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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34282
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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I am a single mother have been for 18mths, now the father of

Resolved Question:

I am a single mother have been for 18mths, now the father of my child says he does not get enough access he doesnt want to be a saturday dad, so he wants more access. We live 40 minutes away, she sees him every weekend from Friday evening when he finishes work, through to Saturday evening when she comes home and she speaks to him most evenings when he calls her. We agreed when we split he could have extended weekends in 1/2 terms and a week in the summer holidays. She is going to be 7 in June. Could you advise as to whether this is enough access or would he legally be entitled to more.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 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.
What has he actually asked for?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He wants more access, input into decisions. Except no big decisions about her life have had to be made yet. He wants to be able to have her when he wants, so if he has a football match to watch in a sat or a stag do to go to he wants to have her for longer etc. He got cross because I said he couldn't have her this Sunday as we were busy. It's not the day we agreed.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I she named on the Birth Certificate?
What "decisions" does he wish to be part of (since as you say you haven't got ass far as choosing a secondary school yet!)
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is named after me on the birth certificate, he is named as the father.


I don't know, he seems to think he should be allowed to make decisions about everyday things, I should be providing breakdowns of her week at school etc so he knows everything that is going on.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
he has Parental Responsibility and the right to be consulted on all major issues in the child's life - so when the time comes you need to discuss School Choices and similar issues.
he is entitled to copies of school reports and details of school events such as parents evenings - but equally he is capable of contacting the school himself and organising this
IF (god forbid) she has medical problems he is entitled to attend hospital appointments
You do NOT have to give him a weekly report of her every activity and you do not have to consult him about everyday issues
With regard to contact it is about what you as parents agree - and what is right for your child.
Clearly there has to be a set pattern of contact so that you and your daughter know what is happening when.
A popular option is alternate weekends so that each parent has a full weekend with the child - so he could collect her from school alternate fridays (so he knows what is happening at school) and have her until Sunday night
If he could fit in an evening a week for tea then that would be reasonable - and half the school holidays
Of course if that is what he wants then he will have to adapt his life to fit around her.......
You should offer to discuss matters with him using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk) and you can read more here
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi


I know what he is entitled to, I need to know if what has already been agreed mutually is enough.


 


He has her friday evenings through to Saturday, as she has ballet classes on a sat near his and we wanted to keep the routine for her. He cant pick her up from school as he doesn't finish work till 5.30pm.


 


He gets school newsletters with dates and he gets copies of school reports.


 


I'm not happy with half the school holidays, he couldnt get that time off work anyway and I'm sorry but your asking a 6 yr old to spend 2 to 3 wks of a summer away from her home! I don't know of any other parental arrangement where that has been the case - through friends who have divorced.


 


All I want to know is, is the arrangement I have detailed, legally is it enough?


 


Friday evenings through to sat: extended in the half terms, and week in the summer holidays, and she speaks to him via telephone most evenings when he calls. He is consulted on all major decisions when and if any, he is invited to all family occasions.


 


Is this reasonable or not?


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry - I should have made it much clearer
There is nothing wrong with the contact that is in place (although eventually two weeks in the summer might be more appropriate) - IF both parents agree
If your ex wants more than that then he has to make a proposal of a new pattern that works out for all of you and still gives you weekend time with your child AND if necessary he will have to alter his life to suit his child.
If you do not agree with it then it will be a matter for a Judge to decide and realistically he is likely to get a little more than he currently has - but certainly not contact as and when he fancies
Clare
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