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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
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 have been divorced for 6 years and have 2 boys age 12 and

Customer Question

I have been divorced for 6 years and have 2 boys age 12 and 9. We have an arrangement in place which has worked well where they stay overnight every friday at their dads and stay every other weekend til sunday night. They see him every monday night for sport and the eldest stays there every weds night too if he wants to. They spend half the holidays also with their dad. I have always been flexible. I work part time and flexibly so I can organise and manage the whole school week/clubs etc and have done so always, he can never pick them up due to work, his wife collects them on a friday.He has told me before that the arrangement suits him. I now have a new partner who the children get on very well with and we will look to buy a house together which the boys are happy about. I think my ex doesn't like the thought of this and has now agreed with the boys while they have been at his house this week that its only fair they spend alternate weeks at his house for the whole week without any discussion at all with me and he has bought them a new kitten yesterday. I feel they have been manipulated into saying they want to go there more as they have never said before they want to. We have all been settled. After some weekends the youngest complains he doesn't like going there and doesn't get on with his half-sister (age 4) and is too scared to talk to his dad about it as he will get angry.Will a court make this happen if thats what the children have been made to think and say by their dad? I don't feel its in their best interest at all
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.
Has he said when he expects this new pattern to start?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, No he has just said he wants to discuss it with me as he has already agreed it with the boys.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I have been waiting a few hours, not sure if Clare will reply
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No discussion yet on when he wants it to start. I do not want this to start, I will be happy to be flexible and compromise that he can see them during the week but i want them to come back to me by 7pm and sleep here during hte week so we have consistency and routine for school runs, homework, clubs etc
. I know he will insist on having them for a full week alternate weeks at his and I just need to know if a court could make that happen when we have a good arrangement in place for 5 years, he can't support any school runs, so why change? Will a court see that he had influenced the boys to say thats what they want to do, he is very bullish in nature

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Relist: Other. taking too long

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Relist: Incomplete answer.

Please can you advis if someone will repsond today, i marked and paid for urgency and have not had a response! thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay.
For reasons I do not understand your question stopped appearing on my lists
Please try not to worry - your ex acted unwisely in trying to bring the children into it in this way.
It is a matter which needs to be agreed between you as parents - possibly using FamilY mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
It would be sensible to use a mediator who can also work with young people so that someone independent can speak to the children about the real implications of such a change
Certainly an alternate week arrangement is not likely to be agreed by the court.
Whilst it does work well for some children there is research evidence that in fact it does not work as well as the parents think so far as the children are concerned - and it requires a high level of co-operation between the parents.
Stretching the weekend contact to include Sunday nights; and adding a specific overnight midweek contact is certainly possible - but not the arrangement you are proposing unless it is clear that the children actively want this - which I am certain they do not
Your starting point is simply to state that you will discuss this at mediation and make the arrangements to do so.
If it appears that the children do wish to give it a try then suggest a trial run of four weeks - time enough for the children and your ex to realise that it is hard work however I suspect that this will not actually be necessary at all
You can read more here
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Nadia
Have you any further questions?
Clare

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