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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33534
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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Clare, Hope you can help me. I split with my ex over

Customer Question

Hi Clare,
Hope you can help me. I split with my ex over a year and a half ago, we have a 6 year old son together who lives with me full time. We agreed upon splitting up that we would split weekends and holidays down the middle and have an equal share of time with our son. I am not the kind of person to use my child as a weapon to hurt my ex and would never wish to withhold contact from him as I believe this would only ultimately hurt my son and believe a child should see his father as it is just as important as seeing me.
I have been let down on numerous occasions by him, either not calling when he says he will which hurts my son to him not looking after him when he spends time with him, this includes not bathing or brushing his teeth all weekend and not even noticing that he has developed chicken pox, obviously due to him not being washed so his body has gone unnoticed.
With summer holidays coming up he has now turned around and said he can't have our son over the holidays at all and says he will not pay for childcare as this should be included in the monthly maintenance he pays me, which as he says is well over what I am entitled to. He pays £300 per month, of which I pay everything including childcare during term time if needed and any extras such as clubs etc. this amount he has paid even when we were together as I ran the household, whilst he was working. When he left he said this amount would never change and when I brought up the point of holiday childcare he said he would be able to help. He now has a new partner, new house etc and ultimately is asking me to look after him full time, including the time he is meant to have our son as mutually agreed and expects me to pay all holiday childcare which for 5 weeks at £23 per day is obviously a lot more than what he pays me, leaving me little to actually feed and clothe him etc. I work part time as I need to be flexible with regards ***** ***** our son up from school etc, so I earn very little in comparison to him.
Is holiday childcare included in the monthly maintenance? Am I in the wrong? I just feel like he wants everything his own way, I just want him to do as agreed. He is now threatening to reduce the monthly amount even after I said he wouldn't pay me maintenance for the time he has our son and that this money he could use for childcare or to give to his family to look after him? He is refusing to budge and I do not know where to go from here. I don't want more money, just want him to pay for the childcare if I am looking after him during his time... Why should I do him a favour and pay for it too? Hope you can help, really need it! thanks in advance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much does your ex earn gross?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He takes home about £1300 per month
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Just to check - were you ever married
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare, thanks for getting back to me. In answer to your question, we were Never married, lived together for 10 years, conned me into giving our son his surname, promising me he would marry me etc... I was obviously concerned about not having the same surname as my son...
In relation to this, as his sole care giver, would it be possible to change my sons surname to mine?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there any way my query can be private rather than being posted for all to see?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am so very sorry but I am afraid that your ex is indeed paying more than he legally need sto be way of Child Maintenance - and it is indeed meant to be his contribution to ALL the expenses including child care
In addition you will not be able to change the surname of your child unless your ex agrees.
I am sorry - I appreciate that the law has let you down n this but there is no way around it
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply, although you did not really answer the question in full. Where do I stand with regards ***** ***** refusing to having my son in the time agreed, in this case over the summer holidays. He is refusing to have him during his agreed time of just over 2 weeks and expects me to just care for him and pay for any childcare. Surely he can't expect me to do that? I had also ready that child maintenance does cover child care during term time but holiday time is additional?
Thanks in advance
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry but you cannot force your ex to have the child more often than he wishes to do so and I am afraid that there is no change to child maintenance during holiday periods
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not trying to force him to do anything, we had the same agreement last year and it was not an issue as then he did not have a new partner etc. He has now advised me he has no holidays and can't care for our son and is not willing to ask his family or sort childcare during his agreed time...
So to sum up, he can pick and choose when he wants to see our son and negate on any agreements previously made, and I have to pick up the pieces? That about it?
Any advice?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
It is wicked that good parent such as you are so let down by the law - but sadly they are.
He can indeed demand changes when they mean having the child less as he can simply refuse to have him.
Your only option is to make it plain that if he misses a scheduled contact then he cannot demand to have the child at another time - once the new pattern is established that is that
The only good part is that your son has one dependable parent - his mother
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have any rights with regards ***** ***** etc? What are my rights? I
Am I just supposed to be the main carer with him swanning in and out when it suits him? I can only work part time due to the needs of our son and only currently work 17 hours per week... Would I only have rights if we had 50 50 custody?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry but no one can force your ex to see more of the child than he wishes - you cannot force him to have 50/50 shared care
There is no right to respite sadly
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33534
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare

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