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Weekend only contact

(52 Posts)
pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 15:54:32

Ex is taking me to court to change contact from one mid week and a weekend night to all weekend from fri-Monday. They would allow me weekend contact one weekend per term.

How likely is this to happen? I am feeling sick about it all sad
The court application says:
*that I am obstructive,
*tell lies frequently
*leave my dd with other people during my time with her,
*ignore his concerns about her well-being
* take her out of the country without notice or permission
* always frustrate contact or change it without notice
* fail to honour previous agreements.

It then states that the contact order is being made because dd is tired during the week and misses him, therefore every fri-mon would resolve this issues sad

titchy Tue 16-Oct-12 16:39:04

Sounds like he has shot himself in the foot saying she is tired during the week - why should she only share her non-tired times with him?!

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 16:43:52

In the application he said he has tried to raise the issue of her tiredness with me....but I ignored it. Basically he always says any normal 5yo misdemeanour is down to tiredness and that I must be putting her to bed late. I've told him constantly that this isn't the case, but he doesn't listen to me.

balia Tue 16-Oct-12 19:18:15

I think full weekends are better than two separate nights, but not every weekend! I don't think he has much chance. As to the accusations, the professionals involved will have heard it all before. Does he have anything to back up his claims that you frustrate contact or take her out of the country? Has he proposed mediation? It is the first thing the court will ask/expect.

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 20:31:07

Balia, thanks

The court application says that as I have repeatedly dishonoured previous agreements, he does not want mediation with me. I have absolutely no idea what he is referring to here, although I can take a wild guess that mediation would fill him with horror because his wife always soeaks onhis behalf. Any email he sends me is from her ( and signed by her as well) and any time when we have tried to sit down, she barely lets him speak. If I manage to get him to talk to me face to face, he usually runs away after 5 minutes. To this end, I would have thought that his reasons for refusing mediation are because his wife would not be there to make his case for him.

I offered mediation last year but he refused and have the email with that written into it. I just dont know he thinks its ok to demand such a thing.....all weekend> he has never before expressed an interest in wanting her for 3 nights a week, let alone all weekend.

Balia, I dont really have any hard proof that I havent tried to frustrate contact, but then neither does he, apart from what he says. For example, he says in the court application that I leave dd regularly to be looked after by family and friends when he is more than willing to care for her. This is catergorically untrue. He is referring to incidents when dd has gone to see family members for a few hours or gone to play with a friend. He writes the letter as though I thrwo my dd to just about anyone and its very upsetting to readsad
Ex himself actually demands dd for hald of hols, then precedes to leave her with his inlaws or dw as he is working. I am sitting her willing and ready to look after her as I only work term time, yet he says its not my business. Similarly, he insisted last year that dd still go to his house for weekly contact with his dw, even though he was abroad on holiday. I was too intimidated to say no.

As for taking her out of the country without notice or permission. I have no idea what he means. I am from ireland, so take her there on my weekends, and wouldnt specifically ask him, nor do I 'ask' him to take her on holiday, but I always tell him we are going and he has never raised a single issue about that. Not once. He takes dd away every year, and although he lets me know, he doesnt ask me and I wouldnt expect him to.

It just looks awful on paper, truly awful and I feel sick at the kind of mother I am being portrayed assad

balia Tue 16-Oct-12 20:43:18

In terms of evidence of frustrated contacts, it would be pattern dates changed or agreements not adhered to. It doesn't sound as though you have done these things.

How would you feel about alternate weekends? It seems to me that if you go into court saying that DD is tired during the week (perfectly normal for a child of this age coping with a long school term) and that you are happy to agree to a Residence order in your favour and a contact order for every other weekend, you take the wind right out of his sails; you look reasonable plus the problem of taking her out of the country is dealt with. Not quite understanding the current pattern, though - if he currently sees her every weekend for one night, how can you have 'your' weekends to take her to Ireland?

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 21:03:08

Balia, thanks a lo.

