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Christmas arrangements(10 Posts)
Hello, advice needed please,
My ex partner lives 8 hours away from our 6 year old, he upped and left and started a new family when she was 3 years old. I have never allowed our daughter to travel such distance because I feel this is her home, so he comes up to see her, sometimes he goes 3 weeks and this ranges up to 16 weeks. There is no relationship between him and our daughter. So because I wouldn't allow her to go up the country he has taken me to court. Since then he has done nothing but ask to let her go to his house and bullying me into making a decision while I believe we should let the mediation sort it.
My main worry is that he is fighting to have her at his house from the 22nd december to the 27th, every other christmas. Is this right? Is this a fair 'alternate' Christmas, I feel that over my dead body my daughter will be 600 miles away from me and her family, he usually comes down to see her over Christmas and we share that way. However he has done a complete U turn and decided he wants her surrounded by complete strangers over the most special time of the year. Surely this isn't right?
I'm so sorry that you're going through this.
It's awful that he moved so far away but I do know sometimes these things have to happen, so without knowing why he moved it's hard to pass judgment.
I think you are completely right to say we should sort it through mediation but if he is a good dad generally and has made a real effort to continue contact after he left, he may well be awarded contact. As long as the child is loved and protected, it's good that they know both sides of the family.
Because of the distance, there would be an argument for him to have more infrequent but longer periods of contact, again it all depends on the specifics of your case. In that situation, it may be right for him to have alternate Christmas.
Of course, he can't just take the good bits, he should have to pay CM, have her half the holidays for childcare and step up. Is it likely he'll do that?
If not and he won't commit to actually building a relationship with her, won't pay for the boring stuff (socks, heating, general things required for her to live) and only wants the fun bits then you are right to assert that she should have Christmas with people who care about her and she sees regularly.
She needs to start staying with him during holidays and I think you’re wrong to stop that
You do need to prepare yourself that unless there are safeguarding concerns he will get overnight contact in his home. This will become your daughter's second home.
In this situation every other Christmas is a highly likely scenario. But you could make your own Christmas on a different day. We used to have it on New Years Day the years DD was with her dad. Alternating birthdays is also highly likely to.
Mediation will look at what is best for the child and all of the evidence says that having a good and healthy relationship with parents is best. Your views will be listened to in mediation, but compromise is needed to make mediation work.
They are strangers because you won't let her spend time down there. Honestly, prepare yourself as in the absence of abuse it is almost certain he will be awarded every other Christmas and periods during holidays. That is as it should be, he is her family too
I feel that over my dead body my daughter will be 600 miles away from me and her family
I’ve got news for you... her dad and her half siblings are also her family. I would expect a court to see it that way.
It is good for children to have relationships with both their parents and as her parent you have a responsibility to facilitate this. You need to get her used to overnights with her dad because if there are no genuine child protection concerns I suspect (with no legal training) that a court will think four or five nights over Christmas is reasonable.
They’re strangers because you’re not allowing them to have a relationship.
Does she have siblings at your house? Court awarded 4 days in 14 to my OH, half of all the 13 week holidays. But every single christmas eve and day is with Mum because she has a sibling there.
Court do make crazy decisions sometimes. You might be lucky.
Fyi: you need to let her go there. As hard as it is. Why have you not done so?
She doesn’t have a relationship with her father because you won’t ‘allow’ it.
Why are you in charge, making the decisions & ‘allowing’?
The child has a right to a relationship with both parents and one parent isn’t in charge.
If (and hopefully when do he can put an end to you controlling & dictating) it goes to court he will likely be awarded alternative Christmas & NYE. So you better get used to it over ‘my dead body’.
Aww, you're such a sweetie Northern Spirit.
Do you have a hearing date OP? Where are you in the proceedings?
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