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Access arrangements when kids have different dads

(14 Posts)
namechangeforasec Thu 09-Jul-09 20:45:01

have name changed as this is an easily identifiable situation.

My friend is getting divorced from his wife. The wife was pregnant to another man when they married but after it all came out this guy agreed he would raise the child as his own and they went onto have twins of their own. All are now under six years old.

Since they split the exW got in touch with with the oldest child's biological father in order to get money off him (although her exH is paying very generous maintenance for all of the kids)Previously this OM had not been in the child's life but if he is to be paying money he wants access to the child.

So, my friend (the father of the twins) has been told by his lawyer that because the children are a family unit they must remain together on all access visits. This means that the court will say that the biological father of the oldest child must also take the other two younger kids (which are no relation to him) when he has his own child and that the weekends must be arranged on a 3 week rolling basis. So; mother one weekend, ex Husband next weekend, and the OM on the third weekend. This sounds very very odd to me and I wondered whether anyone had even encountered this before?

I would be grateful for any advice to pass on.

namechangeforasec Thu 09-Jul-09 21:03:48

bumpetty bump

KnickKnack Thu 09-Jul-09 21:07:05

Sorry, I have no idea, but it sounds like a very bizarre suggestion. I would seek a second opinion.

How does the OM feel?

Owls Thu 09-Jul-09 21:10:57

No that's not right. I think your friend has misunderstood the advice. The Court has no right to insist that somebody unrelated to the children will have them for a weekend, nor would they want to.

KingCanuteIAm Thu 09-Jul-09 21:10:59

I have never heard of such a thing happening. Why would a court decide to send two children of under 6yo for weekends with someone that they do not know, that does not know them and they have no relation to?

I honestly think your friend has mis-understood what has been said TBH. I have never heard of such an arrangement, even in extreme situations of violence and neglect.

Snorbs Thu 09-Jul-09 21:23:28

Sounds unlikely to me. I'd strongly recommend your friend gets in touch with Families Need Fathers. He'll get a lot of good advice about how this kind of thing would play out in court.

namechangeforasec Thu 09-Jul-09 21:29:00

Thanks. That's what I thought.

I already pointed him in the direction of FNF but he's got some sort of weird idea that its like Fathers For Justice. hmm

yerblurt Thu 09-Jul-09 21:29:57

sounds like a lawyer talking out of their arse to be frank.

The biological father of the child could apply for, say, contact with his biological child but normally the non-biological children would not be part of the equation.

Due to the biological father not having contact with this child to date, any contact would be introduced quite slowly. The non-bio children would not normally be part of that equation I would think.

KingCanuteIAm Thu 09-Jul-09 21:33:07

Well, if he is certain that is what he was told he does need to seek a second opinion at the very least. FNF would give him that without the rigmarole of finding a new lawyer, he could then decide if he wanted any more help from them (having contact may put to rest any ideas of FFJ for him).

Anyway, my first port of call would be to go back and ask his lawyer to explain it all again.

namechangeforasec Thu 09-Jul-09 21:40:04

thanks again, will suggest FNF again and I reckon someone needs to go with him next time he sees the lawyer.

KingCanuteIAm Thu 09-Jul-09 21:52:30

That would be a good idea, I always found that I forgot half the stuff said and spent half of the next meeting clarifying things from the previous one, there is such a lot to take in and it is a terribly upsetting time and subject to be dealing with.

Surfermum Thu 09-Jul-09 22:02:32

Dh's experience was the complete opposite. When he split up with dsd's mum he wanted to have contact with his dd and his 2 step-children, one of whom thought he was his Dad.

Their mum refused (in fact refused contact with dsd as well) and while the Court were prepared to order contact with his dd they wouldn't order contact with the step-children. One of the step-children was having occasional contact with her father, the other's Dad had made it clear he just didn't want to know sad.

I can't see that if they weren't willing to order it for someone who wanted to see them, that they would order it for someone who wasn't IYSWIM.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 09-Jul-09 22:06:59

Message withdrawn

Silver1 Sat 11-Jul-09 19:50:30

I think either the lawyer was confused or the advice went in the wrong way.
Your friend can apply for contact with the twins, and because he has been a strong and significant person in eldest child's life, and because they can be considered a family unit he can apply for contact with eldest child.

This relationship does not extend to the OM in this scenario and so a court would not rule that week-ends be divided into three.

The family court is very reluctant to make an order that has not been asked for-so if there is a question of OM taking the three children someone would have to have asked for it. He has no legal right to contact with the twins.

The only time a court generally considers a "family unit" scenario in relation to children is when parents try to divy up the children's residence in a divorce agreement. The court feels children are a family unit, that they have lost a significant part of their family unit and so the premise would be to keep some of the family unit together for the children so that they can support each other.

My advice would be to get your friend to change solicitor to one that he is happy with.

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