Sorry, should have said. We have an informal agreement that DD spends one full weekend with each parent, then we both split the other 2 weekends ( i.e., she goes there from sat-sun). This has worked fine until now.

It should be said that exp applying for residency has arisen as a result of me raising a safeguaring issue that I felt he needed to address while dd was at his house. DD herself raised this issue with me and I calmly tried to talk to exp about it. He said that it was 'garbage' and then send an email from his dw listing all my failings as a parent. The reaction I received from them for bringing up this issue was staggering, so I went to a solicitor and he sent them a letter pretty much saying just that.....that dismissal of the concern heightens the concern. Then today I received a letter from their sols demanding shared residency, there is little mention of my original issue, therefore, that issue is now clouded by this new demand, which I feel is tactical and still needs to be dealt with.

I know the sols letter he sent me is just a letter, but I cannot help but be devastated at how he has portrayed me in it. He says that I lie, change contact arrangements with no notice, leave her with anyone and everyone....how do I prove that this just isn't true? Will I get my chance to say so?
I am not opposed to every other weekend, now that dd is older she will be happier with that I think. She will no longer be able to do her weekend activities, but that is something I cant change I suppose.
When you say a residency order in my favour, is that how its referred to, or is that the same as shared residency> My sol ( who wasnt able to see me today) briefly said that it would be wise to fight the shared residency, but advice on mn seems to suggest he would get it?
Does the fact that he refuses mediation mean anything?
thanks for your help, much appreciated

Qwertyytrewq Tue 16-Oct-12 21:19:21

What does your daughter want?

avenueone Tue 16-Oct-12 21:20:45

How would you feel about alternate weekends? It seems to me that if you go into court saying that DD is tired during the week (perfectly normal for a child of this age coping with a long school term) and that you are happy to agree to a Residence order in your favour and a contact order for every other weekend, you take the wind right out of his sails; you look reasonable plus the problem of taking her out of the country is dealt with. sounds spot on advice.

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 21:29:41

Qwerty

She is only 5, so haven't specifically asked her. She certainly wouldn't understand what all weekend would mean to her...that she couldn't go to friends parties, do her Saturday activities any more', see her grandparents and cousins on my side, see her friends or her mummy. She just wouldn't get it and I wouldn't have thought she asked about it. She loves her dad though, no doubt about that, and I think is happy with the current system, which is two nights per week and one full weekend on top (so 2,2,2,3)

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 21:31:40

avenue yes it really does sounds good advice.

Would a residency in my favour be likely though, given that courts are moving towards shared more and more often? I know in my heart ex will abuse this to monitor every move I make with dd. sad

avenueone Tue 16-Oct-12 21:42:32

Please don't worry Ping he will not get every weekend and when your DD is with you it is none of your ex's business what you do. If he does start `harassing' you, that can be dealt with but I would mention your concerns during the court process and I am sure you will be given good advice that he can't ask about what and where you are going/doing. Please try and put your `position' down/ what you would like to happen (say 10 short pars) and as mines said you will sound very reasonable.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Oct-12 21:52:10

Hey pingu !

I'm not the least bit surprised that you've received this type of response - he has undoubtedly been selective with the truth to his solicitor who has acted on the basis of the information they have been told, not the whole story.

I'm sure that your solicitor will deal with this appropriately - it is possible that your solicitor will send a copy of the email that you recently had from your ex to your ex's solicitor - my experience is that there is an element of professional courtesy between solicitors and they will tip each other off if they are being misled by their client.

I know it's horrid to read that sort of thing but it is just words on paper.
The fact that he has applied for a residency order is a good thing as it gives you the chance to secure a watertight agreement that you both have to follow and that can't be flexed to suit him.
Discuss with your solicitor any clauses or specifications you would want added - right of first refusal, for instance - if he's making an issue of you placing DD in the care of others, then he will welcome a ROFR clause - which will prevent him leaving DD in the care of his DW while he's not there, of course wink

Deep breathes - it WILL be fine, but messy and horrible for a while until he finally realises that it won't all go his own way.

