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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33281
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 childrens father and I Separated when they were 5 months

Customer Question

My children's father and I Separated when they were 5 months old. They are now 2 years old (twins) and i have had issues with their father since our separation. He generally has had access for two nights and two days each week, Saturday night to Monday evening. This has worked well so far. However he is insisting on a third night per week. I gave this a trial to see how it worked but out of four weeks on two occasions he cancelled the third night to go on a last minute holiday and to go out with friends. None of which I had notice until the last minute. On the times he did have them 3 nights I noticed a dramatic difference in their behaviour. I have now received a letter from his solicitor advising me to agree to the third night again. If I don't my ex will be applying to the courts. My ex works 5 days a week (over 40 hours) I don't honestly know how a 3rd night will work. In my heart I feel they are too young to stay away from me for so long every week. He does have PR as he is on the birth certificate. If I don't agree with the 3rd night can I contest it, does he legally have any rights to force it? I feel bullied and backed into a corner and have done for over 18 months now. I can not reason with my ex and he does not believe their behaviour is affected
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.
So when exactly doe she have them when he has an extra night?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has them on the Monday night so it's a stretch. The issue I find with this is their behaviour is a lot worse the Tuesday they arrive home
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What days does he work?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is a manager and completes his own rotas so he can work any days/times he wants
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Ok - but he cannot have three days off a week can he?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No he can only have 2 a week. I believe that 2 nights and 2 full days is good considering he works so many hours. He has stated that he wants them every Saturday night through until Tuesday every week. He refuses to compromise and see them any other time but I'm not happy with this after seeing the change in their behaviour. I also believe that he needs to take time for himself but how can he do so when he is either working or has the children.

He works an hour away from where I live so he travels to pick them up Saturday afternoon only to have to take them to his fathers house which is another 30 minutes away.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
When would he intend to return them on the tuesday - and do you never wish to have a full weekend with them so that you can go away?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He intends to return them by 11am so he can then go work a late. I have often wanted to go away but haven't been able to as he won't agree to changing his time with them. I have also missed out on taking them to family occasions birthdays etc as they mostly fall on Sundays.

I am a nurse and my shifts aren't flexible I work what I am told to work so if I have to work Wednesday and Friday for example I barely see them and I don't think this is fair
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are both entitled to spend quality time with the children - including weekends, and there seems little point in his having the children overnight simply for the sake of having them overnight - rather than spending a further whole day with them.
From what you have said the whole agreement needs to be revisited so that you too have a weekend with them - and that they can settle into new arrangements before starting school.
It is not unreasonable in itself for your ex to want an extra night with them - but as I said it appears that this is about the issue of having the night (which effects the maintenance) rather than extra time - and indeed he doesn't want it when it interferes with his plans - a luxury you do not have
I suggest that you write back t his solicitor saying that the whole pattern of contact needs to be addressed as you too wish to have weekends with your children and that you suggest that the matter is discussed using family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk) so that a new pattern is set up - possibly alternate weekends plus one night or two nights in the week
You can read more on these websites
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/media/168195/cb7-eng.pdf
You do NOT have to just agree with what he wants
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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