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Separation Anxiety
#1
Hello,

My ex is changing tack and is now using the length of time she's apart from my baby son as a reason to restrict access. She's refusing to let me have him for more than 4 hours at a time, supervised of course, and nothing beyond that.

She says he can't be apart from her for longer which I think is utter rubbish given how he usually is when I have him and I don't think an extra two hours here and there will make a blind bit of difference. He always has plenty of milk when he's with me and rarely drinks it as he eats very well for a 9 month old.

Does she have an argument in this instance to use the amount of time my son is away from her as a reason to limit the time I spend with him?
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#2
(03-13-2017, 04:44 PM)strider Wrote: Hello,

My ex is changing tack and is now using the length of time she's apart from my baby son as a reason to restrict access. She's refusing to let me have him for more than 4 hours at a time, supervised of course, and nothing beyond that.

She says he can't be apart from her for longer which I think is utter rubbish given how he usually is when I have him and I don't think an extra two hours here and there will make a blind bit of difference. He always has plenty of milk when he's with me and rarely drinks it as he eats very well for a 9 month old.

Does she have an argument in this instance to use the amount of time my son is away from her as a reason to limit the time I spend with him?

You will only get 4 to 6 hours a week, over 1 or 2 days, until the child is 2.
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
Why? I see my son roughly 12 hours a week at present spread over several days.

Why would a court reduce this time when it's already in place and we both agree to it?

My problem is her reducing the amount of time I see my son on a weekend. I've previously had him for 6 hours on a Sat or Sun and now she wants to reduce this to 3 or 4 based on her separation anxiety.
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#4
She doesn't have a valid argument in the separation anxiety. But mark is alluding to the fact that if you went to court, legally, that is all you would essentially be granted.

If you have an agreement now in place between you then there is nothing stopping either of you changing it and under present law (as far as I am aware) as its a mutual family based agreement (one you have set up with your ex) then you are better off trying to compromise is what we mean. If you went to court then you are likely to get less than what you have now.

I think you are looking at it from the logical pragmatic way, and dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that and a lot of fathers do.
But as we see a lot of it on here, the law and regulations is rarely logical and sometimes completely backward. for instance the passport and taking the child out of the country laws. You can say you are not taking him out of the country without your permission and that is a fact she cant. so you go to court to stop all this nonsense, and then it grants her the right to take him out for up to 28 days without your permission. Completely backward!!
Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional.
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#5
(03-13-2017, 08:27 PM)strider Wrote: Why? I see my son roughly 12 hours a week at present spread over several days.

Why would a court reduce this time when it's already in place and we both agree to it?

My problem is her reducing the amount of time I see my son on a weekend. I've previously had him for 6 hours on a Sat or Sun and now she wants to reduce this to 3 or 4 based on her separation anxiety.

I am quoting Goverment Guildlines what a Court will go with, unless its

A, By agreement
B, You can Evidance that longer contact existed.

In the case of B, that would mean in law your ex needs to show "Significant" reason to change it.

Have you made any progress with getting this unsupervised, as if you are not moving it forward, every time you have supervised contact you are adding weight to her case that its justified.
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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#6
Hi,

The court would however consider the time you have with your child already. So would Cafcass.

It wouldn't necessarily end in less contact the same way it is unlikely they would give you more than what you have now.

For a baby contact needs to be frequent which is far more important than to have less frequent but longer contact.

I would attack on a completely different angle and I would not ask for longer contact at the moment but would rather request contact to be unsupervised. This is your biggest problem and concern.

F.
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#7
Hi lads,

Thanks for your replies. Really appreciate it. However, I seem to be getting contradicting information here.

It's suggested that frequent contact to be far more important than longer contact yet governmental guidelines apparently state 4-6 hours over only one or two days? That doesn't suggest regularity with contact and more a longer day of up to six hours, possibly only once a week. Which I am not okay with especially given the amount of time I see my son at present.

I've also previously been advised that once regular, frequent contact is in place that a judge would rule that it's impossible to step back from this (barring any DV or child protection issues which there aren't in this case), and this contact should continue and develop going forward. Whether this rings true I don't know but it certainly reassured me as I prepare for court. It should also be noted that my availability every day is unlimited due to the nature of my work and I've previously been advised that the amount of contact also comes down to the availability of the dad - I'm available literally any time.

To give you a general rundown of my contact with my son, I see him three afternoons a week during the week, and an afternoon at the weekend (which she is now trying change to every other weekend). I'm overjoyed I get to see him so much but she is insisting on supervision. By supervision, I mean her or a member of my family being there. I think this is down to her having severe anxiety and OCD (and the breakdown of our relationship) and not an issue with me. I say this because every time I see my son at her house she leaves me with him, shuts the door and I don't see her for two hours which suggests she's comfortable with me unsupervised. Whenever I pick him up and take him to my place with my parents at the weekend she presumes they're there with me - because they think her behaviour is erratic and ridiculous they quite regularly go out and leave me with my son by ourselves. Last week she 'let me' take my son out for a walk to the shop for half an hour and out and about.

