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Covid and access
13

Ickle37 · 25/10/2020 22:18

We have never sort access to my sd- we abide by the rules set down by dh ex. However these have become increasingly strict due to covid.
For background dh works abroad, me and dd live in another country and sd in uk ( i know it sounds mental, it is, but this is a result of Covid-we are making stuff work). Dh, when on " breather breaks" goes back to uk and we meet him there. He wants to see his dd over the Christmas period ( he will be tested on arrival and given permission not to isolate, so covers all legalities, unless he gets covid!) . We know is ex will block access.
My understanding is that this isn't actually allowed, is there a quick route to telling her in writing she needs to adhere to the law? He wont have time for mediation, nor does he want to drag everyone through courts. He just wants his ex to allow him to see his dd during her holidays, not cause hideous scenes, or demand they dont touch.
Anyone else been in this situation?
For clarity, dsd and dh talk all the time and are very close, but is now following the party line of " mummy says its dangerous to see you and i might die" .
Any step- parents experiencing similar?
Please dont answer horribly, i just want a very kind man to see his very lovely daughter.

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FatCatThinCat · 25/10/2020 22:23

My understanding is that if there is no court then she can block access and the only way to stop it is to get a court order. Sad but that's the way it is I'm afraid.

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KylieKoKo · 25/10/2020 23:59

Yes it's not against the law unless you have a court order. Would your DH pursue this? Do you think his ex is genuinely concerned or is this a way of her exerting control. I think frightening a child by telling them that seeing their other parent could result in their death is parental alienation which doesn't go down well with the courts.

I feel very sorry for children who are used as pawns in power games between parents. Ultimately it's them who are hurt the most.

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Enoughnowstop · 26/10/2020 00:03

There is no law that says ‘you must not block access to your child’s other parent at Christmas when they have travelled a long way’. You can write and ask her to be reasonable but I am afraid mediation and court are often the only way.

How old is your DSD?

There are genuine issues with covid and there are many families making decisions they’d normally not make. The major sticking point is the potentially long incubation period which no test, as it stands, is able to deal with. One of my colleagues had mild symptoms and had a negative test, for example, and had to wait till day 11 before she tested positive. It is a minefield and not unreasonable that people try and protect themselves. This is particularly the case if you have sole care of children and your ex lives in another country! How about asking to see her with some obvious safety measures in place to protect all of you?

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Magda72 · 26/10/2020 00:25

I'm with @Enoughnowstop on this.
My 18 yo moved away to uni in Sept. & I've only seen him once. We're now back in nearly full lockdown where I am with no travelling so I won't see him until Dec. at least as no travel allowed.
Yes he's 18 but this is unbelievably difficult for both of us especially his as it's his first time living away from home.
The transmission of Covid is extremely serious & many family's 'traditional' or blended are having to go long periods without seeing each other properly.

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MeridianB · 26/10/2020 06:02

Is DD’s mother blocking access because of Covid? Presumably she knows you live abroad in one country and DH works abroad in a different country?

What has she said to DH?

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UnmentionedElephantDildo · 26/10/2020 06:38

"he will be tested on arrival and given permission not to isolate"

Are you sure this is the case? Testing does not release you from the requirement to quarantine.

Certain professions NHS are exempt, but only for strict working exemptions (not for private travel)

So if DSD is in UK, he needs to factor in 14 days.

Is that part of the plan?

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MeridianB · 26/10/2020 09:13

I don't agree with one parent banning another from Christmas contact but I do completely understand that some RPs feel cheated by doing the lion's share of care throughout the year and then don't want to miss a really special part. I can see how this mum might feel like this, this year and with the father in a another country.

Even so, there is always room for compromise - Christmas Eve or Boing Day instead of Christmas Day etc.

And of course the age of the child is relevant, too. How old is DSD?

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RedMarauder · 26/10/2020 09:18

Covid is not a normal situation and even if the situation is normal unless the child is over 13, so is expected by the Court to exercise some of their own agency, yes the parent the child lives with can block access to the other parent if they feel like it with no Court Order.

Your DH needs to go to mediation. If no agreement is made or the agreement made is not stuck to by the mother then he needs to go to Court if he wants a long term situation.

The only thing I would advise is that if he does go that route is to ensure the mediation sessions are concluded in a couple of months. I know of cases were either parent involved have dragged the sessions out for 6-12 months often on the advice of solicitors/legal executives. (They aren't being unreasonable advising this because they see lots if shit.) If the child is 11/12 when mediation starts then he risks no Court Order being granted if that happens.

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lunar1 · 26/10/2020 09:40

What rule allows him to not isolate?

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NiceViper · 26/10/2020 11:13

It covers a lot of professions but only for the purposes of work.

It does not cover holidays and family visits. And if he really does try and claim an exemption for a non-work trip, then he will quickly find the law is not on his side.

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SoloMummy · 26/10/2020 15:05

There is guidance to say contact continues during covid. But tbh that alone won't hold much water.
A solicitor letter reminding her and mentioning that parental alienation is against the law mayhelp, but I doubt it. And even an order, if she's not likely to follow is worthless if you don't take her out back to court.
Court doesn't have to cost a lot as you can self represent.

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Pinkyxx · 29/10/2020 07:46

The purpose of the travel exemptions is to ensure critical staff can still travel to work. This is not to say there are no risks associated with doing so. It’s like saying following the current rules in the UK mean no risk - they absolutely don’t ! A lot of risk is allowed in these rules, as is evident from rising cases. Your DH will find himself foul of the rules if he’s using this exemption for anything other than work reasons.

You don’t say where you live, or your DH occupation, but this is relevant to judge the risk. A risk which your dsd mother may reasonably be trying to mitigate. She may have vulnerable family she needs to support, or fears getting ill when the sole career. With your DH abroad it’s not like he can help at short notice...

The UK family courts stated in March that whilst contact can continue, the resident parent can ( if the judge the risk to be too much) stop contact. The spirit of orders (ie contact ) should be maintained by other means with say zoom calls. Sounds like this is happening anyway ...

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