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Contact / overnight stay issues
#1
Hi all, newbie here joining the forum for support and guidance.
Basically I separated from my wife back in April last year. We have a 5 year old son. Up until last week I had regular, unrestricted access. I would have him stay over regularly with me and my new partner.

Now a bit of background, I met my estranged wife back in 2009 at work, I'd just started there and we got on, eventually got together, and then (regrettably now) married in 2011, with our son born same year.
What was a good marriage initially, started to change, and the real person started to show in the wife, bottom line, my feelings changed and i eventually grew some balls and made the decision to leave. Hardest thing ever in terms of my son, but it was inevitable.
After just over two months of sleeping / living in the spare room, i eventually moved out, and moved in with my new partner.
Obviously I wasn't expecting a smooth separation and the ex behaved / responded as I expected. However, she did meet my new partner, something she insisted on, and from then on I was seeing my son regularly, based around my shifts, and hers, planning in advance via text / email, (all kept).
End of October and I signed over the house to her, with no equity, stupid move maybe, but, I just wanted rid of it. Low and behold, once that happened, she wasnt as nice. Now im no angel either, I have low tolerance, and tend to shout a lot, thats my biggest weakness, my mouth! and saying things out of spite and in anger.
So now to the present and the ex has had an appeal at work over a shift pattern change rejected, obviously she solely blames me for this, and the anxiety issues she now suffers too.
So as a result, she has now told me there will be no over night stays. I am to see my son at parents house, in arrangement with them, where she will drop him off there, I will spend time with him there, then she returns to collect him.
I have managed today to collect him from school and take him to his favourite local soft play centre and then for some tea afterwards. Something I've done regularly aswell, since leaving.
I have made an initial application for mediation and await their contact, and I also have an initial free 30 mins consultation with a solicitor next week.
So I am trying to do the right things, the right way, but any guidance/advice would be greatly appreciated.
A lot has gone on since April, and by my own admission I haven't always been amicable and said things that didn't really help, but, ultimately all I want is unrestricted access and to move on with my life. My new partner is supporting me 100% and is my rock, because these last few weeks have been very challenging, have really got me down, for which im seeking counselling.
Sorry to drag this out, I can type / talk for England.

Cheers.
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#2
Anyone?
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#3
(02-03-2017, 07:25 PM)MrMoggs5832 Wrote: Hi all,  newbie here joining the forum for support and guidance.
Basically I separated from my wife back in April last year. We have a 5 year old son. Up until last week I had regular,  unrestricted access. I would have him stay over regularly with me and my new partner.

Now a bit of background,  I met my estranged wife back in 2009 at work,  I'd just started there and we got on,  eventually got together,  and then (regrettably now) married in 2011, with our son born same year.
What was a good marriage initially,  started to change,  and the real person started to show in the wife,  bottom line,  my feelings changed and i eventually grew some balls and made the decision to leave. Hardest thing ever in terms of my son, but it was inevitable.
After just over two months of sleeping / living in the spare room,  i eventually moved out, and moved in with my new partner.
Obviously I wasn't expecting a smooth separation and the ex behaved / responded as I expected. However,  she did meet my new partner,  something she insisted on, and from then on I was seeing my son regularly,  based around my shifts,  and hers,  planning in advance via text / email,  (all kept).
End of October and I signed over the house to her,  with no equity, stupid move maybe,  but, I just wanted rid of it. Low and behold, once that happened,  she wasnt as nice.  Now im no angel either, I have low tolerance,  and tend to shout a lot,  thats my biggest weakness, my mouth! and saying things out of spite and in anger.
So now to the present and the ex has had an appeal at work over a shift pattern change rejected, obviously she solely blames me for this,  and the anxiety issues she now suffers too.
So as a result,  she has now told me there will be no over night stays. I am to see my son at parents house,  in arrangement with them,  where she will drop him off there,  I will spend time with him there,  then she returns to collect him.
I have managed today to collect him from school and take him to his favourite local soft play centre and then for some tea afterwards.  Something I've done regularly aswell,  since leaving.
I have made an initial application for mediation and await their contact, and I also have an initial free 30 mins consultation with a solicitor next week.
So I am trying to do the right things,  the right way,  but any guidance/advice would be greatly appreciated.
A lot has gone on since April,  and by my own admission I haven't always been amicable and said things that didn't really help,  but, ultimately all I want is unrestricted access and to move on with my life. My new partner is supporting me 100% and is my rock,  because these last few weeks have been very challenging,  have really got me down,  for which im seeking counselling.  
Sorry to drag this out,  I can type / talk for England.

Cheers.

First of all, under employment law your ex doe have some right, but also it can come down to "Needs of the Business".

As the Resident Parent, it is her responsibility to arrange Child Care, except for when the Child is having contact with you.

If she is working over 16 hours a week, and if she has a new partner they must also be doing this, 70% of Approved Child Care will be paid to her, in the form of Working Tax Credit. When you work 16 hours, the applicable amount of other benefits also changes, so while it might look like she is paying 30%, indirectly via Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction, she might be getting the shortfall paid.

Approved Child Care is Ofstead Registered, or a Registered Child Minder. It is illegal to pay anyone else for more than 14 days child care per year.

It is not your responsibility to pay for Child Care, just what the Child Support Calculation says as its a fully inclusive amount.

The Child has a right to Quality Time with you, and only if Child Welfare/Protection Issues are evidenced will that change. You need to get your contact arrangements sorted out, and that is based on your availability. The preferred times/days of your ex has no legal bearing on this.

If you (or your partner) are willing to help out with babysitting (or even any of your family) then this would separate, and in addition to contact, by agreement between your ex and the person babysitting.

