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Help? (Child residency)

  • Ash777
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06 Aug 12 #347693 by Ash777
Topic started by Ash777
I have residence of my 10 year old daughter, a court order clearly states that she is to be with her mother for the first three weeks of the summer holidays + with me for the second three weeks. My ex didn''t pick her up until nearly a week after she was supposed to, and is now saying that she is not returning her til three weeks from the date she picked her up. (If my daughter actually wanted to stay, I wouldn''t question it, but she is desperate to come home.)
Please could someone tell me what I can do to stick to the order as I have planned my three weeks around the order?
(Please contact me as soon as possible, as the supposed date is this Friday!)

  • Fiona
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06 Aug 12 #347744 by Fiona
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If you had tickets for a booked holiday abroad or your daughter was distressed you could apply to court for an emergency hearing. Because you say you wouldn''t question it if your daughter wanted to stay it doesn''t sound that urgent, and the courts are likely to be very busy at the moment.

Instead you could try and negotiate (this is a time when a solicitor''s letter might do the trick) or you might need to bite your lips very hard and sort something out in the longer term. For example, you could apply for a variation to the order to ensure you have your daughter at the start of the holidays or if the mother is in the habit of not complying with the order you could start contempt proceedings.

  • survive
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06 Aug 12 #347753 by survive
Reply from survive
I can really empathise with you on this, as I have a had a similar thing recently, albeit only over when the changeover day starts and finishes.

If this is defined in a contact order, then your ex is in breach. Techinically you can apply to the court for an emergency hearing, this will cost you £90.00 ( I beleive), or you could just try and say to your ex, that as the holiday started a week late, your time will then follow on 3 weeks from there. It obviously depends on how this fits in, if you work too and if you have a holiday booked. I really don''t understand how parents feel that once things have been agreed, they can just change them when they feel like it.

Good luck


  • ClimbMountains
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11 Aug 12 #348824 by ClimbMountains
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Its a slightly difficult one but they are obviously in the wrong. It all depends on what you want to do. Basically they will be in breach if they don''t return your daughter by the defined date.

The issue with a residence order is that YOU have to make the child available for contact as defined in the order. If you don''t the other parent can seek enforcement and you would be in breach. However, you cannot insist that they actually see the child when the order allows them contact. So if your ex basically didn''t collect your daughter at all for contact your daughter may (or may not) be upset but there is nothing you can do to force them to have contact. Thus you cannot complain to court that they were late picking up your daughter. However, they still have to comply with the return date.

If you think of it another way. Say the order said that they only had 1 week of holiday contact in the summer from 1 August each year. If you ex said "I don''t want that week" then its tough. They cannot simply not collect your daughter that week and turn up on another week an say "I want my week of holiday contact". So in your situation they cannot just say that because they gave up the start of the holiday contact they want to add it onto the other end.

That said, a court would be unsympathetic to you demanding your daughter''s return unless there was a real reason (you had something booked or arranged).

The situation remains that the order says your daughter has to be returned on a defined date.

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