My Partner has a contact order to his son. It was agreed that my partner and ex would arrange between themselves extra contact time and if they need to change weekends around etc rather then having a strict schedule set out in the contact order but generally he has him every other weekend and she collects him at 4pm on a sunday.
Ex lives hour and half away from us.
My partner on a few occasions since court has asked her for an extra night here and there or just an extra few hours and every time she says no.
Today he asked that if on school holidays he could have him until 6pm rather 4pm as he doesnt have school the next day.
Her reply was thst shes asked son (hes 4) and he said he doesnt want to stay for an extra few hours but if son calls her and asks her then on the odd occasion she may agree to him staying 1 extra hour during holiday time only. She will not agree to 6pm as they wont be home until 7.30pm.
My partner is so sick and tired of her refusing any extra time. and knows that he will never be able to get her to agree to anything.
She also tried saying in court right at the begining that son doesnt want to see his dad, which didnt wash with the judge at all.
He has told her that son being only 4 wouldnt even realise that hes staying for an extra few hours as he cant tell the time and also son always says what she wants to hear i.e today he said he''d like to stay for another night but mummy wont let him, my partner called her and when she spoke to son and asked him if he said he''d like to stay he said he didnt (so sad)
My partner also thinks that getting home at 7.30 when he hasnt got to be up for school the next day is not too late which i agree with (i have a 5 year old)
Ex is adament that this is not in sons best interest so my question is, how does my partner go about getting this put in an exsisting order?
I know some of you may think that its petty that he will go to court for a few hours more but due to the distance he rarely gets the oppurtunity to spend more time with his son so a few hours extra over school holidays would be nice.
He''d also like to have him for a few extra nights here and there but how can he ask for this in court if she will never agree it and theres no schedule in place in the contact order?
It doesn''t strike me as silly at all for a father to want to spend extra time with his child.
If the final order is less than 12 months old he would use the C2 court form, if over 12 months old the C100.
The order he would be seeking would be a variation to the existing contact order.
He would argue that it was the clear expectation of the court that some additional contact be granted but sadly agreement between the parents can not be reached and therefore both parties would benefit from a more defined contact order where they both knew where they stood. He would further argue the benefits to the child of the proposed changes he would like to make.
As a parallel stratergy I''d suggest your ptr writes to the ex putting forward proposals and basically saying that he wants to avoid conflict for the future and therefore is returning to court in order that both she and him are able to get a neutral third party to resolve things. Basically, he would be trying as far as possible to reduce the hostile backlash by presenting the court application as his way of avoiding future stress and giving their child a settled pattern in the future.
My partner has written a few texts to her but will write her an email explaining what he wants and suggests and pointing out that it is in the contact order that any extra time is to be arranged between parties and that the order is not stating maximum contact etc.
Just a bit stuck on what he will be proposing other than later collect times during holidays. He just wants to be able to from time to time and when suitable to collect son earlier drop back later or have for extra nights stays etc As he doesnt know when this would be then how can he put a proposal together as surely hes just asking for her to be flexible and allow extra time which she has shown she is not prepared to do that.
Would it just be a matter of the court making it clear to her that they expect her to make son available for extra contact time.
Also not sure whether to bring up the matter of her discussing everything to do with contact with son. He''s too young to make decisions and its clearly affecting how he feels.
Also, sorry to bang on but telephone contact between my partner and son has also become difficult.
She always speaks to son when he''s with us but when partner calls son he answers and says ''i dont want to talk to you'' and puts the phone down. Thats if she lets him answer at all.
My partner has tried to talk to x about this as he thinks its not a good example to son if he thinks its ok to be rude and put the phone down on people, her reply is ''your lucky he spoke to you at all'' ''dont know why he doesnt want to talk to you as he talks to everyone else'' etc.
Its all very frustrating as it feels again that son is trying to please his mum as its clear that he loves his daddy very much when he''s here with us.
I agree that the poor child''s mother is behaving inappropriately.
At an older age, allowing a child discretion over contact (above a specified minimum) might be considered empowering to the child, allowing them to choose the way they spend their time.
At 4 years old it''s putting a child in the middle and psychologically damaging to a child. Making a child of such an age ask to spend extra time with a parent is not at all appropriate. He is trying to please everyone all the time. When he''s with his dad he will be saying that he wants more time, but by putting him on the phone to ask for it he wants to please mum.
He can''t do it, and will get upset. I appreciate in the circumstances that the mother has made your partner act like this (by saying he can stay if he asks for it) but your partner is inadvertently confusing and harming the poor child. I side with your partner, he''s been told to act in a certain way by a controlling mum, but he needs to look at what his ex tells him and run it through his bulls**t detector before acting on it. Even if he wants more contact (and the mum has told him to make the child ask) he needs to put the child''s best interests first and not put him in the middle.
I would think that in the circumstances either mediation or court might be the only way to do this. The controlling mum isn''t going to agree to anything without a third party stepping in.
I could imagine a clause in an order which says ''contact to be varied by agreement. Agreement not to be unreasonably withheld'' but then again you allow a subjective term in like unreasonably, and you give controlling mum the power back.
I''ve read a few similar stories, and unfortunately the only answer I''ve heard so far is to get a rigid contact order in place and stick to it like glue, because if you put any flexibility in it then it''ll be exploited.
I would certainly raise the indirect contact issue whatever you do. I have never known a 4 year old behave rudely when given a phone to talk on! Sounds like either he is uncomfortable talking to daddy in the company of mum or that he is being coached to put the phone down. Neither one of those is acceptable; a child ought to be able to express themselves at a level appropriate for their age without fear.