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Experiences applying for contact order
#1
Good evening all,

Well, I have decided enough is enough and I am going to court! I am absolutely sick to death of my ex-partner throwing her demands at me, telling me I can only see my son every other weekend (gone from every weekend). She won't budge and insists she never spends 'quality time' with our son. She is currently studying in university and working so this doesnt' surprise me.

I have advised her I will be going down the court route now, but knowing my ex like I do she won't believe me until I actually do it. She is under the impression that me seeing my child 4 days out of 30 every month is more than adequate! Well i'm sorry, but f*** off no it isn't! (i've swore here because I can't do it in text when contacting my ex for obvious reasons).

She probably thinks I am going to court to get my weekends back, when in fact, I am actually going to ask for 7 days on, 7 days off every week! If my ex partner can't spare the time for my son because of her work and studying why should he suffer in before and after school classes waiting for her? Why can't I spend that time with him? Has anybody ever tried going for this kind of time with their children? if so, what was your outcome?

Any experiences shared would be greatly appreciated. I am not made of money so I will be representing myself, at the end of the day, the court will only want whats best for my son, which is exactly what I want to.

Thank you for any information or advice people can give me.
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#2
(12-13-2016, 09:58 PM)mhamill6 Wrote: Good evening all,

Well, I have decided enough is enough and I am going to court! I am absolutely sick to death of my ex-partner throwing her demands at me, telling me I can only see my son every other weekend (gone from every weekend). She won't budge and insists she never spends 'quality time' with our son. She is currently studying in university and working so this doesnt' surprise me.

I have advised her I will be going down the court route now, but knowing my ex like I do she won't believe me until I actually do it. She is under the impression that me seeing my child 4 days out of 30 every month is more than adequate! Well i'm sorry, but f*** off no it isn't! (i've swore here because I can't do it in text when contacting my ex for obvious reasons).

She probably thinks I am going to court to get my weekends back, when in fact, I am actually going to ask for 7 days on, 7 days off every week! If my ex partner can't spare the time for my son because of her work and studying why should he suffer in before and after school classes waiting for her? Why can't I spend that time with him? Has anybody ever tried going for this kind of time with their children? if so, what was your outcome?

Any experiences shared would be greatly appreciated. I am not made of money so I will be representing myself, at the end of the day, the court will only want whats best for my son, which is exactly what I want to.

Thank you for any information or advice people can give me.

First of all, she has the law on her side in terms of Quality Time.  The child has the right to this with BOTH parents. This is why in most situations, typical contact is Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, and up to half school holidays.

Due to the Welfare Benefit Reforms, Courts no longer make orders for 50/50 where either parent might be entitled to some form of state benefit, either now or at a later date.

Everything goes of who gets the Child Benefit. That is the person who has either the most number of nights, or most time if its the same, or who they decide is the main career of the child. That person can claim Tax Credits and the Child's Occupancy is considered for Housing Benefit (Number of rooms you can claim for or Bedroom Tax).

In shared care situations, the normal is to add in Mid Week visits/stay overs, normally 0 or 1 on the week you have the child, and 1 or 2 on the other week. Some people managed to get a 8-6 split.

You need to decide if you want to go for Residence, or just contact, but more towards shared care. However, for Residence you need to have the following Bedrooms

a, 1 for each person over 16 or couple
b, 2 children of the same sex can share
c, 2 children under 10 can share, regardless of sex.

I am not sure you can go direct to court in your case, as I am not seeing any exemption from Mediation. You need a Mediation Agreement not to be followed, no show or Deadlock before you have the right to make a court application in most cases.

An important part of your case will be if your ex is using any form of Child Care in times that your are available, as the normal would be the court to give you that time. It is only overnight Staying contact what is considered as part of Child Support.
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.
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#3
Hi Mark,

Thank you for your reply.

I have a 3 bedroom house and there is only myself and my partner here, the other 2 rooms are for my son (1 play room, 1 sleeping room) so I have more than enough space here.

My confusion here is, if we both have the right to quality time, why is it my ex-partner can have my son Mon-Fri AND every other weekend, and yet I have every other weekend and they are both classed as 'quality time'? My ex-partner clearly spends a lot more time with our child than I do, what would be wrong in a 50/50 split?

Excuse my naivety here, but what is the difference between a residency and a contact order? Aren't they both through the same court order?
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#4
Quality time is the weekends not so much during the week, your ex will cite her university studies during the week as not allowing her quality time (same as mum's who are employed).

Residency is specifying where the child resides and contact is specifying when you see the child.
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#5
Is there no such thing as joint residency where our son would reside at both addresses equally?

