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TOPIC: Stag do on father's weekend

Stag do on father's weekend 2 months 1 day ago #100638

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Hey All,

Short background: My partner has got his court order that states when his daughter should be made available for contact. Since 4 years of court he and his ex have been communicating a lot better than they were, they still are not in an ideal place but it is improving.

I was wondering where you stand if the situation was to arise:
1. My niece's birthday party falls on mother's weekend - on the sunday.
2. He has a stag do that has fallen on his weekend

So he has asked for 2 things:
1 - for his daughter to attend my niece's birthday party and offered to swap weekends if the mother is not willing to give up her day. She agreed to swap weekends.
2. - for him to swap weekends on the weekend of the Stag. The mother has refused to swap weekends and said he can either not go and have his daughter or miss the weekend.

Personally I feel that co parenting means parenting as you would as a couple. If they were together he would attend and child would stay with mother and mother would attend events whilst child remains in father's care?

The stag do is a close friend of his and potentially his best man. (Mother does not know whose stag do it is)

So, where do you stand with the stag do?
Can she refuse contact on the basis that dad won't be looking after their child and will instead be in my care still bonding with father's extended family?
How will the courts view it?

I do know that if he says child will remain in my care or his mother's/sister's etc that mother will refuse contact that weekend as she does not approve of their child being in the care of others, even though she does regularly leave the child in her mother's/partner's care.

Thoughts?

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Stag do on father's weekend 2 months 1 day ago #100639

Sounds like she is being unreasonable and difficult, and clearly doesn't want your partner (childs dad) to have any kind of social life. That's clear from the fact that she will swap for your nieces party, but not the stag do. Things go this way far to often, Mothers still want to exert some control over their Ex's lives, and this is the only way they can do it.

It would be better for both parties if there was flexibility on both sides (not saying your partner is not flexible) it makes life so much easier. If she wants to go out one weekend, then she can ask your partner to swap. You sound like decent people so would no doubt agree.

I am sure that a Court order says that the childs mother has to make the child available for contact NOT that the father has to attend. If he is giving her plenty of notice then I cant see the courts having a problem as he is being more than reasonable.

My advice would be for him to attend the stag do, and miss out on the weekend. He cant be showing his Ex that she still has control over him in that way.Chances are that if he does that, she will not try to do it in the future. When she wants to swap in the future for any reason, don't refuse on the basis that she refused. Agree to it if its in good time and it wont affect what you both have planned with work etc. She'll see this and get bored with refusing to swap with him again as her actions will not have the desired outcome. Also he deserves a life.

Yes he will have to miss out on seeing his daughter one weekend, but this will be a short term loss for a long term gain.

I don't have any court order, but my ex was like this to start. Refusing to swap at any time. It wasn't until I missed a few weekends of contact instead of missing out having a social life that this changed, and she realised she didn't have any more control over me. Now if I give her plenty of notice to swap she agrees almost all of the time.

It get easier with time I promise.

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Stag do on father's weekend 2 months 1 day ago #100640

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Thanks Yoda!
It is frustrating only because I think both sides should be flexible and certainly agree that he shouldn't refuse in future on the basis that she has. This is probably the best advice because I have noticed each time I told him to continue doing the right thing eventually (maybe even years later) his ex has slowly given up on being so so difficult hence why now they are co parenting better.

The problem we have is that the first time she found out their daughter was going to spend time with his sister and her kids for a sleepover and therefore without him present for the overnight, he would be there in the evening and morning once she woke up but she refused contact. The second time he informed her that he had an event and his mother was going to care for his daughter that evening but she agreed to swap weekends as she didn't want his family to be involved (not sure if this was an influenced decision as this was near approaching a court hearing) This time he thought it would be better to mention it so they can swap as he knows she does not approve of me or his family caring for his daughter and will just refuse contact if she was to find out.

I was thinking about him replying, pointing out that she leaves their daughter in the sole care of her parents/partner without her present and therefore he should be entitled to do the same if need be.

Something like mentioning times she has left child solely in others care and then...
Due to your previous reservations, I thought it would be better to communicate and swap weekends, than not mention anything at all and leave child in the care of my family members as I know you do not agree with that. On the basis of the above including that you have left child in the sole care of your family members including partner, I would like you to follow the court order and make child available as child has the right to spend quality time with her paternal extended family. It will be my parental decision whom will be caring for child in the event that I choose to go to the stag, which is currently undecided. Having said that my decision should not dictate whether contact should or should not take place that weekend as it is my decision of how I spend childs weekend.

Is it worth it? Will it just start an argument? Would it be worse if he insisted to have his weekend knowing he wasn't going to be there? But still letting his daughter spend time with me and his family? I kind of want to respond in case it goes further so he can show how it happened and show how she leaves child in care of others but refuses contact if he does the same.

I personally feel my partner should respond with the above and if she still refuses contact that weekend, I think my partner should go for an enforcement (a waste of £215). Nothing will happen but show the mother she can't just refuse hence why I wondered what the courts would think?

