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Contact - Am I being unreasonable?

(12 Posts)
slinky01 Sun 07-Aug-11 12:14:53

My ex partner is taking me to court for a contact order and parental responsiblity. We broke up more than 3 years ago and have a daughter born 2001.

He doesn't want any contact beyond telephone calls during the year but wants to take her to America for the entire 6 weeks of her summer holiday (he lives there). I've objected for three reasons: 1) the practicalities of leaving the country on the 1st day of holiday and returning on the last day - when will we do the practical stuff involved in going back to school? Also, going to school the day after a 13 hour flight is not reasonable. 2) I too want to spend some of the holidays with her. During term time, I'm the one who runs her to school, helps with homework, takes time out when she's ill, runs her to this club and that, hosts her friends for sleepovers etc. I do all that willingly but would also like some downtime with her not to mention having a break myself from a full time professional job. 3) She doesn't want to go with him. She loves being with him but her life is here in the uk and she also wants to see her friends and other family during the holidays.

Every year, I send him her School holiday calendar and ask which weeks he wants to see her. He never responds. He doesn't pay child support (but I am taking him to court for that).

Common sense tells me a judge will not force me to let her go overseas for such a long period. But, I know how flaky the law is so am starting to get anxious. Cafcass want to discuss my daughter's welfare! WTF. She's had the best year academically and socially ever this year and is really happy.

BTW, she's currently with him in the US for 30 days after him spending a further 14 days access to her prior to the visit.

Help!

GypsyMoth Sun 07-Aug-11 12:18:19

She doesn't want to go.... But us out there st present? Cafcass isn't such a bad thing, what you have said doesn't seem unreasonable. But she is out if the country with him now and he had no PR?

GypsyMoth Sun 07-Aug-11 12:19:00

*is
*out

Bloody predictive text!

MeMySonAndI Sun 07-Aug-11 12:21:28

Do you have a residence/contact order? If you don' you need to contact Reunite as a matter of URGENCY!

slinky01 Sun 07-Aug-11 12:49:27

I have no problems with him taking her to his country on holiday. This year, she was distraught at having to go although is having a nice time now she's there. She'd like to see her dad on her own turf and have him get involved in her life - not to remove her from her life. I persuaded her to go this year on the understanding if she wanted to come home, I'd fly out and pick her up. She's determined she's not going next year. I'm afraid I'll be forced to make her.

MeMySonAndI Sun 07-Aug-11 13:03:42

Do you have a court order already?

slinky01 Sun 07-Aug-11 13:20:13

I had a letter from CAFCAS yesterday asking to interview me about a court case I'm involved in. I didn't know anything about any court case, nor have I been contacted by the court or his solicitor. I'm assuming it's him because the subject matter is Contact and Parental responsibility. Apart from that I'm in the dark. I don't have a contact order in place - I've always been accommodating allowing him to take her to US for maximum of 4 weeks. He wants 6 weeks and is also a control freak not wanting me to dictate to him when he can have daughter.

MeMySonAndI Sun 07-Aug-11 14:36:06

Cafcass is good news then. I would say you are incredibly generous in allowing her to go abroad for such prolonged periods when there is no regular direct contact with her father.

If there is a court case (and there should be if cafcass is involved) then he cannot just keep her abroad if he decides so. (sorry, it may look paranoid but it is unfortunately a possibility)

What I would try to do is to take the letter back to court and ask them what case are you involved in, CAFCASS won't get involved easily, it seems like you may have lost some earlier notifications from court.

slinky01 Sun 07-Aug-11 22:50:15

Thanks for your message. I definitely haven't lost any correspondence. The last time the subject came up was 18 months ago when, through a solicitor, he said he would take me to court to enable him to take her out of the country for 6 weeks at a time. I responded with my objections and haven't heard anything since, nor has the solicitor who handled it for me. I do know one of the lawyers at the court who is handling the child support case for me so I'll call him tomorrow and see if he can throw any light on the subject.

MeMySonAndI Mon 08-Aug-11 01:48:45

That's a good idea, call the solicitor. The thing is that it is the court who gets CAFCASS involved, so there should have been a notification sent to you in the past asking you to come to court after he asked for it to get involved.

I would also call the previous solicitor, if s/he was dealing with the case back then, it wouldn't be surprising for such notification to be sent to them instead of you, and, if you have not been in touch for a while, or you specifically said they were no longer instructed to deal with your case, perhaps forwarding such notification to you may have slipped out of their list of priorities.

niceguy2 Mon 08-Aug-11 09:32:34

If DD tells CAFCASS she doesn't want to go for a full 6 weeks then I'd be surprised if courts overrule that.

slinky01 Mon 08-Aug-11 21:07:28

I spoke to the guy from Cafcass today who, on the face of it, was very understanding and in agreement with my contact proposal. He thought it strange the ex was going to great lengths to take me to court when he already has unfettered access to my daughter. The ex is saying I absolutely refuse access and he wants 2 days a week and all the school holidays! How's he going to manage that when he lives in the US! What's more disappointing - and won't go in his favour - is that I have also just lost my father so the fact he has chosen to attack me in such a malicious way at the most vulnerable time of my life is unforgivable. Cafcass agree.

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