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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33314
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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My son is 8 months old. His father lives over an hour away

Customer Question

My son is 8 months old. His father lives over an hour away and had done since before he was born. When we was together he came up weekends to spend time with us but that wasnt all weekend or even every weekend. When he came up he never did much with our son. Hes bathed him once and never fed him. We split up 3 months ago and to start with he came to my house on a Saturday to see his son, this became difficult so he now has contact at my parent's house on a friday evening from 4.30 until 7pm. He is now saying this in not enough and wanting to take him over an hour away to his house for over night contact for the weekend. I am not comfortable with this happening but he has been saying he will take me to court. What access would a court grant him? Would they allow over night contact?


 


I am aware I chose category 'law' instead of 'family law' by mistake

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Would you be willing to consider using a Contact Centre so that contact can move on?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We spoke on Friday and ive said to him, from now on when he goes to my parent's its him that needs to look after and care for my son, he needs to learn how to feed him and comfort him before he thinks about taking him out as I will not feel confident to let my ex take him at the minute. So we have said from now he is going to do that and see what happens in a month and whether things have changed. Then I will be able to let my ex take him out places for a bit and feel confident that he is going to look after him properly. I have said though that over night contact for the weekend is a very way long way into the future as I don't feel my son is old enough and plus he lives an hour away and I am not willing to put my son in the situation where he is in an unfamiliar environment with people he hardly knows as my ex also lives with his father and my son never sees him. Would you say that is right what I have arranged?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But I would be will willing to use a contact centre if that is what the courts granted

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Rebecca
There is no set pattern of contact that the court will impose as every family and every child is different
However the proposal that you have made is well thought out and a good gradual progression of contact
so you have nothing to fear from a court application by your ex
Using a Contact centre (www.naccc.org.uk) would be another way of moving the contact on in a safe way so that your ex has to learn to care for the child himself
When overnight contact does start you could suggest that he books a local travelodge and stays close by for the first few times so that if there is a problem then you are close by
You can read more here
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I just want to feel confident that he will be able to look after my son when he is in his care as I am the only one who has done everything for him since he was born and I want my son to feel comfortable with him as he doesnt really know him as hes not been around much. I think they need to build that bond first before they long periods of time togrther alone. Is that fair of me to say? If my ex did apply to court if this arrangement doesnt last would he get contact in a contact centre and how long for?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Yes you are being fair.
If the court does move contact to a Contact Centre then given the age of the child it is
going to be there for three to six months - then move away gradually with the time extending to a full day before overnight is even considered
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So basically im doing just as a court would just not in the contact centre? Im building up the time gradually and then to taking him out before over night contact is to be considered. And we are also very fair with him if he wants to change days or gets up here late we extend the time, would that happen in a contact centre or are they very strict?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are doing fine - and since most Contact Centres are only open on a Saturday you are offering something that is a great deal more flexible
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your advice. It has been very reassuring and most helpful

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare

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