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calling collaborate, babyB, spero (please!)

(11 Posts)
oldsoaksally Sun 20-Oct-13 15:00:10

Hi everyone,
I hope you can give me a little advice. My ex had me in court 6 months ago to get a court order for our 5yo ds. He was basically asking for what he had already so it was a massive waste of time and energy, plus he agreed to it all by consent on the morn of the final hearing so it never even got in front of the judge for that. He was basically afraid of cross examination in my view but thats by the by.

My barrister wrote the draft order up while we were at the court and it was all so rushed. I am happy with every other aspect of the order except half terms. The order states that she spends 7 days in the half term with each parent (alternate half terms) but that for the remaining 2 days of the break, she would go to the other parent so that they get to spend some time with her. The usual alternative weekend cycle would also remain in effect at the beginning of the hols so for example:
If it my 'weekend' per se, ds would be with me on the friday night, then at 10am on the sat he would go to dads for 7 nights. The following sat at 10am he would be returned to me until school on the monday.

I was the one in effect who proposed this to ex and he accepted, although in reality it was my barrister. I felt quite disengaged from the process and although a nice man, and effective at his job, my barrister kind of intimidated me a bit in the sense that he seemed rather irritated by the whole process and wanted it over with quickly. I had doubts at the time about the holidays proposals but went along with it. Ex accepted this as well as pretty much everything else ( standard EOW arrangement with 50% hols)

I realised pretty soon after it was over that this arrangement would be make it pretty difficult to arrange a week away in the half terms, because we would need to get ds back to his dad by 10am on the sat morn. It also means we could never arrange even a weekend away in the second half of the holiday. To overcome this, I asked ex last week to agree a change whereby we each have our child for the 'whole' of the half term break, from after school until the return to school, with no interruptions. Sure - it would total 9 or 10 nights which is hard, but this is exactly the same way easter, summer and xmas work. There are only 3 half terms a year and it isn't as though our child isn't used to it.

He has flatly refused ( and wrote a 7 page letter about it) stating that the gap is too long and while he acknowledges that the half terms arrangements can make holidays prohibitive, he says he will arrange mutually convenient swaps but not change the order. I pointed out that as I go away most half terms to visit my parents abroad, I would end up 'asking' every single time. I also know he will make these swaps difficult, or simply refuse.

What I can do? I see no logical reason for it other than control. He sent pages of veiled insults about how offended he is at my lack of respect for the order etc, and how his solicitor advised him that the order cannot now be changed.
I am feeling pretty sick about the whole thing. My DS is at cubs right now and will be moving to Beavers in sept, which falls on his midweek visit. he says he will also not be agreeing to a change of nights for this and ds will have to suck it up. He said it was my fault that ds was even signed up for this, but he will have been at cubs for two years by then and will be heartbroken.

Is this true? is the order set in stone? Can I apply to change it now? do you think I would be successful?

Thanks in advance, I appreciate it very much.

oldsoaksally Sun 20-Oct-13 17:58:12

Anyone?

iheartdusty Sun 20-Oct-13 18:24:01

he does sound as though he is being awkward for the sake of it, but as you are going to your parents, presumably you could go for 5 or 6 days at half term instead of 7? and tbh I can see his point about the long gaps.

technically you could re-apply to vary, but so could your ex. You could both end up using all your time and energy, and it is possible that nothing would change, or you could end up with something new that you don't like any better.

I think in your position I would accept the half terms and try to work around it, but perhaps focus some effort on beavers. Is there any other group DS could go to, on a different night? Or, can you invite DH to do a pick up from Cubs once to see how much DS loves it and to talk to the organisers about the options?

oldsoaksally Sun 20-Oct-13 20:21:22

ex has said there is no way he will change the order for beavers, and that it was my fault for signing ds up a year ago. Thing is, if I lived by that philosophy, DS would never have any enrichment that activities that beavers and the like offer him.
WRT to the half terms, he still has mid week visits, so he is wrong when he says he wont see ds for weeks on end. There are only 3 half terms a year and as we are sharing them, the changes we are talking about will only affect him once a year or so. On the other hand however, they prevent us from ever having a winter holiday. Seeing my parents for 5 or 6 days is fine I agree, but I am from the country my parents live in and would sooner relocate there, but dont for the sake of his and ds's sake. I dont think its a massive trade off for me to want a decent hoiday with them in the half terms.

oldsoaksally Mon 21-Oct-13 15:55:34

Has anyone returned to court to vary an order within a year?
Is there any way I could write to the judge to explain my position?

babynamechange Mon 21-Oct-13 19:10:31

Would you represent yourself?
If so I don't think you have anything to lose.
Set out your reasons along with answers to any objections you expect.
No orders involving children are set in stone, but try and make sure you get everything you want covered when you go back this time.
Good luck x

oldsoaksally Mon 21-Oct-13 20:30:05

I asked my sol by email and he said it could go back to court any time but judge not likely to be impressed. Seems ridiculous to have to stick to something that was drafted up in a half hour intimidating court situation!

babybarrister Tue 22-Oct-13 21:19:34

You will be up against it - you were represented and it is recent order

ElizabethJonesMartin Tue 22-Oct-13 21:49:15

Might just be best to go abroad for fewer days in the half terms. Most parents cannot afford to go away every half term or any half term anyway as they are often working full time.

oldsoaksally Wed 23-Oct-13 13:19:49

I wouldn't be going away every half term though. There are 3 a year and as we alternate them- I would be going away one of those, max twice if it falls in my year. It isn't unreasonable to want to spend that time with my family given that they are abroad. I would sooner live there personally but wouldn't consider it because of obvious reasons.

oldsoaksally Wed 23-Oct-13 13:20:18

And I do work full time!

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