Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overnight stays at my new partners house
#1
Hi, I've been separated from my wife for 5 months now, divorce is pending.

I've been able to have my 2 children every Saturday since the separation, whilst my ex is at work. This seems to suit everyone. However, I would like to increase this contact to an overnight stay. Essentially, every fortnight, I will pick them up from school on a Friday, and drop them back at the usual time on Saturday. The problem is, the place where I live is a house share, and I have a single room. Neither my ex nor my landlord will allow them to stay overnight, so I've been looking at other options. 

I am now in a serious relationship with another woman, who has her own children, and a large house. I stay there often, and she's agreed to let me have my children stay overnight. My ex however will actively refuse this arrangement, as she's still very bitter about the separation. To the point where she has demanded I can't take my children to the house for fear of fleas (my partner has a cat), my partners badly behaved children (not the case) and other such fabrications.

What rights do I have as a father with parental responsibility to choose where my children stay overnight?
Reply
#2
My understanding is (I might be wrong but hope i'm right) as you've got Parental Responsibility and there is no court order / contact arrangements - at the moment you are working towards a informal mutual arrangement between you and your ex.

There are some rules about age of kids, having dedicated bedroom space and once they get to 10 not sharing if not same gender etc so that rules out your 1 bedroom place

As for the new partners house... seems possible. The ex worrying about fleas and other fabrications doesn't come into it. She'd have to PROVE the kids were at risk of a welfare issue, not just make them up. So they could stay at your new partners address and equally could stay anywhere she chooses when she has the kids in her time.

Also if it does go to court you'd probably get more access than you get now including overnight stays.

Hope that helps - others will chip in with more concrete advice
Reply
#3
Thank you LTCDAD - that confirms my suspicions. Can anyone confirm what the ages are where 2 siblings can't share a room? Is it 10? I have a boy 6, and a girl 4. I intend to have them share a room together for now.

First step is to send my intentions to her solicitor as she won't speak with me directly. If that gets refused, I have mediation lined up... which i'm sure she'll refuse, but I hope her solicitor will advise against it.
Reply
#4
It is 10 years of age

This age rule only really applies to council /housing associations houses though

http://www.safekids.co.uk/should-childre...droom.html
Reply
#5
(01-30-2017, 12:29 PM)mortware Wrote: Hi, I've been separated from my wife for 5 months now, divorce is pending.

I've been able to have my 2 children every Saturday since the separation, whilst my ex is at work. This seems to suit everyone. However, I would like to increase this contact to an overnight stay. Essentially, every fortnight, I will pick them up from school on a Friday, and drop them back at the usual time on Saturday. The problem is, the place where I live is a house share, and I have a single room. Neither my ex nor my landlord will allow them to stay overnight, so I've been looking at other options. 

I am now in a serious relationship with another woman, who has her own children, and a large house. I stay there often, and she's agreed to let me have my children stay overnight. My ex however will actively refuse this arrangement, as she's still very bitter about the separation. To the point where she has demanded I can't take my children to the house for fear of fleas (my partner has a cat), my partners badly behaved children (not the case) and other such fabrications.

What rights do I have as a father with parental responsibility to choose where my children stay overnight?

For staying contact the requirements are for the child to have their own bed (will cover sharing rooms later), cooking, washing, toilet facility's, and play/living space.
The bed could be normal type, camp or even air bed.

It is not the Resident Parents decision on if the arrangements are suitable, its up to the Judge. If there is claims it is not, then Cafcass or Social Services might have to do a visit and report back to the Court.

The Housing Act 1985 sets out how big a room has to be, for it to be suitable for 1 or 2 people. In general terms, a Box Bedroom is normally only big enough in law for 1 person. The living room can be considered as a sleeping space under this law.

Often ex partners will claim its over crowed, but there is a big difference between what you need for contact and what you should have in the child's normal home.
Section 329 of this law is clear, that when considering overcrowding, "Short Term Visiting Relatives" are exempt, with short term being defined as up to 28 days at a time.

The child's occupancy only courts where they get Child Benefit, so in a contact situation
a, Child under 10 could have their own bed in the same room as you and your partner, or share with a brother or sister if they are also under 10.
b, Child 10 or over should only share with people of the same sex.

Its OK to use the living room for people to sleep in, as long as no Gas Fire.

It is up to the none resident parent what they do in their time, and the ex can not do anything about it, except via Court if there is Child Welfare/Protection Issues.

