Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Granted access to my child, what happens next?
#1
I have this week been granted a very minimal amount of access to my 16 month year old daughter. i have not seen her since April this year. Unfortunately me and her mother separated in August last year when my daughter was only 8 weeks old. However, I was still having regular contact with her in their home, this being every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in the evening after work between 5.00pm and 7.30pm as well as Sunday's between 11.00am and 3.30pm.
I got with my new partner in December and it wasn't long after this that my time was cut down in the evenings to 5.00pm-6.00pm.

In January my ex would also allow me to take my daughter round to see my mum on my own on the Sunday's for a couple of  hours. 

This was fine until April when my ex just flipped and said I could no longer see my daughter until I got a court order. So the very next day I rang the child maintenance service and got the ball rolling to set up payments for my child, I did this in order to be one step ahead despite already paying payments in cash to my ex,  I thought it would be better to have a paper trail from my bank account. I then proceeded to arrange an appointment with a solicitor and a mediation team, both being scheduled for 3 days later.

After having the meetings with both parties, they both wrote letters to my ex informing her that they had been contacted and instructed by myself to try and come to some sort of arrangement. She was given 14 days to respond to these letters and she did not even bother! So I rang the solicitor again and they wrote another letter to my ex partner giving her another 7 days to respond. Once again she ignored the letters. Now at this point I was getting very stressed and angry and went back to the solicitor again and they wrote yet another letter with a further 7 days notice. By this point I had not seen my child for over a month and was no further forward. My ex failed to respond and she was then informed that legal proceedings were now taking place.

I went to another mediation session and the mediator was very helpful, she rang my ex while I was there and asked her why she had not responded to any of the contact made and her reply was " I'm waiting for my solicitor to get in touch with me." In my opinion , any good soliciting team would have already been in contact with either myself or my solicitor. The mediator signed the form I needed in order to proceed with the court order.

This took another 2 months before I was finally given a date for a first court hearing. However, on arrival I was told that the courts had not been in contact with CAFCAS in order to make safe guard checks, therefore making the first hearing invalid. We proceeded to the court room and the judge apologised to both myself and my daughter and said that CAFCAS would have to do these checks before proceedings can go any further. It was yet another month before I heard from CAFCAS 
to which they found no safe guarding issues what so ever.

I then got a date for what effectively was the first hearing, this being Monday just gone. I expected nothing from this and was anticipating the court to yet again be adjourned for a second hearing. To my amazement my ex had a proposal for me which she made via her solicitor to mine. It was not one I was happy with, but I thought I need to start somewhere. She offered me 1 hour a fortnight on a Saturday morning (knowing full well I work at that time) and to be supervised by her either her Grandad or her brother , (both of whom have recently threatened me) at her grand parents house. I refuted this and bought my proposal across that it would have to be on mutual ground at the library on a Saturday afternoon and I can bring a third party person with me also. I also requested after two visits that my time allowance should go up to 2 hours, then after a further two visits up to 3 hours. She agreed and we went into the court room the judge wrote an order and scheduled a final hearing for review and to see if unsupervised access can be granted including having my child stay over at weekends and over for tea.

This said and done, I do have a  few concerns, the first being that my ex has blocked me on all social media as well as my phone number and I am worried she won't get my messages and she will not turn up with my child and then say that I didn't bother.
My second worry is that I am not really sure how I am going to react or how I am meant to be feeling when I do see my daughter for the first time in 7 months. I have got this far and its taken long enough and I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of advise on these matters.

Many thanks in advance
Reply
#2
(11-09-2016, 05:19 PM)Hopeful_dad Wrote: I have this week been granted a very minimal amount of access to my 16 month year old daughter. i have not seen her since April this year. Unfortunately me and her mother separated in August last year when my daughter was only 8 weeks old. However, I was still having regular contact with her in their home, this being every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in the evening after work between 5.00pm and 7.30pm as well as Sunday's between 11.00am and 3.30pm.
I got with my new partner in December and it wasn't long after this that my time was cut down in the evenings to 5.00pm-6.00pm.

In January my ex would also allow me to take my daughter round to see my mum on my own on the Sunday's for a couple of  hours. 

This was fine until April when my ex just flipped and said I could no longer see my daughter until I got a court order. So the very next day I rang the child maintenance service and got the ball rolling to set up payments for my child, I did this in order to be one step ahead despite already paying payments in cash to my ex,  I thought it would be better to have a paper trail from my bank account. I then proceeded to arrange an appointment with a solicitor and a mediation team, both being scheduled for 3 days later.

After having the meetings with both parties, they both wrote letters to my ex informing her that they had been contacted and instructed by myself to try and come to some sort of arrangement. She was given 14 days to respond to these letters and she did not even bother! So I rang the solicitor again and they wrote another letter to my ex partner giving her another 7 days to respond. Once again she ignored the letters. Now at this point I was getting very stressed and angry and went back to the solicitor again and they wrote yet another letter with a further 7 days notice. By this point I had not seen my child for over a month and was no further forward. My ex failed to respond and she was then informed that legal proceedings were now taking place.

I went to another mediation session and the mediator was very helpful, she rang my ex while I was there and asked her why she had not responded to any of the contact made and her reply was " I'm waiting for my solicitor to get in touch with me." In my opinion , any good soliciting team would have already been in contact with either myself or my solicitor. The mediator signed the form I needed in order to proceed with the court order.

This took another 2 months before I was finally given a date for a first court hearing. However, on arrival I was told that the courts had not been in contact with CAFCAS in order to make safe guard checks, therefore making the first hearing invalid. We proceeded to the court room and the judge apologised to both myself and my daughter and said that CAFCAS would have to do these checks before proceedings can go any further. It was yet another month before I heard from CAFCAS 
to which they found no safe guarding issues what so ever.