In my opinion this whole system is shockingly biased.
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#6
Don't think so as in UK child benefit payments needs one parent to take a 51% lead in residency so unless you can sit down with the ex and agree.... but thats tough when you both want different things

You need to go into this with the mindset that the kid should enjoy quality time with each parent so every other weekend and a couple of nights in the week seems a good place to aim for... 1 week on 1 week off would be superb and go for it if doable.

4 days out of 30 is not enough for you - that is clear but neither is it fair that she never sees him at weekend... so be aware of both sides here. You are aiming for what is bet for kid not what is worse for the ex - dont play her game.
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#7
(12-14-2016, 12:31 PM)BigBaz Wrote: Quality time is the weekends not so much during the week, your ex will cite her university studies during the week as not allowing her quality time (same as mum's who are employed).

Residency is specifying where the child resides and contact is specifying when you see the child.

To clear this up, while there used to be separate types of orders for contact and residence, they would now come under either

a, Consent Order, made by agreement, what would cover who has what time, and it might cover anything else related to the child, including child support.

b, A Child Arrangements Order, what will normally say a Child "lives with" (this in law makes them the Resident Parent, and gives them the right to take the child out of the UK for up 28 days) and it will then outline what time the child spends with the other parent. Often added to this it will say "and any such time as agreed by both parents".

(12-14-2016, 12:43 PM)mhamill6 Wrote: Is there no such thing as joint residency where our son would reside at both addresses equally?

In my opinion this whole system is shockingly biased.

LTCDAD is right about this, as Child Benefit in shared care arrangements can be contested, they relay on the wording of Court Orders, to show either how has most nights, or more time.

The only way you can get same time each would normally be Consent Order, as that might say who claims for the child, and from that, money handed over towards the other parents costs (or that that parent provides everything for at both places).

Even then it can get messy, for example, changes in wages or job, new partners etc, will all change the amount of benefit related to the child coming in, what then brings in court costs, as its application to vary, after any 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.
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#8
(12-14-2016, 01:02 PM)LTCDAD Wrote: Don't think so as in UK child benefit payments needs one parent to take a 51% lead in residency so unless you can sit down with the ex and agree.... but thats tough when you both want different things

You need to go into this with the mindset that the kid should enjoy quality time with each parent so every other weekend and a couple of nights in the week seems a good place to aim for... 1 week on 1 week off would be superb and go for it if doable.

4 days out of 30 is not enough for you - that is clear but neither is it fair that she never sees him at weekend... so be aware of both sides here. You are aiming for what is bet for kid not what is worse for the ex - dont play her game.

I wouldn't want to contest the money, quite frankly she could keep that, I just want to spend time with my son. But that obviously won't make the blind bit of difference........ 

I told her I agree she can have a weekend if she genuinely isn't spending quality time with our son, but she will not give me the same courtesy back. She states, and I quote 'You can have him every other weekend which is more than ample time to spend with your son'..... She is using our son as a weapon in my opinion because I didn't give her a straight answer regarding a Christmas holiday to Australia, she lost control of the situation and is doing this to show her control. It upsets/angers me to think that she would do this to get back at me as she knows how much our son loves spending time with both of us! 

It's all extremely petty with no end in sight! Well.... there is, I either: 

A. Let her state every arrangement she wants, do what she wants, limit my times, request times when is convenient for her ETC. 
B. Go through a mediation/court process to be told I can have him every other weekend anyway........ 

I honestly feel sick to think that I have to follow her orders regarding how I spend time with our son and see him for at least another 8 years! She refuses to compromise or see the bigger picture.
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#9
OK ... step back a little
This is all normal and your feelings are not a surprise but you need to park them and get very rationale...

I think your best bet here is to go to mediation / court and fomalise your time with your kid... this removes her control and while you may not get what you want initially you will get guaranteed time that she has to comply with... and it will be more than 4/30 days

If like you say she is using the kid as a weapon, she will default on any court order at some point and you will go back to court to enforce it and ask for more time at the same time - they will by sympathetic if you prove she has been restricting your access since the new order has been put in place

Like us all on here, you've just signed up in a battle you never wanted ... you just need to decide how to fight it... 1. with the law on your side or 2. emotional arguments with the ex that will put you in a early grave

PS - dont give up on the money ... there is a Child-benefit and CMS system in place to ensure that the ex will not blackmail you over the contact with your kid in exchange for money ... never say " i dont care how much i pay as long as i see my kid".
Pay her what CMS or a court says and spend the rest on him as a dad... DO NOT GIVE HER ADDITIONAL CASH... but of course buy things for the kid as needed.
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#10
Great advice LTC.
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