Courts have to ensure both parents get quality time, unless its by agreement, so the normal staying point is Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks.
You would also get up to half school holidays if you asked. You could ask for a 2 week block in the summer, so you can get the best deal on holidays, without being stuck to a set start date.
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
#6
This is all great information, my thanks to you all. I have sent the following (long read - so apologies) to her solicitor. This is the first step in getting an agreement. I've already got a mediation service lined up to help formalise it:

Dear Sir/Madam,
RE: Your client <name of mother>
It is with regret that I must resort to speaking to your client via a solicitor, or via mediation. Further, I feel it is unnecessary (and unaffordable) to use my own solicitor for communicating arrangements for the children or with your client in general. That being said, I will not hesitate in seeking official representation should this line of communication fail for any reason.
Included in this letter is my formal proposal for increasing contact between me and the children (<names of children>). Finally, I have outlined further considerations to the ongoing arrangement between myself and your client.

Current Arrangement
There is a standing verbal arrangement for me to see both children every Saturday when your client is at work during the day. Typically, they are picked up at 09:30 and returned at 16:30. They are provided with lunch, snacks and some form of activity (cinema, play area, walks etc.) In addition, both children attend swimming lessons, for which I personally arrange and finance.

Proposal for Overnight Stays
In order to improve contact between the children and myself, I feel it is necessary to have them stay with me overnight. It is requested that both children are to stay with me for at least 1 night (Friday), on a fortnightly basis. I had planned, a lot sooner, to rent suitable accommodation so the children can stay with me at my permanent residence. Due to ongoing legal costs and unexpected expenses following my separation from your client, I have been forced to delay this for at least 12 months.

It is therefore proposed that the children stay with me at my partner’s address.

The residence
<address>. The home, belonging to <my partners name>, is the permanent residence of herself, and her three children (<ages of partners children>). I have an arrangement with <my partner> to allow the children to stay with me at the above address at the proposed times (see below).

It is my view that this residence is sufficiently safe and comfortable for my children. It is local to your client’s own residence (approx. 3 min drive) and has a good amount of room in which to play with each other or <my partner>'s children.

Proposed changes to arrangements for contact
The children will be picked up from School by me at 15:00, and taken to the above address. Once there, they will stay with their me at all times. Both children will share a dedicated room, with no other children. Meals and snacks will be provided, in addition to meeting any other needs (bath or shower).
The following day will be spent doing our typical activities.
The children will then be returned to your client (or family member) at <mother's address> at 16:30 as normal.

In the near future I hope to increase the length of time they stay with me to include the Saturday evening and to be returned Sunday.

When agreed, the fortnightly schedule will need to be strictly adhered to, as <my partner>’s commitments dictate which weekends she can allow them to stay.

Other people at the residence
The two eldest of <my partner>’s children are expected to be at the address during the proposed overnight stays. They currently share a room together. On occasion, the youngest may also be present, and will be sharing with her older siblings.

Other considerations
Your client has repeatedly expressed concerns about the living conditions at the above address. If your client feels it is necessary, a visit to the residence can be arranged to satisfy them.
Ongoing arrangement

As very little effective communication has occurred between your client and myself, I feel it is important to iterate my concerns for the children and my rights as their father.
1. Day-to-day parenting decisions are made by the person looking after the child at that time. Your client has persisted in telling me how and where I should look after them, and I ask you to remind her that in these cases, I do not need an agreement from others with parental responsibility.
a. This being said, I am happy to discuss what we think is appropriate on a day-to-day level such as after-school arrangements, discipline, bedtimes and homework.
b. Your client cannot dictate who the children see when in my care, unless they pose a risk to them.
2. I am to be kept informed of any illnesses or medical treatment that the children might need at all times.
3. I am to be consulted before any arrangements are made with regards to the children’s permanent residence.
4. I am to be informed if and when the children are expected to spend more than 1 night away at a different address.
5. It is to be discussed whether the children are to engage in any religious ceremonies or activities, saving those arranged by their primary school during their normal school day.
6. Neither child’s name(s) will change from their original given birth name of <the children's birth names>.
7. It is to be requested from me before attempting to take, or allow to be taken, either child out of the country.
a. This excludes Scotland, where the children regularly visit with their grandparents.
8. Regarding the children’s education, I am to be
a. informed of any school performance related information (reports, parent’s evenings etc.)
b. informed of any event that the children may be performing in (plays, assemblies, charity events etc.)
c. informed of any school trips, activities or homework that involves parental assistance or finance.
d. directly involved in the secondary school selection process, when the time arises.
Note: I am subscribed to the School Gateway service, and hope to be kept informed independently, however this has proven unreliable at times.
9. I am to be supplied with a copy of both children’s birth certificates for the purposes of proving I have parental responsibility when contacting organisations about their wellbeing or education.
It is my sincere wish that your client agrees with my proposal for ongoing contact between the children and myself. As you are no doubt aware, without mediation, this process is decidedly more difficult and I would like to avoid going down the path of a Child Arrangements Order.