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 21:53:13

I will try to do that...get it all down on paper so its clear in my head. I am at a loss at to what do about his dw, her phone no and email address is on the court application, further proof that it was her who made the application and her who is pouring poison on any chance exp and I have of co-parenting effectively. sad. All letters he sends are written and signed by her and im certain she is the reason he wont attend mediation. She is an incredibly controlling person, and by ex's own admission very insecure about me.

I wish to god I could get a judge to see the pressure she has subjected me to over the years ( its a long story), however, I guess peaking about her in court will look malicious:/

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Oct-12 21:56:58

Your ex will have to speak for himself in court - his DW will not be allowed to be there.
His solicitor should pick up on her dominance as well - she may be pulling his strings but they are not her children and she is meaningless in their life in the eyes of the law.

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 21:57:24

Hi NADM, you were indeed right!

I wish I could be see a shared residency as a good thing though, believe me though, he will use it to control every minutiae of dd's life, her childcare, me going to ireland once a month to see my parents..it will all be obstructed by him unless I 'ask'. God he will love that, just fucking love it sad

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Oct-12 22:01:34

A judge will hold your ex accountable for all his DW behaviour - so if there is evidence of her pressure that your solicitor chooses to raise in court, your ex's solicitor will have to explain it.

If I were a gambler, I'd put money on your ex withdrawing this application long before it reaches court. Once his DW realises she has no role to play and that you and your ex will be negotiating directly with no input from her, she'll soon change her mind about it and he will undoubtedly do as he's told.
I can see why you're not together - he sounds like a right wet flannel!

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Oct-12 22:03:17

The law says that either parent with residency can take a child out of the country for up to a month - you won't need permission, a shared order gives you both that right smile

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 22:09:29

but disney, we are no longer communicating directly. We are currently going through sols, whcih is what DW wanted all along, I'm sure. To that end, how will she see us communicating directly? Going to court is the both-barrels apporach she craves, and the reason why he refuses mediation.

I am pretty sure, given the fact that its her email address and phone number given on the court application, that ex didnt even attend the solicitors appointment with her. It is clearly DW who has instructed their sol, and that is likely how it will stay until ex gets his day in court I think?

Ironically, exp himself is also massively controlling, and when we were together I was permanently intimidated by him. He is very passive aggressive, gaslighting and messing with your head is more up his street than screaming. He is however, no match for DW, who could eat him alive on the controlling front, so the dynamics of their relationship (seem) to be very different from ours.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Oct-12 22:10:21

Actually - just had a thought - has he applied for residency to be shared between you and he, or between he and his DW (with or without you)?
If the latter, it would give her PR for your DD - it's not going to be ordered by a court, though !

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 22:12:11

sorry about all my typos!

Thats good news about the taking out of the country then! So I take it that his ( her) point in the application that I take DD out of the country without notice or permission will be disregarded in court? ( its bollocks anyway)

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Oct-12 22:13:35

I sat to one side while my DP, his solicitor, his ex and her barrister tried to thrash out a last minute agreement outside the court room on each of the days they had hearings. They went into closed court each time - I was not allowed in.

She will, at some point, be excluded. Lets hope that its somewhere public so her outrage is witnessed!

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 22:14:24

yeah its shared residence as far as I can see, to reside with me mon-thur and him fri-monday.

i wonder what their sol thought when he wrote that? I mean, every single weekend is outrageous and I would have thought that a sol would know that?

NotaDisneyMum Tue 16-Oct-12 22:16:13

If the application goes into that much detail it sounds like its not been completed by a solicitor.

DPs was very factual, as the guidance documents state - his formal statement, containing all that sort of info, was written much later.

pinguthepenguin Tue 16-Oct-12 22:18:32

lol@disney!

I would love to see her lose it....although she is clever and it is probably I who would lose control.

Disney, there is another issue here as well if you remember, the concern I raised initially. My sol said that this application is now a tactical smokescreen and still leaves the other issue needing to be addressed. He is considering whether or not to address the letter at all, then wait to get to court, and then explain the motives behind the application for residency. What do you think of that approach?

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