Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

advice needed for a friend

(6 Posts)
jopickles Fri 23-Sep-16 13:45:28

My friend has a son with his ex and has always had issues around seeing him and wondered if there is any way of getting a custody agreement drawn up without the expense of court as there is no way he can afford it.

Cabrinha Fri 23-Sep-16 14:33:53

Maybe repost this with a more specific title?

I don't seem able to paste, but I've just found a very clear step by step guide after 30 seconds of googling.
Tell him to look at www.advicenow.org.uk
For the guide on child access without lawyers.

I would suggest that his first step is to think about why there are problems now. Is she just being difficult? Or is there a reason it's not working - e.g. If he's not committing to dates in advance, or if she doesn't want the boy missing an activity...

So he needs to think of what access he wants, and that is fair to his ex, and most importantly is in his son's best interests.

Then he needs to make sure he's squeaky clean on maintenance - is he? Not because it's part of the court access decision, but because it's the right thing to do.

I'd go in neutral "access isn't always easy, can we please agree a firm plan? I suggest <details> what do you think?"

Only mention court if she won't agree, or agrees then breaks it. Then warn her.

If you don't use a lawyer, the costs aren't high. If he has a low income he can apply for help with court costs. "No way he can afford it" - this is the single most important thing he'll spend money on, so he should look to get his finances in order so that he can afford it.

Cabrinha Fri 23-Sep-16 14:35:02

He can draw an agreement up with her for free.
They can pay a lawyer or mediator to help.
But ultimately the only thing with teeth if she breaks the order is for it to be a court order.

jopickles Fri 23-Sep-16 14:55:05

thanks for your advice he has tried mediation in the past and it cost him over £300 an hour while she didn't pay anything.

I know there are always 2 sides to a story but she just seems to being awkward on increasing occasions. If his son misbehaves during the week his punishment is that he can't see his dad, which while I can see he shouldn't be allowed treats I don't see that as a suitable punishment. Also they have an arrangement where he can speak to him before bed a couple of times a week but she ignores his messages and calls until the child is in bed then just replies saying he's asleep.

I know I will be seen as biased as he is my friend but I'm also a single parent and I think it is sad when a parent is denied the chance to be as involved as they would like.

He is currently getting his finances in order but he was left with a lot of debt from the relationship and is trying to deal with this but pays maintenance on time every month

Cabrinha Fri 23-Sep-16 15:29:31

Using the access as a punishment is completely out of order!

But on the phone calls, I think I would change that. She is wrong to agree to something and not stick to it. But - I know that I just don't want anything to do with my XH. Of course I'd facilitate calls if it was right for my child, but honestly I would just prefer to enjoy her without it hanging over me I had to deal with him. From threads on here, I think it's the norm to not have phone calls during contact.

Sounds like they already have an agreement then - in which case, no pissing about - one chance then apply to court I think.

jopickles Fri 23-Sep-16 15:35:11

I understand about the phone calls but she was the one who suggested it and I think cos he doesn't always get to see him at the weekend he jumped at the chance. I think court is the only way really but its not up to me just like to be able to offer moral support

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now