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specific issue order - changing contact

(21 Posts)
PennyLou Sun 07-Apr-13 17:26:48

I don't know if anyone has any advice here. I am currently living in the town where I lived with my husband and have heard recently, through the court, that i am able to return to my home, 3 hours away. It has been a long emotional process and at one point, I did not think I would be able to move at all.

Within the order contact has been set out. My ex-husband works shifts (6 days on and 3 days off) and even though I am moving 3-4 hours away I have to drive the whole distance to drop our son off and meet half way to collect him. I am not happy with this arrangement. My son is only 2 years 6 months and is having to endure longer and longer away from me despite me believing it is not developmentally right for him. Furthermore, such an arrangement means that the expense of travel prevents me from finding a home and makes employment difficult too as there are no set days for contact. In addition, pre-school is likely to be affected and I don't see how the arrangement can be sustained.

I have yet to move but will be doing so over the next 6 weeks. Does anyone know how you go about changing such an order? Does it involve more drawn out court appearances? It has cost so much money and I am not sure I can put myself through it anymore. I am also concerned that it is not the best setup for my son. I do want him to have a ongoing relationship with his Father, who is loving, but it seems like I am having to pay dearly for moving away.

Any advice folks??

Rockchick1984 Sun 07-Apr-13 17:33:28

I'm no expert but I would expect you will have to pay for the travel costs as you are choosing to move away. If the roles were reversed you wouldn't be happy to pay for your ex to travel if he had chosen to move away!

Xenia Sun 07-Apr-13 19:46:36

Why are you moving away? Surely the answer is to live right near the father so both of you can have proper time with the boy.

titchy Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:17

What did you think was going to happen?!

babybarrister Colombia Sun 07-Apr-13 20:27:04

You need to be careful as there is a danger your ex will apply to prevent you moving away. You need to present good alternative proposals

titchy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:26:06

I read it as if he had objected, take it to court and judge had decided the move was ok but that contact arrangements would have to change so OP takes dc there.

PennyLou Sun 07-Apr-13 23:09:54

Yes I have received permission to move as I unsupported here. Usually parents meet half way or share travel, I am not expecting my ex to do most of the driving. I just wondered where I stood if it was unsustainable eg with my future work commitments or if it was too much travel for my son.

Titchy - you ask what I thought would happen - not sure. I wanted things to be realistic and workable with my son having some stability.

3xcookedchips Sun 07-Apr-13 23:52:08

Let me see if i understand this correctly ' is having to endure longer and longer away from me despite me believing it is not developmentally right for him'.

You would rather your son see less of his father than what he does now?

How is your sons development being challenged?

I only ask because the courts rarely ignore the welfare of the child, right?

PennyLou Mon 08-Apr-13 06:06:57

It is not in a young child's best interests to experience lengthy separations from their primary carer - there is a wealth of clinical evidence to back this up.

RedHelenB Mon 08-Apr-13 07:42:25

Sorry, but it your decision to move away that is causing a change to the current contact arrangements & obviously the distance means that your child will have to spend longer away from you so that he gets time with his dad. I would say that there is little chance of changing anything as it has only just been court ordered & you have n't even moved yet!

Xenia Mon 08-Apr-13 08:29:50

Why can't you just move back near the child. What is this support you need? If you worked full time you could buy in good childcare surely?

PennyLou Mon 08-Apr-13 08:59:24

I am not explaining myself well - the contact has just been put in place and is being maintained when I move. I am dedicated to trying it but it makes employment difficult as the contact is not on set days. I am a professional person and want/need to work but will not be working full time;that would be impossible.
Yes I do wish to move to be nearer my family for emotional support. This is normal and usual when parents part. I have no support here.

Dadthelion Mon 08-Apr-13 10:28:43

What do you want to happen?

