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Have court order, still having access problems in school holidays
#1
Hi

Not been on here for a while, but have been to court and got a court order that says I have access to the children 2 nights one week, 3 nights the week after.  The order says I am to have the children for 1 week easter holidays, 2 weeks over the summer and 1 other week to be split over the other school holidays.  It also says bank holidays are to be shared equally between both parents.

This works well ok term time, however in the school holidays particularly over this xmas break I have had problems.  We discussed which days the children would be with me and which with her, well in advance of xmas and I wrote it all down on the calendar.  At the last minute she tried to change the plans, then when I did turn up to collect the kids she put them in her car and locked the doors, which then resulted in an argument and the children got upset.
Today (Monday) she has told me I am not having the children, even though we previously agreed I would be and the children will be expecting to see me.  The problem I have is that if she gets cross with me or is stressed, she uses access to the children as a tool to hurt me.
She is trying to say that the court order only grants access on a Monday night during term time, so she is within her rights to refuse access today as it is still school holiday, even though it is clear we had agreed it anyway.  I have checked the court order and it says I am to have the kids Monday nights and Fri or Sat at the weekend, depending on the week, it makes no mention of this only being applicable during term time.  If she blocks my access today, is this then a breach of the court order?

The other difficulties I am having is that she refuses to discuss summer or easter holidays, so that I can plan which weeks I am having the children and book annual leave and flights for a holiday in the summer.  The court order says plans must be made a MINIMUM of 4 weeks in advance, and she has taken that as meaning we can only discuss which weeks I am having them exactly 4 weeks in advance, which is obviously far to late to organise a holiday, and in any case the flights would be too expensive then or sold out.  

Any advice on what I can do here much appreciated..
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#2
(01-02-2017, 03:54 PM)aj2016 Wrote: Hi

Not been on here for a while, but have been to court and got a court order that says I have access to the children 2 nights one week, 3 nights the week after.  The order says I am to have the children for 1 week easter holidays, 2 weeks over the summer and 1 other week to be split over the other school holidays.  It also says bank holidays are to be shared equally between both parents.

This works well ok term time, however in the school holidays particularly over this xmas break I have had problems.  We discussed which days the children would be with me and which with her, well in advance of xmas and I wrote it all down on the calendar.  At the last minute she tried to change the plans, then when I did turn up to collect the kids she put them in her car and locked the doors, which then resulted in an argument and the children got upset.
Today (Monday) she has told me I am not having the children, even though we previously agreed I would be and the children will be expecting to see me.  The problem I have is that if she gets cross with me or is stressed, she uses access to the children as a tool to hurt me.
She is trying to say that the court order only grants access on a Monday night during term time, so she is within her rights to refuse access today as it is still school holiday, even though it is clear we had agreed it anyway.  I have checked the court order and it says I am to have the kids Monday nights and Fri or Sat at the weekend, depending on the week, it makes no mention of this only being applicable during term time.  If she blocks my access today, is this then a breach of the court order?

The other difficulties I am having is that she refuses to discuss summer or easter holidays, so that I can plan which weeks I am having the children and book annual leave and flights for a holiday in the summer.  The court order says plans must be made a MINIMUM of 4 weeks in advance, and she has taken that as meaning we can only discuss which weeks I am having them exactly 4 weeks in advance, which is obviously far to late to organise a holiday, and in any case the flights would be too expensive then or sold out.  

Any advice on what I can do here much appreciated..

You need to take it back to court, on Application for enforcement, and Application to vary.

On the Application for Enforcement, State that arrangements had been agreed in advance what she then did not follow. You therefore want defined dates. My suggestion is

1 week school holidays, you have the child the normal weekend, but contact starts or ends on the Wednesday (so forget mid week aspects of the order then).

Easter, due to the dates next year, you want 5 days in a block at the start, and then from lunchtime Easter Sunday for 2 nights.
Christmas, from lunchtime until New Years day lunchtime.

If your ex is not willing to accept them terms, then you want alternative significant days as part of the order.

Summer, You want a 2 week window to facilitate you booking a holiday, and a further 1 week block to fit in with any plans your ex has.

To achieve the best prices for holidays, and you want your ex to suggest holiday dates in letter/email 3 months in advance, to be confirmed no later than 2 months in advance by you, so you can book something.

State that since the last hearing, you have noticed that the current order is to short notice for you to give for booking time off, and also does not help you achieve better prices, as 4 weeks before the costs are a lot higher.
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
I'm no expert but in my case during the latest round of "agreements" in court, my "term time" access was taken away during this Christmas period but this is because a change to the court order was made to give me a split of the xmas holidays. It sounds like perhaps your order was not specific on this and as such you should still be getting your normal hours/days/nights. During the summer period I had 2 weeks but the remainder of the holidays I continued to have my weekends and Mondays.

During the summer period did you continue to have them as per the court order outwith the 2 weeks you were granted?

What happened to your split of Christmas?

It sounds to me like the agreement for term time should continue in the holidays, as otherwise in the summer you are going 4+ weeks with NO CONTACT which i doubt any judge/sheriff is going to award unless by oversight.

Not much point arguing with your ex over it, you are going to have to learn from this and get the specifics put into a court order so both parties know exactly what is happening.

p.s. Feel for you, using the kids like that and chopping and changing her mind is just a headspin for all Sad
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#4
Thanks for replies.
I don't want to rush back to court, but fear it might happen.
The problem with having dates set in stone is I cannot be guaranteed I can always get the same weeks off work every year. With the holidays, i would like to book flights now for next summer really, I need organise annual leave for myself and partner, need to find an available week my partners house in Spain is free for us and book before flights prices get too expensive, in previous years we did this 9 or 10 months in advance. If i leave even until 3 months in advance it will be impossible to get everything arranged I think.

Yes exactly my point regarding the summer holidays, I have regular contact with the kids, only going 3 days max with no contact. So to potentially go weeks with no contact in the summer with no contact is obviously not what I want.
I guess I will need some legal advice as well here

Also the court order says I need to give a minimum of 4 weeks notice for holiday dates in school holidays, surely that is just saying I can't give 1 or 2 weeks notice, as that would be too little, but more than 4 weeks notice would be fine?
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#5
(01-02-2017, 09:27 PM)aj2016 Wrote: Thanks for replies.
I don't want to rush back to court, but fear it might happen.
The problem with having dates set in stone is I cannot be guaranteed I can always get the same weeks off work every year.   With the holidays, i would like to book flights now for next summer really, I need organise annual leave for myself and partner, need to find an available week my partners house in Spain is free for us and book before flights prices get too expensive, in previous years we did this 9 or 10 months in advance.  If i leave even until 3 months in advance it will be impossible to get everything arranged I think.

Yes exactly my point regarding the summer holidays, I have regular contact with the kids, only going 3 days max with no contact. So to potentially go weeks with no contact in the summer with no contact is obviously not what I want.  
I guess I will need some legal advice as well here

Also the court order says I need to give a minimum of 4 weeks notice for holiday dates in school holidays, surely that is just saying I can't give 1 or 2 weeks notice, as that would be too little, but more than 4 weeks notice would be fine?

While you can give more than 4 weeks notice, the fact is your ex under the current order does not have to confirm them until 4 weeks before, what is why I suggested changing the order.
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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