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TOPIC: Thoughts on Contact Outcomes

Thoughts on Contact Outcomes 4 years 6 months ago #63008

Hi. Having had some useful advice from this forum before I was seeing if I could canvass opinion again.

Having split from my ex some six months ago I have had contact with my 4 year old son limited to a few hours on every other Sunday. I live nearby and had a close relationship with him. Ex has refused parent plans, requests to talk and last week decided to not attend a first post MIAM mediation session that had been arranged saying its a waste of money. Instead a letter from her solicitor was issued saying I can now have a tea (no overnight) once a week building up to a possible sat morning to Sunday evening, but that is all it will ever be. This to me seems limited, although she says I should count myself lucky. Ideally I want greater contact (mid week stay over plus every other weekend Fri to Monday morning and equal division of hols) but more importantly some greater involvement as a parent as she is really only seeing my involvement as visitations.

Court whilst a last ditch, is seeming more likely now, but only if I can get a better outcome closer to what I feel is best for me and my son.

Any thoughts on whether a better outcome could be achieved? I realise there is financial cost and that it will damage the ability to be amicable with the ex over him but really all I get off her at the moment are outbursts of anger and swearing and little else. I also know each case is different and nothing is certain but some general advice would be appreciated.

Thanks...

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Last Edit: by Jim310743. Reason: update

Thoughts on Contact Outcomes 4 years 6 months ago #63035

  • Mojo
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Hi there

The problem is that the court will see that she has offered a schedule of increasing contact and they may not be happy that you have refused that and taken court action.

I understand that you think she can't be trusted and you're probably right to be cautious. My advice would be to write to her solicitor acknowledging the letter. Thank her for her proposals but point out that this could have been discussed and a schedule of increasing contact put in place during mediation. Put it to her that the courts consider that it is the child's right to have both parents fully involved in their life and they work from a base point of a weekly midweek overnight and alternate weekends from Friday after school, dropping off at school on Monday morning. The drop off at school being important so that you can have some interaction with his school and get to know his teachers and to be involved in his school life. Also request that school holidays are shared equally and that birthdays and Christmas are worked out on an alternate system, one year with you and the next with her.

Include a schedule of increasing contact over a three month period starting with a full saturday for a month, increasing to include Friday overnight until Saturday teatime for a month. Then a further increase to include a Sunday overnight. In the third month. At that point the midweek overnight can be introduced. This gives the mother as well as your son a chance to get used to the changes.

You can include a copy of the blank CAFCASS Parenting Plan and ask that the mother fill this in as it is something that the courts like to see, as it is considered a useful tool to successful co parenting. Include a copy that you have already filled in and say that it's a starting point but you would be happy to discuss any alternative suggestions she would like to make. Make it clear that you want to work together for the benefit of your son and give her a time limit to get back to you in writing. State that if agreement can't be reached, or you do not get a response, as Mediation has been refused, you will have no alternative but to apply to court for a Child Arrangements Order for defined contact.

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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.

Thoughts on Contact Outcomes 4 years 6 months ago #63045

Thanks so much for the advice Mojo. Very useful and has helped me have confidence in taking this forward. Cheers.

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