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Overnight stays for two year-old
#1
Hi all. Wonder whether anyone can help.

I separated from my wife a couple of months ago - she and our daughter are currently living with her parents an hour down the road, while I'm still in our house.

The problem is that I'm not being allowed to have my daughter overnight as 'she's not ready'. But that means I only see my daughter once a week and during daylight hours.

It seems so wrong to me, particularly when she's changing so quickly from one week to the next.

What can I do? Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks...
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#2
(04-21-2017, 09:59 PM)BristolDad Wrote: Hi all. Wonder whether anyone can help.

I separated from my wife a couple of months ago - she and our daughter are currently living with her parents an hour down the road, while I'm still in our house.

The problem is that I'm not being allowed to have my daughter overnight as 'she's not ready'. But that means I only see my daughter once a week and during daylight hours.

It seems so wrong to me, particularly when she's changing so quickly from one week to the next.

What can I do? Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks...

What you need to do is arrange Mediation, what you might get legal aid for.

To bring it to court you normally need

1, Her to no show
2, Deadlock (in both cases they provide a letter for you to show court)
3, an agreement to be done and not followed.

Right now, assuming you have PR, you are on the same legal standing as your ex. In law she can not make decisions about the child not being ready, only a Guardian (Cafcass or Social Services) appointed by a court can do that.

The way how the law sits, unless she can show Child Protection/Welfare Issues, then the Child has a RIGHT to Quality Time with BOTH parents.

Up to 2 years old, unless its by agreement you do not get Staying Contact, its normally 4-6 hours over 1 or 2 days. This is due to the Courts having to support the Governments Policy on promoting Breastfeeding.

From 2, unless Medical Evidence says otherwise, Breastfeeding is not a valid reason in a Court case to prevent overnight contact.

Courts consider weekends and school holidays as quality time, so the normal starting point is Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, and up to half school holidays.
However, it comes down to your availability, not her choice of days/times.

As school holidays works out at 6.5 weeks each, if you work and can not get that, I advise on a 4 week plan, on this timetable

1 week holidays, normal weekend.
2 week holidays, 8 days to include the normal weekend
Summer holidays, a 2 week block so you can book a holiday/trips out, dates agreed 3 months in advance to get best prices, plus a weekend (but this might not follow normal timetable, as your ex also might want to go on holiday.

You either need to share significant dates, or have turns each. (Me and my ex used to change over Christmas Day lunchtime, and then New Years Day Lunchtime so we both had time).

Where shared care is workable, you can try to get mid week time, perhaps 1 visit (or overnight) on your weekend, and 1 or 2 on hers.

I believe the real reason for her not wanting you to have the child overnight is due to how Child Support is worked out, as Staying Contact creates a reduction.

The number of nights the reduction kicks in and then increases is 53, 105, 157 and 175.
In most cases, its your Income (P60 or Self Employed Gross Profit) they use for the last tax year, but if its expected to change either way by 25% its recalculated from the date you report it (and if you do and they find it, they backdate the increase to the start of the tax year). However, there can be valuations in the considered income you might also want to look into.

http://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

The child support amount is fully inclusive, the law can not force you to pay more. However, if you can pay more, the normal is extra payments at start of school year/term towards uniform, any clubs or after school activity's or school trips etc. Always do anything extra as a separate transaction, bank transfer being best.

Normal day to day costs are down to your ex, you only pay for things in your time, in addition to the Child Support.
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 cannot begin to thank you for your help, Mark. It's appreciated so, so much. Everything you advised is super clear, but I just wondered whether you could clarify what you mean by:

'Where shared care is workable, you can try to get mid week time, perhaps 1 visit (or overnight) on your weekend, and 1 or 2 on hers.'

It's the bit from 'perhaps' that I can't quite work out...

But again, thank you so much. This is going to be of huge help.

Best wishes,

BristolDad
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#4
(04-23-2017, 10:17 PM)BristolDad Wrote: I cannot begin to thank you for your help, Mark. It's appreciated so, so much. Everything you advised is super clear, but I just wondered whether you could clarify what you mean by:

'Where shared care is workable, you can try to get mid week time, perhaps 1 visit (or overnight) on your weekend, and 1 or 2 on hers.'

It's the bit from 'perhaps' that I can't quite work out...

But again, thank you so much. This is going to be of huge help.

Best wishes,

BristolDad

Where there is no Child Welfare/Protection Issues, the courts will share out the quality time.

Its the care time in the week, what can sometimes be a battle to get in place.  A lot depends on the position your ex takes, your avaliablity and the distance between both parents houses, for a Judge to decide if its workable or not. No case is ever the same on this.

If your ex is working, it helps your case, if what you are wanting, is the child in your care during times she is also not avaliable. Courts view it better if the child is with a parent, unless its education based and even then, if its excessive time they can reduce it.

Mid week could be as simple as play, dinner and go home. It might be you can collect form school, or collect from your ex on the way home from work.
Or it might be stay overnight, with collection/return to school or your ex.  In a CMS case, it would be up to you to provide cloths while the child is with you. Therefore you would need to have school uniform perhaps, or do a deal with your ex. What I normally surggest is that in addition to CMS, you make a seperate contribution towards any school unform at the start of every term, as long as she provides what is needed in your contact time.

To clear up on what you can get where its workable,
week 1, where you have the children Friday till Sunday, normally 1 mid week
week 2, where she would have the chidlren, 1 or 2.

In school holidays, it would be a seperate timetable, but following your normal weekends (with the extra days to make it half or what you want), except in the summer, where normal weekends might clash with her taking the child on holiday, so it needs both parents to be flexable then.
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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