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What is reasonable re child contact?

(11 Posts)
Homely1 Sat 02-Apr-16 20:56:18

In mediation at the moment. DC having a rough time with seeing dad.... Separated when DC young and no recollection of living with dad (who has been extremely hands off). Ex now wants contact and we are building up in mediation. What sort of build up is reasonable? My concern is how DC will be if too quick vs annoying ex who will then seek court. Alt weeks arrangement. Thank you ever so much.

MattDillonsPants Sun 03-Apr-16 04:09:04

On my instinct I would suggest a weekly meet up in a cafe or playground....a half day....not full days just yet and not at his house unless you've been there and seen it yourself.

If the visits go well, then up them to a full day in a couple of months time. After that...maybe an overnight if they want to...and ONLY if they want to.

mathanxiety Sun 03-Apr-16 05:55:15

A lot depends on the age of the children and how much of the situation they can understand.

I would say weekly meetup too, but start with two hours, which would mean time for a meal plus some activity. Then build up to an afternoon. If there's a weekend sport or hobby they participate in maybe ex can go to that initially to cheer them on, or drop off/pick up.

Don't worry if you annoy exH and he threatens to go to court. Visitation is supposed to be about the best interests of the children and he would need to have the judge agree that whatever plan he has would fit that bill. The mediator should be emphasising the best interests of the children too.

My own visitation agreement called for the DCs staying with exH every other weekend, and that was going from being two parents under the same roof, so if your ex has barely seen the children for a good while he really can't expect the full on standard EOW (plus maybe a weeknight) -- he is a virtual stranger to them after all.

If he can't see the situation from their pov and seems to be insisting on his 'rights', then I would actually consult a social worker, if you can get the name of someone perhaps from the DCs' school, or see if the school or your GP can refer the DCs to a SW for assessment and for a recommendation.

Women's Aid might also be a good resource for you (0808 2000 247)

Homely1 Sun 03-Apr-16 08:39:21

Thank you so much... I just do not know how to get him to agree. I suspect that even if DC says that does not want to stay overnight, ex will insist that he wants this. He's not thinking of DC best interest.

Fourormore Sun 03-Apr-16 10:02:31

Your child is not remotely old enough to be making these decisions himself.

Homely1 Sun 03-Apr-16 10:55:19

True

Fourormore Sun 03-Apr-16 12:23:43

I would also strongly recommend against trying to involve a social worker. That would really not go down well with the court.

Homely1 Sun 03-Apr-16 13:04:52

Thank you.

mathanxiety Sun 03-Apr-16 19:53:49

It may well come down to assessment by a social worker. You can petition for a guardian ad litem to be appointed by the court to ascertain the best interests of the child, if the mediator allows you to be steamrolled by your ex and you have concerns about dropping the children in at the deep end.

www.cafcass.gov.uk/about-cafcass/divorce-and-separation.aspx

Look at the whole page and the link after the heading 'After the First Court Hearing'.
Please do not be afraid to take this to court.

The mediator should be guiding you and your ex towards 'best interests of the children' scenarios at all times. If this is not happening, you need to be assertive and repeat the phrase until your jaw hurts.

mathanxiety Sun 03-Apr-16 19:57:31

links after the heading

Homely1 Sun 03-Apr-16 20:38:57

Thank you very much.

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