The starting point in a Court situation would normally be Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, if that fitted in with your shift patten, and up to half school holidays.
If your looking for more like shared care, then 1 or 2 mid week visits or stay overs could be added in.

If for example your shift patten was over 4 weeks, then your contact timetable can be also.

While you will need Mediation at first, if this goes to court, your ex is going to have to show her reason for wanting to change the contact.
This must be something since it last happened, and her work arrangements have no legal bearing your contact times.

It is nothing to do with your ex where the children go during contact, or who they come into contact with.
In a contact situation, its acceptable for children to have their own beds, but under 10's can share a room with anyone, and children over 10 should only share a room with people of the same sex (except in a Holiday situation where a family hotel room is acceptable). Use of a living room as a sleeping area is ok, as long as no gas fire in it.

In your situation, your child support calculation would only look at your income. What your partner earns or any joint benefit claims do not come into it.
If she has any dependent children what she gets child benefit for, it also comes into it, as some of your money will be used to support them.
There is then a reduction for staying contact.
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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#4
Hi Mark.

Thank you for reply it you sound like you very much know the ins and outs, and i may need to bend your ear in the future if you wouldn't mind?.

Thank you again, it is very much appreciated.
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#5
Hi Mark.
Ive since sort mediation assistance. However, the ex, has flatly refused to attend any mediation sessions. I'm being told that my only option now is court. Im to pay about 90 quid to the mediation who'll then fill out a form for me to pass on to the courts. Is this my only option? Or should i try mediation again?
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#6
(02-17-2017, 04:06 PM)MrMoggs5832 Wrote: Hi Mark.
Ive since sort mediation assistance. However,  the ex,  has flatly refused to attend any mediation sessions. I'm being told that my only  option now is court. Im to pay about 90 quid to the mediation who'll then fill out a form for me to pass on to the courts. Is this my only option? Or should i try mediation again?

You need to go to court.

Even if you got a Mediation Agreement, it can not be enforced.

If not followed, you would only have the right to go to court.
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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#7
Hello again.

Further to my last, I've sorted a MIAM to get the court form, and I've found and instructed a Solicitor for both Access and Divorce with a CBO.

I wonder if I could bend your ear again? My new partner and I are currently renting, but we are looking to do help to buy on a new build property.

I transferred the marital home to the ex back in October last year, with no equity to me, i.e: I just gave her the house. The are no other joint assets in respect of the divorce proceedings.

So obviously I'm asking is the ex entitled to anything from this new property I may buy with my new partner, before the divorce and CBO is granted?

In terms of the new property, it will be my new partner who will placing the full deposit, I will just be applying for a joint help to buy mortgage.

This is our only stumbling block, we dont want to proceed if the ex is going to benefit before the divorce is granted. Of course I'll consult my solicitor, but no harm in gaining advice elsewhere.

Many thanks.
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#8
(02-26-2017, 12:02 PM)MrMoggs5832 Wrote: Hello again.

Further to my last, I've sorted a MIAM to get the court form, and I've found and instructed a Solicitor for both  Access and Divorce with a CBO.

I wonder if I could bend your ear again? My new partner and I are currently renting, but we are looking to do help to buy on a new build property.

I transferred the marital home to the ex back in October last year, with no equity to me, i.e: I just gave her the house. The are no other joint assets in respect of the  divorce proceedings.

So obviously I'm asking is the ex entitled to anything from this new property I may buy with my new partner, before the divorce and CBO is granted?

In terms of the new property, it will be my new partner who will placing the full deposit,  I will just be applying for a joint help to buy mortgage.

This is our only stumbling block, we dont want to proceed if the ex is going to benefit before the divorce is granted.  Of course I'll consult my solicitor, but no harm in gaining advice elsewhere.

Many thanks.

The cut off date for any claim she might have, is the day you started to have your own independent finances.
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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#9
Thanks
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#10
(02-17-2017, 04:06 PM)MrMoggs5832 Wrote: Hi Mark.
Ive since sort mediation assistance. However,  the ex,  has flatly refused to attend any mediation sessions. I'm being told that my only  option now is court. Im to pay about 90 quid to the mediation who'll then fill out a form for me to pass on to the courts. Is this my only option? Or should i try mediation again?
Hi MrMoggs,

 
sorry I can't offer any legal advice on your plans for the new home but in these circumstances the response of MarkR is the only way forward.  Your ex has given you leave for the mediator to sign off on the petition to court.  Unfortunately, you now have no other choice.
 
The good points about your case are, 

1) Your ex did allow you contact 
2) The contact did include overnight stays
3) Your ex broke the private agreement with no valid justification e.g. Behaviour, concerns about child welfare, your parenting skills etc
4) The contact was only broken very recently

She will have great problems denying you further contact in the court given these circumstances.  She will need to prove you have done something outrageous.  You must act immediately as delay will only lengthen the process.  

You mention quite bravely that "your mouth is the problem" curb it immediately and do not send abusive texts.  Texts should only ask for contact with your son.  Denial - Why are you denying me? Please explain etc Be Careful, she could get cute and have a "Harrassment Order" placed against you.  No more than 1 text per week, same questions.  Keep record of texts and her responses, it is all evidence now of her unreasonable behaviour and your's if you do not follow the advice.

I should advise you that court is not an easy process and is expensive.  I have today published on this site my account of the court process I have been through over the past 13 months.  It is in the "Your Stories Advice to Separated Dad's" section.  Title is "A True Account of Contested Contact 2016-17: Everything you need to know.  The URL to the thread is below.  I recommend you read it to prepare yourself.  It will also save you a vast amount of money.  If you find it useful please acknowledge it so other dad's can benefit.

http://www.separateddads.co.uk/forum/thr...ml#pid9130

I wish you the best of luck.  Feel free to ask my advice on any aspect of the process.  There is a lot information that I did not mention.
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