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Half term issues - escalated quickly
#1
First post for me - although I have been reading a few and to be honest just find it so depressing that I'm going to have to go through the same sort of thing.

Summary:


Divorced for 5 years. Ex and daughter (nearly 12) remained in the house, I got my own after divorce payment

Things have been up and down over those years but until fairly recently I have collected my daughter from the school bus on Friday and dropped her back on Sunday morning on my way to work.
The CMS/CSA reassessed my case and lowered the payments due to the fact I'm now living with my partner (of over 4 years) in our own house and she has a daughter who was at the time under 18.
Since then my Ex has been increasingly awkward with access and seems intent on pushing for alternate weekend access which does not suit me as I work every Sunday. She has sent solicitors letters to this effect and is acting like this is now the letter of the law (even though I'm sure she is well aware it isn't).

Now for half term she is insisting that i care for my daughter on days when i work after i have suggested days when I don't . What are my rights here?

This weekend I will collect her on Saturday and expect her not to be home on the Sunday when I would wish to drop her back. My partner will be home most of the day and also on Monday when I work (this is a day my ex says she cannot cover - she is the sole director of her company which has 3 employees) as she is a teacher as my ex is well aware.

I don't feel that it is my partners job to take on care of my child on a regular basis, is this unreasonable, how would the courts view this?

Apologies if this does't make much sense, but I have so much information swimming around my head it's difficult to filter it down to the relevant parts.

She has refused mediation on a text message but I believe i need to go through the process anyway if I want to head to court to get a court order for regular contact - is that correct?
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#2
"Now for half term she is insisting that i care for my daughter on days when i work after i have suggested days when I don't . What are my rights here?"

Yep... this is super common
Who has residency of your daughter (with her more than 50% and claiming child benefit) ? The mother? If so then:
The child has a the right to a quality relationship with both parents so a mix of week nights and alternate weekends... however as the non resident parent , you do get to influence the time you have i.e. as you rightly say, you can only have the kid when you are 'available' i.e. not working

The ex only agreeing to time when you are not available is ridiculous (but common)

I assume you don't have a court order... you need one.. so mediation then await her to refuse or deadlock then go to court and get what you need to into a child access order

As for Sunday ... who is that impacting? Your daughter! but take her round as planned and then make emergency care arrangements (school club?) as needed and keep a record
The ex solicitor letter is not law and you did not agree to it... solicitors carry out wishes of clients ... if she wants to waste her money on getting a legal letter with 'the sky is green' written on it, she can but doesn't make it true... she'd be better maturing a little and going to mediation
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#3
(10-18-2017, 08:33 AM)LTCDAD Wrote: "Now for half term she is insisting that i care for my daughter on days when i work after i have suggested days when I don't . What are my rights here?"

Yep... this is super common
Who has residency of your daughter (with her more than 50% and claiming child benefit) ? The mother? If so then:
The child has a the right to a quality relationship with both parents so a mix of week nights and alternate weekends... however as the non resident parent , you do get to influence the time you have i.e. as you rightly say, you can only have the kid when you are 'available' i.e. not working

The ex only agreeing to time when you are not available is ridiculous (but common)

I assume you don't have a court order... you need one.. so mediation then await her to refuse or deadlock then go to court and get what you need to into a child access order

As for Sunday ... who is that impacting? Your daughter!  but take her round as planned and then make emergency care arrangements (school club?) as needed and keep a record
The ex solicitor letter is not law and you did not agree to it... solicitors carry out wishes of clients ... if she wants to waste her money on getting a legal letter with 'the sky is green' written on it, she can but doesn't make it true... she'd be better maturing a little and going to mediation
Thanks for the reply.

She is resident with her mother, access restricted by her mother to every other weekend. I haven't agreed to this but don't feel it sensible to turn up on the Saturday her mother thinks is 'hers' to have a confrontation - not good for my mental health or my daughters well being.

I'm about to start the mediation which she will refuse to attend but knowing it's a box i have to tick. My solicitor is going to start drafting an arrangement order so as not to cause further delays.

I can't really do anything on the Sunday as there is not much running on Sundays around here for me to book at no notice. I'm afraid I will have to rely on my long suffering partner.

