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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1934
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife and I have been separated for nearly 2 years, and

Customer Question

My wife and I have been separated for nearly 2 years, and during that time my daughter has been staying with me every weekend, from 12pm sat to 12pm Sunday, and visiting for dinner every tues/Thursday. My wife has said she wants to stop the overnight Saturday, but I wish this to continue for the sake of continuity and the relationship between myself and my daughter. Is a registered letter requesting this pattern continues my first step?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 5 months ago.

Hi, thanks for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-How old is your daughter?

-What are her reasons to want to stop the overnight sessions?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My daughter is 4 and a half. My wife feels that the long term damage of her having 2 homes is to great (even though she has already been happily staying overnight for 20 months, she's slept through the night every time, eats well, generally seems happy). Also my wife is very angry with me as I have not moved back in, as the problems in our relationship which caused us to separate have not been fully addressed even after several months of couples counselling. I fully believe her anger at the moment is her main motivation for wanting the change, not the what's best for our daughter.
Expert:  Harris replied 5 months ago.

Thanks for confirming. Firstly, your daughter has a right to a continued relationship with both of you which can only be reasonably restricted if there are child protection concerns. Furthermore, it is usual for a child to have two homes in the event of parents separating and this is something that the mother will need to understand. As the arrangement has been going on for 20 months, it appears to be an established routine and the mother will unlikely have grounds to change the routine unless it is no longer in your daughter's interests.

In the circumstances I would suggest that you firstly write a letter to her explaining what is in your daughter's best interests and ensure it focuses only on your daughter you can also suggest making a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: familymediationcouncil.org.uk). The mediator will assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement that is in the children's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court for a child arrangement order and the court can make a decision regarding the matter. For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1934
Experience: Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Harris replied 5 months ago.

I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris

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