NumTumDeDum Mon 08-Apr-13 10:42:55

Op, you will need to try the contact arrangements for a reasonable amount of time. Are you actively seeking employment or is this something you will do when your chold is school age or at least getting his 15 hours nursery? Contact arrangements do need to be organic and are never set in stone but you won't be able to change an order which has only just been made unless there has been a significant change in circumstances. Your move was contemplated when the order was made and so cannot be considered to be a change of circumstance. I'm not clear whether the court was aware you were job hunting, but since you don't have a job these arrangements will work. If you get to a point where you are actively looking for work and the order presents a problem then you apply to vary the contact order (not for a specific issue order). Did the court consider your ability to work as well?

lostdad Mon 08-Apr-13 11:15:23

Pennylou It is not in a young child's best interests to experience lengthy separations from their primary carer - there is a wealth of clinical evidence to back this up.

Could you post up details of some of this evidence (i.e. references) so I can look these up? Something I am interested in.

3xcookedchips Mon 08-Apr-13 11:34:35

Im interested in seeing this research/evidence also...im due to go away on holiday for 10 days with my 3 year old so im worried the judge must have erred when ordering this...or is it possible i may be considered the primary carer during this time?

balia Tue 09-Apr-13 17:04:51

If I've understood what you are saying correctly, you have been to court and they have considered your ex's position and your position and taken advice from experts eg Cafcass and made a decision in the interests of your child. You don't like this decision, but as far as I know, that doesn't mean you can apply to change it. (I'm sure your ex isn't delighted about the move, but he can't take you to court again to try and prevent it, it has been judged on.)

You can apply for a variation to the order if something has changed, but not just because you think the court were wrong to make the order.

sauvignonismydrug Tue 09-Apr-13 17:19:23

Pennylou,
My ex moved me and our daughter 100 miles away from where we had lived for 10 years before he walked out on us, 18 months later. I had no support, no family and also had a desperately ill son by this point. I thought of moving to be nearer my family, a 2 hour drive away, but decided this would not be in the best interests of our children. I certainly did not think it would be a normal thing to do to move away, as my children belonged as much near their dad as with me, in spite of what he had done. Ironically, after 3 years, my ex has moved 150 miles in the opposite direction for his job. He now does all the driving to collect our daughter as the move was his choice. I sometimes meet him halfway when I'm off work, but this is my choice to help him out and not an expectation.
I made the decision, as an adult, to move to a town I didn't know. I stuck with that choice and have made it work for me. 7 years on I would not change a thing!

PatriciaHolm Tue 09-Apr-13 19:26:33

" lengthy separations from their primary carer" - yes, well, if you were leaving him for weeks on end, that would apply. However, you are presumably giving him to another parent that loves him for a couple of days every couple of weeks, a different thing altogether.

Somehow you need to make this work, as if you don't, I suspect your ex will be back in court claiming that you've breached the court order. Things will have to change when your son goes to school, as he'll have to be at home for school days, but between now and then there needs to be some flexibility to show that you are making the effort to sustain proper contact.

Can you go through your Ex's shift patterns for, say, the next 6 months and agree on contact dates where you will drive up?

noclue2000 Tue 09-Apr-13 19:30:59

so you have decided to move away, as it suits your needs.
and yet you dont want to have to help your child to see their father, and you also want to complain that your child will be away from you whilst seeing his father??
you basically want to have your cake and eat it.
the childs relationship is important with BOTH parents.
you are moving, you should be the one making the effort.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 12-Apr-13 00:54:36

Op is English not your first language?

It sounds to me like your getting a hard time when all your doing is not explaining yourself well.

Am I correct in thinking that...

You have court permission to move nearer to family

Your contact arrangements are flexible to allow for dads work

You are expected to fund most of the travel and you are concerned that this may not be long term doable?

If I'm correct then there is no point worrying until you have reason to. If it is unsustainable or does not work and you have made every effort and tried it for a reasonable time then you can go back to court.

He can get a reduction in any maintenance he pays you to account for travel for contact via a csa variation that in itself is a good reason for him to be responsible for the travel costs.
Keep notes of negatives and positives whilst trying it for several months and see how it goes if the negatives outweigh the positives get face to face legal advice and go from there.

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