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will a court view once a month as adequate contact.

(39 Posts)
Daisypops Sat 10-May-14 21:48:44

Exp is asking for dc overnight but only sees them once a month. The next time hes seeing them there will have been an 8 week gap.
I have asked him to have regular and consistent contact but haven't heard back.
The dc arent sure about sleeping over I assume because they dont see him.often enough.
How would a court view this?

STIDW Sun 11-May-14 11:54:38

How old is the child, what is the existing arrangement and did you and the father live together at some point?

Courts take the view that if a child lives with one parent it is in the interests of child to know and see the other parent, but there is no one arrangement suits all families. Sometimes because of distance or work patterns contact can be once a month. It is still regular and consistent and, for example, many children even if they are quite young will spend one night a month or less with extended family and friends without any problem.

There are cases where parents live a distance apart and the children stay with one parent during school term times and stay with the other parent only in the school holidays. Alternatively contact can be once or twice a year in the UK and/or another country when a parent lives abroad.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 13:48:33

7 and 2 1/2. Exp sees the children once a month for full days and is asking for over night stays and a weeks holiday. . I have no problem with this but dc1 isnt so keen I assume because she only sees her father once a month. Exp and I separated when dc2 was 13mo. He does know much about her. There is nothing formal in place he asks for them and I say yes unless we have prearranged plans. I think the issue is eldest dc not been keen on over night stays and a week away.
Exp lives about 10 miles away and works shifts but I have said he could collect dc1 fm school and dc2 from home and take them for tea. What I want to do is encourage more contact.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 13:48:56

And yes we lived together at some point

Llareggub Sun 11-May-14 13:54:11

I'm in a similar boat. I'm desperate for my ex to have more contact with the DCs but it will be a month sometimes between visits which I facilitate in my home. Our DCs miss him terribly.
I don't know what a court would think but so much depends on the view of the child. I wouldn't want to force an overnighter but I'd definitely encourage more frequent contact in the hope this would increase the chances of overnighters.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 14:12:10

I have asked him by lettee to do once a fortnight. And ifwweekends arent suitable to see them after school. Tbh the dc arent bothered, they dont ask for him or eeven talk about him. But hes asking for over night stays and holidays which eldest dc isnt keen on. I won't force them.

NanaNina Sun 11-May-14 15:52:47

I think you are doing the right thing by offering more frequent contact and then your eldest might not feel so worried about an overnight stay or week away. The little one would be a problem if she/he wasn't with older sibling but I imagine this will help, although she is very young to be having overnight contact with someone she only sees once a month. He clearly doesn't understand child development, because a month is a long time in the life of a 2.5 yrs child and they are unlikely to have sufficient recall of the parent. Also a child of this age is likely to wake in the night and is presumably still in nappies. How is he going to cope with this I wonder, and the child I think would be frightened of this stranger if she was distressed in the night. Maybe you could try and point this out.

I would however advise you to steer clear of the family courts as they are a shambles at the moment. There is no funding available for legal aid in these private law cases and parents are having to represent themselves unless they can afford to pay a lawyer.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 18:01:18

Hi nananina, I received a letter fm a firm of solicitors last week. He'd instructed them as he thinks I am stopping the dc fm seeing him. Im not. He doesn't grasp that he doesn't see them often enough. Ive responded asking if he will see them once a fortnight at weekends or on a school afternoon if this is more convenient to him.

Dc2 is still in nappies and has a few problems with digestion and constipation. Im up through the night regularly when she is in pain. He has never experienced this and doesn't even know what her problems are.

I suppose I will just have to wait for his reply. Either way I wont be instructing a solicitor. And I cant afford mediation at £100 per session.

nomoretether Sun 11-May-14 18:49:53

Are you hoping the court will say he can't have them overnight unless contact is more frequent?

Does the 7yo explain why she doesn't want to have contact? She is too young for the courts to take her opinion into serious consideration. They will talk to her, but they don't give much weight to a child's opinion until age 10 or later.

nomoretether Sun 11-May-14 18:53:26

I'm unsure how this is different to staying with a grandparent, for example. My children stay overnight with grandparents far less frequently than once a month. There is no "recall" issue. How absurd to suggest that the child will view this NRP as a stranger (and I know a lot about child development theories).

You can explain how to deal with the medical issue. He will learn to deal with it, just as you have had to.

It's far better to resolve this out of court. You say you won't force them go to but once a court order has been made, it will be out of your hands.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 19:03:00

I would like him to have more frequent contact yes. Dc1 says its too far away and she'll miss mummy. But im sure if she saw her df more regularly she'd want to stay. She does stay at my mums once a week but she has a lotfof contact with her as she looks after dc when Im at work. I do not want it to get as far as court. I just want him to see his children more than once every four to six weeks. I have no issue with them staying over as long as I kno they are happy which im.not sure they both would be at the moment.

nomoretether Sun 11-May-14 20:16:21

Are you reassuring her that 10 miles away isn't far at all, and that even though she'll miss Mummy, she'll have a lovely time and that it's important to spend time with Daddy? Children need a lot of reassurance with things like this. "I'll miss you" can mean "I'm worried you'll be lonely on your own mum". It could be "You don't say it but I know you aren't happy with daddy, so I won't be happy with daddy either". It could be anything at 7 years old.

If you're not willing to agree by solicitors letter, not able to afford mediation then it will likely end up in court which is a horrible situation for everyone involved (and I wouldn't recommend going to court without at least a McKenzie Friend which would be more than a session of mediation). You can't force him to have more frequent contact and a court wouldn't try to do that either.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 20:31:53

I have tried to encourage her. I am still trying. She has a lovely time when she spends the day with him but says she cant wait to get home. Exp has never been hands on and has been in and out of our lives tbh

How can the court not force him to have more contact but force a child to dosomething they are uncomfortable with?

I have asked have more frequent contact if he wont then I will have to force dc1 to go and hope they both settle.

nomoretether Sun 11-May-14 21:06:24

Because it's not in your daughters best interests to spend time with a parent who is only doing so because they have been ordered to and because 7 years old is too young to decide she doesn't want to go altogether. Children have to do things they don't want to do all the time. My son hates going to the paediatrician. He still has to go.

It's horrible to have to force our children when they are upset but she will get used to it and will start enjoying it before long unless there are other issues.

NanaNina Sun 11-May-14 21:28:09

nomoretether you sound as though you know these children and what is best for them better than their own mother! Also it is not "absurd" to talk of recall issues in a child of 2.5 years who has not lived with her father since she was aged 13 months and seen him sporadically in the past 1.5 years. Of course your children don't have "recall issues" with their grandparents. They have known them from the time they were born and surely there will have been much contact between them and their grandparents. I only see my grandchildren (who live in another country) every 6 weeks and there are no "recall issues" because we have known them all their lives, and have visited regularly and do Skype every week, and they come over here 2 or 3 times a week. You are not comparing like with like, even though you claim to know a lot about child development theories. Presumably then you are aware of the issues related to "a child's sense of time and ability for recall"

Daisy you are doing all the right things in encouraging the children's father to have more frequent contact. Can I ask - does he have a partner - if so is she a parent. Still thinking about your youngest staying with a parent who doesn't know what her needs are, let alone how he will meet them. Presumably you are replying to the solicitor's letter. Can I ask are you on speaking terms with your ex and is there any possibility you can work something out without going to the family courts.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 21:42:58

Yes he does have a partner. The dc have met her twice.She has a uoyoung son and seems ok. I have no issue there at all. In fact I am pleased she is there when he has dc as she will understand them probably more than he does.

It is very difficult dealing with exp. There is a lot of history. He texts me about contact. It usually ends up with him criticising my parenting or us arguing and him thinking im controlling the dc. Im not.

He has not been a father to our children. He can go weeks and weeks without contact. No phone calls in between. Its only this year hes asked for them monthly.

Daisypops Sun 11-May-14 21:46:55

How is it in my daughters best interest to force her to do something and go somewhere with someone she sees once a month?! How will she view me for making her go.

We have had a handover with him literally peeling her from me and her sobbing and reaching out for me as he walked away with her.

Nana-yes I have replied to the letter. I politely requested he has contact once a fortnight whether it be weekends or after school. The solicitor said they'd forward it on to him.

NanaNina Sun 11-May-14 22:01:41

Oh Daisy that's awful for your daughter. It also demonstrates that your ex is not concerned with the child's welfare, but his rights as a father. You are not denying those rights at all, which is what makes your ex's complaints so odd. Yes I'm glad he has a partner too, because as you say she will probably have more idea of your LOs needs. Hopefully if you could get into a routine of contact once a fortnight for a day, or even once a week for a day, your children might then be less afraid of an overnight stay.

starlight1234 Sun 11-May-14 22:03:26

I don't know what courts would do but I do know my E had 2 hours contact once a fortnight when Ds was 2... he frequently cancelled.I never told DS it was happening till the day and I had it confirmed but he really struggled with it to the point I had to go collect him as he had obbed at soft play for only half an hour as he didn't feel secure.

So I know completely how you feel.

I fail to see how comparing a visit to a paediatrician to visit a NRP.

I also think more daytime is far more quality than overnight.

"Because it's not in your daughters best interests to spend time with a parent who is only doing so because they have been ordered to"

I really don't understand this comment. He is saying he wants more time with DC so why is it all on hi terms? Why not what is in the best interest of the child to have more frequent contact to build up to what NRP wants?

3xcookedchips Sun 11-May-14 22:03:54

If you haven't heard of Karen Woodall Google her blog. She has many insights into transition anxieties. That is moving from mummies world to daddies world. My dc sometimes has a melt down at handover and i see her every week but within a a minute or two of leaving she's calm again and happily chatting about our plans.
push the ex to have her more and for longer.

nomoretether Sun 11-May-14 22:51:17

I'm not talking like I know anything. I answered a question about why the court would not force the father into more contact but would not accept the daughters cried of feeling uncomfortable as a reason not to order overnight contact. This man is not a stranger. He sees them once a month. Nowhere near often enough IMO but not a stranger.

nomoretether Sun 11-May-14 22:56:09

The fact is the NRP is refusing contact more than once a month and is instructing a solicitor to push for overnight contact. I don't believe a court would say no based on what has been said in this thread. I haven't commented on what I think is best for the child - I don't know the child, mother or father. We haven't even heard the fathers side of the story. I'm simply giving my opinion on the likelihood of the fathers request being successful in court.

3xcookedchips Mon 12-May-14 00:42:06

I fail to see how comparing a visit to a paediatrician to visit a NRP.

Do you fail to see the importance of a father in a child's life?

Tether was making an obvious point that children, basically do as they are told because they don't know what's good for them.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 12-May-14 00:49:23

If a father is inadequate (selfish, hostile, lazy, abusive, neglectful) then his importance is not so great and it's not automatically good for a child to have to spend time with him.
What reasons is this man giving for simultaneously demanding overnight contact and refusing to see the children more frequently? It sounds more as though his intention is to harass his ex-partner with threats of court action and unreasonable demands than to build a relationship with his children.

nomoretether Mon 12-May-14 01:17:47

And we cannot make that judgement, SolidGoldBrass, as we do not have that information and we will not have it unless the father comes here to post his side of the story.

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