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Advice on court app for 6 year old(11 Posts)
My son lives with me and my ex has had him one night a weekend / 1 day. Occasionally sees him in the week after school, No court order. Never asked for more.
He is now 6. Our communication has recently broken down and he is now threatening to go to court for 50:50. Are yours likely to disrupt the status quo?
We’ve done the MIAM.
Has anyone had experience of this in practice?
Thanks in advance
* are courts likely to disrupt status quo
1 day a week isn't loads, to be fair, and I don't blame him for wanting more. Have you tried offering more contact, but short of 50/50? A common arrangement is alternate weekends Friday to Sunday evening or Monday morning, plus one night a week. Why not offer more contact than he currently has, but less than 50/50, and see if you can agree outside of court?
In my experience and that of the people I know, in the absence of abuse, courts will award at least alternate weekends, a weekday evening or overnight, and half of school holidays to Dad, and may give more if Dad asks for it.
What was the outcome of the MIAM? How long have you been split up? Does ex live close to you?
He’s 20 mins drive away. He doesn’t want to mediate. Historic DV.
The fact remains that, if you don't have safeguarding concerns about your ex having your child 1 night a week, there's no logical reason why you can't offer a bit more contact. If you don't want to talk to him directly because of the DV, perhaps ask a friend or relative to act as intermediary. Unless your ex specifically poses a risk to your child, he's likely to be awarded more contact in court, so I really think you'd be wise to try and negotiate a compromise you're happy with out of court if you can.
Mediation isn't usually recommended in cases where there has been DV - what did the mediator who did your MIAM say? Is there a police record of the DV, or some independent proof that it happened?
Yes police record and health visitor records
So why are you happy with 1 night a week contact but not more? Articulating that argument will be key to defending your position at the court hearing.
Does he pay for dc? If so could it be that his finances have changed and having dc 50:50 would mean he doesn’t have to pay you any more?
Or is he just doing this because you’ve refused more contact for him in the past so he wants the courts to have something sorted so you can’t do what you want whenever. Have you messed his day around or something that’s triggered this?
Or perhaps he’s just doing it to upset you as dc is your most precious thing in the world and he’s still trying to hurt you?
From what you say, it sounds very much as if his aim is to frighten you.
A Dad who was motivated by wanting to see his son more would have wanted more than one night a week a long time ago. Asked for whole weekends. Etc.
I agree, in theory there is nothing wrong - and a lot right- with him wanting more contact, he SHOULD have more contact - but spidey senses say that it's more likely this is intended to upset you, so whatever it is you disagree about now, you'll back down.
Given that - I would test the water. How directly can you communicate? Something like:
'If we are not able to do mediation then if you could contact the court and make your application that would be good so that we can get this sorted out. It would be good for X to see more of you and definitely to have more overnight contact, especially full weekends. It would also be good for me to be able to have more defined time of my own with a better schedule that neither parent can change, and I am sure that it would help our communication if the 'hard parts' of the parenting were more equally shared. Let me know when you have contacted court.'
Note what the above doesn't say:
- it doesn't mention 50:50, so he can't use it as you 'agreeing' or even considering 50:50.
- it doesn't mention money so he can't quote you on anything to do with maintenance.
It DOES let him know that:
- you're not scared of him taking you to court
- if he does, and gets more contact, it will mean him doing more of the work and, as a result of that, giving YOU more free time.
-it hints at him no longer being able to choose when he's free to see his son. Contact schedule is just that - schedule. He'll be the one finding he's not free for the party on Saturday as that's his weekend and it's laid down in the contact order.
The above also shows any external person reading that you are supportive of more contact and a reasonable person.
If your Ex genuinely wants more contact, he will hopefully respond to it positively.
If he's trying to scare you by threatening court but actually the last thing he wants is to give you more time off by sharing the parenting more easily, it will scare him RIGHT off.
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