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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
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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Me and my ex broke up 11th November this year, things are still

Customer Question

Me and my ex broke up 11th November this year, things are still very raw, and we argue constantly.
This Boxing Day, we had agreed that I would have our 17 month old Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and my ex would have him at 3:00 on Boxing Day.
It came to 2:30 and my ex said he thought it was unfair to collect our son and refused, but was going to 'take me to court' after a lot of arguing again.
I already received a letter from his solicitor 10th December, it basically said
My client would like to see your son either 1 day every weekend, and an evening in the week, or he will accept your preferred, of a whole weekend every fortnight and 4 out of the 8 holidays a year.
And he wants alternative Christmases, birthdays and New Years.
Nobody has asked me what I would like, but I would prefer the agreement is this...
A full weekend every fortnight and no evening every week, (we have already agreed together, this evening is pointless...although my ex will probably push for this).
As for holidays, being our sons sole career, I feel like his holiday demands are a bit too 50/50. Call me bitter, but I feel like, as i have devoted my whole life to our son for so far, 13 out of a 14 day period. (We haven't managed a full weekend since the breakup) I should be entitled to more 'fun days'.
I would like, until my son can tell me otherwise, that i have him every Christmas Eve and Christmas and my ex has him Boxing Day and an extra day, if he so wishes. (Which he will).
And I am prepared to accept 5 out of the 8 holidays and as for birthdays, we could split that day up, so we both get to see him.
How likely is it that I will get this kind of agreement?
And I have never been in a legal sittuation before
When my ex say's "see you in court"
How exactly does he get it to court?, isn't there a process to get through first to try and avoid court?
He can't just take me to court for an official agreement can he?
If we are ordered to go to mediation, and it is successful, will court be called off?
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.
Why do you think that an evening would be pointless?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It was arranged that my ex would come one day after work (6:00pm) and put our son to bed at half 7.
However, it has never happened since we have been broke up, and to be honest, we are all fine without it.
He asked to come round for an hour once and I reminded him, he was supposed to be putting him to bed, not visiting (my ex has never done our sons actual cares, unless he has to because I'm not there, he'd rather just play with him)
It became obvious my ex just wanted to visit for an hour or so, so he could just see him
So we called it off
He hasn't asked to come round in the week since
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
is there any reason why he should not take the child out for an hour or so one evening a week?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No there is no particular reason. I just feel it is an unnecessary stress added to my week, my ex never put him to bed when we were actually together
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
For clarity - did he collect the child on Boxing Day in the end?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No he didn't, my mum even offered to drop my son off, because i can 't drive. But he insisted it was unfair on our son to be driven around at that time.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The law says that a child is entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary.
It is however the needs of the child and not the parents that dictate what the contact should be.
The fact that your ex refused to collect the child for the prearranged contact is bizarre since many children do indeed travel between their parents on boxing day - and indeed on Christmas day itself
It seems that you have agreed most of the contact arrangements - the alternate weekends and the only issue remains the holidays.
Your suggestion is not unreasonable - although you do need to be aware that the Court can be unpredictable when it comes to how Christmas is dealt with.
There can be bo Court proceedings until Mediation has been attempted
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
and there is no reason not to stick to your current proposal.
Given what happened on Boxing Day it remains to be seen if your ex is actually interested in seeing the child at all.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare