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Contact order discrepancy(7 Posts)
Firstly, I appreciate anyone taking the time to respond to this post, I will attempt keep it short and sweet.
My ex has gained a contact order through the court, my DD lives with me (I have residency), and sees her father one evening for dinner, one overnight, and extended alternate weekends.
He lives with his parents.
There has been more than one occasion, where he has gone on holiday with his girlfriend, and has not disclosed this information. Of course I found out from DD. His plans were to have his parents pick DD up and continue contact as normal, with me being none the wiser. His parents do sometimes pick DD up on his behalf, mainly to save him travel time, and have DD there when he gets home from work.
DD mentioned this week, that daddy was taking his girlfriend away for a few days, falling over the times agreed on the contact order. Again, he had 'forgotten' to mention this. He thinks contact should continue as normal, and his parents will have DD overnight.
Now, firstly, I cannot see the logic in this? If her father chooses to go away and miss time with his daughter, then why should I have to give her to his parents? The contact order is for HIM to have contact with his daughter.
Secondly, I NEVER have a Friday with my DD, even on MY weekends, she still goes to her fathers overnight on a Friday. So of course, the thought of having my DD on a Friday is lovely, this means I get an extended weekend of my own!
Thirdly, DDs grandfather (whom her father resides with), was once investigated for a long period of time, for potential Child p**n images on his computer, it was inconclusive and he wasn't charged, but of course it does still make me feel a little uneasy.
Will I be breaking the court order if I don't allow DD to go with her grandparents on Friday?
(I have been threatened lots by DDs father, that I face imprisonment if I do not allow her to go).
Many Thanks for reading.
Is there anything written into the Court Order that states you both must give the other parent "right of first refusal" if you cannot personally be there to look after your daughter during what is "your" time? If not, then yes you should let her go.
You could apply to Court to have the Court Order amended but think about the consequences... If he has to tell you when he's away for a few days to let your daughter come to you instead then you'll have to do the same. Where will the boundaries lie - what about nights out will he have right of first refusal if you are going out for the evening and getting a babysitter too? Courts place great value on contact with extended family too - so your daughter having the odd weekend with her paternal grandparents without her dad there won't be seen as a bad thing. - especially given they live in the same home.
The welfare concern you raise about his Father is separate to the above issue. As for the fact you never get a Fri evening with your daughter, that is also beside the point.
Good points from duck.
Mind you I have been away and the children have stayed with older siblings/a nanny. I don't think that's unreasonable. Although in your case the dubious grandfather is the bigger concern. in fact in your positoni without the grandfather I would be delighted that I could plan my life, do extra work and continue my normal free time without the children and think you're lucky actually (although my views are coloured by having my children 365 nights a year which is a bit unfair on me).
I would actually get legal advice on this.
I am thinking that when he moves out, he has all this contact and they no longer will. But at the moment they are having a lot of contact. So they ask you and you say they can see her in his time, he says no. So they seek their own contact arrangement. Yes it is harder for grandparents but it can be proven it takes place. So he ends up with contact. They end up with contact and you have even less.
I know it's just a scenario. But this is why I would get legal advice and get the order amended to stop potentially, worse case scenario, you never having weekends.. Never mind the arguments over Christmas and birthdays with all of them.
I think I'd tell him that if he wants to change a weekend to facilitate a weekend away, you would be happy to swap things around. That way he will know you know, and he might then swap so that DD gets more contact with Dad. Often people think that routine is good, though, and contact orders rarely mean contact with a parent excluding their wider family.
How old is DD and how does he feel about staying with grandparents?
Unless it says otherwise in the order your DD's father is considered capable of caring for her. You would have had the opportunity in court to state whether you thought this was the case or not - with the court making a determination afterwards. This includes any concerns you have (such as you state about his father).
It is important to remember that the order is for your DD's benefit and not your ex's. Which means it is an opportunity for her to spend time with anyone your ex sees fit...which includes her grandparents. You do not have a right to say who she spends time with or what she does when she is not with you...in the same way your ex cannot dictate to you.
You will be breaking a court order if you don't do what it says on it. If you have concerns the correct way to do things is to seek a variation to the order after attempting mediation to resolve these matters. That way you can try to attempt a suitable compromise and if not take the matter to court to let the judge decide.
How old is your DD? Is she happy going to the g'parents on these weekends? I think if she's happy enough with these arrangements I would let them be but if she shows even the slightest bit of unease I would definitely seek legal advice and get it changed. But that is setting the grandfather issue aside though I'm not sure what to do in that situation.
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