I'm fairly sure my ex has borderline personality disorder and she will continue to act however she feels even after a court order is in place, but I will follow up with enforcement as it is the only redress i will have. I'm just not looking forward to what is probably going to be many months of stress for myself and partner.
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#4
Court would award you every other weekend plus 1 or 2 nights in week and up to half school holidays ... thats standard

You need to exchange the Sunday for a Friday night for example due to work etc etc but still thats Ok

Is that more than you have now... then go for it

As for your opinions on her mental state ... irrelevant ... of course we all agree with you and we've never met her ... every lad on here has a an ex with BPD but there must be a green garden bathed in sunshine where a couples split up and the women said ' yes dear, its sad but we will do the best for our kids and put them first" as she hands him a plan of access that meets the kids and his needs and they then rode off into the sunset on unicorns... it happens ... i have heard of such women... just never met one

I'm a bit upset after 5 years its still ongoing... i was hoping once we get through court next week she will settle down .... dreamin' aren't I?
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#5
The problem for me is every other weekend doesn't work with my employment. What I'd want (and have had at times) is collecting Friday from school and returning on Sunday morning plus the holidays, do you think the courts are likely to award that against her wishes?

The only solice I have currently is that she is 12 next month - she is getting to the age when she can and will start to use her voice more, hopefully she can be heard.
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#6
(10-18-2017, 02:24 PM)fredgassit Wrote: The problem for me is every other weekend doesn't work with my employment. What I'd want (and have had at times) is collecting Friday from school and returning on Sunday morning plus the holidays, do you think the courts are likely to award that against her wishes?

The only solice I have currently is that she is 12 next month - she is getting to the age when she can and will start to use her voice more, hopefully she can be heard.

First of all, the dates and times your ex wants you to have contact does not in law come into it. You will only agree in Mediation or ask a Court, for times you want.

The Court considers it in 2 parts.

1, Term Time, what is Monday to Thursdays.
Often the Child is with the Resident Parent for this, unless the other Parent wants Shared Care, or if their avaliablity affects the normal half of the Quality Time contact.
In your case, if you wanted, you should get at least 1 afterschool contact, of about 3 hours, every week.

2, Quality Time, is the Weekend and School Holidays, what you would get half of if you asked. In your situation, you would get from Friday pm until Sunday AM every 2 weeks. I would think about where you collect the child form, as in my experiance the children came in unfiorm, and went back with it clean, but in normal cloths, so i lost an outfit every contact.

As you work, you might be better asking for 1 week at Easter and Christmas, and 2 weeks (plus another weekend) in the summer, but this might not follow normal timetable, as your ex also has the right to take the child on holiday. What me and the ex did, was 2 weeks each, and then as I could do half, we worked out the other days after holidays had been booked.

In terms of how to handle things with your ex, as the Resident Parent, she has to arrange child care outside of when you want contact, for when she is not avaliable. If she works, she can get help with the cost of this, via the Working Tax Credit if Ofstead Registered or a Registered Childminder. As only the person who gets Child Benefit and as a result Tax Credits can get help with the cost, its down to them.
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
(10-18-2017, 03:23 PM)MarkR Wrote:
(10-18-2017, 02:24 PM)fredgassit Wrote: The problem for me is every other weekend doesn't work with my employment. What I'd want (and have had at times) is collecting Friday from school and returning on Sunday morning plus the holidays, do you think the courts are likely to award that against her wishes?

The only solice I have currently is that she is 12 next month - she is getting to the age when she can and will start to use her voice more, hopefully she can be heard.

First of all, the dates and times your ex wants you to have contact does not in law come into it. You will only agree in Mediation or ask a Court, for times you want.

The Court considers it in 2 parts.

1, Term Time, what is Monday to Thursdays.
Often the Child is with the Resident Parent for this, unless the other Parent wants Shared Care, or if their avaliablity affects the normal half of the Quality Time contact.
In your case, if you wanted, you should get at least 1 afterschool contact, of about 3 hours, every week.

2, Quality Time, is the Weekend and School Holidays, what you would get half of if you asked. In your situation, you would get from Friday pm until Sunday AM every 2 weeks. I would think about where you collect the child form, as in my experiance the children came in unfiorm, and went back with it clean, but in normal cloths, so i lost an outfit every contact.

As you work, you might be better asking for 1 week at Easter and Christmas, and 2 weeks (plus another weekend) in the summer, but this might not follow normal timetable, as your ex also has the right to take the child on holiday. What me and the ex did, was 2 weeks each, and then as I could do half, we worked out the other days after holidays had been booked.

In terms of how to handle things with your ex, as the Resident Parent, she has to arrange child care outside of when you want contact, for when she is not avaliable. If she works, she can get help with the cost of this, via the Working Tax Credit if Ofstead Registered or a Registered Childminder. As only the person who gets Child Benefit and as a result Tax Credits can get help with the cost, its down to them.

It sounds like it isn't going to get sorted before half term.  For now - could you accept the dates and leave daughter with your Mum or someone during the day and spend time with her in the evenings and before work.  You couldn't leave her with just anyone but inviting an aunty or granny or something to stay for a few days or asking them to help out, would be fine - all normal family time.

