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Childcare arrangements-does a 10 yo have a say?

  • applep1e
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20 Nov 18 #504949 by applep1e
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Hi there,

Please could I get some advice.

My ex husband had moved out 8 months ago and I currently live in the marital home with my daughter, age 13 (14 in 2 months), and son, age 10.

My ex and I have agreed on a fairly flexible arrangement for the kids to stay with their dad 1 day during the week and 1 day at the weekend.

My daughter has issues with her dad still, and at the moment is declining to stay at all, but would agree to school runs and taking her to sporting events. I encourage but not forcing her to stay with dad.

My son does follow this arrangement, however increasingly unhappy to do so. He feels forced to do so and is becoming resentful of his sister. He feels his wishes is not heard and his feelings unimportant. He's not specifically said why, just says more comfortable being at home. I also think he feels resentful that he has not been given a choice.

What do I do? Does a 10 year old have a right to have a say about childcare arrangements?

Many thanks

  • .Sylvia
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20 Nov 18 #504951 by .Sylvia
Reply from .Sylvia
Welcome to Wikivorce.

It's not "childcare" - he is their father, not a childminder.

Whilst your children's thoughts should be taken into consideration, they shouldn't have the burden of making such important - and adult - decisions placed on them. You and their father are the parents and should be the ones making such decisions.

What are the issues your daughter is having with her father? Did they begin before you separated? What is your relationship with him like (As a co-parent)?

If your 10yo said they didn't want to go to school, or wash their hair, or eat their supper, what would you say? This is what the President of the Family Division, Lord Justice Munby, said recently about children who are reluctant to have contact with a non-resident parent, in Re H-B (Contact) [2015] EWCA Civ 389, a case which had run for six years,

[75] …There are many things which they ought to do that children may not want to do or even refuse to do: going to the dentist, going to visit some “boring” elderly relative, going to school, doing homework or sitting an examination, the list is endless. The parent’s job, exercising all their parental skills, techniques and stratagems – which may include use of both the carrot and the stick and, in the case of the older child, reason and argument – is to get the child to do what it does not want to do. That the child’s refusal cannot as such be a justification for parental failure is clear: after all, children whose education or health is prejudiced by parental shortcomings may be taken away from their parents and put into public care.

[76] … what one can reasonably demand – not merely as a matter of law but also and much more fundamentally as a matter of natural parental obligation – is that the parent, by argument, persuasion, cajolement, blandishments, inducements, sanctions (for example, “grounding” or the confiscation of mobile phones, computers or other electronic equipment) or threats falling short of brute force, or by a combination of them, does their level best to ensure compliance. That is what one would expect of a parent whose rebellious teenage child is foolishly refusing to do GCSEs or A-Levels or “dropping out” into a life of drug-fuelled crime. Why should we expect any less of a parent whose rebellious teenage child is refusing to see her father?

Have you considered you, your ex and your children attending family counselling together to try to get to the bottom of the issues troubling your daughter, and work together to resolve those issues, with a view to both children having regular time with Dad.

  • applep1e
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20 Nov 18 #504952 by applep1e
Reply from applep1e
Thank you very much for your advice, much appreciated.

  • Proud77
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21 Nov 18 #504985 by Proud77
Reply from Proud77
I have similar issues.

As my money is drained on solicitors, the ex who claims to be skint and reliant on benefits has money to burn on gifts.

So time with me is usually staying home as there's no money to go out. So I'm alienated and boring.

From what I'm aware, until 15 children don't get a say in refusal, and the resident parent should be encouraging contact. There's some wise words from a judge on alienation www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2018/B64.html

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