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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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My son has a court order which gives him several evening

Resolved Question:

My son has a court order which gives him several evening contacts and a full weekend per month with his three children aged 7-10. While the children's mother has had no option but comply, considerable emotional pressure is brought to the eldest child not to go to the weekend visits by offering alternative outings with the maternal grandmother: in some cases this has meant the child's belongings being unpacked at the station platform causing distress to all involved. This child is now given to tantrums at all handovers and this also distresses her younger siblings. The children are loved by all involved but I believe the mother is being short sighted in not recognising that todays "win" will contribute to the longer difficulties for the children. My son has a new partner, the children all like her and her children and she lives in the same town and they have enjoyable days and have had a holiday together. Mum is refusing to let them stay at the new partners home for the weekend visits. Particularly the eldest child is happy to stay at the new partners e it is not far from her Mothers home. There was a big upset at the weekend because Mum told her daughter on Friday that her maternal grandmother was in hospital for a minor thing : daughter did not want to go on the weekend contact, got distressed at school and then Mum refused her to go back home. They are going back to mediation on Friday and I think Mum did not want to appear to have put the contact arrangement in difficulty. I saw the children at the weekend and am very concerned.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further details first

Why is there further mediation scheduled?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My son has been living in shared accommodation due to not much money and quite rightly the children could not stay there so he took them to his sisters (my daughters ) in London for his weekends. Now he is in a new relationship for over a year and it would be more convenient and pleasant to stay at new partners making a new life: furthermore he has made himself a new career as a Prison Officer which means shift work so the midweek contact has to be flexible. The former partner requested the new mediation because she wants a fixed day mid week (not possible in his job) and secondly does not want the children to stay at new partners house. He pays a vast amount of CSA and has never shirked his responsibility. Also she is refusing the eldest child to participate in school sexeducation lessons because she says it is "wrong"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you receive my response?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

My apologies for the delay.

At 10 the chid is too young to decide wether or not she goes for contact - and by offering alternatives the mother is in fact in breach of the order and your son could take enforcement action against her if he wished.

In addition your son has Parental Responsibility for the children and it is HIS choice where they stay so long as he does not endanger them in any way.

Your son needs to be very calm and not let his ex wind him up.

A picture of the chidlren with him in mediation may help him focus on what is important

He should be clear that in future they WILL be staying with his new partner, and that it is non negotiable.

If he can collect them form school all the better - and he could ask for an overnight midweek if that would work better

What he is asking for is reasonable and he should not allow her to make him feel he is not.

At 10 we make children do many things - got to the dentist, school etc - so she cannot say it is not possible to ensure the eldest attends ocntact.

Your son may find this website helpful

http://theparentconnection.org.uk/

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response, I was very tired and have been in bed sleeping (I am disabled and had a lot of worry about the children) Your answer is extremely helpful. I am going to talk to my son later today to see if there is anything else he wants to clarify: then I will let you know and give you a rating because you have been marvellous.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have spoken to my son again. He has told me that the original court order laid out that mothers parents will do the handover and that the contact weekends will take place at Tims sisters (because at the time Tims living arrangements were not appropriate) He seems to think therefore if he takes the children to his new partners that will put him in breach. He thinks Mother would not need to pay to go back to court because she is on benefits whereas he would have to pay for a C1 and C2? Mother is now saying her parents suffer ill health and can no longer do the hand overs so wants him to collect the children from home (potential for confrontation)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ps I should mention that Tims sister is relocating by Christmas anyway for work so either way that situation has run its course.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare I added a further question. If you can't clarify that's ok but I wonder if you missed it?