Yours faithfully

Mortware
Reply
#7
(01-30-2017, 10:16 PM)mortware Wrote: This is all great information, my thanks to you all. I have sent the following (long read - so apologies) to her solicitor. This is the first step in getting an agreement. I've already got a mediation service lined up to help formalise it:

Dear Sir/Madam,
RE: Your client <name of mother>
It is with regret that I must resort to speaking to your client via a solicitor, or via mediation. Further, I feel it is unnecessary (and unaffordable) to use my own solicitor for communicating arrangements for the children or with your client in general. That being said, I will not hesitate in seeking official representation should this line of communication fail for any reason.
Included in this letter is my formal proposal for increasing contact between me and the children (<names of children>). Finally, I have outlined further considerations to the ongoing arrangement between myself and your client.

Current Arrangement
There is a standing verbal arrangement for me to see both children every Saturday when your client is at work during the day. Typically, they are picked up at 09:30 and returned at 16:30. They are provided with lunch, snacks and some form of activity (cinema, play area, walks etc.) In addition, both children attend swimming lessons, for which I personally arrange and finance.

Proposal for Overnight Stays
In order to improve contact between the children and myself, I feel it is necessary to have them stay with me overnight. It is requested that both children are to stay with me for at least 1 night (Friday), on a fortnightly basis. I had planned, a lot sooner, to rent suitable accommodation so the children can stay with me at my permanent residence. Due to ongoing legal costs and unexpected expenses following my separation from your client, I have been forced to delay this for at least 12 months.

It is therefore proposed that the children stay with me at my partner’s address.

The residence
<address>. The home, belonging to <my partners name>, is the permanent residence of herself, and her three children (<ages of partners children>). I have an arrangement with <my partner> to allow the children to stay with me at the above address at the proposed times (see below).

It is my view that this residence is sufficiently safe and comfortable for my children. It is local to your client’s own residence (approx. 3 min drive) and has a good amount of room in which to play with each other or <my partner>'s children.

Proposed changes to arrangements for contact
The children will be picked up from School by me at 15:00, and taken to the above address. Once there, they will stay with their me at all times. Both children will share a dedicated room, with no other children. Meals and snacks will be provided, in addition to meeting any other needs (bath or shower).
The following day will be spent doing our typical activities.
The children will then be returned to your client (or family member) at <mother's address> at 16:30 as normal.

In the near future I hope to increase the length of time they stay with me to include the Saturday evening and to be returned Sunday.

When agreed, the fortnightly schedule will need to be strictly adhered to, as <my partner>’s commitments dictate which weekends she can allow them to stay.

Other people at the residence
The two eldest of <my partner>’s children are expected to be at the address during the proposed overnight stays. They currently share a room together. On occasion, the youngest may also be present, and will be sharing with her older siblings.

Other considerations
Your client has repeatedly expressed concerns about the living conditions at the above address. If your client feels it is necessary, a visit to the residence can be arranged to satisfy them.
Ongoing arrangement

As very little effective communication has occurred between your client and myself, I feel it is important to iterate my concerns for the children and my rights as their father.
1. Day-to-day parenting decisions are made by the person looking after the child at that time. Your client has persisted in telling me how and where I should look after them, and I ask you to remind her that in these cases, I do not need an agreement from others with parental responsibility.
a. This being said, I am happy to discuss what we think is appropriate on a day-to-day level such as after-school arrangements, discipline, bedtimes and homework.
b. Your client cannot dictate who the children see when in my care, unless they pose a risk to them.
2. I am to be kept informed of any illnesses or medical treatment that the children might need at all times.
3. I am to be consulted before any arrangements are made with regards to the children’s permanent residence.
4. I am to be informed if and when the children are expected to spend more than 1 night away at a different address.
5. It is to be discussed whether the children are to engage in any religious ceremonies or activities, saving those arranged by their primary school during their normal school day.
6. Neither child’s name(s) will change from their original given birth name of <the children's birth names>.
7. It is to be requested from me before attempting to take, or allow to be taken, either child out of the country.
a. This excludes Scotland, where the children regularly visit with their grandparents.
8. Regarding the children’s education, I am to be
a. informed of any school performance related information (reports, parent’s evenings etc.)
b. informed of any event that the children may be performing in (plays, assemblies, charity events etc.)
c. informed of any school trips, activities or homework that involves parental assistance or finance.
d. directly involved in the secondary school selection process, when the time arises.
Note: I am subscribed to the School Gateway service, and hope to be kept informed independently, however this has proven unreliable at times.
9. I am to be supplied with a copy of both children’s birth certificates for the purposes of proving I have parental responsibility when contacting organisations about their wellbeing or education.
It is my sincere wish that your client agrees with my proposal for ongoing contact between the children and myself. As you are no doubt aware, without mediation, this process is decidedly more difficult and I would like to avoid going down the path of a Child Arrangements Order.

Yours faithfully

Mortware

If not sent, you might want to amend this.