Also:
Our final hearing was prior to Easter holidays this year and she breached it immediately by not giving him half of the Easter holidays and instead spent a week with daughter and let daughter spend a week with her parents on a camping trip without mother present instead of with her father. He didn't do anything at the time because it seemed too much hassle than what it was worth. He didn't want to take away the camping trip as his child was excited and because court had only finalised a week prior. He finds court very stressful and will avoid it if he can!

Sorry for the essay again ! Just want an external thought because sometimes those involved are too emotionally attached and can't see the whole picture

Thanks in advance

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Stag do on father's weekend 2 months 1 day ago #100641

I'll give my honest opinion on the situation.

It is frustrating only because I think both sides should be flexible and certainly agree that he shouldn't refuse in future on the basis that she has. This is probably the best advice because I have noticed each time I told him to continue doing the right thing eventually (maybe even years later) his ex has slowly given up on being so so difficult hence why now they are co parenting better.

Abolsutely, both sides should be flexible, it makes life so much easier for everyone. Clearly as I mentioned in the first post, your partners Ex does not want to make it easier for him.

The problem we have is that the first time she found out their daughter was going to spend time with his sister and her kids for a sleepover and therefore without him present for the overnight, he would be there in the evening and morning once she woke up but she refused contact. The second time he informed her that he had an event and his mother was going to care for his daughter that evening but she agreed to swap weekends as she didn't want his family to be involved (not sure if this was an influenced decision as this was near approaching a court hearing) This time he thought it would be better to mention it so they can swap as he knows she does not approve of me or his family caring for his daughter and will just refuse contact if she was to find out.

I can see her point of view that she only wants their child to spend time with their dad. It is the dads time with the child, and this is very important as you both know. Also how old is the child? If the child is younger the mother may be nervous about them spending time with anyone other than the father. He should absolutely tell the mother what is happening, and not leave the child with a family member for the weekend. This will cause no end of problems and arguments, making life difficult for you all. As he has parental responsibility he has the right to do whatever he wants with the child, but in the grand scheme of things is it worth it?


With regards to the message back, I wouldnt do it, it will start a whole manner of things. She could refuse contact as she doesnt want the child staying with family members, making up safeguarding issues. Before you know it your back in court with CAFCASS doing assesments on everyone. Not worth it. Total waste of everyones time and money.

Tell your partner to forget the weekend if she wont swap, and go and have fun on the stag do. Maybe he can facetime the child the week before and the week after maybe, or take them out for tea one evening? That what I try to do if I miss a weekend.

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Stag do on father's weekend 2 months 1 day ago #100643

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I also see where she's coming, at the end of the day if you're not going to spend time with the child why not let the child stay with the other parent. But it just can't be one rule and not the other. Like mum leaves child with her family/partner but dad not allowed to? It has left him in a no win situation by refusing his family to care for the child and refusing to swap weekends.

The child is 5 and half. She has a really close bond with his family and created a good bond with mine as she lived in my family home for 2 years.

Unfortunately the mother won't allow him to see her during the week but it is in his court order to have a video chat once a week.

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Stag do on father's weekend 2 months 23 hours ago #100644

I agree its totally unfair, but the mother (or the resident parent) has the upper hand on most cases, and often take advantage of this. Hope it works out ok for you, and more importantly that you and your partner get through it together ok.

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Stag do on father's weekend 1 month 4 weeks ago #100665

Yoda94 wrote: I agree its totally unfair, but the mother (or the resident parent) has the upper hand on most cases, and often take advantage of this. Hope it works out ok for you, and more importantly that you and your partner get through it together ok.


yes the mothers seem to become big control freaks. the way my ex behaves, you would think she took out a CAO against me lol. i am getting closer to the point, where one day i will tell her, your making my life difficult, so sod off, i am not seeing my kids on such and such day because im not available. this woman grew up without a dad so she wouldnt give a dam any way.

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Stag do on father's weekend 1 month 3 weeks ago #100696

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Personally I feel that co parenting means parenting as you would as a couple. If they were together he would attend and child would stay with mother and mother would attend events whilst child remains in father's care?

If this was really the case, there wouldn't be a court order at all, but because they have gone to court, then the court has made a ruling that needs to be stuck to except by mutual agreement. If they can't agree to vary it, then the order is what has to be adhered to, so there is no obligation at all for her to vary from this, and the order is for him to have contact. I can't see a court would vary the order if she is sticking to it.

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Stag do on father's weekend 1 month 3 weeks ago #100698

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Briefly, I would say pick your battles.

She's agreed to swap one weekend and refused to swap the other. She isn't legally bound to swap weekends to suit social schedules and a court would not think this unreasonable.

If she breaches properly - eg similar to the Easter Holiday, then you can go for enforcement.

In the scheme of things, this is one weekend that could spiral into further issues that you probably don't want.

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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.
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