I have weekly text messages confirming the agreed contact each week, and I video, take time and date stamped photos, and record a log of all the contact I have with my son and the amount of times she leaves me 'unsupervised' with him. There's trust there already I think but she's so messed up she can't just confirm it should be normal contact despite the fact the majority of time I spend with my son is technically unsupervised. And let me be clear: the only reason I'm 'tricking' her into thinking it's supervised is precisely because I get to see him so regularly. If she knew my parents weren't with me I should think she'd refuse access altogether so it's about keeping her sweet.

My argument going into court is a continuance of this current arrangement focussing on there being absolutely no reason at all for supervision. Given her lax way of enforcing this I presumed I had a strong case. On advice from my solicitor, I'll be pushing for a full day at the weekend, leading up to eventual overnights, which she says she rarely doesn't get for the dad. But we'll see about that one.

Taking the above into account, and barring any lies or spin from her in her call with CAFCASS, why on earth would a court reduce the amount of time I see my son?! Surely that's detrimental to him as he's clearly getting used to seeing me four times a week, even at this young age.

I'm concerned now!
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#8
Hi,

You want to try and go for what is called a shared residency or at least try to prepare your settings for such a application at a later stage.

What the courts take is on such a order when young babies are involved I can't really say.

Young babies don't understand the concept of time yet. For them it does not matter if your contact is 4 or 6 hours and it will make no difference to them.

For young babies it is the frequency of contact which is important as they have no active place to save their memories at this age. It goes somewhere in our brain but we can not access this or can you remember when you were 1 year old. For this reason frequency is so important in order to form a strong attachment.

The UK law may not reckonize this fully but with the frequency of contact you have now and your availability would be very strong arguments to at least keep things in place as they are now.

With regards to supervision try to see this as process. There seems to be progress of some sort if she agreed that you can have communal contact and take your child out. This is good and especially now when it's warmer you should keep on insisting in taking your child out.

This could be away forward to progress to unsupervised as it will not be possible for your family to hold your hand at all the time.

You need to try to sell this to her carefully and in little steps so that she can process this information. Ask here and then to take your child out, ask to attend a baby class or a course like gymnastics or swimming.

Get your foot in that door and don't move away.

This would be my opinion on it.

F.
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#9
(03-14-2017, 06:58 AM)Frisbos Wrote: Hi,

You want to try and go for what is called a shared residency or at least try to prepare your settings for such a application at a later stage.

What the courts take is on such a order when young babies are involved I can't really say.

Young babies don't understand the concept of time yet. For them it does not matter if your contact is 4 or 6 hours and it will make no difference to them.

For young babies it is the frequency of contact which is important as they have no active place to save their memories at this age. It goes somewhere in our brain but we can not access this or can you remember when you were 1 year old. For this reason frequency is so important in order to form a strong attachment.

The UK law may not reckonize this fully but with the frequency of contact you have now and your availability would be very strong arguments to at least keep things in place as they are now.

With regards to supervision try to see this as process. There seems to be progress of some sort if she agreed that you can have communal contact and take your child out. This is good and especially now when it's warmer you should keep on insisting in taking your child out.

This could be away forward to progress to unsupervised as it will not be possible for your family to hold your hand at all the time.

You need to try to sell this to her carefully and in little steps so that she can process this information. Ask here and then to take your child out, ask to attend a baby class or a course like gymnastics or swimming.

Get your foot in that door and don't move away.

This would be my opinion on it.

F.

There has been other threads on this covering Supervised.

The fact is that she left him in a room alone with the child several times, and my take on that is that in law she had considered everything in the past leading up to that, and made the decision that he did not need to be supervised.

By agreeing to supervised, you are justifiying her wanting it, as far as a court would view it.
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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#10
Hi,

I see all this and agree with it to 100%.

However, the user in my opinion enjoys a great amount of contact with his child and in his situation it is of little help to appear confrontational about this to mum.

I believe the way mum is acting that he has a chance to "massage" mum so that she eventually give this aspect up herself. On good terms!

If in a situation like this were there is evidence of little progress on contact I would think that any escalation of the parental conflict will lead to the opposite and a full reduction of contact.

That can't be in the interest of the user.

It is a thin path and it is important to set mum some deadlines as to when you would expect such a progression to happen and only then take things to court.

Try to figure the amount of time you currently have with your child as a money pot. Whatever is in there you do not want to loose.

However, if mum now says she wants a Saturday without contact then consider this and reach out to her but insisting that the lost time moves to another day - preferable during the week where you have no contact at the moment. Strategically it is important to have a lot of mid-week contact now as the weekend contact will eventually be rotating anyway.

F.
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