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TOPIC: Changing childcare arrangements

Changing childcare arrangements 2 months 2 weeks ago #98163

So I have had 50% of care of my two girls for 7 years. This was based on a consent order we agreed on divorce.

My ex has written to my solicitor to say my two daughters and her have agreed a new arrangement that they want me to follow immediately,

I have not seen the letter yet but I know it will mean less access than I have had for the last 7 years. This is due to her wanting to making sure she gets child maintenance (as calculated through the CMS).

Legally do I have any argument to say that I will not accept this? I know from the younger daughter that she wants 50/50 (she is 11) and the older one is upset that she is being asked and feels like she is put into the middle (she is 14)

Has anyone experienced anything like this? I dont have anything in writing about shared care, expect the mediation notes which formed the agreement we have had for 7 years.

Surely she cant issue changes like this without my consent?

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Changing childcare arrangements 2 months 2 weeks ago #98165

  • Mojo
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Hi there

Unfortunately she can, your agreement wasn’t legally binding, unless the 50/50 shared care was mentioned in the divorce papers as part of the final settlement.

Will you be instructing your solicitor to respond? I would certainly make a response, whether from your solicitor, or directly from you, keeping it in writing.

I would make the point that your children have spoken to you freely about it (try and avoid saying that you questioned them) ...the youngest has expressed a wish for contact to remain the same and the oldest is upset at being made to feel that they are being asked to take a position/being in the middle.

Any statement drawn up in mediation s a confidential document and can only be referred to in broad terms.

Courts do expect some flexibility in terms of the quality of contact, children’s needs change as they get older and some flexibility needs to be applied from both sides. That said, it appears from your what your children have said, that this decision has been taken unilaterally and not as a request based on the children’s wishes.

I would say that if she pushes ahead with this, mediation and a court application to get the current and long standing arrangements written into an order would be your next step. I would certainly include these options in any letter to her, stating that you would take all steps available to you to maintain the current arrangements.

All the best

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Changing childcare arrangements 2 months 2 weeks ago #98171

Thank you - yes I will respond - probably via the solicitor and I think request she attend mediation (i tired this is December she refused on grounds of she could not afford it)

Now she is getting £538 a month from me so I don't think she can say this now

My solicitor said something before Xmas about how her intentions seem to be motivated by £££ which has to be true as why else change what's been in place for so long

It's disgusting that the system seems to motivate a parent to increase their own access to gain a financial reward. I have written to my MP to express that feeling but dont suppose anything will happen.

Thanks for your advice much appreciated

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Changing childcare arrangements 2 months 2 weeks ago #98174

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Let us know how you get on with it. I wouldn’t waste any time addressing it, get to mediation now as a preemptive measure, it can take a few weeks from application to the first hearing, if mediation fails.

Let’s hope she realises that you won’t take it lying down and the prospect of court will put her off putting it into action.

Best of luck

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

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