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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33276
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi, I have no court order but instead have an established

Customer Question

Hi,

I have no court order but instead have an established contact pattern with my ex and our 6 year old daughter which has worked well over the last 3 years. He is now dictating a further overnight stay from tomorrow and says he has every right to do this. I work full-time and don't see her much whilst he picks her up from school 3 nights a week and has until 6.30 on Saturday. I really don't want to agree to this change but he has said I have no rights and he won't open the door if I try and collect her. Please help! What rights do I have, I am the resident parent who he left for another woman and I feel extremely powerless
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for using JustAnswer. My name is Claire, I will do whatever I can to answer your question.
What has the pattern of contact been to date?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi, Thanks for answering so quickly!


 


When he left in December 2010, he picked her up from school Mon/Weds/Fri until I came home from work. I have always picked her up on Tues and my mum on Thurs. From August 2011 I got advice as he was wanting to keep her overnight and reluctantly I agreed to a Fri night, this worked well and got her used to her new environment from a young age. In the summer 2012 he moved his new family closer and reluctantly after taking advice, he requested a Weds night and I had to agree. He always wanted Mon night as well but I said it was a big adjustment and would review in the winter term which I did and said I was not prepared to change it as it had been working ok.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Does he ever have her for the full weekend?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi,


 


He has had her up to a maximum of 9 nights during the school holidays and I arrange with his mum and dad to have her on a Sat night every 3-4 months so he takes her to them and technically could stay with them as well. This has happened when there have been family birthdays/celebrations etc,

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
At 6 your daughter is too young for her wishes to be relevant in deciding contact.
The contact arrangement that your ex is suggesting appears to be very disruptive pattern of alternate nights in each of your care and it is highly unlikely that a court would see this as reasonable or in her best interests if the matter comes before them.
This is something that you and your ex need to discuss using Family mediation to reach a compromise that will actually work for your daughter rather then giving her this rotating existence.
If mediation fails then you may need to apply to the court for a residence (or shared residence) order
At 6 your daughter is too young for her wishes to have any relevance in deciding contact - it is more important that there is a set pattern of contact so that she knows where she is going to be and when.
Claire

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