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Contact Ideas
#1
Hello...

I have my first court hearing coming up soon. I have an idea of what I'd like with regards contact but would like a bit of advice with whether it's feasible.

For info, since the turn of the year I've seen my son - he's 10 months old - up to five times a week. This has slowly been reduced to four times, three times, and now twice a week - reducing with each month basically. The reason it's going to court is because my ex insists on supervision which I think is totally unnecessary, plus I want contact locked down.

I see my son twice during the week and once at the weekend here and there but only for a few hours in the morning or afternoon. I'd like the midweek contact to remain but weekend contact to increase from a few hours to all day. As this progresses I'd like to have him a full weekend Saturday and Sunday every other week from 9-5. Then eventually to progress this to overnights. And have one of my midweeks progressed to overnight too. My solicitor says she rarely leaves court without securing overnights for fathers in some form so this has reassured me.

Is this something I could realistically argue for?
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#2
I at first requested Fri 4pm - Sunday 6pm. I got Saturday 10am - Sunday 6pm! but it's all about being seen to be reasonable in Court. The Judge likes it when you agree or compromise and makes a point of letting your ex now how willing you are to do this. My reason for backing down occasionally was to avoid further trips back to Court. I am sure my ex loved it as it was a day out and made her feel important with her solicitor (sickly fella) by her side. I was on my own, but what they didn't realise was, I got exactly what I wanted, I did not want the Friday visit as I finish too late from work so.................. ask for as much as you can and be prepared to change it a little, you could end up with the same result as me. Hope this helps

Need to add I had been blocked by my ex for a year with going from full access to; by her say so only, hourly supervised visits on 4 occasions within that year (no reason apart from the fact that she felt like it) so no reason why you cannot have overnight access at all.
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#3
(03-24-2017, 08:28 AM)Patrick C Wrote: I at first requested Fri 4pm - Sunday 6pm.  I got Saturday 10am - Sunday 6pm! but it's all about being seen to be reasonable in Court.  The Judge likes it when you agree or compromise and makes a point of letting your ex now how willing you are to do this.  My reason for backing down occasionally was to avoid further trips back to Court.  I am sure my ex loved it as it was a day out and made her feel important with her solicitor (sickly fella) by her side.  I was on my own, but what they didn't realise was, I got exactly what I wanted, I did not want the Friday visit as I finish too late from work so.................. ask for as much as you can and be prepared to change it a little, you could end up with the same result as me. Hope this helps

Need to add I had been blocked by my ex for a year with going from full access to; by her say so only, hourly supervised visits on 4 occasions within that year (no reason apart from the fact that she felt like it) so no reason why you cannot have overnight access at all.

Well I'm going to ask for as much as possible as I've been informed the judge will likely ask us to compromise. I'm more than willing to do this and I expect my ex to refuse everything I request so hopefully the judge would tell us to meet in the middle at which point I'd likely get what I actually want.

I'm just trying to get an idea of what's realistic in my situation.
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#4
I totally understand your situation and why you're trying to get an idea, its the right thing to do we all need as much help as possible in these situations; I know I did. The Judge will more than likely extend your visits to make that first overnight stay a smooth transition so be ready to accept that. Mine is to be done over a 6 week period before they can stay, but it's all getting there.
I also found that my ex didnt want me to have too much access as it means a lower payment of CM (thats how selfish they can be) so be aware of that one!
Make sure you're heard in Court and remember it's all about whats best for the child, the fact that child is your life strangely doesn't come into it so make it clear that both parents are whats best for him and be so amiable its what got me there in the end. Good luck
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#5
(03-24-2017, 10:39 AM)Patrick C Wrote: I totally understand your situation and why you're trying to get an idea, its the right thing to do we all need as much help as possible in these situations; I know I did.  The Judge will more than likely extend your visits to make that first overnight stay a smooth transition so be ready to accept that.  Mine is to be done over a 6 week period before they can stay, but it's all getting there.  
I also found that my ex didnt want me to have too much access as it means a lower payment of CM (thats how selfish they can be) so be aware of that one!  
Make sure you're heard in Court and remember it's all about whats best for the child, the fact that child is your life strangely doesn't come into it so make it clear that both parents are whats best for him and be so amiable its what got me there in the end.  Good luck

Thanks, man. The main thing is getting this ridiculous, half-baked supervision thing removed that my ex is insisting on. Providing there's no issue - and I see no reason for one given the evidence I have (unless she makes something up) - then I'm hoping to push for a continuance of the midweek arrangements as well as extended time every other weekend leading up to overnights.

