My partners contact order has been going ok so far really,couple of issues when his ex has distracted his daughter on phone calls, and we have now eliminated the handover issues as he has a male friend who goes with him.
However we have encountered an issue which I need help with!
He wrote to her solicitor three weeks ago asking if when we take his daughter on holiday in August we can return her on the morning after we get back, he outlined his reasons as follows:
We are on holiday 5 hours away from where we live, which is where we will drive back to.
We dont check out til 12 midday - (yes we could check out earlier but it means the kids miss the last morning of kids club)
We should get back fro 5, but then we will need to give her a break from driving, then its another 3 hours to get her home, so about 9pm.
She has been adamant for ages that their daughter has a 7.30pm bedtime, so he offered to leave at 9am the following morning after getting her to bed on time, and thought this would be acceptable.
Today he got a letter saying no to this request, but then the letter goes on to say she has concerns about daughter being travel sick, and that the journeys of 3 hours on alternate weekends is too much for her. She is 7 btw.
She hasnt shown any signs of being travel sick, and she loves her in car dvd player, so he is baffeld by that, but also confused as to what to do over the holiday... On the one hand she says she is travel sick, but then also says she wants him to put her in a car for what could be 9 hours in one day?
He has been told about Specific Issue orders but as the contact order is new this year and its been going not bad he doesnt really want to be seen to be aggressive towards her, but is genuinely worried about how she will cope with that kind of journey. We do have the option of leaving first thing in the morning, but his daughter doesnt want that as its only a five day holiday
Mum isnt budging - this letter has come from her solicitor.
I have suffered from travel sickness all my life. A lot really does depend on the driver and the car. It''s just possible she''s telling the truth and that her journeys are very jerky!
How about responding politely with an either/or? We are prepared to bring X back at 9 p.m. on whatever day but in view of your previous concerns about a settled bed time and the concerns you now express about travelling time are happy to return her at whatever time the following morning. Please let us know which option you prefer.
Hi Pixy, thanks - he kind of did this when he wrote to her solicitor but its just a flat no in response - and she accused him of harassing her at handover a while back so he doesnt contact her directly at the request of her solicitor.
Oh, I see what she''s doing - she''s building a case to obstruct the alternate weekends.
Believe me you''d know if she were travel sick on those 3 hour journeys at the weekend - at that age I couldn''t do more than 20 minutes.
If she''s got a game plan, maybe best to remain squeaky clean and get her back late on the right day? Mind you I think adding a paper trail by a letter to the solicitor saying that you think this is not in the child''s best interests might also be worthwhile.
Sorry should have said, she is happy according to the letter for us to stop as many times as needed on the motorway as long as she is home by eleven pm.
This is why we are kind of struggling as on the same letter it says she is travel sick
In addition to this he called at his usual time today for his phone contact - as per the contact order - and all three of the mobile numbers and the home number he has for her are all out of service so he has not been able to have his call with his daughter today and is now wondering why!
Looking at this objectively - her mother says its OK to return the daughter as late as 11pm. She will probably sleep in the car, so park the 7.30 bedtime. So for whose benefit is the request to return the following day? I''m not taking sides - just seems like there isn''t a problem. Have I missed something?