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Vary the order
#1
So just preparing to got back to court.

Currently have every other weekend and one midweek, lives with mother.

I’m asking for an extra midweek which will make it 50/50 and lives with both. Among a lot of other smaller things like clarifying Easter holidays.

Any advice from people who have varied the order or gone for more time?
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#2
I don't think you will get much more than you already got. Courts don't like doing 50 50 shared care and lives with both parents orders. Even more so when you have an ex that can't do parent and will continue to be even more hostile. Before you do go to court you would have to attempt mediation where it would definitely be worth discussing holiday arrangements . If you are representing yourself you could give it a try and go after what you want..however if you are paying for representation I probably wouldn't
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#3
Yeah mediation is booked but I’ve just got a shitty letter from ex’s solicitor saying she’s not going, she doesn’t want to change anything.
I’m representing myself.

I’m going to court because the ex can’t co-parent and is trying to control everything from school to holidays. Surely one parent shouldn’t be excluded from care because the other is difficult. I’d think that was a perfect reason to make it joint residence.
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#4
I think if you have good reason to apply for variation it is worth asking for extra time too. Because if she isn't behaving as if certainty for your daughter is important, then the order at least needs defining. Seem to remember she is messing about with holiday dates and shaving the odd date off isn't she?

This is more or less what I did, but ex was actually cancelling whole week-ends sometimes and cancelling mid week contact by going on holiday during term-time. She wasn't actually in breach because my order wasn't enforceable! So advice I had was to wait till she'd done a few things, and then apply for a defined order. I asked about shared care and extra time and Solicitor said I was unlikely to get it but may get an additional night on the Sunday night of my week-end. I ignored that and applied for it anyway and put my own application in but used some of the tips I'd picked up from Solicitor on how to define holidays in an order.

As you may remember I did get shared care, but by consent, thrashed out before final hearing, but didn't get the extra time - compromised on that to get the "lives with both parents". However I am sure the Judge would have given it too, had the hearing gone ahead, because her first comment, when she heard about the consent order details was "yes, lives with" and nodded. I probably would have got the extra night as well if the hearing had gone ahead. But who knows.

What I did have by the end of it was four nights a fortnight, nearly all the holidays defined in detail, and lives with both parents. My ex basically ignores the "lives with" bit and still says he only "stays" with me. But it has made me more confident in dealing with schools and other people because I can say son lives with me and it affects peoples attitudes. It also means I can tell my son he legally lives with both his parents and that is the psychological bit - so she can't keep reinforcing to him that he lives with her and Stepdad and I am just to "visit".

If you set out details of any breaches or anything she wouldn't agree to regarding holidays, or anything she is shaving off or fiddling about with, it will be easier to say whether now is the right time etc. Assume you have evidence of her attitude, frustrating contact and not keeping to agreements made. Those would be the main points. But the other main point would be certainty and stability for your daughter.

I think at worst you would get the same time as now and a clearly defined order with dates, times etc to deter her from breaching.
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#5
Cheers Charlie, it’s mostly her being unorganised around school and activities, some mild parental alienation and generally being very difficult to the detriment of child. Just to stick it to me. I’ve got some very damning conversations where she completely ignores child’s needs and just wants to argue. I’m supremely confident that I can show a pattern of resistance to putting child first in favour of controlling me. Not sure if it will be enough to make it lives with. But like you say, with any luck it will be agreed before the final hearing.

I’m feeling a little apprehension here. Is it really that hard to change an order to lives both?
Ive never been late, never not turned up. I’ve been to every school event and volunteered to help every time. I organise activities, I take her to parties, I speak to doctor, I braid her hair and buy clothes and shoes. Homework is done every night and uniform is spotless and she is prepared every time for world book day, cake day etc.
It is for all purposes a shared care situation, would it be so hard for the judge to reflect that in the order?
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#6
That is one argument to make - that before separation you shared the care and are doing so now. But the main reason would need to be her attitude - and wishing it to make it clear that both parents are equally important to the child. Mentioning parental alienation wouldn't go down well but using evidence to show what she is doing would.

Are you getting to see your daughter regularly? What is the main issue with holidays?
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#7
Yeah there’s no real problems with contact. I’ve always agreed to ex changing the order.
Ex is claiming that I only get the one week block referred to in the order. she claims the extra weekend belongs to her by default. That’s the basics.
Yeah I wouldn’t say PA but certainly could show it.

I’ve heard that kind of thing before, ex not behaving like an equal parent so lives with both to help her understand.
To me that seems more like a punishment for the ex rather than recognising what’s best for child.
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#8
Well that is a good reason to apply to vary - to get the holidays defined in detail as you aren't getting half the school holidays. At the same time you can ask for shared care and an additional night a week. You may or may not get it. You'd need a lot of evidence of her attitude to get it. They may want to come to an agreement at first hearing so then evidence wouldn't be seen. That would be difficult. Either compromising on no shared care to get an extra night possibly - or letting it run to final hearing and possibly still not getting it. You'd have to see how it pans out.

Is she actually in breach though? If the order says half the school holidays and you got less than half (and it is easy to argue that school holidays are from the time school finishes to when it recommences) then that could be classed as a breach- so then you'd be filing a C79 for a breach and requesting the order be varied/defined at the same time. But that wouldn't be a full application for shared care.
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#9
I don’t really think she is in breach but it’s just ambiguous enough that neither of us was. I’m far more interested in making sure it can’t happen again.
However she won’t want the court see how she dealt with at all. There’s been some more serious issues and I’ll certainly be staying that. Let’s see how it goes.
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#10
(04-27-2019, 07:57 AM)Naive Wrote: So just preparing to got back to court.

Currently have every other weekend and one midweek, lives with mother.

I’m asking for an extra midweek which will make it 50/50 and lives with both. Among a lot of other smaller things like clarifying Easter holidays.

Any advice from people who have varied the order or gone for more time?

Medication is not required once a Court Order exists, unless directed by a Judge.

On application to vary, you need to have a significant reason not known at the time the last order was made.

While you might want claification on Holidays etc, I am not seeing any reason why you need to change the term time contact.

With Holidays, my suggestion is for orders to have

Half Term, 3 a year, contact over the normal weekend, but to have 2.5 days tagged on, so contact starts or ends Lunchtime Wednesday.
Easter and Christmas, the children are off for 2.5 weeks.
Easter, 8 day block, what every other year includes Good Friday until after the Bank Holiday Monday.
Alternate the years, but with one parent from break up to Boxing Day morning. Then with the other one until New Years Day.
Summer, ex to provide dates of a 2 week window, 3 months in advance, confirmed 2 months before. 1 more week or weekend also, but that has to fit arround her holiday plans also, but you should not go more than just over 2 weeks without 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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