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Advice needed re access arrangements

(9 Posts)
justchecking1 Thu 25-Apr-19 07:39:48

I'm posting this on behalf of DP. I know you'll say it's none of my business, but I have access to Mumsnet and he doesn't do easier for me to ask. I'm not get involved in real life other than to support DP.

Access arrangements for his DD have broken down. Previously he had 2 evenings every week and EOW Friday to Sunday. His ex has now said one evening per week and every Sunday 10-8. No overnights. DP also has other children who followed the same pattern (no changes with these).

ExP won't say why she wants to change but has recently started a new hobby for which she needs childcare every Sunday. This would seem to be the reason.

She won't go back on the new arrangement so DP has arranged mediation and is fully prepared to go to court. However, he can't get an individual interview date for mediation until end of May so it looks like the whole process is likely to take months.

My question is, what does he do in the meantime. He clearly doesn't want to stop seeing DD, that isn't an option. However his fear is that if he goes along with the suggested contact then by the time it finally gets to court the judge will see it as the new normal and won't change it back again. It clearly isn't in DDs best interests as it reduces her sibling contact and since her GPs live far away she will never see them (can't get there and back in one day and they can't get to us).

Should we stick to EOW but just have the Sunday's? Or go along with every Sunday? What would be your advice for now if in the future DP was going to ask the judge for the original agreement back?

Thanks for any help you can offer

RateThisState Thu 25-Apr-19 11:05:05

I don’t understand why she isn’t allowing overnights? Surely if she’s got a new hobby then she should have asked “can you have DD from 10-8 every Sunday” in addition to the existing arrangements? It makes no sense?
Is there a chance she’s removing all overnights to claim more CMS?

I would simply say no, these changes are not happening but you’re happy to help out on the in between Sundays.
I would be tempted to put your objections in writing and then collect DD from school on the normal Friday you would have her without mum’s permission (you don’t need it anyway if Dad has PR). Although this is likely to inflame the situation.

Have you had a solicitor formally write to her objecting to the new plans? Make it clear you think it isn’t in her best interests and list all the reasons why such as sibling contact etc.
Then you may have to go along with it for a bit but I would send letters in between petitioning for the old routine and emphasising any negative impact being noticed on the child and others in the household. That way the judge is unlikely to view it as the new normal because you’ve stated all the way along that it isn’t working.

T2705 Thu 25-Apr-19 12:03:52

Hi,

How old is his DD? Is it possible that she is getting older and would prefer to be at home doing stuff with her mates at the weekends?

justchecking1 Thu 25-Apr-19 12:14:37

DD is only 6, it definitely isn't coming from her. ExP has said that because he no longer has overnights they will have to recalculate his maintenance payments to reflect this.

Basically it seems to come down to wanting to remove overnights to claim more money and wanting him to do every Sunday so she can do her hobby without childcare worries.

He has offered to do every Sunday in addition to the current arrangement on a temporary basis (he works EOW do this can't be a permanent fix) but she is adamant she only wants to consider Sunday's and one midweek evening.

There is just no reasoning. I've also posted this in legal, but it seems legally there is no way to continue current contact without her agreement, and no way to compel her to attend mediation if she refuses (she will)

Looks like court is his only option. She is banking on the fact DP can't afford it

NorthernSpirit Thu 25-Apr-19 13:42:13

Legally, the mother isn’t in control, in charge, nor does she get to dictate contact.

Go straight to court - no need to wait weeks for mediation. Your OH can apply and represent himself - it’s £215.

If she is stopping contact to claim more maintenance it’s appalling behaviour and she can explain to a judge how money is more important to a child’s relationship with their father.

Your OH doesn’t have to do what she says. Your OH has PR and as much say as her.

RateThisState Thu 25-Apr-19 14:11:28

NorthernSpirit is right... legally she has no more right than him.
However in reality I can see why it would be extremely difficult if she doesn’t agree to access. It’s crap for you OP and she sounds like a massive cunt x

justchecking1 Thu 25-Apr-19 15:00:32

Thank you all so much for your help, I really appreciate it

NorthernSpirit Thu 25-Apr-19 15:16:09

Honestly court is the only way.

My OH has a very unreasonable EW. Aveda was only on her teens and she dictates when the kids could spend time with dad.

At one point if he didn’t give her £3k he could ‘forget contact’ (in her words).

He took her to court and they have a very defined contact order. When she breached that order (which she did in the beginning) he took her back. It was the threat by a judge of change of residency if she continued that seems to have changed things.

NorthernSpirit Thu 25-Apr-19 15:17:06

Contact (not Aveda)??

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