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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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My ex and I separated last May, we have an 18 month daughter

Resolved Question:

My ex and I separated last May, we have an 18 month daughter currently with shared access, I have her every other weekend and one night in the week. I have recently started a new relationship which I believe to be long term, as does my new girlfriend. We are currently not introducing the baby to the new girlfriend, but wish to start doing so gradually, sensitively and progressively. My daughters mother is saying that if I do that she will deny me access. Is there any legal support fir her position?
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.
How long have you and your new partner been together and how do you intend to handle the introduction?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We met in July. We would like to be able to go for walks together over a weekend and then build towards having lunch together. Like I said in my question, this would be gradual, sensitive but progressive to the point where my daughter starts to know my new girlfriend.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - are there any court orders in place regarding contact?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. Other background. My ex and I were together three years only, not married, she left on her own wishes at the end of April, beginning of May. I'm 54, she's 34. We live close to each other at the moment but she intends to move to Yorkshire in May which will then change and significantly restrict access anyway.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What contact has she offered for after the move?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She knows that I am unprepared to travel to Bradford and back for weekends, it's just too far at my age and also unfair on Ayla so I've suggested a long weekend per month, ideally collecting on Thursday and return on Tuesday so long as I can fit it in with work. This would be for the pre-school period only. Once schooling starts I have suggested a block of time in half terms and holidays, but the move effecively ruins the relationship I have with Ayla anyway and worse, means she will have even less contact with other members of my family including her elder half brother and half sister. I haven't heard back from her on my suggestion, she would be happy to continue as we are on weekends, just dropping the mid week night. But I don't think I can do that, living in Cambridgeshire and working in Warwickshire, it's just not practical.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Why is your ex moving?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She wishes to be closer to her elder sister who has two children, 4 and 8. I believe she feels this is a better environment for Ayla to grow up within, ie more important than the father/daughter relationship.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Does she have a job to go to?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you wish to oppose the move?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Didn't realise I could. Is there any prospect of success?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Since is would seriously effect your relationship with the child and it does not appear that your ex has strong reason for the move there is a reasonable chance is success
However it would of course make your existing relationship with your ex even more difficult
So far as your original question is concerned it is entirely reasonable for you to wish to introduce your new partner to the child, and since it is clear that you intend to do so carefully and thoughtfully the Court would support your right to do so
The starting point on both issues is to arrange a meeting with Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
to try and discuss matters with your ex.
If that fails then you will have to apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order to protect your contact - at which point you may have nothing to lose by also seeking a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent the move until matters have been fully discussed.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
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