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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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What rights does a father have regarding overnight visits

Resolved Question:

What rights does a father have regarding overnight visits with our 3 year olds son
We are separated and nor married?
I am asking on behalf of my daughter and grandson
His father insists on one or 2 night visits which my daughter is not happy about as the child comes back disturbed and traumatised, he lives in a shared house with several people and random visitors, and for 3 years has never been a hands on father, so his normal routine is not adhered to in any way
Although he needs a relationship with father, this is too much too soon
Help
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 they been separated and could he have overnights elsewhere - with his parents maybe?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi
They have been separated for 6 months
His family live in Jamaica
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is his actual housing position?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My daughter remains in flat they rented and is claiming housing benefit
He is living in a shared house
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - i was talking about him.
Does he share with friends?
Does he have his own room?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He shares with a friend and several other people, we don't know, different people there all the time, has about 4 bedrooms
He has is own room, but not one for the child
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What are the sleeping arrangements when the child stays?
Are you aware of any specific problems in the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has a blow up bed in fathers room
It is not child friendly, on 3 floors , it's more that other visitors coming and going, all using same bathroom with strangers stuff around
Pam
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Has there been any specific incident that has caused concern?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No specific incident, but the child is clearly confused, he crys when Gabby collects him and doesn't talk as usual, looks exhausted as he doesn't go to bed until late, the father does not know the child's routine meal and nap times etc or anticipating when he needs the bathroom
My daughter is in a state of anxiety for his welfare and doesn't want to wait for an accident to happen
She wants him to see his father as we understand he has parental rights,but going from no care and control as a Dad to overnight stays is a massive transition that the child is not coping with
Pam
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How many overnights have there been so far?
has your daughter provided details of the routine?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
4 stays so far
She tries but thinks he's should do it his way
She packs all his things but he doesn't aknowledge times and routine
When she skyped him last time Teshai was downstairs in the lounge on his own and closed door locked in, my daughter had to phone to tell him to come downstairs to open door
Pam
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check I understood that.
Your daughter skyped and was speaking to her son when she realised he has been left alone locked into a room?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes
He set up Skype for Teshai to speak to his mum and went upstairs, he was on his own , the door closed so Gabby had to call his phone to tell him to come down and open the door,
Teshai is only 3 and doesn't know how to handle these things on his own
Pam
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Both parties have Parental Responsibility for the child and the child has the right to have contact with both parents - including overnight contact provided it can be safely managed.
It is that last point that is a problem with regard to your grandson
The fact that it is a shared house is not necessarily a problem - but it is clear that the child's father is actually not able to adequately ensure the safety of the child at this time.
Your daughter should try and discuss matters with her ex using Family Mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
so that they can discuss the need of the child for a safe and secure routine.
A regular pattern of all day contact twice a week until the father has more suitable housing would be wise.
If her ex is not able to agree this then there may need to ne court intervention - but it is to be hoped that this can be avoided.
Your daughter may find this site helpful
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
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