It does sound like you need an order - make sure it is defined - and works around what you can do.
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#8
As it stands I'm due to collect her tomorrow morning (she is on half term now as she attends a fancy school that costs ££££ - whole other story). However she has already texted me that she is invited to a sleepover and can I drop her back to her office at 4.30. I don't want to stop her going to sleepovers and/or appear to be the bad guy so have agreed to this.
Just to add to the 'fun' she now wants to know numbers and addresses of anyone caring for her on days when I'm at work and arranging cover.
I've had enough of walking on eggshells to try to appease the ex and maintain some form of contact with my daughter so the ex will get told I'm not going to provide any such information - any one fancy a guess what the reaction will be??, Place your betts!!
Not only does she state I have to arrange cover when she knows I can't do it myself, she also wants to vet my solutions.

Seriously gents, it's nice to get a bit of free useful advice and also in a timely manner. My parents have said don't sweat the legal fees, but I still want to keep these to a sensible minimum as I don't enjoy wasting money - even if it's not mine.

(10-18-2017, 03:23 PM)MarkR Wrote: The Court considers it in 2 parts.

1, Term Time, what is Monday to Thursdays.
Often the Child is with the Resident Parent for this, unless the other Parent wants Shared Care, or if their avaliablity affects the normal half of the Quality Time contact.
In your case, if you wanted, you should get at least 1 afterschool contact, of about 3 hours, every week.

2, Quality Time, is the Weekend and School Holidays, what you would get half of if you asked. In your situation, you would get from Friday pm until Sunday AM every 2 weeks. I would think about where you collect the child form, as in my experiance the children came in unfiorm, and went back with it clean, but in normal cloths, so i lost an outfit every contact.

I live 35 miles away from her school, and 17 miles from her Mother, journeys take 45-60 mins each way,so midweek is out, but I can collect her on my way back from work on Friday when the school bus drop her back closer to her mothers. 
I've lost plenty of clothes before, but she normally has some sports kit with her that she tends to wear back so that can be avoided.
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#9
(10-18-2017, 07:22 PM)fredgassit Wrote: As it stands I'm due to collect her tomorrow morning (she is on half term now as she attends a fancy school that costs ££££  - whole other story). However she has already texted me that she is invited to a sleepover and can I drop her back to her office at 4.30. I don't want to stop her going to sleepovers and/or appear to be the bad guy so have agreed to this.
Just to add to the 'fun' she now wants to know numbers and addresses of anyone caring for her on days when I'm at work and arranging cover.
I've had enough of walking on eggshells to try to appease the ex and maintain some form of contact with my daughter so the ex will get told I'm not going to provide any such information - any one fancy a guess what the reaction will be??, Place your betts!!
Not only does she state I have to arrange cover when she knows I can't do it myself, she also wants to vet my solutions.

Seriously gents, it's nice to get a bit of free useful advice and also in a timely manner. My parents have said don't sweat the legal fees, but I still want to keep these to a sensible minimum as I don't enjoy wasting money - even if it's not mine.

(10-18-2017, 03:23 PM)MarkR Wrote: The Court considers it in 2 parts.

1, Term Time, what is Monday to Thursdays.
Often the Child is with the Resident Parent for this, unless the other Parent wants Shared Care, or if their avaliablity affects the normal half of the Quality Time contact.
In your case, if you wanted, you should get at least 1 afterschool contact, of about 3 hours, every week.

2, Quality Time, is the Weekend and School Holidays, what you would get half of if you asked. In your situation, you would get from Friday pm until Sunday AM every 2 weeks. I would think about where you collect the child form, as in my experiance the children came in unfiorm, and went back with it clean, but in normal cloths, so i lost an outfit every contact.

I live 35 miles away from her school, and 17 miles from her Mother, journeys take 45-60 mins each way,so midweek is out, but I can collect her on my way back from work on Friday when the school bus drop her back closer to her mothers. 
I've lost plenty of clothes before, but she normally has some sports kit with her that she tends to wear back so that can be avoided.

So if you when with what I am saying, term time is 39 weeks, so depending on if you have contact on week 1 or week 2, you will have 40 or 38 nights.
Even if you took half school holidays, you will not exceed 104, but you will exceed 52 as long as you have at least 2 weeks of the 13 school holikdays, what gets you a reduction.
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
Term time is more like 35 weeks at her school, but in a couple of years that includes Saturdays so that's another hurdle to face in the future. You understand of course that she didn't consult me before sending her to this school, costs of which I do not contribute to. She rang up the head of her previous school and gave him a major earful to which he replied that he wouldn't be spoken to in that manner and she should find alternative schooling. The Ex actually emailed me his response like she was expecting me to back her up!!
To be honest the 2 nights a week reduction isn't a massive issue, I'm way past that. I just want solid contact with my girl
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