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Contact Order?(12 Posts)
I am looking for a solution to end erratic and inconsistent contact between my DS and ExP. ExP is abusive and controlling and despite our separating almost 3 years ago, continues to try and assert control over whatever he can. The most difficult is the contact. He is named on the birth certificate.
He refuses to adhere to any notion of fixed contact arrangement. He claims that his work is erratic and uses this as an excuse. he will give as little as 12 hours’ notice of when he wants to see DS. Lately he had been non-contact for 12 weeks, a period which included DS's birthday.
I work full time and pay for childcare. he has a detachment order from CSA.
I would like to try and get some stability for my DS. i understand that I cannot make him see his DS , my main concern is his just turning up to DS's nursery and taking him without notice. i am constantly on egg shells and can never forward plan. I have never said no to a contact. DS displays distress at not seeing his DF, he is only 3 but both at home and at nursery his behaviour is notably changed after erratic contact -seems to have consistent behaviour when contact is less.
Is a contact order a possibility to regulate things. I don't want to limit his contact, ideally i would like to secure fixed days when he is with me, so I know he will still be at nursery when I go to pick him up. Are there any other leagl avenues I could explore? How much will the likely cost be? any help appreciated.
Firstly talk to the nursery and make them refuse to release your DS to anyone except you unless agreed in advance. You do not need an order to do this as the resident parent.
Secondly the CSA and contact are completely separate, so that is not relevant.
You are entitled to organise a fixed contact time for the stability of your DS.
I would write to your ExP and layout a proposed contact schedule which he can either agree or come up with a counter proposal. If he can't/won't agree then refuse to let him have access outside the proposed schedule. If he wants to go to court to get access outside this arrangement, then let him as they will insist on a fixed schedule anyway, so you will end up where you want to be without the initial costs.
Thanks Caroldecker. I have spoken to the nursery but their response was I would need an order. Can you elaborate on the resident parent bit? Although DS is with me most of the time his DF would say he was co -parenting. They want me to prove residency. I know the CSA is irrelevant in child contact ; I mention this only as its indicative of his refusal to do anything willingly i.e. contribute to childcare or any pay maintenance. Would the CSA payment be evidence that I am the resident parent? Thanks for your advice. FC
see this legal blog. The nursery has a duty of care to the person who left the child and should not release to anyone else without your permission. They do not know the full facts of your situation and you do not have to prove it to them, they should not let him collect. If they refuse then move to another nursery as a single parent, then he will be unable to pick up.
Irrespective of the OPs situation, are you entirely sure a nursery is within their legal rights to withhold a child from their parent who has PR?
First of they are not there to enforce contact arrangements - that's a matter for the parents and the courts.
I agree with 3cookedchips and from experience a school/nursery have no right or ability to deny a parent with PR their child unless there is a some form of legal reason to do so (Court order / Residency Order etc).
I have no knowledge of the law here, I linked to a blog apparently written by a lawyer and bow to that knowledge
Then why are you posting the following?
'Firstly talk to the nursery and make them refuse to release your DS to anyone except you unless agreed in advance. You do not need an order to do this as the resident parent.'
This is wrong - and the nursery was right.
The website is wrong too(probably), but I'm not a lawyer.
why is the website (written by a lawyer) wrong and you (not a lawyer) correct?
The website is wrong. Anyone with PR can collect a child in this situation and a nursery has no legal right to prevent this.
Whether it would be a good idea in this situation however is an entirely different matter. It is not a good idea to put a nursery or a school in this situation and indeed many of them would be reluctant to do so.
Being a resident parent has no bearing on it whatsoever either for that matter.
And no - I'm not a lawyer either. But I have been known to prove them wrong in a court on occasions.
Thank you all that have responded. I have spoken to the nursery and they have agreed to notify me if ExP collects. So at least I will know. I have also writen to Exp with a suggested shedule of contact which will support shared care. I am most keen to establish fixed days when he is with me, so that I can ensure at least some stability.
I would hope to avoid a leagl route, and will only persue one if as a last resort DS's well being can be ensured by it.
I suggested a schedule of contact. The arrangement would have meant no gaps of more than 3 nights between each of us. His initial response was great - yes lets start tomorrow. 5 days in, he's now saying he can't possibly stick to a schedule, he needs to be totally flexible, as and when. I asked if there was a different schedule he could suggest, he claims no, his work means he cannot commit in advance. I have suggested he speaks to his employer and that we wait a while to sort this out. But I have said that i want to have some fixed days each week where DS is with me. He is objecting to this and is now getting nasty and shouting about lawyers!!
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