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What is reasonable contact?

13 replies

easytosay · 07/08/2009 16:15

Hi, can any one help or advise?

I am in the process of trying to get residence sorted out for my daughter. She is 4 years old. She is due to start school in January 2010 and currently goes to nursery. She has a brother but not with the same dad. He is 11 years old and in senior school.
Currently the exp has dd for 25 hours a week. He has no contact with dd's sibling and this is not going to change.
How much contact do you think is reasonable to suggest to exp?

OP posts:
DLI · 07/08/2009 20:34

i think its all down to the individual situation, personally i would let him have contact probably Friday to Saturday or Saturday to Sunday every other weekend and maybe one night during the week until she goest to school and then i would want her to be at home every night in a routine, but would probably let him have her for tea on a Tuesday or wednesday. you and your son need to spend time with her together as well. during holidays i would probably split them equally, but in the six weeks i would do it one week with you, one week with him, and so on. i would want her to have a main home with me but some families have their children living with them for equal amounts of time (shared residence. its really whatever you think is best and what is acceptable to not disrupt her routine/behaviour etc

easytosay · 08/08/2009 10:35

Thanks DLI. This was sort of what i was thinking. I have cafcass involved but not met with them yet. Do you feel that they would see this arrangement as fair contact?

OP posts:
DLI · 08/08/2009 13:59

yes i think they would

easytosay · 08/08/2009 14:10

DLI do you know anything about finances with children. Exp doesnt pay anything towards his daughter and csa are taking their time.

DD goes to nursery and tax credits dont cover the bill. Should he be asked to pay half or would it be seen that i should pay?

EXP has said that if he gets full residence (which is what he wants) he will take her out of nursery as he couldnt afford it. He would get tax credits either as he only works 13 hours a week.

Would this be frowned upon by cafcass? Surely changing dd's routine would be very detremental to her?

OP posts:
ChocHobNob · 08/08/2009 14:59

Once CSA is sorted out, he wont be expected to pay anything on top of that amount, so the child support you get would be expected to go towards the child care costs.

Does your DD not qualify for the free 12.5 hours a week nursery places, that you could put her in to save money?

Your partner could do this IF he got full residence, although is that very likely?

I thought reasonable contact was normally every other weekend, fri/sat - sun and a night in the week.

ChocHobNob · 08/08/2009 15:01

Sorry should have said "ex partner".

easytosay · 08/08/2009 15:33

DD will qualify for the 12.5 free in January.
If he gets full residency he says he will take her out of nursery as he can not afford it. I will not be able to afford it all as i have another child to support also.
I guess he will be able to get money off me from csa if he gets what he wants?

I have no idea if he will get full residency but i hope not. DD has a sibling and a room of her own and i own the family home and he lives in a house with 3 other adults (these are family members though)

OP posts:
ChocHobNob · 08/08/2009 15:35

Are you in England? They qualify for the nursery places the term after they turn 3 normally. Is she 4 already?

ChocHobNob · 08/08/2009 15:41

And it sounds like the chances of him getting full custody are very slim anyway, especially as you allow access already and they wont want to split siblings up. I can't believe a solicitor has even led him to believe he stands a chance

easytosay · 08/08/2009 15:48

Yes, he is on legal aid and his solicitor appears to be giving him information that is making him very confident.
I think i must have done a typo, meant to say daughter is 3 (three). to be exact she will be three in a couple of months so was told it will be January when the free hours kick in.
I feel i am being reasonable with the 2.5 days i have given him with the help of cafcass but he is going all out for full residence. He has not considered the fact that he has no seperate room for dd, her fondness and closeness to her sibling, the fact that he only works 13 hours a week meaning that he has very little income to be able to keep her and the fact that he is sharing a house with family members so it is very over crowded.
Instead he is throwing acusations against me saying that i am a bad mother with a drink problem and a weight problem. It is actually him that has the drink problem and he even used to hide his bottles around the house.

OP posts:
ChocHobNob · 08/08/2009 16:01

That makes sense lol You did say 4 in your original post.

They wont take a child off of her mother unless there is proof she is unfit. It is easy to prove your innocence with regards to alcohol problems, a simple blood test will do. Maybe you can then counteract his argument if these tests are demanded and ask he is tested to as you have concerns about him as well.

A friend of mine recently had her ex take her to court for access to their daughter and accused her of having a drink problem. The judge demanded a liver function test to be done which her solicitor then demanded one be done on the ex as well, she complied with within the time period and was clear ... he surprisingly, or not ... was late in doing his.

All you have said will go against him, mainly the sibling thing and he has no space for her.

Good luck with it all x

easytosay · 08/08/2009 16:09

Thanks. Yea, his solicitor said that i had to do a liver function test so i agreed on the condition that ex had to do one too. It then got changed to a hair strand test so again, i said yes as long as he had one done too. He said he cant have it done as he is bald. The judge then told him that the hair didnt have to come from his head. I havent heard anything else about it other than him actually bad mouthing me about it but no request for me to do these tests.

I would happily do them. I do drink mind but not to excess. I guess it is only over a certain amount they look for? Misuse or dependancy?

OP posts:
Snorbs · 10/08/2009 23:37

This is how it was explained to me:

If you drink excessively (or your liver is otherwise knackered) then the liver starts "leaking" some of its enzymes into the bloodstream as it can't deal with everything it's being asked to do. A healthy liver, in someone who doesn't drink to excess, doesn't leak. The presence and amount of enzyme "leakage" is what a liver function test is for.

Hair sample tests don't generally show any results for moderate drinking. You need to be drinking fairly heavily (or on a binge/sober cycle) for any significant results to be detectable in the hair.

If a liver function test shows no significantly elevated enzyme levels then it suggests that the liver's reasonably healthy and the person's not been drinking excessively in the previous few weeks. A young, otherwise fit person might get away with a few weeks abstinence and "pass". An older, longer-term heavy drinker is more likely to show liver problems. Hair sample tests will show heavy drinking but is vague on amounts.

To complete the set, breathalysing shows if the person being tested has drunk in the prior few hours (or up to a day or so after very heavy drinking).

There are no clinical tests that will show alcohol dependency as that's primarily a behavioural thing. The most the tests will show is if heavy drinking has been going on in the relatively recent past.

The fact that he's not pursuing testing will speak volumes to the judge.

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