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TOPIC: Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me

Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me 4 months 4 days ago #98396

  • dlondon
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Lot's of issues between us so rather than one long thread thought I'd start with contact with my son. There is nothing formal between us, it's all what we agreed ourselves.

I used to have him on average 10 nights a month. Then his mum wanted him to go to an activity on a Saturday morning and he preferred to just go to hers on Fridays after school meaning I now had 8 days a month.

When his Saturday activity ended I asked if I could have the Friday night back and was told no because he was now doing something on Friday nights.

So, I asked for Wednesday nights so I could take him to an activity and was told no because, "he doesn't have friends near you, if he's doing activities they need to be with his friends who are near me"

Well, I'd like him to make friends near me and how can I do that if she won't let me?

I'm willing to ask work so see if I can leave early to pick him from school, spend more time with him, take him out and she is saying no to that before I've even tried!

I don't get it at all - I'm willing and able to spend more time with my son and his mother is actually saying I can't do that.

I'm trying to put together a parent plan but she is refusing to participate - twice I've tried and on both occasions it's been ignored. I've said we will need to use mediation if she doesn't want to participate but that isn't making much difference so far.

Any suggestions? There are other issues - money related - which I will cover in another thread - just doesn't make sense at all!

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Last Edit: by dlondon. Reason: typo

Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me 4 months 4 days ago #98398

  • Mojo
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Hi there

If she won’t agree to a midweek, which I think is reasonable, then mediation to try and sort it out is the first step. Contact a mediator and have a chat about the issues and leave it to them to write to your ex and ask her to attend, it’s often the case that an official request works, where a direct request has failed. If she ignores the letter, or mediation fails, the mediator will sign the form to enable you to make an application to court for a Child Arrangements Order.

The fact that she is eroding your contact isn’t good and if you don’t try and stop it, you may find that she continues to chip away at it. When your child is with you, is he happy, doesn’t he look forward to the time you spend together?

Children will often say what they think each parent wants to hear. Just make your time with him fun, with no pressure, or discussions about his mum... which you probably do anyway!

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.

Last Edit: by Mojo.

Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me 4 months 4 days ago #98399

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I understand midweek not being ideal - but she is quite prepared to do things midweek with him herself. I'm close to the school so would be dropping him there the next morning so it actually saves her long trips there and back.

We have constant battles over contact - she doesn't plan anything ahead, asks me to look after him during holidays when it is her turn (I do a bit extra weekends as I don't have much annual leaver).

My child does enjoy our time together - it's not always super fun but I do try and get the essentials done - proper meals, bedtime routine, play together a bit - it's not perfect - I find dad stuff hard to do and keep on top of chores and other bits. I sort nearly all his clothes, paperwork for school etc so it can be quite overwhelming.

It feels like she is wanting the convenience side and cutting off the formal side.

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Last Edit: by dlondon.

Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me 4 months 3 days ago #98402

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Many Child Arrangements Orders include a midweek contact, be it a teatime or overnight stay, so I wouldn’t agree that it isn’t ideal, I think a lot depends on the distance a child has to travel, obviously too far wouldn’t be workable for a school age child.

Although there aren't set rules for the amount of contact, the fall back position can be a full weekend every fortnight and a weekly midweek contact. The reason for the alternating weekends is because courts consider that both parents should have quality weekend time with the children.

This may be a sticking point for you if you were to go to court, and because of the stated Friday evening activity, they may want to order Saturday/Sunday every fortnight and a weekly midweek stay. Often with orders such as this they would also order a 50/50 share of school holidays, which might not be workable for you, if you don’t get much annual leave.

Before you set the ball rolling I would advise that you see what concessions your employer is prepared to make first.

I would also want to know exactly what activity he takes part in on Fridays and what time it finishes. As it’s a weekend, I don’t see the problem picking him up after the activity, maybe you could push for Friday nights to be returned on that basis.

Have a firm plan going into mediation, there’s nothing to stop you completing a parenting plan to take with you, to show how you would like it to work. You can download one from CAFCASS or use the one we have on this site.

Just one other thing... chores can wait a day or two and bedtimes can be a little more flexible at the weekends!

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.

Last Edit: by Mojo.

Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me 4 months 3 days ago #98403

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Here’s a link to our parenting plan

dadinfo.splittingup-putkidsfirst.org.uk/home

There’s also a link to the CAFCASS parenting plan in the stickys at the top of the legal eagle section.

Hope that helps

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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.

Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me 3 months 4 weeks ago #98519

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Thanks - I've tried that - she says she is taking legal advice.

I've suggested that it's better to at least try to use the plan but she won't discuss it.

Does this now mean I'm heading towards an expensive legal battle?

Would a court even be interested if she refuses to respond to my offer to resolve things ourselves?

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Ex won't agree to my son having an extra night with me 3 months 4 weeks ago #98525

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If she won’t agree to a plan, there’s not a lot you can do about that. Mediation will be the next step, if she takes legal advice, she should be told that mediation has to be attempted first.

I would contact a mediation service, discuss the issues and leave it to them to write to her to ask her to attend.

You could put it in writing to her that you would like to work it out without going to court and that it’s a pity that she has refused to discuss a parenting plan, but the offer will remain on the table. That way you have proof that you have tried to resolve the issues first.

To be honest though, the court won’t react to the fact that she has refused, but it’s worth making the point anyway.

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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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