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What the Court expects from parents

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10 Jun 09 #123144 by Butnotnow
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Thanks Budapest,

Interesting to read and very useful. My Ex's Sol actually advised me that I should apply for a CO if I was not happy with Ex's offer and this was in response to a counter proposal sent a few days beforehand. Clearly Ex is not willing to budge one bit from what she is offering and her Sol clearly pointed this out.

I am not to sure if no agreement is made that the Judge would go for an intrim order either as I am still having weekly contact as has been happening for the last year and I do not expect my Ex to stop this in revenge for taking her to Court as it was her choice not mine.

I have a short break booked in Sept in Center parcs and would love to be able to take Daughter with me(3 adults all known by daughter) but Ex said no! Thing is we (Ex,her Mother and I) went to CP last yr when Daughter was only 10mths old despite not living together for several weeks and I had Daughter with me for the three nights of the break in a cot in my room (we had different rooms) so I did all the night time stuff. I am concerned that unless some overnight contact is started soon then it would not be fair on Daughter to take her away for three nights and that is a concern to me. One plus point is CP is only 1hr from Mum's so if Daughter did get really upset I could simply pop back to her Mum's at any time and carry on the break without Daughter.

Any suggestions on how to approach this one?

Jim

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10 Jun 09 #123149 by Budapest
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My partner took this matter back to court for one reason; mother will not allow unsupervised access.

Is this the same for you?

Mother is completely fine as long as she is around.

I guess once you have a CO this eliminates the "permission" aspect for a trip to CP. How much contact do you have now? How old is your daughter?

I am not sure whether a progressive arrangement would reach overnight stays by September if Mother doesnt want it to.

Of course children this young do need the support of both parents to make contact work effectively well and I note that you would not allow your daughter to become unnecessarily distressed.

You sound like a caring father and I hope that you get the outcome you desire so that you can do the things that build a wonderful daughter/father relationship.

My advice to you would be one step at a time (and sometimes a step backwards!) always looking at the bigger picture.

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11 Jun 09 #123179 by Butnotnow
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Hi, not sure what happened as my post just got lost so here goes again.

Info:

Had unsupervised contact since Ex left last yr (Tues/Sat at my house). Daughter then 10 mths old. Always wanted overnight and Ex had various excuses. I spoke to our Health Visitor several times about this and she has never had a problem with Daughter staying over with me from the beginning, she even mentioned that Ex could express milk or daughter could have formula for the one night she was staying with me but it never happened. Ex used breast feeding as her excuse, then in November when that stopped she said simply that she did not want to!?! so I left it until after Xmas as they were all coming to mine and staying overnight xmas day (inc her Mother) and did not want to spoil that.

In Jan I asked again and she said no, I asked why and she said 'she was protecting her daughter from the type of person I am'. Well I did not even bother to try and move forward with that comment and a few days later I got a nasty letter from a Solicitor and we are now at this point six months on.

The only reason she said no to the holiday in September is because I have not asked her to come or for permission to book it, yet a few weeks ago I was asked if I was happy to let her take Daughter abroad later on this year. I said no not until we get things resolved, I did say I was not against it in principle but not yet. It seems she can do what she likes and its tough on me yet I cannot even take our Daughter to visit my Father as it would mean me having an overnight stay.

Totally unfair and not in our daughters best interests, just simply someone who likes to be in control of everything and does not like the fact that because she decided to leave there are consequences that she does not like and so far has managed to avoid. But not for much longer I hope. Jim

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11 Jun 09 #123198 by Budapest
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My partner's history here...

www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Forum/...ond-time-around.html

Oh dear, control, control, control....

Its the time delay that is annoying as I believe CAFCASS use the age of 3 as a guideline for a child being ready for overnight stays. On that basis, as you have never had overnight stays it is unlikely that you would get 2 or 3 consecutive overnight stays immediately. More likely they will give you 1 (if any) and then build slowly from there. To have progressed to 3 consecutive ights by September without your Ex's consent is unlikely, however my advice would be to present your case for as much as you can because you might then get more than you expected.

Are you still seeing your daughter on Tuesdays/Saturdays at your house? I have read on these posts about maintaining the status quo.

I will let you know what approach CAFCASS take next week.

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11 Jun 09 #123209 by Butnotnow
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You are correct about it being all about control but isn't that often the case regardless of being presented as 'doing what is right for my child ...'

Daughter has been coming to spend the day with me at my home (her original home) since the start, also until Xmas Ex had often stayed overnight here with me but this stopped after Xmas due to me trying to get overnight staying contact. Ex was more than happy to go on trips with me after we split, it is pretty clear to me that she is happy to use me for things as long as it does not mean giving up control of our daughter which is what she seems to be having problems with.

The status quo is likely to be a real hurdle to overcome and I shall no doubt come across this. There is no doubt that having it forced on me will not really make any difference in the Courts eyes (assumption here) and expect CAFCASS to mention about overnight staying contact and her age also. I have plenty of things I can say to counter this or at least try but if the normal pattern gets applied then I was simply point out that according to the children's act every case needs to be judged on its own individual merits and not just accept a one size fits all approach.

As for staged increases in overnight contact, I had already proposed this back in Jan and had suggested around six months to increase to two night stays in a week but this was ignored. I even suggested taking daughter back between 4.30-5pm rather than 7.30 which is what is proposed in August so she could settle in better but again this was ignored.

Good luck next week, Jim

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11 Jun 09 #123215 by FabDad
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Amanda,

Very useful - unfortunately in my case the mother is pretty much doing all the things this suggests she should be doing.

Not trying to paint myself whiter than white, but I honestly don't think I could be acccused of ignoring any/many of these.

Fab.Dad

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11 Jun 09 #123228 by Budapest
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The problem is that most reasonable Dads either themselves or through their lawyers will propose something in staged increases. Small, consistent steps to start with.

However if Mother ignores this and then it goes to Court because of child's young age all that can be done is for the Court to order what was proposed in the first place. This is good on one hand however had she seen sense in the first place you would be further along.

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