7, The law allows the Child to be taken anywhere in the UK by someone with PR. It is only illegal to remove a Child from the UK without the Consent from everyone with PR. If a Child Arrangements Order is made (or a Consent Order), if the wording says xxx LIVES WITH xxxx then this in law makes them the Resident Parent, and so they gain the right to take the child out of the UK for up to 28 days at a time, for a holiday. This does not give them the right for this to be at time the child should be with the other parent, unless its by agreement.

8, Make direct contact with the school yourself. Its best to make an appointment for with the Head or Assistant Head. The school will normally have systems in place, so that you can get Newsletters by email (what will make you aware of what your asking), give you the chance to buy photos taken at school and have a separate parents night appointment.
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
#8
Great letter very factual and rational but you're very kind with the information you send to your ex... its almost free legal advice.

Sometimes less is more ;-)

In my situation, when i know what I am doing legal and the ex kicks off... I smile and ask her to check everything with her own solicitor

When she threatened to call the police about something she wasnt happy about , i handed her the local police station number (she didn't call)
When she changed addresses of the kids at the school ... i went to school and they changed them back (and reminded them of their responsibility)
When she says where she thinks I'm allowed to take my kids... I smile... the kids will let her know how much they enjoyed their day and where they went ... she has no right to dictate in advance where i take them
When she demands a list of people they will be with... I smile and tell her I don't know (which is true)
When she demands they are returned at a time that i know is impossible to meet, I explain I need to be flexible and will get them back at an appropriate and convenient time
When she kicks off I'm dropping them off 'late'... I point out she agreed that time with herself and I told her I'd do my best with no guarantees

Back to the letter - i guess she will respond saying she agrees to non of this unless you give her more child maintenance... seems the standard approach

Let us know how she responds
Reply
#9
Okay this has progressed somewhat since my last post. Here's a brief summary...

I managed to get her to agree to mediation. When I turned up, she insisted on it being a "shuttled" mediation, where she was sat in a room with her mother and eldest daughter, whilst I was in another room. Anyway, we managed to reach an agreement. In addition to my usual Saturday day-times, I could pick them up from School on a weekday, have them for dinner, and drop them back. Great. Also, for overnight stays, we would start with a one-off 1 night, and go from there. I left the mediators £200 lighter, but happy its progressed.

Some time later, I get an email from the mediator with a run down of the agreement. The overnight stay came with some conditions... These are just the highlights!
They have their own beds, CLEAN linen, blackout blind, clothes, toothbrush etc. Fair enough. I can't swear, vape, or drink in front of the children. (I swallowed the obviously inflammatory accusation)
She must inspect the property before the visit.

Via email, I agreed to all the above, on the condition that only she is permitted to enter the property during the inspection. My partner (who is slowly losing her patience at this point) doesn't want nosy family members judging her house, which I think is fair.

The response from the mediator was this:
"I have received the email below from <mother>. Are you able to give <mother> the reassurance she needs please?
I do need to make clear to you both that I am unable to mediate by email. We will need to discuss further issues at our next meeting. If anything urgent arises then I suggest we bring the date of the next meeting forwards.

<mothers response to my last>
Due to <father>'s history of aggressive behaviour and abuse, my legal team has insisted that I am not to be alone in his company. I'm sure you can understand that I will need to have a family member or friend to come with me. Also as I said when we met, this will not be a one off. I will be inspecting the condition of the property before each stay until I am comfortable.
I could not see in the e-mail you sent about the concerns I have with <father> drinking alcohol when the children are in his care and not having any adult company.

---

So what do I do now? We can't accept her need to inspect on every visit. My partner stands firm on only her coming into the house. She's making utterly fabricated allegations about my history. I can't even have my partner with me during the visits (and it's her house!). She's making this impossible of course, but where do I go from here?
Reply
#10
Frankly I find this ridiculous. It's an invasion of your partners private space and is placing too many obstacles in your way.

If you can't agree via meditation get the mediator to sign it off as such and take it to court. I'd be surprised if a judge allowed these house inspections but the judges don't always think like us.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Partners son on 4th child protection plan social services happy for him to live here avachops22 9 6,409 08-04-2018, 09:03 AM
Last Post: davep
  Studio flat and overnight stays. TheDetective 14 11,452 05-01-2018, 08:50 AM
Last Post: Tamagoto
  Hospital Stays strider 4 4,348 09-22-2017, 09:16 AM
Last Post: LTCDAD
  Overnight stays for two year-old BristolDad 3 4,800 04-24-2017, 06:34 AM
Last Post: MarkR
  Access & New Partners BlueEyedTwo 1 3,728 10-12-2016, 07:29 PM
Last Post: MarkR
  POLICE CHECKS FOR EX 'S PARTNERS LIPMC 1 3,152 10-12-2016, 03:11 PM
Last Post: MarkR



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)