I'm crossing my fingers.
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#6
No problem, I feel your pain on the supervised thing, I did it for way too long and your right, it is ridiculous.
I wonder what her reason is for the so called necessary supervision; any ideas??
I didnt know what mine was until I was informed by Cafcass. I am an electrician by trade so I have to take regular drug and alcohol tests - I have a drawer full of them; standard in my line of work, but it didn't help me at the time.
I hope for your sake she doesn't make things up but know this................ anything that she shows in Court has to be seen by you first otherwise it cant be shown. If you forward any kind of statement to the Judge before your case make sure you include your ex in the email so you have proof she got it! If you don't do this your evidence can not be shown.
For example I had a string of text messages from my ex saying she was going to say I was a drug addict to stop me seeing my children, I tried to show it in Court as I had been set up but wasn't allowed to show the texts. Before the next case I sent all my information including the texts (and a negative hair follicle test for drugs and alcohol; £800 worth ca ching) and also copied her solicitor into the emails and wallop - Judge not impressed, my access granted, my ex in tears because the Father of her children beat her at her own stupid game and she was threatened with community service. In Canada she would have got 7 years for that - so wish I'd taken her there to live Undecided my bad lol
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#7
(03-24-2017, 01:52 PM)Patrick C Wrote: No problem, I feel your pain on the supervised thing, I did it for way too long and your right, it is ridiculous.  
I wonder what her reason is for the so called necessary supervision; any ideas??
I didnt know what mine was until I was informed by Cafcass.  I am an electrician by trade so I have to take regular drug and alcohol tests - I have a drawer full of them; standard in my line of work, but it didn't help me at the time.
I hope for your sake she doesn't make things up but know this................ anything that she shows in Court has to be seen by you first otherwise it cant be shown.  If you forward any kind of statement to the Judge before your case make sure you include your ex in the email so you have proof she got it! If you don't do this your evidence can not be shown.  
For example I had a string of text messages from my ex saying she was going to say I was a drug addict to stop me seeing my children, I tried to show it in Court as I had been set up but wasn't allowed to show the texts.  Before the next case I sent all my information including the texts (and a negative hair follicle test for drugs and alcohol; £800 worth ca ching) and also copied her solicitor into the emails and wallop - Judge not impressed, my access granted, my ex in tears because the Father of her children beat her at her own stupid game and she was threatened with community service.  In Canada she would have got 7 years for that - so wish I'd taken her there to live Undecided my bad lol

Yeah, you touched on this in another post so thanks for the heads up. I'll certainly be making sure everyone who's required to know what's what is clued up. I'll be speaking to my solicitor about it too for clarification.

To answer your question, I've no firm idea why she wants supervision. She's previously said she doesn't trust me. I don't trust her either but I don't extend that lack of trust to restricting her contact. She's also said that the arguments we had over the course of splitting up is causing her to insist on it - how me and her disagreeing and arguing has any bearing on my ability to parent is beyond me. Another is that she thinks I should see a psychiatrist because I suffer from depression therefore supervision is vital in case of a risk to my son. The irony being she also suffers from depression and severe anxiety. My doctor diagnosed my depression as mild to moderate at most and signed me off an expert witness statement stating this ready for court. Added to this is her repeatedly confirming I'm a great and capable dad as well as leaving me unsupervised with my son literally every single time I see him makes the whole argument completely ridiculous. It would be laughable if it wasn't so hurtful. So I expect her to make something up in order to drag this out. And that's a worry.
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