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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33829
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 daughter had her son when she was 17. She has chosen to

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My daughter had her son when she was 17. She has chosen to let her ex-partner have residential care of Charlie now aged two and they had reached an agreement that she would have Charlie overnight Tuesday and alternate weekend, Friday to Sunday. The father gets the child benefit and a free nursery place through Care to Learn; he is doing a foundation course at college. My daughter does not pay any maintenance as the access arrangement was shared care so she pays for Charlie's needs when he is with her, including clothes, toys, etc.
On Tuesday 9th September she agreed to let Charlie stay with his father to celebrate his father's birthday. The following Tuesday I picked Charlie up from nursery and received texts from his father threatening to call the police because my daughter had "agreed" that she would not be having contact with Charlie through the week. This was not true; the father had stated that this was going to happen but my daughter had not agreed to it. She has not had Charlie on a Tuesday since; it was her weekend to have Charlie on Friday 16/10 but when she went to collect Charlie he'd already been picked up by his father who would not answer my daughter's nor my husband's attempts to contact him by phone, Facebook or in person. My daughter has since received a letter from the CMS about her earnings. This is not the first time this has happened and the withdrawal of contact between my daughter and her son is always followed by a letter from the CMS.
My daughter is very willing to financially support her son and has been doing so; initially through regular payments of one third of her wages to the father when he had more care of Charlie and then through providing for Charlie directly when they agreed to shared care.
So to my questions.
What legal right does the father have to stop my daughter from seeing her son, without notice and whenever it suits him? What can my daughter do about this? They have already been to mediation, which was how the shared care arrangement came about.
It appears that there is always a financial motivation behind these actions (although the usual reason spouted is that Charlie's routine is disturbed when he is with his mother). How does my daughter ensure that the money she provides is used to support her son.
Finally, my daughter was very young when she got pregnant. The father has severe mental health problems, emotionally blackmailed her when they were together including self harming and attempting suicide and I have found out through other sources that he attacked my daughter on at least one occasion. My daughter finds it extremely difficult to challenge him. Is there any other support that she can access to help her manage this situation.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhen was the last mediation meeting and how much does your daughter earn gross
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Is the father on the birth certificate?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The last mediation was around April this year. The father is named on the birth certificate. My daughter earns £5.50 per hour and is contracted to work 36 hours per week, although sometimes she will do a few more, some weeks a few less

less. She has been working full time since September, previously she was a student working weekends and holidays only.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiAfter the last mediation was the agreement turned into a court order?Does your daughter understand that her maintenance liability is effectively 10% of her gross income
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, the mediation did not become a court order. It was arranged in order to prevent going to court and to come to a mutual agreement, which seemed to be the case until the beginning of September.
My daughter will support Charlie financially and we will arrange this through the CMS to ensure the payments are the correct level. Although she hasn't been paying the father because that was what they agreed at mediation, she has been putting money into a savings account for Charlie and has been providing food, clothes, toys and equipment for him.
Although financial support is important the more important issue we need an answer on is my first question about whether the father can just prevent my daughter from seeing her son whenever he chooses to. This is a cycle of behaviour he imposes without any warning or justification other than his own opinion. My daughter hasn't seen her son for almost 3 weeks now which is very upsetting for her and must be impacting on Charlie. We are trying to get an appointment with a solicitor but in the meantime we need information on my daughter's rights regarding this issue particularly.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
The law says that a child is entitled to ocntact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessaryNeither parent is entitled to simply dictate when the other parent should see the child - not are they entitled to simply stop contact as and when they feel.Unfortunately the process means that your daughter must attend a mediation Information and Assessment appointment again.IF a further agreement is made then it MUST be turned into a Consent Order to be sealed by the court so that it can be enforced in the future - if the last agreement had been turned into a court order then it could have been enforced.If no agreement is made then your daughter can apply for a Child Arrangement Order setting out the agreed terms.This could be the moment to extend the weekend contact to Monday morning and to establish that the child will spend half of all the holidays with herI do understand how young your daughter still is - but the details you have given does raise the question as to how well the father will cope with the child as the Child grows and has his own personalityI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That's very helpful, thankyou.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33829
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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