I then got a date for what effectively was the first hearing, this being Monday just gone. I expected nothing from this and was anticipating the court to yet again be adjourned for a second hearing. To my amazement my ex had a proposal for me which she made via her solicitor to mine. It was not one I was happy with, but I thought I need to start somewhere. She offered me 1 hour a fortnight on a Saturday morning (knowing full well I work at that time) and to be supervised by her either her Grandad or her brother , (both of whom have recently threatened me) at her grand parents house. I refuted this and bought my proposal across that it would have to be on mutual ground at the library on a Saturday afternoon and I can bring a third party person with me also. I also requested after two visits that my time allowance should go up to 2 hours, then after a further two visits up to 3 hours. She agreed and we went into the court room the judge wrote an order and scheduled a final hearing for review and to see if unsupervised access can be granted including having my child stay over at weekends and over for tea.

This said and done, I do have a  few concerns, the first being that my ex has blocked me on all social media as well as my phone number and I am worried she won't get my messages and she will not turn up with my child and then say that I didn't bother.
My second worry is that I am not really sure how I am going to react or how I am meant to be feeling when I do see my daughter for the first time in 7 months. I have got this far and its taken long enough and I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of advise on these matters.

Many thanks in advance

Assumptions in law are made that the child needs both parents, unless there is evidence of Child Welfare/Protection Issues.

Cafcass do have a Duty of Care to the Child, so its only right that before they form their expert opinion (to report to the Judge) that they look into the background of both parents, and where new partners will be considered as a "significant" person in the child's life them as well. Only anything relevant to a risk of a child will be considered, so if there was a minor offence spent under rehabilitation of offenders act it would not normally be an issue.

When I child is under 2, the normal is that you would get 4-6 hours per week, over 1 or 2 days. The main reason is Government Policy on promoting Brest Feeding, but often an ex can bring a claim of the child not knowing the father that well, but Courts have stared to recognise that often this is due to the mothers actions in stopping/limiting contact resulting in why the case is before them.

There is a clear financial incentive to try to limit contact, due to how Child Support works, as number of nights "Staying" contact does create a reduction, what is why I have the Petition on the Governments Website.

From 2, then a Judge has to ensure both parents get "quality time", what is why an order is often Friday pm till Sunday pm, every 2 weeks as a basic contact.

If you can get more towards shared care, you can add in mid week visits (play and dinner) or stay overs, and that might be both weeks, or just on the week you do not have the child at the weekend.

School holidays are normally separate, and you would normally get half if you asked, but be aware that this is 6.5 weeks a year.

A 4 week timetable (what most people can get off work) would be 1 week Easter and Christmas, and 2 weeks in the Summer.
What me and my ex do is change over on Easter Sunday and Christmas day at lunchtime, so we both get time.
Summer arrangements are best if ordered to be 2 or 3 months in advance, to facilitate the booking of a holiday or planning of days out, and you can also as for a 2 week block, then perhaps another weekend.

Only the Resident Parent (when make this by the wording on a Child Arrangements Order) has the right to remove the child from the UK for a holiday up to 28 days (but not to do this during contact time without agreement).  As a none resident parent, you need either consent from everyone with PR, or a Court Order, so while you have a live case, you might want to ask for this. You will normally get it, unless the ex can show risk of none return, subject to you providing
1, Flight Details
2, Who is going
3, Where staying
4, Emergency contact number.

You can also get an order to say Passports need to be handed over 21 days before (to check valid and not damaged), or if in use in that time, as soon as practical following the child's return to the UK. If you want to do this, if no passport exist, then you need to go on court record as saying your willing to pay for them, but they would normally stay with the Resident Parent except when going on holiday.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
Reply
#3
Thank you for the taking the time to respond to my post, there's some very helpful information there.
I feel that my ex partner is going to make things as hard as possible for me judging by how she's acted up to now. I don't want to keep going to court all the time for different contact and im hoping she will start being a bit more flexible as my daughter gets older. But if I have to go back to court to alter things as she gets older does this mean I have to pay more money to the courts to say take my child on holiday or alter the times spend with her when she turns 2? She isn't being breast fed anymore so not sure what effect that will have in court come the final hearing.
Reply
#4
(11-10-2016, 08:52 AM)Hopeful_dad Wrote: Thank you for the taking the time to respond to my post, there's some very helpful information there.
I feel that my ex partner is going to make things as hard as possible for me judging by how she's acted up to now. I don't want to keep going to court all the time for different contact and im hoping she will start being a bit more flexible as my daughter gets older. But if I have to go back to court to alter things as she gets older does this mean I have to pay more money to the courts to say take my child on holiday or alter the times spend with her when she turns 2? She isn't being breast fed anymore so not sure what effect that will have in court come the final hearing.

You only pay the Court an application fee at the start of any process, so if you can get it in this one its best, or at a later date you will have to pay a court fee to start a new case.

If your ex is not wanting Staying Contact right now, ask for an order to be made that you have contact until the child is 2, and then for it to change to staying contact. You will only get staying contact for an under 2 year old, if its by agreement.

Once you have an order in place, only a Court can change things. To make any changes you need to show "significant" reason, and it would be done by making an application to vary, and you would have to pay a court fee. When you make an application to vary, you can only go as far back as when the last order was made, so you can not re visit any aspects what have already been ruled on, unless there is evidence of significant change.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Granted PR but seemingly can't prove it Ric134 7 5,252 05-30-2020, 09:25 AM
Last Post: Chi21965
  Access granted: good and bad Patrick C 4 6,351 03-24-2017, 12:11 PM
Last Post: Patrick C
  Urgent hearing Granted. What shall i expect? Dadof2 2 5,048 07-22-2016, 10:30 AM
Last Post: nilbo



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)