''t think i''m capable of looking after her etc.

I presume a CAFCASS report will be asked for. Does this mean for potentionally the next 4 months I will only be allowed to see my Daughter for 1 hour every 2 weeks? Utter crap if you ask me. Ofcourse i''m willing to travel all that way to see my daughter but it''s along way and very expensive for me to do this.

My partner has also arranged a mediation meeting for 2 days before my 1st contact session with my daughter. Fully well knowing i will then have to travel 800 miles in 3 days or pay out more money in hotel fees etc.

  • BoysMum
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26 Jun 12 #339227 by BoysMum
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What a dreadful situation :(

Is there a waiting list at the contact centre or can you get the first session soon?

I think that if Mum makes noises at the Directions Hearing that she agrees to contact, but only in a contact centre, you may well be stuck there for a few months.

Why doesn''t Mum thinkyou are capeable of looking after your child? Has there been a break in contact?

If you can start at the center soon, I would imagine this would go in your favor when you get to court. I have no legal experience, but if you have endured sessions at the centre before the hearing, could you/your solicitor explain the time and finances involved and maybe get it moved away from the centre?

  • ffc1991
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26 Jun 12 #339230 by ffc1991
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Thanks for your reply BoysMum

I have a date for my 1st session with my Daughter on the 14th of July already in place. So ideally i will of had 2 sessions with my daughter before the 1st hearing. It ofcourse will only be 2 hours but better than nothing :).

I was present for the first 5 months of my daughters life every day not 1 day break. When we split she moved away 200 miles where admittingly she would of had far more support. Down here it was just me and ofcourse after i ended the relationship i fully understood her decisions for moving to where her family live. It was ofcourse pre-agreed the contact i would have but that hasn''t been stuck to. This Friday it would have been 2 months since i last saw my Daughter. Not through choice as i have still consistantly emailed my EX partner stating dates i''m still avaialable to see my daughter and left the alternate weekends completely free incase she changed her mind which she didn''t.

The accusation from my EX''s Sol is that i lack basic parenting skills. This is a complete and utter joke of a statement but ofocourse sheel be acting on my EX partners words.

I could aim to move it away from the centre which is ofcourse my plan. But due to my daughters very young age i''m lead to believe the courts don''t like to split young babies from the mothers for a lenghtly amount of time. So arguing the point that moving away from the contact centre would save me money/time wouldn''t really be valid.

Iv''e spoke to a couple of people and been told going on a parenting course would look good in my favour if i managed this b4 Court. Seems incredibly patronising to me but if that''s the case i''ll be willing to do this ofcourse.

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26 Jun 12 #339232 by BoysMum
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Despite everything you are going through, you haven''t shown an ounce of spite towards your ex. That will speak volumes in court.

I have read about the parenting courses and the courts like them. I read another post sometime ago and the poster said that he in fact found it very interesting,and took at lot of info away from the course, and of course you will score brownie points in court.

You are doing everything right and showing that you are putting your child above everything else. You are showing a huge commitment travelling so far to accommodate contact.

I am sure you will be looked favorably upon on by the judge ;)

Maybe you could push for a couple of hours unsupervised contact at the Directions hearing. Thankfully, its the right time of year, and a trip to the park isn''t going to be out of the question.

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26 Jun 12 #339234 by ffc1991
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Thanks BoysMum

I will never every criticise my EX partner as a mother as she really is an amazing Mum. Bar how she''s treating me i hope over time our realtionship as our daughters parents will mend and can work together but ofcourse atm it seems a long way away.

Yh iv''e read and heard alot about them recently and will most definately attend 1 if it helps my case then i''m totally all for it.

Yh i hope after attending the contact centre the EX''s concerns could be downplayed a little and i could prove they don''t really have much basis to say i lack these skills etc. I then hope that contact could move away from the centre for a couple of hours like you say. I won''t hold my breath but worth asking.

Unfortunately i''m not entitled to legal aid even though i feel i really should be and have appealed it looks like I wont be receiving help anytime soon. So i will be self representing. But only just recently turning 21 i''m ofcourse a little apprehensive and tad scared. But by reading a lot of stories on here about people self-rep i feel i''ll be able to do it. Bought quite a few law books and reccomended books to try make the process a little easier.

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26 Jun 12 #339289 by TBagpuss
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have you looked to see whether there are any other contact centres in the area? www.naccc.org.uk/

You may find that there is another centre close to where your ex is living which can offer slightly longer or more frequent sessions, and you will obviously be in a stronger position if you are able to say to the court "I have made enquiries and while X centre can oby offer 1 hour per fortnight, Y centre is only 5 miles further away and can offer 2 hours evey weekend - they have confirmed they have places available starting next week" ratehr than simply expressing dissatisfaction with your ex''s proposals (I don''t blame you for that, just that constructive critisism is often more effective)

Is there anyone (your mum or hers) who could be involved in a couple of initial contact sessions to reassure her that you are OK to look after your child on your own, as an alternative to using a contact centre?

Seaprating your daughter from hr mum depends a lot on your daughter - is she breastfeeding? That''s the most obvious reason not to have long periods away from mum - but there is no lower limit on the appropriate age for over night contact, it does depend very much on the speciifc child, and the parent''s abilities.

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27 Jun 12 #339444 by ffc1991
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Thanks TBagPuss

As of yet i haven''t looked at other local contact centres but thanks for that adevice will most definately look into that and bring that up.

Unfortunately none of my family live close to my EX partner and I don''t get along with any of her family. She left home when she was 16 and i was 17 to come live with me and her parents practically disowned her. Until my Daughter was born they hadn''t spoken in several years. They have a serious dislike for me and this is 1 of the factors of why my EX partner is being very difficult with me i believe. Maybe due to outside influences.

My daughter doesen''t feed from the breast no, has been bottle fed from a young age and now on Formula. I know for a fact my Daughter stays at her grandparents every now and then without my EX partner being there. So saying that she wouldn''t want to be away from the Mum will be a feeble excuse. But obviously i have no way of proving this so i presume it''s pretty pointless bringing it up?

Thanks

Reece

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